Wood Squill

deb cole

Hamilton, Canada

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I was walking the dog down by the beach and decided to explore a little path that led into a little woodland. I found a field full of these lovely little flowers!!
Also known as English Bluebells, Wood Hyacinth, Endymion or Nodding Squill. It was said to be mentioned as a medicinal plant by Theophrastus in 300 B.C.E. and it was used by the Greek physician Epimenides, for which reason squill has also been known as Epimenidea. It is toxic and traditionally used (carefully, one hopes) as an expectorant assisting lung ailments and as a diuretic curing dropsy & ailments of the kidneys.

It has occasionally been mixed with digitalis as a heart medicine. But if you were feeling poorly and gobbled down a bulb to see if that helped, expect to become violently ill, fall into a stupor or into convulsions, with temperature loss, and soon after find out whether or not there is an afterlife. Its other traditional use was as a rat poison.

The toxicity may be the origin of the superstitious belief that it was used in witches’ potions, or that anyone who wanders into a ring of bluebells will fall under fairy enchantment and soon after die. Bluebells were long regarded as the flower of grief, due to their association with devilish fairies, as well as the grief of Apollo over the death of Hyacinthos.

Not all its folklore is so gloomy. Some believed that by wearing a wreath made of the flowers, they would be compelled to speak only truth. Others believed that if you could turn one of the flowers inside out without tearing it, you would eventually win the one you love.

Taken with the Nikon D60 and the 55-200mm Nikkor lens in a small woods off the beaten path down by the beach in Hamilton Ontario Canada.

Artwork Comments

  • Tracy Wazny
  • deb cole
  • Rodney55
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  • Vickie Emms
  • deb cole
  • Les Wazny
  • deb cole
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  • Brian Carey
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  • mrcoradour
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  • Mike Oxley
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  • lorilee
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