Olde World ‘Dark Arts’ Historical Seed Compendium, 6 Varieties of Seed, individually packaged
This ‘Dark Arts’ Historical seed compendium contains seeds to grow out your very own Sinister Garden of Olde. Take great care as you walk amongst the quiet lush green serenity armed with the knowledge of a millennium of tales, accusations, and historical accounts that have eluded to bringing the most unfortunate persons from love jaded peasants to naïve emperors swiftly to their final untimely slumber. Each species is individually packaged (see pic #1) and labeled with both common name and scientific name and includes specific growing instructions on the back.
The Seeds included in this collection are:
Belladonna (Atropa belladonna) – This is an herb with a rich history of use in the U.K and many other parts of Europe. It’s confirmed that it was in fact used during the times of the Druids/ Celts for ritual purposes and further on during the rule of the Roman empire as a covert method of poisoning the unsuspecting via dissolving the juice of the berries in a glass of wine or other spirits. Belladonna was also of great value as a medicinal plant utilized for sedation during early surgeries/ childbirth. Although Shakespeare was notorious for being ambiguous about the poisons utilized by characters in his plays, scholars surmise that a concoction made from this plant is the poison that was taken by Juliet to bring her to the brink of death only to awaken from the death-like slumber to find her beloved Romeo dead in the Shakespearian tragedy Romeo and Juliet. (10+ seeds/pkt)
Black Henbane (Hycosamus niger) – This is an herb closely tied to the folklore surrounding the European witches of the Dark and Middle Ages and has been assumed to be the poison referred to as ‘henbon’ that killed Hamlet’s father in the famous Shakespearian play Hamlet. Henbane found its way into popularity in both the medical arena as one of the main constituents of the soporific sponge utilized to render a patent unconscious for up to 96 hours during early surgical endeavors. In the magical arts of old, it has been regarded as a mainstay ingredient of witch and sorcerer “flying ointments”. (20+ seeds/pkt)
Wolfsbane (Aconitum lamarckii) – This dark herb has proven to be as elusive in the modern recorded Anglo-Saxon folklore as it is in cultivation here in the Americas. Little written history of its use in human demise is available other than that of Lucius Calpurnius Bestia (prominent Roman family) that killed his wives in a most unorthodox manner. Wolfsbane, much like tobacco, is readily absorbed through the skin and more so within the mucous membranes (Lucius’s fingers were said to be the murder weapon) and as it is reported to have a distinctively bad taste it was not a good choice to be covertly infused into a tonic or elixir taken by mouth. Its main use, from which the common name is derived appears to be in the hunting of animals. Arrows dipped in the leaf/stem sap were used to kill, as the name implies, wolves although leopards and other large hunted mammals apparently suffered a similar fate. (5 seeds/pkt)
White Devil’s Trumpet (Datura inoxia) – This herb should have a coveted place in the garden as it is quick to grow to a full bush-like plant in one growing season and boasts big full white blooms that open in the evening providing nocturnal nectar for night flutter-bys (moths). Many of the plants in this genus, including inoxia are also commonly referred to as moonflower. Thought to be part of the colonial witch’s compendium, this plant is purported to be another ingredient of a ‘flying ointment’, no doubt in part to the delirium/ hallucinogenic effects brought on by consumption. Prior to the colonization of the Americas, the Aztecs frequently used this species in much the same way for vision quests, and in Mexico, it still goes by the common name toloache. Other species within this genus have been utilized in similar ways across the globe. (5 seeds/pkt)
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) – A tall erect floriferous addition to the historic garden, this plant boasts tiny bell-shaped blooms in a long cluster that lend themselves to the perfect abode for the fae and other forest friends, and have been a colorful yet dainty mainstay of the English cottage garden for hundreds of years. Its fairytale appearance should not distract from the fact that constituents from the leaves of this plant have been used to induce cardiac dysrhythmias that can slow the heart so much as to cause it to stop resulting in death (as in the case of a nurse by the name of Charles Cullen who killed more than 20 people with Digoxin, a medicine used to treat heart failure that is directly derived from this plant). Whoever said, “there is no such thing as too much of a good thing” has obviously never tinkered with foxglove. (50+ seeds/pkt)
Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum) – This herb is most likely to be the longest used and most widely utilized, and surprisingly the most deadly in terms of numbers out of all the species listed here. The opium poppy has long been considered sacred to Hypnos the Greek god of sleep. In the mid-century movie Wizard of Oz, the wicked witch of the west casts poor Dorothy into a field of poppies to “Sleep sleep” and subsequently became drowsy and forgetting her task at hand. Historically speaking, the opium poppy has been used to make opium for ceremonial/recreational smoking in many ancient cultures as well as a medicine for pain control and as a constituent of the soporific sponge used prior to rudimentary surgical procedures. It too is considered an ingredient utilized by witches in flying ointments. More modernly, the sap from the green pods of papaver somniferum is used as the main constituent (refined) of both medicinal morphine and heroin. (50+ seeds/pkt)
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Mandrake (Mandragora autumnalis) – Probably the second most famous of the deadly historical witch herbs (just behind belladonna), mandrake boasts notoriety associated with flying ointments of old as well as a constituent of elixirs that lend themselves to devilish bacchanal endeavors. Medieval European folklore suggests that Mandrake screams as it is pulled from the ground and that anyone who heard the scream would die from merely hearing it. Curiously, the bifurcated root resembles a human figure, which would lend itself to the superstition aforementioned. Pedanius Dioscorides, an ancient Greek physician, pharmacologist, and botanist was one of the first objectives and most renowned for his study of botany generally and mandragora specifically. His depiction with documentation of mandragora for its medicinal uses can be found in De Materia Medica. In this compendium, Dioscorides describes a male and female mandrake, which we now know are two different species, Mandragora officinalis “male” and Mandragora autumnalis “female”. (5 seeds/pkt)
*Sold for floral historical and informational purposes only and should not be consumed. All parts of these plants should be considered toxic.
SPECIAL CARE SHOULD BE TAKEN TO ENSURE THAT NEITHER CHILDREN NOR PETS CAN COME INTO CONTACT WITH THESE PLANTS.
An excerpt from The Works of Francis Bacon: Baron of Verulam, Viscount St. Albans, and Lord High Chancellor of England, Volume 2. Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626). He refers to them in his Natural History…
“The ointment that witches use is reported to be made of the fat of children dug out of their graves; of the juices of smallage, wolfbane, and cinque-foil, mingled with the meal of fine wheat. But I suppose that the soporiferous medicines are likest to do it; which are henbane, hemlock, mandrake, moonshade, tobacco, opium, saffron, poplar leaves, etc.”