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Dracocephalum moldavicum flowerDracocephalum moldavica
Some consider dragonhead a Mars plant because it is so loved by bees, a Mars insect, and because dragons are fiery animals, but dragonhead does not partake of any Mars plant qualities like thorniness or having an acrid sap. Instead, a good argument can be made for this as a Mercury plant because it is aromatic. Although it does not have a licorice scent, like many Mercury plants - its flowers and leaves are strongly lemony - its aroma is caused by the same chemicals as in anise hyssop, a Mercury herb. Mercury also fits because of the dragon's head shape of the flowers. The dragon is a version of the salamander of alchemy, which does not breathe fire but is born in it, and nothing is as important in alchemy as Philosophical Mercury - not to mention that alchemy was given to us by Hermes, i.e., Mercury. In addition, this plant is a substitute for lemon balm, which is the quintessential alchemical plant. Dragonhead tastes like lemon balm (only stronger), and like lemon balm tea, dragonhead tea lifts one's mood, lightening heavy emotions and giving the heart courage (much as anise hyssop helps the "discouraged heart"). However, unlike lemon balm, it keeps its scent when dried. This means you can make a macerated oil from dried dragonhead. Dragonhead tea is also astringent and tonic, and the leaves apparently were once used on wounds. Top

Dracocephalum moldavicumDespite its name, dragonhead is not a native species in Moldova (which is between Romania and Ukraine, in case you were wondering - I sure was!). It apparently originated in the mountains of northern China and spread through Eastern Europe and Finland. In Russia it is grown as bee forage, in Eastern Europe it replaces lemon balm for flavoring fish dishes, and in Ukraine it is a medicinal (dragonhead has anti-oxidant effects, and the seeds are being studied as a possible source of omega-3 fatty acids). It has been cultivated in eastern Siberia since 1596 and so can be included in medieval gardens (it also looks great in cottage gardens). This is a good plant for people working on Slavic paths. This plant is also known as Moldavian dragonhead, Moldavian balm, tuoksuampiaisyrtti (Finnish), Turkish dragonflower, Turkmint, Chinese blue hyssop, toronil azul, toronil chino, and turkish melissa. This seed is from organically grown dragonshead plants of a variety developed in Europe for higher essential oil content, but it's not a hybrid, so it's good to save seeds from. Flowers are blue to purple depending on soil acidity. Top

How to grow Dragonhead: Barely cover seed to germinate in 7-14 days at 65F/20C. Transplant to full sun up north and light shade farther south, spacing 9-12"/22-30cm apart. Dragonhead can't take intense heat and prefers cool weather. It gets 25"/65cm tall and 12"/.3m wide - it tends to be bushy. The flowers appear June-October. Like most of the mint family, dragonhead likes moist soil and reseeds like mad, so even though it's an annual, you will probably only need to plant it once. For that reason, some people prefer to grow it in pots. Lots of nitrogen will result in plants that have a higher essential oil content, especially in the flowers. General growing info Top

Dracocephalum moldavica
Dragonshead - high essential oil variety!
100 organic seeds $3.75

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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Elemental Magic (Fire)
Mercury Herb

Medieval Garden Plant

2004, 2017 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission