Ragged Robin

(Lychnis flos-cuculi) Surprisingly, in view of the relatively large number of local names, Ragged Robin has virtually no associations in folklore or folk medicine. "Ragged" in the common name refers to the typically tattered appearance of the flowers. The other part of the name, Robin, is the diminutive of Robert, and much used in earlier times in wild flower and bird names. So for Ragged Robin we can find Cock Robin and Red Robin, both from Somerset (Macmillan, Grigson); from Cumbria there is Rough Robin, and, more widespread, Robin Hood. Bobbin Joan, from Devonshire, (Tynan & Maitland) is probably connected with this series of names, though the name itself has other connotations, notably with the bobbin-shape of the spadix of Cuckoo-pint. "Ragged" names include Ragged Jacks (Elworthy. 1888), Ragged

Urchin, from Devon, or Ragged Willie, from Shetland (Grigson), and so on. Thunder Flower is recorded from Yorkshire, and is reminiscent of the Red Poppy, with all the superstitions attached to that plant, and none for this.

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