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Full text of "The flowering plants, grasses, sedges, and ferns of Great Britain, and their allies, the club mosses, pepperworts and horsetails"

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A cer campestrc . . . 

. Common Maple 

. 52 




pseudo-pla tan '?s 

. Greater Maple, or Sycamore . . 

. 52 

' x 


Agrimonia cupatoria . 

Common Agrimony 

. 70 



A Ich emilla vulya ris . 

. Common Lady's-mantle .... 

. 70 



alpina . 

. Alpine Lady's-mantle .... 

. 70 



ai-vcnsii . . 

Field Lady's-mantle 

. 70 



Anthyllisvidncraria, . 

. Lady's-fingers, or Kidney-vetch 

. 57 



.1 rtkrolobium ebracteat 

uni Sand Joint-vetch 

. 62 



A f 7 7 ')/ 7 i/JIt 

s Sweet Milk-vetch . ... 




Tiypoglottis . 

. Purple Mountain Milk-vetch . . 

. 62 



7 ? .. 

Alpine Milk-vetch 




Hryonia dioica . . 




Calliirichc rerna 





. Pedunculated \Yatcr-starwort . . 

. 76 



autumnal is . 

. Autumnal Water-starwort . . . 




CcratopJt i/Hum dement 

'in Common Hornwort 




submersum . 

Unarmed Homwort 

. 194 



L'h i'ysospleniiun oppo 

Opposite-leaved Mountain Saxifrage 

. 83 




. Alternate-leaved Mountain Saxifrage 

. 83 



Circcea lutetiana . 

. Common Enchanters-nightshade . 

. 75 




. Alpine Enchanter's-nightshade. . 

. 75 



Comarum palustre . 

. Purple Marsh-cinquefoil .... 

. 68 



Coi'i'iyiola, littoralis 

Sand Strapwort ..... 




Cotoncastcr vulyaris 

. Common Cotoneaster 

. 72 



Cotyledon umbilicus 

Wall Pennywort . 




Irfsa . . . 



Cratcrgus oxyacantha 

Hawthorn . ...... 




J^TjJQS QCtOpC'lafal . 









Epttdb'ium anyustifoliu 
hirsutum . . 

a . Rosebay Willow-herb. . . . . 
. Great Hairy Willow-herb . /. . . 





parvlflorum. . 

. Small-flowered Hairy Willow-herb 




lanceolatum . . 

. Spear-leaved Willow-herb .... 




montanum . . 

. Broad Smooth-leaved Willow-herb . 




roseum . . . 

. Pale Smooth-leaved Willow-herb . . 




tetragonum . . 

. Square-stalked Willow-herb. . . . 




palustre . . . 

. Narrow-leaved Willow-herb .... 




alsinifolium . 

. Chick weed-leaved Willow-herb . . . 




alpinum . . . 

. Alpine Willow-herb 




Erodium cicutarium . 

. Hemlock Stork's-bill 




moschatum . 

. Musky Stork's-bill 




maritimum . . 

. Sea-side Stork's-bill 



Euonymus Europceus . 




Fragaria vesca . 

. Wood Strawberry 




elatior . . 

. Hautboy 




Genista tinctoria . . 

. Woad-waxen, or Dyer's-weed . . . 




pilosa . . . 

. Hairy Green-weed 




Anglica . 

. Needle Green-weed 




Geranium sanguineum 

. Bloody Crane's-bill 




phceum . . 

. Dusky Crane's-bill 




nodosum. . . 

. Knotty Crane's-bill 


pratense . . . 

. Blue Meadow Crane's-bill .... 




syhaticum . . 

. Wood Crane's-bill 




pyrenaicum . . 

. Mountain Crane's-bill 




lucidum . 

. Shining Crane's-bill 




Robertianum . 

Stinking Crane's-bill, or Herb-Robert 




molle. . . . 

. Dove's-foot Crane's-bill 




rotundifolium . 

. Round-leaved Crane's-bill .... 




pusillum . . 

. Small-flowered Crane's-bill .... 




dissectum . . 

. Jagged-leaved Crane's-bill .... 





. Long-stalked Crane's-bill .... 




Gcum urbanum . . . 




rimle . . . 




Hernlaria glabra . . 
Hippocrepis comosa . 

. Tufted Horse-shoe VetchT .... 




Hippuris vulyaris . . 

. Common Mare's-tail 




flypericum calycinum 

Large-flowered St. John's-wort . . . 




andros&mum . 

Common Tutsan 




quadrangulum . 

. Square-stalked St. John's-wort . . 




perforatum . . 

. Perforated St. John's-wort .... 




dubium . 

. Imperforate St. John's-wort. . . . 




humifusum . . 




montanum . 

. Mountain St. John's-wort .... 





. Hairy St. John's-wort 




pulchrum . . 

. Small Upright St. John's-wort . . . 




elodes . . . 

. Marsh St. John's-wort 




linarifotium . 

. Linear-leaved St. John's-wort . . . 




barbatum . . 

. Bearded St. John's-wort 










Mecebrum verticillatum . 

Whorled Knot-grass 

. 78 



Impatiens noli-me-tangcre 

Yellow Balsam, or Touch-me-not . 

. 55 







Imardia palustrit . . 

. 75 



LatJiynispratensis. . . 
sylvestris. . 

Meadow Vetchling 
Narrow -leaved Everlasting Pea . 

. 64 

. 64 



latifolius . . 

Broad-leaved Everlasting Pea . . 

. 64 



marltimus . . 

Sea-side Pea 

. 64 



palustris. .. 

Blue Marsh Vetchling .... 

. 64 



hirsutus .... 

llouh-podded Vetchling . . . 

. 64 



aphaca . 

Yellow Vetchling 

. 64 



nissolia . . . 

Crimson Vetchling 

. 64 



Lotus major 
corniculatus . 

Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil . . . 
Common Bird's-foot Trefoil . 

. 61 
. 61 



var. /3 




anynstissimus . . 
Ly thrum salicaria . . . 
hyssopifolium . . 

Slender Bird's-foot Trefoil . . . 
Purple Loosestrife 
Hyssop-Leaved Purple Loosestrife . 

. 61 
. 77 

. 77 



Medicago lupulina . . 
maculata . . 

Black Medick, or Nonsuch . . . 
Spotted Medick 

. 58 
. 58 




minima . 

Little Bur Medick 




denticulata . . 

Toothed Medick 

. 58 



sativa . . . 

Purple Medick, or Lucerne . 

. 58 



falcata . 

Yellow Sickle Medick .... 




Mclllotus officinal!* . . . 
vulyaris . 

Common Yellow Melilot .... 
White Melilot 

. 58 
. 58 



an-ensis . . . 

Field Melilot 




Mespilus Germanica . . 

Montiafontana . . 





Myriophyllum verticilla- 

Whorled Water Milfoil .... 

. 76 



splcatum . 
altewiijlorum . 

Spiked Water Milfoil . . . . 
Alternate-flowered Milfoil . . . 

. 76 
. 76 




(Enoihera biennis . , . 

Evening Primrose 

. 75 



Onobrychis sativa . . . 

Common Saintfoin ..... 

. 62 



Ononis arvensis .... 

Common Rest-harrow .... 

. 56 



var. J3 




reclinata . . . 

Small Spreading Rest-harrow . . 

. 56 



OrnitJiopus pcrpm'dlus . 
Orolus tuberosus . . . 

Common Bird's-foot 
Tuberous Bitter Vetch . . . . 





Black Bitter Vetch 




Oxalis acetosella . . . 

Common Wood-sorrel .... 

. 52 



corniculata . . . 

Yellow Procumbent Wood-sorrel . 

. 52 



Oxytropis Uralensit . . 

Hairy Mountain Oxytropis . . . 

. 61 



campestvis . . . 

Yellowish Mountain Oxytropis. . 

. 61 



vi LIST 


Plate Fig. 


Parnassia palustris 

61a 1 


Peplisportula .... 

Common Water Purslane . . . 

. 77 3 


Polycarpon tetraphyllum. 

Four-leaved All-seed 

. 78 5 


Potentilla anserina . . 


. 67 2 



Shrubby Cinquefoil 

. 67 1 


rupestris. . . 

Strawberry-flowered Cinquefoil 

. 67 3 


argentea. . . . 

. 67 4 


reptans .... 

Creeping Cinquefoil 

. 67 8 


verna. >''< 

Spring Cinquefoil 

67 5 


alpestris. . . 

Orange Alpine Cinquefoil . . . 

. 67 6 


opaca .... 

Saw-leaved Hairy Cinquefoil . . 

. 67 7 


tormcntilla . . . 

Common Tormentil 

. 67 9 


alba ...... 

White Cinquefoil 

. 67 10 


tndentata . 

Three -toothed Cinquefoil . . . 

. 67 11 


fragariastrum . 

Strawberry-leaved Cinquefoil . . 

. 67 12 


Poterium sanguisorba . 

Salad Burnet 

, 70 6 


Prunus communis . . . 

Plum, Bullace, and Sloe .... 

. 65 1,2,3 


padus .... 

Bird Cherry 

65 4 


aw'wwi .... 

Wild, or Jean Cherry 

, 65 5 


cerasus .... 

Morello Cherry ...... 



Pyras communis 

Wild Pear 

. 73 1 


mains .... 

Crab Apple 

. 73 2 


torminalis . . . 

Wild Service 

73 3 


domestica . . . 

True Service 

73 4 


aucuparia . 

Mountain Asli 

. 73 5 


. 73 6 


Rhamnus catkarticus . . 

Common Buckthorn 

. 56 3 


frangula . . . 

Alder Buckthorn 

. 56 4 


Ribes yrossularia . . . 

Common Gooseberry 

. 81 4 


mbrum .... 

Eed Currant 

81 1 


alpinum. . . . 

Tasteless Mountain Currant 

. 81 2 


nigrum .... 

Black Currant 

81 3 


Rosa Dicksoni .... 

Dickson's Rose 

. 7la ] 



Cinnamon Rose 

. 71 1 


spinosissima . . 

Burnet-leaved Rose 

. 71 2 


rubella .... 

Red-fruited Dwarf-rose .... 

. 71a 2 


Hibernica . . . 

Irish Rose 

. 71 3 

22'J I 

Wilsoni .... 

Wilson's Rose 

. 7lb 1 

227 ; 

involuta .... 

Prickly Unexpanded Rose . . . 

.71 4 

- / 

Sdbini . . . 

Sabine's Rose 

. 71b 2 

27 j 

villosa .... 

Villous Rose 

. 71 5 

227 | 

tomentosa . 

Downy-leaved Rose 

. 71b 3 


inodora .... 

Slightly-scented Briar .... 

. 7la 3 


micrantha . . . 

Small-flowered Sweetbriar . 

. 71b 4 


rubiginosa . 

, 7la 4 


sepium .... 

Small-leaved Sweetbriar. . . . 

. 71 6 


canina .... 


. 71 7 


. 716 5 








Rosa systyla 

Close- styled Dog-rose 




anensis .... 

Trailing Dog-rose 




Rubus idceus .... 

Common Raspberry 




suberectus . . . 

Upright Bramble . 


fruticosus . 

Common Bramble 




rhamnifoli us . 

Buckthorn-leaved Bramble . .... 


carpinifolius . . 

Hornbeam-leaved Bramble .... 


corylifolius . . . 

Hazel-leaved Bramble 


glandulosus . 


ccesius .... 





Rubus saxatilis . '. . . 

Stone Bramble 




arcticus .... 

Arctic Bramble 




chamcemorus . . 

Mountain Raspberry, or Cloudberry . 




Sanguisorba ojficinalis 

Great Burnet 




SarotJiamnus scoparius . 




Saxifraga stellaris. . . 





Kidney-shaped Saxifrage .... 




umbrosa .... 

London Pride 




nivalis .... 

Chickweed Alpine 




aizoides .... 

Yellow Mountain Saxifrage .... 




hirculus .... 

Yellow Marsh Saxifrage 





Purple Mountain Saxifrage .... 




granulata . . . 

White Mountain Saxifrage .... 




cernua .... 

Drooping Saxifrage 








rivularis . . 

Alpine Brook Saxifrage . . . . . 




hypnoides . . . 

Mossy Saxifrage 




rar. /3 5. ... 




ccespitosa . . 

Tufted Alpine Saxifrage 




rar. . . . . 



muscoidcs . . 




geranoides . . 

Geranium Saxifmge 




Scdum telephium , . 

Livelong or Orpine 




rhodiola .... 




dasyphyllum . . 




anglicum . . . 




album .... 

White Stonecrop 







sexangulare . . 

Tasteless Yellow Stonecrop .... 




reflexum. . , 

Crooked Yellow Stonecrop .... 




rupestre .... 

St. Vincent' s-rock Stonecrop . . . 




villosum. . . . 




JPorsterianum . . 

Welsh-rock Yellow Stonecrop . . . 




Sempervirum tectorum 




Sibbaldia procumbens . 




Spircea ulmaria, 




filipendula, . . . 




taliclfolia . , 




Staphylea pinnata, . . . 





Tamarix Anglica . 

Common Tamarisk . ... 


. 77 



Tilia parvifolia 
Europcea . . . 
grandifolia . . . 

Small-leaved Lime-tree .... 
Common-Lime, or Linden . . . 
Broad-leaved Downy Lime . . . 
Mossy Tillsea . . 

. 48 
. 48 
. 48 



Trifolium repens . 
pratense . 

White, or Dutch Clover .... 

. 59 




medium .... 

. 59 



ochroleucum . . 
arvense .... 

Sulphur-coloured Trefoil . . . 

. 59 
. 59 




maritimum . 

Teasel-beaded Trefoil .... 

. 59 






Bocconi .... 

Starry-headed Trefoil .... 
Soft Knotted Trefoil 
Boccone's Trefoil . 

. 59 
. 59 



scabrum .... 




glomeratam. . . 
subterraneum . 

Smooth Round-headed Trefoil . . 
Subterranean Trefoil 

. 60 
. 59 




suffocatum . 

Suffocated Trefoil 




strictum. . . . 
fragiferum . . . 

Upright Round-headed Trefoil . . 
Strawberry-headed Trefoil . . . 
Reversed Trefoil . . ... 

. 60 
. 60 



procumbent . 
minus .... 

Hop Trefoil 
Lesser Yellow Trefoil . . 

. 60 



fliforme. . . . 

Slender Yellow Trefoil .... 




Trigonella ornithopodi&ides 




Ulex Europceus. . . . 




nanus . . . 




Wood Vetch 




cracca .... 




orobus .... 

Wood Bitter Vetch 




Biihynica . . . 
lathyroides . . . 

Rough-podded Purple Vetch . . 
Spring Vetch . ... 

. 63 

7 . 


saliva .... 

Common Vetch 




twr.A . . . . 

Rough-podded Yellow Vetch . . 

. 63 



hybrid* .... 
sepium . 

Hairy -flowered Yellow Vetch . . 
Bush Vetch 

. 63 



Smooth-podded Vetch 




hirsuta .... 
tetrasperma. . . 

Hairy Tare 
Slender Tare ....... 

. 63 
. 63 








Sepals 4 or 5, valvate when in bud ; petals of the 
same number as the sepals, often with a little pit at the 
base, sometimes wanting ; stamens numerous ; glands 
4 or 5 at the base of the petals ; ovary single, of from 
2 to 10 united, rarely distinct, carpels ; style 1, with as 
many stigmas as carpels ; capsule with one or more 
seeds in each cell. This Order consists of trees or 
shrubs, and a few herbaceous plants, the latter being 
found only in tropical countries. Though less viscid 
than the Malvaccce, they are all mucilaginous and in- 
noxious, and some, like the lime-tree, have a thick tough 
bark. One genus, Corchorus, is the Jews' Mallow, 
which, as has been before stated, is by some believed to 
be the mallow of Scripture. Lady Calcott has figured 
it as such in her Scripture Herbal. It is also the 



Mauve de Juif of the French. The fibres of another 
species, Core/torus capsularis, are twisted into fishing- 
lines and nets by the Indians. The Sloanea of the 
hothouse is one of this Order ; it is a native of South 
America. It has very large white flowers, and fruit as 
large and as round as a tennis-ball, armed all over with 
strong spines, and regularly divided into four cells, each 
containing a small chestnut. 

1. TILT A (Lime). Sepals 5, soon falling off; petals 5, 
with or without a scale at the base outside; ovary 
5-celled; style 1; capsule 1 -celled, not opening by 
valves, 2-seeded. Name of uncertain origin. 

1. TiLiA (The Lime, or Linden-tree). 

1. T. parvifolia (Small -leaved Lime-tree). Leaves 
obliquely heart-shaped, smooth on both sides, with the 
exception of small tufts of downy hair on the under 
surfaces ; flower-stalks springing from a leaf-like bract, 
many-flowered ; capsule brittle. Plant perennial. This 
species has better claims than either of the others to be 
regarded as a native tree, though many writers doubt 
if any lime is truly indigenous. It grows in woods, in 
Essex, Lincolnshire, Sussex, and other English counties, 
as well as in some parts of Wales, bearing its yellowish- 
green flowers in July and August. 

2. T. Europtea (Common Lime, or Linden-tree). 
Leaves twice the length of the foot-stalks, smooth on 
both sides, except a few tufts of downy hair beneath ; 
tranches and flower-stalks smooth ; nectaries none. Plant 


perennial. This, though probably not a truly British 
tree, is very common in our woods and hedgerows, and 
has been for some centuries planted in avenues and 
parks. It is well fitted to lend its shadow to the public 
promenade, for it bears the smoke of the city well, its 
only defect being, that it is late in coming into leaf, and 
one of the first to shed its foliage, looking sere and yel- 
low long before the elm or beech is showing a tinge of 
the autumnal brown. It is a favourite tree for avenues 
on the Continent, and is largely planted in Holland and 
Germany. We owe some of our lime-walks, doubtless, 
to John Evelyn, who, in his " Sylva," recommended its 
culture for this purpose. He describes trees growing 
in Switzerland, Germany, and Hungary, as attaining an 
immense size; and after referring to the esteem in 
which the tree is held by the people of these countries, 
as it was by the ancient Romans, adds, " It is a shame- 
ful negligence that we are no better provided with 
nurseries for a tree so choice, and so universally accept- 
able." At that time there were no plantations of young- 
limes in England, and our countrymen procured these 
plants from Holland and Flanders. 

It is very pleasant to sit beneath a lime-tree on a 
summer's evening in July, when the green flowers are 
fully expanded ; for the odour, imperceptible during 
day, becomes then most deliciously fragrant, and the 
green shadow refreshes us, while the whispering of the 
soft airs among the well-clad boughs gives gentle music. 
Linden-trees, even in our country, often attain a con- 
siderable size, and they then become of a beautiful form, 
though younger trees have usually a formal appearance. 


The flowers are very profuse, and are so much prized by 
bees, that these insects keep up a perpetual humming 
on a summer's day among the branches. In Lithuania, 
near Kowno, where there are large forests of limes, the 
honey is remarkable for its excellence, arid much valued 
for medicinal purposes, and as an ingredient in 
liqueurs, Kowno honey being worth double the price 
of any other. 

The ancestors of our great Swedish botanist owed 
their name to a linden-tree growing near their dwelling, 
Linne being the Swedish name of Linnaeus ; and Hohen- 
linden is one of many places called after this tree. Several 
linden-trees are famous in local histories, and in poetry, 
like that under which Martin Luther stood and preached 
the doctrines of the Reformation ; or that huge tree, at 
Fribourg, which commemorates the victory of the Swiss 
over Charles the Bold, in 1476. This tree is old, but a 
lime-tree older yet, and supposed to have been planted 
a thousand years ago, stands at no great distance from 
it, and has a trunk thirty-six feet in circumference. One 
of the finest limes in England is that celebrated one of 
Moor Park, in Hertfordshire, which is surrounded by 
many a large and old companion, and is itself nearly a 
hundred feet high. What Bryant said of another group 
of trees is true of these limes : 

" These shades are still the abodes 
Of undissembled gladness : the thick roof 
Of green and stirring branches is alive 
And musical with birds, that sing and sport 
In wantonness of spirit; while below, 
The squirrel, with raised paws and form erect, 
Chirps merrily. Throngs of insects in the glade 


Try their thin wings, and dance in the warm beam 
That waked them into life. Even the green trees 
Partake the deep contentment as they bend 
To the soft winds ; the sun from the blue sky 
looks in, and sheds a Mossing on the scene; 
Scarce less the cleft-born wild- flower seems to enjoy 
Existence, than the winged plunderer 
That seeks its sweets." 

Professor Burnett tells us that there are some famous 
old lime-trees, a variety of Tilia platyphytta, growing 
in the churchyard of Seidlitz, in Bohemia, the broad 
leaves of which are hooded ; and the peasants assure 
you that they have miraculously borne hooded leaves 
ever since the monks of a neighbouring convent were 
hanged upon them. 

The Rev. C. A. Johns, in his work on the Forest 
Trees of Britain, mentions several remarkable lime- 
trees as having been described by various authors. "At 
Chalouse, in Switzerland," says this writer, " there stood 
one, in Evelyn's time, under which was a bow r er com- 
posed of its branches, capable of containing 300 per- 
sons sitting at ease ; it had a fountain, set about with 
many tables formed only of the boughs, to which they 
ascend by steps, all kept so accurately and so very thick, 
that the sun never looked into it." The same author 
mentions another famous lime at Neustadt, in Wirtem- 
berg, which gave a distinctive name to the town. Its 
huge limbs were supported by numerous stone columns, 
bearing inscriptions. This tree w^as still in existence, 
London tells us in his " Arboretum," in 1838, the trunk 
being eighteen feet in diameter, and beneath its broad 
shadow the people of Neustadt were then, like the men 


of former generations, accustomed to sit and eat fruit ; 
many gooseberry-trees having sprung up in the crevices 
and hollows of the bark, and furnishing a supply to those 
who came to sit beneath the shelter of the old tree. 

German poets, like our own, often refer to the linden- 
tree. Even so long ago as the days of Chaucer, it was 
to be found on the poet's pages. 

" There weren Elmis grete and strong, 
Maplis, Ashe, Oke, Aspe, Planis long; 
Fine Ewe, Popler, and Lindis faire, 
And other trees full many a paire, 
What should I tell you more of it? 
There werein so many trees yet, 
That I should all encombred be, 
Er I had rckenid tre." 

The timber of the lime is light, smooth, close-grained, 
and not liable to be worm-eaten. Various boxes, screens, 
and other articles on which ladies paint flowers, are made 
of the wood, and it is valued by carvers for ornamental 
work. Many of the screens in palaces and cathedrals 
are formed of this material ; and those airy wreaths of 
flowers carved by the skilful hand of Grinling Gibbons, 
which no artist since has rivalled in grace and beauty, 
are made of lime-wood. In the choir of St Paul's 
Cathedral are some exquisite specimens of this work, 
and some very delicate and elegant wreaths adorn Trinity 
College, Cambridge. Artists have the scribblets for their 
first draughts made of lime-wood ; and when burnt it 
forms one of the best charcoals for the maker of gun- 
powder. Turners, toy-makers, and various artizans use 
it in their work ; and ropes are made of the fibres of the 


bark in Lincolnshire, the Forest of Dean, and in Wales. 
This, peeled off in thin layers, is used for making the 
mats which gardeners wrap about tender trees. It is 
called bass or bast, and forms a considerable part of the 
exports from Russia. 

So many materials are now used for making paper, 
and that article is so cheap, and so easily procured, that 
we no longer need, even in the most remote villages, the 
bark of trees as a material on which to write. In former 
days, however, the bark of the lime was commonly used 
for this purpose, and strips of it were also separated for 
forming ornamental head-dresses. Evelyn mentions a 
book written on the inner bark of the lime, which was 
brought to the Count of St. Amant, governor of Arras, 
1662, for which the Emperor gave 8,000 ducats. It 
contained " a work of Cicero, De ordinanda Republica, 
et de inveniendis Orationum Exordiis ; a piece inesti- 
mable, but never published, and now in the library at 
Vienna, after it had formerly been the greatest rarity in 
that of the late Cardinal Mazarin." 

The nuts of the lime-tree are said to have, when 
roasted, the flavour of chocolate, and might be used for 
this purpose ; a good sugar has been obtained from the 
saccharine substance with which the sap abounds, and 
a pleasant wine made by fermenting it. The flowers 
and bracts, when dried, are sold in the shops of Paris 
for coughs, and their demulcent nature is very apparent 
to us, if we only eat a leaf, or one of the young buds 
of spring, which are full of mucilage. This species of 
lime is chiefly distinguished from the last by its 
coriaceous fruit. 


3. I. f/randlfdlia (Broad-leaved, Downy Lime-tree). 
Nectaries none ; leaves downy, especially beneath, 
with solitary hairs ; origin of the veins woolly ; young 
branches and leaf-stalks hairy ; fruit woody. Plant 
perennial. This tree, though usually enumerated among 
our British plants, has less claims than either of the 
other species to be considered as a native. It grows, 
however, in several woods and hedges, as in those about 
Edinburgh, flowering in June and July. 


Sepals 4 or 5, not falling off, unequal, often fringed 
with black dots ; petals of the same number as the 
sepals, sometimes unequal-sided, twisted when in bud, 
often bordered with black dots ; stamens numerous, 
united at the base into three or more sets ; ovary single ; 
styles 3 5 ; fruit, a capsule or berry, composed of 
several valves and cells, the valves curved inwards; 
seeds minute, numerous. This Order consists of herbs 
or shrubs, most of them having opposite leaves. Their 
flowers are chiefly yellow, and they abound in a resinous 
juice the greater number being glandular. Both leaves 
and petals are generally dotted with black, are viscid, 
mostly bitter, and slightly astringent. Some species 
are used as febrifuges, or as lotions ; and one is reputed 
in Brazil to be an antidote against the bite of serpents. 
Many afford a good yellow dye ; and one of the St. 


John's Worts is commonly employed by dyers in Quito, 
to give that colour to wool. A few of the plants of this 
order arc tropical, but it consists chiefly of herbs, 
growing among hedges and trees in the cooler parts of 
Europe and Asia, The genus Parnassia is by many 
botanists included in this order, but its place is doubt- 
ful, and some writers refer it to the Sundew tribe. It 
differs from the St. John's Worts, in not having opposite 
leaves, in its fewer stamens, as well as in various other 

1. HYPERICUM (St. John's W r ort). -Sepals 5; petals 
5 ; stamens numerous, filaments united at the base in 
3 or 5 sets : styles 3, or rarely 5 ; capsule 3-celled. 
Name from Hypericon, the Greek name of the plant. 

2. PARNASSIA (Grass of Parnassus). Calyx deeply 
5-cleft ; petals 5 ; stamens 5, with fringed scales inter- 
posed; stiff mas 4; capsule 1 -celled, with 4 valves. 
Named from Mount Parnassus. 

1. HYPERICUM (St. John's Wort). 
* Styles 5. 

1. //. calycinum (Large-flowered St. John's Wort). 
Stems square, branched, and single-flowered ; segments 
of the calyx unequal ; leaves oblong and blunt. Plant 
perennial. This shrub is found apparently wild in some 
bushy places, as at Ryde, in the Isle of Wight. Though 
growing also at Cork without culture, it is probably 
there a naturalized plant, as it is doubtless in many 
parts of the kingdom, having been long a common 
ornament of gardens and shrubberies. It is generally 

VOL. ii. c 


about three or four feet in height, bearing from July to 
September, large handsome yellow flowers, with the con- 
spicuous bundles of numerous golden anthers, which, 
like the blossoms of all the species, have a strong odour 
of resin, especially when bruised. There is often much 
redness on the leaves of this plant. 

* * Styles 3, sepals not fringed. 

2. H. Androsdmum (Common Tutsan). Stem 2- 
edged and shrubby ; leaves egg-shaped, sessile ; sepals 
unequal ; capsule pulpy, and like a berry. This Tutsan 
is common in Devon and Cornwall, occurring occa- 
sionally in other counties. The author has found it 
at Higham, in Kent, and in great plenty throughout 
the Weald of Sussex. It is frequent in Ireland and 
the West of Scotland. It is a handsome shrub, very 
strongly scented, and the leaves, as well as the glossy, 
berry-like capsule, much tinted with red in autumn. 
The flowers are numerous and showy, of bright golden 
yellow, expanding in July. This species is about two 
or three feet high, and is often called Park-leaves. It 
was once much esteemed as a vulnerary, and its leaves 
laid on wounds. Its common English name is a cor- 
ruption of Toute-saine, All-heal. 

3. H. quadrdngidum (Square-stalked St. John's Wort). 
Stem herbaceous, erect, with four somewhat winged 
angles, branched ; leaves oblong, egg-shaped, with pel- 
lucid dots ; sepals erect, lanceolate. Plant perennial. 
This species grows commonly in damp places, having 
stems one or two feet high, and flat panicles of yellow 
flowers. It blossoms in July and August. 


4. H. perfordtum (Perforated St. John's Wort). Stem 
herbaceous, erect, 2-edged; leaves elliptic -oblong, 
copiously perforated with pellucid dots ; sepals erect, 
lanceolate acute. Plant perennial. During the months 
of July and August, and often as late as the end of 
September, the golden blossoms of this plant are com- 
monly seen in woods and edges, on grassy banks, or in 
shady lanes. Several of the species are blooming at the 
same season, and their general aspect is very similar, 
but this is the most frequent kind, and is well distin- 
guished by the marked character of its two-edged stems. 
A lovely plant it is, with its wealth of golden flowers 
growing on a branched stem one or two feet high, and 
having its yellow petals profusely dotted with black. 
The leaves are strongly ribbed, and of delicate green, 
reddening somewhat with age, and full of clear dots, 
easily seen if we hold the leaf up to the light. The 
flowers have a sweet scent of lemon, mixed with resin, 
and if we grasp them, they leave a yellow stain on our 
fingers. They will tinge spirits and oil of a rich purple 
colour, and if dried and boiled with alum, they dye wool 
of a fine yellow hue. Those pellucid dots in the foliage 
are full of an essential oil, which, indeed, pervades the 
whole plant, and which is aromatic and astringent. The 
flowers are made into gargles, lotions, and salves ; and 
some good botanists recommend that further trial should 
be made of their remedial powers. The author has 
much faith in the efficacy of ointment made from St. 
John's Wort, and could go willingly now, as she did in 
the days of childhood, over dale and hill, to bear away a 
basketful of its blossoms for domestic use. The plants, 


when gathered, were put into a large vessel of water, 
forming thus a magnificent nosegay, and the flowers 
being picked off the stems daily, as they expanded, 
were finally made into a salve, which served well to 
heal the scratches or more serious wounds made during 
rambles among bush and brier, and which certainly 
healed them quickly and surely. This St. John's Wort 
salve is still much used in villages in Kent, and, pro- 
bably, also in other counties, for it is a very old remedy. 
Dioscorides and Pliny spoke its praises, as did Gerarde, 
Dodonaeus, Culpepper, and all our old English herbalists. 
The latter commends it as a marvellous cure for various 
disorders, and says, in the quaint manner of these old 
writers, " It may be, if you meet a Papist, he will tell 
you, especially if he be a lawyer, that St. John made it 
over to him by a letter of attorney." " It is," he adds, 
"a singular wound herb;" and after praising leaves, 
flowers, and roots, for various uses, he says, " The seed, 
too, is much commended, being drank for forty days 
together, to help sciatica, the falling sickness, and palsy. 
Indeed, so greatly is the plant eulogised, that it almost 
rivals in its assumed balsamic effects the wonderful 
plant in the field of Balsam, described by Sir John 
Mandeville, which was an infallible specific for fifty 
different diseases, though, unfortunately, according to 
a later traveller, that balsam had perished, "either 
through carelessness of the gardener, or through fraud 
of the Jews, or through religion and piety having been 
offended by people in the neighbourhood." Happily, 
our flower yet remains, though some of its old uses have 
died away. 


One of the notions respecting the St. John's Wort in 
the olden times was, that it had a great efficacy in 
maniacal cases ; and some old writers on this account 
gave it the fanciful name of Fitf/a Damonum. This 
name led to a variety of superstitions, or, as they 
have been called, "pleasant absurdities," which in 
course of time became, in various countries, connected 
with the plant. The fact that this genus of plants had, 
by the monks, been dedicated to St. John the Baptist, 
was an additional cause, too, for reverencing them ; and 
this species was, and still is in some countries, carefully 
gathered on the eve of the festival of that saint, and 
with some ceremonies hung about the windows and 
door-ways of houses, as a preservative against evil 
spirits ; while the Scotch formerly wore it about their 
persons to project them from witchcraft and the evil 
eye, an J from the ill designs of spirits ; for many believe 
with Milton that 

" Thousands of spiritual creatures walk the earth 
Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep." 

Nor was the practice confined to our northern country- 
men ; it was observed by the peasants of France and 
Germany, who, in some remote places, still regard it as 
a safeguard against thunder. It is known almost every- 
where by the name which connects it with the saint. 
The French not only call it Le Mille-perlmK t from its 
perforated leaves, or Toutsaine, from its healing virtues, 
but also know it as VHerbe de S. Jean. Das Johanni* 
Kraut is its German name ; and the Dutch call it 
St. Jans Kruid ; but the Italians term it Pelatro, and 


the Spaniards Corazoncitto. In Kent, one of the com- 
mon names of the species is Amber. Among the plants 
which, like the Mistletoe, the Vervain, and the Haw- 
thorn, stand associated with old English customs, the 
St. John's Wort holds a conspicuous place. The old 
practices on Midsummer Eve, the Vigil of St. John the 
Baptist's Day, gave great occasion to its use, year after 
year ; and as, not in London only, but in other towns, 
and even in villages, the Midsummer bonfires were 
lighted, the plant must in those days have been gathered 
in great quantities. These bonfires were of high anti- 
quity ; and that the practice of lighting them on this 
day was a remnant of the pagan rites usual on the 
Festival of the Summer Solstice, several observances 
used at them abundantly prove. The custom of turning 
round a wheel on these occasions, is rela'ted or hinted at 
by writers treating of those times ; and the wheel was 
designed by the Pagans to signify by its revolution the 
sun's annual course. In later years it was believed to 
roll away ill luck from those who used it. In the trans- 
lation given by Barnaby Googe of the Latin poem of 
Naogeorgus, called " The Popish Kingdom," we have 
a full description of the rites used in London on St. 
John's Eve : 

" Then doth the joyful feast of John 

The Baptist take his turne, 
When bonfiers great, with loftie flame, 

In everie towne doth hurne ; 
And young men round about, with maides, 

Doe daunce in everie streete 
With garlandes wrought of Motherwort, 

Or else with Vervaine swete, 


And many other flowres faire, 

With Violets in their handes, 
Whereas they all doe fondly thinke, 

That whosoever standes 
And thorow the floures heholds the flame, 

His eyes shall feel no paine ; 
When thus till night they daunced have, 

They through the fire amaine, 
With striving mindes doe run, and all 

Their hearbes they cast therein ; 
And then with wordes devout, and prayers, 

They solemnly begin 
Desiring God that all their illes 

May there consumed be, 
Whereby they thinke through all that yeere 

From agues to be free : 
Some others get a rotten wheel, 

All worne and .cast aside, 
Which, covered round with straw 

And tow, they closely hide ; 
And carved to some mountaine's top, 

Being all with fire light, 
They hurle it dovvne with violence, 

When darke appears the night, 
Resembling much the sunne that from 

The heavens downe should fal, 
A strange and monstrous sight it seemes, 

And fearfull to them all." 

The plants chiefly used on these occasions are more 
particularly named by Stowe, in his Survey of London; 
and he says that, on the Vigil of St. John, every man's 
door was shadowed by green birch, fennel, St. John's 
Wort, orpine, white lilies, and such like, garnished up 
with garlands of beautiful flowers, and had also lamps 
of glass, with oil burning in them all night. Pennant, 
in later days, speaks of the custom in Wales of hanging 


St. John's Wort over the doors on Midsummer Eve ; 
and the following curious extract, quoted by Sir Henry 
Ellis, in one of his notes to Brande's Antiquities, is 
interesting ; it is from Bishop Pococke. " Whanne men 
of the countree uplorid bringen into Londoun at Myd- 
somer Eve braunchis of trees from Bischopis wode, 
and flouris fro the field, and bitaken tho to citessins 
of Londoune, for to therwith arraie ther houses, 
that thei mak therwith ther houses gay into remem- 
braunce of Seint Johan Baptist, and of this that it 
was prophecied of him that manic schulden joie in his 

That the birch was a plant in great regard at this 
period, is attested by the entries in the churchwardens' 
books of several parishes. Thus, at St. Mary-on-the-Hill, 
stands an entry made in the reign of Edward IV., " For 
birch at Midsummer, VHId;" also " Varius payments 
for birch bowes against Midsummer." And the verses 
of many an old writer tell how branches of this tree 
were hung at this season over the sign-boards then 
exhibited at every shop. 

5. H. dubium (I m perforate St. John's Wort). Stem 
herbaceous, erect, 4-sided, with rounded angles ; leaves 
nearly destitute of dots ; sepals reflexed, elliptical, blunt. 
Plant perennial. This is not a common plant, and rarely 
occurs in any quantity. It has much the general aspect 
of the Perforated species, and the same properties, and 
the two would be gathered indiscriminately, either for 
medicinal uses, or to serve for the 

" St. John's Wort, scaring from the midnight heath 
The witch and goblin with its spicy breath." 


The corolla is often marked with small black dots, 
and its stem is about one or two feet high. This herb 
is common in Russia, where it is employed as an anti- 
dote to canine madness, for which purpose, like many 
other popular remedies, it is perfectly ineffectual. This 
plant flowers in August, and is most often found in 
mountainous bushy places. A variety of this, with 
toothed sepals, and petals dotted and marked with 
purple streaks, grows in wet places, and has by some 
botanists been called H. maculdtum. 

6. H. humifiisum (Trailing St. John's Wort). Stems 
prostrate, somewhat 2-edged; leaves oblong, obtuse, 
perforated with clear dots ; Jiowers somewhat cymose ; 
stamens rarely more than 1 5 in number. Plant perennial. 
This pretty little St. John's Wort has its blossoms of 
the same hue and form as all the other species, but its 
mode of growth is very different from any of the pre- 
ceding. Its slender stems, from three to nine inches 
long, covered during July with blossoms, spread over 
slone walls, gravelly heaths, or boggy pastures. Both 
corolla and calyx have at their edges a few scattered 
black dots, but not distinct enough to entitle the plant 
to a place in the next group. This St. John's Wort, 
though somewhat local, is plentiful in many places; 
it is one of the prettiest plants of the genus, and well 
adapted for growing in pots. The odour is rather 

* Styles 3 ; sepals fringed with glands. 

7. H. montdnum (Mountain St. John's Wort). Stem 
erect, round, smooth; leaves oblong, sessile, smooth; 


with glandular dots near the margin ; sepals acute, 
fringed with shortly-stalked glands. Plant perennial. 
This is not an unfrequent plant in hilly limestone dis- 
tricts, where there is a growth of underwood ; and it 
also occurs on many chalky or gravelly soils, flowering 
in July and August. Its stem is about two feet high; 
the leaves are rather large and distant. Though the 
yellow petals are without glands, the calyx and bracts 
are beautifully fringed with them, and form a very dis- 
tinctive mark in this species from any of those yet 
described. The glands, which abound in the genus 
Hypericum, as well as in many other plants, contain 
in all this family a deep red juice in the cells. Grlands 
may be described as cellular bodies containing some 
peculiar secretion, and situated on or below the thin 
skin or cuticle which covers the surface of the plant. 
Stalked glands are very singular objects, being elevated 
on a little stalk, which is in some cases simple, in 
others branched. Link described them as either simple 
or compound, the former being composed of a single 
cell, and placed upon a hair acting as a direct conduit, 
occasionally interrupted by divisions ; the latter kind 
consisting of several cells, and seated upon a stalk, 
containing several conduits ; and thus these delicate 
dots are seen by the microscopic observer to have a 
most perfect and beautiful structure. 

8. H. ftirsiitum (Hairy St. John's Wort). Stem erect, 
nearly round, downy; leaves egg-shaped or oblong, 
downy beneath, slightly stalked. Plant perennial. This 
species, which grows in woods and thickets on limestone 
soils, is well marked by the downy nature of its some- 


what large leaves. Its general aspect much resembles 
that of the Mountain species. It flowers in June and 

9. H.pulclmim (Small Upright St. John's Wort). 
Stem erect, round, smooth ; leaves heart-shaped, clasp- 
ing the stem, smooth ; sepals obtuse, fringed with sessile 
glands ; petals fringed with glands. Plant perennial. 
This is a very slender plant, bearing many flowers at 
the top of its stem. It may, indeed, like some of the 
other species, be described as it was by Cowper, 
" Hypericum, all bloom ;" for in May and June its 
loose panicles are so conspicuous that \ve hardly notice 
its small leaves. The flowers are deep yellow, often 
tinged, as well as the stem, with red ; while the red 
anthers, and the young buds tipped externally with a 
rich carmine tint, render them very attractive. The stem 
is very slender, and sometimes two feet high, and the 
leaves few and scattered. The sessile glands, or glands 
without stalks, occur in various parts of plants. They 
vary much in form, being in some cases conical, and in 
some, as in the Cruciferous plants, little roundish shining 
bodies. In some plants, as the Acacias, they are tiny 
hollows, surrounded by a thickened rim ; in others, they 
are kidney-shaped, or of some other form. 

10. H. elo'des (Marsh St. John's Wort). Stem creep- 
ing, branches erect ; leaves roundish, and, as well as the 
stems, densely covered with shaggy down. Plant per- 
ennial. Mr. Johns, in his "Flowers of the Field," justly 
remarks of this plant, that " it may be detected at some 
distance by the hoariness of its foliage, and by the 
strong, and far from pleasant, resinous odour which it 


emits, especially in hot weather." This scent is indeed 
very strong, and is, in the opinion of the author, more 
disagreeable than that of any other species, being 
altogether destitute of that lemon-like perfume which 
mingles with the resinous odour of the Perforated 
and some other kinds. The flowers of this species 
are of a pale yellow colour ; they are few, and ex- 
pand in July and August. Reddish-coloured glandulai 
serratures fringe its calyx, and its stamens are fifteen 
in number. Though rare in Scotland, it is not unfre- 
quent on the spongy bogs of England. It appears to 
be the plant called by earlier botanists Ascyron tomen- 
tosum palustre. Dr. Vaughan, in a letter to the great 
naturalist John Ray, remarks, " I much wonder that 
this plant has not been taken more notice of in physic, for 
I look upon it to be one of the best balsamic astringent 
plants we have ; the native Irish call it Birin yarragh" 
As none of the species have a stronger odour than this, 
it is not improbable that it possesses more powerful 
properties than any of the other plants of the genus. 

11. //. linarifolium (Linear-leaved St. John's Wort). 
Stems erect ; leaves narrow, with their margins rolled 
under ; fowers in a terminal cyme ; sepals lanceolate, 
their margins with numerous black spots, and glandular 
serratures. Plant perennial. This very rare species is, 
save in its erect habit, very similar to the Trailing 
St. John's Wort. It is described as growing on the 
slopes of hills of several parts of Jersey, on the banks of 
the Tamar and other rivers of Devon, and also on some 
parts of the sea-coast of Cornwall. It has small flowers, 
in July and August. 


12. H. larldtum (Bearded St. John's Wort). Stem 
erect, and rounded ; leaves egg-shaped, with black dots 
scattered over the under surface ; sepals fringed with 
long-stalked glands; flowers in a terminal cluster ; petals 
minutely fringed and dotted. This is a doubtful native, 
described by Mr. Don as growing at the side of a hedge, 
near Aberdalgie, in Strathearn, Perthshire. It is cha- 
racterized by the long hairs of its calyx, to which it 
owes its specific name. Sir William Hooker and 
Dr. Arnott remark, that they do not believe it ever 
was really found wild in Scotland. Its stem is about 
a foot high, bearing yellow flowers in September and 

2. PARNASSIA (Grass of Parnassus). 

1. P. pahistris (Common Grass of Parnassus). 
Leaves heart-shaped, mostly from the roots, one on the 
stalk clasping ; Jlower terminal solitary ; bristles of the 
nectary from 9 to 13. Plant perennial. This very 
pretty flower, which has no just pretensions to the name 
of grass, is frequent on the bogs and wet places in the 
north of England, but is rare in the midland and 
southern counties. Its stem is from six to eight inches 
in height, and in October it is surmounted by the hand- 
some cream-coloured blossom, marked with darker veins. 
The flower is very singular on account of its large fan- 
shaped nectaries, which consist of scales, each arranged 
opposite to a petal, and having their margins fringed 
with conspicuous white hairs, which have each a clear 
yellow globular gland at the tip. The plant is by no 


means peculiar to Mount Parnassus, though well fitted 
to grace a spot so well known to fame. Dr. Clarke does 
not even describe it among the flowers which he found 
on that classic mount, which, he says, is bleak and bare 
at its summit, save where a few alpine plants, with their 
large blossoms, and leaves covered with woolly down as 
a protection from the cold, arrest the attention of the 
wanderer. Lower down, this traveller found the Alpine 
Daphne, several beautiful species of Cineraria, Yellow 
Potentillas, Eock Bell-flowers, and thorny thistles ; and 
lower still, dark groves of pine-trees cast their dark 
shadows on his footpath. Doubtless, the beauty of the 
flower, rather than its abundance in that region, gave to 
it the name of Grass of Parnassus, and its allusion to 
that place is preserved in most of its European names. 
The French term it Flcur de Parnassus; the Dutch 
Parnuskruid ; and the name of Parnassia is common to 
the Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. Either this, or 
a similar species, grows on the bogs of Eussia, where 
it is called Pereloi traica ; and it is the Einblatt of 
the Germans. Dr. Clarke found it on the borders of 
Lapland, flowering in July, and thus expresses his 
pleasure at the sight : " This evening we found that 
beautiful plant, Parnassia palustris, in flower ; it was 
growing on a swampy spot, and to us was quite new ; 
for, although frequently found in Wales and the northern 
counties of England, and so far south as the moors near 
Linton and Trumpington in Cambridgeshire, we, as 
natives of Sussex, had never seen it." One or two very 
pretty species have been introduced into our gardens 
from North America; the Parnassia Jimbriata, from 


that land, is a most lovely flower, but as the seeds will 
not vegetate after a voyage, the young plants must be 
brought into this country. 


Calyx divided, occasionally into 4 9 parts, but con- 
sisting usually of 5 -, petals of the same number; stamens 
about 8, inserted on a flattened ring beneath the ovary; 
ovary 2-lobed; style I; stigmas 2 ;/nY 2-lobed, 2-celled, 
not bursting ; lobes winged on the outside ; cells 1 2- 
seeded ; leaves opposite, generally simple ; flowers axil- 
lary. This Order consists wholly of trees which belong 
to the temperate regions, occurring in all parts of 
Europe, and in the north of India, but unknown in 
Africa. Some of the largest species of the Order are 
found in North America, where they form a conspicuous 
and ornamental portion of the forest trees. Lyell, who 
remarks on some maples growing at Mount Washington, 
4,000 feet above the level of the sea, says that the 
autumnal tints of these trees are most beautiful, varying 
in every colour from orange to pale yellow, and from 
bright scarlet to a rich purple hue. Several species have 
a sugary sap, and the Sugar Maple, Acer sacch annum, 
of North America, produces an abundance of sugar; 
while both sugar and treacle are also obtained in a some- 
what lesser quantity from the Red Maple, Acer rubrum, 
which grows in the swamps of Pennsylvania. Maple 


sugar is often seen in this country, in large flat pieces, 
resembling in appearance the substance called candied 
horehound. It is an important article of manufacture, 
and an ordinary tree yields from fifteen to thirty gallons 
of sap, from which from two to four pounds of sugar 
may be procured, the tree remaining uninjured by the 
incisions made in it, and continuing to furnish its pro- 
duce for forty years. The Red Maple is adorned with 
handsome scarlet flowers, which expand long before the 
leaves appear. Its bark also yields a good deep blue 
colour for the dyer, and an excellent ink is made 
from it. 

1. A'CER (Maple). Calyx 5-cleft ; petals 5; capsules 
2, each furnished with a long wing. Name from the 
Celtic Ac, a point, on account of the hardness of the 
wood, which was formerly used for spears, and other 
sharp-pointed instruments. 

1. ACER (Maple). 

1. A. campestre (Common Maple). Leaves 5-lobed; 
lodes somewhat blunt, scarcely cut ; clusters of flowers 
erect. This Maple is a picturesque little tree, very 
common in our woods and hedges, its leaves in spring 
being of the most delicate green. In the autumn none 
of our native trees exhibits a brighter foliage, which is first 
of a dull ochrey yellow, then of deeper hue, and lastly 
of an orange rich enough to remind us of the maples of 
America, whose brilliance is so often described by tra- 
vellers. The hues of the American species, however, 
tint the leaves in an earlier stage of their progress, and 


arc not, as with ours, a sign that decay is making rapid 
progress, and that before some other trees have lost a 
leaf, these will all be strewed on the earth. The author 
received from America some very beautiful wreaths, 
made on paper, of the dried leaves of the Maple and 
Sumach; the former wearing rich hues of green, red, 
and purple, the latter glowing in the scarlet tints of 
the brightest coral. They were preserved in memory of 
a friend, and years passed over and left their bright- 
ness untouched. Seeing that the leaves of our Maple 
were of golden yellow, and of some of our cherry-trees 
of richest crimson and orange, the author dried these 
leaves and formed a similar picture; but in a few months 
their beauty was lessened, and almost all their bright- 
ness finally passed away. Our common Maple has its 
foliage often thickly dotted with little red prominences, 
not so large as the head of a pin, but by their number 
giving to all the leaves of a branch a red appearance. 
This is caused by the puncture of an insect, which sought 
in its tissues a nidus for its young. The bark of the 
tree is very rugged, and its pretty upright blossom of 
delicate green appears in April and May, with the cat- 
kins of the hazel, and the golden and silvery balls of the 
willows, and often adorns the nosegay of primrose?, 
blue-bells, violets, orchises, stitchworts, and celandines, 
which is gathered from wood and meadow in that 
delightful season. 

The timber of our picturesque little tree is said to 
be far superior to that of the beech or sycamore for 
the purpose of the turner ; while the mathematical in- 
strument maker often substitutes it for the holly or 



boxwood. It was formerly much employed for making 
pikes and lances ; but its chief use now is for gun-stocks 
and musical instruments. Bowls and trenchers were 
some centuries since commonly made of maple wood ; 
thus we find in Milton's " Comus," 

' For who would rob a hermit of his weeds, 
His few books, or his beads, or maple dish, 
Or do his grey hairs any violence ? " 

Delicately wrought bowls were sometimes made of 
this knurled wood, so thin as to transmit the light. 
The unfortunate Fair Rosamond is said to have drunk 
her fatal poison from a bowl of this material ; and the 
beautiful drinking-vessels, so much prized in mediaeval 
times, were chiefly made of the maple, and took their 
name from the Dutch maeser, or the German masz- 
holder, which are the names of the tree in Holland and 
Germany. These bowls were sometimes wrought of 
other wood, as the walnut and the ash; and a very 
beautiful mazer, formed of the latter, was found a few 
years since in the deep well in the ruined castle of 
Merdon, near Hursley, built by Bishop Henry de Blois 
A.D. 1138. The ashen wood was at that period 
thought to be gifted with certain medicinal qualities ; 
but that the maple wood was the ordinary material for 
mazers, the old poets testify. Spenser gives a striking 
description of one of these bowls : 

" A mazer ywrought of the maple warre. 
Wherein is enchased many a fayre sight 

Of bears and tygers, that maken fiers warre; 
And over them spred a goodly wilde vine, 
Entrailed with a wanton yvy twine. 


Thereby is a lambe in the \vo.\ve's jawes ; 

But see how fast renneth the shepheard swain, 
To save the innocent from the heaste's pawes, 

And here with his shccpehooke hath him slain. 
Tell me, such a cup hast thou ever scene ? 
Well mought it become any harvest queene ! " 

And Beaumont and Fletcher thus allude to these 

"And dance upon the mazer's brim." 

A very beautiful and large mazer, of the time oi 
Richard the Second, is figured in the " Archaeological 
Journal" of 1845, in a paper contributed by Mr. T. 
Hudson Turner, " On the Usages of Domestic Life in 
the Middle Ages." The material is apparently of maple 
wood, and the embossed rim of silver gilt bears this 
legend : 

" <5n tljf name of tljc &rimtf, 
Jptilf tlje feup anb fcrinhr to mr/ 

The writer of this valuable paper remarks, "Our 
ancestors seem to have been greatly attached to their 
mazers, and to have incurred much cost in enriching 
them. Quaint legends, in English or Latin, monitory 
of peace and good fellowship, were often embossed on 
the metal rim on the cover ; or the popular but mystic 
Saint Christopher, engraved on the bottom of the inte- 
rior, rose in all his giant proportions before the eyes of 
the wassailer as he drained the bowl, giving comfort- 
able assurance that on that festive day, at least, no harm 
could befal him." The latest poet who alludes to the 
mazers is Dryden, in the seventeenth century ; but the 


maple bowl was probably in use among the humbler 
classes some years after. 

According to Evelyn, the knobs of old maple-trees, 
variegated with tints of dark and lighter brown, were 
collected at high prices in his day by the lovers of 
works of art. They were, when strongly veined, much 
prized by the Romans. " Of such," says Baxter, " were 
composed the celebrated Tigrin and Pantherin tables, of 
which some particular specimens, as those of Asinius, 
Gallus, King Juba, and the Mauritania]) Ptolemy, are 
said to have been worth their weight in gold." 

This species of Maple is not common in Scotland ; 
and Sir William Hooker doubts if it is indigenous either 
to that country or Ireland ; but it grows in woods and 
shrubberies there among the trees, 

" Some glossy-leaved and shining in the sun, 
The maple, and the beech of oily nuts 

2. A. pseudo-Pldtanus (Greater Maple or Sycamore). 
Leaves 5-lobed, unequally serrated ; clusters vtfowers 
drooping ; wings of fruit slightly diverging. Plant 
perennial. This tree is much larger and handsomer 
than the common Maple, but is not so truly wild, having 
been introduced into this country about the fourteenth 
century. It grows, however, in hedges in many parts 
of the kingdom, and is often planted near houses and in 
shrubberies, affording during summer a broad and plea- 
sant shadow by its outspread leafy boughs. No tree is 
better adapted for plantations near the sea; for the 
bleak winds and salt spray, which stunt and deform so 
many trees, seem favourable to this, for however roughly 




the winds may blow, it is never bent on one side, but 
preserves its upright and symmetrical form, and under 
its shelter smaller plants and shrubs will grow and 
thrive. The winds of high hills also leave it unhurt ; 
and it is, therefore, often to be seen by the door of the 
cottage or farm-house standing in exposed situations, 
while on mountains at the north of Europe it is a 
common tree. It grows in Norway by the sea-shore, is 
plentiful throughout Germany and Switzerland, in the 
north of Poland and Lithuania, attaining on a tolerable 
soil a very large size, and rapidly rising from a young 
shoot to a goodly tree. It is so common in England 
that, though it is not truly wild, Bishop Mant enume- 
rates it among the trees which adorn the vales and groves 
of upland or lea. 

" Horse-chestnut, foremost of the wood 
To dare his lengthening germs protrude, 
Dark, clammy, hard prepared the first 
To hear the enlivening call, and burst, 
With foliage cleft and spiral bloom, 
The cerements of that living tomb : 
The branching sycamore, that veils 
His golden shoots in dark-green scales, 
While still, as on the fabric goes, 
Each pair to each succeeding shows 
Its produce in a transverse line, 
That step by step they all combine 
To frame, by constant interchange, 
Of cross-like forms a gradual range : 
The taper lime's compacted head, 
With twigs and buds of coral red : 
The mountain ash, erect, that rears 
His shafts, a plump of bristling shears. 
That shake and rustle in the gale . 
With bending sweep, the poplar pale. 


Of shapely form and graceful mien ; 
And willows with their trunks of green, 
Whose branches of bright orange dye 
With tints of brighter crimson vie." 

Our old herbalists describe the leaves of this plant 
as " excellent good " for the liver and the spleen, and 
the roots were considered to be, when bruised, a valuable 
application for various pains. The sweet milky juice 
with which it abounds would, if extracted during 
winter, furnish a small quantity of sugar. This juice 
renders the leaf obnoxious to insects; and Linnaeus 
much recommended the growth of this tree, both on 
that account and for its timber, adding that its juice 
might also be rendered of use. The timber forms an 
excellent fuel, giving great warmth as it slowly burns. 
The musical instrument and cabinet maker make much 
use of it ; and good wooden platters are still made of 
it, though not so frequently as they were in days when 
earthenware was little used. One great charm of the 
tree in the olden times has been lost by the increase of 
knowledge. Our fathers believed, as they sat beneath its 
shade, that they were looking up into the boughs of the 
kind of tree in which Zaccheus hid himself, to see 
our Saviour pass by; but it is now well known that 
the Sycamore of Scripture is a species of fig-tree. Our 
tree often lives from a hundred to a hundred and fifty 
years, and even much older trees are on record. 

Some very large Sycamores are described as having 
grown in various parts of this kingdom. One men 
tioned by Sir Thomas Dick Lander, at Calder House, 
in the county of Edinburgh, measured in October 1799 


seventeen feet seven inches in girth, its trunk being 
about twelve feet high, and its branches extending to 
a distance of sixty feet in diameter. This tree is known 
to have existed before the Reformation, and is therefore 
not less than three hundred years old ; yet it has the 
appearance of being perfectly sound. This was the tree 
to which in former years the iron jugs, a species of 
pillory, were fastened ; and as the tree gradually grew 
over them, they have now long been completely enclosed 
in its trunk, a large protuberance on the surface mark- 
ing the place at which they are embedded in the wood. 
" But the most remarkable Sycamores in Scotland," 
says the Rev. C. A. Johns, in his "Forest Trees of 
Britain," "are those which are called 'Dool trees.' 
They were used by the most powerful barons in the 
west of Scotland for hanging their enemies and refrac- 
tory vassals on, and were for this reason called dool, or 
grief-trees. Of these there are three yet standing, the 
most memorable being one near the fine old castle of 
Cassillis, one of the seats of the Marquis of Ailsa, on 
the bank of the river Doon. It is not so remarkable 
for its girth of stem, as for its wide-spreading branches 
and luxuriant foliage, among which from twenty to 
thirty men could be easily concealed. It was used by 
the family of Kennedy, who were the most powerful 
barons of the west of Scotland, for the purpose above 
mentioned. The last occasion was about two hundred 
years ago, when Sir John Fau of Dunbar was hanged 
upon it, for having made an attempt, in the disguise of 
a gipsey, to carry off the then Countess of Cassillis, who 
was the daughter of the Earl of Haddington, and to 


whom he had been betrothed prior to his going abroad 
to travel. Having been detained for some years a 
prisoner in Spain, he was supposed to be dead, and in 
his absence the lady married John Earl of Cassillis. It 
is said that the lady witnessed the execution of her 
former lover from her bedroom window." 

The leaves of the Sycamore are often rendered clammy 
to the touch by the sweet substance called honey-dew, 
and plants growing beneath are frequently much injured 
by the dropping of this sweet liquid. This honey-dew 
has by many writers been believed to be caused by 
aphides, but others consider it to be a natural secretion 
from the leaf of this and other trees. Pliny gravely 
hesitated whether he should regard this exudation as the 
" sweat of the heavens, the saliva of the stars, or a liquid 
produced by the purgation of the air." Professor 
Burnett thinks that some kinds of honey-dew may be 
owing to the deposition of some of those minute lichen- 
like plants, which seem to be chiefly of meteoric origin 
and atmospheric growth, and which occasionally occur 
in vast profusion. Some persons are even of opinion that 
those airy lines, which sometimes at early morning seem 
spread like a gauzy veil over the meadows, looking as if 
the spiders had brought to every blade of grass a delicate 
tracery, have this meteoric origin. It does not appear, 
however, that the honey-dew on the Sycamore leaf is of 
this nature, and our recent naturalists seem to regard 
it as an exudation of the plant itself. 

Very frequently also, in autumn, the foliage of the 
Sycamore is more or less disfigured by a black fungus, 
which gives to the leaves an appearance of having had 


large drops of ink scattered upon them. In some sea- 
sons these spots are very abundant, and in one year the 
author saw a row of Sycamores in which almost every 
leaf was thus disfigured, so as to attract the notice of 
those who rarely observed plants. This fungus is the 
Xylonia acerinum, and when observed with a powerful 
microscope, is seen to be a curled tubercle, with a 
rugged border. The leaves so affected fall off at the 
first frost, and these spots then gradually corrode their 
entire substance. 

The Sycamore-tree is never more attractive than in 
the early spring, when the young, tender, green foliage 
is shooting forth, and when the small pink scales, which 
at first envelope the handsome lobed leaf, are just being 
scattered around the tree by every gust of wind. When 
autumn is on its way, the more sober red of the gra- 
dually ripening winged seed-vessels, as well as the 
varied hues of the foliage, are also very ornamental 
among the deepening tints of the wood. Cowper 
described it as 

' ; The Sycamore, capricious in attire, 
Now green, now tawny, and ere autumn yet 
Has changed the wood, in scarlet honours bright." 


Sepals 5, not falling, ribbed, overlapping when in 
bud ; petals 5-clawed, twisted while in bud; stamens 10, 
often alternately imperfect, usually united by their fila- 

VUL. ii. F 


ments; ovary of 5 carpels, placed round a long awl- 
sliaped beak ; styles 5, united to the beak ; st if/mas 5 ; 
fruit beaked, separating into 5 capsules at the base of 
the beak, and terminating in a long awn, which finally 
curls up, bearing with it the capsule. This is a large 
Order, composed chiefly of herbaceous plants, but com- 
prehending also a few shrubs. The genera are distri- 
buted over various parts of the world, a great number 
of them being found at the Cape of Good Hope. These 
are chiefly the Pelargoniums, which are the plants 
usually called Geraniums, some of which are to be found 
in most gardens, and which are the commonest of win- 
dow plants. The genera Erodium and Geranium are 
mostly natives of Europe, North America, and Northern 
Asia. A slight degree of astringency and acidity is 
possessed by the Geranium, and a fragrant essential oil 
has been distilled from Pelargonium odoratissimum, which 
is said somewhat to resemble attar of roses, and to be 
quite as pleasant. Another species of this genus, Pelar- 
gonium cucullattim, has been regarded as an emollient, 
and the ground tubercles of P. kirsutiim are esculent, 
and much prized by the Arabs as food. The leaves of 
the common scarlet Geranium, the bright flowers of 
which are to be seen in many a cottage window, have 
in some recent scientific works been much extolled as 
remedies to be laid upon the wound inflicted by any 
sharp instrument. The whole tribe is innocuous, but 
their chief value consists in the lovely flowers with which 
they deck our lanes and meadows, or, as in the Pelar- 
goniums, with which they grace our gardens, rooms, and 


1. GERANIUM (Crane's-bill). Petals regular ; stamens 
10, 5 of which are alternately larger, arid have glands 
at the base ; fruit beaked, separating into 5 capsules, 
each with a long aAvn, which is naked (not bearded) on 
the inside. Name from the Greek gvranos, a crane, 
from a fancied resemblance of the fruit to the beak of 
that bird. 

2. ERODIUM (Stork's-bill).- Petals regular; stamens 
1 0, of which 5 are imperfect ; (/lands 5 at the base of 
the perfect stamens; fruit beaked, separating into 5 cap- 
sules, each with a long spiral awn, bearded on the inside. 
Name from the Greek erodion, a heron, from the resem- 
blance of the fruit to the beak of that bird. 

1. GERANIUM (Crane's-bill). 
* Flower-stalks single-flowered. 

1. G. saiiyiuncum (Bloody Crane's-bill). Root-leaves 
nearly round, with 7 deeply-cut lobes, each of which is 
3 -cleft; stem-leaves 5 or 3-lobed. Plant perennial. 
This species is, from May to September, so beautiful 
with its large flowers of bright purple, that we regret 
that it is not more frequent. It produces a large quan- 
tity of foliage ; its stem is hairy, swelling at the joints, 
and about a foot or a foot and a half high. Though not 
a common flower, it grows abundantly on some limestone 
and magnesian soils. In a very interesting paper, written 
by Mr. W. Thompson, on the relation between geolo- 
gical strata and the plants growing on their superincum- 
bent soils, the author remarks : " The basaltic ranges 
claim certain species, which, if not peculiar to them, 


are at least more luxuriant when they are grown upon 
whinstone soil. The native Gerania I have always found 
thriving best in such districts. Geranium sanguineum, 
the most elegant of the genus, is richer in its tints and 
stronger near Edinburgh and on the Carrick shore of 
Ayrshire than any where else throughout the whole 
range of my botanical excursions. On mountain lime 
it is slender and straggling ; on the basaltic ledges of 
Salisbury Crags, and beneath the scaurs of the Ayrshire 
whin, it exhibits the same dense bed of flowers, with 
a thickness of stem, compactness of leaf, and a hairiness 
of clothing so different, as almost to mark it out as 
specifically distinct from the G. sanyuineum of North 
Wales, and its lakes. The G. sanguineum of Carrick 
extends nearly a mile along the shore, in one continued 
tract of beauty, exhibiting a luxuriance superior to that 
of any other flower of distinguished loveliness which our 
island produces." This author also describes the flower 
as growing, with the Broom-rape, along the ledges 
of the cliff in another district of mountain limestone, 
St. Vincent's Rock, and Clifton Downs, near Bristol. 
A variety of this Crane's-bill has been found by other 
botanists on the sands of Walney Island, in Lancashire, 
with pale flesh-coloured flowers, varied with purple. 

* * Flower-stalks 2- flowered. 

2. G. plumim (Dusky Crane's-bill). Stem erect; 
flowers panicled ; sepals slightly pointed ; capsules keeled, 
hairy below, wrinkled above. Plant perennial. This 
species is frequently cultivated in gardens, but is rare as 


a wild plant ; and even when growing in our woods and 
thickets it is very often the outcast of sonic neighbour- 
ing garden, or its seed w r as borne thither by wind or 
bird from a more distant plot. The flowers are of a 
dingy, purplish black colour, looking like the blossom 
of some poisonous plant. They occur in May and June. 
A variety with white flowers is said, by Sir William 
Hooker and Dr. Arnott, to be found on the sands of 
Barrie, near Dundee. 

3. G. nodosum (Knotty Crane's-bill). Stem smooth; 
leaves opposite, with 5 or 3-pointed serrated lobes ; 
petals with a deep notch ; sepals with long awns ; cap- 
sules downy, but not wrinkled. Plant perennial. This 
plant is not truly wild, and no British habitat is now 
known for it ; but it is said to have grown formerly on 
the mountainous parts of Cumberland, and between 
Hatfield and Welwyn, in Hertfordshire. 

4. G. pratvnse (Blue Meadow Crane's-bill, or Crow- 
foot Meadow Crane's-bill). Stem erect ; leaves palmate, 
5-lobed ; lolcs cut and serrated ; stamens smooth, taper- 
ing from a broad base ; capsules hairy all over ; fruit- 
stalks bent down. Plant perennial. This is the largest 
of our British Crane's-bills, and is, from June to August, 
a very handsome flower, of a beautiful purple colour, 
attaining, when luxuriant, about the size of a florin 
piece. The stem is often more than two feet high, and 
the plant is well distinguished by its much divided 
leaves. It is most frequently found among bushes and 
thickets, particularly near waterfalls, and is common 
in moist copses in Cambridgeshire, and in the neigh- 
bourhood of London. Mr. Thompson remarks: 


" Geranium pratcnse is, I am persuaded, to be found 
luxuriant only in basaltic districts. Every stream in 
Ayrshire, and to the east of Glasgow, is rendered 
eminently beautiful by the rich azure of its transparent 
petals, and the singular verdure of its long-stalked leaf. 
The Clyde, the Calcler, the Tannock, and every streamlet 
near Botlnvell and Campsie Fell, possesses this flower. 
The bed of these rivers is basaltic. In Ayrshire, the 
Ayr,* the Marnock, the Doon, the Irvine, and the 
Garnock, have tufts of this plant on their banks from 
the source to the sea. Long before botany became 
a study, these flowers gave an interest to that country, 
which is still remembered with something of the quiet 
delight which an early love of Nature produces and 
perpetuates ; and even now, after the contemplation of 
mere beauty in flowers has given place to the pursuit 
of their scientific arrangement and philosophic purposes, 
there is a childish delight in the rencontre of such 
mementos of early days, when time, and thought, and 
pleasure were young and pure. I have met them thus 
in southern counties, and occasionally near the Invell, 
but how altered ! ' Quantum mutati ab illis ! ' the hue 
is less brilliant, the herbage weaker, the bed a few thin 
and scattered patches. What can be the cause ? Is it 
that later impressions are warped by prejudice, from 
want of novelty, or of the requisite association ? or does 
the preeminence of Ayrshire Crane's-bill depend on the 
position of the streams, where it grows over basaltic 
rocks, whose debris is more suited to vegetation of this 

* "This stream, tbe Ayr, occasionally crosses schist and 
plastic clay. In such places this Geranium is not to be found." 


kind than the washing of the new red sandstone of 
Lancashire? The latter conclusion I am willing to 
adopt," adds our author, " because it is the most rea- 
sonable, and, if for no other reason, because it favours 
my theory." 

5. G. sylvalicum (Wood Crane's-bill). Stem erect, 
many-flowered '; leaves palmate, 7-lobed ; lobes cut and 
serrated ; stamens awl-shaped, fringed ; capsules keeled, 
hairy ; fruit-stalks erect. Plant perennial. This rare 
plant grows in woods and pastures, chiefly in the northern 
parts of this island. It has, in June and July, very 
pretty purple or pale rose-coloured flowers, which are 
smaller than those of the Meadow Crane's-bill, but 
larger than the blossom of the Dusky species. It is 
distinguished from the Meadow Crane's-bill, not only 
by its smaller size, but also by its capsules, which are 
most hairy about the keel, and by its stamens, which 
are fringed about half way up. 

6. G. Pyrcndicum (Mountain Crane's-bill). Stem 
erect, downy; root-leaves kidney-shaped, 5 7-lobed; 
lobes oblong, blunt, 3-cleft, and toothed ; petals notched, 
and twice as long as the pointed sepals. Plant per- 
ennial. Although this species grows in many meadows 
and pastures, yet it is not a common flower. Its stem is 
two or three feet high, and its numerous small purple 
blossoms have their petals very distinctly 2 -cleft. Sir 
William Hooker and Dr. Arnott remark that this spe- 
cies has a spindle-shaped root, while in all the former 
species the root consists of long fibres arising from a 
premorse tap-root. Mr. Backhouse mentions a Crane's- 
bill growing in Van Diemen's Land, the Geranium par- 


vijlorum, which has a long fleshy root, and is called 
Native Carrot, and much eaten by the people of that 

7. G. lucidum (Shining Crane's-bill). Leaves nearly 
round, 5-lobed; sepals angular, and wrinkled ; capsules 
with 3 keels, and wrinkled; stems spreading. Plant 
annual. The foliage and stems of this pretty species 
are very smooth and glossy, and the lower leaves, which 
are smaller than the upper ones, are often tinged with 
bright red. The stems are but a few inches in height, 
swelling at the joints, and the elegant little rose-coloured 
flowers expand in May, continuing in blossom till July. 
The plant is not uncommon in hilly and mountainous 
countries, on rocks, walls, and roofs of houses. Mr. 
Thompson remarks of this species, that it belongs espe- 
cially to lime districts, and seems not appropriate to 
basalt. Derbyshire, he says, abounds with this plant. 
He also met with a luxuriant crop of it near Warwick, 
where it was growing on a base of lime which was at 
a considerable depth below the surface. 

8. G. Itoberticinum (Stinking Crane's-bill, or Herb 
Robert). Stems spreading ; leaves ternate, or quinate ; 
leajlets deeply cut, the segments with minute points; 
sepals angular, hairy; capsules wrinkled and hairy. Plant 
annual. This pretty little Geranium, flowering in early 
spring and lingering sometimes in autumn among the 
last of the flowers, is the most common of all our native 
species. Every one knows it, and most of us have 
bound it in the nosegay gathered in childhood from 
woods and thickets, and green lanes and meadow hedge- 
rows. It comes with the brilliant blue Germander 


Speedwell to tell of the approach of summer ; and before 
a flower has yet expanded on the bank, we may see its 
beautifully cut leaves gleaming in the sun. When 
winter is approaching and flowers are gone, and many 
green leaves are turned brown, this foliage is often 
among the few bright things which are left, and, touched 
with a rich glow of crimson, it seems not to need the 
addition of blossoms to render it attractive. We have, 
in September, seen masses of it covering large heaps 
of stones with its stems arid leaves, and thought, as the 
robin sate sweetly singing near it his prelude to the 
winter, that the hue of bird and leaf accorded well with 
each other. Mr. Thomson says that it grows with pecu- 
liar luxuriance on basalt, and that it is one of the most 
abundant plants in Ayrshire. He remarks that near 
the river Doon especially, its size was such as to incline 
him to examine it as a new species. We forget its strong 
and disagreeable odour when we see its hundreds of 
pink stars contrasting with the purple blossoms of the 
ground-ivy, or mingled in the later year, as the poet has 
described them, among many lovely wild flowers : 

" Loudly raves 

The bustling brook, which many a chasm hath cleft, 
Where springs the hispid Comfrey; and above, 
In rich exuberance, light-vein'd Ivy trains 
A drapery o'er the loftier trees. Here glows 
The crimson berry of the Guelder-rose, 
Whose vine-like leaves have caught a sanguine stain 
From the October sun. Down in the grass, 
And blushing through green blades, Herb Robert fain 
Would catch the eyes of pilgrims as they pass, 
Who seek for rarer plants The Arum there, 
Now leafless, lifts its ruby sceptre red 


As coral rocks that stud the Sea Nymph's bed ; 
Pale Agrimony scents the evening air 
With a faint lemon odour; and, around, 
The roseate Mallow in profusion springs." 

This plant is a native of many lands besides ours, 
and has smiled upon those who have wandered in Brazil 
and Chili, reminding them of the green lanes of England. 
In some places a decoction of the plant is used in medi- 
cine. The herb contains tannin, and exerts an astringent 
action on the system, and by the old herbalists it was 
regarded as a good vulnerary. They probably gave it 
its familiar name after some Robert renowned in their 
days, though unknown in ours. It appears to possess 
more astringency than either of our British species, 
but some foreign species exceed it in this respect, 
The Geranium maculatum, which is a common plant 
from Canada to North Carolina, enlivening with its 
pale lilac flowers many a grassy and leafy spot, con- 
tains so much astringency that it is known in America 
by the name of alum-root, and is employed by physi- 
cians as a remedy in complaints of the throat and of 
general debility. Dr. Bigelow ascertained that this 
species contained a great proportion of tannin and gallic 
acid, the amount of tannin appearing to be greater than 
that of any other constituent ; and Barton says it might 
form a substitute for kino. Our common Herb Robert 
is believed to be obnoxious to many insects, and is by 
cottagers often placed near beds to repel them; and 
the strong odour is probably disagreeable to these 
intruders. In North Wales, it is believed to be an 
efficacious remedy for gout. Some of the exotic Gera- 


niacea, as Sarcocaulon L'Heretiere, have stems which 
burn like torches, emitting during combustion a most 
fragrant odour. The French call our plant Le Geranion, 
and the Italians term it Geranio. It is the Storchsch- 
nabel of the Germans, and the Oijevaarsbek of the 

9. G. molle (Dove's-foot Crane's-bill). Leaves round- 
ish, lobed, cut, and downy ; petals notched ; capsules 
wrinkled, but not hairy ; seeds smooth. Plant annual. 
This is almost as frequent a species as the Herb Robert, 
though growing more in the grass of the pasture lands 
than the former plant. It occurs also on banks and 
wayside places, and is often covered with the dust 
of the road; its downy leaves, soft as velvet, and of 
a greyish green hue, on spreading stems, forming large 
circular clumps. Being one of the earliest of spring- 
flowers, its little reddish purple cups may often be 
found among its foliage in March, and they continue 
to expand till October, though their colour is not so 
bright at this season as in the earlier part of the year. 
The French call this flower Pied de Pigeon. 

10. G. rotundifdlium (Round-leaved Crane's-bill). 
Leaves roundish or kidney-shaped, lobed, and cut; 
petals entire ; capsules hairy, not wrinkled ; seeds dotted. 
Plant annual. This plant much resembles the species 
last described, and is probably sometimes mistaken for 
it ; it is not, however, like that, a common plant, but 
occurs in some few pastures and waste places, beginning 
to blossom at a later season, its small purple blossoms 
seldom peeping up from the leaves before the month of 
June. It may be distinguished from the Dove's-foot 


by its petals without notches, and by its dotted seeds, 
which are very pretty when seen under a microscope. 

1 1 . G.pusittum (Small-flowered Crane's-bill) . Leaves 
roundish, lobed, and cut ; petals notched ; stamens 5 ; 
capsules keeled, downy, not wrinkled ; seeds smooth. 
Plant annual. This Crane's-bill, which bears very small 
bluish-purple flowers throughout the summer, is also 
much like the Dove's-foot. and resembling it in its 
downy foliage and spreading steins, it is, to the un- 
practised botanist, difficult of distinction. The most 
obvious feature of difference is, that the capsules of this 
species are unwrinlded, though downy, whereas those 
of the former species are transversely wrinkled. The 
young botanist is often perplexed by the general simi- 
larity of several of the Crane's-bills, which are, however, 
essentially distinct ; and a remark made upon this tribe 
by Mr. Johns, in his " Flowers of the Field," is worthy 
attention : " Particular care," observes the author, 
" should be taken, when comparing specimens with their 
descriptions, to examine the root-leaves ; for the stein- 
leaves vary on the same plants so as to defy de- 

12. G. dissectum (Jagged-leaved Crane's-bill). Stems 
spreading, hairy ; leaves roundish, hairy, variously 
divided into numerous jagged narrow segments ; sepals 
with long awns ; petals notched ; capsules hairy, and 
slightly wrinkled; seeds dotted. Plant annual. The 
name of this Crane's-bill well describes one of its cha- 
racters, for its leaves are very deeply cut or jagged. 
They are hairy, and not soft and downy, like those of 
some of the former species. The flowers are on short 


stalks, so that, as Mr. Curtis remarks, they seem sitting 
among the leaves. They are rose-coloured, and may be 
found all the summer on hedge-banks, pastures, and 
waste places, where the soil is of gravel. 

13. G.columbinum (Long-stalked Crane's-bill). Steins 
spreading, hairy, with short hairs ; leaves 5-lobed, the 
lobes cut into long, narrow, acute segments ; flower- 
stalks very long ; sepals with long awns ; capsules smooth. 
Plant annual. This graceful plant is not very common, 
and its flowers at once distinguish it from all the rest 
of the species. These are in bloom from June to August, 
and are placed on slender stalks, often longer than one's 
finger, and hardly thicker than a packthread. The 
flower is larger than that of any of the four species last 
described, and is a rich, reddish, erect, purple bell, 
sometimes in fine specimens almost as large as that of 
the large Stitchwort. The stem is procumbent, and 
the capsules have occasionally a few hairs scattered upon 
them, but are generally smooth. 

2. ERODIUM (Stork's-bill). 

1. E. cicutdrium (Hemlock Stork's-bill). Stems pro- 
strate, hairy ; stalks many -flowered ; leaves pinnate ; 
leaflets sessile, pinnatifid, and cut. Plant annual. This 
is a very pretty flower, and one also which is common 
on waste places. It grows very often near the sea, and 
in salt marshes. It might at first sight be taken for one 
of the Crane's-bills, but no species of that genus has the 
pinnate leaves which characterise our present plant. Its 
flowers, which grow in umbels, are of a delicate lilac 


tint; and they are to be seen on the plant throughout 
the summer, but the petals are very frail, and easily 

scattered by the wind. 


2. E. moschdtum (Musk Stork's-bill). Stems pro- 
strate, hairy; stalks many-flowered; leaves pinnate; 
leaflets nearly sessile, and cut; perfect stamens, toothed 
at the base. Plant annual. This species is much larger 
and handsomer than the last, and its flowers are of 
deeper purple. Like the Hemlock Stork's-bill, it is 
common near the sea, and seems more luxuriant there 
than elsewhere. The foliage is deep green, somewhat 
clammy, and when passed through the hand leaves 
a pleasant musk-like odour, which the author has 
observed to be more powerful in the evening than during 
day, and which also seems stronger in the plant when 
cultivated, as it often is, in gardens. It grows in waste 
places, and flowers all the summer, but is not frequent. 
It is often called Heron's-bill. Its juice has sometimes 
been employed as an aromatic bitter. 

Mr. Mallet, of Dublin, was apparently the first to give 
a full account of the curious movements of the seed- 
vessel of this plant, a peculiarity now well known to 
botanists. This gentleman, in 1836, observed hi the 
Stork's-bill one of those wondrous and interesting modes 
of the dispersion of seeds which exhibit themselves 
variously in plants, and which are destined to make the 
surface of the earth a scene of beauty and grace, as well 
as to supply an abundant source of vegetable food to 
man and animals. It was on a cultivated plant of this 
species that Mr. Mallet made his observations ; and 
having, as he said, looked into many books, and found 


no mention of the circumstance, he resolved to state his 
account of it in a scientific journal of that time. 

" Each seed, of which there are five to each flower," 
says this writer, " is enclosed in a carpel, attached by 
its upper extremity to a tail or awn, which possesses the 
most wonderful hygrometic sensibility, as, indeed, does 
every other part of the plant. These five awns lie in 
grooves in the receptacle of the flowers, and this recep- 
tacle is central to, and is the axis of, all parts of the 
flower and the fruit. When the whole system has 
arrived at a certain point of aridity, the awns, which are 
provided with an exquisite power of torsion, twist them- 
selves out from their grooves, and at the same moment 
a number of downy filaments, hidden in the back or 
inward face of the awns, bristle forth ; they all together 
become now detached, and fall to the ground. 

" But here they still continue to twist, and, from the 
position in which they always lie, keep tumbling over 
and over, and thus receding from the parent plant, 
until at length they become perfect balloons, ready to 
be wafted away by every zephyr. But motive power 
has not ceased to this apparatus to the seeds when this 
has twisted itself into this balloon shape ; the slightest 
hygrometic change produces motion either backwards 
or forwards in the awn, and the constant tendency of 
this motion is to screw the seed into the ground. 
Such is the shape and great sensibility of the awns, 
that they may be readily applied to form most delicate 
differential hygrometers, for which purpose I have used 

Mr. Mallet, in recording his observations, has allowed 


his imagination to run somewhat in advance of facts ; 
but, with the exception of the "balloon" simile, his 
remarks are very just. 


Flowers irregular ; sepals 5, or appearing to be 4, by 
two of the upper or inner ones uniting into one, the 
lowest spurred and hooded ; petals 5, but appearing to 
be only 2, by the unions in pairs of the two side ones, 
and the fifth being wanting ; stamens 5 ; filaments more 
or less united at the extremity ; anthers 2-celled ; ovary of 
5 cells, alternating with the stamens ; stigmas 5, almost 
sessile, either distinct or united ; fruit a capsule, with 
5 elastic valves and 5 cells, or succulent, and not 
bursting; seeds 1, or many, suspended. The plants 
composing this Order are juicy and herbaceous, with 
opposite and alternate leaves, destitute of stipules. 
They are natives of damp bushy places among bushes, 
and are not remarkable for any medicinal properties. 
They have all a curious method of projecting their 
seeds to a distance. 

1. IMPATIENS (Balsam). Flowers of apparently 4 
sepals, and 2 petals ; capsule of 5 valves. Name sig- 
nifying impatient, given from the sudden opening of the 
valves of the capsule when touched. 


1. IMPATIENS (Balsam). 

1. /. Noli-me-tdngere (Yellow Balsam, or Touch-me- 
not). Joints of the stem swollen; leaves egg-shaped, 
serrated and stalked ; stalks 3 or 4-flowered ; spur of 
the calyx loosely recurved, and entire at the point 
Plant annual. This is a very rare wild plant, growing 
in moist shady woods, chiefly at the north of England, 
and flowering in June and July. It has been found in 
the neighbourhood of Keswick, in Cumberland ; by the 
side of Coniston Lake, on the banks of Winander- 
mere, and is described as plentiful by some little rills 
near Rydal Hall. It occurs, more rarely, on the sides 
of the Avon, near Salisbury, near Fountains Abbey, 
and in several other places, both in England and Wales. 
The stem is about a foot high, round and succulent, 
and, like that of the garden balsam, which belongs to 
an allied genus, is very brittle. The flowers are large, 
and yellow, spotted with orange; and the foliage is 
so acrid as to be refused by all animals except the 
goat. Boerhaave considered the plant poisonous, and 
though it has been used medicinally, yet its use was 
generally considered by the medical profession as attended 
with danger. Its Latin name, Noli-me-tdngere, is signi- 
ficant of the manner in which its seed-vessel curls up 
its valves spirally at the slightest touch, jerking its con- 
tents into the face of him who bends over it ; and the 
German, Dutch, and French familiar names are synony- 
mous with ours ; the former is Sprwgsame, and the 
latter Springzaad. The Italians call the plant Balsa- 



mina gialla ; the Spaniards term it Balsamia amariHa, 
and Erba impatienta* and it is the Ne me touchez pas 
of the French. The leaves are expanded during the 
day-time, but hang drooping at night. 

Professor Lindley accounts in the following manner 
for the action of the seed-vessels. The tissue of the 
valves consists of cellules gradually diminishing in size 
from the outside to the inside, the fluids of the outer 
cells being the densest. The latter, by degrees, empty 
the inner cells, and distend themselves so, that the 
external tissue is disposed to expand, and the internal 
to contract, whenever anything occurs to disturb the 
force which keeps them straight. This at last happens 
by the disarticulation of the valves, the flower-stalk and 
the axis, and then each valve rapidly rolls inwards with a 
spontaneous movement. M. Dutrochet proved that it was 
possible to produce this phenomenon by putting some 
fresh valves of this Balsam into sugar and water, which 
gradually emptied the external tissue, and after render- 
ing the valves straight, finally curved them backwards. 

An American species, Impatiens fulva, is described as 
growing on the banks of the Thames, and also on the 
borders of the Wey, but is not a truly British plant. 
The spur of the calyx of this flower is notched and bent 
under so closely as to press against the sepals. The 
Garden Balsam is the Impatiens balsamina ; it is a 
native of the East Indies, and its beautiful varieties of 
carnation or purplish blossoms studding their amber 
stems, are among our most common garden annuals. 
The seeds often surprise the unwary by suddenly jerk- 
ing out on some slight touch. The juice of the plant 


prepared with alum is said, by Thunberg, to be used 
by the Japanese for giving a pink tinge to their nails ; 
and of the leaves of another species the natives of 
Cochin China make a wash with which to cleanse and 
perfume the hair. 


Sepals 5, not falling off; petals 5, equal, often united 
at the base, twisted while in bud; stamens 10, the 
5 outer ones shorter than the others ; filaments generally 
combined at the base : ovary 3 5 -celled ; styles 3 5 ; 
capsule 3 5 -celled, with as many, or twice as many 
valves ; seeds few, enclosed in an elastic case, which curls 
back on the ripening of the fruit, and throws the seeds 
to a distance. The Order consists of herbaceous plants, 
or under shrubs, which are remarkable for the acidity 
of their foliage, and for their sensitiveness. Several are 
astringent, and their acid flavour has rendered many 
among them agreeable additions to soups, salads, and 
confectionary, as well as useful for medicinal and various 
economical purposes. 

1. OXALIS (Wood-sorrel). Sepals 5, united below; 
petals 5, often united below; stamens united by the 
base of their filaments ; styles 5 ; capsules 5-celled, an- 
gular. Name from the Greek oxys, sharp or acid, from 
the acid nature of the leaves. 


1. OXALIS (Wood-sorrel). 

1. 0. acetosella (Common Wood-sorrel). Leaves all 
springing from the root, ternate, hairy ; scape with 2 small 
bracts about the middle, single-flowered ; root scaly. 
Plant annual. There are few of our woodland flowers 
more beautiful than this, when, in May, its clear triple 
leaf is spreading around- the trunks of the old trees. 
It might at first be taken for a mass of clover, but the 
foliage is both thinner and of brighter green than that of 
any of our species of Trefoil, and the delicate white or 
lilac flower, veined with purple, stands up gracefully from 
among it. As Linnaeus remarked of them, these pen- 
cilled bells close on the approach of rain ; even when 
the weather changes in a moment from sunshine to 
shower, though they were before fully expanded, they 
are folded up immediately. The leaves are always closed 
at night, as well as before and during rain. They are 
said to shrink together, too, at a blow with a stick, and 
the seed-vessel partakes of the general sensibility of the 
plant. This, if ever so slightly pressed, will open at 
right angles, jerking out the seeds at the opening. 
"This," says Mr. Curtis, "is not owing to any elas- 
ticity in the capsule itself, which continues unchanged ; 
the cause of this propulsion is a strong, white, shining 
arillus which covers the seed, and, bursting by its elas- 
ticity, throws the seed to a distance." 

Many of the leaves of our common plants, especially 
such as are pinnate in form, close regularly at night, 
as well as before rain. Any one who observes the 


foliage of a clover-field, or of the peas, vetches, or 
mountain-ash, will see how readily they are affected by 
the moisture of the atmosphere, or the approach of night. 
But we have not, in this country, any plant which can 
at all compare with the sensitive plants, the Mimosas of 
tropical regions, whose thousands of leaflets fold together 
at the slightest touch, so that the Indians may well call 
them Dormideras, or sleepy plants. 

There are large tracts of country in hot and damp 
districts entirely covered with Mimosa, where the vibra- 
tion caused by the galloping of a horse past them is 
sufficient to set the whole mass in motion. We know 
of no plant, however, truly wild in the British field or 
wood which would better deserve the name of Sensitive 
Plant than our woodland sorrel, though the species 
termed Oxalis stricta, which can hardly be claimed as 
a truly wild flower, has even more sensibility. The 
whole family of the wood-sorrels are remarkable in this 
respect. The leaves of the Oxalis sensitiva are well 
known to collapse on the slightest touch ; and Professor 
Morren, of Liege, attributes to the Oxalis stricta, which 
is naturalized in the counties of Devon and Cornwall, 
the properties of the sensitive plants of the East. The 
excitability and spontaneous movements of the leaves 
of this species, which were accidentally observed by two 
of the pupils of this professor, in the Botanic Garden of 
Modena, were communicated to the Royal Academy at 
Brussels. Professor de Brognoli, in verifying some 
experiments which had been made, found that the plant 
must be teased for a long time, as its movements are 
much slower than those of the Mimosa. This botanist 


believed, from various observations which he had made 
on sensitive plants, that heat was the principal agent in 
this phenomenon, as he observed that the most singular 
of plants, the Moving Saintfoin, (Hedysarum gyrans,} 
moved less during winter in hot-houses. This writer 
considers that all the species of Oxalis are suscep- 
tible of contraction when irritated ; but as a large 
number of the cultivated species are from the Cape of 
Good Hope, they show no effects from concussion in 
our atmosphere, whose greatest heat is never equal to 
that of Africa. Professor Morren furnished several 
interesting notes on this phenomenon, which subsequently 
led to a discovery of some analogy in structure between 
the leaves of the Wood-sorrels and those of the Mimosae, 
an analogy quite unexpected by botanists, but which 
subsequent observation has fully established. One very 
remarkable peculiarity belongs to the wood-sorrels, which 
is, that M. De Candolle was never able to modify the 
closing of these leaves at night, as he did those of many 
plants, by the alternation of artificial light with dark- 
ness ; whence he inferred that the folding up of the 
leaves, termed the sleep of plants, and their unfolding, 
or awaking to the light of day, were connected with 
a periodical disposition of motion inherent in the plant. 
In the case, however, of Oxalis stricta the leaflets, when 
awake, assume, on receiving a blow, the attitude of the 
sleeping leaf. 

The irritability of various plants, and the nightly fold- 
ing of many, has occupied the attention of botanists, 
from Linna?us to those of our own day, and any one 
at all accustomed to observe the flowers, either of the 


garden or the country landscape, must have seen it. 
Plants possess three distinct kinds of irritability, namely, 
such as depend on atmospheric phenomena, spontaneous 
motions, and such contractions as are caused by the 
touch of other bodies. Our Wood-sorrel exhibits two of 
these influences, but we have scarcely any native plant 
which shows any great degree of spontaneous movement, 
except the Oscillator ias, which are weeds of our fresh or 
salt water, and whose thread-like forms twist about like 
worms, and move to a considerable distance from the 
spot on which they are laid. Some sea- weeds and fresh- 
water Confervse, both of our own and other lands, ex- 
hibit movements so much like those of animal life as to 
startle and perplex the observer ; but the Moving Saint- 
foin of the East Indies is the most remarkable of all 
plants for its perpetual restless movement by day and 
night, without any apparent stimulus, either from con- 
tact or the atmosphere, and we have in our country no 
plant which at all resembles it in this peculiarity. 

The sleep of plants is not confined to the folding of 
their leaves. As twilight approaches, many flowers alter 
their position. Sometimes the leaves fold over the 
delicate petals, so as to shield them from nightly dews 
or the hoar frosts of spring or chilly blasts of autumn. 
Many flowers close quite up during night. The daisies, 
which sprinkle our meadows, received their pretty name 
from their opening only to the morning light, and many, 
like Chaucer, mark them thus folded on the mead 

" When that the sunne out of the south gan west, 
And that this floure gan close and gon to rest." 


Flowers of the rayed form are peculiarly so affected, 
and are like 

" The marigold that goes to bed with the sun, 
And with him rises weeping." 

Even the corn-field shows its sensitiveness to the 
approach of the shadows of evening, and droops down 
its green or ripening blades to await the morn, while 
many a delicate cup and vase bend downwards, and 
drooping bells droop more and more as night comes on. 
There are flowers, however, which close even at noon, 
when the sun is shining down brightly upon them, and, 
like the Goat's-beard of our field, excite our wonder 
by folding up ere chilling dews have come to give a 

Even after various investigations and careful expe- 
riments, the folding up of plants presents phenomena 
for which we cannot account ; and the closing up of the 
Wood-sorrel leaf at a touch is yet a wonder to thought- 
ful men. Miller tells of a Calabrian philosopher who 
became mad while considering the nature of sensitive 
plants ; and were we not accustomed to observe to what 
singular opinions the transcendentalism pervading the 
German mind may sometimes lead, we might almost 
fancy that a similar occupation had similarly affected 
the mind of the excellent botanist, Von Martins. This 
philosopher, who published his views on the Soul of 
Plants, says, that in the more highly developed vege- 
table forms, phenomena occur which belong to animal 
life, so that a soul cannot be denied to vegetables. He 
ascribes to them " internal perceptions and ideas j a dark 


sensibility and consciousness; a sympathy, and, pro- 
bably, also a kind of memory," though he says we are 
not to trace in them " a higher sense, understanding, 
or free-will." He describes the fraternity as governed 
by a soft and peaceful spirit. Darwin, when he wrote 
his Botanic Garden, would have rejoiced in these opi- 
nions of Von Martins. Poets of all ages, ever ready to 
endow Nature with personal attributes and sympathies, 
have described flowers and trees as enjoying pleasing 
sensations. Wordsworth thus clothes in words his poetic 

" Through primrose tufts in that sweet bower 

The periwinkle trail' d its wreaths ; 
And 'tis my faith, that ev'ry flower 
Enjoys the air it breathes." 

So, too, in sweetest verse we have Walter Savage Lander 

" And 'tis, and ever was my wish and way 
To let all flowers live freely, and all die 
AY hen e'er their genius bids their soul depart, 
Among their kindred to their native place : 
I never pluck the rose, the violet's head 
Hath shaken with my breath upon the bank, 
And not reproach 'd me ; the ever sacred cup 
Of the pure lily, hath between my hands 
Felt safe unsoil'd, nor lost one grain of gold." 

But it is not poets or German philosophers alone who 
have persuaded themselves that trees and flowers shared 
the feelings of the animal kingdom. Erasmus believed 
that the tree felt the stroke of the woodman's axe ; and, 
in our days, that excellent botanist, Sir J. E. Smith, 

VOT. ii. i 


declared his opinion that plants received enjoyment from 
their existence. 

The Wood-sorrel was formerly called Wood-sower, 
and also Wood-sour, and very acid indeed are its leaves. 
They contain pure oxalic acid, and were in former days 
compounded into a confection which was used medi- 
cinally, and termed Conserva Luzula. Twenty pounds 
of the leaves of wood-sorrel yield six pounds, from which 
two ounces six drachms of impure salt may be obtained; 
but as the great chemist, Scheele, discovered some years 
since that oxalic acid might be procured by acting on 
sugar with nitric acid, this less expensive process has 
superseded the extraction of the salt from the sorrel leaf. 
The expressed juice of the leaves, evaporated and set in 
a cool place, affords a crystalline salt, which may be 
used in any case in which vegetable acids would be 
serviceable. This is the Essential Salt of Lemons sold 
by druggists for removing ink-spots and iron-mould 
from linen ; though cream of tartar and vitriolic acid are 
often substituted for the genuine produce of the leaf. 

Children in the country know well how agreeable to 
the palate are the fresh green leaves of the wood-sorrel, 
and the flavour as well as the medical properties 
approach very nearly to those of the lemon. A small 
portion of this foliage may be eaten with advantage, 
as it is an excellent antiscorbutic, but children should 
not be allowed to eat it in large quantities. 

The leaves of several of the species are used in America 
and other countries as a dietetic vegetable. Our plant, 
boiled in milk, was much recommended by the old her- 
balists to quench thirst, and serve as a " cordial to the 


heart/* and leaf, seed, root, and flower were all con- 
sidered as fitted to " refresh the overspent spirits with 
the violent fits of agues." The French call our plant 
La Surette, and La Petit Oseille de Hois ; and the Ger- 
mans term it Der Saucrklee. We find an allusion to its 
triple clover-like leaf in its Dutch name of Claverzuuring ; 
while the Italians and Spaniards still call it by a name 
by which it was in former days commonly known in 
England, Alleyluya. Gerarde says, " Apothecaries and 
herborists call it Alleyluya, or Cuckowe's meat, either 
because the cuckowe feedeth thereon, or by reason that 
it springeth forth and flowereth when the cuckowe 
singeth most ; at which time also Alleyluya was wont 
to be sung in the churches." The plant evidently had 
some sacred allusion in Italy, as the Italian painters 
represented its trefoil leaf in their pictures of the Cruci- 
fixion. Gerarde remarks also of this plant that it was 
used as green sauce for fish, and tells us that the French 
called it Pain de Cucu; while he also adds as common 
names those of Sour Trefoil and Stub-wort. The last 
was, doubtless, given from its frequent growth among 

The root of our sorrel is very pretty ; it is like a string 
of rounded beads, and we have sometimes found the 
knob so firm and smooth, and of such deep red colour, 
as to resemble coral. The roots of some other species 
are large and edible, and the Oxatis crcnata was, some 
years since, much recommended for extensive culture, 
in order that its tuberous roots might serve as a sub- 
stitute for the potato, but it was not found to answer the 
expectations off the cultivator. The Oxalis Deppei is 


reared for the culinary uses of its roots, and is grown 
largely in Belgium, both for its root and leaves, which 
are employed in cookery. Mr. Cockburn, gardener to 
the Earl of Mansfield, at Caen Wood, says of this sorrel : 
"We have grown it for several years, and I am con- 
vinced that if a little attention is paid to its culture, it 
will be found useful in the months of October, Novem- 
ber, and December, but it would require a longer season 
of fine weather than our climate affords to bring its 
tubers to perfect maturity." He adds, that eight or ten 
good tubers arc sufficient for a dish, and that this plant 
would be no small acquisition to a garden destined to 
supply a large family with vegetables during the winter 

The beauty of the flowers of many of the wood-sorrels 
has led to the culture by gardeners of nearly a hundred 
species. One of the prettiest and most early blooming 
is the Oxalis cernua, the Drooping Wood-sorrel, which 
has bright yellow flowers, with a most delicious jessa- 
mine-like odour, though there is one disadvantage attend- 
ing it as an ornamental plant, which is, that the flowers 
all remain closed, not only in wet and cloudy weather, 
but in any spot on which the sun is not shining in full 
power. The blossoms of our woodland species are much 
affected by light, never expanding on a dull day. They 
are produced in April, but Curtis remarked a circum- 
stance respecting them which ah 1 of us who have watcbed 
this plant can verify. He says, " If attentively observed, 
it will be found to continue producing seed-vessels and 
seeds during the greatest part of the summer, without 
any appearance of expanded blossoms, which are only 


observable at one period of the year." As soon as the 
plant has done flowering, the flower-stalk, as in many 
other plants, bends down, rising again into an erect 
position when ripe, for the better dispersion of the seeds 
to a distance. 

Whether the leaf of the Wood-sorrel, or of one of the 
clovers is the ancient " shamrog " of Ireland, is a ques- 
tion which has led to much learned disputation, and 
which will be noticed more fully in the paper on 

2. 0. corniculdta (Yellow procumbent Wood-sorrel). 
Stem branched ; branches prostrate ; stalks usually 
2 -flowered; leaves ternate ; stipules united to the base 
of the leaf-stalks. Plant annual. This species, which 
has small yellow flowers, is not nearly so elegant a plant 
as the common Wood-sorrel. It is in flower from June 
to September, in shady woods in the south-west of 
England. Though so rare in Britain, it is a common 
flower in many countries of Europe, especially in the 
south, as in Spain and Italy. It is also found in Japan 
and Mexico, and in the latter country the flowers are 
much larger than in the English specimens. A yellow- 
flowered sorrel, termed Oxalis microphylla, is very com- 
mon in Australia ; Mr. Backhouse says that it displays 
its lively blossoms in almost every grassy spot in the 
colony of Van Diemen's Land, and that its acid leaves 
resemble in form those of the clover. It is eaten in its 
fresh state by the natives to allay thirst, and when made 
into tarts is scarcely inferior to the fruit of the barberry. 
This traveller also found a white-flowered Wood-sorrel, 
0. lactea, generally dispersed over the colony, but not 


growing anywhere in sufficient quantity to be of any 

The Oxalis stricta is a yellow-flowered species, and 
is said to be naturalized in gardens near Penzance, and 
in fields near Northam, in North Devon. It differs 
from Oxalis corniculata in its more upright and less 
branched stem, in the greater number of its leaves, 
which, in some specimens, surround the stem in a whorl; 
in its flowers growing in an umbel, and in the absence 
of stipules at the base of the leaf-stalks. 


Sepals distinct, or united ; petals distinct ; stamens 
inserted on the calyx, or close to its base. 


Sepals 4 5, inserted on a fleshy disk, when in bud 
overlapping each other ; petals equal in number to the 
sepals ; stamens equal in number to the petals, and alter- 
nate with them : ovary wholly or partly sunk in the 
disk, 2 5-celled ; fruit either a capsule of 2 5 cells 
opening with valves, or berry-like; seeds often enve- 
loped in a distinct covering called an arillus. This 
Order consists of a large number of trees and shrubs, 
which are natives of the warmer parts of Europe, North 


America, and Asia, but are more abundant beyond the 
Tropics than within them. Many are found at the 
Cape of Good Hope ; they also occur in Chili, Peru, 
and New Holland. They are mostly of an acrid nature. 

1. EUONYMUS (Spindle-tree). Capsule 3 5-angled, 
with 3 5 cells and valves ; seeds solitary in each cell, 
coated with a fleshy arillus. Name from Euonyme, the 
mother of the Furies, on account of the noxious pro- 
perties of the fruit. 

2. STAPHYLEA (Bladder-nut). Petals erect during 
flowering ; capsule membranaceous, and like a bladder. 
Name from the Greek staphyle, a bunch of grapes. 

1. EUONYMUS (Spindle-tree). 

1. E. Europeans (Common Spindle-tree). Petals 
usually 4, oblong, acute ; stamens usually 4 ; branches 
angular, smooth ; leaves broadly lanceolate, minutely 
serrated. Plant perennial. The berries, which hang 
among the branches of the trees in autumn, are very 
beautiful. The flat cluster of scarlet fruits on the Cotton 
or Wayfaring-tree, gradually becoming of purplish black, 
the clear cornelian red berries of the Guelder-rose, the 
scarlet hips and haws, the red round berries of the 
Bryony, and the coral groups of the plant called Red- 
berried Bryony, the purple clusters of the Dog-wood, 
are all very attractive objects at a season when flowers 
have almost passed away from the landscape. Now we 
see the autumnal fruits contrasting with such remnants 
of green or yellow foliage as may yet linger on the tree 


amid the bleak gusts of November, or glistening from 
among the large clumps of feathered seeds with which 
the clematis is garlanding the trees, or from among the 
ivy-leaves which are winding on trunk or branch. But 
no native berries are more beautiful than those of the 
Spindle-tree ; and this plant is much better known by 
these than by the small greenish flowers which it 
bears in May, and which are so like the leaves in 
hue, that they almost escape notice. In October and 
November the deeply-lobed capsules are of a rich car- 
mine, and as they burst open they display the seeds, of 
a brilliant orange hue, lying within. Even in our woods 
they are among the brightest tinted things to be seen ; 
and we are not surprised to find that in America a 
species of Spindle-tree adorns the woods with fruits so 
brilliant as to have gained for it the name of the Burn- 
ing Bush. This is the Euonymus Amcricanus. 

Spindle-tree is the common name for the shrub whose 
dark green foliage so often thickens in our hedge-rows, 
and it has a name of the same meaning in many other 
countries. Thus it is the Spindlebaum of the Germans, 
the Fasayyino of the Italians, and the Fusain of the 
French. The latter people call it also Bois a Lardoire ; 
and Bonnet de pretre is another familiar name given, 
from its three -corned capsules ; the Spaniards also com- 
monly term it Bonctero. It was known to the old 
English herbalists chiefly by the name of Prickwood. 
The distaff and spindle are so little used in modern days, 
that it is no longer employed for making spindles, as it 
once was, though the Germans still use the tree for 
that purpose. Skewers are yet cut from its tough 


close-grained wood, which forms also a serviceable 
material to the watch and clock-maker, who make of it 
the implements with which they clean their machinery. 
The musical instrument-maker also uses the wood of 
the Spindle-tree ; and in Ireland it is called Peg- wood, 
because shoemakers cut their pegs from its branches. 
The burnt wood forms a good charcoal for the use of 
the artist. 

This plant seldom attains in our hedges the size of 
a tree, and is rarely more than eight or ten feet in 
height, but in shrubberies it sometimes grows into a tall 
and handsome tree. The bark and leaves are very 
poisonous, and so also are the handsome and fetid 
berries, which cause sickness almost immediately on 
being swallowed. Most animals refuse to eat these 
berries, but they are sometimes used in dyeing, and afford 
a good yellow colour when boiled, without the admix- 
ture of any other ingredient, while, if mingled with 
alum, they yield a green dye, and a beautiful red tint 
is obtained from the seed-vessels. 

The several species of Spindle-tree, which are very 
ornamental to our shrubberies, are the plants of other 
lands. The Hindoos make use of the inner bark of one 
of them, (Etionymus tingens,} which is of a beautiful yellow 
colour, to mark the tika on their foreheads. Another of 
the Spindle-tree tribe, (Catha edutis,} is the Kat orKhat 
of the Arabs. It seems to possess some stimulating 
properties. Forskhal says that the Arabs eat the green 
leaves with avidity, believing them to have the power 
of causing great watchfulness, so that a man may, after 
eating them, stand sentry all night without drowsiness. 



So efficacious do they imagine this plant to be against 
the plague, that they assert of a person wearing a small 
piece about him, that he may go with impunity among 
the infected, and that the plague will not enter a neigh- 
bourhood in which it is planted. Eorskhal, however, 
did not consider that the flavour of the leaf indicated 
any virtue of this kind. 

2. STAPHYLEA (Bladder-nut). 

1. S. pinndta (Common Bladder-nut). Leaves pin- 
nate ; leaflets from 5 to 7 ; fowers in racemes ; styles 2 ; 
capsules bladdery and membranaceous. Plant peren- 
nial. The yellowish-white flowers of this plant are to 
be seen in June in some thickets and hedges. It has 
no pretensions to be called a wild flower, for it is 
scarcely even naturalized, and custom alone sanctions 
its admission into a list of British plants. It occurs in 
Yorkshire, and about Ashford, in Kent. It is a native 
of Eastern Europe, and is an ornamental, hardy, shrubby 
plant, often cultivated in gardens for its singularity 
rather than its beauty. Its bony polished seeds are 
used in some countries for rosaries ; they are bitter, 
but are eaten on the Continent by poor people, and by 
children. Gerarde says, that when first tasted they are 
sweet, but that this agreeable flavour becomes after- 
wards nauseous. 



Calyx 4 5 -cleft, valvate when in bud ; petals 4 5, 
inserted on the upper part of the calyx-tube; stamens 
4 5, opposite the petals ; ovary superior, or half supe- 
rior, 2 4-celled, surrounded by a fleshy disk; fruit 
either fleshy, and not bursting, or dry, and opening in 
three divisions ; seeds several. This Order consists of 
trees and shrubs, having thorns, simple leaves, minute 
stipules, and small greenish flowers. They are found 
in almost all parts of the world, except the Arctic zone. 

Some very interesting plants, both of the Scripture 
and classic writers, are contained in this Order. The 
Zizyphus splna-CJiristi is believed, by Hasselquist and 
some other botanists, to be the plant of which the crown 
of thorns was made which was placed in mockery on our 
Sr.viour's brow. Other writers consider the Paliurus 
aculeatus to be the true Christ's thorn. Both are prickly 
shrubs common in the East, and both bear eatable 
fruits. The fruit of the latter resembles a head with 
a broad-brimmed hat, and the plant is hence called 
Porte chapeau. They are sold in the markets of Con- 
stantinople, and the hakims, or native doctors, prescribe 
them in many complaints. This is one of the com- 
monest thorns of the hedges and thickets in many parts 
of Asia, forming an almost impenetrable hedge. 

The Jujube, which is a favourite sweetmeat in Italy 
and Spain, is the fruit of some plants of this Order, 
Zizyphus Ji/juda, and Zizyphux wlgaris. The Turks 


plant the trees before their coffee-houses for the sake 
both of the fruit and shadow. 

The celebrated Lotus of Homer, the plant which 
afforded food to the ancient Lotdphagi, or Lptus eaters, 
is the Zizyphus Lotus of the botanist. It is not so con- 
fined in its distribution as the Greeks imagined it to be, 
but grows wild in Persia, the interior of Africa, and on 
the sea coast near Tunis. The fruits are eaten wher- 
ever they are found, and are sold in the markets of 
Barbary ; but, we need hardly say, they have none of 
those effects which Homer describes as in his days 
following their use: 

" The trees around them all their food produce, 
Lotos, the name divine, nectareous juice ; 
Thence called Lotophagi, which whoso tastes 
Insatiate riots in their sweet repasts ; 
Nor other home, nor other care intends, 
But quits his house, his country, and his friends.' 

Mungo Park states that this fruit is converted by the 
natives of Africa into a sort of bread, by first exposing 
it to the sun, and afterwards pounding it in a mortar to 
separate the farinaceous portion from the stone ; and 
that a kind of gruel made from it forms, for a large part 
of the year, the common breakfast of the majority of the 
people in many parts of Ludamar. A wine is also 
expressed from it, which has, by some writers, been 
thought to be the Nepenthes of Homer. 

1. RHAMNUS (Buckthorn). Calyx cup-like, 4 5- 
cleft; petals 4 5, sometimes wanting; stamens 4 5, 
inserted with the petals into the throat of the calyx; 


berry 2 4-celled. Name from the Greek rhamnos, 
a branch. 

1. RHAMNUS (Buckthorn). 

1. R. cathdrticus (Common Buckthorn). Branches 
with terminal thorns; flowers 4-cleft; stamens and pistils 
on separate plants; leaves egg-shaped, sharply serrated; 
berry 4-seeded. Plant perennial. This Buckthorn is 
a spreading shrub in wooiVs, hedges, and thickets, where 
it is not uncommon. It is very densely branched, thus 
well meriting its name. Professor Burnet remarks of 
this : " Rhamnus is taken from the Greek rhamnos; 
ramus rame, and the obsolete retm, being fancied to be the 
descendants of an old word ram, a branch ; and Rheims, 
which is but a slight variation of reim, bears two 
branches intertwined as the arms of the town." The 
French call the Buckthorn Le Nerprun, and its German 
name, Der Kreuzdorn, refers to its thorny nature. This 
shrub is from six to ten feet in height, and its leaves 
are glossy and of dark green hue, strongly marked with 
from four to six lateral veins. The flowers, which 
appear in May, are small and green, and grow in dense 
clusters ; they are succeeded by purple berries. These 
berries have very powerful properties, and were formerly 
much used medicinally, but are not now considered a 
safe remedy. 

The berries, when thus employed, were made into 
a syrup with spices, but their use produced an into- 
lerable thirst. They are still used by dyers and in 
making colours for artists. Their juice, before ripening, 
is of the colour of saffron, and these fruits are sold in 


that state under the name of French berries ; and those 
of another species of Buckthorn, (Rhamnus Clusii), are 
called by the druggists Avignon berries. The juice of 
the berries of our common Buckthorn, in their ripened 
condition, thickened with gum-arabic and other ingre- 
dients, forms the Vert de vessie, or sap green, used 
by painters, and often, also, for staining maps and 
papers ; but if the berries are gathered very late in the 
season, their juice is of purple colour. The bark affords 
a good yellow dye. When this thorny shrub is in full 
berry, it is a very pretty object. 

2. E. Frdnyula (Alder Buckthorn). Branches 
thornless; flowers 5 -cleft, all perfect; leaves entire, 
smooth ; berry 2-seeded. Plant perennial. The leaves 
without serratures, and the branches without thorns, 
enable us at once to distinguish this from the last 
species. It grows in woods and thickets, bearing its 
inconspicuous green blossoms in May. The foliage is 
not very abundant ; it is dark green, glossy, and strongly 
veined ; the stem is slender, and of purplish-brown hue, 
and the deep purple berries are about as laKge as cur- 
rants. Its medicinal properties are similar to those of 
the Common Buckthorn, and like that, its bark affords 
a good dye. A very fine yellow colour may, indeed, 
be procured in greater or less degree from all the species 
of Rhamnus, some of the shrubs of which are natives of 
the southern countries of Europe, and the northern 
rocky coasts of Africa ; and these afford a richer colour 
than either of our own kinds. The wood of one of the 
foreign Buckthorns is of a deep orange tint, and that 
of another is a fine red. This latter plant, (Rhamnus 


fycioides,} is, on account of its rich hue, used by the 
Monguls to make their images. The young shoots 
and leaves of our ornamental garden evergreen shrub, 
(Ehamnus alatvrnus?) give to wool a beautiful yellow dye ; 
and the fishermen of Portugal stain their nets red with 
a decoction of its bark. Evelyn remarks of this plant, 
that its " honey-breathing blossoms afford a marvellous 
relief to bees," as they open in early spring ere flowers 
are numerous. The same praise might be awarded to 
the flowers of our Alder Buckthorn, which are particu- 
larly grateful to these insects. Charcoal made from the 
wood of this tree is considered of much value in the 
manufacture of gunpowder. Goats eat the leaves vora- 
ciously. The shrub is from six to ten feet high. 


Calyx 5-cleft, with the odd lobe in front ; petals 
various, generally 5, and papilionaceous; stamens 10, 
their filaments either uniting into a tube, or forming 
two sets of 9 and 1 ; ovary, style, and stigma, single ; 
seed-vessel a 2-valved, sometimes imperfectly-jointed pod, 
or legume ; seeds on the upper seam of the pod-valves ; 
leaves alternate, mostly compound and pinnated, having 
stipules, and often with tendrils. This is a very large 
and important Order of plants, and one with which all 
are familiar. The butterfly-shaped blossoms charac- 
terise a large number, and, with a few exceptions, they 


have pods and pinnate leaves. Six thousand five hun- 
dred species of this Order have been described by 
botanists, varying from small herbaceous plants, like our 
Vetches, to trees like the Laburnums and Robinias of our 
shrubberies, or those immense Locust-trees, whose trunks 
are so large that fifteen Indians with outstretched arms 
cannot encompass one of them. Many are highly 
ornamental to our gardens; such are the Sweet-peas, 
Lupins, Milk-vetches, the Coronillas, and a variety of 
flowers ; and the descriptions given by travellers of the 
forests of other lands have made us familiar with such 
plants as the magnificent Coral-trees, whose crimson 
flowers climb to the top of the highest trees ; with the 
Bauhinias, whose snake-like stems are festooned with 
richest blossoms ; and with the airy foliage and golden 
bloom of the Mimosas, which cast a charm over many 
a barren spot. But our own landscape owes much of 
its summer beauty to leguminous plants. The golden 
broom and prickly gorse, the tangling vetches, the ruddy 
clover, the crimson saintfoin, and the yellow lotus, con- 
tribute, with many more, to the grace and loveliness of 
our rural scenery. The field of beans sends its fragrance 
from afar, and those of tare and lucerne wave before the 
summer gale, yielding their foliage to the cattle, and 
giving seeds to the wild birds. 

Very valuable products of commerce are furnished 
by the Leguminous tribe. The Indigo, (Indigo/era tine- 
toria,} is grown largely, both in the East and West 
Indies, for the use of the dyer. The Liquorice, (Gly- 
cyrr/iiza,} is much cultivated in Spain, whence we derive 
our largest quantity. It has also been grown in the 


neiglibourliood of London, and was formerly cultured 
at Pontefract, in Yorkshire. Stow mentions that the 
planting and growth of " Licorish " began about the 
first year of Elizabeth's reign. One hundred weight of 
the root will afford twenty-eight pounds of the extract 
commonly called Spanish liquorice, which is used in 
lozenges and pectoral medicines, as well as by the 
brewers of porter. The celebrated fish-wood, (Piscidia 
erythrina,} used for the purpose of intoxicating fish, is 
a plant of this Order. The fishermen take a quantity 
of this plant in baskets, which they hold over the sides 
of the boats till the water washes it out, and is impreg- 
nated with its intoxicating properties. In a short time 
the smaller fish are seen floating about around the boat 
apparently dead ; and the larger fish, somewhat better 
able to resist its influence, swim wildly about, raising 
their heads above the poisonous atmosphere, and are 
then easily taken by the hand. This Piscidia is one of 
the best timber trees of Jamaica. 

The peas, beans, scarlet runners, and other plants 
which supply our tables, need hardly be named as legu- 
minous plants; their pods at once declare it. Some 
foreign leguminous plants have their pods some- 
what in the shape of a drupe ; others retain the pod, 
but have not the papilionaceous flowers. Not so 
with our native species ; they have all the butterfly- 
shaped blossoms, and, except that their pods are occa- 
sionally, as in the Bird's-foot, jointed, or as in the 
Medick, spirally twisted, there is little variation in their 
characteristic features. They are mostly herbaceous, 
the Broom and Furze being the only British leguminous 



plants which are shrubby. The Order is divided into 
several groups. 


Legume not jointed; leaves simple, of 3 leaflets, or 
pinnate, with an odd leaflet. 

* Leaves simple, or of 3 leaflets ; stamens all united by 

their filaments. 

1. ULEX (Furze). Calyx of 2 sepals, with 2 minute 
bracts at the base ; legume swollen, few-seeded, scarcely 
longer than the calyx. Name from the Celtic ec or ac, 
a sharp point. 

2. GENISTA (Green-weed). Calyx 2 -lipped, the upper 
lip 2-cleft, the lower with 3 teeth ; standard oblong; 
sfyle awl-shaped ; legume swollen, or flat. Name from 
the Celtic gen, a shrub. 

3. SAIIOTHAMNTS (Broom). Calyx 2-lippcd, the upper 
lip with 2, the lower with 3 teeth standard broadly 
ovate ; sfyle thickened upwards ; legume flat, many-seeded. 
Name, from saroo, to sweep, and gamnos, a shrub. 

4. ONOXIS (Rest-harrow). Calyx 5-cleft, with very 
narrow segments ; keel beaked ; sfyle thread-like ; legume 
swollen, few-seeded. Name from the Greek onos, an 
ass, because eaten by that animal. 

* * Leaves of 3 leaflets ; stamens in 2 sets of 9 and 1 . 

5. MEDICAGO (Medick). Legume sickle-shaped, or 
spirally twisted. Name of Greek origin, signifying that 
some species was brought from Media. 


6. MELILOTUS (Melilot). Calyx with 5 nearly equal 
teeth ; petals distinct, soon falling off ; legume of few 
seeds, longer than the calyx. Name from met, honey, 
and lotus, the plant of that name. 

7. TRIGONELLA (Fenugreek). Calyx 5-toothed, teeth 
nearly equal; petals distinct; legume straight, or slightly 
curved, many-seeded, and twice as long as the calyx. 
Name from the Greek treis, three, and gonia, an angle, 
from the triangular appearance of its corolla. 

8. TRIFOLIUM (Trefoil). Calyx with 5 unequal teeth; 
petals combined by their claws, and persistent ; legume 
of few seeds, concealed in the calyx. Name from tria, 
three, ami folium, a leaf. 

9. LOTUS (Bird's-foot Trefoil). Calyx with 5 nearly 
equal teeth ; legume cylindrical, many-seeded, and im- 
perfectly many-celled. Name from the Greek lotos. 

* * * Leaves pinnate, with a terminal leaflet. 

10. ANTHYLLIS (Lady's Fingers). Stamens all united 
by their filaments ; calyx inflated, 5-toothed ; legume 
enclosed in the calyx. Name from the Greek anthos, 
a flower, and ioulos, down, from the downy calyx. 

11. OXYTROPIS. Stamens in 2 sets, 9 and 1; keel 
of the corolla pointed; legume more or less perfectly 
2-celled. Name from the Greek oxys, sharp, and tropis, 
a keel. 

12. ASTRAGACUS (Milk-Vetch). Stamens in 2 sets, 
9 and 1 ; keel of the corolla blunt ; legume more or less 
perfectly 2-celled. Name from the Greek astrdgalos, 
a pastern bone, from the knotted form of the root oi 
one of the species. 



Legume not jointed ; stamens in 2 sets, 9 and 1 ; 
leaves pinnate, terminating in a tendril, or short point. 

13. VICIA (Vetch). Calyx 5 -cleft ; style thread-like, 
with a small tuft of down beneath the stigma ; leaver 
with tendrils. Name from the Celtic, gwig. 

14. LATHYRUS (Vetchling). Calyx 5-cleft; style flat- 
tened on the upper side, downy beneath the stigma ; 
leaves with tendrils, except in Latlyrus Nissolia, Name 
from the Greek lailiyros, a plant so called. 

15. OROBUS (Bitter-Vetch). Calyx 5-cleft, swollen 
at the base, oblique at the mouth, its upper segments 
deeper and shorter ; style flattened on the upper side, 
downy beneath the stigma; leaves ending in a short 
point. Name from the Greek oro, to stimulate, and 
boas, an ox, from its nutritious properties. 


Legume divided into 1 -seeded joints, or cells; leaves 
pinnate, with an odd leaflet. 

* Flowers simple, in umbels. 

16. ORNITHOPUS (Bird's-foot). Legume curved, 
divided into many equal-sided joints, each of which 
contains a seed ; keel small, obtuse. Name from the 
Greek ornis, a bird, and pous, a foot, from the form of 
the seed-vessel. 

17. ARTHROLOBIUM (Joint- Vetch). Calyx tubular; 


keel small, blunt ; legume curved, jointed. Name from 
arthros, a joint, and loxos, a pod, from its jointed seed- 

18. HIPPOCUEPTS (Horseshoe-Vetch). Legume com- 
posed of numerous crescent-shaped joints, so that each 
legume looks like a series of horse-shoes. Name from 
the Greek hippos, a horse, and crepis, a shoe. 

* * Floivers in racemes. 

19. ONOBRYCHIS (Saintfoin). Legume straight, 
1 -celled, 1 -seeded, not opening, the lower edge fringed, or 
winged. Name from the Greek onos, an ass, and brycho, 
to bray, from the notion that its scent excites braying. 

ULEX (Eurze). 

1. U. Europaus (Common Furze, Gorse, or Whin). 
Calyx somewhat hairy, with slightly spreading hairs; 
bracts large, egg-shaped, not adhering closely to the 
calyx ; wings longer than the keel ; leaves few and 
narrow. Plant perennial. To those who often wander 
over the heath-lands of England no description of the 
prickly furze is needed ; but it is not so common in all 
parts of the United Kingdom, large heathy tracts in the 
Highlands of Scotland being often without a bush of 
this plant, though its golden blooms enliven other por- 
tions of those regions. The furze-shrub is usually about 
three or four feet high, but, in some sheltered situations, 
it grows to the height of fifteen, or even eighteen feet ; 
and its beautiful yellow flowers glow on the dark green 
stems, during the summer months, in profusion, begin- 


ning to deck the shrub in lesser number as early as 
February. Indeed, there is no season of the year in 
which we might not find a furze-branch adorned with 
flowers ; and its perpetual bloom is alluded to in more 
than one of our familiar English country proverbs. 
In summer, when it contrasts with the purple Heath 
and Ling, and shadows the beautiful Harebells, few 
plants are more attractive. Hardy as the shrub seems 
on our open heaths, exposed to the coldest winds which 
sweep among the boughs, yet it is affected by climate 
more than some plants which we usually regard as 
tender. Both heat and severe cold are unfavourable to 
it ; and while, on the one hand, it rarely grows wild far- 
ther south than Provence, it is unknown in the north of 
Europe, except as a cultivated plant. In Sweden and 
Russia it is kept in the greenhouse, and Gerarde relates 
of it, in bis day, that about Dantzic, Brunswick, and 
Poland, not a branch of it was growing, except some 
few plants and seeds which he had sent thither, and 
which " were most curiously kept in their fairest gar- 
dens." The delight of Dillenius on seeing it in profu- 
sion on the English common, and the rapture of Linnaeus, 
when he knelt on the sod thanking God for its loveliness, 
can be well understood by the lover of flowers. Mary 
Isabella Tomkins, in a little poem, written for this 
volume, refers to the emotion experienced on this occa- 
sion by the great Swedish botanist : 

"A strong man kneeling, and in tears, 

.Beneath June's azure sky, 
Strange is it, strange, when joy appears 
Grief's outward form so nigh ' 


Is it some exile who hath found 

Again his native shore ? 
A stranger he this heathy ground 

He never trod hefore. 

Is it a pilgrim who hath sought 

Some deeply hallow 'd spot, 
And sunk, o'erpower'd at the thought 

Of faith that dieth not? 
Is it a warrior on the plain 

Where meeting myriads fell? 
No, here the only purple stain 

Is of the Heather-bell. 

No ; none of these the naturalist 

By his true heart impell'd, 
Could not this meed of praise resist 

For what he then beheld; 
An open heath, where thick was spread 

The Gorse of golden hue, 
With heavy perfume round it shed, 

That well the wild-bee knew. 

And he that wept gave thanks to God 

This glorious sight to greet, 
And sank upon the thymy sod 

That spread beneath his feet ; 
He who had scann'd wide Nature's page 

With loving eyes, and keen, 
Had yet attain'd to middle age 

Before that sight was seen : 
The thanks Linnseus gave that day, 

I also would repeat, 
When these gold blooms in rich array 

On the rough heath I greet." 


The Furze-bush is sometimes planted for hedges ; and 
the poor in the neighbourhood of a common frequently 
use it for fuel. In places where coals are very expen- 



sive and peat rare, it has even been cultivated for that 
purpose. It gives a good degree of heat while burning. 
It is, in villages, esteemed a valuable remedy for jaun- 
dice, but probably this is owing to the colour of its 
flowers, many yellow objects, as oranges, yolk of eggs, 
&c., being popularly considered as cures for that malady. 
Many animals eat the young tops as food, and its seeds 
afford a good store for the birds. In autumn, when 
these are quite ripe, we hear their pods crackling, as 
they open to discharge their contents, sometimes making 
a loud report, and mingling with the gentle waving of 
the trees, and the singing of birds, the sounds seem 
sweet and musical to the wanderer on the heath, over 

" Moors where hares abound, 

While throbbing Furzes heart-struck burst their pods, 
Scattering ripe seeds amidst the moss around." 

The plant is on some spots much entangled with the 
pink threads of the parasitic dodder, which form an 
entangling mass about its branches. 

The French call the Furze Jjonc, or Jonc marin, the 
latter name alluding to its growth near the sea, for the 
bush thrives well on cliffs, or other rocky soils, visited 
by the sea-breeze. It has been found in Devonshire 
with double blossoms, the variety which is now so 
generally cultivated for the sake of its gorgeous masses 
of golden blossoms. It is the only papilionaceous 
plant which is known to have double flowers. The 
variety called Irish Whin is also a frequent shrub in 
gardens and nurseries. Our furze does not grow wild 
in Germany, but its name in that cour.lry is Dcr 


EuropaiscJte stechginster, and it is the Heybrem of the 

2. TJlex ndnus (Dwarf Furze). Calyx downy, with 
the hairs lying close to the surface ; bracts small ; wings 
about as long as the keel. Plant perennial. This 
species, which is altogether smaller than the other, 
begins to flower in July, and remains in blossom till 
November or December. It has much of the general 
aspect of the Common Whin, though essentially dif- 
ferent from it, its chief characteristics being its minute 
and scarcely perceptible bracts, and its shorter and more 
spreading wings. It differs also in not throwing its 
seeds out of the pod immediately upon ripening, as they 
remain closed on the shrub long after being fully 
matured. This species is from one to three feet high, 
and grows on many English and Irish heaths, especially 
in mountainous districts, and on some few Scottish 

2. GENISTA (Green-weed). 

1. G. tinctoria (Woad-waxen, Dyer's-whin, Dyer's- 
weed, or Green-weed). Stems and branches without 
thorns ; leaves narrow, acute, nearly smooth ; flowers 
in clusters ; legumes flattened, smooth. Plant perennial. 
This low shrub is frequent in pastures, thickets, and 
field-borders of England, especially where the soil is of 
clay, but it is rare in Scotland and Ireland. It is about 
one or two feet high, its leaves of very dark but rich 
green hue, and its pale yellow flowers, which expand 
during July and August, are on short stalks. The milk 
of cows feeding on this plant is said to acquire a bitter 



flavour, rendering the butter and cheese made from it 
very unpalatable. A decoction of the seeds was for- 
merly used medicinally, and the ashes of the burnt 
twigs are considered a valuable remedy in some diseases. 
The latter medicine is prized in the Ukraine as a cure 
for canine madness, but its reputation for this malady 
cannot be regarded as established. Both the English 
and Latin names of the plant refer to its uses by dyers, 
for its young tops have long been employed to give 
a yellow colour to yarn. Mr. Knapp, in his " Journal 
of a Naturalist," remarks ; " Our poorer people, a few 
years ago, used to collect it by cart-loads about the 
month of July, and the season of ' Woad-waxen * was 
a little harvest to them ; but it interfered with our hay- 
making. Women could gain each about two shillings 
a-day, clear of all expenses, by gathering it ; but they 
complained that it was a very hard and laborious occu- 
pation, the plant being drawn up by the roots, which 
are strongly interwoven in the soil. The dyer gave 
them eight-pence for a hundred weight, but I fear the 
amount was greatly enhanced by the dishonest practice 
of watering the load for the specious purpose of keeping 
it green ; and the old woad-waxers tell us that without 
the increase of weight which the water gave the article, 
they should have had but little reward for their labour. 
Greediness here, however, as in most other cases, ruined 
the trade ; the plant became so injured and stinted by 
repeated pollings, as to be in these parts no longer an 
object worth seeking for : and our farmers rather dis- 
courage the practice, as the green-weed preserves and 
shelters at its roots a considerable quantity of coarse 


herbage, which, in the winter and spring months, is of 
great importance to the young cattle browsing on the 
pastures." Cattle will not eat the plant itself, except 
when pressed by hunger. 

2. G. pilota (Hairy Green-weed). Stem* procum- 
bent and thornless ; leaves narrow, obtuse, the lower 
ones often inversely heart-shaped ; fowers axillary, on 
short stalks; legume* downy. Plant perennial This 
species, which is rare, is found on dry, sandy, and 
gravelly heaths. It grows about Bury, in Suffolk ; near 
Malvern, in Worcestershire ; near the Lizard, Cornwall ; 
and in some other places, producing its smaD, bright, 
yellow flowers in May, and again in September. Its low 
prostrate stems are much gnarled and branched, and 
its leaves are densely clothed on their under surfaces 
with silky hairs. 

3. G. Anylica (Needle Green-weed, or Petty Whin). 
Stems thorny, and leafless below ; leaves narrow, 
smooth; legumes smooth, inflated. Plant perennial 
This is not an uncommon plant on most heaths and 
moors. Its flowers, which expand in May and June, 
are bright yellow, and grow in leafy clusters on the 
upper branches of the shrub. Its stem is about 
a foot high, very tough, and bearing at intervals groups 
of thorns. 

3. SAROTHAMxrs (Broom). 

S. Soopdrius (Common Broom). Branches angular, 
slender, and erect ; leaves of 3 leaflets, stalked, upper 
ones simple ; leaflets oblong ; jlovcen shortly stalked. 


Plant perennial. A beautiful shrub is our Common 
Broom, with its thousands of golden flowers, gleaming 
like so many butterflies with expanded wings on the 
summer boughs, and wafting a delicious odour. The 
" bonnie broom " has won the praise of many a poet, 
and gladdened many a heart full of a poetry which 
it knew not how to express. Mary Howitt apostro- 
phises it pleasantly : 

" Oh, the Broom, the bonny bonny Broom, 

On my native hills it grows ; 
I had rather see the bonny broom 

Than the rarest flower that blows ; 
Oh ! the yellow bloom is blossoming 

In my own dear countrie ; 
I never thought so small a thing 
As a flower, my nerveless heart could wring, 

Or have drawn a tear from me. 

" It minds me of my native hills, 
Clad in the heath and fern, 

Of the green strath and the flowery brae, 
Of the glen and rocky burn ; 

It minds me of dearer things than these- 
Of life with love entwined; 

Of humble faith, and bended knees, 

Of home-joys gone, and memories 
Like sere leaves left behind." 

The usual height of the Broom is from three to six 
feet, but on some spots it grows much higher, and its 
stem becomes of considerable thickness. Mr. Johnston, 
in writing to his friend John Ray, describes one of these 
plants in his day. " Near Kendal," he says, " I saw to 
my great wonder a broom-tree, if I may so call it, 
adorned with very fine flowers, and its stem thicker than 


my leg ; a very fair spectacle ! " The plant grows well on 
dry hilly plains, and it is largely planted about Ghent, in 
order to improve the dry sandy soils, and hold them 
well together by its roots. Several of the species are 
serviceable in this respect, and the One-seeded Broom, 
(Genista monosperma^ is very valuable on the shores of 
Barbary, Egypt, Portugal, Spain, and some other 
countries, where it converts the barren soils into fra- 
grant and beautiful spots like gardens. It spreads over 
most extensive districts, and is called by the Spaniards 
by its old Arabic name, Ratum. Professor Burnett 
^emarks, " Several other Genistse are sand-fixing plants, 
and hence, perhaps, the final cause of their little impor- 
tance to man, directly as food or medicine, may be 
perceived ; as they thus escape his aggressions, and are 
allowed uninterruptedly to pursue their constant labours 
as Nature's pioneers, to the best advantage." 

Bees are very fond of the broom flowers, and the 
Heath land is an excellent neighbourhood for those who 
keep these insects. The young flower-buds of the 
plant, gathered just as they are becoming yellow, and 
pickled, make a good substitute for capers. The young 
shoots have from time immemorial been used by country 
people as a cure for dropsy, and Dr. Cullen highly 
recommends this decoction. Every part of the plant, 
seeds, leaves, flowers, root, had, according to the old 
herbalists, some peculiar virtues, and were praised in 
their quaint statements for " helping pains," " altering 
fits of the ague," and curing gout, and many an other ill ; 
while an oil procured from the green stalks, when heated 
bv the fire, was pronounced an infallible cure for the 


tooth-ache, the malady which, according to Shakespere, 
not even the philosopher could endure patiently. The 
plant yields, when burnt, a good alkaline salt, and its 
name indicates one of its uses for domestic purposes. 
One of the old writers on plants says, " To spend time in 
writing a description of the plant is altogether needless, 
it being so generally used by all good housewives, almost 
throughout the land to sweep their houses with, and 
therefore very well known to all sorts of people." The 
French also term it Genet a balai. The wood, when old, 
furnishes to the cabinet-maker an excellent material for 
veneering, and the young boughs may be used in tanning 
leather. The branches have when bruised a disagreeable 
odour, which, Mr. Curtis remarks, is the cause probably 
why they are rejected by cattle. They have also an 
unpleasant and bitter flavour, but the goats browze 
freely upon the young shoots. This plant is believed to 
be the Cytisus of Virgil. 

Willsford in his "Nature's Secrets" says, "The Broom 
having plenty of blossoms, or the Walnut-tree, is a sigrie 
of a fruitfull yeare of come ; " and he adds that great 
store of nuts and almonds, especially filberts, afford a 
like assurance. 

The Broom, formerly called Planta genista, was the 
Gen of the Celts, and the Genet of the French. It was 
the badge of a long race of British kings, the Plan- 
tagcncts. Geoffry earl of Anjou, the father of Henry II., 
and the husband of Matilda, Empress of Germany, was 
in the habit of wearing a branch of this in his cap, or as 
an old historian says, " He commonly wore a broom in 
his bonnet." Some early and interesting association 


with the flower, doubtless, led to its place as a plume to 
the cap of this earl, and old legends tell that he first put 
it there on the day of battle, plucking the golden branch 
on his way when passing on to the scene of contest. 
His son Henry has been called the Royal Sprig of 
Genista, and the Broom was worn by all his descen- 
dants, down to the last of the Plantagenets, Richard III. 

4. ONONIS (Rest-Harrow). 

1. 0. arvensis (Common. Rest-harrow). Stem shrubby, 
branches hairy, often spinous; lower leaves ternate, 
leaflets oblong, flowers axillary ; calyx much shorter than 
the corolla. Plant perennial. The Rest-harrow bears, 
throughout the summer, a number of rose-coloured 
flowers, much resembling the sweet pea of the garden, 
though considerably smaller. The leaves of the plant 
are sometimes slightly notched, and somewhat viscid, 
and the flowers vary from a red or deep rose colour, to a 
paler hue, and in some instances to white. This plant 
which grows on field borders, where the soil is sandy, 
or on rocky dry places, is especially luxuriant near the 
sea. On the cliffs of Dover its pretty flowers are most 
abundant from the end of May until September, and 
having there the full benefit of shelter from north winds, 
and receiving all the sunshine of a southern aspect, the 
plant may sometimes be found in blossom even at 
Christmas. It is so variable that some writers consider 
that several forms included in one general name, should 
be regarded as so many distinct species. Professor 


Burnett remarks on this plant, that it has hitherto been 
merely regarded as a troublesome weed but that its 
physiological history is replete with interest, an interest, 
however, which it shares with other thorny plants, the 
warriors of the vegetable world. Prom the works of 
this admirable writer, we may be permitted to make a 
long extract, the more especially as his writings are 
familiar to few save botanists. " In barren uncultivated 
tracts of heath or common land, thorny plants abound, e.g. 
the sloe, the rest-harrow, the hawthorn, ttie buckthorn, 
the cockspur thorn, and many others. These vegetables, 
when removed into gardens and cultivated with care, lose 
all the thorns, which so thickly beset them when wild, 
and bear fruitful branches in their stead ; becoming, as 
Linnaeus expressed it, tamed plants, (Plants domitce,) 
instead of the Milites or warriors, to use his language, 
that they were before. Wildenow was the first who 
explained the rationale of this metamorphosis, the first 
who showed that thorns were abortive buds ; buds 
which a deficiency of nourishment prevented becoming 
developed into branches, and which, when the requisite 
supply of food is present, speedily evolve their latent 
leaves and flowers. But Wildenow did not perceive the 
beautiful adaptation of means to ends, which forms, in 
my opinion, by far the most interesting part of the 

"In open barren tracts of country, the very cir- 
cumstance of the sterility of the soil must prevent the 
production of many plants, and of those which grow, few 
will be enabled to perfect many seeds. It is necessary, 
therefore, to protect such as are produced, from exter- 


mination by the browzing of cattle, otherwise not only 
would the progeny be cancelled, but also the present 
generation cut off. And what more beautiful and 
simple expedient could have been devised, than ordaining 
that the very barrenness of the soil, which precludes the 
abundant generation by seed, should at the very same 
time, and by the very same means, render the abortive 
buds (abortive for the production of fruit) a defensive 
armour to protect the individual plant, and to guard the 
scantier crop which the half-starved stem can bear ? 

" That such an armature is produced by the abortion, 
or partial development of buds and branches, there is 
abundant proof. For not only are thorns found in every 
stage, varying from their simple dormant or winter state, 
when if opened they contain the rudiments of leaves, 
through leaf-bearing spines to rigid thorns on the one 
hand, or leaf-clad branches on the other; but the very 
organs, i.e. the buds, which when the plant is half 
starved, are partly developed as spines, and part only as 
branches, become when an abundant supply of nourish- 
ment is provided altogether leafy branches ; the buds 
have all been wholly developed, none have degenerated 
into thorns, and the plant has been tamed. The Rest- 
harrow is a familiar example immediately in point, for 
of it there are two well-known varieties ca ] led Ononis 
spinosa, and Ononis inermis, from the circumstance of 
this being smooth and destitute of thorns, while that is 
covered with them." These two varieties, the Professor 
adds, he has often found on the same heath ; the one 
clad with its offensive and defensive arms, and furnished 
with few leaves to tempt the appetite of cattle ; the 

VOL. n. N 


other, which had accidentally received a larger portion 
of manure, replete with leaves and blossoms, but wholly 
destitute of thorns, and just in such a state as to furnish 
an agreeable repast to animals. 

This plant has the name of Rest-harrow, as well as its 
French name, Arretc bmtf, because its long roots were 
formerly very troublesome in arresting the course of the 
plough or harrow in the corn-field. Cultivation, however, 
has greatly lessened its frequency in our fields. Its scien- 
tific name is given, on account of the fondness of asses 
for this plant, for to this animal thorns and thistles seem 
alike agreeable. It had the old English name of Cam- 
mock, and in France it was also termed La Biyrane. 
It is Die HauJccchcl of the German, the Stalkruid of the 
Dutch, the Ononide of the Italian, and the Detiene buey 
of the Spaniard. The young sweet and succulent shoots 
may be used as a pickle, or as a culinary vegetable, and 
the long roots have the sweet flavour of liquorice, and are 
sucked both by children and country labourers to quench 
thirst. The author has often seen these roots thicker 
than a finger, and she is informed by Calder Campbell, 
that in Inverness the roots are often as large as a wrist, 
and that the children there sometimes suck them all day 
long. Old physicians considered that a use of the plant 
cured delirium, and some other maladies ; and the Yellow 
Shrubby Rest-harrow of the South of Europe, (Ononis 
Nafrix,} is said by Pliny to be obnoxious to snakes, and 
to drive them away from the places where it grows. 

2. 0. rcdindta. (Small spreading Rest-harrow.) 
Stems herbaceous, spreading viscid and hairy ; leaves all 
composed of three leaflets ; stipules broadly egg-shaped, 


flowers solitary ; calyx about as long as the corolla. 
Plant annual. This species is found but in one British 
locality, near Tarbcrt in Galloway ; and it also occurs in 
one of the Channel Isles. The chief place of its growth, 
as a wild plant, is in the fields of the South of Europe, 
and it was probably brought among ballast to both the 
places here named. 

5. MEDICAGO (Medick). 

1. M. lupidina (Black Medick, or Nonsuch). Leaflets 
inversely egg-shaped, finely toothed ; stipules scarcely 
notched ; flowers in dense oblong heads ; legumes rugged, 
1 -seeded, kidney-shaped. Plant annual. This species, 
which is also called Hop Medick, may be very commonly 
seen flowering from May to September, both on waste and 
cultivated lands. It very much resembles the common 
yellow Trefoil, but it is distinguished from the Trefoils 
by its legume, which is not like theirs enclosed within the 
calyx. The legumes are black, not curved as in some 
species in a spiral form, but rough, with veins running 
lengthwise. This has been considered a very useful 
plant in agriculture, and was once deemed the most 
valuable of all those plants known to farmers as " artifi- 
cial grasses," but its culture is now out of repute. The 
leaves are said to have some medicinal properties, and 
the roots are sometimes used for cleaning the teeth. 
The French term this Medick Lvpulina, the Germans 
Hopfinluzcme. It is the Iloppige rupsdavcr of the 
Dutch. Country people of Norfolk call it Black 
Nonsuch, and Shamrock. 

2. J/. maculata (Spotted Medick). Leaflets inversely 


heart-shaped ; stipules toothed ; flowers 2-4 together ; 
legumes spirally twisted into a prickly ball; prickles 
curved. Plant annual. This is not an un frequent spe- 
cies on grassy lands in the middle and south of England, 
where gravel prevails in the soil. It has small yellow 
flowers from June to September, and its leaves are ren- 
dered conspicuous by the little purple heart-shaped spot 
in the centre of each leaflet. The Eev. C. A. Johns 
says that this plant, which is in Cornwall called spotted 
clover, is there considered very injurious to the pasturage. 
The coiled and prickly seed vessel is very curious, and 
many of the Medicks have seed vessels still more so. 
The Snail-shell Medick of the South of Europe, (Medicago 
scutettdla], has a large seed vessel formed of numerous 
coils ; and the still more singular legume of the Hedge- 
hog Medick, (Medicago intertcxta^) has led to the frequent 
culture of this plant in our gardens. The Moon Tre- 
foil, or Tree Trefoil, {Medicago arborea,} which grows 
wild in Abruzzo and many parts of the kingdom of 
Naples, is an exceedingly pretty shrub, with hoary 
leaves and yellow flowers, which continue long in bloom. 
This plant abounds in several of the islands of the 
Archipelago, and the Greek monks make the beads for 
their rosaries of its wood, which is, in the interior of the 
stem, hard like ebony. Many writers consider this plant 
to be the Cytisus of Virgil, Columclln, and other ancient 
writers on husbandry. It is the largest of all the 
Medicks, and frequently grows to the height of fifteen feet. 
3. M. minima (Little Bur-medick). Leaflets inversely 
heart-shaped, downy; stipules very slightly toothed; 
flowers 2-4 together; legumes spirally twisted into a 


prickly ball ; prickles hooked. Plant annual. This is 
a rare species, found in sandy fields in Cambridgeshire, 
on some parts of the coast of Suffolk, at Pegwell, near 
Eamsgate, in Kent, and a few other spots of this 
kingdom. Its yellow flowers are produced from May 
to August. A variety occurs in which both leaves and 
stems <u*e hoary. 

4. M. denticuldta (Toothed Medick). Leaflets in- 
versely heart-shaped, nearly smooth ; stipules jagged ; 
flowers 2-4 together; legumes loosely spiral, flat, and 
prickled. Plant annual. This species, with its small 
yellow flowers, opening from May to July, is very rare. 
It is found occasionally in the Southern and Eastern 
counties of England. Its seed-vessel is different from 
that of any other of our wild kinds. It is broad, flat, 
and loosely spiral, beautifully netted with veins. In 
one variety the prickles are awl-shaped, and often curved ; 
and in another they are small and straight. 

5. M. saliva (Purple Medick or Lucerne). Stem 
usually erect; leaflets oblong and toothed ; flowers some- 
what racemed ; jloivcr-stallcs generally shorter than the 
bracts ; legumes downy and loosely spiral. Plant per- 
ennial. The purple, violet-coloured, or yellow flowers of 
this Medick, are not uncommon in hedges, pastures, and 
field borders, during June and July ; but the plant is 
not truly wild. It has escaped from the field of Lucerne, 
which is an occasional object on our landscape. Colu- 
mella and several Roman writers highly extolled this 
plant, generally agreeing that it was superior to clover 
as food for domestic animal.*}, and its culture is of 
unknown antiquity in Spain, Italy, and the South of 


France. It is still grown to great extent in Persia and 
Peru, and mowed in both countries all the year round. 
British writers on agriculture mention it as occasionally 
grown in this kingdom in the olden times; but its 
culture was not general till about the middle of last 
century. Our name of Lucerne is derived from the 
patois of Languedoc, in which the plant is called Lau- 
scrda. The species is also known in France as le Fois 
de Bouryognc ; and in Spain is called Alfalfa. It is 
a deeply-rooting plant, but being less hardy than red 
clover, and requiring longer time for its full growth, is 
less frequently sown by farmers. This plant is very 
widely diffused in Afghanistan, and grows in profusion 
with several of the Trefoils in the meadows near Cabul. 
These are rendered quite beautiful in the summer season 
by the abundance of the handsome clover called Trifolium 
yiganteum, and which, with the Lucerne, furnishes abun- 
dant crops of hay to the people of the country. 

6. M.falcdta (Yellow Sickle Medick). Stem bending, 
slightly hairy; leaflets oblong, toothed ; flowers numerous 
in racemes ; legume flat, downy, sickle-shaped, or once 
twisted. Plant perennial. This Medick is very similar 
to the Lucerne, but it is a larger plant, and its flowers 
are usually yellow, though occasionally violet-coloured. 
It is sometimes called Swiss Lucerne, because it is often 
cultured in some poor soils in Switzerland. It is rare 
in our country, and is not truly wild, though found 
in some counties on dry gravelly banks, or on old walls. 
Its flowers appear in June and July. 



1. M. qfficindlis (Common Yellow Melilot). Stems 
erect ; leaflets narrow, inversely egg-shaped, and ser- 
rated ifowers in one-sided stalked racemes ; petals equal 
in length ; legumes two-seeded, wrinkled. Plant annual. 
This can hardly be called a common plant, though 
growing abundantly in some places, as in several parts 
of Cambridgeshire. Tt has an herbaceous branched 
stem, two or three feet high, its pale yellow flowers are 
produced from June to August, and the seed vessels are 
long and large in proportion to the flowers. When 
growing it has a strong and somewhat disagreeable 
odour, but while drying, its scent is very sweet, and 
like that of new-mown hay ; nor is this scent lost for 
some years when the plant has been placed in the 
herbarium. The hay made from this Melilot is more 
fragrant than that usually made of the meadow grasses. 
This pleasant odour is owing to a volatile principle, 
called Coumarin, which is well known as giving to the 
Tonka bean its powerful aroma, and which exists 
abundantly in the flower of this species, and of the 
blue Melilot. A distilled water made of the flowers, 
and slightly perfumed, was formerly sold by druggists 
in Prance, and praised for its medicinal virtues, though 
these must have been very slight. An infusion of the 
blossoms was in that country also much used as a remedy 
for ophthalmia, and the author saw the plant a few 
years since, hanging on strings to dry, in the shops at 
Paris, and was told that it was used for a variety of 
maladies. The plant is found by waysides and among 


bushes, and it may sometimes be seen growing plenti- 
fully in the midst of corn-fields. Bees are exceed- 
ingly fond of the flowers. This species is called by 
the French Le Melilot commun, and also, ]\firlllot ; 
by the German, Dcr Gcmcine stcinldeye ; and by the 
Dutch, Melote. It was formerly very generally used as 
an ingredient in emollient fomentations. Though its 
flavour is somewhat bitter and disagreeable to our 
palates, yet it is liked by cattle, and horses are so fond 
of it that the Italians call the plant Tnfolium cabaUinum. 
Ray mentions that it was at one time planted as food 
for cows and horses. The celebrated Gray ere cheese 
owes its flavour partly to the flower of this, and the 
blue Melilot, both of which mingle with the herbs of 
the mountain pasturages, and are abundant in the valley 
of Gruyere. The seeds and flowers of these plants are 
bruised, and mixed with the curd before it is pressed. 

2. H. vulydris (White Melilot). Stem erect ; legumes 
egg-shaped, one or two-seeded, blunt, and tipped with 
a short point ; fowcrs loosely racemed ; corolla twice as 
long as the calyx. Plant biennial. This is not truly 
wild, though occurring in many parts of England and 
Scotland. Its flowers are white, and appear in July and 
August. This species is often called Medicdgo leucdntha. 

3. M. armnsis (Field Meclick). Stem ascending, 
branched from the base; legumes egg-shaped, one or 
two-seeded, rugged, obtuse, and tipped with a sharp 
spine. Plant annual. This is a yellow flowered species, 
found near Thetford and Cambridge in July and August. 
It is easily known from the other species by its legumes, 
which are transversely plaited. 


7. TRIGONELLA (Fenugreek). 

1. T.ornitJtojjodioidcs (Bird's-foot Fenugreek). Stems 
decumbent ; flowers about two or three together ; legumes 
compressed, twice as long as the calyx, and having 
about eight seeds ; leaflets inversely heart-shaped. Plant 
annual. This is a very little plant, and not a very 
common one, growing in sandy and dry pastures, and 
heaths, often in the neighbourhood of the sea, and 
bearing very small yellow flowers in June and July. The 
spreading stems are from two to five inches long, and 
its seed-pods are very large for the size of the plant. 
This is our only wild species, and is too small to be of 
any use ; but a species of the south of Europe, which 
is very common on fields and waste places about Mont- 
pelier, the Common Fenugreek, (Trigonclla Fcenum,- 
Grtfcum,} was so called by the Romans from their having 
adopted from the Greeks the practice of cutting and 
drying it for fodder. This plant was formerly very 
extensively cultivated in Italy, and is still sown by 
farmers in the south of Europe. The seeds are farina- 
ceous, slightly bitter, and of a strong and disagreeable 
odour. The species is thought, however, by Professor 
Burnett, to be the Hedysarum of Theophrastus and 
Dioscorides ; the odour which we find so disgusting 
being then considered, as its name imports, a sweet 
perfume. An oil extracted from the seeds of this species 
was formerly used by the Hindoos to scent their 



8. TRIFOLIUM (Trefoil). 
* Legume* with several seeds. 

1. T. repens (White or Dutch Clover). Flowers in 
roundish heads, stalked, finally bent back ; calyx teeth 
unequal; legumes 4-seeded ; stems creeping. Perennial. 
The Dutch Clover is too common on our meadows, and 
by our every country walk, to need minute description. 
Its white blossoms are to be seen from May till Sep- 
tember, tinged sometimes with delicate pink, at others 
with chocolate colour. The flower is on a partial stalk, 
and when it fades this footstalk bends down, and the 
legumes droop among the brown withered corollas. 
The blossom has a sweet odour, which, however, is not 
so powerful as that of the purple clover. The leaflets 
have often a dark spot in the middle, and very gene- 
rally a white line also, and their edges are slightly 

This and the purple meadow clover are most valuable 
fodder plants. They are commonly cultivated in this 
country for pasturage, and one acre of land sown with 
clovers is found to give as much food to horses and 
cattle as would be yielded by three or four acres of land 
sown with grasses. Chalky soils are peculiarly favour- 
able to their growth, and several of the trefoils are found 
remarkably united with the superstratum of mountain 
lime. If lime is powdered and thrown upon the soil, 
a crop of white clover will sometimes arise where it had 
not been previously cultivated or known to exist. Mr. 
Moore stated, some years since, to the Philosophic.'J 


Society of Manchester, that wherever the brushwood of 
the lime district in Derbyshire is burnt down, the 
Common White Clover springs up ; and that lime 
strewed over some chalk soils, in which clover seeds had 
been lying dormant, had called them into action, and 
produced a luxuriant pasture ; on the grass land around 
Stonehouse at Plymouth, clover was produced by throw- 
ing over the land the crumbled soil of the harbour 
rock, which is of the substance commonly called Devon- 
shire marble, and which is a species of mountain or 
primitive lime. 

It has been long a disputed point among botanists 
and antiquaries, whether the national badge of the 
Irish, the Shamrock, is the leaf of the Wood-sorrel, or 
that of one of the Trefoils. The Shamrock has been 
worn by the Irish for many centuries on the seventeenth 
of March, which is the anniversary of their patron 
saint, St. Patrick. The original name of this missionary 
is said by Mr. Jones, in his " Historical Account of the 
Welsh Bards," to have been Maenwyn ; his name of 
Fatricius having been given by Pope Celestine, when he 
sent him to preach the gospel to the Pagan Irish. 
When this missionary landed at Wicklow, A.D. 433, the 
people were at first ready to stone him. He entreated 
a hearing, and, while stating to his audience the doc- 
trine of the Holy Trinity, he is said to have plucked 
a trefoil from the ground, and said, " Is it not as 
possible for the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to be 
one, as for these three leaves to grow upon a single 
stalk ?" The act and word were well adapted to fix the 
attention and convey the idea to an ignorant, but 


imaginative people, and thus to fix on their memories 
the important truth of Revelation, though the solemn 
mystery itself can be explained by no earthly tongue, nor 
fully symbolized by any earthly emblem. 

What this leaf may have been, this ancient Shamrog 
or Seamrog, learned men after all their researches cannot 
fully prove, and the same arguments addressed to 
different minds, have brought to one antiquary the 
conviction that it was the Wood-sorrel, to another that 
it was a Clover leaf. The leaf of the White or Dutch 
Clover seems to be the plant often worn by the modern 
Irish, and Irish students at the colleges of Edinburgh 
have sometimes cultivated this clover in little patches, 
that a leaf might adorn their hats ; but many Irishmen 
gather indiscriminately a handful of the leaves of any 
species. M. Bicheno> who some years since investigated 
the subject very fully, believed that the original leaf 
was that of the wood-sorrel. He remarks, " The term 
shamrock seems a general appellation for the Trefoils, or 
three-leaved plants. Gerarde says, ' the Meadow Tre- 
foils are called in Ireland shamrocks,' and I find the 
name so applied in other authors. The Irish names for 
Trifolium repens are, seamar-oge, shamrog, and sham- 
rock. In Gaelic the name seamrog is applied by 
Lightfoot to the Trifolium repens ; while in the Gaelic 
dictionary, published by the Gaelic Society, under the 
word seamrog, many plants are mentioned to which the 
name is prefixed as a generic term, as seamrog chapuilli, 
purple clover ; seamrog dire, small speedwell ; seamrog 
m huire, pimpernel. I conclude from this that sham- 
rock is a generic word, common to the Gaelic and Irish 


languages, and consequently not limited to the Trifolium 
rep ens."' 

In Fynnes Morison, a notice occurs so late as the 
year 1598, in which the " wilde Irish" are said to 
" willingly eat the hearbe shamrocke, being of a sharp 
taste, which as they run and are chased to and fro, they 
snatche like beastes out of the ditches." M. Bicheno 
infers that this author alluded to the wood-sorrel, and 
the " sharp taste " would certainly indicate this herb, 
only that as wood-sorrel never grows in ditches, it is 
quite as likely to refer to the water-cress. The wood- 
sorrel is not now common in Ireland, but this author 
justly observes that it may in former years have been so, 
the woodlands of Ireland having now been so much cut 
down, partly by the natives to supply their wants, and 
partly also by the government to prevent their enemies 
from taking refuge in the wars ; and with the woods 
would go the woodland sorrel. 

We confess that we incline to the opinion that one of 
the Trefoils is the true shamrock, nor do we believe it 
possible to infer which particular species was selected. 
Men of those days were no botanists ; one triple leaf 
was the same to them as another ; nor by the middle of 
March are the leaves of any of the clovers sufficiently 
developed for any but an accurate observer to decide the 
species to which they belong. Wood-sorrel may or may 
not have been a common Irish plant, but trefoil leaves 
abound by every way-side. Nor can we attach any 
importance to an argument inferring that the shamrock 
was the wood-sorrel, because it was eaten, since the 
clover leaves have, in various times and countries, been 







used as food ; and a starving man would find as much 
nutriment in them as in the wood-sorrel. Whatever 
the plant might be, it appears to have been eaten. In 
Wy tliers' " Abuses stript and whipt," published in 
1613, we find this couplet : 

" And for my cloathing in a mantle go, 
And feed on shamroots as the Irish doe ; " 

and Spenser, in his "View of the State of Ireland," 
published 159G, speaking of "these late warres of 
Mounster," says that it was before "a most rich and 
plentiful! countrey, full of corne and cattle," but that 
the inhabitants were now reduced to so much distress, 
that if they found " a plot of water-cresses or sham- 
rocks, there they flocked as to a feast for the time." 

Many of us have in childhood looked diligently 
among the grasses of the meadow to find " a four-leaved 
shamrock," though we know from experience that such 
shamrocks are not plentiful. The child, who hopes to 
gain good fortune by finding it, knows not that he is 
acting upon an old superstition. Melton, in his "Astro- 
logaster," says, that " If a man walking in the fields 
finds any four-leaved grass, he shall, in a short while 
after, finde some good thing." In Herrick's " Hespe- 
rides," too, we find a slight allusion to this : 

" Glide by the ranks of virgins then and passe 
The shoures of roses, lucky four-leaved grasse ; 
The while the crowds of younglings sing, 
And drown ye with a flourie spring." 

Our fathers tell how the Clover " was not only good 
for cattle, but noisome to witches ; " and in those dark 
days, when every lonely woman was deemed a witch, the 


TV13MI : 


trefoil was prized as a protection, not alone by the 
peasant, but by the soldier and philosopher : 

" Woe, woe to the wight, who meets the green knight, 

Except on his faulchion arm, 
Spell-proof, he bear, like the brave St. Clair, 
The holy trefoil's charm." 

We wonder not that its old associations endear to an 
imaginative and warm-hearted people, like the Irish, the 
badge of their nation. It is not difficult to sympathize 
with the feelings expressed by an Irish lady, in a little 
poem written on the Shamrock for this work : 

'* And yet no warrior-cresset thou, 

A higher, holier spell is thine ; 
Sign of her early faith, the Church 

Still claims thee for her hallow'd shrine : 
Symbol to her of mystic truth, 

Link of the golden chain first given ; 
Dew-drop embosoming a star, 

Silent, but eloquent of Heaven. 

" Well may the child of Erin deem 

His Shamrock precious in his eyes ; 
Its spell can wake the hidden spring, 

Bid Hope from Memory arise : 
And whisper that the ' Isle of Saints ' 

Shall know a purer sanctity, 
When Glory shall illume the land, 

And Truth shall make her children free." 

The White Clover is very general throughout Europe, 
but is not so in North America. Mr. Lyefi, who saw it 
growing in abundance near New Orleans, on the banks 
of the Mississippi, says, "Yet it is not a native of 
Louisiana, and some botanists doubt whether any of 
the English species, now growing wild in this State, are 


indigenous." The power of vegetating, after having 
many years existed in a dormant state, is not peculiar 
to the White Clover. Several seeds have been known 
to do so in a wonderful manner, and though the state- 
ment that wheat found enveloped in the mummy cases 
afterwards germinated, is now known to be erroneous, 
yet some well-authenticated instances prove that seeds 
have a wondrous power of retaining their vitality. 
Tournefort has recorded a case in which beans, that 
had been kept a hundred years, grew when planted ; 
and Wildenow mentions one of a sensitive plant, in which 
the seed had been kept sixty years. Mr. Babington 
related to the British Association an instance in which 
M. Fries, of Upsala, succeeded in growing a species of 
Hawkweed (ffieracium), after it had been in an Herba- 
rium for fifty years. Dr. Cleghorn states, that after 
clearing or burning down the forests of India, there 
invariably spring up a new set of plants, which were 
not known there before, but the seeds of which must 
have been lying in the soil. So in Virginia, the Thorn- 
Apple is called Fireweed, because it rises on spots where 
the fire has levelled the forest trees. Professor Ilenslow, 
during the year 1850, planted several seeds which had 
been sent to the Committee of the British Association 
appointed to report on this subject. Two plants of the 
leguminous tribe grew from seeds, one of which had 
been kept for seventeen, and the other for twenty years ; 
and, after much examination of the subject, the Pro- 
fessor concludes, that the seeds of plants of this order 
have a greater power than others of retaining the 
germinating principle. 


* * Legumes one or two-seeded ; standard falling off, or 
remaining unaltered ; calyx not inflated. 

2. T. pratense (Common Purple Clover). Flowers in 
dense roundish oblong heads ; calyx hairy ; its bristle- 
like divisions half as long as the corolla ; stipules broad, 
terminating, abruptly in a bristle-point; leaflets broad, 
oval, or inversely heart-shaped, notched or entire, often 
marked with a white crescent-shaped spot. Plant 
perennial. The field of Clover may vie with the Bean- 
field or the Hop-garden, in sweetness of odour. The 
plant flowers all the summer, and in June, when skies 
are bright, and its fragrance is most powerful, it is the 
resort of bees and butterflies innumerable. Pliny 
remarked how fond the bees were of this flower ; and 
the modern bee-keeper knows well that it is fortunate 
for him when the farmer in his neighbourhood sows his 
land with clover. Every one who in childhood has run 
about the meadows gathering flowers, can tell how sweet 
a honey lurks within its petals ; and we wonder not 
that our fathers called them honeysuckles ; or, as in 
Shakspere's time, honey-stalks : 

" Give honey-stalks to sheep." 

Iii Sweden the Clover heads are used to dye wool green ; 
when mixed with alum they give a light tint of this 
colour, while a rich dark dye is obtained by mixing 
them with copperas. 

In this country Clover is sown for the food of cattle, 
but in some other lands it is cultivated for other uses. 
Mr. fortune remarks, in his " Wanderings in China," 
that after the last crop of rice has been gathered in, the 

VOL. ii. r 


ground is immediately ploughed up, and prepared to 
receive certain hardy green crops, such as Clover, the 
oil plant, and other varieties of the cabbage tribe. 
" The Trefoil or Clover," says this writer, " is sown in 
ridges, to keep it above the level of the water, which 
often covers the valley during the winter months. When 
I first went to Chusan, and saw this plant cultivated so 
extensively in the fields, I was at a loss to know the use 
to which it was applied, for the Chinese have few cattle 
to feed, and these are easily supplied from the roadsides 
and uncultivated parts of the hills. On inquiry, I found 
that this crop was cultivated almost exclusively for 
manure. The large fresh Trefoil leaves are also picked 
and used as a vegetable by the natives." 

The Clover field presents a singular appearance in the 
early morning, before the sun is fully risen, as well as at 
evening twilight. The leaves are all folded together, 
showing the pale green tint of their under surfaces, often 
well-besprinkled with the pearls of dew. In wet weather 
the same appearance is presented by the plants. Pliny 
told how the Clover leaves were influenced by storms, 
and Willsford, in his " Nature's Secrets," says, " Trefoile 
or Claver grasse, against strong or tempestuous weather 
will seem rough, and the leaves of it stand and rise up 
as if it were afraid of an assault." The same author 
quaintly remarks, that the leaves of trees and plants in 
general will shake and tremble against a tempest more 
than ordinary ; and that all tender buds, blossoms, and 
delicate flowers, against the incursion of a storm, " doe 
contract and withdraw themselves within their husks 
and leaves, whereby each may preserve itself from the 






T. giccnerat 



8 , HOP T . 



io, si.:,', 

T . 

T. fragifer 


injury of the weather ;" and he adds, that " leaves in 
the wind, or down floating on the water, are signs of 
a tempest more than ordinarie." 

This Clover is pretty general throughout Europe, as 
are most of the British Trefoils. It has been remarked, 
that in the distribution of the leguminous plants in the 
south of Europe, the Brooms have their maximum in 
Spain ; that the Vetches increase in Greece ; and that 
the various Trefoils are most abundant in Italy. The 
species of the Astragalus, or Milk Vetch, first begin to 
preponderate in Asia Minor. The Trefoil is called 
Trefle by the Erench, and Der Klee by the Germans. 
The old Anglo-Saxon word from which our modern 
clover is derived, was Cloefer, from .Cleof-an, to cleave, 
and refers to the cleft leaf. The Dutch still call it 
Klaver, and many of our writers of the sixteenth cen- 
tury called it Claver-grass, though Michael Drayton 
always calls it Clover : 

" So that my poorest trash, which men call rush and reed, 
Doth like the penny grass or the pure Clover show." 

Shakspere speaks of the 

" Freckled Cowslip, Burnet, and Sweet Clover ; " 

and few of us can see the Clover flower without the 
thought of some pleasant meadow land, in which we 
may, in other days, have seen it growing in all its ruddy 
beauty and sweetness : 

' It doth remind me of an old low strain 
I used to sing in lap of summers dead, 
When I was but a child, and when we play'd 
Like April sunbeams, 'mong the summer flowers; 
Or romped in the dews with weak complaining lambs, 


Or sate in circles on the primrose knolls, 
Striving with eager, and palm-shaded eyes, 
'Mid shouts and silver laughs, who first should catch 
The lark, a singing speck, go up the sky." 

8. T. medium (Zigzag Clover). Flowers on stalked 
loose round heads; calyx-teeth, bristle-like, the two 
upper shortest ; stipules narrow, tapering to a point ; 
leaflets elliptical narrow ; stem zigzag. Plant perennial. 
This, though not an unfrequent species, is not so 
common as the Purple Clover, which it much resembles. 
It is, however, quite a distinct plant, and well marked 
by its very zigzag stem. It is also more slender, the 
heads of flowers larger, and of darker purple ; its leaflets 
and stipules narrower, and the former without any white 
spot. It is in flower from June to September in pas- 
tures, and though not so nutritious for cattle as is the 
Common Clover, yet it is better adapted for thriving in 
light soils. It has a similar sweet odour to that of the 
Meadow Clover, and resembles it in flavour. 

4. T. ochroleiicum (Sulphur- coloured Trefoil). Flowers 
in dense stalked, terminal heads, which are at first 
hemispherical, and afterwards egg-shaped ; calyx-teeth 
awl-shaped; upper leaflets oblong, lower heart-shaped. 
Plant perennial. This species is by no means so gene- 
rally diffused among our grassy places as is either of 
the foregoing, but it is common in the eastern counties 
of England, and especially on the clayey pastures of 
Norfolk and Suffolk. It grows in fields and by way- 
sides, bearing, in July and August, flowers of a cream- 
colour, more or less tinged with yellow, which turn to 
brown as they fade. The stem is a foot or more high, 
and the lower leaves are on long stalks. 


5. T, arvense (Hare's-foot Trefoil). F/oivers in ter- 
minal and axillary heads, covered with soft downy hairs ; 
calyx-teeth hairy, much longer than the corolla ; stem 
branched, erect ; leaflets lanceolate, blunt ; stipules egg- 
shaped, pointed. Plant annual. This is a very pretty 
Trefoil, its pale pink blossoms just peeping through the 
soft grey down which surrounds them, and which well 
might remind us of the delicate fur on the hare's foot. 
It is very distinct from any other British species, and 
grows on a stem from six to twelve inches high. It 
thrives particularly well near the sea, and often forms 
large masses on dry pastures or corn-fields, or, as at 
Sandgate, Kent, on the base and sides of high banks 
overlooking the ocean. Its heads are like velvet to the 
touch, and when growing in any quantity the mass 
might convey the impression that it was composed of 
the downy balls which are the appendages to the seeds 
of some plant of the Composite order. As Mr. E. 
Gerard Smith has observed, in his "Flora of South 
Kent," that coast is very rich in Trefoils, " which are 
its prominent, though humble ornaments/ Upon the 
sandy undercliff near Folkstone, they acquire an unusual 
size and perfection ; and for these alone, not to mention 
the singular Medicks, this place is well worth the visit 
of the botanist." 

6. T. maritimum (Teasel-headed Clover). Flowers 
in terminal roundish heads ; calyx-teeth at first rigid, 
awl-shaped, and erect ; the lower one much longer and 
broader than the rest, all of them spreading when in 
fruit ; stipules very long, and awl-shaped. Plant annual. 
This is a rare species, found on some salt marshes on 


the east coast of England, and at Newport, Monmouth- 
shire, as well as near Kilbaric Church, in Ireland. It 
has small pink flowers, in June and July, on a spread- 
ing stem. 

7. T, incarndtum (Crimson Clover). Heads of flowers 
egg-shaped, stalked, solitary, and terminal ; calyx hairy, 
the teeth somewhat awl-shaped, shorter than the corolla ; 
stipules egg-shaped ; leaflets inversely heart - shaped. 
Plant annual. This beautiful crimson Clover is often 
planted in the garden as a border flower. It rarely 
adorns our fields or meadows ; and in most places where 
it occurs, it is rather to be regarded as naturalized, 
than as truly wild. A variety, however, with light pink 
flowers, occurs on the Lizard Point, Cornwall, which is 
undoubtedly wild. This has been named T. Mo/dinerii. 
It flowers in June and July, and is common in the 
countries in the south of Europe. 

8. T. stcttdtum (Starry-headed Trefoil). Heads of 
flowers terminal, globose, stalked, and shaggy with 
long loose hair ; calyx hairy, the teeth longer than the 
corolla, bristled, finally enlarging and spreading, its 
tube closed with hair ; stipules broadly egg-shaped, 
ribbed, and roundly notched at the margin ; leaflets 
inversely heart-shaped. Plant annual. One habitat 
only in England is known for this Trefoil. It grows 
in great abundance near Shoreham, in Sussex. It is 
a very singular and pretty plant, with very long calyxes, 
which at first hide the small cream-coloured corolla 
among their bristly teeth, but which afterwards spread 
out in a star-like form. It is in blossom from June to 
August. It is, probably, not truly indigenous. 


9. I. stridtum (Soft Knotted Trefoil). Heads of 
flowers terminal and axillary, egg-shaped, and downy ; 

calyx swelled when in fruit, very rigid, hairy, with 
straight but unequal small bristly teeth ; leaflets in- 
versely heart-shaped, or inversely egg-shaped ; stipules 
egg-shaped, and tapering at the point. Plant annual. 
The small downy heads of this Trefoil grow among the 
grass of our dry fields and pastures, in June and July, 
especially near the sea; the blossoms are of reddish- 
purple, and the calyxes furrowed. It is a silky downy- 
looking Clover, long hairs being more or less scattered 
over every part of it. The stem is from four to nine 
inches long. It is quite a common plant, and has the 
sweet smell of the Clover, appearing among the grass on 
spots where we might say with Thomson 

' Tis beauty all, and grateful song around, 
Join'd to the low of kine, and numerous bleat 
Of flocks, thick nibbling through the clover'd vale." 

10. T. Boccdni (Boccone's Trefoil). Heads i flowers 
in pairs, roundish j calyx cylindrical in fruit, the teeth 
straight, unequal, awl-shaped; leaflets inversely egg- 
shaped, or narrowly lanceolate, toothed, smooth above ; 
stipules oblong, with a long awl-shaped point. Plant 
annual. This very rare species was, until recently, 
believed to be a plant of Southern Europe, and not indi- 
genous to our shores ; but it is now known to be truly 
wild in some dry places in Cornwall, as between the 
Lizard Point and Kynance Cove. Its stem is from 
two to four inches in height, and its pink and white 
flowers appear in July. 


11. T. scdbrum (Rough Rigid Trefoil). Flowers \n 
short prickly heads, terminal and axillary; calyx-teeth 
unequal, very rigid, finally spreading ; leaflets with very 
thick nerves; stems prostrate. Plant annual. This 
species often grows with the Soft Knotted Trefoil, on 
barren, chalky, or sandy fields, near the sea. It is a 
small spreading plant, producing its inconspicuous 
whitish flowers in June and July. It is remarkable 
for its prickly calyxes, especially when in fruit. 

12. T. glomerdtwn (Smooth Round-headed Trefoil). 
Heads of flowers terminal and axillary, sessile, roundish ; 
calyx-teeth broad, very acute, finally turning downwards; 
leaflets inversely heart-shaped and toothed ; stems pro- 
strate. Plant annual. This, which is not a common 
Trefoil, is very similar in appearance to the last described 
species, but its heads of flowers are rounder, and the 
teeth of its calyxes more spreading and leaflike. It 
flowers in June, on gravelly open places, in the east and 
south of England. 

13. T. subterrdneum (Subterranean Trefoil). Flowers 
3 6 together, in axillary heads, erect, but bent down 
when in fruit, and sending out branched fibres from 
their centre, which penetrate into the ground. Plant 
annual. This is not an uncommo r flower during May 
and June, on dry and gravelly pastures of England, 
having long slender white blossoms. It is a singular 
little species, a few inches long, its stems branching and 
lying over the ground. The flower-stalks gradually 
lengthen, till, at last, the blossom reaches the earth ; 
the young fruit then bends down, and a number of thick 
stout fibres rise from the top of the fruit-stalk and bury 


the seed in the soil while yet attached to the plant. 
The pods are large and roundish. 

14. T. suffocatum (Suffocated Trefoil). Heads of 
flowers sessile and roundish ; calyx membranaceous, 
with broadly awl-shaped teeth, bending backwards; 
petals shorter than the calyx. Plant annual. This rare 
little Trefoil grows on the coasts of Norfolk and Suffolk, 
among the plants of the sand which borders the sea. 
Its stem is about three or four inches high. The heads 
of Mowers are dense and inconspicuous. They are pro- 
duced in June and July. The whole plant is smooth. 

15. T. strictmi (Upright Round-headed Trefoil). 
Heads of flowers terminal and axillary, stalked and 
round ; calyx at length shaped like a bell, with spread- 
ing awl-shaped teeth ; leaflets long, narrow, and toothed ; 
stems erect. Plant annual. The little globular heads 
of whitish flowers, and the smooth leaves marked with 
beautiful lines, render this a pretty species. It is very 
rare, growing on rocky banks near the sea, in Cornwall. 
The Rev. C. A. Johns, who has given an account of this 
plant in his " Week at the Lizard," remarks, that it is 
well distinguished from the other species of Trefoil by 
its 2-seeded pods, which are bulged near the summit, 
and by its narrow-toothed leaflets, resembling in shape 
those of the Common Melilot. It grows at Old Lizard 
Head, and at Landewednack, in Cornwall, and is in 
flower during June and July. 

* * * Calyx inflated after flowering. 

16. T. fraffiferum (Strawberry -headed Trefoil). 
Heads globose, on long stalks ; calyx becoming mem- 

70L. IT. Q 


branaceous after flowering, downy, and remarkably in- 
flated ; stem creeping. Plant perennial. Any one who 
noticed this Trefoil would at once think of a strawberry. 
Its heads of flowers are small, of deep purplish red, 
roundish, and becoming, when in fruit, larger, sometimes 
an inch in diameter, and more decidedly globular. It 
is not a very common plant on our pasture lands, but 
the author has found it most abundant on some salt 
marshes. On the marshes near Pegwell, in Kent, as 
well as on those about Sheerness, in the same county, it 
is a frequent flower in July and August. 

17. T. resupinatum (Reversed Trefoil). Heads of 
flowers at first hemispherical, gradually becoming round, 
stalked; corollas inverted from the ordinary position, 
the front becoming the back part ; calyx membranaceous, 
hairy, and acute, inflated after flowering; leaflets in- 
versely egg-shaped ; stem prostrate. Plant annual. This 
species, which was probably introduced by ballast, has 
been found in meadows, near Bristol, and near the quay 
at Ham, in Dorsetshire, blossoming in July. 

* * * * Standard withering, but not falling off ; finally 
lending down and covering the pods ; flower yellow. 

\8. t T. prociimbens (Hop Trefoil). Flowers in dense, 
roundish, oblong heads ; leaves stalked ; leaflets inversely 
heart-shaped. Plant annual. This Trefoil is very abun- 
dant, bearing yellow hop-shaped flowers from June to 
August, on most of our pasture lands and grassy banks, 
or field-borders. Several of our Trefoils require a great 
degree of attention to their characters in order to iden- 


tify the species, but this may be known at a glance by 
its yellow oval heads. The only plant for which it could 
possibly be mistaken would be the Hop Medick, but 
that is well distinguished from this by its rugged legume. 
It is usually about four inches high, and is sometimes 
sown in fields for fodder, but it is not so nutritious as 
the common purple or white clover. 

19. T. minus (Lesser Yellow Trefoil). Flowers in 
dense heads, 6 to 15 together; leaves scarcely stalked; 
leaflets inversely heart-shaped, the central one on a 
longer stalk ; stems prostrate and hairy. Plant annual. 
This is a common little Trefoil, on dry grassy places, as 
meadows and roadsides, its small yellow flowers appear- 
ing in June and July. It is doubtful if it is essentially 
distinct from the next species. It differs from it chiefly 
in having its partial flower-stalks much shorter, and in 
its standard covering the ripened pod ; whereas in the 
next species the standard is narrower, and does not 
cover the legume. 

20. T.filiforme (Slender Yellow Trefoil). Heads of 
flowers loose, from 2 to 5 together ; leaf -stalks all of the 

same length, and scarcely longer than the stipules; 
leaflets inversely heart-shaped; stem smooth. Plant 
annual. This species, which is the Trifolium micran- 
ilium of some botanists, is exceedingly common all the 
summer months, its yellow flowers springing up on 
every little grassy patch beside walls, or on open heaths, 
meadows, or banks. It is one of our commonest wild 


9. LOTUS (Bird's-foot Trefoil). 

1. L. major (Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil). Flowers in 
umbels, from 8 to 10 together; calyx-teeth awl-shaped, 
spreading like a star when in bud; leaflets inversely 
egg-shaped ; stems nearly erect, tubular. Plant per- 
ennial. This is a common plant in damp hedges near 
streams, sometimes entangling itself, almost like a vetch, 
among the bushes and other plants, its stem being from 
one to three feet in height, and very weak. The leaves 
are sometimes smooth, but usually they are covered more 
or less with soft silky hairs. Its deep yellow flowers 
appear in July and August. It is by many botanists 
considered to be but a form of the foUowing species, 
acquiring a greater development in consequence of grow- 
ing on a more moist soil. 

2. L. corniculalus (Common Bird's-foot Trefoil). 
Floicers in umbels, 8 or 10 together, bending somewhat 
downwards ; flower-stalks very long ; calyx-teeth straight 
in the bud, the 2 upper teeth bending' inwards ; stem 
prostrate; leaves inversely egg-shaped, nearly smooth. 
Plant perennial. Every one knows the pretty little 
Bird's-foot Lotus, which is so abundant during May on 
our pastures, and which is commonly called Lady's 
Slipper, and in some counties Shoes-and-Stockings, 
Butter-jags, or Cross-toes. The flowers are bright 
yellow, some of them rich brown or orange; and the 
young buds are often of a deep crimson tint. The 
foliage, though generally smooth, is, in one variety, 
(termed vi/losus,) thickly clothed with long spreading 


hairs, which invest also the stein and the calyx. A 
variety occurs also in which the plant has fleshy leaves ; 
and in another, the leaflets are much longer and nar- 
rower than in the ordinary form, so that the plant, in 
these circumstances, has been described as a different 
species, under the name of Lotus tenuis. Our pretty 
flower enlivens not only the rich grass of the green mea- 
do<v during all the summer months, but adorns also 
many a sunny slope whose short grass gives a fainter 
tinge of green to the sward. Charlotte Smith mentions 
it among the flowers of such a spot on Beachy Head, 
and her description is so truly graphic, that the mind 
involuntarily pictures one of the chalky downs sur- 
rounded by such scenery : 

" Let us turn 

To where a more attractive study courts 
The wanderer on the hills ; while shepherd girls 
Will from among the Fescue bring him flowers 
Of wondrous mockery, some resembling bees 
In velvet vest, intent on their sweet toil ; 
While others mimic flies, that lightly sport 
In the green shade, or float along the pool, 
But here seem perch'd upon the slender stalk, 
And gathering honey-dew. While in the breeze 
That wafts the thistle's plumed seeds along, 
Blue-bells wake tremulous. The mountain thyme 
Purples the tassock of the heaving mole, 
And the short turf is gay with tormentil, 
And bird's-foot trefoil, and the lesser tribe 
Of hawkweeds, spangling it with fringed stars, 
Near where a richer tract of cultured land 
Slopes to the south ; and burnish'd by the sun 
Bend in the gale of August floods of corn ; 
The shepherd of the flock with watchful care 
Repels by voice and dog the encroaching sheep, 


While his boy visits every wired trap 
That scars the turf; and from the pitfalls takes 
The timid migrants, who from distant wilds, 
Warrens, and stone quarries are destined thus 
To lose their short existence." 

The leaves of the Bird's-foot Trefoil become blue 
when drying for the Herbarium ; they would, probably, 
afford a dye resembling indigo, which is the produce of 
a leguminous plant. The French call the flower Le 
Lotier; the Germans, Der Scltotenklee; the Dutch, Rolk- 
laver; and it is the Loto of the Italian and Spaniard. 
" The name of Lotus," says Professor Burnett, " is pro- 
bably of Egyptian origin, and has been given to several 
different plants. The ancients seem to have distin- 
guished three sorts ; the tree lotus, the marsh lotus, 
and the herb lotus; the two -former of which, the 
Zizyphus Lotus, and NymphfEa Lotus, retain the original 
name as a specific, and the latter as a generic name." 
Both our common Lotus and the larger species have 
been recommended by good writers on agriculture as 
suitable for sowing with white clover. Dr. Henderson 
wrote much in favour of these plants ; and Sinclair, in 
his work on " British Grasses," mentions this as a valu- 
able addition to the pasturage of a moist meadow. The 
pods of one species, the Lotus edttlis, are eaten by the 
poor people of Candia; and the Lotus recttts, which we 
see in our greenhouses, and receive from the south of 
Europe, is by some writers supposed to be the Cytisus 
of Virgil. The dark-flowered Lotus Jacobaus, as well 
as its yellow variety, are favourite greenhouse flowers, 
and are in bloom all the year. 


3. L. anyust'issimiis (Slender Bird's-foot Trefoil. 
Heads from 1 to 4 -flowered ; flower-stalks about twice 
as long as the leaves; leaflets broadly lanceolate; calyx- 
teeth straight in the bud ; stems prostrate ; legumes 
slender. Plant annual. The whole of this plant is 
covered with soft hairs, and its legumes are generally 
long, in one variety very long, but in another broad and 
short. It is a rare plant, occurring in Devonshire, Corn- 
wall, and some other counties. Its flowers are much 
smaller than those of the other species, and its whole 
appearance very different from them. Its varieties have 
by some botanists been described as species, and called 
Lotus diffiisus, and Lotus hispidus. 

10. ANTHYLLIS (Lady's Fingers). 

I . A. Vulnerdria (Lady's Fingers, or Kidney -Vetch). 
Herbaceous ; leaves pinnate ; the terminal leaflet largest ; 
heads of flowers in pairs ; bracts large, digitate, or pal- 
mate. Plant perennial. The swollen white calyxes, 
covered with woolly down, are the most conspicuous 
feature in the blossom of this plant, and procured for it 
in our rural districts the name of Lamb's Toes; while 
another species, growing in the south of Europe, which 
has a still thicker down on its cups, is on this account 
called Jupiter's Beard. The leaves are of a pale sea-green 
colour, smooth at the edges, very thick, and remaining 
green for some months after the flower is dead, these 
sprays forming a pretty ornament to the inland or sea- 
side chalky cliff, on which they are often abundant. 
They are common on the sea-cliffs both of Dover and 


of the Cornish shores, becoming in the latter somewhat 
stunted, but being luxuriant on the former spot. The 
flowers are small, but in dense clusters ; they are most 
generally yellow, but are sometimes white, crimson, or 
cream-coloured. Linnaeus remarked of it that in CEland, 
where the soil is of red calcareous clay, the flowers are 
red, but that on the white chalky soil of Gothland they 
are whits. This plant, as well as several of the species 
of other countries, affords a good pasturage for cattle. 
Mr. Young, who recommended its culture, says, that it 
is very abundant on the best meadows of the Pyrenees, 
where it is of smaller growth, and less astringent in 
property. Some of the best pasture lands of the south 
of Europe abound with the Kidney-vetch, and many 
agriculturists have thought that it would repay the atten- 
tion of British farmers, as it flourishes so well on dry 
barren soils. It was of old used as a vulnerary ; and 
Gesner having recommended it as an application for 
stanching the effusion of blood, it shared, with several 
of our plants, the name of Woundwort, and was also 
called Staunch. In the early part of the eighteenth 
century, it was commonly sold in Ireland under that 
name. The Trench call it U Antlujllide ; the Germans, 
Die Wottblmne ; the .Dutch, Wuiid Kruid; and it is the 
Antillide of the Italians and Spaniards. It is known 
to the Danes as the Vundurt, and to the Swedes as 
Ullblomster. It is very common in the north of 
Europe. A good yellow dye may be procured from 
its flowers. 



1. 0. Uralensis (Hairy Mountain Oxytropis). Leaves 
midjlowers rising directly from the roots ; flower-stalks 
longer than the leaves ; all parts of the plant covered with 
silky hair. Plant perennial. This is a very lovely orna- 
ment of some pasture lands in Scotland. Its leaf spray 
is composed of from eight to twelve pairs of leaflets, 
which are thickly clothed with silky hairs, so as to give 
them a glossy, almost metallic appearance, especially 
when they are only half unfolded, and when the silky 
hair is most dense. The flowers are in close heads, of 
a bright purple colour, appearing in June and July. 

2. 0. campi'slris (Yellowish Mountain Oxytropis). 
Stemlcss ; leaflets having silky hairs scattered over them ; 
legume imperfectly two-celled. Plant perennial. This 
is a rare flower of the Clova Mountains. Its heads of 
blossoms are of pale yellow, tinged with purple. 

12. ASTRAGALUS (Milk-Vetch). 

1. A. glycyplyttus (Sweet Milk-vetch). Stem pro- 
strate; leaflets oval; leaves longer than the flower-stalks; 
stipules large, egg-shaped, and pointed ; pods somewhat 
triangular, smooth and curved. Plant perennial. This 
is not a very common plant in England, and it is still 
more unfrequent in Scotland. It would, however, im- 
mediately attract the notice of any one at all observa-nt 
of wild flowers, by its large leaf, so much larger than 
that of any of our native vetches. The author can 
remember, that when she first met with this plant in 
a green lane, near Higham, in Kent, she thought that 

VOL. n. K 


these leaves must be those of a young shoot of the 
garden Robinia, False Acacia, as it is commonly called, 
which had sprung up from seeds brought from some 
neighbouring garden. Both in form and colour they 
resemble such a shoot, but their large stipules, free from 
each other, and from the leafstalk, form a marked feature 
of this leaf, and in more fully grown specimens of the 
Milk-vetch, the prostrate stems, sometimes two or three 
feet long, and the dull yellow flowers, render this plant 
easy of distinction from all others. The legumes are 
sometimes an inch and a half long, and are curved in 
the form of a sickle. 

This plant is called Sweet Milk-vetch, from the sweet- 
ness of its leaves and roots, which are on the first taste 
pleasant, but leave a bitter and disagreeable flavour 
on the tongue. This causes them to be disliked by 
cattle, and they are left quite untouched when occurring 
among the pasture. Were it not for this, the plant would 
doubtless have been cultivated, yielding, as it does by its 
large leaves, so great an amount of herbage. Several 
species of Astragalus, in other lands, have the sweet 
flavour without the succeeding bitterness. Thus the 
roots of Astragalus Aboriyiiwrum are long and yellow, 
like liquorice root, and in Arctic America, where it 
grows wild, it is collected as an article of food by the 
Crees and Stone Indians. The root of another species, 
Asfrdgalus ammodytes, which is also sweet, is used in 
Siberia instead of liquorice. 

We have but three native species of Astragalus, none 
of which are sufficiently important to form a feature in 
our landscape. There are vast tracts, however, hi other 


countries, of which the different species form the chief 
feature. Mount Etna, celebrated by the ancients for its 
odoriferous productions, and said by Plutarch to emit so 
strong a scent from its varied flowers, that the hunter 
was overcome by their fragrance, has thick half globular 
mounds in great abundance, formed by the growth of 
a species of Milk-vetch. The Astrdyalus Siculus is the 
predominant plant amid its varied vegetation, and these 
singular mounds are sometimes five feet in diameter and 
two and a half in height, this thick and dwarfed mode 
of growth resembling that of several plants found in 
the Alpine regions of the Cordilleras. On the open 
plains of the Asiatic steppes, however, they attain 
considerable height. Baron Humboldt remarked of 
some of these steppes, in the temperate zone, that they 
were full of flowering herbaceous plants, especially of 
a papilionaceous kind, in which hosts of species of 
Astragalus immediately attracted the attention. In 
traversing pathless portions of these steppes, the 
traveller, seated in his Tartar carriage, sees the thickly 
crowded plants bend beneath the wheel, while others 
rise up so closely around him that he cannot look 
beyond them to see the direction in which he is 
moving. Species of Hawthorn, Dropwort, and Saussurea, 
as well as the Sloe and dwarf Almond-tree, mingle their 
flowers with those of the still more abundant Milk-vetch ; 
and occasionally the Crown Imperial towers above the 
Cyprepediums, and bright tulips rejoice the eye by their 
variety of colours. Our sweet milk-vetch is the largest 
of the British species, but our gardens exhibit some very 
pretty shrubby kinds. The seeds of several of the 


foreign species are roasted and used as coffee, but this 
cannot at all rival, either in flavour or in refreshing 
properties, the produce of the Arabian berry. Gum 
Tragacanth is also yielded by some kinds of Astragalus; 
and its power to render water viscid, is about twenty- 
four times as great as that of the Gum Arabic. Several 
of these plants are used medicinally. 

2. A. Jiypoglottis (Purple Mountain Milk-vetch). 
Stem prostrate; flower-stalks longer than the leaves; 
leaflets oval, hairy ; stipules united ; pods erect, stalked, 
hairy, and two-seeded. Plant perennial. This milk- 
vetch is very different in appearance from the last, as its 
stems are slender, and not more than two or three inches 
long. The heads of flowers are very large in proportion 
to the size of the plant. They occur in June and July, 
and are of dark bluish purple, or sometimes pale lilac, 
or white. The plant, though somewhat local, is abundant 
on some dry gravelly and chalky pastures chiefly in the 
south of England. It grows plentifully oa Royston 
Heath, in Cambridgeshire. The French call the Milk- 
vetch L'Astraf/ale ; the Germans, Tragant ; the Dutch, 
Kootruid; and it is the Astragalo of the Italian and 

3. A. atyinus (Alpine Milk-vetch). Stem ascending ; 
leaflets oval ; stipules egg-shaped, free ; legumes stalked, 
drooping, two or three-seeded, and clothed with black 
hairs ; whole plant downy. This, which like the other 
species is perennial, is exceedingly rare. Its recorded 
places of growth are the Glen of the Dole, Clova, and 
Little Craigindal, Braemar. It bears clusters of few 
spreading or drooping flowers in Juiv, which are white 


and tipped with purple. This plant is by some writers 
called Phaca Astrayalina. 

13. VICIA (Vetch, Tare). 

* Flower-stalks lengthened sometimes longer than the 
leaves ; calyx gibbous at the base. 

1. V. sylvdtica (Wood-vetch). Flower-stalks many 
flowered, longer than the leaves ; leaflets in about eight 
pairs, elliptical, abrupt, with a sharp point; tendrils 
branched; stipules crescent-shaped, deeply toothed at 
the base. Plant perennial. Few of our wild flowers 
are more ornamental to our hedges in summer than the 
vetches which tangle among the bushes, holding them- 
selves by leaning on their stronger neighbours ; and as 
Cowper says, repaying 

" The strength they borrow with the grace they lend." 

Of all our wild vetches this is the loveliest, its beau- 
tiful white flowers, streaked with bluish veins, being very 
numerous and large. It is not, however, a common 
plant, growing chiefly in mountainous woods, or in 
bushy places of mountainous districts in Scotland, the 
north and north-west of England, Ireland, and Wales ; 
though it has been found in Kent, Oxfordshire, and 
other counties away from mountains. Walter Scott 
thus describes il 

" Where profuse the wood-vetch clings 
Bound ash and elm in pencill'd rings, 
Its pale and azure pencill'd flower 
Should canopy Titania's bower." 

It flowers in July and August, and its long stem climbs 


sometimes to the height of six feet, its brandling ten- 
drils entwining themselves on the woodland bough?. 

Mr. Lees remarks, while objecting to the practice of 
scattering the seeds of garden-flowers in wild places 
" Last week I passed through a wood covering one of 
the transition limestone hills, near Ledbury, which was 
most profusely ornamented by the beautiful Vicia syl- 
vatica, festooning the trees on all sides. I was delighted 
in the extreme at this wild production of nature, so 
strikingly lovely, though," adds this botanist, " had it 
been in the power of any person to have informed me 
that some ornamenter of wilds had been profusely sowing 
the plant in the wood, my pleasure would have been 
much abated ; nor could I in that case have concluded 
that a calcareous soil was the natural home of the 
plants." We share with Mr. Lees in his dislike of the 
practice of scattering the seeds of exotic plants among 
the wild woods and rocks. In the progress of man's 
mechanical skill we shall soon have little left to us of 
the true country j we would fain preserve its wild flowers 
in all their native beauty, unmingled. The garden, the 
plantation, and the pleasure ground, are, as Mr. Lees 
remarks, the proper places for man's sportive and im- 
proving hand. Many of our wild plants have been, 
and deserve to be, admitted within its enclosure. The 
Rev. W. T. Bree, asks of this Wood-vetch, " Why is 
not this beautiful climber, certainly one of the most 
charming and elegant of our native plants, more fre- 
quently cultivated in the garden ? Is it on account of 
any peculiarity of the soil which it requires? or the 
difficulty of making it succeed in a state of cultivation ? 


It generally prefers a chalky or calcareous soil ; thus 
I have observed it in beautiful luxuriance in the neigh- 
bourhood of Clifton and Bristol, also in the vicinity of 
Oxford, and lately near Dover. But it also occasionally 
occurs in a light sandy soil, as in Bentley Park, near 
Atherstone, in Warwickshire. I have more than once 
sown the seeds in the garden, and seldom succeeded in 
making them come up, or at least raising them to per- 
fection. What is the cause of the failure ? " 

A writer in London's Magazine of Natural History, 
commenting on this, remarks " I was rather surprised 
to find a query as to the difficulty of cultivating the 
Vicia syhatica. It grows in thousands, perhaps tens 
of thousands, on Hort's Hill, Key's Wood, just ten miles 
from Coventry, festooning the underwood with its 
beautiful chocolate-striped petals most delightfully. 
It is a sight well worth walking miles to see. In a 
garden in that village, this plant and the Crimson 
Vetchling (Lathyrus Nissolid), found wild in that neigh- 
bourhood, have been cultivated for many years without 
difficulty, and there is always an abundance of self-sown 

This is a valuable herbage plant, furnishing by its 
bulk a large amount of food, which is very nutritive. 
Many agriculturists have recommended that it should 
be sown in fields ; but Mr. Curtis was of opinion, that 
if cultivated alone, the plants would become entangled 
and perish for want of support. 

2. V. Crdcca (Tufted-vetch). Flower-stalks elongated, 
many-flowered ; leaves of about ten pairs ; leaflets lance- 
olate, with a spiny point, silky ; stipules entire, half arrow- 


shaped ; calyx-teeth shorter than their tube ; pods linear, 
oblong, smooth. Plant perennial. Daring the months 
of July and August, the handsome crowded spikes of 
the Tufted-vetch climb to the topmost bough of the 
hedge, or droop down in luxuriance among the branches 
of the wood. They are of a rich purplish blue, the 
flowers all turning one way, and the spikes often two 
or three inches long. The lover of flowers is glad to 
see this lovely vetch, clinging to the hedges by the 
meadow ; and the farmer welcomes it there too, know- 
ing that it affords a large amount of fodder to the 
animals grazing on his pasture. Dr. Plot, in his 
" History of Staffordshire," says of this nutritious plant, 
and the Vicia sylvatica, that they " advance starven or 
weak cattle above any thing yet knowne." Its culture 
has been often recommended. It might have been this 
flower to which Charlotte Smith alludes in the lines 
which so well describe the summer hedge : 

" An early worshipper at Nature's shrine, 
I loved her rudest scenes warrens arid heaths, 
And yellow commons, and birch-shaded hollows, 
And hedgerows bordering unfrequented lanes; 
Bower'd with wild roses, and the clasping woodbine 
Where purple tassels of the tangling Vetch 
With bittersweet, and bryony inweave, 
And the dew fills the silver bindweed's cups. 
I loved to trace the brooks whose humid banks 
Nourish the harebell, and the freckled pagil; 
And stroll among o'ershadowing woods of beech, 
Lending in summer, from the heats of noon, 
A whispering shade, while haply there reclines 
Some pensive lover of uncultured flowers." 

The seeds of the Tufted-vetch are roundish and black, 


doubtless they, with those of the other vetches, con- 
tribute to furnish food for our wild birds. 

3. V. Orobus (Wood Bitter Vetch). Leaves pinnate, 
hairy; with from seven to ten pairs of egg-shaped, 
somewhat oblong acute leaflets ; stipules half arrow- 
shaped, slightly toothed at the base ; flower-stalks many- 
flowered ; stem branched, prostrate, hairy ; tendrils 
reduced to- a point. Plant perennial. This Wood- 
vetch or Wood-pea, as it is often called, flowers in May 
and June, having one-sided clusters of cream-coloured 
blossoms with purple streaks. It is not common in the 
South of England, but in the woods and mountainous 
and rocky places in the North, it is not an unfrequent 
plant among bushes. 

4. V. BitJiynica (Rough-podded Purple Vetch). 
Flower-stalks shorter than the leaves, one or two 
flowered; leaflets either linear or lanceolate, acute, 
upper leafstalks having two pairs ; stipules half arrow- 
shaped and toothed; calyx-teeth lanceolate, somewhat 
awl-shaped. Plant perennial. This rare species is 
found where the soil is of gravel, occurring chiefly 
near the sea. The flower is of purplish colour, with 
paler, almost white wings, and the round seeds are 
speckled with black and grey. The blossoms are most 
often solitary, and appear in July and August. 

* Peduncles short, axillary, few-flowered ; calyx 
equal at the base. 

5. V. latlujroidcs (Spring Vetch). Flowers solitary, 
sessile ; pods smooth ; leaflets in two or three pairs, in- 
versely egg-shaped or oblong, tipped with a spine ; calyx- 
teeth awl-shaped; sfipules entire, not marked with a dark 

VOL. n. s 


spot ; pods linear, smooth; seeds nearly cubical, roughish. 
Plant annual. This species is very nearly allied to the 
next, looking like a dwarfed specimen of it. Its stem is 
prostrate, and usually about six inches long. The flowers 
are of bright purple, and expand in April and May. 

* * * Flowers axillary, scarcely stalked; calyx swelling 
ai the base on one side. 

6. V. sativa (Common Vetch). Flowers solitary or 
in pairs, nearly sessile ; leaflets in from four to seven 
pairs, oblong or inversely heart-shaped, the upper ones 
narrowest, all tipped with a spine ; calyx-teeth equal ; 
pods slender, somewhat silky ; stipules half arrow-shaped, 
toothed at the base, marked with a sunken dark spot ; 
seeds round and smooth. Plant annual. This vetch is 
often found growing apparently wild in fields, but it is 
a doubtful native, and has most probably escaped from 
cultivation. The plant is very extensively sown for 
cattle, and is the summer and winter tare of the agri- 
culturist. These two tares were long regarded as dif- 
ferent species, but Professor Marty n, on cultivating 
them both, found that they were not even distinct 
varieties, only requiring that the one should be sown 
in the Spring, the other in October. This is the only 
species of the genus, except the Bean, which is cultivated 
to any extent in this country. 

The Tare crop is of so much importance in our own 
land, that Mr. Young observed, that not one-tenth of 
the animals reared for the use of man could be supported 
without it. " This common vetch," he says, " maintains 
more animals than any other plant whatsoever, no arti- 


ficial food being to be compared with it." Another 
advantage of the tare to the cultivator is mentioned by 
Professor Timers, which is, that when cut green it does 
not exhaust the soil ; and that when made into hay it is 
more palatable and nutritive to cattle than any other 
food. Vetches are generally cut down before ripening 
their seeds, but these are sometimes allowed to ripen, 
either for sowing or for feeding pigeons. The plant is 
usually about two feet high, and has purple, blue, or 
reddish flowers in June. A variety termed angmtifolia 
has sometimes been described as a distinct species. Its 
upper leaflets are narrow, its flowers solitary or in pairs, 
generally smaller and of a brighter red than in the or- 
dinary form, and its pods spreading; it is found in dry 
places. Another variety has also been termed Vicia 
Bobartii; in this the flowers are solitary, the stem pro- 
strate, and the pods spreading. 

7. V. lutea (Rough-podded Yellow Vetch). Mowers 
solitary, sessile ; standard smooth ; leaflets lanceolate in 
four or five to eight pairs ; stipules marked with a deep 
red spot ; calyx-teeth unequal, upper ones very short 
and curved upwards ; pods hairy. Plant perennial. 
This is a rare species, growing in rocky or pebbly 
lands, especially near the sea, in England and Scotland. 
It is about two feet in height, and its flowers, which are 
produced in June and July, are large, and of pale yellow. 

* * * * Flower-stalks long ; calyx equal at the base. 

8. V. hybrida (Hairy -flowered Yellow Vetch). 
Flowers solitary, axillary ; calyx-teeth unequal, spread- 
ing ; standard hairy; pods oblong and hairy; stipules 


egg-shaped and without spot ; leaflets abrupt ; stem 
ascending. Plant perennial. This yellow - flowered 
species is very similar to the last, and differs from it 
chiefly in the standard of its flower, which is covered 
with an abundance of glossy yellowish hair. It is in 
blossom in July and August, and is found on Glaston- 
bury Tor Hill, and at Swan Pool, Lincoln. 

9. V. sepium (Bush Vetch). Flowers from four to 
six in a small sessile cluster ; leaflets egg-shaped, 
obtuse, gradually decreasing in size towards the end 
of the leaf-stalk ; stipules half arrow-shaped, undivided 
or lobed ; pods smooth ; seeds round, marked with black 
and grey. Plant perennial. This species is very com- 
mon in woods or under hedges, but it is not one of the 
prettiest of our vetches. Its clusters of pale pink or 
blue flowers are of a somewhat dull tint. They are to be 
found from April to June, for this is the earliest bloom- 
ing of all our vetches ; and in mild springs it will often 
put forth its blossoms even in March, while its young 
shoots are, as early as February, arrayed with tender 
green leaves, the first spring food of cattle. This 
plant also vegetates later in autumn than any other 
vetch, and remains green the greater part of the winter. 
Its culture, as food for animals, has been warmly recom- 
mended. A patch of the Bush Vetch, sown in a garden, 
has been cut five times in the course of the second year 
and produced a large amount of green herbage. Mr 
Swayne observes that it is palatable to all kinds of 
cattle, but that it is difficult of cultivation on a large 
scale, the seeds being greedily devoured by the larvae 
of some insect. 


Several of the vetches are grown to great extent in 
other countries of Europe. In Germany, the Broad- 
leaved Vetch, V. Narbonensis, and the Saw -leaved Vetch, 
V, serratifolia, are much cultivated ; and our garden 
and field beans are species of Vetch. The sweet bean- 
field furnishes us with a pleasanter and more power- 
ful odour than any other portion of our rural land- 
scape. The bean, Vicia faba, said to have been in- 
troduced from Egypt, affords a large quantity of 
nutritious matter. The Windsor, Sandwich, and other 
garden beans are but varieties of the field plant. The 
reasons why Pythagoras forbade his disciples to eat 
the bean, have led to many ingenious speculations 
among learned men. " Some persons," says Professor 
Burnett, " affirm that he believed the bean to be the 
retreat of the soul after death, and there were many 
superstitions connected with the seed, which was by 
some nations consecrated to the gods. Others suppose 
that the prohibition was founded merely on sanitary 
principles, and that Pythagoras, like Hippocrates, con- 
sidered that beans were unwholesome, and weakened the 
eyesight. Even in our day it has been observed that 
mental alienations are more frequent during the blossom 
of the bean than at other seasons ; a circumstance, 
however, explicable from the excessive summer heats 
that usually occur, and not attributable to the bean, 
although its black flowers were supposed, by the sig- 
nature physicians, to be a prophetic mourning for the 
maladies to ensue. Other commentators, however, and 
with more seeming probability, affirm that when 
Phythagoras said ' abstain from beans/ he merely 


meant to restrict his disciples from intermeddling in 
political affairs, for it is well known that votes were 
formerly given by beans, and vestiges of this practice, 
at least in words, remain with us at the present day." 

10. V. Iceviydta (Smooth-podded Vetch). Flowers 
solitary, axillary, nearly sessile; calyx-teeth nearly 
equal, awl-shaped ; pods compressed, oblong, and 
smooth ; stems ascending ; leaflets in about four pairs 
smooth ; stipules cloven, without spot. Plant perennial 
This species is now lost from the one spot in the world 
on which it forraely grew ; but as, in some rare in- 
stances, plants which had been considered as extinct, 
from our Flora, have again sprung up on our soil, it is 
not impossible that some future botanist may find 
this. There are writers who consider it, however, but 
a variety of one of the other species. The stem is from 
three or four inches to a foot long, the flowers pale 
purple, the seeds brown and oblong. The pebbly shore 
of Weymouth, in Dorsetshire, is the spot on which 
it was found, its blossoms expanding in July and 

11. V. hirsuta (Hairy Tare). Flowers about six 
together ; pods hairy, 2-seeded ; leaflets linear, oblong, 
in six or eight pairs ; stipules half arrow-shaped. Plant 
annual. This straggling slender plant, the Tine Tare, 
as it is called in some counties, is very common in 
fields and hedges in England, though rare in Scotland. 
Its much branched stem and leaves make tangled masses 
among the corn, and in June and July we may find its 
tiny bluish-coloured flowers. This plant arid the next, 
form the British genus Ervum of some botanist-s, tho 


name being said to have been derived from Erw, which 
signifies in Celtic, tilled land ; and it is on such places 
that these little plants are often very plentiful and trou- 
blesome. This Tine Tare will, in wet seasons, some- 
times destroy whole crops by entwining itself amongst 
them, and hence the peasant often calls it Strangle Tare. 
It is not, however, a useless plant in the hedge, for it is 
nutritive to cattle, and much relished by them, and the 
birds feast on its little reddish seeds which are dotted 
with black. These seeds were formerly said to produce 
debility in the limbs if they happen to be mingled 
with the flour made into bread, but this statement has 
been quite disproved, though they impart to the flour 
a strong and disagreeable flavour. Dr. Withering re- 
marked, that both the Tine Tare and the four-seeded 
species increase with superabundant fertility ; for it 
appears from experiments, that a single seed will, by the 
produce of one plant only, multiply a thousand-fold in 
a short time. 

12. V. tetrasperma (Slender Tare). Floioers from 
one to seven together ; leaflets in from three to six pairs; 
pods slender, oblong, smooth, containing from four to 
eight seeds ; stipules half arrow- shaped, entire. Plant 
annual. This tare has very small pale purple flowers 
in June and July, and is the most slender of all our 
vetches. It is not unfrequent in corn-fields and hedges 
in England, but is more rare in Scotland. Mr. Babington 
and other botanists describe also a species under the 
name of Vlcia gracilis, in which the flowers are twice 
as large as in V. tetrasperma; but Sir Wm. Hooker 
and Dr. Arnott consider this plant but one of the 


several varieties, differing slightly from the ordinary form 
of the species. 

The Lentil, Ervum Lens, is one of the genus Vicia, and 
has been from high antiquity an important article of 
human food. The boiled Lentil formed the red pottage 
for which Esau sold his birthright. Several varieties of 
this plant are cultivated in Italy, France, and Germany; 
and the use of this pulse is very common on the Con- 
tinent, especially by the Roman Catholics daring Lent. 
Lentils are also used in this country in sauces and soups. 

14. LATHYRUS VETCHLING (Everlasting Pea). 

1. L. pratensis (Meadow Vetchling). Fiower-stalks 
many flowered ; leaves of one pair of lanceolate, three- 
nerved, slightly "silky leaflets ; stipules arrow-shaped, as 
large as the leaflets; calyx-teeth awl-shaped; pods 
veined ; seeds round and smooth. Plant perennial. 
The bright yellow flower of this handsome Vetchling 
may be seen, during July and August, in most bushy 
grassy places, the stems acquiring greater length, and 
the flowers an additional luxuriance, when the plant 
grows on the moist meadow, or among the bushes 
through which the brook is murmuring its music. 
The stems are angular, but not winged, and are often 
two or three feet long, climbing, by means of their 
tendrils. Cattle are said to be very fond of this plant. 

2. L. sylvustris (Narrow-leaved Everlasting Pea). 
Leaf of two sword-shaped leaflets ; flowers four or five 
together ; stipules half arrow-shaped ; calyx-teeth tri- 
angular and awl-shaped, two upper ones short; stems 
winged; pods netted with veins; seeds smooth. Plant 


perennial. This is not a very frequent flower in our 
woods and thickets. It is very much like the Everlast- 
ing Pea of the gardens, but a much smaller plant. The 
blossoms are large, of a somewhat dull pinkish purple 
colour, more or less tinged with green, and marked with 
purple veins. They are produced during June, July, 
and August. This pea is found in the middle and south 
of England, but it is doubtful if it is truly wild. Salis- 
bury Craigs is a well-known habitat of the plant, and 
the author has found it in several places in Kent, as at 
Higham near Rochester, and about Lymne Castle near 
llythe. It occurs also in some places in Scotland and 
in North Wales. The stem, which is almost flat, climbs 
to the height of six or seven feet by means of its 

3. L. latifolius (Broad-leaved Everlasting Pea). 
Flowers growing several together ; leaves of one pair of 
narrowly egg-shaped pointed leaflets; stipules broad, 
half arrow-shaped ; pods veined ; seeds rough ; stem 
winged. Plant perennial. This handsome flower is 
found in some woods in Cambridgeshire, Cumberland, 
Worcestershire, and other counties, but it is a very 
doubtful native, and is generally, if not always, the 
outcast of a garden. It is a well-known and showy 
climber, often in its cultivated state adorning the 
cottage porch or summer arbour, making it gay with 
its profusion of bright green foliage and its purple 
and pink flowers. The leaves are so abundant, and 
the seeds so numerous, that some agriculturists have 
thought that the plant would be worth cultivation for 
fodder. The Sweet-peas, Tangier-peas, and some other 



lovely flowers of the garden-bed, are species of Lathyrus. 
In Switzerland large fields are sown with another 
species, the Chickling Vetch (Latliyrus sativus), which 
is cultivated as food for horses ; and on several parts of 
the Continent a white and well-flavoured bread is made 
from the seeds. In the seventeenth century, however, 
when this bread came into general use, very sad effects 
followed upon eating it as daily food. A great rigidity 
of the limbs ensued, causing a loss of muscular power, 
beyond the reach of cure. No pain served as a pre- 
monitory symptom, the sufferer experienced little more 
than a slight diminution of strength, when he suddenly 
found his limbs rigid, and movement impossible. Several 
of the lower animals were found, when fed on this diet, 
to lose all use of the limbs, and even pigeons which ate 
the seeds shortly became unable to walk, though geese 
could eat them with impunity. George, Uuke of 
Wirtemberg, published, in 1671, an edict prohibiting 
the use of the bread in his dominions, but the peasantry 
still continued to eat it, till his successor, Leopold, by 
two edicts, in 1705 and 1714, abolished its use. A 
variety of this Lathyruy sativus, called the Poisonous Pea 
of Barbary, is highly deleterious, and the government of 
Florence forbade the use of the seeds in bread, in 1787; 
but Fabroni says, they are still used by the poor, boiled 
and mixed with wheaten flour, and that, thus prepared, 
they do not seem to leave any bad effects. The roots of 
Lalliyms ttiberosus, a plant growing wild in many parts 
of Germany, are called Earth-nuts. This species is 
cultivated in Holland, and in some districts on the 
borders of the Rhine, for these tubers. 


4. L. maritimus (Sea-side Everlasting Pea). Flower- 
stalks many-flowered, shorter than the leaves ; leaves 
of from 3 to S pairs of oval leaflets ; stipules as large as 
the leaflets, halberd-shaped, with their angles acute; 
stem angular, but not winged. Plant perennial. On 
some of our pebbly beaches this pretty pea may be 
found, during July and August, straggling over the 
stones with its short stems adorned with their nume- 
rous flowers. These are large and handsome, and are 
of a purplish or crimson hue, varied with blue. This pea 
is very rare. It occurs more frequently on the southern 
coast than in any other part of England, and the pebbly 
beaches of Lincolnshire and Suffolk are occasionally 
made gay with it, as it sometimes grows there in great 

There is little reason to doubt that this is a truly 
wild flower ; but the legend is still told in Suffolk, that 
it sprang up on the coast there for the first time in 
a season when greatly needed. The wonderful appear- 
ance of this pea is mentioned both by Stowe and 
Camclen, who believed it to have grown from seeds 
borne out of some foundered bark by the rushing 
waves. Doubtless, many of the plants on our shores 
have such an origin, and would as well deserve as does 
the Guernsey Lily to be called the Flower of the Wreck. 
Fuller says of this pea : " In a general dearth all over 
England, plenty of peas did grow on the sea-shore near 
Dunmow in Suffolk, never set or sown by human in- 
dustry, which, being gathered in a full ripeness, much 
abated the high price in the markets, and preserved 
many hungry families from perishing." tt is probable 


that they were usually plentiful on that coast in the 
summer season, but that not having been needed, they 
had been little noticed. Meyen says that these peas 
are eaten in Iceland, and considered to be well-flavoured. 
Climate often affects the properties and flavour of plants, 
and it may be so in this case, for the seeds of our Sea 
Pea are bitter and unpalatable, and could only be eaten 
by those who were suffering with hunger, though, per- 
naps, if mixed with wheaten flour they might be 

This species was called by Linnaeus Pisum maritimmn, 
but Bigelow placed it in this genus. The pea which we 
see waving its purple or white flowers by thousands in 
the summer fields, is the common pea of the south of 
Europe, Pisum sativum, the Pisello of the Italians; 
and the different edible garden peas are, by some writers, 
thought to be all varieties of this species. The noble 
Eoman family Pisones received their name from the 
Pea plant, as did the high families of the Fabii Lentuli, 
and some others, from other plants of the leguminous 
family. Excellence in war and agricultural skill being the 
chief virtues of the Roman citizen, and a good agricul- 
turist being among them synonymous with a good man, 
it is no marvel that they took names identifying them 
with the introduction of useful plants, or some improve- 
ments connected with their culture. The seeds of the 
Cape Horn Pea, some of which were brought to England 
by Lord Anson's cook, afforded great relief to the sailors 
during the voyages of that great navigator, though far 
inferior to those in ordinary cultivation. 

5. L. palustris (Blue Marsh Vetchling). Flowers 


from 3 to 6 together ; leaf si from 2 to 4 pairs of very 
narrow acute leaflets ; stipules lanceolate and half arrow- 
shaped; stem winged. Plant perennial. This rare 
species occurs in moist boggy meadows and thickets 
in several parts of England and Wales, and at Galloway 
in Scotland, and may be seen in such spots as Keats 
has described : 

" Its taper fingers, catching at all things 
To bind them all about with tiny rings, 
Linger awhile upon some bending planks 
That lean against a streamlet's rushy banks, 
And watch intently Nature's gentle doings : 
They will be found softer than ringdove's cooings. 
How silent comes the water round that bend ! 
Not the minutest whispers does it send 
To the o'erhanging sallows : blades of grass 
Slowly across the chequer'd shadows pass : 
Why, you might read two sonnets ere they reach 
To where the hurrying freshnesses aye preach 
A natural sermon o'er their pebbly beds. 


The ripples seem right glad to reach those cresses, 
And cool themselves among the emerald tresses; 
The while they cool themselves, they freshness give, 
And moisture, that the bowering green may live : 
Thus keeping up an interchange of favours, 
Like good men in the truth of their behaviours." 

The stem of this plant is about two or three feet high, 
the leaflets about two inches in length, and the flowers, 
which are produced from June to August, are bluish 

6. L. hirsutus (Rough-podded Vetchling). Leaf of 
one pair of long and narrow leaflets; flower-stalks 
2-flowered ; pods hairy ; seeds round, and rough with 


tubercles ; stem and leaf-stalk winged. Plant annual. 
This is a very rare Vetcbling, having pale blue flowers 
with a crimson standard. It blossoms in July and 
August, and has been found in cultivated fields in Essex, 
and in the neighbourhoods of Bath and Bristol. 

7. L. Aplidca (Yellow Vetchling). Flower-stalks 
single-flowered ; leaf-stalks leafless, bearing tendrils ; 
stipules arrow-shaped, and heart-shaped, very large, and 
looking like leaves. Plant annual. This singular plant 
is described as leafless, because, though in the young 
seedlings small tender leaves are occasionally developed, 
and consist of a single pair of leaflets, yet, in the full 
grown state of the plant, the leaf-stalk spreads into a 
tendril, and the plant is then justly termed leafless, as 
the expanded plane of the leaf is not present. The pair 
of stipules at the base of each tendril are, however, as 
ornamental as leaves would be; and this is a pretty 
little plant, its yeUow flowers appearing from June to 
August on its slender, weak, climbing stem. It is very 
rare, but grows in the borders of sandy or gravelly 
fields in some parts of England, especially Warwickshire, 
Norfolk, and Gloucestershire. The author has received 
very luxuriant specimens from the Forest of Dean, in 
the latter county. The seeds of this species are very 
unwholesome, and if eaten are said to cause intense 

8. I/. Nissolia (Crimson Vetchling). Leaflets want- 
ing, a simple, long, narrow, sessile, leaf-like leaf-stalk 
supplying their place ; stipules very small, and awl- 
shaped ; pods cylindrical ; seeds round and rough ; stem 
generally erect. Plant annual. This very pretty species, 


which is often called Grass Vetch, is not common. It 
grows in grassy and bushy places about fields and parks ; 
its stem is about a foot high, and it may easily be dis- 
tinguished from any other of our wild vetches by its 
grass-like leaves. Though not climbing in graceful 
convolutions, yet it is peculiarly elegant in form, and 
the small flowers are light crimson. The author has 
found it in meadow-lands about Tunbridge Wells. It 
blossoms in June and July. 

15. OROBUS (Bitter Vetch). 

1. 0. tuber osus (Tuberous Bitter Vetch). Leaflets 
in from 2 to 4 pairs, smooth, without tendrils, and glau- 
cous on the under surface ; stipules half arrow-shaped, 
toothed at the base ; stem simple, erect, winged ; pods 
cylindrical ; seeds round. Plant perennial. This pretty 
Vetch is not uncommon in woods and thickets, especially 
in mountainous districts. It has clusters of the purple 
and pink veined flowers on long stalks, in the axils of 
its leaves, and has much of the general aspect of the 
Vetches, but it is without tendrils. It flowers in May and 
June, and after the blossoms have died, the long, black, 
drooping pods are very conspicuous. In country places 
it is often called Peaseling, or Wood Pea. The French 
term it L' Oro&e, the Germans Die Bergerbse ; it is the 
Erlen of the Dutch, and the Orobo of the Italian and 
Spaniard. There is a variety of this plant with linear 
leaves, called tenuifolitis. Some botanists, as Babing- 
ton, place both this and the next species in the genus 


The tuberous roots of this plant constitute the Cor- 
meille of the Highlanders, and are very highly esteemed 
by them. They are dried in the sun, and afterwards 
chewed, in order to add a relish to their whiskey ; and, 
according to the Highlanders, they have the power of 
allaying both hunger and thirst. Like the roots of 
several of our leguminous plants, they have a sweet 
flavour, resembling liquorice, and they are, when boiled, 
very nutritious and palatable. They h.ave often been 
substituted for bread in times of famine, and many think 
that this plant is the CJiara mentioned by Caesar as 
affording temporary food to the famished soldiers at the 
siege of Dyrrhachium, and also believe it to be the 
ancient Caledonian food described by Dio. In Holland, 
the roots are commonly boiled and eaten, or they are 
brought to table after being roasted, like chestnuts, and 
the flavour is then so similar to that fruit, that one could 
scarcely detect the difference. Dickson recommended 
their culture for the kitchen garden, remarking, that 
by the end of the second year the roots would be fit 
for gathering. Country children, where the plant is 
common, make many a meal of them. 

2. 0. nigcr (Black Bitter Vetch). Stalks many- 
flowered ; leaves of from 3 to 6 pairs of lanceolate or 
oblong leaflets, without tendrils ; stipules narrow, some- 
what awl-shaped, lower ones half arrow-shaped; pods 
containing oval seeds ; stem angular, branched, not 
winged. Plant perennial. This species is rare, and 
found only on shady rocks in Scotland. Its blossoms 
are very similar to those of the last species, and appear 
in June and July. The plant turns black in drying. 


16. ORNfTHOPUs (Bird's-foot). 

1. 0. piipusillus (Common Bird's-foot). Floiver- 
stalks longer than the leaves; calyx-teeth triangular, 
acute ; leaves pinnate, with from 6 to 9 pairs of oval 
leaflets, and a terminal one ; pods curved, jointed, and 
wrinkled ; flowers nearly sessile. Plant annual. This 
is a very pretty little plant, common on dry, sandy, 
gravelly soils ; often the companion of the harebell on 
open heath or sunny bank. It is the smallest of our 
leguminous plants, sometimes so small that its spreading 
prostrate sprays of downy leaves, and its tiny flowers, 
might all be covered by a crown piece, though often the 
stems are five or six inches in height. The plant is in 
flower from June to August, the little cream-coloured 
blossoms being veined with crimson, and having a leaf 
under each cluster. The pods are very singular, bend- 
ing round, as they ripen, into a curve, and at once sug- 
gesting the idea of a bird's foot. This genus shares in 
other countries the name given from this resemblance, 
and is the Pied d'oiseau of the French, the Piedc d'uc- 
cello of the Italians, the Vogelfuss of the Germans, the 
Vogelpoot of the Dutch, and the Serraditta of the Spanish 
and Portuguese, though they also call it Pe de passaro. 
The Spanish Bird's-foot, under the name of Serradilla, 
is cultivated in fields, and is the Ornitliojjus sativm of 
the botanist. It was introduced into our own country, 
for field-culture, from Portugal, about the year 1818, 
and is a very valuable plant for this purpose. It pro- 
duces a large amount of herbage fitted for cattle ; and 

VOL. IT. n 


on the barren soils of the sandy downs of Thctford in 
Norfolk, where other plants would not thrive, this has 
been cultivated with advantage. It is not, however, 
like our wild species, a small plant, but commonly attains 
the height of two feet. Our Bird's-foot was said by 
herbalists to be of " a binding drying quality, and very 
good for a wound-drink, as also for an outward applica- 
tion in cure of wounds." 

17. ARTHROLOBIUM (Joint Vetch). 

1. A. ebractedtum (Sand Joint Vetch). Floiver-stalks 
about as long as the leaves, from 2 to 4-flowered ; stipules 
very small ; leaves pinnate, with many pairs of oblong 
leaflets, the lowest pair remote from the stem; pod 
curved upwards, jointed, and rough. This little Vetch 
is very similar to the Bird's-foot, but has no floral leaf. 
It is exceedingly rare, being found in this kingdom only 
in the Scilly Islands. It has small yellow or yellowish- 
white flowers, with red lines, and its stem is prostrate, 
and scarcely thicker than a thread. 

18. HIPPOCREPIS (Horseshoe Vetch). 

1. II. comosa (Tufted Horseshoe Vetch). Flowers 
from 5 to 8, in an umbel, their stalk longer than the 
leaves ; pods curved, rough, having smooth joints and 
semicircular notches. This is a common annual plant, 
on chalky and limestone soils, and well known in such 
districts of England, though rare in Scotland. It might 
be mistaken for the Bird's-foot Lotus, but for its sin- 


gular pods, which look so like a number of horseshoes 
united together at their extremities, that we wonder that 
the old herbalists did not consider them as indicative of 
some uses in farriery. We have one or two pretty 
species of this flower in the garden, brought from the 
South of Europe. The blossoms of the tufted species are 
yellow, and are produced from May to August. 


1. 0. sativa (Common Saintfoin). Leaves pinnate, 
nearly smooth ; leaflets oblong, entire, in about twelve 
pairs; legumes wrinkled and toothed; icings of the 
corolla as short as the calyx; stem ascending. Plant 
perennial. The very handsome crimson flowers of the 
Saintfoin are, during June and July, familiar to those who 
live in those counties in which chalk or limestone pre- 
vails. It is not only to be commonly found wild in such 
districts, but it is often largely cultivated on chalk soils, 
where it is of great duration and worth, its especial 
value being that it may be grown on lands unfit for 
being constantly under tillage, and which would yield 
little produce if laid down in pasture. On many a 
sunny slope its richly tinted spikes form a wide mass 
of crimson, and we know of no cultivated field which is 
more truly ornamental to the landscape than the field 
of Saintfoin. The long descending roots of this plant 
can penetrate the fissures of rocky or chalky substrata, 
which the roots of other plants of field culture could not 
reach. Its herbage is equally fitted for pasturage, or 
for making into hay. Arthur Young says, that upon 


soils proper for it, no farmer can sow too much of it; 
and in the code of agriculture it is pronounced to be 
one of the most valuable herbage plants which we owe 
to the bounty of Providence. Fuller, in his " Worthies 
of England," remarks of it, " Sainte-foin, or Holy Hay : 
Superstition may seem in the name, but I assure you 
there is nothing but good husbandry in the sowing 
thereof. Some call it the small clover-grass, and it 
profiteth best in the worst ground. It was first fetcht 
out of France from about Paris, and since is sown in 
divers places in England, but especially in Cobham 
Park, in the county of Kent, where it thriveth extra- 
ordinary well on dry chalky banks where nothing else will 
grow. It will last seven years, by which time the native 
grasse of England will prevaile over this forraigner if 
it be not sown again." This old writer was pretty 
nearly correct in this latter statement. The Saintfoin 
comes to perfection in about three years, and begins to 
decline about the seventh or eighth year on gravelly 
soils, though it will last two or three years longer on 
chalk. In some rare cases, however, there are fields 
of Saintfoin, which having been long neglected, were 
mostly, as Fuller says, " prevailed over by the native 
grass," in which single plants have yet remained fifty 
years after sowing. It has been cultivated upwards 
of a century on the Cotswold hills, and on these soils 
roots of the Saintfoin have been traced clown into stone 
quarries from ten to twenty feet in length. Yon Thaers 
has found them in Germany attaining the length of 
sixteen feet. 

The Saintfoin is called Le Sanfoin and EEsparqet 


by the French, Esparette by the Germans, and Hanne- 
kammeTJes by the Dutch. It was formerly included in 
the genus Hedysarum, the plants of which it much 
resembles. The French Honeysuckle of our gardens, 
and the False Saintfoin of southern Europe, are well- 
known allies of our wild flower. The former, Hedysarum 
coronarium, which looks like a very large Saintfoin, 
grows wild in great luxuriance in Calabria, where it 
attains the height of nearly four feet, and affords abun- 
dance of food to horses. Osbeck says, that he saw large 
bundles of it brought to Cadiz as fodder for cattle. 
Another species is extremely useful for fixing the loose 
sands of some countries of the south of Europe, and 
various exotic kinds are prized in those lands as afford- 
ing valuable tonic medicines. The roots of one species, 
the Senna-like Saintfoin, H. sennoides, are stimulating, 
and are sold in the bazaars of India, and administered 
by the native practitioners in cases of fever. Our her- 
balists call our Saintfoin, Cock's Head, Red Fitching, 
and Medick Fetch. Cne of them says of it, " It hath 
power to rarify and digest, and therefore the green leaves, 
bruised and laid as a plaister, disperse swellings ;" 
though we might add, as Gerarde did to the account 
given of the virtues of some other plant, " Whereof they 
had those notions I know not ; it may be of some doctor 
who never went to school." 

The celebrated Churra Borrum of the Hindoos, the 
Moving Saintfoin, Hedysarum gyrans, is well known as 
the most singular of all sensitive plants. Its movements 
are not occasioned by any touch or vibration of the air : 
no sooner have the young seedlings acquired their triple 


leaves than this mysterious movement commences, never 
to cease wholly till life is extinct. No apparent influence 
directs the motion ; one leaflet moves while all others 
are quiescent ; or a few leaflets only are in agitation ; or 
all are in movement at once. Grasp the leaflets in your 
hand, and they are compelled to rest ; but release them, 
and they are restless as the sea-wave, or fluttering wing 
of the bird. Heat quickens the movements and cold 
retards them, but they offer the most singular instance 
of spontaneous action exhibited by any vegetable, save 
by some microscopic plants. 


Calyx with 4 or 5 divisions, or twice as many, in 
2 rows ; petals 5, regular, inserted on the calyx; stamens 
generally more than 12, but indefinite in number, in- 
serted on the calyx, curved inwards before the expansion 
of the petals ; carpels many, or solitary, either distinct 
or combined with each other and with the calyx ; styles 
distinct, often lateral ; fruit either a drupe, as the cherry; 
an assemblage of erect capsules opening at the side ; or 
a number of nut-like seeds inserted into a fleshy recep- 
tacle, as the strawberry ; or the seeds are enclosed in the 
fleshy tube of the calyx, as in the rose ; or lie in the 
midst of a fleshy substance, and form a pome, as in the 

This very large and important Order contains herbs, 
shrubs, and trees, natives chiefly of the temperate or 


cold climates of the northern hemisphere. The fruits 
are, in all our British species, wholesome and mostly 
agreeable, but many of the plants which furnish them 
are poisonous from the hydrocyanic or prussic acid con- 
tained in their leaves, bark, flowers, and seeds. To 
this Order belong our apples, cherries, raspberries, straw- 
berries, and a variety of other valuable fruits ; and 
almonds, peaches, nectarines, and the apricot, which the 
Persians call the Seed of the Sun, are among the rosa- 
ceous fruits introduced into our gardens. The valuable 
evergreens, the cherry laurels and Portugal laurels, are 
also familiar instances of shrubs of this Order, and con- 
tain the poisonous principle to a great extent in their 
leaves. These leaves should be used in confectionary 
with great caution, as the dangerous principle contained 
in laurel-water has proved fatal in some cases. The 
fruit, however, of the cherry laurel is quite harmless, 
though not of particularly good flavour. This plant 
was first introduced into England from Asia Minor, and 
called the Date of Trebisond, from the use of its berries 
in that city, in the neighbourhood of which it grows 
wild. Roses, hawthorn, flowering plum, apple, and 
other trees, are also among the fragrant and delightful 
plants furnished by this Order to the garden. 

The plants of the Rose Tribe afford, by their variously 
formed fruits, a facility of arrangement to the botanist, 
and are divided into five Sub-orders, or Groups. 



In this Group the calyx is inferior, and soon falls 
off; the p istil is solitary; and i\\Q fruit, when ripe, is a 
drupe that is, a fleshy or juicy pulp, with an external 
rind or cuticle, and one seed in the midst enclosed in 
a hard case. They are shrubs or trees, with simple 
leaves and stipules free from the leaf-stalk ; the bark 
often yields gum, and prussic acid usually abounds in 
the seeds and leaves. The Laurel belongs to this Group, 
as does the beautiful Almond-tree, the first in the spring 
to adorn our shrubberies with its flowers, and which is 
connected with the associations both of Sacred Writ 
and of oldest poetry. The classic poet could predict the 
future crop from its bloom. 

" Mark well the flowering Almond in the wood ; 
If odorous blooms the bearing branches load, 
The glebe will answer to the sylvan reign, 
Great heats will follow, and large crops of grain ; 
But if a wood of leaves o'ershade the tree, 
Such and so barren will the harvest be." 

The bitter oil of almonds is well known to be poison- 
ous, but in the ordinary form of this, as in many of the 
seeds of this Group, the prussic acid exists in so small n, 
proportion to the sugar, mucilage, and other harmless 
materials which compose them, that they may be safely 
used in cookery. Some of our best confectionary and 
liqueurs are flavoured by these kernels. The poisonous 
properties of tbe seeds or leaves are thought by che- 
mists not to exist ready formed in these parts of the 
plant, but to be developed only when they are broken 


up, and principles of a different kind seated in distinct 
cells are brought into contact with one another, or with 

1. PRUNUS (Plum and Cherry). Nut of the drupe 
smooth, or slightly seamed. Name from the Greek 
proune, a plum ; Cerasus, a name given to one division 
of the genus, is from Cerasus, a city of Pontus. 


This division contains a small number of herbaceous 
or shrubby plants ; they bear their seeds in dry erect 
capsules, opening at the side, termed follicles. Several 
species, as the shrubby Spirteas, and the herbaceous 
Meadow-sweets, are attractive garden plants. 

2. SPIRAEA (Meadow-sweet and Drop wort). Calyx 
5-cleft; stamens numerous j follicles from 3 to 12, bear- 
ing few seeds. Name of Greek origin. 


In this division there is considerable variation in the 
form of the fruit. In all cases the calyx is permanent, 
and contains a number of nut-like seeds, with or with- 
out awns, placed on a pulpy, spongy, or dry receptacle ; 
in- the Bramble each grain is enveloped in pulp, the 
fruit being a collection of little drupes. In Agrimony 
alone there are but two seeds, which ate enclosed in 
a bristly hardened calyx. This division is composed 
chiefly of herbs, but a few shrubs are found in it 

VOL. n. x 


They are all free from any unwholesome properties, and 
our strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, are com- 
mon instances. 

3. DRYAS (Mountain Avens). Calyx in 8 10 equal 
divisions, which are all in one row ; petals 8 10 ; styles 
finally becoming feathery ; tails not hooked at the ex- 
tremity. Name from the Greek drys, an oak, from some 
imagined similarity in the leaves of the two plants. 

4. GEUM (Avens). Calyx 10-cleft, in 2 rows, the 
outer division smaller ; petals 5 ; styles finally becoming 
jointed ; awns hooked at the extremity. Name from the 
Greek geyo, to taste. 

5. PGTENTILLA (Cinquefoil). Calyx \ 0-cleffc, in 2 rows, 
the outer division smaller ; petals 5 ; seeds without 
awns, on a dry receptacle. Name from the Latin potcns, 
from some powerful virtues supposed to exist in some 
of the species. 

6. SIBBALDIA. Calyx 10-cleft, in 2 rows, the outer 
division smaller ; petals 5 ; stamens 5 ; seeds about 5, 
Avithout awns, on a dry receptacle. Named after Robert 
Sibbald, a Scottish naturalist. 

7. COMARUM (Marsh Cinquefoil). Calyx 10-cleft, in 
2 rows, the outer division smaller ; petals 5 ; seeds with- 
out awns, on an enlarged spongy receptacle. Name 
from the Greek comaros, anciently applied to another 

8. FRAGARIA (Strawberry). Calyx 10-cleft, in 2 rows, 
the outer division smaller ; petals 5 ; seeds without awns, 
on an enlarged fleshy receptacle. Name from the Latin 
fragum, a strawberry, that being derived komfrayrans, 


9. RUBUS (Bramble). Calyx 5-cleft ; petals 5; fruit \ 
an assemblage of small drupes, arranged on a spongy 
receptacle. Name from the Latin ruder, red. 

10. AGRIMONIA (Agrimony). Calyx 5-cleft, top- 
shaped, covered with hooked bristles ; petals 5 ; stamens 
about 1 5 ; seeds 2, enclosed in the tube of the hardened 
calyx. Name of Greek origin. 


In this group the calyx is cleft into from 3 to 8 
divisions ; the stamens are usually few in number, and 
the petals are absent ; one or two nut-like seeds are 
enclosed in the hardened tube of the calyx. These 
plants are chiefly herbs or shrubs, often with compound 

11. ALCJIEMILLA (Lady's Mantle). Calyx 8-cleft, in 
two rows, the outer divisions smaller; petals none; 
stamens 1 4, opposite the smaller divisions of the 
calyx ; seeds one or two enclosed in the dried calyx. 
Name, from its imagined worth in Alchemy. 

12. SANGUISORBA (Burnet). Calyx 4-cleft, coloured 
(not green), with 2 4 scale-like bracts at the base ; 
petals none; stamens 4; stigmas tufted. Name from 
the Latin sanyuis, blood, and sorbco, to stanch, from its 
supposed properties. 

1 3 . Poterium ( Burnet-Saxifrage). Stamens and pistils 
in separate flowers; flowers in heads; calyx 4-cleft, 
coloured, with 3 bracts at the base ; petals none ; stamens 
numerous; stigma tufted. Name from the Greek 


poterion, a drinking cup, from the use of the plant in 
the preparation of a celebrated beverage. 


Calyx urn-shaped, fleshy, terminating in 5 segments ; 
petals 5 ; stamens numerous ; fruit consisting of a number 
of nut-like hairy seeds, enclosed in the tube of the calyx. 
The plants are prickly shrubs, with pinnate leaves. 
Neither the beauty nor fragrance of the Rose tribe need 
be insisted on here. To the Rose our gardens owe 
much of their beauty, while our summer hedges are 
rendered sweet and attractive by the wild dog-roses, of 
red or white hue, which are scattered among the leafy 
boughs. Eose-water, attar of roses, and conserve of 
roses, are yielded by preparations of the petals and 
the hips. The flowers of Rosa Gallica and Rosa Dama- 
scena are collected for making both infusions and 
confections, and rose-water and attar of roses are fur- 
nished chiefly by Rosa centifolia. 

14. ROSA (Hose). Calyx urn-shaped, contracted at 
the mouth, and terminating in five leaf-like divisions ; 
petals 5 ; stamens numerous ; seeds numerous. Name 
from the Latin rosa, which was taken from the Greek 
rhodon, a rose. 


In the plants in this group the petals are several, the 
leaves alternate, simple or divided ; seeds one or more. 
The fruit is a pome, the calyx having gradually enlarged 
into a fleshy or mealy fruit, in the centre of which are 


five cells, which are horny, as in the core of the apple, 
or bony, as in that of the medlar. It consists of trees, 
many of which furnish us with important fruits, as the 
apple, pear, medlar, and quince. The leaves of several 
plants of this group contain prussic acid, and occasionally 
this substance is found in the flowers, bark, and seeds. 

15. PYRUS (Pear, Apple, Service, and Mountain Ash). 
Calyx 5-cleft ; petals 5 ; styles 2 5 ; fruit fleshy, 
or juicy, with 5 horny 2-seeded cells. Name from the 
Latin pyrus, a pear. 

16. MESPILUS (Medlar). Calyx 5-cleft, divisions leaf- 
like ; petals 5 ; styles 2 5 ; fruit fleshy, top-shaped, 
terminating abruptly, with the ends of the hard cells 
exposed. Name from the Greek mespile, a medlar. 

17. CRAT.EGUS (Hawthorn). Calyx 5-cleft, divisions 
acute ; petals 5 ; styles 1 5 ; fruit oval, or round, 
concealing the ends of the bony cells. Name from the 
Greek cratos, strength, in allusion to the hardness of the 

18. COTONEASTER. Galyx top-shaped, with 5 short 
teeth ; petals 5, small, erect ; stamens numerous, erect ; 
fruit top-shaped, with its nuts adhering to the inside of 
the calyx, but not joined in the centre. 

1. PRUNUS (Plum and Cherry). 

1. P. commimis. (Common Plum, Bullace, and Sloe.) 
Fruit covered with bloom ; young leaves rolled toge- 
ther ; flower-stalks single, or in pairs ; leaves elliptic 
or lanceolate, and somewhat egg-shaped, rather downy 
beneath. Plant perennial. In the form sometimes 


termed P. spinosa, the Sloe, the branches are spmous, 
the flower-stalks and leaves smooth ; in the variety 
termed P. insilitia, the Bullace, the branches are straight 
and slightly thorny, the flower-stalks and under sides of 
the leaves downy ; in the wild plum, P. domestica of 
some writers, the flower-stalks are smooth, and the 
older leaves smooth beneath, while the branches are 
without thorns. Some botanists treat these three as 
distinct species; but they appear to be all so closely 
allied as not to admit of accurate specific distinction. 
All lovers of wild-flowers welcome the Blackthorn spray, 
when its black woody leafless boughs are whitened with 
the snowy blossoms. We may wander forth to see 
them even as early as March, when winds are blowing, 
and whirling the few dried leaves which are yet left of 
the multitude which strewed the pathway of the wintry 
wood. There is a wild music among the boughs, as 
they bend downwards in graceful motions, while the 
thrush and the blackbird are singing to the rich accom- 
paniment. Young flowers peep up from among dry 
leaves, but as yet no flowering tree or shrub enlivens 
the wood, save the Blackthorn. Old country people 
call the winds of March the black winds, and say that 
the Blackthorn is so called because it flowers at that 
season ; but there is reason enough for its name in the 
dark wood of the boughs, contrasted, too, as it is by 
the flowers. A cold March is, however, called in vil- 
lages a Blackthorn winter. Graham thus alludes to 
the Sloe : 

" What though the opening spring be chill, 
Although the lark, check'd in his airy path, 


Eke out his song, perch 'd on the fallow clod 

That still o'ertops the blade ? although no branch 

Have spread its foliage, save the willow-wand, 

That dips its pale leaves in the swollen stream ! 

What though the clouds oft lower? these threats but end 

In sunny showers, that scarcely fill the folds 

Of moss couch 'd violet, or interrupt 

The merle's dulcet note, melodious bird : 

He, hid beneath the milk-white, sloe-thorn spray, 

Whose early flowers anticipate the leaf, 

Welcomes the time of buds, the infant year." 

The blackthorn bush is very frequent in our woods, 
coppices, and hedges, gradually acquiring its leaves in 
April and May, so that when the flowers are disap- 
pearing, it is clad in delicate verdure. These leaves 
have been' dried for tea, and mixed in large proportions 
with the Chinese leaf. " From the result of a Parlia- 
mentary investigation, in 1835," says Professor Burnett, 
"it appears that upwards of four million pounds of 
fictitious tea are on an average commonly made in this 
country, 'and used to mix with that brought here from 
China. Within a few years this illicit practice, which 
had previously been carried on by stealth, was attempted 
to be legalised by taking out a patent for the preparation 
of British leaves as a substitute for tea, and an extensive 
manufactory established for this purpose." It soon 
became notorious, however, that this prepared leaf was 
purchased and mingled with the tea sold as Chinese, 
and it was consequently suppressed ; and a large 
quantity, detected in the progress of preparation, was 

The dark purple fruit, the Sloe, is well known to 
every school-boy, nor is its austere flavour unpleasing to 


" bo) r ish appetite." Its rich dark hue has made it a 
favourite comparison ; and eyes as black as sloes have 
been sung by poets without number. Chaucer alludes 
to its colour: 

" Ful crooked was that foule' sticke, 
And knottie here and there also, 
And blacke as berrie of any slo." 

In early days we were wont to gather these fruits in 
large numbers, and, enclosing them in a bottle, to bury 
them deeply in the earth till Christmas, when they 
formed a preserve, which, to childish taste, at least, was 
delicious, though its astringent property must render it 
a very objectionable one to be eaten in large quantities. 
Many a time, too, the roasted sloe, prepared by placing 
a branch over the fire, serves as a luxury to country 
children, though the process usually fails to remove the 
austerity of the fruit, since it is seldom thoroughly 
roasted. The sloe has been very extensively employed 
in adulterating port wine, and books openly avowing 
this adulteration, and recommending various ingredients 
and methods of preparing it, have been, a few years 
since, published in England. Two gallons of sloes was 
one of the articles directed to be employed for this 
purpose. The Rev. C. A. Johns remarks, in his volumes 
on the Forest Trees of Britain, " So impudently and 
notoriously is this fraud carried on in London, and so 
boldly is it avowed, that there are books published, 
called Publicans' Guides, &c., in which recipes are given 
for the manufacture of port wine from cider, brandy, 
and sloe juice, coloured with tincture of red sanders 


and cudbear. This villanous compound may be con- 
cocted into ' Old Port/ in a few days by the admixture 
of catechu. The corks may be stained by being soaked 
in a strong decoction of Brazil wood and a little alum ; 
and even bottles are manufactured to contain a suf- 
ficient quantity of lime to be sensibly acted on by the 
acid, and to produce a counterfeit crust." Scarcely any 
article of human consumption has been so much mingled 
with spurious ingredients as wine, and few adulterations 
have been more deleterious in their nature than some 
of these. Beckmann says, "The inventor of these 
practices deserves, for making them known, as severe 
a reprobation as Berthold Schwartz, the supposed in- 
ventor of gunpowder." The thickened juice of the 
unripe sloe is used in Germany for making an ink for 
marking linen, and its tracings are permanent. In France 
the sloes in a green state are prepared as olives, and 
eaten at desserts; and in Russia the matured fruit is 
crushed and made into a fermented liquor. 

The Blackthorn has some straight stems, and these 
having no thorns at their lower parts, are sometimes 
used as walking-sticks, and afford by the marking of 
their knots a pretty material for this purpose ; but the 
wood is not often sufficiently large to be of much use. 
The ordinary height of a sloe-bush is about two or three 
feet, though in some instances the stem is fifteen or 
twenty feet high. Loudon mentions that about Mon- 
targis the tree is called Mere dit dois, because it has 
been remarked there that when it was growing on the 
borders of woods, " its underground shoots, and the 
suckers which sprung from them, had a constant ten- 

VOL. u. r 


dency to extend the wood over the adjoining forests; 
and that if the proprietors of lands near the forests 
where the sloe-thorn formed the boundary did not take 
the precaution of stopping the progress of its roots, 
these would in a short time spread over their land, and 
the suckers which arose from them would, by affording 
protection to the seeds of timber trees, which would be 
deposited among them by the winds or by birds, ulti- 
mately, and at no great distance of time, cover the 
whole with forest trees." 

The bark of the sloe-tree is taken medicinally, and 
forms no bad substitute for the Jesuits' bark ; it is also 
used for tanning leather. 

The variety termed Prunus insititia is the Bullace ; it 
has often scarcely any spines, and is then chiefly to be 
distinguished by having more downy leaves. The fruit 
is also much larger, and the leaves appear with the 
flowers in April and May. It is not nearly so common 
a plant as the Blackthorn. From this bush, or from 
the variety called Wild Plum-tree (Prunus domestica), 
we derive the cultivated plums. The latter tree is 
seldom found wild, and resembles the bullace, but that 
it has no spines on its branches, and the under part of 
the leaf is not downy, except in some cases, where a 
slight degree of down is on the midrib. These three 
forms of wild fruit trees apparently run into each other. 
There are upwards of three hundred varieties of the 
garden and orchard fruits. Apricot plums, greengages, 
magnum bonum, mussel, Orleans, Catherine, and a 
number of others, are well known ; and many sorts of 
bullace and damson are in general culture. It is pro- 


bably the frequent habit of eating these fruits in a half- 
ripened state which has led to the belief that they are 
unwholesome ; but well-ripened plums, as well as the 
French plums and prunes which we receive in a dried 
state from the Continent, are valuable additions to the 
dessert. Plum-trees generally thrive best in an open 
situation. Their wood is useful to turners, and the 
bark yields a good yellow dye. The French call the 
Plum-tree Le Prune. It is the Prugnon of the Italians, 
and the Pflumen of the Germans. 

* Fruit without bloom, young leaves folded together. 

2. P. Pddus (Bird-cherry). Flowers in drooping 
clusters ; leaves narrow, inversely egg-shaped, or oval, 
smooth ; fruit oblong. The Bird-cherry is a handsome 
shrub, or small tree. It grows in woods and coppices, 
being most frequent in the north ; and its dark green 
leaves are much like those of the Portugal Laurel, and 
notched with large serratures, which are again serrated. 
The white flowers appear in May, and are, as well as the 
foliage, so ornamental, that the plant is often placed in 
shrubberies. In many parts of Lapland it is one of the 
most attractive trees of the landscape, and Von Buch 
describes it on the borders of the Muonio river as of 
great beauty, growing among the dark spruce firs, and 
the lighter tinted willows, and sombre alders. The 
small cherries, while in their unripened state, are of a rich 
red tint, but when matured they are black. They are 
eaten by birds, and the tree is oil this account called 
Fowl-cherry. Cluster-cherry is another name of the 



plant, and this fruit is the Hagberry of the Scotch. 
Though positively nauseous to most palates, yet it is 
commonly eaten in Siberia, and when steeped in spirits 
it imparts to them the flavour of some of the foreign 
liqueurs, as it contains, in some degree, the principle of 
prussic acid. In Gerarde's time, the Kentish cherry- 
growers were accustomed to graft cherries on it ; and 
it appears formerly to have been a much more frequent 
plant in the Kentish woods than it now is. The tree 
is very leafy, and the wood so beautifully veined, that 
it is much used in France for ornamental cabinet-work. 
3. P. Avium (Wild Cherry, or Jean). Floicers in 
umbels, with cleft petals ; leaves drooping, oblong, some- 
what egg-shaped, serrated ; calyx-tube contracted beneath 
the entire sepals ; fruit heart-shaped. This is a large 
and beautiful tree, frequent in woods and hedges, 
making them gay with its white and slightly fragrant 
flowers, which tower in May above the snowy clusters 
on the hawthorn-bush. Many a joyous bird finds shelter 
on its leafy bough, or comes to pick the young buds, 
and stays to sing his thanksgiving for the meal. In 
summer the small black or red cherries furnish a no less 
welcome repast to the birds which are shortly to depart 
to warmer regions. In a still later season the tree is 
rendered conspicuous by the rich red tint of its leaves. 
If we except those of the Cornel, which are usually of 
deeper red mingled with purple, we know of no native 
tree whose foliage exhibits so much of that crimson and 
orange tint so common in the woods of America, and so 
comparatively rare in those of our own land. This is 
generally called the Jean Cherry, and in Kent the fruits 


are termed Gaskins; they are slightly bitter, though 
not disagreeably so, and the large stones adhere very 
closely to the fleshy part of the cherry. The name of 
Gaskin should probably be Gascon, as that of Gean 
appears to be a corruption of Guignes ; and another of 
its names, Merries, is probably also from Merisier, by 
which it is commonly called in France, and which is 
said to be derived from amere, bitter, and cerise, cherry. 
The French call the tree also Cerisier, and in some of 
our country places it is termed Blackhead Cherry. The 
black corone cherries and the jean cherries of the gar- 
den are all varieties of it. 

This tree is, when fully grown, from twenty to thirty 
feet in height, and the gum which exudes from it 
is considered to be equal in value to gum-arabic, 
though differing from it in its chemical qualities. It 
is very nutritious, and Hasselquist relates that, during 
a siege, more than one hundred men were kept alive for 
nearly two months without any other nutriment than 
that of a small piece of gum sometimes taken into the 
mouth and then suffered gradually to dissolve. "It is 
remarkable," says Baxter, " that the barks of all the 
trees yielding this bland mucilaginous substance are 
highly astringent. That of the acacia itself, from a 
certain species of which gum-arabic is obtained, is used 
in India for tanning." The bark of our wild cherry is 
very much so, and its wood is very tough and close 
grained. This is used by turners, and being of a bright 
red hue, and susceptible of a high polish, it is a valuable 
material for ornamental furniture, which is scarcely infe- 
rior, eit!ier in beauty or durability, to that made of 


mahogany. The tree is more frequent in the woods of 
France than with us ; and the French plant it more 
extensively, and use its wood for a greater variety of 
purposes, than the English. It is sometimes grown in 
Scotland for the sake of its timber. Of the various uses 
of the fruits, little need be said. To them we are in- 
debted for puddings, tarts, and preserves; they are 
used also in flavouring various liqueurs ; and ratafia, 
maraschino, kirchwasser, wine, brandy, and vinegar, as 
well as marmalade and lozenges, are improved by the 
addition either of their juicy portion, or their kernels. 

The Rev. C, A. Johns, in his " Forest Trees of Great 
Britain," remarks : " In England, cherries are to be con- 
sidered rather as a luxury, than a staple article of food ; 
but on the continent, particularly in France, they are 
highly prized as supplying food to the poor ; and a law 
was passed in that country in 1669, commanding the 
preservation of all cherry-trees in the royal forests. The 
consequence of this was, that the forests became so full 
of fruit-trees that there was no longer room for the 
underwood ; when they were all cut down, except such 
young ones as were included among the number of 
standard saplings required by the law to be left to secure 
a supply. This measure was a great calamity to the 
poor, who during several months of the year lived, either 
directly or indirectly, on the fruit. Soup made of 
cherries, with a little bread and a little butter, was the 
common nourishment of the wood-cutters and charcoal- 
burners of the forest. Of late years, the practice of 
planting cherries by the road-side has been extensively 
adopted in Germany, and one may now travel from 


Strasburg to Munich, a distance of two hundred and 
fifty miles, through an avenue of cherries, interspersed 
with walnuts, plums, and pears. By far the greater 
part of the first are ungrafted trees, which succeed in 
the poorest soil, and in the coldest and most elevated 
situations. A large portion of the tract of country which 
bears the name of the Black Forest, is an elevated irre- 
gular surface, with no other wood than the cherry-trees 
which have been planted by the road-side." 

Those who live in our cherry counties, as in Kent, 
are accustomed to hear much regret expressed when this 
fruit is not plentiful, for in fertile seasons the gathering 
the cherries from the trees is a source of employment to 
women, and even children, who ascend the slight ladders 
to pluck the ruddy fruit. The orchard is a pleasant 
and cheerful scene of labour, and the baskets of glitter- 
ing cherries, packed up with sprays of green bracken 
above and around them, are bright and beautiful objects, 
and are often carried off amid the merry songs or jocund 
laughter of the gatherers. Many of the poor also gain a 
temporary increase to their means of support by selling 
the fruit ; and little cottage children, to whom luxuries 
are rare, hail the cheap cherry pudding with great de- 
light. This fruit was first extensively cultivated in Kent 
in the time of Henry the Eighth, when orchards near 
Teynham were stocked with the trees. The first orchard 
then planted was called the New Garden; and the name 
of the fruiterer who introduced this culture was Harris, 
and not Haines, as is generally stated. Michael Drayton, 
the tediousness of whose poem, the " Poly-olbion," is 
somewhat compensated by the singular accuracy of its 


detail, as well as by the general evenness of the versi- 
fication, alludes to these cherry-orchards. In his praise 
of the " dear soil " of Kent, he says : 

" When Thames-ward to the shore which shoots upon the rise, 
Rich Tenham undertakes thy closets to suffice 
With cherries which we say the summer in doth bring, 
Wherewith Pomona crowns the young and lustful Spring ; 
Whose golden gardens seem the Hesperides to mock ; 
Nor here the damson wants, nor dainty Apricock." 

Peachera, in his " Emblems," published in 1612, thus 
describes an English fruit-garden : 

" The Persian peach and fruitfull quince, 
And there the forward almond grewe, 

With cherries knowne no long time since; 
The winter warden, orchards' pride, 

The philibert that loves the wall, 
And red queen apple, so envide 

Of school-boys passing by the pale." 

This culture of the cherries was, however, at this time 
only reintroduced into England. It is pretty certain 
that the tree was planted here in the time of the Romans. 
We know that the word cerasus is derived from Cerasus, 
a city of ancient Pontus, in Asia, now called Kerasoun. 
The cherry-tree was brought into Europe from thence, 
by the Roman general Lucullus, 67 B.C., at the termi- 
nation of the Mithridatic war. When a triumph was 
afforded to this warrior, he placed the cherry-tree in the 
most conspicuous station among the royal treasures, 
justly deeming it of more real worth to the country than 
the spoils of erold. or silver, or gorgeous array, won by 


conquest. A hundred and twenty years after, this tree 
was grown in Britain. That the fruit was well known 
in early times in this country is evident, from lines in 
Gower's " Prologue" : 

" And so hope cometh in at laste, 
When I none other foode knowe ; 
And that endureth but a throwe, 
Eight as it were a cherie feste : " 

while near the same early period we find Chaucer 
describing a garden thus : 

" And manie homely trees were there, 
That peches, coines, and aples here ; 
Medlers, plommis, peres, chesteines, 
Cherise, of which manie one faire is ; 
Notis, and aleis, and bolas, 
That for to sene it was solas ; 
With manie high laurer and pine, 
W T as ranged clene all that gardine, 
With cipris and with oliveris, 
Of which that nigh no plenty here is." 

Our Jean Cherry is, by many writers, termed Prumis 
cerasus, or Cerdsus vulgans, but the former name is now 
more generally applied to the Morello Cherry. Various 
kinds of cherry are largely grown on the Continent, and 
cherries are associated there with many common pro- 
verbs and old legends. The German says, that the 
cuckoo never sings till he has thrice eaten his fill of 
cherries ; but if so, the bird must have made his meals 
on the half-ripened fruit, unless his first song is later 
in the year than in our country. There are legends 
which tell how our Saviour gave a cherry to St. Peter, 

VOL. n. z 


and with the fruit gave, too, a gentle counsel not to 
scorn small things ; but we forbear to put faith in tale or 
legend connected with him of whose life and words we 
know so little, save that which has been taught in Holy 
Writ. Even yet, however, an annual festival at Ham- 
burgh tells of an interesting incident which occurred in 
connexion with cherries. This is called the Feast of the 
Cherries ; and on this occasion, little children walk about 
the streets carrying boughs, from whose green leaves 
glisten the ruby fruits. It is an old observance, and 
one which tells of a touching story. In the year 1432, 
the Hussites were planted in battle array around the 
city of Hamburgh, threatening its immediate destruc- 
tion, when one of the citizens, named Wolf, proposed 
that all the children from seven to fourteen years 
of age should be clad in mourning, and sent out to 
plead with the enemy. The chief of the Hussites, 
Procopius Nasus, had human sympathies, and the sight 
of these innocent and helpless beings perchance reminded 
him of loved and innocent ones far from the scene of 
danger. To the honour of the warrior, his heart forbade 
all resistance to the appeal, and, promising to spare the 
city, he sent back the children, after having regaled 
them with cherries. With loud shouts of victory, the 
happy band returned homewards, crowned with green 
leaves of the tree, and waving in their hands the boughs 
laden with cherries. Long before Shakspeare had ex- 
pressed the truth, the thoughtful man had discovered 

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.' 


The Romans possessed only eight varieties of cherry ; 
but upwards of two hundred are now known, and more 
than fifty commonly cultivated in Britain ; affording thus 
one of those instances of a fact familiar to the botanist, 
of the use of culture, and the triumphs of. skill and 
industry. Besides the Bigarreaux, the Black Eagles, 
and Bleeding Hearts, the May-Dukes, Arch-Dukes, 
Honey, and Kentish varieties, the All Saints and Weep- 
ing Cherries, we might adduce many another which 
contributes to the valuable supply of our tables. Many 
cherry-trees, too, of great beauty are reared entirely that 
their snowy flowers and glowing fruits may serve as 
ornaments to the garden wall or shrubbery, or on account 
of the wood furnished by their trunks and boughs. The 
Perfumed Cherry (Prumis Mahaleb] bears a profusion of 
beautiful flowers, dispensing far around its odour, which 
resembles that of the sweet Garden Clematis. Its 
shining black fruits are so hard, that they are often 
pierced for rosaries. The wood is also fragrant, and 
is used by the French in cabinet-work, especially in the 
village of St. Lucie, near Commerey, hence it is often 
called Bois de Commerey. Prunus capricida is the Goat- 
bane of Nepaul, and contains so much prussic acid, that 
it is said to destroy goats which feed upon it. 

4. P. Cerasus (Morello Cherry). Flowers in nearly 
sessile umbels; leaves not drooping, inversely egg-shaped, 
somewhat oblong, or egg-shaped and somewhat lanceo- 
late, crenulate and serrate, smooth ; calyx-tube not con- 
tracted. This is an erect bushy shrub, about six or 
eight feet hi height, which throws out to a considerable 
distance a number of underground shoots. The erect 


leaves give the plant a different aspect altogether from 
the wild cherry, the whole foliage having a stronger, 
firmer character. The plant bears white flowers in 
May, and the cherries are red and very acid. The inner 
scales of the flower-bud are leafy, and the outer scales 
of the leaf-bud are erect. It is the origin of the Morello 
Cherry of the garden ; it is very doubtful if it is truly 
distinct from the preceding species. It grows in woods 
and hedges in various parts of England. It never in 
a wild state attains the height of the other cherry, and 
rarely exceeds eight feet. 

2. SPIRAEA (Meadow-sweet Dropwort). 

1. S. ulmdria (Meadow-sweet). Herbaceous; leaves 
pinnate, the alternate leaflets smaller, white with down 
beneath, terminal leaflet very large, and lobed ; flowers in 
compound cymes. Plant perennial. The generic name 
of Sjnrcea, given because the flowers which compose the 
genus were fitted for garlands, is a very old one, as 
Pliny called some plant Sjpireon, garland -flower, and 
the name was transferred to this genus. In all pro- 
bability, too, a plant so sweet and so common was 
gathered in summer-time from our own meadows, in 
days when chaplets were in general use. " Often," says 
a learned writer, " did Chepe, and Cornhyll, and Byshop- 
gate, resound with the waytes playing, and the quire 
singing Salve feste dies, as the fellowshyppe of clerkes 
went their procession, two and two together, each having 
a surplice and a riche cope, and garland." Perchance 
this flower, in the olden time, was strewed in the church 


for the bride to walk upon, and hung over the pew 
where she lately sat, when death had changed her bridal 
suit to the shroud. 

The Meadow-sweet, or Meadow-queen, as it is often 
called, is one of the loveliest of wild flowers. Its white 
blossoms, tinged with yellowish green, are in crowded 
clusters, and are so light and feathery, that the slightest 
wind ruffles them, and while it wafts their odour, bids 
them nod and bow gracefully before it. The stem is 
usually about two or three feet high, but occasionally 
t is a foot higher. Every one admires 

" The almond-scented Meadow-sweet, whose plumes 
Of powerful odour incense all the air." 

The French call it La rcine des pres, the Germans 
Wiesenkonigen, and the Dutch language, not always har- 
monious in its terminations, has for this plant the pretty 
name of Reynette. It is the Ulmaria of the Spanish 
and Portuguese, and is called by the Russians Medu- 
nischnik. The plant is found pretty generally through- 
out Europe, and in some of the northern countries of 
Asia various species of Spircea are very ornamental and 
frequent. A gregarious species, the Spircea Kamschatika, 
is called by the people of Kamschatka Sclialameynik, 
and throughout the summer quite characterises the vege- 
tation of that land by its abundance and peculiar 
appearance. It is a plant of wonderfully rapid growth, 
acquiring in the course of a few weeks the height of ten 
feet, and disappearing in autumn without leaving a 
single trace, as one frosty night will level the whole with 
the ground. Its stems display in July their white 


bunches of flowers, which subsequently acquire a grey 

The blossoms of the Meadow-sweet appear in July 
and August, when they quiver beside many a stream, 
or grace many a damp wood or meadow. The fragrance 
has much of that odour of prussic acid which is found in 
sloe, almond, and several other flowers contained in the 
Order. In the open air it is not only delicious, but 
harmless ; but it is very deleterious in a close room, and 
has proved the cause of severe illness to some who slept 
with it in their apartment. The whole plant is bitter 
and astringent, and was formerly used as medicine, and 
its properties are, doubtless, tonic. A very pleasant and 
fragrant water may be distilled from its flowers. The 
roots are very much sought out by swine, and the dried 
knobs, beaten or ground with meal, are said, by Lin- 
naeus, to afford no bad substitute for flour. The 
blossoms are too fragile to survive long after being 
gathered. Mrs. E. W. Cox has written for this volume 
the following little poem on this flower : 

44 In thy wild gatherings shouldst thou chance to meet 

With the white Meadow-sweet, 
Inhale its honied breath, and pass it hy ; 
Bind it not in thy wreath, for it would die, 

Pluck'd from its river-home ; 
And the poor sighing hee would vainly roam, 
Wandering about its desolate retreat. 

14 But let it live, and by to-morrow's dawn, 

On its soft bosom borne, 
Thou shalt behold the little buds thy care 
From early death within its breast did spare ; 
And in the evening hour, 


As there thou passest, shall the grateful flower 
Lower before thee bend its waving form. 

" Oh ! I have lived a woodland queen to see, 

For whose wild destiny 

Fond Nature craved ; with thoughtless fondness torn 
From off her breast, some new scene to adorn ; 

With what strange pride they moved 
That gentle one from all on earth she loved, 
Her birds, her flowers, a beauty-queen to be. 

" 'Mid brighter hues her loveliness but made 

Small show, and she did fade 
So quickly, that her little vacant place 
Was hardly mark'd, and I alone could trace, 

When through entwining sprays 
The calm moon dropp'd adown her silver rays, 
Her wandering spirit in the woodland shade ! H 

The old herbalists had much to say in praise of the 
Mead-sweet, as they called it. It was of power to 
" alter and take away fits of the ague," and to " make 
a merry heart," for which purpose leaves and flowers 
were to be used. It cured, besides, so many forms of 
sickness, that he must indeed have been in evil case, 
who was like one whom Chaucer described 

"Ne drinke of herbes may ben his helping." 

2. 8. Filipendtda (Common Drop wort). Herbaceous; 
leaves pinnate, with alternately smaller leaflets ; leaflets 
all oblong, deeply cut and serrate ; flowers in a panicled 
cyme. Plant perennial. We do not find this flower in 
company with the last species, for it thrives in places 
too dry for the Meadow-sweet, and occurs on pastures 
where the soil is of chalk or gravel. It usually grows 


on a stem about a foot in height, and its flowers, which 
expand from July to September, form a smaller and 
flatter tuft, and are individually larger and whiter than 
those of the Meadow-sweet. Before expansion they are 
of a beautiful deep rose-colour, and mingling with the 
fully blown and snowy blossoms are very pretty, but 
they are not fragrant. The leaf is altogether different, 
too, for it is cut into many fine segments, and is of 
a rich dark green. 

3. S. salicifolia (Willow-leaved Spiraea). Shrubby ; 
leaves oval, somewhat lanceolate, unequally serrated, 
smooth ; flowers in dense, erect, terminal racemes. 
Plant perennial. This species, with its willow-like 
leaves, is not truly wild, but is naturalized in several 
woods in the north of England and Scotland. Its 
clusters of rose-coloured or flesh-coloured flowers are 
found in July, and though compact, look very light, from 
the circumstance of the numerous stamens being longer 
than the petals. The shrub is so often planted in gar- 
dens and shrubberies, that it is doubtless, in many cases, 
an outcast from some cultured spot. Several species of 
the genus are ornamental shrubs, and the Siberian 
Spiraa (S. Icevigatd) has fragrant leaves, which form 
a tolerable substitute for tea. 

3. DRYAS (Mountain Avens). 

1. D. octopetala (White Mountain Avens). Leaves 
oblong, deeply cut with roundish serrated notches; 
sepals three or four times as long as broad, more or less 
pointed ; petals 8. Plant perennial. This is not a com- 


mon plant, for it belongs to the mountainous regions 
only of England, Scotland, and Ireland, growing espe- 
cially on limestone soils. It may easily be known from 
any other plant of the order by its oblong deeply cut 
evergreen leaves on stalks, which are quite white on 
the under surface with thick woolly down. The woody 
stem is like those of mountain flowers in general, raised 
but a small height from the ground, or lying upon it. 
The large white blossoms unfold in June and July. 
The Germans call the plant Silberkraut, the French 
Driade, the Dutch Hertenkruid, and in Iceland it is 
termed Holta-soleyg. It will grow in gardens of level 
countries, but needs great care to preserve it any length 
of time. 

This Avens has all the usual characteristics of plants 
which grow on mountain heights. The large blossoms 
and short stems would at once suggest to those accus- 
tomed to elevated regions that this was a mountain 
flower. Alpine plants grow more socially than almost 
any others, so that one kind of plant may often be found 
forming extensive tufts or patches several feet in circum- 
ference. Meyen says that this Alpine mode of growth 
is nowhere more striking than in the Alpine 'Flora of the 
Cordilleras, where the plants first fasten on projecting 
rocks, and where, in the course of time, their outspread 
branches cover the surface of rocks twelve, o* even 
twenty feet square. He remarks, that frequently in 
these regions vast blocks of rock are wholly overgrown 
with a thick and extremely hard turf, which is composed 
of a single species of plant, and the prostrate branches 
have formed so hard and entangling a mass, that it is 



extremely difficult to cut through it even with the 
sharpest instrument. The stem of such a family of 
plants, which is doubtless often a monument of many 
centuries, seldom, he says, attains the length of a foot, 
but is sometimes as much as five or six inches in thick- 
ness, and has from its base an infinite number of twigs 
arid branches. The higher we ascend on the mountains 
of our own land, till we gain the regions of perpetual 
snow, the more these characteristics of vegetation become 
apparent. Most Alpine plants are perennial, and the 
root, which is destined to endure a rigorous winter 
several months long, is usually very woody, and well 
shielded by a number of skins. Alpine plants of all 
countries are remarkable for their large flowers, which 
render them very conspicuous. The beautiful prim- 
roses and auriculas, gentians, saxifrages and avens, are 
all showy flowers, and combine with many yellow and 
white compound flowers to render the spot very beautiful. 
Meyen remarks, that he cannot fix on any particular 
colour as predominant in the Alpine Flora. It has long 
been said that white was the general hue of the flowers, 
but the learned German botanist, Schouw, has proved 
that this is not the case in the mountains of Europe ; 
and Meyen adds, that on the heights of the Cordilleras 
of South America he rarely met with a white flower, 
and at the limits of perpetual snow never found one of 
that hue, though he saw blue, yellow, and violet blos- 
soms even there in abundance. What heart cannot 
respond to the expressions of Coleridge, when at Cha- 
mouni he marked the brilliant blue gentians glittering 
on the very verge of the snow- clad peaks ? 


" Ye ice-falls, ye that on the mountain's brow 
Adown enormous ravines slope amain 
Who bade the sun 

Clothe you with rainbows? Who with living flowers 
Of loveliest blue spread rainbows at your feet? 
God ! let the torrents like a shout of nations 
Answer, and let the ice-plains echo, God ! 
God! sing, ye meadow streams, with gladsome voice, 
Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds ; 
And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow 
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God ! 

Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost, 
Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest, 
Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain storm, 
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds, 
Ye signs and wonders of the elements, 
Utter forth, God ! and fill the earth with praise." 

In all parts of the world the greater number of Alpine 
plants abound in aromatic, bitter, or resinous principles, 
and it is well known that they secrete these properties 
far more powerfully on their native hills than in gardens. 
So, too, in our gardens, the large flowers gradually 
diminish, and the plants soon lose much of the dwarfed 
appearance which is one of the features to which plants 
of elevated regions owe so much of their peculiarity. 

Besides the great development of root and flower, 
a very singular character of Alpine plants is a great 
imperfection of the leaves. They are said ro crumple 
together, and become puckered on their upper surface, the 
leaves early acquiring, partly or entirely, a yellowish tint, 
and also losing the green substance, so as to become 
membranous. Meyen, in his " Geography of Plants," 
quotes the opinion of Parrot, " that the peculiar charac- 
ter of Alpine vegetation consists in this, that the plants 


during their whole growth are continually striving not 
to rise above the ground, and consequently form ft short 
and strong, or crooked and prostrate stalk, on which 
branches, leaves, and flowers are closely pressed on each 
other." A large number of Alpine plants have also, 
like the Dryas, wool or hair on their leaves, though some 
are smooth and leathery. 

The matured fruit of the Mountain Avens is an 
exceedingly pretty object, and looks like a silken plume 
rising from the flower-cup. Dr. Lindley, in his admi- 
rable work, called " Ladies' Botany," says of it, " that as 
it waves about in the wind, one might fancy it a tuft of 
feathers accidentally fastened to the flower-stalk. A 
botanical examination, however," he adds, " soon dis- 
pels the illusion, and shows that the appearance is 
caused by the carpels having preserved their styles, 
which have become very long, and covered all over with 
loose silky hair, which has grown since they were young. 
A similar phenomenon occurs in Virgin's Bower (Cle- 
matis Vitdlba), and in the Pasque Flower (Anemone 
pulsatilld) ; but the most remarkable instance in the 
production of hairs, so as to change the whole appear- 
ance of a part, is met with in the Venetian Sumach 
(Rhus Cotinus), which the French call Arbre a perruque, 
or the Wig-tree. This plant is by no means uncommon 
in shrubberies, shaking its hoary locks at you as the 
breeze waves the branches and sets the wigs in motion, 
in the midst of a crowd of blood-stained leaves ; for it is 
in the autumn only that it seems to wear its wig, as in 
spring and summer it does not want it, and will not 
put it oil." 


4. G^UM (Avens). 

1. G. urbdnum (Common Avens). Flowers erect; 
awns rigid ; calyx of the fruit turned downwards ; root- 
leaves pinnate, with alternate smaller leaflets, and lyre- 
shaped; stem leaves ternate; stipules large, rounded, 
lobed, and cut. Plant perennial. All who love to 
wander in the green woods and by the hedgerows of 
England know this common plant, which, however, 
requires the sunshine, and will only grow well where the 
trees are not high and thick enough to cast a broad 
shadow. The yellow flowers appear from June to 
August, and the stem of the plant is from one to three 
feet in height. The blossoms are small in proportion to 
the leaves, and the petals soon fall off, and leave the 
round spiny ball, which is composed of awned fruits, 
destined to adhere to the sheep or other animal which 
may come near it to browse, or to the clothing of man, 
and thus be borne away to grace another summer : 

" Each is commission'd, could we trace 

The voyage to each decreed, 
To convoy to some distant place 
A pilgrim seed ; 

44 As surely charter 'd as yon sail- 
Like white-wing'd butterfly, 
Before the gently drifted gale 
That glideth by." 

The leaves of this plant are rich glossy green, and 
grow on long foot-stalks. The flower has several 
country names, as Goldy, Star of the Earth, City Avens, 
Wood Avens, and Herb Bennet. This last name is also 
common in several countries of Europe, as it is the 


Benoite commune of the French, and the Erla Benedetto, 
of Italy, all doubtless corruptions of the word Bene- 
rlicta. It was evidently considered in some sort a sacred 
herb, as we find it associated with old church paintings 
and church architecture, of which it was a frequent 
ornament. Whether the ornament is truly intended as 
a representation of the flower is certainly questioned by 
some, but the belief that it is so seems very general. 
Mr. Orlando Jewett, in his "Description of Mural 
Painting," considers that it referred to this blossom. 
Alluding to paintings in Berkeley Church, Oxfordshire, 
which appear to have been executed at four or five 
different periods, from the close of the thirteenth cen- 
tury to the time of George III., he says : " The most 
ancient of them is one in the belfry, which occupies 
a space of about six feet from the level of the original 
floor on the east wall. The pattern consists of stems, 
leaves, and flowers, rudely drawn with a brush in an 
irregular manner on the original plaster of the wall. 
The plant is evidently intended for the Herba Benedicta, 
Herb Bennet, or Avens, which seems to have been 
a great deal used at this period as an architectural 
decoration. As the tower, piers, and the trefoil-headed 
lancet of the belfry appear to be of the time of Edward I., 
it may fairly be presumed that this painting is coeval 
with the building of the tower, which is the earliest 
part of the church. The stems and branches are laid in 
with brown oxide of iron, very similar to what we now 
call Indian red ; for the leaves and flowers red-lead has 
been used, as is evident from the atmosphere having in 
some parts turned them black." 


The old herbalists call this plant Cow-wort ; and it 
would well deserve the name of Blessed Herb if it would 
only cure half the maladies for which they recommend it. 
One of them describes it as " a good and wholesome 
herb, excellent for diseases of the chest, by its sweet 
savour and warming quality ; the roots, whether green 
or dry, boiled in wine and drank, being fit to cure 
all inward wounds ; " while the external application was 
thought to remove all spots, bruises, and freckles from 
the face. "The root in the spring time steeped in 
wine," says this old author, " doth give it a delicate 
savour and taste, and being drunk fasting every morn- 
ing, it comforteth the heart, and is a good preservative 
against plague or any other poison." He adds, "It is 
very safe, you need have no dose prescribed, and it is 
very fit to be kept in any body's house." 

Besides the old names already stated, this plant was 
called Caryopliyllata, from the clove-like scent of its 
root; and there is no doubt that the root has both 
mildly astringent and tonic properties, having been com- 
pared in this respect to Peruvian bark. It is still used 
in country places for giving a relish to various articles 
of food, and yet more often to some wines made from the 
different berries which our native land affords. It is 
also gathered in the spring and put into ale, and not 
only improves the flavour of the liquor, but prevents its 
turning sour. Like many another plant, however, it 
was more valued in the olden time than now, when 
spices are cheap, and easily procured. 

Although it has a long- established repute as being, 
when infused in fermented liquors, a valuable stomachic, 


yet Baron Haller says of this root, that if mingled with 
water, and given, as it formerly was, in malignant fevers, 
it causes delirium. Its use for putting among linen to 
preserve from moth, and to impart a pleasant odour, 
however, is much more general in these days than for 
any medicinal purposes ; and for this the root should be 
taken from a dry sunny spot, just at the season when it 
is coming into flower ; for if these conditions are not 
observed, it will be found to want the aromatic odour for 
which it has become so celebrated. 

2. G. rivdle (Water Avens). Mowers drooping ; awns 
feathery ; root-leaves pinnate, with the alternate leaflets 
and those at the base smaller; stem-leaves ternate. 
Plant perennial. This species has altogether a very 
different habit from the preceding. It is a much shorter 
and stouter plant, with larger flowers, of a dull purplish 
hue, veined with darker purple, and the calyx is also 
deeply tinged with this colour. It is sometimes found 
very high up mountains, so as to be quite an Alpine 
plant, and it is not uncommon in wet mountainous 
woods, or on marshy and moory grounds, flowering 
from May to August. Its root is said to be stomachic, 
and to be very serviceable as an astringent medicine. 
Professor Lindley thinks it probable that this is the 
Indian chocolate, as the plant is much used medicinally 
in North America. The Canadians administer both 
species of Geum in agues. 

Some botanists enumerate a third species, called 
Geum intermedium, which is not an unfrequent plant in 
damp woods. Its stem is one or two feet in height ; its 
flowers larger than those of Geum urbdnum, and smaller 


than those of Geum rivdle. The blossoms are in some 
cases drooping, and in others erect ; the heads of fruit 
usually sessile ; but it, varies so much between the form 
of one or the other species, that Sir William Hooker 
and Dr. Arnott consider it to be a hybrid between 
the two. 

5. POTENTILLA (Cinquefoil). 
* Leaves pinnate. 

1. P. ansenna (Silver- weed). Stem creeping; leaves 
pinnate, with alternate smaller leaflets ; leaflets nume- 
rous, oblong, acutely serrate, silky on both sides ; flower- 
stalks solitary; root perennial. This is one of the 
prettiest plants of this large genus, and one of our most 
common flowers. It grows in moist meadows, and is 
very frequent on banks by the road-side, especially such 
as are kept verdant by some stream which trickles by. 
Large masses of its beautiful leaves, shining and silvery 
with the silky down which is always to be seen on the 
under surface in profusion, and which often covers both 
sides, seems scarcely to need the adornment of the large 
yellow velvety flowers which, in June and July, stand on 
short stalks among them. Few plants lose less of their 
beauty in drying for the Herbarium than this, and little 
bouquets of the blossoms and foliage, arranged on paper, 
will retain their beauty for years, and often serve as 
mementos of friendship, or help to carry away the 
thoughts to some pleasant spot whence the flower was 
gathered : 



" The precious things of Heaven the dew 
That on the turf beneath it trembled, 

The distant landscape's tender blue, 
The twilight of the woods that threw 
Their solemn shadows where it grew, 

Are at its potent call assembled. 

" And while that simple plant for me 

Brings all these varied charms together, 

I hear the murmurs of the bee, 
The splendour of the skies I see, 
And breathe those airs that wander free 

O'er banks of thyme and blooming heather." 

The silvery foliage is so much relished by geese, that 
the plant is often called goose-grass ; it is occasiosally 
boiled for the cottage meal. The roots are eagerly 
eaten by swine. They are somewhat like parsneps in 
their sweet flavour, though smaller, and paler in colour ; 
and are much relished by children, who roast them 
over the fire ; while the Scottish housewife sometimes 
boils them for the family dinner. They contain a good 
amount of nutriment, and in times of scarcity the people 
of the islands of Tiray and Col have used them for 
bread, and have been supported for months together 
almost entirely on this food. 

2. P. fruticosa (Shrubby Cinquefoil). Leaves pin- 
nate j leaflets mostly 5, oblong, acute, entire, hairy, with 
margins rolled under ; stem shrubby. Plant perennial. 
This is a rare species, growing among bushes in the rocky 
parts of Cumberland, Yorkshire, and other northern 
counties, as well as at Clare and Galway in Ireland. 
Its stem is three or four feet high, its large yellow 
flowers growing several together at the end of the stems, 
and expanding in July and August. 


3. P. rtfpestris (Strawberry-flowered Cinquefoil). 
Stem erect, forked ; leaves pinnate ; leaflets egg-shaped, 
their bases wedge-shaped, serrated, and hairy, from 5 to 
7 on the lower leaves, and 3 on the uppermost. Plant 
perennial. This very rare species bears large white 
flowers in May and June, and has a stem one or two feet 
high. Its only recorded British habitat is Craig Breidhin, 

* * Leaves digitate. 

4. P. argentea (Hoary Cinquefoil). Stem prostrate, 
or ascending ; leaves quinate ; leaflets wedge-shaped, 
cut, white, and downy beneath, their margins rolled. 
Plant perennial. Though not a very common species, 
this is found on many road-sides and pastures, where 
the soil is of gravel. Its small yellow flowers grow 
several together, at the ends of the stems, in June 
and July. 

5. P. reptans (Creeping Cinquefoil). Stem slender, 
creeping, rooting at the joints ; leaves quinate, stalked, 
their leaflets inversely egg-shaped, tapering at the base, 
and bluntly serrated ; floiver-stalks axillary, single- 
flowered, longer than the leaf. Eoot perennial. Not 
one of the genus is more common than this, for it grows 
on almost every way-side bank, or creeps with slender 
stem along the meadow grass, or en vens the side of 
the dusty road. The yellow flower, of soft and velvet- 
like texture, expands in June and July, and is often 
called in the country yellow strawberry flower; but 
long ere flowers have begun to peep forth from their 
winter covering, the fingered leaves of this Cinquefoil 


lie in wreaths on the bank. Even in February we may 
see them almost fully unfolded, and winding among the 
rounded leaves of the ground ivy, or the deep crimson 
foliage of the Herb Eobert. The name of Potentilla, 
given on account of the potential virtues which some of 
the species were supposed to possess, was probably won 
by this and some nearly allied species ; for this is the 
medicinal potentilla of the ancients, and was referred to 
by one of the oldest writers on plants, Theophrastus. 
Though none of the genus are deleterious, yet they are 
by no means possessed of active or potent properties. 
They are generally more or less astringent and bitter, 
and this creeping species is still reputed to be a febri- 
fuge, and would doubtless be used as such by modern 
practitioners but that more powerful drugs are now 
more easily obtained. The writers on plants in Queen 
Elizabeth's time thought very highly of its remedial 
effects. One of our herbalists, who describes it very 
accurately, and calls it the Ginquefoil, or five-leaved 
grass, desires his readers to give twenty grains of it 
either in white wine, or white-wine vinegar, " when," he 
says, " you shall very seldom miss the cure of an ague, 
be it what ague soever, in three fits, as I have proved to 
the admiration both of myself and others : let no man 
despise it because it is plain and easy ; the ways of Grod 
are all such." It was commended as an especial herb 
to be used in fevers and inflammations, whether infec- 
tious or pestilential, and also for diseases of the lungs. 
The distilled water of the leaves and roots seems to have 
been a very favourite preparation, and the author adds : 
" If the hands be often washed therein, and it be suffered 


every time to dry in of itself, without wiping, it will in 
a short time help the palsy or shaking in them." 
Doubtless the plant mingled with wine might have been 
beneficial in agues, but one loses all one's reliance on 
these old prescriptions as we come to the conclusion of 
the matter. "Some hold," he says, "that one leaf 
cures a quotidian, three a tertian, and four a quartan 
ague, and a hundred to one if it be not Dioscorides, for 
he is full of whimsies. The truth is, I never stood 
much upon the number of the leaves, or whether I gave 
it in powder or decoction. If Jupiter were strong, and 
the moon applying to him, and his good aspect at the 
time of gathering, I never knew it miss the desired 

The form of the leaf gives its familiar name to the 
plant in many countries besides our own. Thus the 
French term it Quintefeuille ; the Germans, Funffinger- 
kraut ; the Dutch. Vyfvingerkruid ; the Italians, Cinque- 
fofflio ; and the Spaniards, Cinco en rama. 

6. P. verna (Spring Cinquefoil). Stem prostrate ; 
lower leaves of from 5 to 7 ; inversely egg-shaped ; 
leaflets serrated towards the end, bristly on the margin, 
and ribbed beneath ; lower stipules narrow and acute. 
Plant perennial. This species bears small yellow flowers, 
two or three together, at the end of its weak prostrate 
branches, and is, as its name implies, the earliest flower- 
ing species, blossoming from April to June. The leaves 
are green on both surfaces. It is found occasionally on 
dry pastures, but is not a frequent plant. 

7. P. alpestris (Orange Alpine Cinquefoil). Roof- 
leaves of 5 wedge-shaped leaflets, somewhat hairy, and 


deeply cut in the upper portion ; stipules obtuse, upper 
ones egg-shaped, lower ones lanceolate ; stem ascending. 
Plant perennial. This Mountain Cinquefoil, which grows 
in the north of England and Wales, and on some of the 
Scottish mountains, is somewhat larger than the Spring 
Cinquefoil, and is more upright in its mode of growth ; 
but many botanists doubt if it is distinct from the 
last species. It is called P. salislurgensis by many 

8. P. opdca (Saw-leaved Hairy Cinquefoil). Hoot- 
leaves of 7 narrow wedge-shaped leaflets, deeply ser- 
rated; stem-leaves ternate, mostly opposite ; stems ascend- 
ing. Plant perennial. This plant, which has also been 
called P. intermedia, is a very doubtful native, but was 
described by Mr. Don as growing on the hills of Clova, 
the braes of Balquhidder, and the sea-shore opposite 

9. P. Tormentilla (Common Tormentil). Stem pro- 
cumbent or ascending ; leaves ternate, sessile, or shortly 
stalked ; loiver leaves quinate on long stalks ; leaflets 
lanceolate, deeply serrate, or inversely egg-shaped and 
wedge-shaped. Plant perennial. Two varieties of this 
plant are commonly found. In one, the leaves are all 
sessile, except those of the root, and the stem is ascend- 
ing ; in the second, the lower stem leaves are stalked 
and blunt, and the stem prostrate and somewhat rooting. 
The Tormentil is a pretty little plant in the months of 
June, July, and August, when its yellow flowers are in 
great abundance among the short grass of moors and 
heaths. Its petals are usually four in number, but they 
are sometimes five ; and in the variety which has a 


prostrate stem, it is so like the Creeping Cinquefoil that 
many believe the plants to be identical. In the com- 
mon form of the Tormentil the stem is usually three or 
four inches high, and the flowers are of a very bright 
yellow. It is thought to be one of the most astringent 
plants of the genus, and it is still retained in the modern 
lists of medicines. So astringent, indeed, are the root- 
stocks of this plant, that they are used in the Hebrides 
and Orkney Islands for tanning leather, and are even 
said to be superior to oak bark for that purpose, one 
pound being equal in strength to seven pounds of 
ordinary tan. In Lapland the roots are used for 
dyeing skins, harnesses and gloves of a red colour : and 
in Killarney they are given as food to swine. The 
plant is very abundant in the Western Islands of Scot- 
land, and the land was some years since so much 
injured by digging up these roots that the practice was 
prohibited. Sheep are very fond of the Tormentil. 
This plant and its varieties until recently were classed 
under a distinct genus, called Tormentitta, founded 
chiefly on the number of petals in the flower; but this is 
found to vary too much to afford a distinction. 

* * * Leaves quinate or ternate. Flowers white. 

10. P. dlda (White Cinquefoil). Stem weak, ascend- 
ing ; root-leaves quinate, upper ones ternate ; leaflets 
oblong, with converging serratures, silky beneath. Plant 
perennial. This Cinquefoil is said to have been found 
in Wales, but is little known as a British flower, and its 
being so is doubted by some of our best botanists. 

11. P. tridentdta. Stem woody, creeping at the 


base ; leaves ternate ; leaflets oblong and wedge-shaped, 
3-toothed at the extremity, smooth above, hairy beneath. 
This, which is a North American species, is a doubtful 
native of Britain. It was found by Mr. Don on Werron 
Hill, and East rocks, Loch Brandy, Clova. 

12. P. Fragaridstrum (Strawberry-leaved Cinquefoil). 
Leaves ternate ; leaflets roundish, inversely egg-shaped, 
serrated, silky on both sides ; stems procumbent ; petals 
as long as the calyx. Plant perennial. Have our 
readers ever set forth, as we have often done, to search 
under the hedges for a wild nosegay amid the chill 
gusts of early spring? How the winds raved among 
the branches, sweeping down the long flexible boughs of 
the willows, swaying those of the pensile birch to and 
fro, and bearing from the young oak many a brown leaf 
which had hung through the winter on its branches ! 
How brightly the sunbeam of March was reflected by 
the glossy leaf of ivy or holly ; while beneath their 
shelter the silver daisy boldly expanded, and a primrose 
bud, half hidden among its wrinkled leaves, peeped 
forth ; and the speedwell, or winter-weed, bore its tiny 
flowers of blue, or the golden dandelion or glossy 
celandine contrasted with the snowy wreath on the 
blackthorn. Hidden close among the bright green 
mosses some purple violet bud was securely sheltered, 
and funguses of deep crimson, or pale yellow, or 
ivory whiteness, upreared their heads. The scarlet 
peziza, like a ruby cup, was seated on the withered 
bough; the cup-moss grew in grey clusters, and the 
peacock fungus, so like the rayed plumes of the bird 
after which it is called, seemed emerging from every 


crevice of the fallen tree. There, too, the white flowers 
ol' the Strawberry-leaved Cinquefoil lay in abundance on 
every sunny hedge, and all, save the botanist, would 
believe that these early blossoms belonged to the true 
strawberry, and only needed the suns of summer to turn 
them into the glowing fruits. Both leaf and flower are 
almost exactly like those of the woodland strawberry ; 
the silvery hue of the young leaves, and even the 
strongly marked veins of the more developed foliage, 
being to be seen here. But the plant is, as our fathers 
called it, but the barren strawberry ; and marked dif- 
ferences from the fruitful plant exist in the prostrate 
stems, the smaller flowers, and notched petals of the 
Cinquefoil. This plant is common throughout England 
on woods and banks, sometimes in mild seasons flower- 
ing even as early as January, very soon after the snow 
has melted from the bank. It continues in blossom till 
May. It was formerly placed in the genus Frayaria 
with the strawberry. 

6. SIBBALDIA (Sibbaldia). 

1. S. procumbens. Leaves ternate; leaflets wedge- 
shaped, with 3 teeth at the end ; jloivers corymbose ; 
stem procumbent. Plant perennial. This little plant is 
abundant on the Highland mountains, even at their very 
summits. It bears small yellowish flowers in June and 
July, and its leaves are slightly hairy, and pale green. 
It is very nearly allied to the Potentittas, but its general 
aspect is somewhat like that of the Lady's Mantle. 
The petals are often absent, and the number of pistils 
and stamens is very variable. We have one or two garden 

VOL. n. c c 



species, which are natives of Siberia, and much like this 
Alpine plant. 

7. COMARUM (Marsh Cinquefoil). 

1. C.palustre (Purple Marsh Cinquefoil). Stems as- 
cending ; leaves pinnate ; leaflets from 5 to 7, lanceolate, 
deeply serrated ; flower-stalks branched. Plant peren- 
nial. This plant is so nearly allied to the Cinquefoils, 
that it is by some writers called Potentilla Comarum, 
but it differs from that genus by having an enlarged 
spongy receptacle. It is not unfrequent on bogs and 
marshes, bearing large flowers in July, of a dingy 
purplish colour. It is in some parts of England called 
Cowberry. It is the Comaret of the French, and the 
Fiinblatt of the Germans; while the Dutch call it Rood 
ivaterberie. Its name of Cowberry probably originated 
from a practice, common among the Irish, of rubbing 
the inside of milking-pails with this plant, in order that 
the milk may seem richer and thicker. Its roots are of 
sufficient astringency to be used in tanning, and they 
will dye wool of a yellow colour. 

8. FRAGARIA (Strawberry). 

1. F. vesca (Wood Strawberry). Calyx of the fruit 
spreading, or bent backwards; hairs on the general 
flower-stalk widely spreading, on the partial flower- 
stalks erect, or close pressed ; petals slightly notched. 
Plant perennial. The pretty white flowers of the straw- 
berry plant stand up among the bright green hairy 
leaves from May to July. They are common in most 


woods and hedges, and the ripened fruit of June sup- 
plies a store for the country children, and is very whole- 
some and pleasant. It is, like many other berries, still 
more abundant in the woods of Northern Europe than 
in ours. In Sweden it is so plentiful that the tables 
are constantly supplied during the season with wood 
strawberries, and large baskets full are daily carried 
about the towns for sale. Linnaeus, who considered it 
the most wholesome of all fruits, and who believed that 
eating strawberries had cured him of a fit of the gout, 
used to desire his servant to purchase all that were 
brought to the door, and daily ate large numbers of 
them. Hoffman has also recorded the cure of some 
dangerous disorders by eating strawberries ; and Boer- 
haave accounted this fruit as one of the principal remedies 
in putrid fevers. There is no doubt that it is an excel- 
lent dietetic fruit for persons liable to inflammatory or 
bilious disorders. From the pleasant odour of the straw- 
berry we not only derive our botanic name, made from 
the vwrdfrayrans, but the French have also their word 
fraise ; and one of the common comparisons in use in 
France is not merely as with us, " fresh as a rose," but 
also "fraiche comme une fraise" The Germans call 
the plant Erdbere, and the Italians Tragolo. The 
English name of Strawberry is said by some writers to 
have been derived from an old practice, which has again 
in late years much prevailed in gardens, that of placing 
straw among the ripening -fruits to prevent their being 
soiled. Another more probable derivation has been 
from the practice, still so frequent among country people, 
of threading the strawberries on the slender stem of 


a grass. That this was done some centuries since, we 
know from a passage in Browne's " Pastorals": 

" The wood-nymphs oftentimes would busy be, 
And pluck for him the blushing strawberry , 
Making of them a bracelet on a bent, 
Which for a favour to this swain they sent." 

As Professor Burnett, however, remarks, the word is 
more likely to be a corruption of stray-berry, from the 
trailing or wandering of its runners, which stray to 
great distances from the parent plant, and establish 
colonies all around. John Lydgate, who died in 1483, 
writes the word straberry, in his poem called " London 
Lyckpenny;" but the orthography of words in those 
days was too uncertain to afford much ground for ascer- 
taining exactly their origin, and the poet would have 
been likely enough, had he been writing the word a year 
after, to spell it in some other way. 

The strawberry is much cultivated both in our own 
country and also in those of the Continent. In the 
Isle of Jersey the plants are covered over during cold 
weather with layers of sea-weed, a plan which is said to 
increase the size and goodness of the fruit. Several 
species have been introduced into this kingdom, and 
our woodland fruit affords, under culture, several varie- 
ties of white and red strawberries. Mr. T. Hudson 
Turner, in a paper on the state of Horticulture in 
England some centuries since, says, " Strawberries and 
raspberries rarely occur in early accounts, owing pro- 
bably to the fact that they were not cultivated in 
gardens, and known only as wild fruits. Strawberries 
are named once in the Household Roll of the Countess 


of Leicester for the year 1265. The plant does not 
seem to have been much grown even at the end of the 
sixteenth century. Lawson speaks of the roots of trees 
being 'powdred' with strawberries, red, white, and 
green. Raspberries, barberries, and currants, he de- 
scribes as grown in borders. Both fruits, being indi- 
genous, were probably to be found plentifully in the 
woods of ancient times, and thence brought to market, 
as they are in the present day in Italy and the other 
parts of Europe." 

We find one of Ben Jonson's personages saying 

" My son hath sent you 
A pot of strawberries gather'd in the wood 
To mingle with your cream." 

And we know that in the time of Henry VIII. straw- 
berries were sold at fourpence a bushel. Tusser, who 
wrote in the latter part of this reign, says, in his Advice 
to the Farmer 

" Wife, into the garden and set me a plot 
With strawberry roots of the best to be got; 
Such growing abroad among thorns in the wood, 
Well chosen and pricked, prove excellent good." 

In earlier times than these, however, they were occa- 
sionally cultivated in gardens. Hollinshed, who fur- 
nished Shakspeare with many materials for his poems, 
describes a scene which the great bard afterwards 
dramatised. Ely-place, Holborn, was the ancient site 
of the stately palace, then the London residence of the 
Bishops of Ely, and there the grass waved green over 
meadows, and the vine trailed over walls, and straw- 
berries grew in garden borders. The old historian, 


referring to the conduct of Richard III. when Duke ot 
Gloucester, on the morning of the execution of Lord 
Hastings, in 1483, has this graphic passage : " On the 
Fridaie (being the 13th of June) manie lords assembled 
in the Tower, and there sate in councell, devising the 
honourable solemnitie of the King's coronation, of which 
the time appointed then so neere approached, that the 
pageants and subtilties were in making day and night 
at Westminster, and much vittels killed that afterwards 
was cast awaie. These lords sitting together, commun- 
ing of this matter, the Protector came in among them, 
first about nine of the clocke, saluting them courteouslie, 
and excusing himselfe that he had beene from them so 
long, saieing merrilie that he had beene a sleepe ; that 
daie, after a little talking with them, he said unto the 
Bishop of Ely, ' My lord, you have verie good straw- 
berries in your garden in Holborne, I require you let us 
have a messe of them.' ' Gladly, my lord,' quoth he; 
* would God I had some better thing as ready to your 
pleasure as that ! ' And therewithall in all hast he sent 
his servant for a mess of strawberries." Notwith- 
standing this, however, Morton, the then bishop, was, 
with others, taken prisoner, as suspected of being 
opposed to the plans then forming. 

The strawberry, frequent as it is now, is still prized 
both in its wild and cultivated state ; many could say 
with Hurdis 

" We often wander at the close of day 
Along the shady lane or through the woods, 
To pluck the ruddy strawberry, or smell 
The perfumed breeze that all the fragrance steals 
Of honeysuckle, blossom'd beans, or clover ; 


Or haply rifles from the new-made rick 
The hay's sweet odour, or the sweeter breath 
Of farmer's yard, where the still patient cow 
Stands o'er the plenteous milk-pail, ruminant." 

In the coffee-houses at Paris a very pleasant beverage, 
called bavaraise a la Grecque, is made of the straw- 

2. F. eldtior (Hautboy Strawberry). Calyx of the 
fruit spreading, or turned backwards ; hairs of the 
general and partial flower -stalks spreading. Plant peren- 
nial. This species is usually admitted into the list of 
British plants, but it is not indigenous. It is, however, 
found, though rarely, in copses and hedges of the south 
of England, having more hairy foliage than the wood 
strawberry, and being a larger plant. The white flowers 
expand from June to August, and it is remarkable for 
bearing in some cases blossoms which, having stamens 
only, produce no fruit. This is the case with the plant 
also in the garden ; and strawberry cultivators are there- 
fore careful to exclude the plants with barren flowers. 
This species grows on the high woods of Bohemia ; 
hence its name of Hautboy, which is a corruption of 

Some of the Alpine fruits have, like the Pine Straw- 
berry (F. collina), a sweeter flavour than any others 
except the different hautboys. Numerous varieties of 
the garden strawberries are also obtained from the 
American species (F. Firyinicd), and from the F. grandi- 
flora of Surinam ; and the Bishop's strawberry, the 
American scarlet strawberry, the Garnstone's scarlet, the 
Hudson's Bay, Melon, and Roseberry strawberries, are 


all well-known varieties of the American species ; while 
the Black Prince, Bullock's Blood, and others, are varie- 
ties of F. grandiflora. The black and blush Chili straw- 
berries are derived from F. Chiloensis, a South American 
species, which produces some of our largest and richest 
fruits. Many writers believe that all the species from 
which they are said to be derived are one and the same 
in reality, assuming different forms and qualities under 
different circumstances of soil and situation. 

The chief supply of strawberries for the London 
markets is derived from Twickenham and Isleworth ; 
and, as a writer on this fruit has observed, " one of the 
most remarkable instances of the power of the human 
body to endure great and continued fatigue, is shown by 
the strawberry women, who, during the season, carry 
a heavy basket twice daily from Twickenham to Covent- 
garden, walking upwards of forty miles. Fatigue like this 
would soon destroy a horse, but these Cambro-Britons, 
who come purposely from the Welsh collieries, endure 
the labour for weeks without injury or complaint." 

St. Pierre's observations on the number of insects 
which are nourished by a strawberry plant are very 
interesting. He had placed one of these plants near 
his window, and was amused by observing that in the 
course of three weeks no less than thirty-seven species 
visited the strawberry, and at length they came in such 
numbers and variety that he desisted from attempting to 
count or describe them. They were, he says, distin- 
guished from each other by their forms, colours, and 
manners. " Some," says St. Pierre, " were of the colour 
of gold, others of silver, and others of bronze; these 


were spotted, those were striped ; some were blue, some 
green, and others shining. In some the head was 
rounded like a turban, in others lengthened into a point 
like a nail ; in some it appeared dark, like a spot of 
black velvet, in others it sparkled like a ruby." Besides 
all these less known insects, butterflies, wasps, and bees 
hovered about the plant ; caterpillars and snails feasted 
on the leaves, and spiders wove their airy nets to betray 
some of the brilliant lesser creatures. That little plant, 
which is so pleasant and so refreshing to man, was not 
framed for him alone. 

This naturalist then, by means of a lens, examined 
the leaves of the plants, which, he says, he found 
divided into compartments, covered with hair, separated 
by canals, and interspersed with glands. These com- 
partments appeared like large verdant carpets, and 
their hairs seemed to resemble vegetation of a particular 
order, some of them were straight, others inclined, 
others forked, and hollow like tubes, from the extremities 
of which issued drops of liquid, and their canals as well 
as their glands seemed to be full of a sparkling fluid. 

It were well if those who have much leisure 
would, like this naturalist, use a microscope, and exa- 
mine the different minute natural objects which are 
near them. The structure of various plants, or parts of 
a plant, would offer to one little conversant with the 
subject A most interesting source of recreation and 
improvement, and surely might tend to lead the thoughts 
to the Creator, whose hand had wrought these hitherto 
unseen wonders. The hairs on plants afford great 
variety. They exist occasionally on almost every part 



of a plant, and, as in the Water-lily and some other 
aquatic plants, are even found, though rarely, in the 
cavities of the stem. They are composed of a trans- 
parent tissue, consisting wholly of cells, and they vary in 
length, rigidity, and density, sometimes being so soft 
and close as to render the plant downy, sometimes 
being stiff and rigid, and making it hairy and rough. 
Now they form a fringe or margin like an eyelash, or are 
so silky as to silver over the surface of a leaf with grey 
glossiness. Sometimes they curve backwards, forming 
hooks ; sometimes they become barbs by having forked 
hooks. In some cases, as in the nettle, they give out 
an acrid juice when touched ; sometimes they are tipped 
with an exudation, as in the Chinese Primrose. Occa- 
sionally they send forth little branches throughout their 
whole length, and sometimes they are interwoven into 
a mass which can be easily separated from the surface, 
or they are long and loosely entangled, and look like 
cobweb. Hairs compose the substance which, in the 
Cotton Plant, envelopes the seeds, and furnishes the 
manufacturer with his material : it is the minute hairs 
on the leaf of the Cowhage which, entering the skin, 
produce in him who touches it an intolerable irritation ; 
and the lovely snowy plumage of the cotton grass which 
waves over the moorland, as well as the feather grass of 
the garden, owes its beauty to these minute and delicate 
organs. Hairs are useful in protecting plants from 
the extremes of heat and cold ; of the beauty which they 
bestow we need say nothing, for the shining foliage of the 
Silver weed grows by every highway, and our gardens 
are full of leaves made more or less beautiful by them. 


9. RUBUS (Bramble Raspberry). 

* Leaves pinnate or ternate. Stem nearly erect, 
biennial, woody. 

1. R. idaus (Common Raspberry). Stems round; 
prickles straight; leaves pinnate, with 5 or 3 serrated 
leaflets, white with clown on their under surface ; foot- 
stalks channelled ; jlowers axillary and terminal, corym- 
bose and drooping ; petals as short as the calyx ; fruit 
downy. Plant perennial. The raspberry-bush, though 
a familiar object in the garden, is not a frequent plant in 
the woods and hedges of England, though in the north 
of this kingdom it is not of very rare occurrence in rocky 
woods, and it grows also in several southern counties 
among trees and bushes. A writer, describing the plants 
about Lexden, in the neighbourhood of Colchester, says, 
" The boggy ground in which the springs have their rise 
is covered with low alders, and produces much that is 
interesting to the botanist. Rubus idceus abounds in it, 
and when the fruit is ripe presents a temptation to ven- 
ture on the soft and treacherous soil." The greenish 
white flowers of the plant appear in May and June ; its 
fruits are smaller than those of the cultivated raspberry 
of which it is the origin, and are either red or yellow. 
They aie very wholesome, and not likely by becoming 
acid to disagree with delicate persons, while they are 
considered very salutary in some complaints. The uses 
of the raspberry, however, in desserts, in confectionary, 
in making a pleasant summer beverage when mingled 


with vinegar, in giving their peculiar flavour to brandy 
and other liquors, are too well known to require much 
comment. The raspberry is a native of most of the 
countries of Europe, and has its name from Mount Ida, 
in Crete. It is the Framboisier of the French, the 
Himbeerstrauch of the Germans, the Braawboos of the 
Dutch, the Eovo ideo of the Italians, the Zarza idea of 
the Spaniard, and the Malinik of the Russians. Onr 
forefathers called the fruit Easpis, or hindberry. Doctor 
E. D. Clarke says that the manner in which the raspberry 
is found in Sweden might afford useful hints as to the 
mode which should be adopted in its cultivation. Of all 
places it seems to thrive best among wood-ashes and 
cinders, as among the ruins of houses which have been 
destroyed by fire. This traveller always also found it 
most luxuriant in those forests where the Swedes had 
kindled fires in the wood, and left the land strewed with 
the ashes of the trees. " In the north of Sweden," 
this writer says, " neither apples, pears, nor plums can 
be produced by cultivation, but Nature has been boun- 
tiful in a profusion of wild and delicious dainties. No 
less than six species of raspberry, besides white, red, 
and black currants, grow wild in all the forests." He 
found our common raspberry abundant in a wild state, 
and producing highly-flavoured fruit. Wild gooseberry- 
trees were less common, and four species of whortleberry 
were decked with plenty of red or black berries, while 
the soil was covered with this low shrub to a great 
extent, and the mouths of the children were constantly 
blackened by eating the fruits. " All round the Gulf of 
Bothnia/' says this writer, " the traveller at this season 


of the year will see old women and children waiting 
near the public roads in hopes of meeting passengers to 
whom they may offer their large baskets filled with 
raspberries, or whortleberries ; the baskets are made of 
birch-tree bark." The children followed the carriage 
continually, and when they received a few pence as 
payment for their fruits, would endeavour to induce the 
travellers to accept more, and expressed their gratitude 
by bowing to the ground. Dr. Clarke had tarts made 
of the berries thus purchased ; but he adds, that the 
Swedes, at that time, never made this use of them, pro- 
bably owing to the scarcity of sugar. 

In Canada the people commonly take their baskets and 
go out " berrying " in the woods during the raspberry 
season. Mrs. Moodie describes some of the shores of 
Stony Lake as abounding in these fruits, the banks 
being formed of large masses of limestone, on which 
the rich Cardinal flower and brilliant Tiger lily dis- 
played their magnificence, while beautiful Water lilies 
abounded in the clear waters. This lake, which the 
Indians call by a name which -seems to signify the 
Indian's grave, lies in the heart of the wilderness. 
" The only clearing upon its shores," says Mrs. Moodie, 
" had been made some years before, so that a second 
growth of young branches of the Red Cedar had sprung 
up, and the spot was covered with raspberry bushes, 
several hundred acres being entirely overgrown with this 
delicious berry. It was here that we used to come 
annually in large picnic parties to collect this valuable 
fruit for our winter preserves, in defiance qf black flies, 


mosquitoes, snakes, and even bears, all which have been 
encountered by berry-pickers upon this spot, as busy 
and as active as themselves, gathering an ample repast 
from Nature's bounteous lap. And oh, what beau- 
tiful wild flowers and shrubs grew in that neglected 
spot 1" 

* * Leaflets 5 ; digitate, or cut into lodes, or ternate, 
rarely pinnate ; stem mostly biennial, woody. 

t7 Jr * 7 / 

2. (1.) E. suberedits (Upright Bramble.) Stem 
roundish, nearly erect, not rooting, nearly smooth ; 
prickles few, small, chiefly confined to the angles, and 
not intermixed with bristles ; leaflets quinate, or some- 
times pinnate without close white down underneath. 
This plant, which is common in boggy woods and 
hedges, bears its white rose-like flowers from June to 
August, and produces its red fruits in autumn till the 
frosts destroy them. Few families of plants have been 
more variously arranged than the brambles, most botan- 
ists recording a large number of species, while others 
consider that these so-called species are but different 
forms of the same plants, varying only according to 
circumstances. Mr. Babington, in his " Manual of 
Botany," describes forty-three species of Eubus. Dr. 
Bell Salter considers that there are twenty-three species, 
and many botanists divide them into a larger number 
than either of these writers. In that valuable work, 
"The British Flora," by Sir William Jackson Hooker 
and Dr. Arnott, the following remark occurs on this 


subject, "We are almost quite convinced, practically, 
not only because the characters taken from the young 
shoots, and disappearing when they are older and begin 
to blossom, are not permanent, but because none of the 
reputed species of the shrubby Brambles are either 
anatomically or physiologically distinct, all passing into 
each other, without any fixed assignable limit ; and, 
theoretically, from a consideration of what is requisite 
to constitute a difference between the other European 
species of Eulus, that all of the present section are 
mere varieties, approaching on the one side to R. idaeus y 
on the other to JR. saxatilis, with both of which many 
fertile and permanent hybrids may have been formed 
and are still forming." These authors have, therefore, 
given what they consider the more prominent forms or 
races, numbering them as if only constituting a single 
species, and have indicated how these ought probably to 
be reduced to four types, an arrangement which is 
followed in this work. 

In examining the descriptions it will be necessary 
to remember that by stem is meant the barren root- 
shoot, and the prickles and leaves, when not other- 
wise described, must be und^sstood as those upon that 

2. (2.) R. fruticosus (Common Bramble). Stem 
arched, rooting, angular, furrowed, and nearly smooth ; 
prickles slender, uniform, confined to the angles of the 
stem, and not intermingled with bristles ; leaflets quinate, 
with close white down underneath. The beautiful snowy 
or delicate pink flowers of this bramble are to be found 
on most hedges from June till the end of summer, often 


contrasting with the dark crimson or black berry cluster- 
ing on the same bough. When winter comes the long 
trailing shoots are yet clad with leaves, exhibiting 
the tinge of purple and deep brown, or of that red 
colour, which combined with the fruit to give the name 
of Rubus to the genus, with here and there a leaf green 
as the spring foliage, and whitened beneath with down. 
We have all in childhood eaten the ripened fruits, for 
what so " plentiful as blackberries." They are very 
wholesome, and often so juicy as to deserve the French 
provincial name applied to one of the species, Pinte de 
vin. The ancients considered both fruit and flowers 
efficacious against the bite of the serpent, but blackberries 
are now little valued save by country children, though they 
are occasionally made into puddings and tarts, or boiled 
with sugar, when they form a wholesome and pleasant 
preserve. Blackberries were also formerly considered 
as of valuable medicinal uses, especially in complaints 
of the throat and mouth, and bramble-roots boiled in 
wine were prescribed by the Roman physicians as one 
of the best astringents The old English herbalists, who 
received many of their notions of the uses of plants 
from the old Roman writers, considered every part of 
the bramble as affording medicines, which, variously 
prepared, relieved various forms of human suffering. 
Turner, one of our oldest writers on plants, says, " The 
bramble bindeth, drieth, and dieth heyre," and a general 
belief prevailed that the bramble was so astringent, that 
even eating its young shoots as a salad would fasten 
teeth which were loose. Many a poet, like Cowper and 
Robert Nicholls, has referred to the pleasure of gather- 


ing the blackberries in early days, and Elliot has 
a beautiful little poem addressed to the plant : 

" Thy fruit full well the school-boy knows, 

Wild bramble of the brake, 
So put thou forth thy small white rose, 

I love it for his sake : 
Though woodbines flaunt, and roses blow 
O'er all the fragrant bowers, 
Thou need'st not be ashamed to show 

Thy satin-threaded flowers ; 
For dull the eye the heart is dull, 

That cannot feel how fair, 
Amid all beauty beautiful, 

Thy tender blossoms are. 

" How delicate thy gauzy frill, 

How rich thy branching stem, 
How soft thy voice when winds are still, 

And thou singest hymns to them ; 
While silver showers are falling slow, 

And, 'mid the general hush, 
A sweet air lifts the little bough, 

Lone whispering to the bush." 

Brambles in some cases prove injurious to hedges by 
climbing about more valuable plants, and hindering their 
growth ; but, on the other hand, they protect more deli- 
cate shrubs and herbs, arid shield them from rough 
winds. The shoots are very tough, and are used for 
binding down the cottage roof, and the sods of the 
lowly graves. Sometimes they are wound among straw 
fences in the farm-yard, or serve to bind the hayrick 
and bee-hives ; and straw-mats, and various other articles 
of domestic use, are held together by their flexible 
twigs. Badgers are said to be very fond of blackberries, 
and to thrive well upon them, though the acorns which 



may be strewn near them may prove as great a benefit 
to these animals as the smaller fruits. The green 
boughs are of great use in dyeing wool, silk, and mohair, 
black ; and silk-worms seem to like the leaves of this 
plant as well as those of the mulberry, and to thrive as 
well upon them. A small fungus, the Bramble Puccinia 
(Puccinia Rubi] often forms sooty patches in autumn on 
their under surfaces. A double flowering variety of the 
Bramble is very ornamental to the garden and shrubbery. 
2. (3.) JR. rhamnifolius (Buckthorn-leaved Bramble). 
" Stem arched, rooting, nearly glabrous ; prickles con- 
fined to the angles of the stem, uniform, without glan- 
dular bristles; leaflets quinate, paler underneath, but 
not with close white down/' This plant, which is in 
flower at the same season as the bramble last described, 
differs very little from it. It is found in thickets, woods, 
and hedges, and gives its glossy black fruits in autumn 
to child and bird : 

" It springs without our bidding 

With its flowers of faintish blush, 
And hangs its glossy berries 

To meet the infant's touch ; 
And as the daisies in the Spring 

Are little children's flowers, 
So blackberries are all their own 

In the Autumn's breezy hours. 

" I have seen the village children, 

From their infant labours freed, 
In their young gladness wandering on 

Through many a pleasant mead ; 
And at each loaded bush they set 

The infant on the ground, 
And soothed it with the tones of love 

Till the ripe fruit they found." 


2. (4.) R. carpinifolius (Hornbeam-leaved Bramble). 
" Stem arched or prostrate, rooting, hairy ; prickles con- 
fined to the angles of the stem, uniform, without glan- 
dular bristles ; lea/lets quinate or tern ate, without close 
white down underneath." This plant grows in woods 
and thickets, flowering in July and August. The 
authors of the " British Flora " remark, " This and the 
last appear to be merely the two extremes of the same 
form, between which there are, it is to be feared, many 
intermediate states." 

2. (5.) R. corylifolius (Hard-leaved Bramble). 
" Stem arched, rooting, nearly smooth ; prickles scat- 
tered, nearly equal, without glandular hairs or bristles ; 
leaves quinate or ternate, without close down under- 
neath." This plant, which grows in hedges and thickets, 
flowering in July and August, is scarcely distinct from 
the two preceding. 

2. (6.) R. glandulosus (Glandular Bramble). "Stem 
arched, or decumbent, rooting, hairy, not glaucous ; 
prickles scattered, unequal, with numerous glandular 
hairs and slender prickles ; leaflets quinate or ternate, 
without close white down underneath ; calyx erect, 
spreading, or turned backwards in fruit." This species, 
which is found in woods, thickets, and hedges, is in 
flower during July and August. 

2. (7.) R. coesius (Dewberry). " Stem prostrate or 
arched, rooting, more or less glaucous ; prickles scat- 
tered, unequal, with (sometimes very few) glandular 
hairs ; leaflets ternate or quinate, without close white 
down underneath; calyx closely clasping the fruit." 
This low-growing bramble is not uncommon, trailing 


over our field borders or heaths, in thickets, or on hedge- 
banks. The fruits are few and large, less compact but 
more juicy than the blackberry, and half enclosed in the 
calyx. When quite ripe they are black, but are often 
so thickly covered with a pale blue powdery bloom as to 
have a greyish tint. They grow either singly or two or 
three together, and not in dense clusters like the black- 
berry. Clare, a poet, whose descriptions of nature are 
unsurpassed in truthfulness, describes the " sun-burnt 
cow-boys" as searching for them where they are often to 
be found beside the brook : 

" The pithy bunch of unripe nuts to seek, 
And crabs sun-redden'd with a tempting cheek, 
From pasture hedges, daily puts to rack 
His tatter'd clothes, that scarcely screen the back, 
Daub'd all about as if besraear'd with blood, 
Stain'd with the berries of the brambly wood, 
That stud the straggling briars as black as jet, 
Which when his cattle lair he runs to get ; 
Or smaller kinds, as if begloss'd with dew, 
Shining, dim powder'd, with a downy blue, 
That on weak tendrils lowly creeping grow, 
Where, choked in flags and sedges, wandering slow 
The brook purls simmering its declining tide, 
Down the crook 'd boundings of the pasture side ; 
There they to hunt the luscious fruits delight, 
And dabbling keep within their charge's sight, 
Oft catching prickly struttles on their rout, 
And miller-thumbs, and gudgeons, driving out, 
Hid near the arched brig, under many a stone 
That from its wall rude passing clowns have thrown." 

Even in Australia, where fruits are so few and so taste- 
less, the bramble fruit has a somewhat pleasant flavour 
though rather acid, and more resembling that of the 
cranberry. It is prized by the colonists, and used foi 


tarts. The Tasnianian Bramble is the Rubus Gunianus 
of the botanist. It is a small species, having yellow 
flowers, and is found commonly at the summits of all 
the mountains as well as in many level parts of that 
country. " Its mode of growth," says Backhouse, " is 
something like that of our dewberry, and it is a creeping 
plant, seldom exceeding a few inches in height, but 
covering patches of ground several feet in extent, and 
flourishing on a soil chiefly composed of decayed wood. 
The fruit is of a fine colour, and formed like that of the 
Arctic bramble. It is concealed by the leaves, which 
densely cover the ground, and is also partially hid under 
the light soil." 


* * * 

Leaflets ternate, stem herbaceous, or nearly so. 

3. R. saxdtilis (Stone Bramble). Stems slender, 
rooting, nearly without prickles or bristles ; flower-shoots 
erect, with a panicle of few flowers ; leaflets ternate, 
slightly downy. This bramble is found chiefly in the 
north of this kingdom, where it grows on stony moun- 
tainous places. Its leaflets are egg-shaped, and are 
sometimes only two in number. The flowers are minute, 
appearing from June to August, and are of a greenish 
yellow colour. The fruits are large, bright red, and 
few in number. 

4. R. drcticus (Arctic Bramble, or Strawberry-leaved 
Bramble). Sfetns erect, not rooting, without prickles or 
bristles ; petals roundish, notched ; flower terminal and 
mostly solitary; leaflets ternate; slightly downy, and 
bluntly serrated. This bramble is well known in the 
north of Europe, and its fruit is highly prized. It is 


recorded as growing in the Isle of Mull, and on Ben 
Ohio, in Athole. Sir William Hooker and Dr. Arnott 
remark of this species : " The only place in Scotland 
which agrees with the foreign localities of this plant, 
is in the low moors near the station of Menziesia 
ccerulea, where stood the old Caledonian forest ; there 
only need it be looked for, the two spots above given 
we have searched in vain for it." 

The Arctic Bramble is found on mountainous turfy 
bogs ; its stems are from four to six inches in height, 
and its flowers large and rose-coloured, expanding in 
June. The flavour of the fruit is delicious, partaking 
both of that of the raspberry and strawberry. In 
Sweden a very rich wine is made of these berries. " The 
nobility in Norlandia," says Linnaeus, "cause to be made 
of the berries syrup, jelly, and bramble wine, which are 
partly consumed by themselves, and partly sent to their 
friends at Stockholm, as the most choice and delicious 
dainties;" and, indeed, among all the wild berries of 
Sweden, these seem to hold the first place. Linnaeus, 
in his " Flora Lapponica," records his obligations to 
this fruit. " I should be ungrateful," he says, " to this 
excellent plant, which has so often refreshed me with 
the nectareous juice of its berries when almost overcome 
with hunger and fatigue, were I not to give a full 
description of it." All travellers in the north of Europe 
speak highly of the worth of this fruit, and of the some- 
what less delicious Cloudberry. The berries of the 
Arctic Bramble are not only highly flavoured, but so 
fragrant, that if only a few be gathered and placed in 
a saucer and brought into the house, they perfume the 


whole room. They are of a dark red colour, and about 
the size of the common raspberry, but the plant itself 
is so diminutive that an entire shrub, with all its 
branches, leaves, and fruit, was placed by Dr. E. D. 
Clarke within a phial, holding about six ounces of 
alcohol, in which state it was preserved with even its 
colours unaltered, and might be so, this traveller remarks, 
for any length of time, provided it be kept from the 
access of external air. This author adds, that it is found 
only in the southern provinces of Sweden. A few 
plants occur in Dalecarlia, and it grows occasionally in 

* * * * Leaves simple. 

5. R. Chamcemorus (Mountain Raspberry, or Cloud- 
berry). Stem herbaceous, without prickles, 1-flowered; 
leaves lobed and plaited. This is a very distinctly 
marked species of Bramble, growing in the mountainous 
parts of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. It has 
in June beautiful large white flowers, often delicately 
tinted with rose colour, having their stamens and pistils 
on separate plants. The stems are about half-a-foot 
high, creeping like the stems of the raspberry and 
Arctic species. 

The delicious fruits of this bramble are prized in all 
countries in which they grow, and, though rare in this 
kingdom, are plentiful in the north of Europe. The 
bogs near the water in some parts of Lapland are 
covered with Cloudberries, and Dr. Clarke relates that 
from a spot thus situated, he and his Swedish inter- 
preter gathered, in little more than an hour and a-half, 


a large basketful of the fruit. " In its natural state," 
says this writer, "no fruit looks more beautiful. We 
endeavoured to procure a small cask of it to send to 
England, but wanting a sufficient quantity of sugar, the 
acetous fermentation took place, and the whole mass was 
spoiled. Wherever we walked near the river we found 
whole acres covered with its blushing fruits, hanging so 
thick that we could not help treading on them. As 
they ripen they lose their crimson hue, and turn yellow, 
when the flavour of the fruit is not so refreshing to the 
palate. They are always most delicious when they have 
been cooked. In their unripe state they resemble in 
taste those diminutive stunted apples gathered from 
Codlin-trees, which are called ' crumplings.' The larger 
berries are as big as the top of a man's thumb." Our 
traveller, who, while staying at the house of a Lapland 
minister, was seized with a fever, remarks, that in the 
evening two of the children came into the room, bring- 
ing with them two or three gallons of Cloudberries, 
which grew so abundantly near the house that it would 
have been easy to gather bushels of the fruit. "Little," 
says this traveller, " did the author dream of the blessed 
effects which he was to experience by tasting of the 
offering brought by these little children, who, proud of 
having their gifts accepted, would gladly run and gather 
daily a fresh supply, which was as often blended with 
cream and sugar by the hands of their mother, until at 
last he perceived that his fever rapidly abated, and his 
spirits and appetite were restored; and when sinking 
under a disorder so obstinate that it seemed to be incur- 
able, the blessings of health were restored to him when 


he had reason to believe he should have found his grave. 
The symptoms of amendment were almost instantaneous 
after eating these berries." The Laps make a jelly of 
Cloudberries by boiling them with fish, and the Swedes 
preserve them with sugar in various ways. In the northern 
parts of the Gulf of Bothnia, especially about Tornea, 
the fruits are commonly collected and sent in the form 
of a conserve to Stockholm, where they are used as 
a sauce for meat, and mingled with soup. Casks are 
also sent to that city filled with the roots of this bramble, 
from which vinegar is made. 

10. AGRIMONIA (Agrimony). 

1. A. Eupatoria (Common Agrimony). Leaves pin- 
nate ; smaller leaflets alternating with the larger ones, 
strongly serrated, downy underneath, and the terminal 
one stalked ; spikes long, with distant flowers. Plant 
perennial. During the months of June and July this 
pretty wayside flower can hardly fail to arrest our atten- 
tion by its tapering spikes of yellow blossoms, which 
have a faint odour of lemon, or as some say of apricots, 
an odour becoming more powerful if they are bruised. 
Gerarde, and the herbalists of his day, praise the great 
virtues of the Agrimony. Michael Dray ton mentions it 
in his " Muse's Elysium " among several other supposed 
herbs of virtue : 

* Next these here Egremony is, 

That helps the serpent's biting; 
The blessed Betony by this, 

Whose cures deserving writing 


This All-heal, and so named of right, 
New wounds so quickly healing ; 

A thousand more I could recite 
Most worthy of revealing." 

Few plants are, in our own days, in more repute as 
a tonic than the Agrimony. The village doctors and 
doctresses yet prescribe it, and the author has known it 
to be taken in cases of debility witA apparent benefit, 
for the herb is doubtless somewhat tonic in its pro- 
perties, though less so than that common medicinal 
plant, the red centaury. The Agrimony is an ingredient 
in most of the herb teas which have from time to time 
been recommended to public notice. A decoction of 
the plant is also commonly used as a gargle for diseased 
throat, and the notion that it was good for a disor- 
dered liver once gave it the familiar name of Liver- 
wort. Coughs, agues, gout, and a variety of ills, were 
thought by the old herbalists to be ameliorated by 
syrups and salves made of the Agrimony ; and the native 
of any other country, who should read their pages, while 
he wondered at the prevalence of serpents in the land, 
might at least congratulate the physicians of the age 
that herbs to cure their " biting " were to be found in 
every wood. Doubtless, in times when forests were 
more frequent than now, the rambler or the woodman 
might be more often bitten by the viper or adder, the 
only native reptile whose bite is poisonous ; but in those 
days of more imperfect knowledge, the innocent snakes 
and slow-worms were probably believed also to have the 
power of inflicting deadly wounds, so that the apparent 
cures wrought by these herbs would be numerous. 


The Agrimony contains tannin, and has been used in 
dressing leather ; it also dyes wool of a yellow colour. 
It is If Aigremoine of the French, and Der Odermennig 
of the Germans, while the Dutch call it Agrimonie. 
The root in spring is sweet-scented. 

11. ALCHEMILLA (Lady's Mantle). 
1. A. vulgdris (Common Lady's Mantle). Leaves 
kidney- shaped, plaited, with from 7 to 9 lobes, blunt, 
serrated ; flowers in loose divided clusters. Plant per- 
ennial. This herb is more attractive by the beauty of its 
foliage than by the small but pretty flowers, which from 
June to August deck it with yellowish, green petals. 
Purton, in his " Midland Flora," remarks, " I agree 
with Dr. Abbot, the author of the ' Bedford Flora,' that 
this is one of the most elegant of the native plants," and 
though more showy and brilliant flowers are to be seen, 
yet most people would agree with this opinion. The 
stem is about a foot high, and the foliage, which is very 
large for the size of the blossom, is rendered of a grey 
green by the quantity of soft silky hair upon it. The 
plant is not uncommon on hilly pastures in the north of 
this kingdom, growing in similar places throughout nearly 
the whole of Europe. It bears in Sweden, as in our 
country, a name which refers to the Virgin Mary, for it 
is there called Maria Kapa. The French term the plant 
L'Alche Mille, the Germans Der Smau,ike Dutch Leuwen- 
voet. In the upland pastures, where it abounds, it is 
eaten readily by sheep as well as by some other animals. 
Some writers say that the plant is not relished by cows, 
but Haller, in his " Iter Helveticum," remarks, that the 


extraordinary richness of the milk in the dairies of the 
Alps is attributed altogether to these animals having fed 
upon this plant and the Ribwort Plantain. In Gothland 
a tincture is made of its leaves for spasmodic or con- 
vulsive diseases. In an epidemic complaint of this kind 
in 1754, a medicine made from this Lady's Mantle was 
considered very efficacious, and it had long been in 
repute as a remedy in milder forms of disease, and was 
also, though with little reason, praised as an outward 
application to wounds. Several species of the Alche- 
milla are esteemed as tonics, but, as Professor Burnett 
observes, they have been prized above their deserts. 
The Arabian physicians have a very high opinion of the 
remedial virtues of this common species, and Hoffman 
and others have affirmed that it has the power of restoring 
beauty and freshness to the faded complexion. It is called 
AlkemelyeJi . by the Arabs, and was formerly prized by 
the alchemists as an ingredient in their preparations. 

2. A. alpina (Alpine Lady's Mantle). Root-leaves 
digitate, with from 5 to 7 divisions, which are blunt 
and closely serrated at the ends, and white and satiny 
beneath. Plant perennial. Two varieties occur of this 
pretty plant, which are by some writers described as 
species. In the first the leaflets are quite distinct to 
the base, and in the second the leaflets are joined toge- 
ther to nearly a third of their length. The former is 
sometimes called A. argentea, the latter A. conjuncta. 
The name of argentea would not be inapplicable to any 
form of the species, for never was leaf more silvery than 
this, nor have we any native plant the foliage of which 
is more beautiful. Like many other leaves rendered 


white by silky down, they long preserve their beauty 
even in the herbarium. So glossy is the foliage, that 
the under surface is like satin, and is so lustrous as to 
have quite a metallic appearance. This Alpine species 
grows high up o*v the mountains at the north of Eng- 
land and Scotland, and is very frequent in the High- 
lands, as well as on the heights of Switzerland, and 
other European countries. It is supposed by Lightfoot 
to aid considerably in giving the peculiarly excellent 
flavour to the Highland mutton. 

3. A. arvensis (Field Lady's Mantle, or Parsley 
Piert). Leaves palmate, 3-cleft ; lobes wedge-shaped, 
deeply toothed at the end; stem prostrate or ascending; 
flowers sessile, axillary. Plant annual. This is a com- 
mon little plant everywhere in fields and waste places, 
often growing on the wall beside Whitlow-grass, but not 
flowering until May, when that blossom has withered. 
It continues in bloom, till August. The branches and 
leafy stems often spread over the soil, and are five or six 
inches long. The small tufts of greenish flowers are 
almost hidden among the leaves and their large stipules. 

12. SANGUISORBA (Burnet). 

1. S. officindlis (Great Burnet). Leaves pinnate, with 
about 13 leaflets, which are oblong and heart-shaped, 
stalked, blunt, and coarsely serrated ; spikes egg-shaped, 
or in one variety of the plant long and cylindrical. Plant 
perennial. This Burnet has from June to September 
large oblong heads of flowers, of a dull purple colour, 
standing on a much-branched stem, from one to three 
feet high. Cattle are very fond of this plant, which is 


not uncommon in moist pastures. It had the old name 
of .Bloodwort, not so much from its colour probably as 
from its supposed virtues as a styptic. The people of 
Siberia are said to eat the roots. 

13. POTERIUM (Salad Burnet). 
1. P. Sanguisdrba (Salad Burnet, or Burnet Blood- 
wort). Stem slightly angular, lower part often downy; 
leaves pinnate, with numerous small serrated leaflets, 
which are smooth or slightly hairy beneath ; calyx of 
the fruit smooth, and marked with a net- work ; flowers 
in roundish heads, the upper ones in each head bearing 
crimson tufted pistils; the lower ones from 30 to 40 
stamens. Plant perennial. This plant as early as June 
has its pistil bearing blossoms open, the purplish crim- 
son styles with their stigrnas looking like little richly 
tinted brushes long before the flowers bearing stamens 
expand. These latter are fully blown a week or two 
later, and the plant is then in flower till the end of July. 
The lower flowers, which contain the stamens, present 
a very elegant appearance, as their long filaments hang 
all around the oval head. The stem is about a foot and 
a half in height, often much tinged with red, while the 
leaf-sprays which crowd around its base are bright green 
and of an elegant form. To these leaves the plant owes 
its name of Salad Burnet, for their flavour, so like that 
of the cucumber, induced our forefathers to eat them in 
their salad, and they are still gathered for this purpose 
on the Continent. In France the plant is called La 
Pimprenelle, and the Germans call it Der Pimpernelle. 
Both this and the Great Burnet were formerly planted 


as pasturage for cattle, and the " Sweet Burnet " is 
praised by the poets of Queen Elizabeth's time. It has 
of late years been again cultivated to some extent by 
farmers as food for cattle, as its very luxuriant growth 
in the early spring affords a good quantity of herbage, 
and it may be mowed thrice during the summer, but it 
was not found to succeed, and it was then said that 
cattle were not fond of it. Mr. Purton, in his " Flora 
of the Midland Counties," remarks on this subject, that 
on Salisbury Plain, between that place and Everley, this 
plant forms almost the whole staple of herbage over 
a great extent of that most excellent sheep-walk ; and 
the failure in other places may, he thinks, be owing to 
the cultivators having selected a wrong soil for its 
growth, as the plant never grows naturally on any other 
than chalky ground. Valuable as it is for sheep, it is 
probable, however, that horned cattle do not like it. 

This species of Burnet seems to be that which has 
acquired so much celebrity as the toper's plant, for it 
was customary to infuse it in various liquors, and with 
the Borage and some other flowers it helped to compose 
that celebrated beverage, called a cool tankard. The 
old herbalists, who called it Pimpinella and Bipula solbe- 
yrella, prized it very highly. " It is," says Culpepper, 
"an herb the sun challengeth dominion over, and is 
a most precious herb, little inferior to betony ; the con- 
tinual use of it preserves the body in health, and the 
spirits in vigour, for if the sun be the preserver of life, 
under God, then his herbs are the best in the world to 
do it." He adds, " It is a friend to the heart and liver. 
Two or three of the stalks put into a cask of wine, 


especially claret, are known to quicken the spirits, refresh 
and clear the heart, and drive away melancholy. It is 
a special help to defend the head from noisome vapours, 
and from infection of the pestilence." 

The author of the " Journal of a Naturalist" remarks, 
" The common Burnet of our pastures in a remarkable 
degree possesses the faculty of preserving its verdure, 
and flourishing amid surrounding aridity and exhaus- 
tion. It is probable that these plants and some others 
have the power of imbibing that insensible moisture 
which arises from the earth even in the driest weather, 
or from the air which passes over them. The immense 
evaporation proceeding from the earth even in the 
hottest season supplies the air constantly with moisture, 
and as every square foot of this element can sustain 
eleven grains of water, an abundant provision is made 
for every demand." The same writer remarks, that he 
has seen the Snapdragon in a hot dry summer, when 
vegetation in general was burnt up and withered away, 
long retain its verdure on the parched walls. 

14. ROSA (Rose, Dog-rose, Sweet Briar). 
* Prickles slightly curved, and intermixed with bristles. 

Bracts large. 

1. R. Dicksoni (Dickson's Rose). Shoots bristly; 
prickles scattered, slender, awl-shaped ; leaflets oval, 
twice serrated, hoary ; sepals long, simple, equal ; fruit 
egg-shaped, somewhat up-shaped. Plant perennial. 
This Rose was discovered in Ireland by Mr. J. Drum- 
mond, but though usually enumerated among our Bri- 
tish species, is not thought to be a native. 


2. E. cinnamomea. Shoots bristly; prickles few, 
slender, and awl- shaped ; leaflets lanceolate, somewhat 
oblong, serrated, downy, and glandular beneath. Plant 
perennial. This Rose has been found in a wood in 
Yorkshire, but is a very doubtful native. 

* * Prickles slightly curved; bracts small, or none. 

3. R. %pinosissima. Prickles very numerous and 
crowded, mostly straight, of various sizes, and inter- 
mixed with bristles ; leaflets serrated, their disk without 
glands ; calyx simple ; fruit nearly globular, erect. 
This, though not one of the prettiest, ranks certainly 
among the most fragrant of our wild Roses, but it is by 
no means generally diffused. It is a thick bush, from 
two to four feet in height ; its dark purplish brown stems 
and branches being so prickly, that it is a difficult matter 
to gather a bough of its delicate white roses. These 
are small and numerous, often cream coloured, rarely 
snowy white, and no Jess rarely having a blush of faint 
red on their petals. The small roundish buds, tinged 
with a streak or two of deep red, are exceedingly pretty. 
The plant often grows on open sandy heaths, lending its 
roses to grace the nosegay of wild thyme and other 
heath flowers ; and on the chalky banks of Kent it 
thrives so well as to form a good thick hedge-row, while 
it is almost the only British rose which may be found on 
the sandy sea -shore, where it often flourishes, though it 
becomes more dwarfed and spreading in its mode of 
growth. Grerarde calls it Pimpernel rose, not because it 
in any way resembles the flower which we now call 
Pimpernel, but because its leaves are much like those of 



the Burnet, which, as has been mentioned, was called 
Pimpernel by the older writers. The black fruit, the 
Cat-hip of country people, when fully ripe, is very juicy, 
and the expressed juice, diluted with water, dyes silk of 
a peach colour, or, with the addition of alum, renders it 
of a rich violet hue, but it has little effect on muslin or 
linen. The leaves have often spots of a bright yellow hue 
upon them, which are caused by the fungus, called Golden 
Uredo ( Uredo aurcd) . Scarcely any species of Rose affords 
a greater number of varieties than this to the cultivator 
of flowers. More than two hundred kinds are trained 
by our gardeners under the name of Scotch Roses. 

4. R. rubella (Red-fruited dwarf Rose). Stem and 
brandies thickly crowded with bristles ; prickles few, 
straight, and slender ; leaflets simply serrated, naked, 
their disk without glands ; fruit oblong, or cup-shaped, 
and pendulous. Plant perennial. This is a rare species, 
and a doubtful native. It is found in a few places on 
the sandy shores of Northumberland, and on the borders 
of the Dee at Abergeldy. It flowers in June, and its 
fruit is of a brilliant red colour. 

5. It. Hibernica (Irish Rose). Shoots and branches 
bearing scattered prickles, intermixed with a few bristles; 
leaves simply serrated, hairy beneath, their disk without 
glands ; calyx leaf-like and pinnate ; flowers mostly soli- 
tary, or two or three together. Plant perennial. The 
localities of this rare rose are various places in the 
counties of Derry and Down in Ireland. Its fruit is 
crimson. It flowers in May, and continues for some 
months in blossom. 

6. R. Wilsoni (Wilson's Rose). Prickles crowded 


and straight, intermixed with glandular hairs ; leaflets 
serrate, and hairy on both surfaces, their disk without 
glands ; fruit egg-shaped, somewhat cup-shaped. This 
scarlet-fruited species is found on the banks of the 
Menai, near Bangor, and its small white flowers expand 
in June and July. 

7. E. invohita (Prickly unexpanded Rose). Prickles 
crowded, straight, and intermixed with glandular bristles; 
leaflets doubly serrated, hairy, glandular beneath. Plant 
perennial. This dwarf rose is found in the Hebrides 
and Western Highlands, flowering in June. 

8. R. Sabini (Sabine's Rose). Shoote and branches 
bristly ; prickles scattered, straight, or nearly so ; leaflets 
twice serrated and hairy, glandular beneath ; sepals some- 
what pinnate ; fruit globose, dark red, and bristly. Plant 
perennial. Two varieties of this rose occur, which have 
been by earlier writers described as distinct species. In 
one, the prickles are more numerous, the leaves very 
hairy, and the sepals almost simple ; in the other, the 
larger prickles are hooked, and the sepals simple. This 
rose is found in woods, and is almost entirely confined 
to the north of this kingdom. It is very similar to the 
last species. 

* * * Leaves glandulose. Prickles nearly uniform ; 
bristles few or none. 

9. R. villdsa. Prickles nearly straight ; leaflets doubly 
serrated, downy, glandular ; calyx segments slightly pin- 
nate. Plant perennial. This rose, which is found in 
the northern counties of England, has its sepals remain- 
ing after the fruit is ripened, and closing down upon 
it. It flowers during June and July, and has reddish 


blossoms. The plant is remarkable for its downy nature, 
and is sometimes called the Apple-bearing Rose, from 
its nearly globose fruit. 

10. R. tomentdsa (Downy-leaved Rose). Prickles 
mostly uniform, straight, or curved ; leaflets twice ser- 
rated, downy, glandular ; calyx segments pinnate. Plant 
perennial. This species, which is not uncommon in hedges 
and thickets, has its large red roses in June and July. It 
is remarkable for its stout and long shoots and the downi- 
ness of its leaves, which are almost hoary. It is by many 
botanists considered to be a variety of the foregoing. 

11. R. inodora (Slightly-scented Briar). Prickles 
uniform and curved ; leaflets doubly serrated, hairy, glan- 
dular beneath : sepals pinnate, rarely remaining attached 
to the fruit, which is oval, or nearly globular. The odour 
of the shrub is much like that of the Sweet Briar, but 
fainter. A variety occurs in which the calyx is much 
larger, and remains on the ripened hip ; and in another 
form of the plant, the leaves are hairy on both sides. 
The flowers of this Briar are pink, expanding during 
June and July in woods and hedges, chiefly in the 
southern counties of England. 

12. R. micrdntha (Small- flowered Sweet-Briar). 
Prickles uniform, curved ; leaflets twice serrated, hairy, 
glandular beneath ; calyx segments long and pinnated, 
not remaining on the small egg-shaped fruit. Plant 
perennial. This plant is found on open bushy heaths, 
and in hedges and copses chiefly at the south of Eng- 
land, as well as in the south of Ireland. Though a local 
plant, it is abundant in some parts of Sussex and Surrey, 
bearing its small pink flowers in June and July. 


* * * * Prickles, some hooked, some straight, inter- 
mixed with bristles ; leaves with glands. 

13. JR. rubiginosa (True Sweet-Briar). Prickles 
numerous ; leaflets twice serrated, hairy, glandular be- 
neath, mostly rounded at the base; calyx pinnate, 
remaining attached to the ripe fruit ; fruit, when young, 
pear-shaped. Plant perennial. Every one who has 
breathed the air perfumed by the odour of the Sweet- 
Briar, must regret that the shrub, with its pretty pink 
roses, is not more common on our way-sides. It grows 
chiefly in the south of England, on open bushy places, 
especially on chalky soils, but it is far from being a fre- 
quent plant, except in gardens, where it is commonly 
and deservedly cultivated both for beauty and fragrance. 
It has been planted there for many centuries ; for, in 
days when many of our modern roses were unknown, 
this could be found in the garden of the monastery, or 
the " pleasure garden of the gentlewoman." Parkinson 
who wrote his " Garden of Flowers " in 1629, enu- 
merates it among those which he prized. " The great 
varietie of Roses," he says, " is much to be admired, 
being more than is to be scene in any other shrubby plant 
that I knowe, both for colour, forme, and smell. I have, 
to furnish this garden, thirty sorts at the least, euery one 
notably different from the other, and all fit to be here 
entertained, for there are some others, that being wilde 
and of no beautie or smell, we forbeare, and leave to 
their wild habitations." Not only in our own country, 
but almost throughout Europe, this fragrant shrub 
is trained for garden hedge-rows, and it is thus used 


extensively in Australia. " One of the most charm- 
ing peculiarities of the cultivated scenery of Tasma- 
nia/' says Colonel Mundy, "is the Sweet-Briar-hedges. 
To-day we were driving nearly the whole distance 
between them. In a great many places they were ten 
or twelve feet high, and the same in width, spangled all 
over, and scenting the air with fifty thousand delicate 
little roses. I noticed one or two thickets of this plant, 
which must have been forty or fifty feet in diameter, and 
twelve in height." This writer remarks, that about 
Hobart Town, both in the town-gardens and country 
enclosures, the delicate scent of these roses absolutely 
monopolises the air as a vehicle for its peculiar perfume ; 
the closely-clipped Mint borders, which in these gardens 
sometimes supply the place of Box, however, overpower 
even the Sweet-Briar, as well as every other scent of the 

This rose was introduced by the colonists, for although 
roses are to be found in almost every country of the 
Northern Hemisphere, both in the Old and New World, 
from Sweden to the north of Africa ; from Kamschatka 
to Bengal, and from Hudson's Bay to the mountains of 
Mexico, yet neither in Australia nor in South America 
is there any native rose. There is a plant, called the 
Rose, in Australia, a description of which we may quote 
from the interesting work before referred to, "Our Anti- 
podes." " This native flower," Colonel Mundy tells us, 
" has the colour, but no other resemblance to the Euro- 
pean Queen of Flowers. It is one of the few bush- 
flowers possessing any odour. Wafted on the passing gale, 
it commends itself pleasantly to the senses, but, strange 


enough, on close acquaintance, there mingles with the 
rich perfume a most powerful and nauseous odour, 
which renders the flower little adapted for the boudoir." 
" The native Rose is," says the writer, " I believe, nearly 
allied to the Diosma of the European greenhouse, to the 
scent of which some noses have a strong objection. 
A bouquet of bush-flowers is highly ornamental to the 
cpergne of the dinner-table, for they do not soon fade, 
and keep better out of water than it ; but he who 
would implant them on the bosom of beauty, will never 
desire to see them worn in the ball-room, for, with 
scarcely an exception, they are hard and thorny as the 
Holly itself." The native Australian rose is a Boronea, 
and it shoots up its slender sterns amongst the roughest 
rocks, its wax-like petals exhibiting every shade between 
deep pink and snowy white. 

Our Sweet-Briar has bright green foliage, and its 
flowers are of deeper pink than most of our wild roses. 
They expand in June and July. It is the Eglantine of 
the old poets. Chaucer calls it Eglantere : 

" Where she sate in a fresh greene laurey-tree, 
On that further side even right by me, 
That gave so passing a delicious smell, 
According to the Eglantere full well." 

Milton, who speaks of the " Twisted Eglantine," evi- 
dently refers to the Woodbine or Honeysuckle, but this 
was probably a mistake of the poet, as that flower does 
not seem ever to have been so called. Shakspeare 
alludes to the sweetness of the leaf of the Eglantine ; and 
Spencer, referring to the Sweet-Briar, says : 
" Sweet is the Rose, but grows upon a breere, 
Sweet is the Eglantine that pricketh neere." 


It seems always to have been a favourite flower, and 
is often alluded to in old works. In the " Queen-like 
Closet," or " Rich Cabinet," by Hannah Woolley, pub- 
lished in 1681, we find various directions for adorning 
houses with this and other flowers, and are told how to 
" dress up a chimney very fine for the summer," when 
a packthread dipped in bees'-wax and rosin, and fas- 
tened to the inner part of the chimney, was to be stuck 
all over with green moss and orpin flowers, and Sweet 
Bryer flowers, and sprigs were to be stuck on as if they 
grew. The orpine sprigs, this lady tells her readers, 
will grow for two months, and the Briar was to be 
renewed once a-week, but the moss will last all the 

14. JR. septum (Small-leaved Sweet Briar). Prickles 
numerous ; leaflets small, doubly serrated, hairy, acute at 
each end, glandulose beneath ; calyx pinnate. Plant 
perennial. This is a rare species, flowering in June and 
July. Its recorded habitats are near Bridport, in War- 
wickshire, and Heyford, Oxfordshire. 

***** Shoots mostly without bristles ; leaves 
without glands. 

15. E. canma (Common Dog-rose). Prickles uni- 
form, hooked ; leaves smooth, or slightly hairy ; calyx- 
segments pinnate, and not remaining attached to the fruit ; 
styles distinct. A number of varieties of this shrub are 
found ; in one, the leaflets are keeled, and the serratures 
compound ; in others, they are flat, and are more or less 
hairy. These have by various writers been described as 
distinct species. This is, above all others, the wilding 


rose of England, for it is common almost, everywhere, 
its deep pink or delicate blush coloured young roses and 
buds gleaming among the bright sprays of leaflets, and 
shedding on green lane and sunny bank, or shady wood, 
their sweet and rose-like odour. As the flowers expand 
fully, they become whiter. Few who have passed their 
early days in the country but can remember spots and 
occupations such as Clare describes, when alluding to a 
country maiden : 

" She eager scrambled the dog-rose to get, 
And woodbine flowers at every bush she met; 
The cowslip blossom, with its ruddy streak, 
Would tempt her furlongs from the path to seek ; 
And gay long-purple, with its tufty spike, 
She 'd wade o'er shoes to reach it in the dyke ; 
And oft was scratching through the briary woods 
For tempting cuckoo-flowers and violet-buds." 

Some writers think that the reason why this pretty 
wilding rose was called by our fathers Dog-rose, is 
that all the wild roses or briars were termed by the 
Greeks Cynorhodon, because the root was supposed to 
cure the bite of a mad dog. The Latins, who had the 
same notion respecting this root, called the wild rose 
Canina, and hence our commonest rose received this 
name. Another of its names, the Canker Rose, was, 
however, doubtless expressive of contempt, and was 
most likely given to this flower because of its inferiority 
in size and odour to the garden rose. In this contempt 
the poets of those days fully shared. Shakspere in more 
than one place designates it thus : 

" The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem 

For that sweet odour which doth in it live ; 


The canker blooms have full as deep a dye 
As the perfumed tincture of the roses, 
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly, 
When summer's breath their masked buds discloses; 

But (for their virtue only is their show) 
They live unwoo'd and uninspected fade, 
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so, 
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made." 

Notwithstanding this opinion, however, this rose is not 
only beautiful, but even slightly fragrant. It is still 
called Canker Rose in Devonshire, and probably its old 
name lingers in the villages of some other counties. 
The blossom is generally over by July, but occasionally 
a few stray roses may appear on the bush in autumn, 
a circumstance which, in former times, was deemed a 
certain " signe of an insuing plague." 

The Dog-rose affords several varieties of garden roses, 
and some rose-trees of this species attain a great age, 
the stems acquiring considerable thickness. Many of 
our hardy rose plants are long-lived, though we have 
none which is like that wild rose-tree which Humboldt 
mentions as growing in the crypt of the Cathedral at 
Hildersheim, said to be a thousand years old ; though 
this wrker adds, that it is the root only, and not the 
stem, which is proved by accurate and trustworthy ori- 
ginal documents to be eight centuries old. " A legend," 
he says, " connects this rose-tree with a vow made by 
the first founder of the Cathedral, Ludwig the Pious ; 
and an original document of the eleventh century says, 
that when the Bishop Hezilio rebuilt the Cathedral, 
which had been burnt down, he enclosed the roots of 
a rose-tree within a vault which still exists, raised upon 


this vault the crypt, which was consecrated in 1061, and 
spread out. the branches of the rose-tree on the walls. 
The stein, now living, is about twenty-six feet and a half 
high, and about two inches thick, and the outspread 
branches cover about thirty-two feet of the external wall 
of the eastern crypt ; it is doubtless of considerable 
antiquity, and well deserving of the celebrity which it 
has gained throughout Germany." 

When the artist represents the floral badge of our 
country, he does not often depict our native hedge-rose, 
for time and custom have sanctioned the practice of 
choosing one of those full roses, whose petals have been 
increased in number by culture, or which are the pro- 
duct of other lands. But the rose is always beautiful 
everywhere, although the blossoms of Eastern countries 
and of Southern Europe far exceed ours in hue and 
fragrance. In Greece the lovely and fragrant rose, known 
in England as the Cabbage-rose, is abundant, and it 
won for the Isle of Rhodes its name, while in some 
countries larger, though not sweeter, roses are to be found 
than these. Meyen tells of some thorny rose-bushes 
growing in the forests of Missouri, above St. Louis, 
which ascend to the tops of the highest trees, and adorn 
them with countless red blossoms. 

The Holy Land has beautiful wild roses still growing 
there j and though doubtless our translators of Scrip- 
ture have sometimes rendered an original word by rose, 
which refers to some other flower, and though the rose 
of Sharon is probably a species of Cistus, yet there is no 
doubt that the Rose itself is occasionally referred to by 
the prophetic writers, and that when the writer of the 


" Wisdom of Solomon " said, " Let us crown ourselves 
with rose-buds before they be withered," he referred to 
the Queen of Mowers. Old Jewish authors tell us that 
Jerusalem was distinguished from all the other towns of 
Judaea, as by several other particulars, in having no 
gardens nor any planted trees, excepting some rose- 
bushes, which had existed there since the days of the 
ancient prophets. Beautiful wild roses have been seen 
at some parts of Palestine expanding as early as the 
close of March ; and Doubdan relates, that at the end of 
April roses were so plentiful in that land, that in some 
religious processions sacks full of rose-leaves were 
brought, from which handfuls were thrown on the 

The rose seems to have been cultivated from the most 
remote time in our own country ; and records tell that 
early in the thirteenth century King John sent a wreath 
of roses to his lady, "par amour" at Ditton. " Roses and 
lilies," says Mr. T. Hudson Turner, " were among the 
plants bought for the Royal garden at Westminster in 
1276. The annual rendering of a rose is one of the 
commonest species of quit-rent named in ancient con- 
veyances. The extent to which the cultivation of this 
flower had been carried between the fourteenth and 
sixteenth century may be estimated by the varieties 
enumerated by Lawson they are red damask, velvet, 
double Provence rose ; the sweet musk rose, double and 
single ; and the double and single white rose. The Pro- 
vence rose was probably first imported in the fifteenth 
century, when the occupation of France by the English 
may be conjectured to have caused the introduction of 


many fruits and flowers : the marriage of Henry VI. 
with Margaret of Anjou may be regarded as likely to 
have brought the Provence rose to our climate." 

It would be a vain attempt were we to seek to 
enumerate all the species and varieties of rose which in 
our own days render the garden so fragrant and beauti- 
ful, growing within the cottage palings, or decking the 
parterre of the palace, thriving best in the country, far 
away from smoke, of which they are very intolerant, 
some of them, as most of the yellow roses, refusing alto- 
gether to grow in town gardens. Every lover of flowers 
knows and prizes the old-fashioned Provence, Cabbage, 
or hundred-leaved rose (Rosa cenlifolia), with its mossy 
varieties, and flowers of every hue, from white to a rich 
dark crimson ; and Damask roses, and Cinnamon roses, 
Bourbon, Musk and French roses, of which the well- 
known York and Lancaster rose is a variety, all these 
and many more are familiar plants in gardens. Several 
of these, like the white varieties of the Provence rose, 
are best when grown on a stock of the common dog- 
rose ; and the numerous China roses, blooming almost 
all the year round, and peeping into the cottage window, 
or climbing up to the eaves, often tower above some of 
the roses which are but varieties of our common hedge 
species. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, in her beautiful 
little poem, ' The Deserted Garden," alludes to the 
flower ; 

" Old garden rose-trees hedged it in, 
Bedropt with roses waxen white, 
Well satisfied with dew and light, 
And careless to be seen. 


" Long years ago it might befal, 

When all the garden flowers were trim, 
The grave old gardener prided him 
On these the most of all. 

" And lady stately over much, 

That moved with a silken noise, 
Blush 'd near them, thinking of the voice 
That liken'd her to such. 

" Ah, little thought that lady proud 

A child should watch her fair white rose; 
When buried lay her whiter brows, 
And silk was changed to shroud. 

" Nor thought that gardener, full of scorns 
For men unlearn' d and simple phrase, 
A child would bring it all its praise 
By creeping through the thorns." 

All nations have prized the rose. In ancient days 
even warriors wore wreaths of its flowers, and the Greeks 
and Romans strewed its petals over their dishes on 
festive occasions. When Cleopatra invited Anthony to 
an entertainment, the royal apartments were covered 
with roses to a considerable depth. The Greeks and 
Romans planted the shrub on their tombs, or laid upon 
them its gathered flowers. Aubrey mentions the old 
custom existing at Oakley, in Surrey, of planting roses 
in churchyards over the remains of those who were 
betrothed, which was probably the relic of a Roman 
custom. But all old poets, and historians of all places, 
extol the flower, from the " Romaunt of the Rose," by 
our own Chaucer, or the " Ghulistan, the Region of 
Roses " of the East, or that Persian metaphysical poem 
mentioned by D'Herbelot, " The Rose-bush," down to 
the writers of to-day. In Italy, one of the names of 


the Virgin Mary is Santa Maria della Eosa, for when 
she came to be worshipped, and to take that place in the 
human heart which the Saviour alone should occupy, 
men believed her to be typified both by the Rose of 
Sharon and the Lily of the Valley. In the " Paradise " 
of Dante, the Virgin is called the " Mystic Rose," and 
in ancient times the flower was especially dedicated to 
her. In pictures of the Madonna, as in the Madonna of 
the Rose-bush, by Martin Schoen, the back-ground is 
often formed of a garden of roses. Shepherd, in his 
work on the Book of Common Prayer, remarks, that 
Mid-Lent Sunday was anciently called Rose Sunday, and 
that on that day the Pope carried a golden rose in his 
hand on the way to and from Mass. In Eastern lands 
the rose is prized above all flowers, and forms a con- 
tinual source of allusion in Oriental writings. Various 
traditions of Scriptural personages, as well as of those of 
their mythology, are connected with uses of the rose ; 
and many a poet of those sunny climes expresses the 
fancy which Jami records : " You may place a hundred 
handfuls of fragrant herbs and flowers before the nightin- 
gale, yet he wishes not in his constant heart for more 
than the sweet breath of his beloved rose." But we 
have wandered long from the wilding rose of our woods 
and hedges, which is sometimes planted for its succulent 
hips. These are bright red, and have a pleasant acid 
flavour, which the pulp preserves when dried; and 
children eat them notwithstanding the silky bristly cover- 
ing of the seeds, which has been known in some cases 
to cause painful irritation in the throat. Their profu- 
sion on the trees was believed, as Lord Bacon tells us, 


to predict a severe winter, and modern rustics yet 
think so : 

" The thorns and briars, vermilion-hue, 
Now full of hips and haws are seen, 
If village-prophecies be true 
They prove that winter will be keen." 

The pulp of these fruits, beaten up with sugar, makes 
the conserve of hips sold by druggists, and a good 
pectoral medicine is derived from them. IK former 
times, preparations made both from the fruits and petals 
were supposed to strengthen the heart and memory. 
An old herbalist says of the Dog-rose, " It were of 
small purpose to use many words in the description 
thereof, for even children with great delight eat the 
berries thereof when they be ripe, and make chaines and 
other pretty gewgaws of the fruit ; cookes and gentle- 
women make tarts and such like dishes for pleasure 
thereof, and therefore this shall suffice for the descrip- 
tion," Parkinson mentions among " the Physicale ver- 
tues" of this and other roses, that the conserve is 
useful in "cooling heate of the eyes," and we have seen it 
most effectual for this purpose : this old writer also adds, 
"Divers doe make an excellent yellowe colour of the 
juyce of white roses, wherein some allome is dissolved, 
to paint or colour flowers, or pictures, or any such 
things," Gerarde tells of " the pleasant meates and 
banketting dishes " made of these fruits beaten up with 
sugar. Rose-water also was apparently used by our 
ancestors on some occasions ; for in the charges in the 
account of a dinner of Lord Leiyster, Chancellor of the 
University of Oxford, in 1570, we have the following: 


item: " for iij oz. of rose watere, for boylde meats and 
leaches and gelleys and drie leches, and march payne, 
and to wash afore dinnere and afterdinnere, iij*. \\d" 

Every one accustomed to gather our wild rose has 
seen those green mossy tufts on its branches, which in 
autumn are tinged with crimson, and which on being 
opened are found to contain small worms. Country 
people call them Kobin's cushions, though the Robin has 
no more to do with them than the toad with the toad- 
stool. These excrescences are produced by the puncture 
of an insect, the Cynips Eosce, and the tufts themselves 
are known as Bedeguars. They are very astringent, and 
have been much used as a styptic, having been employed 
both externally and internally to check haemorrhage. 

Caroline White, whose thoughts on Flowers, whether 
expressed in prose or verse, are always true to Nature, 
has written for our volume this little Poem on the 
Rose : 

" Oh bright imperial flower, 

Whether by palace bower, 
Or graceful wreathing round the poor man's cot ; 

Crowning young beauty's head, 

Or clasp 'd by fingers dead, 
Or marking out for Love one heap'd up spot ; 

" Thou hast a brighter store 

Of rich and varied lore, 
Than unto earthly poet's page belongs ; 

Garner'd in each sweet leaf, 

Are tales of joy and grief, 
Mocking the melody of written songs. 

" Love, to which words are weak, 
Thy blushing depths can speak, 
And in the fond one's absence breathe his sigh* ; 
VOL. II. I 1 


Yet as a trumpet's tone, 
In days for ever gone, 
Thou didst awake grim faction's battle cries ; 

" Now wreathing hall and bower, 
Now twined for minstrel's dower, 

Or happier still, the chaplet of a bride ; 
Now scenting rites divine, 
On some cathedral shrine, 

Or floating votive upon Gunja's tide ; 

" Thine was the glowing wreath, 

The pure and perfumed breath, 
That at the banquet of Imperial Rome, 

Tern per 'd the festive hour 

With a refining power, 
And twined the wine-cup with a thought of homo. 

" They cull'd thee for the breast 

Of beauty in her rest : 
The pulseless rest that coucheth in the tomb: 

And deck'd her in its trance, 

As for some festive dance, 
With gem-like tears and thy pale marble bloom. 

" Feast, triumph, bridal, bier, 

Joy's smiles, or Sorrow's tear, 
Took radiance from thee, or a deeper woe : 

Emblem of glowing Hope, 

Of life's fair promise broke, 
Of Mirth, of Love, of shatter'd sweets laid low.' 

A plant, called the bracteated Dog-rose (Rosa brac- 
tescens), found at Ulverston in Lancashire, and at 
Ambleside in Westmoreland, is remarkable for hairy 
bracts, which overtop its globose fruit. It is by most 
writers considered to be a variety of Rosa canina ; its 
leaflets are serrated, and downy beneath, and its pink 
flowers expand in June and July. 


16. E. c&sia (Glaucous Dog-rose). Prickles hooked ; 
leaflets doubly serrated, and downy, without glands; 
sepals slightly pinnate. Plant perennial. This is very 
nearly allied to the common Dog-rose, and is perhaps 
but a variety of it, though its general appearance more 
resembles that of Rosa tomentosa. It is found in the 
north of this kingdom, and is in flower in June and 

17. E. systyla (Close-styled Dog-rose). Prickles 
hooked ; leaves serrated, and pale green beneath, their 
disk without glands ; sepals sparingly pinnate, not 
remaining on the fruit ; styles united in a column ; stiff- , 
mas forming a round head. Plant perennial. The shoots 
of this rose are nearly erect, and sometimes attain the 
height of ten or twelve feet. It is found in hedges and 
thickets in various counties of England, and more rarely 
in Scotland and Ireland. Its white flowers expand in 
June and July. 

18. E. arvensis (Trailing Dog-rose). PricMcs on the 
young shoots feeble ; leaves smooth, their disk without 
glands; calyx slightly pinnate, not remaining on the fruit; 
styles united ; stigmas forming a round knob. Plant 
perennial. This rose may be known from all our other 
native species by its slender trailing stems. The flowers, 
which are expanded from June to August, are white, grow- 
ing mostly solitary, but sometimes two or three together. 
Though pretty, they have no odour. The shrub has fewer 
prickles than most of our wild roses ; it is common in 
woods and hedges at the south of England, but is rare 
at the north. It is sometimes called White Dog-rose, and 
is often, when in the garden, termed the Ayrshire rose. 


It is generally fancied to be the rebel rose, worn during 
the contests of the Houses of York and Lancaster. 
Gerarde speaks of a double white rose which formerly 
grew wild in the hedges of Lancashire, but this was 
probably a garden variety, which was common then, but 
which never became naturalized. 

15. P^RUS (Pear, Apple, Service, and Mountain Ash). 

1. P. communis (Wild Pear). Leaves egg-shaped, 
serrated ; flowers in corymbs ; fruit tapering at the base. 
Plant perennial. The large clusters of snowy white 
flowers of the Pear-tree are very ornamental to woods 
during April and May, and although this tree can hardly 
be said to be common there, yet it is found more or less 
in the wooded districts throughout the kingdom. The 
fruits are so hard and harsh that even the school-boy 
leaves them for the birds, and few would suspect them to 
be the origin of the juicy and delicious pears which we 
welcome to our table in autumn and winter. Tho tree 
is tall and erect, and though when cultivated the 
branches are thornless, yet they are not so in the wild 
state. The wood is sometimes dyed black to resemble 
ebony, and is cut into bracelets. Wood engravers 
formerly made their blocks of it, but it is far infe- 
rior to the box for this purpose. Gerarde says, that 
the plates of his book were cut out of this wood, 
as were, he adds, breast-plates for English gentle- 
women. The Persians are said to make their most 
beautiful spoons of the wood of the pear-tree. When 
burnt to ashes it was also esteemed medicinal, and 


both this substance and the fruit were considered to 
counteract the poison of mushrooms. 

The wild pear is of little use, but as, in making perry, 
harsh, rather than sweet pears are chosen, it sometimes 
mingles with the cultivated fruit in the preparation 
of this beverage. In this country the manufacture of 
perry is shiefly confined to Worcestershire, and three 
pears form the armorial bearing of the provincial city. 
Nor is this the only instance in which the pear is used as 
an armorial escutcheon. Mr.T. Hudson Turner remarks : 
"The Horticultural skill of the Cistercian monks of 
Wardon in Bedfordshire, a foundation dating from the 
twelfth century, produced, at some early but uncertain 
time, a baking variety of the pear. It bore and still 
bears the name of their abbey figured on their armorial 
escutcheon, and supplied the contents of those Wardon 
pies so often named in old descriptions of feasts, and 
which so many of our historical novelists have repre- 
sented as huge pasties of venison, or other meat suited 
to the digestive capacities of gigantic wardens of feudal 
days. It is time, in justice to these venerable gardeners, 
that this error should be exploded. Their application to 
horticultural pursuits, even up to the Dissolution, is 
honourably attested by a survey of their monastery made 
after that event : it mentions the 'great vineyard/ the 
' little vineyard,' two orchards, doubtless that in which 
the Wardon was first reared, and a hop-yard. The 
Wardon pear is still known in the west and other 
parts of England. Lawson, whose ' New Orchard and 
Garden' was published in 1597, remarks that hard 
winter fruits and Wardens are not fit to gather until 


some time after Michaelmas : another author, of about the 
same date, says, Wardens are to be gathered, carried, 
packt, and laid as winter peares are." Mr. Turner adds 
in a note, " The late editors of ' Dugdale's Monasticon ' 
remark that Warden pears were sometimes called Abbot's 
pears, but no authority is given for the assertion. 

Pears having been known in this country at a very 
early period, it is likely that the Romans introduced 
some of the cultivated sorts. Pliny mentions pears of 
various kinds which were grown in Italy, and says that a 
fermented liquor was made from their juice. It is amus- 
ing to read the names by which some of the Italian pears 
were distinguished, though we can now no longer trace 
their identities with our own pears. He tells of the 
Syrian, the Alexandrine, the Numidian, the Grecian, the 
Picentine, the Numantine, the Crustumine, and the 
Falernian pears, of all of which the two last named were 
most valued. There were Tiberian pears, named after 
the Emperor; and barley pears, and aromatic pears, 
and laurel pears, so called from their pleasant scents; 
some which ripened the earliest and decayed the 
soonest were reproachfully called Proud pearw. He 
remarked, that all pears have the property of wine, and 
were therefore cautiously prescribed by physicians. 
Chaucer often speaks of the "pere," and a tradition tells 
that King John was poisoned by something mingled in 
a dish of pears by the monks of Swinstead, a tradition 
which at least would lead us to believe that pears were 
then highly esteemed. The monks paid much attention 
to the culture of this fruit, and in accounts of the fourth 
and twentieth years of Edward I., among purchases 


made for the royal garden at Westminster pears were 
enumerated ; and there is extant a writ of Henry III., 
directing his gardener to plant the Caillou pear both at 
Westminster and in his garden at the Tower. The 
pears mentioned in the bills delivered into the Treasury 
by the fruiterer of Edward I., in the year 1292, are the 
St. llegle, Caillou, Pesse-pucelle, Martins, Dreyes, Sorells, 
Gold-Knobs, and Cheysills, and the very high prices 
paid for them prove the great esteem in which they 
were held. Mr. Turner says, " There is still a common 
Scotch pear, called the Golden Knapp, which is possibly 
the very sort supplied to Edward L, more than five cen- 
turies and a half gone by." When we come to the 
period of Henry VIII. , we find various mention of the 
pear by the herbalists and gardeners of his day. An old 
account of that monarch's household expenses has an 
item of twopence "to a woman who gaff the King 
peres." Gerarde, who, in Queen Elizabeth's time, had 
the superintendence of Lord Burleigh's fine garden, and 
who had himself in Holborn a large physic-garden, pro- 
bably the best in this country at that time, says, that to 
write of the sorts of apples and pears, and " these ex- 
ceeding good," would require a "particular volume." He 
tells of an "excellent grafter and painful planter, Master 
Henry Bunbury, who had them in his grounds," as had 
also " a most diligent and affectionate lover of plants, 
Master Warner, neere Horsly Down," and says they 
were " grown in divers places about London." Many 
of our common pears originated on the Continent, 
hence some of those names which seem absurd now, 
but which are corruptions of old French or other 


languages. Such is the Bury pear, which should be the 
Beurre, probably because its juicy substance would melt 
in the mouth like butter. The Boncrutching of modern 
days is well known to be corrupted from the Bon- 
Chretien, which is in itself an absurd name enough when 
applied to a pear. One of its best varieties has a still 
more ridiculous appellation, being called the Bon-Chre- 
tien Turc. 

Every one who has lived in the country can recollect 
seeing some ancient pear-tree, still in spring showing its 
snowy clusters, and rich in autumn with its brown fruits, 
for the cultivated pear-tree attains a great age, though it 
does not seem to be very long-lived in its wild condition. 
In the neighbourhood of Jedburgh Abbey, and in lands 
lying about various religious houses in Scotland, there are 
pear-trees which, there is every reason to believe, were 
planted by the monks, and are between five and six 
hundred years old. The most remarkable English pear- 
tree is mentioned by Dr. Neile, as standing in the glebe 
of the parish of Holme Lacy, in Herefordshire. The 
branches formerly hung down, and gradually reached 
the ground, where they took root. Each branch became 
a new tree, again producing others, till it extended itself 
so as to cover an acre of ground, and had it been 
allowed to remain unmolested would probably have 
extended further. In the year 1776, this tree produced 
enough pears for fourteen hogsheads of perry, each hogs- 
head containing one hundred gallons. Though in these 
days, reduced in size, it is said by this writer to be still 
healthy and vigorous, and to produce from two to five 
hogsheads. The Bev. C. A. Johns, remarking on this 


tree, says, " An idea of its superior size may be formed 
from the fact, that in the same county an acre of ground 
is usually planted with thirty-two trees, which in a good 
soil produce annually, when full grown, twenty gallons 
of perry each. So large a quantity as a hogshead from 
one tree is very unusual." 

Though perry is less prized now than in former days, 
yet the pear retains its eminence as a valued fruit. The 
varieties which culture has produced from our harsh 
wild pear are almost innumerable, and above six hun- 
dred were enumerated some years since. One of them, 
the Choke or Iron-pear, well deserves to be so called 
when growing wild, or almost so, but when carefully 
treated it loses all its hardness. In few plants can we 
trace the value of horticultural skill more than in this, 
for all the numerous baking and dessert pears have come 
from a fruit which would not even tempt one who was 
hungry enough to feed on blackberries and hips. The 
Continental pears are generally superior to those grown 
in Britain ; but, according to Marco Polo, the pears of 
China far exceed any known in this land, for they are 
said to weigh ten pounds each, and their white pulpy 
interior to be both fragrant and delicious. 

We sometimes hear of the Australian pear-tree, but 
Colonel Mundy's description of its produce is not very 
inviting. The various common trees, he says, having 
been named by savages, have not always very suitable 
appellations. Thus, he remarks, that the Swamp-oak 
has the aspect of a laurel, and Pomona herself would in- 
dignantly disown the apple-tree, for there is not a sem- 
blance of a pippin in its tufted branches, though a shingle 

VOL. n. K K 


of the beef-wood looks precisely like a beef-steak. The 
Cherry-tree resembles a Cypress, but is of a tenderer 
green, bearing a worthless little berry, having its stone 
or seed outside, hence its name of Exocarpus. The 
pear-tree seems to be an Eucalyptus, and bears a pear of 
solid wood, hard as heart of oak. Nothing short of 
a mallet will break it, yet in the procreation of its kind 
its inedible body spontaneously and gently opens to 
drop out the seed. 

2. P. Mdlus (Crab Apple). Leaves simple, egg- 
shaped, serrated ; flowers in a sessile umbel ; styles com- 
bined below; fruit with a hollow beneath. Plant 
perennial. The wild apple is a small spreading tree, 
bearing in May its rich rosy tinted clusters of flowers. 
In later months the small sour "blushing crab" orna- 
ments the bough. The sourness of the crab is well known 
enough to have originated a popular proverb. The fruit 
both of the wild and cultivated apple-trees abounds with 
malic acid, which is in the sour or sweet sorts more 
or less predominant, and which mingles with larger or 
smaller proportions of sugar, gum, essential oil, and 
bland pulpy material. The expressed juice of the unripe 
Crab apple is exceedingly sour, and in times when vine- 
gar was commonly employed in making whey, syllabub, 
or other confectionary, the fruit was often gathered to be 
used instead. Vinegar made from this crab is still 
prized in villages as an application to cure sprains and 
scalds, and to curdle the whey used as medicine for colds. 
The juice, too, is imagined to be a good cosmetic. 

Our wild fruit tree, though offering little worth in its 
produce, is very serviceable both in this country and on 


the Continent, for on this stock have been grafted the 
apples of which horticulturists have obtained so many 
varieties. The Pyrus Mains of our woods comprehends 
two varieties of the tree, which Decandolle considers as 
two distinct species one, which has a smooth calyx 
tube, and the other having that portion downy. The 
first, which is termed Acerba, is the Pommier a cidre of 
the French, and is by this botanist considered to be the 
origin of our cider apples ; while the latter, mitis, the 
Pommier a couteau, he regards as that from which are 
derived the apples used at our tables, but botanists 
generally consider them merely different forms of the 
same tree. 

Our cider is the old Anglo-Saxon word Sieder, and 
our apple is from their Acppel, and these people most 
probably cultivated the plant at an early period in this 
country. It is not unlikely that the fruit was one with 
which the Romans enriched this soil, and which, 
after their departure, the Saxons found already grow, 
ing here. The apple was afterwards cultivated in 
the gardens of the monasteries, and the Oslin, or 
Arbroath pippin, was either introduced or extensively 
cultivated by the monks of the Abbey of Aberbroth- 
wick; while old herbalists relate that the Nonpareil 
was brought from France by a Jesuit in the time of 
Queen Mary. Many of the best apples appear from 
their names to have been brought from France. " One 
sort only is named," says Mr. Turner, " in any account 
of the thirteenth century that has fallen under my obser- 
vation, the Costard ; it occurs in the fruiterers' bills of 
the year 1292, but as this fruit was very generally culti- 


vated from an early period, there must have been many 
varieties known." A reference to this fruit yet exists in 
the name of Costard-monger, which is an old English 
term for a seller of vegetables, and was given because 
these Costard apples would be one of his chief commo- 
dities, the large round bulky Costard being in more 
general use than the more delicate apples, most of which, 
indeed, were not cultivated in this kingdom till the reign 
of Henry VIII. The writer before referred to, Mr. 
Turner, says, " The pearmain was certainly known by 
that name soon after the year 1200, as Blomefield 
instances a tenure in Norfolk by petty serjeanty, and 
the payment of two hundred pearmains, and four hogs- 
heads of cider, or wine made of pearmain, into the 
Exchequer at the feast of St. Michael yearly. Cider 
was largely manufactured during the thirteenth century, 
even as far north as Yorkshire. Thus, in 1283, the 
bailiff of Cowick, near Richmond, in that county, stated 
in his account, that he had made sixty gallons of cider 
from three-quarters and a half of apples. Our fore- 
fathers considered the apple to be a ' soft fruit,' and 
more wholesome than the pear. Necham records that 
an apple swims when thrown into the water, while a pear 
will sink." 

Chaucer refers to the apple most common in early 

" Your chekes embolrned like a mellow costard ; ' 

and as we advance in the history of the apple, we find 
numerous sorts in the lists of old writers. Michael 
Drayton, whose " Poly-olbion " was published in 1613, 
speaking of the orchards of Kent, says : 


" The pippin, which we hold of kernel fruits the king ; 
The apple orange ; then the savoury russetan ; 
The pearmain, which to France long ere to us 'twas known, 
Which careful fruiterers now have denizen'd our own ; 
The renat, which though first it from the pippin came, 
Grown through his pureness nice, assumes that curious name ; 
The sweeting, for whose sake the school-boys oft make war, 
The wilding, costard, then the well-known pomewater, 
And sundry, other fruits of good yet several taste, 
They have their sundry names in sundry counties placed." 

The pippins, which were so called because the trees 
were raised from pips or seeds, and would produce 
fruit without being grafted, were brought from France, 
according to Fuller, in the sixteenth year of Henry VIII., 
and half a century after we find them well known, as 
Justice Shallow says, " You shall see mine orchard, 
where, in an arbour, we will eat a last year's pippin of 
my own graffing ;" but the golden pippin, the renat of 
Michael Drayton, was called the Eeinette d'Angleterre, 
and is by the Dutch now called Engelsche goud Pepping. 
It was apparently an apple of English and not of foreign 
origin, having, it is said, been first raised at Parham 
Park in Sussex. Catherine of Russia, who was fond of 
this apple, had it brought every year from England for 
her use. The cider orchards of Herefordshire, so beau- 
tiful in May with their masses of rosy flowers, were first 
planted in the time of Charles I.; and before the time of 
Charles II., cider, which had been in some measure in 
use for nearly a century before, had become a chief 
beverage of the nation. Gerarde says, in 1597, " I have 
seen about the pastures and hedgerows of a worshipful 
gentleman's dwelling, two miles from Hereford, called 
Mr. Roger Badnome, so many trees of all sortes, that the 


servants drink for the most part no other drink but 
such as is made of apples. The qualitie is such, that, 
by the report of the gentleman himselfe, the parson hath 
for tythe many hogsheads of cider." This old herbalist 
was a great advocate for planting this tree, for he says, 
" Gentlemen, that have land and living, put forward, in 
the name of God ; graffe, set, plant, and nourish up trees 
in every corner of your grounds ; the labour is small, 
the cost is nothing, the commoditie is great, yourselves 
shall have plentie, the poor shall have somewhat in time 
of want to relieve their necessitie, and God shall rewarde 
your good mindes and diligence." The value of the 
apple as an edible fruit is enhanced by the length of time 
which it may be kept, thus affording a store of fresh 
fruit throughout the winter and spring. Cornwall and 
Devonshire have always produced good apples, and the 
Cornish gillyflower apple has a well-deserved renown. 
The beautiful Ribston pippin, with the streaks of red 
tinging its russet surface, was raised at Ribston Park in 
Yorkshire, and good apples are grown extensively in 
Kent and other counties. The chief apple or cider 
counties lie in the form of a horse -shoe around the 
Bristol Channel, and many acres of orchard land in 
Devon, Somerset, Worcestershire, and Hereford are fall 
of apple-trees, affording employment in the fruit season 
to large numbers of poor people. Cider is still in use 
in farm-houses as a common beverage in many parts of 
the kingdom, but it is not easy to compute the quantity 
which is produced, as there is now no duty on that 

Many persons have so long accustomed themselves to 


speak of the fruit which Eve plucked in Eden as an 
apple, that careless readers of Holy Writ almost regard 
it as a fact recorded there ; and some, who forget that in 
the eyes of God the motive of an action constitutes 
either its worth or its guilt, treat lightly the sin of our 
first parents, and speak of eating the apple as a small 
matter. But the apple has no more claim to be con- 
sidered the forbidden fruit than has the Shaddock, which 
has long been sold under that name, or than that fruit 
which the sages of Ceylon pronounce to be forbidden to 
human taste. These priests having proved to their own 
satisfaction that Ceylon was the site of Paradise, assert 
that the fruit was borne on a tree which they call Divi 
Ladner. This they infer not alone from the extreme 
beauty of the fruit and the sweetness of the flower, but 
from the conclusive fact that the former still bears the 
marks of the teeth of Eve. The fruit is now poisonous, 
but they add that previously to Eve's transgression it 
was delicious. 

The apple is often mentioned by the Scripture writers, 
and the tree grows in Palestine, but produces good fruit 
only in one or two places of that land, as at Lebanon. 
The citron is probably the tree intended, as it is among 
the most valuable of the fruits of Palestine, and would 
be fitted to occupy the place which the prophet Joel 
gives it among the Vine, the Fig, the Pomegranate, and 
the Palm. 

The apple-tree is not remarkable either for size or 
longevity, and in an old orchard the pear-trees far out- 
live those of the apple, though occasionally we find one 
of the latter attaining considerable age. 


The fruits boiled, baked, dried, roasted, or made into 
tarts and jellies, need no praises, and besides these pur- 
poses to which apples are commonly applied, it has been 
ascertained by M. Duduit de Maizieres, that one-third 
of boiled apple-pulp baked with two-thirds of flour, 
having been previously fermented with yeast for twelve 
hours, will make a very palatable, light, and nutritious 
bread. A summer beverage, called Apple-wine, is also 
very good, though not equal to cider. An elegant 
chalybeate has been obtained from a solution of iron, 
which exists in the juice of the golden renet. The 
famous winter beverage of our forefathers, termed Lambs- 
wool, was the grand ingredient of the Wassel-bowl. 
Archdeacon Nares has preserved the following receipt 
for its composition : " The pulpe of the roested apple, in 
number four or five, according to the greatness of the 
apples, (especially the pome water,) mixed in a wine 
quart of faire water, laboured together untill it comes to 
be as apples and ale, which we call Lambswool." In 
Herrick's " Hesperides " we find an allusion to this fre- 
quent beverage : 

" Next crown the bowl full 

With gentle Lambs-wooll, 
Add sugar, nutmeg, and ginger, 
With store of ale too." 

Gerarde, referring to the uses of the apple, says, " There 
is an ointment made with the pulp of apples and swine's 
grease, and rose-water, which is used to beautify the 
face, and take away the roughness of the skin ; it is 
called in shops pomatum, of the apple whereof it is 
made." Our modern pomades and pomatums, the off- 


springs of this, cannot however boast the apple as an 

The use of apples was commended in " splenaticke " 
and melancholy disorders, arid the Court physician to 
the Queens Mary and Elizabeth, John Key, better 
known by his Latinised name of John Caius, seems to 
have had a high opinion of its fragrance, sickly as we 
now deem it in a closed room. This physician wrote 
in 1552 his work, entitled, " A boke or Counseill against 
the disease commonly called the Sweate, or Sweatynge 
Sicknesse. Made by John Caius, doctour in physicke. 
Very necessarie for everie personne, and much requisite 
to be had in the handes of al sortes, for their better in- 
struction, preparacion, and defense against the souddein 
comynge and fearfull assaulting of the same disease." 
The chief remedies consisted in keeping the patient very 
warm, and posset-ale, with parsley and sage put in it, 
was one of the medicines. If the patient recovered, and 
found his strength wasted, he was to " smell to an old 
swete apple," for, adds Dr. Caius, " there is nothing 
more comfortable to the spirits than good and swete 

Some of the exotic crab apple-trees are among the 
most beautiful plants of the shrubbery. The Chinese 
Crabs, with their rich pink blossoms mingling with the 
buds of deeper red, and the Siberian Crabs, with their 
red apples, are common and attractive plants, and furnish 
fruits well fitted for preserving with sugar. In Siberia 
these crab apples are used in making punch. 

3. P. tormitmlis (Wild Service-tree). Leaves egg- 
shaped, with several deep and sharp serrated lobes \ 



flowers in corymbs. Plant perennial. This tree is much 
like the Hawthorn, and its glossy green leaves have a 
similar form to those of that shrub. It is a small tree, 
its white flowers appearing in May, and the leaves being 
larger than those of the May-bush. The small fruits are 
of a greenish brown colour, dotted ah 1 over. It is 
found here and there in the woods and hedges of 
the south of England, and is in some places called 
Maple Service. The author of this volume has seen 
it occasionally in the Kentish woods, and has eaten 
of its berries, which resemble the Medlar in flavour, 
and, like that fruit, are not good till they are begin- 
ning to decay, or, as the country people say, till they 
are " wilted." The fruits are very plentiful on the 
Service, and boys gather the clusters, and, tying them 
upon sticks, carry them into towns for sale, when they 
are hung out of doors for a night, in order that a process 
of fermentation may soften and fit them for eating on 
the morrow. These berries have a pleasant flavour, and 
are nearly as large as the hips of the Sweet-briar. In 
Kent they are called Chequers. Gerarde says of this 
tree, " In Kent it groweth in great abundance, especially 
about Southfleet and Gravesend ; " but the woods there 
in which our herbalist saw it are now probably all 
cleared, for buildings have encroached on the ancient 
woodlands. The plant grows wild in Russia. 

The Service-tree is said to attain sometimes the height 
of fifty feet. Its wood is hard and close-grained, so 
that it is useful to turners and carvers ; and for gun- 
stocks, and some part of carriage-wheels, the wood is 
preferred to any other. It is very durable, and is there- 


fore sometimes selected for the timbers of houses built 
in exposed situations. 

4. P. domestica (True Service-tree). Leaves pinnated, 
downy beneath ; leaflets serrated upwards ; floivers in 
panicles ; fruits large, and egg-shaped. Plant perennial. 
This species, which is often called Pyrus Sorbus, is pro- 
bably not a true native, only one instance being recorded 
in which it seems to grow quite away from cultivated 
spots; this is a solitary tree in Wyre Forest, near 
Bewdly, in Worcestershire. The tree has much the 
aspect of the Mountain Ash, but the fruits are con- 
siderably larger than the Rowan berries. Its showy 
white flowers appear in May. It is not very often culti- 
vated in England, but in some parts of France and near 
Genoa it is reared for its fruits, two varieties being 
grown, one termed the apple-fruited, the other the pear- 
fruited Service. These fruits are not eaten until in 
a state of incipient decay. The trees so common in our 
shrubberies, called the Pinnatifid and the Hybrid Ser- 
vice-trees, bear similar fruits in abundance. They are 
both varieties of the Beam-tree (Pyrus Ariti). The True 
Service-tree is a native of the south of Europe, where it 
attains a much larger size than with us. It also grows 
in many northern countries, as in Kamtschatka, where 
the natives use the berries as food. In some parts of 
the North an ardent spirit is produced from them by 

5. P. aucupdria (Mountain Ash). Leaves pinnate, 
serrated ; flowers in corymbs ; fruit nearly round. Plant 
perennial. This tree, with its graceful feathery leaves, 
is familiar to us from being so frequent in gardens, 


shrubberies, in squares, and walks of cities, where may 
be seen 

" The mountain ash, whose crimson berries shine ; 
The flaxen birch, that yields the fragrant wine! " 

It is sometimes twenty feet high, and the bright green 
leaves, which when young are downy on the under sur- 
faces, are formed of from seven to nine pairs of leaflets, 
terminated by an odd one. The flowers, which grow in 
dense clusters, and are greenish white, appear in May ; 
they are neither so large nor so handsome as those of the 
Hawthorn, but have somewhat of their sweet fragrance. 
In autumn, however, the tree is more beautiful than in 
summer, for at that season the rich cluster of red fruits 
gleams among the foliage, each berry having the form of 
a tiny apple, and containing a little core and seeds within. 
The child strings the berries for necklaces, and the cook 
gathers them to garnish the dishes. To most people their 
flavour is rather agreeable, and a few may be safely eaten, 
but children should not be allowed to eat these astrin- 
gent fruits in large numbers. In Wales ale and beer are 
made of these berries, and the poor people prepare from 
them an excellent fermented liquor, very similar in 
flavour to perry. In the Highlands a spirit is distilled 
from them. To the thrush and blackbird they are in- 
valuable ; and when we mark the havoc made by these 
birds on the berries, we must recal the songs of last 
spring, or look forward to that which is coming, as pay- 
ment for the mischief. The old use of these berries by 
bird-catchers is recorded in one of the familiar names of 
the tree, the " Fowler's Service," and they are still em- 
ployed to allure birds into the net. A good colour for 


dyeing is also obtained from them. In some of the 
German burial-grounds the surface of the tomb is raked 
smooth, and crosses, initials, and various devices are 
made by laying the Mountain Ash berries in the soil ; 
while on other graves the mourners form these crosses of 
the white waxen fruits of the Snowberry, or plant cress 
in various patterns, sometimes either in letters or words, 
often variegating the device with stripes of blue, red, and 
white sand. 

The Rowan-tree is frequent in woods and hedges in 
mountainous districts, often hanging out its branches 
from rocky crevices of the Highlands and Western Islands 
of Scotland. On the hills of Cheshire it is a dwarf 
shrub rather than a tree, and may sometimes be seen 
there with its branches full of leaves, and its stems not 
more than nine inches high. Its astringent bark is used 
by tanners. 

The old notion that the Mountain Ash, or Rowan- 
tree, as it is called in the North, was efficacious against 
witchcraft and the evil eye, still prevails in the north of 
England and the Scottish Highlands. Pennant remarks, 
in his " Tour of Scotland," that the farmers carefully 
preserve their cattle against witchcraft, by placing 
branches of Honeysuckle and Mountain Ash in their 
cowhouses on the 2nd of May. The milkmaid of West- 
moreland may often be seen, even now, with a branch of 
this tree either in her hand, or tied to her milking-pail, 
from a similar superstition ; and in earlier days crosses cut 
out of its wood were worn about the person. In an old 
song, called " Laidley Wood," in the " Northumberland 
Garland," we find a reference to this : 


" The spells were vain, the hag return 'd 

To the Queen in sorrowful mood, 

Crying, that witches have no power 

Where there is Bo wn- tree wood." 

The words in Macbeth, " Aroint thee, witch," are thought 
by some commentators on Shakspere to have become 
gradually corrupted, and to have stood originally thus : 

"AKoan-tree witch!" 

This tree has also the old names of Quicken-tree, Rod- 
don, and Witchen-tree, and is, with good reason, sup- 
posed to have been one of the Druidical sacred trees. 
The superstitious ideas connected with it are certainly of 
very ancient origin, and it is very remarkable that 
Bishop Heber, when in Upper India, saw a tree very 
similar to this, which was an object of reverence. When 
this writer was at Boitpoor, he says, " I passed a fine 
tree with leaves, at a little distance, so much resembling 
those of the Mountain Ash, that I was for a moment 
deceived, and asked if it did not bring fruit. They said 
no ; but that it was a very noble tree, being called the 
Imperial tree, for its excellent properties : that it slept 
all night, and wakened and was alive all day, with- 
drawing its leaves if any one attempted to touch them- 
Above all, however, it was useful as a preservative 
against magic ; a sprig worn in the turban, or suspended 
over the bed, was a perfect security against all spells or 
the evil eye, insomuch that the most formidable wizard 
would not, if he could help it, approach its shade. 
' One, indeed/ they said, ' who was very renowned for 
his power (like Loorinita in the Kehama) of killing 
plants and drying up their sap with a look, had come to 


this very tree, and gazed on it intently, but,' said the 
old man, who told me this with an air of triumph, ' look 
as he might, he could do the tree no harm.' " The 
Bishop adds, that it is very remarkable to find the 
superstition which in England and Scotland attaches to 
the "Rowan-tree, here applied to a tree so similar. 
"Which nation," he asks, "is in this case the imitator ? 
or from what common centre are all these common 
notions derived?" 

The wood of the Mountain Ash is finely grained and 
hard. It is used by turners, and in the old days of 
archery it was considered as inferior only to that of the 
yew for bows. The bark and roots are said by Professor 
Lindley to contain so large a quantity of essential oil of 
almonds, as to yield as large an amount of hydrocyanic 
acid as an equal quantity of the leaves of the Cherry 


6. P. Ana (White Beam-tree). Leaves egg-shaped, 
serrated, cut, or pinnatifid, or partly pinnate, white and 
downy beneath ; flowers in corymbs ; fruit globular. 
Plant perennial. This is a small tree, easily distin- 
guished by the beautiful white hue of the under surface 
of its leaves. This whiteness is very ornamental, for 
when the wind turns up the foliage it contrasts with the 
rich green upper surface, and is conspicuous even at 
a great distance, while the young shoots look white as 
snow in their dense covering of down. The tree is not 
very large, nor is it very frequent. It grows chiefly in 
mountainous woods, especially where the soil is of 
chalk or limestone. The Rev. C. A. Johns remarks in 
the "Flowers of the Field," that it is nowhere more 


ornamental than on the ruinous walls of the ancient 
Roman town of Silchester, where it abounds. The fruit 
is red, rather larger than that of the Mountain Ash, and 
the flowers, too, are large and white, appearing in May 
and June. The berries are much eaten by birds, and if 
kept till decay commences, are palatable to man. The 
wood is used for various purposes, and has from earliest 
ages been valued for axles and shafts ; hence its name of 
Beam-tree. There are several varieties of this plant. 

16. MESPILUS (Medlar). 

1. M. Germdnica (Common Medlar). Leaves lanceo- 
late, undivided, downy beneath ; flowers solitary. Plant 
perennial. A variety of the Medlar is sometimes found 
in which the leaves are doubly serrated. The tree occurs 
rarely in hedges in various parts of this kingdom, and 
though doubtless sometimes an outcast from a neighbour- 
ing garden, yet it appears to be truly wild, or rather to 
have been long naturalized, in many places, as in a hedge 
between Reigate and Nutfield. The tree is not largely 
cultivated in this country. One or two varieties, chiefly 
that called the Dutch Medlar, are to be found in gardens 
and orchards, where the crooked branches may be seen 
in May, bearing their large white flowers. The fruit, 
austere and hard as it is while on the tree, has a very 
pleasant acid flavour when gathered and ripened almost 
to decay. Its hardness suggested the name from the 
Greek, signifying half bullet. The tree is called in 
Germany Der Mispelbaum, and it is the Mispelboom of 
the Dutch. The Italians term it Nespolo ; and the 
Trench name Neflier is from the Celtic naff, which 


signifies truncate, and alludes to the form of the fruit. 
The tree called Savoy medlar belongs to another genus 
of plants. Some Canadian medlar-trees produce excel- 
lent fruits. One of these, the Amelanchier ovalis, is 
said by Dr. Richardson to abound on the sandy plains 
of the Saskatchawan. Its wood is prized by the Crees 
for making arrows and pipe-stems, and hence termed by 
the Canadian travellers bois de fleche. The berries, 
which are not larger than a pea, are, however, the finest 
fruit in the country, and whether in a fresh or dried 
state, are highly prized by the Crees. They are said to 
make excellent puddings, little inferior to plums, and are a 
very pleasant addition to \\iQpemmican of the Canadians. 
The Medlar was a fruit much prized by our fore- 
fathers, and supposed by them to have various medicinal 
virtues, among others that of strengthening the memory. 
The dried leaves were also powdered and laid on wounds, 
and various salves and plaisters were made of the dried 
fruits. Chaucer says : 

* 4 And as I stood and cast aside mine eie, 
I was ware of the fairest medle-tree, 
That ever yet in al my life I sie." 

17. CRAT^GUS (Hawthorn, Whitethorn, or May). 

1. C. Oxyacdntha. Leaves smooth, cut into from 3 
to 5 deeply serrated segments, wedge-shaped at the base ; 
flowers corymbose. Plant perennial. A welcome sight 
in early spring are the green knots of the Hawthorn- 
tree. In March they are just breaking forth into leaves, 
and daily expanding further, till in May every bough is 
feathered with delicate green spray, and the small ivory 



balls are opening into cups studded with pink stamens. 
The Hawthorn is seldom, in flower on the 1st of May, 
. though before the alteration of the style, when May-day 
was twelve days later than it now is, it was rarely behind 
hand. Doubtless those days were very mirthful ones, 
and linked with many pleasing associations, when, as 
Chaucer describes : 

" Fourth goeth al the Court both most and lest, 
To fetch the flouris fresh, and branche and blome." 

And when not the courtiers only, but lowliest of men 
and maidens sallied forth 

" To do observaunce to a morn of May." 
Bourne tells us, in his " Antiquities," that all ranks of 
people went out " a maying," and that the juvenile part 
of both sexes were wont to rise a little after midnight 
on the morning of the day, and walk to some neigh- 
bouring wood, accompanied with the blowing of horns 
and other music, when they broke down branches of the 
trees, and adorned them with nosegays and crowns of 
flowers. This done, they returned home at sunrise, and 
decked the doors and windows with the tokens of the 
flowering spring. Chaucer, Herrick, Shakspere, Milton, 
and many another poet might be cited as adding their 
testimony to these usages : and Henry VI. desired 
Lydgate, then a monk at Bury, to write a joyful poem 
for May-day. This poem contained sixteen stanzas, 
setting forth the various processes of Nature in sap and 
leaf, and ending with a commendation of May-day 
games. Spenser, in his " Shepherd's Calendar," says : 

" Youth's folke now flocken in every-where 
To gather May buskets and smelling breere, 


And Home they hasten the postes to dight, 
And all the kirk pillars ere daylight, 
With hawthorn buds and sweet eglantine, 
And girlonds of roses and sops in wine. 

To see these folkes make such jovisaunce, 
Made my heart after the pipe to daunce ; 
Tho' to the greene woodes they speeden them all, 
To fetchen home May with their rnusicall ; 

Oh that I were there, 
To helpen the ladies their May-bush to beare! " 

Innocent as these customs were in their design, and 
often doubtless in their enjoyment, yet, in the neighbour- 
hoods of large towns especially, they became somewhat 
like the ancient Floralia, from whence they were derived, 
and the virtuous gradually withdrew from the scenes of 
riot and dissipation, so that the Maying, and the setting 
up of Maypoles, and the going out to gather the May- 
dew for the beautifying of the complexions, have all 
passed away, leaving us no trace of these doings save in 
the little garland yet borne by country children on May- 
day from house to house. The Reformers strove to 
abolish the May-games, and gradually succeeded in so 
doing. Bourne, who was an implacable enemy to festi- 
tivities of this kind, describes them in such terms as 
leaves us nothing to regret that in our days they have 
ceased, for he says the people " daunced about the May- 
poles, as the Heathen people did at the dedication of 
their idolles, whereof it was a perfect pattern, or rather 
the thing itselfe." 

But as the poets of former days praised the usages 
connected with the Hawthorn, so they have not been 
slow to praise the beauties of the tree itself. It is, when 


fully grown, a picturesque tree, with its gnarled trunk 
and wide extent of green boughs covered with the 
fragrant flowers of May, and casting a broad and deep 
shadow. Prom Chaucer downwards we find continual 
allusions to it : 

" Amongst the many buds proclaiming May, 
Decking the fields in holiday array, 
Striving who shall surpass in braverie, 
Marke the faire flowering of the Hawthorne-tree, 
Who finely cloth'd in a robe of white 
Fills full the wanton eye with May's delight'' 

Burns speaks of 

" The Hawthorn budding in the glen." 

Clare has a beautiful little poem, " The Wild-wood 
Bower," on this tree, which was treasured in "Memory's 
Calendar ;" and Robert Nicholls says : 

" The Hawthorn hangs its clusters round me now, 

Through which the sky peeps sweetly sweetly in, 
Through the green glades doth come the cattle's low, 

From the rich pastures of the meadow green ; 
Look up ! aloft the twittering birds are seen, 

Upon the branches their wild matins singing, 
Look down ! the grass is soft, and thick, I ween, 

And flowers around each old tree root are springing, 
Wood fancies wild and sweet to the lone wanderer bringing." 

The Hawthorn when young grows rapidly, but as it 
becomes older increases but slowly. Its name of quick- 
set it derives from its being the tree usually selected 
for making quick, that is, living hedges. These hedges 
seem to have come into use in the time of Charles II. ; 
and Evelyn says that he has raised hedges four feet high 
in four years from seedlings taken from the woods. 


After a time the growth of the plant is slow, and those 
old trees which we find scattered about in woodland, 
field, or hedge, were many of them planted centuries 
ago. Thorny as the young boughs are, some of these 
old trees are almost without spines. Sometimes a tree 
separates into a number of distinct stems, looking like 
a clump of distinct trees, but on examining them we 
find them connected at the base into one. The wood of 
this species, as well as that of the Scarlet thorn, the 
Cockspur thorn, Fire thorn, and indeed of all kinds 
of Thorn, is remarkably tough, so much so that, the 
genus Cratagus seems to have been so called from the 
strength of the wood. The hard, firm timber of large 
trees is very valuable, but the slow growth of the Haw- 
thorn into any great size renders the tree little available 
for any purpose save for walking-sticks, or such small 
articles as its boughs may furnish : it is of a yellowish 
white colour, and is ornamental when polished. The 
branches are sometimes used in the country for lighting 
ovens, as they burn well even while green ; but the 
chief use of the Hawthorn is for those green impene- 
trable hedges which bound our meadows and lanes, 
which are so hardy that they are not even killed by 
the sea breeze, and which when whitened by their 
flowers are one of the greatest beauties of the rural 
landscape. By frequently pruning the upper parts of 
these hedges the side branches increase in size and 
thickness, and these, with their tough wood beset with 
sharp thorns, present a firm barrier against the intrusion 
of man or beast. In early spring, when wet with the 
rains, some of these branches look like shining copper. 


But the Hawthorn has not lost all its beauty when 
old and almost destitute of its own green leaves, the ivy 
winds about its stem and boughs, and the grey lichens 
crowd on its rugged trunk, as Wordsworth says : 

" Like rock or stone it is o'ergrown 

With lichens to the very top, 
And hung with heavy tufts of moss, 

A melancholy crop : 
Up from the Earth these mosses creep, 

And then, poor Thorn, they clasp it round, 
So close, you 'd say that they were bent 
With plain and manifest intent 

To drag it to the ground ; 
And all seem join'd in one endeavour 
To bury this poor Thorn for ever." 

The chief lichens which thus hang on the old tree, are 
the Hairy Old Man's beard (Usnea Inrtd], the Stag's 
horn (Evernia prundstri), and the Mealy Ramalina 
(Ramalinafarinosa). The bright yellow crusts of the 
Orange Parmelia (Parmelia parietina), sometimes also 
cover both trunk and boughs, not only of these old trees, 
but of others which form hedges. 

Many an old Hawthorn-tree is the subject of old 
legend, or has long served as a landmark, or been 
recorded by the mariner in his book as a mark by which 
to guide his vessel. On many a village green, too, the 
old tree is prized, as was that of " Sweet Auburn :" 

" The Hawthorn-tree, with seats beneath the shade, 
For talking age or whispering lovers made." 

The very tree, respecting which Goldsmith wrote these 
lines, was living within existing memories in the village 
of Lissoy, the Auburn of the poet. It was strengthened 


and supported by a heap of stones cemented together 
and placed around it ; but unfortunately, about fifty 
years since, it was knocked down by a cart laden with 
apple-trees, which the carter was driving into Bally- 
mahon, and which struck against the aged and pic- 
turesque Thorn, and laid it low. It remained in this 
condition was removed, bit by bit, by persons who 
prized it as a relic, but the root is still preserved by 
a gentleman of Athlone. Mr. and Mrs. Hall, who, in 
their work on Ireland, record these facts, add in a foot- 
note an anecdote quoted by Mr. Prior, from an American 
traveller, Davis : " Some years ago, in the United 
States, Mr. Best, an Irish clergyman, informed this tra- 
veller that he was riding with Brady, titular Bishop of 
Ardagh, when he observed, ' Ma foy, Best, this huge 
bush is mightily in the way : I will order it to be cut 
down.' ' What, Sir/ says Best, ' cut down Goldsmith's 
Hawthorn bush, that supplied so beautiful an image in the 
" Deserted Village ! " ' ' Ma foy' exclaimed the Bishop, 
' is that the Hawthorn bush ? then ever let it be saved 
from the edge of the axe ; and evil be to him that would 
cut from it a branch.' " 

A Hawthorn-tree, which stands connected with older 
associations than this, is still living ; this is the Haw- 
thorn of Caw dor Castle, near Inverness. It is a tree of 
great antiquity, and very remarkably preserved. This 
Castle has stood from time immemorial, and tradition 
relates that the original proprietor of the edifice was 
directed by a dream to build a castle exactly upon the 
spot, and this was done in such a manner as to leave no 
doubt that the tree existed long before the structure was 


reared. The trunk of the tree with its knotty pro- 
tuberances is in a vaulted apartment at the base of the 
principal tower, its root branching out beneath the floor, 
and its top penetrating the vaulted arch of the stone 
above in such a manner, that any person seeing it would 
feel assured that the masonry was adjusted to the size 
and form of the tree, a space being left at the top of the 
vaults through which its boughs might be reared. From 
the most remote times it had been customary for guests 
to assemble themselves around this tree, and drink 
success to the House of Cawdor. 

But of all the Hawthorns connected with other days, 
none is more remarkable than the Glastonbury Thorn. 
The high ground on which the Abbey of Glastonbury 
stands was, in early days, called the Isle of Avelon. 
Tradition tells that Joseph of Arimathea with twelve 
companions came hither to preach the Gospel. This 
missionary is said to have borne with him a trusty staff, 
which, placed in the ground during sleep, was when he 
awoke grown into a tree bearing snowy flowers on its 
boughs. This miracle of course implied that something 
important was to be done on the spot. Joseph, con- 
cluding that his staff being thus, as it were, taken from 
him, was to be used no more, made this his resting-place, 
and built here a chapel, which after many additions and 
improvements became the magnificent abbey of later 

But if we believe the legend, the Thorn had not 
wholly fulfilled its work when it had indicated the site 
of the monastic institution it was destined to remain 
a wonder to succeeding generations. Not content with 


believing the actual fact, that this singular tree produced 
its flowers about Christmas time, the men of other days 
believed that it invariably budded on the 24th of 
December, was fully blown next day, and that the 
bloom withered on the following night. In those times, 
when neither newspapers, nor books, nor familiar letters 
were common things, superstitions, told from place to 
place by travelling monks, were readily accredited, and 
the Thorn connected with such marvels was so prized, 
that the blossoms were sought for by people of all 
nations, and pieces of the Thorn were exported into dis- . 
tant lands by Bristol merchants. Even in later days, 
when superstition was somewhat on the wane, King 
James, Queen Anne, and many of the English nobility, 
gave large sums of money for cuttings from the original 
Thorn. Until the time of Queen Elizabeth the Haw- 
thorn had two trunks, one of which was cut down by 
a zealous puritan. According to a writer of those times, 
James Howell, this desecration was not unpunished ; 
" He was," says this writer, " well served for his blind 
zeale, who going to cut downe an ancient white Haw- 
thorne-tree, which because it budded before others 
might be an occasion of superstition, had some of the 
prickles flew into his eye, and made him monocular." 
In the time of Charles I. the remaining trunk of the 
tree was cut down, but a vintner of the place, " out of 
pure devotion," as the narrator tells, secured a slip, 
which being set in a garden., flowered on the 25th of 
December. There are still two old trees in the precincts 
of the abbey, which doubtless sprung from the venerable 
tree, and which even yet blossom in winter, though 



sometimes not until the latter end of January or 

It is impossible to account for the winter flowering of 
the Hawthorn, though it was undoubtedly owing to 
a natural cause. Ashmole, in 1672, mentions having 
seen the branch of a Hawthorn, " having greene leaves, 
faire buds, and full flowers, all thick and very beauti- 
full, and (which is more notable) many of the hawes and 
berries upon it red and plump ; some of which," he says, 
"is yet preserved in the plante booke of my collection." 
This branch he had from Edgeworth, near Middle- 
sex. Culpepper also mentions a Hawthorn which grew 
at Romney Marsh, and another near Nantwich, in 
Cheshire, where it flowered both at May and Christmas ; 
though he says that if the weather was frosty it did not 
flower for the second time until January, or til] the hard 
weather was over. 

In 1752, when our fathers introduced what is com- 
monly called the " New Style," our Glastonbury Thorn 
figured as a very important tree. This change, which has 
made many of the old proverbs respecting the seasons 
seem less wise than they really are, gave great offence to 
the uneducated class of the community. It not only 
seemed to them an attempt to alter the course of nature, 
but it caused even the very Psalms in the Prayer-books 
to occur on what they deemed the wrong days ; and all 
public evils, as unfruitful seasons, wars, and epidemics, 
were attributed to the fancied impiety of the rulers of 
the land. The Rev. W. T. Bree relates the complaints 
of an old labourer in an obscure village in Yorkshire, 
who assured him that the inhabitants of that parish 


were so disgusted with the change, that they were at 
the pains of procuring a minister at their own private 
expense to perform Divine service upon Old Christ- 
mas-day, making it also a point to work as usual on 
that newly appointed. Moreover, these simple villagers 
actually sent a deputation down to Glastonbury for the 
purpose of consulting the holy thorn on the occasion, 
a sprig of which, gathered on Old Christmas-day in 
leaf, or in flower, the narrator forgets which, was brought 
back in triumph to the village. 

Many other persons at the same time consulted the 
old thorn, which would not swerve from its integrity to 
the old anniversary, but was covered on Christmas-day 
with its blooms. A large concourse of people assembled 
at Glastonbury to see if it would flower on the day 
appointed by Parliament, but not a blossom appeared, 
and the general dissatisfaction was greatly increased by 
the circumstance. 

The well-known haws which redden on the Hawthorn 
boughs in autumn and winter among the falling leaves, 
are a useful store to the birds till the frost deprives 
them of their flavour. Dr. Withering mentions that 
a variety of the tree with white leaves was found near 
Brampton, in Oxfordshire. It is generally supposed that 
our name of Hawthorn was derived from that of the 
fruit ; but many etymologists think that the haw took 
its name from the tree, and that the English word is 
a corruption of the German or Dutch name of Hedge- 
thorn ; the Germans terming our plant Hagedorn, and 
the Dutch Haagdorn. Our name of Whitethorn has its 
synonym in several countries : thus the Italians term it 


Bianco spino, and the Spaniards Espino bianco. And 
the name by which it is called in France has a very ele- 
gant allusion. The French term it Aubepine, signifying 
the morning of the year, the word aube expressing the 
white or grey twilight before sunrise. Though our haws 
are of little worth to any but the school-boy, the fruits 
of some species are good, and the Azarole of South 
Europe is the very pleasant and juicy fruit of a Haw- 
thorn. The old herbalists recommended that the common 
haws should be bruised and boiled in wine, and taken as 
a remedy for " tormenting pains ;" while they held also 
that sponges dipped in the distilled water of the haws, 
and applied to " any place where thorns or splinters doe 
abide in the flesh, it will notably draw them out." The 
application probably would be useful, as it would have 
the effect of a poultice. The bark of the Hawthorn 
affords a good yellow dye, and when mixed with cop- 
peras gives a black colour. 

The following verses were written for this volume by 
H. G. Adams : 

" Oh fair and fragrant Hawthorn-tree t 
Thou hast thy nectar for the bee ; 
For every insect roving free, 
Thou hast thy dewy wine ! 
Thou hast thy perfume for the breeze, 
And, human hearts to cheer and please, 
What pleasant reminiscences 
And memories are thine ! 

" How many tones of childish mirth, 
How many hearts that knew no dearth, 
Have hail'd thy blossoms' annual birth 
A wonder, ever new 1 


How many tiny feet have trode 

With eager haste the daisied sod 

To pluck thy gem-environ 'd rod, 

Or but thy bloom to view ! 

' Oh fair and fragrant Hawthorn-tree ! 
That deck'st the landscape gloriously, 
It is a joy to gaze on thee, 

And thy perfume inhale ; 
It is a pure delight to hear 
The throstle greet thee, year by year, 
And mark thy snowy wreaths appear, 
Pride of the English vale ! 

" How many wanderers far away 
From old familiar paths that stray, 
Long once again to gather ' May ' 

From off thy laden bough ; 
Long for the meadows fresh and green, 
And the clear streams, meandering seen 
Beyond the hedgerow's leafy screen 

Seen but in visions now ! 

" Oh fair and fragrant Hawthorn-tree ! 
A gracious boon vouchsafed to be 
To pilgrims treading wearily 
The rugged ways of life ; 
We bless thy Maker thine and ours ! 
Who covers all thy thorns with flowers, 
To mind us of the heavenly bowers 
Where cometh care nor strife. 

" How many sinking hearts that fain 
Aside the burden would have lain 
Have ceased to murmur and complain 

When gazing on thy bloom ! 
Which spake to them of sunny days, 
Of God's benign though hidden ways, 
And of the glorious light that plays 

Above the riven tomb." 



1. C. vulgdris (Common Cotoneaster). Leaves oval, 
rounded at the base ; flower-stalks and margins of the 
calyx downy. Plant perennial. This plant is not known 
to occur in a truly wild state in more than one place 
in this kingdom. This is at Ormeshead, in Caernarvon- 
shire, where it grows on limestone cliffs. In May and 
June the small solitary rose-coloured drooping flowers 
peep from among the dark green leaves, and are suc- 
ceeded in autumn by red, coral-like berries. Mr. Christy, 
in his notice of the plants observed during a tour in 
North Wales, thus remarks on this plant. Referring to 
heavy and continued rain which just then prevailed at 
the village of Llandudno, he says, " I was, however, too 
anxious to gather Cotoneaster vulgdris to be detained by 
the weather ; and accordingly set off, accompanied by 
a guide who could speak no English, but who, the land- 
lady assured me, knew both the plant and its places of 
growth. Following a steep narrow road up the hill, 
above the village, we reached some copper mines, over- 
hung by a range of limestone precipices. On these 
rocks the Cotoneaster grows abundantly, but owing to 
being continually browsed on by the sheep it is very 
dwarfish, and probably from the same cause appears 
seldom to flower. Sir J. E. Smith mentions July for 
the Cotoneaster ; whereas the few fertile specimens I 
found at that season bore fruit considerably advanced. 
Mr. Wilson mentions May, which certainly agrees better 
with the state in which I found the plant." This 
writer remarks that the rocks were everywhere covered 


with the Common Rock rose (Helianthemum vulgdre) in- 
termixed with a profusion of the rarer Hoary dwarf 
Rock rose (Helianthemum canum). 


Calyx of 4, sometimes 2 lobes, which in the bud are 
attached to each other by their edges ; calyx-tube more 
or less united to the ovary ; petals as many as the lobes 
of the calyx, twisted while in bud; stamens 4 or 8. 
rarely 2, springing from the mouth of the calyx ; ovary 
of 2 or 4 cells, often crowned by a disk ; stigma knobbed, 
or 4-lobed ; fruit a berry, or 4-celled capsule. This 
Order consists of herbaceous plants or shrubs, found 
chiefly in the temperate parts of the world, especially 
in America and Europe. None of the plants contain 
unwholesome properties, but they cpntribute little either 
to medicinal or domestic purposes, though some of the 
species add largely to the beauty of our gardens. Several 
of our most common and ornamental flowers are included 
in it, as the Fuchsias, Clarkias, and Evening Primroses, 
of which we have so many cultivated kinds. 

1. EPILOBIUM (Willow-Herb). Calyx 4-parted, the 
lobes not combined after expansion ; petals 4 ; stamens 8 ; 
capsule long, 4-sided, 4-celled, 4-valved ; seeds numerous, 
tufted with down. Name from the Greek epi, upon, and 
lobos, a pod ; the flowers being placed at the top of 
a seed vessel, shaped somewhat like a pod. 


2. (ENOTH^RA (Evening Primrose). Calyx 4-parted, 
the lobes more or less combined after expansion, and 
bent back ; stamens 8 ; capsule 4-celled, 4-valved ; seeds 
numerous, not bearded. Name in Greek signifying 
" catching the flavour of wine." 

3. ISNARDIA. Calyx 4-parted; petals 4, or none; 
stamens 4 ; capsule inversely egg-shaped, 4-angled, 4- 
celled, 4-valved, crowned with the calyx. Named after 
Antoine d'Isnard, a French botanist. 

4. CIRC<EA (Enchanter's Nightshade). Calyx 2-parted; 
petals 2 ; stamens 2 ; capsule 2 -celled, each cell contain- 
ing a seed. Name from Circe, the enchantress. 

1. EPILOBIUM (Willow-Herb). 
* Petals unequal in size ; stamens bent down, 
\.E. angustifolium (Rose Bay, or Elowering Willow). 
Leaves scattered, lanceolate, veined, smooth ; flowers 
somewhat spiked. Plant perennial. A variety of this 
plant occurs very commonly in gardens, having larger 
flowers and shorter capsules, which is sometimes called 
E. brachycarpum ; and another, with smaller flowers 
and longer capsules, is sometimes termed E. macro- 
carpum. This Willow-herb is a rare plant in moist 
woods in England, though less so in Scotland. Some 
botanists have thought it to be not truly wild, but it has 
long established itself, and, in some woods, as in those 
about Wrington, in Somersetshire, whole acres of ground 
are covered with it. It does not seem to have been 
common in Gerarde's time, for he mentions one place 
only where it might be found. " It groweth," he says, 


" in Yorkshire, in a place called the Hooke, neere unto 
a close, called the Cow-pasture, from whence I had these 
plants, which doe grow in my garden, very goodly to 
behold, for the decking up of houses and gardens." The 
old herbalist describes it as a " goodly and stately plant, 
having leaves like the greatest willow, or ozier. The 
branches," he . says, " come out of the ground in great 
number, growing to the height of sixe foote, garnished 
with brave flowers of great beautie, consisting of fower 
leaves apiece, of an orient purple colour." The variety 
so common in gardens, often, by its profusion there, 
occasions much trouble to the gardener, not so much by 
the seed which it produces, as the roots which creep to 
a great distance, and take a very firm hold of the soil ; 
and if by chance the common form of the plant is intro- 
duced, as it often is, instead of the variety, it is far 
worse, as this bears seeds in abundance, and as each seed 
has a little silky feather attached to it, it wafts itself 
away over garden and shrubbery during August and 
September, and comes up in profusion in the following 
April. This plant is from four to six feet in height, 
bearing showy pinkish lilac flowers in August ; its 
stem and flower-stalk are much tinged with lilac. It is 
called by gardeners French Willow, and in France one 
of its common names is Laurier de St. Antoine, after 
St. Anthony, the first founder of monastic institutions. 

Eare as this plant is on the English landscape, yet in 
some countries towards the north of Europe, it, by its 
profusion and bright colour, gives during its season 
a characteristic feature to the landscape. The border of 
the lake near Tornea is described as beautified during 

VOL. IT. o o 


summer with large masses of this plant, which towers 
over the brink of the water, displaying everywhere the 
most gaudy garlands, even on spots where vegetation 
in general seems dwarfed and barren. In Kamtschatka, 
this and other Epilobiums are exceedingly abundant, 
and mingle with most showy and brilliant species of 
Groundsel (Senecio), to beautify large tracts of land. 
Both plants contribute greatly to the physiognomy of 
the landscape, for the groundsel plants, as tall as a man, 
and laden with flowers, frequently cover the meadows 
with a fine yellow colour; while a splendid red tint is 
given to wood-sides and rivers by the Willow-herb. 

Both the English and scientific names of this genus 
are very appropriate. Several of the larger species, 
before coming into flower, closely resemble the rods of a 
Avillow in the first year of their growth, only that they 
are herbaceous instead of woody. The name JEpilobium 
describes with much accuracy the position of the petals : 
epi, on, lobos, the long pod-like seed-vessel, which, at 
first sight, might be taken for a flower-stalk. It is qua- 
drangular in form, opening by four valves, and if when 
ripe it be carefully opened on one side, the seeds with 
their silky appendages burst forth from their prison. 

This and some other of the species are well fitted 
for planting in shrubberies, as they are uninjured 
by the shade and frequent dripping of trees, and they 
thrive well in city gardens, unhurt by smoke. The 
leaves and stems of the Bay Willow afford a decoction, 
which is said to cause intoxication, and it is added to 
the fermented drink which the Kamtschatdales procure 
from the Cow-parsnip. The pith has, when dried, a sweet 


flavour, and both ale and vinegar are commonly made 
from it in the north of Europe ; while the young shoots 
both of this and some other species are, when dressed, 
a good and wholesome substitute for asparagus. Goats 
are said to be very fond of the plant, and both cows and 
sheep will eat it. The wool of the seeds, mixed with fur 
or down, has been manufactured into stockings, and 
into some kind of fabric intended for dresses, but this 
was too fragile to be of much use. The French call 
the Willow-herb, Z' Epilobe a epi and Osier Fleuri, and 
the Germans Der JFeiderich. Its name among the 
Tartars is Karamuk, and the Russians term it Xipree. 

* * Flowers regular ; stamens and styles erect; 
stigmas Deleft. 

2. E. hirsutum (Great hairy Willow-herb). Leaves 
partly clasping the stem, narrow, oblong, serrated, 
downy ; stem downy, much branched ; root creeping. 
Plant perennial. Our stream-sides, beautiful as they ever 
are with their rich verdure and many flowers, receive 
an additional ornament when, during July and August 
this Willow-herb grows there in profusion. Most of 
the rills which trickle among our green meadows, and 
the streams and rivers which wind their silvery way, as 
well as the stagnant ditches, can then boast this orna- 
ment in more or less abundance. Often the purple 
blossom waving at a distance, on a hot summer's 
day, invites the wanderer to some cool sequestered 
spot, where he may feel as Chaucer did in such a 
scene : 


" And the river which that I sate upon, 
It maden siche a noise as it ron, 
Accordant with the birdis armony, 
Methought it was the best melody 
That mighten bin y' hearde of any man." 

The stems of this Willow-herb are much branched, 
so that the plant has somewhat the appearance of a 
shrub. The foliage, like most downy foliage, is of 
a greyish green tint, and the large blossoms are reddish 
purple. They have a very pleasant odour, like that of 
cooked fruit, hence a common country name for the 
flower is " codlins and cream." It never grows on a dry 
soil, but on river-brinks, and at no great distance from 
it may often be found such flowers as Calder Campbell 
describes : 

" Sweet 

The Bugle-blossoms are! and just below 
The downy Coltsfoot gave its broad soft leaven 
As pillow for the Harebell's sleepy head ! 
The Cranesbill too supplied its scarlet bloom, 
Flaring above the burnish'd Buttercup, 
And Foxgloves with their fairy cups brimful 
Of matin dew, in which the drowning gnat 
Struggled in vain ! and gaudy Golden Flag, 
Gleaming above like a magician's wand : 
And purple Willow-herb, and Violet, 
The poet's pet, grew down beside the rill 
Where last we pluck 'd those hazel-nuts." 

8. JE. parv iflorum (Small-flowered hairy Willow-herb). 
Leaves sessile, lanceolate, downy, and toothed ; stem 
nearly unbranched, generally downy, but sometimes 
smooth. Plant perennial. This species has flowers of 
less size than the last, and is altogether a smaller plant, 


and is easily distinguished from it by its unbranched 
stem ; its roots, too, afford a marked character, as they 
are fibrous. It grows usually to the height of a foot, or 
a foot and a-half, and has, in June and July, flowers of 
a purplish red colour. It is very common on mois/: 

4. K lanceoldtum (Spear-leaved Willow-herb). 
Leaves stalked, lanceolate, irregularly toothed; stem 
obtusely angled; stigma slightly lobed; root fibrous 
and perennial. This rare species has been found near 
Tintern, Monmouthshire, and also in the neighbourhood 
of Bristol. Sir W. Hooker and Dr. Arnott remark 
of it : " With this we are scarcely acquainted, and we 
have seen no British specimen: it seems to be the 
E. rosea of some Swiss collectors, comprehended by 
Seringe in De Candolle's Prod, along with E. roseum of 
Smith, under his character of E. montdnum" 

5. E. montdnum (Broad smooth-leaved Willow-herb). 
Leaves egg-shaped, acute, smooth, toothed, rounded 
at the base, the lower ones shortly stalked ; stem rounded, 
and slightly downy ; root fibrous, and perennial. This 
species grows commonly on dry places, as on shady hills 
and banks, and is often to be seen on the cottage-rooi. 
It is a small and unattractive plant, its flowers being 
rarely fully expanded. They are of a purplish rose- 
colour, and of small size, though larger than those 
of the next species. They are produced in June and 


* * * Mowers regular; stamens erect; stigma knobbed, 
not k-cleft. 

6. E. roseum (Pale smooth-leaved Willow-herb). 
Leaves on stalks, lanceolate, smooth, egg-shaped, finely 
toothed : stem erect, imperfectly 4-angled ; stigma undi- 
vided, or slightly lobed ; root fibrous and perennial. This 
Willow-herb is common in the neighbourhood of London, 
near water, or in hedges. It also occurs in similar 
places in various counties both of England and Scot- 
land. It has very small rose-coloured flowers in July 
and August. 

7. H. tetragonnm (Square-stalked Willow-herb). 
Leaves lanceolate, sessile and slightly toothed ; stem with 
two, three, or four angles ; stigma undivided. The small 
rose-coloured flowers of this species appear in July and 
August, and are not conspicuous, though the plant 
would, after flowering, attract attention by its long pod- 
like seed-vessels. Its stems are nearly smooth, and it is 
distinguished from the last species both by the more 
distinct angles of the stem, and by its narrower leaves 
without stalks. It is a very common plant in wet places ; 
its stem is about one or two feet high, and it is in 
flower during June and July. 

8. E. palwstre (Narrow-leaved Marsh Willow-herb). 
Leaves narrowly lanceolate, entire, or toothed ; stem 
rounded, erect, and nearly smooth \flower-buds nodding; 
root with thread-like scions. Perennial. This species 
has small rose-coloured flowers in July and August. Its 
stem is from sixteen to eighteen inches high, and has 


often two downy lines on opposite sides. It grows on 
wet soils, near ditches and pools. 

9. E.alsinifolium (Chickweed-leaved Willow-herb). 
Leaves egg-shaped and pointed, very thin, smooth, and 
nearly sessile, the upper ones toothed, the lower entire ; 
stem round. Plant perennial. This is a mountainous 
plant ; frequent on moist places of Highland or other 
Scottish mountains, having a few rather large purplish- 
red flowers in July. Its stem throws out suckers, with 
here and there a leaf upon them. It may be known at 
a glance from the other species, by its thin, flagging 

10.^. alpinum (Alpine Willow-herb). Leaves oval and 
blunt, on short footstalks, nearly entire; stems somewhat 
smooth. Plant perennial. This too is a plant of moun- 
tainous regions, where it grows by rills. It is common 
on all the Highland mountains, having in July one or 
two flowers which droop while in bud, and are of bright 
purplish-red. It is a plant of much lower growth 
than any other species, the stem being not more than 
three or four inches high. 

2. (ENOTHERA (Evening Primrose). 
1. (E. biennis (Common Evening Primrose). Leaves 
lanceolate, somewhat egg-shaped, toothed ; stem slightly 
hairy ; flowers sessile ; stamens about the length of the 
corolla; capsules nearly cylindrical. Plant biennial. This 
pretty flower must be considered rather as naturalized 
than truly wild in this kingdom, neither is it at all a fre- 
quent ornament of our country scenery. On a few spots 
of sandy soil near Liverpool, on some of Sussex, and in 


many parts of Warwickshire, it grows and thrives far 
from the care of man. It is not mentioned by our 
earliest writers on plants ; but Parkinson, who calls it 
the Tree Primrose of Virginia, names it in his Garden of 
Pleasant Flowers, which was published in 1629. It is 
known to have been first sent from Virginia to Padua 
in 1619, and probably found its way into England at 
about the same period. It is a frequent garden flower, 
opening its large primrose-coloured and somewhat fra- 
grant blossoms about seven in the evening, just when 
the summer twilight is on its way. Its mode of expand- 
ing is very curious. The petals are held together at the 
summit by the hooked ends of the calyx. The seg- 
ments of this flower-cup at first separate at the base, 
and the yellow petals may be seen peeping through these 
openings, a long time before the flower is fully blown. 
The expansion is very gradual till the blossom is freed 
from the confinement of the hooks at the top, but when 
this is effected, it unfolds very quickly for a minute or 
two, and then stops, after which it opens very gradually, 
spreading itself out quite flat. The whole of this process 
sometimes occupies half-an-hour, and in some instances 
a little sudden noise is made as it jerks the topmost 
hooks asunder. The flowers hang next day in dis- 
coloured and flaccid condition on the stem, and this 
circumstance renders the plant less attractive, as usually 
it has little beauty till evening. It sometimes, however, 
varies from its ordinary habits, and a blossom or two 
may occasionally be seen fully open even at noon-day. 
The French call the Evening Primrose L. Onagre ; and 
it is the Naclitkcrze of the Germans, and the Tweejaarige 


of the Dutch. The Hungarians call it Viola. It was 
formerly termed Onagra, the " ass food," by botanists, 
and its name was changed to a word signifying wine- 
trap, because the roots have been used as incentives to 
wine drinking, and were formerly eaten after dinner as 
olives are in later days. The roots, as well as those of 
several species of (Enothera, contain much nutriment, 
and the tubers are almost as good as the potato. Per- 
haps we owe some of the wild plants which occur on 
our landscape to the former cultivation of the flower for 
the sake of these tubers, which were once much valued, 
and which would probably have retained their place at 
the modern table, had not the potato become so general 
and accessible. They still in some countries form a 
common article of food. 

The Evening Primrose grows to the height of two or 
three feet, beginning to flower about June. The upper- 
most blossoms expand first, and there is a constant 
succession of pale yellow flowers, till the end of autumn. 
Many of the garden species are much larger and hand- 
somer than this. The (Enothera is quite an American 
genus, all the large yellow, pale purple, lilac, and white 
flowers of this family having been brought from the 
New World. 


1. /. palmtris (Marsh Isnardia). Leaves opposite, 
egg-shaped, acute, and stalked ; stem procumbent, root- 
ing, and smooth ; flowers solitary and axillary ; capsule 
4-angled. Plant annual. This little herb has stems 
about six or eight inches long, and flowers which have 



pistils and stamens, but which are destitute of petals. 
It is very rare, having been found in a pool at Buxstead, 
in Sussex, and on Petersfield Heath, in Surrey, where it 
occurred in abundance. It also grows near Brockenhurst, 
in Hampshire. It was formerly recorded as a British 
plant, but was again lost in this kingdom, though known 
as a plant of various parts of Europe and America, as 
far south as Mexico. Mr. Borrer, in 1827, rediscovered 
tt in Sussex. 

4. CIRC Jl A (Enchanter's Nightshade). 

1. C. Lutetidna (Common Enchanter's Nightshade). 
Leaves egg-shaped, tapering to a point, toothed ; bracts 
none ; stem erect, downy ; calyx hairy ; root perennial. 
This is a very common plant in lanes where the thick 
bushes or high trees cast a deep shadow, as in shrub- 
beries, woods, and gardens. The stem is about a foot 
or a foot and a half high, and the dark green leaves, 
somewhat heart-shaped at the base, are very large in 
proportion to the blossoms. It is very troublesome in 
damp gardens, on account of its strong creeping roots, 
and the flowers are too small to render the plant orna- 
mental in any situation. They appear in June and July, 
are white or pale rose-colour, with pink stamens, and 
are destitute of odour. 

The genus Circcea, though named after the enchan- 
tress Circe, does not appear ever to have been used in 
enchantments, and it has no active properties either of a 
useful or deleterious kind. Some writers think that the 
name was given because many of the dark shady nooks 
in which it grows are such places as would be chosen 


for incantations by the pretender to magic, in order that 
their gloom might affect the imagination of his victims. 
Boerhaave ingeniously suggested that the fruit, which is 
clothed with hooked bristles, laying hold of unwary pas- 
sengers, and clinging to them, might, to him who named 
the plant, have been suggestive of the practices of the 
fabled Circe, who drew the unguarded into her toils ; 
but neither notion seems probable, and the origin of the 
name is involved in mystery. The French call the 
plant La Circee, the Germans Das Hexenkraut, the 
Dutch term it Stevenskruid. The ancient Greeks had a 
plant which they called Circtsa. Our common plant is one 
much used by the leaf-cutter bees in the construction of 
their cells. Every one observant of garden flowers, must 
have seen how often little semicircular pieces are neatly 
cut out of the leaves of the garden roses, and the leaves 
of several wild flowers are subject to the same depreda- 
tions. The perennial Mercury, three species of Willow, 
the Sweet Brair, and Dog Rose, the Barren Strawberry, 
and our Enchanter's Nightshade, are among the wild 
plants chiefly selected ; while, in the garden, the Provence, 
Bishop, Frankfort, and Monthly Roses, are sought by 
these insects, that they may hang their cells with the 
green tapestry taken from the foliage. Baxter tells us 
also that the caterpillar of the Elephant Hawk-moth 
(Sphinx Efyenor), which feeds chiefly on the Water Bed- 
straw (Galium palustre), sometimes regales itself also on 
the Enchanter's Nightshade. 

2. C. alpina (Alpine Enchanter's Nightshade). 
Leaves heart-shaped, toothed, nearly smooth; stem 
ascending, nearly smooth. Root perennial. This species 


much resembles the last, but is smaller, and less branched. 
It is found in woods, thickets, and stony places, espes 
cially near the lakes in the north of England and Scot- 
land. Its flowers occur in July and August. Its 
leaves are remarkable for their thin and delicate texture. 
Some botanists describe a third species as C. inter- 
media, which in some specimens appears to be a variety 
of the first of the species, and in others of the last. 


Calyx tube adhering to the ovary, and either expand- 
ing into three or four minute lobes, or forming simply a 
rim ; petals either minute, and placed at the mouth of 
the calyx, or wanting ; stamens either equalling the petals 
in number, or twice as many, or, when petals are want- 
ing, one or two in number ; ovary with one or more 
cells ; stigmas equal in number to the cells of the ovary ; 
capsule not opening; seeds solitary, pendulous. The 
order consists of herbaceous plants of little beauty, and 
possessing no important properties. In several species 
the stamens and pistils are in separate flowers. 

1. HIPPURIS (Mare's-tail). Calyx forming a minute, 
indistinctly 2-lobed rim to the ovary ; petals ; stamen 1; 
style 1 ; seed 1, Viut-like ; name in Greek signifying a 
mare's tail. 

2. MYRTOPH^LLUM (Water Milfoil). Stamens and 
pistils in separate flowers, but on the same plant ; calyx 

i /. u 

as vaJ 

''I) ~WAW.s 

D "J Jl . 
(,. pec 


4-parted ; petals 4 ; stamens 8 ; styles 4 ; fruit of 4 nut- 
like seeds. Name from the Greek myrioi, ten thousand, 
and. pAyllon, a leaf, from its numerous leaves. 

3. CALLfTRiCHE (Water Starwort). Flowers without 
calyx or petals, often with 2 bracts at their base ; stamen 
1 j anther 1-celled; styles 2; ovaries 2, each 2-lobed; 
fruit of 4 1-seeded carpels. Name in Greek signifying 
beautiful hair, from the hair-like roots. 

1. HIPPURIS vuLGlms (Mare's Tail). 

1. H. vulgdris (Common Mare's-tail). Leaves linear 
and whorled; stem erect, jointed, without branches. 
Plant perennial. This singular plant would not fail to 
attract notice when abundant, as it often is in ponds 
and ditches. It grows frequently also on the borders 
of slow streams, especially such as have a gravelly base. 
It is tall and slender, rising ten or twelve inches 
above the water, and very well deserving its common 
French name of Pin d'eau, or the no less expressive 
German one of Schaftholm. The flowers are incon- 
spicuous, small and green, appearing in May and June 
close to the stem, in the angles which it forms with the 
short whorled leaves. This is remarkable as being one 
of the simplest of herbaceous plants, sometimes having a 
mere rim for its calyx, having no petals, and but one 
stamen, one pistil, and one seed. When the plant has 
flowered it sinks down and dies, and its stems and leaves 
form a mass at the bottom of the water. 

Like many another aquatic plant, the Mare's-tail has its 
uses, not alone to water animals, as the freshwater snails 
and insects, not only to the wild ducks and water-fowl* 


which hail it as a welcome repast, but also to man. It 
renders the neighbourhood of stagnant water less pre- 
judicial to human health, by absorbing a great quantity 
of inflammable air, thus serving to purify an atmosphere 
rendered putrid by the exhalations of the pool. In deep 
water it attains considerable luxuriance, and is some- 
times three feet in height. 

There is no other plant with which the Mare's-tail 
could possibly be confounded, save some of the Horse- 
tails, those allies of the Ferns, and many of which 
abound in moist places. It is, however, essentially dis- 
tinct, for the Horse-tails have no flowers, and bear their 
fructification in cones or catkins at the tops of their 
stems or branches. Their leaves too are longer and 
more rigid, those of this herb being short and clear, 
with a thick strong vein running up the centre. The 
Dutch call this plant Kattestail, and the Italians term 
it Ippuride. 

2. MYRiopHlfLLUM (Water Milfoil). 

1. M. verticilldtum (Whorled Water Milfoil) 

Flowers all whorled, having bracts at their base, cut 
into slender segments, and longer than the flowers. 
Plant perennial. This aquatic can boast no brightness 
of corolla, its greenish petals being too small to attract 
observation. It is, however, very pretty in its green- 
ness, and in the graceful form and movement of its 
feathery leaf-like bracts, which lie like green threads in 
the water, and are swept downwards if perchance a 
wind stirs up a current in the still pool. The plant 
well merits its name of Myriad-leaf, as well as its 


German name of FcderbaU. The French call it Volant 
d'eau, and the Dutch VederJcruid. The Milfoil is com- 
mon in many of the pools and ditches of Europe ; and 
this spncies is frequent in such places throughout 
England and Wales. Mr. Backhouse found a Milfoil 
growing with some of the pond-weeds (Potamogeton) 
in the waters of New South Wales, and believed it to 
be identical with the English species. 

2. M. spicdtum (Spiked Water Milfoil). Flowers 
whorled, longer than the bracts at their base, which 
form an interrupted leafless spike; stem slender and 
branched. Plant perennial. This is a common plant 
in standing pools, where it forms entangling masses by 
its slender stem and branches, which when we take 
them from the water and shake them, drop numerous 
little living creatures, that have evidently found a home 
amid the leaves and bracts. The whole plant looks very 
green and pretty, as it lies in the water, where it floats 
below the surface, save when in July and August its 
spikes of minute greenish flowers rise just above the 
pool. These spikes are from three to five inches long, 
and the leaves, which are four in a whorl, are cut into 
slender segments. 

3. M. alterniforum (Alternate-flowered Milfoil). 
Barren flowers arranged alternately on a short leafless 
spike ; fertile flowers about three together, in the axils 
of the leaves at its base ; spikes drooping when in bud. 
Plant perennial. This rare species appears in a few 
places in England and Scotland in ponds and ditches, 
its small green flowers occurring from May to August. 
It is very similar to the last species. 


3. CALLfiRiCH^ (Water Starwort). 

1. C. verna (Vernal Water Starwort). Leaves in 
pairs, united at the base; flowers in the axils of the 
leaves ; carpels bluntly keeled at the back. Plant an- 
nual. This little Starwort is abundant in ditches, pools, 
and slow streams, everywhere, and is often probably 
mistaken by those little familiar with plants, for some 
species of the Bedstraw (Gdliuni). Its leaves are most 
truly starry, being crowded on the top of the slender 
stem, and often the plant when in masses forms thick 
tufts like green cushions in the pools lying among the 
grass of marshy lands. Their verdure is of emerald hue, 
and numerous little white hair-like shining roots proceed 
from the joints of the stem, forming a characteristic 
feature of the Starwort. The foliage is submersed, the 
stamens of the little green flowers in June and July 
rising just above the surface of the water. The Star- 
wort is called by the French La Callitric, and by the 
Germans Wassersten. It is the Callitrica of the Italians, 
and the Sterrekruid of the Dutch. Two varieties of this 
species are described, the one having the lobes of the 
fruit slightly keeled, the other with the lobes slightly 
winged at the back. 

2. C. pedunculdta (Pedunculated Water Starwort). 
Fruit-stalks without bracts at the base ; fruit 4-sided, 
each lobe bluntly keeled at the back. Plant annual. 
This rare species is very nearly allied to the last. It is 
found in ditches in Sussex, and some other English 
counties, as well as in Wales, producing its inconspicuous 
flowers from June to September. 


3. C. autumndlis (Autumnal Water Star wort). Fruit- 
stalks very short, without bracts ; fruit somewhat 4-sided, 
each lobe winged at the back. Plant annual. This 
species occurs about London, and in various Scottish 
lakes. It flowers from June to July. 


Stamens and pistils in separate flowers, but on the 
same plant ; calyx many parted ; corolla none ; stame/is 
12-20, without filaments; anthers 2 -pointed ; ovary 
1 -celled; style curved; seed-vessel nut-like, 1 -seeded, 
not opening. This is an aquatic order, containing only 
the genus Hornwort, which is very distinct from any 
other known plant. The affinities of this order have 
been much disputed by botanists. 

1. CERATOPHYLLUM (Hornwort). Character that of 
the order. Name in Greek signifying Horn-leaved. 

1. CERATOPHYLLUM (Hornwort). 
1. C. demcrsum (Common Hornwort). Fruit armed 
with two thorns near the base, and terminated by 
the curved style. Plant perennial. Our illustration 
will remind all accustomed to roam in the country 
of a plant which they often see lying in slow streams 
and ditches. This Hornwort grows quite under the water, 
and being unlike most other plants in the cone-like 
form which its mass of crowded leaves often assume, 



it will hardly fail to be noticed, though no bright 
corolla adds grace to its verdure. The whoiied leaves, 
rigid as bristles, are two or three times forked, and 
somewhat serrated ; they are often also inflated and 
jointed. The green flowers grow in whorls in the 
axils of the leaves. The plant has no known uses, 
except that it aids with other aquatic vegetation in 
purifying the water, and elaborating air fitted for re- 
spiration. Some varieties of this plant have, by various 
botanists, been described as species, in one, the spines 
of the fruit are long, rigid, and rounded ; in a second, 
they are also long but flattened, and winged at the base ; 
a third variety has no spines on its fruit, but two 
tubercles at its base. The first of these is most common 
in this country. 

2. C. submersum (Unarmed Horn wort). Fruit with- 
out either spines or tubercles, and ending with the very 
short styles. Plant perennial. This species much re- 
sembles the last, and can be known from it only by the 
characteristics of its fruit. It is rare, being found only 
in the pools and ditches of the south of England, its 
flowers occurring in June and July. 


Calyx of one piece, often tubular, many parted, some- 
times with intermediate teeth ; petals inserted between 
the outer divisions of the calyx, soon falling off; stamens 
springing from the tube of the calyx, within the petals, 
and either equalling them in number, or twice, thrice, or 


four times as many ; ovary 2, 4-celled ; style single ; 
capsule many-seeded, covered by the calyx, but not 
united to it. This order consists chiefly of herbaceous 
plants, having mostly four-sided stems, and opposite 
leaves. Many of the species are astringent, and several 
are used by dyers. The celebrated Henna or Al lianneli 
of the Arabs is furnished by a plant of this order, the 
Lawsonia alba. The paste made of its pounded leaves 
is used by the Egyptians, Arabs, and Turks to impart 
a yellowish red hue to their nails. It seems to be con- 
sidered by Eastern ladies not so much as an embellish- 
ment to their beauty, as a mark of dignity, slaves being 
forbidden to use it. The practice is of high antiquity, 
for the nails of the mummies have evidently received 
this tinge. The Henna forms an important article of 
commerce, and is cultivated in Egypt for the purpose 
of export to Constantinople, being used also to dye the 
manes of horses, and to impart its colour to wool and 
leather. The strong odour of the flowers of this plant 
is unpleasant to Europeans, but the Oriental lady adorns 
her apartment with the fresh flowers, and uses at her 
toilette a cosmetic prepared from them. 

1. Lf THRUM (Purple Loosestrife). Calyx cylindrical, 
with 12 divisions, alternately smaller ; petals 6 ; stamens 
6 or 12; style thread-like. Named from the Greek 
lytliron, blood, from the hue of the flowers. 

2. PEPLIS (Water Purslane). Calyx bell-shaped, 
with 12 divisions, alternately smaller; petals 6, minute, 
soon falling off ; stamens 6 ; style very short. Name 
of Greek origin, and anciently given to another plant. 


1. IA THRUM (Purple Loosestrife). 

1. L. Salicdria (Purple Loosestrife). Leaves oppo- 
site, or about three in a whorl, long and narrow, heart- 
shaped at the base ; flowers whorled, and forming a leafy 
spike. Plant perennial. This Loosestrife is among the 
handsomest of our native flowers, rivalling the Foxglove 
and Viper's Bugloss in beauty. Its blossoms appear in 
June and July, forming tall tapering spikes, sometimes 
a foot long, on a stem which is from two to four feet in 
height. The colour is of rich purplish red, and when 
these gay pyramids rise up, as they often do above the 
sedges, and rushes, and willow boughs which fringe the 
water, they render the margin most beautiful, and may 
be seen far away over the landscape. The plant is called 
by several country names, as Grass-poly, Purple Willow- 
strife, Purple grass, and Willow Lythrum. The botanic 
specific name, as well as several of its familiar names, 
may have been given from the long narrow leaf, some- 
what like a willow, but more probably was derived from 
the circumstance of its growing so frequently among 
willows and osiers. It is in many counties called Long 
Purples ; and Clare in many of his poems alludes to it 
under that name : 

" As shadowy April's suns and showers would pass, 

And summer's wild profusion plenteous grew, 
Hiding the spring-flowers in long weeds and grass, 

What meads and copses would I wander through, 
When on the water oped the lily buds, 

And line long purples shadow'd in the lake, 
When purple bugles peeped in the woods 

'Neath darkest shades that boughs and leaves could make. 


" The ragged robins by the spinney lake, 

And flag-flower bunches deeper down the flood, 
And snugly hiding 'neath the feather'd brake, 

Full many a blue-bell flower and cuckoo-bud ; 
And old man's beard, that wreath'd along the hedge 

Its oddly rude misshapen tawny flowers, 
And prickly burs that crowd the leaves of sedge, 

Have claim'd my pleasing search for hours and hours." 

This Loosestrife grows in all parts of this kingdom, 
and is very general on the continent. It occurs in great 
profusion in the streams and ditches about Brussels, 
especially near Laerken, the king's country palace. The 
French, Italians, and Spaniards call it Salicaire ; the 
Germans term it Braune weiderich ; the Dutch, Partyke ; 
and the Russians, Plakun. The streams about Australia 
are as gay in summer with its crimson blooms as are 
our own watersides ; and the same, or a very similar 
species, blooms on the borders of lakes in Mexico. In 
the latter country several species of Lythrum are found, 
and they are very generally used as applications to 
wounds. Our own Grass-poly is very astringent and 
tonic, and has been recommended by De Haen and 
other continental physicians for intermittent fevers. 
Though it has long been celebrated in Ireland for its 
remedial uses, it is rarely prescribed in England by 
regular practitioners. Its leaves contain tannin, and 
have been used with success in the preparation of 
leather. In India the flowers of the Lythrum Hunterii 
are mixed with the blossoms of the Morinda, and are 
then called Dhawry, and commonly used as a dye. 

2. It. Jtyssopifolium (Hyssop-leaved Purple Loose- 
strife^. Leaves mostly alternate, linear-lanceolate, blunt ; 


flowers axillary, solitary; bracts 2, very small, and awl- 
shaped ; stamens about 6. Plant annual. This species 
is so unlike the last in its general appearance, that only 
the botanist would perceive the affinity of the two. It 
is a lowly plant, about four or five inches high, having 
a few little blossoms growing singly between the leaves 
and stem. They are of a dull purplish lilac colour, 
expanding in July. This may occasionally be seen 
growing with the taller Loosestrife at the edge of the 
water, but is more likely to be found in bogs or among 
the grass of woods which have standing pools among 
their trees. It is not anywhere a common flower, but 
the author found it some years since in some profusion 
in Eridge woods, near Tunbridge Wells. 

2. PEPLIS (Water-Purslane). 

1. P. Portula (Common Water-Purslane). Leaves 
inversely egg-shaped ; flowers solitary. Plant annual. 
Those who were intent on gathering a wild nosegay 
would leave this little aquatic untouched, or probably 
pass it by unnoticed. It grows either on moist lands, 
or on places sometimes overflowed with water, having 
often a reddish tinge on its stems and leaves. It is 
a lowly creeping plant, and not unfrequent ; its stems 
being from four to six inches long, with few branches. 
Its small green flowers, often without petals, appear in 
July and August. 



Calyx 4 5, parted, overlapping when in bud, re- 
maining after the corolla is withered ; petals 4-5 from 
the base of the calyx ; stamens either equal to the petals 
in number, or twice as many, distinct or united by their 
filaments ; ovary not combined with the calyx ; styles 3 ; 
capsule 3-valved, 1-celled, containing many seeds, which 
have downy tufts at the extremity. The plants of this 
order are mostly shrubs, with long slender branches 
and small scale-like leaves. They are very numerous 
on the shores of the Mediterranean, thriving well by the 
sea or on the saline soils of deserts. The bark is astrin- 
gent, and many species are remarkable for the large 
quantity of sulphate of soda afforded by their ashes. 

1. TAMARIX (Tamarisk). Calyx 5-parted; petals 5; 
stamens 5 or 10 ; stigmas feathery. Named from the 
Tamarisci, the people who inhabited the banks of the 
Tamaris, now the Tambra, in Spain, where this plant 
is in great abundance. 

1. TAMARIX (Tamarisk). 

1. T. Anglica (Common Tamarisk). Leaves quite 
smooth, somewhat narrowed at the base ; flower-buds 
egg-shaped ; capsule rounded at the base and narrowed 
upwards. Plant perennial. This pretty shrub is very 
ornamental to several parts of our coast, with its rich 
deep verdure, and its delicate red branches clothed, in 


July, with elegant spikes of pale rose-coloured flowers. 
It is very common in sea-side gardens, and in many 
places by the sea grows in profusion, without culture, 
on rocks, cliffs, and sandy soils. Truly wild, however, 
the plant is not, in any part of the kingdom ; for 
although it is abundant in some places, as at Hastings 
and Sandgate, it was doubtless originally planted there. 
It is often said to be wild in Cornwall, as Tamarisk 
shrubs abound about the Lizard and St. Michael's 
Mount, having probably been brought thither from the 
opposite coast of France. The plant is said to have 
been introduced into the Lizard district by a carter, 
who, having lost his whip, gathered one of the long 
flexible branches of the Tamarisk at the Mount, which 
at the conclusion of his journey he stuck into the 
ground, where it grew and flourished. Nor is this an 
unlikely mode of its propagation, for it grows from 
cuttings as freely as the willow. 

This is the same species which the earlier botanists 
called Tamarix Gallica, but, having become naturalised, 
it is called now the English Tamarisk. Fuller, in his 
" Worthies of England," remarks " The Tamarisk was 
first brought over by Bishop Grindal out of Switzerland, 
where he was an exile under Queen Mary, and planted 
in his garden at Fulham, where the soil being moist 
and fenny, well complied with the nature of this plant ; 
yet it groweth not up to be timber, as in Arabia, though 
often to that substance that cups of great size are made 
thereof." Richard Hakluyt also says that in his 
time the plant had so increased that there were thou- 
sands of the trees in this country, and adds, " Many 


people have received great health by this plant." This 
writer published his work in 1582. In those days the 
cup made of Tamarisk was thought to improve the 
flavour of ale ; the spit made of its wood imparted an 
excellence to the meat roasted upon it ; and its use was 
considered so beneficial to persons afflicted with diseases 
of the spleen, that physicians ordered patients to 
eat from dishes made of tamarisk wood. It had also 
other domestic uses, as Browne in his " Pastorals " refers 
to it, 

" Amongst the rest, the Tamarisk there stood, 
For housewives' besoms onely knowne most good." 

And Pliny mentions its use for brooms by the Romans. 
Dioscorides praised it as a cure for every disease. It is 
the Mynca of the Greeks and Romans ; and to the 
reader of the Classics is connected with many poetic 
associations. " It is so referred to," says Mr. Baxter, 
" in the Pastorals of Theocritus and Virgil, and many 
times in the Eclogues of the latter poet; Ovid also 
names it in several poems." Homer mentions it as the 
tree against which Achilles laid his spear before he 
rushed into the Xanthus to pursue the fleeing Trojans : 

" So plunged in Xanthus, by Achilles' force, 
Eoars the resounding surge with men and horse ; 
His bloody lance the hero cast aside, 
Which spreading Tamarisks on the margin hide." 

Evelyn says that it was considered one of the unfor- 
tunate trees, and gives that as the reason why its 
branches were in ancient times bound around the head 
of the criminal. It is in England commonly called Sea 
Cypress ; but though its foliage somewhat resembles that 



of the Cypress, its mode of growth, pale hue, and deci- 
duous habit, make it quite distinct even to the unscien- 
tific eye. 

The Tamarisk has associations with scenes and times 
even earlier than those of the Roman or Greek writers, 
for there is little doubt that it is the Eschel or Asliel of 
the Scripture. The passage rendered in our authorized 
version, " Now Saul abode in Gibeah, under a tree in 
Ramah," is translated by Boothroyd, " Saul was sitting 
on a hill in Gibeah, under a Tamarisk-tree," a render- 
ing thought by Dr. Kitto to be the correct one. This 
author remarks that Saul preferred holding his court 
under the shadow of a tree, as many an Oriental prince 
of modern days would do. This, too, is thought to be 
the tree under which Saul and his sons were buried. 
Almost all travellers in Eastern countries speak of the 
Tamarisk-tree as the Athel or Atle of the Orientals. It 
is one of the very few trees which will flourish and 
attain any good size in the soil of the desert. Large 
Tamarisks, called Asul, are found all about Palestine, 
not graceful and slender as are those of our country, but 
tall and sturdy as oaks. The exact species of Eastern 
Tamarisks are not ascertained ; but if not mere varieties 
of our English species, they are very nearly allied to it 
and all have many points of similarity. The tree has 
long been highly prized by the Arabs for the medicinal 
uses of the galls' which grow on its branches. The 
Tamarisk was called Toorfa by Avicenna, and its astrin- 
gent galls are praised in his works ; they are also used in 
dyeing. In Egypt these trees are as large as oaks. 
Sonnini tells us that not a village of Lower Egypt is 


without its Atles. " There is," says this writer, " no 
other tree in the land which can in any degree be 
termed common. It furnishes the timber for mechani- 
cal purposes, and wood for fuel. Hence the Egyptians 
say ' the world would go badly with them if Atles were 
to fail.' " They also make their bowls and drinking- 
cups of its wood. 

Another interesting association connected with the 
Tamarisk is, that it is the only tree now found growing 
amid the ruins of Babylon. Ker Porter thought that 
he discovered some traces of the celebrated hanging- 
gardens, and on an artificial mound there stood a tree 
which the Arabs called Athela. It was hollow with age, 
and its branches bending downward? ave to it the 
aspect of a weeping willow. The boughs were graceful 
and richly verdant, though its large trunk was old and 
rugged. Some travellers have described this lonely relic 
of the ancient grandeur this solitary tree as a Cedar, 
others as a willow; but Aucher, in 1835, gathered some 
specimens which he preserved, and which were con- 
sidered by botanists to be the Tamarix pycnocarpus. 
The Arabs regard this tree as sacred, because, after 
the battle of Hillah, the Calif Ali reposed under its 
shade. It is thought to be as old as the time of Hero- 
dotus, B.C. 440. 

Our Tamarix Anglica is a native of most of the coun- 
tries of southern Europe, of Asia Minor, Tartary, Japan, 
Barbary, and Arabia, as well as of many parts of Africa; 
and some other species, as the Eastern Tamarisk (T. 
Orientdlis), are also common in these lands. A variety 
of our Sea-side Tamarisk affords, according to Ehren- 


berg, the manna of Mount Sinai- This manna, as it 
is called, because it is supposed to resemble the 
manna of the Scriptures, drops during the month of 
June from the branches and twigs beneath the tree, 
where it coagulates. If left till after sunrise it dis- 
solves, and is lost. The Arabs, therefore, collect it 
before dawn. It is a sweet and pleasant substance, 
which the Arabs prize greatly, and pour over their 
bread as if it were honey. Falling in small quantities, 
it is a very costly luxury. This manna probably no 
more resembles the " Bread of Heaven," given in the 
wilderness, than does the substance called manna in this 
country, and sold by the druggists for medicinal pur- 
poses. This is the product of an Ash-tree, Ornus 


Stamens and pistils often in separate flowers, either 
on the same plant or on different plants ; calyx 5 -toothed, 
connected with a corolla ; corolla often scarcely to be 
distinguished from the calyx; stamens 5, more or less 
united ; anthers twisted ; ovary imperfectly 3-celled ; 
style short ; stiff mas lobed ; fruit more or less succulent ; 
seeds flat, in a juicy arillus, or skin. 

The Gourd Tribe consists of a large number of im- 
portant climbing herbaceous plants, having succulent 
stems and tendrils. In many cases their properties are 
very violent, but some plants of the tribe produce valu- 


able fruits. To this Order belong the gourds, the 
fruits of which are, in Arabia, Egypt, and other countries, 
converted into bowls and other articles of domestic use ; 
the bottle-gourds, (Lagenaria), seeming exactly formed 
for this purpose, being shaped like flasks, and some- 
times six feet long ; when young they are used as 
spoons. The plants are of rapid growth, and the Com- 
mon Garden Pumpkin increases so rapidly in size, that 
with its long shoots it will, in a good soil, in one season 
cover the eighth part of an acre. This is extensively 
cultivated in some parts of France to use in soups and 
fricassees. The Vegetable Marrow is often seen on our 
tables j the cool and refreshing Melons and Cucumbers 
in all their varieties afford us valuable edible fruits ; 
while in hot countries Water Melons are among the 
most refreshing articles of diet. The Germans eat the 
fruit of the Squash gourd, which, from its shape, they 
term the Elector's Hat ; and Cucumbers in Russia are 
deemed a most necessary vegetable diet. The Colocynth 
and Squirting Cucumber furnish powerful drugs ; and 
the plant mentioned in Scripture as the wild vine, from 
which the sons of the prophets gathered gourds for 
Elisha at Gilgal, is believed to be the Ass, or Wild, 
Cucumber, a plant of this Order, which is very bitter. 
As it resembles the cultivated cucumber it was appa- 
rently gathered by mistake, and its bitterness induced 
the men who procured it to consider it deleterious, 
bitterness in a vegetable indicating, in the ideas of the 
Hebrews, the presence of poison. Our Red-berried 
Bryony is the only British genus contained in this 


1. BRYONIA (Bryony). Stamens 5 in 3 sets; style 
3-cleft ; fruit, a globose berry. Name from the Greek 
bryo, to bud, from its rapid growth. 

1. BRYONIA (Bryony). 

1. B.dioica (Eed-berried Bryony). Leaves palmate, 
rough on both sides ; pistils and stamens on different 
plants. Plant perennial. A very pretty climber is this 
Wild Bryony in early spring, when its half-developed 
leaves are of a delicate green hue, and its unfolding 
shoots grey with long silvery hairs. But as the months 
advance these leaves grow out into large vine-like 
foliage, and become of a deep rich green hue, covered 
with thick prickly hairs, and the long shoots armed with 
branching tendrils wind their way along the bushes, 
occupying no small space in the green hedgerow : 

" The scallop'd Bryony mingling round the bowers, 
Whose fine bright leaves make up the want of flowers." 

The blossoms, which may be seen from May to Septem- 
ber, add little to the beauty of the plant, for though they 
are large, yet their greenish white petals, marked with 
darker veins, have nothing very attractive in appearance, 
and are also destitute of perfume, save such faint and 
sickly odour as might suggest the idea that they belonged 
to a poisonous plant : nor would the inference be alto- 
gether wrong. The root partakes of that powerful drug 
yielded by the Colocynth, and the round red berries, 
which are in autumn amongst our most beautiful wild 
fruits, are poisonous, while the whole plant abounds with 
a fetid and acrid juice. The root is very large and 


succulent, and to this accumulation of nutriment Lin- 
naeus attributed the quick growth of the Bryony. 
Gerarde mentions having seen one as large as a child six 
months old, weighing half a hundred weight, but this 
was unusually large. These roots were formerly much 
prized as a remedy for dropsy, but are not now admi- 
nistered by medical men internally, though Professor 
Burnett records that they were a few years since still 
sold at Covent Garden market, and used by the pugna- 
cious to remove the blackness " which follows blows too 
vigorously applied in the neighbourhood of the eyes." 
The root, however, should not be used even externally 
when in a fresh state, or it would blister the skin. The 
acrimony is partly removed by drying. The writer just 
alluded to says, " Bryony root has also been often used, 
when cut in slices, to mix with Columbo-root, a vile 
adulteration, as the properties of the drugs are most dis- 
similar." He adds, that the most serious consequences 
might ensue from its use in cases in which a tonic like 
the Columbo is required. The fraud is considered by 
medical practitioners to have originated in the belief 
which once prevailed, that Columbo was the root of 
Bryonia cpiyaa, which it is said to resemble, and which 
in India is used instead of it. Our old herbalists praise 
the Bryony root as an invaluable external and internal 
remedy, though, according to their own admission, it 
was " a furious martial plant." Among other ways of 
using it, it was commonly made into an electuary for 
coughs, but it must have been a most dangerous medi- 
cine, unless used, as it is by modern homceopathists, in 
tiny globules. Culpepper 


" As one that on his worth and knowledge doth rely 
In learned physic's use, and skilful surgery," 

after recommending it for various maladies, cautiously 
adds, " When it must be taken inwardly it needs an 
abler hand to correct it than most country people have, 
therefore it is a better way for them to leave the simple 
alone, and take the compound water of it mentioned in 
my 'Dispensatory,' and that is far more -safe, being 
wisely corrected." Those, however, are most safe who 
leave the plant altogether out of their list of remedies ; 
but country people still have a strange belief that vege- 
table medicines are never dangerous, forgetting that 
Hemlock, Aconite, and other plants, contain most deadly 
poison. Villagers are often so ignorant of the nature of 
the plants which they use as remedies, that the author 
has more than once had much difficulty in dissuading 
persons from taking most powerful and most unsafe 
decoctions of wild plants. 

This Bryony is commonly called also Wild Vine, or 
Wood-vine, and in some counties, where hops are not 
cultivated, it is called Wild Hop. One of its old names 
was Tetterwort. Though so common in England, it is 
rare in Scotland. It grows wild in many European 
countries, and is called by the French Bryone, or Cou- 
leavree ; it is the Zaurube of the Germans ; the Bryone 
of the Dutch ; and Brionia of the Italians ; the Portu- 
guese term it Norca bianca. The goat is the only 
animal which feeds on its foliage ; but Dr. Withering 
says, that a decoction of the fresh root is an excellent 
medicine for horned cattle, and that it is a common 
practice in Norfolk to mingle small pieces of this root 

Monlia for.tonR. . 

CorrigioJp. littoral! 
-],ABK01<S HU> j rUJU-' WORT. 

lic-niaris giabrs . 

lierniaria hirsuta 

1 1 1 ecohrum -verri cill a; u IT, 
I-'OUK j.EAVj:ij j\r.j. si-:yi; 

PoJyraTpOJi telTsphyiJu-D 


with corn in order to render their coats glossy and fine. 
Other physicians consider that it might be used medi- 
cinally with great advantage, as several foreign species 
are valuable medicines of other countries. The seeds of 
Bryonia callosa, a common plant in India, afford an ex- 
cellent oil, much used for burning in lamps. 


Calyx of 2 sepals, united at the base ; petals usually 
5 from the base of the calyx ; stamens 3 or more in- 
serted with the petals ; ovary 1-celled ; style 1 or ; 
stiff mas several ; capsule 1-celled, opening transversely, 
or by 3 valves ; seeds usually more than 1. This Order 
consists of herbs or shrubs with very succulent leaves 
and stems. The species are all innocuous, and in many 
cases edible. Portulacca saliva is the Common Purs- 
lane, and is cultivated and much liked as a vegetable in 
several continental countries. The Da-t-kai of Caffraria, 
celebrated among the Hottentots for its edible roots, is 
a Purslane ; and Mr. Burchell remarks that an abun- 
dance of the Common Purslane is to be found everywhere 
on the Asbestos mountains, and that he ordered a quan- 
tity to be boiled for his dinner, as it rarely happened 
that he could convert the wild vegetation of that country 
to culinary uses, the heat rendering plants so tough and 
juiceless, that they were unfit for eating. He remarks 
that this Purslane is one of the few plants whose seeds 
have been scattered in various and very different parts 

VOL. II. 8 8 


of the earth. The rocky hills of St. Helena are in the 
rainy season rendered verdant by this plant alone. 
Several species of the family have large and handsome 
flowers; but its only representative in Britain is an 
inconspicuous plant. 

1. MONTI A. (Blinks). Calyx of 2 sepals; corolla of 
5 petals, 3 smaller than the others, and all united at the 
base ; tube of the corolla split to the base ; capsule con- 
taining 3-dotted seeds. Name from Joseph De Monti, 
a botanist of Bologna. 

1. MONTIA (Blinks). 

1. M. fontdna (Water Blinks). Leaves opposite, 
tapering at the base. Plant annual. This lowly little 
chickweed varies much in size, but is always remarkable 
for its succulence. It flowers from June to August ; its 
small white blossoms, drooping at first, and scarcely 
ever expanding, acquired for it the name of Blinks. It 
is abundant in wet places, and is very frequent on the 
Cheviot Hills, not far from the summit. Linnasus, who 
found it in Lapland, remarks that it was a plant which 
never came in his way before. " In Kalhedeii," he says, 
"I found it particularly abundant, and I afterwards 
found it in West Bothnia." The French call this plant 
La Montie, the Germans Die QucUen-monti. It is the 
Bronminnende mcntia of the Dutch. 



Sepals usually 5 ; petals 5, minute, inserted between 
the lobes of the calyx, sometimes wanting; stamens 
varying in number, opposite the petals, if equalling them 
in number ; ovary not combined with the calyx pistils 
2 5 ; fruit 1 -celled ; opening with 3 valves, or not open- 
ing. The Knot-grass tribe is composed of small shrubby 
or herbaceous plants, with minute flowers and undi- 
vided leaves. The few British genera are mostly found 
in the southern counties of the kingdom, and the plants 
of this order occur chiefly in Southern Europe or Northern 

1. CORRIGIOLA (Strap wort). Sepals 5 ; petals 5, as 
long as the calyx ; stamens 5 ; stigmas 3 sessile ; fruit 
1-seeded, enclosed in the calyx. Name from Corrigia, 
a strap, from the form of the leaves. 

2. HERNIARIA (Rupture-wort). Sepals 5 ; petals 5, 
resembling barren filaments ; stamens 5, inserted on a 
fleshy ring ; stigmas 2, nearly sessile ; fruit 1-seeded, 
enclosed in the calyx. Name from the disease which it 
was supposed to cure. 

3. ILLECEBRUM (Knot-grass). Sepals 5, coloured, 
thickened, and terminating in an awl-shaped point ; 
petals 0, or 5; stigmas 2 ; fruit 1-seeded, enclosed in 
the calyx. Name from the Latin illecebra, an attraction. 

4. POLYCARPON (All-seed). Sepals 5 ; petals 5, notched ; 
stamens 3 5 ; stigmas 3, nearly sessile ; fruit 1 -celled, 


3-valved, many -seeded. Name from the words polys, 
many, and carpos, fruit. 

1. CORRIGIOLA (Strapwort). 

1. C. littordlis (Sand Strapwort). Stem spreading, 
leafy; Jlowers stalked in small clusters; stem-leaves 
oblong, narrow below. Plant annual. This rare and 
pretty little Strapwort spreads itself over the ground, 
bearing, from August to December, tufts of little white 
flowers. It grows on Slapham Sands, and near the Star- 
point, in Devonshire, and is found in great abundance on 
the banks of the Loe Pool, near Helston, in Cornwall. 
It is the Corrigiole of the French, the Lingenkraut of 
the Germans, the Riempjis of the Dutch, and the Cor- 
rigiola of the Italians. 

2. HERNIARIA (Rupture- wort). 

1. H.gldbra (Smooth Rupture- wort). Stem prostrate, 
clothed with minute curved hairs ; leaves oval, narrow- 
ing towards the base, more or less hairy, in some cases 
fringed with delicate hairs; Jlowers sessile, axillary. 
Plant perennial. This varies very much in some of its 
characters. In one variety the leaves are quite smooth, 
and in the other the leaves have sometimes hairs on the 
surface, with a delicate fringe around the edges, like 
an eyelash. Some botanists think the latter a perma- 
nent distinction, and describe the plant in this condition 
as a different species, under the name of H. cilidta. 
The plant is sometimes said to resemble Wild Thyme 
in its habit, but the flowers are green. They grow from 


July to September, either in tufts from the axils of the 
leaves, or form a crowded spike interspersed with 
leaves. The plant is not common, occurring in some of 
the southern counties of England, and in the western 
parts of Kerry, in Ireland, though nowhere in any 
abundance save at the Lizard Point, Cornwall. A 
variety of a more hairy nature is by some botanists 
termed H. Idrsuta, Its hairs are spreading, but in 
other respects it resembles the ordinary form. 

3. ILL^CEBRUM (Knot-grass). 

1. /. vcrticittdtum (Whorled Knot-grass). Leaves 
broadly egg-shaped, smooth ; stipules white, chaffy and 
jagged at the margin ; stems slender. Plant perennial. 
This little Knot-grass doubtless received its English 
name from its entangling stems. These have a reddish 
hue, and the small white flowers which grow around them 
in axillary whorls, are remarkable for their thick calyxes. 
The plant is found on boggy lands and in standing 
pools in Cornwall and Devonshire. In the former county 
it is not uncommon. It flowers from July to September. 
One of its old names was Whitlow-grass, from a fancied 
efficacy in its cure of whitlows. The Germans call it 
Nagelkraut, and the Spaniards Nevadilla. It is the 
Paronique of the French. 

4. POLYCARPON (All-seed). 

1. P. tetrapliyllum (Four-leaved All-seed). Stems 
prostrate and branched; leaves oval, tapering at the 
base, upper leaves in pairs, lower in fours ; flowers with 
3 stamens. Plant annual. This plant is neither con- 


spicuous nor frequent in this kingdom, occurring chiefly 
on the southern coast of England. It has also been 
found in Glamorganshire, and is a common weed in 
the Isle of Jersey, growing all about St. Aubyns on 
sunny banks, on hedges, and in gardens. It produces 
from May to August numerous little greenish white 
flowers. It has plenty of tiny seeds in its small two- 
valved capsules, but the name which it now bears was 
originally applied to the common Knot-grass (Polyyo- 
num aviculare), which it somewhat resembles. One of 
its old English names was Linura. 


Sepals 3 20, more or less united at the base ; petals 
equal to the sepals in number, inserted in the bottom of 
the calyx ; stamens as many, or twice as many ; in the 
latter case the stamens opposite the petals are shorter 
than the others; ovaries as many as the petals, 1 -celled, 
tapering into stigmas, often with a gland at the base of 
each;/h^Y consisting of several erect seed-vessels, which 
open lengthwise ; seeds in a double row. This Order is 
composed of herbs and shrubs, which have thick succu- 
lent leaves and stems, and star-shaped blossoms. They 
are remarkable for growing on the most arid soils, orna- 
menting the sandy deserts of Southern Africa with 
beautiful blossoms, and inhabiting in greater or lesser 
number all parts of the world. Many grow on rocks ; 


some on walls or roofs of houses, or dry hot sunny 
slopes ; living on the nutriment derived from the atmo- 
sphere, rather than on that absorbed through the roots. 
Many of the plants are used medicinally, being often 
pungent or acrid, in several cases refrigerant ; and in 
some astringent, or containing malic acid. 

1. TILL.EA. Sepals, petals, stamens, and carpels 3 or 4, 
the latter two-seeded. Name from an Italian botanist, 
Michael Angelo Tilli. 

2. COTYLEDON (Penny-wort). Sepals 5; corolla tubu- 
lar, 5-cleft ; carpels 5, with a scale at the base of each. 
Name from the Greek cotyle, a cup, from the form of 
the leaves. 

3. SEMPERVIVUM (House-leek). Sepals, petals, and 
carpels 6 10 ; stamens, twice as many. Name from 
the Latin semper, always, and vivo, to live. 

4. SEDUM (Stonecrop). Sepals and petals 5; stamens 
10, spreading ; carpels 5. Name from the Latin sedeo, 
to sit, from the lowly growth of the plants. 

1. TILL.EA. 

1. T. muscosa (Mossy Tillsea). Stems branched, and 
bending down at the base ; leaves opposite, oblong, 
blunt ; flowers generally 3-cleft. Plant annual. This 
little Tillsea, though quite distinct from the Pearl worts, 
is much like them. The small greenish white flowers 
expand in May and June, and have a reddish tinge at 
the tips of the petals; the calyx leaves are sharply 
pointed. It is more frequent on gravel garden-walks 
than elsewhere. 


2. COTYLEDON (Pennywort). 

1. C. Umbilicus (Wall Pennywort). Leaves circular, 
on stalks, and with rounded notches on their margins, 
generally more or less sunk above ; upper bracts very 
small and entire. Plant perennial. This singular-look- 
ing plant has spikes of long drooping bell-shaped 
flowers, with the corolla cleft nearly to the middle. 
They are of greenish yellow colour, appearing from June 
to August. The plant owes its name of Pennywort to 
the round leaves, and is also in some country places 
called Penny-pies, or Kidney-wort. It is Le Cotylei, or 
Cotylier, of the French. The leaves are somewhat sunk 
in the centre, and in some of the species cultivated in 
our gardens they are much more so, forming little cups 
or vases. The plant is very succulent, from half a foot 
to a foot and a half high. 

This Pennywort is very common in some parts of the 
kingdom, especially in the western counties, but there 
are many districts where it is scarcely ever seen. The 
Rev. W. T. Bree remarks, that he scarcely remembers 
ever finding it in Warwickshire, except on the ruins of 
Maxstoke Priory, and there but sparingly; while in 
some parts of Somersetshire, and in the county of Wick- 
low, as weE as in many other places, it is abundant on 
walls and banks. It is rare in Kent, but the author 
once received a specimen of the plant from the wall of 
Maidstone Church. Its ordinary place of growth is the 
old wall or roof, and it is very luxuriant on moist drip- 
ping rocks in mountainous countries. In the neigh- 
bourhood of Wimborne, in Dorsetshire, it is very 


frequent on hedge-banks. A botanist of that place 
remarks, that he has seen most luxuriant specimens 
growing in profusion on a hedge-bank with a southern 
aspect, the plants being from a foot and a half to two 
feet high. A species called Cotyledon lutea, is some- 
times enumerated among our native flowers, but it is 
not a British plant. 

3. SEMPERV!VUM (House-leek). 
1. S. tectorum (Common House-leek). Leaves fringed 
with delicate hairs ; flowers containing 12 perfect, and 
12 imperfect stamens. Plant perennial. Tufts of juicy 
leaves of the House-leek, forming large verdant patches 
on the cottage-roof or wall-top, though not so frequent 
as they once were, are yet common. In many a spot 
such scenes may be seen as one which Leyden so long 
remembered, and yearned for so deeply : 

" The cottage roof fern-thatch'd, and grey, 
Invites the weary traveller from the way, 
To rest and taste the peasant's simple cheer, 
Repaid by news and tales he loves to hear; 
The clay-built wall with woodbine twisted o'er, 
The House-leek clustering green above the door ; 
While through the sheltering elms that round them grew, 
The winding smoke arose in columns blue." 

The old Ducch names of this flower, Donderbaard, 
and Dondtrbloem, remind us of the notions which in 
former days induced the planting of the House-leek on 
the roof of the dwelling. It was in our own, as in other 
lands, deemed a preservative against thunder. This 
superstition seems banished from our country; but a 
friend of the writer's, when residing in Holland, seeing 



a roof almost covered with the plant, inquired of the 
owner of the house why it was cultivated there, and 
was told that it was a certain protection from the danger 
of the storm. One of our old herbalists says, " It is re- 
ported by Mizaldus to preserve what it grows upon from 
fire and lightning." Another old writer, speaking of the 
Bay-leaf as " privileged from the prejudice of thunder/' 
adds : " An ancient author recited among divers ex- 
periments of Nature which he had found out, that if the 
herb House-leek, or Sengreen, do grow on the house- 
top, the same house is never stricken with thunder and 
lightning. Even the philosophical Sir Thomas Browne, 
whose work on Vulgar Errors must have done some 
service in the cause of truth, yet never doubted that the 
House-leek was, as he expresses himself, ' a defensative , 
from lightning." 

The House-leek may easily be made to cover the 
whole roof of a building, whether of tiles or thatch, by 
setting the offsets with a little earth. It will also 
grow freely on the tops of walls. Linnaeus remarked 
that House-leek was a preservative to the coverings of 
houses in Smoland ; and it seems a frequent custom in 
the North of Europe to give to the houses a plot of 
some verdant plant, many roofs in Sweden being covered 
with green turf, which in summer is fit for mowing' 
presenting the singular appearance in the streets of 
numerous little sloping meadows. Nowhere does the 
House-leek, however, grpw to such luxuriance as at 
Teneriffe, where plants of this genus are often shrubs, 
and flourish on the steep cliffs and rocks in the neigh- 
bourhood of the sea so as almost to cover them. Some 


of the old gothic mansions in the interior of the island 
have their walls and roofs quite overspread with ferns 
and House-leek. In the flowering season they have, 
a most brilliant effect, for their flowers are large, and 
instead of the purple blossoms which deck the European 
species, those of Teneriffe are of a light golden yellow. 
The House-leek is often boiled with milk, and given 
to quench thirst in fevers. Mixed with honey it is 
a good application for inflammation of the throat. Old 
writers describe its uses, when bound about the fore- 
head, " to ease the headache, and distempered heat of 
the brain in frenzies, or through want of sleep." The 
juice mixed with cream is still a popular village remedy 
for Erysipelas ; and we can ourselves testify to its uses 
in allaying the irritation caused by the sting either of 
the bee or nettle. A slightly acid flavour is perceptible 
in the leaves, which is caused by the presence of malic 
acid ; and Professor Burnett says, that the Dispensatory 
describes a beautiful white coagulum, of a highly vola- 
tile nature, formed of the filtrated juice of the leaves 
with an equal quantity of rectified spirits of wine. One 
of the species common in Madeira, the Sempervwum 
glutinosum, is of much service to fishermen. They rub 
their nets with the fresh leaves of this plant, and if they 
are subsequently dipped in any alkaline liquor they are 
rendered as durable as if they were tanned. Several 
species cultivated in our gardens and greenhouses are 
very pretty. The Cobweb House-leek has white fine 
lines traced over its foliage, and presents the appear- 
ance of a plant over which the spider has trailed 
his net. 


Our common House-leek has, in July, handsome 
succulent flowers of a reddish purple colour. The plant 
had in earlier times the names of Sengreene, Jupiter's 
beard, Jupiter's eye, and Bullock's eye. It is called in 
France, Joubarbe, and in Germany, Hauswurz ; the 
Italians term it Sempervivo. 

The House-leek must be regarded rather as a natural- 
ized than a native plant. It is rarely, if ever, found in 
our country even apparently wild, being usually on walls 
and house-tops. Schouw, in considering plants in their 
relation to soils, enumerates some which grow on living 
or dead animals or plants, and those which grow on 
artificial substances. These last he divides into wall, 
ruin, plank, and rubbish plants. Meyen, referring to 
this, says : " Wall plants are those which appear on the 
walls of buildings, and certainly are very seldom want- 
ing on them when old ; but as they appear chiefly on 
very old decayed buildings, ruin plants are not properly 
distinct from them. As belonging to this class, I may 
name the lichen called Wall Lecanora (Lecanora murdlis), 
the Wall-moss (Dicrdnum murdle), the fern called Wall- 
rue (Asplenium Ruta-murdria), the Biting Stonecrop, the 
Livelong, and many others. But it is right to remark, 
that all these plants which we have considered as wall 
and ruin plants can grow quite as well in other situa- 
tions, on the ground, or on the bark of trees, and on 
rocks ; and a particular inclination to the artificial situa- 
tion can only have been ascribed to them because in 
certain countries they are almost always to be found 
upon them. This is also the case with roof plants. 
Thus, the common or roof House-leek, which has a 


preference for such a habitat, occurs likewise in natural 
stations ; and the numerous mosses, which in the North 
grow on roofs of houses, are found on the ground, on 
rocks, and on the bark of trees." 

This German writer, following Schouw's division, 
enumerates as board or plank plants those which grow 
on wooden palings and similar places. Such are the 
lichens, the Wall Parmeliaand Wall Lecanora; and these 
grow equally well on wood, or on stone walls, or rocks. 
On the garden-palings of other countries other plants 
prevail ; and Meyen says that in East Prussia there is 
seldom wanting on barn-doors a great quantity of the 
lichen Ramilina fraxinea, often six inches in length. 
The rubbish plants are such as grow in the vicinity of 
dwellings, as the Good King Henry, the Borage, and 
the Henbane, which are often found on heaps about 

4. S&DUM (Orpine and Stonecrop). 

* Leaves flat. 

1. S. TeUphium (Orpine, or Livelong). Leaves oval, 
often wedge-shaped at the base, seriated; flowers in 
crowded corymbs, interspersed with leaves ; stamens 10. 
Plant perennial. This is the largest of our British 
species of this genus, and has a very succulent stem, 
terminating, in July and August, with clusters of hand- 
some purple flowers. The stem is often two feet high, 
and spotted ; and the thick leaves at the upper part are 
in one variety rounded at the base, but in another all 
the leaves become narrow towards the stem. The 


Orpine is a generally dispersed plant, but not very 
abundant, occurring in field-borders, hedges, and bushy 
places. Its properties are slightly astringent, and the 
plant is boiled with milk and used medicinally. It is 
also sometimes pickled like Samphire, but is very inferior 
to that vegetable. 

The name of Livelong well denotes a peculiarity of 
this plant, which Spenser describes as 

' Cool Orpine growing still," 

for it not only continues fresh long after it is gathered' 
but if hung up in a room will continue to grow for some 
weeks as well as when in the earth. It seems to have 
been a very favourite flower of our ancestors, and we 
find it in the list of almost all accounts of such processions 
and floral ceremonies as occurred when it was in season 
It was one which was named in all the accounts given of 
the practices of Midsummer-eve, and it has the old 
name of Midsummer-men. Lyte, in his translation of 
" Dodoen's Herbal," says of the " Orpyne :" " The people 
of the countrey delight much to set it in pots and 
shelles on Midsummer even, or upon timber, slattes, or 
trenchers, daubed with clay, and so to set or hang it 
up in their houses, where as it remaineth greene a long 
season, and groweth if it be sometimes oversprinkled 
with water. It flouretli most times in August." Many 
foolish and superstitious practices were connected with 
it, for it was a kind of love charm ; and they appear to 
have been sometimes used even in later days, for Hannah 
More alludes to one, in one of her tracts, relating of 
a young country girl, that she would never go to bed on 


Midsummer-eve without putting up in her room a piece 
of the plant called Midsummer-men, as the bending the 
leaves to the right or to the left would indicate the con- 
stancy or faithlessness of the object of her thoughts. 

Sir Henry Ellis mentions that " A small gold ring was 
some years since found by the Rev. Dr. Bacon, of Wake- 
field, in a ploughed field near Cawood, in Yorkshire, 
which had for its device two Orpine plants joined in. 
a true love-knot, with this motto above, ' Ma fiance velt' 
that is, ' My betrothed wills, or is desirous/ The stalks 
of the plant inclined towards each other, intimating that 
those to whom it belonged expected to be united in 
marriage. The motto under the ring was ' Joye I' amour 
feu. ' ' The Society of Antiquaries, to whom it was 
exhibited, judged from the form of the letters that it 
was a ring of the fifteenth century. 

2. S. EJiodiola (Rose-root Stonecrop). Leaves ob- 
long, flat, smooth, and toothed ; flowers having stamens 
and pistils on different plants. Plant perennial. This 
Rose-root Stonecrop, which much resembles the Orpine, 
formerly constituted the genus called Rhodiola. It is 
a succulent, broad-leaved plant, stouter than the Orpine, 
but with its stem shorter, and rarely more than a foot in 
height. Its flowers expand in June, and are of greenish 
yellow colour. The roots are thick and knotted, and 
have, when dried, a sweet odour, resembling that of the 
Rose. The plant is abundant on mountains and cliffs 
in Scotland and Ireland, and also at the North of 
England. The root is used by the Greenlanders as an 
esculent vegetable. 


* * Leaves scarcely if at all flattened. Flowers white 
or reddish. 

3. S. Anglicum (English Stonecrop). Leaves egg- 
shaped, fleshy, spurred at the base beneath, sessile; 
cymes few-flowered ; petals very sharply pointed. Plant 
annual. This species, though small, is one of the 
prettiest of the genus, when, in July, its white star-like 
flowers, with reddish purple anthers, are expanded on 
the rocky sandy soils. The leaves, which are chiefly 
placed alternately, are small and thick, of a sea-green hue, 
often tinged with red ; and the stems, which are at first 
prostrate, afterwards become about three or four inches 
high. On the western shores of Scotland this Stone- 
crop often enlivens by its green masses and flowers the 
stony sea-beaches. It has much of the general appear- 
ance of the Common Biting Stonecrop, only that its 
flowers are not yellow, and it often grows with it, as 
Bishop Mant has said : 

" See on the inland garden's bound, 
Or antique battlemented mound, 
Which girds some castle's steep aloof, 
Or lowly peasant's peaceful roof, 
The Stonecrop spreads a mantle bright, 
Like cloth of gold, or silver white, 
Powder'd with spots of garnet red." 

4. S. album (White Stonecrop). Leaves oblong, cylin- 
drical, blunt, scattered ; cymes much-branched, and 
drooping when in bud. Plant perennial. This species, 
which is not common, does not appear to be truly wild. 
It is a somewhat taller and less thick plant than the last, 


and its white flowers, which are produced in July and 
August, are destitute of the bright purple colour which 
tinges the anthers of the English Stonecrop. The 
foliage has, however, the same glaucous hue, often 
stained with red. It grows on rocks and walls in various 
counties of England, and is more general on garden 
walls and on outhouses, where it was probably cultivated, 
than on any other spots. 

5. S. dasypliyllum (Thick-leaved Stonecrop). Leaves 
fleshy, almost globular, and opposite, except on the 
flowering stems ; flowers in panicles ; petals egg-shaped 
and blunt. Plant perennial. This is a doubtful native, 
found occasionally on walls and rocks in various parts of 
England, and in one or two places in Scotland and 
Ireland. It is a small plant, having leaves of pale green 
tinged with red, and its rose-coloured flowers blooming 
in June and July. 

6. S. vittosum (Hairy Stonecrop). Leaves scattered, 
oblong, and flattened above, and,. as well as the stems 
and flower-stalks, hairy. This, too, is a small species of 
Stonecrop, not common in all parts of the kingdom, 
though frequent in Scotland and the North of. England. 
It would easily be distinguished, in a family of plants 
remarkable for their smooth foliage, by its hairy stems 
and leaves, which are also clammy to the touch. Its 
stems are about two or three inches high, and of purplish 
colour ; and the flowers, which appear in June and July, 
are of a pale pink hue. 

VOL. ii. 


* * * Leaves scarcely or nor at all flattened ; flowers 

7. S. acre (Biting Stonecrop). Leaves egg-shaped, 
fleshy, spurred at the base, sessile ; cymes 3-cleffc, leafy ; 
petals pointed ; sepals blunt, swollen at the base. Plant 
perennial. This is a very common wild flower, growing 
on walls and tiles of houses, as well as on dry sandy 
slopes and heaths. From its frequency on the cottage- 
roof it sometimes shares with the Sempervivum the name 
of House-leek, and is apparently the plant alluded to in 
Clare's lines : 

" Home, however homely, thoughts of thee 

Can never fail to cheer the absent breast : 
How oft wild raptures have been felt by me 

When back returning weary and distrest; 
How oft I 've stood to see the chimney pour 

Thick clouds of smoke in columns lightly blue, 
And close beneath the House-leek's yellow flower, 

While fast approaching to a nearer view." 

The Dutch call this Stonecrop HuislooJc, and the 
Spaniards term it Uvas de gato. It well deserves, in 
common with most of the species, its name of Stone- 
crop, for it is often abundant on stony barren places, 
being well fitted for such soils by its succulent nature. 
Plants of this kind, like the Aloe and the Cactus, are 
designed to inhabit exposed and dry places, and some- 
times to experience not only the heat of a scorching sun, 
but also a long season of drought. They are, therefore, 
provided by the Creator of the Universe not only with 
a large mass of juicy material, but the thin skin, or 
cuticle, which covers every part of them, is adapted to 


admit of ready absorption and tardy perspiration. It is 
this which enables the Livelong and several others of 
the species to live and grow when separated from the 
root. One of these succulent leaves, as that of an Aloe, 
will, when partly dry, again become plump in a few 
hours if plunged into water. 

The Biting Stonecrop is very similar to some others 
of the yellow flowering species, but even when not in 
bloom it may be known from all others by the mode in 
which its short thick leaves are arranged on its barren 
stems, where they crowd so closely as to overlap each 
other. Country people call it Small House-leek, Prick 
Madam, Gold Chain, and Wall Pepper, the last name 
being merited by its pungent flavour; indeed, it should 
be tasted with caution, as its juice is acrid enough to 
blister the tongue. It was a plant much in use among 
the old herbalists, both as an outward application, and 
also, when boiled in beer, as a remedy in pestilential 
fevers. They deemed it an " expeller of poisons," and 
it stood pre-eminent among simples as a cure for ague. 
This species is the Trique Madame of the French. 

8. S. sexangul&re (Tasteless Yellow Stonecrop). 
Leaves linear, blunt, rounded, and spurred at the base ; 
cymes 3-cleft, and smooth ; sepals acute, not swollen at the 
base. Plant perennial. This species is a very doubtful 
native, found rarely on old walls, as on those of Green- 
wich Park. The leaves are much longer than in the last 
species, and arranged in six rows on the barren shoots. 

9. S. reflexum (Crooked Yellow Stonecrop). Leaves 
awl-shaped, scattered, spurred at the base, convex on 
both sides ; flowers in cymes ; sepals egg-shaped, rather 


acute. Plant perennial. A variety of this kind, which 
has more slender leaves and is of glaucous hue, is 
termed by some botanists S. glaucum. It is described 
as growing on some dry hills near Mildenhall, Suffolk, 
and on some other spots, but it is doubted if it is truly 
distinct from the ordinary form of the plant. Its leaves 
are described as not spreading, whereas in the general 
state of the Crooked Stonecrop they spread, and turn 
backwards. The flowering stems of this species are 
more slender and tough than those of any of the pre- 
ceding kinds ; they are from six to ten inches long. In 
July and August thick clusters of its bright yellow 
flowers are to be seen clothing many an old wall and 
sunny bank with golden beauty. Dr. George Johnston, 
remarking on its tenacity of life, says of this plant, 
" I pressed strongly, between dry papers, a specimen 
without radicles, and the flowers of which were not in 
the least expanded. The papers were changed every 
three or four days ; but at the end of as many weeks 
so far was life from being extinct, that it had protruded 
many white root-fibres, from one to two inches long, 
and the flowers had fully expanded themselves." 

10. 8. rnpestre (St. Vincent's Rock Stonecrop). 
Leaves slightly flattened, spurred at the base, and 5 in 
a whorl, those of the barren branches overlapping each 
other; flowers in corymbs. Plant perennial. This 
species opens its flowers during June and July, not 
only on the St. Vincent's and Cheddar rocks, but also 
on walls about Darlington, and in some places in Wales. 
It is very nearly allied to the last, differing chiefly in its 
more flattened leaves. 


11. S. Forsteridnum (Welsh Rock Stonecrop). 
Leaves flattened, spurred at the base, those of the 
barren branches spreading in many rows. Plant peren- 
nial. This species flowers in June and July, on rocks 
near waterfalls in Wales. The short, erect, densely 
leafy, barren stems, forming little rose-like tufts, are its 
chief characteristics, but some botanists doubt if it is 
essentially distinct from the preceding. 


Calyx growing from, the summit of the ovary, 4 or 5 
cleft ; petals 4 5, small, inserted at the mouth of the 
calyx-tube, and alternating with the stamens ; ovary 
1-celled, with the young seeds arranged in two opposite 
rows ; style 2 4-cleft ; berry crowned with the withered 
calyx, pulpy, containing stalked seeds among the pulp. 
This Order consists of shrubs with or without thorns, 
and with simple lobed alternate leaves, plaited while in 
bud. The woody stems and branches are round, or 
irregularly angled. The species grow only in the tem- 
perate parts of the world. 

1. RIBES (Currant and Gooseberry). Calyx 5-cleft; 
petals 5, inserted at the mouth of the calyx-tube ; 
stamens 5 ; berry many-seeded, crowned by the withered 
calyx. Name given in ancient times by the Arabians to 
a species of Rhubarb. 


1. RIBES (Currant and Gooseberry). 
* Flowers 1 3 together ; branches thorny. 
1. R. grossul&ria (Gooseberry). Leaves rounded and 
lobed; flower-stalks short, hairy, 1 3-flowered, with 
a pair of small bracts ; thorns either single, err two or 
three together. Among the many kinds of Gooseberry 
which are cultivated in our gardens few are preferred for 
their fruits to the varieties of this common species. The 
plant grows in many woods and hedges, though it does 
not seem to be truly wild. Rough and smooth, green, 
red, and yellow gooseberries may, many of them, claim 
this common species as their parent. From very early 
times the gooseberry has been much cultivated in this 
country, and it was by our forefathers called Feaberry. 
Mr. T. Hudson Turner says, " The earliest notice of the 
gooseberry which I have found is in the fourth year of 
Edward L, 1276, when plants of this genus were pur- 
chased for the king's garden at Westminster ; but as it 
is an indigenous fruit, we may infer that it was known 
at a remote time, though probably only in a wild state." 
Tusser, who wrote his work on Husbandry in the time 
of Henry VIII., says : 

" The barbery, respis, and gooseberry too, 
Look now to be planted as other things doe ; * 

and Lord Bacon, writing about fifty years after Tusser, 
says, " The earliest fruits are strawberries, cherries, 
gooseberries, and corrans ; and after them, early apples, 
early pears, apricots, and rasps ; and after them, dami- 
sons, and most kind of plums, peaches, &c. j and the 
latest are apples, wardens, grapes, nuts, quinces, sloes 


biierberries, medlers, services, cornelians, &c." The par- 
tiality of the English for gooseberries is commented on 
in the French " Encyclopedic des Sciences." One of the 
writers of the work says, " A great number of goose- 
berries are consumed in Holland and in England, and 
one sees in London, during the season of these fruits, 
nothing but gooseberry pies. One must admit, how- 
ever, that this fruit is well adapted to ameliorate the 
muriatic and alkaline acrimony of the English diet. In 
France it is only women and children, or country people, 
who eat gooseberries." One reason, however, for their 
being less eaten may be found in the inferiority of the 
fruits when cultivated in France, or, indeed, in any 
warm climate. Even the English gooseberry is inferior 
to the fruit of Scotland, and, provided there is warmth 
enough for ripening, the flavour seems to increase with 
the coldness of the climate where it is grown. In the 
South of Europe the fruit is so small and tasteless that 
it is quite neglected. 

In England every cottage- garden can boast its goose- 
berry-bush, and, as Bishop Mant has said, 

" Tis pleasant on each hardy tree, 
Currant or prickly gooseberry, 
Along the hawthorn's level line, 
Or bush of fragrant eglantine, 
Bramble or pithy elder pale, 
Or larch or -woodbine's twisted trail, 
Or willow lithe, a flush of green 
To note, with light transparent screen 
At intervals the branches hide, 
Of vegetable gauze, till wide 
It spreads, and thickens to the eye, 
A close-wove veil of deeper dye." 


The gooseberry-leaf is, indeed, among the earliest of 
spring verdure. In France it is much more common in 
the hedges than with us ; and from the beginning of 
March the plant may be seen winding its branches 
among the bushes and enlivening the dreary season. 
" In the month of April," says the French writer in 
L'Encyclopedie des Sciences, " it attracts by its flowers 
crowds of bees ; its foliage is very thick then, though 
other shrubs are just putting forth their leaves, so that 
it is an excellent plant for decking spring arbours. 
I have a hedge which borders one of the paths of my 
April bower, in front of which I have planted primroses, 
violets, and auriculas, which contrast agreeably with 
the green background, and form a most graceful coup 
d'ceil" The leaf-stalks of the gooseberry are said by 
Professor Lindley to be beautiful objects beneath the 
microscope, on account of the delicate border of half- 
transparent hair-like fringe, which, when magnified, 
looks like the most brilliant needle-shaped crystals. 

The Lancashire gooseberries are the best which are 
grown in our country, and the names of several well- 
known varieties indicate that they were cultivated by 
working-men. All true lovers of their country must 
rejoice to see the hard-toiling weaver or collier resorting 
at the close of the day to his little garden, training his 
plants with care and skill, and striving to gain the prize 
to be given at the Gooseberry Show for the heaviest 
gooseberry. The Jolly Miner, Jolly Painter, Lancashire 
Lad, and many another good fruit has originated thus, 
and was the result of industry. These gooseberries 
were reared by men who loved their homes and families, 


men of regular and orderly habits, mostly of lowly 
birth, but often of elevated feeling and Christian worth ; 
for the lovers of plants and the skilful cultivators of 
cottage plots are not usually found among the idle and 
dissipated of mankind. Gooseberry-bushes often attain 
great age and considerable size. At Duffield, near 
Derby, there was, about twenty years since, a bush well 
known to be at least forty-six years old, the branches of 
which extended twelve yards in circumference ; and in 
the garden of Sir Joseph Banks at Overton Hall, near 
Chesterfield, there were two very large bushes, which 
had been trained against a wall, and which measured 
each upwards of fifty feet across. A writer in the 
" Gardener's Chronicle " remarks of a gooseberry plant, 
" It is surprising what efforts some plants, or parts of 
plants, will make to save as it were their lives when dis- 
eases or serious accidents befall them. A branch of 
a gooseberry, trained against a wall, became diseased 
near the ground, and began to die upwards gradually ; 
but the top of the branch made a struggle for life, and 
threw out roots into the wall between the joints of the 
bricks, and in that dry situation found means to support 
itself; the dead wood was cut out, and the living part 
left near the top of the wall, and there it remains a 
living plant." 

Gooseberries are of various colours white, yellow, 
green, and red. Some of our richest flavoured fruits 
are of the yellow kind ; the red gooseberries are usually 
more acid than the others, but there are many varieties 
in all the colours. We need not comment on their 
uses for tarts, puddings, and preserves. The fresh fruits 



are valuable additions to the dessert, and a sparkling 
wine of crystal clearness, known in country places as 
English champagne, is made of the gooseberry. The 
Pecten acid, the vegetable jelly of the older chemists, 
was also prepared from this fruit. 

The groseille of the French as well as our own goose- 
berry have been variously accounted for by etymologists. 
Some think that the English name was derived from 
gorse and berry, because of the prickly shrub on which 
the fruit grows. Professor Burnett thinks that both the 
French and English words are corruptions of groisor gross 
berry ; and Skinner considers that the plant was called 
gooseberry because the fruits were used as sauce for the 
goose. Gerarde calls them Feaberries, and in Norfolk 
the fruits were called feabes. This author remarks, 
" The fruit is used in divers sawces for meate ; they are 
used in brothes instead of verjuyce, which maketh the 
broth not onely pleasant to the taste, but is greatly pro- 
fitable to such as are troubled with a hot burning 

* * Flowers in clusters : branches without thorns. 

2. R. rubrum (Red Currant). Clusters drooping; 
bracts very small ; leaves with five blunt lobes. Plant 
perennial. Several varieties of this plant are found 
apparently wild, in one of which the flowering clusters 
are erect, but the fruit is pendulous; and in another 
both flowers and fruit are upright ; but in the ordinary 
form of the plant both flowers and fruit hang drooping 
from the bough. The shrub, though found growing 


without culture in many parts of this kingdom, especially 
in hedges near houses, is hardly to be considered as 
truly wild, though some writers are of opinion that this 
is a native fruit. In Dodoen's " History of Plants," 
translated by Lyte in 1578, it is called the red beyond- 
sea gooseberry ; and in France one of the modern names 
for the currant is Groseille d'outre mer. The French 
also call currants Groseittes en grappes, and the plant is 
termed in Germany Gemeine Johannisbeere. The old 
writers classed it with the gooseberry, for Gerarde says, 
" We have also in our London gardens another sort of 
gooseberry altogether without prickes, whose fruit is 
verie small, lesser by much than the common kinde, but 
of a perfect red colour, wherein it differeth from the rest 
of his kinde." Our English name doubtless owes its 
origin to the dried seedless grape of the Levant, which 
was called currant from Corinth, for our plant was 
formerly thought to be the Corinthian grape degenerated. 
The white and flesh-coloured fruits, so common in gar- 
dens, are but varieties of the red species. Their plea- 
sant acid flavour is the consequence of the malic acid 
found in their juice, and mixed with sugar the fruit is of 
much value for domestic uses. The berries are refri- 
gerant, and form a wholesome refreshment at that season 
of the year when juicy fruits are needed to counteract 
the effects produced on the system by the heat of the 
atmosphere. Being a hardy shrub, the currant is valu- 
able to the cottager ; and when trained against a wall, 
and bearing in profusion its ruby clusters, which sparkle 
among the green leaves, it is as ornamental as it is 
useful. The red currant, besides having many other 


uses, is of great value for jellies, and the white and red 
currant were formerly used in wine, when home-made 
wines were more general than they now are. The 
wine is, however, too acid to be very wholesome. This 
plant was some years since grown to a great extent 
in Kent, Essex, and Worcestershire, the best-flavoured 
fruits being produced by plants which were reared in an 
open situation. It is wild, in more or less abundance, 
in all the colder countries of Europe, and is cultivated 
in gardens in the more southern countries. 

3, R. alpinum (Tasteless Mountain Currant). Sta- 
mens and pistils on separate plants, branches angled, 
leaves shining beneath ; clusters of flowers and fruit 
erect ; bracts longer than the flowers. Plant perennial. 
This currant grows in the woods and hedges at the 
north of England, but is scarcely wild in Scotland. 
Both leaves and flowers are very small. The currants 
are red. It is in flower in April and May. 

4. R. nigrum (Black Currant). Clusters loose, droop- 
ing, with a single-stalked flower at the base of each ; 
calyx downy; leaves sharply 3 5-lobed, dotted with 
glands beneath. Plant perennial. This species is found in 
woods and by river-sides in various places, and though 
probably not a native of Britain, the time of its intro- 
duction is unknown. It is quite a distinct species, and 
has no tendency to produce varieties. In Kent its fruit 
is commonly called gazel, and we find it so termed by 
writers of the sixteenth century ; but Coles, writing in 
1657, says the white currant was in Kent called gozill. 
It is a very common plant in the woods of Russia and 
Siberia, where wine is made of the berries only, or is 


fermented with honey, and sometimes with some spirit- 
uous liquor. In England the flavour of the black cur- 
rant is not liked so well as that of the red, and it is not 
used for wine, and but little for tarts and confectionary, 
but the jelly and lozenges made of the fruit are valuable 
medicines in affections of the throat. The leaves have 
a strong odour, unpleasant to most persons, yet well 
liked by the natives of Siberia, who mingle them with 
a spirit, to which they are considered to impart a deli- 
cious flavour. They are often mixed with green tea in 
country places, and they are said to be one of the sub- 
stances used by those who adulterate that article, and 
perhaps are among the most innocent ingredients em- 
ployed for the purpose. The fruits are considered tonic 
and stimulating, and the wood and leaves partake of 
these properties. The berry is the largest of our currants, 
and is black and glossy. Some very pretty currant 
shrubs are cultivated in gardens. The common red- 
flowered currant (JR. sanguined), and the sweet-scented 
yellow currant (R. aured), are among the gayest of our 
garden flowers in March and April. 


Calyx of 4 5 sepals united at the base ; petals equal- 
ling the sepals in number, inserted between the sepals, 
rarely wanting j stamens 5 10 ; ovary of 2 united car- 
pels ; styles 2, usually spreading in opposite directions ; 


capsule 2-celled, opening in the inside ; seeds numerous. 
This Order consists chiefly of herbaceous plants, with 
alternate, rarely opposite leaves. The species con- 
tain no very important properties, though some British 
plants are slightly astringent, and some foreign species 
are more so. The Heucheria Americana, a plant of this 
Order, is commonly called Alum-root from its astrin- 
gency ; and several species of Weinmannia are employed 
in the manufacture of leather, as well as in the adultera- 
tion of Peruvian bark. The genus Saxifraga is a very 
extensive one. It yields some mucilage, but its greatest 
worth is the beauty of its flowers, which often adorn 
lofty mountains, or in other cases deck the barren wall 
or rock. They are frequently the most lovely objects in 
Alpine wildernesses, flowering with the blue Gentians 
in spots almost inaccessible to the traveller, and giving 
by their leaves an almost perpetual verdure to barren 
soils. Some species grow on marshes or by river-sides. 

1. SAXIFRAGA (Saxifrage). Calyx in 5 divisions; 
petals 5 ; stamens 10 ; styles 2 ; capsule 2-celled, 
2-beaked, opening between the beaks ; seeds numerous. 
Name from saxum, a stone, and frango, to break, pro- 
bably from some species growing among the crevices 
of rocks. 

2. CHRYSOSPLNIUM (Golden Saxifrage). Catyx\\\& 
divisions; petals none; stamens 8, rarely 10; styles 2; 
capsules 2, beaked. Name from the Greek, ckrysos, 
gold, and splen, the spleen, from some imagined virtues 
of the plant. 


1. SAxfpRAGA (Saxifrage). 
* Calyx reflexed, inferior ; flowers whitish, panicled. 

1. S. stelldris (Starry Saxifrage). Leaves oblong, 
wedge-shaped, toothed, scarcely stalked ; panicles of few 
flowers. Plant, perennial. This plant grows on moun- 
tainous places by the sides of rivulets, or on wet rocks 
in Scotland, England, and the north of Ireland. It is 
from two to five inches high, its leaves having large 
roundish notches at their edges. The flowers expand in 
June and July. They are large and white, with two 
yellow spots at the base of each petal. 

2. 8. Geum (Kidney-shaped Saxifrage). Leaves 
roundish and kidney-shaped, sharply toothed, or having 
rounded notches ; foot-stalks hairy, linear, and chan- 
nelled above ; leaves in one form hairy on both sides, in 
a second variety smooth on both sides. Plant peren- 
nial. This species is very nearly allied to the next, but 
it may be distinguished by its kidney-shaped leaves. It 
flowers in June,, and is common on mountains in the 
south of Ireland. Its ordinary form has the leaves 
sharply toothed, but there are several hybrids found 
in its neighbourhood, which have by botanists been 
described as distinct species. The chief of them is a plant 
formerly called Hairy Saxifrage (S. hirsiltd}, which has 
slightly hairy, oval, dark green leaves, scarcely cordate 
at the base, and which appears to be intermediate 
between this and the next species. It is common on the 
Gap of Dunloe, in Kerry. The Kidney-shaped Saxi- 
frage varies not only in the amount of hairiness, but 


also in respect of size, and in the degree in which the 
margin of the leaf is toothed. 

3. S. umbrosa (London Pride). Leaves roundish 
oval, with white cartilaginous notches, tapering at the 
base into a flat foot-stalk. Plant perennial. This beau- 
tiful little flower is well known as one of the few which 
will bear unhurt the smoke of large cities. It grows 
well in London, flourishing not only in the squares and 
open parts of the great city, where many hardy flowers 
may be found, but cheering also some of the gloomy 
little spots at the backs of houses in densely populated 
neighbourhoods. One sighs at the sight of these small 
plots, though glad that when even the " mournful mint" 
seemed injured by the sooty mist gathered about it, yet 
the London Pride survived all the ills of its condition, 
and perchance soothed some care-worn heart by its 
cheerful flower. Bishop Mant thus alludes to this and 
another plant : 

" Its disk of white on upland wolds 
The pretty Saxifrage unfolds, 
With lucid spots of crimson pied, 
Hence brought, and hail'd the City's Pride ; 
And yellow rose-root yields its smell 
From Cambrian crag or Cumbrian fell, 
Or Kachlin's lone basaltic isle." 

This Saxifrage is said to be found wild on the moun- 
tains of Ireland, and has there the common name of St. 
Patrick's Cabbage. It is also called None so Pretty, and 
the old nameof Queen Anne's Needlework was doubtless 
given from the delicate red spots traced on its white 
petals, and which to some of the embroiderers, who in 
those days practised the mysteries of "tent work, raised 


work, laid work, frost work, Irish stitch, fern stitch, 
Spanish stitch, rosemary stitch," and many another stitch 
suggested the remembrance of some one of their mani- 
fold traces and devices. Parkinson writing of it in 
1629 terms it Sedum, and says, " Some of our English 
gentlewomen have called it Prince's Feather, which, 
although it be but a by-name, may well serve for this 
plant to distinguish it." 

The London Pride is rare in England, though found 
in woods at Wetherby and at Craven, in Yorkshire. 
The Rev. W. T. Bree, commenting on this plant, says, 
" Mr. Lees informs us that Sageifraga umbrosa may now 
be found on some of the rocks at Malvern ; but he very 
properly assigns to it a garden origin. Some years since, 
while touring in Yorkshire, I was at no small pains in 
endeavouring to meet with this plant in a truly wild 
state, and with this view visited the spot (Hestleton 
Gill) so minutely pointed out as its habitat in ' English 
Botany.' The result, however, of my examination was 
only an increased doubt as to the species being even in 
this sequestered spot really of spontaneous growth. It 
has been confidently asserted that the species occurs 
wild in Ireland ; but erroneously, I believe, unless 
indeed the discovery has been made of late years. The 
London Prides which grow unquestionably wild, and so 
profusely adorn the rocks and mountains of Kerry, that 
is, the Gap of Dunloe, and the rocks near Killarney, are 
not Saxifraga umbrosa, but some allied species, be they 
two (S. Geum and hirsuta) or more, with their perplexing 
host of endless varieties; and I very much doubt 
whether any truly wild habitat for Saxifraga umlrosa 

VOL. u. Y T 


be yet known, either in Ireland, England, or even Scot- 
land ; or, indeed, whether the plant be in fact originally 
indigenous. Ireland is the proper country of the Eobert- 
sonice, by which name the London Pride family of the 
Saxifrage genus is now often distinguished. In some 
parts of that country they grow in astonishing pro- 
fusion ; but among all the countless varieties which are 
to be met with, I never could see in a wild state any 
one that could be mistaken by. a botanist for the true 
S. umlrosa" Our best writers on British plants, as 
Professor Hooker, Dr. Arnott, and Mr. Babington, all 
agree with the opinion that the plant is not indigenous. 
Besides the places named, it grows about Edinburgh 
and Glasgow. Several varieties occur of this species, 
several of which are regarded by some botanists as dis- 
tinct species. Such a one is the plant called S, elegans, 
which grows on the Turk mountain, and which has 
round, smooth, shining serrated leaves, with foot-stalks 
which are broad, flat, and serrated beneath. The type 
of the species has smooth leaves, longer than they are 
broad, with the teeth either blunt or short, and pointed, 
but the varieties differ much in the toothing, as well as 
in the form of the leaves. 

* * Calyx spreading ; leaves not divided. 
4. & nwalis (Clustered Alpine Saxifrage). Leaves all 
from the root, inversely egg-shaped, sharply crenate; 
calyx half-inferior ; foivers in a crowded head. Plant 
perennial. This Alpine species is from three to six 
inches high, and has large white flowers growing in 
a compact cluster. It is frequent among the clefts of 


the high mountains of Wales and Scotland. Linnaeus 
stated that this Alpine Saxifrage flowered in the regions 
of eternal snow ; and later botanists have occasionally 
detected a prolific vegetation existing even under the 
snow of Arctic regions. Dr. Hooker mentions that 
whilst at Terra del Fuego he had observed Pernettya 
mucronata in full bloom in a spot from which the snow 
had been accidentally removed. A plant, considered by 
Sir Wm. Hooker and Dr. Arnott as nearly allied to 
S. nivdlis, though by some botanists considered to be a 
monstrous form of S. umbrosa, has been called S. An- 
drewsii. It is described as having narrow leaves, with 
a membranaceous margin, tapering at the base into a 
slightly hairy foot-stalk ; sepals spreading, oblong, and 
blunt ; petals broad and dotted, thrice as long as the 
calyx. It was found by Mr. Andrews on the Head of 
Glen Caragh, Kerry, on some moist cliffs. 

5. 8. aizoides (Yellow Mountain Saxifrage). Leaves 
very narrow, fleshy, fringed, the lower ones crowded on 
the stem, the upper scattered ; stem branched, prostrate 
below; capsule half-superior. Plant perennial. This 
beautiful Saxifrage, though absent from our lowland 
meadows, is very abundant On mountains, especially 
near streams and rills. It is found in the North of 
England, Wales, and Scotland, having in June and 
July bright yellow flowers, spotted with reddish orange 
colour. The plant is sometimes called Aizoon-like 
Saxifrage, or Sengreen Saxifrage. 

6. S.Hirculus (Yellow Marsh Saxifrage). Stem erect ; 
leaves lanceolate, those from the root tapering into a 
leaf-stalk ; calyx inferior, fringed at the margin ; petals 


obtuse, with two callous points near the base. Plant 
perennial. This species differs from the last, in having 
its flowers solitary, or nearly so. They are large and 
handsome, of bright yellow, spotted with scarlet, and 
are produced from August to September. The stem is 
from four to eight inches in height, the upper part is 
downy. The species, which is very rare, is found on 
wet moors, and is very plentiful on a moorland near 
Langton-Lees Farm, in Berwickshire. 

7. S. oppositifolia (Purple Mountain Saxifrage). 
Leaves egg-shaped, fringed, opposite, and closely crowded, 
so as to overlap each other ; flowers solitary, terminal. 
Plant perennial. A lovely mountain-flower is this Saxi- 
frage, occurring both in Alpine and Arctic situations, 
fearless of snow or frost, and opening its rich purple 
blossoms in May and June. Its habit is unlike that of 
our other Saxifrages, as it forms straggling tufts on the 
moist Alpine rocks in the North of England, and on 
Snowdon and other Welsh mountains, though its most 
frequent place of growth in this kingdom is the High- 
land mountains. The Scotsman, accustomed to see it 
on his native heights, has joyed to meet it on the Arctic 
shores, where there were few plants to remind him of 
home. Not but that Arctic plants are in some spots 
numerous and brilliant too in the hue of flower and 
foliage, though there is less variety than in other lands, 
because of the fewer families of plants which vegetate 
there. Accustomed, as most persons have long been, to 
consider the regions of the Polar Seas as drear and 
almost flowerless, one is surprised to see such a plate as 
that prefixed to Dr. Sutherland's work on these regions, 


where large and gorgeous flowers are grouped together. 
True it is that there are vast dreary barren tracts, covered 
only with incredible quantities of lichens, making a walk 
over the dried and crusty surface during summer 
a weary labour, while the eye is rarely gladdened by 
seeing here and there some dark fir or dwarfed birch- 
tree. Yet there are seasons and spots where wild flowers 
vary the scene ; nor is the green turf altogether wanting, 
where, as Dr. Sutherland tells us, the chubby Esqui- 
maux takes his childish pastime, rolling on the green 
spots which Nature has provided for him, watching 
with his bow and arrows, and the cunning eye of a 
sportsman, the ill-fated mouse or lemming that may 
have lost its hole in the grassy banks, or gathering the 
Chickweed (Cerdstium alplnuni) which grows among the 
foxtail grass. In such, regions the flowers of the Purple 
Saxifrage must afford delight to the traveller. "The 
most beautiful plant that one could see in a whole day's 
walking around Assistance Bay," says Dr. Sutherland 
" was the Spider plant (Saxifraga flagellaris}, so called 
from its striking resemblance to a large spicier when it 
first appears above the surface, before the stem begins 
to rise from the spherical arrangement of the leaves, or 
the flagella3 begin to creep to any distance from among 
them to the soil around. This plant was rather late of 
coining into flower, but the Poppy was still later. The 
Ranunculus frigidus had a very beautiful little flower, 
but it did not bear comparison with those of the other 
two which have been mentioned. The Purple Saxifrage 
(8. oppositifolid] vied with, and perhaps in the estima- 
tion of some exceeded the Spider plant in beauty ; its 


chaste purple colour assisted this very much ; but I 'do 
not think that this, which is mere colour, admits of com- 
parison with the charm which is imparted to the other 
by its likeness to a creature so famous for its diligence." 
Lessing found in the Arctic zone, on the coast of 
Norway, in the meadows about Kunnea, a quantity of 
Purple Saxifrage, mingled with Moss Campion, Alpine 
Meadow Rue, Alpine Fleabane and Lady's Mantle, the 
Crowberry, the Small x Alpine Gentian, and the Alpine 
Milk Vetch ; while the sandy shores were green, like 
some of ours, with the Sandwort (Honclcenya peploides), 
The Pyramidal Saxifrage (Saxifraga cotyledon), which 
is the most beautiful of all the family, and which in 
spring adorns our garden with its white flowers, grows 
on the sides of some of the perpendicular precipices 
of Norway, and covers the borders of the ravines with 
multitudes of its starry blossoms. The peasant styles 
it Berg Kongen, or King of the Eock, which is a most 
appropriate name for this magnificent plant. Here, 
too, the Eoseroot Saxifrage grows in great abundance. 
Another of our garden species, Saxifraga crassifolia, 
is very common in Siberia and Upper Asia. Its 
leaves are used as a substitute for tea, and, growing 
on elevated spots, the plant is called by the Russians 
Tea Mountain. The leathery spongy leaves of this plant 
fall off after a time, when those only are gathered which 
are quite black. They require no preparation, and the 
tea made from them is described as having an astringent 
flavour like that of the Chinese tea, but the aromatic 
property is said to be wanting. 

r. woss v A.S . 

8 Gh '.t/.N'jV S. 


* * * Calyx spreading ; leaves divided. 

8. S. granuldta (White Meadow Saxifrage). Root- 
leaves kidney-shaped, with rounded lobes, stalked ; stem 
leaves nearly sessile, acutely lobed ; fowers panicled ; 
capsule partly inferior. Plant perennial. The large 
milk-white flowers of this species are by no means 
uncommon during May and June on hedge-banks, 
meadows, and pastures, especially where the soil is of 
gravel. The root gives its name to the species, being 
what botanists term granulated, and consisting of a 
number of small reddish, downy, round tubers. It is a 
pretty plant, with slender, leafy stems, ten or twelve 
inches in height. A double variety is a common garden 

9. 8. cernua (Drooping Bulbous Saxifrage). Root- 
leaves kidney-shaped on long stalks, palmate and lobed ; 
flowers solitary and terminal ; capsule superior. Plant 
perennial. This species is now almost extinct on the 
only recorded British habitat. Its place of growth is 
on rocks on the summit of Ben Lawers. It is remark- 
able for having small reddish bulbs in the axils of its 
upper leaves. The white flower appears on the slender 
drooping stem in July, but the plant rarely blossoms 
being mostly propagated by its bulbs. 

10. S. tridadyUtes (Rue-leaved Saxifrage). Leaves 
wedge-shaped, 3 5 cleft ; stem much branched ; flowers 
terminal, each on a single stalk ; capsule inferior. Plant 
annual. This little Saxifrage has small snowy-white 
flowers from April to July, on a stem two or three 
inches in height. It is very common on old walls., dry 


barren heaths, and the roofs of cottages in England, but 
it is rare in the west of Scotland and in the Highlands. 
The petals are so small as hardly to extend beyond the 
calyx. The foliage is of a rich green, turning red after 
flowering. It is thickly set with short hairs, terminated 
with red globules, which render it very clammy to the 
touch. It is a very elegant little plant. 

11. S. rivuldris (Alpine Brook Saxifrage). Leaves 
3 5 lobed, palmated, smooth, stalked ; stem slender, 
branched, downy ; flowers few ; bracts oblong ; capsule 
half inferior. This is a very scarce species, found in Scot- 
land on moist rocks near the summit of Ben Lawers and 
Ben Nevis, but not in abundance. The only spot where it 
is known to occur plentifully is on Loch-na-gar, Aber- 
deenshire. The flowers are white, and the root perennial. 

12. 8. hypnoides (Mossy Saxifrage). Barren shoots 
long, and usually prostrate ; root-leaves 3 -cleft, those of 
the shoots either undivided or 3-cleft, bristle-pointed, 
and more or less fringed ; segments of the calyx pointed. 
Plant perennial. This is an abundant and most variable 
species, its leaves assuming so many forms that the 
varieties have been described as species under several 
names. The flowers are white, expanding from May to 
July, on rocky mountainous situations in England, Scot- 
land, and Ireland. 

13. S. ccespitosa (Tufted Alpine Saxifrage). Barren 
shoots usually very short or wanting ; root-leaves crowded, 
fringed, 3 5 cleft, with obtuse lobes ; calyx segments 
blunt. In one variety the plant is larger, and in 
another smaller, but both without barren shoots. In 
this rare species the white flowers expand from May to 


July. It grows on mountains, and is probably but 
another form of the variable Mossy Saxifrage, and, like 
that, it has a perennial root. 

14. S. muscoides (Mossy Alpine Saxifrage). Barrett 
shoots very short, erect; root-leaves linear, blunt, and 
3 -cleft ; stem few-flowered ; calyx superior ; petals short, 
scarcely longer than the sepals. Perennial. This plant, 
which is said to have been found in the Highlands of 
Scotland, is a doubtful native. It has buff-coloured 
petals, expanding in May. 

15. S. fferanoides (Geranium Saxifrage). Barren 
shoots short ; leaves downy and glandular, lower ones, 
and those of the shoots, on very long foot-stalks, deeply 
3-cleft, the segments either cut or entire; calyx superior. 
Plant perennial. This Saxifrage is said to have been 
found on the Scottish mountains, but is a doubtful 

2. CHRYSOSPLNIUM (Golden Saxifrage). 

1. C. oppositifolium (Common Golden Saxifrage). 
Leaves opposite, roundish, heart-shaped, with rounded 
notches; flowers in small umbels. Plant perennial. 
This, one of our earliest flowering plants, is common by 
the sides of rivulets, and in wet woods. It is also fre- 
quent on some of the highest parts of the Highland 
mountains, near rills. Though a small plant it often 
grows in large quantities, and we have seen masses of it 
on bogs at Tunbridge Wells, looking quite beautiful as 
the sun shone on its small clusters of yellow flowers and 
yellowish green leaves, so that the plant was like 

VOL. Tl. Z Z 



a stream of gold among the greener mosses; while 
the water-wagtails were pecking at its young buds 
with great delight, and the willow wren singing a song 
of thankfulness for the loveliness of the heathy waste. 
This plant was renowned among the old herbalists for 
certain powers which they supposed it to possess, of 
removing melancholy and such maladies as were pre- 
sumed to arise from a disordered spleen. It cannot, 
however, have any powerful medicinal properties, for it 
is in common use as a salad in the Vosges, where the 
peasant terms it Cresson de roche. Its golden hue is 
alluded to in several of its European names. The 
French call it La Dorine. It is the Goldmilz of the 
German ; the Goudveil of the Dutch ; the Gylden steen- 
brek of the Danes; and the Gul stenbrdck of the 

2. C. alternifdlium (Alternate-leaved Golden Saxi- 
frage). Leaves alternate, lower ones somewhat kidney- 
shaped, upon very long foot-stalks; flowers generally with 
eight stamens. Plant perennial. This species, which is 
frequent in Scotland, is rather rare on the boggy lands 
of England. Its flat umbels of flowers are of a deep 
golden yellow. The stems are usually four or five 
inches in height, but in some places where the plant is 
luxuriant they are much higher, and it there overtops its 
frequent companion, the commoner Golden Saxifrage. 
The foot- stalks of the lower leaves of this species 
are very long, scarcely less than half the length of the 
stem. The stem, which is erect at the upper part, is 
often prostrate at the base. Sir Wm. Hooker and 
Dr. Arnott describe the common species as of a paler 


colour than this in all its parts, and it is so usually; but 
in some places, as in an alder copse on Reigate Heath, 
mentioned by Mr. Luxford, it appears that this is of the 
paler tint, and that the bright yellow green of its upper 
leaves, and the pale yellow flowers, contrast there with 
the darker green of C. opposilifolium. 



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000 663 034 7 

Pratt, Anne 

The flowering plants 
grasses, sedges, and ferns 
of Great Britain, and their 
allies, the club mosses 
peppervorts and horsetails. 


FT Pratt, Anne 

2 The flowering plants, 

grasses, sedges, and ferns 
of Great Britain, and their 
allies, the club mosses.