Friday, 25 September 2020

Blackberry Folklore


Rubus fruticosus

Also known as Bramble, Bumble-Kite, Bly, Brambleberry, Scaldhead, Dewberry. It’s not a berry as such - it’s an aggregate fruit made up of tiny “drupelets”.

There is an abundance of Bramble folklore. British stories say that Michaelmas (29th September) is the last day that Blackberries can be picked. This is the day that St Michael cast the Devil from Heaven. He fell out of the sky, landed in a Blackberry bush, and cursed the berries. He scorched them with his fire (it’s notable that leaf miner appears on the leaves around this time), and urinated and spat on them, making them unpalatable (it’s true that Blackberries aren’t that nice after this date). Consequently, Blackberries are known as the “Devil’s Fruit” by some people in the U.K.

Manx folklore states that the first berries of the season should be left for the Faery Folk. If you ignore this advice then any berries you eat thereafter will be full of grubs!

It was once believed that Bramble had healing powers; sick people passed through the loop of a branch were believed to be cured of rheumatism, whooping cough, rockets and hernias.

Blackberries make the perfect ritual food, and are often left as offerings to nature spirits and Faery Folk. They are said to offer protection from earthbound spirits.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @oak_and_bramble @the_cemetery_witch

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