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dance of yellow flowers. They blow in May, and are very sweet scented.
The three last kinds are not so fond of water as the first, but incline to a dry soil. In dry summer weather they may be slightly watered about three times a week. In the winter they should be sheltered from the frost, and then once in a week will suffice to water them. This treatment will suit most of the species.
Called also Navelwort, which is the signification of the botanic name in the Greek.
THE Round-leaved, Oval-leaved, and Oblong-leaved, are properly only varieties of the same species. They are natives of the Cape, and are in blossom from July to September. They must be sheltered in the winter. They are extremely succulent; and care must be taken to preserve a due medium in watering them. If they have too much wet, it will rot them: too little will not nourish them. Observe the leaves, and do not let them shrink for want of moisture. Give them just sufficient to keep their vessels distended. It must be shed on the roots only. '
There are many species of Navelwort. Those which do not require a stove may be treated in the same manner as those already mentioned. They are all very succulent, and should have a poor, dry soil. They may be sown either in spring or autumn.
The flower called Venus's Navelwort has no affinity with these, but is the cynoglossum linifolium. It is an annual plant. The seeds may be sown pretty thick, either in spring or autumn; and, if they all grow, they should be thinned where too close. Those sown in autumn will flower in May and June. The spring-sown seeds will come to flower a month later. The earth should be moderately moist.
The Cowslip, i. e. cow's lip, is of the same genus as the primrose. The Yorkshire people call the Cowslip Cow-stripling. It is also called Herb-Peter, and Paigles.-French, la primevère, primerole; herbe de la paralysie (palsy herb]; fleur de coucou; bavillon.—Italian, primavera.- In the Venetian territory, primola.—Some of these are also used for the primrose.
The Common Cowslip, or Paigle, is common in Europe, both in moist sand and upland pastures, and on the borders of fields. In a clayey or loamy soil it thrives best, and prefers an open situation. It flowers in April and May. Though respected both for its beauty and utility, the Cowslip, in pastures where it is very common, becomes an injurious weed. The leaves are eaten in salads, and recommended for feeding silk-worms before the mulberryleaves make their appearance.
The flowers are very fragrant; and a pleasant and wholesome wine is made from them, approaching in flavour to the muscadel wines of the South of France. It is said to be an inducer of sleep.
- For want of rest, Lettuce and cowslip-wine: probatum est.”
These flowers have a rough and somewhat bitter taste, which, with their agreeable odour and yellow colour, they impart both to water and spirit. A pleasant syrup is made from them; and a strong infusion, drank as tea, is considered antispasmodic. The colour, as is well known, is usually a bright yellow, dashed with deep orange, sometimes approaching to crimson.—Thus Iachimo describes Imogen as having
on her left breast
But there is a variety with red flowers. They will sometimes flower again in November and December. Mr. Martyn speaks of some in his own gardens which always blew at that season when the winter was mild.
The light stalk of the Cowslip, gently bending with its weight of flowers, is elegantly described by Milton, who takes advantage of this drooping appearance to select it, with some others, to adorn the tomb of Lycidas:
Bring the rathe-primrose that forsaken dies,
And again, in the song of Sabrina, how beautifully does the unbending flower, and the airy tread of the goddess, each express the lightness of the other:
“ By the rushy fringed bank,
Where grow the willow and the osier dank,
My sliding chariot stays,
The oxlip is by no means so common as the Cowslip: it is considered as a link between that and the primrose. It has been called the great primrose: but though the oxlip flower spreads wider, the Cowslip has the advantage in height. On this account Shakspeare selects the latter for the courtiers of the Fairy Queen, in allusion to the tall military courtiers called Queen Elizabeth's Pensioners :
“ The cowslips tall her pensioners be,
In their gold coats spots we see;
The single Cowslip is rarely admitted into gardens, but the double flowers are common: they have a good effect by the side of the dark polyanthus, or shaded by a bunch of glowing wallflowers. The roots may be purchased almost for nothing. They who desire to have the single flowers may transplant the wild roots, which should be done about Michaelmas, and they will have time to gain strength for flowering in the spring. But it must be observed, that although these plants, in their wild state, are entrusted to Nature's care, and though we must confess that she deserves this confidence, we must no longer de
pend entirely upon her care of them, after we have removed them from her own great garden.
Cowslips love a moist soil; and when we plant them in a pot, the small portion of earth which it contains will naturally dry much faster than in the open ground: therefore, as we do not remove the brooks and springs with them, we must supply this deficiency by giving water to the potted plants in dry weather; in return for which, if we will find artists to manufacture it, they will furnish us with honey in abundance: for
rich in vegetable gold
COWSLIPS OF JERUSALEM.
Also called Sage of Jerusalem, Sage of Bethlehem, Spotted Comfrey, and Common Lungwort, as being esteemed in complaints of the lungs.-French, la grande pulmonaire; les herbes aux poumons; l'herbe du caur [heart wort]; l'herbe au lait de Notre Dame (Our Lady's milk-wort]; pulmonaire d'Italie.-Italian, polmonaria maggiore.
This is a perennial plant, very much resembling the cowslip in form. The colours are many; not only on the same cluster, but even on the individual blossom, appearing various shades of red and blue, and these shades continually changing. Drayton places this flower in such honourable company, as gives us good reason to believe that he held it in great esteem:
Maids, get the choicest flowers, a garland, and entwine,