Auricula

(Primula auricula) Dreaming of auriculas seemed to have some significance at one time. If they were bedded out, then it was a good luck sign; if they were growing in pots, then it was a promise of marriage. But if you were picking the flowers in your dream, that was apparently a portent of widowhood (Mackay). It is said that pieces of meat were once put about the root, and that "a good part of its bloom is actually owing, like an alderman's, to this consumption of flesh" (Ingram). They are used in Russian folk medicine - a tea made from the whole herb is said to keep the kidneys working well and to prevent the formation of kidney stones (Kourennoff). In Britain, the leaves were once used as a styptic to heal wounds (Tynan & Maitland).

Bear's Ears is a very common name for this plant (that is what is suggested by auricula, anyway). It is the shape of the leaf that accounts for the name, but as is very often the case, it has got corrupted into odd forms. In the north of Scotland it has become Boar's Ears, or Bore's Ears (Britten & Holland). Interestingly, Jamieson said that a bear is called a boar in northern Scotland. However that may be, bear's ears becomes a little more unrecognizable as it goes south. In Lancashire, it is Baziers, or Basiers (Nodal & Milner). There is a May song that had its origin in south Lancashire,

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