Sweden wildflowers: Lady's mantle

Alchemilla sp., Alchemilla vulgaris, SE: Daggkåpa,
DE: Frauenmantel, NL: Vrouwenmantel, UK: Lady's mantle,

Scientific name:  Alchemilla sp.
Synonym name:  Alchemilla vulgaris L.
Swedish name:  Daggkåpa
German name:  Frauenmantel
Nederlandse naam:  Vrouwenmantel
English name:  Lady's mantle
Family:  Rosaceae, Rose family, Rosväxter

Sweden Wildflowers
'Guttation'

Life form:  Herbaceous perennial
Stems:  Height 10–50 cm, limp–ascending, usually hairy
Leaves:  kidney-shaped, plaited, with 6-9 lobes, dentate
Flowers:  Clusters of very small green to bright chartreuse flowers, with 4-lobed epicalyx, 4 sepals, no petals, and 4-5 stamens
Flowering Period:  May, June, July, August, September
Fruits:  Achene remaining inside the receptacle
Habitat:  Woods, thickets, pastureland, meadows, farmland, settlements

Alchemilla sp., Alchemilla vulgaris, SE Daggkåpa,  DE Frauenmantel, NL Vrouwenmantel, UK Lady's mantle,


Derivation of the botanical name:
Alchemilla, from the Arabic word alkemeyeh, chemistry. The name ‘alchemilla,’ i.e. ‘the little alchemical one,’ was given to this plant in 1539 by the German herbalist Hieronymus Bock (1498 - 1554), also known under his latinised name Hieronymus Tragus, a German botanist, physician, and Lutheran minister.
The name ‘alchemilla’ was given to this plant, presumably because alchemists gathered the beads of water on the leaves of this plant.
vulgaris, common.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
Andrés Laguna de Segovia (1499–1559), a Spanish humanist physician, pharmacologist, and botanist. His translation of Dioscorides’ Materia Medica (Pedanius Dioscorides of Anazarbus, Amberes, 1555) recommends two preparations of lady’s mantle – the root, powdered and mixed with red wine, for internal and external wounds, and an infusion of the aerial parts, for “greenstick” fractures and broken bones in babies and young children. When taken regularly for 15 days, lady’s mantle was said to reverse sterility due to “slipperiness” of the womb. The plant’s astringent effect is sufficiently marked that the infusion was used to contract the female genitalia, and it was “a thousand times sold” to those wishing to appear to be virgins!

Johann Künzle (1857-1945), a Swiss priest- herbalist, 'Das grosse Heilkraüterbuch', Verlag Otto Walter og Olten, 1945:
Lady’s Green Mantle is a poetic interpretation of ‘Alchemilla vulgaris’ or Lady’s Mantle.
The Alchemists gathered the dewdrops which appear in the center of each leaf in the morning to use in their transformations and metamorphosis.
… In ancient times it was said to possess many hidden forces with such mysterious effects that they gave it the name ‘Alchemilla’ or ‘magical herb’.
In modern times Lady’s Mantle is prized as a herbal remedy. The leaves and flowers are used.
… Expectant mothers are recommended to take the tea daily because it can help them to bear a healthy child, even when complications occur.
… Children who have weak muscles can become stronger with regular use of this tea and good nourishment.

Guttation is the process that many plants use to expel liquid water from within when the water pressure inside the plant gets too high. This often happens overnight when transpiration is reduced to a minimum. (Transpiration is the process by which plants lose water vapour mostly during the daytime, helping them to control their temperature). Only certain structures within the leaves of plants will allow liquid water to emerge (guttation) and these structures are different to those which allow transpiration to occur. Guttation is driven by excess water pressure from the roots of plants and occur, usually in the evenings, when the humidity near the leaves are close to 100 %. There is no space in the surrounding air to hold the water vapor evaporating from the plants, and it condensate on the leaves as droplets.

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Alchemilla sp., Alchemilla vulgaris, SE Daggkåpa,  DE Frauenmantel, NL Vrouwenmantel, UK Lady's mantle,
"Glace"


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