Herbal

Rhythm and Rhyme

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Eye of pheasant
And tongue of hound,
Ear of mouse
And foot of colt,
Blood of dragon
And tooth of lion.

Being: pheasant’s eye (Adonis vernalis), hound’s tongue (Cynoglossum), mouse ear (=Myosotis, =forget-me-not), colt’s foot (and lamb’s ear and oxtongue: Tussilago farfara and Petasites spp; Stachys byzantina; Picris spp), dragon’s blood tree (Dracaena draco), and dandelion (Taraxacum spp). And, of course, from the nursery rhyme, ‘Mary, Mary, quite contrary’, there’re also sea-shells and cockleshells and pretty-maids-all-in-a-row.


For reference, Wikipedia page names across various languages for these plants follow word-formation patterns, see: Pavol Štekauer, Salvador Valera and Lívia Körtvélyessy’s Word-Formation in the World’s Languages: A Typological Survey (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

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