Lungwort

(Pulmonaria officinalis) The name comes from the spotted leaves, the signature of the lungs, it was felt, so by that doctrine, they were used for diseased lungs, further boosted by the generic name Pulmonaria. Actually, it has been claimed that they are of some value (Brownlow), and they are still used in infusion for lung infections and respiratory disorders (Schauenberg & Paris). A leechdom for lung disease was actually used in Anglo-Saxon times (Cockayne), and in the mid-eighteenth century, Hill was still prescribing the leaf decoction for "coughs, shortness of breath, and all disorders of the lungs".

The legend that accounts for these spotted, or blotched, leaves, is that during the flight into Egypt, some of the Virgin's milk fell on the leaves while she was nursing the infant Jesus, causing the white blotches on them, hence names like Virgin Mary's Milkdrops (Macmillan), and Spotted Mary (Grigson. 1955), among others. Another version of the legend tells that it was her tears that spotted the leaves, for the plant was growing on Calvary, at the foot of the Cross. That, incidentally, is why it is unlucky to dig it up from the garden (Britten & Holland). The relevant names are Lady Mary's Tears, from Dorset, Virgin Mary's Tears (Macmillan). Double, or even treble, names for flowers are often references to two-coloured, or changing coloured, flowers, and Lungwort is one of them, so there are names like Adam-and-Eve, or Joseph-and-Mary for this plant, even Faith, Hope and Charity, from Dorset (Udal). Twelve Apostles is an old name from Somerset (Tongue. 1965), and there is a folk song with this title:

The Twelve Apostles in the garden plot do grow, Some be blue, some be red and others white as snow.

They cure the ill name of every man, whatever ill it be,

But Judas he was hanged on an elder tree. LUSMORE

is the Irish name for the FOXGLOVE, literally the 'great herb'

Lychnis flos-cuculi > RAGGED ROBIN Lycopersicon esculentum > TOMATO Lycopodium inundatum > CLUBMOSS

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