Wildwood Flowers

imageRose hip, oak leaves and acorns, sweet briar rose (eglantine) and sunflower. “With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine…”

Many English misericords have a central carving with a ‘surround’ to either side. The surround may have additonal figures that add to the central theme or they may be purely decorative. Maybe because it is May and I want to be in the garden I’ve been plucking the blooms from the foliate surrounds and trying to identify some of the flowers.

For the carver, beginner or advanced, here is your misericord flower and foliage inspiration board.

Wyvern (dragon) with foliage surrounds, early 16th c., Manchester Cathedral.

Wyvern (dragon) with foliage surrounds, early 16th c., Manchester Cathedral.

The flowers to each side of the wyvern could be woodbine, also known as honeysuckle. “Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine…”

imageMore oak leaves, thistle, dianthus, wild rose, maybe an iris, stylized flowers.


Ivy? Thistle? Clover? Beech leaves and nuts, rabbit.


Rose hip and Tudor rose in the center…this could take a while.

Suzanne Ellison

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2 Responses to Wildwood Flowers

  1. Another lovely post particularly for me as the wyvern is part of the Saxon iconography and part of the Wessex flag. I live there and have a close affinity to that country that predated England. Indeed it was the West Saxons who came to draw together the disparate parts of the country and even took homage from the Scottish King, this meant that the Scots agreed to be ruled by the new king of England. So much for the recent independence vote.

    Also the reference to woodbine which can be honeysuckle but the term here in Wessex is applied to a wild clematis also called old-man’s-beard (Clematis. vitalba) and the carving looks far closer to climate than honey suckle. A similar plant in Northern America is clematis virginiana also known as devil’s darning needles, devil’s hair, love vine, traveller’s joy, virgin’s bower, Virginia virgin’s bower, wild hops, and woodbine.

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