Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Well there's nothing 'pure as the driven snow' about this collection of white botanicals, which consists of two extremely poisonous variants of well known 'baneful herbs', and two incredibly potent plants for magical working.
- White henbane (Hyoscyamus albus) - related to the more comon black henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) - has all the same toxicity as its family member, but has paler flowers which attract insects and bats in the evening.
- White monkshood (Aconitum napellus album) similarly is related to the common monkshood (Aconitum napellus) but rather than blue flowers has beautifully ethereal white blooms, again attracting nocturnal creatures. The purity of these white, ethereal flowers is perhaps a deadly innocent-looking disguise for what is a very dangerous plant, also known as aconite or wolfsbane.
- White Sage (Salvia apiana) has long been associated with cleansing and purifying, as well as helping reduce stress and anxiety. It is antibacterial, and it repels insects in a humane, less toxic way than chemicals. Over-harvesting of white sage is a problem, which is why it's more environmentally conscious to grow your own, from seed.
- Borage usually has cornflower blue flowers, but this white variant (Borago officianalis var. 'Alba') is stunning and unusual, yet so easy to grow. It practically took over my garden over the summer. What's particularly salient is that the petals of these flowers form a 5 pointed star - or pentagram - and in white they are more aligned with magical purity and femininity than their blue counterparts. But be warned; the stems and foliage are prickly and irritating, determined to protect the delicate blooms. The flowers are fully edible and taste like cucumber. They can be added to salads and candied for cakes, but I much prefer to put them in ice cubes as they are an ingredient in Pimms! It is an incredibly potent healing plant used as a tonic to "lift the heart and spirit".
£5 each or buy all 4 as a bundle for £16. Comes wrapped in red ribbon.
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