Did you know that apples and roses come from the same family? Perhaps not surprising when you see the beautiful, spirit-lifting flower- the apple blossom- that appears on the apple tree in April and May.
An old saying warns of the dangers of seeing apple trees bloom at any other time:
“a blossom on the tree when the apples are ripe,
Is a sure termination of somebody’s life”*
The only apple native to Ireland is the crab apple. Crab apples, also known as wild apples, were considered one of the seven ‘Nobles of the Wood’ under pre-Christian Brehon Law. Cutting down a crab apple tree was a grave offense with the offender ordered to ‘pay’ a penalty of two and a half milk cows!
Can you eat an Apple Blossom?
Apple blossom contains a tiny bit of cyanide! But don’t let this stop you using a small amount as a garnish for salads or drying it to make tea. Not only does it offer a sweet taste, but it also helps to relieve stress, clear acne and improve digestion.
Consider too, making a delicate perfume; apple blossom crushed in vodka will give a smell similar to lily of the valley. But be warned – pick the blossom wisely; taking too much blossom will affect the number of apples the tree produces that year.
* 1903 it was recorded in Notes & Queries