Sadly, this book is published posthumously. It results from the author's interest in plant and tree lore and ethnobotanical studies developed over several decades of research and teaching. Although the author was checking the first print at the time of his death, any inaccuracies or omissions would undoubtedly have been rectified if he had lived a few months longer, and I can only apologise for these.

Throughout the book there are references to recipes of the past use of plants for a variety of uses—some of which would be considered highly imaginative or mythical today. It goes without saying that such recipes should not be attempted by the lay person, but should be seen in the light of man's evolutionary understanding of the potential of plants within the culture and environment that he lived.

The author had a very considerable collection of antiquarian books, but I would like to acknowledge the excellent support he received from the London Library and West Wiltshire Libraries. I would also like to thank Sheila Tomkinson for her generous help with proof-reading.

S. Watts


Preface vii


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