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LINNEAN

CLASS. ORder.
XXII. II.

Empetrum nigrum. crowberry. heaths, Charnwood forest, about High Sharpley Rocks. FTM.

Empetraceæ, from en, among, petros, stones.

Empetrum nigrum, 'crow,' also 'crake' berry, is not at first sight readily distinguished from a heath. Otter and sable skins are dyed black with the berries, which are eatable, but apt to produce the headache. Strong ropes are manufactured from the shrub in the Orkneys. The white crowberry is found in the South, the black in the North of Europe.

"As in different organic beings we recognize a distinct physiognomy, so is there also a certain natural physiognomy belonging exclusively to each region of the earth."

b

ORDER. EUPHORBIACEÆ.

LINNEAN

CLASS. Order.

XXI. I.

Euphorbia helioscopia. sun spurge. gardens, common.
E exigua. dwarf spurge. cornfields.

E. peplus. petty spurge. common.

E. lathyris. caper spurge. sub-spontaneous in gardens,
Trinity Hospital, and London road, Leicester. MK.
Westcotes: Braunstone. CT.

E. amygdaloides. wood sun spurge. woods, Charnwood
forest. AB. Gracedieu. CB.

XXI. IV. Buxus sempervirens. box. plantations, introduced. XXII. VII. Mercurialis perennis. dog's mercury. woods, common.

Euphorbiacea, in honour of Euphorbus, physician to King Juba. The Euphorbias are easily distinguishable by their acrid, milky juices, which contain more or less of caoutchouc. They are popularly employed to remove warts and callosities from the skin, which they soon blister. The sap of many plants of this order will stain linen black. The dried leaves of Mercurialis perennis yield a blue, resembling indigo; they are a deadly poison to men and animals, often proving fatal to sheep in woods. Croton oil is the product of an African plant of this order. Euphorbia helioscopia has been applied as a caustic to the bite of vipers. The seeds of E. peplus and lathyris, which are milder, have sometimes been pickled. It is worth noting that the gardens in which our specimens were procured belonged to Trinity College and Hospital, Newarke; since E. lathyris is one of the plants enjoined on monas

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E. hibernica is used in

teries for cultivation by Charlemagne. Kerry to stupify fish. The Euphorbium of the Materia Medica is afforded by E. officinarum. The inhabitants of the lower regions of Mount Atlas collect the milky sap by incisions once in four years, the plants yielding so large a quantity each time as to supply all Europe during the interval. The recent juice erodes the skin, and those who collect the gum tie a cloth over the mouth and nose to protect them from the dust of the withered branches, which causes the most violent sneezing. The drug is used as an errhine in lethargy, deafness, palsy, amaurosis, and other cases, but not alone, as its violence occasions hemorrhage from the nostrils, and swells the integuments of the head. It is therefore necessary to dilute it with starch or some other inert powder. The Manchineel tree is of this order; its juice is so poisonous and so apt to fly out on the persons of those who attempt to hew it down, that whole woods have been burnt on the coast of Martinique to rid the country of such a dangerous pest. Jovianus Pontanus described at large 'a wicked wife' under the appropriate name of Euphorbia. Tapioca, from the poisonous Manihot of Brazil, Cascarilla Bark, and Turnsol, a purple dye, from a species of Croton found in the South of Europe, are amongst the useful products of this tribe. Mr. Cowden Clarke renders the "Goldes" in the Knight's Tale,—

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"Jealousy

That weared of yellow goldés a garland,"

by Turnsol,'-(perhaps marigolds?)* The porcupine is said to be the only animal that can feed upon the deleterious leaves of the box; it is reported impossible to keep camels in the parts of Persia where it abounds, as they will browse on the trees which invariably destroy them. The leaves have been substituted for hops from their bitterness. B. sempervirens was formerly much in request for ornamental gardening; it is now valuable for Tunbridge ware and wood-engraving.

* From the accuracy of Mr. Clarke's note about 'clary,' the above suggestion is made with the utmost diffidence.

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Urtica urens. small nettle. common.

U. dioica. nettle. common.

Parietaria officinalis. pellitory of the wall. old walls,

common.

Humulus lupulus. hop. hedges, not uncommon.
Ulmus montana. wych elm. common.

U. suberosa. cork bark elm. common.

U. campestris. small-leaved elm. common.

U. glabra. smooth-leaved elm. Congerstone. AB.

Urticaceæ, from uro, to burn.

The English word nettle has been fancifully derived from the needle-like strings of the plant. U. urens sometimes occasions serious inflammation, U. pilulifera stings more painfully than any of our native species; but in the islands of the Eastern seas, nettles are found so intensely venomous, as to cause even death. M. Leschenault has described his terrible sufferings for nine days, after gathering a specimen of U. crenulata for his herbarium. The 'devil's leaf' of Timor stings with such virulence that its effects are felt for a year, and even then may prove fatal. Nettle porridge is a popular spring diet in large towns; Buxton says nettles are

Occasional plants of cannabis sativa, hemp, (native of India) have been gathered by Mr. C. Thompson by the canal between Leicester and Aylestone, the seed probably dropped by boatmen.

well nigh exterminated in the neighbourhood of Manchester. In Scotland too, the young shoots are boiled and eaten as 'early kail.' A strongly salted decoction curdles milk. Nettle stems are tough, strong, and fibrous, resembling hemp, which is of this order. To sow hemp among nettles is said to destroy them. Cannabis indica yields the intoxicating syrup known in India as 'Bang.' The Arabians call it 'Hashesh.' The hop is indigenous to China; its uses are well known; coarse sacking is made of the refuse bines. Pellitory is so full of nitre that in preparing extract of it the whole mass has taken fire. The leaves strewed in granaries are said to destroy weevils.

Linnæus referred all the elms to U. campestris. Loudon and Selby divide the parental honours betwixt U. campestris and montana. It is rare for the seeds of the elm to produce the same species, and hence there are endless varieties. U. suberosa has spongy cork-like bark which unfits it for carpenter's uses, but is not produced in sufficient quantities to be employed as cork. Ship's keels and underground waterpipes are made of elm, "the dead man's shroud."

Allied to Ulmacea are the hickory-nut, the butter-nut, the walnut; also the pepper of the shops, and piper betle, the betel nut. (HOOKER.)

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