Thursday, 22 August 2019

Fairy Buttons

You probably recognise this flower by its more common name of Tansy and my friend IceBadger and I came across it on our recent walk [more on that in a future post]. It's also called Bitter Buttons and this alludes to its taste....tansy was added to Lenten cakes to remind people of the suffering of Christ in the run up to Easter.

Since Grecian times this distinctive disc shaped flower has been associated with immortality. It was used to embalm bodies and the seeds were mixed with caraway in biscuits served at funerals in Yorkshire.

One its primary uses right up until modern times has been as a repellent. It was dried and strewn in the Middle Ages to deter insects and used specifically in public places such as churches in times of plague. During the 1940s it was mixed with pennyroyal, fleabane and alcohol to stop you from being bitten by mosquitoes.

As for me....I was just pleased to see it!