Kill or cure: the Umbelifferae family

Sunday 27 August 2017


The course

It is easy to pick out members of Umbelliferae from their typical umbelliferous flowerheads. But could you tell a wild parsnip from masterwort, or a wild carrot from fine-leaved water-dropwort? Is cow parsley safe or useful at all? If you have ever looked at such a plant in the hedgerow and wondered if it is safe or poisonous, think is a day not to miss. For the answers we will be looking at samples of the plants and their seeds and learning about them. This interesting family is wide-ranging from well known poisons, such as hemlock, to lesser known cures like sanicle and familiar foods with cumin and fennel. A day to bring a camera for a lasting record. Recipes made will, of course, be limited to the foods!

The tutor

Christina Stapley BSc (Hons) MCPP is now a retired qualified medical herbalist with a degree in Phytotherapy (plant therapy). She has grown some 300 herbs, studied and used them for over 30 years. Her Hampshire garden was featured on television several times. She has written three books on cultivating and using herbs in cookery, fragrant recipes, wines and liqueurs, crafts and home remedies. Christina has also edited and interpreted a 17th century book of cookery and physic recipes.

Participant information

Places are limited to 10 people. Please bring with you a pen and paper. Please bring warm outdoor clothing and suitable shoes as the course will take place in one of the Museum’s exhibit buildings.


£60 per person, including tuition, teas and coffees.
The Museum café will be open for lunch-time snacks or alternatively participants can bring their own packed lunch.

The Museum

The Weald & Downland Living Museum has over 45 historic building exhibits. It is also home to the award winning and innovative Downland Gridshell, which houses a conservation workshop and artefact store, and is also used for many practical courses. The Museum runs a full programme of courses in historic building conservation and traditional rural trades and crafts, along with MSc programmes in Building Conservation and Timber Building Conservation validated by the University of York. Please telephone for further details.