« ZurückWeiter »
use of them, to repel hunger and thirst for a long time. This idea reminds one of a passage in one of the Italian poets, where an enchanter preserves two knights from starvation during a long journey by giving them an herb, which, being held in the mouth, answers all the purposes of food.
The taste of these roots resembles that of liquorice-root, and, when boiled, they are well-flavoured and nutritive. In times of scarcity, they have served as a substitute for bread. The plant is a native of most parts of Europe, These, and the other hardy kinds, may be increased by parting the roots, which should be done in the autumn. They generally delight in shade, and prefer a loamy soil : the earth should be kept moderately moist.
The English name is from its blood-coloured juice. It is also named, by the Americans, Puccoon.
“THOUGH the Sanguinaria cannot be considered as a showy plant,” says Mr. Martyn, “yet it has few equals in point of delicacy and singularity: there is something in it to admire, from the time that its leaves emerge from the ground and embosom the infant blossom, to their full expansion, and the ripening of the seeds.'
In the woods of Canada, and other parts of North America, it grows in abundance: the Indians are said to paint their faces with the juice. In this country the flowers open in April, but they fully expand only in fine warm weather.
We are told, that in the year 1680 this plant was cultiyated in “Mr. Walker's suburban garden in St. James's
Street, near the palace.” Its flowers are white, and three or four flower-stems spring from one root: it prefers a loose soil and a shady situation, and may be annually increased by parting the roots in September. When the flowers decay, the green leaves come out, which last till Midsummer: from which time till autumn the roots remain inactive. It should be planted in a pot seven or eight inches wide, and an equal mixture of bog earth and rotten leaves will be the best soil. It must be watered every evening in dry summer weather. The earth may be covered with moss, which will tend to preserve the moisture in the summer, and to protect the roots from frost in the winter.
French, le buis ; le bois beni [blessed wood).- Italian, busso ; bosso; bossolo; in the Brescian territory, martel [hammer wood); buz.
PROPERLY speaking, there is but one species of Box; varying much in size, and somewhat in the colour of its leaves. It may be easily propagated both by seeds and cuttings; but is so slow of growth, as to be many years in
; attaining any considerable size. It is therefore advisable to purchase it of the size desired, rather than to raise it at home. It will thrive in any soil or exposure, and under the deepest shade. It is an evergreen, and remarkable for its fine glowing colour: particularly the dwarf kind. In the story of Rimini, it is called “sunnycoloured box.” “The pleasantness of its verdure," says
, Evelyn, "is incomparable."
The Box-tree, though in gardens seldom seen more
than three or four feet high, will, if not cut, rise to a height of twelve or fifteen. The wood is close-grained, very hard, and heavy. It is the only one of the European woods that will sink in water; and is sold by weight, fetching a high price. Not being liable to warp, it is well adapted to a variety of nicer purposes; as tops, screws, chess-men, pegs for musical instruments, knifehandles, modelling-tools, &c. The ancients made combs of it, which use is mentioned by Cowley in his poem on Plants :
“ They tye the links that hold their gallants fast,
Corsican honey was supposed by the ancients to owe its ill name to the bees feeding upon Box: none of our animals will touch it. Parkinson says, “the leaves and saw-dust boiled in lye will change the hair to an auburn colour.”
When it was the fashion to clip and cut trees into the shapes of beasts, birds, &c. the Box was considered as second only to the yew for that purpose; for which, Pliny says that nothing is better adapted. Martial notices this quality in speaking of Bassus's garden :
“ otiosis ordinata myrtetis, Viduaque platano tonsilique buxeto."
“ There likewise mote be seen on every side
The yew obedient to the planter's will,
“ Also other wonders of the sportive shears
Fair Nature mis-adorning, there were found
And horizontal dials on the ground
And gallies trim, on no long voyage bound,
This preposterous taste in gardening was at last reformed by the pure and classical taste of Bacon; who, though no enemy to sculpture, did not approve of this absurd species of it: at once disfiguring art and nature.
“In several parts of the North of England, when a funeral takes place, a basin full of sprigs of Box-wood is placed at the door of the house from which the coffin is taken up; and each person who attends the funeral, ordinarily takes a sprig of this Box-wood, and throws it into the grave of the deceased."—(See Note in WORDSWORTH'S POEMS, 8vo. vol. i. p. 163.)
“ The bason of box-wood, just six months before,
Had stood on the table at Timothy's door ;
WORDSWORTH. Gerarde informs us, that turners and cutlers call Boxwood dudgeon, because they make dudgeon-hafted knives of it. The Box-tree is a native of most parts of Europe, from Britain southwards: it also abounds in many parts of Asia and America. In England it was formerly much more common than at present.
“ These trees," says Evelyn, “grow naturally at Boxley in Kent, and at Box-hill in Surrey: giving name to them. He that in winter should behold some of our highest hills in Surrey, clad with whole woods of them, for divers miles in circuit, as in those delicious groves of them belonging to the late Sir Adam Brown of Beckworth Castle, might easily fancy himself transported into some new or enchanted country.”
But this enchantment has been long since dissolved. Mr. Millar, in 1759, lamented the great havoc made among the trees on Box-hill, though there then remained several of considerable magnitude; but since that time the destruction has been yet greater. Not only this hill in Surrey, and Boxley in Kent, but Boxwell in Coteswold, Gloucestershire, is said to be named from the Box tree. It has been made a serious and heavy complaint against Box, that it emits an exceedingly unpleasant odour, of which the poets speak as a thing notorious : yet it is only when fresh cut that the scent is unpleasant, and a little water poured over it immediately removes this objection.
BRO O M.
DIADELPHIA DE CANDRIA.
French, le genêt; le genêt a balais.--Italian, sparzio; scopa; ginestra: all referring to its use as besoms *.
The Brooms are very ornamental shrubs, with few leaves, but an abundance of brilliant and elegant flowers: they strike a deep root, but are too handsome to be rejected where room can be afforded for them. They must be planted in a pot or tub of considerable depth. There are three species with white, and one with violet-coloured flowers: the others have all yellow blossoms.
The violet-coloured has no leaves, and is usually called the Leafless Broom: it was found by Pallas in the Wolga Desert. The Spanish Broom has yellow--the Portugal, white blossoms. The white-flowered, one-seeded kind, is
* The family of Plantagenet took their name from this shrub, which they wore as their device.