This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol2-4", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
1. Goutweed (Aegopodium Podagraria, L.). 2. Stinking Mayweed (Anthemis Cotula, L.). 3. Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare, L.). 4. Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris, L.). 5. Burdock (Arctium minus, Bernh.). 6. Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans, L.).
Aegopodmm, Linnaeus, is from the Greek aix, aigos, goat, and pous, podos, a foot, from the shape of the leaf. Podagraria, Lobel, is derived from the Latin word for gout, podagra. The plant is called Achweed, Aise, Aiseweed, Aishweed, Wild Alder, Ground Ash, Ashweed, Axweed, Ayshweed, Bishop's Elder, Bishop's Weed, Dog Eller, Dwarf Elder, Wild or Ground Elder, Farmer's Plague, Garden Plague, Goat-weed, Goutweed, Gout-wort, Herb Gerard, Jack-jump-about, Jump-about, Kesh, Setfoil, Weyl Esh, White Ash. The name Wild Alder is applied from a superficial resemblance to the leaves of the Alder. The name Farmer's Plague, etc, refers to the difficulty of eradicating it; so, too, Garden Plague. The common name Goutweed is due to the reputed virtue of the plant in curing gout. The name Herb Gerard is given because St. Gerard was formerly invoked against gout.
Goutweed was introduced and much cultivated in the Middle Ages. The smell is like Angelica. It used to be eaten as a spring salad. In spite of its reputed use for gout it was not so employed in Chaucer's time.
Essential Specific Characters:125. Aegopodhim Podagraria, L. - Rhizome creeping, stem erect, hollow, furrowed, leaves ternate, serrate, radical, unequal at base, flowers white, in terminal umbel, bractless, fruit ovoid.