Reddish Vale Country Park
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Lady's Mantle is a plant of graceful growth and though it only grows to a foot in height and green throughout- flowers, stem and leaves alike, it is therefore inconspicuous, the rich form of its foliage and the beautiful shape of its clustering blossoms make it worthy of notice.
The common name, Lady's Mantle was first used by the sixteenth-century botanist, Jerome Bock, always known by the latinized version of his name: Tragus.
In the Middle Ages, this plant has been associated, like so many other flowers with the Virgin Mary (hence it is Lady's Mantle, not Ladies' Mantle), the lobes of the leaves being supposed to resemble the scalloped edges of a mantle. In mediaeval Latin it is called Leontopodium (lion's foot), probably due to its spreading root leaves.
The generic name for Lady's Mantle is, Alchemilla and is derived from the Arabic word, Alkemelych (alchemy), and was bestowed on it, according to some old writers, because of the wonder-working powers of the plant. Others held that the alchemical virtues lay in the subtle influence the foliage imparted to the dewdrops that lay in its furrowed leaves and in the little cup formed by its joined stipules, these dewdrops constituting part of manymystic potions.
Culpepper says of it:
'Lady's Mantle is very proper for inflamed wounds and to stay bleeding, vomitings, fluxes of all sorts, bruises by falls and ruptures. It is one of the most singular wound herbs and therefore highly prized and praised, used in all wounds inward and outward, to drink a decoction thereof and wash the wounds therewith, or dip tents therein and put them into the wounds which wonderfully drieth up all humidity of the sores and abateth all inflammations thereof. It quickly healeth green wounds, not suffering any corruption to remain behind and cureth old sores, though fistulous and hollow'.