Leijpark 013
Published by Thierry P. Dinjens · 22 February at 5:45pm ·
Danish fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen wrote the fairy tale of the Wild Swans. In this, a princess tries to save her eleven brothers, who have been turned into swans by an angry queen. She can save them by weaving a jacket of nettles from each of them. Of course, this is a hellish chore that causes her a lot of pain; choirs on the mill of the evil queen, why do they actually exist?
Strange as it may sound, a nettle coat was quite common for a long time, especially in Germany. It takes about fifty kilograms of nettle to make one shirt, and until the beginning of the eighteenth century there were even real nettle cloth factories. The latter was in Leipzig and although it is now gone, there is still a lasting memory of the nettle in Germany: in the coat of arms of the state of Schleswig-Holstein (Schleswig-Holstein), two blue lions have turned their heads to a white nettle. She is also immortalized in a painting by the famous German painter Albrecht Dürer, which shows how an angel with a nettle in his hand flies up to the Throne of the Supreme; many medicinal properties were attributed to the nettle.
We find the plant that all this is about, of course, in the Leijpark: the Kleine nettle. This little striking plant is surrounded by all kinds of folklore. On 4 June this year, the party called Luilak is celebrated in North Holland. Lazy people and sleepers are woken up by making a lot of noise. However, it used to be a little more harsh; then lazy people were literally flogged with nettles. Trust me, you'll want to get up!
The farmers also made frequent use of the Little nettle. Brooms were placed on the land where newly sown, with the stems in the ground and overloaded with nettles to scare off birds and also caterpillars. Nettles were planted around coal fields to ensure that caterpillars did not eat the coals. A Small nettle was planted on the kettles in which beer was brewed. The plant was known for fighting off thunder and a great fear of brewers is that beer can turn over due to thunderstorms and become so sour. Of course, we now call this popular belief that can be referred to the realm of fables, but then the times were different.
Now we know that Little nettle is full of minerals and vitamins and it also contains large amounts of chlorophyll (leaf green). Chlorophyll is also very useful for humans. The substance promotes the production of red blood cells, keeping our tissue healthy and wounds heal faster. And those who don't like vegetables but want to get their daily amount of vegetables, they have enough two tablespoons of chlorophyll. Those who don't get away with broccoli, endive or Brussels sprouts can find an alternative in the Little nettle. You can make tea, juice, soup and even stew with it. Once cooked, the burn hairs will no longer burn.
In the Leijpark we owe the presence of beautiful butterflies such as the atalanta and the little fox to the Small (and large) nettle.
A plant with a rich history, I've only named the tip of the iceberg. We'll take those few shots for granted. Or maybe we braid a nettle crown of Little nettle. For an angry queen; the only headgear she is entitled to!
#kleinebrandnetel #leijpark013

Leijpark013 Small nettle