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170804 Common Knapweed (1)

In days of old a love divination game would be played with the flowers of the Common knapweed (Centaurea nigra), as described here by English poet John Clare (1793 – 1864) in his poem ‘May’:

They pull the little blossom threads
From out the knapweeds button heads
And put the husk wi many a smile
In their white bosoms for awhile
Who if they guess aright the swain
That loves sweet fancys trys to gain
Tis said that ere its lain an hour
Twill blossom wi a second flower
And from her white breasts hankerchief
Bloom as they ne’er had lost a leaf

170804 Common Knapweed (2)