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Wayside and Woodland 












THE purpose of this volume is to assist a very large and 
increasing class of persons who possess a strong love of 
flowers, but to whom the ordinary " Floras " indispensable as 
they are to the scientific botanist are as books written in an 
unknown tongue. With the enormous increase of our town 
populations, and the greater facilities for home travel, there 
has grown up a truer appreciation of the country and of all 
that is beautiful in nature ; and it is hoped that this work may 
be of service to those who thus steal back to the arms of their 
Mother, but have not time or inclination to spell out and pain- 
fully translate the carefully-made terms of the exact descrip- 
tions which learned men have written for the use of the 
scientific student. Such terms are absolutely necessary, for 
the things they describe were unknown to our Celtic and 
Saxon forefathers, who would otherwise have left us names for 
them which would now be familiar words to all. In a work 
like the present such words could not be entirely avoided, but 
they have been used sparingly, and in a manner that will not 
involve continual reference to a dictionary of scientific terms. 


The Author's aim has been to write a book that, whilst it 
satisfied the rambler who merely wishes to identify the flowers 
by his path, might also serve as a stepping-stone to the floras 
of Hooker, Bentham, and Boswell-Syme ; so that should the 
interest of any reader be sufficiently awakened he may take up 
the more serious study of either of these authors without 
having to unlearn what this modest pocket-book may have 
taught him. At the same time he will here find information on 
many points of great interest, such as are rarely, if ever, 
noticed in the " Floras." 

When it is stated that the "London Catalogue of British 
Plants " meaning only the flowering plants and ferns 
includes nearly 1,700 species, it will be understood that an in- 
expensive work for the pocket of the rambler can only give 
figures of a few of these ; but the Author has tried to so use 
the 1 80 plants delineated that they may serve as a key to a 
much greater number of species. He regrets that technical 
difficulties connected with colour-printing and binding have 
made it impossible to carry out his original plan of grouping 
the plants according to their natural affinities ; instead, he 
has had to arrange them more in seasons, a course which, 
after all, may be preferred by the rambler, who will thus find 
in contiguous pages the flowers he is likely to meet in the 
course of one ramble. The more scientifically inclined may 
find the species enumerated in the Natural Orders at the end 
of the work (page 153). 

Several of the black and white figures are of trees which are 
not natives, but from the frequency with which they are now 
planted in woods and parks the question of their identity is 


constantly troubling the rambler, and it seems well to give him 
the power to decide what they are. 

In conclusion, the Author would but express the hope that 
the present volume may receive a similarly encouraging 
reception to that which has been accorded to his previous 
efforts to popularize one of the most delightful branches of 
human knowledge. 


The Daisy (Bettis perennis). 

So widely distributed and well known is this plant that sur- 
prise may be felt at its inclusion here ; but its perfect familiarity 
marks it as a capital type of the important natural order to 
which it belongs. What is commonly known as the flower is 
really a corymb or level-topped cluster of many densely-packed 
florets of two kinds. Those of the central yellow disc consist 
each of a tubular corolla, formed by the union of five petals, 
within which the five anthers unite to form a sheath round the 
central pistil. The outer or ray-florets have the corolla 
developed into an irregular white flag, which at once renders 
the composite flower conspicuous and pretty. These outer 
florets produce pistils only, as though the extra material 
necessary for the production of the white flag had made 
economy in other directions a necessity, and had prevented the 
development of anthers and pollen. 

This is the only British species of its genus, which derives its 
name from the Latin Bellus, pretty. Its second, or specific 
name signifies that the plant lives for several years. It flowers 
nearly all the year round, and occurs generally in grassy places 
throughout the British Islands. 

The Natural Order Composite* to which Bellis belongs, includes 


Bellis perennis. 

Cowslip. Paigle. 

Primula veris. 


no less than forty-two British genera, which are divided into two 
series. Several of these genera will be illustrated and described 
in succeeding pages, but in all the flower-heads will be found to 
be constructed in the main after the manner of the Daisy. 
Some will be found to have no ray-florets, others to be com- 
posed entirely of ray-florets ; and all these modifications of the 
type give the distinctive characters to the various genera. 

The Cowslip or Paigle (Primula veris). 

In April and May in clayey meadows and pastures through- 
out England and Ireland the Cowslip is abundant ; in Scotland 
rare. The flowers are of a rich yellow hue, and funnel-shaped, 
the five petals being joined to form a long tube. They are 
borne on short pedicels, a number of which spring from a long, 
stout, velvety stalk, three to six inches high. At the bottom of 
the tube is the globose ovary, surmounted by the pin-like style 
with the spreading stigma at the top. The five stamens are 
attached to the walls of the tube in some flowers half-way 
down, in others at the top. In the first form the style is very 
long, so that the stigma comes to the top of the tube ; in the 
second the style is short, and the stigma reaches half-way up 
only. The flowers are consequently termed dimorphic^ and the 
two forms are borne on separate plants. 

Though these two forms had long been known to country 
children as " pin-eyed " and " thrum-eyed" respectively, it re- 
mained for Charles Darwin to point out the significance of this 
variation, which is to ensure cross-fertilization by the visits of 
insects. A bee pushing its tongue to the bottom of a long- 
styled flower in search for honey would have its tongue dusted 
with pollen half-way down, and on visiting a short-styled flower 
some of this pollen would be sure to become detached by the 
sticky stigma at the same height ; and vice versd. The reader 
may prove this experimentally by selecting flowers of the two 


forms, and gently thrusting a grass stem into one after the 
The other native species of the genus Primula are : 

The Primrose (P. vulgaris) with inflated calyx and large //<?-yellow corollas on 
long pedicels. The thick stalk of the cowslip is not developed here, but hidden 
amid the leaf-stalks. Copses and hedge banks, April and May. 

The Oxlip (P. elatior). Calyx less inflated, corolla pale, like primrose ; pedicels 
shorter ; thick stalk developed and long like cowslip. Confined to counties of Bed- 
ford, Cambridge, Suffolk and Essex. Copses and meadows, April and May. 

The Bird's-eye Primrose (P. farinosa). The three former species have wrinkled 
leaves ; this and the next have not, but theirs are very mealy underneath. Flowers 
pale purple- lilac with a yellow eye. Bogs and meadows from York northwards. 
Very rare in Scotland. June and July. Dimorphic like the foregoing. 

The Scottish Primrose (P. scotica). Similar to Bird's-eye, but not half the size, 
though stouter in proportion. Flowers purple- blue with yellow eye. Not dimorphic. 
Pastures in Orkney, Caithness and Sutherland, June to September. 

Name from Latin Primuhts, first. 

The Wood Anemone or Windflower (Anemone 

One of the earliest of spring-flowers to greet us in the copse, 
by the woodside and in upland meadows is this bright-faced 
flower. Its firm, fleshy, almost woody rootstock creeps just 
below the surface of the mossy soil, and rapidly sends up its 
stems with folded leaves and drooping buds, after one or two 
genial days. 

The Anemones constitute the genus Anemone of the natural 
ordera Ranunculaceas, and are characterized by having no corolla 
(petals). Instead, the six sepals (calyx) are coloured in this 
case a very delicate pink- washed white inside, lightly tinged with 
purple outside. As a rule the stem bears three leaves, each split 
up into three leaflets, which are deeply toothed. Flowers from 
late March till early June. The name is derived from the Greek 
anemos the wind and was given because it was believed to 
open its buds only when the winds were blowing. Richard 
Jefferies, curiously ignoring the meaning of the word, entitled 
,1 chapter in one of his earlier works " Wind Anemones." 


Wood Anemone. 

Anemone nemorosa. 

Sweet Violet. 

Viola odorata. 


There is one other native species : 

The Pasque-flower (A. pulsatWa). Blossoms before the leaves mature. Flowers 
dull purple ; exterior covered with silky hairs ; leaves also silky. Fruit, httle nut- 
lets (achenes) provided with long feathered awns, with which they float on the wind 
when ripe. Flowers, May and June, on chalk downs and limestone pastures in 
Essex and Gloucestershire, and from York to Norfolk. 

The Sweet Yiolet (Viola odoratd). 

One of the most valued flowers of spring in cities is the 
cultivated violet, and the rambler from town considers himself 
fortunate if he comes upon a sheltered bank whereon the wild 
Sweet Violets grow. We need not dwell at any length upon 
the special characters of this species, for its possession of sweet 
perfume is sufficient alone to separate it from the related species 
comprised in the genus Viola. 

It will be seen to have a short rootstock, and to give off 
runners. The leaves are broadly heart-shaped, and have a way 
of enlarging after the plant has flowered a characteristic 
shared by the Marsh Violet and the Hairy Violet. The flowers 
vary in colour ; they may be blue, reddish-purple, or white. 
The petals are unequal in size and shape, there being two pairs 
and an odd one. This is larger than the others, and is pro- 
duced backwards as a short hollow spur. It is really the 
uppermost of the five petals, but, owing to the flower-stalk 
(peduncle] invariably bending over near the summit, it appears 
to us always as the lowest. 

A careful examination of the form and mechanism of the 
essential organs of this genus will be well repaid by the light 
thrown upon Nature's methods to secure the continuity of 
species. The style on arising from the ovary is thin and bent, 
but gradually expands until the stigmatic surface is very broad 
in comparison. The stamens surround the style, the anthers so 
closely touching each other laterally that they enclose a space 
in which the ovary and style occupy the centre, and from which 

B 2 


the stigma protrudes. The anthers shed their pollen, which is 
dry, into this space. Two of the stamens send out each a long 
tail into the hollow petal-spur, which secretes honey from its tip. 
The reason why the flower-stalk bends . over is, that the 
stigma may hang down instead of being erect. A bee smells 
the honey and alights on the odd petal. The dark lines con- 
verging to the spur show where the honey lies, but the thick- 
headed stigma blocks the way. Thrusting in his tongue, the 
bee pushes the stigma aside with his head, which is the more 
easily accomplished owing to the thin base of the style. But 
this act also disarranges the anthers, and as a result the loose 
pollen drops out upon his hairy head, where it will come in 
contact with the viscid stigma of the next violet he visits. In 
this way an occasional cross is effected that the vigour of the 
race may be maintained, but for ordinary purposes of repro- 
duction the violet has a more economical method. When the 
spring season is over the violet ceases to furnish flowers got up 
for show, and sets about producing buds which will never open 
(cleistogamous). These are without petals, and contain nothing 
but the essential organs ; the anthers produce only enough 
pollen to fertilize the ovules in the ovary, which then develop 
into perfect seeds. 

Viola odorata is found truly wild only in the S. and E. 
of England, and possibly the E. of Ireland ; but it is natural- 
ized in many other parts of the kingdom. Flowers, March to 
May. The name Viola is Latin, and is that by which the 
ancients knew it. There are six other British species, which 
will be found enumerated on page 58. 

The Lesser Periwinkle (Vinca minor). 

The Lesser Periwinkle is perhaps more familiarly known as a 
garden plant than as a wild-flower, and the former would 
appear to be its true character. It is now truly wild, in the 

Lesser Periwinkle. 

Vinca minor. 


Lesser Celandine. Pilewort. 

Ranunculus ficaria. 


Southern English counties at least, having probably been 
introduced by man at an early date (Chaucer mentions " fresh 
pervinke rich of hew "), and taken care to keep the foothold 
thus obtained. Its favourite position is a woodland bank, 
which it thickly covers with its dark evergreen leaves. Hooker 
("Students' Flora," p. 268) describes the flowering stems as 
short and erect, and the peduncles not so long as the diameter 
of the corolla. As a matter of fact, the long trailing and rooting 
stems also bear flowers, and the peduncles vary in length from 
to 2 inches. 

The petals are united for half their length to form a tube, and 
the five free lobes are oblique. The structure and arrangement 
of the stamens and pistil are very curious, and evidently have 
relation to cross-fertilization by insects, for the throat of the 
corolla-tube is closely guarded by a fringe of silky hairs, 
impassable by the thrips that vainly haunt the mouth in quest 
of pollen. The plant rarely, if ever, produces seed in this 
country, and this indicates that the insects necessary to its 
fertilization are not British. Flowers, April and May, and 
sparingly throughout the year. 

The Greater Periwinkle (Vinca major) is also naturalized in 
places. It is much larger in every respect than V. minor. 
The name of the genus is supposed to have been derived from 
the Latin Vincio, to bind or connect, in allusion to the manner 
in which its trailing stems thrust down a root from every node. 

The Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficarid). 

As soon as there comes a slackening of the iron rule of 
winter, whether it be early in February or late in March, then 
on sunny banks and at the feet of pasture-hedges, or on waste- 
ground by the roadside, the burnished gold stars of the Lesser 
Celandine glitter in the wintry sunshine. It is a charming little 
plant in its brightness and compactness, and not in the least 


suggestive of weediness ; yet, if introduced into the garden it 
can become an absolute nuisance. Its roots produce a large 
number of cylindrical tubers, which when the " doctrine of 
signatures" was in fashion were held to resemble hemor- 
rhoids, and therefore to be medicinal for that painful malady. : 
hence one of its folk-names Pilewort. Each of these tubers is 
capable of producing a new plant, and reproduction by this 
method is speedily effected. 

The leaves vary much in shape and in size. The larger, from 
the root (radical), are more or less heart-shaped, the edges 
bluntly angled ; the smaller ones, from the stem (caudal), may 
approach towards the form of an ivy-leaf. The sepals (calyx) 
vary from three to five, usually three, and the petals from seven 
to twelve. The stamens are numerous, as also are the carpels 
or divisions of the fruit. As in the Anemone (page 3), these 
are achenes, a form persistent throughout the genus 
Ranunculus ; each contains a single seed. The plant is well 
distributed throughout the country, and may be found in flower 
until May. 

The Broom (Cytisus scoparius). 

The Broom is sadly liable to be confounded with the Furze 
by the non-botanical rambler, chiefly, we believe, because of 
the similarity of the flowers and the partiality of both for heaths 
and commons. There are, however, several points of difference 
between them ; but one is sufficient for a rough-and-ready 
distinction. The Furze began life with a few leaves similar to 
those of the Broom, but as it grew it put forth sharp spines 
instead of ordinary leaves, until it became more difficult to 
handle than any hedgehog. The Broom rarely puts on any 
prickles at all, and its compound leaves, of three small 
leaflets, may be seen as in the illustration, close to the pliant 



Gytisus scoparius. 


Furaaria officinalis. 



The flowers, too, are larger than those of the Furze, though 
similar in structure. The calyx is two-lipped, the petals five, 
unequal in size and shape. The very large upper petal erects 
itself somewhat, and is known as the " standard." The two 
lateral ones are called " wings," and the lower pair are united 
all along their lower edges, to form a boat-shaped body, called 
the " keel." In this keel lie the stamens and pistil, which are 
curved, and the former have the filaments united into a tube 
within which lies the ovary. The stamens also vary in length, 
and should a bee alight on a newly-opened blossom in quest of 
pollen for the Broom produces no honey the pressure of the 
" wings " upon the " keel " forces out the shorter stamens, and 
they dust the bee's abdomen with pollen. Should, however, the 
insect visit a flower lower down the stem and consequently a 
day or two older, the long stamens and the pistil spring out 
with some force, and the hairs on the pistil brush out the shed- 
pollen from the "keel" and sprinkle it on the bee's back. 
Then the pistil curls so that the stigmatic surface shall come in 
contact with the abdomen of the next bee that arrives, probably 
with pollen from another flower. Thus fertilized the ovary 
develops into a valved pod like that of the garden pea, but 
smaller, of course, and black. When ripe the valves separate, 
twist up and scatter the seeds. Press down the wings with 
the finger in the position a bee would occupy, and observe the 
action of this remarkable mechanism, which, with variations, 
is common to all Leguminous plants (see pages 43, 44, 47, 

48, 49, 5 2 > 73> 94> IOI > *3 2 )- The Broom flowers from A P ril to 
June, and is widely distributed throughout the kingdom. 

Fumitory (JFumaria offidnatis). 

I have frequently found that the grace and lightness of the 
Fumitory suggest to the non-botanical mind some kind of 
relationship with the Maidenhair-fern ; more especially is this 


the case with the lower portion of the plant. The leaves are 
thin and much divided. The flowers are peculiarly formed, 
and their arrangement is known as a raceme. Each consists 
of a couple of small sepals, and four petals arranged in two 
unequal pairs ; the upper petal is spurred at the base, the 
lateral pair connected by their tips and completely enclosing 
the stamens and pistil. 

The plant is common in dry fields and waste places through- 
out the three kingdoms, and indeed over a great part of the 
earth, for it is a plant that has followed close in the wake of 
cultivation. The name is an ancient one, derived from the 
Latin, /7/w?Ar, smoke, some have said on account of the light 
unsubstantial character of the plant ; but, according to Pliny, 
because the watery juice brought on such a flow of tears that 
the sight was dimmed as by smoke. This is not very 
satisfactory ; but nothing better in the way of explanation 
has been offered, so we must be content with it. It had 
formerly a great reputation in medicine. Flowers from May 
till September. 

There are three other British species : 

Rampant Fumitory (F. capreolata) which climbs to a height of 1 5 to 2 feet by 
means of its twisting leaf-stalks. Its cream-coloured flowers are more loosely 
borne in the raceme than in F. officinalis. Small-flowered Fumitory (F. densi- 
flora), similar to F. officinalis, but smaller and weaker, flowers paler, racemes short, 
leaflets smaller and narrower. 

Least-flowered Fumitory (F. parznjlora), with small pale flowers and minute 
sepals ; racemes dense. 

These three species are rare, the last especially so. 

Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis], 

Occasionally in woods and copses the rambler will come 
across this plant, which flowers in April and May. It is not 
truly a native, but has become naturalized in England and the 
South of Scotland. Time was when well-nigh every garden 
had its clump of Lungwort, for it had a splendid reputation 


Lungwort. Jerusalem Cowslip. 
Pulmonaria offlcinalis. 



Lady's Smock. Cuckoo-flower. Shepherd's purse. 

Gardamine pratensis. Gapsella bursa-pastoris. 



for chest complaints. It is from these garden specimens that 
our naturalized plants have originated. 

Lungwort has a creeping rootstock, from which arise stalked, 
ovate, hairy leaves, dark green in colour, with white blotches. 
On the erect flowering stem the leaves are smaller and not 
stalked. The flowers consist of a five-angled calyx, a funnel- 
shaped corolla with five lobes, five stamens, style arising from 
a group of four nutlets and terminated by a rounded stigma. 
Like the cowslip, Lungwort is dimorphous. It secretes plenty 
of honey, and is consequently much visited by bees. Before 
the flowers open they are pink, but afterwards change to purple. 
As a garden flower it is also known as the Jerusalem Cowslip. 

The name is from the Latin, Pulmo, the lungs, in allusion 
to the leaves, spotted like the lungs, and which under the 
doctrine of signatures was held to indicate that it was good 
for consumption and other lung troubles. 

There is another species which is really indigenous to this 
country, the Narrow-leaved Lungwort (P. angustifolid), but it is 
very rare, and occurs only in the Isle of Wight, the New 
Forest, and in Dorset. It is taller than P. officinalis, the 
leaves of a different shape, and the corolla finally bright blue. 

Lady's Smock (Cardamine pratensis). 

In all moist meadows and swampy places, from April to June, 
the eye is pleased with a multitude of waving flowers which in 
the aggregate look white, but at close quarters are seen to be 
a pale pink or lilac. They are Shakespeare's " Lady's smocks 
all silver-white," that " paint the meadows with delight." It is 
our first example of the Cruciferous plants, the four petals of 
whose flowers are arranged in the form of a Maltese cross. 
Its leaves are cut up into a variable number of leaflets ; those 
from the roots having the leaflets more or less rounded, those 
from the stem narrower. The radical leaves as they lie on the 


wet ground root at every leaflet, and develop a tiny plant from 
each. The flowers are nearly f of an inch across. 
There are three other native species : 

Hairy Bitter Cress (C, hirsuta}, with white flowers, ^th of an inch in diameter ; 
anthers yellow. 

Large-flowered Bitter Cress (C. amara), with creamy white flowers \ inch in 
diameter ; anthers purple. Riversides : rare. 

Narrow-leaved Bitter-Cress (C. impatiens), white flowers, i inch across ; anthers 
yellow. Shady copses, local. 

Name from the Greek Kardamon, a kind of watercress. 

Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris). 

One need not travel far to find a specimen of Shepherd's 
Purse, for almost any spot of earth that man has tilled will 
furnish it. Wherever his fork or spade has gone in temperate 
regions this plant has gone with him, and stayed. The flowers 
are very minute, white, and are succeeded by the heart- 
shaped seed-vessel (capsule) which gives its name to the whole 
plant, from its resemblance to an ancient form of rustic pouch. 
This splits into two valves, and the numerous seeds drop out. 
The only native species : flowers throughout summer. 

Name : Latin, diminutive of Capsula, a little box. 

The Wood Sorrel (Oxalis acetosella). 

One of tKe most graceful and charming of native plants. It 
abounds in moist shady woods, rapidly covering the leaf-mould 
with its fresh yellow-green trefoils and pink-streaked white 
flowers. In such a situation in April or May it produces 
beautiful effects. A favourite position for it is the rotten centre 
of some old beech stump, from which it will spread in a loose 
cluster, " covering with strange and tender honour the scarred 
disgrace of ruin," as Ruskin says of the lichens. 

The roots are fine and scattered along the creeping knotted 
pink stems. The leaflets droop close to the stalk at night or 


Wood Sorrel. 

Oxalis acetosella. 

Wallflower. Wall Gillyflower. 

Cheiranthus cheiri. 


on the approach of rain. The flower is regular ; sepals five, 
petals five, stamens ten, stigmas five. The fruit is a five- 
angled, irritable capsule, from which the seeds are thrown with 
great force to a distance of several yards. In addition to the 
coloured spring flowers the Wood-Sorrel produces throughout 
the summer a large number of buds which never open 
(cleistogamous}) but which develop into seed-vessels and dis- 
charge good seeds. The leaves have a pleasant acid flavour, 
due to the presence of oxalic acid. The generic name refers 
to this fact, and is derived from the Greek Oxys, sharp. 

This is the only truly native species, but two others with 
yellow flowers have become naturalized in the S.W. of 
England. These are : 

Procumbent Wood-sorrel (O. corniciilata), with much-branched stalk ; both stalk 
and branches soon becoming procumbent ; and the flowers borne two or three on one 
peduncle. Leaves and stalks bronzed. Flowers June to September. 

Upright Yellow Wcod-sorrel (O.'stricta), similar to the last, but with stem more 
erect ; flowers two to eight on one peduncle. 

The Wallflower (Cheirantkus cheirt). 

This is not a British plant, though it has become firmly 
established on many old ruins throughout the country. It is 
a native of Central and Northern Europe, and according to 
Loudon was introduced to England in 1573. It is never found 
growing on rocks in this country, as would be the case were it 
a native. In some districts it is known as Gillyflower, a name 
corrupted from the French, Girqflee de Miiraille. Old writers 
who use the name Gillyflower refer to the Clove Pink ; in the 
present day the plant usually intended by the term is the 
Garden Stock. Culpepper calls this Winter Gillyflower. The 
wild plants are always the single yellow variety. 

It is a Cruciferous plant, like the Bittercress and Shepherd's 
Purse, and the structure of the flowers is very similar to those. 
The sepals are very long, and for economy's sake that part of 


the petal that is hidden within the calyx is a narrow claw. 
The long ovary is surmounted by the two-lobed stigma, and 
develops into a long pod, 2 or 2|- inches long, containing a 
large number of reddish seeds. It flowers in May and June 
chiefly, but also irregularly in mild winters. 

It is the only species occurring wild, but in the garden it has 
produced many grand varieties. The name is most probably 
derived from the Greek, cheir, the hand, and anthos, flower 
that is a flower suited by its fragrance to be held as a bouquet. 

The Cruciferee, to which these plants belong, is an important Natural Order, con 
taining five-and-twenty British genera and a great many species. All are distin- 
guished by the cruciform flowers, by means of which a" botanist can distinguish a 
crucifer at once. Many of our most important garden and kitchen herbs are 
crucifers, including the majority of our green vegetables and roots, such as cabbage, 
turnip, radish, mustard (see p. 90), cress, kale, etc. 

Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris). 

In marshes and river-meadows in spring this is the most 
conspicuous plant, and to acquire it the rambler will not 
hesitate to risk getting wet feet. What time the sallow first puts 
out her silvery " palm," the Marigolds then " shine like fire in 
swarnps and hollows grey" (Tennyson). In some districts it is 
the May-blob, Mare-blob, and Marybud. It has a thick, 
creeping rootstock, and broadly heart-shaped glossy leaves 
with very large stipules. After flowering the leaves increase 
in size considerably, and in some places they reach an 
enormous size for so small a plant. The flower has no petals, 
but the five sepals are enlarged and richly coloured, as with 
gold, and burnished. The centre of the cup is occupied by a 
number of carpels, which are surrounded by an indefinite 
crowd of stamens, and which develop after fertilization into as 
many follicles containing great store of seeds. The plant is 
poisonous. The flowering time lasts from April till August. 

There is one other British species some say it is a mere 
variety of the foregoing Rooting Marsh Marigold (C. radicans\ 


Marsh Marigold. 

Galtha palustris. 


Wild Hyacinth. Blue-bell. 

Scilla nutans. 


with triangular leaves and rooting stems. It occurs only in 
Forfarshire, and is very rare. 

The name is derived from the Greek, Kalathos, a cup, in 
allusion to the form of the flower. 

Wild Hyacinth, or Blue-Bell (Sdlla nutans). 

After the daisy, buttercup and primrose, few wild flowers are 
better known than the Blue-bell or Wild Hyacinth. In the 
very earliest days of spring its leaves break through the earth 
and lay in rosette fashion close to the surface, leaving a circular 
tube .through which the spike of pale unopened buds soon 
arises. A few premature individuals may be seen in full 
flower at quite an early date ; but it is not until spring is fully 
and fairly with us that we can look through the woods under 
the trees and see millions of them swaying like a blue mist ; or, 
as Tennyson has finely and truly worded it, " that seem the 
heavens upbreaking through the earth." This must not be 
confounded with the Blue-bell of Scotland, which is 
Campanula rotundifolia (see page 78). 

If we dig up an entire specimen we shall find that, like the 
hyacinth of the florist, its foundation is a roundish bulb, in 
this case somewhat less than an inch in diameter at its 
stoutest part. The leaves have parallel sides, or, as the 
botanist would say, they are linear ; and before the plant has 
done flowering they have reached the length of a foot or more, 
whilst the flower-stalk is nearly as long again. Before the 
flowers open the buds are all erect, but these gradually assume 
a drooping attitude ; though when the seeds are ripening the 
capsule again becomes erect. 

The flower is an elongated bell, showing no distinction 
between calyx and corolla ; it is therefore called a perianth. It 
consists of six floral leaves, joined together at their bases, the 
tree portions curling back and disclosing the six yellow 


anthers, which are attached to the sides of the perianth, one to 
each segment. The ovary is surmounted by the thread-like 
style, ending in a minute stigma. The capsule is three-celled, 
and when the seeds are ripe each cell splits down the side to 
release the shining black seeds. 

The Genus Scilla belongs to the Natural Order Liliacea? ; 
its name is classical, and probably derived from the Greek 
Skyllo, to annoy, in allusion to the bulbs being poisonous. 
There are two other native species : 

The Vernal Squill (S. vernalis). Flower-scapes, one or two, 
not so long as leaves. Like S. nutans, it has a couple of long 
bracts at the base of the pedicels, as the short stalks are called, 
which connect the flowers with the tall scape. This is a rare 
plant, occurring only in rocky pastures near the west coast 
from Flint to Devon ; also Ayr and Berwick to Shetland, and 
in the E. and N.E. of Ireland. April and May. 

The Autumnal Squill (S. autumnalis} throws up several 
flower-scapes before the leaves. Flowers, reddish-purple, not 
drooping, but spreading or erect ; July to September in dry 
pastures from Gloucester to Cornwall, from Middlesex to Kent. 
No bracts. 

The Cuckoo-pint (Arum maculatum}. 

Lords-and-Ladies, Cuckoo-pintle, Priest's-pintle, Calves-foot, 
Starchwort, Ramp, and Wake-robin are also names by which 
this very familiar spring-plant is known in different localities. Its 
appearance is remarkable, and its structure no less interesting. 
About a foot below the surface of woods and hedgebanks is the 
tuberous rootstock, from which arise above ground in March the 
handsome arrow- shaped leaves, more or less spotted with red or 
purple. From the midst of these leaves in April rises the flower- 
stalk, bearing an enormous pale-green rolled-up bract-leaf, of 
similar nature to the small thin bract we observed at the base of 
the pedicels in Stilla, but larger than the ordinary leaves. It 


Cuckoo-pint, Lords and Ladies, Wake Robin. 

Arum maculatum. 


Lily of the Valley. 

Convallaria majalis. 

Solomon's Seal. 

Polygonatum multiflorum, 


unrolls and then resembles a monk's-cowl, and also discloses a 
purplish cylindric column. The green envelope is called a 
spathe, and must not be taken for a flower. The flowers are 
there in great number, but they are small and arranged round 
the lower part of the central column (spadix). The lower third 
of the spathe is marked off from the rest by a slight con- 
striction, and if with a sharp knife we slice off the front portion 
of this part we shall there find the flowers in four series. 

Proceeding downwards we first find a ring of abortive 
stamens, each ending in a long, deflexed hair. A little lower is 
a series of perfect anthers, and below these a similar group of 
pistils, the topmost row of which consists of abortive organs 
with hair-like processes. Small flies are attracted to the spathe 
by the carrion-like colour and odour of the spadix, and explore 
the lower premises. The hairs allow easy descent, but prevent 
return. If the flies have already been in an Arum flower they 
bring with them pollen on wings and feet, and find the stigmas 
ripe to receive it. When these are no longer fit for fertilization 
the anthers open and discharge their pollen in a shower on 
the insects ; the stigmas secrete honey as a reward to the 
imprisoned flies, and the upper series of hairs shrivel up 
and set the insects free to carry their pollen to another Arum. 

The spathe and spadix wither, but the ovaries develop into 
codlin-shaped pale scarlet berries. This species is plentiful 
throughout the country. There is one other species, Arum 
italicmn^ found locally from Cornwall to Sussex. It is larger 
and stouter in all respects ; the upper part of the spathe bend- 
ing over, and the spadix yellow. Flowers in June. 

Lily of the Yalley (Convallaria ma/alts). 
Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum multtflorum). 

These plants are very familiar as garden flowers ; they are 
nevertheless natives, though by no means common in the wild 


state. Both are characterized by having thick creeping root- 
stocks. Convallaria differs from Polygonatum in having no 
stem ; the two or three leaves springing direct from the root- 
stock. The flower is a bell-shaped perianth, the mouth split 
into six recurved lobes. Stamens six, attached to the base 
of the perianth, around the ovary, which ultimately becomes a 
globose red berry. It is much more widely distributed than 
Polyoonatum. In woods ; flowers May and June. Name from 
the Latin Convallis, a valley. The only British species. 

Solomon's Seal has a distinct arching stem, with alternate 
erect leaves. The flower-stalks spring from the axils of the 
leaves, and bear from two to five greenish-white flowers each. 
The berries that succeed the flowers are blue-black. The 
flowers are similarly formed to the last-mentioned, but longer, 
more tubular, and the lobes not turned back. The stamens are 
attached about half-way down the perianth. There are two 
other native species, both rare. 

The Angular Solomon's Seal (P. officinale\ much smaller 
than the last, the flowers mostly occurring singly, larger and 
greener. Wooded limestone cliffs, May and June. 

Narrow-leaved Solomon's Seal (P. verticillatuni}, with leaves 
in whorls around the angled stem. Wooded glens, Northumber- 
land, Perth and Forfar only. June and July ; very rare. 

Name from the Greek, polys, many, and0tta/or, a knee or 
angle, in allusion to the many nodes. 

Hawthorn (Cratcegus oxyacantha). 

The Hawthorn, May, or Whitethorn, is too well known to 
require much description. Its more familiar appearance is as 
a hedge-forming shrub, when it is not allowed to have any 
natural form, but in the woodlands it becomes a round-headed 
tree, and when fully in flower looks like a monstrous snow-ball 
on a stalk. The tyro in botany can tell almost with a glance 

May or Hawthorn. 

Cratsegus oxyacantha. 



Ranunculus acris. 


at its beautiful flowers that it is a member of the great order of 
Roses, and not distantly removed from the apple section of that 
order. The calyx-tube adheres to the ovary, and the five petals 
are inserted at the mouth of the calyx. The stamens are 
numerous ; the styles one, two, or three, corresponding with the 
number of carpels. In the fruit these are covered by the red, 
fleshy coat in which the bony cells are enveloped, and which 
is valued as a food by birds in autumn and winter. 

May and June are the usual months for flowering, but occa- 
sionally it is in blossom at the end of April. Though the char- 
acteristic odour from these flowers is sweet, now and then a tree 
will be found whose every flower gives out a distinctly fishy 
flavour that is far from pleasant ; often, too, it may be found 
with pink or crimson blossoms. This is the only British species. 
The name is from the Greek, Kratos, strength, in allusion to the 
hardness of its wood. 

Buttercup (Ranunculus acris). 

There are three species of Ranunculus to which the name of 
Buttercup is applied impartially ; but the one to which it most 
properly belongs is the Bulbous Crowfoot (R. bulbosus), in 
which the cup-shape is more perfect than in the others. We 
have already dealt with the general characters of the genus in 
describing the Lesser Celandine : here we will glance only at 
the specific differences between this and the other buttercup- 
species of Ranunculus or Crowfoot. 

I. Ranunculus acris is the Upright Crowfoot. The rootstock 
is straight and erect. The lower leaves are divided into wedge- 
shaped segments, which are again much cut up the upper 
leaves less intricately so. The petals are broader than in the 
Celandine, and fewer usually five, more or less flat when fully 
expanded. Flower-stalk not furrowed ; sepals spreading. Stem 
one to three feet high. Meadows and pastures everywhere, 
June and July. 


I 1. R. repens, the Creeping Crowfoot. Rootstock stout, stem 
declining, with long runners. Flower-stalk furrowed, sepals 
spreading, but petals less so than in R. acris. Stem one to 
two feet. Pastures and waste places, too frequent, May to 

III. R. bulbosus, Bulbous Crowfoot. Stem erect, half to one 
foot, greatly swollen at base : no runners. Flower-stalk fur- 
rowed, sepals turned back, nearly or quite touching the stalk ; 
petals not spreading, but cup-shaped. Meadows everywhere, 
April to July. 

The name Ranunculus is derived from the Latin, Rana, a 
frog, in allusion to the damp meadows and the ponds where 
certain species are to be found in company with frogs. 

Wall Barley (Hordeum murlnum). 

In all waste places on a sandy soil, near towns and villages 
especially, the Wall Barley, Mouse Barley, Barley-grass, or 
Way-bent flourishes. At the base of walls is a favourite post 
for it, where it collects dust, and generally contributes to an 
appearance of untidiness. Its bristly spike is well known to 
the schoolboy, who breaks it off and inserts the stem end in 
the cuff of his shirt-sleeve, whence it works its way auto- 
matically to the shoulder. If the spike is cut across its length, 
the spikelets of which it is made up may be separated and 
examined with a lens. It will then be seen that the spikelets 
are borne in threes side by side, but that only the central one is 
a perfect one, the lateral ones being barren. Taking this 
central one from the others, we find two outer inflated scales 
(glumes) embracing two other scales, one of which, with the 
cleft tip and two keels on the back, is the/#&, the other, ending 
in a long awn, is the flowering glume, within which is the ovary, 
surmounted by its two feathery stigmas. From beneath the 
ovary spring the three stamens and two minute scales, called 


Wall Barley. 

Hordeum murinum. 

Jagged Chickweed. 

Holosteum umbellatum. 


Taraxacum officinale. 


lodicules, which answer to the perianth in ordinary flowers. 
It would be well to quite master this arrangement by dissection, 
for all grass flowers are built on a similar plan. 

Hordetim is the old Latin name for barley. Flowers June 
and July. 

Jagged Chickweed (Holosteum umbellafum). 

This is a very rare plant, occurring only on old walls about 
Norwich, Bury and Eye. The rambler in those localities 
might pass it by as a variety of the vulgar Chickweed, to 
which, however, it is distantly related. The small white, 
flowers are arranged in an umbellate manner, though not form- 
ing a true umbel. Whilst flowering the long pedicels are erect, 
but after flowering they hang down ; after fruiting they become 
erect again. Flowers April and May. 

Name derived from the Greek olos, all, and osteon, bone, but 
Artemus Ward would have said it was "wrote sarcastick," 
for there is nothing suggestive of bones in so soft a plant. 

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). 

Everyone thinks he knows the Dandelion when he sees it 
and probably he does ; but often when he sees a Hawkbit he 
believes it to be a Dandelion. We may not like to find the 
Dandelion taking possession of our lawn, but we should regret 
to miss it from the odd corners by the fence and the roadside. 
It is a flower of three seasons, for it blooms continuously from 
March to October, and it is no unusual thing to see its golden 
flower in winter. 

This is a Composite flower, like the Daisy, but whereas the 
Daisy head was seen to be made up of a host of tubular 
flowers, with a single outer row of lioulate, or strap -shaped 
ones, those of the Dandelion are all ligulate. It therefore stands 

C 2 


as a representative of the second series of Composite genera. 
The plant has no proper stem, the leaves springing directly 
from the long, thick root. From their midst arise the flower- 
heads on their hollow stalks. The floral, envelope (involucre) 
consists of a double row of scales (bracts), the inner long, the 
outer shorter. The outer are turned back and clasp the stalk, 
the inner erect. Take off a single floret and examine with a 
lens. It will be seen that each is a perfect flower, containing 
both anthers and stigmas. The ovary is crowned by the corolla, 
which is invested by a pappus of soft white silky hairs. 
Within the corolla the five anthers unite to form a tube, in 
which is the style, which divides above into two stigmas. After 
fertilization the corollas wither, the inner bracts closing over 
them while the fruits grow. Then the bracts open again, 
each pappus spreads into a parachute, and the whole of 
them constitute the fluffy ball by which children feign to 
tell the time. A light wind detaches them, and they float 
off to disperse the seeds far and wide. The only British 

The name is believed to be derived from two Greek words, 
Taraxos, disorder, and akos, remedy : in allusion to its well- 
known medicinal qualities as an alterative. 

The Bugle (Ajuga reptans\ and 
The Forget-me-not (Myosotis palustris}. 

The Common Bugle meets one from April to July in wood 
and field, and on the waste places by the roadside. It is a 
creeping plant, runners being sent out from the short stout 
rootstock, and these rooting send up flowering stems from to 
I foot in height. The leaves from the root are stalked ; those 
from the stem are not. The flowers and the upper bract are 
dull purple in colour. The flowers are peculiarly fashioned in 
what is botanically termed a labiate manner : that is to say, the 



Ajuga reptans. 


Myosotis palustris. 


Rib-wort Plantain. Greater Plantain. 

Plantago lanceolata. Plantago major. 



five petals of the corolla are united to form a somewhat bell- 
shaped flower, the mouth of which is divided into two unequal 
lips. The upper lip is two-lobed, the lower three-lobed. The 
upper usually acts as a roof to shelter the stamens and stigmas, 
the lower as a platform upon which insects may alight when 
they come to seek honey and to fertilize the flower. In the 
present species the anthers and stigmas project beyond the 
upper lip, which is very short ; but they are protected by the 
overhanging lower bract of the flower above. There are 
interesting facts in connection with the fertilization of these 
labiate flowers, which, however, we must leave for a couple of 
pages. It is characteristic of the Labiatae that the stems are 
square, the leaves opposite, the corolla bilabiate, the stamens 
less in number than the lobes of the corolla. 

The Forget-me-not is so well known that with our limited 
space we will be content with noting that its flowers are 
similar in structure to those of the Lungwort (page 9), though 
the tube is shorter. Like Pulmonaria, it is a plant of the 
order Boragineas, genue Myosotis. There are six British 
species. Name, from two Greek words signifying mouse-ear, 
in allusion to the shape of the leaves. 

The Greater Plantain (Plantago major], and 
The Ribwort Plantain (P. lanceolata). 

These are among the despised of our wild-flowers, weeds among 
weeds. They are considered of interest only to the keeper of 
cage-birds, by whose pets the ripe fruit-stalks are much appreci- 
ated. But if we knew the plants better we should appreciate them 
more. There must be something worthy of respect in a plant 
that has contrived to get itself so taken throughout the world 
that it is known wherever Europeans have been, and is called the 
White-man's Foot. The leaves of the genus are characterized 
by having strongly developed parallel ribs on the under surface. 


There is no stem, the leaves all springing from the stout root- 
stock. The flowers are borne on tall spikes which spring from 
the axils of the leaves. Each blossom consists of four 
persistent sepals, a salver-shaped corolla with four lobes, 
between which are fixed the four stamens surrounding the 
long, simple and hairy style. There are five British species, of 
which we figure two. The name Plantago is the classic Latin 
one, from which the English has been evolved. 

I. The Greater Plantain (P. major) has very broad leaves and broad, short leaf- 
stalks. Stamens short, anthers purple. Seeds black and rough. Pastures and 
roadsides, May to September. 

II. Hoary Plantain (P. media) : leaves not so broad, flower-scape shorter. 
Stamens long, anthers whitish. Seeds brown, rough. Pastures and waste places 
in a dry soil, June to October. Plant more or less covered with short hairs. 

III. Ribwort Plantain (P. lanceolata): as the scientific name implies, the leaves 
are lance-shaped, long and narrow. The flower-scape is deeply furrowed, the 
flower-spike short. Stamens long, white. Seeds black, shining. Pastures and 
heaths, May to October. 

IV. Seaside Plantain (P. maritima). Rootstock branched, crown woolly. 
Leaves narrower than the last, margins more parallel, ribs weak. Stamens pale 
yellow. Seeds brown, slightly winged at end. Pastures, salt-marshes and rocks by 
the sea, June to September. 

V. Buck's-horn Plantain (P. coronopus). Leaves narrow, linear, divided, or 
deeply-toothed, suggesting the popular name ; ribbed, hairy. Stamens pale 
yellow. Seeds pale brown. Poor gravelly soils, chiefly near coast. June to 

Meadow Sage (Salvia pratensis). 

In speaking of the Bugle on page 22 we promised to say 
more of Labiate flowers further on. Salvia is a labiate, and of 
similar construction to Ajuga. S. pratensis is a rare plant, 
found only in Cornwall, Kent, and Oxford, from June to August. 
The soft wrinkled leaves have the edges cut into convex teeth 
(crenate). The flowers are large and bright blue ; they are 
borne in whorls, usually of four or five flowers, on a tall spike. 
There is a more frequent species, the Wild Sage or Clary (S. 
verbenaca\ found in dry pastures all over the kingdom south 
of Ross-shire from June to September. It is similar in habit to S. 


Meadow Sage. 

Salvia pratensis. 

Annual Meadow-Grass. Cock'sfoot-grass. 

Poa annua. Dactylis glomerata. 



pratensis, but smaller, with the flowers more inclined to purple. 
The Sage of the kitchen-garden is S. officinalis j not a native 
plant. The name Salvia is from the Latin Salvo, to save or 
heal, from its former great repute in medicine. 

Most labiate flowers produce honey from the base of the 
ovary ; and this, of course, is a distinct bribe to insects to visit 
them. It would not be an economical arrangement for a flower 
to provide honey for all comers without the plant getting a quid 
pro quo ; we therefore find all sorts of " dodges " to ensure a 
service being done by the honey-seeker. As we have shown 
in the Bugle, the anther and stigma occupy the arch of the 
upper lip. As a rule the ripe anthers first occupy the foremost 
position, so that if a bee alights on the lower lip and pushes 
into the corolla for the honey his hairy back will brush off the 
pollen from the anthers. After the honey is shed the stigmas 
come forward and occupy the former position of the anthers. 
Should a bee that has got dusted with pollen at an earlier 
flower now pay a visit the stigmas will collect some pollen 
from his back and the ovules become fertilized. This is the 
general plan in the order Labiatse, but there are modifications 
in each genus. 

Annual Meadow-grass (Poa annua\ and 
Cock's-foot-grass (Dactylis glomeratd). 

In describing the Wall Barley we gave a general idea of the 
structure of grass flowers, and those of Poa are very similar to 
those of Hordeum; but the flower-cluster (inflorescence) is very 
different. In Hordeum (which see) this is a spike, bearing 
many three-flowered spikelets on each side. In Poa it is more 
branched and diffuse, and is called a panicle. In P. annua the 
branches grow two together, and are branched again. The 
spikelets are not awned as in Hordeum. There are eight 
British species of Poa, which, however, we have not space to 


describe. The name is Greek, and signifies fodder. All the 
species are perennial, with the exception of P. annua, which 
is an annual, as the name indicates. It flowers from April 
to September, and abounds in meadows, pastures and by road- 

The Cock's-foot-grass (Dactylis glomerata) is an ingredient 
of most pastures, and one of our most familiar grasses. Its 
long stout stem creeps for a distance, then rises very erectly 
and gives off horizontal flowering branches. The violet-tinted 
spikelets are gathered into dense one-sided clusters. Each 
spikelet contains three or four flowers, which are supposed to 
be arranged after the fashion of fingers on a hand, whence the 
Greek name Daktulos, fingers. Each flowering glume ends 
in a short awn-like point. This is the only British species. It 
is generally distributed, and will be found in waste places as 
well as pastures, flowering in June and July. The whole 
plant is rough to the touch. The leaves are long, flat and 

Cat's-tail, or Timothy-grass (Phleum pratense\ and 
Yernal-grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum}. 

Timothy is one of the most valuable of our grasses, and 
forms an important portion of the hay crop, from the fact that 
it is one of the earliest and most abundant species. The 
inflorescence is a crowded spike, reminding one somewhat of a 
miniature reproduction of the Reed-mace (Typha). The 
spikelets are one-flowered. The outer glumes are boat-shaped, 
with a stout green keel, fringed with stiff hairs. The flowering 
glume is glassy, and entirely included within the outer ones, 
from which, however, the long stamens and feathery stigmas 
protrude. The anthers are yellow and purple. The plant is per- 
ennial, and flowers from June to September. The name Phleum 
is the classic Greek one for the plant. The figure represents 


Phleum pratense. 


Anthoxanthum odoratum. 


Viper's Bugloss. 

Echium vulgare. 


the spike after the anthers have passed their prime ; at an 
earlier period these stand out well from the glumes, and give a 
very light appearance to the spike. There are three other 
native species, but they are all more or less local. 

The Sweet Vernal-grass is singular among grasses in the 
fact that it possesses but two stamens. The panicle is spike- 
like, with short branches. The spikelets are one-flowered. 
The outer glumes are four in number, one flowering glume, a 
pale, but no lodicules. In the Linnasan system plants were 
classified according to the number of their stamens and pistils, 
and the artificiality of it was strikingly shown when this plant 
had to be widely separated from all other grasses, because it 
was one stamen short, though agreeing with them in all other 
essentials. The species is abundant in most meadows, and 
were it absent one of the charms of the hay harvest would be 
gone also ; for this is the grass that gives the characteristic 
odour to ripe new-mown hay. It flowers in May and June. 
The name is from two Greek words, signifying yellow blossoms 

Yiper's Bugloss (Echium vulgare). 
Our artist has chosen to delineate a specimen of this striking 
plant that has passed its prime in a flowering sense. To our 
mind the Viper's Bugloss is prettiest when only one or two 
flowers are open on each cyme. The recurved cymes are then 
very short, and the unopened flowers packed closely together. 
As in Lungwort (p. 9), the unopened corollas are purplish-red 
in colour, when opened bright blue. After flowering, the 
cymes lengthen until they are as long as shown in our 
illustration. The parts of the flower, it will be seen, are in 
fives : calyx five-parted, tubular corolla with five-lobed " limb," 
as the free portion is called, stamens five, stigma two-lobed. 
The lobes of the corolla are unequal, and one of the stamens 
is shorter than the other four, which protrude from the corolla 
considerably ; in fact, they serve as a platform upon which 


insects alight. When the flower opens the anthers are ripe and 
shed their pollen, so that bees or other insects alighting are sure 
to get their under surface dusted with it. At this period the 
pistil is short and immature, so that it cannot be fertilized by 
its own pollen ; but as the pollen disappears the pistil lengthens, 
until its stigmas are in the position where they are bound to 
receive pollen brought on the under surface of a visiting insect. 
The leaves are strap-shaped, long, and rough with hairs. 

Much fault is found with scientific names on account of their 
uncouthness and obscurity. But they are mostly derived from 
Greek and Latin roots, and reflect some peculiarity of the plant; 
whereas many of the English or Folk-names are most arbitrary, 
and require much explaining, which is sometimes not easily 
done. "Viper's Bugloss" is a puzzle, and authors have 
pretended to see likenesses to a viper in the markings of the 
stem, the sjiape of the flower and of the seeds ; others have taken 
shelter behind Dioscorides, who said that a decoction of the 
plant was a protection from the effects of a viper's bite. If a 
man knew he was going to be bitten by a viper and took a 
certain dose of this plant beforehand he was all right ! But 
the word bugloss seems a worse puzzle than the plant's 
connection with vipers. Most dictionaries will help to the 
extent of telling that bugloss is the name of a plant, and no 
more. The truth is, it is as Greek as any scientific name, being 
compounded of the words Bous, an ox, and glossa, a tongue, 
from its leaves being rough, like the tongue of an ox. 

It is common on gravelly and chalky soils, flowering from June 
to August. It is rich in honey, so that it is much frequented of 
sweet-tongued insects. The name Echium is from the Greek 
Echis, a viper. 

Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca). 
Well known as the Wild Strawberry is, the Barren Straw- 
berry (Potentilla fragaria strum) when flowering is often mis- 


Wild Strawberry. 

Fragaria vesca. 


Polygala vulgaris. 

Germander Speed-well. 

Veronica chameedrys. 



taken for it. The general resemblance is fairly close, but a 
botanist can distinguish each at a glance. In each the leaves 
are divided into three leaflets, the flowers are white and five- 
parted ; but in F. vesca the upper side of the leaf is channelled 
with sunken nerve-lines, whilst in P. fragariastnim it is 
smooth. The real strawberry sends off runners with young 
rooting plants ; the false does not. When the fruit is formed 
there is no longer danger of confounding the two species, for 
the false plant entirely lacks the fleshiness of the true. The 
fruit of the Strawberry is a compound one, consisting of a 
large number of achenes scattered over the enlarged and 
succulent top (receptacle] of the flower-stalk, beneath which are 
spread out the persistent green calyx-lobes. 

It is a widely distributed species, flowering from April to 
June, and found on shady banks, and in woods. The name 
Fragaria is from the Latin fragrans, fragrant, and has 
reference to the perfumed fruit. 

Milk wort {Poly gala vulgar is), and 
Germander Speedwell (Veronica chamadrys). 

Nestling closely among the grass of heaths and dry pastures, 
the Milkwort, though commonly and profusely distributed, is 
not a well-known plant. It is only a few inches in height, and 
scarcely noticeable when not in flower. The narrow, tough 
leaves are scattered alternately on the stem. The broad 
inner two of the five sepals are coloured purple, and the 
corolla may be the same hue, or pink, blue, white or lilac. The 
structure of the flower is very curious, and should be carefully 
noted by aid of the pocket-lens. The stamens cohere, and the 
corolla is attached to the sheath thus formed. The pistil has a 
protecting hood over it, obviously with reference to the visits 
of insects ; but the flower is also self-fertile. When the fruit is 
formed the sepals turn green. The name of the genus is 


derived from two Greek words, polus and gala, meaning much 
milk, from an ancient notion that cows eating this plant were 
enabled to give a greatly increased supply of milk. 
There are two other British species : 

I. Proliferous Milkwort (P. calcared), branches rooting, and 
giving rise to new plants. Inner sepals broader and longer. 
Dry soils in south and south-east of England. 

II. Bitter Milkwort (P. amara), much smaller in all respects 
than the others ; the inner sepals are narrow, and the leaves 
form a rosette. Very rare. Found only on the margins of 
rills in Teasdale, and Wye Down, Kent. They all flower from 
June to August. 

The Germander Speedwell (Veronica chamcedrys) is the 
representative of a genus which includes sixteen native species, 
most of them with bright blue flowers of a particular form. 
The corolla is tubular for half its length, the upper portion 
divided into four spreading lobes, of which the upper and lower 
are usually broader than the lateral pair. The two stamens 
are attached within the corolla-tube just below the upper lobe, 
and the anthers and stigma protrude beyond the mouth of the 
tube. V. chamcedrys grows to greatest advantage in a great 
mass on a sloping bank, where, in May and June, its intensely 
bright blue flowers are very attractive. It is a most dis- 
appointing flower to gather, for the corollas readily drop off, 
and the beauty of the " button-hole " has rapidly passed. A 
fine robust species, the Brooklime (V. beccabungd), grows in 
bogs, ditches, and by the margins of streams, with stout stem 
and thick leaves ; flowering from May to September. 

The Spurge Family (Euphorbia). 

The whole of the British species of Spurge have a singular 
character, which enables the tyro in botanical matters to deter- 
mine the genus at a glance, though he may not be so success- 


Sun Spurge. Cypress Spurge. 

Euphorbia helioscopia. Euphorbia cyparissias. 


- 30 


Rubus csesius. 



ful in distinguishing between the twelve or thirteen native 
species. This singularity is chiefly due to the colour and 
arrangement of their flowers. These possess neither sepals 
nor petals ; instead, a number of unisexual flowers are wrapped 
in an involucre. An individual involucre of, say, the Sun 
Spurge, should be detached and examined with the aid of the 
pocket-lens. It will be seen to have four lobes, to each of 
which is attached an orbicular yellow gland. Within the 
involucre are several flowers, each consisting of a single 
stamen on a separate flower-stalk (note joint), and from the 
midst of these arises a single pistillate flower on a long, 
curved stalk. With slight variations this is the form of 
inflorescence which characterizes the whole genus. The 
British species may be briefly enumerated thus : 

I. Sun Spurge (E. helioscopia.} Annual herb with yellow green obovate leaves, 
the margin of upper half toothed. Milky juice used as a wart-cure. Waste places, 
June to October. 

II. Broad-leaved Spurge (E. platyphyllos). Annual. Leaves broad, lance-shaped, 
sharp-pointed, toothed above middle. Fruit (capsule) warted. Fields and waste 
places from York southwards : rare. July to October. 

III. Irish Spurge (E. hiberna). Perennial. Leaves thin, ovate, not toothed, 
tip blunt or notched ; upper leaves heart-shaped. Glands of involucre purple, 
kidney-shaped. Hedges and thickets, rare ; only in North Devon and South and 
West of Ireland. Flowers May and June. Juice used by salmon-poachers for 
poisoning rivers. 

IV. Wood Spurge (E. amygdaloides). Perennial, stout, red, shrubby. Leaves 
obovate, thick, tough, reddish, 2 to 3 inches long, hairy beneath, lower on short 
stalks. Involucral glands half-moon shaped, yellow. Woods and copses, chiefly 
on clay soils. Flowers March to May. 

V. Petty Spurge (E. pephis). Annual. Leaves thin, broadly obovate, on short 
stalks, | inch long. Involucral glands half-moon shaped (lunate), with long horns. 
Waste ground, market-gardens and flower-beds. July to November. 

VI. Dwarf Spurge (E. exigud). Annual. Much branched. Leaves very 
narrow and stiff. Involucres small, almost stalkless. Involucral glands, rounded 
with two blunt-pointed horns. Fields, especially on light soil. July to 

VII. Portland < S>^>\irg&(E.portlandica). Perennial, tufted, many-branched stems. 
Leaves tough, obovate acute, spreading. Involucral glands, lunate, with two long 
horns. Sandy shores, on South and West coasts, and in Ireland. May to August. 

VIII. Sea Spurge (E. paralias). Perennial, bushy, many-stemmed, stout, red- 


dish, woody below. Leaves narrow, concave, very thick, arranged in whorls, 
Points of involucral glands short. Sandy shores, July to October. 

IX. Leafy-branched Spurge (E. estila). Perennial. Rootstock creeping. Stem 
slender. Leaves thin, narrow, sometimes toothed. Involucres small, on long stalks, 
glands lunate, with short straight horns. Woods and fields ; Jersey, Forfar, Edin- 
burgh, and Alnwick. July. 

X. Cypress Spurge (E, cyparissias). Perennial. Rootstock creeping. Leaves 
very narrow, not toothed. Woods, England, June and July. 

XI. Caper Spurge (E. lathyris). Biennial. Stem short and stout, 3 to 4 feet 
second year. Leaves narrow, broader at base, opposite, alternate pairs placed at 
right angles to each other (decussate). Copses and woods, June and July. Fruit 
used as a condiment. 

XII. Purple Spurge (E. peplis). Annual. Stems prostrate, purple, glaucous. 
Leaves oblong, heart-shaped, thick, on short stalks, with stipules, opposite. Glands 
oblong. Very rare. On sandy coasts, South Wales, Cornwall to Hants, and Water 
ford. July to September. 

All the species have milky sap. Poisonous. 

Dewberry (Rubus casius). Plate 30. 

A sub-species of the Blackberry ; too well known to require 

Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenMii}. 

The Woodbine or Common Honeysuckle is one of the most 
familiar of our wild flowers, and as great a favourite as any. 
It owes its popularity not only to the beauty of its flowers, but 
also to its strong sweet odour, and in some measure to its 
graceful twining habit. The tough stem grows to a great 
length ten to twenty feet in some cases and always twines 
from left to right. The egg-shaped leaves are attached in 
pairs, the lower ones by short stalks, but the upper ones are 
stalkless (sessile}. The flowers are clustered, the calyces closely 
crowded, five-toothed. The corolla-tube may be from one to 
two inches long, the free end (limb] divided into five lobes, 
which split irregularly into two opposite lips. It is rich in 
honey, the corolla being often half filled with it, and con- 
sequently it is a great favourite with bees and moths, who are 


Perfoliate Honeysuckle. 

Lonicera caprifolium. 

Purple Dead-nettle. 

Lamium purpureum. 


bound to bring and fetch pollen from the outstanding anthers 
of one plant and deposit it upon the equally obtrusive stigma 
of another. The flowers are succeeded by a cluster of round 
crimson berries. Widely distributed in hedges, copses, and on 

Perfoliate Honeysuckle (L. caprifoHum} is similar to the last, 
but the upper pairs of leaves are joined together by their broad 
bases. The corolla-tubes are longer than in the common 
species, and it therefore becomes impossible for even the 
longest-tongued bees to carry off much of the honey. Moths 
with their long trunks can ; and consequently they swarm 
upon it at night, and carry the pollen from plant to plant. 
This species may be found in copses in Oxfordshire and Cam- 
bridgeshire, but is believed to be only naturalized not a true 
native. Flowers May and June. The name Lonicera was 
bestowed by Linnaeus in honour of a German botanist named 
Adam Lonicer. 

Dead Nettles (Lamium). 

Our forefathers, when giving English names to plants, found 
it by no means easy work, and the greater number of our 
native species they left unnamed altogether. Many of the 
names they did invent were made to serve many times by 
the simple expedient of prefixing adjectives. Thus, having 
decided on Nettle as the distinctive name of certain stinging 
herbs (Urtica), they made it available for the entirely unrelated 
genus Lamium by calling the species Dead (or stingless) 
nettles. In a similar fashion they made Hemp-nettle, and 

Apart from the resemblance in form of the leaves in certain 
species, there is little likeness between Lamium and Urtica, 
the large and graceful flowers of the former contrasting 
strongly with the inconspicuous green blossoms of the stinging 


nettles (see page 103). In the absence of flowers the 
difference may be quickly seen by cutting the stems across, 
when Urtica will exhibit a round solid section, whilst Lamium 
is square and tubular. The flowers, like those of Bugle (page 
21) and Meadow-Sage (p. 23) are labiate, and are produced in 
whorls. The calyx is tubular, with five teeth. The corolla 
tubular, with dilated throat, whence the name from Laimos 
(Gr.), throat. The British species are five : 

I. Red Dead Nettle (Lamium piirptireuni). Leaves heart-shaped, with rounded 
teeth, stalked. Bases of flower-bracts not overlapping. Corolla purplish-red. 
Whole plant often purple. Hedge-banks and waste places. April to October. 

II. Intermediate Dead Nettle (L. intermedium). Intermediate between the first 
and the next species, but more robust. Bracts overlapping. Teeth much longer than 
calyx-tube, spreading. Cultivated ground, not in S. of England. June to September. 

III. Henbit Dead Nettle (Z-. amplexicaule\ Calyx more hairy than in I. and 
II. ; teeth equal to tube in length, converging when in fruit. Corolla slender, deep 
rose-colour, often deformed. Bracts broad, overlapping. Waste places. April to 
August. Above three species are annuals, the remainder perennials. 

IV. White Dead Nettle (L. album). Corolla large, creamy white, upper lip 
vaulted. Calyx teeth long. Waste places. March to December. 

V. Yellow Archangel (L. galeobdolon). Corolla yellow, the lower lip orange, 
spotted with brown. Hedges and woods. May and June. 

Ground Ivy (Nepeta glechoma), and 
Ivy-leaved Toad-flax (Linaria cymbalaria). 

Trailing among the grass of the copse and hedgebank the 
Ground Ivy is one of the earliest of flowers to appear in spring. 
It has not the remotest relationship to the real ivy (Hedera 
heliv\ but, like the Dead Nettle, is a labiate plant. The 
slender square stem creeps along, and wherever it puts forth a 
pair of leaves it sends down a tuft of fibrous roots also. The 
leaves are roundish, kidney-shaped, deeply round-toothed on 
the margin. The flowers are borne in the axils of leaf-like bracts. 
The corolla-tube is long, slender at base, afterwards dilating. 
Some of the purple-blue flowers are large and perfect, others 
small and devoid of stamens. March to June. There is a 
closely allied, but rare, species called the Catmint (N. catarid) 


Ground Ivy. 

Nepeta glechoma. 

Ivy-leaved Toadflax. 

Linaria cymbalaria. 



Round-leaved Crane's-bill. 

Geranium rotundifolium. 



which flowers from July to September. This has an erect 
stem, with leaves approaching more to heart-shape, the teeth 
sharper ; both stem and leaves downy and whitish. Flowers 
white, marked with rose-colour. The name Nepeta is the 
classical Latin one, and is said to have been given because the 
plant was common round the town of Nepet in Tuscany. 

The Ivy-leaved Toad-flax (Linaria cyuibalaria) will be found 
forming a beautiful tapestry on ruins and old walls. It is a 
Continental species, and those found naturalized here are 
believed to be the descendants of greenhouse escapes. The 
stems are very long and slender ; the leaves lobed like 
certain forms of Ivy, often purple beneath, dark green above. 
The calyx is five-parted, and the corolla is like that of the 
familiar Snapdragon of our gardens. The two lips are so 
formed that they close the mouth of the corolla, which is hence 
said to be personate or masked ; the tube is spurred, in which 
it differs from Snapdragon. When the seed- capsule is nearly 
ripe it turns about on its stalk and seeks a cranny in the wall, 
where it can disperse its seeds. Flowers July to September. 
The name Linaria is derived from the Latin Linum, from the 
resemblance of the leaves of the common Toad-flax (see page 
105) to those of the Flax (see page 96). 

Round-leaved Crane's-bill (Geranium rotundifolium}. 

This neat member of a charming family is by no means a 
common plant ; in fact, northward of South Wales and Norfolk 
it is unknown. Southward it may be found in hedges and 
waste places, flowering in June and July. The stems are slight, 
and greatly swollen at the joints. The leaf-stalks are long, and 
the leaves, though their general outline is kidney-shaped, are 
deeply cut into about seven lobes, which are in turn lobed or 
toothed. Owing to the close general resemblance of this species 
to its immediate congeners some rather minute differences 



should be noted. The sepals end each in a hard point in 
botanists' language they are mucronate the margin of the 
narrow petals is entire, that is, not notched, and the narrow 
lower portion (claw) is not fringed with hairs. The carpels, or 
divisions of the seed-vessel, are keeled but not wrinkled, and the 
seeds are pitted. Its nearest allies are : 

I. The Dove's-foot Crane's-bill (G. molle], with similar leaves to the last, but with 
notched petals, the claw bearded. Flowers more rosy than rotiindifoliuin. 

II. Small-flowered Crane's-bill (G. pusillnnt). Leaves more deeply lobed, sepals 
as long as the notched petals, claw slightly hairy. Flowers, pale rose. 

III. Long-stalked Crane's-bill (G. cohimbinuiit). Lobes of leaves distant from 
each other, the segments into which they are again cut being very narrow ; sepals 
large, acuminate and awned, as long as the entire rose-purple petals ; claws less 
hairy than in last. All the leaf and flower-stalks long. 

IV. Cut-leaved Crane's-bill (G. dissectnni). Similar to G. columbinnm, but all 
stalks much shorter. Bright red petals, notched. 

V. Herb-Robert (G. robertianuni). Plant more or less red. Leaves divided 
into five leaflets, these again divided. Calyx angular, the sepals long-awned and 
hairy. Petals narrow and entire ; purple streaked with red ; claw smooth. 

VI. Shining Crane's-bill (G. lucidmn). Plant more or less crimson in summer. 
Leaves divided into five segments, each bluntly lobed at the top. The calyx is a 
wrinkled pyramid, each sepal awned. The rosy petals are much longer than the 
sepals ; claw smooth. There are two lines of hairs on the upper branches. 

All the above are annual or biennial plants. The name of the genus is from the 
Greek geranos, a crane, from a fancied resemblance in the fruit to a Crane's-bill. 

The mechanism for the dispersal of seeds in the Crane's-bills 
is worthy of attention. When the petals fall off the carpels 
enlarge, and the outer layer of the style separates from the 
axis, splitting into five portions, each attached to a carpel at 
the bottom and to the style at top. The axis of the style 
further elongates, but the tails of the carpels do not, and 
there is, in consequence, great tension, which ends in the carpel 
being detached from its base. The " tail " curls up, the carpel 
is reversed, and the seed drops out. 

The Hemlock Stork's-bill (Erodium cicutariuui). 

Closely related to the Crane's bills and at one time included 
in the genus Geranium with them are the Stork's-bills, of 



Erodium cicutarium. 


Milfoil. Yarrow. 

Achillea millefolium. 


which we have three British representatives. Only one of the 
three, however, is at all plentiful, and that is the one we have 
figured. It is a common species, but must be looked for on dry 
wastes and commons, especially near the coast. Quite apart 
from its umbels of pretty pink flowers it is a handsome plant. 
The leaves are cut up into a large number of leaflets, arranged 
in slightly irregular pairs on either side of the rib, and these 
leaflets are cut up into many irregular lobes. It is the arrange- 
ment so common in ferns : the leaf \spinnate, because it is fur- 
nished with pinnae or wings, and as the pinnae are themselves 
almost winged they are pinnatifid, or cut in a pinnate manner. 
The parts of the flower agree in number with Geranium, that is, 
sepals five, petals five, stamens ten (but five are aborted, and pro- 
duce no anthers), stigmas five. The fruits agree pretty closely 
with those of the Crane's-bills, but in Er odium the tails of the car- 
pels are lined on their inner face with fine silky hairs, and instead 
of curling simply they twist spirally, and cause the hairs to stand 
out at right angles. The seed remains attached to the tail, 
which becomes detached from the axis of the style and is blown 
to the ground. There the twisted tail is alternately lengthened 
and shortened by moisture and dryness of the atmosphere, and 
with assistance of the hairs this automatic movement gradually 
forces the pointed hairy seed into the ground. It flowers from 
June to September. 

The Musky Stork's-bill (E. moschatunt) is much larger than the last mentioned 
Easily identified by the strong smell of musk. Flowers June and July. Local. 

The Sea Stork's-bill (E. man'timum}. Leaves narrow, heart-shaped, lobed and 
toothed. Petals minute, pale pink, sometimes absent. Sandy and gravelly coasts : 
rare. May to September. Name from Greek, Erodios, a heron. 

Yarrow or Milfoil (Achilka millefolium). 

One of the commonest weeds in pastures, or on commons, 
roadside wastes, and often on lawns, is the Yarrow. Its leaves, 
as its second popular name indicates, are cut up into a large 

D 2 


number of segments ; these are very slender and crowded, and 
are again cut up ; so that the general aspect of the leaf is ex- 
ceedingly light and feathery. This is especially the case with 
the leaves (radical) that spring directly from the creeping root ; 
those given off by the flowering stem become more simple as 
they near the summit. Unlike as the flowers may at first sight 
appear to those of the Daisy and Dandelion, those of the 
Yarrow are also composites. The yellowish disc-florets are 
tubular, and contain both anthers and stigmas ; the white or pink 
ray-florets are pistillate only. It abounds on all commons, 
pastures and wastes, flowering from June till the end of the 
year. There is one other British species, 

The Sneeze wort (A. ptarmicd), which is almost as widely dis- 
tributed. Its flower-heads are much fewer than in Yarrow, and 
its leaves are more simple in character, the edges being merely 
cut into teeth. The disc-florets are more green than yellow. It 
is about a month later than Yarrow in coming into flower, but 
thereafter the two species keep time together. The name 
Achillea was given to the genus in honour of Achilles, who is 
reputed to have used Yarrow for the purpose of staunching his 

Groundsel (Senecto mtgaris). 

We have selected this very vulgar plant as a familiar example 
of a genus that contains some very striking species. They all 
produce composite flowers, but in this common weed the ray- 
florets are usually wanting, and consequently the few cylindric 
flower-heads have a very singular appearance. The leaves are 
deeply cut, the lobes irregularly toothed. The flowers are suc- 
ceeded by the well-known fluffy pappus attached to the seeds, 
which has enabled the plant to become one of the most widely 
distributed in all temperate and cold climates. It is to this 
hoary head of seed-bearers that the genus is indebted for its 



Senecio vulgai-is. 


Rye-grass. Brome-grass. 

Lolium perenne. Bromus erectus. 



name, which is derived from the Latin Senex an old man. 
There are other eight British species, of which the most 
frequent are briefly noted below. 

I. Mountain Groundsel (S. sylvatlcus). Leaves similar to S. vukaris, but 
divisions more accentuated. When the ray is present it is rolled back. The flower- 
heads are more numerous than in vulgaris. Plant with unpleasant foetid smell. 
Dry upland banks and pastures. July to September. 

II. Stinking Groundsel (S. viscosus). More objectionable-smelling than the last. 
Leaves broader, more divided, glandular, hairy and viscid. Plant much branched 
and spreading. Flowers larger : rays rolled back. Waste ground. Local. July 
and August. 

III. Ragwort (S, jacobad). Stem thick and leafy, 2 to 4 feet high, somewhat 
cottony, with clusters of large golden yellow flower-heads with spreading rays 
Leaves finely lobed and toothed. Waysides, woods and pastures. June to October. 
Very plentiful. 

IV. Hoary Ragwort (S, erucifoliits). Similar to the last, but the stem more 
loosely cottony ; the segments of the leaves more regular and less divided ; rootstock 
creeping. Hedges and roadsides. July and August. 

V. Water Ragwort (S. aquaticus). Like S.jacobcea, but of lesser growth Flower- 
heads larger, leaf-stalks longer. Wet places, riversides, ditches. July and 

Rye -grass (Lelium perenne), and 
Upright Brome (Bromus erectus). 

The structure of grass-flowers has been already described, 
and the reader should refer back to page 19. The inflorescence 
is a spike, the spikelets arranged in two rows, with their edges 
to the stem, which is channelled. There is only one outer 
glume, which is strongly ribbed, and shorter than the spikelet. 
The flowering glumes number from six to ten, or more. 

This is one of the grasses that send forth leafy runners, which 
root and occupy surrounding ground. It is one of the most 
valuable to the farmer, on account of it early ripening, and its 
usefulness either for permanent pasture or for cropping. With 
good management as many as four crops may be obtained in 
one year. It grows in all waste places, and flowers in May. 


The Darnel (L. temulentum) is its only native congener ; an annual. It is 
similar to L>. pereune, but produces no runners. Its presence among wheat is 
dreaded, as when ground up into flour it is believed to produce headache, vertigo, 
and other symptoms of poisoning. Darnel is the Tares of the New Testament, and 
is one of the very few grasses that are deleterious. 

Upright Brome (Bromus erectus) is a perennial of strong growth, with stout 
creeping rootstock, sending up smooth and rigid stems 2 or 3 feet in height. The 
narrow leaves have their edges rolled inwards. The inflorescence is a lax panicle ; 
the spikelets purplish in tint. The two empty glumes are unequal, and contain from 
five to eight flowering glumes, with awns, and hairy all over. There are seven other 
British species in the genus. 

Henbane (Uyoscyamus niger). 

At one time the Henbane was held in great esteem as a medi- 
cinal plant, and was then to be found very commonly on rubbish 
heaps, and the banks of ditches. Although it is still retained 
in the Pharmacopoeia, its empirical use is not so great as for- 
merly, neither does the plant appear to be so plentiful as 
of old. Its appearance and smell are somehow suggestive of 
its evil nature. It has a stout, branching stem, growing to a 
height of about two feet. The leaves are oblong, with irregular 
lobes, and the bases of the upper ones clasp the stem. The 
flowers spring from the axils of the leaves, and are almost 
stalkless. The calyx is pitcher-shaped, with a five-toothed 
mouth. The corolla is funnel-shaped, with five unequal lobes, 
and of a dingy yellow, streaked with purple-brown veins, though 
a form occurs with the corolla uniformly yellow. The five 
stamens are inserted at the base of the corolla-tube, and end 
in purple anthers, discharging their pollen by slits. The ovary 
is two- celled, supporting a simple style with a round head the 
stigma. The whole plant is densely covered with sticky hairs. 

On fertilization the ovary grows into a constricted capsule, 
with a distinct lid, which drops off to release the numerous 
seeds. It is the only British representative of the genus, which 
is said to get its name from two Greek words, Us, a hog, and 
Kuamos, a bean, but such etymology cannot be considered at 
all satisfactory. It flowers from June to August. 



Hyoscyamus niger. 


Quake-grass. Foxtail-grass. 

Briza media. Alopecurus pratensis. 



Quake or Totter-grass (Briza media}, and 
Meadow Foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis). 

The Totter-grass differs so strongly in appearance from other 
grasses that minute description is unnecessary except as an aid 
in making out the structure. Every child that plays in the 
meadow singles this out as the most desirable acquisition 
among grasses, because of its constant tremblings. The inflor- 
escence is a very loose pyramidal panicle, due to the extremely 
long and hair-like stalks upon which the shining purple 
spikelets are swung. The empty glumes are two ; flowering 
glumes six to eight. The stem creeps below the surface, and 
the leaves are flat. The plant is perennial ; but there is 
another species, the Small Quake-grass (B. minor), that is 
annual. This is not so common a plant, and is found chiefly 
between Cornwall and Hampshire. It is much smaller than 
B. media, and has tufted stems ; it flowers in July, media a 
month earlier. The name Briza is Greek, and was anciently 
applied to some kind of corn. 

The Meadow Foxtail (Alopecurns pratensis) bears a general 
resemblance to Timothy (page 25), to which it is not distantly 
allied ; but from which it differs in having no pale or scales. 
Its cylindrical panicle is yellowish-green, with silvery hairs, the 
branches bearing three to six spikelets. It is a perennial plant, 
and produces runners. It forms a valuable portion of all good 
pastures, the herbage being exceedingly nutritive. It flowers 
in May and June. The name is Greek, signifying Foxtail. 
There are three other native species in the genus : 

I. Slender Foxtail (A. agrestis). Annual. Panicle slender, often purplish, 
branches hairy, with two spikelets. A wayside weed. May to October. 

II. Alpine Foxtail (A. alpinus). Perennial. Panicle ovate, short, f inch, 
branches with four to six spikelets. Anthers yellow. Rare, near alpine streams, 
from 2,100 to 3,600 feet. Scotland. July and August. 

III. Floating Foxtail (A. genicnlatus). Perennial. Stems, procumbent and 
rooting. Panicle dense, slender. Branches with one spikelet. Anthers purplish. 
Pools and wet places. May to August. 


Dog-rose (Rosa caninci). 

Probably most non-botanical ramblers feel able to distinguish 
at once between the Dog-rose and the Field-rose, and a few 
may be learned enough to separate either or both from the 
Burnet-rose and the Sweet-briar and they may do it. But 
the scientific botanist has difficulties, and he is not quite sure 
where one species leaves off and another begins. Many 
workers have so split up our six or seven British roses into a 
vast multitude of species, sub-species, and varieties that it is 
difficult to follow them. In this work we shall not attempt it. 
The Dog-rose is the largest of the British roses. It forms a 
bush of considerable size, with long arching branches, covered 
with broad hooks. The leaves are broken up into five leaflets, 
each of which is sharply toothed. The sepals are five in 
number, pinnate, and turned back towards the stem when the 
flower is open. The petals are five, pink and notched. 
Stamens many. Styles free, hairy. The ovary is sunk in the 
calyx, which changes to the pitcher-shaped scarlet fruits the 
" hips " of the schoolboy in which are the hairy achenes. 
Flowers mostly solitary. Generally common in hedges and 
copses, flowering from June to August. 

I. The Field-rose (R. arvensis) is very similar to R. canina, but the flowers are 
generally in clusters, the petals white. Sepals falling off. In similar places. June 
and July. Easily distinguished by its trailing habit. 

II. The Burnet- or Scotch-rose (G. spinosissima) is a much-branched shrub, 
with the leaves divided into seven or nine leaflets. Stem crowded with nearly 
straight prickles, showing every stage in the transition from thorns to stiff bristles 
and glandular hairs. Petals white or pink. Fruit nearly globular. Heaths and 
open places chiefly, on sand and chalk, especially near the sea. May and June. 

III. Sweet Briar (A', rubiginosd). A small bush with erect or arching branches, 
set with hooked prickles mixed with glandular hairs and bristles. Leaflets densely 
glandular and aromatic. Flowers small, pink. Fruit globose. Bushy places, 
chiefly in South of England. June and July. 

41 - 


Rosa canina. 


Helianthemum vulgare. 



Rock-rose (Hdianthemum vulgare). 

On our chalk-downs, and on banks in gravelly soils, from 
June to September the pale yellow flowers of the Rock-rose are 
abundant. In spite of its plentifulness, however, it is not 
among those flowers that are generally known, except to the 
botanist. The rest of the world probably includes it among 
the buttercups, with which it has no relationship. The plant 
is shrubby, with a creeping rootstock ; its branches trail on the 
ground among grass and low herbage. It is therefore by no 
means a conspicuous plant, though it occurs in considerable 
masses, and is perennial. The leaves are small, oblong, with 
an even margin ; the upper surface hairy, the lower downy. 
They are arranged in pairs on the stem, and provided with 

The flower-bud is protected by only three sepals, but there 
are two others reduced to the size and shape of stipules ; and 
so their number really corresponds with the five somewhat 
flabby petals, which have the softness of the poppy rather than 
the stiffness of the buttercup. The stamens that surround the 
pistil are a multitude ; they are also irritable, and on being 
touched fall back from the pistil. The plant is common through- 
out the country, except in Cornwall and West Scotland, in which 
districts it is rare. The name is Greek, and signifies sunflower. 

There are three other British species : 

I. White Rock-rose (//. polifoliunt). Similar, but more shrubby ; margins of 
leaves curled back. Flowers white. Very rare. Stony places in Somerset and 
South Devon. May to July. 

II. Spotted Annual Rock-rose (H. guttatuni). An Annual, of erect habit ; the 
lower leaves opposite, without stipules, the upper alternate, with stipules. Petals 
wedge-shaped, yellow, with a red spot at the base of each. Stony places, Anglesea 
and Holyhead ; very rare. More freely near Cork and in the Channtl Islands. 
June to August. 

III. Dwarf Rock-rose (H. canujii). More woody than the others ; stems trail- 
ing. The whole plant hoary, and much branched. Leaves opposite, without 
stipules. Flowers yellow, not numerous. May to July, from Glamorgan to West- 


Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus). 

From June to October our commons, pastures, downs and 
railway banks are bright with the flowers of Bird's-foot Trefoil, 
or as it is termed in some districts, Lady's Slipper, a name 
which properly belongs to the rare orchis Cypripediiim. 

The plant belongs to the same Natural Order (Leguminosa) 
as the Broom (see page 7 ante}) and its flowers are of similar 
construction, though much smaller. There is a short, woody, 
perennial rootstock, from which originate several trailing 
branches, which are themselves much branched. The leaves 
are not trefoils, as the name would lead us to suppose, for the 
apparent stipules at the base of the leaf-stalk are in this genus 
leaflets. The flowers, which are in spreading heads of from 
three to ten flowers, are of a pretty yellow, tinted with red. 
They are succeeded by little cylindrical pods about an inch in 
length, which, when three or four are in a cluster, present the 
appearance of a bird's claws. The plant is a valued ingredient 
in the formation of pastures and meadows. The name was 
given to the genus because this was believed to be one of the 
plants to which the ancient Greeks applied the name Lotus. 

There are three other species natives of Britain : 

I. Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil (L. uliginosus). More or less erect in habit. The 
calyx-teeth spreading in bud (in L. comiculatus they are erect in bud). Moist 
meadows and swampy places. July. and August. 

II. Hairy Bird's-foot Trefoil (L. hispidus). Annual, trailing stems, long and 
slender, covered with lax hairs. Pods twice the length of calyx. Banks near the 
sea from Hants to Cornwall. July and August. Rare. 

III. Slender Bird's-foot Trefoil (Z.. angustissimus). Similar to L. hispidus, but 
stems shorter and more slender. Pod four times the length of calyx. Similar 
situations as last, but extending as far eastward as Kent. Very rare. 

Common Yetch (Viria sativd). Plate 44. 

The Vetches are Leguminous plants, and the structure of 
the flowers is therefore very similar to those just described. 
The Vetches are chiefly climbing plants, and have pinnate 


Bird's foot Trefoil. 

Lotus corniculatus. 

mmon Vetch. 

Vicia sativa. 



leaves. The leaflets are numerous, and the leaf-stalk is 
continued for some distance beyond the leafy portion, where 
it becomes a clasping tendril, often divided into three or four 
branches. The Common Vetch is to be found in hedges 
and roadsides near cornfields, flowering from April to June. 
The flowers are pale purple in colour, and are produced singly 
or in pairs from the axils of the leaves. By some authorities this 
is not considered a true species, but merely a cultivated form of 
the Narrow-leaved Vetch (V. angustifolia). The seed-pods are 
slightly hairy, and from two to three inches in length. The name 
Vicia is the term by which the plants were known to the ancients 
and appears to have the same origin as Vinca (see page 5). 

There are no less than ten British species of Vicia, but as 
some of these are very rare, we shall refer only to some of the 
commoner kinds . 

I. Slender Tare (y. tetrasperma}. Stem very slender, about 2 feet in height. 
Flowers singly or in pairs, pale blue. Pods with three or four seeds. Hedges and 
cornfields. May to August. 

II. Common Tare (V. hirsute?). Similar to foregoing species, but hairy. Flowers 
smaller, pods shorter, hairy, and containing two seeds only. In similar situations. 
These are both annuals. 

III. Tufted Vetch (V, cracca). With creeping rootstock and angled stem, 
climbing or spreading ; somewhat silky. The bright blue flowers are borne in a 
dense one-sided raceme, to the number of twenty or thirty. The pod is beaked, 
about an inch in length, and contains a large number of seeds. Hedges and 
bushy places. June to August. Perennial. 

IV. Bitter Vetch {V. orobus). Leaves in seven to ten pairs of leaflets, without 
tendrils. Stem, erect, branched, hairy. The flowers purplish-white, ten to twenty, 
in loose one-sided racemes. Pod pointed at each end, containing four or five seeds. 
Rocky and mountainous woods on the western side of Britain. May to September. 

V. Wood Vetch (V. sylvaticd). Perennial creeping rootstock. Stems, 3 to 6 
feet, scrambling and trailing over bushes and undergrowth. Tendrils branched. 
Leaves beautifully divided into six or eight pairs of leaflets. Flowers white > 
streaked and veined with purple, and borne loosely in a one-sided raceme, to the 
number of eight to eighteen. A beautiful species, found only locally in woods at 
high elevation. 

VI. Bush Vetch (V. sepiuiii). Creeping perennial rootstock, giving off runners. 
Leaflets, six to eight pairs. Flowers, dull purple, four to six in a cluster, not on a 
long stalk as in the Wood Vetch, but from the axils of the leaves, as in the Common 
Vetch. May to September. In hedges and bushy places. 


The Duckweeds (Lemnd). 

The Duckweeds Shakespeare's " Green mantle of the 
standing pool " are plants that are well-known to everybody, 
and consequently very few persons know anything of them. 
This is a paradox ; but they are so common and so small that 
the average man or woman is content to know them in the 
aggregate, and cannot condescend to a more intimate acquaint- 
ance with individuals, or with the different species, yet like 
many other small things " unconsidered trifles" they are 
very interesting to the botanist ; for these are among the 
smallest and simplest of the flowering plants. Taking up two 
or three plants from one pond and comparing them with some 
from another piece of water, we shall probably find a difference 
in them ; but they are all possessed of a more or less flattened 
green body that floats on the water, and which we shall be 
inclined to call a leaf. It is not a leaf, however, but a plant 
that produces no leaves, though it has roots and flowers. To 
be more accurate we will call it a frond, from whose under- 
surface there goes down one or more simple unbranched 
roots, and in clefts of whose margin are simple flowers. The 
flower consists of an envelope or spathe (see page 15), within 
which is a bottle-shaped pistil, with one or two stamens beside 
it. Some authorities conte'nd that the pistil and each of the 
stamens is really a distinct flower similar to those in Arum. 
These flowers are so minute that they are rarely seen, and so 
are thought to flower only occasionally. The plant is chiefly 
multiplied by the production of new fronds from its edges. 
The four species figured give the whole of the genus, so far 
as Britain is concerned ; but three others are known in foreign 
waters. The differences in the natives may be thus briefly 
enumerated : 

I. Least Duckweed (Lemna minor). The most frequent species. Frond not 
more than a quarter of an inch long, egg-shaped, the top flat and bright green, 


1. Lemna minor. 3. Lemna gibba. 

2. tisulca. 4. polyrhiza. 



Corn Chamomile 

Anthemis arvensis. 


underside very pale green and slightly convex, with a single root. Spathe two- 
lipped, one much larger than the other. Stamens two, one maturing before the 
other ; style long. Flowering in July. 

II. Ivy-leaved Duckweed (L. trisulca). Frond thin and flat, nearly an inch 
long, tailed at one end, coarsely toothed at the other. New fronds emerge at right 
angles to the parent. Roots solitary. Stamens two ; style short. June and July. 

III. Thick-leaved Duckweed (L. gibba). Frond nearly round, narrowed at one 
end, large, almost flat, green opaque on top, greatly swollen beneath, whitish, clear, 
the cell-structure being very noticeable. Root solitary, stamens two. Flowers 
June to September. 

IV. Great Duckweed (L. polyrhiza). At once distinguished from the others by 
its bunch of roots from each frond. Upper surface slightly convex, dark green with 
seven nerves. Underside purple, as also the upper margins. Stamens two. Flower 
has been rarely, if ever, seen in this country. 

Late in Autumn the fronds sink to the bottom of the ponds and ditches, and 
remain there hibernating till Spring, when they arise to the surface, and again 
vegetate. The name of the genus is the old Greek appellation of the plant Lemna, 
supposed to be derived from Lepis, a scale. 

Corn Chamomile (Anthemis arvensis). 

We have already described several species of Composite, and 
now return to that order to describe a type of flower very 
similar in general appearance to the Daisy (page i). The Corn 
Chamomile is an annual plant ; the lower portion of its stem is 
prostrate, sending up erect branches with alternate, prettily cut 
leaves, twice pinnate. The flower-heads are borne singly on 
long stalks, and the floral envelope (involucre] consists of a 
number of over-lapping scales (bracts'), whose margins are dry 
and chaffy. The base (receptacle} upon which the florets are 
packed is convex and covered with little chaffy scales, which 
stand up between the florets. The disc-florets contain both 
anthers and pistil ; the ray-florets are pistillate only. The 
whole plant is downy. It occurs in fields and waste places, 
flowering from May to August. Though somewhat widely 
distributed, it is a local plant. The name is an old Greek 
name for the Chamomile, from anthemon, a flower, probably 
owing to the profusion of its blossoms. 

The other British species of the genus are two only : 


I. The Stinking May Weed (A. cotula}. Ray-florets usually without pistils. The 
plant is smooth or hairy, not downy, but the leaves are quite smooth, and covered 
with minute glands, which secrete a foetid-smelling and acrid juice, causing 
swelling of the hands in persons clearing fields of this weed. The flower-stalks 
are more slender than in arvensis, and the involucral bracts are narrower at their 
tips. Fields, wastes and roadsides ; very common in South of England, rare in 
the North. Flowers June to September. 

II. The Chamomile (A. noMlis.) Perennial. Branches spreading from the root, 
leafy and furrowed, hollow. Leaves woolly, aromatic. Flower-stalk long and 
slender ; involucre downy and chaffy. The ray-florets are sometimes wanting. In 
great favour as a remedy for indigestion. Gravelly pastures and dry wastes in 
England and Ireland. Rare. It is not a native of Scotland. Flowers July to 

St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum\ 

There are no less than eleven native species of St. John's 
Wort, all characterized by a neat habit, clean-cut leaves with- 
out stalks, yellow flowers in cymose clusters, and a multitude ' 
of stamens, which are more or less joined in several bundles. 

The species represented on our plate is one of the 
commonest, and occurs in copses and hedgebanks throughout 
the kingdom, as far north as Sutherland, flowering from July 
to September. It is very erect in habit, the stems two-edged, 
pale brown and smooth, two or three feet high. If the leaves 
are held up to the light it will be found that the veins (but not 
the reticulations) are pellucid, and that the leaf is thickly 
dotted with pellucid glands. The flowers are i to i inch in 
diameter. The calyx, corolla, and sometimes leaves are more 
or less marked with black dots and lines. The sepals and 
petals are each five in number ; the ovary large, pear-shaped, 
surmounted by three long styles, which are longer than the 
ovary. The stamens joined in three bundles by their bases 
only. Sepals glandular. 

Among the other British species are : 

I. Square- stalked St. John's Wort (JH. tetrapteruut). Stem with four narrow 
wings, i to 2 feet, leaves broader than in perforation, but the glands, veins and 
reticulations are pellucid. Styles shorter than the ovary. Flowers dense, $ to f 
inch, across. Moist places, July and August. 


St John's "Wort. 

Hypericum perforatum. 

Hop Trefoil. 

TrifoHum ]>rocumbens. 


Red Glover. 

Trifolium pra tense. 


II. Trailing St. John's Wort (ff. humifusunt). Stems slender, compressed, pros- 
trate, not exceeding a foot. Leaves small, oblong ; glands pellucid ; the margins 
are often marked with black glands, and are sometimes rolled back. Flowers, 
inch across. Sepals unequal. Styles very short. Commons and wastes. July 
and August. 

III. Small Upright St. John's Wort (ff. pulchruni). Stems slender, round, 
smooth, erect. Leaves heart-shaped, with pellucid glands. Sepals small, oblong, 
with black glandular teeth. Petals yellow, tinged with red, and edged with black 
glands. Styles short ; anthers red. Flowers f inch, loose panicles. Dry woods 
and heaths. June and July. 

IV. Hairy St. John's Wort (H. hirsutunt). Stem erect, round, downy. Leaves 
large, 'with short stalks, downy beneath, pellucid glands. Sepals very narrow, half 
length of petals, with black glandular teeth. Woods and thickets, especially on 
chalk. July and August. 

V. Tutsan (ff. androscemnni). Stem shrubby, compressed, 2 feet high. Flowers 
few, f inch across. Sepals unequal, glandular, except margin. Petals and stamens 
not permanent. Stamens in five bundles. Styles shorter than stamens. Hedges 
and thickets. July to September. 

Clovers (Trifottum). 

Everybody knows a Clover when he sees it ; it is therefore 
unnecessary to take up our space with a general description. 
Their great value as pasture plants has caused their typical 
forms of flower and leaf to be well known ; but we have so 
many native species, to say nothing of the introduced kinds, 
that few besides botanists and agriculturists are acquainted 
with their specific characters. 

All the Clovers or Trefoils are Leguminous plants, and the 
structure of the individual flower is very similar to that of 
Lotus and Vicia ; but the flowers are much smaller, and are 
gathered into a conspicuous head. In certain species there 
are floral bracts, and in some these form an involucre. It is 
characteristic of most of the clovers that when the seed is set 
the petals do not fall off, but simply dry up and wrap round 
the pod. The name of the genus is Latin, and signifies three- 
leaved. The principal British species are : 

I. Subterranean Trefoil (T. subterraneuni), so called from its singular habit of 


burying its pods in the earth when they are ripening. The plant has many creeping 
stems, covered with soft hairs. The heads of flowers are cream-coloured, and are 
produced in the axils. The individual flowers are long and slender ; only a few in 
each head are fertile, and in this species the petals fall off early. The pod is a 
compressed orb. Dry, gravelly pastures. May and June.. 

II. Hare's-foot Trefoil ( T. arvense). Stems almost erect. Flower-heads numerous, 
dense, cylindric, softly hairy; flowers pinky-white, minute; teeth of the calyx 
longer than the corolla. Corn-fields and dry pastures. July to September. 

III. Common Purple or Red Clover (T. pratense). (See figure.) This is the 
clover so commonly grown in meadows as an important ingredient in the hay-crop. 
Its large oval leaflets are frequently marked with a whitish band that takes more or 
less of a quarter-moon shape. Its flower-heads are round, afterwards becoming 
longer than broad, purplish red in colour. Calyx-teeth slender, bristly, not longer 
than corolla. Top of pod dropping off when ripe. This is the clover Darwin made 
famous by showing that the cultivated forms must die out but for the humble-bees, 
whose tongues alone are long enough to fertilize its long flowers. Meadows, pas- 
tures and roadsides. May to September. 

IV. Zigzag or Meadow Clover (T. medium). Leaflets more pointed than in 
pratense, and spotless. Stem branched in such a manner as to give it a peculiarly 
zigzag appearance. Heads larger, and of a deeper purple than pratense. Calyx- 
teeth half the length of corolla. Pod splitting lengthwise. Pastures, flourishing in 
lighter soils than pratense. June to September. 

V. Soft Knotted Trefoil (T. striatum). Stem more or less reclining, downy or 
silky. Flower-heads both terminal and axillary, small, rosy-red, broader at the 
base. Calyx-tube swollen, ribbed, contracted at mouth, teeth not so long as 
corolla. Dry pastures. June and July. 

VI. Rough Rigid Trefoil ( T. scabrum). Stems rigid, prostrate. Leaflets rigid, 
toothed, the veins thickened. Flower-heads broadest in middle. Flowers small, 
the corolla white, calyx purple; calyx-teeth as long as corolla. Chalky and 
sandy pastures near sea. May to July. 

VII. Dutch Clover (T. repens). Stems smooth, creeping, but not rooting. 
Leaflets often with a dark spot at the base, below a whitish band. Heads of 
flowers globose, all produced from the axils, on long stalks. The flowers white or 
pinkish, attached by short stalks, which are recurved after flowering, so that the pods 
are all drooping. Meadows and pastures. May to October. 

VIII. Strawberry-headed Clover (T.fragiferwri). Similar in habit to the last. 
Flower-head globose, of small purple -red flowers, much larger after flowering, when 
the calyces swell and take on a red colour, which increases size of head to an inch 
in diameter, and gives it a strawberry-like aspect. Meadows and pastures. July 
and August. 

IX. Hop Trefoil (T. procttmbens.) (See Figure on p. 47.) This must not be con- 
founded with the Hop Trefoil of the farmer (Medicago lupulina), in which the 
flowers are borne in spikes (see p. 73). The stems are downy, one growing erect, 
others all round it creeping. The flowers are pale yellow, crowded in the heads, 
the upper petal (standard) broad, and arched over the straight pod, turning bright 
brown, which gives the head the appearance of a hop strobile. The pods are 



Onobrychis sativa. 



Euphrasia ofiicinalis. 



always so covered in this species, whereas, in Medicago lupulina they are naked. 
Dry pastures and roadsides. June to August. 

X. Small Yellow Trefoil (T. dubium). Stems slight, creeping, nearly smooth. 
Heads smaller, on long slender stalk. Flowers yellow, the standard narrow, 
keeled, turning dark brown after flowering and wrapped round the pod. Similar 
situations and date to last. 

Sain Foin (Onobrychis sativa). Plate 49. 

Still keeping to the Leguminous plants, we have here a 
handsome herb of aspect very different from that of the 
Trefoils. It is much cultivated as a fodder plant in dry fields, 
but will also be found growing wild on chalk-hills and downs. 
It is, however, suspected of being an escape from cultivation 
that has taken to an independent life. The plant springs from 
a perennial woody rootstock, and its stout downy stems are 
more or less erect. The leaves are pinnate, the leaflets in 
about twelve pairs and a terminal one. The flowers are in 
spikes, the standard broad ; bright clear pink, veined with a 
deeper rosy tint. The pod is semicircular, wrinkled, and 
contains but one seed. Flowers June to August. The name 
is derived from two Greek words, signifying the braying of an 
ass, because that animal is fabled to bray after it when he 
sees but cannot reach it. 

Eyebright (Euphrasia offidnalis). 

From the close-cropped turf of our commons and in 
meadows the bright eyes of this plant peep out through the 
summer. In such situations it is a very lowly herb, only an 
inch or so in height, but in some places, as in the pastures of 
the Highlands, it grows erect to a height of nearly a foot, with 
many opposite branches. The leaves are ovate, opposite, 
without stalks, and of a dark-green hue. The flowers are 
borne near the extremities of the branches. Some of the 
flowers are much larger than others, and in the larger the 



stigmas ripen before the anthers ; in the smaller the anthers 
mature before the stigmas. The tubular calyx is divided into 
four sharp lobes. The corolla is white, streaked with purple, 
except the central lobe of the lower lip, which is yellow. This 
is the only native species of the genus which is comprised in 
the order Scrophularineas though there are several varietal 
forms. Flowers from May to September. The name is from 
the Greek, Euphraino^ to delight or gladden, in allusion to the 
pleasing contrast of its bright flowers with the dark foliage, or 
from its supposed efficacy for complaints affecting the eyes its 
removal of these giving gladness. 

The plant is at least partially a parasite, and preys upon 
the roots of other plants, which it robs. Probably the lowly 
forms to which we have referred may be less parasitic than 
those of greater stature ; for if the seeds are sown in pots by 
themselves they will germinate and grow, but will never get 
large robust plants. 

Great Reed Mace (Typha latifolid). 

Of late years it has become the general error to call this 
plant Bulrush, a name which belongs by right to Scirp2is 
lacushis. Every autumn the hawkers in London and other 
cities offer the cylindrical spikes of Typha for sale as assthetic 
decorations, and call them bulrushes ; but they are not the 
originators of the blunder. It is the artists who have done 
this thing, especially one Delaroche, whose picture of " The 
Finding of Moses" is of world-wide popularity. In that 
painting he depicted the future leader of his people rocking in 
his ark amid a forest of Typha. What more was needed to 
associate the word bulrush of the Bible (itself a blunder of the 
learned translators) with this plant ? 

There are two British species, perennial plants with long, 
narrow, grass-like leaves, the bases of which sheath the stem. 

Reed mace. 

Typha latifolia. 

Kidney Vetch. 
An thy His vulneraria, 


The stamens and pistils are produced in separate flowers, but 
upon the same plant. The flowers have no perianth other 
than a few slender hairs. The staminate flowers occupy the 
upper portion of the well-known spike or " mace," and con- 
sist simply of several stamens joined together, the anthers 
opening along their sides. The pistillate flowers consist of a 
stalked ovary with a slender style and a one-sided narrow 
stigma. The specific differences are as follows : 

I. Great Reed Mace (T. latifolia). Leaves as much as an inch and a half broad, 
in two rows, bluish-green. Flowering stem naked, 6 or 7 feet high. Staminate 
and pistillate spikes continuous, or but slightly interrupted. Growing in lakes and 
on the banks of rivers. Flowering in July and August. 

II. .Lesser Reed Mace (JF. angusti folia). Whole plant smaller. Leaves half the 
width, dark green, grooved at lower end. Staminate and pistillate spikes separated 
by an interval. Stigmas broader. Ditches and pools. Less common than latifolia. 
Flowering July. 

Name from Greek, Tiphos, a fen or marsh, from the habitat. 

Kidney Yetch (Anthyllis vulneraria). 

The Kidney-vetch or Lady's fingers was celebrated from 
early times as a plant that was efficacious in the cure of 
wounds, and hence its specific name vulneraria. There is no 
doubt that this reputation was well-founded, for its bluish 
leaves are covered with silky hairs and its calyces downy. It 
is a perennial herb that affects dry pastures and rocky banks. 
From a woody rootstock arise several stems and a large 
number of radical leaves j these consist of a long terminal 
leaflet and two disproportionately small lateral leaflets. The 
leaves from the stems (caudal leaves) have a larger number 
of leaflets in pairs, as well as a terminal one. The 
flowers are borne in heads, with an involucre of leaflets, 
and the heads are chiefly in pairs. The calyx is mem- 
branous, and therefore permanent, the mouth oblique, 
with fine teeth. The petals are nearly equal in length, and 
typically yellow, but subject to considerable variation. After 
flowering the straw-coloured calyx becomes inflated, and the 

E 2 


roundish smooth and veined pod with its solitary seed is 
hidden within. In some of the coast localities for this 
plant it will be found with flowers white, cream-coloured, 
crimson, and purple ; this has been especially noted at the 
Lizard in Cornwall. It is ordinarily in flower from June to 
August. This is the only British species. 

The name is the one in use among the ancient Greeks, and 
signifies bearded flower, which is obviously a reference to the 
woolly calyces. 

Ox-eye Daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum). 

We have already given several examples of Composite 
flowers, and an examination of the Ox-eye Daisy would 
quickly convince the reader that he has another Composite 
under consideration. The popular eye noted long ago its 
similarity to a big daisy, and named it accordingly. In 
Scotland, too, where the daisy is known as a " gowan," the 
resemblance has been recorded by calling the Ox-eye a 
" horse gowan." If reference be . made back to the Daisy 
(page i), it will be seen that the involucre consists of a single 
series of green scales, whilst in the Ox-eye this part of the 
flower consists of three or four series of scales with thin brown 
or purple edges, overlapping each other after the manner of the 
tiles on a roof. The white ray-florets are notched at the ends, 
unlike those of the Daisy. The Ox-eye, too, it will be noted, 
has a distinct stem, the leaves of which differ from those 
produced directly from the rootstock, being narrower, deeply 
toothed and stalkless. It is but too abundant in pastures and 
hay fields, which are effectively whitened by its flowers from 
May to August. The name is from two Greek words, Chrysos, 
golden, and anthemon, flowers, from the golden discs of the 

There are two other British species : 

I. Corn Marigold (C. segetum). A troublesome annual weed in cornfields, but 


Ox-eye Daisy. 

Chrysanthemum leucanthemum, 

Anagallis arvensis. 


Stellaria media. 


as handsome as it is mischievous. Its ray-florets are of a deep yellow hue, then- 
tips not notched but divided into two lobes by a central indentation. The involucral 
bracts are broad, with wide margins. Flowers June to September. 

II. Fever Few (C. parthenium}. Like the Ox-eye, this is a perennial plant 
with a much-branched erect stem, broad pinnate leaves, downy and aromatic. The 
flower-heads are small, and are clustered in many-headed flat-topped bouquets 
(corymbs). The white rays are short and broad. Whole plant bitter and tonic. 
Waste places and hedgebanks. July to September. 

Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis). 

The Scarlet Pimpernel, or Poor Man's Weather-glass, is one 
of those wild flowers with which every country-dweller is 
acquainted, for it has long enjoyed a reputation as a cheap 
barometer, in consequence of its habit of closing the petals 
over the essential organs on the approach of rain. The genus 
Anagallis belongs to the order Primulacee, at whose 
characteristics we have already glanced (see page 2). It has a 
square stem, which lies along the ground and sends up many 
erect branches. The leaves are ovate, the margins entire, 
stalkless, usually borne in pairs, but occasionally in threes or 
fours. The flowers are produced singly, on very long and 
slender stalks, from the axils of the leaves. The sepals are 
narrow, sharp-pointed, almost as long as the corolla. When 
the flower has passed, their long stalks curve downwards with 
the globose seed-vessel. When these are ripe they open by a 
clean fissure all round, so that the upper half falls off and dis- 
closes the numerous seeds. There is a variety often found with 
blue flowers, which was formerly regarded as a distinct species, 
but experiments with the seeds have proved it to be a mere 
variety. One or other of these forms is common in all fields 
and wastes from May till November. 

The Bog Pimpernel (A . tenella) is a distinct and very beautiful species. It has a 
creeping and rooting stem, with small broadly-ovate leaves on short stalks. The 
flower-stalks are shorter and stouter than in arvensis, and the sepals much shorter 
than the graceful pale-rosy funnel-shaped corolla, which is very large in proportion 
to the leaves and stem. It may be found in boggy places growing amid sphagnum- 
moss, and flowering in July and August. The name Anagallis is the old Greek 
name, and is made up of ana, again, and agallo, to adorn. 


Chickweed (Stellaria media). Plate 54. 

To utilize a blank space we have printed the portrait of the 
lowly and ubiquitous Chickweed, a plant that has followed 
English pioneers wherever they have gone about the world. It 
is thoroughly known to all, but for particulars concerning it 
and the genus the reader is referred to page 62. 

Fennel (Fceniculum qfficinale). 

To see the Fennel in its native haunts we must seek the 
coast where there are cliffs, up whose face we shall find its tall, 
stout, jointed stems and umbellate flowers. In this plant we 
make acquaintance with an important Natural Order, the 
Umbelliferag, which includes such useful plants as Celery, 
Parsley, Carrot, Parsnip, Asafoetida, Anise, Dill, Hemlock, etc. 
The prevailing characteristics of this order are : The stems are 
hollow ; the leaves, with few exceptions, are divided ; the leaf- 
stalk at its base expands and forms a sheath to the stem ; the 
flowers borne on long stalks arranged like the ribs of an 
umbrella ; the flowers five-parted, the ovary below the petals 
and stamens, and the fruit what is known as a cremocarp. 

Fennel grows to a height of three or four feet, with a round 
and tubular, but almost solid stem, quite solid at the joints, 
and grooved. The leaves are so much divided that the 
divisions are merely many green threads. The flowers are 
individually minute, the petals yellow, but to give them greater 
prominence they are gathered into umbels, and these are 
arranged in umbels of umbels, or what botanists would term 
compound umbels. 

The ovary consists of two carpels placed face to face, in each 
of which is a single seed suspended like a nut in its shell 
{pericarp). Each of the carpels with its ripe seed is termed a 
mericarp) and the entire fruit is a cremocarp. It is hard on the 


Fceniculum officinale. 

Round leaved Sundew. 

Drosera rotundifolia. 



reader to fling all these technical terms at him at once, but in 
truth there is no help for it. If he wishes to become acquainted 
with the extensive order of Umbelliferous plants he must 
constantly use these terms, for the fruits play an important 
part in distinguishing umbellifers of various genera. 

The mericarps in Fennel are half-round, and marked on the 
outside with five ridges, which mark the lines of union of the 
sepals (which are adherent to the carpels) and the central 
keels of the sepals. Between these ridges are tubes (vittce) 
containing essential-oil, and it is to their presence that fruits of 
this order owe their aromatic qualities. 

The Round-leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia). 

The Sundews, of which we have three native species, must 
be sought out, for they seldom obtrude themselves on the 
attention of those whose eyes have not been trained to see 
them. They must be looked for in peat bogs, and in hollows 
on sandy heaths, where they grow in crowds. The leaves of 
D. rotundifolia arise from a slender rootstock, and lie on the 
ground in the form of a rosette, from the centre of which the 
tall slender flower-stalks appear in July and August. Each 
leaf bears near the upper margins several rows of long crimson 
glands, terminating in rounded heads, and reminding one of a 
sea-anemone's tentacles ; indeed, they serve a similar purpose. 
These glands secrete a clear sticky fluid, which serves .to detain 
small insects that crawl over the leaf. Their efforts to free 
themselves irritate the glands, which all bend over to the 
insect ; at the same time the margins of the leaf-blade begin to 
become incurved, and the insect is effectually secured in the 
hollow, ultimately being digested and the soft parts assimilated 
by the plant. Readers desiring to learn more of these curious 
habits of the plant are advised to grow it in a saucer of peat, and 
to read Mr. Darwin's celebrated work on "Insectivorous Plants," 


The leaf in this species, as its name signifies, has a round 
blade, and this is attached to a long hairy leaf-stalk. In the 
Narrow-leaved Sundew (D. intermedia) the blade is spoon- 
shaped, and merges insensibly into the smooth leaf-stalk. In 
the third species, or Long-leaved Sundew (D. anglica) the entire 
leaf is similar to that of intermedia, but twice the length. In 
neither of the long-leaved species are the leaves laid flat as in 
rotundifoliaj those of intermedia are erect, whilst those of 
anglica are borne half-erect. D. anglica is rare in the South 
of England ; the others are well distributed. The name is 
derived from the Greek, Drosera, dewy, in allusion to the 
bedewed appearance of the leaves. 

Barberry (Berberis vulgaris). 

The Common Barberry is a spiny shrub, growing in hedge 
and copse, and brightening the spot from April to June with its 
strings of yellow flowers, and later in the year with its oblong 
red berries. Its shoots attain a height of from six to eight feet, 
and are clothed in a whitish bark, the wood being yellow. The 
flowers include eight or nine sepals and six petals : the outer 
sepals are very small and liable to be overlooked. The petals 
are in two series, and at the base of each petal are two honey- 
secreting glands, which induce the visits of honey-loving 
insects. There are six stamens, which ordinarily lie along the 
centre of the petals, their bases highly irritable. In an open 
flower like this any insect can get at the honey, but it is not easy 
to do so without touching the base of one of the stamens ; on 
this being done the stamen springs forward, and the anthers 
strike the insect, dusting it with pollen, and in some cases 
driving it away. This mechanism may be tested by touching 
the base of a stamen with the point of a pin. 

The Barberry is very liable to the attacks of a minute fungus, 
a stage in the development of wheat-rust (Uredo graminis). 
The name Berberis is the Arabic title of the plant. 



Berberis vulgaris. 

Wild Pansy. 

Viola tricolor. 


Wild Pansy (Viola tricolor]. 

We have already given the general characters of the Violet 
family on page 4, where the reader was referred to this page 
for a notice of the British species other than V. odorata. The 
present species, V. tricolor, differs from all the others in the 
fact that the two upper petals are very erect instead of leaning 
forward, and in the stipules being developed into large leaf-like 
organs. In addition, this species produces none of the 
cleistogamous flowers. The leaves, too, assume forms very 
different from those of the typical species. The flowers vary 
from white, through yellow to purple, or there may be a 
mixture of two or more of these tints. They grow in pastures 
and the waste corners of various fields, flowering from May to 
September, and are generally distributed. The other species 
are : 

I. Marsh Violet (V. pahistris). Growing among Sphagnum in bogs. Flowers 
lilac or white, scentless, and with short blunt spur. April to July. 

II. Hairy Violet (V. kirta). Similar to V. odorata, but more compact, more 
hairy, the leaves narrower and more deeply toothed ; spur long, hooked. Odour 
slight or wholly wanting. A local species occurring in dry soils. April to June. 

III. Dog Violet ( V. canina). Rootstock produced into a distinct stem, bearing 
flowers. Sepals narrow, pointed. Leaves not enlarging after flowering, as do 
those of V. odorata, palustris, and hirta ; on long foot-stalks. Plant more or less 
smooth. Flowers from April to August, on banks everywhere. 

IV. Wood Violet (V. sylvatica). Plant smooth. Central rootstock short, with 
a rosette of leaves, from which branches are given off all round. From these 
branches only are flowers produced. Spur short and broad. Leaves broad. Copses 
and woods. March to July. Often closely resembling V. canina, of which it may 
be only a variety. 

V. Sand Violet (V. arenaria). A very rare, compact, hairy plant. Leaves 
much rounder than the preceding. Petals broad, pale blue. Spur short. Recorded 
from Upper Teasdale and Westmoreland only ; flowering in May and June. 

Round-leaved Mint (Mentha rotundifolia). 

Everybody knows a Mint when he comes upon it, by reason 
of its pungent odour, well represented by Spear-mint (Mentha 


viridis), the cultivated herb of kitchen gardens. Spear-mint 
is held to be only a naturalized, not a native species, unless it 
be in one corner of our country West Yorks. We have, how- 
ever, seven species that may be set down as natives, but they 
are a rather troublesome group for the botanical student; there 
are so many varieties, hybrids, and sub-species, which tend to 
connect the species and make it difficult to determine the 
identity of some specimens. With the exception of the Corn- 
mint (M. arvensis), they are all inhabitants of wet and marshy 
wastes, flowering in August and September. They are Labiate 
plants, and therefore the reader will know what type of flower 
to expect (see pages 21 and 23 ante). These flo\vers are 
individually small, but rendered more conspicuous by being 
borne in dense whorls, the whorls being often so many and so 
close together as to form long spikes of bloom. They are all 
perennial herbs, with square stems and rootstocks, the latter 
creeping on or just below the surface of the ground, and giving 
off runners freely. Mentha rotundifolia has broadly ovate, 
wrinkled, stalkless leaves, the edges indented with rounded 
teeth, and woolly on the underside. Flower-spikes dense, 
though with slight intervals between the whorls. The colour 
of the flowers varies from pink to white. The other species 

I. Horse-Mint (M. sylvestris). Leaves stalkless, more tapering to a point than 
in M. rotundifolia, smooth above, sharply toothed, whitish beneath. Stem covered 
with white woolly hairs. Flowers lilac, spike continuous. Rare. 

II. Peppermint (M. fiiperata). Leaves stalked, margins with large teeth, smooth 
above, a few hairs along the nervures underneath. Flowers purplish in spikes. 

III. Water-Mint (M. aquatica). A very common form in marshes and by river- 
sides, covered with soft hairs. Stout spikes, lilac or purple. Leaves stalked. 

IV. Marsh-mint (M. sativa). In this and the two following species the whorls 
are produced from the axils of the leaves instead of as a terminal spike. The leaves 
are stalked, with sharp teeth. Flowers purplish. The throat of calyx smooth, 
calyx-teeth lance-shaped, ending in a fine point. 

V. Corn-mint (M. arvensis). Leaves with blunt teeth. Calyx very hairy, teeth 
shorter than in last, triangular. Corolla hairy, purplish. Cornfields and waste 


Round leaved Mint. 

Mentha rotundifolia. 


Common Comfrey. 

Symphytum offlcinalc. 



VI. Pennyroyal (M. pulegiuni). Calyx two-lipped, downy or hairy, with hairy 
throat. Leaves small, with short stalks, slightly toothed, recurved. Stem much- 
branched. Odour powerful. 

Common Comfrey (Symphytum offitinale). 

Often in May and June, as we wander by the riverbank or 
brookside, we shall happen upon this very coarse but striking 
plant, though its flowers may not be of the hue depicted here ; 
its colour varies from pale yellow to red and purple. It is one 
of those plants whose individuality is so strong that, once seen, 
it will not be forgotten or confused with any other species. It 
has a branched rootstock, giving off stalked leaves, and an erect 
angular stem. The stem-leaves are all but stalkless, their 
bases running down the stem in such a manner as to give it a 
winged character. The whole plant is rough with bristles. 
The genus belongs to the order Boragineae, whose floral 
structure has been already described (see pages 9 and 26 
ante), but the present inflorescence may be noted as a capital 
example of the "scorpioid cyme," so called from its curve 
resembling the curl in a scorpion's tail ! 

There is another British species, the Tuberous Comfrey (S. tuberosum), which is 
usually found in wet copses, but not south of Bedford. It is not nearly so rough as 
its congener, although distinctly hairy. Rootstock thickened, radical leaves with 
longer stalks than in ^S". officinale. The stem-leaves do not run far down the stem, 
so that it is not so obviously winged, and the flowers are smaller. Pale yellow. 
June and July. 

The name is derived from the Greek sumphuo, to unite, it having great reputation 
formerly as a woundwort. 

Common Red Poppy (Papaver rhceas). 

The Poppy is another of those plants concerning which it 
may be thought that neither illustration nor description is 
necessary ; but there are poppies and poppies ; and though the 
rambler may gather a bunch of flowers from various situations 
and consider them all the same, a few words of description may 
serve to point out considerable differences. 


Through the Poppy we make acquaintance with another 
Natural Order, the Papaveraceae, and its typical genus, 
Papaver. The plants comprised in the genus are annual herbs, 
with milky juice of a narcotic nature. The flowers are borne 
on very long slender stalks, and consist of two concave sepals, 
which are thrown off by the expanding of the four crumpled 
petals. The pistil, which afterwards develops into the familiar 
" poppy-head," is surmounted by the many stigmas which form 
a rayed disk. 

I. The Common Poppy (P. rhceas), which is so unpleasantly abundant in corn- 
fields south of the Tay, has branched bristly stems and pinnate leaves, the points of 
the lobes directed upward and ending each in a bristle. The bristles on the flower- 
stalks stand out at right angles, or nearly so. This is an important character. The 
scarlet flowers are large (3 or 4 inches in diameter), the petals in two unequal pairs. 
Rays of stigma eight to twelve. Capsule smooth and short, slightly stalked above 
the receptacle. Flowers June to September. 

II. Round Rough-headed Poppy (P. hybriduni). Leaves only slightly bristly. 
Flower small (i to 2 inches), scarlet, with a black patch at the base of each petal. 
Stigmatic rays, four to eight. Capsule more globose than the preceding species. 
Dry sandy and chalky fields south of Durham and Carnarvon. May to July. 

III. Long Prickly-headed Poppy (P. argemone). Similar to last, but smaller 
and weaker in all respects in fact, our smallest species. Petals narrow and paler 
in colour. Capsule bristly, club-shaped. Stigmatic rays, four to six. Cornfields. 
May to August. 

IV. Long Smooth-headed Poppy (P. dubimii). Similar to P. rhceas, but the 
bristles are pressed against the stalk upwards. Flowers large, petals broad, but in 
unequal pairs, light scarlet. Stigmatic rays, six to twelve. Capsule slender, 
smooth, tapering downwards, not stalked above receptacle. Cornfields. May to 

The Greater Stitchwort (Stdlaria holostea) 

One of the prettiest and most characteristic sights of Spring 
is the mass of brittle, grass-like stems and leaves of the Greater 
Stitchwort, crowned by the numerous flowers of gleaming 
white clear-cut stars. It starts life as an erect-growing plant, 
but is soon fain to lean against the other constituents of the 
hedgerow as its stems elongate but grow no stouter. It is a 
perennial plant, and its four-angled stems make their appear- 


Red Poppy. 

Papaver rhoeas. 

Greater Stitchwort. 

Stellaria holostea. 


ance very early in the year. The long, narrow, rigid, sharp- 
pointed leaves are arranged in pairs, which are more or less 
connected at their bases. The flowers are produced in a 
panicle of a few flowers only, which consist of five almost 
nerveless sepals, five petals which are as long again as the 
sepals and cleft almost to the middle. They are succeeded by 
a globose capsule containing many seeds. There are ten 
stamens and three styles. Flowers April to June. 

The genus Stellaria is included in the Natural Order 
Caryophylleae, or the Pink tribe, of which we shall have further 

I. The Lesser Stitchwort (S. graminea) is a similar, but much more slender 
plant, with exceedingly narrow leaves, smaller flowers arranged in a much-branched 
panicle, and with red anthers. After flowering the flower-stalks hang downwards, 
but afterwards rise to a horizontal position. The sepals are as long as the narrow 
petals, united at their bases, and have three nerves. Capsule nodding. Flowers 
May to July. 

II. The Marsh Stitchwort (S. palustris). Smooth, with a fine bloom {glaucous). 
Sepals united at base, three-nerved, not so long as the petals. Flowers solitary on 
long stalks. Marshes and wet places. May to July. 

III. The Common Chickweed (S. media), which we have already figured (plate 54 
ante), is also a member of this genus. The stem trails along the ground^ Is very 
brittle and marked with a line of fine hairs up one side. The flowers are incon- 
spicuous, on account of the sepals being longer than the petals, which are, in fact, 
often absent altogether. It grows everywhere, and maybe found flowering through- 
out the year. It has followed the Englishman wherever he has gone about the earth. 

The name of the genus is from the Latin, Stella, a star, in reference to the star- 
like character of the blossoms. 

Silverweed (Potentilla anserina). 

The beautiful but too common Silverweed may be taken as a 
good representative of a genus of Rose-worts that may be 
conveniently called Cinquefoils, although the leaf of this species 
has many instead of five divisions. This is the plant that 
grows in dense patches by the roadside, erecting its long 
pinnate silky leaves and showing the silvery-greyness of the 
underside. Its rootstock is the centre from which many 
rooting runners radiate. The toothed leaflets are not opposite, 


as may appear at first sight, but alternate ; and there is the 
very peculiar arrangement of two minute leaflets being placed 
between each two large ones. The flowers are large in 
proportion to the plant, of one uniform yellow, and borne singly 
on a long stalk. The calyx is cleft into ten lobes, the petals are 
five, stamens and carpels many. Although it is a common 
roadside weed, it may also be met growing abundantly and 
much more luxuriantly in wet pastures. It flowers chiefly 
from June to August, and sparingly much later in the year. 
Among its more immediate congeners may be noted : 

I. The Tormentil (P. torinentilla)^ a tiny plant that is abundant on heaths and 
dry pastures. It has a thick rootstock, and slender, hairy, creeping stems. The 
leaves are cut into three, sometimes five, fingers, which are more or less wedge- 
shaped, the free end lobed or toothed. Flowers yellow, and similar to those of 
P. anseritta, but smaller, and usually with only four petals. June to September. 

II. Creeping Cinquefoil (P. reptans). Similar to P. tormentilla but larger. 
Leaflets five, sometimes three, petals five. Meadows and waysides. June to 

III. Barren Strawberry (P. Jragariastruni), Flowers white. March to June. 
The general characters of this impostor have been given on page 27, when describ- 
ing the Wild Strawberry. The plant has a general silkiness which is foreign to the 

The name of the genus is from the Latin, potens, powerful, some of the species 
having formerly considerable reputation as medicines. 

Small Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis). 

With the appearance of the delicately fragrant Bindweed in 
our fields the season for summer flowers may be said to have 
fairly set in. Its grace of form and colour makes it a general 
favourite, but it resents being plucked, and closes its pink cups 
almost immediately. It has a perennial rootstock, which creeps 
and branches underground, taking possession of much soil, and 
sending up many slender twining stems clothed with spear- 
shaped leaves. The sepals are five in number, but the petals are 
entirely united to form a funnel-shaped corolla ; though the five 
folds and lobes indicate the origin of the funnel. The flowers 



Potentilla anserina, 


Small Bindweed. 
Convolvulus arvensis. 



are honeyed, and are much frequented by long-tongued insects, 
which have to push against the anthers in order to reach the 
honey, carrying away pollen with which to fertilize another 
flower. Like a careful, thrifty plant the Bindweed closes in wet 
weather, and at night, that its honey may not be reduced in 
quality. It flowers from June to September. 

The Hooded Bindweed (C. septum) is one of the most distinguished of our wild 
flowers, and it is almost impossible to see its large, pure white flowers ornamenting 
the hedge without desiring to acquire them. In general form it is like C. arvensis, 
but very much larger. Instead of being content to twine among low-growing herbs 
as that species, it climbs up the thickets to a height of 6 or 7 feet. In addition to 
the calyx this species has an enveloping pair of large inflated heart-shaped bracts 
the ' hood " of its popular name. The rootstock is thick and tuberous. Though 
it possesses honey it is not odorous, and appears to be, in consequence, but little 
visited by insects ; it is, therefore, careless of the quality of its honey, and does not 
close its flowers in the rain, nor on moonlight nights, though it does so on dark 
nights. Sometimes the flowers are tinged or streaked with pink. Flowers June to 

There is a third native species, the Seaside Convolvulus (C. soldanella), which 
does not twine, or but rarely. It has a long creeping rhizome, slender stems, and 
fleshy, kidney-shaped leaves. Its large rosy flowers are not numerous. There are 
two bracts, as in C. septum, but they are smaller than the unequal sepals, It may 
frequently be found on sandy shores, and flowers from June to August. 

The Greater Celandine (Chelidonium majus). 

We have already described (page 6 ante) a plant bearing the 
name of Lesser Celandine, and we would at once warn the 
reader that the Greater Celandine is not even distantly related 
to the Lesser. Here is an illustration of the dangers that arise 
from dependence upon the folk-names of plants and animals. 
The novice would reasonably assume that the Lesser and the 
Greater Celandines differed only in point of size, whereas the 
resemblance that struck our forefathers appears to have 
consisted merely in both plants being in flower what time the 
swallow (Chelidori) returns to our shores. Chelidoniiim majus 
is really a kind of poppy, whilst Ranunculus ficaria is a 

There is only one British species of Chelidonium, a perennial 


plant, with erect branching stems. The true poppies have a 
milky juice : this plant, like the Welsh-poppy (Meconopszs), 
and the Horned-poppy (Glauciurri) has a yellow juice. The 
leaf is much divided, the leaflets deeply lobed, with somewhat 
of a resemblance to an oak-leaf. The rather small yellow 
flowers are combined in umbels, borne on a long stalk, to be 
out of the way of the somewhat erect leaves. There are two 
sepals and four petals, as in Papaver, but the fruit, instead of 
being an urn-like capsule as in that genus, is a long pod with 
two valves, which separate from the base upwards. 

It is a plant of the hedgerow and waste ground, where it may 
be found in flower from May to August. The yellow juice, 
which is very acrid and poisonous, had formerly a reputation 
as an eye medicine, and as a caustic for the burning away of 

Bagged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi). 

Like the Celandines, this plant was known to our fathers as 
a Cuckoo-flower ; in fact, in many parts of the country its name 
is still " Cuckoo-flower," but as that title is also given to the 
Ladies'-smock confusion is caused by its use. It is one of the 
Campions, a genus of graceful plants that, is included in the 
Natural Order of the Pinks (Caryophylleae). 

The habit of the plant will suggest the Stitchwort, to which 
it is not very distantly related. It is a perennial plant, 
delighting in moist places, whether wet meadows, ditch banks 
or bogs. The leaves that spring directly from the slender 
rootstock are stalked ; those on the reddish stem are not. The 
calyx is dark red, with purple veins ; tho^ rosy petals cut into 
four eccentric narrow segments. The flowers produce honey, 
and the stamens come to maturity before the stigmas, thus 
favouring cross-fertilization. Flowers May to August. 

There is another common rosy-flowered Lychnis that occurs 
in somewhat similar situations. This is : 



Ghelidonium majus. 


Rugged Robin. 

Lychnis flos-cuculi 


The Red Campion {Lychnis di^^rna), with stem covered with soft hairs, which are 
sticky near the upper part of the plant. The flower has a singularly neat appear- 
ance, altogether lacking the ragged character of JZos-cuculi. The petals, instead 
of being deeply cut, as in that species, are merely divided into two lobes. The 
calyx is reddish, with triangular teeth. The anthers and stigmas are produced in 
separate flowers ; occasionally flowers may be found with both organs, but one or 
the other will be undeveloped. 

The Red Campion is a plant of the hedge-bank and the copse, where it may be 
found in flower from June to September. In Cornwall it keeps fully in flower till 
the end of the year. This page was written there a few days before Christmas, when 
the fern-clad rocky hedgerows were lit up with great numbers of the flowers of Red 
Campion and Herb-Robert. 

The name Lychnis is from the Greek, Luchnos, a lamp or torch, the application 
of which is obscure. 

Bluebottle or Cornflower (Centaur ea cyanus). 

The Centaureas are closely allied to the thistles, and share 
with them that hard-headedness which makes the thistle so 
good a type of the canny Scot. The Bluebottle must not be 
sought in the company of the thistles on wastes and in neg- 
lected corners of pasture, but, as one of its folk-names indicates, 
in the cornfield. Beginning to flower in June, it keeps up the 
display of bright blue until the reapers cut it down. 

Bluebottle is a composite flower, and it should afford interest 
to the reader, when he finds the blossoms, to institute a com- 
parison between it and that of the Daisy or other of the Com- 
posites we have already described. 

The thin stem is but slightly branched, and the long lower 
leaves are much cut up and very attenuated. Nearer the 
summit of the stems the leaves are simpler, and reduced to a 
very slight width. The stems and the under sides of the leaves 
are covered with loose cottony fibres. The flower-heads have 
for involucre a number of greenish scales, with toothed brown 
margins. The ray-florets are bright blue, their free ends divided 
into five teeth ; the inner or disc-florets are much darker. The 
stamens are irritable, and if touched withdraw into the tube. 



There are five other British species of Centaurea, of which 
several are rare or extremely local in their distribution. The 
more frequent species are : 

I. Black Knapweed (C. nigra). Leaves rough, entire or lobed, the lower ones 
with stalks. The heads large and globose, as much as an inch and a half in 
diameter. Involucral scales circular, brown, toothed. Florets purple. Common 
in meadows and pastures. June to September. 

II. Greater Knapweed, or Hard Heads (C. scabiosa). The leaves are deeply 
pinnate, like the lower ones of Bluebottle. Heads as much as two inches diameter. 
Involucral scales cottony, with dark brown, almost black, margin, and paler 
fringe. Florets rich purple. Waste places. July to September. 

Round-leaved Mallow (Malva rotundifolia). 

The Round-leaved or Dwarf Mallow is not so well known as 
the Common Mallow (M. sylvestris), though it is nearly as 
common. Its flowers are small, and not nearly so conspicuous 
as those of sylvestris. Like that plant it is found growing by the 
wayside and on waste places where garden refuse, etc., is 
dumped. Our three species of Malva are all perennials, and 
all possess tough fibrous stems. Those of rotundifolia are 
downy, and lie along the ground and bear many lobed, often 
toothed, leaves, whose general outline is circular. The flowers 
are clustered in the axils, and consist of a five-parted calyx, to 
which is attached a kind of involucre of three bracts, and five 
distant petals, their tips with a central notch. There are ten 
styles, the inner surfaces of which are stigmatic ; they curl about 
in various directions, mingling with the numerous anthers, and 
so ensuring self-fertilization. The fruit consists of a large 
number of one-seeded carpels arranged in a circle, but easily 
becoming detached after ripening. Flowers June to Sep- 
The other species are : 

I. Common Mallow (M. sylvestris). Its stems are erect, somewhat hairy. Leaves 
more distinctly lobed. Flowers large, the petals heart-shaped, pale purple (mauve). 
The anthers mature before the stigmas, unlike M. rotundifoli(t ) where both organs 


Cornflower. Blue-bottle. 

Gentaurea cyanus. 



Dwarf Mallow. 

Malva rotundifolia. 



mature at the same time. This brings out an interesting point in their relations to 
insects, as shown by H. Miiller. The styles, instead of mingling with the anthers, 
hold themselves strictly above the drooping stamens, and self-fertilization is impos- 
sible. To secure cross-fertilization the flowers are large, and more showy than in 
rotundifolia, and attract many insects, which bring and carry pollen. June to 

II. Musk Mallow (M. mosckatus). Flowers not quite so large as the last, rosy, 
clustered at end of erect stems. Leaves divided into five to seven segments, which 
are nearly pinnate. Very slight odour of musk when the leaves are passed through 
the hands. Dry meadows and hedgerows. July and August. The Marsh-mallow 
belongs to another genus (A Ithcea). 

Chicory or Succory (Cichorium intybus). Plate 69. 

The Wild Chicory is peculiarly a plant of the dry roadside, 
especially in chalky districts, where it is a striking feature. The 
rigid erectness of its stems is not pleasing, but the bright, pale- 
blue flowers, attached to the stem without the intervention of 
flower-stalks, arrest attention. Its thick, fleshy tap-root is the 
substance that, when roasted and ground, bulks so largely in 
" The finest French Coffees, as sold in Paris," of our grocers. 
For this purpose it is cultivated on a large scale in Germany 
and Belgium. 

If reference be made to the figure of the Dandelion on page 
20 it will be seen that there is considerable resemblance 
between the leaves of the two. The radical leaves of Chicory 
spread themselves out, rosette fashion, upon the ground ; the 
few that are scattered alternately up the somewhat hairy stem 
clasp the latter with the two lobes at their base. The flowers 
are usually in pairs. The involucre consists of two series of 
bracts, the outer row being reflexed, and shorter than the inner. 
The tubes of the ray-florets are split open, so that the rays are 
broad and strap-shaped, with a straight end notched into five 
ceeth. It flowers from July to October. 

The generic name is from an old Greek name for the plant, 
and a similar word is in use in nearly all the languages of 

F 2 


Yernal Wood-rush (Luzula vernalis). 

The Rushes as a whole (Juncus and Luzuld) form a group 
of plants that is generally despised, except for weaving into 
mats, and, in other days, for providing wicks for rush-lights. 
We have in the one genus cylindric, in the other flattened 
grass-like, leaves, and inconspicuous flowers of green or brown ; 
and yet the evolutionists tell us on the evidence of those 
flowers that the rushes are descendants of a noble family the 
lilies who have in the struggle for existence taken to a less 
showy role in life, in order that that they might be included in 
the list of the surviving " fittest." The truth of this will be 
apparent if we take the flower of a present-day lily a tulip or 
a tiger-lily will do and compare it with this Vernal Wood- 
rush. We shall find every part of the lily reproduced in the rush- 
flower on a small scale, with the greatest economy of materials. 

The Wood-rushes (Luzuld) are all perennial plants. Their 
leaves are like the blades of soft grass, the edges fringed with 
long white silky hairs. The floral leaves (perianth} are six in 
number, in two series, and are chaffy in texture. Stamens 
six. The ovary is broad, narrowing to the summit, upon which 
is the style, ending in three long stigmas covered with minute 
raised points. The fruit is a one-celled, three- valved capsule, 
containing three seeds at the bottom. In L. vernalis the 
flowers are chestnut brown, with the perianth-segments 
shorter than the blunt-topped capsule, and pointed at the tips ; 
clustered in twos and threes and grouped in lax cymes. The 
radical leaves are broad ( inch), soft and sparingly hairy. 
Woods and shady places, flowering March to May. Other 
members of the genus are : 

I. The Great Hairy Wood-rush (L. maxima) is much larger, the leaves sometimes 
half an inch broad and a foot long, sparsely hairy. Flowers paler, three or four 
clustered ] cymes large, compound. Woods and heaths. May and June. 

II. Narrow-leaved Wood-rush (L. forstert). Similar to L. vernalis, but more 



Cichorium intybus. 


Broad-leaved Woodrush. 

Luzula vernalis. 


slender and taller. Capsule pointed. Shady places on chalk or gravel, not farther 
north than South Wales and Oxford. April to June. 

III. Field Wood-rush (L . campestris). Rootstock creeping. Leaves very hairy. 
Perianth segments longer than the broad rounded and spiked capsule. Flowers in 
dense clusters of three or four, in short cymes. Heaths and pastures. April to 

IV. Spiked Mountain Wood-rush (L. spicata). This and the next are purely 
mountain species, restricted to an altitude of one to over four thousand feet for spicata, 
and from three to over four thousand for arcuata. The leaves are narrow, leathery, 
and the hairiness is confined to the lower end. Flowers smaller than the silvery, 
chaffy, awned scales (bracteoles) below them. The perianth segments end in awns, 
and are longer than the abruptly-pointed capsule. The cymes are densely flowered, 
drooping and spike-like. Flowers in July. 

V. Curved Mountain Wood-rush (Z/. arcuata). The smallest, rarest, and most 
distinct of our native species. The stems do not exceed about 4 inches, and are 
proportionately stout. Rootstock creeping. Leaves short, narrow, leathery, slightly 
hairy. Flowers dark brown, three to five hi a cluster, in lax cymes ; the perianth 
segments extended into a point. Bracteoles pointed, not awned, not silvery. Moun- 
tains in Scotland only. July. 

The Greater Dodder (Cuscuta europaa). 

There are two Dodders indigenous to this country, and we 
have the misfortune to have introduced a third with flax-seed 
from abroad. The one figured is the Greater Dodder, which is 
usually found clinging in a tangle round the stems of nettles, 
oats, thistles, vetches, etc. This close embrace is sinister in 
character, for, as may be guessed from the entire absence of 
leaves and green-colouring matter, the plant is a parasite. Its 
stem is a mere thread, varying from red to yellow in hue, and 
having at frequent intervals bunches of reddish flowers. These 
are very small, but if separated will be found to consist of a 
four- or five-parted calyx, a persistent pitcher-shaped corolla of 
similar parts, and stamens to match. Styles two, entirely 
within the flower. This species is not found north of Yorkshire, 
and is everywhere rare. It flowers from July to September. 
The common species, to be found growing on thyme, heather, 
and furze, is, 

The Lesser Dodder (C. e$ithymum), with finer stems of a more crimson tint, and 


the styles protruding. There is a variety of this which confines its attention to the 
clover plant, and has, in consequence, been raised to the dignity of a separate 
species by some authors (C. trifolii). In addition there is the Flax-dodder (C. 
epilinuni), previously alluded to as having been introduced from the Continent with 

Owing to the serious nature of the attacks of this foreign invader upon our flax- 
crops Professor Buckman was induced years ago to experiment, with the object of 
elucidating its mode of growth. He found that seeds of Dodder sown strictly 
apart from any host-plants germinated in four days, and on the sixth a thread-like 
plant was seeking a foster-parent, but by the eighth, not having succeeded in its 
object, it died. Others were sown in company with flax-seed, and in a few days the 
young dodders attached themselves to the young flax-plants, made one or two tight 
coils round the victims, whose growth soon lifted the dodders right out of the soil, 
and thereupon the parasites sent aerial roots into the flax, and their natural roots 
dwindled and perished. Thereafter its true parasitical growth is most rapid, to the 
detriment of the foster plant. 

The genus is included in the Natural Order Convolvulaceae. 

Corn Cockle (Githago segetum). Plate 72. 

Wandering through or round the cornfields any time from 
June to September we are almost sure to find this beautiful 
flower. It is first cousin to the Lychnis, already described, and 
in general structure agrees with it, only differing from it in 
having a leathery calyx, and in the absence of the crown of little 
scales which surround the mouth of the corolla-tube in Lychnis. 
They produce honey, but owing to the length of the tube it is 
only accessible to the long tongues of butterflies and moths, 
who are instrumental in effecting its cross-fertilization. The 
plant is an annual, with erect branching stem, clothed with white 
hairs. The leaves are long and narrow, four or five inches long. 
The woolly calyx is in one, strongly ribbed, with five very long 
leaf-like teeth, that considerably exceed the petals in length. 
The flowers are purple, and measure nearly two inches across. 

This is the only native species ; indeed, some writers 
consider it to be only an introduced plant a form of Agros- 
temma gradlis that has been altered by its continuous growth 
in our cultivated fields. 

Greater Dodder. 

Guscuta europsea. 


Corn Cockle. 

Githago segetum. 


Purple Medick or Lucerne (Medicago sativa.) Plate 73. 

Though the rambler will find this handsome plant growing 
apparently wild in the hedgerow and on the borders of fields, 
he must not too hastily conclude it is a native. The species 
has been largely grown here as a green fodder plant, for 
which it is highly esteemed, and it has escaped from the fields 
and reproduced itself without man's aid. A glance at its 
flowers will show it is a leguminous plant. Its stems are hollow, 
branched ; its leaves trifoliate, with long-pointed stipules at 
the base of the leaf-stalk. From the axils of the leaves arise 
long stalks, whose free ends are crowded with the deep purple 
(sometimes yellow) flowers. A peculiarity of this genus consists 
in the seed pod being more or less spirally twisted. In the 
present species it is downy and has two or three coils. It 
flowers from May to July. 

It has been thought to be a cultivated variety of the next 
species, M.falcata. The name Medicago is from the old Greek 
medike, so-called because it was introduced into Greece by the 
Medes. The following species also occur in this country : 

I. Yellow Sickle Medick (M. falcata), with yellow (sometimes violet) flowers, 
and a flat downy pod coiled in the shape of a sickle or a ring. Dry gravelly banks, 
old walls and sandy wastes in the Eastern Counties. June and July. This and 
M. sativa are perennials ; the following are annuals : 

II. Black Medick or Nonsuch (M. lupulinci). So much like Trifolium pro- 
cnmbcns, described on p. 49, that farmers have given it the name of Hop-Trefoil, 
which properly belongs to the latter species, from which this may be easily separated 
by noting that the black kidney-shaped pods are naked, that is, not wrapped in the 
dried flower. It should also be observed that the pods are marked by prominent 
veins running throughout their length. Flowers small, crowded, yellow. Waste 
grounds and cultivated fields. May to August. 

III. Reticulated Medick (M. denticiilata). Stems creeping. Leaflets heart- 
shaped, toothed. Flowers yellow, in umbels. Pod beautifully covered with network 
of veins ; broad, flat, and coiled into a spiral ; edges with double row of spines. 
South and Eastern Counties, and Ireland. May to August. 

IV. Spotted Medick (M. maculata). Similar to last, but pod more globose, net- 
work faint, the spines long and curved. Leaflets often with black spot in centre. 
Leaf-stalk hairy. Gravelly pastures and hedgebanks in England and South 
Ireland. May to August. 


Yellow Iris or Flag (Iris pseudacorus). Plate 74. 

Fringing our rivers, ditches and lakes, the Yellow Iris 
appears to be defending them with drawn sword. Everybody 
knows the sharp-edged leaves of this species, that may cut 
the hands of the gatherer if he be not careful. Equally well- 
known are the bright blossoms that begin to appear in May 
and keep up a succession until late in July ; but probably most 
of the unscientific readers who have honoured me with their 
company thus far and who have learned, I trust, to know the 
parts of a flower at sight would be incorrect in their descrip- 
tion of this common flower. Anyway, it will be worth their 
while dissecting a flower. The parts of the flower are in 
threes, but the sepals are more petal-like than the petals, and so 
are the styles. The sepals are in fact the most striking 
organs ; they are broad, and reflexed to form convenient alight- 
ing platforms for a heavy humble-bee. The petals are narrow, 
erect, or curved towards the centre of the flower, to be out of 
the way of the broader, arching style, which is spread out and 
coloured like a petal, with the stigmatic surface near the 
upturned tips. Beneath this arching style lies the anther, 
similarly curved, and opening away from the stigma. 

Note the why and wherefore of this departure from orthodox 
arrangements of floral organs. At the bottom of the flower- 
tube honey is secreted, and to obtain this the flower is visited 
by humble-bees. In order that his long tongue may reach the 
honey, the bee has to push his head and back against the 
stigma and the anther. If he has previously visited a flag- 
flower his back will be covered with pollen, some of which 
will adhere to the stigma. He will also take away on his head 
and back some of the pollen from the flower he is now visiting, 
and will fertilize other flags with. it. 

There is .another British species, 

The Stinking Iris. Gladdon, or Roast-beef plant (Iris 


Lucerne, Purple Medick. 

Medicago sativa. 


Yellow Iris. Flag. 

Iris pseudacorus. 



fcetidissima}, with purple sepals, yellow petals and stigmas. 
Flowers not quite so large as the last. Woods and copses. 
May to July. 

Marsh Orchis (Orchis latifolid). 

There are nearly forty British species of Orchideae, divided 
into sixteen genera ; and in the space at our disposal it is 
impossible to give anything like an adequate account of the 
group or of the specific characters. An attempt will be made, 
however, to make the reader acquainted with the general 
structure by means of three figures. The first of these 
represents the Marsh Orchis (O. latifolia), a species commonly 
to be met in wet meadows and marshy places, flowering from 
May to July. The two tubers are palmate, that is, more or less 
flattened like a hand, and terminating in finger-like processes. 
The leaves chiefly spring from the summit of one of these 
tubers, the lowest acting as sheath for the next, and so on, the 
tubular flower-stem rising through all the sheaths. The leaves 
are oblong, and spotted with purple. The inflorescence is a 
spike, the flowers crowded upon it, but separated by the long 
three-nerved green bracts. The structure of these flowers will 
be found to differ widely from all we have considered in these 
pages. The perianth is placed above the (consequently 
inferior) ovary, which is twisted. This twist, it will be well 
to bear in mind, brings the flower " upside down." The three 
sepals and the three petals are equally coloured, and it is 
therefore convenient to speak of them as the perianth. There 
is only one stamen, which is supported by the pistil. Two of 
the perianth leaves combine to form a hood over the stamen, 
and a third is greatly larger than the others, divided into three 
lobes and hanging down like the lip of a labiate flower. This 
is known as the labellum, and it is continued backwards and 
downwards as a hollow spur, in which, however, honey is not 


secreted. At the top of this spur, at the back, is the stigmatic 
surface, and above it protrudes a fleshy knob, called the 
rostellum, which supports the anther. This organ consists of 
two lobes, side by side, which open in front, and reveal in each 
a mass of pollen grains tied together by elastic threads and 
attached to a slender foot-stalk with a sticky base. This is a 
tedious description, though we have made it as brief as pos- 
sible. The reader shall see the reason for it if he will conduct 
a little experiment. We may premise that these orchids are 
fertilized by long-tongued insects, who suck the juice through 
the tender skin lining the spur. 

Now for the experiment. Take a finely-pointed pencil, 
which we will pretend is the head and tongue of a humble-bee 
in search of this sweet juice. We push the point gently down 
the spur, when a part of the pencil touches against the rostel- 
lum and presses it down, touches lightly the viscid feet of the 
pollen masses (pollinia)^ and as the pencil is withdrawn both 
come with it, and stick out from it like a pair of horns. Be 
careful to hold the pencil in the exact position it now occupies, 
and watch. The heavy heads of the pollinia are drooping 
forward, but after a few minutes they cease to fall lower. Now 
push the pencil into this other flower. The pollen-masses go 
directly to the stigma^ and some of the pollen is detached. 
If you are watching where orchids grow it is no uncommon 
thing to see insects flying around with these pollinia attached 
to their heads or tongues like a pair of horns. 

It will be seen to be impossible for the pollen to fall upon 
the stigma of the same flower, and from its elastic attachments 
it is impossible that it should be carried by the wind to 
another flower, so that insect agency is here an absolute 


Marsh Orchis. 

Orchis latifolia. 


Butterfly Orchis. 

Habenaria bifolia. 


The Butterfly Orchis (Habenaria bifolia). 

This species is very similar in structure and habit to the 
Marsh Orchis, but the tubers are more cylindrical in shape, the 
radical leaves almost always restricted to two, the flower-spike 
lax. Flowers white with a greenish tinge, the labellum and 
spur very long : fragrant. The stigma two-lobed. Fertilized 
by moths. Occurs in meadows, hill-sides and woods, flowering 
from June to August. 

The Bee Orchis (Ophrys apt/era). 

In the genus Ophrys we have three species whose flowers 
bear quite startling likeness to a bee, spider and fly respec- 
tively. What is the purpose of this counterfeit presentment 
it is difficult to conjecture. It has been suggested that it 
might be to warn off or deceive insects, as the flowers are self- 
fertilized, but Charles Darwin did not think this was the 
probable reason. There is no spur in this group, there is no 
rostellum, and the ovary is not twisted. The stalks (caudicles) 
of the pollinia are so long and thin that the weight of the 
pollen masses causes them to bend over and touch against the 
stigma, fertilizing it. 

I. Bee Orchis (O. apifera). The labellum is very convex and broad, three-lobed, 
of a rich velvety-brown colour, with a tail. The sepals are pinkish. The spike has 
only about about half a dozen flowers upon it, with a large leafy bract under each. 
Hillsides, fields and copses on chalk and limestone, chiefly in the South of England 
and Ireland. June and July. (Plate 77.) 

II. Spider Orchis (O. aranifera). Similar to the last, but the sepals greenish, 
labellum differently marked, and without a tail. Similar situations to apifera, but 
much more rare. April and May. 

III. Fly Orchis (O. tnuscifera). Sepals greenish, labellum narrow, flat, brown, 
with a yellow-edged, squarish blue patch. Strikingly like a fly. May to July. 

The name of the genus is from the Greek, ophrus, an eyebrow, said to refer to the 
markings on the labellum. 

Several other British species in different genera from those named bear similarly 
strange likenesses, such as the extremely rare Lizard Orchis (Orcfa's kircina), but 
some of the foreign forms are more remarkable still. 


In addition to the species figured and those briefly described, 
we would call attention to a few others that may come under 
the rambler's notice. In boggy ground and sphagnum beds he 
may be so fortunate as to find the rare Bog Orchis (Malaxis 
paludosa), a small plant with tiny yellow-green flowers (July to 
September), and the scanty leaves producing bulbils from their 
edges which grow into new plants. In similar situations in 
the eastern counties he may even find the larger but much 
rarer Fen Orchis (Lip arts loeselit). 

A singular species, to be found chiefly in beechwoods through- 
out the country, is the Birds'-nest Orchis (Neottia nidus-avis], 
so called from the peculiar character of its roots, which are 
stout and juicy, and woven into a resemblance to a nest. The 
whole plant is of a pretty uniform brown tint both stem and 
flowers. There are no leaves, for the plant lives upon decaying 
vegetable matter, and has no necessity to bother about chloro- 
phyll. It is botanically known as a saprophyte. Flowers June 
and July. 

The very distinct Twayblade (Listera ovata) is sure to be 
encountered in woods and pastures. Its two leaves are very 
broad, and appear to be opposite, but are not really so. The 
flowers are small and greenish ; they appear in May. There 
is a singular fact in connection with the fertilization of this 
plant that should be noted. The pollen-masses are dry and 
friable, and would not be likely to adhere to insects. But if 
the rostellum be touched ever so lightly, it instantly exudes a 
gummy fluid, which enables the pollen to stick tightly to the 
insect causing the irritation. Examine the flower with your 
lens, irritate the rostellum by prodding it with the point of a 
hair from your own head, and note what you observe. 

At the end of Summer in dry pastures there may be found a 
slender plant with a twisted spike of fragrant white flowers. 
These flowers are very small, enclosed each in a hood-like 
bract. It is the Autumnal Lady's-tresses (Spiranthes autum- 


Bee Orchis. 

Ophrys apifen 



Campanula rotundifolia. 

Common Centaury. 

Erythrsea centaurium. 



nalis}. The rosette of leaves from the root does not appear 
until after the flowers. 

Hairbell or Blue-bell (Campanula rotundifolia). 

This is the true Blue-bell of Scotland. As we have indicated 
(page 14), the Blue-bell of the Southron is the Wild Hyacinth. 
Scotsmen are very sensitive upon the point of the Hyacinth 
having so dear a name bestowed upon it, when it has already a 
sufficiently good and classical one, and there are few, if any, 
more certain ways of rousing a Scot than by exhibiting Scilla as 
the true Blue-bell, or by describing Campanula as the Hair- 
bell. Others have found the plant a fruitful source of con- 
troversy on a philological point should it be spelled Hairbell 
or Harebell ? does its name refer to the slender hair-like 
stems, or to its habit of growing where hares delight to revel ? 
As against Hairbell, which is descriptive of the plant, Harebell 
has no chance of retention among botanists, whatever philo- 
logists may say. 

There are six species of Campanula included in the British 
flora, of which two are rare, and one of these is probably only 
an escape from cultivation. The characteristic of them all is a 
beautiful bell-shaped corolla with five lobes, five stamens, and 
the style with three to five stigmas. They are mostly perennial, 
and the flowers most frequently blue. C. rotundifolia has a 
creeping rootstock, and several slender-angled stems. The 
first formed leaves, near the ground, are more or less rotund in 
shape, and stalked, but as they occur higher up the stem they 
are more and more linear. The flowers are nodding or droop- 
ing, and swayed by the breeze. Heaths and pastures. July to 

The Nettle-leaved Bell-flower (C. trachelium) is an erect tall- 
stemmed (3 feet or more) hairy species, with leaves like nettles, 
with large purple flowers in a terminal panicle. Woody lanes 
and copses. August to October. 


The Centaury (Erythrcea centaurium). 

A very neat and beautiful plant, not nearly so well-known as 
it should be. It is an annual plant, with erect stem, less than a 
foot in height, the leaves in pairs growing together at their 
bases, and funnel-shaped pink flowers produced in terminal 
cymes. It grows in woods and sandy or chalky pastures, 
flowering from June till September. 

The name is from the Greek, Eruthros, red, in allusion to 
the pink flowers. 

Wild Mignonette (Reseda luted), and 
Weld or Dyer's-weed (Reseda luteola). 

So familiar is the Sweet Mignonette of our gardens, and so 
like and yet unlike are these wild species, that whilst no one 
would take them for the garden plant one need not be a 
botanist to see their natural affinities at a glance. Like their 
garden relative these are annual herbs, becoming biennial when 
we have mild winters ; with flowers that are individually 
inconspicuous, but which gain sufficient prominence by being 
associated in racemes. In colour they are a yellow-green. 
The calyx is irregular, and divided into from four to seven 
narrow segments ; there is a similar number of unequal petals, 
each deeply cleft into two lobes, and a multitude of stamens. 
The stigmas are lobes at the mouth of the open ovary. 

I. Wild Mignonette (R. luted) grows in dry waste places, 
especially in chalky districts. Its leaves vary a great deal, but 
are either pinnate or deeply lobed in a somewhat irregular 
manner. Flowers, pale-yellow in a tolerably dense raceme. 
Very similar to the Sweet Mignonette, but stiffer, more erect, 
and scentless. Flowers June to September. 

II. Weld (R. luteola). This is a much taller plant than R. lutea, 
with longer racemes and denser ; the flowers more green than 


Wild Mignonette. Weld. Dyer's Weed. 

Reseda lutea. Reseda luteola. 





Borago officinalis. 


yellow, and with undivided glossy leaves. Petals, three, four, 
or five. In the days before aniline colours this plant was much 
used by dyers, and cultivated for their purposes. It yields a 
beautiful yellow dye, and its juice is also used in the prepara- 
tion of the artist's colour called Dutch pink. If is a common 
wayside plant in England and in Ireland, more rare in Scotland, 
and flowers from June to September. 

The name is from the Latin, Reseda, to appease, from these 
plants being formerly considered as sedatives. 

Borage (Borago offidnalis). 

This is a plant one may find on rubbish heaps and waste 
ground anywhere near the habitations of man, for it is not, 
strictly speaking, a native, though thoroughly well-established 
here. An old adage runs : " I, Borage, always bring courage," 
and it was supposed to brace up the heart for great enterprises. 
It was therefore widely cultivated in old gardens, and has sur- 
vived to this day in the grounds of old houses, where it has 
frequently made its escape, or surplus plants have been thrown 
out upon the rubbish heaps. Instead of allowing itself to go 
the way of garden refuse, it has taken hold of the ground there, 
multiplied and brightened the place with its beauty. 

Every part of the plant, except the corolla, bristles with short 
stiff hairs. It has an erect juicy stem, and rough, lance- 
shaped leaves, the radical ones on long footstalks, those on the 
stem stalkless and clasping their support. The sepals are five 
in number, long and narrow, cohering by their bases. The 
corolla is of the form technically known as rotate, that is, with 
the petals joined at their lower parts to a short tube, from the 
top of which five pointed lobes radiate. It is coloured a most 
brilliant and beautiful blue, such as is rarely seen in flowers. 
There is a pale yellow ovary that secretes honey, and around 
it, attached to the throat of the corolla-tube, are the five united 


stamens. The anthers are dark purple, and open in such 
manner that the pollen falls between them and the pistil, some- 
what as in Viola. By this arrangement both honey and pollen 
are protected from the depredations of insects who have no 
right to it. Bees, however, in forcing their tongues down to 
the honeyed ovary, separate the anthers and let loose the 
pollen, which falls upon their heads and will be brought into 
contact with the stigma of another flower at their next visit. 
Cross-fertilization is further helped by the stigmas of a flower 
not becoming ripe until its anthers have shed their pollen. 
Flowers June and July. 

Name probably from the Latin Bourra, a flock of wool, in 
allusion to its hairy character. 

Oblong Pond- weed (Potamogeton polygomfolius). 

We have pond-weeds in abundance, but the Potamogetons 
are the pond-weeds par excellence. There is scarcely a piece 
of water in this country, be it river, lake, pond, canal, or inter- 
mittently dry ditch, but has one or more species growing there. 
The genus is a very difficult one, such as it is impossible to do 
more than show the general characters of here. Hooker and 
Bennett, in their revision of the genus, give twenty-one British 
species with a number of connecting sub-species and varieties. 
The one figured here is the Oblong Pond-weed (P. polygoni- 
folitis) , with narrowly egg-shaped floating leaves, and narrower 
submerged leaves. All have long leaf-stalks. The floating leaves 
always present the upper side to the air, and are always perfectly 
dry. The flowers are greenish and unattractive, collected into a 
slender spike. Individually they consist of a four-parted peri- 
anth, four stamens, four carpels. There is a species (P. natans] 
with broader floating leaves and narrow submerged leaves. A 
broader still is P. plantagineus, with clearer leaves and more 
slender leaf-stalks. P. crispus, P. densus, P. perfoliatus^ P. 


Oblong-leaved Pond-weed. 

Potamogeton polygonifolius. 

Traveller's Joy. 

Clematis vitalba. 


prtzlongus, etc., have only submerged leaves, which are more 
or less oblong. 

The species with floating leaves form refuges for many in- 
teresting low forms of life, and the microscopist will find them 
very fruitful in specimens for him. 

The name is from the Greek words, potamos, a river, and 
geiton, a neighbour. 

Traveller's Joy (Clematis vitalba). 

When rambling, in chalky districts especially, our readers 
will meet this climbing shrub at every turn, scrambling over all 
the hedges, flinging its arms out over the way, and clinging 
persistently to any branch or shoot it touches. It has a variety 
of names, some of which may be applied at different seasons 
by persons who think they are speaking of different plants. In 
the early summer it may be the White Vine, or the Virgin's 
Bower ; in autumn, when the feathery awns are lengthening on 
its seed-vessels, it may fitly be called the Old Man's Beard, and 
when winter has cleared most things away from the hedges, 
but left these gleaming feathers in abundance, it may give the 
Traveller Joy to see them as he passes. 

It is a perennial plant, with a tough stem, climbing by means 
of its leaf-stalks, which curl round any likely support, and 
become hard as wire. The leaves are opposite and compound, 
the leaflets usually five, the stalks of these also acting as 
tendrils. The flower has no corolla, but the four thick sepals 
are coloured geenish-white to serve instead. The stamens are 
a crowd round the central cluster of many-bearded styles, which 
afterwards elongate and become the " old men's beards." The 
flowers, which are slightly fragrant, may be found from July to 

The Traveller's Joy is peculiarly English, so far as its dis- 
tribution in the United Kingdom is concerned. It is found 
only to the south of Denbigh and Stafford. This, too, is the 



only British member of the genus ; but a very large number of 
foreign species are cultivated in our gardens, where they are 
quite hardy. 
The name is from the Greek Klema, a vine-twig. 

The Self-Heal (Brumlla vulgaris). 

A perennial herb of the wayside and the damp pasture, that 
has fallen upon evil days, so far as reputation is concerned. 
Time was when it was considered one of the most useful 
medicines for inward and outward wounds. Culpepper says " he 
needeth neither physician nor surgeon that hath Self-heal and 
Sanicle to help himself," and he prints that sentence in italics, 
to impress it more firmly upon his readers. On this account it 
was called Carpenter's Herb, Hook-heal, Sickle-wort, and 
Prunella. The last is a softened form of Brunella, from the 
German Brdune (quinsy), because it was believed to cure that 
complaint. Its reputation has passed, but the names remain, 
and one has been adopted as its scientific appellation. 

There is a suggestion of the Bugle in its general appearance, 
but seen together (see page 21) there is no danger of mistaking 
them. In Ajuga the whorls are far apart, in Brunella they are 
contracted into a dense head. The corolla here is broader, the 
upper lip erect and vaulted, whilst in Ajuga it is short and 

The plant has the square stem, lipped flowers, and four 
stamens, characteristic of the Labiate order, a creeping root- 
stock, and stalked leaves ; these are long, oval, toothed, or 
with entire margins. The bracts of the flower-spike have purple 
edges. Leaves and stem more or less hairy ; flowers purple, 
sometimes white or crimson. July to September. Occasion- 
ally small flowers are produced later, in which the anthers are 
suppressed, but the pistil is perfect. 

This is the only British member of the genus, whose name 
has been explained above. 



Brunella vulgaris. 

- 84 - 

Goat's Beard. 

Tragopogon pratensis. 


Goat's Beard (Tragopogon pratensis). 

One of the folk-names of this plant is " John-go-to-bed-at- 
Noon," and I think it is the only example of a British plant 
name that is a sentence of six words. " Three-faces-under-a- 
hood " runs it pretty closely, but the few names we have of this 
order do not usually exceed four words ; such as Queen-of-the- 
Meadows, Jack-by-the-hedge, and Poor-man's-weatherglass. 
John-go-to-bed, etc., is a nice expressive name, and is due to 
the fact that the flower is an early-closer with a vengeance. 
It is probably the originator of the eight-hours day, for it opens 
at four in the morning and closes by twelve. Farmers' boys 
were said of old to consult its flowers with reference to dinner- 
time, but probably in these days of machine-made watches the 
practice is obsolete. 

Goat's-beard has a tap-root, somewhat like a parsnip, and 
long curling grass-like, stalkless leaves that clasp the stem by 
their bases. The flower-heads are solitary, yellow, and the 
eight involucral bracts are united at the base. All the florets 
(like those of Dandelion, Sowthistle and Chicory) are rayed, 
and contain both stamens and pistil. They are invested with 
pappus hairs (see page 20), which are stiff and feathered. It 
is from these beards the plant gets its English name, which is 
reproduced in the Greek words from which the name of the 
genus is composed, tragos, a goat, and ogon, a beard. It 
flowers during June and July, and is fairly common in meadows 
and wastes in England ; much more rarely in Scotland and 

There is an introduced species with larger purple or rose-coloured flowers, found 
occasionally in damp meadows. This is the Salsify (Tragopogon porrifoli-its}. It 
is occasionally grown for the sake of its roots, which have a medicinal value, but 
inferior to those of Scorzonera, which it somewhat resembles. 

G 2 


Wild Thyme (Thymus serpyllum). 

The Wild Thyme grows on the hills and the high heath 
lands, usually among fine grasses that are close-cropped by 
sheep and rabbits ; or if on lower ground it will probably be 
found upon the light and well-drained soil of a mole-hill among 
mosses. In spite of its diminutive stature it is a shrub, with 
a woody rootstock and a creeping stem, from which arise the 
flowering steins. The leaves, which are very small and 
stalked, are egg-shaped, with even margins, often turned under. 
The rosy-purple flowers are produced in spikes. They are of 
the usual labiate type, and both the calyx and the corolla are 
two-lipped. The upper lip of the calyx is three-toothed, the 
lower cleft in two, the whole of a purplish hue. The upper 
lip of the corolla is straight and notched, the lower cut into 
three lobes. There are two forms of flower smaller and larger ; 
the small are perfect, the larger bearing developed anthers 
only. It should be noted also that in the complete flowers 
the anthers shed their pollen before the stigmas are ripe ; self- 
fertilization is therefore impossible. The flower produces 
much honey, the whole plant is highly fragrant, and in con- 
sequence is very much visited by insects who carry the pollen. 
While the stamens are ripe the pistil is short and almost 
hidden within the corolla-tube ; when the pollen has been shed 
the style elongates, the two arms of the stigma diverge and 
occupy a prominent position far outside the lips. Under this 
arrangement insects alighting on the younger flowers dust 
themselves with pollen, and upon visiting those a day or two 
older could scarcely fail to deposit some of it upon the ripe 

This is the only native species of a genus named from the 
ancient Greek name for the plant. 


Wild Thyme. 

Thymus serpyllum. 


All-Good. Goose-foot. 

Chenopodium bonus-henricus. 


Mercury Goosefoot (Chenopodium bonus-henricus). 

The genus to which this plant belongs consists of thorough 
weeds. Their habitat is waste places, usually where the soil 
is made up of man's refuse. The plants are fairly uniform in 
colour, from stem to leaf and flower. They are fertilized by the 
wind, so they have no need to put on showy colours to attract 
insects. The flowers are small, and the petals are entirely 
wanting ; they consist of from three to five sepals, from two 
to five stamens ranged around the ovary, which is surmounted 
by the two or three spreading stigmas. Some are distinguished 
by unpleasant odours, and they have little to attract popular 
attention, although some have been used as potherbs notably 
the species figured, and which rejoices in the alternative titles 
of "Good King Henry" and "All-good." 

Mercury Goosefoot (C. bonus-henricus] is a perennial with a 
thick fleshy rootstock, and erect channelled stems from one to 
three feet in height. The leaves are large, dark green, and of 
the shape that botanists describe as " hastate," that is, like the 
head of an ancient halberd. These leaves are somewhat 
succulent, and in some places are used as a substitute for 
spinach. The ovary when ripe becomes what is technically 
known as a utricle, a thin loose case containing a single seed. 
In this species the seed is black, marked with small punctures. 
Flowers May to August. 

All the other British species are annuals, and among them may be noted the 
Stinking Goosefoot (C. vulvaria), with spreading stems, small, greasy, mealy 
leaves, grey-green, and with an odour like rotten fish. Many-seeded Goosefoot 
(C. polyspennuut), with several spreading branches, ovate leaves and many minute, 
rough, dark-brown seeds. White Goosefoot (C. album), leaves ovate, covered with 
a white substance, upper portions toothed, sepals keeled, seed dark, shining, 
very minutely dotted. Red Goosefoot (C. rubniiti), with erect, frequently red, 
stems, smooth and shining, leaves variable in form, and the character of the margin, 
sometimes toothed, sometimes entire, sepals not keeled. The name is from two 
Greek words, signifying Goosefoot, in reference to the shape of the leaves in some 


Burdock (Arctium lappd). 

The Burdock is a plant well-known to artists and boys ; the 
former being interested in it as a fine foreground plant, the 
latter on account of its hooked bracts, which make the fruit- 
head an admirable instrument of torture, or an ornament for 
decorating some other person's clothes. In its young state the 
plant is suggestive of the Butterbur, the fine bold lower leaves 
having a densely cottony underside as in that plant. But 
there the similarity ends, for in Butterbur there is no rising 
stem, whereas in Burdock this ordinarily reaches a stature of 
three or four feet. We encountered a fine specimen near 
Chessington, Surrey, in June, 1894, that had reached the height 
of seven feet three inches, and as it had only just commenced 
flowering it would probably put on a few additional inches 
before its growth ceased. The stem is stout, the leaves 
alternate, heart-shaped, thick. The flowers are in dense heads, 
like a thistle, but without any spreading rays. The involucre 
globose, of many leathery bracts ending in long stiff hooks, 
by means of which the ripe heads become firmly attached to 
the coats of animals, and the seeds are thus carried far and 
wide. Corollas, five-lobed, purple. Common in all waste places. 
Flowering from June to September. According to Hooker this 
is the only British species, but the " splitters " have made four 
or more species out of it. 

The name is from the Greek, Arktos, a bear, from its rough 

Goosegrass or Cleavers (Galium aparine). 

Although Goosegrass has nothing else in common with 
Burdock it resembles it in the fact that its fruit " sticketh 
closer than a brother." It is a plant of the hedge, where it 
forms dense masses, the whole plant - stem, leaves and fruits 


~~ O J 


Arctium lappa. 

Goose-grass. Cleavers. 

Galium aparine. 


White Campion. 
Lychnis vespertina. 


being covered with flinty hooks. The rambling botanist, 
when playfully inclined, detaches a yard-length from the hedge 
and deftly throwing it against his unconscious companion's 
back, causes a hundred hooks to catch in the warp or weft 
of his coat. It belongs to the Bedstraws, a genus comprising 
nearly a dozen British species, and distinguished by having 
minute flowers, yellow, white or greenish, calyx minute, a mere 
ring, the corolla four or five-lobed, honeyed. Stamens four, 
styles two, united at their bases. The leaves are borne in 
whorls of from four to ten, at distant intervals on the square 
stem. In G. aparine the leaves vary from six to eight, the 
flower-cymes arise from their axils, the flowers are white, the 
fruit first green then becoming purplish. Flowers June and 

White Campion (Lychnis vespertina}. 

On page 66 we gave a figure of Lychnis flos-cuculi, and 
descriptions of that species and L. diurna, the Red Campion. 
The present species was classed by Linnaeus as a mere variety 
of L. diurnQ, the two being combined under the name of 
L. dioica. In general characters the White Campion agrees 
with the Red, but the calyx is more greenish, and the petals 
are entirely white (occasionally reddish). The plant is larger 
and more coarse than its diurnal relative for, as its name 
signifies, L. vespertina opens in the evening and is fertilized 
by night-flying moths. It is a fragrant plant, but its fragrance 
is reserved for its flowering time not that its nocturnal 
visitors require the scent to direct them to the flowers, for they 
glow and gleam in the dark field and hedgerow from May to 


The Holly (Ilex aquifoliuni). 

The popular knowledge of the Holly has been gained chiefly 
about Christmas-tide, when its brightly varnished yet repellent 
leaves and its brilliant berries are much sought for household 
decoration. To most persons the flower is unknown ; yet if 
they sought the holly in the woods or hedges any time from 
May to August they would probably find the white flowers 
produced in " umbellate cymes " from the axils of the leaves. 
The calyx is slightly downy, with four or five divisions. The 
petals are four in number, white, conjoined at their bases, or 
entirely separate. The stamens are four, one attached to the 
base of each petal ; stigmas also four, attached to the ovary, 
without intervening styles. The fruit, with which we are all 
so familiar by sight, is technically a drupe, in which category 
are also placed the cherry and the plum, fruits which have the 
seed enclosed in a hard " stone " (or endocarp], surrounded 
by a fleshy pericarp. The holly-berries, as the fruits are 
called (though they in no wise resemble the gooseberry, which 
is a true berry), contain four of such stones. This is the only 
British species. 

The name Ilex is said to be of Celtic origin, and derived 
from ec or ac, a sharp point, but this appears to us very 
unsatisfactory. Its old English name was holm, a word that 
has become fixed in some of our place-names for localities 
where holly is still abundant : such as Holmesdale, Holmwood, 
and Holmbury, all in Surrey. 

If the smooth grey bark of old hollies be scrutinized closely 
one may find upon it a number of raised black cuneiform 
marks, not unlike the characters of the Chinese alphabet. 
They are really the fruits of a lichen, Graphis elegans. With 
care the piece of bark containing these curious marks may be 
cut out without defacing or injuring them. 



Ilex aquifolium. 



Brassica sinapis. 


Charlock or Wild Mustard (Brassica sinapis}. 

An upland cornfield in June with Charlock between the 
short corn-plants is a beautiful sight for the rambler, but the 
farmer may be pardoned if he fails to take the aesthetic view ; 
for all that vegetable gold must be laboriously hand-picked, or 
"cleaned," as he would probably express it. Charlock is a 
weed that keeps close to the farmer ; that likes the com- 
paratively light and dry soil of the ploughed field. 

It is a hairy annual belonging to the cabbage tribe, which is 
a branch of the Crucifera or Cross-worts, so-called from the 
four petals being arranged cross- wise. In this and the two 
following species the petals are bright yellow. To make the 
flower symmetrical there should be four or eight stamens ; 
there are six, and it has been suggested that there were eight, 
but two have been suppressed. The fruit is an angular pod, 
with a straight beak, not persistent, and two hairy valves, but 
containing only one row of dark-brown seeds. Flowers from 
May to August. 

There are many species of Brassica, two of which may be 
confounded with B. sinapis ; they are : 

I. Black Mustard (B. ni^rttm). Stem bristly, upper leaves very narrow, lance- 
shaped, smooth, with entire or toothed margins. Pods awl-shaped, quadrangular. 
Beak short and slender, containing no seeds. Valves keeled. Seeds reddish-brown, 
oblong. Flowers June to September in hedges and wastes. 

II. White Mustard (B. alba). Hairy, like B. sinapis, but the hairs pointing down- 
wards. The upper leaves deeply lobed, lyre-shaped, the lobes being again cut and 
lobed. Stem marked with longitudinal incised lines. Pod short, no longer than 
the flat thin, or sword-shaped, ribbed beak. Seeds larger than the last, more 
globose, yellow. Flowers June and July in cultivated ground. 

The genus bears the Latin name for the Cabbage, the wild form of which is 
B. oleracea, a wild plant on the sea-cliffs of South-west England and Wales, from 
which have arisen the cultivated varieties known as Scotch-kail, cow-cabbage, 
savoys, brussels sprouts, red cabbage, white cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. 


Common Cow-wheat ( Melampyrum pratense). 

Quite a number of our common plants have been distin- 
guished in popular nomenclature by the prefix " cow," and as 
a general rule it would appear to have been applied in 
depreciation, as in the parallel cases of " dog," " horse," and 
" hog," to signify coarseness or worthlessness. In the case of the 
Cow-wheat our forefathers had a notion that if its seeds were 
ground up with wheat the bread made from the flour would be 
black. One of the species (M. arvense} affects cornfields, and 
its seeds are like black grains of wheat, and from this fact the 
genus gets its scientific appellation from the Greek, melas, 
black, and puros, wheat. In addition the plants themselves 
turn black when dead and dry. 

I. Common Yellow Cow-wheat (M. pratense) is an annual, partially parasitic 
upon roots, like Eyebright. The leaves are almost stalkless, very narrow, with even 
margins, and produced in pairs. The flower follows the general structure of the 
Scruphularineae (see pp. 33 and 50 ante). The calyx is five-toothed, the corolla 
tubular, straight, dilated at the mouth and two-lipped, the upper with the edges 
turned back, the lower three-lobed. The four stamens will be found close under the 
upper lip, with the small stigma. It should be noticed that in this species, which is 
common in dry woods and on heaths, the pale yellow flowers assume a horizontal 
position, whilst the capsule is mere deflexed. May to September. 

II. Small-flowered Yellow Cow-wheat (M. sylvaticuni) is a rare species, found in 
alpine woods from Yorkshire northwards. It has a small deep yellow corolla, which 
is borne more erectly than in pratense. Other points of difference will be found in 
the curved corolla-tube, and in the position of the capsule, which is not deflexed. 
Flowers July and August. 

III. Purple Field Cow-wheat (M. arvense). This is a local species who^e distri- 
bution in this country is restricted to Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Herts, and the Isle of 
Wight. Where it occurs it is a conspicuous item in the cornfield flora, by reason of 
its large spikes of flowers with their many colours. The bracts are reddish-purple, 
the corolla rosy, with yellow throat, and the lips a full pink. Flowers July and 

IV. Crested Cow- wheat (M. cristafum). This also is a rare plant, confined to the 
Eastern counties of England, and affecting woods, copses, and cornfields. It has 
broad, heart-shaped, purple bracts, with long fine teeth. The flowers in a dense 
spike (not so large as in arvense) ; corolla-tube curved, yellow, the upper lip purple 
within. Flowers September and October. 



Melampyrum pratense. 


Sea Buckthorn. 

Hippophae rhamnoides. 


Sea Buckthorn (Hippophcz rhamnoides). 

Let us say at once that this plant is in no way related to the 
Buckthorns, properly so called. It is another example of the 
readiness with which our fathers seized upon a mere super- 
ficial resemblance as justification for the partial repetition 
of a name, and to save them the trouble of finding a new one. 

Sea Buckthorn is the sole representative in this country of 
the Natural Order Elasagnaceae, and is a low shrubby tree, 
growing on sand-hills and cliffs on the East and South-east 
coasts from York to Sussex. The branches commonly end in 
a spine, which has brought the plant its alternative name of 
Sallow-thorn. The alternate leaves are a dull leaden green 
above, but the underside is covered with silvery scales. At 
first they are egg-shaped, but lengthen after the plant has 
flowered. The flowers are of two kinds, borne on separate 
plants (dicecious), one kind containing stamens only, the other 
a pistil alone. The staminate flowers are produced in clusters 
from the axils, and consist of two sepals with four stamens. 
The pistillate flowers are produced singly. The ovary is 
enclosed in the calyx-tube, and develops into the globose 
orange-yellow fruits. Flowers from May to July. 

The fruits do not appear to be used in this country ; though 
in Tartary they are said to be made into a pleasant jelly, and 
in the Gulf of Bothnia they are used in the concoction of a 
fish-sauce. Their flavour is decidedly acid. 

The name has been derived from the Greek hippos, a horse, 
and phao, to give light, from a supposed power of curing 
equine blindness ; also from hippos, ?c&diphao, to destroy, from 
its fatal effects when eaten by horses ; and from hypo, under, 
and phao, to shine, in allusion to the silvery underside of the 
leaf. The reader will kindly select that which seems the most 
reasonable or reject them all. 


Meadow-sweet (Spircea ulmarid). 

Our first encounter with the Queen of the Meadows, or 
Meadow-sweet, is an event to be remembered. It will probably 
be beside a shallow stream, and for a long distance we shall 
see the continuous line of thick clumps, with the handsome, 
much-divided radical leaves standing erect around the taller 
furrowed stems. Individually the creamy- white flowers are 
minute, but combined in large dense cymes they are very 
conspicuous. There is an airy grace about the plant that is 
particularly charming, quite apart from the attraction of its 
powerful fragrance. 

Meadow-sweet has a short perennial rootstock, the leaves 
are interruptedly pinnate (see p. 63), the terminal leaflet three- 
lobed. The undersides are downy and white. The stem- 
leaves are provided with broad-toothed stipules. In spite of 
their fragrance the flowers produce no honey, but, attracted by 
the sweet odour, insects visit them in great numbers, and from 
the closeness of the flowers cannot help fertilizing them. The 
calyx has four or five lobes, turned back ; the petals are four 
or five, the carpels vary from five to nine, curiously twisted, 
and surrounded by a large number of stamens. It flowers 
from June to August, and may be found beside watercourses 
and in wet meadows, as well as by the sides of streams and 

There is one other British species : 

The Dropwort (Spirceafilipendula), which grows far away from the haunts of the 
Meadow-sweet, delighting in high dry pastures, chalk downs, and gravelly heaths. 
He that has seen ulmaria will not fail to identify filipendula as the sister of the 
meadow queen, for though much smaller it is in general appearance very similar. 
The unopened flowers are rosy, but the inside of the petals is of the same creamy- 
white as in Meadow-sweet. It is not fragrant. Flowers June and July. 

A third species, the Willow-leaved Spiraea (S. salicifolia), may occasionally be 
met in plantations ; but it is not a native. 


Meadow-Sweet. Queen of the Meadows. 

Spiraea ulmaria. 


Rest Harrow. 

Oimnis Spinosa. 
- LEGUMINOS i:. - 


Rest-Harrow (Ononis spinosa). 

The Rest-Harrow or Wrest- Harrow is one of those plants 
whose presence in the pasture is said to indicate its poverty or 
the neglect of the cultivator. In Sussex and Hampshire it is 
known as the Cammock. It is a perennial low shrub, some- 
times creeping near the ground, and at others growing more 
erect. The rootstock often creeps underground, a habit to 
which the plant owes its popular name, as it is said to be so 
tough as to wrest the harrow from the even tenor of its way. 
The more prostrate form is covered with viscid hairs ; the 
more erect-growing plants are spiny. In the latter condition it 
is said that only donkeys will eat it, and hence its scientific 
name ononts, from onos^ an ass, but it is open to question 
whether the ass has any fondness for it if he can get oil id- 
food. The flowers are of the usual papilionaceous structure 
already described (see pp. 7, 43, 48, 50, 52, 72), and may be borne 
either singly or in racemes. They are pink in colour; the 
petal known as the standard is very large in this species, ;m<l 
streaked with a fuller red. The pod is very small, and in the 
hairy form is not so long as the calyx. The flower does not 
secrete honey, but in spite of this fact, it seems to be chiefly 
if not exclusively fertilized by bees, who are evidently fooled 
by its resemblance to other flowers of the same form that do 
offer refreshment to insect visitors. The worker-bees, however, 
get pollen for their pains, but the males arc sadly disappointed. 
Rest-Harrow will be found flowering in dry wastes from June 
to September. 

There is another species, the Sm;ill Rest-Harrow (O. rcclinata), an animal with 
spreading hairy, viscid stems, only a few inches in length, stalked rosy flowers not 
half the si/e of spinosa, and a hairy pod as long a:, the calyx, or longer It is 
exceedingly local, and has only been reported as occurring on sandy dill , ii I > 
Wilton and Alderuey. Flowering in June and July. 


Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria). 

One of the prettiest of wayside plants is the golden-starred 
Agrimony, growing on the waste green flanks of the road and 
making it beautiful. It is a perennial plant, with a short 
woody rootstock, and "interruptedly pinnate" leaves, some- 
what resembling those of the Silver-weed, the leaflets increas- 
ing in size as they near the terminal leaflet. The flowers are 
borne on that kind of inflorescence called a raceme, in which 
each flower is attached to the central stem by a stalk of its 
own. Were these stalks suppressed the inflorescence would 
be termed a spike, and indeed some authors have so described 
the flower- clustering of Agrimony. The flowers are little 
roses, and consist of a top-shaped spiny calyx, tubular, with 
contracted mouth and five overlapping lobes ; five golden 
petals, ten or more stamens, and two carpels sunk in the calyx- 
tube, their styles and two-lobed stigmas protruding. They do 
not secrete honey, and are seldom visited by insects. 

As the lower fruits ripen the raceme lengthens, and con- 
currently the calyx-tubes harden and assume a drooping 
position, owing to the downward curving of their little foot- 

There is a variety with resinous-scented, larger, more 
crowded flowers, of local occurrence. Agrimony was formerly 
held in some repute as a medicinal plant, and from this 
circumstance it gets its name. The ancient Greeks had a word 
argema signifying the affection of the eyes to which we apply 
the term cataract, and a plant which was reputed to cure 
argema they called argemone, a word which has since been 
corrupted into agrimony. " Yarb doctors " still give it a place 
in their pharmacopoeia. 

Agrimony flowers from June to September. 


Agrimonia eupatoria. 


Common Flax. 
Linum usitatissimum, 


Common Flax (Linum usitatissimum). 

Occasionally the rambler will find the Flax in cornfields and 
wastes, by oil-mills and in the neighbourhood of railway 
stations. Wherever it may be found it is an escape from 
cultivation. As a truly wild plant the " most used " flax is not 
known : in cultivation, as the parent of linen garments, it has 
been known from the infancy of the human race. To-day the 
exports of flax and linen from the United Kingdom are worth 
about .5,500,000 per annum. It is therefore a plant that 
would be entitled to respectful consideration when we meet 
it, even if it had no grace or beauty to commend it to us. 

Common Flax is an annual plant, with erect slender stems 
about a foot and a half high. Its narrow lance-shaped leaves 
are arranged alternately and at a distance from each other. 
The flowers are large, and purplish-blue in colour. Five is the 
number dominating the structure of the flower : sepals, petals, 
stamens, glands, ovary (5 cells), styles all in fives. It flowers 
in June and July. 

There are three other species that are truly wild in 
Britain : 

I. Purging Flax (L. cathartic-tun). A smaller species, half a foot high, with 
white flowers, affecting heaths and pastures. It has opposite, very narrow leaves, 
and the unopened buds nod. Flowers June to September. 

II. Perennial Flax {L. perenne). A very rare perennial plant with exceedingly 
narrow leaves, alternate on the numerous wiry stems. Plant about 2 feet high. 
The large bright-blue flowers, which may be found from June to September, are of 
two forms, long-styled and short-styled, like the Primroses (see p. 2), and fora similar 
purpose. On chalky soils from Durham to Essex. 

III. Narrow-leaved Flax (L. angustifolirttri). Leaves alternate, as narrow as in 
the last species, but smaller and not so plentiful. Flowers smaller and paler, petals 
smaller in proportion to the calyx. Flowers May to September. Sandy and 
chalky pastures, not farther north than Lancashire. 


Long-rooted Cat's-ear (Hypochceris radicata}. 
Cat's-ear is one of those plants that are passed by the 
rambler as being " perplexing hawkweeds which no one but a 
German botanist understands." It is not exactly a hawkweed, 
though it comes pretty close to that family, and roughly may 
be said to resemble them. Of the Composite flowers we have 
already dealt with, it will be seen that the Cat's-ear has a 
blossom similar in structure to Sonchus (page 114), Taraxacum 
(page 20) and Tragopogon (page 84). It has a perennial tap-root, 
from which arises and spreads a circlet of many rough hairy 
leaves, their edges scalloped ; there are no stem leaves. The 
flower-stem is branched, each branch bearing but one flower- 
head. The involucral bracts are in several series, laid one over 
the other like tiles. All the corollas are strap-shaped, toothed 
at the free end, yellow. The pappus or down that surrounds 
the fruit consists of a row of feathery hairs, surrounded by an 
outer row of shorter bristles. The flowers are longer than the 
involucre. Flowers June to September. There are two other 
British species : 

I. Smooth Cat's-ear (H. gldbra). An annual plant, found chiefly in dry fields on 
gravelly soil, but not nearly so commonly as radicata. Its leaves are broader, egg- 
shaped, and smooth. It has several branched flower-stems. The involucre as long 
as the florets, the bracts few and unequal. Flowers June to September. 

II. Spotted Cat's-ear (//. maculata). A rare perennial, confined to chalky and 
limestone pastures in several counties, i.e., the Lizard, Cornwall ; Orme's head, North 
Wales ; Westmoreland, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex. Leaves rough, with hairs, 
stalkless, egg-shaped, often spotted. Flower-stems seldom branched, usually with 
several small leaves and one large flower-head (sometimes several). Involucre 
shorter than the florets ; outer row of pappus absent. Flowers July and August. 



Hypochseris radicata. 

98 - 

Field Scabious. 

Scabiosa arvensis. 


The Field Scabious (Scabiosa arvensis). 

Should any reader who has not previously made a study of 
botany, but who has followed us thus far, be asked to name the 
order to which the Scabious belongs, he would almost certainly 
say the Composite. He would be wrong, but almost right. 
Scabious is certainly a Composite flower, though not one of the 
Compositas ; it is, instead, included in the order Dipsacese. 
We have already made the acquaintance of so many composite 
flowers that our readers may be presumed to be fairly familiar 
with their general structure. It will be remembered, then, that 
the anthers of Composites are all joined together to form a tube : 
in Dipsaceae they are free. Again, the calyx in Compositae is 
reduced to a series of hairs (pappus), whilst in Dipsaceas there 
is a distinct tubular calyx invested in a separate involucel (or 
little involucre) of tiny bracts, quite independent of the common 
involucre that invests the whole head of florets. 

I. The Field Scabious (S. awensis), is a perennial with a stout rootstock, and a 
hairy stem. The leaves vary considerably in different specimens, but usually those 
from the root are entire, of an oblong lance-shape, with toothed margins. The stem 
leaves are lobed, sometimes almost pinnate. The flower-heads are borne on a long 
stout stalk, and consist of about fifty florets, increasing in size from the centre to 
the outer margin, and of a pale blue or lilac colour, the central ones more inclined to 
red ; anthers yellow. Involucral bracts broad and leaf-like, in two rows. Dry 
fields and downs. June to September. 

II. Devil's-bit Scabious (S. sitccisa). Rootstock short, coming to an abrupt con- 
clusion, as though bitten off. Culpepper accounts for this and the name by saying : 
"This root was longer, until the Devil (as the friars say), bit away the rest from 
spite, envying its usefulness to mankind ; for sure he was not troubled with any 
disease for which it is proper." Leaves all entire. Involucral bracts lance-shaped, 
shorter than the corollas, in two or three rows. Anthers reddish-brown. Florets 
nearly equal in size. Flowers purplish-blue, sometimes white. July to October, in 
meadows and pastures. 

III. Small Scabious (S. columbaria). Rootstock thick and woody. Root leaves 
entire, narrow ; stem leaves deeply cut, almost pinnate. Involucral bracts longer 
than the corollas, in one row. Corollas five-lobed (in the other species four-lobed), the 
outer row considerably larger than the inner ones, and of irregular form. Anthers 
yellow, corollas purplish-blue. July to September, in pastures and wastes. 

The name is derived from the Latin, scabies, the itch, it being formerly used in 
curing this and other cutaneous disorders. 



Bitter Sweet (Solatium dulcamara). 

One of the most familiar objects in the hedge is the trailing 
stem and variously-shaped leaves of the Bitter Sweet or Woody 
Nightshade ; the singular flowers or the red berries attract our 
attention at once. This and the Common or Black Nightshade 
are the sole British representatives of a genus that includes the 
Potato among other valuable exotic species. 

Bitter Sweet is a perennial, with a creeping rootstock, from 
which arise the long trailing stems that have no means of 
climbing in the shape of tendrils, hooks, prickles, or the power 
of twining, but yet by leaning against the stouter hedge plants 
manage to attain a height of four or five feet. The leaves vary 
much, the lowest being heart-shaped, the upper more or less 
spear-shaped, with gradations between these forms. They are 
very dark green in colour, and all stalked. The calyx is five- 
parted ; the purple corolla with five lobes, each having at its 
base two small green tubercles. The five yellow anthers have 
their edges united, so that they form a pyramidal tube, through 
which the style protrudes. The anthers discharge their pollen 
by terminal pores. The succeeding berries are egg-shaped, and 
go through a series of colour-changes from green through yellow 
and orange to a fine red. The popular name is founded upon a 
peculiarity which we have never tested : it is said the stems 
when tasted are first bitter, then the sensation changes to one 
of pleasant sweetness. Flowers June to September. 

The Common or Black Nightshade (S. nigruin) is an annual with an erect stem, 
about 2 feet in height. Its leaves are egg-shaped, the blade gradually narrowing to 
the stalk, with a waved or toothed margin. The corolla is white, the berries 
rounder, usually black, but sometimes yellow or red. Fields and waste places. From 
July to October. 



Solarium dulcamara. 


A. Biting Stonecrop. Wall pepper. 

Sedum acre. 

B. House-leek. 

Sempervivum tectorum. 


Biting Stonecrop (Sedum acre). 

Of the eight British species of Sedum, and the two or three 
additional kinds that have escaped from gardens and become 
locally naturalized, this is the best known. Rocks and old 
walls are its favourite resorts, the stems growing downwards 
and curving outwards. The leaves are small, thick, produced 
into a kind of spur at the base, and closely pressing the older 
on the newer. The calyx is in one with five lobes, the corolla 
consists of five distinct golden yellow petals : stamens ten, 
with yellow anthers ; carpels five, united at their bases. 
Flowers June and July. Another popular name for it is Wall 
Pepper, both names being due to the acrid taste. 

The scientific name is from the Latin sedeo, to sit, from the 
peculiar habit of the plant. 

Houseleek (Sempervivum tectorum). 

Although the Houseleek is not a true native of Britain it has 
been so long established on old walls and the roofs of out-houses 
that it is quite a familiar object in a country ramble. As its 
scientific name (from semper, always, and mvum, fresh, green) 
indicates, it dies hard, and alike endures frost and drought. 
The story is told of one that a botanist tried hard for eighteen 
months to dry for his herbarium, but failing in his object 
planted it again, and it grew as though nothing had occurred 
to interfere with its ordinary life. The leaves are borne on the 
flowerless stems in the form of a rosette, the oldest flat, the 
youngest erect ; thick, fleshy, the edges purple, tips sharply 
pointed. Flowering stems with alternate leaves ; flowers dull 
purple in cymes. Sepals twelve, petals twelve, stamens 
twenty-four, but twelve of these are imperfect or aborted. 
Flowers June and July. 

H 2 


Yellow Melilot (Mettlotus officmalis). 

Occasionally on roadside wastes, railway banks and similar 
refuges for the vagabonds of plant-life, especially if it be in the 
Eastern counties, the rambler conies across a slender plant with 
loosely trifoliate leaves on long stalks, and long narrow racemes 
of pale yellow flowers. These flowers, considered individually, 
are seen to be shaped like several we have already considered 
(see page 43), with a certain amount of variation, of course. 
This is the Common Yellow Melilot, a plant that is not truly 
indigenous, but one that has been cultivated in this country for 
a great number of years, and of which some escapes from the 
meadows have settled like gipsy squatters on the unenclosed 
wastes. But the field-path rambler is sure to come across it 
in the meadows, so it is as well that he should know it. It will 
be at once noted that the flowers are all drooping from the 
flower-stem, and that when the petals drop off they reveal a 
similarly drooping olive-coloured pod, which is small, egg- 
shaped and rough, with transverse ribs. In the process of 
drying Melilot develops an odour similar to that of the Sweet 
Vernal-grass that gives the pleasant scent to new-mown hay. 
Flowers June to August. 

There are two truly indigenous species : 

I. Tall Melilot (M. altissima), with deep yellow flowers. Pod compressed, 
covered with net-like markings, hairy, black when ripe. Fields. June to August. 

II. White Melilot (M. alba). More slender than the last, with smaller -white 
flowers. Pod stouter, smooth, black. Waste places. July and August. 

The name of the genus is compounded of mel, honey, and Zotus, the name of 
another genus = the lotus with the sweet or honeyed smell. 


Field Melilot. 

Melilotus officinalis. 

102 - 


Juniperus communis. 


Juniper (Juniperus communis). 

Hitherto we have been considering plants that have stigmas 
and ovaries, whether they had or had not a calyx or a corolla ; 
but we must now introduce our patient readers to a cohort of 
plants which contrive to make an important figure in the world 
without either calyx, corolla, stigma, or ovary. These plants 
are generally forest trees, most important as timber producers, 
but their flowers consist solely of anthers and open carpels 
containing the ovules, which are fertilized by actual contact with 
the pollen-grains, instead of through the medium of a stigma and 
style which have to be pierced by the pollen-tube. This cohort, 
contains the pines and firs ; also the Juniper and the Yew. 

Juniper is a dark foliaged evergreen shrub or small tree, 
usually four or five feet in height, but occasionally attaining a 
stature often, fifteen, or even twenty feet. It occurs on heaths 
and open hillsides, sometimes in great profusion, as on parts of 
the North Downs in Surrey and Kent. Its leaves are very 
narrow, pointed, and borne in threes. Their midribs and 
margins are thicker than the intermediate portions, and they 
have a pungent resinous odour. Each anther is borne on a 
scale, a number of which are formed into a cone, and is four- 
celled. The female flower consists of five or six scales united 
at their bases to form a kind of involucre, within which are three 
naked ovules. The pale yellow pollen is blown into this by 
the wind, and falls directly upon the ovules. Having become 
fertile the seeds mature, and the scales develop into a fleshy 
cone, outwardly resembling a berry, of a blue-black hue with a 
glaucous bloom upon it. The pollen is shed in May and June, 
but the fruit is not ripe until the following spring. This is the 
only British species ; its essential oil has long been used as a 
diuretic and flavouring substance, notably for giving its 
distinctive flavour to Gin, whose name is derived from 
Genevrier, the French for Juniper. 


Stinging Nettles (Urtica). 

Surely, the reader says, we know a nettle when we see it, 
and certainly know it when we touch it, without needing 
description or figure. Perhaps so, but the average rambler, for 
whom this book is primarily intended, would certainly pass 
Campanula trachelium as a nettle if he encountered it before it 
flowered ; and though he may know a nettle by being stung, he - 
cannot in that simple manner determine the species, for there 
are three kinds occurring in England. We will, however, meet 
the objection so far that we will not waste many words in a 
general description, but deal more with the points of difference 
between the species. All have a liberal supply of the stinging 
hairs, and green flowers of two kinds. The staminate flowers 
consist of a four-parted perianth enclosing four stamens with 
kidney-shaped anthers. Pistillate flowers consist of a perianth 
and a single carpel, surmounted by a brush-like stigma. The 
name of the genus is from the Latin uro, to burn, in reference to 
the sensation produced by the stings. 

I. The Great Nettle (Urtica di.oica^, is the species figured. It is our largest 
native nettle, and attains the height of 4 or 5 feet, the stem rising from a Branching 
perennial rootstock which throws out runners, The large leaves are saw-edged, and 
apart from the stinging hairs are downy. Flower spikes given off in pairs, each 
spike consisting of either staminate or pistillate flowers only ; the pistillate more 
dense than the others. Hedgebanks chiefly. Flowering from June to September. 

II. Roman Nettle ( U. pilulifera). Not so large. An annual ; leaves smooth but 
for the stinging hairs, margin entire or toothed. Male flowers in panicles,f emale 
gathered in heads. Flowers larger than in dioica. Under walls and among rubbish, 
near habitations, chiefly in the Eastern counties, and near the sea. June to 

III. Small Nettle (U. urens). The familiar annual plant of fields and wastes. 
Leaves coarsely toothed, smooth but for stinging hairs. Panicles containing 
flowers of both sexes ; few flowered. Flowers June to September. 


Great Stinging Nettle. 

Urtica dioica. 


Gat's Valerian. 

Valeriana officinalis. 


Cat's Valerian (Valeriana offitinalis}. 

The Great or Cat's Valerian will come under the notice of 
the rambler whose way lies by the stream-side, through wet 
meadows or swampy woods. Where it is found it occurs in 
abundance, and its pretty flowers massed together in great 
heads will attract attention at once. It has a short perennial 
rootstock, increasing by suckers, and narrow pinnate leaves, 
those from, the root soon withering. The stems are from two 
to four feet high, bearing the broad corymbs of pink or flesh- 
coloured flowers. The calyx is five-parted, and the lobes are 
at first rolled inward, but as the fruit matures these lobes 
expand and assume the form of a circlet of finely branched 
feathery hairs (pappiis). The corolla is shortly tubular, with 
five lobes. The stamens three, and the stigma two-lobed. It 
flowers from June to August. 

The roots have long been held in high esteem as a medicinal 
agent in certain nervous affections ; and in some places the 
plant is known as All-heal, owing to its virtues. It has a warm 
aromatic taste, but when drying it develops a fcetid odour, which 
acts as a charm upon cats. If the reader would have cheerful 
nights let him plant Valerian in his garden, and every cat in the 
neighbourhood will call to enjoy it. Strange to say, rats are 
equally delighted with its fragrance, and rat-catchers are said 
to use Valerian to assist them in attracting their victims. 
Query : Had the Pied-piper a root of Valerian in his poke ? 

There is one other native species, the Small Marsh Valerian (V. diotca), chiefly 
affecting boggy places. It has a creeping rootstock, and the root leaves are egg- 
shaped, with a long footstalk, whilst those of the stem are deeply lobed in pinnate 
fashion, with a large leaflet at the tip. The flowers, which are pink, are minute, 
and of four distinct kinds, which may be thus enumerated according to the size of 
the corolla, i. Large, with anthers, but no pistil. 2. Small, with anthers and 
rudimentary pistil. 3. Smaller, with pistil and rudimentary anthers. 4. Smallest, 
with pistil, but no anthers. Flowers May and June. 

The name is from the Latin, valere, to be in health. 


Yellow Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris). 

We have already dealt with one species of Toadflax {see 
P a ge 33), and although in habit the Ivy-leaved is altogether 
unlike the Yellow Toadflax, their flowers will be found to have 
the same structure, and we must ask the reader to refer back 
for the description. The Yellow Toadflax (L. vulgaris} 
immediately reminds one of the Snapdragon (Anterrktmtut), 
to which its raceme of flowers, bears close resemblance ; but 
the flowers themselves will be found to differ from Snapdragon 
in having a long tail or spur. This spur is a hollow tube in 
which honey is secreted to attract long-tongued bees, in 
order that they may fertilize the ovules. The plant has a 
slender rootstock, which creeps extensively underground, 
branching and sending up many stems. If these get into a 
garden the owner is at first delighted with the neat, bright 
appearance of the tufts of linear leaves ; but by-and-by he finds 
it has taken entire possession of the bed, and become extremely 
difficult to extirpate. It is abundant in hedges and waste 
places, flowering from June till October. Other species are : 

I. Round-leaved Toadflax (L. spuria) with egg-shaped or 
round leaves and trailing branches : hairy. Corolla yellow, 
with purple throat and spur greatly curved. Annual. Sandy 
cornfields. July to October. 

II. Sharp-pointed Toadflax (L. elatine), with spear-shaped 
leaves and trailing hairy branches. Corolla yellow, upper lip 
purple beneath. Spur straight. Annual. Dry, chalky and 
gravelly cornfields. July to October. 

III. Pale-blue Toadflax (L. rcpens). Perennial. Smooth. 
Rootstock creeping. Leaves narrowly lance-shaped. Corolla 
violet, with darker lines and yellow palate : spur blunt. Waste 
places, rare. July to September. 

IV. Small Toadflax (L. minor). Annual. Downy. Leaves 
narrowly oblong. Corolla but slightly larger than the calyx, 


Common Toadflax. 

Linaria vulgaris. 



Yellow Waterlily. 

Nuphar luteum. 


purple, the lower lip white, and the palate yellow. Local, in 
sandy and chalky cornfields. From May to October. 

Yellow Water-lily (Nuphar luteum). 

In some districts, where the Yellow Water-lily floats on the 
bosom of ponds and sluggish streams, it is known as the 
Brandy-bottle, partly by reason of its unpleasant odour and 
partly on account of its flagon-like seed-vessel. 

It has a thick fleshy rootstock, which creeps in the mud, and 
is rich in tannic acid ; it is said to be a fatal lure to cockroaches 
if bruised and soaked in milk. Some of the leaves are sub- 
merged, and these are thin, but the floating ones are thick and 
leathery. The leaves are heart-shaped, the lobes not far apart ; 
the stalks somewhat triangular in section, and traversed by a 
great number of fine air-canals, as are the flower-stalks also. The 
most conspicuous portion of the flower is the sepals, five or six 
in number, which are very large and concave. The petals are 
much smaller, and number about twenty ; they produce honey 
at their base. The stamens are even more numerous than the 
petals, in several rows, their blunt tips bent over away from 
the many-celled ovary. The stigma is rayed. The fruit ripens 
above water, and is, as we have indicated, flagon-shaped ; the 
seeds are imbedded in pulp. Flowers from June till August. 

There is another species : 

The Lesser Yellow Water-lily (N. putniluni), which occurs in Shropshire and in 
Scotland, from Elgin to Argyll, but it is rare. Its oblong leaves are divided at the 
base, the lobes becoming distant from each other. The petals are founder than in 
lu^e^l1>l, the anthers shorter, and the rays of the stigma reach to the margin, which 
is lobed. 

The name is from the Arabic for this or a similar plant, naufar. 

The White Water-lily {Nyttiphaa. alba), though constituting the British represen- 
tative of a distinct genus, is closely allied, as, indeed, is the magnificent Victoria 
regia. of South American rivers, with leaves 10 or 12 feet across, and flowers 15 inches 
and more in diameter. 


Wild Teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris). 
We have explained (page 98) in what respect the Scabious 
differs from the somewhat similar flowers of Composite, and 
to a considerable extent that explanation will hold good for the 
genus Dipsacus, which is united to Scabiosa in the Natural 
Order Dipsaceae. There is this difference, however : in 
Dipsacus the flower-bracts end in long, straight, sharp points, 
and the involucel is four-angled. There are two British 
species : 

I. Wild Teasel (Z>. sylvestris). A striking object in copse or hedgerow ; its 
stout, angular and spiny stems rising to a height of 4 or 5 feet, and crowned by 
the prickly-cylindrical heads of flowers. These heads have an involucre, consisting 
of from eight to twelve slender rigid bracts, spiny, longer than the flower-head, 
curved upward and ending in a fine point. The corolla is purple, tubular, with four 
short unequal lobes. It is a biennial plant, and only has radical leaves during its 
first year, sending up the flowering stem the second season. These are stalked, 
lance-shaped, with a stout mid-rib, which is armed with short curved spines. The 
stem leaves are opposite, not stalked, the lower couples joined together by their 
bases, thus forming a large cup, in which rain collects and drowns many insects that 
attempt to ascend the tall stem. Flowers August and September. The Fuller's 
Teasel (D.fullonum), of so great importance to the cloth manufacturer, is believed 
to be a cultivated variety of sylvestris, having the involucral bracts shorter and 
spreading, and the scales of the flower-heads hooked. 

II. Small Teasel (D. filosus). This is a more slender plant, the stem not so tall 
or stout, and the prickles ending in soft hair-points. Leaves stalked, hairy. Flower- 
heads at first drooping, then erect ; smaller, rounder, hairy, the involucral bracts 
shorter than the head. Flowers white. August and September, in moist hedges ; 
not so generally distributed as selves iris. 


Wild Teasel. 

Dipsacus Sylvestris. 



Tanacetum vulgare. 


Common Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare). 

Time was when every cottage garden and every kitchen 
garden had its clump of Tansy, for it was a valued item in the 
housewife's pharmacopoeia, and was all but invaluable in 
cookery. A belief is entertained by some botanists that the 
Tansy-plants growing wild in waste places by field and roadside 
throughout the country are garden escapes, or their descendants, 
that have become naturalized. 

The Tansy is a perennial, with creeping rootstock, from 
which arise beautiful broad feathery radical leaves and 
flowering stems. The leaves are very deeply divided in a 
pinnate or bi-pinnate manner, the segments toothed. The 
angled stem reaches a height of about two feet, and then 
branches off into a corymb of flower-heads. Each flower-head 
is enclosed in a half-rounded involucre of leathery bracts. 
There is an outer row of ray-florets, but they are very short, 
and of the same dull yellow colour as the disk-florets ; they 
are pistillate only, whilst the disk-florets are all staminate. 
Flowers during August and September. 

All parts of the plant give off a strong aromatic scent when 
touched or handled, and the taste is exceedingly bitter, a 
quality which caused it to be used as a stomachic tonic and a 

This is the only British species of the genus, whose name is 
said to be a corruption of Athanasia deathless ; but probably 
it is not so derived. 


Blackthorn, or Sloe (Prunus commums). 

It seems quite natural to use the two common names of this 
beautiful shrub at different times. In the spring, before a leaf 
has unrolled upon the spine-tipped spurs of its soot-coloured 
branches, we call it the Blackthorn, for by contrast with its 
pure white stars its thorns are black indeed. In the autumn, 
when we search the common, the copse-side and the thick 
hedgerow for ripe bramble fruit, we only know it as the Sloe. 
Then the plant is again in full beauty with its groups of round 
plums, each finely coated with the purple bloom that is ruined 
by a touch. Like the Whitethorn (page 17) and the Bramble 
(plate 30), the Blackthorn is a rose, with the floral organs in fives. 
The fruit is botanically a drupe : it is the result of a swelling 
up of the ovary, the outer walls of which become succulent 
and pulpy, the inner hardened into the " stone" inclosing the 
" kernel " or seed. The leaves are small, elliptical, finely 
toothed, and in a young state the underside is downy, but in 
the adult condition smooth. All the branches are spiny. 

There are two forms with brown bark which have been at 
various times regarded as separate species, or as mere varieties, 
but which Sir J. D. Hooker ranks as sub-species, marking a 
stage in which varietal characters have become permanent, but 
not sufficiently strong to hide their connection with the parent 
form. These are : 

I. The Bullace 'P. insititia), with larger and broader leaves, underside downy 
in the adult condition ; branches straight, only a few with spines ; the petals 
broader ; the fruit more drooping, black or yellow, larger, and less rough to the 

II. Wild Plum (P. domes tica). Branches straight without spines. Fruit larger, 
black. Leaves downy on the ribs of the underside. The plums of the fruiterer and 
the " prunes " of the grocer are cultivated forms of this species. 

They all flower in March and April. The name is the old Latin appellation for 
the; fruit. 


Sloe. Blackthorn. 

Primus communis. 


Wild Hop. 

Humulus lupulus. 

WILD HOP. 110 

Wild Hop (Humulus lupulus}. 

The Wild Hop may not unfrequently be seen in the copse 
and hedgerow, especially in the South of England. It has a 
thick branching perennial rootstock in the cultivated plant 
called a-" set" from which are produced several long, thin, 
but tough twining stems that turn with the sun, and tightly 
clasp the nearest small tree or shrub. It has no tendrils like 
the vine, but climbs like the convolvulus by simply twining 
with the sun as it grows. Its lobed and coarsely toothed 
leaves are very similar to those of the grape-vine, but very 
rough. The leaves are in pairs, and at the base of the leaf- 
stalk is a pair of long curved stipules. The Hop is what 
botanists term a dioecious plant, because staminate flowers only 
are produced by one individual, and pistillate only by another, 
making cross-fertilization imperative. It is not the insects, 
however, that effect this crossing in the Hop, but the wind. 
The flowers are all small ; the staminate produced from the 
axils of the leaves in long drooping panicles. They have no 
petals, but there are five sepals and five anthers attached to 
their bases. Each pistillate flower has a membranous sepal, 
an ovary, and two long tapering purple stigmas. Two of these 
pistillate flowers are produced in the axil of a green, broad, con- 
cave bract or scale. A number of these twin-flowered bracts are 
united into a dense spike, and after fertilization this develops 
into a large cone-like head of yellow scales with resinous 
glands at their base, which yield a resinous substance called 
lupuline. The true fruit is a little nut, which is enclosed in 
the sepal under the bracts. It flowers in July and August. It 
is the only British species. Beside their extensive use in 
brewing, the flowers are frequently used to stuff pillows, their 
narcotic odour inducing sleep. 


The Salad Burnet (Poterium sanguisorba]. 

When " cool tankards " were more generally compounded 
than they are to-day, Salad Burnet was a better-known plant, 
for, like Borage, it formed one of the ingredients. It was used 
also in the salad bowl, its leaves having a flavour very similar 
to that of cucumber. It is a perennial, the rosette of radical 
leaves springing from a stout rootstock. The leaves are all 
pinnate ; the leaflets in pairs, coarsely toothed, and a terminal 
leaflet. The stems are slender, branched, and the flowers are 
gathered into a purplish head. They have no petals, and are 
of two kinds : the upper ones have a four-lobed calyx with a 
narrow mouth, from which two styles with brush-like stigmas 
are exserted ; the lower bear both stamens and stigmas, or 
stamens only. The stamens are four in number, attached to 
the mouth of the calyx, and the anthers hang out. The plant 
may be found abundantly in dry pastures, especially in a chalk 
district, flowering from June till August. 

The Rough Burnet (P. muricatum}, found in cultivated fields in the Midlands 
and South of England, is probably only a variety of sanguisorba^ owing its large 
size and roughness to the richer soil it finds in the fields. 

The Great Burnet (P. officinale), was formerly regarded as constituting a separate 
genus, Sanguisorba, but it is very similar to the Salad Burnet. Its flowers, how- 
ever, are all alike, and contain both stamens and pistils. It is much larger than 
Salad Burnet, and its flower-heads more cylindric, longer, and of a darker purple 
hue. The stamens, too, instead of hanging far outside the calyx, are no longer than 
the lobes of that organ. The flowers produce honey, and are fertilized by insects. 
The leaflets are fewer and longer in this species. Its habitat is damp meadows, and 
its flowering time the same as Salad Burnet. 

The name Poterium is the Latin term for a drinking-cup, in allusion to its use 
indicated above. 


Salad Burnet. 

Poterium sanguisorba. 


lledera helix. 

IVY. 112 

Ivy (Hedera helix}. 

How common is Ivy, whether wild or cultivated ! Yet how 
few are acquainted with its flowers ! 

There is no occasion to say that the Ivy is an evergreen 
perennial climbing shrub, nor to describe the form of the 
beautiful leathery leaf. If there is one leaf that may be said to 
be thoroughly well known to every British man, woman, and 
child, it must be the Ivy, for it thrives in dark corners of towns 
as well as on the hedge-banks of the country, and its foliage 
has been so well used in all classes of ornamental work. And 
yet there are few leaves that are subject to such great variation 
of form, though, with all its changes, one dominant character 
runs through them all, except its upper leaves, which are totally 
unlike. The Holly has prickly leaves for its lower branches, 
but those that are above the heads of browsing cattle have 
"entire" margins. So with the Ivy ; its five-lobed leaves are 
for its trailing and climbing branches, but when it has reached 
the top of the wall or the tree it puts on simple lance-shaped 
leaves, and in September or October crowns these shoots with 
its umbels of yellow-green flowers. 

The flower consists of a calyx with five triangular teeth, 
petals and stamens five each, style one, with five obscure 
stigmas. The flowers are succeeded by blackish berries, some 
times yellow. There is a common woodland variety, with 
smaller, narrower leaves, that never flowers ; neither do those 
forms that persistently trail along the hedge bottom instead of 
climbing. Ivy has been at various times condemned as causing 
dampness in the walls it covers ; the exact converse is the 
truth. It is the only British species ; the genus contains but 
two for the whole world. 


Arrowhead (Sagittaria sagittifolia). 

One of the most striking among the many forms of leaves 
that go to make up the vegetation of the sluggish stream or the 
canal is the aptly-named plant here figured. 

It is a perennial, the leaves are radical, and from the base of 
the plant runners are thrown out, each ultimately terminating 
in a globose tuber. The leaves are typical of what botanists 
describe as a " sagittate " leaf, and their long stalks are three- 
edged. The stem is leafless, but bears a number of flowers in 
series of threes. These flowers are of two kinds, staminate 
and pistillate, and because, like those of Poteriiim, they are 
borne upon the same plant, botanists describe Sagittaria as 
monazcious, just as they describe the Hop as dioecious, because 
its two sexes are on different plants. There are three sepals, 
and three large white petals with purplish spots at their base. 
The lower flowers contain carpels only, which are many in 
number, and which develop into a compact head of nut-like 
fruits. The stalks of these pistillate flowers are shorter than 
those of the staminate flowers above them, which contain 
purple anthers. It flowers from July to September, and is 
frequent in England as far north as Cumberland, as an 
indigenous plant ; in Scotland it has become naturalized, and 
in Ireland it is of local occurrence. It is the only British 

The name is from the Latin sagitta, an arrow. 



Sagittaria sagittifolia. 



Sonchus arvensis. 


The Corn Sow-thistle (Sonchus arvensis}. 

We were nearly remarking that the Sow-thistle is one of the 
most beautiful of our native flowers, but remembering that we 
have already applied that observation to several species, we 
will alter the formula and say it is among the most handsome. 
Certainly no one who sees it growing is likely to pass it by 
without plucking some of the flowers, though they will be dis- 
appointed in these flagging and losing their beauty before home 
is reached. We have three native species, of which this is 
undoubtedly the finest, the stem growing to a height of three 
or four (or, as we have found it in Surrey, over five) feet. It 
is a perennial, with a large creeping rootstock, which sends off 
runners. The stem is hollow, milky, and clasped by the bases 
of the finely cut leaves. These are deeply lobed, and edged 
with sharp teeth ; the lower leaves have stalks, the upper 
have not. The unopened involucre for this again is a Com- 
posite will stoke the finder as being singularly square ; it is 
covered all over as are the stems also with short hairs with 
glandular tops of a golden yellow. The expanded flower-head 
is about two inches across, and is composed entirely of ray- 
florets. The plant will be found flowering in or around culti- 
vated fields in August and September. The other British 
species are : 

I. Marsh Sow-thistle (S. palustris), now all but extinct, and found only rarely 
in the Eastern counties of England and Kent. It is taller-growing than arvensis, 
the stem sometimes reaching nine feet, but the flowers are only half the size of that 

II, Common Sow-thistle (S. oleraceus). A common annual in every field and 
waste. General character of plant very similar to arvensis, but smaller. Stem, 
two to three feet in height, without (or rarely with) the glandular hairs. Flower- 
heads many, not exceeding an inch in diameter. June to September. 

Name supposed to be derived from the Greek, sonthos, hollow, in reference to the 
fistular stems. 


Grass of Parnassus (Parnassia palustris). 

It is a singular thing that some of our most beautiful plants 
grow in the most unpleasant places. We remember a back- 
water of the River Thames that used to receive the waste 
waters from a large soap-works, and in the evening, when this 
waste was poured out, the stench arising from the ditch was 
unbearable. Yet, with its feet in this vile liquid, the Meadow- 
sweet grew luxuriantly, but truth compels us to add that its 
sweetness was thrown away ; it could not overcome the other 
smell. Black bogs and mossy swamps are the particular 
haunts of floral beauties, such as the marsh violet, the bog 
buckbean, the marsh marigold, the bog pimpernel, the sundew, 
the bog asphodel ; and it is in such resorts we must look for the 
Grass of Parnassus, a plant so pretty and elegant of form that 
it must first have grown upon Mount Parnassus. At any rate, 
the English name is a mere translation of that given to it by 
Dioscorides, among the six or seven hundred plants mentioned 
by him. 

It is a perennial, with a stout rootstock. With few excep- 
tions the leaves are radical ; they are heart-shaped, smooth, 
with untoothed edges, and on long stalks. The flowering stems 
are long, angular, with a stalkless leaf nearly half-way up. At 
the summit is the solitary large flower. The fine thick sepals 
are slightly conjoined at their bases, the petals white, veined and 
leathery. The ovary is large, and on its summit, without the 
intervention of a style, are the four rayed stigmas. Around the 
ovary are five stamens there should be ten, but five have 
been transformed into scales, which alternate with the perfect 
stamens, and are fringed with white hairs, each ending in a 
yellow knob ; on the face nearest the ovary each scale bears 
two small honey-secreting glands. The perfect stamens ripen 
in succession, and as each becomes mature, it raises itself until 
the anther comes on top of the stigma, but with its back to it. 


Grass of Parnassus. 

Parnassia palustris. 



Avena sativa. 


The front opens and discharges the pollen away from the 
stigma ; but it falls where insects seeking the honeyed glands 
(using the ovary as a perch) will get it upon their forelegs, and 
so attach it to the stigmas of the next flower they visit. 

It flowers in August and September. This is the only 
British species. 

Oat-grass (Avena sativa). 

We have three British species of Wild Oat, but a knowledge 
of their structure and differences may be best obtained perhaps 
by a consideration of the cultivated Oat of our fields. It is 
indeed probable that the cereal oat is but a cultivated form of 
our Common Wild Oat (A.fatua), for Professor Buckman suc- 
ceeded years ago in obtaining as the ninth generation from 
seeds of A.fatua good crops of the farmers' varieties called 
White Tartarian and Potato Oats. It is known that oats shed 
in harvesting often degenerate into the wild forms. As a cereal 
the Oat does not appear to be nearly so ancient as wheat and 
barley, for it was not cultivated by the Hebrews, the Egyptians, 
Greeks or Romans. 

The genus is distinguished by having its flowers in a lax- 
panicle, the spikelets borne principally upon long, slender 
stalks. Each spikelet contains two or more flowers, of which 
the upper one is usually imperfect, and each is armed with a 
long twisted and bent awn. There are two outer glumes, each 
flowering glume deeply notched, the awn arising from the 
bottom of the notch. The pale is two-nerved, the scales two- 
toothed, the stamens three. The ovary has a hairy top and two 
short styles with feathery stigmas. The fruit adheres to the 

I. Wild Oat (A vena, fatua). An annual with two- or three-flowered spikelets 
which droop at length. The empty glumes with nine nerves, flowering glumes 
covered with stiff hairs. Brown awn much bent, the lower half twisted. Leaves 
flat and roughish ; sheaths smooth. Cornfields. June to August. 

II. Narrow-leaved Oat (A. pratensis). Perennial ; not to be sought in the place 

I 2 


indicated by pratensis, as it is a plant of the moor and dry pasture. Spikelets 
half erect, six flowered. Leaves flat, or edges rolled inwards, smooth, hard and 
rigid. Lower sheaths rough. Flowering glume, rough. Awn only slightly bent. 
June and July. 

III. Downy Oat (A. pubesccns). Perennial. Spikelets half erect, two-flowered. 
Leaves flatter than A. pratensis, downy ; sheaths very downy. Awns wider apart. 
Dry pastures. June and July. 

The name is the old Latin term for oats and reeds. 

Mountain Ash or Rowan (Pyrus aucuparia). 

We have considered many members of the beautiful Rose 
family already, but we have now a representative of another 
branch of it the Wild-Apple section. The fruit of the Moun- 
tain Ash is really a little apple. It has no relationship with the 
Ash (Fraxinus, see page 135), but the mere resemblance of its 
pinnate leaves has won the name. It is a low tree, growing 
from twenty to forty feet in height. It flowers in May, the 
creamy white blossoms being grouped in a cyme. The leaf is 
divided pinnately into six, seven, or eight pairs of leaflets and 
a terminal odd one ; each leaflet toothed, the mid-rib and nerves 
hairy. The calyx also is hairy. The flowers are succeeded by 
a cluster of bright scarlet tiny apples, with yellow flesh and a 
three-celled hard " core " or endocarp. These are ripe in Sep- 
tember, and are eagerly sought after by birds a fact of which 
advantage has been taken by bird-catchers of all times and 
places where the tree grows. It is used for the purpose of bait- 
ing their horse-hair springes, whence it has got the name of 
Fowler's Service-tree, and in the principal European countries 
it bears a name of like import. Its folk-names in this country 
alone make a long list : Quicken-tree, Quick-Beam, Wiggen, 
Whichen, or Witcher, Wild Ash, Wild Service, Rowan, Roan, 
or Roddan, Mountain Service, and other variations. Some of 
these names are reminders of its supposed protective powers 
against the machinations of witches and warlocks. " Witches 
have no power where there is Rowan-tree wood." 
Pyrus is the old Latin name for a pear-tree. 


Mountain Ash. Rowan-tree. 

Pyrus aucuparia. 




Polygonum fagopyrum. 



Buckwheat (Polygpnum fagopyrum). 

In the neighbourhood of manure-heaps and on the borders of 
cultivated ground one may come across this plant, which was 
formerly included in the British Flora, but is now known to be 
a mere waif of cultivation. Its home is in Central Asia, but it 
has been so long cultivated as a food-plant in Europe and in 
the United States that it has become naturalized in most places. 
In this country it is chiefly grown as a food for pheasants. 
It is an annual, with a tall, slender, branched, reddish stem, and 
heart-shaped, almost arrow-headed leaves with entire margins. 
Flowers in panicles. The individual blossoms consist of five 
pale reddish sepals, no petals, eight stamens, and three styles. 
The flowers are of two forms, one with long stamens and short 
styles ; the other with short stamens and long styles. The 
fruit is large, three-sided, solitary in a nut, very like beech- 
mast, whence its folk-name buck- or buck-wheat. It will be 
noted that at the base of the leaf-stalk is a pair of thin stipules, 
which sheathe the stem and mark the swollen nodes that give 
the knotted appearance so characteristic of the genus, and 
which has given it the name of many knees or joints (Greek 
polus and gonu}. Buckwheat flowers during July and August. 
It is a valuable honey-plant, esteemed of bee-masters. There 
are a dozen British species ; among them : 

I. Bistort or Snake-root (P. bistorta}. Perennial, with large twisted rootstock, 
Radical leaves long, egg-shaped, the upper part of the leaf-stalk winged. Stem- 
leaves almost stalkless, broader near the stem. Flowers pink or white, producing 
honey ; moist meadows. June to September. 

II. Amphibious Buckwheat (P. amphibium). Perennial, rootstock sometimes 
creeping in the ground, at others floating in the water. If the plant is floating the 
leaves have long stalks ; if growing on land they are almost stalkless. Stipules 
tubular, large, smooth in water, bristly on land. Stamens five, styles two. Flowers, 
rosy-red. July and August ; margins of pools and in other wet places. 

III. Spotted Knotweed (P. persicaria). Annual. Stem erect ; leaves long, 
narrowly lance-shaped, with a black heart-shaped patch in the centre, downy 
beneath ; the stipules fringed with a few long hairs. Flowers flesh-coloured ; 
stamens six, styles two. July to October, in moist places. 


IV. Knotgrass (P. aviculare). Annual. Stems branching from the root, very 
slender and straggling, smooth. The leaves small and grassy, stipules small, white, 
torn-looking, red at the base. Flowers very small in the axils, pink. Stamens 
eight, styles three. Waste places and neglected gardens. May till October. The 
seeds are much esteemed by birds, and to the entomologist the fresh plant is invalu- 
able as an almost universal food for the caterpillars of geometers. 

V. Black Bindweed (P. convolvulus). Annual, with twining stems. The leaves 
are very similar to those of the true Convolvulus, the lobes more pointed ; stipules 
short. Sepals green, with paler margins. Fields and wastes. July to September. 

Fool's Parsley (AZthusa cynapium). 

Fool's Parsley is fond of cultivated ground, and it is no un- 
usual thing for it to make its appearance in the very garden 
beds that have been set apart for rearing that pot-herb for which 
fools are said to mistake it. It is an annual, with a spindle- 
shaped, fleshy root, round, hollow stem, branched, and marked 
with fine longitudinal lines. The leaves are smooth, compound, 
and bluish green in tint. The wedge-shaped leaflets are them- 
selves pinnate, and the pinnae are lobed. The flowers are small 
and irregular, white, grouped in small umbels, which are again 
gathered into large umbels of umbels. 

The reader is invited to turn back to page 55, where the 
structure of umbelliferous flowers and fruits is more intimately 
described. The small umbels in ^Ethitsa are provided with an in- 
volucre consisting of three or five little bracts, very narrow and 
hanging vertically. This feature will serve to distinguish SEthusa 
from all other umbellifers. The entire plant is evil- smelling, 
and said to be poisonous. It flowers during July and August, 
and is the only species. It gets its generic name from the 
Greek aitho, to burn, from its acrid character, and its specific 
name is a combination of Kynos, dog, and apion, parsley, which 
is a further note of its worthless character. 


Fool's Parsley. 

yEthusa cynapium. 


Fine-leaved Heath. 

Erica cinerea. 



Galluna vul^aris. 


Fine-leaved Heath (Erica cinerea). 

This is the common Purple Heath of our elevated heaths and 
commons, distinguished from its relatives by its smooth stems 
and leaves ; the latter exceedingly narrow, their edges curled 
under, and arranged around the stems in whorls of three leaves, 
with clusters of minute leaves in their axils. The flowers also 
are in whorls, and either horizontal or drooping. The sepals 
are four in number, green ; the corolla in one, egg-shaped, with 
four short lobes around the mouth. The stamens are eight, 
bearing two-celled crested anthers, each cell opening at the 
side to discharge its pollen, and having a toothed process at its 
base ; the cell-openings of one anther being pressed against 
those of neighbouring anthers. The style is dilated at the top, 
and its surface is the stigma. Flowers July to September. 

Another common species is 

The Cross-leaved Heath (E, tetralix), with downy stems and leaves ; the leaves 
in whorls of four, and fringed with hairs, margins rolled under as in cinerea. 
Flowers pale-rosy, drooping, gathered into a dense head at the summit of the stem. 
The corollas are pale, almost white, on their under-sides. The anthers like those 
of cinerea, but with two longer processes from the base of each. Bees visit the 
Heath plants for their plentiful honey, and in pushing their long tongues into the 
flower in search of it touch their heads against the stigma, which partially blocks 
the mouth of the corolla. The tongue has to press against one or more of the 
anther processes, which has the effect of dislocating the series of anther-cells, and 
allowing the pollen to fall through the opening upon the bee's head, which is thus 
ready to fertilize the next flower it visits. This species may be found growing with 
E. cinerea., but usually selects the dampest, boggy spots on the heath. Flowers 
July to September. 

There are two other species, E. vagans and E. ciliaris, but they are confined 
almost entirely to the county of Cornwall ; the former distinguished by its bell- 
shaped, not egg-shaped, corolla, and anthers and pistil hanging outside ; ciliaris 
marked by its leaves being fringed with hairs, each hair tipped with a gland. 

The name is from Ereikh, the ancient Greek name for heath or heather. 


Heather or Ling (Calluna vulgaris). 

The Ling is distinguished from the Heaths by the botanist 
because its bell-shaped corolla is concealed by the longer, 
equally coloured calyx leaves, and below these are four bracts 
which resemble a calyx. Its leaves are triangular, very minute 
and densely packed, overlapping each other. Like the Heaths 
its flowers are persistent, and are to be found bleached but 
preserving much of their original form, nine or ten months 
after they opened. The anthers are short, and contained with- 
in the corolla, but the style is long, and protrudes. The tough 
wiry stems attain considerable size in the highlands of Scot- 
land, where they serve many useful purposes. It flowers from 
July till September. C. vulgaris is the only species. The 
genus gets its name from the Greek Kalluno, to beautify or 
adorn, an epithet which all who have visited the moorlands in 
its flowering season will admit is well-bestowed. 

Mistleto (Viscum album]. 

Is there a person in these islands above the age of infancy 
who does not know the Mistleto by sight ? Why, then, let it 
occupy space here ? Because it is one of those very well- 
known things that we only partially know. What percentage 
of those who took advantage last Yule-tide of the mystic 
sanctions of the plant, and who consequently think they know 
it so well, have seen its flowers ? or know that it has flowers ? 
True, those of our British Mistleto are not very striking in 
point of size or showiness ; but there are tropical species with 
flowers both large and brilliant. 

In V. album the flowers are of two kinds, male and female, 
each (with rare exceptions) being borne on separate plants, so 
that cross-fertilization is imperative. They are both green, and 
consist of a four-lobed perianth, the male with four anthers 


Viscum album. 


Meadow Saffron. 

Golchicum autumnale. 


attached to the perianth, such anthers opening by a large number 
of pores. The female flower has the perianth adhering to the 
ovary, to which the stigma is directly attached, there being no 
style. The ovary, as all know, develops into the globose white 
berry, containing the large seed with its viscid coat. These 
occur usually in twos or threes. The flowers may be found 
any time between March and May. 

This leathery parasite is not very particular as to its host. 
Quite a large number of trees of different species harbour it, 
notably the apple ; next in favour are poplars, hawthorns, lime, 
maple, mountain-ash, and very rarely the oak. It has been 
suggested that the very fact of its extreme rarity upon oak 
gave oak-grown mistleto its sacred character among the ancient 

Meadow- Saffron (Colchicum autumnale). 

The Meadow-Saffron is more frequently known as the 
Autumnal Crocus, but we object to the name as conveying a 
wrong idea of the botanical characters of two distinct genera. 
Further, there is a true autumnal crocus (Crocus nudiflorus), 
though its claim to be considered British is open to doubt. 
Like Crocus, Meadow-Saffron has an underground solid stem 
(corm], resembling a bulb, and from this arise the flowers in 
succession from August to October. These flowers are of a 
pale purplish colour, and consist of a long slender tubular 
perianth, enlarging at its upper part into a bell-shape, and this 
portion is divided into six segments, to each of which a 
stamen is attached (Crocus has but three). The ovary lies 
deep within the calyx-tube, and from it arise three long thread- 
like styles, which are bent over near the tip, the inner side of 
which is the stigma. 

The fruit develops during the winter, and by the spring is 
ripe. Then when the long, flat leaves make their appearance, 
the flower-stalk lengthens and brings the ripe capsule above 


the ground. Sometimes the flowers mistake the seasons and 
put in an appearance with the leaves in spring, but they are 
imperfect, and the perianth is greenish-white. 

The name is from Colchis, where it is said to have grown 

Hart's-tongue Fern (Scolopendrium vulgare). 

Hitherto we have dealt only with flowering plants. In these 
sexual organs are borne in more or less conspicuous blossoms, 
and, as the result of fertilization of the ovules by the pollen, 
seeds are produced which give rise to plants exactly like that 
which bore them. Ferns produce an enormous number of 
minute bodies, called spores, which are incapable of developing 
directly into a plant similar to that by which they were pro- 
duced ; but on germination they give rise to a minute green 
scale, like a liverwort, upon the under surface of which sexual 
organs appear, and by the mingling of their cell-contents a 
true bud is formed, from which a true fern-plant is evolved. 
There are other important points upon which ferns differ from 
flowering plants, but it is not within the author's province to 
deal with them here. Let it suffice to add that as a fruit- 
bearing organ the leafy portion of a fern differs greatly from 
the leaves of other plants. To prevent confusion it is termed 
a. frond. 

The Hart's-tongue has a frond of very simple character 
strap-shaped consisting of a stout mid-rib (rachis), with a 
leathery green expansion on either side, the upper end tapering 
off to a point, the lower divided into two lobes. A large number 
of thick red-brown parallel ridges on the under surface will 
attract immediate attention. These are heaps of delicate 
capsules (sporangia), which contain the spores. The Hart's- 
tongue is a plant of sandy or rocky hedgerows. 


Hart's-tongue Fern. Maidenhair Spleenwort. 

Scolopendrium officinale. Asplenium Trichomanes. 


* ' 

Male Fern. 

Nephrodium filix-mas. 


Maidenhair Spleen wort (Aspknium trichomams). 

A common plant locally on rocks and walls, having a slender 
dark-brown polished rachis and a large number of roundish- 
oblong leaflets (pinnce\ arranged pinnately on each side. The 
capsules will be found in short thick lines on the under surface. 
There is a similar species, the Green Spleenwort (A. mride\ 
with a green, softer rachis and the pinnae distinctly stalked, 
shorter and paler ; growing on wet rocks in mountainous 

Male Fern (NephrotKtim filix-mas). 

In the Male-fern so-called by our fathers owing to its 
robust habit as compared with the tender grace of one they 
called Lady-fern (Asplenium filix-fcemina) we have an 
advance in the intricacy of frond-division. Our page is not 
sufficiently large to represent the whole of the frond, but the 
portion we give shows that the pinnae are themselves 
again divided into pinnules. This fern grows to a great size, 
its rootstock very thick and wcody, its fronds erect and three 
or four feet high. As a rule the rachis and its continuation 
below the leafy portion (stipes) are shaggy with loose golden- 
brown scales. The spore-capsules are in little round heaps in 
rows along the pinnae, and each heap is covered by a thin kidney- 
shaped involucre. Note in the unrolling of a young frond how 
beautifully the whole is packed up. The lateral divisions of 
the pinnse are rolled each on itself, then the pinnae are rolled 
up from their tips toward the rachis, and finally the whole 
frond is coiled up from the tip downwards. This is the 
characteristic vernation of ferns, and differs greatly from the 
packing of undeveloped leaves in the leaf-buds of flowering- 


The genus Nephrodium (named from nephros, the kidneys, in allusion to the 
involucre) contains half-a-dozen other British species, of which the most frequent is 
the Broad Buckler Fern (N. sflinnZasum), with arching fronds, broad at the base, the 
stipes sparingly clothed with dark-brown scales. Pinnules toothed, the teeth ending 
in long soft points. Damp woods. 

Mountain fern (N. oreopteris), with habit of Male fern, but stiffer, and of a 
yellow-green hue. Spore-heaps near the margins of the pinnae. High hills and 
mountain pastures. 

Field Horsetail (Equisetum arvense). 

The Horsetails are a small group of flowerless plants, quite 
distinct from the ferns, though there are certain points in 
which some resemblance may be traced. We have eight 
British species out of twenty-five that are known to inhabit the 
earth. The most widely distributed of these is the Field 
Horsetail (E. ai"vense\ which farmers regard as a pest. In 
common with the whole tribe it has a creeping underground 
rootstock, from which more or less erect jointed stems arise. 
If we break off one of these joints at its natural articulation 
we shall observe that the ends are solid, and that the upper 
extremity is crowned by a sheath ending in long pointed teeth, 
into which the lower end of the next joint fitted. This leaf- 
sheath, as it is called, is composed of a number of aborted 
leaves the only vestiges of leaves the plant possesses. Just 
below the leaf-sheath a whorl of jointed branches is given off, 
each constructed in a manner similar to the upright stem. If 
now we cut our main joint across its middle with a sharp 
knife we shall find that it is tubular, a central cavity occupying 
about one-third of its diameter. Between this cavity and the 
exterior wall is a series of small tubes, somewhat egg-shaped 
in outline, the smaller end towards the central cavity ; 
alternating with these and nearer the centre are a number of 
smaller circular tubes. This section should always be made 
when in doubt as to the species, for the shape and arrange- 
ment of these cavities differs in each, as do the external 


Corn Horsetail. 

Equisetum arvense. 


A Scarlet Gup-moss. B. - Wall-Lichen. 

Cladonia cornucopioides. Physcia parietina. 




ridges. The accompanying cuts represent half-sections 
through the stems of the principal British species. In this 
species there are about a dozen blunt ridges on the stem, 
extending right to the points of the leaf-sheath. The branches 
are four-angled, solid, and jointed and sheathed like the main 

Half-Sections through Horsetail Steins. 

1. Equisetum maximum. 4. E. sylvaticum. 

2. ,, pratense. 5. ,, limosum. 

3. ,, arvense. 6. ,, palustre. 

7. E. hyemale. 

stem. The cells of the cuticle secrete silica in such quantity 
that the whole of the vegetable matter may be got rid of by 
maceration, yet the form of the stem will remain in this trans- 
parent skeleton of silica. Certain species are used for polishing 
metal, under the name of Dutch Rushes. 

So far we have been describing what is known as the barren 


stem, because it ends in several unbranched joints, without any 
fructification. Before these barren stems appeared there arose 
from the rootstock a stem differing greatly in appearance, 
usually without branches, and lacking the green colouring 
matter (chlorophyll}. It is pale brown in colour, of stouter 
build, but much shorter, for whereas the barren stem is about 
two feet in length, the fertile is only a few inches, or at most 
less than a foot. The leaf-sheath is longer, and the teeth 
frequently adhere two or three together. The stem terminates 
in a kind of cone, consisting of many whorls of flat scales, 
each supported by a central stalk, on the underside of which 
are arranged from six to nine capsules containing spores. 
These spores are very curious : they are globular in form, and 
invested with several coats, the outermost of which splits into 
four narrow strips, which are highly hygroscopic, and which 
remain attached to the spore at one point only. These 
elaters, as they are termed, are very sensitive to changes in 
the humidity of the atmosphere, as may be proved by breath- 
ing upon them, however slightly, when they will be seen 
(through the microscope) to be in active movement. In many 
ferns the spores require months to elapse before germination 
takes place ; those of Horsetails will germinate in a few hours. 
Owing to its possession of chlorophyll the spore, if not placed 
in a situation suitable for germination, perishes in the course of 
a few days. 

The name of the genus is from the Latin, equus, a horse, 
and seta, a bristle. The fertile stems appear in March and 
April, the barren ones at intervals later. 

Lichens (Lichenes). Plate 126. 

The rambler will meet with specimens of the Lichen tribes 
at every turn, when he has got fairly away from the smoke of 
towns. He will find them on the tree-trunks or rocks and 


Triangular Moss. 

Hypnum triquetrum. 



Polytrichum formosum. 


A. Fly Agaric. 

Amanita muscarius. 

B. Edible Boletus. 

Boletus eclulis. 

C. Puff-ball. D. - Chanterelle. 

Lycoperdum gemmatum. Cantharellus cibarius. 



walls, old posts and palings, on thatch and on the ground. 
Wherever they are found they may be accepted as certificates 
of the purity of the air. Formerly considered as a distinct 
type, they are now held by the advanced school of cryptogarnic 
botanists as commensals^ or partnerships formed between a 
fungus and an alga. They are usually thin crusts, consisting 
of an upper and a lower epidermis, formed of closely crowded 
cells, and to the lower layer rootlike filaments are attached. 
Between these layers are two differing elements ; a loose 
stratum of green cells (gonidid], which are said to be algce, and 
below these a layer of fungoid threads. The contention of 
the new school is that these algcc have been captured by a 
fungus and held in bondage, being forced to elaborate starch 
by means of their chlorophyll from the inorganic material 
obtained by the rootlike filaments, which starch the fungus is 
able to feed upon. Some of the green cells are pushed out 
from time to time invested with a few wisps of fungus-threads, 
and so reproduce the partnership. It is but right to add that 
some good authorities on this branch of botany decline to 
accept these views, and still regard lichens as independent 
organisms and not partnerships. 

The species are very numerous, but their identification is 
not easy, and requires serious application. The two figured 
are exceedingly common in some districts. Various species of 
Cup-moss (Cladonid) will be met on heaths, sandy hedge-banks, 
etc. They have a flat crust-like base, from which arise pale 
grey tubes or cups, bearing at their tips the bright scarlet, 
pinky-brown, or even black fruits. A more common form in 
woods and on banks is Cladonia pyxidata, with the tube 
greatly increasing in width upwards. Cladonia rangiferina is 
the well-known Reindeer-moss, of inestimable value in extreme 
Northern latitudes as the food of the useful animal whose 
name it bears ; it may be found in abundance in this country on 
heaths and hillsides covering the ground beneath the heather. 


The other species figured in our plate, the Wall-lichen 
(Physcia parietina], is also very common, forming the familiar 
orange stains upon walls and maritime rocks. A closely 
allied species, the grey Parmelia saxatilis^ is common on tree- 
trunks : it has been used time out of mind in the production of 
a brownish-red dye for wools. Several others of the same 
genus are valuable in a similar direction : our own Parmelia 
perlata, which grows on tree trunks, is largely imported from 
the Canaries as a dye-weed, and has been sold at as high a 
rate as ,200 per ton. 

Lichens are generally of slow growth and long life. Mr. 
Berkeley kept watch upon a patch of Lecidia geographica for 
twenty-five years, and found little change in it all that time. 
The Rev. Hugh Macmillan recounts how he found on the top 
of Schiehallion a species of lichen encrusting quartz rocks, 
which exhibited beneath the lichen the marks of glacial action 
as distinct and unchanged by atmospheric effects as though the 
glacier had only passed over them yesterday. He suggests 
that the lichen may reckon its days back very nearly if not 
quite to the glacial period in Britain ! 

There are upwards of a thousand British species, and the best 
list of them will be found in " Crombie's British Museum Cata- 
logue of Lichens," of which the first part was published in 1 894. 

Mosses (Musci). Plate 127. 

Another important tribe of flowerless plants, to which we 
must be content with merely giving the general characters, for 
in a volume primarily intended as a guide to wild-flowers we 
must not occupy too much space with plants that do not 
produce flowers. At the same time, we believe the non- 
botanical among our readers will be glad to have a slight 
introduction, upon the strength of which they may cultivate the 
closer acquaintance of a most beautiful and interesting group 
of plants. 

MOSSES. 130 

A. Three-cornered Hypnum (Hypnum triquetruiri) is a 
common species on woodland banks, growing in branching 
tufts. The stems are well clothed with leaves, which consist of 
a single layer of cells ; there is therefore no necessity for the 
breathing pores (stomates) found on the leaves of flowering 
plants and giving access to the tissues beneath the cuticle. The 
leaves of mosses are not provided with stomates ; neither are 
they stalked, but attached directly to the stem by their base. 
From the sides of the stem at intervals a number of brown, 
hair-like threads are given off, and each of these ends in a 
brown, pear-shaped nodding organ, the spore capsule. These 
capsules are each closed with a lid (operculum) , beneath which 
is a double row of teeth, their tips directed towards the centre 
of the mouth. When the spores are ripe the operculum is cast 
off, and these teeth erect themselves to allow the minute spores 
to escape. The teeth (forming the peristome) of mosses are 
always some multiple of four ; in Hypnum each row contains 

B. Beautiful Hair-moss (Polytrichum formosttm) represents 
another division of mosses in which the fruits are borne on the 
termination of the stem or principal branches. In an earlier 
condition than that figured the capsule is covered with a 
conical densely-hairy cap (calyptrd] ; this is thrown off when 
the spores are ripe, the operculum follows and the spores are 

Mushrooms, and Toadstools (Fungi}. Plate 128. 

We cannot pretend to do other than call the rambler's 
attention to the interesting plants that are variously called 
mushrooms or toadstools, according to whether they are of the 
two or three species commonly eaten, or of the multitude 
concerning which the British public knows nothing, and there- 
fore dismisses them as worthless toadstools. 



A. The Fly-Agaric (Agaricus muscarius), though in general 
structure it closely resembles the common mushroom (Ag. 
campestris\ is to be avoided as a poisonous species. Its large 
orange or crimson cap, more or less thickly dotted with whitish 
flakes, is a very striking feature in woods in late summer and 
autumn. An examination of the underside of the cap (pilcus) 
will reveal a great number of thin yellowish plates set on edge 
and radiating from the stem to the circumference. Over these 
plates or gills is stretched a membrane, called the hymenium, 
on which the spores are borne. From this characteristic of the 
bulk of our mushrooms and toadstools the tribe containing 
them is dubbed the Hymenomycetes. 

B. Edible Boletus {Boletus edulis). In this group (Polyporci] 
the hymenium, instead of investing gills, lines minute pores or 
tubes, with which the under surface of the pileus is packed, and 
in which the spores are produced. Many of the Bleti are 
Edible, but their good qualities are known only to the few in 
this country. Edulis may be distinguished from other species 
by a delicate network of raised white lines covering the stem. 

. C. Jewelled Puff-ball (Lycoperdon gemmatum). This species 
represents a tribe in which the spore-bearing surface is 
contained within the fungus. In a young state Puff-balls of 
many kinds are filled with a white creamy substance, and so 
long as this remains white and does not change colour on 
being cut the fungus is good to eat, after being cut in slices 
and fried. When the spores are ripe the Puff-ball splits open 
at the top, and discloses a hollow filled with brown dust the 
spores. Certain species of Lycoperdon attain very large 
proportions : L. giganteum is abundant in some localities in 
grassy places, usually measuring nine or ten inches in 
diameter, but occasionally it exceeds twenty inches, and weighs 
as many pounds. Slices may be cut from one side of it for 
several days in succession, but so long as the rooting portion is 
not interfered with it will continue to grow. L. gemmatum is 


common on downs or pastures. Readers should be cautioned 
against eating these small species in a raw state, as such a 
course has been known to have serious effects. 

D. Chanterelle (Canthnrelhis cibcrius). This belongs to the. 
same section as the Fly- Agaric, in which the spore- bearing 
membrane is spread over gills ; but in Cantharellus the gills 
are reduced to thick ribs that run from the edge of the pilcus 
partly down the stem. The whole fungus is coloured with 
orange-yellow, internally as well as the outside. It is often 
abundant in woods in summer and early autumn. It is much 
esteemed for its esculent qualities ; but it requires much' 
cooking, and should first be thrown into hot water for a few 
minutes, then dried on a cloth, and fried or stewed gently. 

K 2 


Small-leaved Lime (Tilia parvifolia). 

Several species of Lime may be met in woods and planta- 
tions, but respecting the right of each to be called indigenous 
there is a good deal of difference of opinion among authorities. 
Some say the present species is a native and the Large-leaved 
Lime (T. platyphyllos] not; others reverse this verdict and 
say that platyphyllos is certainly native, but that parmfolia is 
doubtfully so. There is little difference, other than the size of 
the leaves, between the two. Both are trees of sixty feet and 
upwards. The leaves are alternate, heart-shaped and toothed, 
lop-sided at the base, and about two and a half inches across 
in parvifolia, compared with four inches in platyphyllos. In 
July and August the Small-leaved Lime puts forth her yellowy- 
green blossoms arranged in cymes, the long stalk of which is 
furnished with a long pale-coloured bract. The flowers 
consist of five sepals, five petals, a great number of stamens, a 
five celled globular ovary with simple style and a five-toothed 
stigma. Only one of the cells matures its two ovules, so that 
the fruit is two-seeded. The flowers are sweet-scented, and 
very rich in honey. 

The generic name, Tilia, is that by which the Romans knew 
the tree. 

Tree of the Gods (Ailantus glandulosa). 

This elegant shade-tree was introduced from North China in 
1751, and brought its name with it Ailanto, or Tree of the 
Gods. It has, however, been better appreciated in France and 
Italy than in this country. It grows to a height of fifty or 
sixty feet. The leaves are compound, pinnate, a fact that 
might easily be overlooked, for the whole leaf is so large 
sometimes as much as six feet in length that its stalk and 
mid-rib might well be mistaken for a branch clothed with 


Small-leaved Lime. 

Tilia parvifolia. 


opposite leaves. The leaflets are toothed, and the teeth bear 
glands on the lower side, \vhence the specific name. Its 
flowers, which open in August, are borne in clusters at the end 
of the branches. They are small, greenish-white in colour, and 
give off an evil odour. There are two forms of flowers, the 
one consisting of a five-parted calyx, five petals, and ten 
stamens ; the other with calyx and petals the same, but fewer 
stamens and three, four, or five ovaries. The flowers are not 
represented in our illustration, the drawing having been made 
when the tree was in fruit. These will be seen to look like 
small imitations of ash-keys. It is a rapid grower in almost any 
soil, though it succeeds best in a light humid earth, and 
appreciates a little shelter. Its leaves are the favourite food of 
one of the large silk-producing moths (Attacus cynthia), but 
most other insects disapprove of it. 

Maples (Acer). 

Our English Maple is the Common or Small-leaved or 
Field Maple (Acer campestre) that grows wild in hedge- 
rows and thickets in England and Wales, but is only 
naturalized in Scotland. It is a small spreading tree, scarcely 
exceeding twenty feet in height, with leaves five-lobed, the 
lobes again lobed or toothed. The flowers are small, green, in 
corymbs, with narrow sepals and narrower petals, succeeded by 
two-winged two-seeded fruits called samaras j the wings being 
horizontal. Flowers May and June. 

The Great Maple or Sycamore (A. pseudo-plat anus] is a tree 
commonly grown in the streets, squares, and parks of London 
and other great cities on account of its smoke-enduring 
qualities. It has been so long established here that it is 
generally but erroneously regarded as a native. It is a tree 
of very rapid growth, and attains a height of about eighty 
feet ; living upwards of two hundred years. Leaves large, 


Tree of the Gods. 

Ailantus glandulosa. 


five-lobed, unequally toothed. Flowers, greenish-yellow, May 
and June. Samaras large, wings diverging. Native of Mid- 
Europe and Western Asia. 

The False Sycamore or Norway Maple (A . platanoides) is 
the species shown in our figure. It is a native of Europe, 
introduced to England in 1683. It is a considerable-sized tree, 
attaining a height of about sixty feet. Its leaves are heart- 
shaped in outline, five-lobed, sharply pointed, with a few large 
sharp teeth. The flowers appear in April and May ; bright 
yellow. The samaras are brown, the wings widely diverging. 

Acer is the old Roman name for the Maple. 

The False Acacia (Robina pseudacacid). 

The False Acacia, Common Acacia, Robinia, or Locust-tree, 
as it is variously styled, is a native of mountain forests in North 
America, attaining its greatest perfection in Kentucky and 
Tennessee, where it attains the height of ninety feet and a 
diameter of four feet. It has been grown in this country for 
two hundred and fifty years, it being one of the earliest trees 
introduced from the New World, its graceful habit and light 
pinnate leaves commending it as an ornamental tree for the 
plantation. In the United States it is in great repute as an 
ornament, a shade or a timber-tree ; it grows with great 
rapidity, and its timber is of great durability, so that our 
cousins use it largely for ship-building, railway sleepers, and 
fences. When William Cobbett visited the States he was 
greatly struck with the useful nature of this tree, and on his 
return to England spared no pains to make its virtues known 
to his countrymen, even starting a nursery for the purpose of 
supplying the young trees, and creating quite a rage for Locust- 
planting for several years. 

The leaves are long, compound, the leaflets being arranged 
in a pinnate manner, with an odd leaflet. The stipules are in 
the form of prickles at the base of the leaf-stalk. It is a 


False Sycamore. 

Acer platanoides. 


Leguminous plant, and its flowers greatly resemble those of the 
pea. They are white, sweet-scented, and gathered into a long, 
pendulous raceme, like that of the laburnum : May and June. 
The tree is sensitive, and on a branch being touched the 
leaves will all incline towards the branch, whilst each leaflet 
advances half-way towards its opposite fellow. The same 
movements occur at sunset, the leaflets then remaining folded 
face to face until dawn. The fruit (shown in figure) is that form 
of pod called a lomentum, in which the valves are constricted 
between the seeds. 

The genus is named in honour of Jean Robin, a French 
botanist, whose son cultivated the first specimens of K. 
pseudacacia in Europe. 

The Ash (Fraxinus excelsior). 

One of the most pleasing in growth of our forest trees is the 
Ash, its grey trunk rising to eighty or a hundred feet, and its 
sweeping branches, the lower ones bending upwards at the 
tips, clothed with the gracefully curving long pinnate leaves. 
The character of these compound leaves and their leaflets is 
well shown in our illustration, together with two clusters of the 
winged fruits. 

The Ash is a native of Britain, although most of the 
specimens we meet in woods and plantations have been reared 
in a nursery and planted out. There are many cultivated 
varieties of F. excelsior; and a large number of species have 
been introduced during the present and last centuries, chiefly 
from S. Europe and N. America. Ash and Privet are the only 
native representatives of the order Oleacese, to which the Olive 
belongs. It cannot be said that Fraximis excelsior is a 
typical representative of the order, since most species included 
in it bear flowers composed of all the floral organs, whereas 
excelsior has neither calyx nor corolla. Its flowers appear in 

- i 3 6 - 

False Acacia 
Robinia pseudacacia. 


April or May, and are of three kinds : staminate, consisting 
of two dark purple stamens only ; pistillate, consisting of an 
oblong ovary with short style and cleft stigma ; hermaphrodite, 
consisting of ovary and two anthers with very short filaments. 
These flowers are individually small and inconspicuous, but 
associated as they are in dense panicles from the new wood 
formed in the previous season, and appearing before the black 
leaf-buds have burst ; they are collectively very conspicuous. 
The leaves are very late in making their appearance, as they 
are among the first to fall after the early frosts of autumn. 
The " keys," as the fruits are called, each contain two seeds, 
and the wing has a twist which causes the key to spin rapidly 
when the breeze separates it from the bunch and carries it far 
from the parent tree. 

The Black Mulberry (Morus nigrd). 

It may surprise some of our readers to learn that the Mul- 
berry-tree is not a native, though it is a familiar object in old 
gardens and parks. It is generally stated that the first 
Mulberry-trees were introduced in 1 548 and planted at Syon 
House, Isleworth (then the Convent of St. Bridget of Zion), but 
the Duke of Northumberland is credited with saying early in the 
present century that he could then trace them back quite three 
hundred years. Several of this batch are still living, and one 
probably the finest eld Mulberry in England is a hale and 
vigorous ornament to Mr. George Manville Fenn's lawn at 
Syon Lodge. Mr. Leo Grindon is of opinion that the tree 
was originally introduced by the Romans, for he,finds that the 
Saxons had a name for it, which would probably not have 
been the case had it not been growing in their midst. 

In this country the Black Mulberry does not reach a greater 
height than about thirty feet, its branches spreading out near 
the ground and attaining considerable thickness. The leaves 


Fraxinus excelsior. 


are large and rough, heart-shaped, and very plentiful, so that 
the tree affords good shade. The flowers are small and in- 
conspicuous, of a greenish-white colour, the sexes separate, 
though sometimes on the same tree. The male or staminate 
flowers consist of a four-leaved perianth, enclosing four stamens, 
a large number of the blossoms being combined in a catkin- 
like spike, depending from the axils of the leaves. The female 
spike is shorter, and the individual flower consists of a four- 
parted perianth, enclosing the ovary and its two branched 
stigma. After fertilization the perianth becomes plump and 
succulent, and all on the one spike become so pressed together 
by their great increase in size that they form a multiple fruit, 
having a slight resemblance to the fruit of the Bramble (the 
produce of one flower), but really differing from it greatly. 
Mulberries are ripe in August or September. 

The leaves do not unfold from the bud until the cold weather 
is well over, usually in May. It is said that its Latin name 
Morus is derived from mora, delay, in consequence of this 
caution on the part of the tree. The leaves generally used in 
the silk-culture for feeding the " worms " are those of the 
White Mulberry (Morns alba). 

The Small-leaved Elm (Ulmus campestris\ 

The Elm is one of our commonest trees, yet a great amount 
of uncertainty appears to prevail in the popular mind in identi- 
fying the Common or Small-leaved from our second British 
species, the variously-named Scotch Elm, Wych Elm, Witch 
Hazel, or Mountain Elm (Ulmus won f ana). There is some- 
thing more than a suspicion that campestris is not strictly in- 
digenous, but it settled in the country so many hundreds of 
years ago (brought hither, some say, by returning Crusaders) 
that it would appear ungenerous at this date to question its 
claims to be called British, especially as it is more widely 

- 138- 

Black Mulberry. 

Morus nigra. 


diffused than montana. The Elms are both tall trees, but cam- 
pestris usually attains a slightly greater height than montana, 
though the latter has a much stouter trunk. Their flowers 
appear before the leaves, and, although they are individually 
minute and inconspicuous, they are united in bundles, and the 
colour of the perianth and stamens renders them conspicuous. 
The perianth is bell-shaped, cleft into five or more lobes, 
reddish ; the purple anthers are equal in number with the 
divisions of the perianth, to which their filaments are attached. 
The two styles are awl-shaped, their inner surfaces stigmatic. 
The flower-cluster is succeeded by a bunch of one-seeded 
samaras, winged all round. In montana the seed is placed in 
the centre of the samaras ; in campestris it is distinctly above 
the centre. The leaves of montana are as large again as those of 
campestris, broader at the base, more inclined to be unequally 
heart-shaped. There are, however, many varieties of each, 
which make the identification of the species often very difficult. 
The flowers appear in March and April, those of campestris 
a little earlier than the others. The name is the Latin word for 
the tree but probably derived from the Hebrew /, to be 
strong or vigorous. 

The Beech (Fagus sylvatica). 

A Beech-tree growing on a chalky hill is one of the most 
beautiful of forest trees. It is, moreover, a tree that has left its 
marks upon our topography and literature, for many place- 
names (such as Buckingham, Buckland, Bookham) record the 
fact that in early times Beeches grew plentifully in the neighbour- 
hood, and book is a survival of the period when the Runic 
poems were written upon slabs of Buk. 

Without being at all glossy, like portions of the Birch and 
Cherry, the bark of the Beech is smooth, and remarkably even 
If allowed to grow naturally, without the pollarding which has 


Common Elm, 

U Imus cam pestris. 


produced such picturesque monsters as those at Burnham, the 
Beech-trunk grows clean and straight to a great height, sending 
off slender, more or less downward-bending, branches with shiny 
red skins. The twigs bear long, slender, fine-pointed brown 
buds that are closely mimicked by the snail Clausilia laminata, 
that loves to haunt the mossy angles between its large spread- 
ing roots, and to climb at even up its trunk, which from its 
smoothness and grey colour is far more suggestive of the gothic 
column than is the ruddy pine-stern. In spring these buds ex- 
pand and drop off as the rising sap swells the rolled-up leaves 
within, which emerge bright silky things, plaited, and edged 
with the most delicate fringe of gossamer, that gleams in the 
April sunshine. Then the Beech is indeed a thing of beauty, 
fair and majestic. The Birch has well been styled by Coleridge 
" The Lady of the Woods," but the Beech is surely entitled to 
take higher rank as the Queen of the Forest, especially in the 
spring, when covered with this bright and tender foliage, amidst 
which the flowers are lost. 

As summer comes the silken fringe of the leaves is cast off 
as they become firmer in texture, thicker, and more opaque of 
tint; yet smooth, and with a character peculiarly their own. 
With the advent of autumn the leaves become crisp, and turn to 
red-gold, or crimson, or warm ruddy brown. Then, when the 
afternoon sunbeams fall upon the Beech-wood, it seems all on 
fire, and the autumnal glories of every other tree are eclipsed. 

In April or May the Beech flowers. The blossoms are of 
two kinds, male and female, produced on stalks from the axils. 
The male flowers are combined in threes or fours within an in- 
volucre, forming a silky tassel as it hangs downwards with its 
yellow anthers waving. The individual flower has a bell- 
shaped, five or six-lobed perianth, with a varying number of 
stamens. Nearer the growing end of the twig rise the female 
flowers on shorter stalks. They are usually two or four to- 
gether, in a silky-haired, four-parted involucre, known as a 



Fagus sylvatica. 

L 2 


cupule. Individually these female flowers possess a perianth 
whose mouth is minutely toothed, within which is a three-sided, 
three-celled ovary surmounted by three slender spreading 
styles and stigmas. As the three-cornered fruits grow and 
ripen the cupule becomes hard and its outer scales spiny ; the 
four valves part and turn back to disclose and set free the 
smooth brown nuts or " mast," beloved of swine. In France 
an oil is expressed from the mast, and the latter is also used as 
a food for poultry, like its namesake, the Buckwheat (see page 
1 1 8). It is from these edible qualities that the genus gets its 
name, derived from the Greek, phago to eat. 

There are many varieties of the Common Beech to be met 
in plantations, such as the Copper Beech, the Purple Beech, the 
Variegated Beech, the Cut-leaved Beech, the Crested Beech, 
the Weeping Beech, the White Beech, etc. 

Sweet Chestnut (Castanea vulgaris). 

On light sandy soils, where little else but fir and heath will 
grow, one may meet with considerable plantations of the Sweet 
or Spanish Chestnut. For centuries, and until quite recently, 
it was considered to be a native ; but it is never found here 
forming natural forests, and only in the South in favourable 
situations does it ripen its fruit usually small. Great plausi- 
bility was given to the supposition that Castanea was a native 
by the oft-repeated statement that its timber was to be seen in 
the roof of Westminster Abbey and in other old buildings. 
An examination of this timber years ago by Dr. Lindley the 
eminent botanist proved it to be oak, which it closely re- 
sembles. Again it was claimed as British on account of the 
great antiquity of certain living trees, such as " the great 
Chestnut of Tortworth," a name it bore in the reign of Stephen, 
when it must have been an ancient tree. It is now generally 
understood that the Chestnut was brought hither by the 

Flowers and Fruit of Beech. 

a. Male flowers. 

b. Female flowers in cupule. 

c. Ovary and stigmas removed from cupule. 

d. Section of ovary, showing the three cells. 

e. Ripe cupule open, showing nuts. 


Romans, and that it got a more permanent footing on our land 
than its importers. It is grown chiefly for the sake of its young 
wood as hop-poles, fence-posts, and hoops. Unlike the oak, its 
timber deteriorates with age. 

It is distinctly an acquisition to our woods and plantations, 
its long, toothed, shining leaves being fine both in shape and 
colour. Its male flowers are produced in long, yellow catkins, 
consisting of a great number of six-parted perianths ; from these 
depend from ten to fifteen stamens, which discharge great quan- 
tities of pollen. The female flowers are borne in threes within 
an involucre (cupule), and each has its perianth adhering to the 
ovary ; there are from five to eight cells in the ovary, and a 
similar number of stigmas, but, as a rule, only one cell matures 
one of its two ovules. 

The name is said to be derived from Castanum, the name of 
a town in Thessaly whence the Romans first obtained the fruit. 

The Oak (Quercus robur}. 

First and foremost in any list of British trees should come 
the Oak, in utter disregard of all botanical classification, for not 
only was our supremacy of the sea and our existence as a nation 
gained by aid of our oaken walls, but a grand old Oak is finely 
typical of British solidity, strength and endurance. Fifteen 
years may be regarded as the average age at which the oak 
first produces its fruit, the acorn, and it continues to ripen its 
annual crop for centuries. Dryden has certainly not exag- 
gerated in his lines that tell how 

" The monarch oak, the patriarch of trees, 
Shoots rising up, and spreads by slow degrees ; 
Three centuries he grows, and three he stays, 
Supreme in state, and in three more decays." 

According to the records and traditions relating to many hollow 
ruins of enormous girth still living at their circumference though 
long since dead at heart, Dryden's nine-century tree is only 


Sweet Chestnut. 

Castanea vulgaris. 


middle-aged. Well-nigh every district in this country, not too 
high above sea-level, can show its monster Oak ; but it: is 
where the soil is close and heavy that it is seen at its best. 
There is no doubt about the Oak being a true native. Some 
of our Oak-forests are older than history : such was the forest 
of the Weald Anderides-leag in which the aboriginal Britons 
so long withstood the attempts of Romans and English to 
conquer them, and which at a much later date supplied alike 
much iron from its quarries and the oak charcoal wherewith to 
smelt it ; and of which to-day the pedestrian-tourist from 
London to the South Coast will cross many considerable 
fragments. How widely it was grown is evident from the vast 
number of place-names of which it forms part, such as Okham, 
Ockshott, Ockley, Acton, Acworth, Acrington, Okehampton, 
Oxted, etc. 

Our British Oak is Qitercus rofair, of which there are 
several varieties to which some authorities give specific rank, 
but their characters are too inconstant to be so regarded- 
However, as they are frequently called by their distinctive 
names, it were well to mention them and their chief 

White Oak (Q, robnr, var. fiedimculata) has the leaves slightly stalked or stalk- 
less, and the acorns with long, slender stalks. 

Red Oak (Q. robur, var. sessili flora) has the leaves borne on long yellow stalks, 
and the acorns supported on very short stalks, or quite stalkless (sessile). 

Durmast (Q. robur, var. intermedia), with acorns and leaves on short stalks, and 
the underside of the leaves downy. Spiders are said to object to the wood of this 
tree, and will not spin their webs where it has been used for building jiurposes. 

The flowers of the Oak are of two distinct sexes. Those 
bearing stamens are grouped on a long, slender and pendulous 
catkin ; each consisting of a four- to seven-lobed calyx, within 
which are ten stamens. The females are solitary and erect, 
consisting of a cupule, within which is a three- to eight-lobed 
calyx, a three-celled ovary with three styles. The cupule 
becomes the familiar " cup " of the acorn, which again is the 


White Oak. 

Quercus robur, var. pedunculata. 



enlarged ovary, two cells of which have aborted. Flowers 
April and May. 

The Oak forms the world of a great number of insects, many 
of which are either parasites (gall-flies which produce Oak- 
apples, bullet-galls, spangles, and other forms of gall) or their 
lodgers. Several fungi, too, specially select old Oaks upon 
which to live freely. Chief among these is the remarkable 
Beef-steak fungus (Fistulina hepaticd), of which in October 
a hundred-weight might be quickly gathered in an oakwood. 

Hazel (Corylus avellana). 

The Hazel is one of the most look-ahead kind of trees, for 
almost before this year's nuts have all dropped off, or been 
picked off, she puts out the tiny, cylindric grey bodies that 
continue to lengthen all the winter and by February have 
become loose and open. Then it can be seen that these 
catkins consist of male flowers, for the yellow stamens are 
evident, and soon every breeze shakes out a little cloud of 
yellow pollen. Looked at analytically, the catkin is seen to be 
made up of a large number of scaly bracts, of which one large 
and two small go to a flower, and these are so arranged as to 
form a pent-house roof over the eight stamens. The female 
flowers are altogether different. They each consist of a two- 
celled ovary, with two slender, crimson styles, and enclosed in 
a kind of calyx, three-parted. Two of these flowers are then 
associated in a bud-like involucre, situated at the end of a twig. 
In spring, before the leaves appear, these open and the crimson 
stigmas are put forth to catch a little of the flying pollen. By 
September one cell of the ovary has developed into a hard 
shell containing one large seed (kernel) and clasped by a large 
raggedly-cut hood the developed involucre. 

When the tips of the nutshells become brown-tinged, then 
appear boys, squirrels, dormice and nuthatches, and by their 



Corylus avellana. 


combined industry the tree or bush is soon despoiled of its 

All the many varieties of Filberts, Kentish-Cobs, Spanish- 
nuts, and Barcelona-nuts are but varieties of Corylus avellana. 

The name is from the Greek, Korus, a helmet, from the form 
of the involucre. 

The Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus). 

It is in our experience that though many townsmen think they 
know the Beech there are comparatively few of them that 
cannot be deceived into accepting the Hornbeam as Fagus 
sylvatica. It must be admitted that there is a strong super- 
ficial resemblance to a small Beech ; but on closer examination 
it will be found that the differences are greater than the 
likeness. The Hornbeam has a light-grey smooth bark, but 
instead of the very round trunk of the Beech, that of the 
Hornbeam appears to have been laterally squeezed, for the 
diameter taken one way is longer or shorter than if taken at 
right angles to the first measurement. Then again the leaf of 
Carpinus if placed upon that of Fagus will be found to ba 
much less rotund in proportion to its length ; the surface is 
rough, and instead of the cleanly cut margins of Fagus we 
have a coarse double-toothing. 

The Hornbeam when full-grown is a much smaller tree than 
the Beech, rarely exceeding seventy feet in height, with a trunk 
circumference of ten feet ; whereas the Beech reaches a height 
of considerably over a hundred feet, with a girth of nearly 
thirty feet. When naturally grown, too, it is by no means so 
picturesque as the Beech, but in places where it is most 
plentiful, as in Essex, especially Epping Forest, it is generally 
pollarded, and seldom allowed to exhibit its true form. 

The male flowers form a pendulous catkin, originating in the 
axils, and each consisting of an egg-shaped bract, holding 



Carpinus betulus. 


about a dozen stamens at its base. The female flowers form 
an erect flower-head, shaped like an artichoke at the end of a 
twig, the three-lobed bracts each containing two flowers. After 
fertilization these lobes enlarge considerably, and the flower- 
head lengthens into the pendulous string of fruits shown in our 
illustration. The flowers appear in May. 

The Osier (Salix viminalis). 

The Willow family, to which the Osier belongs, is, like the 
Brambles, a difficult group even for the botanist, and he is a 
bold man or a very clever one who undertakes to identify 
specimens off-hand. They have suffered much at the hands 
of the " splitter." Hooker gives the number of British species 
as eighteen, with a considerable number of varieties ; but by 
Babington many of these varieties are given specific rank, 
and his list of species runs to fifty-eight. It would, of course, 
be absurd for us to attempt in this restricted space to give a 
key even to Hooker's list ; but our details of the flower struc- 
ture, etc., will be found to apply in the main to all willows, and 
for a knowledge of the other species our readers must refer to 
Hooker. It should be added that, to increase the difficulties of 
the botanist, the plants that bear male flowers as a rule differ 
considerably from those that produce female flowers ; for with 
scarcely an exception each plant is of one sex only. 

The Osier (S. viminalis) is one of our most common species, 
and is the one most generally used for basket-weaving. It is 
a large shrub or low bushy tree, growing in wet places beside 
rivers and pools, or more frequently in Osier-beds. When 
allowed to grow uncut it attains a height of twenty or thirty 
feet ; its long, smooth, and straight branches well furnished 
with very narrow leaves, tapering to a fine point, and sometimes 
nearly a foot in length. The margins of the leaf are quite free 
from teeth or lobes, and are curled -back on the shining white 
silky underside. Both male and female flowers form catkins : 



Salix viminalis. 


the males each consisting of a hairy scale, to which are attached 
two stamens ; the females of a similar scale bearing the ovary. 
The catkins appear before the leaves, in March or April. 
Salix is the old Latin name for Willows and Osiers. 

The Lombardy Poplar (Poptdus fastigiatd). 

It is an easy step from the Willows to the Poplars, for the 
Genus Salix and the Genus Populus together form the Order 
Salicineae. We have only two indigenous species in Britain 
the White Poplar or Abele (P. alba), and the Aspen (P. 
tremuld). In spite of the fact that it was not introduced until 
1758 it may safely be said that the Lombardy Poplar is now a 
better known tree than either of our native species. It is the 
tree that is so frequently planted as a live screen, to break the 
force of the wind or to hide some undesirable prospect. Its 
growth is most rapid, and the story is told of a man who 
planted this tree in his garden at Great Tew, in Oxfordshire, and 
was living fifty years after, by which time his tree had beaten 
him considerably in the matter of growth, being then a hundred 
and twenty-five feet high ! But like most other trees of rapid 
growth it attains no great age for a tree, that is and it is 
doubtful if it exceeds a century of life. The whole of its 
branches and shoots take an upward direction, which gives 
the tree the fastigiate or sharp-pointed outline which has 
suggested its specific name. 

In our native Poplars the shoots are downy ; \T\fastigiata they 
are smooth. The leaves are borne on long compressed stalks, 
which give them the ever-tremulous movement so well known 
in connection with the Aspen. As in the Willows, the sexes 
are on separate trees, and the flowers all in catkins. There is 
no perianth, a single bract-like scale serving instead, though 
there is a cup-shaped organ, within which is found, in one plant, 
a one-celled ovary, and in the other sex from twelve to twenty 


Lombardy Poplar. 

Populus fastigiata. 



stamens with red anthers are attached to the under-side of the 

The name of the genus Popiilus is the old Latin for Poplar 
and Aspen. 

The Oriental Plane (Platanus orientalis). 

One need not go far into the country in order to see the 
Plane. Its virtue as a smoke-proof tree has now been well 
tested by the governing authorities in large towns, and it is 
freely planted in recreation grounds and by the sides of broad 
thoroughfares. In London it must now be about the 
commonest tree ; and some of the specimens grown in the 
west-end squares are very fine. Several of the London Planes 
have become quite "lions," to be seen by all visitors who 
" do " the Metropolis ; such is the individual that overtops the 
old-fashioned houses at the corner of Wood Street, Cheapside. 
More celebrated, perhaps, is the Stationers' Hall Court tree, 
which, though only about sixty-five years old, is so important 
a feature of that corner of the City that, on the rumour that it 
was to be cut down a few years since to allow of certain 
improvements in the court, the denizens of Paternoster Row 
and the precincts were up in arms, and evinced such indigna- 
tion that the building plans of the Stationers' Company were 
modified, and the tree spared to delight the sparrows of the 
vicinity, and to bring thoughts of the country into the hearts 
of the publishing and bookselling fraternity who daily pour 
through the court. 

In spite of its apparent enjoyment of London smoke and 
fog the plane-tree is not even a Britisher. Its introduction to 
England has been credited to Francis Bacon, but Loudon 
declares it was in our gardens prior to 1548 thirteen years 
before the birth of the Lord Keeper. 

The leaves of the Plane are very similar to those of the 
Sycamore and False-Sycamore (see page 134), but one feature 


Oriental Plane. 

Platanus orientalis. 

M 2 


will serve to identify it at any season the pale yellow patches 
on the trunk of the Plane caused by its constant shedding of 
flakes of bark. In the autumn, too, there is a striking contrast 
between the winged samaras of Acer and the ball-fruits of 
Platanus. Acer, again, has the leaves opposite, whilst in 
PI at anus they are alternate. 

The Planes are lofty trees (sixty to eighty feet), with thick 
cylindrical trunks, wide-spreading branches and abundant 
foliage. The leaves are five-lobed, with a few coarse teeth, and 
smooth surface. The flowers of both sexes are in globular 
clusters and borne on the same tree, but on separate branches. 
The male flowers have a perianth of four narrow leaves 
alternating with the stamens. The female flowers consist of a 
one-seeded ovary with a curved style, one side of which is 
stigmatic. Flowers April and May. 

P. occidentalism the Western Plane, is very similar, but its 
leaves have red stalks, and are less deeply lobed and toothed ; 
its bark scales less. 

Platanus is the old Greek name for the Plane-tree, and is 
probably derived from Ptatos, breadth, in allusion to the broad 
leaves or the ample shade afforded by its branches. 

The Birch (Betula alba). 

The most graceful of our native trees is the White or Silver 
Birch. It is the very antipodes among trees of the solid 
unbending oak. The slim stem, scarcely ever a foot in 
diameter, tapers away almost to nothing at a height of fifty or 
sixty feet. This is at full maturity at forty or fifty years ; there- 
after it makes little progress, and it is believed not to reach 
far beyond its hundredth year. It has the singular reputation for 
producing a bark that is more enduring than its timber. In spite 
of its effeminate grace it is a most hardy tree, and stands alone 
on the bleakest hillsides, and is the only tree that endures the 



Betula alba. 



rigorous climate of Greenland, though there, of course, it is 
greatly diminished in stature. 

The leaf varies slightly in outline from oval with a point to 
a rhombic form, with a long slender stalk, and the edges are 
doubly toothed. The silvery-white bark is continually dis- 
carding its outermost layer, which peels off in ragged, tissue- 
paper-like strips, revealing the newer, whiter bark beneath. 
In this country it is used in tanning, but in the far Northern 
parts of Europe it is put to a variety of uses. The inflores- 
cence is a catkin, the sexes separate, but borne by the same 
tree. The flowers of the pendulous male catkin consist each 
of a single sepal with two stamens, the filaments of which are 
forked, each branch bearing one anther cell, so that each 
stamen looks like two. The female spike, which is more erect, 
and shorter, is composed of three-lobed bracts, each containing 
two or three flowers. These are simply two-celled ovaries, with 
two styles and stigmas. The fruit is round, flattened, with 
a notched broad wing. It flowers in April and May. 

There is one other Native species, the Dwarf Birch (B. uana}, a bush of no 
more han three feet in height, which occurs locally in the mountain districts of 
Scotland and Northumberland. The leaves are very small, round with rounded 
teeth ; smooth, dark green, and with a short stalk. The seeds have very narrow 
wings. Flowers in May. 

The name Betnla is the old Latin designation for this tree. 

The Alder (Alnus glutinosd). 

The Alder, of which we have but one species, is own cousin 
to the Birch, but we must not seek it in similar situations. The 
Birch loves the breezy hillside, the Alder prefers the swampy 
valley, the pond and river-side, its tastes being more thoroughly 
aquatic even than those of the Willows. Its bark has some re- 
semblance to that of the Birch, especially when young, but in 
later life is more rugged, and very dark. The leaves are nearly 
round, doubly toothed, and with short stalks. When young 
they are sticky, as are the young shoots. The male catkins are 



Alnus glutinosa. 


long, produced, like those of the Hazel, late in autumn ; the 
round red scales each holding three flowers, consisting of three, 
four or five sepals, and as many stamens. The female spikes 
are not produced till spring : they are more globular, and re- 
semble minute cedar cones. The scales are reddish-brown and 
fleshy, afterwards becoming hard and woody ; there are two or 
three flowers in each, consisting of two sepals, an ovary and 
two styles. When ripe (October) the thick scales separate and 
set free the pale-brown nuts, which are very slightly winged. 

In suitable situations the Aider attains a stature of forty to 
sixty feet, and reaches maturity in about sixty years. The 
wood is soft and white, but turns orange by exposure after cut- 
ting. Under water it is very enduring, all but imperishable, 
and the Rialto at Venice is said to be built on Alder-piles. It 
is greatly used in the manufacture of gunpowder. 

A I mis is the old Latin name for the tree, and for a boat. 

Scotch-fir or Pine (Pinus sylvestris]. 

This, the Juniper, and the Yew are the only coniferous trees 
we have in Britain. Pinus sylvestris is therefore our only Pine, 
yet people persist in calling it a Fir, a name more especially 
belonging to the genus Abies. Time was when this beautiful 
tree grew wild in many parts of Britain ; it is now found 
nnturally in but a few places, from Yorkshire northwards ; 
otherwhere it has been planted. We may easily tell whether a 
cone-bearing tree before, us is a Pine or not by examining the 
leaf-cluster. If the leaves are in twos, threes, or fives, bound 
together at the base by thin, chaffy scales, it is a Pine. Should 
they be in twos, the leaves will be found to be half- rounded ; if 
in threes or fives, they will be triangular in section. The coties, 
or fruits, of the Pines take two years to ripen. The scales of 
which the cones are made up are thicker at the free end, so that 
the outer surface of each scale is pyramidal. 

Scotch Pine. 

Pinus sylvestris. 


The Scotch-pine, as with the reader's permission we will call 
it, differs much according to the situation in which it is grow- 
ing. In a favourable locality its trunk will grow to an altitude 
of one hundred feet, with a girth of twelve feet, whereas in very 
lofty, exposed situations it is a stunted shrub. Its bark is rugged, 
and of a ruddy-brown colour. Its needle-shaped leaves are in 
twos, and last for three years, after which they fall. The flowers 
are of two kinds. The males consist of many two-celled anthers 
spirally arranged on a spike, and the spikes are clustered round 
the new shoots. The female flowers consist each of a green 
scale, thickened and sticky at the apex and bearing on the inner 
side of its base two naked ovules. These scales are also asso- 
ciated in a spiral manner round a spike, the whole having a 
conical form. The male flowers produce an enormous quantity 
of pollen, which the wind blows in great sulphur-like clouds. 
Some of the pollen-grains stick to the edges of the scales on 
the young cones, and the pollen-shoots find their way down to 
the ovules and fertilize them. In the ripe cone we find, on the 
scales separating, there are two winged seeds under each scale 
The timber of P. sylvestris is very valuable, and large quantities 
of it are annually imported from Norway and the shores of the 
Baltic ; there are numerous varieties of it, known commercially 
as Red pine, Norway pine, Riga pine, Baltic pine, etc. The 
tree begins to bear cones between the age of fifteen and twenty 

It is characteristic of Pines that the branches die off early, 
and this gives old trees the peculiar appearance of a tall, gaunt, 
red mast, with a somewhat flat, spreading head. 

The Cluster Pine or Pinaster (P. pinaster}. 

This is not a native of Britain, though it has been grown 
here for about three hundred years. Its home is in the coun- 
tries bordering the Mediterranean, chiefly in low ground near 

- 152 


Pinus pinaster. 


the sea. It is a large tree growing to a height of sixty or 
seventy feet, but its timber is so soft that it has little value for 
the builder, though the carpenter finds many uses for it, and 
much of it is used in the preparation of resin, turpentine and 
tar. The tree may be readily identified by its long, dark leaves 
(in twos), forming large, brush-like clusters. These leaves vary 
from six to twelve inches in length. The cones are as large again 
as those of the Scotch-pine, and each scale bears in the centre of 
the raised portion a hard, sharp point of a grey colour. This 
is the tree which has proved of such great service in France in 
turning to use considerable areas of barren sea-sands. In the 
Departments of the Landes and Gironde troublesome rolling 
sands have been rendered fit for agriculture by making planta- 
tions of P. pinaster, which can thrive in such poor stuff, even so 
near the sea. 

The Silver-fir (Abies fectlnata\ 

Here we have a true fir, which will be seen on examination to 
differ in several points from the pines. It will at once be noted 
that the leaves are not gathered into bundles of two, three, or 
five, but grow solitarily in two rows, on opposite sides of a 
branch. They are flat, with blunt ends, whitish or silvery under- 
neath, and evergreen. The cones, too, are very different from 
those of the pines, for whereas those were found to be conical, 
these are really cylindrical, and consist of a number of woody 
cones of pretty equal thickness throughout, not thickened at the 
tips as in Pimis. The firs are excellent timber trees, and are 
rich in turpentine. 

The Silver-fir gets its popular name from the silvery under- 
sides of its leaves. The cones stand erectly from the branches ; 
at first they are green, then reddish, finally purplish-brown. 
They are six or eight inches in length. Each scale has a long, 
tapering bract attached to its outer surface, and turned over at 

Silver Fir. 

Abies pectinata. 


the tip. It is a lofty tree, growing to eighty or a hundred feet, 
sometimes more. It is a native of Central Europe, Northern 
and Western Asia, but has been grown in England for nearly 
three hundred years. Its timber is reputed to be durable under 
water ; and from its bark is obtained a resin called Strasburg 
turpentine, also white pitch. The flowers appear in May, and 
the cones are ripe eighteen months later. The tree often begins 
to produce cones at about twenty years of age, but until about 
its fortieth year these are barren. 

The name Abies is Latin, signifying a fir-tree or a plank. A 
shipwright or carpenter was abietarius. 

The Norway Spruce -fir (Abies excelsd). 

The Spruce-fir is a handsome tree, often reaching from one 
hundred to one hundred and fifty feet in height. The leaves 
are curiously square, sharp-pointed and scattered in their 
arrangement on the branch. The cylindrical cones hang down 
from the tip of a shoot, and are six or seven inches long, their 
scales with a few teeth at the apex. Its seeds are very small. 
The flowers appear in May, and the cones ripen in about 
twelve months. It is a native of Norway, Russia, and Northern 
Europe generally, and was introduced to Britain nearly three 
hundred and fifty years ago ; but previous to the glacial period 
it appears to have been indigenous and prosperous here. Its 
timber (white deal) is very largely used for many purposes. 
Its resin is known as frankincense, from which is prepared 
Burgundy pitch ; and from the boiled leaf-buds and shoots is 
obtained essence of spruce, which is used to flavour an 
intoxicant known as spruce-beer. 

One of the most ornamental of this group is the Hemlock 
Spruce (Abies canadensis), a species that was introduced about 
a hundred and sixty years since. Its home is in all the forest 
regions of Canada and the United States as far west as Oregon, 

Norway Spruce Fir. 

Abies excelsa. 


and in New England and the Dominion its shortened name of 
Hemlock is "familiar in the mouths" of the people. The 
leaves are short, flat, solitary, and endure for two seasons. 
The cones are but half an inch long, and afford a striking 
contrast to those of the Sugar-pine (Pinus tambertiana] whose 
cones are said sometimes to measure two feet long. The 
peculiar grace of the Hemlock is due to the symmetrically 
arranged branches, and to their drooping tips ; but in later life 
it becomes rugged, and loses much of its charm. Its wood is 
not so highly esteemed as its bark, which is useful for tanning. 

The Larch (Larix europad). 

So frequently do we come across huge plantations of Larch 
that we might be pardoned for supposing it to be a native tree ; 
but though it was introduced to Britain as an ornamental tree 
about two hundred and fifty years ago its true home is in the 
South European Alps. It is singular in the fact of being a 
deciduous conifer, that is it sheds all its leaves in the autumn ; 
and remains naked until the spring. A larch-wood in winter 
presents rather a weird and dreary aspect, the grey branches 
and trunks appearing as if dead and withered, an aspect that 
is intensified when, as frequently happens, the branches are 
thickly invested with the lichens Rainalina and Evernia. But 
in spring the Larch again becomes a thing of beauty, and, as 
Tennyson sings : 

" Rosy plumelets tuft the Larch, 
And rarely sings the mounted thrush \ 
And underneath the barren bush 
Flits by the sea-blue bird of March." 

These " rosy plumelets " are the future cones, and they are 
very conspicuous on the bare branches. They become ripe by 
their first Autumn, when they are but little more than an inch 
in length, rather oval than conical ; erect on the branch, and 
the scales with irregular margins. When first the leaves 



Larix europeea. 



appear they are in tufts, arranged alternately, as shown in our 
figure, but as the season advances each tuft lengthens into a 
twig and the leaves become scattered along it as the wood 
grows the tree not gaining in good looks thereby. The tree 
has a wonderfully slender pyramidal form, due to the downward 
growth of all the branches. It is greatly appreciated as a 
timber-producing tree, its useful wood being fit to use when the 
tree is only forty years of age, in which respect it has distinct 
advantage over the Scotch-pine, which requires eighty years in 
order to produce serviceable timber. In its early years its 
annual growth exceeds two feet. At ten years of age from the 
sowing of the seed it has reached the height of twenty or 
twenty-five feet, and at fifty years it is eighty feet high. Its 
natural life is from one hundred and fifty to two hundred years. 
The Larch and the Spruce-fir have to a great extent 
supplanted the Scotch-pine in this country, owing to their more 
rapid growth and development of wood. 

In its native countries the bark of the Larch is used for 
tanning, and the young shoots as fodder for cattle, whilst its 
resin is an article of commerce under the title of Venice 


Illustrated or Described in the foregoing pages. 

Order I. Ranunculaceaa. 

Genus l.CLEAfATIS vitalba, 82 
Genus III. ANEMONE nemorosa, 

3; pulsatilla, 4 
Genus M. RANUNCULUS acris, 

1 8 ; butt os us, 18 ; ficaria, 6 ; 

repens, 19 
Genus VI. CALTHA palustris, 13 ; 

radicans, 13 

Order II. Berberidese. 

Genus l.BERBERIS vulgaris, 57 

Order III. Nymphseaceae. 

Genus \.--NUPHAR hiteum, 106 ; 

pumilum, 106 
Genus \\.-NYMPHsEA alba, 106 

Order IV. Papaveracese. 

Genus l.PAPAVER hybridum, 
61 ; ar^emo/ie, 61 ; dubium, 61 ; 
rhceas, 61 

majus, 64 

Order V. Fumariacese. 

Genus l.FUMARIA capreo^ta, 

9 ; officinalis, 
parvifloi'a, 9 

dcnsiflora, 9 ; 

Order VI. Cruciferas. 


chciri, 12 
Genus M.CARDAMINE hirsute, 

ii ; pratensis, TO ; amara, ir; 

impatiens, ir. 
Genus Y&.-BRASSICA nigra, 90; 

sinapis, 90; /<fo, 90 
Genus XV. CAPS ELL A bursa- 

pasloris, n 

Order VII. Resedaceae. 

Genus I. RESEDA luteola, 79; 

lutea, 79 

Order VIII. Cistinese. 


vulgtre, 42 ; -polifolium, 42 ; 
guttatum, 42 ; canum, 42. 

Order IX. Yiolaceae. 

Genus I. VIOLA palustris, 58; 
odorata, 4 ; hirta, 58 ; cani/ia, 
58 ; sylvatica, 58 ; arenaria, 58 ; 
tricolor, 58 

Order X. PolygaleSB 

Genus I. POLYGALA vulgaiis, 
28 ; calcarea, 29 ; amara, 29 

N 2 



Order XII. Caryophyllese. 

Genus 1 1 1 . L YCHNIS ftos-cuculi, 
65 ; diurna, 66 ; vcspcrtina, 88 

Genus IV. GITHAGOscgctum, 71 

Genus M.HOLOSTEUM umbel- 
la turn, 20 

Genus VI I. - S TELLARIA media, 
55, 62 ; /wlosfea, 62 ; palustris, 
62 ; graminca, 62 

Order XV. Hypericinese. 

Genus \.-HYPERICUM an- 

di-oscemum, 48 ; perforatitm, 47 ; 
humifusum, 47; pulchnnn, 47; 
hirsutum, 48 ; tetraptcrum, 47 

Order XVI. Malvaceae. 

Genus \\.-MALVA sylveslris, 67; 
rot undif olia, 67 ; moschata, 68 

Order XVII. Tiliaceae. 

Genus I. TILIA parvifolia, 133 ; 
platyphyllos, 133 

Order XVIII. Linese. 

Genus \.-LlNUM catharticum, 96 ; 
persnne, 96; a ngzisti folium, 96; 
usitatissimum, 96 

Order XIX. Geraniacese. 

Genus I. GERANIUM molle, 35; 

rotundifolhim, 34; pusillum, 35 ; 

columbinum, 35; disscctum, 35; 

robertianum, 35 ; lucidum, 35 
Genus \\.-ERODWM cicutarii/m, 

35 ; moschatum, 36 ; maritimum, 


Genus \\\. OXALIS acetosdla, n ; 
corniailata, 12; stricta, 12 

Order XX. Ilicinese. 

Genus I. ILEX aquifolium, 89 

Order XXIV. Sapindacese. 

Genus I, ACER campestrc, 13;; 
pseiido-platauus, \^\\platano:des, 

Order XXV. Leguminosae. 

Genus III. CY-TISUS scoparius, ^ 
Genus IV. ONONIS spinosa, 94; 

rcclinata, 94. 
Genus Vl.MKDICAGO falcata, 

72 ; saf/va, 72 ; lupulina, 72 ; 

denticulata, 72 ; maculata, 72 
Genus Vll.MELILOTUS altis- 

sima, 101 ; fl/&z, 101 ; qfficinalis, 

Ge:ius VIII. TRI FOLIUM subter- 

raueum, 48 ; arvense, 49 ; //#- 

^j^, 49 ; medium, 49 ; striatum, 

49 ; scabrum, 49 ; rcpens, 49 ; 

fragiferum, 49 ; procumbens, 49 ; 

dub in m, 50 
Genus IX.ANTffYLL/S vulne- 

raria, 52 
Genus X. LOTUS corniculatus, 

43 ; uliginosus, 43 ; hispid us, 

43 I angustissimus, 43 
Genus JiV.ONOBRYCHISsativa, 


Genus XVI. VICIA tetrasperma, 
44; hirsiita, 44; cracca, 44; 
orobits, 44 ; sylvatica, 44 ; sepimn, 
4 4 ; j<7//zw, 43 



Order XXVI. Rosaceae. 

Genus I. P.RUNUS communis, 
109; insititia, 109; domestica, 
Genus II. SPIRsEA ulmaria, 93 ; 

filipendula, 93 

Genus lll.RUBUSccesiiis, 31 
Genus Vl.FRAGARIA vesca, 27 
GmusVll.POTENTILLA tor- 
went ilia, 63 ; reptans, 63 ; an- 
serina, 62 ; fragariastntm, 27, 


Genus IX. AGRIMONIA ey pa- 
tori t, 95 
Genus X. POTERIUM sangiti- 

sorbct , 1 1 1 ; mltrica turn, 1 1 1 ; 

officinale, in 
Genus XL ROSA spinosissima, 41 ; 

rubiginosa, 41 ; canina, 41 ; ar- 

vensis, 41 
Genus XII. PYRUS aucuparia, 

Genus KUl. CRATJEGUS oxya- 

cantha, 17 

Order XXVIL Saxifrageae. 

Genus lll.PARNASSIA palns- 
tris, 115 

Order XXVIII. Crassulacese. 
Genus lll.SEDUM acre, 100. 

tectorum, 100 

Order XXIX. Droseraceae. 

Genus l.DROSEKA rotundifolia, 
56 ; intermedia, 57 ; anglica, 

Order XXXIV. Umbelliferas. 

Genus XXll.FCEN/CU7MJf of- 

ficinale, 55 
Genus XXV. s THUS A cyan. 

pizun, 119 

Order XXXV. Araliacese. 

Genus l. HEDERA helix, 112 

Order XXXVII. Caprifoliacese. 

Genus IV. LO NICER A pericly- 
menum, 31 ; caprifolium, 32 

Order XXXVIII. Rubiacese. 

Genus \\.-GALlUM aparine, 87 

Order XXXIX. Yalerianeae. 

Genus I. VALERIANA diolca, 
104 ; qfflc in alls, 104 

Order XL. Dipsaceas. 

Genus I. DIPSACUS sylvestris, 

107 ; pilcsus, 107 
Genus ll.SCABIOSA sited sa, 98; 

columbaria, 98 ; arvensis, 98 

Order XLI. Compositse. 

Genus \V.BELLIS percnnis, i 

Genus Xll.ANTHEMIS arvensis, 
46 ; cot ula, 47 ; nob His, 47 

Genus Klll.ACHILLEA f far- 
mica, 37 ; millefolium, 36 

MUM segclum, 53 ; leucantlic- 
jniint, ^3 ; parthtnium, 54 

vulgare, 108 


Genus XXl.SENECIO -vulgaris, 
37 ; sylvaticits, 38 ; viscoses, 38 ; 
j a co baa, 38 ; erucifolhis, 38 ; 
aqiiaticns, 38 

Genus XXU.ARCT1UM lappa, 


n-gra, 67; scabiosa, 67; cyamts, 

Genus XXXl.CICHORIUM inty- 

bus, 68 

glabra, 97 ; radicata, 97 

officinale, 20 
Genus XU..SONCHUS arvensis, 

1x4; palustris, 114; oleraceus, 


pratensis, 84 ; porrifvlius, 84 

Order XLII. Campanulacese. 

Genus V. CAMPANULA rotundi- 
folia, 78 ; trachelium, 78 

Order XLII I. Ericaceae. 

Genus V. ERICA tetralix, 120 ; 
cinerea, 120 ; ciliaris, 120 ; t^rt!- 

^V7/?J, J20 

Genus Vl.CALLUNA vulgaris, 


Order XLVI. Primulaceae. 

Genus I. PRIMULA vulgaris, 3 ; 

elatior, 3 ; veris, 2 ; farinosa, 3 ; 

sco tic a, 3 
Genus V I . ^4 A^ Gy/ ZZ. /5 

jw, 54 ; tenclla, 54 

Order XLVIL Oleaceae. 

Genus 1 1 . FRA XINUS excelsior, 

Order XLVIII. Apocynacese. 

Genus I. VINCA minor, 5; major, 
6 . 

Order XLIX. Gentiane^. 

| Gvcn&lV.-ERYTHR&A centau- 

rntm, 79 

Order LI. Boraginese. 

Genus I.ECHIUM vulgar e t 26 
Genus l.*BORAGO officinalis, 80 
Genus \\.-SYMPHYTUM offi- 

cin.ile, 60; tuberosum, 60 

gustifolia, 10 ; officinalis, 9 
Genus VII. - MYOSO HS palustris, 

Order LII. ConvolYulacese. 

Genus I. CON VOL VULUS arven- 
sis, 63 ; sepium, 64; soldanclla,f>\ 

Genus ll. CUSCUTA europaa, 70; 
epithymum, 70; epiliniim, 71 

Order LIIL Solanaceae. 

Genus \.-HYOSCYAMUS nigcr, 


Genus II. SOLANUM dulcamara, 
99 : nignim, 99 

Order LIV. Plantagineae. 

I Genus I.- PLAN TA GO major, 22; 
media, 23 ; lanceolata, 22 ; wa- 
ritima, 23 ; coronopus, 23 



Order LV. Scrophularinese. 

Genus \\.-LINARIA cymbalaria, 

33 ; spuria, 105 ; elatine, 105 ; 

vulgaris, 105 ; repens, 105 ; 

minor, 105 
Genus VIII. VERONICA chama- 

drys, 28 ; bcccabunga, 29 
Genus X . E UPHRA SI A offidna- 

lis, 50 

pratense, 91 ; sylvaticum, qi ; 

arvensc, 91 ; cristatum, 92 

Order LIX. Labiatse. 

Genus I. ME NTH A sylvestris, 59; 
- rotund if olia, 58 ; piperata, 59 ; 
aquatica, 59 ; saliva, 59 ; arven- 
sis, 59 ; pulegium, 60 

Genus I V. TH YMUS serpyllum$$ 

Genus VI. SAL VIA pratensis, 23 

Genus Vll.NEPETA cataria, 34; 
glechoma, 33 

Genus VIII.- BRUNELLA vulga- 
ris, 83 

Genus XIV. LA MIUMpurpureum, 
33 ; intermedium, 33 ; amplexi- 
caule, 33 -, album, 33 ; galeobdo- 
lon, 33 

Genus X VII. AJUGA reptans, 21 

Order LXI. Chenopodiaceae. 

Genus l. CHENOPODIUM vul- 
varia, 86 ; polyspermum, 86 ; 
album, 86; rubncm, 86; bonus- 
henricus, 86 

Order LXII. Polygonaceae. 

Genus I. POLYGONUM bistorta, 
118 ; amphibium, 118 ; persicaria, 

118 ; aviculare, 119; convolvu- 
lus, 119; fagopyrum, 118 

Order LXV. Elaeagnaceae. 

Genus I. HIPPOPHAE rham- 
noides, 92 

Order LXVI. Loranthaccse. 

Genus 1. V1SCUM album, 121 

Order LXVIII. Euphorbiacese. 

Genus I. EUPHORBIA heliosco- 
pia, 30 ; platyphyllos, 30 ; Az'^^r- 
^^-,30; amygdala ides ,y>; peplus, 
30; exigua, 30; portlandica, 30; 
paralias,y>\ esula,^i; lathyris, 
31 ; ^//w, 31 

Order LXIX. Urticaceae. 

Genus l.ULMUS montana, 138 ; 

campeslris, 138 
Genus \\.-URTICA urens, 103; 

dioica, 103 ; pilulifera, 103 
Genus IV.-HUMULUS lupuhis, 

Order LXXI. Cupuliferae. 

Genus l.BETULA alba, 149 
Genus II. ALNUS glutinosa, 150 
Genus III.- QUERCUS robur, 142 
Genus IV.FAGUS sylvatica, 140 
Genus V.COR YLUS avellana, 144 
Genus Vl.CARPINUS letulus, 

Order LXXIL Salicinese. 

Genus \.-POPULUS alba, 147; 

tremula, 147 ; fastigiata, 147 
j Genus \\.-SALIX viminalis, 146 

i6 3 


Order LXXIV. Coniferae. 

Genus I. PIN US sylvcslri-s, 151 ; 

pinaster, 152 
Oenus II. j UNI PER US commu- 

nis, 102 

Order LXXVL Orchideae. 

Genus \.-MALAXIS paludosa, 77 
Genus \\.-LIPARIS loestlii, 77 
Genus IV.NEOTTIA nidus-avis, 


Genus V. LISTER A ovaia, 77 
Genus Vll.SPIRANTHES au- 

tumnalis, 77 
Genus XL- ORCHIS latifolia, 74 ; 

hircina, 76 
'Genus XIII. OPHR YS apifera,^ ; 

aranifera, 76 ; muscifera, 76 
Gm\isKV.H ABENAKI A bifolia, 


Order LXXVII. Irideae, 

Genus III. IRIS pscudacorus, 73; 
fcetidissima, 73 

Order LXXX. Liliacese. 

Genus III. POZ. FGOA^^ TUMvcr- 

ticillatum, 17; multijlorum, 16; 

officinale, 17 

lis, 16 
Genus IK.SCILLA verna, 15; 

autumnalis, 15 ; mitans, 14 
Genus XV.-COLCH/CUM aunim- 

nale, 122 

Order LXXXI. Junceae. 

Genus II. LUZULA maxima, 69; 
vcrnalis, 69 ; fonteri, 69 ; raw- 

pestris, 70 ; spicata, 70 ; arcuata, 

Order LXXXIII. Typhaceaa. 

Genus 1 1. TYPHA latifolia, 51; 
atigustifoiia, 52 

Order LXXXI V.Aroideae. 

Genus I. ARUM macnlatitm, 15 ; 
italicum, 16 

Order LXXXV. Lemnaceae. 

Genus l.LEMNA minor, 45 ; /rz- 
sulca, 46 ; gibba, 46 ; polyrhiza, 

Order LXXXVI. Alismaceae. 

! Genus IV.SAGITTARIA sagitti- 
folia, 113 

Order LXXXVIL Naiadaceae. 


tans, 8 1 ; polygonifolius, 81 ; 
plantagineus, 81 ; prtelongus, 82 ; 
crisjus, 8 1 ; densus, 81 

Order LXXXIX. Gramineae. 


odoratiim, 25 

agreitis, 40 ; alpinus, 40 ; /ra- 

tensis, 40 ; geniculaius, 40 
Genus X. PHLEUM pratense, 25 
G^nus XXV. ^4 KfiA^ /<*/<*, 116; 

pratensis, 116 ; pubescens, 117 ; 

sativa, 116 
Genus XXXVI. -DACTYLIS glo- 

merata, 24 

40 ; minor, 40 



Genus XXXVIII. POA anmia, 24 
Genus KLI.BROMUS erectus, 38 
Genus KL\\l.LOUUM peremie, 

38 ; tcmulentum, 39 
Genus yilNll.HORDEUM muri- 

num, 19 

Order XC. Filices. 

Genus Vll.-ASPLENIUA! tricho- 
mancs, 124; viride, 124 


vulgare, 123 
Genus XII. NEPHRODIUMfilix- 

mas, 124 ; spimilosum, 125 ; ore- 

opteris, 125 

Order XCL Equisetaceae. 

Genus I. EQ VISE TUM arvense. 


Order Xanthoxylaceae. 
AILANTUS glandulosa, 130 

Order Leguminosae. 

ROBIN! A pseudacacia, 132 

Order Arctocarpeas. 

MORUS nigra, 134 

Order Cupuliferaa. 

CASTANEA vulgaris, 138 

Order Platanaceas. 
PLATANUS oricntalis, 148 

Order Coniferse. 
LARIX europcea, 155 
ABIES excels .1, 154 ; pectimta, 153 


(The popular names are printed in italics. ) 



ABIES excelsa . 


Arctium lappa . 

. 8 7 

,, pectinata 




Acer campestre 


Ash . . . . '. 


,, pseudo-platanus 

A O r 


,, Mountain . 

. 117 

,, platanoides 


Asplenium trichomanes . 

. 124 

Achillea millefolium . 


,, viride 

. 124 

,, ptarmica 


Avena fatua 

. 116 

^Ethusa cynapium 

. 119 


. 116 

Agaric us campestris . 


,, pubescens 

. 117 

,, muscarius . 


,, sativa 

. 116 

Agrimonia eupatoria 






Ailantus gland ulosa . 


Bailey, Wall . 


Ajuga reptans . 

. 21 

Beech .... 

Alder .... 

. T 5 

Eee Orchis 

. 76 

Alnus glutinosa 


Bellis perennis . 


Alopecurus agrestis . 

. 40 

Berberis vulgaris 


,, alpinus . 

. 40 



,, geniculatus 

. 40 

Bindweed, Small 

- 63 

,, pratensis 

. 40 

Birch .... 


Anagallis arvensis 


Bird ' s-eye Primrose . 


,, tenella 


Bird ' s-foot Trefoil . 

- 43 

Anemone nemorosa '. 


Biting Stonecrop . . . 

. 100 

,, pulsatilla . 




Annual Meadow-grass 

. 24 



Anthemis arvensis . 

. 46 


. 109 

,, cotula 

. 46 

Blue-bell . . . 

. 78 

,, nobilis 



. 66 

Anthoxanthum odoratum . 


Boletus edulis . 


Anthyllis vnlneraria . 


Borage .... 

. 80 

Arum maculatum 


Borago officinalis 

. 80 

Arum italic um . 

. 16 

Brandy Bottle . 

. 106 

i6 7 


Briza media 

. 40 



,, minor 


Cheiranthus cheiri 


Brassica alba . 


Chelidonium majus . 

6 4 

,, nigra . 

. 90 

Chenopodium album 


,, sinapis 


,, bonus-henricus . 




,, polyspermum 


Bromus erectus . 


,, rubrum 


Broom .... 


,, vulvaria 


Brunella vulgaris 


Chestnut ..... 




. Tl8 


Bugle .... 


Chickweed .... 



Chickweed, Ragged . 


Buttercup .... 

. 18 

Chrysanthemum leucanthemum 


Biitterjly Orchis 

. 76 

,, partheniutn . 


segetum . 


CALLUNA vulgaris 


Cichoriurn intybus . 


Caltha palustris 


Cladonia pyxidata . 


,, radicans 


,, rangiferina. 


Campanula rotundi folia . 

. 7 8 

Clematis vitalba 


,, trachelium 


Clovers ..... 

4 3 

Campion, Red . 

. 66 

Cluster-pine .... 



. 88 

Cock' s-foot grass 


Cantharellus cibarius 

. 132 

Colchicum autumnale 


Capsella bursa-pastoris 


Comfrey ..... 


Cardamine amara 


Convallaria majalis . . 


,, hirsuta 


Convolvulus arvensis 


,, impatiens 


,, sepium . 


,, pratensis . 


Corn-cockle . . . 


Carpi nus betulus 


Corn Chamomile 


Castanea vulgaiis 

. 141 

Corylus avellana 


Cat-mint .... 




Cafs-ear .... 

.. 97 

Cow-wheat . 


Cats-tail Grass 


Crane's-bills . 


Cat's- Valerian . , 

. 104 

Cralsegus oxyacantha 


Celandine, Lesser 


Cuckoo-flower . 


Greater . 

. 64 

Cuckoo-pint . 


Centaurea cyanus 

. 66 

Cup-moss . 



. 67 

Cuscuta epilinum 


,, scabiosa . 

. 67 

,, epithymum . 


Centaury .... 


,, europaea 




Cytisus scoparius 




DACTYLIS glomerata 



Daisy .... 


Fennel .... 




Field Horsetail 



- 33 

Fine-leaved Heath 


Dewberry .... 

3 1 



Dipsacus pilosus 

. 107 


. 96 

,, S}lvestris . 

. 107 

Foeniculum officina!c 


Dodders .... 


Fool's Parsley . 

. 119 

Dog-rose ..... 

. 41 

Forget-me-not . 


Drosera anglica 


Foxtail Grasses 


,, intermedia . 


Fragaria vesca . 

. 27 

,, rolundifolia . 


Fraxinus excelsior 

. 136 



Fumaria capreolata . 


,, densiflora . 


ECHIUM vulgare . 

. 26 

,, officinalis 



. 138 

,, pjirviflora 


Equisetum arvense . 

. 125 



Erica ciliaris 


Fungi .... 

. 130 

,, cinerea 


,, tetralix . 

. 120 

GALIUM aparine . 

. C 7 

,, vagans . 

. 120 

Geranium columbinum 


Erodium cicutarium . 


,, dissectum . 


,, maritimum 

. 36 

,, lucidum . 


,, moschatum 




Erylhrasa centaurium 


pusillum . 


Euphorbia amygdaloides . 


,, robertianum 


,, cyparissias 


,, rotundifoliuni . 


,, esula 

3 1 

Githago segetum 


,, exigua 


Goat' s-bcard . 

. 84 

, , helioscopia 


Goosefoot .... 


,, hiberna 



. 87 

lathyris . 


Grass of Parnassus . 

i J 5 

,, paralias . 


Greater Celandine . 

. 64 

,, peplis 

3 1 

Ground Ivy 


,, peplus 


Groundsel. . . 


, , platyphyllos 




HABENARIA bifolia . 

. 76 

Euphrasia officinalis . 


Hairbell .... 

. 78 

Hart' s-tongue Fern . 

_ 2 _ 



FAG US sylvatica . 






Heather .... 


KIDNEY Vetch . 


Heaths .... 

. 120 

Hedera helix . 

. 112 

LADY'S Smock . 


Helianthemum canura 

. 42 

Lamium album 


,, guttatum . 

. 42 

,, amplexicaule 


,, polifolium 


, , galeobdolon 


,, vulgare . 

. 42 

,, intermedium 


,, purpureum . 


Hippcphae rhamnoides . 

. 92 

Larch , . 

^) J 

X S5 

Holly .... 


Larix europea . 

IC ^5 

Holosteum umbellatum . 


Lecidea geographic* 

. 129 



Lemna gibba . 



. no 

,, minor . 


Hordeum murinum . 


,, polyrhiza 

. 45 



,, trisulca . 




Lesser Celandine 


Houseleek .... 

. TOO 

Lichens . . . 

. 127 

Humulus lupulus 


Lily of the Valley . 

. 16 

Hyacinth, Wild 




Hyoscyamus niger . 


Linaria cymbalaria . 


Hypericum androsasmum . 

. 48 

,, elatinc . 

. 105 

,, hirsuturn 

, 48 

,, minor . 

. 105 

,, humifusum 


repens . 

. 105 

,, perforatura 


,, spuria . 

. 105 

,, pulchrum 



. 105 

,, tetrapterum . 


Linum angustifolium 

. 9 5 

Hypochoeris glabra . 


,, catharticum . 

. 9 5 

,, maculata 


,, perenne. 

. 9 5 

,, radicata* 


,, usitatissimum 

. 96 

Hypnum tiiquetrum. 

. 130 

List era ovata 


Lolium perenne 


ILEX aquifolium 

. 89 

,, temulentum . 


Iris fcetidissima . 


Lombardy Poplar 


,, pseudacorus 


Lonicera caprifolium 


Iris, yellow . 


. ,, periclymenum 


Ivy , . ... 

. 112 

Lotus angustissimus . 


Ivy-leaved Toadflax . 


,, corniculatus . 


,, hispidus . 


JAGGED Chickweed . 


Lotus uliginostts ; 


Juniper .... 


Lucerne .... 


Juniperus com munis . 

. 102 

Lungwort .... 




Luzula arcuata . 



Mentha aquatica 



,, campestris 


,, arvensis 


forsteri . 

. 69 

,, piperata 


,, maxima. 

. 69 



spicata . 

. 70 

,, rotundifolia . 

5 8 


. 69 

,, sativa . 


Lychnis diurna . 

. 66 

,, sylvestris 


,, flos-cuculi . 

. 65 

Mignonette, Wild . 


,, vespertina 

. 88 

Milfoil . 


Lycoperdon gemmatum 



. 28 

,, giganteum 

J3 1 

Mints . 


Mistleto . 

. 121 

MAIDENHAIR Spleenwort 

. 124 

Morus nigra 


Malaxis paludosa 


Mosses .... 

. I2 9 

Male-fern .... 

. 124 

Mountain Ash . 

. 117 

Mallows .... 

. 67 

Mulberry . 


Malva moschata 

. 68 

Musci . 

. 129 

,, rotundifolia 

. 67 



,, sylvestris 


Mustards .... 

. 90 

Maples .... 

Myosotis palustris 


Marsh Marigold 


,, Orchis . 


NEOTTIA nidus-avis 


Meadow Fox-tail-grass 

. 40 

Nepeta cataria . 


Meadow-grass .' 

. 24 

,, glechoma 


Meadow Saffron 


Nephrodium spinulorum . 

. 125 

Meadow Sage . 


,, fiiix-mas 

. 124 

Meadow Sweet . 


,, oreopteris 

. 125 

Medicago denticulata 

. 72 

Norway Spruce-fir . 


,, falcata 

. 72 

Nuphar luteum. . . 

. loS 

,, lupulina . 


,, pumilum 


,, maculata . 


Nymphaea alba. 

. 106 

,, sativa 

. 72 

Medick, Purple 

. 72 

OAK . 

. 142 

Melampyrum arvense 


Oat-grass .... 

. 116 

,, cristatum . 


Onobrychis sativa 


,, pratense 


Ononis reclinata 


, , sylvaticum . 

. 91 

,, spinosa . 


Melilot .... 


Ophrys apifera . 

. 76 

Melilotus alba . . 

. IOI 

,, aranifera 


Melilotus altissima . 

. IOI 

,, muscifera 

. 76 

,, officinalis . 


Orchids, British . 74, 

75. 7, 77 


Orchis hlrcina . 


. 7 5 

Polygonum arnphibium . 


. 118 

latifolia . 


, , aviculare 

. 119 

Osier .... 

. 146 

,, bistorta . 

. 118 

Oxalis acetosella 


,, convolvulus . 

. 119 

,, corniculala 


, , fagopyrum 


,, stricta . 


, , persicaria 

. 118 

Ox-eye Daisy 


Polytrichum formosum 

. 130 

Oxlip . 



. 81 


. 147 

PANSY, Wild . 


Poppy .... 

. fo 

Papaver argemone . 

. 61 

Populus alba 


,, dubium 

. 61 

,, fastigiata . 


,, hybridum . 

. 61 

,, tremula 


,, rhoeas . 

. 60 

Potainogeton crispus 

. 8 1 

Parmelia perlata 

. 129 

,, densus 

. Si 

,, saxatilis 

. 129 

,, natans . 

. 81 

Parnassia palustris . 


,, perfoliatus . 

. 8t 



,, plantagineus 

. 81 

Phleum pratense 



. 81 

Physcia parietina 

. 129 

,, praslongiis 

. 81 

Pilewort .... 


Potent ilia anserina . 

. 62 



, , fragariastrum . 

27, 63 

Pinaster .... 

. 152 

,, reptans 


Pinus pinaster . 

. 152 

,, tormentilla 


,, sylvestris. 


Poterium murieatum 

. in 


. 148 

,, officinale .. 

. in 

Plantago coronopus . 


,, sanguisorbn 

. in 

,, lanceolata . 


Primrose .... 


,, major 


Primula elatior . 


,, maritima . 

2 3 

,, farinosa 


,, media 

2 3 

,, scotica 




,, veris . 


Plat anus occidentalis 




,, ori entails . 

. I 4 8 

Prunus communis 

. 109 

Poa annua 

24 ,, domestica 

. 109 

Polygala amara 

. 29 

,, insititia . 

. 109 

,, calcarea 



I3 1 

,, vulgaris 

. 23 

Pulmonaria angustifolia . 


Polygonatum multiflorum . 

. 16 

,, officinalis 


. , officinale 

1 7 

Pyrus aucuparia 

. 117 

, verticillatum 






. 40 

Self-Heal .... 



Quercus robur . 

. 142 

Sempervivum tectorum 

. 100 

Senecio aquaticus 

. 38 

RAGGED Robin . 


,, erucifolius . 



,, jacobsea 


Ranunculus acris 

. 18 

,, sylvatica . , 


. 38 

,, bulbosus 

. 19 

,, viscosa 

. 38 

,, ficaria . 


,, vulgaris 


,, repens . 

. 19 

Shepherd's purse 




Silver-fir .... 


Reseda lutea . 



. 62 

,, luteola . 



. 109 





Robinia pseudacacia . 


Solanum dulcamara . 


Rock-rose .... 

. 42 

,, nigrum 

. 99 

Rosa arvensis . 


Solomon s Seal . 

. 16 

,, canina 


Sonchus arvensis 

. 114 

,, rubiginosa 

" 4i 

,, oleraceus . 

. 114 

,, spinosissima 


,, palustris 

'. 114 

Rowan .... 

. 117 


. 114 

Rubus caesius . 


Speedwell .... 

. 28 

Rye-grass .... 


Spiraea filipendula . 


,, ulmaria. 


SAGITTARIA sagittifolia 


Spiranthes autumnalis 


Sainfoin .... 




Saint Johns Worts . 


Spurges .... 

. 29 

Salad Burnet . 


Squills .... 

. 14 

Salix viminalis . 


Stellaria graminea . 

. 62 

Salvia pratensis 


,, holostea 

. 61 

Scabiosa arvensis 

. 9 8 

,, media . 

55. 62 

, , columbaria . 

. 9 8 

,, palustris 

. 62 

,, succisa 

. 9 8 


. 103 

Scabious .... 

. 9 8 


. 61 

Scilla autumnalis 


Stonecrop ..... 

. 100 

,, nutans 




,, vernalis . 


Strawberry, Wild , 

. 27 

Scolopendrium vulgare 

. 123 

Sundews . 


Scotch-pine or fir 


Sweet Violet 


Scottish Primrose 


Sycamore .... 


Sea-Buckthorn , 

. 92 

Symphytum officinale 

. 60 

Sedum acre 

. 100 

, , tuberosum 

. 60 

1 73 



TAXACETUM vulgare . 

108 Veronica beccabunga 

Tansy .... 

. 108 

,, chamcedrys 

Taraxacum officinale 



Teasels .... 

. 107 

Vicia cracca 

Thyme .... 


,, hirsuta 

Thymus serpyllum . 


,, orobus 

Tilia parvifolia . 


,, sativa 

,, platyphyllos 


, , sepium 

Timothy-grass . 


,, sylvatica . 

Toadflax .... 

33- 105 

,, tetrasperma 


. 40 

Vinca major 

Tragopogon porrifolius 

. 84 

,, minor 


. 84 

Viola arenaria . 

Travellers Joy 

. 82 

,, canina 

Tree of the Gods 


,, hirta 

Trifolium arvense 


,, odorata . 

,, dubium 


,, palustris . 

, , fragiferum 


,, sylvatica . 

,, medium 


,, tricolor . 

,, pratense . 

. 49 

Viper ' s Bugloss 

,, procumbens 


Viscum album . 

,, repens 

. 49 

,, scabrum . 


WALL Barley 

,, striatum . 



,, subterraneum . 

. 48 

Wall Lichen . 

Typha angustifolia . 


Water Lily 

,, lati folia . 

5 1 


Wild Hyacinth 

ULMUS campestris 


Wood A nemone 

,, montana . 

. 138 


Urtica dioica . 

. 103 

Wood Sorrel . 


. 103 

,, urens 

. 103 


Yellow Flag . 


. 104 

,, Melilot . 

,, orficinalis . 

. 104 

, , Stonecrop 

Vernal Grass . 


,, Toadflax 

Vernal Woodrush . 

. 69 

,, Water lily . 

2 9 









J 3 









Woodfall & Kinder, Printers, 70 to 76, Long Acre, London, W.C. 


In four vols., royal 8vo, cloth gilt, gilt top, 3. 

FERNS OF GREAT BRITAIN, and their Allies, the 
Club-Mosses, Pepperworts and Horsetails. By ANNE 
PRATT. New Edition, containing 318 Plates. In Four 
Volumes, royal 8vo, cloth gilt, gilt top. 

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ENGLISH WILDFLOWERS, to be found by the Wayside, 
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A FERN BOOK FOR EVERYBODY. Containing all the 
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