Bigger India

How a Botanist’s Discoveries In India Revolutionised The British Garden

The leisurely imprint of the Raj barely remains amid the clamour of modern India in the town now, but delightful, nostalgic hints leapt out.

One might expect the best part of a mountain hike to be the views, but sometimes it turns out to be the stories told by a knowledgeable guide. And in Sikkim, almost every shrub, grass and tree seems to have something revealing about it: local mugwort is used as a poultice for cuts, the yellow ball-shaped flowers of the majito make a dark blue dye, and lycopodium japonicum can be used against TB – and, oddly, its mossy-looking filaments release a dust once used as a lubricant in colonial rifle barrels.

Read it at Telegraph

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