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I’ve been trying, very slowly, to learn the names of more wildflowers so, when I couldn’t put a name to this plant at Grangemoor Park a couple of days ago, I made sure to take lots of photos of it. And today I found out this straggly, nondescript wildflower is not just any old plant, this is ‘The Herb’!

200805 vervain (1)

Vervain (Verbena officinalis) was so valued by herbalists in Anglo Saxon times that it was considered ‘The Chief Herb’, and was ‘a venerated plant, valued not just as a panacea (it was trumpeted as a cure for the plague in the Middle Ages) but as a magical charm, which could both protect against witches and demons and conjure up devilry of its own’ (Flora Britannica).