June 14th Moneywort

Moneywort. Photo by Kurt Stüber Wikipedia

Calm weather in June
Sets corn in tune.

When it is hottest in June, it will be coldest in the corresponding days in February.

(Weather Lore by Richard Inwards 1895)

Moneywort flowers in June/July. It is, also known as Creeping Jenny, Wandering Jenny, Creeping Joan, or Wandering Sailor. All names alluding to its rapid trailing over the Ground.

It’s also called Herb Tuppence or String of Sovereigns and variations. ‘Herbe 2 pence’ was the name given by William Turner in the earliest English scientific Herbal, 1551. He learnt his medicine in Italy in Ferrara and Bologna and went abroad again, in exile from Mary 1st’s religious intolerance.

frontispiece of William Turner's 'A newe herball' containing descriptions of 238 English plants, 1551
William Turner’s ‘A newe herball’ containing descriptions of 238 English plants,

Its Latin name is Lysimachia nummularis (from the Latin for money nummulus) Mrs Grieve suggests that the two pence idea comes from the leaves which ‘look like rows of pennies, and the golden flowers which give the name String of Sovereigns.’

There was said to be ‘not a better wound-herb’, and that wounded serpents would wrap themselves around it. Hence, yet another name is Serpentaria. Also, it was thought to be good for stomachs, and against whooping cough.

It can be used both fresh or dried, but if to be dried, collect in June. It prospers in damp conditions and self-spreads.

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