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THE GAELIC NAMES OF PLANTS. 




JOHN CAMERON 



THE GAELIC NAMES OF PLANTS 

(SCOTTISH, IRISH, AND MANX), 



COLLECTED AND ARRANGED IN SCIENTIFIC ORDER, WITH 

NOTES ON THEIR ETYMOLOGY, USES, PLANT 

SUPERSTITIONS, ETC., AMONG THE CELTS, 

WITH COPIOUS GAELIC, ENGLISH, 

AND SCIENTIFIC INDICES, 



JOHN ^CAMERON, 

SUNDERLAND. 



"What's in a name? that which we call a rose 
By any other name would smell as sweet." 

— Shakespeare. 



NEW AND REVISED EDITION. 



GLASGOW : 

JOHN MACKAY, "CELTIC MONTHLY" OFFICE, 

I BLYTHSWOOD DRIVE. 

1900. 

[All Sights Reserved.] 
Fo- 



" I study to bring forth some acceptable work : not striving to 
shew any rare invention that passeth * man's capacity, but to utter 
and receive matter of some moment known and talked of long ago, 
yet over long hath been buried, and, as it seemed, lain dead, for any 
fruit it hath shewed in the memory of man." — Church-ward, 1588. 



TO 

THE MEMORY 

OF 

MY DEAR WIFE 

I DEDICATE 



PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION. 



The Gaelic Names of Plants, reprinted from a series of articles 
in the ' Scottish Naturalist,' which have appeared during the last 
four years, are published at the request of many who wish to have 
them in a more convenient form. There might, perhaps, be 
grounds for hesitation in obtruding on the public a work of this 
description, which can only be of use to comparatively few ; but 
the fact that no book exists containing a complete catalogue of 
Gaelic names of plants is at least some excuse for their publication 
in this separate form. Moreover, it seemed to many able botanists 
that, both for scientific and philological reasons, it would be very 
desirable that an attempt should be made to collect such names as 
are still used in the spoken Gaelic of Scotland and Ireland, before 
it became too late by the gradual disappearance of the language. 
Accordingly the author undertook this task at the request of the 
Editor of the 'Scottish Naturalist,' Dr Buchanan Whyte, F.L.S. 
If the difficulties of its accomplishment had been foreseen, he 
would have hesitated to make the attempt; as it is, nearly ten 
years of his life have been occupied in searching through vocabu- 
laries, reading Irish and Scottish Gaelic, and generally trying to 
bring into order the confusion to which these names have 
been reduced, partly by the carelessness of the compilers of 
Dictionaries, and frequently by their botanical ignorance. To 
accomplish this, numerous journeys had to be undertaken among 
the Gaelic-speaking populations, in order, if possible, to settle dis- 
puted names, to fix the plant to which the name was applied, and 
to collect others previously unrecorded. 

In studying the Gaelic nomenclature of plants, it soon became 
evident that no collection would be of any value unless the Irish- 
Gaelic names were incorporated. Indeed when the lists supplied 
by Alexander Macdonald (Mac-Mhaighster-Alastair), published in 



Vlll PREFACE. 

his vocabulary in 1741, are examined, they are found to correspond 
with those in much older vocabularies published in Ireland. The 
same remark applies, with a few exceptions, to the names of plants 
in Gaelic supplied by the Rev. Mr Stewart of Killin, given in 
Lightfoot's ' Flora Scotica.' Undoubtedly, the older names have 
been preserved in the more copious Celtic literature of Ireland; it 
is certainly true that "In vetustd Hibernicd, fundamentum habet" 
the investigations of Professor O'Curry, O'Donovan, and others, 
have thrown much light on this as well as upon many other Celtic 
topics. The Irish names are therefore included, and spelt 
according to the various methods adopted by the different 
authorities ; this gives the appearance of a want of uniformity to 
the spelling not altogether agreeable to Gaelic scholars, but which, 
under the circumstances, was unavoidable. 

It was absolutely essential that the existing Gaelic names should 
be assigned correctly. The difficulty of the ordinary botanical 
student was here reversed : he has the plant but cannot tell the 
name — here the name existed, but the plant required to be found 
to which the name applied. Again, names had been altered from 
their original form by transcription and pronunciation ; it became 
a matter of difficulty to determine the root word. However, the 
recent progress of philology, the knowledge of the laws that govern 
the modifications of words in the brotherhood of European 
languages, when applied to these names, rendered the explanation 
given not altogether improbable. Celts named plants often from 
(1), their uses; (2), their appearance; (3), their habitats; (4), their 
superstitious associations, &c. The knowledge of this habit of 
naming was the key that opened many a difficulty. 

For the sake of comparison a number of Welsh names is given, 
selected from the oldest list of names obtainable — those appended 
to Gerard's 'Herbalist,' 1597. 

The author cannot sufficiently express his obligation to numerous 
correspondents in the Highlands and in Ireland for assistance in 
gathering local names ; without such help it would have been 
impossible to make a complete collection. Notably the Rev. A. 
Stewart, Nether Lochaber, whose knowledge of natural history is 
unsurpassed in his own sphere ; the Very Rev. Canon Bourke, 
Claremorris, who gave most valuable assistance in the Irish names, 
particularly in the etymology of many abstruse terms, his accurate 



PREFACE. IX 

scholarship, Celtic and classical, helping him over many a difficulty. 
Mr W. Brockie, an excellent botanist and philologist, who some 
years ago made a collection of Gaelic names of plants which was 
unfortunately destroyed, placed at the author's disposal valuable 
notes' and information relative to this subject; and lastly, the 
accomplished Editor of the ' Scottish Naturalist,' who, from its 
commencement, edited the sheets and secured the correct scientific 
order of the whole. 

With every desire to make this work as free from errors as 
possible, yet, doubtless, some have escaped attention ; therefore, 
any names omitted, any mistake in the naming of the plants, or 
any other fact tending towards the further elucidation of this sub- 
ject will be thankfully received for future addition, correction, or 
amendment. 

JOHN CAMERON. 
Sunderland, January, i88j. 



PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. 



This edition is largely extended by additional Gaelic, Irish, and 
Manx names of plants, the greatest care being taken to fix the exact 
scientific equivalents of the popular plant and flower names. 
Many more Irish names are added, mainly from Threlkeld's 
'Synopsis Stirpium Hibernicarum* (1728); also Manx names from 
list published in 'Yn Lioar Manninagh,' by Messrs. Moore, Quayle, 
Ralfe, Roeder, etc. ; other names are to be found in the Manx 
dictionaries, but they are not to be relied on. 

With respect to the etymologies of many of the Gaelic names 
the author rather suggests than maintains with much tenacity the 
infallibility of the etymologies given. A book that purposes to 
deal with the legends and superstitions of plants could not ignore 
altogether the popular idea of the meaning of the names. Not- 
withstanding the great results of recent Celtic scholarship, many 
terms are obscure and impossible of explanation. Dr Murray, of 
dictionary fame, in a recent speech said that the fact was, we knew 
very little about etymology and the way in which words had arisen. 
After the discovery of Sanskrit, it was fondly supposed that Aryan 
roots existed (if they could be found) for most of our words ; but 
this does not apply to all English or Gaelic words. 

This book aims at giving in a condensed form as much informa- 
tion as possible (regarding the subject from a Celtic point of view) 
of the legends, superstitions, plant lore, uses, medicinal value, and 
diffusion of the knowledge of simples among the Celtic peasantry. 
Clan badges have been re-examined and determined with more 
accuracy. The poetic quotations have been revised and errors 
corrected, thanks to Mr Henry Whyte (the well-known Fionn of 
Celtic literature), to whom the author, as well as all Gaelic 
scholars, is under a deep obligation. 



PREFACE. XI 

With this the author finishes his study of the ' Gaelic Names of 
Plants" — a subject that has occupied his spare time for many 
years. 

JOHN CAMERON. 
Sunderland, March, igoo. 



At the request of several of the subscribers, the publisher has 
inserted a portrait of the author, by Mr. R. E. Ruddock, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne. 



LIST OP SUBSCRIBERS, 



Aisbitt, R., Seaham Harbour 

Alder, Dr. , Sunderland 

Allan, William, M.P., D.L., Sunderland (2 copies) 

Arnott, Mrs., Blythswood Drive, Glasgow 

Barrett, F. T., for Mitchell Library, Glasgow 

Biggam, William, M.A., Sunderland 

Bowey, F. M., Sunderland 

Breckon, J. R., Sunderland 

Burgess, Captain A., Gairloch, Ross-shire 

Burns, Robert J., M.R.C.S , Sunderland 

Burns, William, J. P., Sunderland 

Cameron, Angus, Blair-Atholl (2 copies) 

Cameron, Archibald, Sunderland 

Cameron, A. E., Sunderland 

Cameron, C, New York, U.S.A. 

Cameron, C. J., Sunderland 

Cameron, D., Jersey City, U.S.A. 

Cameron, Donald A., Southland, New Zealand 

Cameron, E. G., Philadelphia, U.S.A. 

Cameron, H. R., Sunderland 

Cameron, Captain John, Fort William 

Cameron, J. W., New York, U.S.A. 

Cameron, Mrs., Hyde Park, London 

Cameron, Paul, Pitlochrie 

Cameron, Robert, M.P., London 

Cameron, T., New York, U.S.A. 

Campbell, Sir Duncan, of Barcaldine, Bart. 

Campbell, James A., of Barbreck 

Campbell, Miss S., Oude, India 

Chisholm, Mrs. Maria F., of Glassburn 

Christie, A., J.P., Falkirk 

Clark, D., Waipahi, Otago, New Zealand 



XIV LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 

Coates, John, Sunderland (2 copies) 
Colquhoun, Sir James, of Luss, Bart. 
Colquhoun, Niel Campbell, Glasgow 
Corder, Alexander, Sunderland 
Cowan, George, Edinburgh 
Cowell, R., Sunderland 

Davies, L. R., Sunderland 

Dempsey, Cormac, New York, U.S.A. 

Dewar, Rev. James, The Manse, Arroquhar 

Duffy, James, & Co., Booksellers, Dublin 

Dundee Free Library, Albert Institute (per J. Maclauchlan) 

Edward Pease Library, Darlington (per William Jarrow Smith) 

Fairless, Alderman, J. P., Sunderland 
Farquharson, Mrs., M. R. M. S., of Houghton 
Fenwick, J. C, L.R.C.P., Sunderland 
Fowler, Dr., Sunderland 

Gateshead Public Library (per H. E. Johnston) 
Gilhome, William, Sunderland 
Gordon, H. Panmure, London 
Gourley, Sir Edward, M.P., Sunderland 
Gowland, C. J., Sunderland 

Heron, Dr. Francis, Co. Dublin 

Hughes, Miss Maud, B.Sc, Holywell, North Wales 

Jacks, William, LL.D., Glasgow 
Joass, Rev. J. M., D.D., The Manse, Golspie 
Joicey, Sir James, Bart., Longhurst, Northumberland 
Kirtley, J. G., Sunderland 

Key, W., Sunderland 

Leeds Public Library (per Thomas W. Hand) 
Limmer, Professor H., Germany 
Lowe, Dr.. Sunderland 
Lyness, Robert C, Sunderland 

Macaulay, D. J., M.D., Halifax 

Mackay, Eneas, Stirling 

Mackay, J. G., C.C., Portree, Skye 

Mackay, Councillor William, Solicitor, Inverness 

Mackenzie, Rev. D. F., M.A., M.D., Langside Free Church, Glasgow 

Mackenzie, William, Church Street, Inverness 

Mackenzie, W. Dalziel, of Farr 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. XV 

Mackerchar, John, Treasurer, Gaelic Society of London 

Mackintosh, D. A. S., Bertrohill, Shettleston 

Mackintosh, Duncan, Secretary, Gaelic Society of Inverness 

Maclagan, R. C, M.D., Edinburgh 

Maclean, Alexander Scott, M.I.M.E., Greenock 

Maclennan, Rev. Malcolm, Edinburgh 

Macleod, Donald, H.M.I.S., Ancaster Drive, Glasgow 

Macleod, John N., Sunderland 

Macleod, Murdoch D., M.D., E. Yorks 

Macleod, Norman, Bookseller, Edinburgh (3 copies) 

MacNeill, Nicol, Argentine Republic 

NacNicol, John, Conispy, Islay 

Macrae, Charles M., M.D., Stornoway 

Macrae, Murdoch, Gairloch, Ross-shire 

Macrae-Gilstrap, Major John, Argyllshire 

Morrison, Hew, for Edinburgh Public Library 

Morison, Dr. W. M., Annfield Plains 

Newcastle-on-Tyne Public Library 

Newcastle-on-Tyne Literary and Philosophical Society (per Henry 

Richardson) 
Newton, G, Bournemouth 
Nicholson, John S., South Shields 

Potts, Edward, Sunderland 

Pierce, Ellis, Bookseller, Dolyddelen, North Wales 

Pyke, J., for Public Library, South Shields 

Ranken, C, F.C.S., Sunderland 
Reay, John, Sunderland 
Richardson, N., Sunderland 
Robertson, W. J., Manchester 
Robson, S., Sunderland 
Rule, John, Sunderland 

Sampson, Low, Marston & Co., London. 

Shaw, T. E. A. A., Sunderland 

Smith, Ralph, Sunderland 

Steel, Thomas, J. P., Sunderland 

Stewart, Colonel John Lome, of Coll 

Storey, Kelso, Sunderland 

Sunderland Public Library (per B. R. Hill) 

Vincent, C, Mus. Doc, New College, Oxford 
Vincent, G., Sunderland 
Vincent, William, Sunderland 



THE GAELIC NAMES OF PLANTS. 



EXO GEN S. 



RANUNCULACEjE. 

Thalictrum. — (0a\\.<!)$, thallbs, a green branch). 

Gaelic : rugh, rii, ruigh, | Rue (or plants resembling Ruta 

Irish: ruibh, ) graveolens.) See Gerard. 

T. alpinum. — Rii ailpeach: Alpine meadow-rue. 

T. minus. — Ru beag. Lesser meadow-rue. Rue is nearly the 
same in most of the ancient languages ; said to be from pvu>, tO' 
flow; Gaelic — ruith, flow, rush; their roots, especially T. flavum, 
possessing powerful cathartic qualities like rhubarb. Compare 
also ru, run, a secret, mystery, love, desire, grace. Welsh: runa, 
hieroglyphics (Runic). The Thalictrum of Pliny is supposed to 
be the meadow-rue. (See Freund's Lexicon.) 

" Oir a ta sibh a toirt deachaimh a moinnt, agus a rii, agus gach uile ghn& 
luibhean.' 1 — For ye tithes mint and rue, and all manner of herbs, 

Manx: yn lossery dy gkrayse. The herb of grace, used for 
sprinkling holy water. 

" I'll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace." — Shakespeare. 

The Rue of Shakespeare is generally supposed to be Ruta 
graveolens (Ru garaidh), a plant belonging to another order, and 
not indigenous. 

Hepatica. — Dike Aubrinn (Threl), dike is written for " Dtthean" 
and Aubrinn for " Abraoin " April, the April flower. It blooms' 
early in the Spring. 

Anemone nemorosa. — Wind-flower, Gaelic: pliir na gaoithe, 
wind-flower (Armstrong). Welsh: Uysiaur gwynt, wind-flower 
because some of the species prefer windy habitats. Irish : nead 
caillich, old woman's nest. Nead is an alteration of the old 
Irish neidh, the wind; and Cailleach, the first week in Spring — 
then the wind flower begins to bloom. Manx: /us ny geayee, 
wind wort. 

Ranunculus, — From Latin, rana, a frog, because some of the 

A 



species inhabit humid places frequented by that creature, or 
because some of the plants have leaves resembling in shape a 
frog's foot. Ranunculus is also sometimes called crowfoot. 
The Buttercup family. Gaelic: cearban, raggy, from its divided 
leaves. Gair-cean, Gairghin — from gair, a crow. Welsh : era/range 
yfran, crows' claws. Manx: spag sfeeach, raven's claw. 

R. aquatilis — Water crowfoot. Gaelic : fleann uisge, probably 
from leanna, a spear, and uisge, water, Waterspear. Lion na 
Kaibhne, the river-flax. Irish: neul uisge, — neul, a star. Tuir 
Ms, — tuir, a lord; chis, purse (from its numerous achenes). This 
plant generally grows in still water or ponds the flowers forming 
a beautiful sheet of white on the surface. 

R ficaria — Lesser celandine. Gaelic : grain-aigein, that which 
produces loathing. Irish : gran arcain ; gran, grain ; arc, a pig. 
Searraiche (Armstrong), according to O'Reilly, Searraigh. Welsh : 
toddedig wen, fire dissolvent; toddi, melt, dissolve. This little 
buttercup, oftener called the "pilewort," is one of our earliest 
flowers. Its roots are still used as a cure for piles, corns, &c. 

R. flammula — Spearwort. Gaelic : glas-leun — glas, green ; leun, 
a swamp. Lasair-hana — lasair, a flame, and leana or leun, a 
swamp, a spear. Welsh: blaer y guaew, lance-point. Manx — 
lus y binjey, rennet wort. It was one of the plants formerly used 
for curdling milk. Lus shleig. (In Scotch Gaelic, sleagh, a spear.) 

R. Auricomus — Goldilocks. Gaelic : follasgain ; probably from 
follais, conspicuous. Irish : foloscain, a tadpole. The Gaelic 
may be a corruption from the Irish, or vice versd; also gruag 
Mhuire, Mary's locks. 

R. repens — Creeping crowfoot. Gaelic: buigheag, the yellow 
one. Irish : bairgin, more frequently bairghin, a pilgrim's habit. 
Fearban — fearba, killing, destroying. The whole of this family 
are full of acrid, poisonous juices. 

R. acris — Upright meadow crowfoot. Gaelic : cearban febir, 
the grass rag. Irish : the same name. This plant and R. flam- 
mula were used in the Highlands, applied in rags (cearban), for 
raising blisters, 

R. Bulbosus — Bulbous crowfoot. Gaelic : fuile (sometimes 
tuile) thalmhuinn, blood of the earth (it exhausts the soil). 



B.. Sceleratus — Celery-leaved crowfoot. Gaelic and Irish: 
iorachas biadhain ; probably means food of which one would be 
.afraid. 

Caltha palustris — Marsh marigold. Gaelic: a chorrach shod, 
the clumsy one of the marsh. Threlkeld has "corr a h'ot" applied 
to the bog bean (Menyanthes). Lus bhuidhe Bealltuinn, the 
yellow plant of Beltane or May — Bel or Baal, the sun-god, and 
teine, fire. The name survives in many Gaelic names — e.g., Tulli- 
Jjeltane, the high place of the fire of Baal. 

" Beith a's calltuinn ]3.tha.-Bealltuinn." — Mackay. 
Birch and hazel first day of May. 

Bearnan Bealltuinn. The orbicular leaves are notched. Irish: 
j>lubairsin from plubrach, plunging. Lus Main, Marywort, 
Marygold. Manx: Blughtyn. Lus airh, gold weed, used as a 
charm against fairies and witches. 

Helleborus viridis. — Green hellebore. Gaelic: elebor, a corrup- 
tion of helleborus (from the Greek eXXe, helein, to cause death; 
and /3o/>os, boros, food — poisonous food). Dathabha, O'Reilly, 
Dahough (Threlkeld), and Dahou ban (Threl) — dropwort. These 
three names, though differently spelt, evidently refer to something 
common to the plants so named, the predominant quality being 
that they are all violently poisonous. The "hellebore" was used 
by the ancient Celts to poison the arrows, and the "dropwort" to 
avenge their enemies by poison. Dath colour has not anything to 
do with the names. More probably dath or dbth to burn, to seize, 
and, in Irish Gaelic, daitheoir, an avenger. Many plants of the 
hellebore family are noted for producing blisters, and were formerly 
used for that purpose. Manx : blaa Nolic, Christmas flower. 

H. fcetidus — Stinking hellebore. Meacan sleibhe, the hill-plant. 

Aquilegia vulgaris — Columbine. Gaelic: lus a 1 cholamain, the 
dove's plant. Irish : cruba-leisin — from cruba, crouching, and leise, 
thigh or haunch; suggested by the form of the flower. Lusan 
xholam (O'Reilly), pigeon's flower. Welsh: troed y glomen, naked 
woman's foot. Manx : lus yn ushtey vio, plant of the living water. 

Aconitum napellus — Monkshood. Gaelic: fuath mhadhaidh 
{Shaw), the wolf's aversion. Currachd manaich (Armstrong), 
monkshood. Welsh: bleiddag — from bleidd, a wolf, and tag, 
■choke. 



Nigella damascena — Chase-the devil. Gaelic: /us an fhbgraidh T 
the pursued plant. Irish: /us tnhic Raonai/, MacRonald's wort.. 
Not indigenous, but common in gardens. 

Pseonia officinalis — Peony. Gaelic : /us a phione. A corruption* 
of Pceon, the physician who first used it in medicine, and cured' 
Plato of a wound inflicted by Hercules. Welsh : b/adeu'r brenin, 
the king's flower. Irish: /us phoine. Meacan easa beanine, 
female peony ; and meacan easa firine, male peony. Old 
herbalists used to distinguish between two varieties of the peony, 
and named them male and female. This was a mere fanciful 
distinction, and had no reference to the real functions of the 
stamens and pistils of plants ; but yet there existed a vague idea 
from time immemorial that fecundation was in some degree- 
analogous to sexual relationship, as in animals — hence such 
allusions as "Tarbk coi//e" " Dair na coil/e,'' etc. ("Wood bull," 
"Fecundation of the wood.") 

BERBERIDACE^E. 

Berberis vulgaris — Barberry. Gaelic: barbrag (a corruption' 
from Arabic barbdris, the barberry tree. Preas nan geur dhearc, 
the sour berry- bush. Preas dei/gneach, the prickly bush. Irish: 
barbrog. 

NYMPH^EACE^E. 

(From vv/ufrfj, nymphe, a water-nymph, referring to their habitats.)- 

Nymphsea alba — White water- lily Gaelic : dui/kag bhaite bhan, 
the drowned white leaf. Cuirinin (O'Reilly). 
"Feur lochain is tachair, 
An cinn an duilleag bhhite." — Macintyre. 
Water, grass, and algae, 
Where the water-lily grows. 
"0 lili, righ nam fliiran." — Macdonald. 
O lily, king of flowers. 
Bior rbs, meaning water rose. Rabhagach, giving caution or 
warning; a beacon. Li/i bhan, white lily. Welsh: Li/ir-dwfr, 
water-lily. Irish : buU/ite (Shaw). 

Nuphar luteum.— Yellow water-lily. Gaelic: dui/kag bhaite 
bhuidhe, the yellow drowned leaf. Li/i bhuidhe '» uisge, yellow 

water-lily. Irish: liach /oghar, the bright flag. Cabhan abhainn 

cabhan, a hollow plain; and abhainn, of the river. 



PAPAVERACEjE. 

Papaver rhoeas — Poppy. Gaelic : meilbheag, sometimes beilbheag, 
a little pestle (to which the capsule has some resemblance). 

"Le meilbheag, le neoinean, 's le slan-lus." — Macleod. 
With a poppy, daisy, and rib-grass. 

Jothros, corn-rose — from ioth (Irish), corn; rbs, rose. Cromlus, 
bent weed. Paipean ruadh — ruadh, red; and paipean a corruption 
•of papaver, from papa, pap, or pappo, to eat of pap. The juice 
was formerly put into children's food to make them sleep. Welsh : 
pabi. Irish: blath nam bodaigh, old men's flower. Cathleach- 
.dearg (O'Reilly). Cochcifoide (Shaw). Corn poppy. Welsh : 
Jlygad y cythraul, the devil's eye. Cathleach may perhaps be 
■connected with cathlunn corn and dearg red, but Shaw's name is 
.altogether dubious and meaningless. 

P. somniferuiri — Common opium poppy. Gaelic: codalian, 
from codal or cadal, sleep. Collaidin ban, white poppy. 

P. nigram sativum — Paipean dubh, black poppy. Manx: 
Jus y chadlee, the plant for sleep. 

Chelidonium majus — Common celandine (a corruption of 
XeAiSwu, chelidon, a swallow). Gaelic: an ceann ruadh, the red 
head. The flower is yellow, not red. Irish: lacha cheann ruadh, 
the red-headed duck. Welsh : llysie y wennol, swallow-wort. 
Aonsgoch is another Gaelic name for swallow-wort, meaning 
swallow-flower — aon, a swallow; and sgoth, a flower. Scotch 
■Gaelic name for a swallow, ainlag. Manx : /us y ghollan gheayee, 
swallow herb, formerly used by herbalists as a cure for cancer. 

Glaucium luteum — Yellow horned poppy. Gaelic: barrag 
ruadh (?), the valiant or strong head. The flower is yellow, not 
red. 

FUMARIACEjE. 

.(From fumus, smoke. "The smoke of these plants being said 
by the ancient exorcists to have the power of expelling evil 
spirits" (Jones) French: fume terre. 

Fumaria officinalis — Fumitory. Gaelic : lus deathach thalmhuinn 
■(Armstrong), the earth-smoke plant. Irish: deatach thalmhuinn 
•(O'Reilly), earth-smoke. Welsh: mwg y ddaer, earth-smoke. The 
.allusion being to the disagreeable smell of the plant when burning. 
Another Irish name is caman scarraigh (O'Reilly) — caman, crooked, 



and scaradh, to scatter. Fuaim an f Siorraigh, a humorous play 
on the words "fumaria officinalis." Manx: booa-ghodayn. Main 
tenagh (Threl) — It is difficult to know the meaning implied in this- 
peculiar name. By main is probably meant magh, a. field; and 
by tenagh, our word teine, fire. The field fire, instead of "earth 
smoke." It grows often in potato and cornfields, with small 
emerald leaves and pink flowers. A variety of it grows frequently 
on old thatched roofs, having long fragile stems and small whitish 
flowers, and is known in some places by the names of Fliodh an: 
tugha and Fliodh mbr — (Corydalis claviculata). 

CRUCIFERjE. 

(From Latin crvx, cruris, a cross; and fero, to bear, the petals 
being arranged crosswise). Wallflowers and stocks are examples- 
of this order. 

Crambe maritima — Seakale. Gaelic : praiseag tragha, the shore 
pot-herb — from the Irish praiseach, Gaelic praiseag, a little pot (a 
common name for pot-herbs). Cal na mara, seakale (from 
Greek, yo.v\o<>; Latin, caulis; German, kohl; Saxon, cawl,~ 
English, cole or kale; Irish, cal; Welsh, cowl; Manx, caal hraie, 
shore kale. 

Isatis tinctoria — Woad. The ancient Celts used to stain their 
bodies with a preparation from this plant. Its pale blue hue was 
supposed to enhance their beauty, according to the fashion of the 
time. Gaelic: guirmean, the blue one Irish and Gaelic: glas 
lus, pale-blue weed. Welsh : glas lys. Formerly called Glastum. 
"Is glas mo Iuaidh." — Ossian. 
Pale-blue is the subject of my praise. 

On account of the brightness of its manufactured colours, the 
Celts called it gwed (guede in French to this day (whence the 
Saxon wad and the English woad. 

Thlaspi arvense — Penny cress. Gaelic : praiseach feidh, deer's- 
pot-herb. Irish : preaseach fiadh, a deer's pot-herb 

Oapsella Bursa-pastoris — Shepherd's purse. Gaelic: lus na 
fola, the blood-weed; an sporan, the purse. Irish: sraidin, a 
spark or star. Welsh : pwrs y bugail, shepherd's purse (bugail, 
from Greek /3iikoAos, a shepherd). 

Cochlearia officinalis — Scurvy grass. Gaelic: am maraich. 
Latin : amarus, bitter. Carran, the thing for scurvy, possessing; 



antiscorbutic properties. "Plaigh na carra," the plague of leprosy 
(Stuart). "Duine aig am bheil carr," a man who has the scurvy 
(Stuart in Lev.) Manx: lus-y-vinniag, pinch herb. Kelly explains 
"minniag" or "minniag merrin" as that lividity called dead men's 
nips or pinches, which is no more than the symptoms of scurvy. 
Welsh: mor Iwyau, sea-spoons; llysie'r blwg, scurvy-grass (from 
blwg, scurvy). Irish: biolair tragha — bio/air, dainty; and tragha, 
shore or sea-shore. It grows also on mountain tops. 

Armoracia rusticana ( Armoracia, a name of Celtic origin, "from 
ar, land; mor or mar, the sea; ris, near to)." This derivation is 
doubtful. English : horse-radish. Gaelic : meacan each, the horse- 
plant. Irish: racadal, perhaps the same as rotocal. Scotch: 
rotcoll (Macbain). 

Raphanus raphanistrum — Radish. Gaelic : meacan ruadh, the 
reddish plant, from the colour of the root. Irish : fiadh roidis, 
wild radish. Raidis (Armstrong). Curran dhearg (O'Reilly), the 
red root. 

R. maritimus — Sea radish. Irish : meacan ragum usee (O'Reilly). 
Raibhe — radish, from Latin raphanus. 

Cardamine pratensis — Cuckoo flower, ladies' smock. Gaelic: 
plur na cubhaig, the cuckoo-flower. Gleoran, from gleote, hand- 
some, pretty. The name is given to other cresses as well. Biolair- 
ghriagain, the bright sunny dainty. 

Cakile maritimum — Sea gill y-flower rocket. Gaelic : fearsaid- 
eag; meaning uncertain, but probably from Irish saide, a seat 
(Latin, sedes), the sitting individual — from its procumbent habit. 
Gearr bochdan. 

Nasturtium officinalis — Water-cress. Gaelic : biolair, a dainty, 
or that which causes the nose to smart, hence agreeing with 
nasturtium, (Latin : nasus, the nose, and tortus, tormented. Durlus 
■ — dur, water, and lus, plant. Dobhar-lus — dobhar, water. Welsh : 
berwyr dwfr, water-cress. The Gaelic and Irish bards used these 
names indefinitely for all cresses. 

" 'S a bhiolair luidneach, shliom-chluasach. 
Glas, chruinn-cheannach, chaoin ghorm-neulach ; 
Is i fas glan, uchd-ard, gilmeineach, 
Fuidh barr geal iomlan, sonraichte. " — Macintyre. 



8 

Its drooping, smooth, green, round-leaved water-cress growing so radiantly, 
treast-high, trimly ; under its remarkably perfect white flower. 
"Dobhrach bhallach mhln."— Macintyre. 
Smooth-spotted water-cress." 
Biorar — Bior-fheir, water-cress. Bior, water. Welsh : Berwr y 
dwr. Berwr, cress ; dwr, water. Biolar Frang — French cress or 
garden cress. 

A curious old superstition respecting the power of this plant as 
a charm to facilitate milk-stealing was common in Scotland and 
Ireland. "Not long ago, an old woman was found, on a May 
morning, at a spring well, cutting the tops of water-cresses with a 
pair of scissors, muttering strange words, and the names of certain 
persons who had cows, also the words — " '.S leamsa leth do chuid- 
sa'' (half thine is mine). She repeated these words as often as 
she cut a sprig, which personated the individual she intended to 
rob of his milk and cream." "Some women make use of the root 
of groundsel as an amulet against such charms, by putting it 
amongst the cream." — Martin. Among the poorer classes, water- 
cress formed a most important auxiliary to their ordinary food. 
*' If they found a plot of water-cresses or shamrock, there they 
flocked as to a feast for the time." — Spencer. 

Sisymbrium Sophia— Flixweed. Gaelic: fineal Mhuire, the 
Virgin Mary's fennel. Welsh : piblys, pipe-weed. Manx : lus-y- 
jiargey, flux-herb, used for curing flux. Flux was a terrible 
scourge in Britain and the Isle of Man in the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries. 

Erysimum alliaria and officinalis— Garlic mustard, sauce alone. 
Gaelic: garbhraitheach, rough, threatening. Gairleach colluid, 
hedge garlick. Manx : mustard chleigee, hedge mustard 

Cheiranthus cheiri— Wallflower, gilly-flower. Gaelic : lus leth 
an t-samhraidh, half the summer plant. Irish : the same Welsh : 
Moden gorphenaf, July flower or gilly-flower. Wedgewood says 
gilly-flower is from the French giroflee. Manx: blaa yn eail Eoin, 
the flower of St. John's Feast. 

Matthiola incana — Stock. Pincin (O'Reilly). The "Queen 
Stock " of the gardens, well known to every one. 

Brassica rapa — Common turnip. Gaelic, neup; Irish, neip; 
Welsh, maipen; Scotch, neep (and navew, French, navet); corrup- 
tions from Latin napus. 



9 

B. campestris — Wild navew. Gaelic: neup fhiadhain, wild 
turnip. 

B. oleracea — Sea-kale or cabbage. Gaelic and Irish : praiseach 
bhaidhe, the pot-herb of the wave (baidhe, in Irish, a wave). 
Morran — mor (Welsh), the sea, its habitat the seaside. Chi 
tolbhairt — the kale with stout fleshy stalks (from colbh, a stalk of 
a plant, and art, flesh), cal ox cadhal. Welsh: caw/, kale. Gaelic: 
cal-cear slack (cear slack, globular), cabbage; cal gruidhean (with 
grain like flowers), cauliflower; colag (a little cabbage), cauliflower; 
garadh cail, a kitchen garden. Rotheach tragha (O'Reilly). 
" 'Dh 'itheadh biolair an fhuarain 
'S air bu shuarach an chl." — Macdonald. 
That would eat the cress of the wells, 
And consider kale contemptible. 

Sinapis arvensis — Charlock, wild mustard. Gaelic: marag 
bhuidhe or amharag, from amh, raw or pungent. Sceallan — sceall, 
a shield. Sgealag (Shaw) — sgealpach, biting. Mustard— -from the 

English. 

" Mar ghrkinne de shlol mustaird." — Stuart. 
Like a grain of mustard-seed. 

The mustard of Scripture, " Salvadora persica," was a tree twenty 
feet high, therefore it could not be our mustard. Cas or Gas- 
na conachta (O'Reilly). Cas an thunnagta (Threl). Gaelic: 
praiseach garbh, the rough pot-herb. 

Subularia aquatica — Ruideog is given by O' Donovan "as 
bogawl, a kind of butterweed growing in bogs (County of 
Monaghan)." Awl wort. May possibly be from the old Irish 
name ruit, a dart or short spear. 4 It is a small plant found in 
shallow edges of alpine ponds and lakes. It rarely exceeds two 
or three inches in height, leaves cylindrical, slender, and pointed 
like little awls, hence the name awl wort. 

RESEDACE^. 

Beseda luteola— Weld, yellow weed. Gaelic : lus buidhe mbr, 
the large yellow weed. Irish: buidhe mbr, the large yellow. 
Welsh : llysie lliu, dye-wort. Reseda, from Latin resedo. 

CISTACEjE. 

(From Greek /a'cn-17, kiste, a box or capsule, from .their peculiar 
-capsules. Latin: cista Gaelic: ciste. Danish: kiste.) 



Helianthemum vulgare — Rock-rose. Gaelic: grian rbs, sun- 
rose; pliir na grkine, flower of the sun (also heliotrope). Welsh: 
blodawfr haul, sun-flower, 

Badge of the Clan Fergusson. 

violace^e. 
(From Greek lov, ion, a violet — the food given to the cow, Io r 
one of Jupiter's mistresses.) 

Viola odorata — Sweet violet. Gaelic: fdil-chuach, scented 
bowl; jaile, scent, and cuach, a bowl hollow as a nest; also cuckoo. 
Scotch: quaich, cogie (dim.), a drinking-cup. Manx: blaa villish, 
sweet bloom. 

" Faile chuachaig ar uachdar an fheoir." — Macfarlane. 
Scented violet on the lop of the grass. 

V. canina — Dog-violet. Gaelic: dail chuach, field-bowl (dail,. 
a field). Danish : dal, a valley. 

" Gun sobhrach gun dail chuach. 

Gun lus uasal air earn." — Macintyre. 
Without primrose or violet, 
Or a gay flower on the heap. 
Sail chuach — sail, a. heel (from its spur), cuckoo's heel. 
" Coille is guirme sail chuach." — Old Song. 
A wood where violets are bluest. 
Irish : biodh a leithid, the world's paragon ; also fanaisge, probably 
from fann, weak, faint, agreeing in meaning with the Welsh name 
crinllys, a fragile weed. 

V. tricolor — Heart' s-ease pansy. Irish: goirmin searradh, 
spring blue. Gaelic : spbg, no brbg na cubhaig, cuckoo's claw or 
shoe. Manx: kiunid fea ash chree, heart's ease. 

DROSERACEiE. 

(From Greek 8/ooo-epos, droseros, dewy, because the plants appear 
as if covered with dew). 

Drosero rotundifolia — Round-leaved sundew. Gaelic : rbs an 
fsolais, sun-rose or flower; geald-ruidhe or dealt ruaidhe, very red 
dew; lus an Earnaich. "Earnach" was the name given to a 
•distemper among cattle, caused by eating a poisonous herb — some 
say the sun-dew. Others, again, aver the sun -dew was an effectual 
remedy. This plant was much employed among Celtic tribes for 
dyeing the hair. Irish: eil drtlichd (eil, to rob, and druichd, dew) 



the one that robs the dew); drilkhdin mona, the dew of. the toll- 
Manx: lus-y-driiight. Welsh: doddedig rudd—dodd, twisted' 
thread, and rudd red, the plant being covered with red hairs. 
Drilchd na muine, the dew of the hill. Gil driugh (Threl)— Our 
word, gille, a lad, a servant; and driichd, dew. This interesting 
little plant is very common in the Highlands, growing among the 
white bog moss (sphagnum). It has little red spoon-like leaves, 
with red hairs, and always covered with dew drops. It grows and: 
lives on small black insects, which are grasped and absorbed by 
the leaves. 

POLYGALACB^E, 

(From Greek ttoXv, poly, much; and yaAa, gala, milk). 
Polygala vulgaris — Milk-wort. Gaelic: lus a' bhainne, milk- 
wort. Irish: lusan bainne, the same meaning, alluding to the 
reputed effects of the plants on cows that feed upon it. 

CARYOPHYLLACE.E. 

Saponaria officinalis — Soapwort, bruisewort. Lus an fsiabuinn. 
The whole plant is bitter, and was formerly used to cure 
cutaneous diseases. Welsh: sebonllys, the same meaning (sebon, 
soap). Manx: brellish heabinagh (brdlish — wort). Soap wort. 
Latin sapo, so called probably because the bruised leaves produce 
lather like soap. Soap was a Celtic invention. 

" Prorlest et sapo. Gallorum hoc inventum. 
Rutilandis capillis, ex sevo et cinere." — Pliny. 
" Soap is good — that invention of the Gauls — for reddening the hair out of 
grease and ash." 

Lychnis flos-cuculi — Ragged Robin. Gaelic: pliir na cubhaig, 
the cuckoo flower; currachd na cubhaig, the cuckoo's hood ; caorag 
leana, the marsh spark. 

L. diurna — Red campion. Gaelic: cirean coilich, cockscomb; 
in some places corcan coille, red woodland flower. 

L. githago — Corn-cockle. Gaelic: brbg na cubhaig, the cuckoo's 
shoe. Lus loibheach, stinking weed. Iothros, corn rose. Irish : 
cogall, 1 from coch (Welsh), red; hence cockle. French: coquille. 
Welsh: gith, cockle or its seed, a corruption from githago, or 
vice versa. 

Spergnla arvensis — Spurrey. Gaelic : cluain tin (also corran lin) 
— cluain, fraud, and lin, flax — i.e., fraudulous flax. Carran, 

1 This plant is sometimes called currachd na cubhaig, and cochal — (hood or 
cowl). Latin : cucullus. 



twisted or knotted, from kars, rough (Macbain). Scotch: yarr. 
Irish : cabrois — cab, a head ; rois, polished. Manx : carran. 
" Gun deanntag, gun charran " — Macdonald. 
Without nettle or spurrey. 

Arenaria alsine — Sandwort. Gaelic : flige, perhaps from flige, 
water, growing in watery or sandy places. 

Stellaria media — Chickweed. Gaelic: fliodh, an excrescence 
(Armstrong), sometimes written fluth. Irish : lia, wetting (Gaelic: 
fluich, wet); compare also flock, soft (Latin : flaaus). Welsh: 
_gw/ydd, the soft or tender plant. Manx: flig. 

S. holostea — The greater stitchwort. Gaelic: tiiirseach, sad. 
dejected. Irish: titrsarrain, the same meaning; and Stellaria 
graminea, fiirsarranin, the lesser stitchwort. Welsh: y wenn- 
w/ydd, the fair soft stemmed plant, from gwenn and gw'ydd, soft 
tender stem. 

Cherleria sedoides — Mossy cyphel, found plentifully on Ben 
Lawers. No Gaelic name, but sebrsa cbinich, a kind of moss. 

Cerastium alpinum — Mouse-eared chickweed. Gaelic: cluas 
.an luch, mouse-ear. 

LINACEjE. 

Lirmrn usitatissimum — Flax. Gaelic: lion, gen. singular, lin. 
Welsh: //in, "Greek Xivov and Latin linum, a thread, are derived 
from the Celtic." — Loudon. 

" Iarraidh i olann agus lion," — Stuart (Job). 
She will desire wool and flax. 

" Meirle salainn 's meirle frois, 
Meirl' o nach fhaigh anam clos ; 
Gus an teid an t-iasg air tir, 
Cha 'n fhaigh meirleach an lin clos." 

"This illustrates the great value attached to salt and lint, 
-especially among a fishing population, at a time when the duty on 

-salt was excessive, and lint was cultivated in the Hebrides." 

Sheriff Nicolson. 

L. catharticum— Fairy flax. Gaelic: /Ion na mna sith, fairy 
woman's flax; miosach, monthly, from a medicinal virtue it was 
supposed to possess ; mionach, bowels ; /us cao/ach, slender weed ; 
■compare also cao/an, intestine (Latin: colon, the large intestine). 
Both names probably allude to its cathartic effects. Stuart, in 
Lightfoot's "Flora," gives these names in a combined form an 



'3 

caol mtosachan, the slender monthly one. Irish: ceolagh ; ceol r 
music. " It's little bells made fairy music." 

MALVACEAE. 

Latin : malvce, mallows. Gaelic : maloimh, from Greek fia\dxr}, 
malache, soft, in allusion to the soft mucilaginous properties of the 
plants. 

"A gearradh sios maloimh laimh ris na preasaibh,agus freumhan aiteil mar 
bhiadh." — Stuart (Job. xxx. 4). 

"Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat." 
Welsh: meddalai, what softens. Gaelic: mil mheacan, honey- 
plant; gropais or grobais (Macdonald) from Gothic, grob, English, 
grub, to dig. The roots were dug, and boiled to obtain mucilage- 

Malva rotundifolia — Dwarf mallow. Gaelic and Irish: ucas 
Frangach— ucas from Irish uc, need, whence uchd, a breast (Greek, 
o\0r] — the mucilage being used as an emollient for breasts — and 
Frangach, French — i.e., the French mallow. 

M. sylvestris — Common mallow. Gaelic : ucas fiadhain, wild 
mallow. Manx: Lus na meala mor; /us ny maol Moirrey, Mary's 
servant's plant. The common mallow was probably distinguished 
by the word "beg'' in Manx little, and the large one, lavatera 
arborea, by " nibr,'' big. 

Althaea officinalis — Marsh-mallow. Gaelic and Irish: leamhadh, 
perhaps from leamhach, insipid ; fochas, itch, a remedy for the 
itch (ochas, itch). Welsh: morhocys — mor, the sea, and hocys, 
phlegm-producer, it being used for various pulmonary complaints. 
Welsh: Rbs mall. 

TILIACEjE. 

Tilia europea — Lime-tree, linden. Gaelic : craobh theile. Irish: 
crann teile — teile, a corruption from tilia. Welsh: pis gwydden. 

HYPERICACE^E. 

Hypericum perforatum — The perforated St. John's wort. 
Gaelic and Irish : eala bhuidhe (sometimes written eala bhi), pro- 
bably from eal (for neul), aspect, appearance, and bhuidhe or bhi, 
yellow. 

" Sibhrach a's eala bhi 's barra neoinean." — MACINTYRE. 
Primrose, St. John's wort, and daisies. 
"An eala bhuidhe 'san neoinean ban 
'S an t'sobhrach an gleann fas, nan luibh 
Anns am faigheadh an leighe liathe 
Furtach fiach, do chreuch a's leon." — Collath. 
In the glen where the St. John's wort, the white daisy, and the primrose 
grow, the grey doctor will find a valuable remedy for every disease and wound . . 



14 

'•The belief was common among the Caledonians that for all 
the diseases to which mankind is liable, there grows an herb 
somewhere, and not far from the locality where the particular 
disease prevails, the proper application of which would cure 
it. " — Mackenzie. 

Alias Mhuire (Mhuire, the Virgin Mary; alias, perhaps another 
form of the preceding names) — Mary's image, which would agree 
with the word hypericum. According to Linnaeus, it is derived 
from Greek virkp, uper, over, and elicwv, eikon, an image — that is 
to say, the superior part of the flower represents an image. 

Caod aslachan Cholum chille, from Colum and cill (church, cell), 
St. Columba's flower, the saint of Iona, who reverenced it and 
carried it in his arms (caod) — (Irish), caodam, to come, and aslachan, 
arms, it being dedicated to his favourite evangelist, St. John. 
Seud, a jewel. Lus an fhbgraidh. "Formerly it was carried about 
by the people of Scotland as a charm against witchcraft and 
enchantment" (Don). Welsh: y fendigaid, the blessed plant. 
French : toute-salne. English : tutsan. The St. John's wort is the 
"fuga damonum" which Martin describes in his "Western Isles." 
"John Morrison, who lives in Bernera (Harris) wears the plant 
called "Send" in the neck of his coat to prevent his seeing of 
visions, and says he never saw any since he first carried that plant 
about with him." Children have a saying when they meet this 

plant — 

" Luibh Cholum Chille, gun sireadh gun iarraidh, 
'Sa dheoin Dia, cha bhasaich mi 'nochd." 
St. Columbus-wort, unsought, unasked, and, please God, I won't die to-night. 
The Manx name " lus-y-chiolg" (Stomach herb) was used for low 
spirits and nervousness. The roots were scalded in butter milk to 
remove freckles. O'Reilly has also Beachnuadk beinionn, female 
St. John's wort. 

The badge of Clan Mackinnon. 

H. quadranguhim — SquarestemmedSt.John'swort. Beachnuadk 
firionn (Threl), male St. John's wort (see Pce.onia). 

H. androsaemum — Tutsan, meastork keeil (Threl). 

H. elodes — The marsh measaturk alta (Threl), the marsh St. 
John's wort, meaning the wood hog's fruit, and the stream hog's 
fruit. The first is one of the most beautiful of the St. John's 
worts. It grows in the Highlands from Ross southwards — pretty 
frequent about Loch Salen and other places in Argyllshire. If 



the yellow tops be bruised between the fingers, they will immedi- 
ately communicate a deep crimson stain, hence the Greek name 
■androscemum — man's blood. The association of the Irish names 
with hogs is accounted for by the fact that the bruised plant smells 
strongly of swine. The Welsh name has the same meaning — 
dail y twrch. Threlkeld gives both names to the Tutsan, 
the second name is more applicable to the water or bog St. 
John's work. The former never grows in watery places, but the 
latter always does, and besides, it is very common in Ireland. In 
Ulster it is called, according to Threlkeld, bonan leane (Lean, a 
swamp), and caochrain curraith — (currach, a marsh), and caoch, a 
nut without a kernel. The old herbalist spells his names variously. 

ACERACE^E. 

■(" Acer, in Latin meaning sharp, from ac, a point, in Celtic." — Du 
Theis). 

Acer campestris — Common maple. Gaelic and Irish : craobh 
mhalip or malpais ; origin of name uncertain, but very likely 
from mal, a satchel or a husk, from the form of its samara. Some 
think the name is only a corruption of maple — Anglo-Saxon, mapal m 
Welsh: masarnen. Gothic: masloenn (from mas, fat), from its 
abundance of saccharine juice. 

A. pseudo-platanus — Sycamore. Gaelic and Irish : craobh sice, 
.a corruption from Greek sycaminos. The old botanists erroneously 
believed it to be identical with the sycamine or mulberry-fig of 
Palestine. 

" Nam biodh agaidh creidhimh, theireadh sibh ris a chraobh shicamin so, 
bi air do spionadh as do fhreumhaibh." — Stuart. 

If ye had faith ye might say to this sycamore tree, Be thou plucked up by 
the root. — St. Luke, xvii. 6. 

Croabh pleantrinn, corruption of platanus or plane-tree. Irish : 
xrann ban, white tree. Fir chrann (O'Reilly), same meaning. {Fir, 
fair, white). 

The badge of the Clan Oliphant. 

VINIFERjE. 

Vitis (from the Celtic gwyd, a tree, a shrub. Spanish : vid. 
French: vigne). 

Vitis vinifera — Vine. Gaelic: crannfiona,fionan: Irish :fion, 
wine. Greek: Otvos. Latin: vinum. Fion dearc, a grape. 
Muin, the vine, also M, Gaelic alphabet. 



i6 

"Is mise an fhionain fhior, 
I am the true vine. — John xv. I. 
The wild grapes are bitter, and frequently putrid. The reference- 
in Isaiah v. 2 is to the wild grape. 

" Agus dh' amhairc e dh' fheuchainn an tugadh e mach dearcan fiona, agus 
thug e mach dearcan fiadhain.'' 

And he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild 
grapes. 

The dried fruit raisins is mentioned in 1 Samuel, xxv. 18 — 

"'Agus ceud bagaide do fhion dhearcaibh tiormaichte." 
And a hundred clusters of raisins (dried berries). 

GERANIACE.E. 

(From Greek yepavos, geranos, a crane. The long beak that ter- 
minates the carpel resembles the bill of a crane ; English : crane- 
bill. Gaelic: crob priachain (Armstrong), the claw of any 
rapacious bird). LUs-gna-ghorm. (Mackenzie). Evergreen plant. 

Geranium Eobertianum — Herb Robert. Gaelic and Irish : 
righeal cuil (from right, reproof, and cuil, fly, gnat, insect), the fly 
reprover. Riaghal cuil, also rial chuil, that which rules insects; 
earbull righ (earbull, a tail). 

" Insects are said to avoid it." — Don. 

Ruidel, the red-haired. Lus an eallan, the cancer weed. Righeal 
righ. Irish: righean righ, that which reproves a king (righ, a 
king), on account of its strong disagreeable smell). Manx: lus ny 
freeinaghyn-vooarey, the big pins' herb, from its long carpels : a 
cure for sore mouth and eyes. Welsh : troedrydd, redf oot. Llysie 
Robert, herb Robert. 

G. sanguineum — Bloody cranesbill. Gaelic: creachlach dearg, 
the red wound-healer (creach, a wound). Geranium Robertianum 
and geranium sanguineum have been and are held in great repute 
by the Highlanders, on account of their astringent and vulnerary 
properties. 

OXILIDE^. 

(From Greek 6£vs, oxys, acid, from the acid taste of the leaves). 
Oxalis aceto&ella — Wood-sorrel. Gaelic: samh, shelter. It 
grows in sheltered spots. Also the name given to its capsules. 
Also summer. It may simply be the summer flower. 

" Ag itheadh saimh," eating sorrel. 
Seamrag. Irish: seamrog (shamrock), generally applied to the 



i7 

trefoils. Sealbhaig nafiodha (O'Reilly). The Gaelic name means 
" wood sorrel." It is not a sorrel (sealbhaig), but it is frequently 
used as a substitute on account of its acidity, caused by the abun- 
dance of oxalic acid formed in the leaves. 

" Le seamragan 's le neoineanan, 
'S gach lus a dh'fheudain ainmeachadh 
Cuir anbharra dhreach boidhchead air." — MACINTYRE. 
With wood-sorrel and with daisies, 
And plants that I could name, 
Giving the place a most beautiful appearance. 

The shamrock is said to be worn by the Irish upon the anniversary 
■of St. Patrick for the following reason : — When the Saint preached 
the Gospel to the pagan Irish, he illustrated the doctrine of the 
Trinity by showing them a trefoil, which was ever afterwards worn 
upon the Saint's anniversary. " Between May-day and harvest, 
butter, new cheese, and curds and shamrock are the food of the 
meaner sorts during all this season." — Piers's "West Meath." 
Surag, the sour one; Scotch: sourock (from the Armoric sur, 
Teutonic, suer, sour). Welsh: suran y gdg, cuckoo's sorrel. 
Gaelic: biadh ebinean, birds' food. Manx: bee cooag, cookoo's 
meat. Irish : billeog nan eun, the leaf of the birds. 

" Timchioll thulmanan diamhair 

Mu 'm bi'm biadh-ebinean a' fas." — MACDONALD. 
Around sheltered hillocks 
Where the wood sorrel grows. 

Feada coille, candle of the woods, name given to the flower ;feadk 
a candle or rush. Clobhar na maighiche, hare's clover. 

" Mar sin is leasachan soilleir, 
Do dh' fheada-coille nan cos." — Macdonald. 
Like the flaming light 
Of the wood-sorrel of the caverns. 

CELASTRACiE. 

Eunoymus europseus — Common spindle-tree. Gaelic and Irish: 
oir, feoras, — oir, the east point, east. " A tir an oir" from the 
land of the East (Oirip, Europe), being rare in Scoland and 
Ireland, but common on the Continent. Oir and feoir also mean 
a border, edge, limit, it being commonly planted in hedges. 
Whether the name has any reference to these significations, it is 
very difficult to determine with certainty. Oir, the name of the 
thirteenth letter, O, of the Gaelic and Irish alphabet. It is 

£ 



worthy of notice that all the letters were called after trees or 
plants : — 





Gaelic. 


English. 




Gaelic. 


English. 


A, 


Ailm. 


Elm. 


L, - 


Luis. 


Quicken. 


B, 


Beite. 


Birch. 


M, 


Muin. 


Vine. 


c, 


Coll. 


Hazel. 


X, 


Nuin. 


Ash. 


D, 


Dur. 


Oak. 


o, 


Oir. 


Spindle-tree. 


E, 


Eagh. 


Aspen. 


p, 


Peith. 


Pine. 


F, 


Fearn. 


Alder. 


K, 


- Ruis. 


Elder. 


0, 


Gath. 


Ivy. 


s, 


Suil. 


Willow. 


H, 


Huath. 


White-thorn. 


T, 


Teine. 


Furze. 


I, 


Iogh. 


Yew. 


u, 


Ur. 


Heath. 



Gaelic Alphabet. — Antecedent to the use of the present 
alphabet, the ancient Celts wrote on the barks of trees. The- 
writing on the bark of trees they called oghmfti, and sometimes- 
trees, feadha, and the present alphabet litri or letters. 
"Cormac Casil cona churn, 

Leir Mumu, cor mela ; 

Tragaid im rlgh Ratha Bicli, 

Na Litri is na Feadha. '' 

Cormac of Cashel with his companions 

Munster is his, may he long enjoy ; 

Around the King of Ratha Bicli are cultivated 

The Letters and the Trees. 

The " letters" here signify, of course, our present Gaelic 
alphabet and writings ; but the "trees" can only signify the oghuim, 
letters, which were named after trees indigenous to the country."' 
—Prof. O'Curry. 



RHAMNACE/E. 

Rhaninus (from Gaelic ramh, Celtic ram, a branch, wood). 
" Talamh nan ramh." — Ossian. 
The country of woods. 
The Greeks changed the word to pa>vos, and the Latins to ramus.. 

R. catharticus — Prickly buckthorn. Gaelic : ramh droighionn, 
prickly wood. Welsh: rhafnwydd — rhaf, to spread; wydd, tree, 
Brenahal (Threl) — This name should have been Brenabhal, or in 
our Gaelic Breun ubhal, putrid apple. The fruit is fleshy, but 
more a berry than an apple. It is a violent purgative, and yields- 
a dye varying in tint from yellow to green. 

Juglans regia — The walnut. Gaelic : craobh ghall-chno—gall, a 
foreigner, a stranger; crib, a nut. 



19 

LEGUMINIFERJE. 

Gaelic : luis meihgeagach, pod-bearing plants. Barr-guc, papil- 
ionaceous flowers (Armstrong). Por-cochullach, leguminous. 

" Bhrr-guc air mheuraibh nosara." — Macintyre. 
Blossoms on sappy branches. 

Sarothamnus scoparius — Broom. Gaelic : bealaidh or beal- 
uidh, said to be (by popular etymology) "from Beal, Baal, and uidh, 
favour, the plant that Belus favoured, it being yellow-flowered. 
Yellow was the favourite colour of the Druids (who were worship- 
pers of Belus), and also of the bards " (Brockie.) Welsh : banadl, 
etymologyobscure Irish: brum; and Welsh; ysgub. Gaelic : sguab, 
a brush made from the broom. Latin : scoparius. Giolcach sleibke 
(giolc, a reed, a cane, a leafless twig ; sleibhe, of the hill). Manx : 
guilcagh. A decoction of it was used as a purgative, and to reduce 
swelling. 

The badge of the Clan Forbes. 

Acacia seyal — In the Bible the shittah tree. Gaelic : sitta. A 
native of Egypt and Arabia. 

" Cuiridh mi anns an fhasach an seudar, an sitta, 
Am miortal, agus an crann-oladh. " — Isaiah xli., 19. 

Cytisus laburnum— Laburnum. Gaelic: bealaidh Fhrangach (in 
Breadalbane), in some parts Sasunnach, French or English broom 
(Ferguson). Frangach is very often affixed to names of plants of 
foreign origin. This tree was introduced from Switzerland in 
1596. Craobh Abran — Abraon, April. 

Illex — Name from the Celtic ec or ac, a prickle (Jones). 

IT. europaeus — Furze, whin, gorse. Gaelic and Irish : conasg, 
from Irish conas, war, because of its armed or prickly appearance. 
Attin. Welsh: eithin, prickles. Manx : jilg choyin, dogs' 
prickles. Teine. Also the name of the letter T in Gaelic. Some 
authorities give teine for heath. O'Reilly gives ur, the letter U 
for heath. Not common in the Highlands, but plentiful about 
Fortingall, Perthshire. 

Ononis arvensis — Rest harrow. Gaelic and Irish : sreang 
bogha, bowstring Welsh : tagaradr, stop the plough ; eithin yr eir, 
ground prickles. Scotch : cammock, from Gaelic cam, crooked. 
Trian tarran (O'Reilly), tri a terrain (Threl). Also often 
called wild liquorice. A troublesome, shrubby little plant, with 
flowers like those of the broom or furze, not yellow but rosy, with 



strong, string-like roots that arrest the harrow or plough, requiring 
three times the strength to pull. Does that fact explain the Irish 
names tri — -three, but trian, the third, and in our Gaelic tar- 
ruing, pull, draw? 

Trigonella ornithopodioides — Fenugreek, Greek hay. Gaelic : 
ionntag-Ghreugach (Armstrong) j Fineal Ghreugach, Greek nettle ; 
trubh-eMn, birds' shoe. Welsh : y Groeg gwair, Greek hay. 
Used as an emolient for sores and wounds for horses and other 
animals. 

Trifolium repens — White or Dutch clover. Gaelic and Irish: 
seamar bhan, the fair gentle one (see Oxalis); written also sameir, 
siomrag, seamrag, seamrog. Wood-sorrel and clover are often con- 
founded, but seamar than is invariable for white clover, and for 
Trifolium procumbens, hop trefoil, seamhrag bhuidhe, yellow 
clover. Manx : Samark. 

"Gach saimeir neonean 's masag." — Macdonald. 

Every clover, daisy, and berry. 
' ' An t-seamrag uaine 's barr-gheal gruag, 

A's buidheann chuachach neoinean." — Maclachlan. 

The green white-headed clover, 

And clusters of cupped daisies. 

The badge of Clan Sinclair. 

T. pratense — Red clover. Gaelic : seamar a' chapuill, the mare's 
clover. Capull, from Greek Kay8aAA?;s, a work-horse. Latin: 
caballus, a horse. Tri-bilean, trefoil, three-leaved. Welsh: 
tairdalen, the same meaning. Meillonem, honeywort, from mel, 
honey. Gaelic: sugag, Scotch sookie, the bloom of clover, so 
called because it contains honey, and children suck it. Seirg 
(O'Reilly). Being more sappy, therefore more difficult to 
dry and preserve, may have suggested the name seirg, decay. 

Alpestre and T. minus— Small yellow clover. Gaelic : seangan, 
small, slender. 

T. arvense— Hare's-foot clover. Gaelic: cas maighicke (Arm- 
strong), hare's foot. 

Lotus corniculata— Bird's-foot trefoil. Gaelic: barra mhis- 
lean—barra, top or flower; mislean, anything that springs or 
grows. Irish: cruibin, claws. (See Cranberry). Manx: crouw- 
kayt. Scotch: cat-dukis, cat's claws. Adharc an diabhoil, mean- 



ing "the Devil's horn.'' So called from the form of its pods. 
The flowers are yellow, and often streaked with red. Common 
in pastures, and ascending the mountains to the height of 2800 
feet. 

Anthyllis vulneraria — Kidney vetch, or Lady's Fingers. 
Gaelic : mebir Mhuire, Mary's fingers ; cas an uain, lamb's foot. 

Vicia 1 sativa — Vetch. Gaelic and Irish : fiatghal, nuitritious 
(from Irish fiadh, now written biadh, food); peasair fhiadhain, 
wild peas ; peasair chapull, mare's peas. Welsh : idbys, edible 
peas. Irish: pis fhiadhain, wild peas ;pis dubh, black peas. Siorr. 

V. cracca — Tufted vetch. Gaelic: peasair nan luch, mice 
peas ; pesair (Latin, pisum; Welsh, pys; French, pots, peas), are 
all from the Celtic root, pis, a pea ; ajso peasair radan, rat pease. 

V. sepium — Bush vetch. Gaelic : peasair nam preas, the bush 
peas. 

Lathyrus pratensis — Yellow vetchling. Gaelic : peasair 
bhuidhe, yellow peas. Irish: pis bhuidhe, yellow peas. 

Ervum hirsutum — Hairy vetch or tare (from erv, Celtic — arv, 
Latin, tilled land). Gaelic: peasair an arbhair, corn peas. Welsh: 
pysen y ceirch — ceirch, oats. Gaelic : gall pheasair, a name for 
lentils or vetch. Gall, sometimes prefixed to names of plants 
having lowland habitats, or strangers. 

" Lan do ghall pheasair." — 2 Sam., Stuart. 
Full of lentils. 

Faba vulgaris — Bean. Gaelic : pbnair. Irish : pbnaire. Cor- 
nish: pbnar (from the German pdna, a bean. Gaelic: 
pbnair Fhrangach, French beans ; pbnair airneach, kidney beans ; 
pbnair chapull, buckbean (Menyanthes trifoliata). Seib (O'Dono- 
van) (Faba) — Bean. Manx : poanrey. 

" Gabh thugad fos cruithneachd agus eorna, agus pbnair, agus peasair, 
agus meanbh-pheasair, agus peasair fhiadhain, agus cuir iad ann an aon 
soitheach, agus dean duit fein aran duibh." — Stuart, Ezekiel iv. 9. 

" Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and 
millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof." 

Orobus tuberosus — Tuberous bitter vetch (from Greek opu>, 
oro, to excite, to strengthen, and ftovs, an ox). Gaelic and Irish : 

1 Vicia (from Greek pmiov, Latin vicia, French vesce, English vetch). 
— Loudon. 



22 

tairmeal (Armstrong) — cair, dig; meal, enjoy; also mall; Welsh, 
moel, a knob, a tuber — i.e., the tuberous root that is dug ; corra- 
meille (Macleod and Dewar). Cbrlan in Killarney. 

"Is clann bheag a trusa leolaicheann ' 
Buain corran cos nam bruachagan." — Macintyre. 

Little children gathering . . . 

And digging the bitter vetch from the holes in the banks. 

Corra, a crane, and meillg, a pod, the crane's pod or peas. 
Welsh: pys y garanod, crane's peas; garan, a crane. "The 
Highlanders have a great esteem for the tubercles of the roots ; 
they dry and chew them to give a better relish to their whisky. 
They also affirm that they are good against most diseases of the 
thorax, and that by the use of them they are enabled to repel 
hunger and thirst for a long time. In Breadalbane and Ross shire 
they sometimes bruise and steep them in water, and make an 
agreeable fermented liquor with them, called cairm. They have 
a sweet taste, something like the roots of liquorice, and when 
boiled are well flavoured and nutritive, and in times of scarcity 
have served as a substitute for bread " (Lightfoot). 

Bitter vetch — and sometimes called "wild liquorish" — seems 
to be the same name as the French " caramel" burnt sugar ; and 
according to Webster, Latin, " carina mellis," or sugar-cane. The 
fermented liquor that was formerly made from it, called cairm or 
atirm, seems to be the same as the " courmi" which Dioscorides 
says the old Britons drank. The root was pounded and infused, 
and yeast added. It was either drunk by itself or mixed with 
their ale — a liquor held in high estimation before the days of 
whisky; hence the word " cuirm" signifies a feast. That their 
drinking gatherings cannot have had the demoralising tendencies 
which might be expected, is evident, as they were taken as typical 
of spiritual communion. In the Litany of " Aengus Cdile De," 
dating about the year 798, we have a poem ascribed to St. Brigid, 
now preserved in the Burgundian library, Brussels. 

" Ropadh maith lem corm-lind mor, 
Do righ na righ, 

1 Leolaicheann, probably Trollius europceus (the globe flower), from ul, 
blachan, drink, drinking. Children frequently use the globe flower as a 
drinking cup. Scotch: luggie go-wan. Luggie, a small wooden dish; or it 
may be a corruption from trol or trollen, an old German word signifying 
round, in allusion to the form of the flower, hence Trolhus. 



23 

Ropadh maith lem muinnter nimhe 

Acca hoi tre bithe shir. " 

I should like a great lake of ale 

For the King of Kings ; 

I should like the family of heaven 

To be drinking it through time eternal. 

To prevent the inebriating effects of ale, " the natives of Mull 
-are very careful to chew a piece of " charmel " root, finding it 
to be aromatic — especially when they intend to have a drinking 
bout ; for they say this in some measure prevents drunkenness/' 
— Martin's "Western Isles." 

ROSACEA. 

•{From the Celtic. Gaelic, rbs ; Welsh, rhos ; Armoric, rosen ; 
•Greek, poSov; Latin, rosa). 

Prunus spinosa — Blackthorn, sloe. Gaelic: preas nan air- 

neag, the sloe bush. Irish : airne, a sloe. Manx : dri?ie am. 

Welsh: eirinen. Sanskrit: arani. 

"Suilean air 11 himeag.'" — Ross.- 

Eyes the colour of sloes. 

Bugh — O'Clery, in his vocabulary, published a.d. 1643, 

■describes bugh thus : — 

" Bugh, i.e., luibh gorm no glas ris a samhailtean suile bhios gorm no 

:glas." That is a blue or grey plant, to which the eye is compared if it be blue 

r grey. 

"Dearca mar dhlaoi don bhugha." — O Brien. 

"Cosmall ri bugha a shuili." 

His eyes were like slaes. — O'Curry. 

.Sgitheach dubh — the word sgith ordinarily means weary, but it 
means also (in Irish) fear; dubh, black, the fearful black one, but 
-probably in this case it is a form of sgeach, a haw (the fruit of the 
white thorn), the black haw. Welsh: ysbyddad, draenenddu. 
"Crun sgithich an aite crun rlgh." — Mackellar. 
A crown of thorns instead of a royal crown. 

Droighionn dubh, the black penetrator (perhaps from druid, to 
-penetrate, pierce, bore), account of spines in the Latin "Spinosa." 
Compare Gothic, thruita: Sanskrit, trut ; Latin, trit ; German, 
Jorn; English, thorn; Irish (old form), draigen; Welsh, draen; 
Manx, drine doo. Skeag dot?. 

' ' Croinn droighnich o'n ear's o'n iar. " — Old Poem. 
Thorn trees from east and west. 



24 

A superstition was common among the Celtic races that 
for every tree cut down in any district, one of the inhabi- 
tants in that district would die that year. Many ancient forts, 
and the thorns which surrounded them, were preserved by the 
veneration, or rather dread, with which the thorns were held ; 
hence, perhaps, the name sgitheach, sgith (anciently), fear ; hence 
also, droighionn (druidh), enchantment, witchcraft. 

P. damascena — Damson. Gaelic and Irish : dai?nsin, Damascus 
plum. Manx: airney ghoo, black plum. 

P. insititia — Bullace. Gaelic and Irish : bulastair. Compare 
Breton, bolos ; Welsh, eirinen bulas. 

P. domestica — Wild plum, Gaelic : plumbais fiadhain, wild 
plum; plumbais seargta, prunes. Airidh. Welsh: eirinen. 

P. armeniaca— Apricot. Gaelic: apricoc. Welsh: bricyllen. 
Regnier supposes from the Arabic berkoch, whence the Italian 
albicocco, and the English apricot; or, as Professor Martyn 
observes, a tree when first introduced might have been called a 
"praecox," or early fruit, and gardeners taking the article "a" 
for the first syllable of the words, might easily have corrupted it 
to "apricots." 

P. cerasus — Cherry-tree. Gaelic : craobh shiris, a corruption 
of Cerasus, a town in Pontus in Asia, from whence the tree was 
first brought. Si/in (O'Reilly). 

" Do bheul mar an t-siris." 
Thy mouth like the cherry. 

Welsh: ceiriosen. 

P. padus — Bird-cherry. Gaelic : craobh fhiodhag, from fiodh, 
wood, timber ; Jiodhach, a shrubbery. Glocan. Dun reisk (Threl), 
probably he means in our Gaelic donn riisg, brown bark. The 
plum and cherry trees are characterised by their dun-coloured 
barks. 

P. avium — Wild cherry. Gaelic : geanais, the gean. French ^ 
guigne, from a German root. Welsh : ceiriosen ddu, black cherry. 

Amydalus communis — Almond. Gaelic : almon. 

" 'Nuair a bhios a' chraobh almoin fuidh bhlath. " — Eccl. xii. 5. 

A. persica — Peach. Gaelic : peitseag, from the English. Neoch- 
dair. One of the numerous peach family. "The fruit is called 
nectarine, from nectar, the poetical drink of the gods." The- 



25 

product of the seeds of Amygdalus communis is familiar to us 
under the name of almonds, and its oil — oil of almonds. 

Spiraea ulmaria — Meadow-sweet, queen of the meadow. Gaelic : 
trios (or cneas) Chu-chitlainn* The plant called "My lady's belt" 
(Mackenzie). "A flower mentioned by Macdonald in his poem 
'Allt an t-sithair,' v/ith the English of which I am not acquainted"" 
(Armstrong). 

It is not mentioned in the poem referred to, but in " Oran an 
t-Sam/iraid/i'' — The Summer Song. 

"'S cubhraidh faileadh do mhuineil 

A chrios-Chu-Chulainn nan cam ! 
Na d' chruinn bhabaidean riabhach, 

Loineach, fhad luirgneach, sgiamhach. 
Na d' thuim ghiobagach, dreach mhin, 

Bharr-bhuidhe, chasurlaich, aird ; 
Timcheall thulmanan dlambair 

Ma'm bi 'm biadh-eoinean a' fas." — Macdonald. 

Sweetly scented thy wreath, 
Meadow-sweet of the cairns ! 
In round brindled clusters, 
And softly fringed tresses, 
Beautiful, tall, and graceful, 
Creamy flowered, ringleted, high ; 
Around sheltered hillocks 
Where the wood-sorrel grows. 

Airgiod luachra, silver rush. Welsh : llysiu'r forwyn, the maiden's 
flower. In Argyleshire lus nan gillean bga. The young men's- 
plant. 

S. filipendula — Dropwort. Irish: greaban. Meddlys, sweet 
wort (O'Reilly). 

Linnaeus informs us that, "in a scarcity of corn, the tubers have- 
been eaten by men instead of food." Welsh : crogedyf—crogi, to- 
suspend. The tuberous roots are suspended on filaments, hence 
the names filipendula and dropwort. 

Geum rivale — Water avens. Gaelic : machall uisge; in Irish r 
macha, a head, and all, all — i.e., allhead — the flower being large- 

1 Cu chullin's belt. Ciichullin was the most famous champion of the Ulster 
Militia in the old Milesian times. He lived at the dawn of the Christian era. 
He was so called from Cu, a hound, and Vllin, the name of the province- 
Many stories are still extant regarding him. 



26 

"in proportion to the plant. Uisge, water. It grows in moist 
places only. 

G. urbanum — Common avens. Gaelic: machall coille — coille, 
wood, where it generally grows. Benedin — O'Reilly gives this 
name to the tormentil; he also gives "Septfoil" (Comarum). 
The geum is very like those plants both in flower and properties. 
To a non-botanist they seem pretty much the same. The old 
English name was Herb-Bennet. The rootstock of all these is 
powerfully astringent, and yields a yellow dye. Welsh: Bendi- 
geidlys, llys Bened. 

Dryas octopetala — White dryas. Gaelic : machall monaidk, the 
large-flowered mountain plant. (The name was given by an old 
man in Killin from a specimen from Ben Lawers in 1870). Luidh 
Jjheann (Logan) — The hill or ben plant. Growing on high stony 
hills to the height of nearly 3000 feet in the Highlands; little 
shrub-like plants, with leaves somewhat like the oak leaf, and 
about eight large white petals on the flower. 

The badge of Macneil and Lamont. 

Potentilla anserina — Silverweed, white tansy. Gaelic : brisgean 
(written also briosglan, brislean), from briosg or brisg, brittle. 
Brisgean mills, sweet bread. " The brisgean, or wild skirret, is a 
succulent root not unfrequently used by the poorer people in 
some parts of the Highlands for bread " (Armstrong). 

The skirret (see Slum slsarum) is not native. Curran earraich. 

" Mil fo thalamh, curran earraich.' 
Under ground honey spring carrots. 

" Exceptional luxuries. The spring carrot is the root of the silver weed." — 
■Sheriff Nicolson. 

The plant here alluded to is Potentilla anserina. Ban- bhrisgean, 
the flower. Welsh : tinllwydd. 

P. reptans — Cinquefoil. Gaelic : nieangach, branched or 
twigged — meang, a branch, because of its runners, its long 
leaf, and flower-stalks. Cuig bhileach, five-leaved. Irish: cilig 
mlieur Mulre, Mary's five fingers. Welsh: llysieuyn pump, same 
meaning. 

P. tormentilla — Common potentil, or tormentil. Gaelic : 
leanarlach (Shaw). Leamhnach, tormenting. Barr braonan-nan- 



27 

ton, the dogs' briar bud. Braonan fraoich (fraoch, heather). 
Braonan, the bud of a briar (Armstrong). Braonan bachlaig, the 
-earth nut (Bunhtm flexuosum) (Macdonald), from braon, a drop. 
Cairt lair — This is the name" among fishermen in the Western 
Isles, meaning the "ground bark." It is generally used for 
tanning the nets when they cannot get the oak bark. 

" Mln-fheur chaorach is barra-bhraonan." — Macintyre. 
Soft sheep grass and the flower of the tormentil. 

Irish : neamhnaid, neamhain. Welsh : tresgl y moch. 

Comarum palustre — Marsh cinquef oil. Gaelic : citig bhileach 
uisge, the water five-leaved plant. Cnb leana, meaning the bog or 
swamp nut. Threlkeld gives another name, " Ciligsheag," from 
xMg, five. The leaves are generally arranged in fives, hence the 
English and French names. 

Fragaria vesca — Wood strawberry. Gaelic : subh (or sicth) 
thalmhuinn, the earth's sap, the earth's delight (from subh or siigh, 
sap, juice; also delight, pleasure, joy, mirth); thalmhuinn, of the 

■earth. 

" Theirig subh-thalmhuinn nam bruach." — Macdonald. 
The wild strawberries of the bank are done. 
Sttbhan laire, the ground sap; tlachd shiibh, pleasant fruit. Thlachd 
sheist (O'Reilly). 

" Subhan laire 's faile ghroiseidean." — Macintyre. 
Wild strawberries and the odour of gooseberries. 
.Silthag, a strawberry or raspberry. 

" Gur deirge na'n t-siithag an ruthadh tha d' ghruaidh." 
Thy cheeks are ruddier than the strawberry. 

Irish: catog, the strawberry bush. Cath, seeds (the seedy fruit). 
Welsh: mefussen. 

Rubus (from rub, red in Celtic), in reference to the colour of 
the fruit in some species. 

Rubus chamsemorus — Cloudberry. Gaelic: oireag, variously 
■written — oighreag, foighreag, feireag. Irish: eireag (eireachd, 
beauty). Scotch : Averin. 

"Breac le feireagan is crnin dearg ceann." — Macintyre. 
Checkered with cloudberries with round red heads. 

Moon a man meene (Threl). Muin na mna-mhln, the gentle 
woman's bush or vine. Muin was the ancient Gaelic name for 



28 

the vine. "The cloudberry is the most grateful fruit gathered 
by the Scotch Highlanders" (Neill). 
The badge of Clan Macfarlane. 

Criiban na saona, "the dwarf mountain bramble." (O'Reilly, 
Armstrong, and others). Probably this is another name for the 
cloudberry, but its peculiar and untranslatable name furnishes no 
certain clue to what plant it was formerly applied. 

R. saxatilis — Stone bramble. Gaelic: caora bad miann, the 
berry of the desirable cluster. Ruiteaga, redness, a slight tinge 
of red. Soo na man meen (Threl). Subh na mban-mtn 
(O'Reilly). The gentlewomen's berry. This bramble is pretty 
common in the Highlands and in Ireland, ascending the Gram- 
pians aud other mountains to the height of 2700 feet. The fruit 
is more scarlet and rounder than that of the common blackberry 
(fruticosus), and it grows generally in stony places. 

R. idaeus — Raspberry. Gaelic : preas subk chraobh (craobh, a 
tree, a sprout, a bud), the bush with sappy sprouts. 

" Faile nan siibh-craobh is nan rosan." — Macintyre. 
The odour of rasps and roses. 

Welsh: mafon — maf, what is clustering. Gaelic: preas shuidheag, 
the sappy bush. Siighag, the fruit (from siigh, juice, sap). 

R. fruticosus — Common bramble. Irish and Gaelic: dreas, 
plural, dris. Welsh: dyrys — the root rys, entangle, with prefix 
dy, force, irritation. In Gaelic and Welsh the words dris and 
drysien are applied to the bramble and briar indiscriminately. 

" An dreas a' fas gu h-urar." — Ossian. 
The bramble (or briar) freshly growing. 

"Am fear theid san droighionn domh 
Theid mi 'san dris da." — Proverb. 

If one pass through thorns for me, 

I'll pass through brambles (or briars) for him. 

Grian mhuine, the thorn (bush) that basks in the sun. Dris 
muine — muine, a thorn, prickle, sting. Smear phreas (Irish: 
smeur), the bush that smears; smearag, that which smears (the 
fruit). Welsh : miar, the bramble. Manx : drine smeyr. (Miar 
or meur in Gaelic means a finger.) Smearachd, fingering, greasing, 
smearing. (Compare Dutch smeeren ; German, schmieren, to 



2 9 

smear or daub. Sanskrit: smar, to smear. Dris-smear, another 
combination of the preceding names. Eachrann (O'Reilly), 
where brambles grow. The word means an impediment, a 
stumbling-block, when walking. 

It was and is a common belief in the Highlands that each 
blackberry contains a poisonous worm. Another popular belief 
— kept up probably to prevent children eating them when 
unripe — that the fairies defiled them at Michaelmas and Hal- 
lowe'en. 

This plant is the badge of a branch of the Clan Maclean. 

B.. csesius — Blue bramble ; dewberry bush. Gaelic : preas nan- 
gorm dhearc, the blueberry bush. 

" Barr gach tolmain to bhrat gorm dhearc." — Macdonald. 
Every knoll under a mantle of blueberries (dewberries). 

The blue bramble is the badge of the Clan Macnab. 

Rosa canina — Dog-rose. Gaelic : rbs nan con, dog rose. 
Greek: yy-v>v. Latin : cam's. Sanskrit : ciinas. Irish: cil. Welsh: 
ciros (ci, a dog), dog rose. 

Gaelic : coin droigkionn, dogs' thorn. Earradhreas or fearra- 
dhris, earrad, armour; suggested by its being armed with prickles. 

" Mar mhucaigna. fearra-dhris," — Mackbllar. 
Like hips on the briar. 
Preas nam-mucag, the hip-bush — from muc (Welsh : mock), a pig, 
from the fancied resemblance of the seeds to pigs, being bristly. 
Irish : sgeach mhadra, the dogs' haw or bush. Welsh : merddrain. 
Manx : drine booag — (booag, the fruit), Gaelic : rbs, rose ; culti- 
vated rose, rbs garaidh. 

" B'e sid an sealladh eibhinn ! 
Do bhruachan gle-dkearg rbs." 
That was a joyful sight ! 
Thy banks so rosy red. 

It. rubiginosa — Sweet-briar (briar, Gaelic: a bodkin or pin). 
Gaelic : dris chubhraidh, the fragrant bramble. Irish : sgeach- 
chiimhra, the fragrant haw or bush. Cuirdris, the twisting briar. 
— cuir, gen. sing, of car, to twist or wind. Welsh : rhoslwyn per. 
O'Reilly gives forrdris as sweet briar and jessamine. The sweet 
briar is the "Eglantine" of the poets. 

Agrimonia eupatoria — Agrimony. Gaelic : mur-draidhean — 



3° 

mur, sorrow, grief, affliction ; draidhean, another form of droigh- 
ionn (see Prunus spinosa). Draidh, or druidh, also means a 
magacian, which may refer to its supposed magical effects on 
troubles as well as diseases. A noted plant in olden times for 
the cure of various complaints. Irish : marbh droighionn — 
marbh dhruidh, a necromancer, or magician. Geur bhileach — 
geur, sharp, sour, rigid ; bhileach, leaved ; on account of its 
leaves being sharply serrated, or because of its bitter taste. 
Mirean, or Meirean nam magh, the merry one of the field. 
Welsh : y dorllwyd. Trydon, what pervades. 

Sanguisorba — Burnet. A' bhileach losgainn. The leaves good 
for burns and inflammations (losgadh, burning). Manx: lus yn 
aile, the fire weed. 

Alchemilla vulgaris — Common lady's mantle. Gaelic : copan 
an driilchd, the dew cup ; falluing Mhuire, Mary's mantle. Irish : 
dearna Mhuire, Mary's palm. Gaelic : cruba, leotnhainn, lion's 
paw ; cbta preasach nighean an righ, the princesses' plaited gar- 
ment. Irish : leathach bhuidhe, also leagadh bhuidhe (O'Reilly). 
A decoction from this plant was supposed to restore beauty 
after it faded. The dew gathered from its cup-like leaves had the 
same effect. 

A. alpina — Alpine Lady's Mantle. Gaelic : trusgan, mantle. 
The form and the satiny under-side of the leaves of this and the 
other species gave rise to the names trusgan, falluing, cbta, and the 
English name, lady's mantle. 

" Tha trusgan faoilidh air cruit an aonaich." — Macintyre. 
The mantle-grass on the ridge of the mountain. 
The hills about Coire-cheathaich and Ben Doran (the district 
described by the poet) are covered with this beautiful plant. 
The word trusgan, mantle, may be used in this instance in its 
poetic sense. Minan Mhuire (Threl) (Meangan Mhuire), Mary's 
twig, or Miann Mhuire, Mary's desire. 

Mespilus germanica— Medlar. Gaelic: crann meidil (Macdon- 
ald) said to be a corruption of Mespilus, formerly called the medic 
tree. Medle stands for the old French mesle, a meddlar. 

Crataegus oxyacantha— Whitethorn, hawthorn. Gaelic: sgith- 
each geal, drioghionn geal (see Prunus spinosa), geal, white ; preas 
nan sgeachag; sgeach, a haw. Welsh : draenen wen, white thorn. 
Manx : dritie skaig. Irish : sciog. 



" Mlos bog nan iibhlan brenc-mheallach, 
Gu peurach plumbach sgeachagach, 
A' luisreadh sios le dearcagaibh, 

Cir-mhealach, beachach, groiseideach." — Maclachuinn. 
Soft month of the spotted bossy apples ! 
Producing pears, plums, and haws, 
Abounding in berries, 
Honeycomb, wasps, and gooseberries. 

Uath or huath — the ancient Gaelic and Irish name — has several 
significations ; but the root seems to be hu (Celtic), that which 
pervades. Welsh : huad, that which smells or has a scent (huadgu, 
a hound that scents). " The name hawthorn is supposed to be a 
corruption of the Dutch haag, a hedge-thorn. 

The badge of the Clan Ogilvie. 

Pyrus (from peren, Celtic for pear). Latin : pyrum. Armoric : 
p%r. Welsh : peren. French : poire. 

P. communis — Wild pear. Gaelic : craobh pheuran fiadh- 
ain (peur, the fruit), the wild pear-tree. 

P. malus— "Mel or mal, Celtic for the apple, which the 
Greeks have rendered /x^Xov, and the Latins malus." — Don, 
Welsh : afal. Manx : ooyl. Anglo-Saxon : cepl. Norse : apal. 
apple. Gaelic : ubhal ; craobh ubhal fhiadhain, the wild apple tree- 

" Do mheasan milis cubbraidh 
Nan iibhlan 's nam peur." — Macdonald. 
Thy sweet and fragrant fruits, 
Apples and. pears. 

The old form of the word was adhul or abhul. The culture of 
apples must have been largely carried on in the Highlands in 
olden times, as appears from lines by Merlin, who flourished in 
a.d. 470, of which the following is a translation: — 

" Sweet apple-tree loaded with the sweetest fruit, growing in the lonely wilds 
of the woods of Celyddon (Dunkeld), all seek thee for the sake of thy produce, 
but in vain ; until Cadwaldr comes to the conference of the ford of Rheon, and 
Conan advances to oppose the Saxons in their career. " 

This poem is given under the name of Afallanau, or Orchard, 
by which Merlin perhaps means Athol — i.e„ Abhal or Adhul — 
which was believed by old etymologists to acquire its name from its 
fruitfulness in apple trees. Goirteag (from goirt, bitter), the 
sour or bitter one (the crab- apple). Irish: Gairtebg. Cuairtagarr 



3 2 

•(the fruit); cuairt, round, the foundies. Irish: cueirt. Cilmhrog 
•(O'Reilly). Sweet apple, from cubhra, sweet fragrant, in our 
Gaelic cubhraidh. 

The tree is the badge of the Clan Lamont. 

P. aucuparia — Mountain-ash, rowan-tree. Old Irish and 
Gaelic : litis, drink (luisreog, a charm). The Highlanders formerly 
used to distil the fruit into a very good spirit. They also believed 
"that any part of this tree carried about with them would prove a 
sovereign charm against all the dire effects of enchantment or 
witchcraft." — Lightfoot (1772). Fuinseag coille, the wood enchan- 
tress, or the wood-ash (see Circced) ; caorrunn. Irish : partainn- 
dearg (the berry). Caorthann. Caor, a berry, and tan, a tree 
Welsh: cerddin. Manx: keirn. 

■' Bu dheirge a ghruaidh na caorrunn." — Ossian. 

His cheeks were ruddier than the rowan. 
" Suil chorrach mar an dearcag, 
Fo rosg a dh-iathas dlu, 
Gruaidhean mar na caorrunn 

Fo 'n aodann tha leam ciuin." — An cailin dileas donn. 
Thine eyes are like the blaeberry, 

Full and fresh upon the brae, 
Thy cheeks shall blush like the rowans 
On a mellow autumn day. 

(Translated by Professor J. S. Blackie). 
A very uncommon variety of the rowan tree, with orange 
colour fruit, is found growing by the road side at "Balbeg" Farm, 
Lawers, Breadalbane. 

(Craobh chaorruinn) — Mountain-ash. The Highlanders have 
long believed that good or bad luck is connected with various 
trees. The caorrunn or fuinnseach coille (the wood enchantress) 
was considered by them as the most propitious of trees, hence it 
was planted near every dwelling-house, and even far up in the 
mountain glens, still marking the spot of the old shielings. "And 
in fishing-boats as are rigged with sails, a piece of the tree was 
fastened to the haulyard, and held as an indispensable necessity." 
" Cattle diseases were supposed to have been induced by fairies, 
or by witchcraft. It is a common belief to bind unto a cow's tail 

a small piece of mountain-ash, as a charm against witchcraft." 

Martin. And when malt did not yield its due proportion of 
spirits, this was a sovereign remedy. In addition to its other 
virtues, its fruit was supposed to cause longevity. In the Dean of 



S3 

Xismore's Book there occurs a very old poem, ascribed to Caoch 
O'Cluain (Blind O'Cloan). He described the rowan-tree thus: — 

"Caorthainn do bhi air Loch Maoibh do chimid an traigh do dheas, 
Gach a re 'us gach a mios toradh abuich do bhi air. 
Seasamh bha an caora sin, fa millise no mil a bhlath, 
Do chumadh a caoran dearg fear gun bhiadh gu ceann naoi trath, 
Bliadhna air shaoghal gach fir do chuir sin is sgeul dearbh.'' 

A rowan tree stood on Loch Mai, 

We see its shore there to the south ; 

Every quarter, every month, 

It bore its fair, well-ripened fruit ; 

There stood the tree alone, erect, 

Its fruit than honey sweeter far, 

That precious fruit so richly red 

Did suffice for a man's nine meals ; 

A year it added to man's life. 

— Translated by Dr. Maclachlan. 

The badge of Clan Maclachlan. 

P. torminalis — Service tree. Craobh chebrais (in Perthshire), 
alteration of caor, berry, also coarrunn. There are several varieties 
•of this tree, the most ornamental being P. aria, with deeply 
lobed leaves, and white beneath. With white flowers and clusters 
•of berries like the caorrunn, but not so red. The Gaelic name 
being gall uinnseann, the foreign ash. 

Pyrus Cydonia — Quince tree. Gaelic : craobh chuinnse, corrup- 
tion of quince, from French coignassa, pear-quince. Originally from 
•Cydon in Candia. 

AURANTIACE/E. 

Citrus aurantium — The orange. Gaelic : br ubhal, golden 

apple; br mheas, golden fruit; braisd, from Latin aurum. Irish: 

or. Welsh : oyr, gold. 

"'S Phoebus dath nan tonn 
Air fiamh brensin." — Macdonald. 

And Phcebus colouring the waves 
With an orange tint. 

Citrus medica — Citron. Gaelic : craobh shitrion. 
Citrus limonum — Lemon. Gaelic : crann limoin. French : 
limon. Italian : limone. 

Anacardiaoe. 
Pistacia lentisus — Mastic tree. Maisteag, from the Greek 

c 



34 

Maslike, "the gum of the tree called in Latin lentiscus" so called 
because used for chewing in the East. The leaves, bark, fruit, 
and gum were known medicinally in Great Britain and Ireland 
long ago. 

P. terebinthus — Turpentine tree. Cuilionn. The Teil tree of 
the Bible (Isaiah vi. 13), rendered cuilionn in the Gaelic version.. 

" Agus pillidh e, agus caitheare mar an cuilionn agus an darach." 
And it shall return, and shall be used as a teil tree and an oak. 

Myrtace^e. 
Punica granatum — Pomegranate. Gaelic : gran ubhal (gran,. 
Latin, granum, grain-apple. 

" Tha do gheuga mar X\o% gran ubhlan, leis a'mheas a's taitniche." — Song 
of Solomon. 

Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates with pleasant fruits. 
(Now generally written pomgranat in recent editions.) 

Myrtus communis — Myrtle. Gaelic: miortal. 
"An ait droighne fasaidh an giuthas, agus an ait drise fasaidh am miortal." 
— Isaiah lv. 13. 

Instead of the thorn shall grow the fir, and instead of the briar the myrtle. 

Onagrace^e. 
Epilobium montanum — Mountain willow-herb. Gaelic : an 
seileachan, diminutive of seileach (Latin: salix, a willow), from 
the resemblance of its leaves to the willow. AVelsh : helyglys,. 
same meaning. Manx : lus ny shellee, willow herb. 

"In Glenlyon the epilobium was, as elsewhere, often called "an seileachan," 
yet the older name " helig '' or " elig " was retained, and one of the rocky hills 
of the Glen is called Craig helig or Craig-elig from the plant." — Inverness 
Chronicle. 

E. aDgustifolium — Rosebay. Gaelic : seileachan Frangacli r 
French willow. Feainainn (in Breadalbane), a common name for 
plants growing near water, especially if they have long stalks. 

Circsea lutetiana and alpina — Enchantress's nightshade. Gaelic 
and Irish : fuinnseach. Not improbably from Irish uinnseach, 
playing the wanton— the reference being to the fruit, which lays 
hold of the clothes of passengers, from being covered with hooked 
prickles (as Circe is fabled to have done with her enchantments) ; 
or fuinn, a veil, a covering. The genus grows in shady places, 
where shrubs fit for incantations may be found. " Fuinn (a word 



35 

of various significations), also means the earth ; and seach, dry — 
i.e., the earth-dryer. Fuinnseagal (another Irish name), from 
seagal (Latin, secale), rye — i.e., ground-rye'' (Brockie); also fuinn- 
seasgach. It grows in damp places, and has the reputation of dry- 
ing the soil. Lus nan h-bighe, the maiden's or enchantress weed. 

Lythrace^e. 

Lythrum salicaria — Spiked lythrum, purple loosestrife. Gaelic : 
lus na sith-chainnt, the peace-speaking plant. 

"Chuir Dia oirnn craobk slth-chainnt, 
Bha da'r dionadh gu leoir." — Ian Lom. 
God put the peace-speaking plant over us, 
Which sheltered us completely. 

The name also applies to the common loosestrife. Irish : breallan 
leana. Breall, a knob, a gland. It was employed as a remedy 
for grandular diseases, or from thevappearance of the plant when 
in seed. Breallan means also a vessel. The capsule is enclosed 
in the tube of the calyx, as if it were in a vessel. Lean, a swamp. 
Generally growing in watery places. 

Halorage^e. 
Myriophyllum spicatum and alterniflorum. — Water-milfoil. 
Gaelic and Irish : snathainn 'bhdthadh (from snath, a thread, a 
filament ; and bath, drown), the drowned thread. It grows in 
ponds, lakes, and marshy places, with thread-like leaves arranged 
in whirls. The spiked variety ascends in the Highlands to 1200 
feet. 

GrOSSULARIACEjE. 

Eibes, said to be the name of an acrid and prickly plant. 
(Rheum ribes, mentioned by the Arabian physicians, a different 
plant. Gaelic : spiontag, currant, gooseberry. Irish : spiontbg, 
spin. Latin : spina, a thorn ; also spion, pull, pluck, tear away. 
Welsh : yspinem. 

Eibes nigrum. — Black currant. Gaelic : raosar dubh, the 
black currant. Preas nan dearc. The berry bush. Raosar 
(Scotch, rizzar — from French, raisin ; Welsh, rhyfion ; Old Eng- 
lish, raisin tree), for red currant. Latin : racemus, a- cluster. 
Dyes brown. 

E. rubrum — Red or white currants. Gaelic : raosar dearg or 



36 

geal, red or white currants; dearc Fhrangach, French berry. 
Spriunan. 

R. grossularia — Gooseberry bush. Gaelic : preas ghrbiseid 
(written also grbseag, grbsaid), the gooseberry — from grossulus, 
diminutive of grossus, an unripe fig, — " so called because its 
berries resemble little half -ripe figs, grossi" (Loudon). French: 
groseille. Welsh : grwysen. Scotch : grozet, grozel — from kri'is, 
curling, crisp. " The name was first given to the rougher kinds 
of fruit, from the curling hairs on it." — Skeat. 

" Suthan-lair's faile grbiseidean." — M'Intyre. 
Wild strawberry and the odour of gooseberries. 

The prickles of the gooseberry bush were used as charms for 
the cure of warts and the stye. A wedding-ring laid over the 
wart, and pricked through the ring with a gooseberry thorn will, 
remove the wart. Ten gooseberry thorns are plucked to cure the 
stye — nine are pointed at the part affected, and the tenth thrown 
over the left shoulder. 

Crassulace^e. 
(From Latin, crassus, thick — in reference to the fleshy leaves and 
stem. Gaelic : crasag, corpulent.) 

Sedum rhodiola — Rose-root. Gaelic and Irish : lus nan laoch, 
the heroes' plant ; laoch, from the Irish, meaning a hero, a cham- 
pion, a term of approbation for a young man. Grows on most of 
the higher Highland mountains, to 4000 feet, also on the sea side 
rocks. It has thick, crowded leaves," with yellow or purplish 
flowers. 

The badge of the Clan Gunn, 

S. acre — Stonecrop, wall-pepper. Gaelic and Irish : grafan 
nan clack, the stone's pickaxe. Also in Gaelic : glaslann and 
glas lean, a green spot. Welsh : manion y ceryg. 

S. Anglicum — White or pink sedum. Irish : Biadh an t-Sion- 
aidh. Sionadh — a prince, a lord or chief. It was formerly 
eaten as a salad, and considered a delicacy. It grows most 
frequently on the West Coast and all round Ireland. 

S. telephium— Orpine. Scotch : orpie. Gaelic : orp (from the 
French, orpin). Lus nan laogh, the calf or fawn's plant ; laogh, 
a calf, a fawn, or young deer, a term of endearment for a young 
child. Welsh : telefin (from Latin, telephium. 



37 

Sempervirum tectorum — House-leek. Gaelic : lus nan cluas, 1 
the ear-plant (the juice of the plant applied by itself, or mixed 
with cream, is used as a remedy for ear-ache) ; lus garaidh, the 
garden wort; oirp, sometimes written norp (French, orpin); 
tinneas na gealaich, lunacy — tinn, sick, and gealach, the 
moon. Teinne Eagla (Threl) = tinn, sickness, Eag, the moon— it 
being employed as a remedy for various diseases, particularly 
those of women and children, and head complaints. Irish : 
sinicin, tir-pin (sometimes tor-pan), a cluster, a bunch. Welsh : 
llysie pen-ty, house-top plant. Manx: lus-y-thie, the house-plant. 

Cotyledon umbilicus — Navel-wort, wall-pennywort. Gaelic : 
lamhan cat leacainn, the hill-cat's glove. Irish : carnan-chaisil 
(O'Reilly), cam, a heap of stones, and caiseal, a wall (or any stone 
building), where it frequently grows. Manx : lus-yn-imleig, navel- 
wort. 

" The navel-wort was used as a poultice for scalds or pimples 
on the arm in the Isle of Man " (Roeder). It grows on rocks 
and walls — the ruins of Iona for example — but only on the west 
coast from Argyle southward, and throughout Ireland. It is 
easily known by its round peltate leaves. 

SaXIFRAGACEjE. 

Saxifraga — Saxifrage. Gaelic : cloch-bhriseach (Armstrong), 
stone-breaker — on account of its supposed medical virtue for that 
disease. Welsh : cromil yr englyn. 

S. granulata — Meadow saxifrage. Gaelic and Irish : nibran, 
which means many, a large number — probably referring to its 
many granular roots. 

S. umbrosa — London pride. Gaelic : cal Phadruic, Peter's 
kail. 

Chrysosplenium oppositifolium — Golden saxifrage. Gaelic : 
lus nan laogh (the same for Sedum telephium). Irish: clabrus, 
from clabar, mud, growing in muddy places ; gloiris, from gloire, 
glory, radiance — another name given by the authorities for the 
"golden saxifrage;" but they probably mean Saxifraga aizoides, 

!1 This is what I always heard it called ; but M'Donald gives norn and in 
the Highland Society's Dictionary it is given creamh-ghraidh, , evidently a 
translation by the compilers, as they give the same name to the Leek. — 
Fergusson. 



38 

a more handsome plant, and extremely common beside the 
brooks and rivulets among the hills. Though there are many 
beautiful varieties of this order on our Grampian Hills, yet few of 
them seem to have arrested the attention of the Highlanders ; 
only one or two have Gaelic names, but the rarest of all — Saxi- 
frage/, cernua, found only on Ben Lawers — is now known to 
guides by the name of Ltis Bheinn Lathur (Ben Lawers' plant). It 
its eagerly sought after by botanists. The lovely 5. oppositifolia 
is now frequently cultivated in Highland gardens. 

Parnassia palustris — Grass of Parnassus. Shaw gives the 
name fion?isgoth (fionn, white, pleasant, and sgotk, a flower), " a 
flower," but he does not specify which. Fionnan geal has also 
been given as the name in certain districts, which seems to 
indicate that fionnsgoth is the true Celtic name. 

Araliacste. 

Hedera — " Has been derived from hedra, a cord, in Celtic '' 
(Loudon). 

Hedgra helix — Ivy. Gaelic: eidheann, that which holds on — 
from (p)edenno, root, fed, to fasten (Macbain) ; written also 
eigheann, eidhne, eitheann. 

" Spion an eitheann o'croabh.' — Old Poem. 

Tear the ivy from her tree. 
"Eitheann nan crag." — Ossian. 
The rock-ivy. 
" Briseadh troimh chreag nan eidheann dlu' 

Am fuaran iir le torraman trom." — Miann A Bhaird Aosda. 
Let the new-born gurgling fountain gush from the ivy-covered rock. 

Eidheann mu chrann — tree ivy. 

" Gach fiodh 's a' choille 

Ach eidheann mu chrann 's fiodhagach." — MacCuaraig. 

Every tree in the wood, 

But the tree ivy and bird cherry. 

Irish: Faighleadh, that which takes hold or possession. 
Welsh: eiddew (from eiddiaw, to appropriate). Irish: aighnean 
(from aighne, affection), that which is symbolic of affection, from 
its clinging habit. Gort, sour, bitter — the berries being unpal- 
atable to human beings, though eaten by birgs. Ialluinn (from 
tall, a thong, or that which surrounds) ; perhaps from the same 
root as helix — Greek : kiXkw (eileo, to encompass) ; also iadh- 



39 

sklat, the twig that surrounds — a name likewise given to the 
honeysuckle (lonicera periclymenum), because it twines like the 

ivy — 

" Mar iadh-shlat ri stoc aosda." 
Like an ivy to an old trunk. 

An gath, a spear, a dart. 

The badge of the Clan Gordon. 

CORNACEiE. 

Cornus (from Latin: cornu, a horn). Gaelic : corn. French : 
.come. "The wood being thought to be hard and durable as 
horn." 

Cornus sanguinea — Dogwood, cornel-tree. Gaelic: coin-bhil, 
■dogwood; conbhaiscne, dog-tree (baiscne, Irish, a tree). Irish: 
.crann coirnel, cornel-tree. 

C. suecica — Dwarf cornel — literally, Swedish cornel. Gaelic 
.and Irish : lus-a-chraois, plant of gluttony (craos, a wide mouth ; 
gluttony, appetite). "The berries have a sweet, waterish taste, 
and are supposed by the Highlanders to create a great appetite — 
whence the Erse name of the plant " (Stuart of Killin). " It is 
reported to have tonic berries, which increase the appetite, whence 
its Highland name " (Lindley). 

Umbellifer^. 
Hydrocotyle vulgaris — Marsh pennywort. Gaelic : his na 
peighinn, the pennywort. Irish : lus na pinghine (O'Reilly), from 
the resemblance of its peltate leaf to a peighinn — a Scotch penny, 
or the fourth part of a shilling sterling. Manx : ouw. 

" Cha nee tra ta'n cheyrrey gee yn ouw te cheet r'ee. " — Proverb. 
Time enough for the sheep to eat pennywort when it comes to her. 

This plant is said to be injurious to sheep. Welsh: toddaidd 
wen, white rot. 

Eryngium marititnum — Sea-holly. Gaelic and Irish: cuilionn 
tragha, sea-shore holly. (See Ilex aquifolium). Welsh : y mbr 
_gelyn, sea-holly (celynen, holly). Manx: hollyn hraie, sea-shore 
holly. 

Sanicula europaea — Wood sanicle. Gaelic : bodan coille, wood- 
tail. Bodan, diminutive of bod (membrum virile), and coille of 
the wood. Irish : caogma. Buine, an ulcer — a noted herb, " to 



4° 

heal all green wounds speedily, or any ulcers. This is one of 
Venus, her herbs, to cure either wounds or what other mischief 
Mars inflicteth upon the body of man " (Culpepper). Welsh r 
dust yr arth, bear's ear. Reagha maighe, reagam (O'Reilly). Latin: 
regula, to rule. Names given for its potency over diseases, "The 
European healer." 

Conium maculatum — Hemlock. Gaelic : minmheur (Shaw) — 
smooth or small fingered, or branched; in reference to its foliage ;. 
mongach mheur, and muimnheur — mong and muing, a mane, from 
its smooth, glossy, pinnatifid leaves. Minbharr, soft- topped or 
soft-foliaged. Iteodha, iteotha — ite, feathers, plumage. The 
appearance of the foliage has evidently suggested these names, 
and not the qualities of the plant, although it is looked upon still 
with much antipathy. 

' ' Is coslach e measg chaich 
Ri iteodha an garadh." — Macintyre. 
Among other people he is like a hemlock in a garden. 

" Mar so tha breitheanas a' fas a nlos, mar an iteotha ann claisibh na mach- 
rach." — Hos. *. 4. 

Thus judgment springeth up like a hemlock in the furrows of the field. 

Welsh: gwin dillad, pain-killer. Manx: aghue. 

" Ta'n aghue veg shuyr da'n aghue vooar." — Manx Proverb. 
The little hemlock is sister to the big hemlock. 
(A small sin is akin to the great one). 

Cicuta virosi — Water-hemlock. "The hemlock given to- 
prisoners as poison" (Pliny); and that with which Socrates was- 
poisoned. Gaelic and Irish : fealla bog, the soft deceiver ; feall, 
treason, falsehood ; and feallair (feall fhear), a deceiver — from 
the same root (Latin, /alio, to deceive). Welsh : cegid. Latin : 
cicuta. 

Smyrnium olusatrum — Alexanders. Gaelic : lus nan gran 
dubh, the plant with black seeds — on account of its large black 
seeds. From its blackness, the name olusatrum (Latin: olus, a 
vegetable, and ater, black). "'Alexanders,' because it was sup- 
posed to have been brought from Alexandria" (Ray). Irish r 
Ailistrin (Threl). Welsh : dulys, the black plant. It does not 
grow further north than Stirling in Scotland, but is frequent in 
Ireland, and was formerly cultivated as a pot herb. Manx ~ 
Ollyssyn (Cregan). Alexanders. 

Apium (from Latin apis, a bee— bee herb, parsley, celery. 



4i 

A graveolens — Smallage, wild celery. Gaelic : lus na smalaig T 
a corruption of smallage. Pearsal mhbr, the large parsley. Irish : 
meirse. Anglo-Saxon : merse, a lake, sea. Latin : mare — marshy- 
ground being its habitat. Welsh : persli Frengig, French parsley. 

Petroselinum sativum — Parsley. Gaelic: pearsal (corruption* 
from the Greek ircrpa, petra, a rock, and vikivov, selinon, parsley). 
Muinean Mhuire, Mary's sprouts. Welsh : persli. Fionnas- 
garaidh (Macleod and Dewar). 

Heliosciadium irmndatum — Marsh wort. Gaelic : fualaciar (from 
fual, water). The plant grows in ditches, among water. 

Carum carui — Caraway. Scotch : carvie ; Gaelic : carbhaidk 
(a corruption from the generic name), from Caria, in Asia Minor,, 
because it was originally found there — also written carbhinn. 
" Cathair thalmhanta's carbhinn chroc-cheannach." — Macintyre. 
The yarrow and the horny-headed caraway. 

Lus Mhic Cuimein, MacCumin's wort. The name is derived from' 
the Arabic gamoun, the seeds of the plant Cuminum cyminum 
(cumin), which are used like those of caraway. 

The badge of the Cumins. 

Bunium flexuosum — The earth-nut. Gaelic : braonan bhuachaill, 
the shepherd's drop (or nut) ; braonan bachlaig (Shaw) ; cna- 
thalmhuinn — cno, a nut ; thalmhuinn, earth — ploughed land, 
ground. Latin : tellus. Sanscrit : talas, level ground. Irish r 
caor thalmhuinn, earth berry; coirearan muic, pig- berries, or pig- 
nuts. Cutharlan, a plant with a bulbous root. Cbrlan. Manx : 
Curlan. Croa hallooin, earth nut. 

Fceniculum vulgare — Fennel. Gaelic : lus an t-saoidh, the 
hayweed. Fineal, from Latin, fxnum, hay, the smell of the 
plant resembling that of hay. Irish : fineal chumhthra (cumhra y 
sweet, fragrant). Welsh : ffenigl. 

Ligusticum, from Liguria, where one species is common. 

L. scoticum — Lovage. Gaelic : siunas, from sion, a. blast, a 
storm — growing in exposed situations. In the Western Isles, 
where it is frequent on the rocks at the sea-side, it is sometimes, 
eaten raw as a salad, or boiled as greens. 

Leivsticum officinale — Common lovage. Gaelic: luibh an liugair, 
the cajoler's weed. It was supposed to soothe patients subject to- 
hysterics and other complaints. Irish : lus an liagaire, the- 



42 

physician's plant, from which the Gaelic name is a corruption. 
Though thus applicable, the names are only alterations of Ligus- 
licum, a plant of Liguria. Welsh : dulys, the dusky plant. 

Meuin athamanticum — Meu, spignel, baldmoney. Gaelic : 
muilceann. Irish: muilcheann, possibly from tnuil, a scent; ceann, 
a head or top. Muilceann is given in some dictionaries as " fell- 
wort," but "fellwort" (swertia fierennis) is a different plant, and 
belongs to the Gentian order. (It is now unknown in Britain, and 
has been excluded from our botanical books). The muilceann 
is highly aromatic, with a hot flavour like lovage. Highlanders 
are very fond of chewing its roots. 

In Inverness-shire, bruin or bricin dubh, perhaps from bri, 
juice; or, as mentioned in Lightfoot, vol. i. p. 158, as Sibbald 
says it grows on the banks of the Breick Water in West Lothian, 
may not some native of the banks of the Breick have given, it this 
local name in remembrance of seeing it growing on the banks of 
his native Breick? — Ferguson. 

There was a St. Bricin who flourished about the year 637. He 
had a great establishment at Tuaim Drecain. His reputation as 
a saint and "ollamk," or doctor, extended far and wide ; to him 
Cennfaeladh, the learned, was carried to be cured after the battle 
of Magh Rath. He had three schools for philosophy, classics, 
and law. It seems very strange, however, that this local name 
should be confined to Inverness, and be unknown in Ireland, 
where St. Bricin was residing. "Bricein, a prefix to certain 
animal names; from breac, spotted" (Macbain). 

Angelica — (So named from the supposed angelic virtues of 
some of the species). 

A. sylvestris — Wood angelica. Gaelic: lus nam buadha, the 
plant having virtues or powers. Lus an lonaid, the umbelliferous 
flower, somewhat resembles a churn piston. Irish: cuinneog mhighe, 
the whey bucket. Gallurati perhaps from gall (Greek : gala), 
milk, from its power of curdling milk ; for this reason, hay con- 
taining it is considered unsuitable for cattle. Irish: Contran. 
Aingealag: angelica. Gleorann, also "the cuckoo flower." 
Meacan righ fiadhain (O'Reilly). 

Crithnxum maritinxum — Samphire. Gaelic: saimbhir, a cor- 
ruption of the French name St. Pierre (St. Peter), from Greek 



43 

irerpa, a rock or crag. (The samphire glows on cliffs on 
the shore). Gaelic : an cnamh /us, the digesting weed ; 
■tnamh (from Greek: xva.«>; Welsh: cnoi; Irish: cnaoi), chew, 
digest. The herb makes a good salad, and is used medicin- 
ally. Irish: grioloigin. Geirgin (O'Reilly). A sea-side 
plant growing on rocks and cliffs. From its bitter taste the Gaelic- 
name is supposed to be derived. Geur, sharp, and in Irish, geire, 
sourness, tartness. O'Reilly also gives " saphir," a corruption of 
•samphire. Greinhrigin is given by Threlkeld as the name in 
Connaught, gairgean cregach in some places. Manx: /us ny greg, 
the rock plant. 

Peucedarmm ostruthium — Great masterwort. Gaelic: mbr 
fhliodh (Armstrong), the large excrescence, or the large chick- 
weed. 

P. officinale — Hog-fennel or sow-fennel. Gaelic : fineal sraide 
{Shaw) — sraitfe, a lane, a walk, a street. This plant is not found 
in Scotland, but was cultivated in olden times for the stimulating 
qualities attributed to the root. 

Anethum graveolens — Strong-scented or common dill. Gaelic 
and Irish : di/e (Macdonald) (Latin : diligo) — dile, a word in Gaelic 
meaning love, affection, friendship. The whole plant is very 
.aromatic, and is used for medicinal preparations. 

Sium sisarum — Skirrets. Gaelic : cromagan (Shaw), from crom, 
bent, crooked, from the form of its tubers. The tubers were 
boiled and served up with butter, and were declared by Worl- 
ridge, in 1682, to be "the sweetest, whitest, and most pleasant 
of roots;" formerly cultivated in Scotland under the name of 
"crummock,'' a corruption of the Gaelic name. Irish: cearracan 
-(O'Reilly), applied to the root of this plant and the carrot. 

S. angustifolium — Water -parsnip. Gaelic: folachdan (Arm- 
strong), from folachd, luxuriant vegetation ; an, water. Irish : 
xosadh dubhadh, the great water-parsnip (O'Reilly), (cos, a foot, 
stalk, shaft, and dubh, great, prodigious). 

Pastinaca sativa — Parsnip. Gaelic: meacan-an-righ, the king's 
root, royal root. Curran geal (from cur, to sow, geai, white). 
Irish : cuiridin ban, the same meaning (cuirim, I plant or sow). 
Welsh: moron gwynion, field carrot. The natives of Harris make 
use of the seeds of the wild white carrot, instead of hops, for 



44 

brewing their beer, and they say it answers their purpose suffi- 
ciently well, and gives the drink a good relish besides. " There 
is a large root growing amongst the rocks of this island — the 
natives call it the '■curran petris,' the rock-carrot — of a whitish 
colour, and upwards of two feet in length, where the ground, is 
deep, and in shape and size like a large carrot." — Martin. 

■22gopodium podagraria — Goat, gout, or bishop-weed. Gaelic : 
lus an easbuig — easbuig, a bishop. A name also given to Chrysan- 
themum kucanthemum, but with a different signification. Manx : 
lus-yn-olke (cattle herb), considered an unfailing remedy for sores 
in the mouths of cattle. Lus y ghoot, gout weed. 

Ferula communis — Fineal-athaich (O'Reilly) — Fennel-giant. 
Athach, a giant, and the name " fennel " from Latin foznum, hay. 
Not a native of Britain or Ireland. Cattle are said to be fond of 
it. It is a large plant not unlike the wood angelica, with umbelli- 
ferous flowers. The plant must have been unknown to the 
Highlanders and Irish, and the name is merely a translation. 
The old herbalist, Turner (1548), writes thus: — "Ferula is called 
in Greeke Narthex, but howe that it is named in Englishe, as yet 
I can not tel, for I never sawe it in Englande but in Germany in 
diverse places. It maye be named in Englishe herbe Sagapene or 
Fenel gyante." 

Heracleum sphondylium — Cow-parsnip. Gaelic: odharan, 
from odhar (Greek : &XP a > English : ochre), pale, dun, yellowish, 
in reference to the colour of the flowei. Meacan-a-chruidh, the 
cows' plan}. The plant is wholesome and nourishing for cattle. 
Gunnachan spiitain, squirt-guns. Children's name for the plant, 
because they make squirt-guns from its hollow stems. 

Daucus carota — Carrot. Gaelic : curran (any kind of a deep- 
rooted plant). Carrait, corruption from carota, Mtiran — (Welsh : 
moron), a plant with tapering roots. Irish : curran buidhe, the 
yellow root. 

" Muran brioghar 's an grunnasg lionmhar." — Macintvre. 
The sappy carrot and the plentiful groundsel. 
Irish: mugoman — mugan, a mug, from the hollow bird's -nest-like- 
flower. Cearracan (see Sium Sisaram). 

" The women present the men (on St. Michaelmas Day) with a 
pair of fine garters, of divers colours, and they give them likewise 
a quantity of wild carrots." — Martin. 



45 

{ cerifolium, ^ 
Anthricus, < vulgaris, Y — Chervil. Gaelic: costag, a 

( temulentum, J 

common name for the chervils (from cost, an aromatic plant ; 
Greek : koo-tos, kostos, same meaning). Costag a bhaile gheatnh- 
raidh (bhaile gheamhraidh, cultivated ground). " A. vulgaris was 
formerly cultivated as a pot-herb " (Dr. Hooker). 

Myrrhis (from Latin myrrha ; Hebrew, mar, bitter ; Gaelic : 
mirr — tus agus mirr, frankincense and myrrh). 

The myrrh in the Bible is a fragrant sort of gum which exudes 
from various trees in Arabia and other places, the principal being 
Balsamodendron Myrrha, the Balsam tree. The Hebrew Tzeri is 
also translated balm in the English version, as in Jeremiah viii. 
22 — " Is there no balm in Gilead?" but in the Gaelic Bible it is — 
■" Nach 'eil ioch-shlaint ann an Gilead?" 

M. odorata — Sweet cicely or great chervil. Gaelic : cos uisge 
(Shaw), the scented water-plant. In Braemar it is commonly 
called mirr. — Ed. "Scottish Naturalist." " Sweet chevril, gathered 
•while young, and put among other herbs in a sallet, addeth a 
marvellous good relish to all the rest " (Parkinson). 

Coriandrum (a name used by Pliny, derived from Kopvs, con's, 
a bug, from the fetid smell of the leaves). 

C. sativum — Coriander. Gaelic : coireiman — lus a' choire, cor- 
ruptions from the Greek. It is still used by druggists for various 
purposes, and by distillers for flavouring spirits. 
, (Enanthe crocata — Irish : dahou ban (Threl) (see Helleborus). 

LORANTHACE^E. 

Viscum album — Mistletoe. Gaelic: uil'-ice, a nostrum, a 
panacea (Macdonald), all-heal. Welsh : uchelwydd. Irish : uile 
iceach. This is the ancient Druidical name for this plant. Pliny 
tells us — " The Druids (so they call their Magi) hold nothing in 
such sacred respect as the mistletoe, and the tree upon which it 
grows, provided it be an oak. ' Omnia sanantem appellantes suo 
vocabulo' (They call it by a word signifying in their own lan- 
guage All-heal ) And having prepared sacrifices, and feast under 
the tree, they bring up two white bulls, whose horns are then 
first bound ; the priest, in a white robe, ascends the tree, and cuts 



46 

it off with a golden knife; it is received in a white sheet. Then,, 
and not till then, they sacrifice the victims, praying that God 
would render His gift prosperous to those on whom he had 
bestowed it. When mistletoe is given as a potion, they are of 
opinion that it can remove animal barrenness, and that it is a 
remedy against all poisons." Druidh-lus, the Druid's weed. Sugh 
an daraich, the sap or substance of the oak, because it derives its- 
substance from the oak, it being a parasite on that and other 
trees. (Sugh, juice, substance, sap ; Latin: succus). Irish: gut's, 
viscous, sticky, on account of the sticky nature of the berries. 
French : gui. 

" The mistletoe," says Vallencey in his ' Grammar of the Irish 
Language/ ' was sacred to the Druids, because not only its berries, 
but its leaves also, grew in clusters of three united to one stalk." 

The badge of the Hays. 

Caprifoliace^e. 

Sambucus nigra — Common elder. Gaelic and Irish ; ruis, 
meaning "wood." "The ancient name of the tree, which in the 
vulgar Irish is called trom " (O'Reilly) ; driiman or drotnan- 
Welsh : ysgawen, elder ; Manx : tramman. 

" The common people [of the Highlands] keep as a great secret 
in curing wounds the leaves of the elder, which they have gathered 
the first day of April, for the purpose of disappointing the charms 
of witches. They affix them to their doors and windows." — C. de 
Iryngin, at the Camp of Athole, June 30th, 165 1. Used also as 
an emetic and purge, frequently planted near houses, hence 
another name, Rath fas. {Rath, a town, and fas, growth). It 
was considered efficacious against witches, and from it a blue dye 
was made. 

S. ebulus — Dwarf elder. Gaelic and Irish : fliodh a' bhalla, 
the wall excrescence. Mulart " seems to be the same as the 
"Welsh word mwyUartaith (mwyll, emollient). It was esteemed a 
powerful remedy for the innumerable ills that flesh is heir to. 
Mulabhur. Old English name — Boure tree for the elder, burr, a 
clown. Welsh: ysgawen Mair, Mary's elder. 

Viburnum opulus — Guelder-rose, water-elder. Gaelic: ceir- 
iocan, heal- wax (Latin: cera; Greek, xw°s \ Welsh: cwyr, wax), 
the healing, wax-like plant, from the waxy appearance of the 



flowers. Keora con (Threl), dog-nut. Caoir chon, dog berries.. 
A shrubby tree growing in copses or waterside; with a flower 
from two to four inches in diameter, with large white florets round 
its circumference. The fruit nearly round, and red. Not com- 
mon in the Highlands, but frequently met with in Ireland. 

V. lantana — Wayfaring tree. Gaelic: craobh fhiadhain (Arm- 
strong), the wild or uncultivated tree. 

Lonicera periclymenum — Woodbine, honeysuckle. Gaelic: 
■uilleann, seems to be derived from uileann (elbows, arms, 
joints), elbow-like plant Taithiiilleann (O'Reilly), our Gaelic 
name Uilleann, and taith, bright, pleasing. Feith, feithlean. 
Irish : feathlog, feathlog fu chrann, fethlen, from feith, a 
sinew, tendon, suggested by its twisting, sinewy stems. Lus 
na meala, the honey-plant, from mil (Greek: /ieAi; Latin : 
met), honey. Deolag, or deoghalag, from deothail, to such. Irish : 
cas fa chrann, 1 that which twists round the tree. Bainne- 
ghamhnaich (O'Reilly), the yearling's milk. A somewhat satirical 
name, implying that the sucking will produce scanty results. In 
the Highlands this name is generally given to the red rattle 
(fedicularis). In Gaelic iadh shlat is frequently applied both to- 
this plant and to the ivy (see Hedera helix). Welsh : gwyddfid, 
tree-climber or hedge-climber. Manx : lus-y-chellan, bee herb. 
It was supposed, though mistakenly, that bees could reach the 
honey. It was considered "Mie dy reayll bainney veih rannagh, 
as yn eeym veih dooid" (Kelly's Dictionary). " Good to keep 
milk from stringiness and butter from blackness." Lus a chraois,. 
sometimes, but improperly. (See Cornus Suecica). 

RUBIACE^E. 

Rubia tinctorum — Madder. Gaelic: madar (Armstrong). 

Galium aparine — Goose-grass ; cleavers. Gaelic : garbh lus- r 
the rough weed. Irish: airmeirg, from airm, arms, weapons, 
from its stem being so profusely armed with retrograde prickles^ 
Manx: lus garroo. 

Ct. saxatile (Armstrong) —Heath bedstraw. Madar fraoich r 

' In Strathardle and many other districts, leum-a-chrann (hum, jump,. 
crann, a tree), alluding to its jumping or spreading from tree to tree. High. 
Soc. Diet, gives duilliur-ftithlean, probably from its darkening whatever' 
grew under it." — Ferguson. 



4 8 

heath madder. It grows abundantly among heather. O'Reilly 
gives this name also to G. verum. 

G. cruciata — Cross wort, the whirl of four leaves forming a 
cross. The Manx name is a translation, bossan tessen, cross wort. 
G. verum — Yellow bedstraw. Ruin, ruamh, from ruadh, red. 
Irish : ru (O'Reilly). " The Highlanders use the roots to dye red 
•colour. Their manner of doing so is this : The bark is stripped 
■off the roots, in which bark the virtue principally lies. Then they 
boil the roots thus stripped in water, to extract what little virtue 
remains in them; and after taking them out, they last of all put 
the bark into the liquor, and boil that and the yarn they intend to 
-dye together, adding alum to fix the colour " (Lightfoot). 

Lus an leasaich (in Glen Lyon) the rennet weed. " The rennet 
is made, as already mentioned, with the decoction of this herb. 
The Highlanders commonly added the leaves of the Urtica dioica 
or stinging-nettle, with a little salt" (Lightfoot). Irish: baladh 
.chnis (O'Reilly), the scented form (baladh, odour, scent, cneas, 
form). Chongullion (Threl) — Cuchullin's dog. Welsh: Ceiiion, 
This name must not be confounded with Crios Chu-chulainn. 
" Queen of the Meadow," or " Meadow Sweet." O'Reilly also 
■gives " Cucuillean" as a name for the "bedstraw." The same 
name given in Glenlyon as lus Chu-chulainn. Manx : lus y volley, 
sweet herb. 

Asperula odorata — Woodruff. Gaelic : lus-a-chaitheamh, the 
-consumption herb, as it was much used for that disease (Fergus- 
son). Probably the Irish name baladh chnis, the scented form, is 
the woodruff, and not the lady's bedstraw ; it is more appropriate 
to the former than to the latter. Lus Moleas (Threl) — Probably 
he means " Lus MolachJ' The rough or hairy plant, correspond- 
ing to the Latin name asperula, or asper, rough. Most of the 
genus are characterised by whirled leaves, square stems, and 
margins of leaves prickly; the common goose grass is a good 
example, but the woodruff is less rough than most of them. The 
dried plant is very oderiferous, and was formerly used as a 
diuretic. It ascends in the Highlands to the height of 1200 feet. 

Valerianace^e. 
Valeriana officinalis — Great wild valerian. Gaelic: an tr\- 
ihileach (Mackenzie); lus na tr\ bhilean (Armstrong), the three- 



49 

leaved plant, from the pinnate leaves and an odd terminal one, 
forming three prominent leaflets. Irish : lus na tr\ ballan, the 
plant with three teats (ballan, a teat); perhaps from its three 
prominent stamens (Brockie); carthan curaigh (carthan, useful, 
curaigh, a hero, a giant) — i.e., the useful tall plant. Welsh : y 
llysiewyn, the beautiful plant ; y dri-aglog (dri, three, aglog, burn- 
ing ; from its hot bitter taste). 

V. dioica — Marsh or dwarf valerian. Irish: carthan arraign, 
from arrach, dwarf; caoirin leana, that which gleams in the 
marsh (caoir, gleams, sparks, flames, flashes ; leana, a swamp, a 
marsh). Although this plant is not recorded from Ireland, yet the 
names only occur in the Irish Gaelic. 

V. celtioa — Celtic nard. Bachar. Greek: /3ai<xapis, a plant 
having a fragrant root. 

V. nardostachys — The true spikenard. Latin : nardus spicaia, 
i.e., the nard furnished with spikes; Gaelic: sfiiocnard (Songs of 
Solomon, iv. 14). Both these plants were used by the ancients, 
not only for their scent, but as a remedy for hysteria and epilepsy 
(Lindley). 

Dipsace^e. 

Dipsacus sylvestris ) Teasel, 

,, fulloniim i Teasel, or fuller's teasel. Gaelic : 
leadan, — liodan ; liodan an fhucadair (leadan or liodan a head 
of hair, Jiicadair a fuller of cloth) ; used for raising the nap 
upon woollen cloth, by means of the hooked scales upon the 
heads of the fuller's teasel. Irish : taga. Welsh : llysie y cribef, 
carding plant, from crib, a comb, card. Green dye was made 
from it. 

Scabiosa succisa — Devil's bit scabious. Gaelic and Irish : 
ura bhallach (ur, fresh, new ; ballach, from ball, a globular body, 
from its globular-shaped flower-heads, or ballach, spotted. This 
old Celtic word is found in many languages. Urach mhullaich, 
bottle-topped (urach, a bottle, from the form of the flower-head ; 
mullach, top). Odharach mhullaich, a corruption of urach. 
(Odhar means dun or yellowish, but the flower is blue). Greim 
an diabhail (O'Reilly), devil's bit, from its prsemorse root, the 
roots appearing as if bitten off. According to the old superstition, 



5° 

the devil, envying the benefits this plant might confer on man- 
kind, bit away a part of the root, hence the name. Manx: lus- 
yn-aacheoid (Ralfe) was reckoned a preservative against the evil 
eye. Welsh: y glafrllys, from clqfr, clawr, scab, mange, itch; 
translation of scabiosa, from scabies, the itch, which disorder it is 
said to cure. 

Knautia arvensis — Corn-field knautia (so named in honour 
of C. Knaut, a German botanist) or field scabious. Gaelic: gille 
guirmein, the blue lad. Irish : caba deasain, the elegant cap ; 
caba, a cap or hood) and deas, neat, pretty, elegant. Bodach 
gorm, the blue old man. 

Composite. 

Helmiuthia echioides — Ox-tongue. Gaelic : bog/us (Arm- 
strong), a corruption from the Irish ; bolglus, ox-weed, from bolg, 
a cow, an ox. A name also given to Lycopsis arvensis. Bog 
luibh, same meaning. (Bog and bolg axe often interchanged.) 

Lactuca sativa — Lettuce. Gaelic and Irish: liatus, lettuce, 
a corruption from lactuca (Latin, lac, milk), on account of the 
milky sap which flows copiously when the plant is cut ; luibh 
inite, the eatable plant. Irish: billeog math, the good leaf. 
Welsh: gwylath, gwy fluid, lacth, milk. 

L. muralis — Bliutsan (Threl) wall lettuce, from bligh, milk, 
from the milky juice of the plant. Very rare in the Highlands. 
A plant somewhat resembling dandelion. 

Sonchus oleraceus — Common sow-thistle, milk-thistle. Gaelic 
and Irish • bog ghioghan, the soft thistle. Irish giogan, a thistle. 
Fofannan min, soft thistle. Baine muic, sow's milk. Manx: 
Bainney muck. Cluaran cruidh, cow's thistle (O'Reilly). 

S. arvensis — Gaelic : bliochd fochainn, the corn milk-plant ; bliochd, 
milky ; fochann, young corn. Welsh : llaeth ysgallen, milk-thistle 
(jsgallen, a thistle). 

Hieracium pilosella — Mouse-ear hawkweed. Gaelic: cluas 
luch, mouse-ear ; cluas liath, the grey ear. 

H. murorum — Wall hawkweed. Irish : sruthan-na-muc (O'Reilly). 

Taraxacum dens leonis — Dandelion. Gaelic : bearnan Bride. 

"Am bearnan Bride J s a' pheighinn rloghail." — M'Intyrb. 
The dandelion and the penny-royal. 

Beam, a notch, from its notched leaf ; "Bride, from its being in 



5 1 

flower plentifully on latha fheill-Bride''' (Fergusson). Bride is 
also a corruption of Bhrighit, St. Bridget. Latha Fheill-Brighde, 
Candlemas, St. Bridget's Day. Bior nam bride (bior, sharp, 
tooth-like) ; fiacal leomhain, lion's teeth. Welsh: dant y Hew, the 
same meaning as .dandelion (dent de lion), from the tooth-like 
formation of the leaf. Bladh buidhe, yellow flower. Castearbhan 
nam muc (Shaw) — The pigs' sour-stemmed plant. Irish : cais- 
■earbhan, cats t-searbhain, castearbhan (cats, a word of many 
significations, but here from cas, a foot ; caiseag, the stem of a 
plant; searbh, bitter, sour). Manx: Lus-ny-Minnag (entrails 
herb), used as a diuretic, and for liver and kidney complaints. 
Magenta die made from it. 

Cichorium intybus — Succory of Chicory. Gaelic: lus an t- 
siiicair, a corruption of cichorium, which was so named from 
the Egyptian word chicoiiryeh. Pliny remarks that the Egyptians 
made their chicory of much consequence, as it or a similar plant 
■constituted half the food of the common people. It is also 
called in Gaelic castearbhan, the sour-stemmed plant. 

C. endiva — Endive. Gaelic : eanach gharaidh (eanach, corrup- 
tion of endiva, "from the Arabic name hendibeh " (Du Thdis), 
garadh, a garden). Searbhain muc (O'Reilly). Welsh : ysgali y 
meirch, horse-thistle. 

Lapsana communis — Nipplewort. Gaelic: duilleag mhaith, 
the good leaf ; duilleag mhtn, the smooth leaf. Irish : duilleog 
Mrighid, the efficacious leaf, or perhaps St. Bridget's leaf, the 
saint who, according to Celtic superstition, had the power of 
revealing to girls their future husbands ; son duilleag, good leaf. 
French : herbe aux mamelles, having been formerly applied to the 
breasts of women to allay irritation caused by nursing. Duilleog 
bhraghad, or braighe, the breast-leaf. Manx : Bollan-y-chee, 
breast-wort. It was used in the Isle of Man "to promote the 
flow of milk into the breasts " (Moore). 

" If it was used by the French for rubbing the breasts, nothing 
seems more likely than that it would be also so used by the 
Celts of Ireland and Scotland, which would at once give it the 
name of duilleog braghad" (Fergusson). 

Arctium — Celtic : art, a bear. Greek : apKros, from the 
rough bristly hair of the fruit. 



5 2 

A. lappa — Burdock. Gaelic and Irish: suirichean suirich, the 
foolish wooer (suiriche, a fool ; suirich, a lover or wooer) ; seircean 
suirich, affectionate wooer {scire, affection). Seircean mbr. 
Bramasagan, cleiteagan. Names given to the " bur," or heads. 
Mac-an-dogha, 1 the mischievous plant (mac-an for mecan,. 
a plant) ; doghadh, mischievous (Shaw). Meacan-tobhach-dubh, 
the plant that seizes (tobhach, wrestling, seizing, inducing ;. 
dubh, black, or large). Leadan liosda (leadan, ahead of hair ; 
liosda, stiff). Irish: copag tuaithil, the ungainly docken; ceosan r 
the bur, or fruit, also cladan, ceipeanan siiiridh. 

" Mar cheosan air sgiathan fior-eun.'' — Ossian. 
Like bur clinging to the eagle's wing. 

Cocoil (O'Reilly). Manx : Bollan ghoa, sticking wort. " A 
favourite remedy for skin diseases and for nervousness " (Moore). 
Welsh : Bribe y bleidd, wolf's comb. 

Carduus heterophyllus — Melancholy thistle. Gaelic: cluas 
anfheidh, the deer's ear. It was said to be the badge of James I. 
of Scotland. A most appropriate badge ; but yet it had no con- 
nection with the unfortunate and melancholy history of the 
Stuarts, but was derived from the belief that a decoction of this 
plant was a sovereign remedy for madness, which, in older times, 
was called "melancholy." "The national emblem 'the thistle' 
was adopted for the following incident : — The Scottish army lay 
encamped on the banks of the river Tay near Stanley. The 
enemy, the Norsemen attempted to cross the river by the trap^ 
dyke in the night time. Happily for the Scotsmen, a Norseman 
trampled with his bare feet on a thistle and gave a loud cry of 
pain which immediately roused the Scots, who attacked the enemy 
and completely routed them." The place is still known as the 
" Thistle Brig." 

The plant generally selected to represent the Scotch heraldic 
thistle, is Onopordon acanthium, the cotton thistle, and, strange 
to say, it does not grow wild in Scotland. Achaius, king of 
Scotland (in the latter part of the eighth century), is said to have 
been the first to have adopted the thistle for his device. Favine 

1 Dogha also means burnt or singed. It was formerly burned to procure 
from its ashes a white alkaline salt, as good as the best potash. English, 
"Dock," borrowed from the Celtic dogha. — Skeat. 



S3 

•says Achaius assumed the thistle in combination with the rue : 
the thistle, because it will not endure handling ; and the rue, 
because it would drive away serpents by its smell, and cure their 
poisonous bites. The thistle was not received into the national 
.arms before the fifteenth century. 

C. palustris — Marsh-thistle. Gaelic: cluaran leana {cluaran, 
a, thistle ; lean, a swamp ; 

" Lubadh cluaran mu Lora nan sion." — Ossian. 
Let the thistle bend round Lora of the storms. 

Cluaran, a general name for all the thistles ; also Giogan. 
"Welsh : ys gallen. Manx : Onnane. 

C. lanceolatus — Spear-thistle. Gaelic: an cluaran deilgneach, 
the prickly thistle (deilgne, prickle-thorn). 

C. arvensis — Corn-thistle. Gaelic: aigheannach, the valiant 
-one (from aighe, stout, valiant Feochdan (O'Reilly). 

C. marianus — Mary's thistle. Gaelic: fothannan beannuichte. 
Irish : fothannan beahduighte (Latin : benedictus), the blessed 
•thistle (so called from the superstition that its leaves are stained 
with the Virgin Mary's milk) ; fothannan, foghnan, fonndan, a 
thistle. Fofannan breach, Bearnan breech (Threl), and fofannan 
Muire, all names for this thistle. (C. benedictus was the "blessed 
thistle.") 

This Gaelic name for thistle is variously spelt in old Irish 
jmthann, "raw or rough twig" (Macbain). The thistle is 
frequently mentioned in Gaelic poetry. 

' ' Leannaibh am foghannan. " — Ossian 

Pursue the thistle-down. 
" Feadh nan raointean lom ud 

Far nach cinn na fotK nain. " 

Among these bare hillsides, 

Where the thistles will not grow. 

M 'Donald has another name, cluaran bir, the gold thistle. 

' ' Gaoir bheachainn bhui 's ruadha 
Ri diogladh chluaran bir." 
The buzzing of yellow and red wasps 
Tickling the golden thistle. 

It is uncertain to which thistle, if any, the reference is made, 
unless it be to Carlina vulgaris, the carline thistle. Cluaran, 



54 

occasionally means a paisy, Chrysanthemum segetum, one of its 

names being liathan. 

" Liath chluaran nam magh." — Ossian. 
The hoary thistle (or daisy) of the field. 

Here the reference is evidently to the corn-marigold; in alL 
probability M 'Donald refers to the same flower, and not to any 
thistle (see Chrysanthemum segetum). 

The badge of the Stuart clan. 

Cynara scolynms — Artichoke. Gaelic : farusgag, from farusg, 
the inner rind, the part used being the lower part of the recep- 
tacle of the flower, freed from the bristles and seed-down, and 
the lower part of the leaves of the involucre. Bliosan, not un- 
likely to be a contraction from bli-liosan, — bit (bligh), milk (with, 
its florets milk was formerly coagulated) ; and lios, a garden. 
These names apply also to Helianthus tuberosus, Jerusalem arti- 
choke, especially to the tubers ; and plur na greine, to the flower,, 
from the popular error that the flower turns with the sun. 

Centaurea nigra — Knapweed. Gaelic: cnapan dubh, the black 
knob (from map, a knob). Manx: lus-y-cramman doo (the same 
meaning); Welsh and Irish: map; Saxox: map, Danish : map). 
Mullach dubh,the black top. Irish : niansgoth, the daughter's- 
flower (nian, a daughter ; sgoth, a flower). 

C. cyanus — Blue-bottle. Gaelic : gorman, the blue one. In 
some places, gille-guirmean, the blue lad. Curachd cubhaig, the 
cuckoo's cap or hood. Irish: curac na cuig, the same meaning. 
Welsh : penlas wen, blue-headed beauty. 

Artemisia vulgaris — Mugwort. Gaelic : liath /us, the grey 
weed. Mbr manta (Shaw), the large demure looking plant 
(mbr, large ; manta, demure, bashful). Mughard, Mugwort 
(mugan, midge wort. Danish: mug, a midge (Skeat). Irish:. 
bofulan ban, or buafannan ban, the white toad, or serpent {buaf, a 
toad ; buaf a, a serpent ; Latin : bufa, a toad) ; buafannan liath, 
the grey toad, or serpent. Mongach measga (O'Reilly). Welsh r 
llwydlys, grey weed. Manx: Bollan feaill-Eoin, John's feast- 
wort. 

Cows were protected from the influence of fairies and witches- 
by having " bollan feaill-Eoin " placed on St. John's Eve in their 
houses. It was made into chaplets, which were worn on the 
heads of man and beast ; this was supposed to protect them from, 
malign influences. — (Moore). 



55 

A. absinthium — Common wormwood. Gaelic : buramaide, 
Irish borramotor, also burbun {burrais, a worm or caterpillar ; 
maide, wood) — i.e., wormwood Skeat derives it from waremood, 
"preserver of the mind, — from its supposed virtues." Searbh luibh, 
bitter plant. 

" Chuir e air mhisg me le searbh-luibhean." — Stuart. 
He hath made me drunk with wormwood. 

" Mar a' bhurmaid." 
Like the wormwood. 

It was formerly used instead of hops to increase the intoxi- 
cating quality of malt liquor. Roide, gall, bitterness. Grbban, 
more correctly graban (from Swed. grabba, to grasp). * Welsh : 
wermod chwerwlys bitter weed. 

A. abrotanum — Southernwood. Gaelic : meath challtuinn. 
{Meath, Latin mitisfaint, weary, effeminate. Its strong smell 
is said to prevent faintness and weariness. Calltuiun, from cal, 
Latin : cala ; Italian, cala ; French : cale, a bay, sea shore, a 
harbour.) It grows in similar situations to A. maritima. Lus an 
t-seann duine, the old man's plant, frequently used by old people 
to keep them awake in church. Irish : surabkan, suramont, and 
Welsh, siwdrmwt. The sour one {stir, sour), and "southern- 
wood," also from the same root. Welsh: llysier cryff, ale-wort 
{cryff, Latin, cervisia, ale), it being sometimes used instead of 
hops to give a bitter taste to malt liquors. 

Gnaphalium dioicum, G-. sylvaticum — Cudweed. Gaelic : 
luibh a' chait, the cat's weed. Gnabh, or cnamh lus, the weed that 
wastes slowly (from yva^aXiov), a word with which Dioscorides 
describes a plant with white soft leaves, which served the purpose 
of cotton. This well describes these plants. They have all 
beautifully soft woolly leaves ; and, on account of the permanence 
of the form and colour of their dry flowers, are called "Ever- 
lasting." 

Filago germanica — Common cotton rose. Gaelic and Irish : 
Hath lus roid, the gall (or wormwood) grey weed. 

1 The occasional occurrence of Gothic roots in plants' names in the Western 
Highlands and Isles, is accounted for by the conquest of these parts by the 
Norwegians in the ninth century, and the fact of their rule existing there 
for at least two centuries under the sway of the Norwegian kings of Man and 
the Isles. 



56 

Petasites vulgaris — Butter-bur, pestilence-wort. Gaelic and 
Irish: gallan rribr, the big branch, possibly referring to its large 
leaf. Welsh: Alan-mawr, the big coltsfoot. Pobal, more cor- 
rectly pubal. Welsh: pabel, a tent, a covering. 

" Shuidhich iad am pubuitt." — Ossian. 
They pitched their tents. 

The Greek name 7reT<xo-os, a broad covering, in allusion to its 
large leaves, which are larger than that of any other British 
plant, and form an excellent shelter for small animals. 

Tussilago farfara — Colt's foot. Gaelic: cluas Hath, grey ear; 
gorm Hath, greyish green; duilliur spuing, the tinder-leaf. Billeog 
an spuing. 

" Cho tioram ri spuing." 
As dry as tinder. 

The leaf, dipped in saltpetre and then dried, made excellent 
tinder or touchwood. Gaelic and Irish: fathan or athan, mean- 
ing fire. It was used for lighting fire. The leaves were smoked 
before the introduction of tobacco, and still form the principal 
ingredient in the British herb tobacco. Gallan-greannchair 
{gallan see "Petasites;'' greann, hair standing on end, a beard), 
probably referring to its pappus. Manx: Cabbag-ny-hawin, the 
river dock. Irish : cassachdaighe (O'Reilly), a remedy for a cough 
{casachd, a cough ; aighe or ice, a remedy). " The leaves smoked, 
or a syrup or decoction of them and the flowers, stand recom- 
mended in coughs and other disorders of the breast and lungs " 
(Lightfoot). Welsh : cam y ebol (earn, hoof, and ebol foal or 
colt), colt's-foot. 

Senecio vulgaris — Groundsel. Gaelic : am bualan, from bual, 
a remedy. Lus Phara Hath, 1 grey Peter's weed, a name suggested 
by its aged appearance, even in the spring-time. Latin : senecio. 
Welsh : ben felan, sly woman. Sail bhuinn (sail, a heel ; buinn, 
an ulcer). " The Highlanders use it externally in cataplasms as 

1 In Breadalbane, Glenlyon, and other places, the plant is called Lus 
Phara Hath ; Lus Phara Lisle — 

PrOV. — Lus Phara Hath cuiridh e ghoimh as a' chraimh." 

The groundsel will extinguish acute pain in the bone — 

it being frequently applied as a cure for rheumatic pains. 



57 

-a cooler, and to bring on suppurations" (Lightfoot). Grunnasg 
(from grunnd, ground; German: grund). Welsh : grunsel. Manx: 
jp-unlus. 

'•Muran brighor 's an grunnasg lionmhor. " — Macintyre. 
The sappy carrot and the plentiful groundsel. 

Irish : crann lus, the plough-weed. Buafanan na h-easgaran 
■(buaf, a toad, a serpent, but in this name evidently a corruption 
from bualan, a remedy, or buaidh, to overcome; easgaran, the 
plague), a remedy for the plague. A name given also to the 
ragwort. 

S. palludocis — O'Reilly gives the name Boglus, but he is 
wrong; the name does not apply. It is almost extinct now, but 
sometimes found in the Fen counties of Lincolnshire, Norfolk, 
&c. For Boglus, see " Lycopsis." 

S. Jacobsea — Ragwort. Gaelic and Irish : buadhlan buidhe 
{from buadh, to overcome; buidhe, yellow); buadhghallan, the 
stripling or branch that overcomes ; guiseag bhuidhe, or cuiseag, 
the yellow-stalked plant ; cuiseag, a stalk. Manx : cushag. 

Prov. — " Ta airh er cushagynn ayns shen." 
There is gold on the ragwort there — 
alluding to its profusion of yellow flowers. 

Inula Helenium — Elecampane, said to be from the officinal 

name, inula campana, but probably a corruption of Hel^nula, 

Little Helen (Jones). Greek : eAevos, the elecampane. Gaelic : 

•aillean sometimes uilleann. Irish: Ellea (Gaelic, Eilidh), Helen, 

Welsh : Helenium. The famous Helen of Troy, who is said 

to have availed herself of the cosmetic properties of the plant. 

Creamh, sometimes, but more generally applied to Allium ursinum 

•(which see). The Elecampane is an aromatic plant, with large 

■downy leaves something like a docken leaf (copag). Its roots 

•contain a white starchy powder called Inuline, from which medi- 

-cines were extracted for the cure of dyspepsia and lung affections. 

It furnishes the Vin d' Aulnde of the French. It is still frequently 

met with in cottage gardens. 

Bellis perennis — Daisy. Gaelic and Irish : nebinean or nbinean, 
the noon-flower (from nbin, noon ; Welsh : nawn ; Latin : nona, 
the ninth hour, from novem, ninth. The ninth hour, or three in 



58 

the afternoon, was the noon of the ancients). Manx : neaynin* 
Welsh : llygad y dydd, the eye of the day (Daisy). 

" San nebinean beag's mo lamh air cluain." — Miann A Bhaird Aosda.. 
And the little daisy surrounding my hillock. 

Buidheag (in Perthshire), the little yellow one. 

" Geibh sinn a' bhuidheag 'san 16n." — Old Song. 
We shall find the daisy in the meadow. 

It was the belief, of the Celtic people that when an infant was 
taken away from earth a flower — the daisy — was sent. Malvina 
lost her infant son, and was inconsolable, sat brooding lonely, and 
would not look out even upon the sunshine. At length some of 
her attendants returned from a journey full of something new. 
They found the sorrowing mother sitting like a statue. " Oh, 
Malvina ! your infant has come back — a wondrous new flower has- 
come to earth — white are its leaves near the heart, but nearer the 
edges tinged with pink or crimson like an infant's flesh. When 
the wind waves it on the hillside, you might say that there an 
infant in play moves from side to side. Oh, Malvina ! come>- 
come and see it.'' And Malvina rose and looked upon the flower 
— a daisy — and no more mourned, saying, "This flower is 
Malvina's son returned, will comfort all mothers that have lost 
their infants." 

Chrysanthemum segetum — Corn - marigold. Gaelic: bile 
buidhe, the yellow blossom. Bileach coigreach, the stranger or 
foreigner. Irish: Bilich chuige. Liathan, lia, the hoary grey 
one (from Greek Aaos ; Welsh : llwyd), on account of the light- 
grey appearance of the plant, expressed botanically by the term 
glaucous. Manx: Castag vuigh. Lus airh, gold flower, the flower 
being yellow. An dithean bir, the golden flower, or chrysan- 
themum (xpv<ros, gold ; <xv0os, a flower). 

" Mar mhln-chloch nan br dhtihean beag." 
Like the tender breast of the little marigold. 

"Do dhlthean lurach, luaineach, 
Mar thuairneagan de'n or." 
Thy lovely marigolds like waving cups of gold. 

"Dtthean" is frequently used in a general sense for "flower," also- 
for "darnel." 

" Tir nan dtthean miadar daite." 
Land of flowers, meadow dyed. 
" D\thean nan gleann." 
The flowers of the valley. 

Welsh : gold mair, marigold. Irish : buafanan buidhe, the yellow 



59 

toad. Plosgat (O'Reilly). It was used to soothe throbbing pains- 
{plosg, to throb). 

C. leucanthenmm — Ox-eye. Gaelic: an nebinein mbr, the big 
daisy. Am breinean-brothach {breine, stench ; brothach, scabby). 

Ox-eye daisy, called in the Gaelic " Breinean brothach." Brein- 
ean or brainean also means a king; Welsh, brenhin. The word* 1 
is now obsolete in the Highlands. Easbuig-ban and easbadh' 
brothach (the King's-evil). This plant was esteemed an excellent 
remedy for that complaint. Irish : easbuig Speain (Speain or 
Easbain, Spain). 

Anthemis nobilis — Common chamomile. Camomhil, from the 
Greek \a.fiai firjkov, which Pliny informs us was applied to the 
plant on account of its smelling like apples. (Spanish : mammilla, 
a little apple). Lus-nan-cam-bhil (Mackenzie), the plant with 
drooping leaves. A corruption from the Greek. 

' ' Bi'dh miormtain camomhil 's sobhraichean 
Geur bhlleach, Ionach, luasganach." — Macintyre. 
There will be mints, chamomile, and primroses, 
Sharp-leaved, pratling, restless. 

Luibhleighis, the healing plant. This plant is held in consider- 
able repute, both in the popular and scientific Materia Medica. 

A. pyrethrum — Pellitory of Spain. Gaelic: lus na Spaine, 
the Spanish weed. 

A. cotula — Sinell (Threl), stinking May-weed. Probably sine,- 
a teat ; and amhuil, like. The teat-like appearance of its com- 
posite flower is very striking; it and others of the chamomile 
tribe were popular cures for swellings and inflammations. Rare 
in the Highlands, it is frequent in the South and in Ireland. 

A. arvensis — Field chamomile. Irish : coman mionla [coman, a 
common ; mionla, fine-f oliaged. Gaelic : m\n lach). 

Matricaria iodora — Scentless May-weed. Gaelic : buidheag an 
arbhair, the corn daisy. Camomhil fhiadhain, wild chamomile. 

M. partheirium — Meadh duach (O'Reilly), fever few; meadh 
drush (Threl). Decoctions of these plants mixed with honey 
were formerly in use as cures for fevers and diseases of the 
uterus, and other unmentionable complaints. 

Tanacetum vulgare — Tansy. Gaelic : lus na Fraing, the 
French weed. (French, tanaisie.) Irish: tamhsae, corruptions- 
from Athanasia. Greek: a, privative, and davaros, death, /.«.„ 



6o 

a plant which does not perish — a name far from applicable to 
this species). It is also called lus an righ, the king's plant. Lus 
na fecog (O'Reilly and others). It looks as if "fecog" was the 
•digammated form of the old Irish ec or eug, death. 

Eupatorium cannabinum — Hemp agrimony. Gaelic and Irish : 
xndib uisge or canaib uisge, water-hemp (from Greek Kavvaf3is ; 
Latin: cannabis, hemp. Manx: Kennip. 

Bidens cerrnia — Bur marigold. Irish : sceachog Mhuire, 
Mary's haw. 

Achillea ptarmica — Sneezewort. Gaelic : cruaidh /us, hard 
weed. (Latin : crudus, hard, inflexible). Meacan ragaim, the 
stiff plant Lus a' chorrain (Threl), sickle weed. Roibhe, 
moppy. Welsh : yslrew/ys, sneezewort. 

A. millefolium — Yarrow. Gaelic: lus chosgadh na fo/a, the 
plant that stops bleeding. Lus na fola, the blood weed ; lus an 
t-sleisneach (Carmichael). Earr tha/mhuinn, that which clothes the 
•earth {earr, clothe, array). Athair tha/mhuinn, the ground 
father. Cathair tha/mhuinn, the ground seat or chair. Probably 
alterations of earr (for tha/mhuinn see Bunium flexuosum). Manx: 
airh-hallooin. Welsh: milddail — milfoil (thousand-leaved). 

" Cathair thalmhuinn^ carbhin chroc-cheannach." — MACINTVRE. 
The yarrow and the horny-headed caraway. 

Earr thalmhuinn — The yarrow, cut by moonlight by a young 
woman, with a black handled knife, and certain mystic words, 
similar to the following, pronounced : — 

" Good-morrow, good-morrow, fair yarrow, 
And thrice good-morrow to thee ; 
Come, tell me before to-morrow, 
Who my true love shall be." 

The yarrow is brought home, put into the right stocking, and 
placed under the pillow, and the mystic dream is expected ; but 
if she opens her lips after she has pulled the yarrow, the charm 
is broken. Allusion is made to this superstition in a pretty song 
-quoted in the "Beauties of Highland Poetry,'' p. 381, beginning — 

" Gu'n dh'eirich mi moch, air madainn an de, 

S ghearr mi 'n earr thalmhuinn, do bhri mo sgeil, 

I rose yesterday morning early, 

And cut the yarrow because of my misery, 1 

An duil gu'm faicinn-sa rilin mo chleibh ; 

Ochoin ! .gu'm facas, 's a cul rium fein." 



bi 

Expecting to see the beloved of my heart. 

Alas ! I saw her — but her back was towards me. 

The superstitious customs described in Burns's " Hallow-e'en,"' 
were common among the Celtic races, and are more common on 
the western side of Scotland, from Galloway to Argyle, in conse- 
sequence of that district having been occupied for centuries by 
the Dalriade Gaels. 

Solidago virgaurea — Golden rod. Gaelic : fuinnseog coille ? 
A name given by Shaw to the herb called " Virgo pastoris."' 
Also one of the names of the mountain-ash (Pyrus aucuparia, 
which see.) Manx: slat-airh (Ralfe) Golden rod. 

Jasione montana — Sheep-bit. Gaelic : dubhan nan caora 
(O'Reilly). Dubhan, a kidney ; caora, sheep. Putan gorm, blue 
button. Manx : buttonyn gorrym, blue buttons. Welsh : clefryn. 

Hieracium — Hawkweed, Lus na seobhaig. Manx : lus ny 
shirree, hawkweed. 

CaMPANULACEjE. 

Campanula — Gaelic : barr-cluigeannach, bell-flowered. 

" Bhrr-cluigeannach slnnteach gorm-bhileach. " 
Bell-flowered extended, blue-petalled. 

C. rotundifolia — Round-leaved bell-flower. Gaelic : brbg na 
cubhaig, the cuckoo's shoe. Am pluran cluigeannach, the bell- 
like flower. Welsh : bysedd ellyilon, imp's fingers Scotch : 
witch's thimbles. Also in Irish, mearacan Pi'cca, Puck's thimbles. 

Lobelia dortmanna — Water-lobelia. Plur an lochain, the lake- 
flower. 

Ericaceae. 
Erica tetralix — Cross-leaved heath. General name Fraoch, 
anciently Ur. Gaelic : fraoch Prangach, French heath. Fraoch 
an ruinnse, rinsing heath; a bunch of its stems tied together 
makes an excellent scouring brush, the other kinds being too 
coarse. {Fraoch, anciently fraech.) Welsh : grtig. Greek: 
kpiiKia, ereiko, to break, from the supposed quality of the species 
in breaking the stone (medicinally). The primary meaning seems 
to be to buist, to break, and appears to be cognate with the Latin 
fractum. Fraoch also means wrath, fury, hunger. "Laoch bir 



62 

gharg fraoch" (Ull.)» a hero of the fiercest wrath. "Fraoch/" 
fury, the war-cry of the M'Donalds. Old Irish : fraich. The 
Badge of Conn of a hundred fights. 

" Leathaid folt fada fraich, 
Forbrid canach fann finn."— Finn MacCumhail. 
Spreads heath its long hair, flourishes the feeble fair cotton grass. 

E. vagans. — Cornish heath. Celtic: gooneleg (Dr. Hooker), 
the bee's resort. 

E. cinerea. — Smooth-leaved heath. Gaelic : fraoch d bhadain, 
the tufted heath. Dlitth fraoch— {Logan)— Our Gaelic word 
dluth, close. The leaves are finer than in the other species It 
is in its glory in July. Its dark purple is very conspicuous in 
that month. 

" Barr an fhraoch bhadanaich." — Old Song. 
The top of the tufted heath. 
" Gur badanach, caoineil, mileanta, 
Cruinn mopach, min cruth, mongonnach, 
Fraoch groganach, du-dhonn gris dearg." — M'lNTYRE. 

Literally — 

That heath so tufty, mellow, sweet-lipped, 
Round, moppy, delicate, ruddy, 
Stumpy, brown, and purple. 

Fraoch an dearrasain, the heath that makes a rustling or buzzing 
sound. Fraoch spreadanach, 'crackling heather. 

The badge of Clan Donnachaidh or Robertson. 

E. Hibernica — Am Fraoch Eirionnach — (Canon Bourke) (Hooker) 
— The Irish heath. The name is distinctive — not found in Great 
Britain, but in Ireland in bog heaths in Mayo and Galway, also on 
the Mediterranean shores. The Irish natives delight to sell bunches 
of it to travellers. 

y* Dabeocia polifolia — Fraoch Dhaboch — (Canon Bourke, Don, and 
others). St. Dabeoc's heath. Many of our Gaelic names are 
those of saints — St. Patrick, St. Columba, St. Bennett, St. 
Bridget, &c. Native of the West of Ireland, on Craig Phadraigh 
and other places, but not in Scotland or England. A shrub of 
about one to two feet in height. 

Calluna vulgaris.— Ling heather. Gaelic and Irisfi : fraoch. 
Manx: Freogh. Heath or heather is still applied to many im- 
portant domestic purposes, thatching houses, &c, and "the hardy 
Highlanders frequently make their beds with it — the roots down 



63 

and the tops upwards — and formerly tanned leather, dyed yarn, 
and even made a kind of ale from its tender tops." Langa 
•(M'Kenzie), ling. Fraoch gorm. 

The badge of the M 'Donalds. 

C. Vulgaris variety Alba — Fraoch geal, white heath. This is 
only the common ling heather that blooms so profusely in August. 
Occasionally other species are also white, but the ling most 
frequently. Colour alone does not form a distinctive variety. 
There must be something more, and in this case the flowers are 
less crowded and smaller. It has always been considered an 
emblem of good luck, and became recently more so by the fact 
that the late Emperor of Germany is said to have presented our 
Princess Royal with a bunch of white heather, gathered on Craig 
Gowan, when he made a momentous proposition to her. 

Phyllodoce Menziesia — Fraoch nam Meinnearach (Logan), 
the yew-leaved heath, called Menzie heath by Logan, and 
he assumes that it was so called because it was the badge 
•of that clan. It was named Menziesia in honour of Archibald 
Menzies, F.L.S., &c, surgeon and naturalist to the expedi- 
tion under Vancouver, in which voyage he gathered many 
plants new to botany on the west coast of America, New- 
Holland, and other countries. Specimens of this heath 
were discovered on the Sow of Athol and a few near 
Aviemore and Strathspey. The Menzies Clan may have had a 
heath for their badge, but most certainly not this one. It is 
extremely rare, if not now extinct in our country, though dis- 
tributed widely in other countries. For a similar reason the 
Mackays may claim Tetralix Mackayi as their badge if they are 
so minded. 

Azalea proeumbens — Lusan Albannach. No English name. 
Yet Logan* gives this most indefinite Gaelic name, Lusan Alban- 
nach t (Scottish plant). It is a pretty little, heath-like, trailing 
plant, with pink flowers, not uncommon in the Highlands at an 
-altitude of 1500 to 3600 feet. 

Arbutus TTva-TJrsi — Red bearberry. Gaelic : grainnseag, small, 
grain-like. It has small red berries, which are a favourite food 
for moorfowl. Braoileag nan con, the dogs' berry. Lusra na 
.geire boirnigh (O'Relly), the plant of bitterness ; boirnigh, feminine. 
(See p<zonia.) 

The badge of the Clan Colquhoun. 
* James Logan, F.S.A.S., author of "The Scottish Gael," Vol. I. p. 300-1-2. 



6 4 

A. alpina — The black bearberry. Gaelic : grainnseag dhubh r 
the black grain-like beny. 

A. unedo — Strawberry-tree Irish : caithne (O'Donovan). 
Caithim, I eat or consume. 

Vaccinium myrtillus — Whortleberry. Gaelic: /us nan dearc,. 
the berry plant (dearc} a berry). Geur-dhearc, sour berry. 
Fraochan, that which grows among the heather. The berries are 
used medicinally by the Highlanders, and made into tarts and 
jellies, which . last is mixed with whisky to give it a relish for 
strangers. Dear can- fithich, the raven's berries. It dyes blue. 

V. vitis - idsea — Cowberry ; red whortleberry ; Gaelic : /us 
nam braoighleag. Irish: braigh/eog (from braigh, top, summit, a 
mountain), the mountain-plant ; ordinary signification, a berry. 
Bodhearc, cowberry. (" Bo, a cow, from which the Greeks- 
derived /3oos, an ox " — Armstrong.) Latin : vacca and vaccinium. 

" Do leacan chaoimhneil gu dearcach braoighleagach." 
Thy gentle slopes abounding with whortleberries and cowberries. 

Badge of Clan Chattan septs 

Andromeda polifolia — Ros-Mairi fiadhaich (Logan), marsh, 
andromeda. The Gaelic name means " the wild rosemary.'' The 
rosemary belongs to a different order (Labiates). The Andro- 
meda grows among our peat bogs from Perthshire southward - r 
from 6 to 1 2 inches in height ; leaves very leathery ; with white 
or pink bell, or rather heath-like flowers. It produces a very 
acrid narcotic, which proves fatal to sheep. 

The badge of Clan Rose. 

V. oxycoccos — Cranberry. Gaelic and Irish : muileag, a word 
meaning a little frog ; the frogberry. It flourishes best in boggy 
situations. Fraochag, because it grows among the heather. 
Monog, bog or peat berry. Mionag, the small berry. "The- 
cruibin is the cranberry." — Ed. Gaelic Journal. Manx: smeyr 
ckyree, the sheep's bramble. 

Badge of the Macaulays. 

V. uliginosum — The bogberry. Gaelic : dearc roide, the gall 

1 Originally from dearc, the eye; Sanslc, darf, to see. The dark fruit 
resembling the pupil of the eye — hence the frequent comparisons of the eye- 
(sitil) to this fruit (dearcag) in Gaelic poetry. 



65 

or bitter berry. Manx: Farrane. The fruit abounds with an 
acid juice ; when the ripe fruit is eaten, it occasions headache 
and giddiness. 

Blainsneog — This name is in O'Donovan's Supplement as the 
"Bogberry" in Donegal. The Irish name means small flowered, 
Math, bloom, and sneidhe, small. Criiibin, the cranberry— {Ed. 
Gaelic Journal. See Lotus). 

The badge of Clan Buchanan. 

Ileace^e. 

Ilex aquifolium — Holly. Gaelic : cuilionn, and Irish, cuilenn. 
Welsh: celyn. A.-S. : holegn. (C in Gaelic corresponds with H ir> 
the Germanic languages.) The leaves of this tree are very 
prickly, and thus guard against cattle eating the young shoots. 
Welsh: celyn, tree, shelterer or protector; eel, conceal, shelter, 
cover. 

" Ma theid thu ruisgte troimh thom droighinn 
'S coiseachd cas-lom air preas cuilinn 
Cadal gun lein' air an eanntaig, 
'S racadal itheadh gun draing ort," &c. — Blar Shunadail. 

If you po naked through a thorn thicket, 
And walk barefooted on the holly, 
Sleep without a shirt on the nettle, 
And eat horse-radish without a grin, &c. 

The badge of Clan Macmillan. 

Oleace^e. 
Diospyros ebenus— Allied to the Holly and the Olive is the 
Ebony tree mentioned in Ezekiel xxvii. 15. " Thug iad a d'ionns- 
uidh mar thiodhlac, adharca deud-chramh, agus eboni." It is 
remarkable for its hardness and black colour. Dubh-fhiodh,, 
Black wood. Heb. : eben, a stone. 

Olea europsea — European olive. Gaelic and Irish : crann 
oladh or ola (Greek : kXala, a word according to Du Thdis. 
derived from the Celtic ; Welsh : oleu), the oil-tree. Sgolog 
(O'Reilly). 

" Sgaoilidh e gheugan agus bithidh a mhaise mar an crann-oladh." 
" He will spread his branches, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree." — 
Hoska, xiv. 6. 

E. 



66 

There are two varieties of the olive tree. The wild olive is a 
low spiny tree, the branches of which were grafted on the culti- 
vated olive. It is the one alluded to in Romans xi. 17. "Agus 
ma tha cuid do na geugaibh air am briseadh dheth, agus gu bheil 
thusa, a bha a'd' chrann oladh fiadhaich, air do shuidheachadh 
'nam measg ; agus maille riu a' faotinn comhpairt do fhreimh agus 
do reamhrachd a' chroinn-oladh." (And if some of the branches be 
broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in 
among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of 
the olive tree). 

Syringa vulgaris — Lilac-tree. Gaelic : craobh liath ghorm. 
Manx: yn villey lay lac, the lilac tree. 

Ligustnun vulgare — Privet. Gaelic : ras chrann slor uaine, the 
evergreen shrubbery-tree. Priobaid (M. 'Donald). Irish : priobhadh, 
formed from "privet" probably named from being formally cut or 
trimmed. (Skeat). 

Fraxinus excelsior — Ash. Gaelic and Irish : craobh uinns- 
eann. Irish : uinseann, uimhseann, altered into fuinse, fuinseann, 
fuinsebg 

" Gabhaidh an t-uinnseann as an allt 
'S a' challtuinn as a' phreas." — Proverb. 
The ash will kindle out of the burn, 
And the hazel out of the bush. 

Welsh: onen, onwydden, corresponding to another Irish name, 
nion. Gaelic : nuin, and also oinseann. Manx : unjin, nion. 
The names refer principally to the wood, and the primary idea 
seems to be lasting, long- continuing, on (in Welsh), that which is 
in continuity. Nuin, also the letter N of the Gaelic alphabet. 
Fuinnseann (see Circcea), may have been suggested by its 
frequent use in the charms and enchantments so common in 
olden times, especially against the bites of serpents, and the 
influence of the "Old Serpent.'' Pennant, in 1772, mentions: 
"In many parts of the Highlands, at the birth of a child, the 
nurse puts the end of a green stick of ash into the fire, and 
while it is burning, receives into a spoon the sap or juice which 
oozes out at the other end, and administers this to the new-born 
babe." Serpents were supposed to have a special horror of its 
leaves. 



6 7 

" Theid an nathair troimh an teine dhearg 
Mu'n teid i troimh dhuilleach an uinnsinn. " 

The serpent will go through fire, rather than through the leaves of the ash. 1 

It was a most potent charm for cures of diseases of men and 
animals — e.g., murrain in cattle, caused, it was supposed, by being 
stung in the mouth, or by being bitten by the larva of some moth. 
" Bore a hole in an ash-tree, and plug up the caterpillar in it, the 
leaves of that ash are a sure specific for that disease." Martin 
.adds, "the chief remedies were 'charms' for the cure of their 
-diseases." 

The badge of Clan Menzies, according to some authorities. 

Vinca minor — Periwinkle. Gaelic and Irish : Faochag, Faochag 
na gille-fuinbrinn, Gilleachafionn, Gilleachfionntruinn, Giorradan 
— all dictionary names given for " A periwinkle." Which do they 
mean — the little univalve whelk of the sea-side or the evergreen 
trailing plant Vinca Minor ? Shaw gives " Gilleachafionn, peri- 
winkle that dyes red." He clearly means this plant. Logan 
/gives the second name as a badge plant. But here the difficulty 
.arises, Where were they to get it ? It is not indigenous to the 
Highlands, and probably only naturalised south of Stafford. It 
is now pretty frequently met with in gardens, rockeries, &c, bear- 
ing a pretty blue flower. Manx : Fughage. 

The badge of Clan Maclachlan. 

GeNTIANACEjE. 

Gentiana campestris —Field gentian. Gaelic : lus a' chritbain, 
the crouching plant, or the plant good for the disease called 
trilban, "which attacks cows, and is supposed to be produced 
by hard grass, scanty pasture, or other causes. The cows become 
lean and weak, with their hind-legs contracted towards the fore- 
feet, as if pulled by a rope " (Armstrong). This plant, in common 
with others of this genus, acts as an excellent tonic ; its qualities 
were well known in olden times. Welsh : crwynllys. Gaelic : 
creamh, is given also a name for gentian. 

' In Scandinavian mythology the first man was called Ask, and the first 
woman Ambla — ash and elm. The gods is represented in the Edda as held 
under an ash — Yggdrasil. Connected with these circumstances probably 
arose the superstitions. — Chambers's Encyclop/edia. 



68 

" 'N creamh na charaichean, 
Am bac nan staidhrichean. " — MACINTYRE. 

Which Dr. Armstrong translates, "gentian in beds or plots." The- 
name creamh also applies to the leek. Creamh, hart's tongue 
fern, garlic, and elecampane. Currachd an Easbuig (Carmichael), 
Bishop's hood or night-cap. Manx: lus-y-vinghagh jaundice 
wort. It was considered a remedy for that complaint. 

Erythresea, from epv(f>po<s, erythros, red flowers. 

E. centaurium — Century ; red gentian. Irish : Ceadharlack 
(O'Reilly), the centaur. It is said that with this plant Chiron 
cured the wound caused by the arrows of Hercules in the- 
Centaur's foot. Gaelic, according to Armstrong : ceud bhileach, 
meaning hundred-leaved, a corruption of the Irish name (Ceud, 
Irish: ceadh ; Latin: centum, a hundred), — the origin of file- 
name being probably misunderstood. Manx : Keym - Chreest, 
Christ's step. Welsh : Ysgol-Crist, Christ's ladder. In the four- 
teenth century, this plant was called Christ's ladder (Christi 
scala), from the name having been mistaken for Christ's cup 
(Christi schale), in allusion to the bitter draft offered to our Lord 
on the Cross. Deagha dearg (Threl). 

E. littoralis — Dwarf t-tuf ted century. Gaelic and Irish : dreim- 
ire muir, the sea-side scrambler. Dreim, climb, clamber, scramble,- 
muir ; Latin : mare , German : meer, the sea. 

Chlora perfoliata— Yellow-wort. Gaelic and Irish : dreimire 
buidhe, the yellow scrambler. Not in the Highlands, but found 
in Ireland, whence the name. 

Menyanthes trifoliata— Bog-bean, buck-bean, marsh trefoil. 
Gaelic and Irish : pbnair chapull, the horse or mare's bean. (See 
Fabd). Pacharan chapull, the horse or mare's packs or wallets,, 
from pac, a pack, a wallet, a bundle. Tri-bhileach, the three- 
leaved plant. Manx: lubber-lub. "Lubber-lub ayns y curragh," 
the bog bean in the rushy marsh. 

" The Highlanders esteem an infusion or tea of the leaves as 
good to strengthen a weak stomach '' (Stuart). The leaves were- 
smoked as tobacco. 

CONVOLVULAE-E. 

Convolvulus arvensis— Field bindweed. Gaelic : iadh lus, the 
plant that surrounds. (See Hedera helix.) 



69 

C sepium — Great bindweed. Gaelic and Irish : duil mhial 
•(Shaw), from dul, catch with a loop ; and tnial, a louse, — really 
signifying the plant that creeps and holds by twining. 

Calystegia soldanella — Gaelic : Fliir-a- Phrionnsa, the Prince's 
flower. There is still growing a plant of pink convolvulus in the 
Island of Eriskay, Outer Hebrides, said to have been planted by 
Prince Charlie when he landed from a small frigate from France 
in July, 1745. It is, in consequence, known as " Fltir-a'- 
Phrionnsa." 

Cuscuta epilinum — Flax dodder. Irish : damhainin l\n, the 
flax kites. It is parasitical on flax, to the crops of which it is 
very destructive. Cluhan dearg (Threl). Cunach or (Gaelic) 
.eonach, that which covers, as a shirt, a disease. A general name 
applicable to all the species. W elsh : lllndag, the flax choker. 

SoLANACEjE. 

Solanum dulcamara — Bitter-sweet ; woody nightshade. Gaelic 
.and Irish : searbhag tnhilis. bitter sweet (Highland Society's Die. 
tionary). Fuath gorm, the blue demon (fuath, hate, aversion, a 
•demon). Miotag bhuidhe. Irish : miathog buidhe, the yellow 
nipper, pincher, or biter Slat gorm {slat, a wand, a switch ; 
j*orm, blue). Manx : Croan reishl. Dreimire gorm (O'Reilly) — 
dreimire, to climb, to ascend as on a ladder; gorm, blue. A trail- 
ing climbing plant, 4 to 6 feet high, common in hedges, with its 
bloom like the potato flower, with vivid red poisonous berries. 
The leaves have the same narcotic qualities as tobacco. Not 
•uncommon in hedges and copses from Islay and Ross southward, 
but rare in Ireland. A decoction of it is said to be good for 
internal injuries. 

S. tuberosum — Potato. Gaelic : bun-tata, adaptation of the 
Spanish batata. Sir John M'Gregor has ingeniously rendered the 
word bun-taghta, a choice root ! 

Atropa belladona — Deadly nightshade ; dwale, banewort. 
•Gaelic and Irish : lus na h-oidhche, the nightweed, on account of 
its large black berries and its somniferous qualities. Buchanan 
relates the destruction of the army of Sweno, the Dane, when he 
-invaded Scotland, by the berries of this plant, which were mixed 
with the drink with which, by their truce, they were to supply 



7° 

the Danes, which so intoxicated them that the Scots killed the- 
greater part of the Danish army while they were asleep. Welsh : 
y gysiadur, the putter to sleep. Lus na dih mor (Threl) Lindley 
says — " It produces intoxication, accompanied by fits of laughter 
and violent gestures; great thirst, convulsions, and death." Hence, 
I suspect, the origin of the name in Irish Gaelic. The " dih " for' 
dibhe, drink. The plant of the big thirst. 

Madragora officinalis — Mandrake. Mandrag. Another plant of 
the tobacco and nightshade order, and possessing the narcotic 
qualities of some of the plants of that order, especially as a cure 
for insomnia. Levinus Leminus reports "that, sitting in his study, 
upon a sudden he became drowsy and found the cause to be the 
scent of one of the apples of the mandrake, which had lain on the 
shelf therein, which being removed the drowsiness ceased." It 
had an exaggerated reputation as an aphrodisiac, which the story 
of Rachel confirms (Genesis xxx.) 

Hyoscyamus niger — Henbane. Gaelic and Irish : gagarr 
gafann (gabhann), the dangerous one. Detheogha, deodha, deo,. 
breath, that which is destructive to life. Caothach-nan-cearc, that 
which maddens the hens. Its seeds are exceedingly obnoxious 
to poultry, hence the English name henbane. The whole plant is- 
a dangerous narcotic. Welsh : Llewyg yr jar, preventing or 
curing f aintness Manx : Connagh ny giark, lus ny meisht. 

Nicotiano tobacum — Tobacco. Gaelic : tombac. " Tombac " 
and many other Gaelic and English names are alterations of the 
scientific names. Similarly " tea," (ti). Armstrong defines tea as- 
u Lus oirthireach ainmeil air nach urrainn mise Gaidlig a chur ack 
siigh-luib, an siigh lus, brigh an t-siigh luibh." A famous Oriental 
plant, which I am not able to give any Gaelic but the juice plant 
or decoction herb. 

SCROPHULARIACE^E. 

Verbascum thapsus— Mullein ; hag's taper ; cow's lungwort. 
Gaelic and Irish : cuineal Mkuire, or cuingeal Mhuire from cuing,. 
asthma, or shortness of breath. Bo-choinneal, cow's candle. In 
pulmonary diseases of cattle it is found to be of great use, hence 
the name, cow's lungwort, or cuinge, narrowness, straightness, 
from its high, tapering stem. (Mhuire, Mary's). 

Veronica beccabunga— Brooklime. Gaelic : lochal, from loch, 



7i 

a lake, a pool, pool-weed or lake-weed, being a water-plant. 
Lothal (lo, water). Irish : Lochal mothair; Irish : biolair Mhuire, 
Mary's cress. Welsh : llychlys y dwfr, squatter in the" water. 

V. officinale — Common speedwell. Gaelic and Irish : lus ere, 
the dust weed. Seamar chrk (see Oxalis) 

V. anagallis — Water-speedwell. Irish : fualachter, fual, water, 
the one that grows in the water. 

V. chamcedrys — Noulough (Threl), nuallach (O'Reilly), geri- 
mander speedwell. 

A small trailing plant, growing almost everywhere, and ascend- 
ing the mountains to the height of 2700 feet. The flower is 
bright blue, scarcely half an inch in diameter, and small hairy 
hearts-haped leaves, deeply toothed. This plant was used medi- 
cinally on account of its acrid, bitterish taste, causing stomachic 
pains Nuall a howling cry, may have originated the names. 

Euphrasia officinalis — Eyebright. Gaelic: lus nan leac, the 
hillside plant ; leac, a declivity. Soillseachd nan sill, soillse nan 
sul (M'Donald), that which brightens the eye. Rein an ruisg 
(Stuart), water for the eye. Glan ruis, the eye-cleaner. Lightfoot 
mentions that the Highlanders of Scotland make an infusion of 
it in milk, and anoint the patient's eyes with a feather dipped in 
it, as a cure for sore eyes. Irish : radharcain (radkairc), sense 
of sight. Lin radharc (lin, the eye, wet), the eye-wetter or washer. ' 
Raeimin-radhairc (reim, power, authority), that which has power 
over the sight. Roisnin, rosg, the eye, eyesight. Caoimin 
(caoimh), clean. Manx : lus y tooill. Welsh : gloywlys, the 
bright plant. 'Llysieuyn eufras, the herb Euphrasia (from 
ev<f>paiva], euphraino, to delight, from the supposition of the plant 
curing blindness). Arnoldus de Villa saith, " It has restored 
sight to them that have been blind a long time before ; and if it 
were but as much used as it is neglected, it would half spoil the 
spectacle trade " (Culpepper). 

Pedicularis sylvatica — Dwarf red rattle. Irish : lusan grolla. 

P. palustris — Louse- wort ; red rattle. Gaelic : lus riabhach, 
the brindled plant, possibly a contraction of riabhdheargach (Irish), 
red-streaked, a name which well describes the appearance of the 
plant. Modhalan dearg, the red modest one. Lus na mial, 
louse-wort, from the supposition that sheep that feed upon it 



72 

become covered with vermin. Bainne ghabhar, goat's milk, 
from the idea that when goats feed on it they yield more milk. 
Its beautiful pink flowers were used as a cosmetic. 

" Sail-chuach 's bainne ghabhar, 
'Shuadh ri t-aghaidh, 
'S cha 'n 'eil mac righ air an domhain, 
Nach bi air do dhe'idh." 

Rub thy face with violet, and goat's milk, 
And there is no prince in the world 
Who will not follow thee. 

Milsean monah (Threl). Baine ghamhnach is given for the 
honeysuckle in Ireland, whereas in the Highlands it is often 
applied to the red rattle. 

Rhinanthus crista galli — The yellow rattle. Gaelic : modh- 
alan bhuidhe, the yellow modest one. Bodach nan claigionn, 
or (Irish) doigionn, a skull, from the skull-like appearance of its 
inflated calyces. Glaodhran, given in the dictionaries for this 
plant, also for wood sorrel, meaning a rattle. 

Antirhinum orontium — Snapdragon, Sriumh na laogh (Threl), 
meaning calf's snout. Known only in Scotland in gardens, but 
not uncommonly met with in the south of England, but rare in 
Ireland as a wild flower. In fact, it is only a colonist from the 
Continent. Turner, the herbalist (1548), wrote: " Antirhinon 
groweth in many places of Germany in the come fieldes, and it 
maye be called in Englishe calfe snoute." The Welsh have the 
same name, trwyn y llo. Manx : blaa laanee, calf's flower. By 
'■'■Sriumh" Threkeld means srubh, the Irish for snout. 

Scrophularia nodosa — Figwort. Gaelic: /us nan cnapan, the 
knobbed plant, from its knobbed roots. Old English: kernel 
wort. Donn-lus {Dun-lus, O'Reilly), brown-wort, from the brown 
tinge of the leaves. Farach dubh — dub A, dark. Irish : fotrum 
(fot, fothach), glandered — from the resemblance of its roots to 
tumours. In consequence of this resemblance it was esteemed a 
remedy for all scrofulous diseases ; hence the generic name 
Scrophularia. 

Digitalis purpurea — Foxglove. Gaelic: lus-nam-ban-sith, the 
fairy women's plant. Meuran slth (Stuart), the fairy thimble. 
Irish: an siothan (sioth, Gaelic: sith) means peace. Shhich, a 
fairy, the most active sprite in Highland and Irish mythology. 



73 

Meuran 1 nan daoine marbh, dead men's thimbles. Meuran nan 
xailkacha marbha, dead women's thimbles. In Skye it is called 
.dochan nan cailleacha marbha (Nicolson), the dead old women's 
paps. Irish: sian (or sionn, Threl) sleibhe. (Sian, a charm or 
spell, a wise one, a fox; sleibhe, a hill). Welsh: menyg ellyllon, 
fairy glove. O'Reilly gives another Irish name, bolgan beic (diminu- 
tive of bolg, a sack, a bag. And frequently in the Highlands 
the plant is known by the familiar name, an lus mbr, the big 
plant. Lus a' bhalgair (in Aberfeldy), Meregan na mna sidhe, 
'(Threl), the fairy woman's thimbles or fingers. Manx: sleiggan- 
shleeu, cleaver sharpener. Its leaves were applied to bring boils, 
-&c, to a head (Moore). 

OrOBANCHACE^E 

(From Greek, opofibs, orobos, a vetch, and p\x* iv > t0 strangle, in 
.allusion to the effect of these parasites in smothering and destroy- 
ing the plants on which they grow.) The name muchog (from 
much, smother, extinguish, suffocate) is applied to all the species. 

0. major and minor — Broom-rape, and Irish Gaelic: siorra- 
Jach (Shaw) — sior, vetches, being frequently parasitical on legu- 
minous plants; or siorrachd, rape. 

VeRBENACEjE. 

Verbena officinalis — Vervain. Gaelic and Irish : trom- 

J>hbid, — trom, a corruption of drum, from Sanscrit ddru, 

wood ; hence Latin, drus, an oak, and bbid, a vow. Welsh : 

.dderwen fendigaid, literally, blessed oak — the " herba sacra " of 

the ancients. Manx : vervine. " It was the most potent of all 

herbs in nullifying the effects of all malign influences. Vervain 

was taken by the fishermen in their boats to bring good luck. 

Mr. Roeder says it was sewn into babies' clothes, to protect them 

against fairies, and a tea was made of it by grown-up people for 

the same purpose " (Moore). Vervain was employed in the reli 

gious ceremonies of the Druids Vows were made and treaties 

ratified by its means "Afterwards all sacred evergreens, and 

-aromatic herbs, such as holly, rosemary, &c, used to adorn the 

altars, were included under the term verbena " (Brockie). This 

1 Meuran and digitalis (digitabulum), a thimble, in allusion to the form of 
the flower. 



74 

will account for the name trombhUd being given by O'Reilly as 
"vervain mallow;" MacKenzie, "ladies' mantle;" and Armstrong, 
"vervain." Verbena — Latin: verbena, sacred bough. 

Borlase, in his "Antiquities of Cornwall," speaking of the 
Druids, says : " They were excessively fond of the vervain ; they 
used it in casting lots and foretelling events. It was gathered at 
the rising of the Dog-star." 

Labiate. 
(From Latin, labium, a lip, plants with lipped corolla?). Gaelic : 
lusan lipeach, or bileach. 

Mentha — (From Greek WivOa., mintha. A nymph of that 
name who was changed into mint by Proserpine in a fit of 
jealousy, from whom the Gaelic name mionnt has been derived.) 
Welsh: myntys, 

M. sylvestris — Horse mint Gaelic : mionnt eich, horse mint : 
mionnt fhiadhain, wild mint ; and if growing in woods, mionnt 
choille, wood mint. 

M. arvensis — Corn-mint. Gaelic : mionnt an arbhair, corn 
mint. 

M. acquatica — Water-mint. Gaelic : cairteal. Irish : carta/, 
cartloin, probably meaning the water-purifier, from the verb- 
cartam, to cleanse, and loin, a rivulet, or Ion, a marsh or swampy 
ground. Misimean dearg (Armstrong), the rough red mint. The 
whole plant has a reddish appearance when young. 

M. viridis — Garden-mint, spear mint. Gaelic : fnionnt gha- 
raidh, the same meaning ; and meanntas, another form of the 
same name, but not commonly used. 

" Oir a ta sibh a toirt an deachaimh as a' mhionnt." — Stuart. 
For ye take tithe of mint. 

M. pulegrum — Pennyroyal. Gaelic : peighinn rioghail, the 
same meaning. 

" Am bearnan bride 's a' pheighinn rioghail." — MacIntyre. 
The dandelion and the pennyroyal. 

Manx: hit gey 'dish. Welsh: coluddlys, herb good for the bowels. 
Dail y gzvaed, blood leaf. 

Calamintha — Gaelic : calameilt (from Greek, ko.\6s, beautiful ; 
and fj,lv8a, mintha, mint), beautiful mint. 



75 

C. clinopodium — Basil Tyme calamint. Lus an righ — The 
king's mint, agreeing with Basil (basilicus, royal). 

Rosmarinus officinalis — Common rosemary. Gaelic : rbs 
Mhuire. Irish : rbs-mar — mar-ros, sea dew, corruptions from the 
Latin (ros, dew, and marinus), the sea-dew. Rbs Mhairt, Mary's, 
rose, or rosemary. Welsh : rbs Mair. Among Celtic tribes rose- 
mary was the symbol of fidelity with lovers. It was frequently 
worn at weddings. In Wales it is still distributed among friends 
at funerals, who throw the sprigs into the grave over the coffin. 

Lavendula spica — Common lavender. Gaelic : lus-na-tuise, 
the incense plant, on account of its fragrant odour. An lus liath,. 
the grey weed. Lothail, " uisge an lothail" lavender-water. 

Satureia hortensis — Garden savory. Gaelic : garbhag ghar- 
aidh, the coarse or rough garden plant, from garbh, rough, &c. 

Salvia verbenacea — Clary. The Gaelic and Irish name, torman, 
applies to the genus as well as to this plant; it simply means- 
" the shrubby one " {tor, a bush or shrub). The genus consists- 
of herbs or undershrubs, which have generally a rugose appear- 
ance. A mucilage was produced from the seeds of this plant, 
which, applied to the eye, had the reputation of clearing it of 
dust ; hence the English name, " clear-eye," clary. 

S. officinalis — Garden-sage (of which there are many varieties). 
Gaelic : athair liath, the grey father. Saisde (from sage). Slan lus r 
the healing plant, corresponding with salvia (Latin : solvere, to- 
save). It was formerly of great repute in medicine. Armstrong 
remarks : " Bha barail ro mhor aig na seann Eadailtich do 'n lus 
so, mar a chithear o'n rann a leanas — 

" Cur moriatur homo cui salvia crescit in horto?" 
C arson a gheibheadh duine bas, 
Aig am bheil saisde fas na gharadh ? 
Why should the man die who has sage growing in his garden ? 

Teucrium scorodonia — Wood-sage. Gaelic : saisde coille r 
wood-sage. Saisde fiadhain, wild sage. O'Reilly gives the name 
ebeirsluaigh, perhaps from obar, shall be refused, and sluagh, 
people, multitude, because it did not possess the virtues attributed 
to the other species, and even cattle refused to eat it. But it was 
used as a cure for dysentry. Manx : lus y toar-vrein, bad smell 
herb ; creaghlagh. Welsh : saets gwyllt, wood-sage. 



7 6 

Thymus serpyllum — Thyme, wild thyme. Gaelic and Irish : 
Jus mhic righ Bhreatainn, the plant belonging to the king of 
Britain's son. This plant had the reputation of giving courage 
and strength through its smell ; hence the English thyme (from 
Greek : tfiytos, thymos, courage, strength — virtues which were 
-essential to kings and princes in olden times). Highlanders take 
an infusion of it to prevent disagreable dreams. Welsh : teim. 

c marjorana i , . , 

Origanum] , \ — Marjoram. Gaelic and Irish : ora- 

gan, the delight of the mountain. Greek : opos, oros. Gaelic : 
ord, a mountain ; and Greek ydvos, ganos, joy. Gaelic : gain, 
clapping of hands. Lus Mharsali, Marjorie's plant. Seathbhog, 
the skin or hide softener (seathadh, a skin, a hide, and bog, soft). 
"The dried leaves are used in fomentations, the essential oil is so 
acrid that it may be considered as a caustic, and was formerly 
used as such by furriers '' (Don). Welsh : y benrudd, ruddy- 
headed. 

0. dictamnus — Dittany. The Gaelic and Irish name, lus a' 
phiobaire — given in the dictionaries for " dittany " — is simply a 
corruption of lus a' pheubair, the pepperwort, and was in all 
probability applied to varieties of Lepidium as well as to Origanum 
■dictamni creti, whose fabulous qualities are described in Virgil's 
1 2th '^-Eneid,' and in Cicero's ' De Natura Deorum.' 

Hyssopus officinalis — Common hyssop. Gaelic : isop. French: 
hysope. German, isop. Italian : isopo (from the Hebrew name, 
■ezob, or Arabian, asaf. 

" Glan mi le h-teop, agus bithidh mi glan." 
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean. 

There have been great differences of opinion regarding the 
plant meant by the hyssop of the Bible. The best authority, 
Royle has come to the conclusion that it is the Capparis spinosa 
•or capper plant. It grows best on barren soil, old wells, and 
precipices. It is very bitter and pungent to the taste. 

Ajuga reptans — Bugle. Gaelic : meacan dubh fiadhain (Arm- 
strong), the dusky wild plant. Welsh : glesyn y coed, wood-blue. 

Nepeta glechoma — Ground-ivy. Gaelic : iadh-shlat thalmh- 
uinn, the ground-ivy. (See Hedera helix, and Bunium flexuo- 
suni). Nathair-lus, the serpent-weed — it being supposed to be 



77 

efficacious against the bites of serpents ; hence the generic name r 
Nepeta from nepa, a scorpion. Irish : aignean thalmhuinn, eidhn- 
ean thalmhuinn (see Hedera helix). Manx : airh halooin, ard- 
lossery, chief herb. Irish : Aithir lus (O'Reilly). It was for- 
merly used for hops to make ale bitter, hence the name 
of "ale-hoof." It is a creeping, trailing plant with ivy-like leaves 
and a small blue flower, very common as a garden weed. Welsh : 
eidral palf y l/ew, the lion's paw. " It was used for purifying the 
blood, and for coughs " (Moore). 

Ballota niger — Stinking horehound. Irish and Gaelic : gra- 
fan or graban dubh, the dark opposer {grab, to hinder or obstruct). 
It was a favourite medicine for obstructions of the viscera : or it 
may refer to grab, a notch, from its indented leaves. 

Lycopus europceus — Water-horehound. Irish : feoran curraidh,. 
the green marsh-plant {currach, a marsh). 

Marrubium vulgare — White horehound. Gaelic and Irish : 
grafan or graban ban. (See Ballota niger). Orafoirl (O'ReiWy)- 
This plant has for ages been a popular remedy for coughs, rough- 
ness in the throat, and for more severe forms of colds; and inf usions- 
of it in lozenges are still used by speakers and singers for the voice, 
hence by inference the origin of the Gaelic name, adapted from 
the Latin oratio, speech, and fortis, strong. Horehound was 
dedicated to the Egyptian god Horus (Strabo). The Irish name 
may be a derivitive. This plant is not found in the Highlands, 
and it is rare in Ireland. 

Lamium album — White dead nettle : archangel. Gaelic :. 
teanga mhin, the smooth tongue. Ionntag bhan, white nettle. 
Ionntag mharbh, dead nettle. (For Ionntag see Urtica.) 

L. purpureum — The red dead-nettle. Gaelic : ionntag 
dhearg, red nettle. 

L. amplexicaule — Henbit dead nettle. Neantog keogh (Threl). 
Welsh: marddanadlen gdch cylchddail, red round-leaved dead 
nettle, 

Galeopsis tetrah.it — Common hemp-nettle. Gaelic : an gath 
dubh, the dark bristly plant (gath, a sting, a dart). It becomes- 
black when dry, and has black seeds. 

G. versicolor — Large-flowered hemp-nettle. Gaelic : an gath 
buidhe—an gath nibr, the yellow bristly plant — the large bristly^ 



7« 

plant. Abundant in the Highlands, and troublesome to the 
reapers at harvest-time, from its bristly character. It is called 
yellow on account of its large yellow flower, with a purple spot on 
the lower lip. 

Stachys betoniea — Wood-betony. Gaelic : lus Bheathaig, 
from beatha. Latin : vita, life food. " Betonic, a Celtic word ; 
ben, head, and ton, good, or tonic ' (Sir. W. J. Hooker). Probably 
the vettones of (Pliny), a Gaulish name. " A precious herb, com- 
fortable both in meat and medicine" (Culpepper). Glasair choilk, 
the wood salad. The green leaves were used as a salad : any 
kind of salad was called glasag or glasair. 

S. sylvatica — Wound-wort. Gaelic: lus nan sgor, the wound- 
wort (sgor, a cut made by a knife or any sharp instrument). 
Irish : caubsadan . 

S. palustris — Cuslin gaun dauri (Threl), woundwort. The 
woundwort got its English name from its wound-healing and 
blood-stopping qualities. Most likely Threlkeld means Cuiskan 
_gun dbruinn (the old Irish word dogra, anguish). Veins without 
pain. Boys frequently use its leaves to stop bleeding and to 
soothe pain. Welsh : Briwlys, woundwort. 

Prunella vulgaris — Self-heal. Gaelic and Irish : dubhan ceann 
.chbsach, also dubhanuith. These names had probably reference 
to its effects as a healing plant. "It removes all obstructions of 
the liver, spleen, and kidneys " (dubhan, a kidney, darkness ; 
.ceann, head, and cbsach, spongy or porous). Slan lus, healing 
plant. Lus a' chridh, the heart-weed. Irish: ceanabhan-beg, the 
little fond dame ; cean, fond, elegant, and ban, woman, wife, 
■dame. 

Boraginace^e. 

Borago officinalis- — Borage. Gaelic and Irish: borrach. bor- 
raist, borraigh, all these forms are supposed to be derived from 
borago, altered from the Latin, cor, the heart, and ago, to act 
or effect. (But probably from Latin, burra, rough hair, which is 
a characteristic of this family). The plant was supposed to give 
courage, and to strengthen the action of the heart ; " it was one 
of the four great cordials." Borr in Gaelic means bully or 
swagger ; and borrach, a haughty man, a man of courage. Welsh : 
llawenllys (llawen, merry, joyful), the joyful or glad plant. 



79 

Lycopsis arvensis — Bugloss. Gaelic : lus teang'-an-daimh, 
ox-tongue Boglus, corruption of bolg, an ox ; lus, a plant. Welsh : 
tafod yr ych, the same meaning Bugloss, from Greek /3ovs, bous, 
an ox, and yXoo-tra, glossa, a tongue, in reference to the roughness 
and shape of the leaves. 

Myosotis palustris — Marsh scorpion-grass or forget me-not. 
Gaelic and Irish : cotharach, the protector (cothadh, protection) ; 
perhaps the form of the racemes of flowers, which, when young, 
bend over the plant as if protecting it. Lus nam mial, the louse - 
plant — probably a corruption of miagh, esteem. Lus midhe 
(O'Reilly), a sentimental plant that has always been held in high 
esteem. 

Symphytum officinale — Comfrey. Gaelic : meacan dubh, the 
large or dark plant. Irish : lus na ccnamh briste, the plant for 
broken bones. The root of comfrey abounds in mucilage and 
was considered an excellent remedy for uniting broken bones. 
" Yea, it is said to be so powerful to consolidate and knit together, 
that if they be boiled with dissevered pieces of flesh in a pot, it 
will join them together again " (Culpepper). 

EcMum vulgare — Viper's bugloss. Bog/us (see Lycopsis) and 
lus na nathrach, the viper's plant. 

Cynoglossum officinale — Common hound's tongue. Gaelic 
and Irish : teanga con (O'Reilly). Teanga 'choin, dog'stongue. 
Welsh : tafod y ci, same meaning. Greek : cynog/ossum (kviov, 
kyon, a dog, and y\w<ra, glossa, a tongue), name suggested from 
the form of the leaves. 

PlNGUICULACE^E. 

Pinguicula vulgaris — Bog-violet. Gaelic : brbg na cubhaig, 
the cuckoo's shoe, from its violet-like flower. Badan measgan, 
the butter-mixer ; badan, a little tuft, and measgan, a little 
butter-dish ; or measg, to mix, to stir about. On cows' milk it 
acts like rennet. Lus a' bhainne, the milk-wort. It is believed 
it gives consistence to milk by straining it through the leaves. 
Uachdar, surface, top, cream — a name given because it was 
supposed to thicken the cream. Mbthan or mban (Lightfoot). 
" Buainidh mise a' mbthan, an luibh a bheannaich an Domhnach ; 
fhad 'a ghleidheas mi a' mbthan cha 'n 'eil beo air thalamh gin a 



8o 

bheir bainne mo bhb bhuam." (I will pull the bog violet, the- 
herb blessed by the Church. So long as I preserve the bog violet, 
theie lives not on earth one who will take my cow's milk from me). 
These words were spoken whilst pulling the plants on a Sunday,, 
as a charm against witchcraft (Mackenzie). 

PrIMULACEjE. 

Primula vulgaris — Primrose. Gaelic : sobhrach. Ir. : sobhrbgi 

" A shbbhrach, geal-bhui nam bruachag, 
Gur fan-ghcal, snuaghar, do ghnuis ! 
Chinneas badanach, cluasach, 
Maoth-mhln, baganta luaineach. 
Bi'dh tu t-eideadh 'san earrach 
'S each ri falach an sill."— Macdonald. 
Pale yellow primrose of the bank, 
So pure and beautiful thine appearance ! 
Growing in clumps, round-leaved, 
Tender, soft, clustered, waving ; 
Thou wilt be dressed in the spring 
When the rest are hiding in the bud. 
Early Irish: sbbrach. 

" A befind in raga lim 
I tir n-ingnad hifil rind ? 
Is barr sobairche fait and, 
Is dath snechtu chorp coind." 
O lady fair, wouldst thou come with me 
To the wondrous land that is ours ? 
Where the hair is as the blossom of primrose, 
Where the tender body is as fair as snow. 
— From the "Wooing of Etain, an Old Saga." — Dr. Hyde. 

Soradh, soirigh, are contractions ; also samharcan. Irish : sam- 
harcan (samhas, delight, pleasure). 

" Am bi na sbbhraichean 's neoinean fann." — Old Song. 

'■ Gu trie anns 'na bhuain sinn an t-sbrach." — Munro. 
Often we gathered there the primrose. 

Manx : sumark. Welsh : briollu — briol, dignified ; allwedd, key.. 
"The queenly key that opens the lock to let in summer"" 
(Brockie). 

P. veris — Cowslip. Gaelic : muisean, the low rascal, the devil. 
"A' choire mhuiseanaich" a dell full of cowslips. Cattle refuse 
to eat it, therefore farmers dislike it. Brbg na cubhaig (Mac- 
kenzie), the cuckoo's shoe. Irish : seichearlan, seicheirghin 



8i 

seicheirghlan, from seiche, hide or skin. It was formerly boiled, 
and "an ointment or distilled water was made from it, which 
addeth much to beauty, and taketh away spots and wrinkles of 
the skin, sun-burnings and freckles, and adds beauty exceed- 
ingly." The name means the " skin-purifier." Bainne bb bhuidhe, 
the yellow cow's milk. Bainne bb bleacht, the milk-cow's milk. 
Manx : meil baa, cow's lip. 

P. auricula — Auricula. Gaelic: lus na bann-righ, the queen's 
flower. Sbbhrach chluasach, the ear-like primrose, formerly called 
bear's ears. 

P. polyanthus — Winter primrose. Gaelic: Sbbhrach gheamh- 
raidh. 

Cyclamen hederaefolia — Sow-bread. Gaelic: culurin (perhaps 
from cul or cullach, a boar, and aran, bread), the boar's bread. 

Lysimachia (from Greek A.oto> p*x6/mi, I fight). 

L. vulgaris — Loose-strife. Gaelic and Irish : lus na slthchaine, 
the herb of peace {sith, peace, rest, ease ; cdin, state of). Con- 
aire, the keeper of friendship. The termination " aire " denotes 
an agent ; and conall, friendship, love. An seileachan buidhe, the 
yellow willow herb. 

L. nemorum — Wood loose-strife; yellow pimpernel. Gaelic 
and Irish: seamhair Mhuire (seamhair, seamh, gentle, sweet,, and 
feur, grass ; seamhrog (shamrock), generally applied to the trefoils 
and wood-sorrel. (See Oxalis.) Mhuire of Mary ; Mairi, Mary. 
This form is especially applied to the Blessed Virgin Mary In 
the Mid-Highlands more frequently called Saman (Stewart). Lus 
Cholum-chille, the wort of St. Columba, the apostle of Scotland. 
Columb, a dove ; cille, of the church. This name is given in the 
Highlands to Hypericum, which see. Rosor (O'Reilly). Eos is 
sometimes used for lus. Ros-or, yellow or golden rose. " From 
the Sanskrit, ruhsha or rusha, meaning tree, becomes in Gaelic 
ros, a tree or treelet, just as daksha, the right hand, becomes dexter 
in Latin and deas in Gaelic. Ros, therefore, means a tree or small 
tree, or a place where such trees grow — hence the names of places 
that are marshy or enclosed by rivers, as Roslin, Ross-shire, Ros- 
common," &c. — Canon Bourke. 

Anagallis arvensis — Pimpernel, poor man's weather - glass. 
Gaelic : falcair. Irish : falcaire fiodhain, the wood cleanser (fal- 
cadh, to cleanse). The name expressing the medicinal qualities 



82 

of the plant, which, by its purgative and cleansing power, removes 
obstructions of the liver, kidneys, &c. Fakaire fuar — falcaire 
also means a reaper, and juar, cold ; fuaradh, to cool, a weather- 
gauge The reaper's weather-gauge, because it points out the 
decrease of temperature by its hygrometrical properties — when 
there is moisture the flower does not open. Loisgean (Macdonald), 
from loisg, to put in flame, on account of its fiery appearance. 
Ruinn ruise (O'Reilly). Ruinti means sex, and by pre-eminence 
the " male ;" ruise is the genitive case of ros. It is still called the 
male pimpernel in some places. The distilled water or juice of 
this plant was much esteemed formerly for cleansing the skin. 

Plumisaginaceje. 
Armaria maritima — Thrift. Gaelic : tonn a' chladaich (Arm- 
strong), the " beach-wave," frequent on the sea-shore, banks of 
rivers, and even on the Grampian tops. Barr-dearg, red top, from 
its pink flower. Neoinean cladaich, the beach dais)', from cladach, 
shore, beach, sandy plain. 

Plantaginace^:. 

Plantago major — Greater plaintain. Gaelic and Irish : cuach 
Phadraig, Patrick's bowl or cup — in some places cruach Phadraig, 
Patrick's heap or hill. Welsh : llydain y fford, spread on the way. 
Manx : duillag ny cabbag Pharic, Patrick's docken leaf. 

P. lanceolata — Ribwort. Gaelic and Irish : slan lus, the heal- 
ing plant. 

" Le meilbheig, le neoinean 's le slan-lus." — Macleod. 
With poppy, daisy, and rib-wort. 
Lus an t-slanuchaidh {Jus, a wort, a plant-herb, chiefly used for 
plant; it signifies also power, force, efficacy; slanuchaidh, a par- 
ticipial noun from slan ; Latin, sanus), the herb of the healing,. 
or healing power ; a famous healing plant in olden times. 
Manx : slaan lus. Deideag. Irish : deideog (ag and bg, young, 
diminutive terminations; deid, literally deud or deid, a tooth), 
applied to the row of teeth, and also to the nipple (Gaelic : diddi; 
English : titty), because like a tooth, hence to a plaything, — play r 
gewgaw, bo-peep, a common word with nurses. 

" B'iad sid an geiltre gle ghrinn. 
Cinn dHdeagan measg febir," etc. — Macdonald. 
Scenes of startling beauty, 
Plaintain-heads among the grass, etc. 



83 

Armstrong translates it "gewgaws" amongst the grass; but the 
editor of "Sar-obair nam Bard Gaelach" — see his vocabulary — 
gives deideagan, rib-grass, which renders the line intelligible. 
Bodaich dhubha, the black men ; lus nan saighdearan, the 
soldiers' weed, — children's names in Perthshire and Argyllshire- 
This plant and the sea-variety. 

P. maritima, are relished by cattle, especially sheep, hence the 
Welsh name: Bar cany ddafad, the sheep's favorite morsel; also, 
Sampler y ddafad, the sheep's samphire, names applied to the sea- 
plaintain. The Manx name for the Buckshorn plaintain is Bollan 
Vreeshey, Bridget's wort {Bollan and bossan, wort). " Mie son 
lhiettal guin " (good for staunching wounds). 

Paronychiace^e. 
Herniaria glabra — Rupture-wort ; burst-wort. Gaelic and Irish : 
lus an t-sicnich (Mackenzie), from sic, the inner skin that is next 
the viscera in animals. "Bhrist an t-sic,'' the inner skin broke. 
"Mam-sic," rupture, hernia. Not growing naturally in Scotland, 
but was formerly cultivated by herbalists as a cure for hernia. 
Mam, round hill, a breast. Latin : mamma, hence an ulcerous 
swelling. A lotion made from this plant was a cure for such 
complaints as well as for hernia. 

CHENOPODIACEjE. 

Amaranthus caudatus — Love-lies-bleeding. Gaelic : lus a' 
ghrctidh, the love plant. Gradh, love. 

Spinacia oleracea — Spinage. Gaelic : bloinigean ghraidh. 
Blonag, fat (Welsh : bloneg ; Irish : blanag) ; garadh, a garden. 
Slap-chal (Macalpin) ; slap, to flap : cal, cabbage. Welsh : y 
vigawglys 

Beta maritima — Beet, mangold-wurzel. Gaelic : bed's, bio/as. 
Irish : biatas. Welsh : beatws (evidently on account of its feeding 
or life-giving qualities). Greek : /3t'os. Latin : vita, life, food ; 
and the Gaelic : biadh, feed, nourish, fatten. Cornish : boet. 

Suseda maritima — Sea-side goose grass. 1 Gaelic and Irish : 

Salicornia herbacea — Glass-wort. J praiseach na mara, 

the sea pot herb. Name applied to both plants. For praiseach, 
see Crambe maritima. 

Atriplex hastata and patula — Common orache. Gaelic and 



84 

Irish : praiseach mhin. Min, meal, ground fine, small. The 
plant is covered with fine mealy powder. Still used by poor 
people as a pot-herb. Ceathramha-luain-griollog (O'Reilly), loin- 
quarters, sallad. Ceathramadh caorach (Bourke), sheep's quarters. 
The name griollog is applied also to the samphire. Manx : coll 
mea, fat or luxurious cole or cabbage (Cregeen). 

A. portulacoides — Purslane-like orache. Gaelic and Irish : 
purpaidh, purple. A name also given to the poppy. Name given 
on account of the purple appearance of the plant, it being streaked 
with red in the autumn. 

A. littoralis — Marsh orache. Eirelehog (Threl). The Irish 
Gaelic name seems to suggest its habitat. Eire, our air, on, and 
leog, a marsh. Welsh : Llygwyn Arfor, the sea-side orache. 
Some of the plants of this order are used as pot-herbs ; the roots 
of others form valuable articles of food, as beet and mangold 
wurzel — plants now famous as a new source of sugar instead of 
the sugar cane. 

Chenopodium vulvaria (or olidum) — Stinking goosef oot. Irish : 
elefleog. El or ela, a swan ; and fle or fleadh, a feast. It was 
said to be the favourite food of swans. Scotch : olour (Latin : 
olor, a swan). 

C. album — White goosef oot. Gaelic and Irish : praiseach 
fhiadhain, wild pot-herb. The people of the Western Highlands, 
and poor people in Ireland, still eat it as greens. Praiseach ghlas, 
green pot-herb, a name given to the fig-leaved goosef oot (ficifolium). 
Teanga mhin or mhin, the mealy or smooth tongue. Cal liath- 
ghlas, the grey kale, in Argyllshire. 

C. murale — Wall goosefoot. The wall kale. Praiseach was 
also applied to cabbages. Latin : brassica, a cabbage. This par- 
ticular "goosefoot" is found on walls and waste places near houses 
— rare in Ireland, and doubtful in the Highlands. Irish : 
Praiseach na balla. 

C. Bonus-Henricus — Good King Henry, wild spinage, English 
Mercury. Gaelic and Irish : praiseach brathair, the friar's pot- 
herb. (Brathair means brother, also fnax—frere). Its leaves are 
still used as spinage or spinach, in defect of better. Manx : glassan. 



85 

Laurace^e. 

Lauras. Dr. Siegfried compares laurus with daunts oak. As 
hngua from dingua, lacrima from dacrima. 

L. nobilis — The laurel, the bay-tree (which must not be con- 
founded with our common garden laurel, Primus lauro-cerasus 
and P. lusitanicus). Gaelic and Irish : labhras. Crann laoibh- 
reil, the tree possessing richness of foliage. With its leaves, poets 
and victorious generals were decorated. The symbol of triumph 
and victory. It became also the symbol of massacre and 
slaughter, hence another Gaelic name, casgair, to slaughter, to hit 
right and left. Ur uaine, the green bay-tree. 

" Agus e 'ga sgaoileadh fein a mach mar ur chraoibh uaine." 
And spreading himself like a green bay-tree. — Psalm xxxvii., 35. 

The itr chraoibh uaine is supposed by Royle to be the rose-bay 
(Nerium oleander), it being very common, and conspicuous by 
its rosy flowers, near the streams — the true laurel being very 
scarce in Palestine. "Ur, bay or palm tree, from the Sanskrit, 
urh, to grow up. Palm Sunday is styled 'Dbmhnach an uir,' the 
Lord's day of the palm." — Bourke. 

Daphne laureola — Spurge laurel. Buaidh chraobh, na Labhras 
(Logan), the tree of victory, or laurel tree. 

Badge of Clan Maclaren. (Mac Labhruinn). 

L. cmnamomurn — Cinnamon. Gaelic and Irish : caineal. 
" 'S e 's mlllse na 'n caineal." — Beinn-Dorain. 
It is sweeter than cinnamon. 

Canal (Welsh : canel). 

" Rinn mi mo leabadh cubhraidh le mirr, aloe, agus canal." — Proverbs 
vii., 17. 

I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 

From the Hebrew : qinnamon. Greek : /ctva/iu^ov, kinamomon. 
Besides the true cinnamon plant, there is another species known 
under the name of cassia. 

"Malairt ann ad mhargaidhean, bhaiarunn, casia agus calamus." — Ezekiel 
xxvii., 19. 

There were exchanged in the fairs iron, cassia and calamus. 

Polygonace^. 
Polygonum (from ttoA/us, many, and yow, knee, many knees or 
joints). Gaelic : lusan gliiineach, kneed or jointed plants. 



86 

Polygonum bistorta — Bistort, snakeweed. Gaelic and Irish: 
bilur (O'Reilly). Seems to mean the same as biolair, a water- 
cress. The young shoots were formerly eaten. Welsh : lysiau'r 
neidr, adder's plant. Manx : Bossan ardnieu, snakeweed. 

P. amphibium — Amphibious persicaria. Gaelic and Irish: 
gliiineach an uisge, the water-kneed plant. It is often floating in 
water. Gliiineach dkearg, the red-kneed plant. Its spikes of 
flowers are rose-coloured and handsome. Armstrong gives this 
name to P. convolvulus, which is evidently wrong. 

P. aviculare — Knot-grass. Gaelic and Irish : gliiineach bheag 
(O'Reilly), the small-jointed plant. There is another plant of this 
family very common on the hills and greedily eaten by cattle, 
much jointed, and with little red bulbs on the stem (P. viviparum). 
Altanach occurs as the name of "a mountain or moss grass.'' 
(This is not a grass, yet "grass" is sometimes applied to plants 
that are not grass, i.e. — knot grass, grass of Parnassus, etc.) The 
probabilities are strongly in favour of this being the plant so 
named. Altanach, the jointed one (alt, a joint). 

P. convolvulus — Climbing persicaria; black bindweed; climbing 
buckwheat. Gaelic and Irish : glicineach dhubh, the dark-jointed 
plant. 

P. persicaria — The spotted persicaria. Gaelic and Irish : 
gliiineach mhbr, the large-jointed plant. Am boinne-fola (Fer- 
gusson), the blood spot. Lus chrann-ceusaidh (Maclellan), herb of 
the tree (of) crucifixion. The legend being that this plant grew at 
the foot of the Cross, and drops of blood fell on the leaves, and 
so they are to this day spotted. 

P. hydropiper — Water - pepper. Gaelic : lus an fhbgair 
(Mackenzie), the plant that drives, expels, or banishes. It had the 
reputation of driving away pain, flies, etc. "If a good handful of 
the hot biting arssmart be put under the horse's saddle, it will 
make him travel the better though he were half -tired before." — 
Culpepper. Gliiineach teth, the hot-kneed plant. Manx : glioon- 
agh, the kneed or jointed one. 

Eumex obtusifolius \ 

„ crispus V — Dock. Gaelic and Irish : copag — 

„ conglomeratus J 
copagach, copach, bossy. Welsh : copa-, tuft, a top. Manx : capag. 
Roots used for making black dye. 



87 

R. sanguineus — Bloody-veined dock. Gaelic: a' chopagach 
dhearg, the red dock. The stem and veins of leaves are blood- 
red. Welsh : Tafolen gbch (coch, red). Manx : capag jiarg, red 
■dock. 

R. alpinus — Monk's rhubarb. Gaelic : lus na purgaid, the 
purgative weed. A naturalised plant. The roots were formerly 
used medicinally, and the leaves as a pot-herb. Welsh : arianallys. 
The same name is given for rue. 

R acetosa — Common sorrel. Gaelic : samh, sorrel. Irish : 
samhadhbb, cow-sorrel (f or samhsee Oxalis). Puinneag(MsLcdona\A). 
Irish : puineoga. Name given possibly for its efficacy in healing 
sores and bruises (a pugilist, puinneanach). Sealbhag, not from 
sealbh, possession, more likely from searbh, sour, bitter, from its 
acid taste. 

" Do shealbhag ghlan 's do luachair 
A borcadh suas ma d' choir." — Macdonald. 
Thy pure sorrel and thy rushes 
Springing up beside thee. 

Sea/gag (Irish : sealgan), are other forms of the same name. 
Copag shraide, the roadside or lane dock. Sobh (Shaw), the herb 
sorrel. Manx: shughlagh. 

R. acetosella — Sheep's sorrel. Gaelic and Irish : ruanaidh, the 
reddish-coloured. It is often bright red in autumn. Pluirin 
seangan (O'Reilly), the small-flowered plant (pluran, a small 
flower ; seangan, slender). Samhadh caora (O'Reilly), sheep's 
sorrel. Samh, that part of the plant which bears seed. 

Oxyria reniformis — Mountain sorrel. Gaelic and Irish: sealbh- 
ag nam fiadh, the deer's sorrel. 

Aristolochiace^e. 
Aristolochia clematitis — Birth-wort. Culurin (see Cyclamen.) 
Asarum europseum — Common asarum. Gaelic : asair (Macdon- 
ald), from the generic name, "asara bacca." The leaves are 
emetic, cathartic, and diuretic. The plant was formerly employed 
to correct the effects of excessive drinking, hence the French, 
cabaret. 

Empetrace^e. 
Empetrum nigrum — Crow-berry. Gaelic and Irish : lus na 
Jionnaig (fionnag, a crow). Sometimes written feannag, (dearc 



fhithich, raven's berry ; caor fionnaig, crow-berry), the berries which 
the Highland children are very fond of eating, though rather 
bitter. Taken in large quantities, they cause headache. Grouse 
are fond of them. Boiled with alum they are used to produce a 
dark-purple dye. Lus na stalog (O'Reilly), the starling's plant. 
Brallan du. Threlkeld probably means breallan dubh, the black 
knobby plant, on account of its black berries. 

Badge of the Macleans ; by some authorities, also of the 
Camerons. 

EUPHORBIACE^E. 

Euphorbia exigua }_ Spurge . Gaelic and Irish : spuirse 

„ helioscopia ) 

= spurge. Foinne - lus, wart-wort. Manx : lus-ny-fahnnashyn, 

same meaning. 

E. Hiberna — Meacan buidhe an t-sleibhe. Meaning — the yellow 
plant of the hill. The Journal of Botany, 1873, gives the name 
as "Makkin bwee\" "A name of some interest as being one of 
the few Gaelic names that has found its way (spelt as 'Makinboy') 
into English books.'' Our common plants are distinguished by 
the milky juice they exude when bruised, growing frequently on 
cultivated fields. The peasantry of Kerry use this plant for 
stupefying fish. So powerful are its qualities that a small basket, 
filled with the bruised plant, suffices to poison the fish for several 
miles down a river. 

E. peplus — Petty spurge. Gaelic and Irish : lus leigheis, 
healing plant. The plants of this genus possess powerful cathartic 
and emetic properties. E. helioscopia has a particularly acrid 
juice, which is often applied for destroying warts, hence it is 
called foinne-lus. Irish : gear neimh (gear or geur, severe, and 
neimh, poison, the milky juice being poisonous). 

E. paralias — Sea-spurge. Irish : buidhe na ningean, (O'Reilly), 
the yellow plant of the waves (nin, a wave), its habitat being 
maritime sands. Not found in Scotland, but in Ireland, on the 
coast as far north as Dublin. 

Buxus sempervirens— Box. Gaelic and Irish : bocsa, an altera- 
tion of Trvgos, the Greek name. Latin : buxus. 

" Suidhichidh mi aims an fhasach an giuthas, an gal] ghiuthas, agus as 
bocsa le cheile." — Isaiah. 

I will set in the desert the fir-tree and the pine and the box together. 



8 9 

Aighban. It was considered in olden times an emblem of glad- 
ness, just as Craobh-bhroin Cypress was of sadness. The leaves 
of the red whortleberry are very like the leaves of the box, and 
the former was the Suaicheantas of many of the branches of Clan 
Chattan. To avoid trouble, box was frequently substituted. The 
name is probably from aighear — merry, airy, light-hearted. So 
the Latin name, Sempervirens — as Horace uses the term — lively 
always green, active, etc. 

The badge of Clan Macpherson, Clan Mackintosh, and others 

Mercurialis perennis— Wood mercury. Gaelic: lus ghlinne- 

bhracadail. Lus gklinne, the cleansing wort; bracadh, suppuration, 

corruption, etc. It was formerly much used for the cure of 

wounds. Manx : creayn voddee (creayn, ague ; and voddee, dogs). 

CuCURBITACEiE. 

Cucumis sativus — Cucumber. Gaelic and Irish : cularan, 
perhaps from culear, a bag. Latin : cuius, the skin. 

" Is cuimhne leinne an t-iasg a dh'ith sinn san Ephit gu saor ; na cularain 
agus na mealbhucain." — Numbers xi. 5. 

We remember the fish that we did eat in Egypt freely, and the cucumber 
and the melons. 

" 'Sa thorc nimhe ri sgath a chularain." — Macdonald. 
His wild boar destroying his cucumbers. 
Irish : cucumhar (O'Reilly), cucumber, said to be derived from 
the Celtic word cue (Gaelic: mack), a hollow thing. In some 
species the rind becomes hard when dried, and is used as a cup 
Latin : cucutnis, a derivative from the Celtic. (See Loudon, and 
Chamber's Latin Dictionary.) Welsh : chwerw ddwfr, water-sour. 
C. melo^Melon. Gaelic and Irish : meal-bhuc, from mel or mal 
(Greek, i^kov, an apple), and buc, size, bulk. According to 
Brockie, "mealbhucain (plural), round fruit covered with warts or 
pimples." Mileog, a small melon. 

Urticace^e. 
Urtica — A word formed from Latin : uro, to burn. 
IT. urens l , T iit . . , „ 

dioica I ~~ Nettle (Anglo- Saxon, ncedl, a needle). Gaelic 

and Irish : feanntag, neantbg, 1 deanntag, iontag, iuntag, by popular 

1 " Neantig, the common name for it in Ireland. In feminine nouns, the 
first consonant (letter) after the article an (the) is softened in sound. ' An 
feanntag' — 'f when affected loses its sound, and 'N' is sounded instead: 
'N (f)eantog.'" — Canon Bourke. 



90 

■etymology from feannta, flayed, pierced, pinched— -feann, to flay, 
on account of its blistering effects on the skin ; ang, a sting ; 
iongna, nails). Latin: ungues. "Original sense — 'scratched or 
'stinger.'"— (Skeat.) 

'• Sealbhaichidh an ionntagach iad." — Hosea ix. 6. 
The nettles shall possess them. 
" CmmAhfeanntag 's a' gharadh 

'N uair thig faillinn 'san ros."— Dr. Maclachlan, Rahoy. 

Nettles grow in the garden 

While the roses decay. 
To this day it is boiled in the Highlands and in Ireland by the 
country people in the spring-time. Till tea became the fashion, 
nettles were boiled in meal, and made capital food. Caol-fail — 
■caol, slender ; fal, spite, malice. In the Hebridies often called 
sradag (a spark), from the sensation (like that from a fiery spark) 
consequent upon touching (Stuart). Loiteag, from Ibt, a wound ; 
loisneack, from loscadh, burning. Manx : undaagach. Welsh : 
danadlen. " The nettle was employed in the Isle of Man for 
restoring circulation by heating the skin." — (Moore.) Camden 
says "that the Romans cultivated nettles, when in Britain, in 
order to rub their benumbed limbs with them, on account of the 
intense cold they suffered when in Britain." 

Cannabis sativa — Hemp. Gaelic and Irish : caineab, the same 
as cannabis, and said to be originally derived from Celtic, can, 
white : but the plant has been known to the Arabs from time 
immemorial under the name of quaneb. Corcach, hemp. 
"Buill de' n chaol chorcaidh." — Macdonald. 
Tackling of hempen ropes. 
Welsh : cynarch. 

Parietaria officinalis — Wall pellitory. Gaelic and Irish : his a? 
bhallaidh, from balladh (Latin : vallum; Irish : balld), a wall. A 
weed which is frequently found on or beside old walls or rubbish 
heaps, hence the generic name " parietaria,'' from paries, a wall. 
Irish : mionntas chaisil {caisiol, any stone building), the wall-mint. 
For mionntas, see Mentha. Manx : yn ouw creggach, the rocky 
weed. Used as a cure for heart disease. 

Humulus lupulus — Hop. Gaelic and Irish : lus an Jeanna — 
lionn-luibh, the ale or beer plant. Lionn, leann (Welsh : Ihyn). 
Manx : lus y lionney (the same meaning). 



9i 

Ulmus — Elm. Celtic : aibn. The same in Anglo-Saxon, 
Teutonic, Gothic, and nearly all the Celtic dialects. Hebrew : 
tlah ; translated oak, terebinth, and elm. 

XJ. campestris — Gaelic and Irish: kamhan, slamhan (Shaw), 
tiobhan. Manx : Ihionon. Welsh : llwyfen. According to Pictet,' 
in his work, "Les Origines Indo-Europeennes ou les Aryas 
Primitifs," p. 221, "To the Latin : 'Ulmus' the following bear an 
affinity (respond) — Sax. : ellm; Scand. : almr ; Old German : elm; 
Rus. : Hemic; Polish: iltna; Irish: ailm, uilm, and by inver- 
sion, 'leamh,' or '■leamhan.'" He says the root is til, meaning to 
burn. The tree is called from the finality of it, "to be burned." 
The common idea of leamhan is that it is from leamh, taste- 
less, insipid, from the taste of its inner bark ; and liobh means 
smooth, slippery. And the tree in Gaelic poetry is associated with, 
•or symbolic of, slipperiness of character, indecision. Cicely 
Macdonald, who lived in the reign of Charles II., describing her 
■chief, wrote as follows : — 

" Bu tu 'n t-iubhar as a' choille, 

Bu tu 'n darach daingean, laidir, 
Bu tu 'n cuilionn, bu tu 'n droighionn, 

Bu tu 'n t-abhall molach, blath-mhor, 
Cha robh meur annad de 'n chritheann, 

Cha robh do dhlighe ri fejlrna, 
Cha robh do chhirdeas ri leamhan, 

Bu tu leannan nam ban aluinn." 
Thou wast the yew from the wood, 

Thou wast the firm strong oak, 
Thou wast the holly and the thorn, 

Thou wast the rough, pleasant apple, 
Thou had'st not a twig of the aspen, 

Under no obligation to the alder, 
And had'st no friendship with the elm, 

Thou wast the beloved of the fair. 

Ficus- -Nearly the same in most of the European languages. 
Greek : a-vyr). Latin : ficus. Celtic : fige. 

F. carica — Common fig-tree. Gaelic and Irish : cratm fige or 
fighis. 

"Ach f&ghlumaibh cosamhlach o'n chrann fhhge." — Mat: xxiv, 32. 
Learn a parable from the fig-tree. 

Inde-Indeach (O'Reilly). Not the common fig-tree, but the Indian 
fig is Ficus Indica. But another plant was known by the old 



9 2 

herbalists as "Ficus Indicus," the "fig of India," evidently one of 
the spurge family, and was much used in Western Europe. It is 
to this plant the name applies. "A plaister made of it with oil 
and wax is singular good against all aches and pains of the joints, 
. . . scabbs of the head, baldness, and it will cause the beard to 
grow, if the chin be anointed therewith." — (Joseph Blagrave, 
student in Physic and Astrology, 1674.) 

Moms — Greek : yuopos, moros. Latin : morus, a mulberry. 
Loudon, in his " Encyclopaedia of Plants," says it is from the 
Celtic mor, dark-coloured, the fruit being of a darkish red colour. 
Old Ger. and Danish : mur-ber. Mbr-beam. 

M. nigra — Common mulberry. Gaelic and Irish : crann-maol- 
dhearc, tree of the mild aspect ; or, if dearc here be a berry, the 
mild-berry tree. Maol (Latin : mollis) has many significations. 
Bald, applied to monks without hair, as Maol Cholum, St. Columba; 
Maol Iosa, Maol Brighid, St. Bridget, etc. A promontory, cape, 
or knoll, as Maol Chinnfire, Mull of Cantyre. Malvern, maol, 
and bearna, a gap. To soften, by making it less bitter, as " dean 
maol €," make it mild. Hence mulberry, mild-berry (Canon 
Bourke). That is right as far as "■maol" is concerned, yet it 
seems only an adaptation of "mul," the prefix. In the Bible, this 
tree is also called the sycamine tree, from the Greek : sycaminos 
(Luke xvii. 6). Gaelic : sicamin. 

Amentifeiue and Cupuliferje. 

Catkin-bearers — Gaelic : caitean, the blossom of ossiers. 
" 'Nis treigidh coileach a ghucag 
'S caitean brucach nan craobh." — Macdonald. 
Now the cock will forsake the buds 
And the spotted catkins of the trees. 

ftuercus — Akin to KtpxaXkoi, hard, rough ; and KapKapos, oak, 
„or anything made of it. 

ft. robur — The oak. Gaelic and Irish : dair, genitive darach, 
sometimes written darag, dur, dru. Sanskrit : daru. Greek : 
Sopv, Spvs, an oak. Manx : darragh. Welsh : derwen. 
" Samhach' is mor a bha 'n triath, 
Mar dharaig 's i liath air Ltibar, 
A chaill a dlu-dheug o shean 
Le dealan glan nan speur, 
Tha 'h-aomadh thar sruth o shliabh, 

A coinneach mar chiabh a fuaim." — Ossian. 



93 

Silent and great was the prince 

Like an oak-tree hoary on Lubar, 
Stripped of its thick and aged boughs 

By the keen lightning of the sky, 
It bends across the stream from the hill, 

Its moss sounds in the wind like hair. 

Om, omna, the oak (O'Reilly). "Corniac, King of Cashel, Ire- 
land, a.d 903, says of omna that it equals fuamna, sounds, or 
noises, because the winds resound when the branches of the oak 
resist its passage. According to Varro, it is from os, mouth, and 
men, mind, thinking — that is, telling out what one thinks is likely 
to come. Cicero agrees with this, ' Osmen voces hominum.' " — 
Canon Bourke. Compare Latin : omen, a sign, a prognostica- 
tion, — it being much used in the ceremonies of the Druids. 
Omna, a lance, or a spear, these implements being made from 
the wood of the oak. Greek : 86pv, a spear, because made of 
wood or oak. Eitheach, oak, from eithim, to eat, an old form of 
ith. Latin : ed-ere, as "oak" is derived from ak (Old German) to 
eat (the acorn). The "oak" was called Quercus esculus by the 
Latins. Rail, railaidh, oak. 

" Ni bhiodh achd, aon dhearc ar an ralaidh." 
What they had, one acorn on the oak. 

Canon Bourke thinks it is derived from ro, exceeding, and ail, 
growth ; or ri, a king, and al or ail — that is, king of the growing 
plants. It was under an oak that St. Bridget established her 
retreat for holy women. The place was therefore called Kildara, 
or Cell of the Oak. 

" The Oak of St. Bride, which demon nor Dane, 
Nor Saxon nor Dutchman could rend from her fane." 

The Highlanders still call it Righ na coille, king of the wood. The 
Spanish name roble seems to be cognate with robur. Furran, oak 
(O'Reilly). 

The oak — the badge of the Cameron men. 

ft. ilex — Holm-tree. Gaelic and Irish : craobh thuilm, genitive 
of tolm, a knoll, may here be only an alteration of "holm." 
Darach sior-uaine, ever-green oak. 

ft. suber — The cork-tree. Gaelic : crann arcan. Irish : 
crann dire. Arc, a cork. 

Fagus sylvatica — Beech. Gaelic and Irish : craobh fhaidbhile. 



94 

Welsh : ffawydd. Fai, faidh, from <j>dy<o, to eat. <jf»jyo's, the 
beech-tree. This name was first applied to the oak, and as we 
have no Queraes esculus, the name Fagus is applied to the beech 
and not to the oak. Oruin (O'Reilly) (see Thuja articulata). 
Beith na measa, the fruiting birch. Meas, a fruit, as of oak or 
beech— like " mess," " munch.'' French : manger, to eat. 

F. sylvatica var. atrorubens — Black beech. Gaelic -.faidhbhile 
dubh (Fergusson), black beech, from the sombre appearance of 
its branches. The "mast" of the beech was used as food, and 
was called bachar, from Latin : bacchar; Greek : /?a«x«P' s > a 
plant having a fragrant root. A name also given to Valeriana 
celtica (Sprengel), Celtic nard. 

Carpinus — The Latin name. 

C. betulus — Hornbeam. Gaelic : leamhan bog (O'Reilly), the 
soft elm. (See Ulmus campestris). 

Corylus avellana — Hazel. Gaelic and Irish : calltuinn, call- 
dainn, callduinn, cailtin, colluinn. Welsh : callen. Cornish : col. 
widen. Manx : coll. Gaelic : coill. Irish : colli, a wood, a grove. 
New Year's time is called in Gaelic, coill; "oidhche coille," the 
first night of January, then the hazel is in bloom. The first night 
in the new year when the wind blows from the west, they call dair 
na coille, the night of the fecundation of trees ("Statistics," par. 
Kirkmichael). In Celtic superstition the hazel was considered 
unlucky, and associated with loss or damage The words call, 
coll, collen, have also this signification ; but if two nuts were found 
together (cnb chbmhlaicK), good luck was certain. The Bards, 
however, did not coincide with these ideas. By it they were 
inspired with poetic fancies. "They believed that there were 
fountains in which the principal rivers had their sources ; over 
each fountain grew nine hazel trees, caill crinmon (crina, wise), 
which produced beautiful red nuts, which fell into the fountain, 
and floated on its surface, that the salmon of the river came up 
and swallowed the nuts. It was believed that the eating of the 
nuts caused the red spots on the salmon's belly, and whoever took 
and ate one of these salmon was inspired with the sublimest 
poetical ideas. Hence the expressions, 'the nuts of science,' 'the 
salmon of knowledge.' " — O'Curry's " Manners and Customs of 
the Ancient Irish." 

The badge of Clan Colquhoun. 



95 

Alnus — Al (Sanskrit), to burn. According to Pictet, it is from; 
alka, Sanskrit for a tree. 

A. glutinosa — Common alder. Gaelic and Irish : fearna — 
fearna, French : verne. Welsh : gwernen (gwern, a swamp). It 

grows best in swampy places, and beside streams and rivers. 
Many places have derived their names from this tree, Gleann 
.Fearnaite. Fearnan, near Loch Tay ; Fearn, Ross-shire, etc. 
Ruaim (O'Reilly) (ruadh, red), it dyes red. When peeled it is 
white, but it turns red in a short time. The bark boiled with 
copperas makes a beautiful black colour. The wood has the 
peculiarity of splitting best from the root, hence the saying : — 

"Gach fiodh o'n bbarr, 's am fearna o'n bhun. '' 
Every wood splits best from the top, but the alder from the root. 

A singular custom prevailed at funerals. " There were rods or 
small branches of /earn stuck round the graves of the unmarried, 
and of the married who had no issue ; with the distinction that 
the bark was taken off for the unmarried." 

Betula alba — Birch. Gaelic and Irish : beith. Welsh : bedw, 
seemingly from Latin Betula. Also the name of the letter B in 
Celtic languages, corresponding to Hebrew Beth (meaning a 
house). Greek: Beta. Generally written beith. 

" 'S a' bheith chubhraidh."— Ossian. 
In the fragrant birch. 

The Highlanders and Irish formerly made many economical uses 
of this tree, Its bark (meilleag or bUlleag), they burned for light, 
smooth inner bark was used, before the invention of paper, for 
writing upon, and the wood for various purposes. 

The badge of the Clan Buchanan. 

R. verrucosa — Knotty birch. Gaelic: beith carraigeach, the 
rugged birch; beith dubh-chasach, the dark-stemmed birch. 

B. pendula — Gaelic : beith dubhach, the sorrowful birch (dubhach r 
dark, gloomy, sorrowful, mourning, frowning). In Rannoch and 
Breadalbane: Beith cluasach, the many (drooping) ear birch. 
(Stuart). 

B. nana — Dwarf birch. Gaelic : beith beag (Fergusson), the 
small birch. 

Castanea vesca — Common chestnut. Gaelic and Irish : chraobh 
geanm-chnb. 



9 6 

" No na craobha geanm-chnb cosmhuil r' a gheugaibh." — Ezekiel xxxi. 8. 
Nor the chestnut-tree like his branches. 

Geanm or gean, natural love, pure love, such as exists between 
relatives — the tree of chaste love, and crib, a nut. The Celts 
evidently credited this tree with the same virtues as the chaste 
tree, Vitex agnus castus (Greek, dyvbs: and Latin, castus, chaste). 
Hence the Athenian matrons, in the sacred rites of Ceres, used 
to strew their couches with its leaves. Castanea is said to be 
derived from Castana, a town in Pontus, and that the tree is so 
called because of its abundance there. But the town Castana 
(Greek, Kdcrravov), was probably so called on account of the 
virtues of its female population. If so, the English name chest- 
nut would mean chaste-nut, as it is in the Gaelic. Welsh : cast an 
(from Latin, caste), chastely, modestly. The chestnut tree of 
Scripture is now supposed to be Platanus orientalis, the Chenar 
plane-tree. 

[JEsculus hippocastanum — The horse-chestnut. Gaelic ■ geanm 
chnb fhiadhaich (Fergusson). Belongs to the order Aceracece. 
Was introduced to Scotland in 1709.] 

Populus alba — Poplar. Gaelic : craobh phobuill. Irish : poibleag. 
German : pappel. Welsh and Armoric : pobl. Latin : populus. 
This name has an Asiatic origin, and became a common name 
to all Europe through the Aryan race from the East. 1 Pictet 
explains it thus — " Ce nom est sans doute une reduplication de 
la racine Sanscrit pul, magnum, altum.'' Pul pul, great, great, or 
big, big, as in the Hebrew construction, very big. We still say 
in Gaelic mbr, mbr, big, big, for very big. Pul pul is the Persian 
for popular, and pullah for salix. This tree is quite common in 
Persia and Asia Minor, hence it was as well known there as in 
Europe. The name has become associated with populus, the 
people, by the fact that the streets of ancient Rome were deco- 
rated with rows of this tree, whence the name Arbor populi. 
Again, it is asserted that the name is derived from the constant 
movement of the leaves, which are in perpetual motion, like the 
populace — "fickle, like the multitude, that are accursed." Populus 
— palpulus, from palpilare, to tremble (Skeat). 

1 See Canon Bourke's work on "The Aryan Origin of the Gaelic Race and 
Language." London : Longman. 



97 

P. tremula — Aspen. Gaelic and Irish : critheann, from crith, 
tremble. Manx : cron craaee, trembling tree. 

" Mar chritheach 'san t-slne."— Ull. 
Like an aspen in the blast. 

With the slightest breeze the leaves tremble, the poetic belief 
being that the wood of the Cross was made from this tree, and 
that ever since the leaves cannot cease from trembling. Eabhadh. 
Welsh : aethnen (aethiad, smarting). Manx : chengey ny mraane, 
■wives' tongues (never still!) The mulberry tree of Scripture is 
•supposed to be the aspen (Balfour), and in Gaelic is rendered 
traobh nan smiur. (See Morus and Rubus fruticosus.) 

"Agus an uair a chluinneas tu fuaim siubhail ann am mullach chraobh nan 
smeur, an sin gluaisidh tu thu fein." — 2 Samuel v. 24. 

And when thou hearest a sound of marching on the tops of the mulberry 
rtrees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself. 

The badge of Clan Ferguson, according to some authorities. 

Salix — According to Pictet, from Sanskrit, s&la, a tree. 

" II a passe au saule dans plusieurs langues 
. . . Ces noms derivent de sala." 

Gaelic and Irish: seileach, saileog, sal, suil. Cognate with Latin: 
salix. Manx : shellagh. Fin. : salawa. Anglo-Saxon : salig, 
salh, from which sallow (white willow) is derived. Welsh: helyg, 
willow. (See S. viminalis?) 

S. viminalis— Osier willow ; cooper's willow. Gaelic and 
Irish : fineamhain, a long twig — a name also applied to the vine. 1 
Vimen in Latin means also a pliant twig, a switch osier. One of 
the seven hills of Rome (Viminalis Collis) was so named from a 
willow copse that stood there ; and Jupiter, who was worshipped 
among these willows, was called " Viminius;" and his priests, and 
those of Mars, were called Salii for the same reason. The wor- 
ship was frequently of a sensual character, and thus the willow has 
become associated with lust, filthiness. Priapus was sarcastically 
called " Salacissimus Jupiter," hence salax, lustful, salacious : and 
in Gaelic, salach (from sal); German, sal, polluted, defiled. The 
osier is also called bunnsag, buinneag, a twig, a stock. Maothan, 
from maoth, smooth, tender. Gall sheileach, the foreign willow. 

S. caprea, and S. aquatica — Common sallow. Gaelic and 

1 ' ' Finemhain fa m' chomhair " (in Genesis) — a vine opposite to me. 

G 



98 

Irish: sidkag, probably the same as Irish, saileog (Anglo-Saxon, 
salig, sallow). Siril — the old Irish name — (in Turkish su means 
water), in Irish and Gaelic, the eye, look, aspect, and sometimes 
' tackle (Armstrong). The various species of willow were exten- 
sively used for tackle of every sort. Ropes, bridles, &c, were 
made from twisted willows. " In the Hebrides, where there is 
so great a scarcity of the tree kind, there is not a twig, even of 
the meanest willow, but what is turned by the inhabitants to- 
some useful purpose." — Walker's "Hebrides." And in Ireland 
to this day "gads," or willow ropes, are made. Geal-sheileach 
(Armstrong), the white willow or sallow tree. Irish : crann sailigk 
Fhrancaigh, the French willow. Dye of flesh colour from the bark. 
S. babylonica — The Babylonian willow. Gaelic: seileach an 
t-srutha (sruth, a brook, stream, or rivulet), the willow of the brook. 

" Agus gabhaidh sibh dhuibh fein air a' cheud la meas chraobh aluinn, agus 
seileach an t-srutha." — Lev. xxiii. 40. 

And take unto yourselves on the first day fruit of lovely trees, and willows 
of the brook. 

Myricace^e. 

Myrica gale — Bog myrtle, sweet myrtle, sweet gale. Gaelic : 
rideag. Irish : rideog, rileog (changing sound of d to I being 
easier. Roid is the common name in the Highlands, perhaps from 
the Hebrew rothem, a fragrant shrub. Kelly (in his Manx 
Dictionary) speaks of a plant " lus roddagagh," which, he says 
" was used for dyeing and for destroying fleas." It was used for 
making a yellow dye. It is doubtless this plant. It is used for 
numerous purposes by the Highlanders, e.g., as a substitute for 
hops ; for tanning ; and from its supposed efficacy in destroying- 
insects, beds were strewed with it, and even made of the twigs of 
gale. And to this day it is employed by the Irish for the same 
purpose by those who know its efficacy. The rideog is boiled, and 
the tea or juice drank by children to kill ' the worms.' Raideog in 
Donegal (O'Donovan). Same name. "The hills in Raasay abound 
with the sweet-smelling plant, which the Highlanders call gaul." — 
BoswelPs Tour with Dr. Johnson. 

Badge of the Clan Campbell. 

Conifers. 
Pinus — French : le pin. German : pyn-baum. Italian : il pino. 



yy 

Spanish : el pino. Irish : pinn chrann. Gaelic : pinchrann. 
Anglo-Saxon: pinu, All these forms of the same name are 
derived, according to Pictet, from the Sanscrit verb pina, the 
past participle of pita, to be fat, juicy. From /^a, comes Latin, 

pinus, and the Gaelic, pin. Old Gaelic : peith, put for pic-nus 

L. pic, stem of pix pitch, hence pine means pitch tree (Skeat), 

P. sylvestris— Scotch pine, Scots fir. Gaelic: giuthas. Irish : 
giumhas. 

" Mar giuthas a lub an doinionn." — OssiAN. 
Like a pine bent by the storm. 

Giuthas. Old Irish : gius. Manx : juys. Gaelic : giuthas, said 
to be from root gis, from the abundance of pitch or resin. Con 
or cona (O'Reilly), from Greek: x^ vo h konos, a cone, a pine. 
Hence connadh, and Anglo Scotch : cen, fir wood, fire-wood. 
Badge of the Macgregors — Clan Alpin. 

P. picea — Silver pine. Gaelic : giuthas geal (Fergusson), white 
pine. First planted at Inveraray Castle in 1682. 

Abies communis — Spruce. Gaelic : giuthas Lochlainneach, 
Scandinavian pine. 

"Nuair theirgeadh giuthas Lochlainneach." — MacCodrum. 
When the spruce fir would get done. 

Lochlannach, from loch, lake, and lann, a Germano-Celtic word 
meaning land — i.e., the lake-lander, a Scandinavian. 

" Giuthas glan na Lochlainn, 
Fuaight' le copar ruadh." 
Polished fir ol Scandinavia, 
Bound with reddish copper. 

P. larix — Larch. Gaelic and Irish : learag. Scotch : larick. 
Latin : larix, from the Greek : \api£, a larch, or Xapwos, fat, from 
the abundance of resin the wood contains. Welsh : larswydden. 

P. strobus — (Strobus, a name employed by Pliny for an eastern 
tree used in perfumery). Weymouth pine. Gaelic: giuthas 
Sasunnach (Fergusson), the English pine. It is not English, 
however ; it is a North American tree, but was introduced from 
England to Dunkeld in 1725. 

CupresBUS — Cypress. Irish and Gaelic : cuphair, an alteration 
of Cyprus, where the tree is abundant. 



C. sempervirens — Common cypress. Gaelic : craobh bhroin, 
the tree of sorrow. Brbn, grief, sorrow, weeping. Craobh uaine 
giuthais, the green fir-tree. 

"Is cosmhuil mi ri crann uaine giuthais." — HOSEA xiv. 8. 
I am like a green fir-tree. 

The fir-tree of Scripture (Hebrew berosh and beroth are translated 
fir-trees) most commentators agree is the cypress. 
Badge of the Macdougalls. 

Thuja articulata — Thyine wood. Gaelic : fiodh-thine. 
"Agus gach uile ghne fhiodha thine." — Rev. xviii. 12. 
And all kinds of thyine wood. 
Alteration of thya, from 6vw, to sacrifice. Another kind of pine, 
Hebrew, oren (Irish and Gaelic, oruin), is translated ash in Isaiah 
xliv. 14, and beech by O'Reilly. 

Cedar — KeSpos. Cedrus Libani, cedar of Lebanon. Gaelic 
and Irish : crann seudar, cedar tree. 

"Agus air uile sheudaraibh Lebanoin." — Isaiah ii. 13. 
And upon all the cedars of Lebanon. 
The cedar wood mentioned in Lev. xiv. 4, was probably Juniperus 
oxycedrus, which was a very fragrant wood, and furnished an oil 
that protects from decay — cedar oil, hence figuratively, "Carmina 
linenda cedro " — i.e., poems worthy of immortality. 

" Agus fiodh sheudar, agus scirlaid, agus hisop." 
And cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop. 

Juniperus — From the Latin Juniperus— junior, younger, and 
pario, to bring forth, because it brings forth younger berries while 
the others are ripening. Irish: iubhar-beinne (O'Reilly), the hill 
yew; iubhar-thalaimh, the ground yew; ubhar-chraige, the rock yew; 
all given as names for the juniper. Juniperus is mentioned both 
by Virgil and Pliny. Welsh : merywen. 

J. communis — Juniper. Gaelic and Irish: aiteal, aitinn, aitiol. 
Aitionn, from Sanscrit ak, to pierce. Latin : acer, sharp, piercing. 

" Ach chaidh e fern astar latha do'n fhksach agus thkinig e agus shuidh e 
fuidh chraoibh-aiteiV — 1 Kings xix. 4. 

And he went a day's journey into the desert, and he sat under a juniper tree. 
The juniper of Scripture, Genista monospenna, was a kind of 
broom. Welsh ; aeth, a point, furze. Irish : aiteann, furze, from 
its pointed leaves. Bior leacain (in Arran), the pointed hill-side 



plant. Staoin (in the North Highlands), caorrunn staotn, juniper 
berries (staotn, a little drinking-cup). 

The badge of Clans Murray, Ross, Macleod, and the Athole 
Highlanders. 

J. sabina — Savin. Gaelic : samhan (Armstrong), alteration of 
" sabina," the " sabina herba " of Pliny. Common in Southern 
Europe, and frequently cultivated in gardens, and used medicin- 
ally as a stimulant, and in ointments, lotions, &c. 

Taxus — According to Benfry is derived from the Sanscrit, 
taksh, to spread out, to cut a figure, to fashion. Persian: tak. 
Greek: ri£os, an arrow. Irish and Gaelic: tuagk, a bow made 
of the taxos or yew, now applied to the hatchet used in place of 
the old bow. 

T. baccata — Common yew. Gaelic and Irish : iubhar, iughar. 
Greek : tos, an arrow, or anything pointed. Arrows were poisoned 
with its juice ; hence in old Gaelic it was called iogk, a severe 
pain, and ioghar (Greek, i-x^Pt ichor), pus, matter. " Perhaps of 
Celtic origin'' (Skeat). Welsh : yw. The yew was the wood from 
which ancient bows and arrows were made, and that it might be 
ready at hand, it was planted in every burial ground. 

" 'N so fein, a Chuchullin, tha 'n iiir, 
'S caoin iuthar 'tha 'fas o'n uaigh." — Ossian. 

In this same spot Chuchullin, is their dust, 
And fresh the yew tree grows upon their grave. 

Another form of the name, eo, a grave. Sinsior, sinnsior (O'Reilly), 
long standing, antiquity, ancestry. The yew is remarkable for its 
long life. The famous yew of Fortingall in Perthshire, which once 
had a circumference of 56^ feet, is supposed to be 3500 years 
old. Sineadhfeadha (O'Reilly), protracting, extending wood. 
Laing is not correct when, in attacking the genuineness of the 
poems of Ossian, he asserts that the yew, so often mentioned in 
these poems, is not indigenous. There are various places, such as 
Gleniur, Duniur, &c, that have been so named from time 
immemorial, which proves that the yew was abundant in these 
places many centuries ago. 

The badge of Clan Fraser. 



ENDOGENS. 1 
Palm^e. 
Phoenix dactylifera — The date palm. Gaelic and Irish : crann 
jxiilm. Dailiog (O'Reilly). 

" Mar chrann-pailme, thig am firean fo bhlath." — Ps. xcii. 12. 
The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree. 

The tree is so named from its flat spreading leaves like the palm 
of the hand. Greek : 7raAa/tij, the palm of the hand. 

Orchidace^e. 
Orchis — Greek : opx's, a plant with roots in the shape of 
testicles. " Mirabilis est orchis herba, sive serapias, gemina radice 
testiculis simili." — Pliny. 

maculata — The spotted orchis. Gaelic and Irish : iirach 
bhallach ; iirach, likely an alteration of orchis, and ballach, spotted. 

0. masculata — Early orchis. Gaelic : moth iirach, from moth, 
the male of any animal. Irish : magairlin meireach (magairle, the 
testicles); meireach (Greek, meiro), joyful, glad. Clachan gadhair 
(gadhar, a hound, clach, a stone. Manx : bwoid Saggart (penis 
Sacerdotis). The name, cuigeal nan losgunn, the frogs' distaff, is 
applied to many of the orchis ; and frequently the various names 
are given to both maculata and mascula. 

0. conopsea — Fragrant orchis. Gaelic : lus taghta, the chosen 
or select weed. 

Ophrys — Greek : o<j>pvs (Gaelic, abhra), the eyelash, to which 
the delicate fringe of the inner sepals may be well compared. "A 
plant with two leaves." — Freund. 

0. or Listera ovata — Tway blade. Gaelic: da-dhuilkach, two- 
leaved ; da-bhileach, same meaning. 

1 De Candolle divides plants into three classes — Exogens, Endogens, and 
Cryptogamic plants or Acrogens. Exogens have the veins of the leaves like 
net work, and the growth gradually increases by the thickness of the stem, by 
forming new wood over the old, beneath the bark. Endogens have the veins 
of the leaves parallel, as in grasses, palms, &c. The stem grows little in 
thickness, and by forming new woody bundles in its interior. Cryptogamic 
plants, or AcROGKNS, have no flowers. The leaves are fork veined, and some- 
times none. Ferns, lickens, &c. , are examples. 



io3 

Epipactis latifolia — White helleborine. Gaelic: elebor-geal. 1 
A plant used formerly for making snuff. " The root of hellebor 
cut in small pieces, the pounder drawne vp into the nose causeth 
•sneezing, and purgeth the brain from grosse and slimie humors." 
— Gerard, 1597. This is probably the plant referred to in 
"Morag," when Macdonald describes the buzzing in his head, for 
even his nose he had to stop with hellebore, since he parted from 
her endearments. 

"Mo cheann tha Ian do sheilleanaibh 
O 'n dheilich mi ri d'bhriodal 
Mo shron tha stoipt' a dh'elebor, 
Na deil, le teine dimbis." 

Iridace^e. 

Iris — Signifying, according to Plutarch, the "eye." Canon 
Bourke maintains "it is derived from hpoi, to settle. And as a 
name it was by the Pagan priests applied to the imaginary 
messenger, sent by gods and goddesses to others of their class, to 
.announce tidings of goodwill. At times they imagined her sent 
to mortals, as in Homer, to settle matters, or to say they were 
•destined to be settled. Such was the duty of Iris. Now, amongst 
Jews and Christians, the rainbow was the harbinger of peace to 
man, hence it was called 'Iris;' and the circle of blue, grey, or 
variegated tints around the pupil of the eye is not unlike the 
rainbow — therefore this circlet was so called by optic scientists, 
simply because they had no other word; and botanists have, by 
comparison, applied it to the fleur-de-lis, because it is varied in 
hue, like the iris of the eye, or the rainbow. Iris does not and 
did not convey the idea of eye." 

I. pseud-acorus — The yellow flag. Gaelic : bog-uisge — bog, soft, 
but here a corruption of bogha-uisge, the rainbow. Bir bhogha 
{O'Reilly), many of the species have beautiful colours, hence the 
name. Gaelic and Irish : seilisdear, often seileasdear and siolastar. 
The termination tar, dear, or astar, in these names, means one of 
a kind, having a settled form or position. One finds this ending 
common in names of plants — as oleaster, cotoneaster, &c, like 
"T7]p" in Greek, "fear" in Gaelic. Seil (the first syllable) from 
sol, the sun ; solus, light ; sol and leus, i.e., lux, light. Greek : 

1 See Helleborus viridis. 



104 

HAios (fj or e long), hence seil, e and i to give a lengthened sound, 
as in Greek. Seileastar, therefore, means the plant of light — 
Fleur de luce. Other forms of the word occur. Siol instead of 
seil, as siolstrach ; siol or sil, to distil, to drop — an alteration 
probably suggested by the medicinal use made of the roots of 
the plant, which were dried, and made into powder or snuff, 
to produce salivation by its action on the mucous membrane. 
Feileastrom, feleastrom, feleastar. Here / is the affected or 
digammated form. When eleastar (another form of the word) 
lost the 's,' then, for sound's sake, it took the digammated form 
(f)eleastar. Strom (the last syllable) is a diminutive termination. 
Seilistear, diminutive form seilistrin, and corrupted into seilistrom." 
— Bourke. Welsh: gellhesg. According to Ebel, seilisdear is 
from Latin salicastrum. 

I. fcetidissima — Stinking gladwin. Manx : cliogagack, sword 
grass or flag. Welsh : llys'r hychgryg, quinsy wort. 

Crocus — Greek : KpoKos. Much employed among the ancients 
for seasonings, essences, and for dyeing purposes. 

' , , . , } — Saffron crocus, meadow saffron. 

Colchicum autumnale J 

Gaelic and Irish : crb, crbdh, crock — crbdh chorcar. 1 

" 'Se labhair Fionn nan chrb-shnuadk." — Conn Mac Dearg. 
Thus spake Fingal the saffron-hued. 

" Spiocnard agus crbch." — Dan Sholaimh. 
Spikenard and saffron. 

Saffron was much cultivated anciently for various purposes, but 
above all for dyeing. "The first habit worn by persons of 
distinction in the Hebrides was the kin crbich, or saffron shirt, so 
called from its being dyed with saffron." — Walker. The Romans 
had their crocota, and the Greeks 6 k/>ok<otos, a saffron coloured 
court-dress. Welsh : saffrwm, saffron, from the Arabic name, 
z'afar&n, which indicates that the name of the plant is of Asiatic 
origin. 

Amaryllidace^e. 

Narcissus pseudo-narcissus ) „ ^ ,., „ ,. 

. .„ \ — Daffodil. Gaelic : lus dchrom- 

jonquilla J 

} For corcur, see Lecanora tartarea. 



i°5 

chinn, the plant having a bent or drooping head. The name 
suggests the beautiful lines of Herrick — 

" When a daffodil I see 
Hanging its head towards me, 
Guesse I may what I must be : 
First, I shall decline my head ; 
Secondly, I shall be dead ; 
Lastly, safely buried." 

Galanthus nivalis — Snowdrop. Gaelic and Irish : gealag lair — 
gealag, white as milk; lar, the ground, Galanthus. Greek: ydka, 
milk; and avOos, a flower. 

Aloe — Hebrew : ahaloth. Gaelic and Irish : aloe. 

" Leis na h-uile chraobhaibh tuise, mirr agus aloe." 

With all trees of frankincense; myrrh, and aloes. — Song of Solomon, 
iv. 14. 

The aloe of Scripture 1 must not be confounded with the bitter 
herb well known in medicine. 

Liliace/e. 
Lilium — Greek : Xelpiov From the Celtic : /;', colour, hue. 
Welsh : lliu. Gaelic : li. 

" A mhaise-mhnk is aillidh /*'/"— Fingalian Poems. 
Thou fair-faced beauty. 

" Lily seems to signify a flower in general." — Wedgewood. 
Gaelic and Irish : lilidh or lilt. 

L. candidum — Meacan a tathabha (O'Don), " bulb of the white 
lily." It has been grown in gardens from time immemorial for 
its beauty, and for the extraction of the " oil of Tillies " which was 
highly esteemed formerly. 

Paris quadrifolia —Herb paris. Aon dearc. One berry. Welsh : 
cwlwm cariad, lover's knot, or tie. 

Convallaria majalis — Lily of the valley. Gaelic : lili nan Ibn. 
Lili nan gleann. 

"Air ghilead, mar lili nan /<5jWea«."MACDONALD. 
White as the lily of the valley. 

" Is ros Sharon mise, lili nan gleann." — Stuart. 
I am the rose of Sharon, the lily oj the glen. 

1 Aquilaria agallochum. 



io6 

"The lily of Scripture was probably Lilium chalcedoniaim." — 
Balfour. 

Polygonatum multiflorum — Solomon's seal or heal. Manx: 
Jus Iheihys, the heal plant. The young shoots were eaten as a 
substitute for asparagus (Lindley). 

Allium — The derivation of this word is said to be from all 
{Celtic), hot, burning. There is no such word. The only word 
that resembles it in sound, and with that significance, is sgallta, 
burned, scalded ; hence, perhaps, " scallion," the English for a 
young onion. Latin : calor. 

A. cepa (cep, Gaelic : ceap, a head) — The onion. Gaelic : 
uinnean. Irish : oinninn. Manx : unnish. Welsh : wynwyn. 
French : oignon. German : on/on. Latin : unto. Gaelic : siobaid, 
siobann. Sibal, leek (O'Reilly). Welsh : sibol. Scotch : sybo. 
German : zwiebel, scallions or young onions. Cutharlan, a bul- 
bous plant In Lome, and elsewhere along the West Highlands, 
frequently called srbnamh (probably from Srbn and amh, raw in 
the nose, or pungent in the nose). 

A. porrum. — Garden leek. Gaelic and Irish: leigis, leiceas, 
leicis. German : lauch, leek. 

" Agus na leicis agus na h-uinneinean." — Numbers xi. 5. 
And the leeks and the onions. 

Welsh : ceninen. The Welsh wear this vegetable as a trophy in 
memory of a victory won by the Welsh over the English, on which 
•occasion they, by order of St. David, placed leeks in their caps to 
distinguish them from the Saxons Farmers still wear it when 
assisting each other, and they bring each a leek to furnish a 
common repast for the company. Irish : coindid, coinne, cainnen. 
" Do roidh, no do coindid, no do ablaibh.'' 
Thy gale, nor thy onions, nor thy apples. 
Coindid, though applied to leeks, onions, &c, means seasoning, 
condiments. Latin : condo. 

A. ursimim — Wild (also garden) garlic. From the Celtic. 
Gaelic and Irish : garleag. Gairgean or gbirgin gairidh. Welsh : 
garlleg, from gar, gairce, bitter, most bitter. Gairgean, according 
to Skeat, gar, a spear, spear leek. Creamh (Welsh, era/), to 
gnaw, chew. Luraclian, the flower of garlic. 



107 

" Le d' lurachain chreamhach fhasor 
'S am buicein bhan orr shuas." — Macdonald. 
Faran (O'Reilly). Latin : far, meal, grain. The earliest food of 
the Romans. Irish : bar, food, corn, hence "barley." The feast 
of garlic, " Feisd chreamh," was an important occasion for gather- 
ings and social enjoyment to the ancient Celts. 

" Ann's bidh creamh agus sealgan, agus Iuibhe iomdha uile fhorreas re a 
n-itheadh iirghlas feadh na bleadhna ma roibhe ar teitheadh 6 chainreath na 
n-daoine, do 'n gleann da loch." — Irish. 

Where garlic and sorrel, and many other kinds, of which I ate fresh through- 
out the year before I fled from the company of men to the glen of the Two 
Lochs. 1 

'"Is leigheas air gach tinn 
Creamh 'us 1m a' Mhaigh." 
Garlic and May butter 
Are remedies for every illness. 

"Its medicinal virtues were well known; but, like many other 
plants once valued and used by our ancestors, it is now quite 
superseded by pills and doses prepared by licensed practitioners.'' 
• — Sheriff Nicolson. 

A. scorodoprasum — Rocambole. Gaelic and Irish: creamh nan 
crag (Mackenzie), the rock garlic. 

A. ascalonicum — Shallot. Gaelic: sgalaid (Armstrong). 

A. shoenoprasum — Chives. Gaelic : feuran. Irish : fear an, the 
grass-like plant. Saidse. Creamh garaidh, the garden garlic. 
Welsh: cenin Pedr, Peter's leek. Foiltchiabh (O'Reilly), Peter's 
leek. The well-known "chives," or commonly known to High- 
land housekeepers as saidse, the round grassy leaves of which give 
a grateful flavour to the broth. Foilt, alteration of faille, warmth, 
welcome; and ciabh or ciobh, a lock of hair, as in ciabh-cheanndubh. 
(S. ccespitosus ). The tufty growth of both plants may have 
suggested the name. 

A vineale — Crow garlic. Gaelic : garlag Mhuire (Armstrong), 
Mary's garlic. 

Narthecium ossifragum — Bog asphodel. Gaelic and Irish : 

1 A most gloomy and romantic spot in the County of Wicklow. 
" Glen da lough ! thy gloomy wave, 
Soon was gentle Kathleen's grave." — Moore. 



io8 

blioch, bliochan, from blioch, milk. Welsh: gwaew'r trenin, king's 

lance. 

' ' Nuair thigeadh am buaichaill a mach, 
'S gabhadh e mu chill a' chruidh 
Mu'n cuairt do Bhad-nan-clach-glas, 
A' bhuail' air 'm bu trie am blioch." — Maclbod. 

When the cowherd comes forth, 
And follows his cows 
Around the Bhad-nan-clach-glas, 
Where the asphodel was numerous. 

Scilla non-scripta — Bluebell ; wild hyacinth. Gaelic : fuath 
mhnc, pigs' fear or aversion, the bulbs being very obnoxious to 
swine. Brhg ?ia cubhaig, cuckoo's shoe. Irish: buth muic. 
Probably buth is the same as bugha (see prunus spinosa), fear, the 
pigs' fear. Maclauchlan called it lili ghucagach. Manx: gleih 
muck, blaa muck. The pigs' bouquet, pigs' bloom. Camraasagh, 
" the herb jackins " (Cregeen). 

" Lili ghucagach nan cluigean." 
The bell-flowered lily. 

Lus na gingle gorah (Threl). Lus na gineil gorach, the silly 
children's plant. It was held in no esteem save for its pretty 
flower. It was not liked by the ancients, because they believed 
it grew from the blood of Hyakinthos, a youth killed by Apollo 
with a quoit, when in one of his mad fits, hence the name hyacinth. 

S. verna — Squill (and the Latin, scilla, from the Arabic asgyl). 
Gaelic: lear-uinnean, the sea-onion. Lear, the sea, the surface of 
the sea. 

" Clos na min-lear uaine." — OssiAN. 
The repose of the smooth green sea. 
Welsh: winwyn y mor, sea-onion. 

Tulipa sylvestris— Tulip. Gaelic : tuiliop. The same name in 
almost all European and even Asiatic countries. Persian: 
thoulyb&n (De Souza). 

Hemerocallese — Lail (O'Reilly), not the common garden tulip, 
but one of the "day lilies.'' They differ from the tulip in nothing 
except that the flower (the corolla) and the covering (calyx) are 
joined together, forming a tube of conspicuous length, and some 
of them have no bulbs, but tubers. The Irish Gaelic name is 



iog 

possibly from la, a day. The Greek name hemera, a day. Manx : 
laa like, day-lilie. 

Asparagus officinalis. — Commn asparagus. Gaelic : creamh- 
mac-fiadh. Manx : croan muck feie, wild pigs' food. Irish : 
creamh-muic-fiadh, wild boar's leek or garlic. The same name is 
given to hart's tongue fern. Asparag, ■ from the generic name 
a-vapaxra-io, to tear, on account of the strong prickles with which 
some of the species are armed. 

Ruscus — Latin: ruscum. 

R. aculeatus — Butcher's broom. Gaelic: calg-bhrudhainn 
(Armstrong). Irish : calg-bhrudhan (Shaw) — calg, a prickle, from 
its prickly leaves ; and bruth, bruid, a thorn, anything pointed ; 
brudhan, generally spelled brughan, a faggot. Or it may only be 
a corruption from brum, broom. Calg bhealaidh, the prickly 
broom. It was formerly used by butchers to clean their blocks, 
hence the English name "butchers' broom." Bealaidh Chataoibh 
(Logan), butchers' broom; the Clan Chattan or Sutherland broom. 
It is difficult to know where the northern clans would get it. It 
is not indigenous to the Highlands or to Scotland. It has been 
naturalised only in gardens and shrubberies in the north. Five 
hundred years ago, when the famous clan was powerful, it is 
questionable if a single plant was to be found in the Highlands. 
A similar objection applies to the mistletoe, given in the same list 
as the badge of the Hays. The clan would have to go south as 
far as York before they would get a plant ! 

Said to be the badge of the Sutherlands. 

Naiadace^e. 

Potamogeton — Greek : TrorafiSs, a river, and \drov, near. 

P. natans — Broad-leaved pondweed. Gaelic : duileasg na 
h-aibhne, the river dulse. Manx : dullish far ushteg, fresh water dulse. 
Most of the species grow immersed in ponds and rivers, but 
flower above the surface. Liobhag, from liobk, smooth, polish, 
from the smooth, pellucid texture of the leaves, their surface 
being destitute of down or hair of any kind. Irish : liachroda — 
Hack, a spoon, rod, a water-weed, sea-weed ; liach-Brighide, 
Bridget's spoon. Probably these names were also given to the 
other species of pondweeds (such as P. polygonifolius) as well as 



to P. natans. The broad-leaved pond-weed is used in connection 
with a curious superstition in some parts of Scotland, notably in 
the West Highlands. " It is gathered in small bundles in summer 
and autumn, where it is found to be plentiful, and kept until New 
Year's Day (old style) ; it is then put for a time into a tub or 
other dish of hot water, and the infusion is mixed with the first 
drink given to milch cows on New Year's Day morning. This is 
supposed to keep the cows from witchcraft and the evil eye for 
the remainder of the year ! It is also supposed to increase the 
yield of milk." — Dr. Stewart, Nether Lochaber. 

Zostera marina — The sweet sea grass. Gaelic and Irish : 
bikarach (in Argyle, bikanach), from bileag, a blade of grass. The 
sea-grass was much used for thatching purposes, and it was sup- 
posed to last longer than straw. 

AlismacejE. 

Alisma — Greek : aAioy/a, an acquatic plant. 

A. plantago — Water-plaintain. Gaelic and Irish: cor-chopaig 
(cor or cora, a weir, a dam, and copag, a dock, or any large leaf of 
a plant). It grows in watery places. Welsh : llyren, a duct, a 
brink or shore. 

Triglocbin palustre — Arrow-grass. Gaelic : barr a' mhilltich— 

" Bun na clob is bar a mhilltich." — Macintyre. 
The root of the moor-grass and the top of the arrow-grass, 
barr, top, and millteach (Irish), "good grass," and milneach, a 
thorn or bodkin — hence the English name arrow-grass. Generic 
name from rpets, three, and yAwxi's, a point, in allusion to the three 
angles of the capsule. Sheep and cattle are fond of this hardy 
species, which afford an early bite on the sides of the Highland 
mountains. Millteach is commonly used in the sense of "grassy;" 
maghannan millteach, verdant or grassy meadows. 

Lemnace^e. 
Lemna minor — Duckweed. Gaelic: 1 mac gun athair, son 
without a father. Irish : his gan athair gan mhathair, fatherless, 

1 Mac-gun-athair may have originally been meacan air—meacan, a plant, 
air, gen. of ar, slow (hence the name of the river "Arar" in France, meanincr 
the slow-flowing river — " Arar dubitans qui suos cursos agat " Seneca. 



b 



motherless wort. A curious name, perhaps suggested by the root 
being suspended from its small egg-shaped leaf, and not affixed to 
the ground. Gran-lachan — gran, seed, grain, and lack, a duck. 
The roundish leaves, and the fact that ducks are voraciously fond 
of feeding on them, have suggested this and the following names : 
— Rbs-lacha, the ducks' rose or flower. Irish: abhran dono i 
(O'Reilly) - abhran is the plural of abhra, an eyelid, and donog, 
a kind of fish, a young ' ling. The fish's eyelids ; more likely a 
corruption of aran tunnaig, duck's bread or meat. It was used 
by our Celtic ancestors as a cure for headaches and inflammations. 

Arace^e. 
Arum, formerly aron, etymology doubtful. The roots of many 
of the species are used both for food and medicine. 

A. maculatum — Wake-robin, lords and ladies. Gaelic : duas 
chaoin, the soft ear (caoin, soft, smooth, gentle, &c, and duas, 
ear). The ear-shaped spathe would suggest the name Cuthaidh, 
a bulb — hence cutharlan, any bulbous-rooted plant. Cuthaidh 
means also wild, savage. Gachar and gaoidn cuthigh are given in 
O'Reilly's Dictionary as names for the Arum from cai, a cuckoo. 
Old English : cuckoo's pint. Welsh : fiidyn y gbg, cuckoo's pint. 

OrontiacejE. 
Acorus calamus — Sweet-flag. Gaelic: cuilc-mhilis, sweet-rush; 

" Cuilc mhilis agus canal." 
Calamus and cinnamon. 

cuilc, a reed, a cane, and mills, sweet. Greek: /caAa/ios, applied to 
reeds, bulrush canes, e.g., "cuilc na LUg," the reeds of Lego. 
" Cobhan cuilc," an ark of bulrushes. Cuilc-chrann, cane. Before 
the days of carpets, this plant is said to have supplied the 
"rushes'' with which it was customary to strew the floors of houses, 
churches, and monasteries, 

Typhace^e. 

Typha, from Greek tik^os, a marsh in which all the species 
naturally grow. 

T. latifolia — Great reed-mace or cat's-tail. Gaelic and Irish: 
bodan dubh, from bod, a tail, and dvbh, large, or dark. Cuigeal' 



nam ban-slth, 1 the fairy-women's distaff. Cuige.al nan losgunn, 
the frogs' distaff. It is often, but inconectly, called bog bhuine 
or bulrush (see Scirpus lacustris). The downy seeds were used 
for stuffing pillows, and the leaves for making mats, chair bottoms, 
thatch, and sometimes straw hats or bonnets. The great reed 
mace (Typha latifolia) cuigeal nam ban sith, is usually represented 
by painters in the hand of our Lord, as supposed to be the reed 
with which He was smitten by the Roman soldiers, and on which 
the sponge filled with vinegar was reached to Him. 

T. angustifolia — Lesser reed-mace or cat's-tail) Irish : bodan 
(O'Reilly), dim. of bod, a tail, &c. 

Sparganium — Name in Greek denoting a little band, from the 
ribbon-like leaves. 

S. ramosum — Branched bur-reed. Gaelic : seisg rigk, the king's 
sedge, from its being a large plant with sword-shaped leaves. 
Seisg mheirg (Stewart) — meirg, rust, a standard or banner. Manx : 
curtlagh muck, the pig's reed. 

S. simplex — Upright bur -reed. Gaelic: seisg madraidh. 
Armstrong gives this name to S. erectum, by which he doubtless 
means this plant. Seisg (Welsh: hesg.) sedge, and madradh, a 
dog, a mastiff. Name probably suggested by the plant being in 
perfection in the dog-days, the month of July, am mios madrail. 

JUNCACEjE. 

Juncus, from the Latin jungo, to join. The first ropes were 
made from rushes, and also floor covering. Ancient Gaelic : aoin, 
from aon, one. Latin: unus. Greek: ev. Ger. : ein. Manx: 
shune. Welsh: brwynen. 

"A dath amar dhath an aeil, 
Coilcigh eturra agus aein. 
Slda eturra is brat gorm, 
Derg or eturra is glan chora. 

(From the description of the Lady Crehe's house by Caeilte's MacRonain, 
from the Book of Ballymote). 

1 Ban sitk— A female fairy seen generally before the death of some great 
one, as a chieftain, and then always dressed in a green mantle, with loose flying 
hair. 



"3 

The colour [of her diin] is like the colour of lime : 

Within it are couches and green rushes ; 

Within it are silks and blue mantles ; 

Within it are red gold and crystal cups. 
J. conglomerates — Common rush. Gaelic and Irish: luachair, a 
general name for all the rushes, meaning splendour, brightness. 
Manx : leagher. Latin : lux. Sanscrit : louk, light. The pith of 
this and the next species was commonly used to make rush-lights. 
The rushes were stripped of their outer green skin, all except one 
narrow stripe, and then they were drawn through melted grease 
and laid across a stool to set. "The title Luachra was given to- 
the chief Druid and magician, considered by the pagan Irish as a 
deity, who opposed St. Patrick at Tarra in the presence of the 
king and the nobility, who composed the convention." — ' Life of 
St. Patrick ' Brbg braidhe (O'Reilly) — brbg, a shoe ; but here it 
should be brbdh, straw ; braidhe, a mountain, the mountain straw 
or stem. 

J. effusus — Soft rush. Gaelic : luachair bhog, soft rush. Irish :: 
feath, a bog. It grows best in boggy places. Fead, which seems 
to be the same name, is given also to the bulrush. Fead, a 
whistle, a bustle. 

'"S llonmhor _/eaa?a» caol, 
Air an eirich guoth." — Macintyre. 

Doubtless suggested by the whistling of the wind among the 
rushes and reeds. The common rush and the soft rush were 
much used in ancient times as bed-stuffs; they served for strewing 
floors, making rough couches, &c, and for thatching houses. 
Glas-tugha, green thatch, iir luachair (ur, fresh, green). (See 
Bryace^e. ) 

J. articulatus — Jointed rush. Gaelic : lochan nan damh. This 
name is given by Lightfoot in his 'Flora Scotica,' but it should 
have been lachan nan damh. Lachan, a reed, the ox or the hart's reed. 
J. squarrosus — Heath-rush, stool-bent. Gaelic: bru-chorcan,. 
bruth-chorcan, bru, a deer, and corcan, oats, "deers' oats" (Macbain). 
bru-chorcur (Macalpine) — bru-chorachd. 

" Bru-chorachd is clob, 1 
Lusan am bi brlgh,'' &c. 

— Macintyre in ' Ben Doran.* 
Heath-rush and deer's hair, 
Plants nuitritious they are, &c. 
1 See Scirpus ccespitosus. 

H 



H4 

Specimens of this plant have also been supplied with- the Gaelic 
name moran labelled thereon, and in another instance muran. 
These names mean the plants with tapering roots ; the same 
signification in the Welsh, moron, a carrot. (See Muirneach — 
Ammophila arenaria). 

J. maritimus and acutus — Sea-rush. Irish: meithan (O'Reilly). 
Meith, fat, corpulent. J. acutus (the great sea-rush) is the largest 
British species. 

Luzula — Name supposed to have been altered from Italian, 
lucciola, a glow-worm. It was called by the ancient botanists 
gramen luxulx (Latin, lux, light). 

L. sylvatica — Wood-rush. Gaelic: luachair choille, the bright 
grass or rush of the wood. The Italian name lucciola is said to be 
given from the sparkling appearance of the heads of flowers when 
wet with dew or rain. Learman (Stewart), possibly from lear or 
leir, clear, discernible ; a very conspicuous plant, more of the 
habit of a grass than a rush, the stalk rising to the height of more 
than two feet, and bearing a terminal cluster of brownish flowers, 
with large light-yellow anthers. 

CyPERACEjE. 

Shoenus (from \otvos or o-\oivos, a cord in Greek). From 
plants of this kind cords or ropes were made. 

S. nigricans — Bog-rush. Gaelic : stimhean (Armstrong). Irish: 
seimhin (seimh, smooth, shining — the spikelets being smooth and 
shining: or which is more likely, from siobh or siobhag, straw — 
hence sioman, a rope made of straw or rushes; the Greek name 
crxoivos for the same reason). 

Scirpus, sometimes written sirpus (Freund), seems to be cognate 
with the Celtic cirs, cors, a bog-plant; hence Welsh, corsfruyn, a 
bulrush (Gaelic, curcais) Many plants of this genius were like- 
wise formerly used for making ropes. (Cords, Latin, chorda; 
Welsh, cord; Gaelic and Irish, corda; Spanish, cuerda. 

S. maritimus— Sea-scirpus. Gaelic and Irish : brbbh. Name 
from brb, bra, or brath, a quern, a hand mill. The roots are 
large and very nutritious for cattle, and in times of scarcity 
were ground down in the muileann brath (French, moulin a bras), 
to make meal ; bracan, broth — hence bracha, malt, because pre- 



us 

pared by manual labour (Greek, jSpaxum ; Latin, brachium; 
"Gaelic, braic; French, bras, the arm). 

S. csespitosus — Tufted scirpus, deer's hair, heath club-rush. 
Gaelic: dob, cipe, and dob ceann-dubh (dob — x'/^ os / Latin, 
cibus, food; ceann, head; dubh, black. 

" Le'n cridheacha' meara 
Le bainne na cloba." — Macintyke. 
Irish: ciabh, a lock of hair. Ciabh-ceann-dubh. This is the 
principal food of cattle and sheep in the Highlands in March, and 
till the end of May. Cruach luachair — cruach, a heap, a pile, a 
hill, and luachair, a rush. 

The badge of the Clan Mackenzie. 

S. lacustris — Bulrush, lake-scirput. Gaelic: luachair-ghobhlach 
the forked rush (gobhal, a fork), from the forked or branched 
appearance of the cymes appearing from the top of tall, terete 
(or nearly so), leafless stems When this tall stem is cut, it 
goes by the name of cuilc, 1 a cane, and is used to bottom chairs. 
Irish: gibiun — gib or giob, rough, and twin, a rush. Gaelic and 
Irish: bog mhuine, boigean, bog luachair, bog, 2 a marsh, a fen, 
swampy ground, to bob, to wag — names indicating its habitat, 
also its top-heavy appearance, causing it to have a bobbing or 
wagging motion. Curcais (curach, a marsh, a fen), is more a 
generic term, and equals scirpus. Min-fheur, a bulrush. (See 
Festuca ovina.) 

Eriopborum (from Ipiov, wool, and 4>epta, to bear). Its seeds are 
covered with a woolly substance — hence it is called cotton-grass. 

E. vaginatum and E. polystachyon — Cotton-sedge. Scotch : 
cafs-tail. Gaelic and Irish : canach. Irish : cona (from can, white), 
from its hypogynous bristles forming dense tufts of white cottony 
down, making the plant very conspicuous in peaty bogs. The 
canach in its purity and whiteness formed the object of comparison 
in Gaelic poetry for purity, fair complexion, &c, especially in 

Jove-songs : — 

" Do chneas mar an canach 
Cho ceanalta tlath." — Macintyrb. 
Thy skin white as the cotton-grass 
So tender and gentle. 

1 " Mu lofihan nan cuilc a tha ruadh." — Tighmora. 

2 Bog and bolg are frequently interchanged— bolg luachair, prominent or 
massy rush. 



n6 

" Bu ghile na'n canach a cruth." — Ossian. 
Her form was fairer than the cotton-down. 

In Ossian the plant is also called caoin cheann (caoin, soft), the- 

soft heads, fair heads. 

"Ghlacmi'n caoin cheanna sa' bheinn 
'S iad ag aomadh mu shruthaibh thall 
Fo chamaibh, bu dlomhaire gaoth." — Tighmora. 
I seized cotton-grasses on the hill, 
As they waved by the secret streams, 
In places sheltered from the wind. 

This is only the plural form of the name canach — caneichean. 

" Na caineichectn aluinn an t-slcibh." — Macleod. 
ceannach-na-nibna (O'Reilly). Ceann bhan mbna (Threl). Siodha 
monah (Threl) — Cotton grass, mountain silk. O'Reilly gives the 
name sgathog fiadhain to E. polystachyon — sgath, a tail, and og 
(dim. termination), the little tail- -to distingnish it from vaginatum, 
which is larger. Scotch : cat's-tail. 

Badge of Clan Sutherland according to some. 

Carex (likely from Welsh, cors; Gaelic, carr, a bog, a marsh, or 
fenny ground). — This numerous family of plants grows mostly in 
such situations. Seisg, sedge; gall-sheilisdear, also seilisdear amh 
(for Seilisdear, see Iris) — amh, raw — the raw sedge. Welsh : hesg. 
Seasg, barren, unfruitful. Except C. rigida, they are scarcely 
touched by cattle. According to Dr. Hooker, carex is derived 
from Greek i<epwi, from the cutting foliage. The Sanscrit root is 
kar, to cut, shear, divide. 

C. vulgaris, and many of the other large species — Common 
sedge. Gaelic: gainnisg (Stewart) — gainne, a sedge, reed, cane, 
arrow; and seasg. 

Gramine*. 

Grass generally. Feur. Manx : feiyr. Seamaide, blades of 
grass. Dorbh, grass. Welsh : glaswellt, porfa. 

Agrostis alba — Fiorin-grass. Gaelic and Irish : fioran, feorine, 
or fior-than; derived from Gaelic: feur, feoir, grass, herbage, 
fodder. Latin: vireo, I grow green — ver, spring; fcenum, fodder 
— r and n being interchangeable. This name is applied in the 
dictionaries to the common couch-grass, because, like it, it retains 
a long time its vital power, and propagates itself by extending its 
roots. 



Alopecunis — Foxtail-grass Gaelic : fideag—fit, food, refresh - 
ment. Latin: vita. 

A. geniculates — Gaelic: fideagcham — 

"A' chuiseag dhlreach 's zxifkiteag cham." — Macintyre. 
.cam, bent, from the knee-like bend in the stalk. A valuable 
grass for hay and pasture. 

Arundo Phragmites — Reed-grass. Gaelic: seasgan; seasg, a 
reed. Biorrach-lachan, the common reed. Irish: cruisgiornach, 
cruisigh, music, song ; from its stem reeds for pipes were manu- 
factured. Reeds were said by the Greeks to have tended to 
-subjugate nations by furnishing arrows for war, to soften their 
manners by means of music, and to lighten their understanding 
by supplying implements for writing. These modes of employ- 
ment mark three different stages of civilisation. Welsh: cawn 
wellt, cane-grass: qwellt, grass. 

Anthoxanthum odoratum — Sweet meadow-grass. Gaelic: 
mislean, from mills, sweet. 

'"San canach mln geal 's mislean arm." — Macintyre. 
The soft white cotton-grass and the sweet grass are there. 

Borrach (borradh. scent, smell). — In some places this name is 
•given to the Nardus stricta, which see. This is the grass that 
■gives the peculiar smell to meadow hay. Though common in 
meadows, it grows nearly to the top of the Grampians (3400 
feet); hence the names are given as "a species of mountain 
grass" in some dictionaries. 

Milium effusum — Millet-grass. Gaelic : mileid. Welsh : miled. 
The name derived from the true millet misapplied. Millet is 
translated in the Gaelic Bible meanbh pheasair, small peas (see 
Faba vulgaris). — Ezekiel iv. 9. 

Phleum pratense — Timothy grass, cat's-tail grass. Gaelic : 
bodan, a little tail; the same name for Typha angustifolia. "This 
grass was introduced from New York and Carolina in 1780 by 
Timothy Hanson." — Loudon. It seems to have been unknown 
in the Hebrides and the Highlands before that date; for Dr. 
Walker ('Rural Econ. Hebrides,' ii. 27), says "that it may be 
introduced into the Highlands with good effect." Yet Lightfoot 
(1777) mentions it as "by the waysides, and in pastures, but not 
common " Bodan is also applied to P. arenarium and P. alpinum. 



n8 

Lepturus filiformis — Gaelic: dur-fheur fairge, hard sea-grass, 
Dur, hard (Latin, durus); feur, grass ; fairg, the sea, ocean, 
wave. It grows all round Ireland, as well as in England and 
South Scotland. Irish: durfher fairge (O'Reilly). 

Calamagrostis — Etym, /caAa/tos, and a-ypoo-Tis, reed-grass. 

C. epigejos — Wood small reed. Cuilc-fheur, cane-grass; gainne 
— cane. Lachan coille, wood-rush. 

Ammophila arenaria (or Psamma arenaria) — Sea-maram ; sea- 
matweed. Gaelic and Irish: muirineach, from muir (Latin, mare, 
the sea), the ocean. It is extensively propagated to bind the sand 
on the sea shore ; generally called muran on west coast. The- 
same name is applied to the carrot, an alteration of moran — a 
plant with large tapering roots. Macintyre alludes to " muran 
brloghar" but whether he refers to the carrot or to this grass is 
a matter of controversy. Not being a seaside Highlander, he 
was more likely to know the carrot, wild and cultivated, far 
better than this seaside grass, and associating it with groundsel 
(a plant which usually grows rather too abundantly wherever 
carrots are sown), makes it a certainty that he had not the " sea- 
maram" in his mind. (See Daucus carota." ) Meilearach (Mac- 
bain) — "A long seaside grass, from Norse melr, bent.'' From 
inquiries made, most likely this is another name for Psamma 
arenaria, a grass two or three feet high, common all maritime 
sands. The grasses commonly called " Bent " are Agrostis and 
Cynosorus. Manx- shaslagh. 

Avena sativa — Oats. Gaelic and Irish : coirc. Welsh : ceirch.. 
Armoric: querch. Probably from the Sanskrit karc, to crush. 

" Is fhearr slol caol coirce fhaotuinn a droch fhearann na 'bhi falamh." 
Better small oats than nothing out of bad land. 
The small variety, A. nuda, the naked or hill oat, when ripe, 
drops the grain from the husk ; it was therefore more generally 
cultivated two centuries ago. It was made into meal by drying it 
on the hearth, and bruising it in a stone-mortar, the " muileann 
brath " — hand-mill or quern. Some of them may still be seen 
about Highland and Irish cottages. Martin mentions an ancient 
custom observed on the 2nd of February. The mistress and 
servant of each family take a sheaf of oats and dress it in woman's 
apparel, put it in a large basket, with a wooden club by it, and 
this they call Briid's bed. They cry three times Briid is come, 



and welcome. This they do before going to bed, and when they 
rise in the morning they look at the ashes for the impress of 
Briid's club there ; if seen, a prosperous year will follow. 

A. fatua and pretensis — Wild oats. Gaelic : coirce fiadhain, 
wild oats ; coirc dubh, black oats. Also applied to the Brome 
grasses. 

" Do'n t-siol chruithneachd, chuireadh gu tiugh ; 
Cha b' e' n fhideag, no' n coirce dubh." — MACDONALD. 

When oats become black with blight, the name coirc dubh is 
applied, but especially to the variety called Avena strigosa. 

Elymus arenarius — Lyme grass. Gaelic : taithean (Carmichael). 
A common seaside grass, with long creeping root stocks, some- 
thing in appearance like barley, but much stiffer, two to four feet 
high. 

Hordeum distichon — Barley, the kind which is in common 
cultivation. ("Barley" comes from Celtic bar, bread, now 
obsolete in Gaelic, but still retained in Welsh — hence barn, and 
by the change of the vowel, beer.) Gaelic and Irish : eorna, brna. 
Manx : oarn. Irish : earn (perhaps from Latin, horreo, to bristle ; 
Gaelic, br, a beard) — O'Reilly. "The bearded or bristly barley;" 
"brag" a sheaf of corn. Hordeum, sometimes written ordeum 
(Freund), is from the same root. "It was cultivated by the 
Romans for horses, and also for the army; and gladiators in 
training were fed with it, and hence called hordiarii." It is still 
used largely in the Highlands for bread, but was formerly made 
into "crowdie,'' properly corrody, from Low Latin, corrodium, a worry. 
" Fuarag eorna 'n sail mo bhroige, 
Biadh a b' fhearr a fhuair mi riamh." 
Barley-aov/die in my shoe, 
The sweetest food I ever knew. 
Irish : cainebg, oats and barley — from cain (Greek, Kijvo-os ; Latin, 
census), rent, tribute. Rents were frequently paid in "kind," 
instead of in money." 

Secale cereale — Common rye. Gaelic and Irish: seagal. 
Greek : o-cxaArj. Armoric : segal. French : seigle. Manx : feiyr 
shoggvl. 

" An cruithneach agiis an seagal." — ExODUS. 
The wheat and the rye. 
Welsh : rhyg, rye. 

Molinia caerulea — Purple melic-grass. Gaelic: bunglas (Mac- 



donald), punglas. (Bun, a root, a stack ; glas, blue. ) The 
fishermen round the west coast and in Skye made ropes for their 
nets of this grass, which they find by experience will bear the 
water well without rotting. Irish : meiloigfe'r corcuir (O'Reilly), 
— mealoig — melic (from mel, honey), the pith is like honey ; fer or 
feur, grass ; corcuir, crimson or purplish. In some parts of the 
Highlands the plant is called braban (Stewart). 

Glyceria — From Greek, yX.vKvs, sweet, in allusion to the foliage. 

G. fluitans — Floating sweet grass. Milsean uisge, millteach 
uisge — perhaps from milse, sweetness. Horses, cattle, and swine 
are fond of this grass, which only grows in watery places. Trout 
(Salmo fario) eat the seeds greedily. The name millteach is fre- 
quently applied to grass generally, as well as to Triglochin palustre 
{which see). Feur uisge, water-grass. 

Briza — Quaking-grass. Gaelic and Irish: conan — conan, a hound, 
a hero, a rabbit — may possibly be named after the celebrated 
" Conan Maol," who was known among the Feinne for his 
thoughtless impetuosity. He is called "Aimlisg na Feinne,'' the 
mischief of the Fenians. This grass is also called feur gortach, 
hungry, starving grass. "A weakness, the result of sudden hunger, 
said to come on persons during a long journey or in particular 
places, in consequence of treading on the fairy grass" — (Irish 
Superstitions). Feur sithein slthe — literally, a blast of wind ; a 
phantom, a fairy. The oldest authority in which this word slthe 
occurs is Tirechan's 'Annotations on the Life of St. Patrick,' in 
the Book of Armagh, and is translated "Dei terreni," or gods of 
the earth. Crith-fheur, quaking grass. Grigleann (in Breadalbane), 
that which is in a cluster, a festoon ; the Gaelic name given to the 
constellation Pleiades. Ceann air chrith, quaking-grass. Welsh : 
crydwellt. Coirc circe, hen's corn. 

Cynosurus — Etym, kvwv, a dog, and ovpd, a tail. 

C. cristatus — Crested dog's-tail. Gaelic : goinear, or goin-fheur, 
and sometimes conan (from coin, dogs, and feur, grass). Irish : 
feur choinein, dog's grass. 

Festuca — Gaelic: fkisd. \xvzh.: fkiste. Latin -.fastus and festus. 
French : feste, now fete. English : feast, as applied to grass, good 
pasture, or food for cattle. 



F. ovina — Sheep's fescue-grass. Gaelic and Irish : feur chaorach. 

' ' M\n-fheur chaorach." — Macintyre. 
Soft sheep grass. 

This grass has fine sweet foliage, well adapted for feeding sheep 
and for producing good mutton — hence the name But Sir H. 
Davy has proved it to be less nutritious than was formerly supposed. 
Min-fheur (Armstrong), is applied to any soft grass — as Holcus 
mollis — to a flag, a bulrush; as u m\n fheur gun uisge," a bulrush 
without water (in Job). 

Triticum, according to Varro, was so named from the grain 
being originally ground down. Latin: tritus, occurring only in 
the ablative (tero). Greek : nipta, to rub, bruise, grind. 

T. sestivum (and other varieties). — Wheat. Gaelic and Irish: 
.cruithneachd — cruineachd. Manx: curnaght. This name seems to 
be associated with the Cruithne, a tribe or tribes who, according 
to tradition, came from Lochlan to Erin, and from thence to 
Alban, where they founded a kingdom which lasted down till the 
seventh century. Another old name for wheat — breothan — may 
similarly be connected with another ancient tribe, "Clanna Breogan. 
They occupied the territory where Ptolemy in the second century 
places an offshoot of Brirish Brigantes." — Skene. Were these 
tribes so called in consequence of cultivating and using wheat? or 
was it so called from those tribal names? are questions that are 
•difficult to answer. It seems at least probable that they were 
among the first cultivators of wheat and Britain and Ireland.- 
Breothan, that which is bruised ; the same in meaning as triticum. 
Other forms occur, as brachtan, 1 being bruised or ground by 
hand in the "muileann brath,'' the quern; sometimes spelled" 
breachtan. Mann, wheat food. Fiormann — -fior, genuine, and 
viann, a name given to a variety called French wheat. Tuireann, 
perhaps from tuire, good, excellent. The flour of wheat is univer- 
sally allowed to make the best bread in the world. Romhan, 
Roman or French wheat ; " branks." 

T. repens — Couch, twitch. Scotch: dog-grass, quickens, &c. 

' Latin : brace or brance. Gallic, of a particularly, white kind of corn. 
According to Hardouin, bid blanc Dauphine", Triticum Hibernum, Linn. ,var. 
Granis albis. Lat. , sandala. 

" Gallise quoque. suum genus farris dedere : quod illie brance vocant apud 
nos sandalum nitidissimi grani." — Pliny, 18, 7. 



Gaelic: feur ■a' '-phuint (Mackenzie), the grass with points or articu- 
lations. Every joint of the root, however small, having the 
principle of life in it, and throwing out shoots when left in the 
ground, causing great annoyance to farmers. (From the root punc 
or pung; Latin, punctum, a point.) Goin-fheur, dog's-grass; or 
goin, a wound, hurt, twitch. According to Rev. Dr. Stewart, 
Nether Lochaber, this name is also given to Cynosurus. Fiotkran, 
the detestable. It is one of the worst weeds in arable lands on- 
account of the propagating power of the roots. Bruim fheur, 
flatulent grass. Probably only a term of contempt, on account of 
its worthlessness. Manx : feiyr vodde, dog grass. 

T. junceum — Sea-wheat gras. Gaelic: glas fheur, the pale 
green grass ; a seaside grass. It helps, with other species, to bind 
the sand. 

Lolium perenne and temulentum — Darnell, rye grass. Gaelic : 
breoillean. Irish : breallan (breall or breallach, knotty), from the 
knotty appearances of the spikes, or from its medicinal virtues in 
curing glandular diseases. "And being used with quick brimstone 
and vinegar, it dissolveth knots and kernels, and breaketh those 
that are hard to be dissolved." — Culpkpper. Dlthean, darnel;, 
perhaps from dltk, want, poverty. It may be so named from its- 
growing on poor sterile soil, which it is said to improve. " They 
have lately sown ray-grass to improve cold, clayey soil" — Dr. 
Platt, 1677. Roille. Irish: raidhhadh, from raidhe, a ray — 
• hence the old English name, ray-grass. French: ivraie, darnel. 
Welsh: efr — peroaps alterations of the French ivre, drunk. The 
seeds of darnel, when mixed with meal, cause intoxication, and 
are believed to produce vertigo in sheep — the disease that maketh 
them reel; and for this reason the grass is often called sturdan, 
from sturd — hence Scotch sturdy grass. Siobhach, from siobhas, 
rage, fury, madness. " It is a malicious plant of sullen Saturn : 
as it is not without some vices, so it hath also many virtues." — 
Culpepper. Cuiseach (Macalpine), rye - grass. Ruintealas 
(O'Reilly), the loosening, aperient, or purgative grass — from 
ruinnec, grass, and tealach, loosening. 

Nardus stricta — Mat-grass, moor-grass. Gaelic : beitean (per- 
haps from beithe), was refused. Cattle refuse to eat it. It 
remains in consequence in dense tufts, till it is scorched by early 
frosts. In this condition it is frequently burned, in order to- 



123 

destroy it. Borrach (in some places), parching. Cai-ran (Stewart),. 
a name given also to Spergula arvensis. To this grass and other 
rough species, as rushes, sedges, &c, the name riasg is given- 
Anglo-Saxon: risce, a rush. 

" Cuiseagan is riasg 
'Chinneas air an t-sliabh." — Macintyre. 

Aira flexuosa — Waved hair-grass. Gaelic: mbin-fkeur, peat- 
grass. It grows generally in peaty soil. 

CRYPTOGAMIA. 

FlLICES. 

Filices — Ferns. Gaelic: raineach, roineach. Irish: raith, 
raithne, raithneach; also, reathnach. Manx: rhenniagkt. Welsh: 
rhedyn. Perhaps formed from reath, a revolution or turning, 
about, or rat, motion, from the circinate revolution of the young 
fronds — an essential characteristic of ferns. 

Polypodium vulgare — Cloch-reathnach (Armstrong), the stone- 
fern ; dock, a stone. It is common on stone walls, stones, and old 
stems of trees. Ceis-chrann. Irish : ckis chrainn — cis, a tax, 
tribute, and crann, a tree, because it draws the substance from the- 
trees ; or from the crosier-like development of the fronds, like a 
shepherd's crook, "cis-cean.'' Sgeamh nan clock. Sgeamh means 
reproach, and sgiamh or sgeimh, beauty, ornament; "■nan clock," of 
the stones. The second idea seems, at least in modern times, to- 
be more appropriate than the first, especially as the term was- 
applied to the really beautiful oak-fern. 

Reidh raineach — reidh, smooth, plain. Raineach nan crag, the 
rock-fern. Meurlag (in Lochaber), from meiir, a finger, from a 
fancied resemblance of the pinnules to fingers. (See Ceterach.) 

P. dryopteris — Oak-fern. Gaelic and Irish: sgeamh dharaich 
(O'Reilly), the oak-fern. No Gaelic name is recorded for the 
beech-fern (P. Phegopteris). 

Blechnum spieant — Hard fern. The only Gaelic name supplied 
for this fern is "an raineach ckruaidk," hard fern. It is impossible 
to say whether this is a translation or not. Being a conspicuous 
and well-defined fern, it must have had a Gaelic name. 

Cystopteris fragilis — Bladder-fern. Gaelic : friodh raineach, 
or frioth fhraineach — "frioth," small, slender. The tufts are- 
usually under a foot long ; stalks very slender. 



124 

C. montana — Mountain bladder fern, found only on Ben 
-Gourdie — between Glenlyon and Glen Lochay — is known to the 
shepherds and farmers there by the name of Rainneach Bheinn 
Ghourdie. 

Polystichum aculeatum, lobatum, and angulare — Gaelic : ibhig 
(Rev. Dr. Stewart), the name by which the shield-ferns are known 
in the West Highlands. This name may have reference to the 
medicinal drinks formerly made from the powdered roots being 
taken in water as a specific for worms (see L. filix-mas), from ibh, 
a drink. French: ivre. Latin: ebrius. 

P. lonchitis — Holly fern. Gaelic : raineach chuilinn (Stewart), 
holly fern, known by that name in Lome : also colg raineach, in 
Breadalbane and elsewhere. For cuileann and colg, see Ilex 
aqirifolium. 

Lastrea oreopteris — Sweet mountain fern. Gaelic : crim-raineach 
(Stewart). Most likely from creitn, a scar, the stalks being covered 
•with brown scarious scales. In some places the name raineach an 
fhaile is given, from faile, a scent, a smell. This species may be 
easily distinguished by the minute glandular dots on the under side 
of the fronds, from which a fragrant smell is imparted when the 
plant is bruised. 

L. filix-mas — Male fern. Gaelic and Irish: marc raineach, 
horse-fern. Marc. Welsh : march. Old High German : marah, 
a mare. This fern has been celebrated from time immemorial as 
a specific for worms; the powdered roots, taken in water, were 
considered an excellent remedy. Irish : raineach-madra, dog-fern. 

L. spinulosa, and the allied species, dilatata and Fcenisecii, are 
known by the name raineach nan rodan, from Latin, rodo. 
Sanscrit: rad, to break up, split, gnaw — the rat's fern, in Morven, 
Mull, and Lewis. "Dr. Hooker is mistaken as to the range of this 
fern, as it is extremely abundant here, at least in the form of 
dilatata'" — (Lewis correspondent). 1 The name rat's fern, from its 
commonness in holes, and the haunts of rats. 

1 My well-informed correspondent also remarks: — "I may mention one or 
two other plants, regarding which Dr. Hooker's information is slightly out. 
His Salix repens is very common here and in Caithness, though absent in at 
least some parts further south. Utricularia minor can easily be found in 
quantities near the Butt of Lewis ; and Scutellaria minor, which he allows no 
further than Dumbarton, grows equally far north, although all I am aware of 
could be covered by a table-cloth. Another interesting plant, Eryngium 
maritimum, grows in a single sandy bay on our west coast." 



12 5 

Athyrium filixfoemina — Lady-fern. Gaelic arm Irish: raineack 
Mhuire, Mary's fern — Muire, the Virgin Mary, Our Lady, fre- 
quently occurring in plant names in all Christian countries. 

A. ceterach — Scale fern. Gaelic : mearlag, from mear, a finger 
(Stuart). Old English : finger fern. Growing on rocks and walls,, 
from Argyle and Perth southward. The fronds are covered with 
brown chaffy scales beneath. Welsh : rhedyn gogqfau, cave fern. 

Aeplenium— From Greek: a, privative, and ottAtjv, the spleen. 

A. trichomanes — Black spleenwort. Gaelic and Irish : dubh 
chasack, dark-stemmed. Lus na seilg, from sealg, the spleen. This. 
plant was formerly held to be a sovereign remedy for all diseases- 
of this organ, and to be so powerful as even to destroy it if 
employed in excess. Lus d chorrain. Urthalmhan (O'Reilly} 
— itr, green, and talamh, the earth. As dubh-chasach is the com- 
mon name for Trichomanes — probably itr thalmhan was applied to- 
A viride. Failtean fionn, see A. capillus- Veneris. 

A marinum — Sea fern. Gaelic: raineach na mara, sea fern. 
Welsh : dueg redynen arfor, marine spleen fern. 

A. mta-muraria — Rue fern. Gaelic: rue bhallaidh, wall rue. 
Welsh : redynen y murian, wall fern. 

A. adiantum-nigrum — Gaelic : an raineach uaine, the green fern. 
Irish : craobh muc fiadh (O'Reilly) — craobh, a tree, a plant, and 
muc fiadh, wild pig or boar. 

Scolopendrium vulgare — Hart's-tongue fern. Gaelic : creamh 
muc fiadh, or in Irish, creamh nam muc fiadh. Wild boar's wort, 
a name also given to Asparagus. 

Pteris aquilina — Common brake. Gaelic: an raineach mhbr 
the large fern. Manx: rhenniagh woirrey, also applied to Osmunda. 
Raith (see Polypodium). The brake is used for various purposes 
by the Gaels, such as for thatching cottages; and beds were also 
made, of it. It is esteemed a good remedy for rickets in children,, 
and for curing worms. In Ireland the bracken fern is often 
called the Fern of God, from an old belief that if the stem be cut 
into three pieces there will be seen on the first slice the letter G,. 
on the second O, and on the third D, thus spelling God. 

Adiantum capillus- Veneris — Maiden-hair fern. Gaelic: fail- 
tean fionn (Armstrong), horn fait, hair, and fionn, fair, resplendent.. 



126 

This fern is only known in the Highlands by cultivation. This 
name is frequently given to Trichomanes (dubh chasach) impro. 
perly. Manx : folt voidyn, maiden hair. In the Catholic Church 
the fern is known as "The Virgin's Hair." 

Ophioglossum — From Greek: 6'</>is, a serpent: and kydxraa, a 
tongue. The little fertile stalk springing straight out of the grass 
may not inaptly be compared to a snake's tongue. 

0. vulgatum — Adder's tongue. Lus na nathrach (Mackenzie), 
the serpent's weed. Teanga na ?iatkrach, the adder's tongue. 
Welsh : tafad y neidr, adder's tongue. In the Western Highlands, 
beasan or feasan (Stewart). 

Osmunda — Osmunder, in Northern mythology, was one of the 
sons of Thor (Gaelic : Tordan), the thunderer, the Jove of the 
Celts. " This stately flowering fern is said to derive its name 
from the following legend : — A waterman named Osmund once 
dwelt on the banks of Loch Fyne, with his wife and daughter. 
One day a band of fugitives burst into his cottage, and warned 
Osmund that the cruel Danes were fast approaching the ferry- 
Osmund heard them with fear ; he trembled for those he held 
dearer than life. Suddenly the shouts of furious men roused him 
to action. Snatching up his oars, he rowed his wife and child 
to a small island covered with this fern, and helping them to land, 
he bade them lie down beneath the foliage for protection. Scarcely 
had the ferryman returned to his cottage ere a company of fierce 
Danes rushed in, but knowing he would be of service to them, 
they did him no harm. He then ferried them across the lake. 
Osmund thanked God for preserving them all, but the daughter 
•ever after called the fern "Osmund" (Folkard's Plant Legends). 
Gerard, in describing the stem of the Osmunda, which, upon being 
cut, exhibits a white centre, calls this portion of the fern "the 
heart of Osmund, the waterman," probably in allusion to the above 
tradition. 

0. regalis — Royal fern. Gaelic : raineach rioghail, kingly fern ; 
righ raineach, royal fern. In Ireland it is called the "bog onion." 
Bog uinnean. Manx: bog uinnish or bog rent's A. 

Botrychium lunaria — Moonwort. Gaelic : luan lus, moonwort. 
Manx: lus htna, Welsh: y l/eiladlrs — lleuad, moon. Luan, the 



127 

moon. Latin: luna. French: lune. Deur lus and dealt lus 
•(Stewart) — dkur, a tear, a drop of any fluid, and dealt, dew. Name 
Also applied to the sundew. This plant was held in superstitious 
reverence among Celtic and other nations. Horses were said to 
lose their shoes where it grew. "On Sliabh Riabhach Mountain 
no horse can keep its shoes; and to this day it is said that on 
Lord Dunsany's Irish property there is a field where it is supposed 
all live stock lose their nails if pastured there." "A Limerick 
story refers to a man in Clonmel jail who could open all the locks 
by means of this plant.'' Similar superstitions still linger in the 
Highlands. 

There is an herb, some say whose virtue's such 
It in the pasture, only with a touch, 
Unshoes the new-shod steed. 

" On White Down, in Devonshire, near Tiverton, there was found 
thirty horse-shoes pulled off from the feet of horses belonging to 
the Earl of Essex, his horses there being drawn up into a body, 
many of them being but newly shod, and no reason known, which 
■caused much admiration; and the herb described usually grows 
upon heaths." — Culpepper. Lus na mees (Threl). Lus nam 
mios. The month plant. Old Irish : mis. Welsh : mis. Anglo- 
Saxon : mbnath. Hence month, from mbna, the moon. In olden 
times nearly all the officinal plants were supposed to be governed 
by the sun, moon, and planets. (The herbalist generally signed 
himself " Student in Physick and Astrology.") For example, the 
•corn flower was under the moon; ginger the sun; pepper, Mars; 
pines, Venus, &c, hence "luan lus" and "lus natn mios," names of 
this plant. The moonwort is found sparingly in the Highlands. 
It is a small plant of the fern tribe, but very unlike the ordinary 
fern, a few inches in height, with a frond of small fan-like leaves, 
and a spike of dusty-coloured spores. Ferns frequently formed 
components in charms. 

" Faigh naoi gasan rainich 

Air an gearradh, le tuaigh, 
Is tri chnaimhean seann-duine 

Air an tarruing a uaigh," &c. — Macintyre. 

Get nine branches of ferns 

Cut with an axe, 
And three old man's bones 

Pulled from the grave. 



128 

The root of "An raineach ??thbr" (Pteris Aquilina) was considered 
a valuable ingredient in love-philtres in olden times. An old Gaelic 

bard sings — 

'"Twas not the maiden's matchless beauty 
That drew my heart anigh ; 
Not the fern-root potion 

But the glance of her blue eye. " 
"Fern seeds were looked upon as magical, and must be gathered 
on midsummer eve." — Scottish and Irish superstition. 

LVCOPODIACE/E 

Lycopodium, from \vkos, a wolf, and ttovs, a foot, from a fan- 
cied resemblance to a wolf's foot. 

L. selago — Fir club-moss. Gaelic: garbhag an t-sleibhe, the 
rough one of the hill. "The Highlanders make use of this plant 
instead of alum to fix the colours in dyeing. They also take an 
infusion of it as an emetic and cathartic; but it operates violently, 
and, unless taken in a small dose, brings on giddiness and con- 
vulsions." — Lightfoot. According to De Theis, "Selago" is 
derived from the Celtic sel (sealladh), sight, and iach (he). Greek : 
tWts, a remedy, being useful for complaints in the eyes. 

Badge of Clan Macrae. 

L. clavatum, anaotinum, and the rest of this family are called 
/us a' bhalgaire, the fox- weed. Crotalna madadh ruadh, club-moss. 
The name crotal is given to this plant on account of its dyeing 
properties. Woollen cloths boiled with it become blue when 
passed in a bath of Brazil wood. Garbhag ?ian gkann. 

The badge of Clan Munro. 

Equisetace^e. 
Equisetum, from equi/s, a horse, and seta, hair, in allusion to 
the fine hair-like branches of the species. Those plants of this- 
order growing in watery places are called in Gaelic and Irish, clots, 
db-uisge, the names given to fluviatik, palusire, ramosum; and 
those flourishing in drier places, earbull-eich, horse-tail. Clois 
seems a contraction of db-uisge (O'Reilly) — db, a nail-pen or peg, 
perhaps suggested by the appearance of the fruitings stems; and 
uisge, water. Callagan srob eigh (Threl), or in our Gaelic, cuilg 
sruth eidi, the horse's water or stream bristles. Welsh: rhawn y 
march a fonawl, the same meaning. 



129 

E. hyemale — Dutch rushes, shave-grass. Gaelic: a' bhiora 
— bior, a pointed small stick, anything sharp or prickly. 
This species was at one time extensively used for polishing 
-wood and metal, a quality arising from the cuticle abounding 
in siliceous cells — hence the use made of the plant for 
scouring pewter and wooden things in the kitchen. A large 
•quantity used to be imported from Holland, hence the name 
" Dutch rushes.'' Irish: gadkar, from gad, a withe, a twig. 
Liobhag, from liobh, smooth, polish. It grows in marshy places 
and standing water. Cuiridin (O'Reilly), because growing on 
marshy ground. 

BRYACE/E. 

Gaelic and Irish: cbinneach, caoineach, from caoin, soft, lowly, 
&c. The principal economic use of moss to the ancient Gaels 
was in making bed-stuffs, just as the Laplanders use it to this day. 

"Trl coilceadha na Feinne, barr geal chrann, cbinneach, is ur luachair." 
The three Fenian bed-stuffs — fresh tree-tops, moss, and fresh rushes. 

" The brushwood was laid next the ground, over it was placed the 
moss, and lastly fresh rushes were spread over all. It is these 
three materials that are designated in our old romances as the tri 
£uilcidha na bh-Fiann — the three beddings of the Fenians." — 
Keating. Welsh: mwswg, moss. 

Sphagnum — Bog-moss. Gaelic : mbinteach Hath (mbin, peat, and 
Hath, grey). From its roots and decayed stalks peat is formed. 
Fionnlach, from fionn, white. It covers wide patches of bog, and 
when full grown it is sometimes almost white ; occasionally the 
plant has a reddish hue (cbinneach dhearg, red moss). Martin 
refers to it in his "Western Islands:' "When they are in any way 
fatigued by travel or otherways, they fail not to bathe their feet 
in warm water wherein red moss has been boiled, and rub them 
with it on going to bed." This seems to be the only moss having 
a specific name in Gaelic, the rest going by the generic term 
cbinneach. 

" C&innich uaine mu 'n iomall, 
Is iomadach se6rsa." — Magintyre. 
Green moss around the edges, 
Many are the kinds. 

Marchantiace^e and Lichenes. 
Marchantia polymorpha— Liverwort. Gaelic: /us an dinean, 



13° 

the liver-wort. Irish : cuisle aibheach. Welsh : llysiar afu — afu T 
the liver. (Names derived from its medicinal effects on the liver.) 
Irish : duilkog na cruithneachta, the leaf of (many) shapes or 
forms. Cruth, form, shape, synonymous with Greek " po/ymorpha."" 
Manx: /us yn aane. 

Peltidea canina — The dog-lichen. Gaelic : /us ghoinnich (from 
goin, wound ; goineach, agonising) This plant was formerly used 
for curing distemper and hydrophobia in dogs. The name 
" gearan, the herb dog's-ear," is given in the dictionaries. Pro- 
bably this name was applied to this plant, meaning a complaint,, 
a groan. Welsh : gerain, to squeak, to cry. 

Lecanora— Etymology of this word uncertain (in Celtic, kch 
or leac, means a stone, a flag). Greek : At 60s. 

L. tartarea — Cudbear. Gaelic and Irish : corcar or corcur, 
meaning purple, crimson. Latin : purpura. This lichen was 
extensively used to dye purple and crimson. It is first dried in the 
sun, then pulverised and steeped, commonly in urine, and the 
vessel made air-tight. In this state it is suffered to remain for 
three weeks, when it is fit to be boiled in the yarn which it is to- 
colour. Formerly, in many Highland districts, the peasants got 
their living by scraping off this lichen with an iron hoop, and 
sending it to the Glasgow market. MacCodrum alludes to the 
value of this and the next lichen in his line — 

" Spreigh air mbintich, 
Or air chlachan." 
Cattle on the hills, 
Gold on the stones. 

Parmelia saxatilis and omphalodes — Stone and heath parmelia. 
Gaelic and Irish : crotaL These lichens were much used in the 
Highlands for dyeing a reddish brown colour, prepared like tar- 
tarea. And so much did the Highlanders believe in the virtues 
of crota/ that, when they were to start on a journey, they sprinkled 
it on their hose, as they thought it saved their feet from getting 
inflamed during the journey. Welsh: cen di), black head, applied 
to the species Omphalodes. 

Sticta pulmonacea (Pu/monaria of Lightf oot) — Lungwort lichen. 
Scotch: haze/raw. Gaelic and Irish: crota/ coil/e (" coil/e" of the 
wood), upon the trunks of trees in shady woods. It was used 



13* 

among Celtic tribes as a cure for lung diseases, and is still used by 
Highland old women in their ointments and potions. 

According to Shaw, the term grim was applied as a general term 
for lichens growing on stones. Grioman (Macbain). Martin, in 
his description of his journey to Skye, refers to the superstition 
" that the natives observe the decrease of the moon for scraping 
the scurf from the stones." The two useful lichens, corcur and 
crotal, gave rise to the suggestive proverb — 

" Is fhearr a' chlach gharbh air am faighear rud-eigin, na 'chlach mhln air 
nach faighear dad idir." 

Better the rough stone that yields something, than the smooth stone that 
yields nothing. 

Fungi. 

Agaricus — The mushroom. Irish and Gaelic dictionaries give 
agairg for mushroom. Fas na heanaich (Threl) In our Gaelic 
fas na h-aon oidhche, one night's growth. Welsh : cullod. Manx : 
shalmane. 

A. campestris — Balg bhuachaill (balg is an ancient Celtic word, 
and in most languages has the same signification — viz., a bag, 
wallet, pock, &c. (Greek, f3o\y6s; Latin, bulga; Saxon, balg; 
German, balg), buachatll, a shepherd. Balg losgainn (losgann, a 
frog, and in some places balg bhuachair — buachar, dung), Leirin 
sugach. In Aberfeldy A. campestris is called boineid smachain 
(Dr. Hugh Macmillan). 

Boletus bovinus — Brown boletus. Gaelic and Irish: boineid 
na losgainn, the toad's bonnet; and also applied to other species 
of this genus. 

Tuber cibarium — Truffle. Balgan losgainn, the bag of the toad. 
These are subterraneous ball-like bodies, something like potatoes, 
found in beech-woods in Glen Lyon; and probably applied to 
other species as well. 

Lycoperdon giganteum — The large fuz-ball or devil's snuff-box. 
Gaelic and Irish: beac, beacan, from beach, a bee. Balg-dubh, 
black bag, dallan-nan-cavrach, the sheep-blinder, applied also to 
L. gemmatum. This mushroom or puff-ball was used formerly 
(and is yet) for smothering bees; it grows to a large size, some- 
times even two or three feet in circumference. Trioman (O'Reilly). 

L. gemmatum — The puff-ball, fuz-ball. Gaelic and Irish : 



132 

caochag, from caoch (Latin, ccecus), blind, empty, blasting. It is a 
common idea that its dusty spores cause blindness. Balg smuid, 
the smoke-bag ; balg s'eididh, the puff bag. Balg peiteack, bocan, 
or bbcan-bearrach (bbcan, a hobgoblin, a sprite, and bearr, 
brief, short), and boineid na losgainn, are frequently applied to all 
the mushrooms, puff balls, and the whole family of the larger 
fungi. 

Polyporus. — The various forms of cork-like fungi growing on 
trees are called caise (Irish), meaning cheese, and in Gaelic spuing 
or (Irish) spuinc, sponge, from their porous spongy character. 

P. fomentarius and betulinus — Soft tinder. Gaelic: cailleach 
spuinge, the spongy old woman, — a corruption of the Irish 
caisleach spuinc, soft, cheese-like sponge. It is much used still by 
Highland shepherds for making amadou or tinder, and for 
sharpening razors. 

Mucedo — Moulds. Gaelic : cloimh Hath, grey down. Mildew, 
mil-cheo. Irish caothruadh (O'Reilly). 

Mushrooms bear a conspicuous part in Celtic mythology from 
their connection with the fairies, — they formed the tables for their 
merry feasts. Fairy rings (Marasmius oreades, other species of 
Agarici) were unaccountable to our Celtic ancestors save by the 
agency of supernatural beings. 

Algje. 

The generic names assigned to sea-weeds in Gaelic are: 
feamainn (/earn, a tail) ; trailleach (MacAlpine), (from traigh, 
shore, sands) ; barra-rochd (barr, a. crop), roc. Greek : /5a>£. 
French : roche, a rock. Welsh : gwymon, sea-weed. French : 
varec, from Sanscrit, bharc, through the Danish vrag. All the 
olive-coloured sea-weeds go by the general name feamainn bhuidhe; 
the dark green, feamainn dubh; and the red, feamainn dearg. 

Sea-ware the badge of the MacNeils. 

The inhabitants of the Isle of Lewis had an ancient custom of 
sacrificing to a sea god called " Shony " at Hallowtide. The 
inhabitants round the island came to the church of St. Mulvay, 
each person having provisions with him. One of their number 
was selected to wade into the sea up to the middle, and carrying 
a cup of ale in his hand, standing still in that position, crying out 
with a loud voice, " Shony, I give you this cup of ale, hoping you 



133 

will be so kind as to send us plenty of sea-ware for enriching our 
ground the ensuing year." And he then threw the cup into the 
sea. This was performed in the night-time; they afterwards 
returned to spend the night in dancing and singing. 

Shony (Sjoni) the Scandinavian Neptune. This offering was a 
relic of pagan worship introduced into the Western Isles by the 
Norwegians when they conquered and ruled over these islands 
centuries ago {see footnote, p. 55). 

Fucus vesiculosus — Sea-ware, kelp-ware, black tang, lady-wrack. 
Gaelic : propach, sometimes prablach, tangled ; in some places 
grbbach, grbb, to dig, to grub. 

This fucus forms a considerable part of the winter supply of 
food for cattle, sheep, and deer. In the Hebrides cheeses are 
dried without salt, but are covered with the ashes of this plant, 
which abounds in salt. It was also used as a medicinal charm. 
" If, after a fever, one chanced to be taken ill of a stitch, they 
(the inhabitants of Jura) take a quantity of lady-wrack and red fog 
and boil them in water; the patients sit upon the vessel and receive 
the fume, which by experience they find effectual against the dis- 
temper." — Martin's " Western Isles." 

F. nodosus — Knobbed sea-weed. Gaelic : feamainn bholgainn, 
builgeach, — bolg, builg, a sack, a bag, from the vesicles that serve to 
buoy up the plant amidst the waves. Feamainn bhuidhe, the 
yellow wrack. It is of an olive-green colour ; the receptacles are 
yellow. 

F. serratus — Serrated sea-weed. Gaelic : feamainn dubh, black 
wrack. Aon chasach, one-stemmed, applies to this plant when 
single in growth. 

F. canaliculatus — Channelled fucus. Gaelic : feamainn chirein. 
This plant is a favourite food for cattle, and farmers give it to 
counteract the injurious effects of sapless food, such as old straw 
and hay. 

Laminaria cugitata — Sea-girdles, tangle. Gaelic and Irish : 
stamh, slat-mhara, sea-wand. Duidhean, doirean in Lismore, the 
liaghag or leathagan, barr stamh, and bragair, names given to the 
broad leaves on the top. Doire (in Skye and Islay), tangle. 
Though not so much used for food as formerly, it is still chewed 
by the Highlanders when tobacco becomes scarce. It was thought 
to be an effectual remedy against scorbutic and glandular diseases, 



!34 

even long before it was known to contain iodine. " A rod about 
four, six, or eight feet long, having at the end a blade slit into 
seven or eight pieces, and about a foot and a half long. I had an 
account of a young man who lost his appetite and had taken pills 
to no purpose, and being advised to boil the blade of the Alga, 
and drink the infusion boiled with butter, was restored to his 
former state of health."— Martin's " Western Isles." By far the 
most important use to which this plant and the other fuci have 
been put was the formation of kelp ; much employment and profit 
were derived from its manufacture : e.g., in 1812 in the island of 
North Uist, the clear profit from the proceeds of kelp amounted 
to ^£14,000 ; but the alteration of the law regarding the duty on 
barilla reduced the value to almost a profitless remuneration of 
only ^3500, and now the industry is all but extinct. 

L. saccharina — Sweet tangle, sea-belt. Gaelic : smeartan {smear, 
greasy). The Rev. Mr. MacPhail gives this name to " one of the 
red sea-weeds." Other correspondents give it to this plant. 
Milfhearach (O'Donovan). — Sweet tangle, " a marine weed with a 
sweet root." But the name seems the same as Mikarach, already 
mentioned, only it has not a " sweet root " like the sea weed. 

L. bulbosa — Sea furbelows, bulbous-rooted tangle. Gaelic : 
sgrothach. This name is doubtful (sgroth, pimples, postules). 

Alaria esculenta — Badderlocks, hen-ware (which may be a 
contraction of honey-ware, the name by which it is known in the 
Orkney Islands). Gaelic : mircean (one correspondent gives this 
name to "a red sea-weed"), seemingly the same as the Norse 
name Mdria kjerne, — Mdri, Mary, and kjerne is our word kernel, 
and has a like meaning. In Gaelic and Irish dictionaries, 
muirirean (Armstrong), muiririn (O'Reilly), "a species of edible 
alga, with long stalks and long narrow leaves." — Shaw. In some 
parts of Ireland, Dr. Drummond says, it is called murlins — 
probably a corruption of muiririn, muirichlinn, muirlinn 
(MacAlpine), (from muir, mara, the sea). Manx: mooirlane. 
It is known in some parts of Ireland by the name sparain or 
sporain, purses, because the pinnated leaflets are thought to 
resemble the Highlander's sporan. Gruaigean (in Skye). 

Rhodymenia palmata — Dulse. Gaelic and Irish : duileasg, 
from duille, a leaf, and uisge, water — the water-leaf. The High- 



i35 

landers and Irish still use duileasg, and consider it wholesome 
when eaten fresh. Before tobacco became common, they used to 
prepare dulse by first washing it in fresh water, then drying it in 
the sun : it was then rolled up fit for chewing. It was also used 
medicinally to promote perspiration. Fithreach, dulse. Duileasg 
staimhe (staimh, Laminaria digitatd). It grows frequently on the 
stems of that fucus. Duileasg, chloiche — i.e., on the stones, the 
stone dulse. Duileasg is also given to Laurentia pinnatifida, 
formerly eaten under the name of pepper dulse. Creantardh 
•(O'Don) in Donegal. 

Porphyra laciniata — Laver, sloke. Gaelic and Irish : sloucan, 
slochdan, from sloe, a pool or slake. Slabhcean (in Lewis), 
slabhagan (Shaw). Lightfoot mentions that "the inhabitants of 
the Western Islands gather it in the month of March, and after 
pounding and stewing it with a little water, eat it with pepper, 
and vinegar, butter ; others stew it with leeks and onions. 

Ulva latissima — Green ulva. Gaelic : glasag, also applied to 
other edible sea-weeds. In some places in the Western Highlands 
the names given to laver are also given to this plant. Glasag, 
from glas, blue, or green. 

Palmella montana (Ag.) — Lightfoot describes, in his "Flora 
Scotica," a plant which he calls Ulva montana, and gives it the 
Gaelic name duileasg nam beann — i.e., the mountain dulse. This 
plant is Gloeocapsa magma (Kutzing). Protococcus magma (Bre- 
bisson, Alg. Fallais). Sorospora montana (Hassall). Lightfoot 
was doubtless indebted to Martin (whose " Western Isles " 
furnished him with many of his useful notes on the uses of plants 
among the Highlanders) for the information respecting' such a 
plant. Martin describes it thus : "There is seen about the houses 
of Bernera, for the space of a mile, a soft substance resembling 
the sea-plant called slake [meaning here Ulva latissima], and grows 
very thick among the grass ; the natives say it is the product of a 
dry hot soil ; it grows likewise on the tops of several hills in the 
island of Harris." " It abounds in all mountainous regions as a 
spreading crustaceous thing on damp rocks, usually blackish- 
looking ; but where it is thin the purplish nucleus shines through, 
giving it a brighter aspect." — Roy. 

Chondrus crispus — Irish moss, known in the Western High- 
lands by the Irish name an cairgein, as the chief supply used to 



136 

come from Carrageen in Ireland. At one time it was in much 
repute, for from it was manufactured a gelatinous easily digested 
food for invalids, which used to sell for 2s. 6d. per lb. Mathair 
an duilisg, the mother of the dulse, as if the dulse had sprung 
from it. 

Killeen is the usual Irish name for the Irish moss (" Gardening 
Illustrated," page 304). 

Corallina officinalis. — Gaelic : coireall (MacAlpine). Latin :. 
corallium, coral. Linean. It was used as a vermifuge. 

Polysiphonia fastigiata. A tuft of this sea-weed was sent to me 
with the Gaelic name Fraoch mara, sea-heather, written thereon. 

Hemanthalia lorea. — The cup-shaped frond from which the long; 
thongs spring is called aiomlach, or iomlach {iomlag, the navel), 
from the resemblance of the cup-shaped disc to the navel. Dr. 
Neill mentions that in the north of Scotland a kind of sauce for 
fish or fowl, resembling ketchup, is made from the cup-like 
or fungus-like fronds of this sea-weed. 

Halydris siliquosa. — Gaelic : roineach mhara, the sea fern. (In 
the Isle of Skye). 

Chorda filum — Sea-laces. In Shetland Lucky Minny's lines ; 
Ayrshire, dead men's ropes. Gaelic : gille mu lunn, — gilk, a 
young man, a servant ; lunn, a wave. Lightfoot mentions that 
the stalks acquire such toughness as to be used for fishing lines,, 
and they were probably also used in the manufacture of nets. At 
all events it is a great obstacle when trawling with nets, as it forms- 
extensive sea-meadows of long cords floating in every direction. 
In some parts langadair is given to a "sea-weed, by far the longest 
one." This one is frequently from twenty to forty feet in length. 
Driamlaichean, fishing lines. 

Sargassum vulgare (or bacciferum) — Sea-grapes. Gaelic : tilr- 
usgar (sometimes written trusgar, from trus, gather), from turus r 
a journey. This weed is frequently washed by the Gulf Stream 
across the great Atlantic, with beans, nuts, and seeds, and cast 
upon the western shores. These are carefully gathered, preserved, 
and often worn as charms. They are called uibhean sithein, fairy 
eggs, and it is believed that they will ward off evil disposed fairies. 
The nuts are called cnothan-spuinge, and most frequently are 
Dolchas urens and Mimosa scandens. To Callithamnion Plocamium, 



137 

&c, and various small red sea-weeds, such as adorn ladies' albums,. 
the Gaelic name smbcan is applied. 

Confervse, such as Enteromorpha and Cladophora. Gaelic and 
Irish : lianach or linnearach (linne, a pool). Martin describes a 
plant under the name of linarich — " a very thin, small, green 
plant, about eight, ten, or twelve inches in length ; it grows on 
stones, shells, and on the bare sands. This plant is applied 
plasterwise to the forehead and temples to procure sleep for 
such as have a fever, and they say it is effectual for the purpose." 
— Martin's " Hebrides." Barraig uaine, the green scum on- 
stagnant water. Feur-uisge, water-grass. Feur-lochain. Griobhars- 
gaich, the green scum on water. 

" Tha uisge sruth na dige 

Na shruthladh dubh gun sioladh 
Le barraig uaine, liath-ghlas, 

Gu mi-bhlasda grannd, 
Fdur lochan is tachair 

An clnn an duilleag bhaite." — Macintyre. 

The water in its channel flows, 

A dirty stagnant stream, 
And algee green, like filthy cream, 

Its surface only shows. 
With water-grass, a choking mass, 

The water-lily grows. 




NOTES. 



Page 2. 
Ranunculus flammula — Glas leun, spear wort. Grows near the 
margins of lakes and boggy places. Its stalks are procumbent at 
the base, but branch directly. Its leaves are somewhat narrow 
and spear-like, but vary according to habitat. The flowers are 
yellow, but smaller than most of the buttercups. It is very acrid 
and caustic, therefore used for raising blisters. According to 
the Irish Journal, " Cam an ime " — buttercup. " Seamair 
Mhuire'' is also in some places given to the buttercup, but 
O'Reilly and others apply it to the yellow pimpernel (see p. 81). 

Page s. 
Chelidonium majus — Common celandine. Aonsgoch — /us y 
ghollan gheayee (Manx). The large celandine. These names, 
meaning the swallow herb, " because (as Plinie writeth) it was 
found out by swallows, and hath healed the eyes and restored 
sight to their young ones, that have had harme in their eyes or 
have bene blinde." — Lyte. 

Page 6. 
Capsella bursa-pastoris — Shepherd's purse. Clappede-pouch. A 
mongrel name given in some parts of Ireland to the shepherd's 
purse. Dr. Prior says the name was given to the plant in allusion 
to the licensed begging of lepers, who stood at crossways with a 
bell and clapper, by which they called the attention of the 
passers-by, and receive their alms in a cup, at the end of a long 
pole. These "rattle pouches'' suggested the name to the plant, 
on account of the little purses it hangs out at the wayside. The 
seed vessels are like little pouches or purses. 

Page 7. 
Armoracia rusticana — Horse radish. Racadal. There is a 
great similarity between this Gaelic name and the Saxon and 
Scottish names. Turner has the following : — " This kind groweth 
in Morpeth, .Northumberland, and there it is called Redco. It 
should be called after the old Saxon Englishe Rettihcol, that is 
Radishe colle.'' Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary has Redcoal and 
Redcoll. 



r 39 

Page 7. 

Nasturtium officinalis (Biolair) — Water cress. Though 
unquestionably a Celtic name, yet we find it mentioned in a 
curious treatise on the nature and properties of plants by Roy: — 
"Billura, an herb that we clepeth Billure. . . . Some name 
it yellow water cresses." The name has been corrupted to Belkrs 
and Bilders. The Gaelic name for the winter cress is Treabhach 
(O'Reilly). 

Page 9. 

Charlock — Marag bhuidhe, praiseach garbh. In some parts of 
Ireland the old name Praiseach (Latin, Brassica), is corrupted to 
Presha, presha bhwee. Threlkeld gives it as Praisseagh-buigh, also 
Prassia is given. "The growing oat crop struggles with the 
perennial thistle, dock, and prassia." — 'Pictures from Ireland.' 
{Macgrath). 

Page 20. 

Trifolium — Clover. Seamrag — Shamrock. Botanists have long 
disputed what plant furnished the Saint with so excellent an 
illustration of the Trinity. The Dutch clover (TrifoZium repens) 
and the Black non-such (Medicago lupulina) are most commonly 
used. But the wood sorrel (Oxalis acelosella) was called Seamrag 
by old herbalists, and was eaten and called Sourag, the sour one. 
It is trifoliated, growing in woods where the priests taught their 
mystic rights. Queen Victoria placed the Shamrog in her royal 
-diadem in lieu of the French Fleur-de-lis. The four-leaved 
shamrock was supposed to possess many virtues. 

" Seamrag nan duillean 's nam buadh, 
Bu chaomh leam thu bhi fo m' chluasaig, 
Nam dhomh cadal 'n am shuain." 
Shamrock of leaves and virtues, 
I would wish you to be under my pillow 
On my falling asleep. 

Page 26. 
Potentilla tormentilla — Bar-braonan-nan-con. Is one of the 
■commonest of our moorland flowers. It is perennial, and its 
small yellow flower seems to follow one everywhere. In some 
places the name leamhnach is corrupted to leanartach for that 
reason. The root of the plant is the part used as an astringent, 
and contains the tanning principle equal in quality to the oak bark. 



140 

Page 28. 

Eubus fruticosus (Bramble) — Grian-mhuine. In Scotland it i& 
thought that late in the autumn the devil covers the bushes with 
his cloak, and renders them unwholesome. In Ireland children 
are told that the devil put his foot on the blackberries, and not to 
eat them after Michaelmas. According to another legend, Honor 
Garrigan, one Sunday during St. Patrick's lifetime rode up the hill 
to church ; but, seeing a bunch of ripe blackberries, she dis- 
mounted in order to gather them. Her servant told her it was 
wicked to eat anything before receiving the Holy Communion, 
but in vain, his mistress ate the blackberries, which caused her 
hunger so to increase that she ate the boy and the horse. Saint 
Patrick shot her with his bow and arrow for fear she would eat all 
the congregation ! 

Page 31. 

Pyrus — Apple. Ubhal. There are many references to the 
apple in Celtic legends. The Celtic " Isle of the Blest," the 
" Fair Avalon," the " Isle of Apples," a Gaelic legend which 
asserts the claims of an island in Loch Awe to be identified as the 
Isle of the Blest," changes the mystic apples into the fruit of 
Pyrus cordata, a species of wild pear, indigenous both to the 
Scotch island and to Arguilon. — Folkard's Plant Legends. See 
Pyrus aucuparia and the note Caorrunn. 

J. F. Campbell, in his introduction to his "West Highland 
Tales," points out that when the hero wishes to pass from Islay to 
Ireland, he pulls out sixteen apples and throws them into the sea, 
one after another, and he steps from one to the other. When the 
giant's daughter runs away with the king's son, she cuts an apple 
into a number of small bits, and each bit talks. When she kills 
the giant, she puts an apple under the hoof of the magic filly and 
he dies, for his life is the apple, and he is crushed. There is a 
Gruagach who has a golden apple which is thrown at all comers, 
who, if they fail to catch it, die. When it is caught and thrown 
back by the hero, Grugach an Ubhail dies. There is a certain 
game called Cluich an Ubhail — the apple play — which seems to 
have been a deadly game. In all the Gaelic legends the apple, 
when introduced, has something marvellous about it. 

Page 32. 
Pyrus aucuparia (Rowan tree) — Caorrunn. According to the- 



141 

•Gaelic legend, the "Pursuit of Diarmud and Grainne,'' there grew 
the wonderful quicken tree of Dubhrbs, which bore some won- 
derful berries. Every berry has the exhilaration of wine, and 
whoever shall eat three berries of them, even if he be a hundred 
years, he will return to the age of thirty. These berries were 
jealously guarded by one Searbhan Lochlannach, "a giant, hideous 
and foul to behold." He was slain by Diarmud, and the berries 
placed at the disposal of his wife, Grainne. 

Page 56. 
Senecio vulgaris — Am bualan. Groundsel. A very common 
weed in waste places. Somewhat like the dandelion, not exceed- 
ing 1 2 inches high, bright green, much divided and serated leaves, 
and whiteish below. The flowers are in small clusters of yellow 
colour, succeeded by small seeds furnished with downy pappus. 
The leaves were used as an emetic, and applied externally as a 
cooler, and to bring on suppurations. 

Page 60. 
Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) — Earr thalmhuinn. In Aber- 
deenshire the earr is corrupted to Eeer or Eerie. Lassies used to 
take it and put it in their breasts as a charm, repeating this rhyme — 

Eerie, eerie, I do pluck, 

And in my bosom I do put, 

The first young lad that speaks to me, 

The same shall my true lover be. 

Page 67. 
Gentiana campestris (Lus a' chrilbain) — Field gentian. This 
plant is found on elevated grounds in most districts of the 
Grampians. It stalk is unbranched and jointed, from which 
issue in pairs oblong pointed leaves. The flower is white pale 
yellow, and often of a purplish colour. It blooms in the summer. 
The various species of gentian are well known in medicine, and 
used by brewers and wine merchants. 

Page 85. 
Ur (Bay or Palm tree) — Dhmhnach an Uir. The Lord's day 
of the palm. The true palm not being a native, the catkins of 
the willow have been used in the northern counties in church 
processions on Palm Sunday, and frequently lubhar (the yew), 
hence it is often called a palm in Ireland. 



142 

Page 101. 
Taxus baccata (The Yew) — lubhar. In the very ancient tale of 
" Baile Mac Buain," said to be as old as the time of Cormac Mac 
Art (212 B.C.), reference is made to the yew tree of Baile ("Ibar 
Baile") and the apple of noble Aillin ("Aball Aillini arda"). 
The lady Aillin was killed whilst trying to make an appointment 
with her lover Baile. The news of her tragic death so affected 
him that he suddenly died, and from his grave there sprung up a 
yew tree, having the form of Bailees head on the top. The belief 
in the miraculous seems to be very ancient. The Greeks and 
Scandinavians traced the origin of the human race to the ash, and 
the Romans to the oak. Pope Pius II., in his work on Asia and 
Europe in the fifteenth century, states that in Scotland there grew 
on the banks of a river a tree that produced fruits resembling 
ducks, and when they fell into the water became turned into- 
ducks. Gerarde describes and figures the famous "Barnacle tree, 
or the tree-bearing geese." 

Page 102. 
Orchis maculata (Spotted Orchis) — Urach bhallach. This is a 
very common plant in the Highlands, on moors and hilly pastures. 
The leaves are spotted with purple spots, and the tradition is it 
and the spotted Persicaria were growing on Calvary, hence were 
stained with the precious blood of Christ. In Cheshire it is called 
"Gethsemane." "In some parts of the north (Aberdeenshire) the 
rustics believe that if you take the proper half of the root of the 
orchis and get any one of the opposite sex to eat it, it will produce 
a powerful affection for you, while the other half will produce as 
strong an aversion." This is probably the plant mentioned in a 
Highland incantation as "Gradh is fuath" (love and hate). See 
Mr. Mackenzie's "Gaelic Incantations and Charms," page 13. 
Old English name, "Lover's Wanton." 

Page 117. 
Phragmites. — This stately reed is pretty common on the shores 
of lakes, rivers, &c. It grows frequently to the height of seven or 
eight feet, or even more. Its stems are frequently used for pipe 
reeds, hence its Irish name. The "bull rush" or "reed mace 
was frequently given as the badge of Clan Mackay, but that it was 
the plant used is most unlikely, because it is very scarce in their 
country. From communications received from some influential 



H3 

members of the Clan, there is no question but that this handsome 
reed or c uik is the 

Badge of Clan Mackay. 

K'Eogh and Threlkeld's Works. — The Rev. John K'Eogh 
wrote a work on the plants of Ireland "Botanalogica Universalis 
Hibernia," and another on the animals, "Zoologica Medicinalis 
Hibernia," about the year 1739, giving the Irish names as pro- 
nounced by the peasantry at that period. Threlkeld's "Synopsis 
Stirpium Hibernicarum" appeared in 1728. They are now rare 
works, and are of no value save for the names, for they contain no 
information except the supposed medicinal virtues of the plants 
and animals given in them. 

All creatures, from the biggest mammal to the meanest worm, 
and all plants, were supposed to have some potent charm or virtue 
to cure disease. A large number of prescriptions are compounds 
of the most disgusting ingredients. We can only now smile at 
the credulity that would lead any one to imagine that by merely 
looking at the yellow hammer (Emberiza citrinella) "by any one 
who has the jaundice, the person is cured, but the bird will die." 
Or that "the eyes drawn entire out of the head of a hare taken in 
March, and dried with pepper, and worn by women, will facilitate 
childbirth." 

He gives this singular cure for the jaundice. "A live moth, 
laid on the navel till it dies, is an excellent remedy ! Nine grains 
of wheat, taken up by a flea, are esteemed good to cure a chin- 
cough — that insect is banished and destroyed by elder leaves, 
flowers of pennyroyal, rue, mint, and fleabane, celandine, arsmart, 
mustard, brambles, lupin, and fern-root" For worms — "Take 
purslane seeds, coralina, and St. John's wort, of each an equal 
part; boil them in spring water. Or take of the waters of hiera 
picra (Picris hieracioides), of the seeds of the bitter apple, of each 
one dram, mixed with the oil of rue and savin, spread on leather, 
and apply it to the navel; this is an approved remedy." Epilepsy — 
"The flesh of the moor hen, with rosemary, lemons, lavender, and 
juniper berries, will cure it." And for children — " Take a whelp 
(cullane), a black sucking puppy (but a bitch whelp for a girl), 
strangle it, open it, and take out the gall, and give it to the child, 
and it will cure the falling sickness.'' One more example will 
sufficiently illustrate the value of these books. "'Usnea capitis 



144 

humani, or the moss growing on a skull that is exposed to the air, 
is a very good astringent, and stops bleeding if applied to the 
parts, or even held in the hand." 

Ollamh. — This was the highest degree, in the ancient Gaelic 
system of learning, and before universities were established, 
included the study of law, medicine, poetry, classics, &c. A 
succession of such an order of literati, the Beatons, existed in 
Mull, Islay, and Skye from time immemorial, until after the middle 
of last century. 

By the courtesy of Professor Mackinnon, the author is per- 
mitted to give the substance of his lecture before the Celtic Class 
in Edinburgh. The valuable information therein given accounts 
for the wide diffusion of the knowledge of simples and how they 
were obtained among the population long ago. 

Professor Mackinnon, in delivering his opening lecture in connection with 
the Celtic Class at Edinburgh University, after observing that the Gaels, like 
other nations, credited their heroes with a knowledge of the healing art, stated 
that among the mediteval Gaels, both in Ireland and the Western Highlands, 
there were regular practitioners who devoted themselves to their profession, 
and who left behind them a mass of literature — a remnant of which was still 
preserved in Dublin, London, Oxford, and Edinburgh. Dr. Moore, of 
London, described some twenty years ago eight medical MSS. which belong 
to the British Museum. He found that they were translations or versions of 
the principal medical works of antiquity and the middle ages, of Galen, Hippo- 
crates, Bernard Gordon, and others. The Scottish collection is peculiarly rich 
in MSS. of this class, about one-third of the sixty-five catalogued MSS. being 
medical or quasi-medical in whole or in part. There were, besides, a valuable 
MS. in the library of the Antiquarian Society, another in the University 
Library, and three in the Professor's own possession (these last and the 
University MS. were shown in the class-room). After giving a brief description 
of them as a whole, particular attention was drawn to the MS. in the Society 
of Antiquaries' Library, being a Gaelic translation of Bernard Gordon's Lilium 
Medicnce, presented to the Society in 1784 by the Rev. Donald Macqueen, of 
Kilmuir, Skye. A memorandum on the fly-leaf stated that the volume was at 
one time the property of Farquhar Bethune, of Husabost, who valued it so 
highly that while he went himself by boat to Dunvegan Castle, he sent horse 
and man by road with the Lilium, to ensure its greater safety. Attention was 
also drawn to MS. IV., Advocates' Library collection, » tiny vellum, fastened 
with thong and button. In that volume the position of medicine in relation on 
the one hand to divinity and philosophy, on the other to physics, astronomy, 
and astrology, is set forth. One of the Professor's own volumes is a most 
valuable pharmacopoeia — a list of trees and plants in alphabetical order, with 
the therapeutic properties of each. The authors, or rather translators and 
transcribers of these documents, were chiefly » family or two families, who 



M5 

flourished as physicians in Islay, Mull, and Skye for many generations. By 
piecing together notices in records aud charters, inscriptions, tradition which 
seem well founded, geneological tables in the University Library MS., and a 
printed history and genealogy of the Bethunes of Skye, a condensed account of 
these remarkable men was given. Beath came from Ireland, tradition says, in 
the train of Widow O'Neill, who married Angus Og of the Isles, the friend of 
Bruce. Macdonald, who kept up an organised administration in Islay, 
appointed this man, or one of his descendants, chief physician of the Isles, 
endowed the office handsomely, and established it in his family. In the 
beginning of the seventeenth century, Campbell of Cawdor got possession of 
Islay. Fergus Macbeth was at the time chief physician of the Isles. He 
obtained a Crown charter from King James VI. confirming him in the office for 
life, and in the lands pertaining to the office hereditarily as they were held by 
his ancestors "beyond the memory of man." This valuable document is 
preserved among the Argyll papers, and is to be printed for the first time in 
the valuable "Book of Islay," about to be published under the editorship of 
Mr. Gregory Smith, of the University. A Farchard "Leche," who received 
a grant of the lands of Melness and Hope in Sutherland from the Wolf of 
Badenoch, and of all the islands from Rhue Stoer in Assynt to Armadale Head 
in Farr, from King Robert II., was, it appears, a distinguished member of the 
Islay Macbeths. A branch of the family settled in Mull as physicians to 
Maclean of Duart. The tomb of Dr. John Beaton, who died in 1657, is in 
Iona. It was erected by Donald Beaton in 1674, as the Latin inscription 
bears. The Skye Bethunes claim descent from Bethune of Balfour, in Fife, the 
uncle of Cardinal Beaton. Their history was written in 1778 by the Rev. 
Thomas White, of Liberton, who married a lady of the family. The Bethunes 
figure largely as clergymen, soldiers, tacksmen, and especially doctors, in Skye 
and neighbourhood, for the last 300 years. Little is known of where these 
men received their professional education, where they got their medicines, and 
how they prepared them. It would seem that for the most part they were 
educated at home, and, if tradition may be relied upon, that they largely culti- 
vated medicinal plants, and made up their drugs mainly from these. No 
scientific value attaches, of course, to these documents now ; but considerable 
historical and literary interest is claimed for them and their authors. To the 
teaching of this remarkable race of men is probably due the wide diffusion of 
a knowledge of simples among the people of the Isles — not to speak of the 
charms and incantations with which the application of the salves used to be 
accompanied. It was pointed out that the belief was universal in the southern 
Isles that consumption was not only hereditary but infectious — a dogma learned 
from Hippocrates by these Macbeaths, with whose writings they were well 
acquainted, and very probably transmitted through them to the inhabitants of 
Islay and Mull. The Professor concluded by observing- that the life and 
labours of these distinguished men formed a pleasing and valuable chapter, 
still to be written in the history of the Hebrides, while the fact — which King 
James IV. 's charter puts beyond question — that the Government of the Isles 
under the Macdonalds charged itself with a care of the public health, adds not 
a little to the credit of that princely house. 
K 



146 

Medicinal Plants. — The common belief that a plant grew 
not far from the locality where the disease prevailed that would 
cure that disease, led to many experiments which ultimately 
resulted in finding out the undoubted virtues of many plants; but 
wholesale methods were frequently adopted by gathering all the 
herbs, or as many as possible, in that particular district, and 
making them into a bath. 

At the battle of "Magh Tuireadh," we are informed "that the 
chief physician prepared a healing bath or fountain with the 
essences of the principal herbs and plants of Erinn, gathered 
chiefly in Lus-Magh, or the Plain of Herbs ; and on this bath they 
continued to pronounce incantations during the battle. Such of 
the men as happened to be wounded in the fight were immediately 
plunged into the bath, and they were instantly refreshed, and 
made whole, so that they were able to return and fight against the 
enemy again and again." — Professor O'Curry. 

Incantations with Plants. — Cures by incantations were most 
common.- A large number of plants were thus employed. When 
John Roy Stewart sprained his ankle, when hiding after the battle 
of Culloden, he said : — 

"Ni mi 'n tibhaidh rinn Peadar do Phal, 
'S a luighean air fas leum bruaich, 
Seachd paidir n' ainm sagairt is Pap 
Ga chuir ris na phlasd mu'n cuairt." 
I'll make the incantation that Peter made for Paul, 

With the herbs that grew on the ground. 
Seven paternosters in the name of priest and Pope, 
Applied like a plaster around. 

"And if the dislocated joints did not at once jump into their 
proper places during the recitation, the practitioner never failed 
to augur favourably of the comfort to the patient. There were 
similar incantations for all the ills that flesh is heir to; the tooth- 
ache could not withstand the potency of Highland magic; 
dysentery, gout, &c, had all their appropriate remedies in the 
never-failing incantations." — Mackenzie. See "Beauties of Gaelic 
Poetry," page 268, where several of the "orations" repeated 
as incantations are given. Mr. W. Mackenzie's " Gaelic Incanta- 
tions and Charms" will furnish interesting examples. 

Plants and Fairy Superstitions. — A large number of plant 
names in Gaelic have reference to fairy influence. At births many 



H7 

ceremonies were used to baffle the fairy influence over the child, 
otherwise it would be carried off to fairyland. The belief 
in fairies, as well as most of these superstitions, are traceable 
to the early ages of the British Druids, on whose practices they 
are founded. The fox-glove (Meuran sithe), odhran, the cow- 
parsnip, and cofagach, the docken, were credited with great power 
in breaking the fairy spell; on the other hand, some plants were 
supposed to facilitate the fairy spell, and would cause the individual 
to be fairy "struck" or buaillte. The water lily was supposed to 
possess this power, hence its names Buaillte and Rabhagach, 
meaning beware, warning. Rushes found a place in fairy 
mythology. Schmnus nigricans (Seimkean) furnished the shaft of 
the elf arrows, which were tipped with white flint, and bathed in 
the dew that lies on the hemlock. 




149 



INDEX 



GAELIC NAMES. 



Abhal, adhul, 31 
Abhran donog, zix 
Agairg, 131 

Aighnean thalmhuinn, 77 
Aigheannach, 53 
Aillean, 57 
Ailm, 91 
Aingealag, 42 
Aighban, 89 
Ainean, his an 129 
Aire, aircean, 93 
Ajrmeirg, 47 
Airneag, 23 
Altanach, 86 
Aiteil, aitiol, 100 
Alias Mhuire, 14 
Aloe, 105 
Almon, 24 
Aoin, 112 
Aon chasach, 133 
Aon dearc, 105 
Aonsgoth, 5, 138 
Apricoc, 24 
Asair 87 
Asparag, 109 
Athair Hath, 75 
Athair thalmhuinn, 60 
Athan, 57 

Badan measgan, 79 
Bainne bo bhuidhe, 81 
Bainne (lus a' bhainne), 79 
Bainne gamhnach, 47, 72 
Bainne ghabhar, 72 
Bainne muic, 50 
Bairghin, 2 
Baladh chnis, 48 
Balg bhuachaill, 131 
Balg losgainn, 131 
Balg bhuachair, 131 
Balgsmuid, 132 
Balg seididh, 132 
Ballan losgainn, 132 
Ban, chrann, 15 
Barbrag, 4 
Barr-guc, 19 
Barr-dearg, 82 
Barr-braonan-nan-con, 2.6 
Barr cluigeannach, 61 
Barr a' mhilltich, no 
Barra mhislean, 20 
Barra rochd, 132 
Barrag ruadh, 5 
Barra-stamh, 133 
Barrag uaine, 137 
Bearnan Bride, 50 



Beacan, 131 
Beachnuadh, 14 
Bealuidh, bealaidh, 19 
Bealaidh Chataobh, 109 
Bealaidh Fhrangach, 19 
Bealaidh Shasunnach, 19 
Bealaidh (calg), 109 
Beathag, lus, 78 
Bejth, 95 
Beith beag, 95 
Beifh carraigeach, 95 
Beith cluasach, 95 
Beith dubh chasach, 95 
Beathe dubhach, 95 
Beathe nam measa, 94 
Beilbheag, 5 
Beitean, 122 
Benedin, 26 
Bhracadail, lus, 89 
Biodh nan e6inean, 17 
Biodh an t-Sionaidb, 36 
Biatas, biatus, 55, 83 
Bile buidhe, 58 
Bile cuige, 58 
Bileach choigreach, 58 
Bileach losgainn, 30 
Bileanach, bilearach, 104 
Billeog math, 50 
Billeog son, 58 
Bilur, 81 

Biodh a Ieithid, 10 
Biolair, 7 

Biolair tragha, 7 , 

Biolair Mhuire, 71 
Biolair ghriaghain, 7 
Bior leacain, 100 
Rio rag, 129 
Bior na bride, 51 
Biotas, betis, 83 
Blaa yn eail Eoin, 8 
Blioch, bliochan, 108 
Blioch fochain, 50 
Bliosan, 54 

Bloinigean garajdh, 83 
Bo coinneal (Sauce alone), 8 
Bochdan bearrach, 133 
Bocsa, 88 
Bo dhearc, 64 
Bodan, in, 117 
Bodan dubh, in 
Bodan coille, 39 
Bodach na cloigin, 72 
Bodach gorm, 56 
Bodach nan claigionn, 72 
Bodach dubh, 83 
Bofulan ban, 54 



Bog lus, 50, 79 

Bog mhuine, 115 

Bog lua chair, 115 

Bog ghioghan, 50 

Bog uisge, 103 

Boguinnean, 126 

Boineid na losgainn, 131 

Boinne fola, 86 

Bollan Vreeshey, 83 

Bolg lus, 50, 79 

Bolgan beic, 73 

Bollan feill Eoin, 54 

Bonan Ieane, 15 

Borrach, 117, 123 

Barraist, 78 

Borramotor, 55 

Braonan fraoich, 27 

Braonan bachlaig, 27, 41 

Braonan buachaill, 41 

Braban, 120 

Breallan leana, 35 

Breoillean, 122 

Breinean brotbach, 5g 

Breothan, 121 

Breun ubhal, 18 

Bricin dubh, 42 

Brisgean, 26 

Brisglan, 26 

Brobh, 114 

Braighleag, 63 

Braighleag nan con, 63 

Bramasagan, 52 

Brium fheur, 121 

Brog na cubhaig, 10, 79, 80 

Br6g braidhe, 113 

Br&n (craobh bhroin), 89 

Brum, 19 

Bru-chorach, 113 

Buadha, lus nam, 42 

Buadhlan buidhe, 57 

Buadh ghallan, 57 

Buaidh chraobh, na Labhras, 8 

Bualan, am, 56 

Buafannan, 54 

Buafannan buidhe, 58 

Buafannan Hath, 54 

Buafannan na h-easgaran, 57 

Bugha, 23 

Buidhe mor, 9 

Buidhe Bealltainn, 3 

Buidheag 2, 58 

Buidheag an arbhair, 59 

Buidhe na ningean, 88 

Buillite, 4, 147 

Buinn, 56 

Bunglas, 119 



*5<5 



Buntata, 69 
Bunsag, 97 
Buramaide, 55 
Burban, 55 
Buth muc, 108 
Bwoid Saggart, 102 
Caba deasain, 50 
Cabhain abhain, 4 
Cabros, 12 
Caineal, 85 
Caineab, 90 
Caineab uisge, 60 
Caineal, 85 
Cairmeal, 22 
Caisleacb spunic, 132 
Cairteal, 74 
Caitean, 92 
Caitheamh, lus, 48 
Caitbne, 64 
Calbrus, 37 
Cal na mara, 6 
Cal colbhairt, 9 
Cal cearslach, 9 
Cal gruidhean, 9 
.Cal Phadruig, 37 
Calg bhealaidh, 109 
Calg bhrudhan, 109 
Calami:i It, 74 
Calltuinn, 94 
Caman scarraigh, 5 
Cam-bhil, 59 
Cam an ime, 138 
Camomhil, 59 
Camomhil fiadhatn, 59 
Canach. 115 
Caoch nan cearc, 70 
Caochran, 15 

Caod aslachan Cholum chille, 14 
Caogma, 39 
Caoimin, 71 
Caoirin leana, 49 
Caolach, lus, 22 
Caol fail, 90 
Caol miosachan, 13 
Caorrunn, 32, 140 
Caorrunn staoin, 101 
Caor bad miann, 28 
Caor thalmhuinn, 41 
Caor fionnag, 88 
Caorag leana, 11 
Caothruadh, 132 
Carbhainn, 41 
Carbhaidh,_4i 
Carnan-chaisil, 37 
Cairgein, 135 
Carran, 6, 11, 123 
Carralc, 44. 
Cartal, 74 

Carthan curaigb, 49 
Carthan arraigh, 49 
Carth lair, 27 
Cas fa chrann, 47 
Cas an uain, 21 
Castearbhan nam muc, 51 
Cas maighicbe, 20 
Casgair, 85 
Casachdaighe, 56 
Catog : 27 

Cathair thalmhuinn, 60 
Caubsadan, 78 
Cearban, 2 
Cearban febir, 2, 
Ceanabhan beag, 78 
Ceann ruadh, 5 
Ceathramadh-caorach, 84 



Ceadharlach, 68 
Ceir-iocan, 46 
Ceis chrainn, 123 
Ceosan, 52 
Ceud bhileach, 68 
Ceusaidb, lus chrann, 86 
Chengey ny mraane, 97 
Cholum'-cille lus, 14, 81 
Chraois lus a', 39 
Chrom chinn, lus a, T04 
Chridh, lus a, 78 
Chuimein, lus Mhic, 41 
Ciob cheann dubh, 115 
Ciochan nan cailleacha marbha 

Cirean coilich, 11 

Cirean, feamainn, 133 

Clachan gadhair, 102 

Clambainin lin, 69 

Cleiteagan, 52 

Cloch bhriseacb, 37 

Cloch reathneach, 123 

Clo : uisge, 128 

Cloimh liath, 132 

Cluas, lus nan, 37 

Cluas an fhe'idh, 52 

Cluas chaoin, in 

Cluas luch, 12, 50 

Cluas liath, 50, 56 

Cluain lin, 11 

Cluaran, 53 

Cluaran deilgneach, 53 

Cluaran leana, 53 

Cluaran 6ir, 53 

Cluaran liath, 54 

Cnamh briste, lus nan, 79 

Cnapan dubh, 54 

Cnamh lus, 55 

Cnaib uisge, 60 

Cno thalmhuinn, 41 

Cnothan spuing, 136 

Codalian, 5 

Cogall, 11 

Coindid, coinne, cainnen, 106 

Coin rds, 29 

Coin droighionn, 29 

Coin fheur, 120 

Coin bhil, 39 

Coin bhaiscne, 39 

Cojnneach, 129 

Cdinneach dhearg, 129 

Coireatan muic, 41 

Coireiman, 45 

Coirnel, 39 

Coire lus a, 45 

Coirc, 118 

Coirc dubh, 119 

Coirc circ, 12® 

Coireall, 136 

CoIag_, 9 

Colluinn, 94 

Columcille, lus, 14, 81 

Colg bhealaidh, 109 

Coman mionla, 59 

Con, cona, 115 

Conaire, £i 

Conan, 120 

Conasg, ig 

Contran, 42 

Copag, 86 

Copag shraide, 87 

Copag tuaithil, 52 

Copan an driuchd, 30 

Corcach, 90 

Corcar, 130 



Corcan coille, 11 

Corrach shod, 3 

Corra meille, i± 

Corr-a h'ot, 3 

Cor-chopaig, no 

Cosadh dubhadh, 43 

C6s uisge, 45 

Cosgadn na fola, lus, 60 

Costag, 45 

Costag a'bhaile gheamhraidh, 45 

C6ta preasach nighean an righ, 30 

Cotharach, 79 

Crann lus, 57 

Craobh Abran, 19 

Craobh mac fiadh, 125 

Cre, lus, 71 

Creachlach dearg, 16 

Creamh, 57, 67, 107 

Creamh garaidh, 107 

Creamh nan crag, 107 

Creamh muc fiadh, 125 

Creamh nam muc fiadh, 125 

Crios Chu-chulainn, 25 

Critheann, 97 

Crith fheur, 120 

Cro, crodh, crdch, 104 

Crob priachain, 16 

Crotal, j 30 

Crotal coille, 130 

Crotal na madadh ruadh, 128 

Cromlus, 5 

Cruach Phadraig, 82 

Cruaidh lus, 60 

Crubh eoin, 20 

Criibh leomhainn, 30 

Cruach luachair, 115 

Cruba-leisin, 3 

Cruban, lus, 67 

Cruban na saona, 28 

Cruibin, 20, 64 

Cruithneach, 121 

Cromagan, 43 

Cuach Phadraig, 82 

Cruisgiornach, 117 

Cucumhar, 89 

Cuig bhileach, 27 

Cuig mhear Mhuire, 26 

Cuig bhileach uisge, 27 

Chuige (Bileacb), 58 

Cuigeal nan losgunn, 102, 112 

Cuigeal nam ban sith, in 

Cuilc fheur, 115 

Cuilc, 115 

Cujlc mhilis, in 

Cuilc chrann, in 

Cuilion, 34, 65 

Cuileann tragha, 39 

Cuinnse, 33 

Cuineag mhighe, 42 

Cmrteagan 31 

Cuir dris, 29 

Cuiseach, 122 

Cuiseag bhuidhe, 57 

Culurain, 81, 87, 89, 

Cunach, 69 

Cunieal Mhuire, 70 

Cuphair, 99 

Curachd na cubhaig, n, 54 

Curachd mhanaich, 3 

Curran, 44 

Curran earraich, 26 

Curran geal, 43 

Curran buidhe, 44 

Cuiridin ban, 43 

Cuiseag, 67 



is* 



Curcais, 114, 115 
Cuthaidh, m 
Cutharlan, 41, 106, in 

Da-bhileach, 102 

Dail chuach, 10 

Daimisin, 24 

Dallan-nan-caorach, 131 

Darach, 92 

Darach sior-uaine, 93 

Dealt ruadh, 10 

Dealt lus, 127 

Deanndag, 89 

Dearc, lus nan, 64 

Dearc Fhrangach, 36 

Dearc roide, 64 

Dearcan fithich, 88 

Dearna Mhuire, 30 

Deathach thalmhuinn, 5 

Deideag, 82 

Deilgneach, preas, 4 

Deilgneach, cluaran, 53 

Deoghlag, 47 

Deodha, 70 

Detheogba, 70 

Deur lus, 127 

Dile, 43 

Dithean, 58, 122 

Dithean, dir, 58 

Dobhar, lus, 7 

Doire, 133 

Donn, lus, 72 

Dreas, dris, 28 

Dreas muine, 28 

Dreas smear, 29 

Driamlaichean, 136 

Dreas cubhraidh, 29 

Dreimire buidhe, 68 

Dreimire muir, 68 

Droighionn, duoh, 23 

Droighionn, geal, 30 

Droman, 46 

Druman, 46 

Druichdin mona, n 

Druidb lus, 46 

Dubban nan caora, 61 

Dubhan ceann chosacb, 78 

Dubhanuidh, 78 

Dubh casach, 125 

Dubh-f hiodh, 65 

Duidhean, 133 

Duilleag bhaite, 4 

Duilleag bhaite bhuidhe, 4 

Duilleag bhan, 4 

Duilleag son, mhaith, 51 

Duilleag Bhrighid, 51 

Duilleag bhraghad, 51 

Duilleag na cruithneachta, 130 

Duilleag na h-aibhne, 109 

Duileasg, 134 

Duilseag staimh, 135 

Duileasg cloiche, 135 

Duileasg nan beann, 135 

Dullish far ushtey, 109 

Duilliur-feithlean, 47 

Duilliur spuing, 56 

Duil mhial, 69 

Dur, dru, 92 

Dur lus, 7 

Dur-fheurfairge, 118 

Dun lus, 72 

Eabhadh, 97 
Ealabhi,_i3 
Eala bhuidhe, 13 



Kalian, lus an, 16 
Eanach, 51 
Earbull righ, 16 
Earbull each, 128 
Earnach, 10 
Earr dheas, 29 
Earr tbalmhuinn, 60 
Easbuig, lus an, 44 
Easbuig ban, 54 
Easbuig_ Spain, 59 
Eben>luigh, 75 
Eboni, 65 
Eidheann, 38 
Eidheann mu chrann, 38 
Eidheann thalmhuinn, 77 
Eigheann, 38 
Eitheann, 38 
Eil driuchd, 10 
Eitheach, 93 
Elebor, 3 
Elebor geal, 103 
Elefleog, 84 
Ellea, 57 

Eanacb gharaidh, 51 
Eo, 101 
Edrna, 1T9 

Faidbhile, 93 

Fail chuacb, 10 

Failtean fionn, 125 

Fanaisge, 10 

Falcaire, 81 

Falluing Mhuire, 30 

Faracb dubh, 72 

Faochag, 67 

Farusgag, 54 

Fathan, 56 

Faighleadh, 38 

Fead, 113 

Feada coille, 17 

Feleastar, 104 

Fealla bog, 40 

Feallair, 40 

Feamainn, 34, 132 

Feamainn bholgainn, 133 

Feamainn bhuidhe, 132 

Feamainn dubh, 132 
Feamainn dearg, 132 
Feamainn chirean, 132 
Feanndag, 89 
Faran, 107 
Fearban, 2 
Fearn, 95 
Fearra-dbris, 29 
Fearsaideag 7 
Feith, feithlog, fethlen, 47 
Feireag, foireag, eireag, 27 
Feoran curraidh, 77 
Feneulathach, 44 
Feur uisge, 120 
Feur gortach, 120 
Feur sithein, 120 
Feur choinein, 120 
Feur chaorach, 121 
Feur lochan, 137 
Feur a' phuint, 122 
Fhogair, lus an, 86 
Fhograidh, lus an, 4, 14 
Fiadh roidis, 7 
Fiadhain, craobh, 47 
Fiacal leomhainn, 51 
Fiatghal, 21 
Fige, fighis, 91 
Fineal-chumhthra, 41 
Fineal sraide, 43 



Fineal Mhuire, 8" 

Finemhain, foot note, 97 

Fiodh thine, 100 

Fiodh sbeudar, 100 

Fiodhag, 24 

Fiona, crann, 15 

Fionnsgoth, 38 

Fionnan geal, 38 

Fionnag,lus na, 87 

Fionnlach, 129 

Fioran, 116 

Fiorthan, 116 

Fiormann, 121 

Fir chrann, 15 

Fideagcham, 117 

Fithreach, 135 

Fleann uisge, 2 

Fliir a' Phrionnsa, 69 

Flige, 12 

Fliodh, 12 
Fliodh an tugha, 6 

Fliodh mdr, 43 

Fliodh bhalla, 46 

Fochas, 13 

Foghnan, fothannan, 53 

Foghnan beannuichte, 53 

Foinne lus, 88 

Fola, lus na, 60 

Foilt chiabh, 107 

Folachdan, 43 

Follasgain, 2 

Fonndan, 53 

Fothannan beannuichte, 53 

Fothrds, 5 

Fotrum, 72 

Fraing, lus na, 59 

Fraoch, 61, 62 

Fraoch ruinnse, 61 

Fraoch Frangach, 61 

Fraoch bhadain, 62 

Fraoch dearrrsain, 62 

Fraoch mara, 136 

Fraoch spreadanach, 62 

Fraoch Eirionnach, 62 

Fraoch Dhaboch, 62 

Fraoch geal, 63 

Fraoch nam'Meinnearach, 63 

Fualactar, 41 

Fualachdtar, 71 

Fuath muic, 108 

Fuath gorm, 69 

Fuath mhadhaidh, 3 

Fuile thalmhuinn, 2 

Fuinnseag coillie, 32, 61 

Fuinnseann, 66 

Fuinnseach, 34 

Fuinnseagal, 34 

Furran, 93 

Gabhann, gafann, 70 
Gacbar, 111 
Gainnisg, 116 
Gair cean, 2 
Gairleach colluid, 8 
Gairgean cregach, 43 
Gairgean, 106 
Gairleag, 106 
Gairleach col laid , 8 
Gairleag Mhuire, 107 
Galluran, 42 
Gall pheasair, 21 
Gall chn<5, 18 
Gall sheileach, 97 
Gall sheilisdear, 116 
Gall uinseann, 33 



152 



Gallan m<5r, 56 

Gallan greannchair, 56 

Gaoicin cuthigh, in 

Garbhag an t-sleibhe, 128 

Garbhag garaidh, 75 

Garbh lus, 47 

Garbhraitheach, 8 

Gath, 39 

Gath dubh, 77 

Gath buidhe, 77 

Gath mor, 77 

Gaul, 98 

Geald ruidhe, 10 

Geal sheileach, 98 

Gealag lair, 105 

Geanais, 24 

Geamn chnd fhiadhaich, 96 

Geur-bhileach, 30 

Geur dheaic, 64 

Geur neimh, 88 

Gille guirmein, 50 

Gille mu lunn, 136 

Giolceach sleibhe, 19 

Gilleach a fionn, 67 

Glorradan, 67 

Giuthas, 99 

Giuthas geal, 99 

Giuthas Sasunnach, 99 

Giuthas Lochlannach, 99 

Giuthas uaine, 100 

Giuran (Cow parsnip), 44 

Ghlinne, lus, 89 

Glan ruis, 71 

Glas, lus, 6 

Glas fheur, 122 

Glasag, 135 

Glas leun, 138 

Glas lann, 36 

Glas-tugha, 113 

Glaisair coille, 78 

Gledran, 7 

Gloiris, 77 

Gluineach lusan, 85 

Gluineach uisge, 86 

Gluineach dearg. 86 

Gluineach beag, 86 

Gluineach dubh, 86 

Gluineach m<5r, 86 

Gluineach teth, 86 

Gna-ghorm, lus, 16 

Gnabh, luibh, 55 

Gobhal luachair, 115 

Goin fheur, 122 

Goirteag, 31 

Gorman, 54 

Gorman searradh (Pansy), 44 

Gorm dhearc, 29 

Gorm liath, 56 

Gooneleg (Comisk\ 62 

Graban, 55 

Grabhan dubh, 77 

Grabhan ban, 77 

Grabhan nan clach, 36 

Gradh is fuath, 142 

Grainnseag, 63 

Grainnseag dubh, 63 

Grain aigein, 2 

Gran dubh, lus na, 40 

Gran lachlan, in 

Gran ubhal, 34 

Greaban, 25 

Greim an Diabhail, 49 

Grian ros, 10 

Grigleann, 120 

Griobharsgaich, 137 



Griolojgin, 43 

Grobais, 13 

Groban, 55 

Grolla, lusan, 71 

Groseag, 36 

Gruag Mhuire, z 

Grunnasg, 57 

Guis, 46 

Guannachan sputain, 44 

Guirmean, 6 

Gurmean, gille, 54 

Huath or Uath, 31 

Iadh lus, 68 
Iadh shlat, 47 
Iadh-shlat thalmhuinn, 76 
Ibhig, 124 
Iallain, 38 
Inde-Indeach, 91 
Inite, luibh, 50 
Ionntag, 89 
Ionntag bhan, 77 
Ionntag mharbha, 77 
Ionntag dhearg, 77 
Ionntag Ghreugach, 20 
Isop, 76 
Iteodha, 40 

Iubhar, iuthar, ioi, 142 
lubhar thalmhuinn, too 
Iubhar nan creig, 100 
Iubhar beinne, 100 

Kiunid fea ash chree, 20 
Killeen, 136 
Keym-Chreest, 68 

Labhras, 85 

Laoihhrail, 85 

Lach cheann ruadh, 5 

Lachan, 117 

Lachan nan damh, 113 

Lail, 108 

Laireag, 99 

Lamhad cat leacain, 37 

Langa, 63 

Langadair, 137 

Laoch, lus nan, 36 

Laogh, lus nan, 36 

Laoibheach, luibh, 11 

Lasair leana, 2 

Leac, lus an, 71 

Leadan, liodan an fhucadair, 46 

Leadan liosda, 52 

Leamhadh, 13 

Leamhnach, 26 

Leamhan, 91 

Leamhan bog, 94 

Leanartach, 26 

Leanna, lus an 90 

Learmann. 114 

Lear uinnean, 108 

Leasaich, lus an, 48 

Leathach bhuidhe, 30 

Leicis, 106 

Leigis, 106 

Leolaicheann, 22 

Leum a' chrann, 47 

Leigheis, lus an, 88 

Lia, 58 

Liathan, 58 

Liatus, 50 

Liach loghar, 4 

Liach roda, 109 

Liach Brighide, 109 



Liath, lus, 54, 75 

Liath gdrm, craobh, 66 

Liach-lus-roid, 55 

Lili, lilidh, 105 

Lili bhuidhe an ui?ge, 4 

Lili nan gleann, 10 

Lili an Idn, 105 

Limoin, crann, 33 

Linnearach, 137 

Lin radharc, 71 

Liobhag, 109 

Liobhan, 91 

Lion, 12 

Lion na mna sith, 12 

Lion na h-aibhne, 2 

Lionn luibh, 90 

Liugair, luibh an, 43 

Liagaire, luibh an, 41 

Lochal, 70 

Lochain, plur an, 61 

Lothal, 70, 73 

Luachair, 113 

Luachar bog, 113 

Luachair coille, 114 

Luachair ghobhlach, 115 

Luan lus, 127 

Lubber-lub, 68 

Luibh a' chait, 55 

Luibh loibheach, n 

Luis, 32 

Luracnainn, 106 

Lus nam ban sith, 73 

Lus na Banrigh, Si 

Lus nam buadha, 57 

Lus bhainne, 11 

Lus Bheathaig, 78 

Lus a' bhallaidh, 90 

Lus bhalgaire, 73, 128 

Lus buidhe mdr, 9 

Lus bhuidhe Bealltuinn, 2 

Lus caitheamh, 48 

Lus a' cholamain, 3 

Lus nan cam-bhil, 53 

Lus caolach, 12 

Lus na ccnamh briste, 79 

Lus nan cluas, 37 

Lus a' choire, 45 

Lus a' chraois, 39 

Lus chrann -ceusaidh, 86 

Lus a' chrom-chinn, 104 

Lus ere, 71 

Lus chosgadh na fdla, 60 

Lus a' chridhe, 78 

Lus a' chrubain, 67, 141 

Lus nan cnapan, 72 

Lus a' chorrain, 125 

Lus an eallan, 16 

Lus nan gillean oga, 25 

Lusnagineil gorach, 108 

Lusan Albannach, 63 

Lus-yn-imleigh, 37 

Lus an ushtey vio, 3 

Lus an earnaich, 10 

Lus a* gharaidh, 37 

Lus a' ghlinr.e, 89 

Lus a' ghraidh, 83 

Lus an t-seann duine, 55 

Lus na fionnag, 87 

Lus na fola, 6 

Lus na Fraing, 59 

Lus gna-ghorm, 16 

Lus ghoinaich, 130 

Lus na h-oidhche, 69 

Lus na h-iighe, 35 

Lus nan laoch, 36 



i53 



Lus nan laogh, 36 

Lus nan leac, 71 

Lus an leasaich, 48 

Lus nan mial, 71, 7g 

Lus midhe, 79 

Lus mdr, 73 

Lus Mhic Cuimein, 41 

Lus Mhic righ Bhreatainn, 76 

Lus Mhic Raonail, 4 

Lus Mharsalidh, 76 

Lus na meala, 47 

Lus na nathraich, 76 

Lus na meall mdr, 13 

Lus nan cnamh, 43 

Lus Phara Iiath, 56 

Lus Phara Lisle, 56 

Lus na purgaid, 8g 

Lus a' phiobair. 76 

Lusra na geire boirnigh, 63 

Lus roddagagh, g8 

Lus lheihys, 106 

Lus a' pheubair, 76 

Lus na peighinn, 39 

Lus phione, 4 

Lus an righ, 75 

Lus riabhach, 71 

Lus roddagach, 98 

Lus leth-an-samhraidh, 8 

Lus an t-saoidh, 41 

Lus nan scorr, 78 

Lus siode, 116 

Lus an t-siabuinn, 11 

Lus an t-sicnich, 83 

Lus na sith chainnt, 35, Si 

Lus an t-seann duine, 55 

Lus taghta, 102 

Lus na ttuse, 75 

Lus na Spaine, 59 

Lus a' cholamain, 3 

Lus a' cramman doo, 54 

Lus ny nieisht, 70 

Mac gun athair gun mhathair, 1 10 

Mac-an-dogha, 52 

Machall uisge, 25 

Macball coille, 26 

Machall monaidh, 26 

Madar, 47 

Madar fraoch, 47 

Magairlin meirach, 102 

Maisteag, 33 

Malip, 15 

Maloimh, 13 

Mann, 121 

Maol dhearc, 92 

Maothan, 97 

Marag bhuidhe, 9 

Maraich, am, 6 

Marbh droighionn, 30 

Marbh dhruidh, 20 

Mathair an duilisg, 136 

Meacan budhe an t-sleibhe, 88 

Meacan dubh fiadhainn, 76 

Meacan each, 7 

Meacan a' chruidh, 44 

Meacan easa fiorine, 4 

Meacan ragaim, 60 

Meacan dubh, 79 

Meacan an righ, 43 

Meacan sleibhe, 3 

Meacan tobhach dubh, 52 

Meacan a tathabha, 105 

Meacan ruadh, 7 

Meal-bhuic, 89 

Meala, lus na, 47 



Mealoigfer corcuir, 120 

Meangach, 26 

Meanbh pheasair, 117 

Meanntas, 74 

Mearlag, 125 

Meath challtuinn, 55 

Meidil, crann, 30 

Meilbheag, 5 

Meirse, 41 

Meithan, 114 

Medir Mhuire, 21 

Meuran sith, 72 

Meuran nan daoine marbha, 73 

Meuran nan caiileachamarbha,73 

Mharsalaidh, lus, 76 

Mial, lus na, 79 

Midhe, lus, 79 

Mil mheacan, 13 

Mileid, 117 

Millsean monaidh, 72 

Millteach, milneacb, no 

Mil It each, uisge, 89 

Minon Mhuire, 30 

Minbharr, 40 

Minmhear, 40 

Min fheur, 121 

Mionag, 64 

Mionnt gharaidh, 74 

Mionnt arbhair, 74 

Mionnt each, 74 

Mionnt fiadhain, 74 

Mionnt coille, 74 

Mionntas chaisill, 90 

Miosach, 12 

Miortal, 34 

Miothag bhuidhe, 69 

Mircean, 134 

Mircean nam magh, 30 

Mirr, 45 

Mislean, 117 

Mislean uisge, 120 

Misimean dearg, 74 

Mdan, 79 

Modbalan dearg, 71 

Modhalan buidhe, 72 

Moin fheur, 123 

Mointeach liath, 123 

Mongach mhear, 40 

Mongaeh measga, 54 

Mbnog, 64 

Mbr fhliodh, 43 

Mor, lus, 73 

Moran, 37, 114 

Mormanta, 54 

Mor ran, 9 

M6than, yg 

Moth-uraich, 103 

Mucag, preas nam, 29 

Muchog, 73 

Mughard, 54 

Mugoman, 44 

Mmlceann, 42 

Muileog, 64 

Muinmhear, 40 

Muirlinn, 134 

Muisean, 80 

Mulabhar, 46 

Mulart, 46 

Mullach dubh, 54 

Muran, 44, 11S 

Mur droighionn, 29 

Mur dhraidhean, 29 

Mustard, 9 

Nathair lus, 76 



Nathrach, lus na, 79, 126 
Nead chailleach, 1 
Neamhnaid, 27 
Neandog, 89 
Neantog keogh, 77 
Neip, neup fiadhain, 9 
Neul uisge, 2 
Niansgoth, 54 
Nion, 66 
Noinean, 57 
Ne&inein m6r, 59 
Nebinein 'cladaich, 82 
Norn, 37 
Norp, 37 
Nuallach, 71 
Nuin, 66 

Obran, craobh, ig 

Odharach mhullaich, 49 

Odharan, 44 

Oidhche, lus na h-, 69 

Oigh, lus na h-, 35 

Oighreag, Oireag, 27 

Oinsean, 66 

Oir, 17 

Ola, oledh, 65 

Oladh, 6 S 

Oladh fiadhaich, 66 

Om, omna, 93 

Onen, 66 

Or mheas, ubhal, 33 

Orafoirt, 77 

Oraisd, orainis, 33 

Oragan, 76 

Orna, ng 

Orp, 37 

Oruin, 100 

Ouw, 39 

Pacbaran chapuill, 68 
Pailm, 102 
Paipean ruadh, 5 
Partainn dearg, 32 
Pearsal, 41 
Pearsal mhbr, 41 
Peighinn lus na, 39 
Peighinn rioghail, 74 
Petseag, 24 
Pesair, 21 

Pesair an arbhair, 21 
Pesair chapuill, 21 
Pesair dhubh, 21 
Pesair bhuidhe, 21 
Pesair nan luch, 21 
Pesair nam preas, zi 
Peur, 31 

Phara liath, lus, 56 
Phara Lisle, 56 
Phiobaire, lus, 76 
Phione, lus, 4 
Pincin, 8 
Pin chrann, 99 
Pis fiadhain, 21 
Pleanntrain, 15 
Plubairsin, 2 
Plumbas, 24 
Plumbas seargta, 24 
Plur na gaoithe, 1 
Pliir na greine, 10, 54 
Plur na cubhaig, 7, n 
Plur an Iochain, 61 
Pluran cluigeannach, 61 
Pobuill, 96 
Pobal, 56 
Pbnair, 21 



iS4 



Ponair airneach, 21 
Ponair chapull, 21, 68 
Pdnair churraigh, 68 
P6nair Fhrangach, 21 
Por-cochullach, 19 
Praiseach bhaidhe, 9 
Praiseach bhr&thair, 84 
Praiseach feidh, 6 
Praiseach fiadhain, 84 
Praiseach glas, 84 
Praiseach garbh, 9 
Praiseach mhin, 84 
Praiseach nam niara, 83 
Praiseach tragha, 6 
Preas deilgneach, 4 
Priobaid, 66 
Probach, 133 
Puinneag, 87 
Purgaid, lus na, 87 
Purpaidh, 84 

Rabhagach, 4. 147 

Racadal, 7. 138 

Radharcain, 71 

Raeimin radhairc, 71 

Ragaim, meacan, 60 

Raidleadh, 122 

Rail, railaidh, 93 

Raineach, 122 

Rainneach BheinnGhourdie,: 

Raineach nan crag, 123 

Raineach cruaidh, 123 

Raineach, frioth, 123 

Raineach chuilinn, 124 

Raineach, faile, 124 

Raineach, marc, 124 

Raineach madra, 124 

Raineach Mhuire, 125 

Raineach nan rodan, 124 

Raineach mh6r, 125 

Raineach rioghail, 126 

Raineach uaine, 125 

Raith, 123 

Ramh droighionn, 18 

Raonal, lus Mhic, 4 

Raosar dubh, 35 

Raosar dearg, 35 

Ras chrann sior uaine, 66 

Reagha maighe, 40 

Reagam, 40 

Raeimin radhairc, 71 

Rein an ruisg, 71 

Riabhach, lus, 71 

Riaghal cuil, 16 

Rial cuil, 16 

Rideog, rileog, g8 

Righ na coille, 93 

Righean righ, 16 

Rod, roide, 55, 9S 

Roibhe, 60 

Roille, 122 

Roisnin, 71 

Romhan, m 

R6s, 23 

R6s lacha, 111 

R 6s m&r, 75 

R6s Mhuire, 75 

R6s Mhairie, 75 

R6s Mairi fiadhaich, 64 

R6s an t-solais, 10 

Roineach mara, 136 

Rosir, 81 

Ruamh, ruain, 48 

Rue, rugh, ruibh, 1 

Rue atlpeach, 1 



Rue beg, 1 
Rue gharaidh, 1 
Ruideog, 9 
Ruidel, 16 
Ruinn ruise, 82 
Ruintealas, 122 
Ruis, 46 
Ruiteagan, 28 

Saidse, 75 
Saidse coille, 75 
Saidse fiadhain, 75 
Saileog, 97 
Sail bhuinne, 57 
Sail cuach, 10 
Sailigh Fhrancaigh, 98 
Saileog, 98 
Saimbnir, 42 
Samh, 16, 87 
Samh bo, 87 
Samhan, Joi 
Samharcan 80 
Saman, 81 
Saoidh lus an t', 41 
Sceallan, 9 
Sealbhag, 87 
Sealbhag na fiodha, 17 
Sealbhag nam fiadh, 87 
Seagal, 119 
Sealgag, sealgan, 87 
Seamar, 20 
Seamar ere", 71 
Seamar chapull, 20 
Seamhair Mhuire, 81 
Seamrag, 16 139 
Seamrag bhuidhe, 20 
Seangan, 20 
.Searbh lus, 53 
Searbhag mollis, 69 
Searraiche, 2 
Seasg, 116 
Seasgan, 117 
Seathbhog, 76 
Seicheir ghlan, 81 
Seileach, 97 
Seileach geal, 98 
Seileach an t-srutha, 98 
Seileachan, 34 
Seileachan buidhe, 81 
Seileachan Frangich. 34 
Seileastar, 103 
Seileastar gall, 116 
Seileastar amh, 116 
Seimhan, 114 
Seircean suirich, 52 
Seisg, mheirg, righ, in 
Seisg madraidh, 112 
Seomar bhan, 30 
Seud, 14 

Sgatbog fiadhain, 116 
Sgeachag preas nan, 30 
Sgeachag Mhuire, 60 
Sgeach chubhraidh, 29 
Sgeach mhadra, 29 
Sgealag, 9 

Sgeamh nan cloch, 123 
Sgeamh dharaich, 123 
Sgitheach dubh, 23 
Sgitheach geal, 30 
Seudar, 100 
Seudar, fiodh, 100 
Siabuin, lus an t-, 11 
Sian sleibhe, 73 
Sice, crann, 15 
Sicinich lus an t-, 83 



Sineamfheadha, 101 

Sinicin, 37 

Sinnsior, 101 

Siobaid, 106 

Siobhas, 122 

Siothan, an, 72 

Siorralach, 73 

Siris, 94 

Sitron, 33 

Sith, lus nam ban, 72 

Sith chainnt, 35 

Sithcainne, 81 

Siunas, 41 

Slabhcean, slabhagan, 1^5 

Slan lus, 75, 81 

Slap chail, 83 

Slat-mhara, 133 

Slat gorm, 69 

Sleamhan, 91 

Sleiggan-shleeu, 73 

Slochdan, 135 

Smalaig, lus na, 41 

Smearg, 29 

Smeartan, 134 

Smucan, 137 

Snaithe bhaitheadh, 35 

Sobh, 87 

Sobhrach, soghrach, 80 

Sobhrach geamhraidh, 81 

Soillse nan sul. 71 

Soirigh, soghrach, 80 

Spaine, lus na, 59 

Sparain, 134 

Spinach, 84 

Spiontag, 35 

Sporran, an, 6, 138 

Spuirse, 88 

Sradag, 90 

Sraidin, 6 

Sreang bogha, 19 

Sronamh, 106 

Sruthan na muc, 50 

Stalog, lus na, 90 

Stamh, 133 

Sturdan, 122 

Suthag, 27 

Siibh craobh, 28 

Siibh thalmhainn, 28 

Subhan laire, 28 

Subh, or sugh dharaich, 46 

Siibh nam ban sithe, 28 

Sughag, 20, 28 

Siucair, lus an t-, 51 

Suidheag, 28 

Suileog, 98 

Suirichean suirich, 52 

Surag, 17 

Sumark, 80 

Surabhan, 55 

Suramont, 55 

Suthag, 27 

Taga, 49 
Taghta, lus, 102 
Tamshae, 59 
Teanga mhin, 77 
Teanga na natDi'aich, 126 
Teanga coin, 79 
Teile, crann, 13 
Teinne Eagla, 37 
Tin gealach, 37 
Tir pin, 37 
Tlachd subh, 27 
Tonn a" chladaich, 82 
Torachas biadbain, 3 



155 



Torman, 75 
Traileach, 132 
Treabhach, 139 
Tri bhilean, 20 
Tri bhileach, 48, 68 
Tri ballan, 49 
Trioman, 131 
Trian tarran, xg 
Trom, 46 
Trombhoid, 73 
Trusgan, 30 
Tuiliop, xo8 



Tuilm, 0,3 
Tuir chis, 2 
Tuireann, 121 
Tuirseach, 12 
Tuise, 45, 75 
Tursarrain, 12 
Tursarranin, 12 
Trusgar, 136 
Uachdar, 79 
Uath, 31 
Ubhal, 31, 140 
Ucus, 13 



Ucus Frangach, 13 
Ucus fhiadhain, 13 
Uile ioc, 45 
Uillean, 57 
Uinnean, 106 
Uinnsean, 47, 66 
Ur uaine, 85 
Ur luachain, 113 
Ur thalmhainn, 125 
Ura bhallach, 49 
Urach bhallach, 102, 142 
Urach mhullaich, 49 



ENGLISH AND SCIENTIFIC. 



Acacia, 19 
Acer, 15 
Aceraceae, 15 
Achillea, 60, 141 
Aeon it urn, 3 
Acorus, in 
Adders' tongue, 126 
Adiantum, 125 
iEsculuSj 96 
/Egopodmm, 44 
Agaricus, 131 
Agrimony, 29 
Agrostis, 116 
Aira, 123 
Ajuga, 76 
A I an a, 134 
Alchemilla, 30 
Alder, 95 
Alexanders, 40 
Algae. 132 
Ahsma, no 
All-heal, 45 
Alliaria, 8 
Allium, 106 
Almond, 24 
Alnus, 95 
Aloe, 105 
Alopecurus, 117 
Alpine Ladies' mantle, 30 
Althaea, 13 
Amaranthus, 83 
Amaryllidacaee, 104 
Amentiferae, 92 
, Ammophila, 118 
Amygdalus, 24 
Anagallis, 81 
Andromeda, 64 
Anemone, 1 
Anethum, 43 
Angelica, 42 
Anthirrinum, 72 
Anthemis, 59 
Anthoxanthum, 117 
Anthriscusj 45 
Anthyllis, 21 
A pi urn, 40 
Apple, 31, 140 
Apricot, 24 
Aquilegia, 3 
Araliaceas, 38 
Arbutus, 63 
Archangel, 77 
Arctium, 51 
Arenaria, 12 



Aristolochia, 87 
Aristolochia fam., 89 
Armoracia rusticana, 1 
Armeria, 82 
Arrow-grass, no 
Artemisia, 54 
Artichoke, 54 
Arum, in 
Arundo, 117, 142 
Asarum, 87 
Ash, 66 

Ash (mountain), 32 
Asparagus, 109 
Aspen, 97 
Asperula, 48 
Asphodel bog, 107 
Asplenium, 125 
A. ceterach, 125 
A. trichomanes, 125 , 
A. marinum, 125 
A. ruta-muraria, 125 
A. aniantum, 125 
Athyrium, 1 25 
A triplex, 83 
Aurantiaceae, 33 
Auricula, 81 
Avena, 118 
Avens, water, 25 
Avens, common, 26 
Azalea, 63 

Baldmoney, 42 

Ballota, 77 

Barbarea. 139 

Barberry, 4 

Barley, 119 

Bay-tree, 85 

Beam-tree (pyrus), 33 

Bean, 21 

Bearberry (black), 64 

Bearberry (red), 63 

Beech, 93 

Beet, 83 

Belladona, 69 

Bellis, 57 

Berberidaceae, 4 

Beta, 83 

Betonica, Stachys, 78 

Betony, 78 

Betula, 95 

Bidens, 60 

Bilberry (whortleberry), 64 

Bindweed, 68 

Birch, 95 



Bird cherry, 24 

Bird's-foot trefoil, 20 

Bishop-weed, 44 

Bistort, 86 

Bitter-sweet, 69 

Bitter vetch, 21 

Blackberry (bramble), 28, 140 

Elack bindweed, 86 

Black horehound, 77 

Blackthorn, 23 

Bladder-fern, 123 

Blechnum, 123 

Bluebell, 61, 108 

Bluebottle, 54 

Bog-asphodel, 107 

Bog-berry, 64 

Bog-moss, 129 

Bog-myrtle, 98 

Boletus, 131 

Borage, 78 

Borago, 78 

Botrychium 126 

Box, 88 

Brake, 125 

Bramble, 28, 140 

Brassica, 8 

Briar (sweet), 29 

Briza, 120 
Brome grass, 119 

Brook-lime, 70 
Broom, 19 
Broom-rape, 73 
Bruise- wort, 11 
Brayacese, 129 
Buckbean, 68 
Buckthorn, 18 
Buckwheat (climbing), 86 
Bugle, 76 
Bugloss, 79 
Bullace, 24 
Bulrush, 115 
Bunium, 41 
Burdock, 52 
Bur marigold, 60 
Burnet, 30 
Bur-reed, 112 
Butcher's broom, 109 
Butterbur, 56 
Bnttercups, 2 
Butterwort, 79 
Buxus, 88 

Cabbage, 9 
Cakile, 9 



156 



Calamagrostis, 118 

Calamintha, 74 

Calluna, 62 

Caltha palustris, 3 

Calysteiga, 69 

Chamomile, 59 

Campanulaceae, 61 

Campion (red) 11 

Cane-grass, 118 

Capsella, 6, 138 

Caraway, 41 

Cardamine, 7 

Carduus, 52 

Carex, 116 

Carpinus, 94 

Carrot, 44 

Carum, 41 

Caryophyllacese, 11 

Castanea, 95 

Cat's-tail, in 

Cauliflower, 9 

Cedar, 100 

Celandine (common), 5, 147 

Celandine (lesser), 2 

Celastraceae, 17 

Celery (wild), 41 

Centaurea, 54 

Centaury, 68 

Charlock, 9, 139 

Chase-the-devil, 4 

Cheiranthus, 8 

Chelidonium, 5 

ChenopodiaceaE, 83 

Chenopodium vulvaria, 84 

Cherleria, 12 

Cherry, 24 

Chervil, 45 

Chestnut, 95 

Chick weed, 12 

Chicory, 51 

Chives, 107 

Chlora, 68 

Chondrus, 135 

Chorda, 136 

Chrysanthemum, 58 

Cnrysosplenium, 37 

Cicely (sweet), 45 

Cicuta, 40 

Cinquefoil, 27 

Circaea, 34 

Cistaceae, 9 

Cystopteris, 123 

C. fragalis, 124 

C. montana, 124 

Citrus, 33 

Citron. 33 

Clary, 75 

Cleavers, 47 

Cloudberry, 27 

Cochlearia, 6 

Colcbicum, 104 

Colt's-foot, 56 

Columbine, 3 

Comarum, 27 

Comfrey, 79 

Common cotton rose, 55 

Compositae, 50 

Conferva:, 137 

Coniferas, 98 

Conium, 40 

Convallaria, 105 

Convolvulacae, 68 

Convolvulus, 69 

Corrallina, 136 

Coriander, 45 



Cork-tree, 93 
Cornaceafi, 39 
Corn-cockle, n 
Cornel, 30 
Corn-marigold, 58 
Corn-sow thistle, 50 
Corn-thistle, S3 
Corn us, 39 
Corydalis, 6 
Cotton-grass, 115 
Cotton sedge, 115 
Cotyledon, 37 
Couch grass, 121 
Cow-berry, 64 
Cow-parsnip, 44 
Cowslip, 8j 
Crab-tree, 31 
Crambe. 6 
Cranberry, 64 
Cranesbifl, 16 
Crassulaceae, 36 
Crategus, 30 
Cress (water), 7 
Crithmum, 42 
Crocus, 104 
Crowberry, 87 
Cowfoot fam., 2 
Crucifera;, 6 
Cryptograms, 123 
Cuckoo-flower, 7 
Cuckoo-pint, m 
Cucumber. 89 
Cucurbitaceae, 89 
Cudbear, 130 
Cudweed, 55 
Cupuliferee, 92 
Currant, 35 
Cuscuta, 69 
Cyclamen, 81 
Cynoglossum, 79 
Cynosurus, 120 
Cyperceae, 114 
Cypress, 99 
Cystopteris, 123 
Cytisus, 19 

Dabeocia, 62 

Daffodi*, 104 

Daffy-down-dilly, 104 

Daisy, 57 

Damson, 24 

Dandelion, 50 

Danewort (elder), 46 

Daphne, 85 

Darnel, iz2 

Daucus, 44 

Deadly nightshade (atropa), 69 

Dead nettle, 77 

Devil-in-the bush, 3 

Devil's bit, 49 

Dewberry, 29 

Dictamnus, 76 

Digitalis, 72 

Dill, 43 

Dipsacea;, 49 

Dipsacus, 49 

Dittany, 76 

Dock, 86 

Dodder, 69 

Dog lichen, 133 

Dog's mercury (wood mercury), 

8 9 . 
Dog's tail, 120 
Dog-rose, 29 
Dog-violet, 10 



Dog- wood, 39 
Dropwort, 25 
Diosera, 10 
Dryas, 26 
Duckweed, no 
Dulse, 134 
Dwale, 69 
Dwarf beech, 95 
Dwarf elder, 46 
Dwarf mallow, 13 

Earth-nut, 41 

Echium, 79 

Elder, 46 

Elecampane, 57 

Elm, 91 

Empetrum, 87 

Enchantress nightshade, 34 

Endive, 51 

Epilobium, 34 

Epipactis, 103 

Equisetaceas, 128 

Eqmsetum, 128 

Erica, 61 

E. tetralix, 61 

E. cinerea, 62 

E.Hibernica, 62 

Ericaceae, 61 

Eriophorum, 115 

Ervum, 21 

Eryngium, 39 

Erysimum, 8 

Erythraea, 68 

Euonymus, 17 

Eupatorium, 60 

Euphorbiacea, 88 

Euphorbia, 88 

E. helioscopea, 88 

E. exigua, 88 

E. peplus, 88 

E. Hiberna, 88 

E. paralias, 88 
Euphrasia, 71 
Everlasting, 55 
Eyebright, 71 

Faba, 21 
Fairy flax, 12 
Fagus, 93 
Fennel, 41 
Fennel-giant, 44 
Fenugreek, 20 
Fern family, 123 
Ferula, 44 
Fescue grass, 121 
Festuca, 120 
Fever few, 59 
Ficus, 91 

F. Indica, 91 
Field madder, 47 
Fig, 91 
Figwort, 72 
Filago, 55 
Filices, 123 
Fiorin grass, 116 
Fir, 90 

Flag (yellow), 103 
Flax, 12 
Flixweed, 8 
Fcuniculum, 41 
Forget-me-not, 79 
Foxglove, 72 
Foxtail grass, 117 
Fragaria, 27 
Fraxinus, 66 



T 57 



French bean, 21 

French willow, 98 
Fucus,i33 
Fumaria, 5 
Fumariaceae, 5 
Fumitory, 5 
Fungi, 131 
Furze, iq 

Galanthus, 105 
Gale, 98 
Galeopsis, 77 
Galium, 47 
Garlic, 106 
Garlic mustard, 8 
Gentian, 67 
Gentianacea;, 67 
Geraniaceae, 16 
Geranium, 16 
Geum, 25 
Gilliflower, 8 
Glasswort, 83 
Glaucium, 5 
Globeflower, 22 
Glyceria, 120 
Gnaphalium, 55 
Golden rod, 61 
Golden saxifrage, 37 
Goldilocks, 2 
Good King Henry, 84 
Gooseberry, 36 
Goosefoot, 84 
Goosegrass (seaside), 83 
Gorse, 19 
Goutweed, 44 
Gramineae, 116 
Grape vine, 15 
Grass family, 116 
Grass-of-Parnassus, 38 
Grassrack (sea-grass), no 
Ground ivy, 76 
Groundsel, 56, 141 
Guelder rose, 46 

Harebell, 61 
Hare's-foot clover, 20 
Hart's-tongue fern, 125 
Halydris, 136 
Hawkweed, 61 
Hawkweed (mouse-ear), 50 
Hawthorn, 30 
Hazel, g4 
Heartsease, 10 
Heath, 64 
Heath bedstraw, 47 
Heath C Ornish, 62 
Hedera, 38 
Hedge mustard, 8 
Helianthemum, 10 
Hellebore (green), 3 
Hellebore, 3 
Helleborine (white), 103 
Helleborus, 3 
Helminthia, 50 
Helosciadium, 41 
Hemanthalia, 136 
Hemerocallese, io3 
Hemlock, 40 
Hemp, 90 
Hemp agrimony, 60 
Hemp nettle, 77 
Henbane, 70 
Heracleum, 44 
Herb Robert, 16 
Herniaria, 83 



Hepatica, 1 

Hieracium, 50 
Holcus, 121 
Holly, 65 
Holly fern, 124 
Hollyhock, 13 
Holm-tree, 93 
Holostea, 12 
Honeysuckle, 47 
Hop, 90 
Hop trefoil, 20 
Horedeum, 119 
Horehound, 77 
Hornbeam, 94 
Horse-cheatnut, 96 
Horse-radish, 7, 138 
Horse-tail, 128 
Hounds-tongue, 79 
House-leek, 37 
Hyacinth (wild), 108 
Hydrocotyle, 39 
Hyoscyamus, 70 
Hypericum, 13 
Hyssop. 76 
Ilex, 65 
Inula, 57 
Iridaceae, 103 
Iris, 103 
Isatis, 6 
Ivy, 38 

Jasione, 61 
Jessamine, 29 
Juglans, 18 
Juncaceae, 112 
J uncus, 112 
Juniper, 100 
Juniperus, 100 

Kale, 9 

Kidney vetch, 21 
Knapweed, 54 
Knautia, 50 
Knot-grass, 86 

Labi at a?. 74 
Laburnum, 19 
Lactuca, 50 
Lady fern, 125 
Ladies' bedstraw, 48 
Ladies' fingers, 21 
Ladies' mantle, 30 
Ladies' smock, 7 
Laminaria. 133 
Lamium, 77 
Lapsana, 51 
Larch, 99 
Lastrea, 124 
L. oreopteris, 124 
L. Felix mas, 104, 125 
L. Spinulosa, 1..4 
Lathyrus, 21 
Laurel, 85 
Lavender, 75 
Lecanora, 130 
Leek, 106 
Legummferae, 19 
Lemon, 33 
Lemna, no 
Lemnaceae, 110 
Lentiles, 21 
Leontodon, 5° 
Lepturus, 118 
Lepidium, 76 
Lettuce, 50 



Lichens, 129 
Ligusticum, 41 
Lilac, 66 
Liliacese, 105 
Lilium candidum, 105 
Lily-of-the-valley, 105 
Lime, 13 
Linaceffl, 12 
Linden, 13 
Ling, 63 
Linum, 12 
Listera, 102 
Liverwort, 129 
Lobelia, (water), 61 
Lolium, 122 
London pride, 37 
Lonicera, 47 
Loosestrife (purple), 35 
Loosestrife (yellow), 81 
Loranthaceae, 45 
Lords and ladies, in 
Lotus, 21 
Louse- wort, 71 
Lovage, 41 
Lovage (common), 41 
Lunaria (moonwort), 126 
Lungwort, 130 
Luzula, 114 
Lychnis, 11 
Lycoperdon, 131 
Lycopodiaceae, 128 
Lycopodium, 12S 
L. selago, 128 
L. clavatum, 128 
L. annoiinum, 128 
Lycopsis, 70 
Lysimachia, 81 
Lythraceae, 35 
Lythrum, 35 

Madder, 47 
Maiden-hair fern, 125 
Male fern, 124 
Mallow, 13 
Malva, 13 
Malvaceae, 13 

Mandragora (Mandrake), 70 
Mangel-wurzel, 83 
Maple, 15 
Maram, 118 
Marchantiaceae, 129 
Marigold (corn), 58 
Marjoram, 76 
Marrubium, 77 
Marsh cinquefoil, 27 
Marsh-mallow, 13 
Marsh-marigold, 2 
Marsh-pennywort, 39 
Marsh-thistle, 53 
Mastic tree, 33 
Mary's thistle, 53 
Marshwort, 41 
Masterwort, 43 
Mat-grass, 122 
Matricaria, 59 
Matthiola, 8 
May (hawthorn), 30 
Mayweed, 59 
Meadow-rue, 1 
Meadow saffron, 104 
Meade w-sweet, 25 
Meadow saxifrage, 37 
Medlar, 30 

Melancholy thistle, 52 
Meion, 89 



T58 



Mentha, 74 
Menyanthes, 68 
Mercurialis, 89 
Mercury (wood), 89 
Mespilu s , 30 
Meu, 42 
Meum, 42 
Mildew, 132 
Milfoil (water), 35 
Milkwort, n 
Millet, 117 
Mint, 74 
Mistletoe, 45 
Molinia, 119 
Monkshood, 3 
Monk's rhubarb, 87 
Moonwort, 126 
Morus, 92 
Mosses, 129 
Moulds, 132 
Mountain.ash, 32 
Mountain bladder fern, 123 
Mountain" sorrel, 87 
Mucedo, 132 
Mugwort, 54 
Mulberry, 92 
Mullein, 70 
Mushrooms, 131 
Mustard (wild), 9 
Myosotis, 79 
Myrica, 98 
MyriophyJlum, 35 
Myrrhis, 45 
Myrtle, 34 

Naiad family, 109 
Narcissus, 104 
Nard (Celtic), 49 
Nardus, 122 
Narthecium, 107 
Nasturtium, 7 
Navelwort, 37 
Nepeta, 76 
Nerium. 85 
Nettle, 89 
Nicotiana, 70 
Nigella, 4 
Nightshade, 69 
Nipplewort, 51 
Nuphar, 4 
Nymphaeaceae, 4 

Oak, 92 
Oak fern, 123 
Oats, 118 
Olea, 65 
Oleander, 85 
Olive, 65 
Onion, 106 
Ononis, 19 
Onopordon, 52 
Ophioglossum, 126 
Ophrys, 102 
Orache, 84 
Orange, 33 
Orchidacese, 102 
Orchid fam., 102 
Origanum, 76 
Orobanche, 73 
Orobus, 21 
Orpine, 36 
Osier, 97 
Osmunda, 126 
Oxalis, 16 
Ox-eye daisy, 59 



Ox -tongue, 79 

Palmac, 102 
Psconia, 4 
Paeony, 4 
Pansy, 10 
Papaver, 5 
Papaveraceae, 5 
Papilionacese, 19 
Parietaria, 90 
Paris, 105 
Parmelia, 130 
Parnassia, 38 
Parsley, 41 
Parsnip, 43 
Pastinaca, 43 
Pea, 2i 
Peach, 24 
Pear, 31 
Pedicularis, 71 
Pellitory, gj 
Pellitory of Spain, 59 
Peltidea, 130 
Pennyroyal, 74 
Pennywort, 39 
Pennycress, 6 
Peplis (Euphorbia), 88 
Pepjperwort, 76 
Periwinkle, 67 
Persicaria, 86 
Petasites, 56 
Petroselinum, 41 
Phleum, 117 
Phoenix, 102 
Phyllodoce, 63 
Pignut, 41 
Pimpernel, 81 
Pinguicula, 79 
Pine, 99 
Pine family, 99 
Pinus, 99 
Pistacia, 33 
Pisum, 21 
Plane, 15 

PlantaginacesB, 82 
Plantago, 82 
Platanus, 15 
Plum, 24 

PlumbaginaceEB, 82 
Porphyra, 135 
Polyanthus, 81 
Polygalaceae, n 
PolygonacesB, 85 
Polygonum, 85 
Polygonatum, 106 
Polypodium, 123 
Polypody, 123 
Polyporus, 132 
Polysiphonia, 136 
Polystichum, 124 
Pomegranate, 34 
Pond- weed, 109 
Poplar, 96 
Poppy, 5 

Poppy (horned), 5 
Poppy (somniferum). 5 
Populus, 96 
Potamogeton, 109 
Potato, 69 
Potentil, 26, 139 
Primrose, 80 
Primrose fam,, 80 
Primula, 80 
Primulacece, 80 
Privet, 66 



Prunella, 78 
Prunus, 24 
Psamma, 118 
Pteris, 125 
Puff-ball, 131 
Pulmonaria, 130 
Punica, 34 
Purple loosestrife, 35 
Purslane-like orache, 84 
Pyrus, 31 

Quick beam (Pyrus aria), 33 
Queen of the meadow, 25 
Quaking-grass, 120 
Quercus, 92 
Quince, 33 

Radish, 7, 138 

Ragged robin, ir 

Ragwort, 57 

Ranunculaceae, 1 

Ranunculus family, 1 

Raphanus, 7 

Raspberry, 28 

Rattle (yellow), 72 

Red campion, n 

Red rattle, 71 

Reed, I16 

Reed-grass, 117, 142 

Reed-mace, 112 

Reseda, 9 

Resedacesa, 9 

Rest-harrow, 19 

Rhamnus, 18 

Rhinanthus, 72 

Rhodiola, ^sedum), 36 

Rhodymema, 134 

Rhubarb (Monk's), 87 

Ribes family, 35 

Ribwort, 82 

Rocket (sea), 7 

Rocambole, 107 

Rock-rose, 10 

Rosacea, 23 

Rosebay, 34 

Rosemary 75 

Roseroot, 36 

Rowan-tree, 32 

Royal fern, i26 

Rubia, 47 

Rubiaceffi, 47 

Rubus, 27 

Rue, 1 

Rue fern, 125 

Rumex, 86 

Rupture-wort, 83 

Ruscus, 109 

Rush family 112 

Ruta (graveolens), 1 

Rye, 119 

Rye-grass, 122 

Saffron, 104 

Sage, 75 

St. John's wort, 13 

Salicaria, 35 

Salicornia, 83 

Salix, 97 

Sallow, 96 

Salt-wort, 85 

Sambucus nigra, 46 

Samphire, 41 

Sandalwood (Fiodk Ahnug) 

Sandwort, 12 

Sanguisorba, 30 



r 59 



Sanicle (wood), 39 

Santalum (Sandalwood) 

Saponaria, ix 

Sargassum, 136 

Sarothamnus, 19 

Sauce-alone, 8 

Savin, 101 

Savory, 75 

SaxifragaeaB, 37 

Saxifrage, 37 

Scabiosa, 49 

Scabious, 49 

Schoenus, 114 

Scilla, 108 

Scirpus, 114 

Scolopendnum, 125 

Scouring rush, 129 

Scrophularia, 72 

Scrophularicese, 70 

Scurvy-grass, 6 

Sea gilly-flower rocket, 7 

Sea holly, 39 

Sea-kale or cabbage, 9 

Sea matweed, 1 1 8 

Sea rocket, 7 

Sea spurge, 88 

Seaweeds, 132 

Sea wheat-grass, 122 

Seaware, 132 

Secale, ng 

Sedge, 116 

Sedum, 36 

Selago, 128 

Self-heal, 78 

Sempervirum, 37 

Senecio, 56 

Serrated seaweed, 133 

Service tree, 33 

Shallot, 107 

Shamrock, 16, 20, Si, 139 

Sheep's-bit, 61 

Sheep sorrel, 87 

Shepherd's-purse, 6, 138 

Shepherd's weatherglass, 81 

Shieldfern, 124 

Silverweed, 26 

Sin a pis, 9 

Sisymbrium, 8 

Sium, 43 

Skirrets, 26, 43 

Sloe, 23 

Smallage, 41 

Snapdragon, 72 

Snakeweed, 86 

Sneezewort, 60 

Snowdrop, 105 

Soapwort, n 

Soft tinder, 132 

Solanacera, 69 

Solarium, 69 

Solidago, 61 

Sonchus, 50 

Sorrel, 87 

Southernwood, 55 

Sow-bread (cyclamen), 81 

Sow-fennel, 43 

Sow-thistle, 50 

Sphagnum, 129 

Sparganium, 112 

Spearwort, 2 

Speedwell, 71 

Spergula, 11 

Spignel, 42 



Spinage (wild), 84 

Spindle-tree, 17 

Spiraea, 25 

Spleenwort, 125 

Spurge, 88 

Spurry, n 

Squill, 108 

Stachys, 78 

Stellaria, 12 

Sticta, 130 

Stinking Mayweed, 59 

Stitch wort, 12 

Stonebramble, 28 

Stonecrop, 36 

Strawberry, 28 

Strawberry-tree, 64 

Subularia, 9 

Suffida, S3 

Succisa (sLabiosa), 49 

Succory, 51 

Sundew, 10 

Sunflower, 54 

Sweet briar, 29 

Sweet flag, m 

Sweet mountain fern, 124 

Sweet violet, 10 

Sweet woodruff, 48 

Sycamore, 15 

Symphytum, 79 

Syringa, 66 

Tanacetum, 59 
Tansey, 59 
Taraxacum, 50 
Taxus, 101 
Tea, 70 
Teasel, 49 
Telephium, 36 
Teucrium, 75 
Thalictrum, 1 
Thistle, 52 
Thlaspi, 6 
Thrift, 82 
Thuga, 100 
Thyme, 76 
Thymus, 76 
Tilia, 13 
TiliaceEB, 13 
Timothy grass, 117 
Tormentilla, 26 
Trefoil, 20 
Trichomanes, 125 
Trigonella, 20 
Trifolium, 20 
Triglochin, no 
Triticum, 121 
Trollius (footnote), 22 
Truffle, 131 
Tufted vetch, 21 
Tuber, 131 
Tulip, 108 
Turnip, 8 

Turpentine tree, 34 
Tussilago, 56 
Tutsan, 14 
Twayblade, 102 
Typha, in 
Typhaceaa, in 

Ulex, 19 
Ulmus, 91 
Ulva, 135 
Umbelhferse, 39 



Urtica, 89 
Urticaceae, 89 

Vaccinium. 64 
Valerian, 48 
Valerian dwarf, 49 
Valeriana, 48 
Verbascum, 70 
Verbena, 73 
VerbenacesB, 73 
Vernal-grass, 117 
Veronica, 70, 71 
Vervain, 73 
Vetch, 21 

Viburnum opulus, 46 
Vicia, 21 
Viola family, 10 
Violacese, 10 
Viper's bugloss, 79 
V'iscum album, 45 
Vitis, 15 
Vine, 15 
Vinca, 67 

Wake-robin, in 
Wall hawkweed, 50 
Wallflower, 8 
Wall pepper, 36 
Wall-pennywort, 37 
Wall rue fern, 125 
Walnut, 18 
Water crowfoot, z 
Watercress, 7 
Water elder, 46 
Water hemlock, 40 
Water-lily, 4 
Water-milfoil, 35 
Water parsnip, 43 
Water pepper, 86 
Water plaintain, no 
Water avens, 25 
Wayfaring tree, 47 
Weld, 9 
Wheat, 121 
Whin, 19 
White tansy, 26 
White thorn, 30 
Wortleberry, 64 
Wild navew, 9 
Willow, 97 
Willow herb, 34 
Win berry (bilberry), 64 
Wind-flower, 1 
Winter cress, 139 
Woad, 6 
Wolfsbane, 3 
Woodbine, 47 
Woodruff, 48 
Wood sage, 75 
Wood sorrel, 16 
Wood strawberry, 27 
Wormwood, 55 
Woundwort, 78 

Yarrow, 60, 141 
Yellow flag, 103 
Yellow bedstraw, 48 
Yellow-weed, 9 
Yellow rattle, 72 
Yellow vetching, 21 
Yellow-wort, 68 
Yew, 101 
Zostera, no 



i6o 



CLAN BADGES. 



Alpin, Clan, 


99 


MacKintosh, 


89 


Buchanan, 


65,95 


MacLachlan, - 


33, 67 


Cameron,- 


93 


MacLaren, 


85 


Campbel!, 


98 


MacLean, 


29,88 


Clan Chattan, 


64. 


MacLeod, 


IOI 


Colquhoun, 


63.94 


MacMillan, 


65 


Donnachaidh, 


62 


MacNab, - 


29 


Ferguson, 


10 


MacNeill, 


26 


Forbes, 


- 19 


MacPherson, - 


- 89 


Fraser, 


- IOI 


Macrae, - 


- 128 


Gordon, - 


39 


Menzies, - 


67 


Gunn, 


36 


Munro, 


128 


Hay, 


46 


Murray, - 


- IOI 


Lamont, - 


26,32 


Ogilvie, - 


- 31 


MacAulay, 


64 


Oliphant,- 


- is 


MacDonald, 


63 


Robertson, 


62 


MacDougall, 


100 


Rose, 


64 


MacFarlane, 


28 


Ross, 


• IOI 


MacGregor, 


99 


Sinclair, - 


20 


Mackay, - 


H5,i43 


Stuart, - 


- 54 


MacKenzie, 


"5 


Sutherland, 


109, 116 


MacKinnon, 


14 








Archibald Sinclair, Printer, Glasgow. 



..... . • . . .. 



Ss