Cinquefoil – Very Pretty – Very Common – Very Useful

17 Sep

We were out on the hill as the light faded last night. We had found a new track to follow which started right behind the house – and – follow it we did. Took us up the centre of the island through a disused quarry and the able half of this partnership made it all the way to the hilltop Trig Point at 94mts while I pretended to be busy taking a few photos.

This was a new view for me and one that I would like to see again in full daylight —


Our house is hidden by the old steading from this side with two mature trees marking the home site near the centre of the pic. The rough pasture between us and home is grazed by twelve large red bulls at the last count – at least we think it’s twelve – hard to be sure as the way they pop up out of bracken covered knolls and suchlike makes it quite impossible to keep tabs on them.

Perhaps they will be asleep before we make our way back – particularly if I spend a bit of time taking photos. That will be Scarba in the distance – the house is somewhere in between —


The clouds on the horizon are over the Isle of Colonsay with the Garvellachs mid-distance —


That’s a grim-looking cloud that has crept overhead as we swing round towards the setting sun and the Isle of Mull —



The white cottages of Cullipool on Luing can just be made out below – while right at my feet I have spotted a solitary but none-the-less beautiful cinquefoil flower making the most of the remaining light —


She may not look like much but she is a member of the potentill clan which is affiliated to the rose family. Get enough of them and you can gargle them for sore throats – relieve toothache – use it in tonics – is antisceptic and also has medicinal effects as an anti-inflamatory. I will probably chew the next ones I find as a cure for my gout and if all else fails it can be used in the distilling of schnapps.


In Normandy and Burgandy it was used as protection against witchcraft with many flowerheads carved into wood and stone. In heraldry and chivalry it is a symbol of honour – power – loyalty and courage.. A quick google has brought pages and pages listing the many medicinal qualities of this plant as a cure-all for gout – fistulas – jaundice – inflamation of the joints and a host of other ailments that I’m sure I have suffered from in the past. Even medieval fishermen attached it to their nets to increase their catch!


Perhaps instead of the planned acreage of tatties and tea plantion I had in mind I will grow an abundance of cinquefoil instead – even the roots can be boiled up with wine or vinegar to make a tonic. To cap it all ‘H’ has just found out it is an ingredient in many anti-wrinkle creams – in short – this plant is magic!

Don’t be surprised if the hilltops of Luing turn yellow in 2017  🙂

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Posted by on September 17, 2016 in out and about



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