Today in park Frankendael, I found my new herbal friend. I thought this was Black Horehound (Ballota nigra) but now am sure that it is Common or White Horehound (Marrubium vulgare), a very hairy and equally useful plant!
It is growing next to an old faithful friend, Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)
Its the first time I have seen Motherwort in Amsterdam this year. I had a little taste and wow, it’s so strong, bitter and useful! Looking forward to tincturing this plant later in the year. The two plants above, can look very similar at first glance. Both have obvious leaf veins and a similar texture but their properties are very different and the deep invaginations of Motherwort’s leaves will become more obvious by the day.
Above, Witch Hazel flowers are going over at the moment. It will be difficult to tell this shrub from others once the extraordinary flowers are gone.
And these flower buds are truly a taste of heavenly things to come! This is Magnolia. The plant is said to have been brought to Europe by Chinese medics or Europeans who realised its place in traditional Chinese medicine and fancied it for themselves. But these days it’s simply grown as an ornamental. In park Frankendael there is a small stand of different Magnolia sisters, which bloom sequentially, offering a long period of beautiful blooms. It is an extremely useful but underused herb. I enjoy making Magnolia petal infused honey and now have my eyes peeled for the first Magnolia blooms of the year…