Herb Bennet
Geum urbanum

This pale yellow star-like flower that is a member of the rose family, carries such synonyms as Wood Avens, Wild Rye, Way Bennet, Goldy Star, Colewort and Clove Root. It is a hairy, erect perennial which flowers between May and September and can be found in damp woods and hedgerows and other shady places. It is an important herbal medicine and is still used by British medical herbalists. Years ago it was once called 'the Blessed Herb' and was worn as a charm to ward off evil spirits and venomous beasts. The Ortus Sanitatis, printed in 1491, states: 'Where the root is in the house, Satan can do nothing and flies from it, wherefore it is blessed before all other herbs, and if a man carries the root about him no venomous beast can harm him.' The roots were once used to flavour Augsburg Ale and it owes its peculiar flavour to a small bag of them being added in each cask.