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Title: Wayside and Woodland Blossoms - A Pocket Guide to British Wild-flowers for the Country Rambler
Author: Step, Edward
Language: English
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A Pocket Guide to British Wild-Flowers
for the Country Rambler



Author of “By Vocal Woods and Waters,” “By Seashore, Wood and
Moorland,” etc.

With Coloured Figures of 156 Species
Black and White Plates of 22 Species
and Clear Descriptions of 400 Species

Frederick Warne & Co.
and New York


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 painfully translate
the carefully-made terms of the exact descriptions 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

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 inexpensive 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 180 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= (_Bellis perennis_).

So widely distributed and well known is this plant that surprise 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 _Compositæ_, to which _Bellis_ belongs, includes
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 composed entirely
of ray-florets; and all these modifications of the type give the
distinctive characters to the various genera.

[Illustration: =Daisy.=

Bellis perennis.


[Illustration: =Cowslip. Paigle.=

Primula veris.


=The Cowslip or Paigle= (_Primula veris_).

In April and May in clayey meadows and pastures throughout 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 remained 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 versâ_. The
reader may prove this experimentally by selecting flowers of the two
forms, and gently thrusting a grass stem into one after the other.

The other native species of the _genus_ Primula are:--

    The Primrose (_P. vulgaris_) with inflated calyx and large
    _pale_-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 Bedford, 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 _Primulus_, first.

=The Wood Anemone or Windflower= (_Anemone nemorosa_).

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
Ranunculaceæ, 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 a chapter in one of his earlier works--“Wind Anemones.”

[Illustration: =Wood Anemone.=

Anemone nemorosa.


[Illustration: =Sweet Violet.=

Viola odorata.


There is one other native species:--

    The Pasque-flower (_A. pulsatilla_). Blossoms before the leaves
    mature. Flowers _dull purple_; exterior covered with silky hairs;
    _leaves also silky_. Fruit, little nutlets (_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 Violet= (_Viola odorata_).

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 produced 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
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 converging 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 reproduction 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

_Viola odorata_ is found truly wild only in the S. and E. of England,
and possibly the E. of Ireland; but it is naturalized 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 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 ¼ to 2 inches.

[Illustration: =Lesser Periwinkle.=

Vinca minor.


[Illustration: =Lesser Celandine. Pilewort.=

Ranunculus ficaria.


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 ficaria_).

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
hemorrhoids, 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

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 stems.

[Illustration: =Broom.=

Cytisus scoparius.


[Illustration: =Fumitory.=

Fumaria 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, 52, 73, 94, 101, 132). The Broom flowers from April to
June, and is widely distributed throughout the kingdom.

=Fumitory= (_Fumaria officinalis_).

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

The plant is common in dry fields and waste places throughout 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, _fumus_, 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 1½
    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. densiflora_), similar to
    _F. officinalis_, but smaller and weaker, flowers paler, racemes
    short, leaflets smaller and narrower.

    Least-flowered Fumitory (_F. parviflora_), 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 for chest complaints. It is from these garden
specimens that our naturalized plants have originated.

[Illustration: =Lungwort. Jerusalem Cowslip.=

Pulmonaria officinalis.


[Illustration: =Lady’s Smock. Cuckoo-flower.=

Cardamine pratensis.

=Shepherd’s purse.=

Capsella bursa-pastoris.


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

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. angustifolia_), 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 ¾ of an inch across.

There are three other native species:--

    Hairy Bitter Cress (_C. hirsuta_), with white flowers, ⅛th of an
    inch in diameter; anthers yellow.

    Large-flowered Bitter Cress (_C. amara_), with creamy white flowers
    ½ inch in diameter; anthers purple. Riversides: rare.

    Narrow-leaved Bitter-Cress (_C. impatiens_), white flowers, ¼ 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 the 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

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

[Illustration: =Wood Sorrel.=

Oxalis acetosella.


[Illustration: =Wallflower. Wall Gillyflower.=

Cheiranthus cheiri.


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. corniculata_), 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 Wood-sorrel (_O. stricta_), similar to the last, but
    with stem more erect; flowers two to eight on one peduncle.

=The Wallflower= (_Cheiranthus cheiri_).

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, _Giroflée de Muraille_.
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 2½ 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 Cruciferæ, to which these plants belong, is an important
    Natural Order, containing five-and-twenty British genera and a
    great many species. All are distinguished 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 swamps 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_), with
triangular leaves and rooting stems. It occurs only in Forfarshire, and
is very rare.

[Illustration: =Marsh Marigold.=

Caltha palustris.


[Illustration: =Wild Hyacinth. Blue-bell.=

Scilla nutans.


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

=Wild Hyacinth, or Blue-Bell= (_Scilla 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

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 free 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 Liliaceæ; 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

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 _Scilla_, but
larger than the ordinary leaves. It 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 constriction, and if
with a sharp knife we slice off the front portion of this part we shall
there find the flowers in four series.

[Illustration: =Cuckoo-pint, Lords and Ladies, Wake Robin.=

Arum maculatum.


[Illustration: =Lily of the Valley.=

Convallaria majalis.

=Solomon’s Seal.=

Polygonatum multiflorum.


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 italicum_,
found locally from Cornwall to Sussex. It is larger and stouter in all
respects; the upper part of the spathe bending over, and the spadix
yellow. Flowers in June.

=Lily of the Valley= (_Convallaria majalis_).

=Solomon’s Seal= (_Polygonatum multiflorum_).

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 rootstocks. _Convallaria_
differs from _Polygonatum_ in having no stem; the two or three leaves
springing direct from the rootstock. 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 _Polygonatum_. 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. verticillatum_), with leaves in
whorls around the angled stem. Wooded glens, Northumberland, Perth and
Forfar only. June and July; very rare.

Name from the Greek, _polys_, many, and _gonatos_, a knee or angle, in
allusion to the many nodes.

=Hawthorn= (_Cratægus 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 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.

[Illustration: =May or Hawthorn.=

Cratægus oxyacantha.


[Illustration: =Buttercup.=

Ranunculus acris.


May and June are the usual months for flowering, but occasionally it is
in blossom at the end of April. Though the characteristic 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.

II. _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 August.

III. _R. bulbosus_, Bulbous Crowfoot. Stem erect, half to one foot,
greatly swollen at base: no runners. Flower-stalk furrowed, _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 murinum_).

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 automatically 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 _pale_, 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 _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

[Illustration: =Wall Barley.=

Hordeum murinum.


=Jagged Chickweed.=

Holosteum umbellatum.


[Illustration: =Dandelion.=

Taraxacum officinale.


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

=Jagged Chickweed= (_Holosteum umbellatum_).

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 forming 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 _ligulate_, or strap-shaped ones, those of the Dandelion
are all ligulate. It therefore stands 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 species.

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 ½ to 1 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 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 Labiatæ that the stems are square, the leaves
opposite, the corolla bilabiate, the stamens less in number than the
lobes of the corolla.

[Illustration: =Bugle.=

Ajuga reptans.



Myosotis palustris.


[Illustration: =Ribwort Plantain.=

Plantago lanceolata.

=Greater Plantain.=

Plantago major.


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 Boragineæ, genus _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 appreciated. 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
rootstock. 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

    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 August.

=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. pratensis_, but smaller, with the flowers more inclined
to purple. The Sage of the kitchen-garden is _S. officinalis_; not a
native plant. The name _Salvia_ is from the Latin _Salvo_, to save or
heal, from its former great repute in medicine.

[Illustration: =Meadow Sage.=

Salvia pratensis.


[Illustration: =Annual Meadow-Grass.=

Poa annua.


Dactylis glomerata.


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 Labiatæ, but
there are modifications in each genus.

=Annual Meadow-grass= (_Poa annua_), and

=Cock’s-foot-grass= (_Dactylis glomerata_).

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 roadsides.

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 keeled.

=Cat’s-tail, or Timothy-grass= (_Phleum pratense_), and

=Vernal-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 perennial, and flowers
from June to September. The name _Phleum_ is the classic Greek one for
the plant. The figure represents 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.

[Illustration: =Timothy-grass.=

Phleum pratense.


Anthoxanthum odoratum.


[Illustration: =Viper’s Bugloss.=

Echium vulgare.


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 Linnæan
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

=Viper’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 shape 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

=Wild Strawberry= (_Fragaria vesca_).

Well known as the Wild Strawberry is, the Barren Strawberry
(_Potentilla fragariastrum_) when flowering is often mistaken
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. fragariastrum_ 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

[Illustration: =Wild Strawberry.=

Fragaria vesca.


[Illustration: =Milkwort.=

Polygala vulgaris.


=Germander Speedwell.=

Veronica chamædrys.


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.

=Milkwort= (_Polygala vulgaris_), and

=Germander Speedwell= (_Veronica chamædrys_).

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. calcarea_), 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 chamædrys_) 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. chamædrys_ 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 disappointing 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. beccabunga_),
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 determine the genus at a
glance, though he may not be so successful 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:--

[Illustration: =Sun Spurge.=

Euphorbia helioscopia.

=Cypress Spurge.=

Euphorbia cyparissias.


[Illustration: =Dewberry.=

Rubus cæsius.


    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

    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. peplus_). Annual. Leaves thin, broadly
    obovate, on short stalks, ¾ 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. exigua_). 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 October.

    VII. Portland Spurge (_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. Rare.

    VIII. Sea Spurge (_E. paralias_). Perennial, bushy, many-stemmed,
    stout, reddish, 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. esula_). 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, Edinburgh, 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 Waterford. July to September.

    All the species have milky sap. Poisonous.

=Dewberry= (_Rubus cæsius_). Plate 30.

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

=Honeysuckle= (_Lonicera periclymenum_).

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 consequently it is a great favourite with bees and
moths, who are 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 heaths.

[Illustration: =Perfoliate Honeysuckle.=

Lonicera caprifolium.


[Illustration: =Purple Dead-nettle.=

Lamium purpureum.


Perfoliate Honeysuckle (_L. caprifolium_) 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 Cambridgeshire, but
is believed to be only naturalized--not a true native. Flowers May and
June. The name Lonicera was bestowed by Linnæus 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 Hedge-nettle.

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 purpureum_). 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 (_L. 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

    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 helix_), 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. cataria_) 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.

[Illustration: =Ground Ivy.=

Nepeta glechoma.


=Ivy-leaved Toadflax.=

Linaria cymbalaria.


[Illustration: =Round-leaved Crane’s-bill.=

Geranium rotundifolium.


The Ivy-leaved Toad-flax (_Linaria cymbalaria_) 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 _rotundifolium_.

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

    III. Long-stalked Crane’s-bill (_G. columbinum_). 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. dissectum_). Similar to _G.
    columbinum_, but all stalks much shorter. Bright red petals,

    V. Herb-Robert (_G. robertianum_). 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. lucidum_). 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 cicutarium_).

Closely related to the Crane’s-bills--and at one time included in the
genus Geranium with them--are the Stork’s-bills, of 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
arrangement so common in ferns: the leaf is _pinnate_, because it is
furnished with pinnæ or wings, and as the pinnæ 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 produce no anthers),
stigmas five. The fruits agree pretty closely with those of the
Crane’s-bills, but in _Erodium_ the tails of the carpels 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.

[Illustration: =Stork’s-bill.=

Erodium cicutarium.


[Illustration: =Milfoil. Yarrow.=

Achillea millefolium.


    The Musky Stork’s-bill (_E. moschatum_) 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. maritimum_). 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= (_Achillea 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 number of segments;
these are very slender and crowded, and are again cut up; so that the
general aspect of the leaf is exceedingly 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 Sneezewort (_A. ptarmica_), which is almost as widely distributed.
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 wounds.

=Groundsel= (_Senecio vulgaris_).

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 succeeded 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
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.

[Illustration: =Groundsel.=

Senecio vulgaris.


[Illustration: =Rye-grass.=

Lolium perenne.


Bromus erectus.


    I. Mountain Groundsel (_S. sylvaticus_). Leaves similar to _S.
    vulgaris_, 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 fœtid 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. jacobæa_). 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. erucifolius_). 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. jacobæa_, but of lesser
    growth. Flower-heads larger, leaf-stalks longer. Wet places,
    riversides, ditches. July and August.

=Rye-grass= (_Lolium 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. perenne_, 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= (_Hyoscyamus niger_).

At one time the Henbane was held in great esteem as a medicinal plant,
and was then to be found very commonly on rubbish heaps, and the banks
of ditches. Although it is still retained in the Pharmacopœia, its
empirical use is not so great as formerly, 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.

[Illustration: =Henbane.=

Hyoscyamus niger.


[Illustration: =Quake-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 inflorescence 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 (_Alopecurus 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,
    ¾ inch, branches with four to six spikelets. Anthers yellow. Rare,
    near alpine streams, from 2,100 to 3,600 feet. Scotland. July and

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

=Dog-rose= (_Rosa canina_).

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

    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 (_R. 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

    III. Sweet Briar (_R. rubiginosa_). 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.

[Illustration: =Dog-rose.=

Rosa canina.


[Illustration: =Rock-rose.=

Helianthemum vulgare.


=Rock-rose= (_Helianthemum 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 stipules.

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 throughout 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 (_H. polifolium_). 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. guttatum_). 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 Channel
    Islands. June to August.

    III. Dwarf Rock-rose (_H. canum_). More woody than the others;
    stems trailing. The whole plant _hoary_, and much branched. Leaves
    opposite, without stipules. Flowers yellow, not numerous. May to
    July, from Glamorgan to Westmoreland.

=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 _Cypripedium_.

The plant belongs to the same Natural Order (_Leguminosæ_) 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

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.
    corniculatus_ 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 (_L. 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 Vetch= (_Vicia sativa_). 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 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).

[Illustration: =Bird’s foot Trefoil.=

Lotus corniculatus.


[Illustration: =Common Vetch.=

Vicia sativa.


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 (_V. 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. hirsuta_). 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. sylvatica_). 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. sepium_). 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= (_Lemna_).

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
acquaintance 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 contend 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:--

[Illustration: =Duckweeds.=

1. Lemna minor.

2. -- tisulca.

3. Lemna gibba.

4. -- polyrhiza.


[Illustration: =Corn Chamomile.=

Anthemis arvensis.


    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, 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

    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 Compositæ, and now return
to that order to describe a type of flower very similar in general
appearance to the Daisy (page 1). 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
    fœtid-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. nobilis_). 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 without 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 1 to 1¼
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 (_H. tetrapterum_). Stem
    with four narrow wings, 1 to 2 feet, leaves broader than in
    _perforatum_, but the glands, veins _and reticulations_ are
    pellucid. Styles shorter than the ovary. Flowers dense, ½ to ¾
    inch. across. Moist places, July and August.

[Illustration: =St John’s Wort.=

Hypericum perforatum.


=Hop Trefoil.=

Trifolium procumbens.


[Illustration: =Red Clover.=

Trifolium pratense.


    II. Trailing St. John’s Wort (_H. humifusum_). Stems slender,
    compressed, prostrate, not exceeding a foot. Leaves small, oblong;
    glands pellucid; the margins are often marked with black glands,
    and are sometimes rolled back. Flowers, ½ inch across. Sepals
    unequal. Styles very short. Commons and wastes. July and August.

    III. Small Upright St. John’s Wort (_H. pulchrum_). 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 ¾ inch, loose panicles. Dry woods and heaths. June and

    IV. Hairy St. John’s Wort (_H. hirsutum_). 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

    V. Tutsan (_H. androsæmum_). Stem shrubby, compressed, 2 feet high.
    Flowers few, ¾ 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= (_Trifolium_).

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. subterraneum_), 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

    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, pastures 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. fragiferum_). 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

    IX. Hop Trefoil (_T. procumbens_). (_See_ Figure on p. 47.)
    This must not be confounded 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 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

[Illustration: =Sainfoin.=

Onobrychis sativa.


[Illustration: =Eyebright.=

Euphrasia officinalis.


=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 officinalis_).

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 Scrophularineæ--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 latifolia_).

Of late years it has become the general error to call this plant
Bulrush, a name which belongs by right to _Scirpus lacustris_. Every
autumn the hawkers in London and other cities offer the cylindrical
spikes of Typha for sale as æsthetic 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?

[Illustration: =Reed mace.=

Typha latifolia.


[Illustration: =Kidney Vetch.=

Anthyllis vulneraria.


There are two British species, perennial plants with long, narrow,
grass-like leaves, the bases of which sheath the stem. 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 consist 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 (_T. angustifolia_). 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 Vetch= (_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; 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 membranous, 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 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 1), 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 flower-heads.

There are two other British species:--

    I. Corn Marigold (_C. segetum_). A troublesome annual weed
    in cornfields, but as handsome as it is mischievous. Its
    ray-florets are of a deep yellow hue, their 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.

[Illustration: =Ox-eye Daisy.=

Chrysanthemum leucanthemum.


[Illustration: =Pimpernel.=

Anagallis arvensis.



Stellaria media.


=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 Primulaceæ, 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 discloses 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= (_Fœniculum officinale_).

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 Umbelliferæ, which includes such
useful plants as Celery, Parsley, Carrot, Parsnip, Asafœtida, 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 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.

[Illustration: =Fennel.=

Fœniculum officinale.


[Illustration: =Round leaved Sundew.=

Drosera rotundifolia.


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 (_vittæ_) 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 _rotundifolia_; 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.

[Illustration: =Barberry.=

Berberis vulgaris.


[Illustration: =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. palustris_). Growing among _Sphagnum_ in bogs.
    Flowers lilac or white, scentless, and with short blunt spur. April
    to July.

    II. Hairy Violet (_V. hirta_). 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

    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, however, 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 flowers 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 are:--

    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. piperata_). 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 riversides, 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 places.

[Illustration: =Round leaved Mint.=

Mentha rotundifolia.


[Illustration: =Common Comfrey.=

Symphytum officinale.


VI. Pennyroyal (_M. pulegium_). 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 officinale_).

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 Boragineæ, 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

    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 rhœas_).

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 Papaveraceæ, 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. rhœas_), which is so unpleasantly abundant
    in cornfields 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. hybridum_). Leaves only slightly
    bristly. Flower small (1 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. dubium_). Similar to _P. rhœas_,
    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 August.

=The Greater Stitchwort= (_Stellaria 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 appearance 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.

[Illustration: =Red Poppy.=

Papaver rhœas.


[Illustration: =Greater Stitchwort.=

Stellaria holostea.


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

    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 inconspicuous, on
    account of the sepals being longer than the petals, which are,
    in fact, often absent altogether. It grows everywhere, and maybe
    found flowering throughout 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. tormentilla_), 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.
    anserina_, but smaller, and usually with only four petals. June to

    II. Creeping Cinquefoil (_P. reptans_). Similar to _P. tormentilla_
    but larger. Leaflets five, sometimes three, petals five. Meadows
    and waysides. June to September.

    III. Barren Strawberry (_P. fragariastrum_). Flowers white. March
    to June. The general characters of this impostor have been given
    on page 27, when describing the Wild Strawberry. The plant has a
    general silkiness which is foreign to the strawberry.

    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 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.

[Illustration: =Silverweed.=

Potentilla anserina.


[Illustration: =Small Bindweed.=

Convolvulus arvensis.


    The Hooded Bindweed (_C. sepium_) 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 August.

    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. sepium_, but they are smaller than the unequal sepals. It
    may frequently be found on sandy shores, and flowers from June to

=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 (_Chelidon_) returns to our shores. _Chelidonium majus_ is
really a kind of poppy, whilst _Ranunculus ficaria_ is a buttercup.

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 (_Meconopsis_), and the Horned-poppy
(_Glaucium_) 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 warts.

=Ragged 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

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;
the 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.

[Illustration: =Celandine.=

Chelidonium majus.


[Illustration: =Rugged Robin.=

Lychnis flos-cuculi.


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

    The Red Campion (_Lychnis diurna_), with stem covered with soft
    hairs, which are sticky near the upper part of the plant. The
    flower has a singularly neat appearance, altogether lacking the
    ragged character of _flos-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= (_Centaurea 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 neglected 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

Bluebottle is a composite flower, and it should afford interest to the
reader, when he finds the blossoms, to institute a comparison between
it and that of the Daisy or other of the Composites we have already

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

    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 September.

[Illustration: =Cornflower, Blue-bottle.=

Centaurea cyanus.


[Illustration: =Dwarf Mallow.=

Malva rotundifolia.


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. rotundifolia_, where both organs mature
    at the same time. This brings out an interesting point in their
    relations to insects, as shown by H. Müller. The styles, instead
    of mingling with the anthers, hold themselves strictly above the
    drooping stamens, and self-fertilization is impossible. 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 September.

    II. Musk Mallow (_M. moschatus_). 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 (_Althæa_).

=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 teeth. 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 civilization.

=Vernal Wood-rush= (_Luzula vernalis_).

The Rushes as a whole (_Juncus_ and _Luzula_) 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 _rôle_ in life, in order 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 (_Luzula_) 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 (¼ inch), soft and sparingly hairy. Woods and shady
places, flowering March to May. Other members of the genus are:--

[Illustration: =Chicory.=

Cichorium intybus.


[Illustration: =Broad-leaved Woodrush.=

Luzula vernalis.


    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. forsteri_). Similar to _L.
    vernalis_, but more 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 June.

    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 (_L. 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 in a cluster, in lax cymes; the perianth segments
    extended into a point. Bracteoles pointed, not awned, not silvery.
    Mountains in Scotland only. July.

=The Greater Dodder= (_Cuscuta europæa_).

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. epithymum_), 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. epilinum_), previously alluded to as having been introduced
    from the Continent with flax-seed.

    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

    The genus is included in the Natural Order Convolvulaceæ.

=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 _Agrostemma gracilis_ that has been
altered by its continuous growth in our cultivated fields.

[Illustration: =Greater Dodder.=

Cuscuta europæa.


[Illustration: =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. lupulina_). So much like
    _Trifolium procumbens_, 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. denticulata_). 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, network 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 description 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
alighting 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
fœtidissima_), with purple sepals, yellow petals and stigmas. Flowers
not quite so large as the last. Woods and copses. May to July.

[Illustration: =Lucerne, Purple Medick.=

Medicago sativa.


[Illustration: =Yellow Iris. Flag.=

Iris pseudacorus.


=Marsh Orchis= (_Orchis latifolia_).

There are nearly forty British species of Orchideæ, 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
possible. 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 rostellum 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 necessity.

[Illustration: =Marsh Orchis.=

Orchis latifolia.


[Illustration: =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 apifera_).

In the genus _Ophrys_ we have three species whose flowers bear quite
startling likeness to a bee, spider and fly respectively. 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 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. muscifera_). 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 (_Orchis hircina_), 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 (_Liparis loeselii_).

A singular species, to be found chiefly in beechwoods throughout 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 chlorophyll. 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 autumnalis_). The rosette of leaves from
the root does not appear until after the flowers.

[Illustration: =Bee Orchis.=

Ophrys apifera.


[Illustration: =Harebell.=

Campanula rotundifolia.


=Common Centaury.=

Erythræa centaurium.


=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 Hairbell. Others have found the plant a fruitful
source of controversy 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 philologists 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 drooping, 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= (_Erythræa 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

=Wild Mignonette= (_Reseda lutea_), 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. lutea_) 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

II. Weld (_R. luteola_). This is a much taller plant than _R. lutea_,
with longer racemes and denser; the flowers more green than 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 preparation of the artist’s colour called
Dutch pink. It is a common wayside plant in England and in Ireland,
more rare in Scotland, and flowers from June to September.

[Illustration: =Wild Mignonette.=

Reseda lutea.

=Weld. Dyer’s Weed.=

Reseda luteola.


[Illustration: =Borage.=

Borago officinalis.


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

=Borage= (_Borago officinalis_).

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 survived 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, somewhat 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 polygonifolius_).

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 intermittently 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. polygonifolius_), 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
perianth, 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.
prælongus_, etc., have only submerged leaves, which are more or less

[Illustration: =Oblong-leaved Pond-weed.=

Potamogeton polygonifolius.


[Illustration: =Traveller’s Joy.=

Clematis vitalba.


The species with floating leaves form refuges for many interesting 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

=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 greenish-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 distribution
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= (_Brunella 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
_Bräune_ (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 notched.

The plant has the square stem, lipped flowers, and four stamens,
characteristic of the Labiate order, a creeping rootstock, 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. Occasionally 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.

[Illustration: =Self-heal.=

Brunella vulgaris.


[Illustration: =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 _pogon_, a beard. It flowers during
June and July, and is fairly common in meadows and wastes in England;
much more rarely in Scotland and Ireland.

    There is an introduced species with larger purple or rose-coloured
    flowers, found occasionally in damp meadows. This is the Salsify
    (_Tragopogon porrifolius_). 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.

=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 stems. 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 consequence 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 stigmas.

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

[Illustration: =Wild Thyme.=

Thymus serpyllum.


[Illustration: =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. polyspermum_), with several
    spreading branches, ovate leaves and many minute, rough, dark-brown
    seeds. White Goosefoot (_C. album_), leaves ovate, covered with a
    white mealy substance, upper portions _toothed_, sepals keeled,
    seed dark, shining, very minutely dotted. Red Goosefoot (_C.
    rubrum_), 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 species.

=Burdock= (_Arctium lappa_).

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 appearance.

=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--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 July.

[Illustration: =Burdock.=

Arctium lappa.


=Goose-grass. Cleavers.=

Galium aparine.


[Illustration: =White Campion.=

Lychnis vespertina.


=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 Linnæus as a mere variety of _L. diurna_, 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 September.

=The Holly= (_Ilex aquifolium_).

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.

[Illustration: =Holly.=

Ilex aquifolium.


[Illustration: =Charlock.=

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 æsthetic 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
comparatively light and dry soil of the ploughed field.

It is a hairy annual belonging to the cabbage tribe, which is a branch
of the _Cruciferæ_ 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. nigrum_). 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 downwards. 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 distinguished 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 Scrophularineæ
    (_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 more deflexed. May to

    II. Small-flowered Yellow Cow-wheat (_M. sylvaticum_) 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
    whose distribution 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 August.

    IV. Crested Cow-wheat (_M. cristatum_). 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.

[Illustration: =Cow-wheat.=

Melampyrum pratense.


[Illustration: =Sea Buckthorn.=

Hippophae rhamnoides.


=Sea Buckthorn= (_Hippophæ 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 superficial 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 Elæagnaceæ, 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
(_diæcious_), 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_, and _phao_, 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= (_Spiræa ulmaria_).

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

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 rivers.

There is one other British species:--

    The Dropwort (_Spiræa filipendula_), 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 Spiræa (_S. salicifolia_), may
    occasionally be met in plantations; but it is not a native.

[Illustration: =Meadow-Sweet. Queen of the Meadows.=

Spiræa ulmaria.


[Illustration: =Rest Harrow.=

Ononis Spinosa.


=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, sometimes 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 _ononis_, from _onos_, an
ass, but it is open to question whether the ass has any fondness for it
if he can get other 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, and 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 are
sadly disappointed. Rest-Harrow will be found flowering in dry wastes
from June to September.

    There is another species, the Small Rest-Harrow (_O. reclinata_),
    an annual with spreading hairy, viscid stems, only a few inches in
    length, stalked rosy flowers not half the size of _spinosa_, and a
    hairy pod as long as the calyx, or longer. It is exceedingly local,
    and has only been reported as occurring on sandy cliffs in Devon,
    Wigton and Alderney. 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, somewhat resembling those of the
Silver-weed, the leaflets increasing 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 concurrently
the calyx-tubes harden and assume a drooping position, owing to the
downward curving of their little foot-stalks.

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

Agrimony flowers from June to September.

[Illustration: =Agrimony.=

Agrimonia eupatoria.


[Illustration: =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. catharticum_). 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 for a similar
    purpose. On chalky soils from Durham to Essex.

    III. Narrow-leaved Flax (_L. angustifolium_). 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= (_Hypochæris 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. glabra_). 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 (_H. 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.

[Illustration: =Cat’s-Ear.=

Hypochæris radicata.


[Illustration: =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 Compositæ. He would
be wrong, but almost right. Scabious is certainly a Composite flower,
though not one of the Compositæ; it is, instead, included in the order
Dipsaceæ. 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 Dipsaceæ
they are free. Again, the calyx in Compositæ is reduced to a series
of hairs (_pappus_), whilst in Dipsaceæ 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. arvensis_), 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. succisa_). Rootstock short, coming
    to an abrupt conclusion, 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

    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= (_Solanum 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. nigrum_) 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

[Illustration: =Bitter-Sweet.=

Solanum dulcamara.


[Illustration: A.--=Biting Stonecrop. Wall pepper.=

Sedum acre.]

[Illustration: 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 _vivum_, 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.

=Yellow Melilot= (_Melilotus officinalis_).

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 comes 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 _lotus_,
    the name of another genus = the lotus with the sweet or honeyed

[Illustration: =Field Melilot.=

Melilotus officinalis.


[Illustration: =Juniper.=

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 of ten,
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

=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 dioica_), 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, female 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 August.

    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.

[Illustration: =Great Stinging Nettle.=

Urtica dioica.


[Illustration: =Cat’s Valerian.=

Valeriana officinalis.


=Cat’s Valerian= (_Valeriana officinalis_).

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 (_pappus_). 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 fœtid 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.
    dioica_), 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. 1. 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_ page 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 (_Anterrhinum_), 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. repens_). Perennial. Smooth. Rootstock
creeping. Leaves narrowly lance-shaped. Corolla violet, with darker
lines and yellow palate: spur blunt. Waste places, rare. July to

IV. Small Toad flax (_L. minor_). Annual. Downy. Leaves narrowly
oblong. Corolla but slightly larger than the calyx, purple, the
lower lip white, and the palate yellow. Local, in sandy and chalky
cornfields. From May to October.

[Illustration: =Common Toadflax.=

Linaria vulgaris.


[Illustration: =Yellow Waterlily.=

Nuphar luteum.


=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

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 submerged, 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. pumilum_), 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 rounder than in _luteum_,
    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 (_Nymphæa alba_), though constituting the
    British representative 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 Compositæ, and to a considerable
extent that explanation will hold good for the genus _Dipsacus_, which
is united to _Scabiosa_ in the Natural Order Dipsaceæ. 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 (_D. 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. pilosus_). 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 _sylvestris_.

[Illustration: =Wild Teasel.=

Dipsacus Sylvestris.


[Illustration: =Tansy.=

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
pharmacopœia, 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 vermifuge.

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

=Blackthorn, or Sloe= (_Prunus communis_).

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 taste.

    II. Wild Plum (_P. domestica_). 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.

[Illustration: =Sloe. Blackthorn.=

Prunus communis.


[Illustration: =Wild Hop.=

Humulus lupulus.


=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 _diœcious_
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, concave 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, however, 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.

[Illustration: =Salad Burnet.=

Poterium sanguisorba.


[Illustration: =Ivy.=

Hedera helix.


=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, sometimes 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

=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 _Poterium_, they are borne upon the same plant, botanists
describe _Sagittaria_ as _monœcious_, just as they describe the Hop as
_diœcious_, 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 species.

The name is from the Latin _sagitta_, an arrow.

[Illustration: =Arrowhead.=

Sagittaria sagittifolia.


[Illustration: =Sow-thistle.=

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 disappointed 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 Composite--will strike 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 cultivated 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 species.

    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 backwater 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 exceptions 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. 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.

[Illustration: =Grass of Parnassus.=

Parnassia palustris.


[Illustration: =Oat.=

Avena sativa.


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 succeeded 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 glume.

    I. Wild Oat (_Avena 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 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. pubescens_). 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 Mountain 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 September, 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 baiting 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

Pyrus is the old Latin name for a pear-tree.

[Illustration: =Mountain Ash. Rowan-tree.=

Pyrus aucuparia.


[Illustration: =Buckwheat.=

Polygonum fagopyrum.


=Buckwheat= (_Polygonum 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 _buch_- 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 invaluable as an almost universal food for the caterpillars of

    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= (_Æthusa cynapium_).

Fool’s Parsley is fond of cultivated ground, and it is no unusual 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 themselves pinnate, and the pinnæ 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 _Æthusa_ are provided with an involucre consisting of
three or five little bracts, very narrow and hanging vertically. This
feature will serve to distinguish _Æthusa_ 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.

[Illustration: =Fool’s Parsley.=

Æthusa cynapium.


[Illustration: =Fine-leaved Heath.=

Erica cinerea.


Calluna vulgaris.


=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 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 within
the corolla, but the style is long, and protrudes. The tough wiry stems
attain considerable size in the highlands of Scotland, 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 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.

[Illustration: =Mistleto.=

Viscum album.


[Illustration: =Meadow Saffron.=

Colchicum autumnale.


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 Britons.

=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 abundantly.

=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 produced; 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

[Illustration: =Hart’s-tongue Fern.=

Scolopendrium officinale.

=Maidenhair Spleenwort.=

Asplenium Trichomanes.


[Illustration: =Male Fern.=

Nephrodium filix-mas.


=Maidenhair Spleenwort= (_Asplenium trichomanes_).

A common plant locally on rocks and walls, having a slender dark-brown
polished rachis and a large number of roundish-oblong leaflets
(_pinnæ_), 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. viride_), with a green, softer rachis and the
pinnæ distinctly stalked, shorter and paler; growing on wet rocks in
mountainous districts.

=Male Fern= (_Nephrodium 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-fœmina_)--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 pinnæ are
themselves again divided into _pinnules_. This fern grows to a great
size, its rootstock very thick and woody, 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 pinnæ,
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 pinnæ are rolled each on itself,
then the pinnæ 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-plants.

    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.
    spinulosum_), 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 pinnæ. 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. arvense_), 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 arrangement of these cavities differs in
each, as do the external 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 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 transparent skeleton of silica. Certain
species are used for polishing metal, under the name of Dutch Rushes.

[Illustration: =Corn Horsetail.=

Equisetum arvense.


[Illustration: A.--=Scarlet Cup-moss.=

Cladonia cornucopioides.


Physcia parietina.


[Illustration: Half-Sections through Horsetail Stems.

  1. Equisetum maximum.
  2.     ”     pratense.
  3.     ”     arvense.
  4.     ”     sylvaticum.
  5.     ”     limosum.
  6.     ”     palustre.
  7.     ”     hyemale.]

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 breathing 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 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
cryptogamic 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
(_gonidia_), which are said to be _algæ_, and below these a layer of
fungoid threads. The contention of the new school is that these _algæ_
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.

[Illustration: =Triangular Moss.=

Hypnum triquetrum.


Polytrichum formosum.


[Illustration: A.--=Fly Agaric.=

Amanita muscarius.

B.--=Edible Boletus.=

Boletus edulis.


Lycoperdum gemmatum.


Cantharellus cibarius.


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 (_Cladonia_) 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 Catalogue of Lichens,”
of which the first part was published in 1894.

=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

A. Three-cornered Hypnum (_Hypnum triquetrum_) 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 sixteen.

B. Beautiful Hair-moss (_Polytrichum formosum_) 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 (_calyptra_); this is thrown off when the spores are ripe, the
operculum follows and the spores are cast.

=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 therefore 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 (_pileus_) 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

B. Edible Boletus (_Boletus edulis_). In this group (_Polyporei_) 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 _Boleti_ 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 (_Cantharellus cibarius_). 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 pileus 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.

=Small-leaved Lime= (_Tilia parvifolia_).

Several species of Lime may be met in woods and plantations, 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 _parvifolia_ 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 opposite leaves. The leaflets are toothed, and the teeth bear
glands on the lower side, whence 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.

[Illustration: =Small-leaved Lime.=

Tilia parvifolia.


=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_; the wings being
horizontal. Flowers May and June.

The Great Maple or Sycamore (_A. pseudo-platanus_) 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,
five-lobed, unequally toothed. Flowers, greenish-yellow, May and June.
Samaras large, wings diverging. Native of Mid-Europe and Western Asia.

[Illustration: =Tree of the Gods.=

Ailantus glandulosa.


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 pseudacacia_).

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 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.

[Illustration: =False Sycamore.=

Acer platanoides.


The genus is named in honour of Jean Robin, a French botanist, whose
son cultivated the first specimens of _R. 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 Oleaceæ, to which
the Olive belongs. It cannot be said that _Fraxinus 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 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.

[Illustration: =False Acacia=.

Robinia pseudacacia.


=The Black Mulberry= (_Morus nigra_).

It may surprise some of our readers to learn that the Mulberry-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 1548 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 old 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 are large and rough,
heart-shaped, and very plentiful, so that the tree affords good shade.
The flowers are small and inconspicuous, 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 catkinlike
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.

[Illustration: =Ash.=

Fraxinus excelsior.


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 (_Morus 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 identifying
the Common or Small-leaved from our second British species, the
variously-named Scotch Elm, Wych Elm, Witch Hazel, or Mountain Elm
(_Ulmus montana_). There is something more than a suspicion that
_campestris_ is not strictly indigenous, 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
diffused than _montana_. The Elms are both tall trees, but _campestris_
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.

[Illustration: =Black Mulberry.=

Morus nigra.


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 _ul_, 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 neighbourhood, 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 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 spreading 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-stem. In spring these buds expand 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.

[Illustration: =Common Elm.=

Ulmus campestris.


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 involucre, 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
together, in a silky-haired, four-parted involucre, known as a
_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 118). It
is from these edible qualities that the genus gets its name, derived
from the Greek, _phago_--to eat.

[Illustration: =Beech.=

Fagus sylvatica.


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 plausibility 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 resembles.
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 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.

[Illustration: 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.]

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 quantities 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 exaggerated 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 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.

[Illustration: =Sweet Chestnut.=

Castanea vulgaris.


Our British Oak is _Quercus robur_, 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 differences.

    White Oak (_Q. robur_, var. _pedunculata_) has the leaves slightly
    stalked or stalkless, and the acorns with long, slender stalks.

    Red Oak (_Q. robur_, var. _sessiliflora_) 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 purposes.

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

[Illustration: =White Oak.=

Quercus robur, var. pedunculata.


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 hepatica_), of
which in October a hundred-weight might be quickly gathered in an

=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

When the tips of the nutshells become brown-tinged, then appear boys,
squirrels, dormice and nuthatches, and by their combined industry the
tree or bush is soon despoiled of its load.

[Illustration: =Hazel.=

Corylus avellana.


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

=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 superficial 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 be 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 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.

[Illustration: =Hornbeam.=

Carpinus betulus.


=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 structure, 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

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:
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.

[Illustration: =Osier.=

Salix viminalis.


=The Lombardy Poplar= (_Populus fastigiata_).

It is an easy step from the Willows to the Poplars, for the Genus
Salix and the Genus Populus together form the Order Salicineæ. We have
only two indigenous species in Britain--the White Poplar or Abele (_P.
alba_), and the Aspen (_P. tremula_). 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; in _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 stamens with red anthers are attached to the under-side of the

[Illustration: =Lombardy Poplar.=

Populus fastigiata.


The name of the genus _Populus_ 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
indignation 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

The leaves of the Plane are very similar to those of the Sycamore
and False-Sycamore (_see_ page 134), but one feature 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 _Platanus_ they are alternate.

[Illustration: =Oriental Plane.=

Platanus orientalis.


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

_Platanus_ is the old Greek name for the Plane-tree, and is probably
derived from _Platos_, 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; thereafter 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 rigorous climate of Greenland, though there, of course,
it is greatly diminished in stature.

[Illustration: =Birch.=

Betula alba.


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 discarding 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 inflorescence 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

    There is one other Native species, the Dwarf Birch (_B. nana_), a
    bush of no more than 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

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

=The Alder= (_Alnus glutinosa_).

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 resemblance 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 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 resemble 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

[Illustration: =Alder.=

Alnus glutinosa.


In suitable situations the Alder 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 cutting. 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

_Alnus_ 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 naturally 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 _cones_,
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.

[Illustration: =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 growing. 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 associated 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 years.

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 countries bordering the
Mediterranean, chiefly in low ground near 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 plantations of _P. pinaster_, which can thrive in
such poor stuff, even so near the sea.

[Illustration: =Pinaster.=

Pinus pinaster.


=The Silver-fir= (_Abies pectinata_).

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 underneath, 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 _Pinus_. The firs are
excellent timber trees, and are rich in turpentine.

The Silver-fir gets its popular name from the silvery undersides 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 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.

[Illustration: =Silver Fir.=

Abies pectinata.


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

=The Norway Spruce-fir= (_Abies excelsa_).

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, 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 lambertiana_) 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.

[Illustration: =Norway Spruce Fir.=

Abies excelsa.


=The Larch= (_Larix europæa_).

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 _Ramalina_ 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 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.

[Illustration: =Larch.=

Larix europæa.


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 turpentine.


_Illustrated or Described in the foregoing pages._

Order I.--=Ranunculaceæ.=

Genus I.--_CLEMATIS vitalba_, 82

Genus III.--_ANEMONE nemorosa_, 3; _pulsatilla_, 4

Genus V.--_RANUNCULUS acris_, 18; _bulbosus_, 18; _ficaria_, 6;
_repens_, 19

Genus VI.--_CALTHA palustris_, 13; _radicans_, 13

Order II.--=Berberideæ.=

Genus I.--_BERBERIS vulgaris_, 57

Order III.--=Nymphæaceæ.=

Genus I.--_NUPHAR luteum_, 106; _pumilum_, 106

Genus II.--_NYMPHÆA alba_, 106

Order IV.--=Papaveraceæ.=

Genus I.--_PAPAVER hybridum_, 61; _argemone_, 61; _dubium_, 61;
_rhœas_, 61

Genus III.--_CHELIDONIUM majus_, 64

Order V.--=Fumariaceæ.=

Genus I.--_FUMARIA capreolata_, 9; _officinalis_, 8; _densiflora_, 9;
_parviflora_, 9

Order VI.--=Cruciferæ.=

Genus I.*--_CHEIRANTHUS cheiri_, 12

Genus V.--_CARDAMINE hirsuta_, 11; _pratensis_, 10; _amara_, 11;
_impatiens_, 11

Genus IX.--_BRASSICA nigra_, 90; _sinapis_, 90; _alba_, 90

Genus XV.--_CAPSELLA bursa-pastoris_, 11

Order VII.--=Resedaceæ.=

Genus I.--_RESEDA luteola_, 79; _lutea_, 79

Order VIII.--=Cistineæ.=

Genus I.--_HELIANTHEMUM vulgare_, 42; _polifolium_, 42; _guttatum_, 42;
_canum_, 42

Order IX.--=Violaceæ.=

Genus I.--_VIOLA palustris_, 58; _odorata_, 4; _hirta_, 58; _canina_,
58; _sylvatica_, 58; _arenaria_, 58; _tricolor_, 58

Order X.--=Polygaleæ.=

Genus I.--_POLYGALA vulgaris_, 28; _calcarea_, 29; _amara_, 29

Order XII.--=Caryophylleæ.=

Genus III.--_LYCHNIS flos-cuculi_, 65; _diurna_, 66; _vespertina_, 88

Genus IV.--_GITHAGO segetum_, 71

Genus V.--_HOLOSTEUM umbellatum_, 20

Genus VII.--_STELLARIA media_, 55, 62; _holostea_, 62; _palustris_, 62;
_graminea_, 62

Order XV.--=Hypericineæ.=

Genus I.--_HYPERICUM androsæmum_, 48; _perforatum_, 47; _humifusum_,
47; _pulchrum_, 47; _hirsutum_, 48; _tetrapterum_, 47

Order XVI.--=Malvaceæ.=

Genus II.--_MALVA sylvestris_, 67; _rotundifolia_, 67; _moschata_, 68

Order XVII.--=Tiliaceæ.=

Genus I.--_TILIA parvifolia_, 133; _platyphyllos_, 133

Order XVIII.--=Lineæ.=

Genus I.--_LINUM catharticum_, 96; _perenne_, 96; _angustifolium_, 96;
_usitatissimum_, 96

Order XIX.--=Geraniaceæ.=

Genus I.--_GERANIUM molle_, 35; _rotundifolium_, 34; _pusillum_, 35;
_columbinum_, 35; _dissectum_, 35; _robertianum_, 35; _lucidum_, 35

Genus II.--_ERODIUM cicutarium_, 35; _moschatum_, 36; _maritimum_, 36

Genus III.--_OXALIS acetosella_, 11; _corniculata_, 12; _stricta_, 12

Order XX.--=Ilicineæ.=

Genus I.--_ILEX aquifolium_, 89

Order XXIV.--=Sapindaceæ.=

Genus I.--_ACER campestre_, 134; _pseudo-platanus_, 134; _platanoides_,

Order XXV.--=Leguminosæ.=

Genus III.--_CYTISUS scoparius_, 7

Genus IV.--_ONONIS spinosa_, 94; _reclinata_, 94

Genus VI.--_MEDICAGO falcata_, 72; _sativa_, 72; _lupulina_, 72;
_denticulata_, 72; _maculata_, 72

Genus VII.--_MELILOTUS altissima_, 101; _alba_, 101; _officinalis_, 101

Genus VIII.--_TRIFOLIUM subterraneum_, 48; _arvense_, 49; _pratense_,
49; _medium_, 49; _striatum_, 49; _scabrum_, 49; _repens_, 49;
_fragiferum_, 49; _procumbens_, 49; _dubium_, 50

Genus IX.--_ANTHYLLIS vulneraria_, 52

Genus X.--_LOTUS corniculatus_, 43; _uliginosus_, 43; _hispidus_, 43;
_angustissimus_, 43

Genus XV.--_ONOBRYCHIS sativa_, 50

Genus XVI.--_VICIA tetrasperma_, 44; _hirsuta_, 44; _cracca_, 44;
_orobus_, 44; _sylvatica_, 44; _sepium_, 44; _sativa_, 43

Order XXVI.--=Rosaceæ.=

Genus I.--_PRUNUS communis_, 109; _insititia_, 109; _domestica_, 109

Genus II.--_SPIRÆA ulmaria_, 93; _filipendula_, 93

Genus III.--_RUBUS cæsius_, 31

Genus VI.--_FRAGARIA vesca_, 27

Genus VII.--_POTENTILLA tormentilla_, 63; _reptans_, 63; _anserina_,
62; _fragariastrum_, 27, 63

Genus IX.--_AGRIMONIA eupatoria_, 95

Genus X.--_POTERIUM sanguisorba_, 111; _muricatum_, 111; _officinale_,

Genus XI.--_ROSA spinosissima_, 41; _rubiginosa_, 41; _canina_, 41;
_arvensis_, 41

Genus XII.--_PYRUS aucuparia_, 117

Genus XIII.-_CRATÆGUS oxyacantha_, 17

Order XXVII.--=Saxifrageæ.=

Genus III.--_PARNASSIA palustris_, 115

Order XXVIII.--=Crassulaceæ.=

Genus III.--_SEDUM acre_, 100

Genus III.*--_SEMPERVIVUM tectorum_, 100

Order XXIX.--=Droseraceæ.=

Genus I.--_DROSERA rotundifolia_, 56; _intermedia_, 57; _anglica_, 57

Order XXXIV.--=Umbelliferæ.=

Genus XXII.--_FŒNICULUM officinale_, 55

Genus XXV.--_ÆTHUSA cynapium_, 119

Order XXXV.--=Araliaceæ.=

Genus I.--_HEDERA helix_, 112

Order XXXVII.--=Caprifoliaceæ.=

Genus IV.--_LONICERA periclymenum_, 31; _caprifolium_, 32

Order XXXVIII.--=Rubiaceæ.=

Genus II.--_GALIUM aparine_, 87

Order XXXIX.--=Valerianeæ.=

Genus I.--_VALERIANA dioica_, 104; _officinalis_, 104

Order XL.--=Dipsaceæ.=

Genus I.--_DIPSACUS sylvestris_, 107; _pilosus_, 107

Genus II.--_SCABIOSA succisa_, 98; _columbaria_, 98; _arvensis_, 98

Order XLI.--=Compositæ.=

Genus IV.--_BELLIS perennis_, 1

Genus XII.--_ANTHEMIS arvensis_, 46; _cotula_, 47; _nobilis_, 47

Genus XIII.--_ACHILLEA ptarmica_, 37; _millefolium_, 36

Genus XVI.--_CHRYSANTHEMUM segetum_, 53; _leucanthemum_, 53;
_parthenium_, 54

Genus XVII.--_TANACETUM vulgare_, 108

Genus XXI.--_SENECIO vulgaris_, 37; _sylvaticus_, 38; _viscosus_, 38;
_jacobæa_, 38; _erucifolius_, 38; _aquaticus_, 38

Genus XXII.--_ARCTIUM lappa_, 87

Genus XXV.--_CENTAUREA nigra_, 67; _scabiosa_, 67; _cyanus_, 66

Genus XXXI.--_CICHORIUM intybus_, 68

Genus XXXVII.--_HYPOCHŒRIS glabra_, 97; _radicata_, 97

Genus XXXIX.--_TARAXACUM officinale_, 20

Genus XLI.--_SONCHUS arvensis_, 114; _palustris_, 114; _oleraceus_, 114

Genus XLII.--_TRAGOPOGON pratensis_, 84; _porrifolius_, 84

Order XLII.--=Campanulaceæ.=

Genus V.--_CAMPANULA rotundifolia_, 78; _trachelium_, 78

Order XLIII.--=Ericaceæ.=

Genus V.--_ERICA tetralix_, 120; _cinerea_, 120; _ciliaris_, 120;
_vagans_, 120

Genus VI.--_CALLUNA vulgaris_, 121

Order XLVI.--=Primulaceæ.=

Genus I.--_PRIMULA vulgaris_, 3; _elatior_, 3; _veris_, 2; _farinosa_,
3; _scotica_, 3

Genus VI.--_ANAGALLIS arvensis_, 54; _tenella_, 54

Order XLVII.--=Oleaceæ.=

Genus II.--_FRAXINUS excelsior_, 136

Order XLVIII.--=Apocynaceæ.=

Genus I.--_VINCA minor_, 5; _major_, 6

Order XLIX.--=Gentianeæ.=

Genus IV.--_ERYTHRÆA centaurium_, 79

Order LI.--=Boragineæ.=

Genus I.--_ECHIUM vulgare_, 26

Genus I.*--_BORAGO officinalis_, 80

Genus II.--_SYMPHYTUM officinale_, 60; _tuberosum_, 60

Genus VI.--_PULMONARIA angustifolia_, 10; _officinalis_, 9

Genus VII.--_MYOSOTIS palustris_, 21

Order LII.--=Convolvulaceæ.=

Genus I.--_CONVOLVULUS arvensis_, 63; _sepium_, 64; _soldanella_, 64

Genus II.--_CUSCUTA europæa_, 70; _epithymum_, 70; _epilinum_, 71

Order LIII.--=Solanaceæ.=

Genus I.--_HYOSCYAMUS niger_, 39

Genus II.--_SOLANUM dulcamara_, 99; _nigrum_, 99

Order LIV.--=Plantagineae.=

Genus I.--_PLANTAGO major_, 22; _media_, 23; _lanceolata_, 22;
_maritima_, 23; _coronopus_, 23

Order LV.--=Scrophularineæ.=

Genus II.--_LINARIA cymbalaria_, 33; _spuria_, 105; _elatine_, 105;
_vulgaris_, 105; _repens_, 105; _minor_, 105

Genus VIII.--_VERONICA chamædrys_, 28; _beccabunga_, 29

Genus X.--_EUPHRASIA officinalis_, 50

Genus XIII.--_MELAMPYRUM pratense_, 91; _sylvaticum_, 91; _arvense_,
91; _cristatum_, 92

Order LIX.--=Labiatæ.=

Genus I.--_MENTHA sylvestris_, 59; _rotundifolia_, 58; _piperata_, 59;
_aquatica_, 59; _sativa_, 59; _arvensis_, 59; _pulegium_, 60

Genus IV.--_THYMUS serpyllum_, 85

Genus VI.--_SALVIA pratensis_, 23

Genus VII.--_NEPETA cataria_, 34; _glechoma_, 33

Genus VIII.--_BRUNELLA vulgaris_, 83

Genus XIV.--_LAMIUM purpureum_, 33; _intermedium_, 33; _amplexicaule_,
33; _album_, 33; _galeobdolon_, 33

Genus XVII.--_AJUGA reptans_, 21

Order LXI.--=Chenopodiaceæ.=

Genus I.--_CHENOPODIUM vulvaria_, 86; polyspermum, 86; _album_, 86;
_rubrum_, 86; _bonus-henricus_, 86

Order LXII.--=Polygonaceæ.=

Genus I.--_POLYGONUM bistorta_, 118; _amphibium_, 118; _persicaria_,
118; _aviculare_, 119; _convolvulus_, 119; _fagopyrum_, 118

Order LXV.--=Elæagnaceæ.=

Genus I.--_HIPPOPHAE rhamnoides_, 92

Order LXVI.--=Loranthaceæ.=

Genus I.--_VISCUM album_, 121

Order LXVIII.--=Euphorbiaceæ.=

Genus.--_EUPHORBIA helioscopia_, 30; _platyphyllos_, 30; _hiberna_,
30; _amygdaloides_, 30; _peplus_, 30; _exigua_, 30; _portlandica_, 30;
_paralias_, 30; _esula_, 31; _lathyris_, 31; _peplis_, 31

Order LXIX.--=Urticaceæ.=

Genus I.--_ULMUS montana_, 138; _campestris_, 138

Genus II.--_URTICA urens_, 103; _dioica_, 103; _pilulifera_, 103

Genus IV.--_HUMULUS lupulus_, 110

Order LXXI.--=Cupuliferæ.=

Genus I.--_BETULA alba_, 149

Genus II.--_ALNUS glutinosa_, 150

Genus III.--_QUERCUS robur_, 142

Genus IV.--_FAGUS sylvatica_, 140

Genus V.--_CORYLUS avellana_, 144

Genus VI.--_CARPINUS betulus_, 145

Order LXXII.--=Salicineæ.=

Genus I.--_POPULUS alba_, 147; _tremula_, 147; _fastigiata_, 147

Genus II.--_SALIX viminalis_, 146

Order LXXIV.--=Coniferæ.=

Genus I.--_PINUS sylvestris_, 151; _pinaster_, 152

Genus II.--_JUNIPERUS communis_, 102

Order LXXVI.--=Orchideæ.=

Genus I.--_MALAXIS paludosa_, 77

Genus II.--_LIPARIS loeselii_, 77

Genus IV.--_NEOTTIA nidus-avis_, 77

Genus V.--_LISTERA ovata_, 77

Genus VII.--_SPIRANTHES autumnalis_, 77

Genus XI.--_ORCHIS latifolia_, 74; _hircina_, 76

Genus XIII.--_OPHRYS apifera_, 76; _aranifera_, 76; _muscifera_, 76

Genus XV.-_HABENARIA bifolia_, 76

Order LXXVII.--=Irideæ.=

Genus III.--_IRIS pseudacorus_, 73; _fœtidissima_, 73

Order LXXX.--=Liliaceæ.=

Genus III.--_POLYGONATUM verticillatum_, 17; _multiflorum_, 16;
_officinale_, 17

Genus V.--_CONVALLARIA majalis_, 16

Genus IX.--_SCILLA verna_, 15; _autumnalis_, 15; _nutans_, 14

Genus XV.--_COLCHICUM autumnale_, 122

Order LXXXI.--=Junceæ.=

Genus II.--_LUZULA maxima_, 69; _vernalis_, 69; _forsteri_, 69;
_campestris_, 70; _spicata_, 70; _arcuata_, 70

Order LXXXIII.--=Typhaceæ.=

Genus II.--_TYPHA latifolia_, 51; _angustifolia_, 52

Order LXXXIV.--=Aroideæ.=

Genus I.--_ARUM maculatum_, 15; _italicum_, 16

Order LXXXV.--=Lemnaceæ.=

Genus I.--_LEMNA minor_, 45; _trisulca_, 46; _gibba_, 46; _polyrhiza_,

Order LXXXVI.--=Alismaceæ.=

Genus IV.--_SAGITTARIA sagittifolia_, 113

Order LXXXVII.--=Naiadaceæ.=

Genus III.--_POTAMOGETON natans_, 81; _polygonifolius_, 81;
_plantagineus_, 81; _prælongus_, 82; _crispus_, 81; _densus_, 81

Order LXXXIX.--=Gramineæ.=

Genus VI.--_ANTHOXANTHUM odoratum_, 25

Genus VIII.--_ALOPECURUS agrestis_, 40; _alpinus_, 40; _pratensis_, 40;
_geniculatus_, 40

Genus X.--_PHLEUM pratense_, 25

Genus XXV.--_AVENA fatua_, 116; _pratensis_, 116; _pubescens_, 117;
_sativa_, 116

Genus XXXVI.--_DACTYLIS glomerata_, 24

Genus XXXVII.--_BRIZA media_, 40; _minor_, 40

Genus XXXVIII.--_POA annua_, 24

Genus XLI.--_BROMUS erectus_, 38

Genus XLIII.--_LOLIUM perenne_, 38; _temulentum_, 39

Genus XLVII.--_HORDEUM murinum_, 19

Order XC.--=Filices.=

Genus VII.--_ASPLENIUM trichomanes_, 124; _viride_, 124

Genus VIII.--_SCOLOPENDRIUM vulgare_, 123

Genus XII.--_NEPHRODIUM filix-mas_, 124; _spinulosum_, 125;
_oreopteris_, 125

Order XCI.--=Equisetaceæ.=

Genus I.--_EQUISETUM arvense_, 125


Order =Xanthoxylaceæ=.

_AILANTUS glandulosa_, 130

Order =Leguminosæ=.

_ROBINIA pseudacacia_, 132

Order =Arctocarpeæ=.

_MORUS nigra_, 134

Order =Cupuliferæ=.

_CASTANEA vulgaris_, 138

Order =Platanaceæ=.

_PLATANUS orientalis_, 148

Order =Coniferæ=.

_LARIX europæa_, 155

_ABIES excelsa_, 154; _pectinata_, 153



(The _popular_ names are printed in _italics_.)


  Abies excelsa 154

  ” pectinata 153

  Acer campestre 134

  ” pseudo-platanus 134

  ” platanoides 135

  Achillea millefolium 36

  ” ptarmica 37

  Æthusa cynapium 119

  Agaricus campestris 131

  ” muscarius 131

  Agrimonia eupatoria 95

  _Agrimony_ 95

  Ailantus glandulosa 133

  Ajuga reptans 21

  _Alder_ 150

  Alnus glutinosa 150

  Alopecurus agrestis 40

  ” alpinus 40

  ” geniculatus 40

  ” pratensis 40

  Anagallis arvensis 54

  ” tenella 54

  Anemone nemorosa 3

  ” pulsatilla 4

  _Annual Meadow-grass_ 24

  Anthemis arvensis 46

  ” cotula 46

  ” nobilis 47

  Anthoxanthum odoratum 25

  Anthyllis vulneraria 52

  Arum maculatum 15

  Arum italicum 16

  Arctium lappa 87

  _Arrow-head_ 113

  _Ash_ 136

  _” Mountain_ 117

  Asplenium trichomanes 124

  ” viride 124

  Avena fatua 116

  ” pratensis 116

  ” pubescens 117

  ” sativa 116

  _Barberry_ 57

  _Barley, Wall_ 19

  _Beech_ 139

  Bee Orchis 76

  Bellis perennis 1

  Berberis vulgaris 57

  Betula alba 149

  _Bindweed, Small_ 63

  _Birch_ 149

  _Bird’s-eye Primrose_ 3

  _Bird’s-foot Trefoil_ 43

  _Biting Stonecrop_ 100

  _Bittercress_ 10

  _Bittersweet_ 99

  _Blackthorn_ 109

  _Blue-bell_ 78

  _Blue-bottle_ 66

  Boletus edulis 131

  _Borage_ 80

  Borago officinalis 80

  _Brandy Bottle_ 106

  Briza media 40

  ” minor 40

  Brassica alba 90

  ” nigra 90

  ” sinapis 90

  _Brome-grass_ 38

  Bromus erectus 38

  _Broom_ 7

  Brunella vulgaris 83

  _Buckwheat_ 118

  _Bugle_ 21

  _Burdock_ 87

  _Buttercup_ 18

  _Butterfly Orchis_ 76

  Calluna vulgaris 121

  Caltha palustris 13

  ” radicans 13

  Campanula rotundifolia 78

  ” trachelium 78

  _Campion, Red_ 66

  _” White_ 88

  Cantharellus cibarius 132

  Capsella bursa-pastoris 11

  Cardamine amara 11

  ” hirsuta 11

  ” impatiens 11

  ” pratensis 10

  Carpinus betulus 145

  Castanea vulgaris 141

  _Cat-mint_ 33

  _Cat’s-ear_ 97

  _Cat’s-tail Grass_ 25

  _Cat’s-Valerian_ 104

  _Celandine, Lesser_ 6

  _” Greater_ 64

  Centaurea cyanus 66

  ” nigra 67

  ” scabiosa 67

  _Centaury_ 79

  _Chanterelle_ 132

  _Charlock_ 90

  Cheiranthus cheiri 12

  Chelidonium majus 64

  Chenopodium album 86

  ” bonus-henricus 86

  ” polyspermum 86

  ” rubrum 86

  ” vulvaria 86

  _Chestnut_ 141

  _Chicory_ 68

  _Chickweed_ 55

  _Chickweed, Jagged_ 20

  Chrysanthemum leucanthemum 53

  ” parthenium 54

  ” segetum 53

  Cichorium intybus 68

  Cladonia pyxidata 128

  ” rangiferina 128

  Clematis vitalba 82

  _Clovers_ 48

  _Cluster-pine_ 152

  _Cock’s-foot grass_ 24

  Colchicum autumnale 122

  _Comfrey_ 60

  Convallaria majalis 16

  Convolvulus arvensis 63

  ” sepium 64

  _Corn-cockle_ 71

  _Corn Chamomile_ 46

  Corylus avellana 144

  _Cowslip_ 2

  _Cow-wheat_ 91

  _Crane’s-bills_ 34

  Cratægus oxyacantha 17

  _Cuckoo-flower_ 10

  _Cuckoo-pint_ 15

  _Cup-moss_ 128

  Cuscuta epilinum 71

  ” epithymum 70

  ” europæa 70

  Cytisus scoparius 7

  Dactylis glomerata 24

  _Daisy_ 1

  _Dandelion_ 20

  _Dead-nettles_ 33

  _Dewberry_ 31

  Dipsacus pilosus 107

  ” sylvestris 107

  _Dodders_ 70

  _Dog-rose_ 41

  Drosera anglica 57

  ” intermedia 57

  ” rotundifolia 56

  _Duckweeds_ 45

  Echium vulgare 26

  _Elm_ 138

  Equisetum arvense 125

  Erica ciliaris 120

  ” cinerea 120

  ” tetralix 120

  ” vagans 120

  Erodium cicutarium 35

  ” maritimum 36

  ” moschatum 36

  Erythræa centaurium 79

  Euphorbia amygdaloides 30

  ” cyparissias 30

  ” esula 31

  ” exigua 30

  ” helioscopia 30

  ” hiberna 30

  ” lathyris 31

  ” paralias 30

  ” peplis 31

  ” peplus 30

  ” platyphyllos 30

  ” portlandica 30

  Euphrasia officinalis 50

  _Eyebright_ 50

  Fagus sylvatica 139

  _False Acacia_  135

  _Fennel_ 55

  _Field Horsetail_ 125

  _Fine-leaved Heath_ 120

  _Flag_ 73

  _Flax_ 96

  Fœniculum officinale 55

  _Fool’s Parsley_ 119

  _Forget-me-not_ 21

  _Foxtail Grasses_ 40

  Fragaria vesca 27

  Fraxinus excelsior 136

  Fumaria capreolata 9

  ” densiflora 9

  ” officinalis 8

  ” parviflora 9

  _Fumitory_ 8

  Fungi 130

  Galium aparine 87

  Geranium columbinum 35

  ” dissectum 35

  ” lucidum 35

  ” molle 35

  ” pusillum 35

  ” robertianum 35

  ” rotundifolium 34

  Githago segetum 71

  _Goat’s-beard_ 84

  _Goosefoot_ 86

  _Goose-grass_ 87

  _Grass of Parnassus_ 115

  _Greater Celandine_ 64

  _Ground Ivy_ 33

  _Groundsel_ 37

  Habenaria bifolia 76

  _Hairbell_ 78

  _Hart’s-tongue Fern_ 123

  _Hawthorn_ 17

  _Hazel_ 144

  _Heather_ 121

  _Heaths_ 120

  Hedera helix 112

  Helianthemum canum 42

  ” guttatum 42

  ” polifolium 42

  ” vulgare 42

  _Henbane_ 39

  Hippophae rhamnoides 92

  _Holly_ 89

  Holosteum umbellatum 20

  _Honeysuckle_ 31

  _Hop_ 110

  Hordeum murinum 19

  _Hornbeam_ 145

  _Horsetails_ 125

  _Houseleek_ 100

  Humulus lupulus 110

  _Hyacinth, Wild_ 14

  Hyoscyamus niger 39

  Hypericum androsæmum 48

  ” hirsutum 48

  ” humifusum 47

  ” perforatum 47

  ” pulchrum 47

  ” tetrapterum 47

  Hypochœris glabra 97

  ” maculata 97

  ” radicata 97

  Hypnum triquetrum 130

  Ilex aquifolium 89

  Iris fœtidissima 73

  ” pseudacorus 73

  _Iris, yellow_ 73

  _Ivy_ 112

  _Ivy-leaved Toadflax_ 33

  _Jagged Chickweed_ 20

  _Juniper_ 102

  Juniperus communis 102

  _Kidney Vetch_ 52

  _Lady’s Smock_ 10

  Lamium album 33

  ” amplexicaule 33

   ” galeobdolon 33

   ” intermedium 33

   ” purpureum 33

  _Larch_ 155

  Larix europea 155

  Lecidea geographica 129

  Lemna gibba 45

   ” minor 45

   ” polyrhiza 45

   ” trisulca 45

  _Lesser Celandine_ 6

  _Lichens_ 127

  _Lily of the Valley_ 16

  _Lime-trees_ 133

  Linaria cymbalaria 33

  ” elatine 105

  ” minor 105

  ” repens 105

  ” spuria 105

  ” vulgaris 105

  Linum angustifolium 96

  ” catharticum 96

  ” perenne 96

  ” usitatissimum 96

  Listera ovata 77

  Lolium perenne 38

  ” temulentum 39

  _Lombardy Poplar_ 147

  Lonicera caprifolium 31

  ” periclymenum 31

  Lotus angustissimus 43

  ” corniculatus 43

  ” hispidus 43

  Lotus uliginosus 43

  _Lucerne_ 72

  _Lungwort_ 9

  Luzula arcuata 70

  ” campestris 70

  ” forsteri 69

  ” maxima 69

  ” spicata 70

  ” vernalis 69

  Lychnis diurna 66

  ” flos-cuculi 65

  ” vespertina 88

  Lycoperdon gemmatum 131

  ” giganteum 131

  _Maidenhair Spleenwort_ 124

  Malaxis paludosa 77

  _Male-fern_ 124

  _Mallows_ 67

  Malva moschata 68

  ” rotundifolia 67

  ” sylvestris 67

  _Maples_ 134

  _Marsh Marigold_ 13

  _” Orchis_ 74

  _Meadow Fox-tail-grass_ 40

  _Meadow-grass_ 24

  _Meadow Saffron_ 122

  _Meadow Sage_ 23

  _Meadow Sweet_ 93

  Medicago denticulata 72

  ” falcata 72

  ” lupulina 72

  ” maculata 72

  ” sativa 72

  _Medick, Purple_ 72

  Melampyrum arvense 91

  ” cristatum 91

  ” pratense 91

  ” sylvaticum 91

  _Melilot_ 101

  Melilotus alba 101

  Melilotus altissima 101

  ” officinalis 101

  Mentha aquatica 59

  ” arvensis 59

  ” piperata 59

  ” pulegium 60

  ” rotundifolia 58

  ” sativa 59

  ” sylvestris 59

  _Mignonette, Wild_ 79

  _Milfoil_ 36

  _Milkworts_ 28

  _Mints_ 58

  _Mistleto_ 121

  Morus nigra 137

  _Mosses_ 129

  _Mountain Ash_ 117

  _Mulberry_ 137

  Musci 129

  _Mushrooms_ 130

  _Mustards_ 90

  Myosotis palustris 21

  Neottia nidus-avis 77

  Nepeta cataria 33

  ” glechoma 33

  Nephrodium spinulorum 125

  ” filix-mas 124

  ” oreopteris 125

  _Norway Spruce-fir_ 154

  Nuphar luteum 106

  ” pumilum 106

  Nymphæa alba 106

  _Oak_ 142

  _Oat-grass_ 116

  Onobrychis sativa 50

  Ononis reclinata 94

  ” spinosa 94

  Ophrys apifera 76

  ” aranifera 76

  ” muscifera 76

  _Orchids, British_ 74, 75, 76, 77

  Orchis hircina 76

  ” latifolia 74

  _Osier_ 146

  Oxalis acetosella 11

  ” corniculata 12

  ” stricta 12

  _Ox-eye Daisy_ 53

  _Oxlip_ 3

  _Pansy, Wild_ 58

  Papaver argemone 61

  ” dubium 61

  ” hybridum 61

  ” rhœas 60

  Parmelia perlata 129

  ” saxatilis 129

  Parnassia palustris 115

  _Periwinkle_ 5

  Phleum pratense 25

  Physcia parietina 129

  _Pilewort_ 6

  _Pimpernel_ 54

  _Pinaster_ 152

  Pinus pinaster 152

  ” sylvestris 151

  _Plane-trees_ 148

  Plantago coronopus 23

  ” lanceolata 22

  ” major 22

  ” maritima 23

  ” media 23

  _Plantains_ 22

  Platanus occidentalis 149

  ” orientalis 148

  Poa annua 24

  Polygala amara 29

  ” calcarea 29

  ” vulgaris 23

  Polygonatum multiflorum 16

  ” officinale 17

  ” verticillatum 17

  Polygonum amphibium 118

  ” aviculare 119

  ” bistorta 118

  ” convolvulus 119

  ” fagopyrum 118

  ” persicaria 118

  Polytrichum formosum 130

  _Pond-weeds_ 81

  _Poplar_ 147

  _Poppy_ 60

  Populus alba 147

  ” fastigiata 147

  ” tremula 147

  Potamogeton crispus 81

  ” densus 81

  ” natans 81

  ” perfoliatus 81

  ” plantagineus 81

  ” polygonifolius 81

  ” prælongus 81

  Potentilla anserina 62

  ” fragariastrum 27, 63

  ” reptans 63

  ” tormentilla 63

  Poterium muricatum 111

  ” officinale 111

  ” sanguisorba 111

  _Primrose_ 2

  Primula elatior 3

  ” farinosa 3

  ” scotica 3

  ” veris 2

  ” vulgaris 3

  Prunus communis 109

  ” domestica 109

  ” insititia 109

  _Puff-balls_ 131

  Pulmonaria angustifolia 10

  ” officinalis 9

  Pyrus aucuparia 117

  _Quake-grass_ 40

  Quercus robur 142

  _Ragged Robin_ 65

  _Ragworts_ 37

  Ranunculus acris 18

  ” bulbosus 19

  ” ficaria 6

  ” repens 19

  _Reed-mace_ 51

  Reseda lutea 79

  ” luteola 79

  _Rest-Harrow_ 94

  Robinia pseudacacia 135

  _Rock-rose_ 42

  Rosa arvensis 41

  ” canina 41

  ” rubiginosa 41

  ” spinosissima 41

  _Rowan_ 117

  Rubus cæsius 31

  Rye-grass 38

  Sagittaria sagittifolia 113

  _Sainfoin_ 50

  _Saint John’s Worts_ 47

  _Salad Burnet_ 111

  Salix viminalis 146

  Salvia pratensis 23

  Scabiosa arvensis 98

  ” columbaria 98

  ” succisa 98

  _Scabious_ 98

  Scilla autumnalis 15

  ” nutans 14

  ” vernalis 15

  Scolopendrium vulgare 123

  _Scotch-pine or fir_ 151

  _Scottish Primrose_ 3

  _Sea-Buckthorn_ 92

  Sedum acre 100

  _Self-Heal_ 83

  Sempervivum tectorum 100

  Senecio aquaticus 38

  ” erucifolius 38

  ” jacobæa 38

  ” sylvatica 38

  ” viscosa 38

  ” vulgaris 37

  _Shepherd’s purse_ 11

  _Silver-fir_ 153

  _Silverweed_ 62

  _Sloe_ 109

  _Sneezewort_ 37

  Solanum dulcamara 99

  ” nigrum 99

  _Solomon’s Seal_ 16

  Sonchus arvensis 114

  ” oleraceus 114

  ” palustris 114

  _Sow-thistles_ 114

  _Speedwell_ 28

  Spiræa filipendula 93

  ” ulmaria 93

  Spiranthes autumnalis 77

  _Spruce-fir_ 154

  _Spurges_ 29

  _Squills_ 14

  Stellaria graminea 62

  ” holostea 61

  ” media 55, 62

  ” palustris 62

  _Stinging-nettles_ 103

  _Stitchworts_ 61

  _Stonecrop_ 100

  _Stork’s-bills_ 35

  _Strawberry, Wild_ 27

  _Sundews_ 56

  _Sweet Violet_ 4

  _Sycamore_ 134

  Symphytum officinale 60

  ” tuberosum 60

  Tanacetum vulgare 108

  _Tansy_ 108

  Taraxacum officinale 20

  _Teasels_ 107

  _Thyme_ 85

  Thymus serpyllum 85

  Tilia parvifolia 133

  ” platyphyllos 133

  _Timothy-grass_ 25

  _Toadflax_ 33, 105

  _Totter-grass_ 40

  Tragopogon porrifolius 84

  ” pratensis 84

  _Traveller’s Joy_ 82

  _Tree of the Gods_ 133

  Trifolium arvense 49

  ” dubium 50

  ” fragiferum 49

  ” medium 49

  ” pratense 49

  ” procumbens 49

  ” repens 49

  ” scabrum 49

  ” striatum 49

  ” subterraneum 48

  Typha angustifolia 51

  ” latifolia 51

  Ulmus campestris 138

  ” montana 138

  Urtica dioica 103

  ” pilulifera 103

  ”   urens 103

  Valeriana dioica 104

  ” officinalis 104

  _Vernal Grass_ 25

  _Vernal Woodrush_ 69

  Veronica beccabunga 29

  ” chamædrys 28

  _Vetch_ 43

  Vicia cracca 44

  ” hirsuta 44

  ” orobus 44

  ” sativa 43

  ” sepium 44

  ” sylvatica 44

  ” tetrasperma 44

  Vinca major 5

  ” minor 5

  Viola arenaria 58

  ” canina 58

  ” hirta 58

  ” odorata 4

  ” palustris 58

  ” sylvatica 58

  ” tricolor 58

  _Viper’s Bugloss_ 26

  Viscum album 121

  _Wall Barley_ 19

  _Wallflower_ 12

  _Wall Lichen_ 128

  _Water Lily_ 106

  _Weld_ 79

  _Wild Hyacinth_ 13

  _Wood Anemone_ 3

  _Woodrush_ 69

  _Wood Sorrel_ 11

  _Yarrow_ 36

  Yellow Flag 73

  ” Melilot 101

  ” Stonecrop 100

  ” Toadflax 105

  ” Water lily 106

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


_In four vols., royal 8vo, cloth gilt, gilt top, £3._

    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.


_In small crown 8vo, picture cover boards, price 1s. each._

    =ENGLISH WILDFLOWERS=, to be found by the Wayside, Fields,
    Hedgerows, Rivers, Moorlands, Meadows, Mountains and Sea-shore. By
    J. T. BURGESS. With Practical Illustrations.

    ISLANDS.= With some Insight into the Microscopic Beauties
    of their Structure and Fructification. By Mrs. L. LANE
    CLARKE. With Original Plates printed in Tints.


    “The book is so copiously illustrated that it is impossible to
    find a shell which cannot be identified by reference to the
    engravings.”--_Vide_ PREFACE.

_In small crown 8vo, cloth, price is 1s. each._

    =A FERN BOOK FOR EVERYBODY.= Containing all the British Ferns,
    with the Foreign Species suitable for a Fernery. With numerous
    Illustrations and Coloured Plates. By M. C. COOKE.

    COOKE. With 500 Illustrations. Twelve pages of Tinted Plates.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber’s note:

Obvious printer errors corrected silently.

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Wayside and Woodland Blossoms - A Pocket Guide to British Wild-flowers for the Country Rambler" ***

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