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Anglo-Saxon Plant Name Survey (ASPNS): Eleventh Annual Report for 2009


Dr. C. P. Biggam, Director of ASPNS, University of Glasgow

The most exciting event of 2009 for ASPNS was the publication of the proceedings of the Second ASPNS Conference, hosted by Peter Bierbaumer in the University of Graz. The volume is entitled Old Names – New Growth: Proceedings of the 2nd ASPNS Conference, University of Graz, Austria, 6–10 June 2007, and Related Essays, edited by Peter Bierbaumer and Helmut W. Klug. It is published by Peter Lang in several cities including Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford and Vienna. The detailed contents can be found in the publications list at the end of this report.

Carole Biggam gave an invited lecture in the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, University of Durham in October 2009. The title was 'Prickly Problems: the Naming of Juniper and Other Thorny Bushes in Anglo-Saxon England', and included, on request, a brief introduction to the work of ASPNS.

Several email enquiries about Anglo-Saxon plant-names were answered, including one from Sweden concerning the surname Rosling.

As always, ASPNS would like to thank the two bodies which support us: the Institute for the Historical Study of Language, and the Department of English Language, both in the University of Glasgow, where ASPNS is based.

Plant-Related Publications by ASPNS Members


  • Biggam, C. P., 'Anglo-Saxon Plant-Name Survey: Tenth Annual Report for 2008', Old English Newsletter 41.3 (2008), 18. [received 2009].
  • Breeze, Andrew, 'Britons and Saxons at Chittoe and Minety', Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine 100 (2007), 199-202. [Not previously reported; involves a name for wild mint in Old English].
  • D'Aronco, M. A., 'Afyrman: a Ghost Word in the Old English Herbarium and Medicina de Quadrupedibus,' Per Teresa, 1: Dentro e oltre i confini: Studi e ricerche in ricordo di Teresa Ferro, edited by Giampaolo Borghello, Daniela Lombardi and Daniele Pantaleoni, 247-51. (Udine: Forum, 2009).
  • Rydén, Mats, 'Linnaeus and the Swedish Plant Names', Svenska Linnésällskapets Årsskrift 2009, 49-64.
  • Tittensor, Ruth, From Peat Bog to Conifer Forest: an Oral History of Whitelee, its Community and Landscape. (Chichester: Packard, 2009). [A Scottish moorland study, including traditional uses of native plants].

Papers in Old Names – New Growth, in order of their appearance:


  • Stanley, Eric, "'The Cedar tree that is in Lebanon, euen vnto the Hyssope that springeth out of the wall'."
  • D'Aronco, Maria Amalia, "The Edition of the Old English Herbal and Medicina de Quadrupedibus: Two Case Studies."
  • Van Arsdall, Anne, "'"Exploring What Was Understood by 'Mandragora' in Anglo-Saxon England."
  • Hooke, Della, "Trees in Anglo-Saxon Charters: Some Comments and Some Uncertainties."
  • Healey, Antonette diPaolo, "Perplexities about Plant Names in the Dictionary of Old English."
  • Milfull, Inge B., "Pulege and Psyllium: Old English Plant Names in p- in the Oxford English Dictionary."
  • Sauer, Hans and Ulrike Krischke, 'The Dictionary of Old English Plant-Names (DOEPN) or, The Graz-Munich Dictionary Project'.
  • Klug, Helmut W. and Roman Weinberger, 'Old English Plant Names Go Cyber: the Technical Aspects of the DOEPN Project'.
  • Krischke, Ulrike, 'On the Semantics of Old English Compound Plant Names: Motivations and Associations'.
  • Bierbaumer, Peter, 'Old English Fornetes Folm – an Orchid'.
  • Van Arsdall, Anne, Helmut W. Klug and Paul Blanz, 'The Mandrake Plant and its Legend: a New Perspective'.
  • 'Alphabetical Plant Name Index'.

- Submitted January 31, 2010.