A. R. (Arthur Reginald) Horwood.

A new British flora : British wild flowers in their natural haunts (Volume 3) online

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Berberis, a name given by Brunfels, is mediaeval Latin of uncertain

Barberry is called Barbaryn, Barberry, Barboranne, Berber, Guild,
Jaundice Berry, Maiden Barberry, Pepper-ridge, Piperidge, Piprage,
Woodsour, Woodsore, Woodsower Tree, Piperidge Rilts.

In allusion to the name Jaundice Berry, Ellis, in Modern Husband-
men, 1750, p. 157, says: "The wood of this tree is said to be such an
antidote against the Yellow Jaundice that, if a person constantly feeds
himself with a spoon made of it, it will prevent and cure this disease
while it is in its infancy."


The name Guild refers to the yellow bark; the name Jaundice
Berry, again, refers to the so-called remedy, by " Doctrine of Signa-
tures ", that the yellow bark was a cure for jaundice, and it was taken
in ale for this purpose, being purgative.

The scarlet berries were eaten for stomachic disorders, and they
contain malic acid, which in France is manufactured from them. They
make also a jelly, which is very delicious.

There is tannin in the bark, and in Poland it was used for tanning
leather. Morocco leather, linen, and cloth are dyed from a dye made
from Barberry. It is used as an ornamental shrub in gardens.

The berries are too acid for birds as a rule, but though bitter are
not unpleasant. They are put in sweetmeats. It is astringent as a
medicine, and has been used in bilious complaints.


15. Berberis vulgaris, L. Shrub, woody, spinose, leaves 3-fid
spines, racemes pendulous, single or fascicled, yellow, sepals 6, de-
ciduous, imbricate, petals 6 with 2 glands at base, fruit a berry, 2-

Winter Cress (Barbarea vulgaris, Ait.)

In deposits containing remains of recent plants as seeds no trace
has as yet been found of this plant. It is widespread, occurring in the
Arctic and Temperate Zone, in Arctic Europe, Asia, the Himalayas
up to 17,000 ft, South Africa, Australia, and North America. It is
found in every county in Great Britain, except S. Lines, Stirling, North
Perth, Westerness, Main Argyle, and is absent from counties west of
the Caledonian Canal, except Caithness. It is found in Ireland.

The Winter Cress is fond of waysides, where it grows in clumps on
the banks of the ditches. Probably its use as a salad may be to some
extent responsible for this. Elsewhere it can be found along the banks
of streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes, growing in more or less damp or
moist conditions, but it is frequently to be found also on rubbish heaps
and in waste places with other plants used in garnishing.

It has an erect habit, having a single, rarely branched, usually
smooth, rarely downy, angular, main stem, with radical leaves, with
a large terminal and smaller paired lobes, and with rounded lobes, and
the upper leaves are inversely egg-shaped, sometimes arranged on
either side of a common stalk and toothed. This gives it a strict or
rigid habit. It grows in a clump, a number of plants in association
in flower being a pretty picture, as the flowers are numerous. The
under-side of the leaves is frequently purple, owing to the presence


of anthocyan or red colouring matter, as in many moisture-loving

It may be recognized by the above characters, and the small yellow
flowers (J in. in diameter), which grow in loose racemes, with pods,
either closely united throughout or slightly spreading. The pods have

an awl-shaped point and
are square, and are broader
than the flower-stalks. It
grows to a height of 2 ft.
The flowering stage lasts
from May to August. The
plant appears to be bien-
nial, not perennial, as usu-
ally stated.

On each side of the
two shorter stamens (there
are six stamens altogether),
at the base of the sepals,
there is a small fleshy,
green honey - gland, and
between each longer pair
a larger gland, external to
their base, and also where
the short stamens are abor-
tive or functionless. In
fine weather a drop of
liquid (colourless) may be
seen on each of the stamens.
The anthers are situated
irrespective of the position
of the honey-glands. The
longer stamens make a
revolution of 90 degrees

towards the short stamens, and exceed the stigma, from the time when
the anthers open after the flower expands till the anther is completely
covered on one side with pollen. The two short anthers on a level with
the stigma are still turned towards it after opening, and the anthers are
placed as in Water Cress, while the glands are as many as in N. sylvestre.
Winter Cress is dispersed by its own agency. When the pods are
dry they become tense and burst, and the light seeds are scattered to
some distance.

Photo. Rev. C. A. Hall

WINTER CRESS (Barbarea vu/garis, Ait.)


This plant grows on sandy loam or clay.

Dodonseus gave the name Barbarea, and it was formerly called
Herb St. Barbara, hence the first Latin name, the second alluding to
its common occurrence. The English names are St. Barbara's Herb,
Cassabully, French or Winter Cress, Winter Rocket, Wound Rocket,
Yellow Rocket. It was called Wound Rocket, as Turner says, because
it was held to stanch wounds. St. Barbara's Day falls on 4th December.
Winter Cress was used in winter as a salad, according to Lyte, whence
the names, and others in French, Dutch, and Latin. It was formerly
said to have formed the Crown of Thorns, but this seems unlikely.

In Sweden it is eaten and boiled. It is or was formerly used as
a salad, though inferior to ordinary Water Cress, and without any
distinctive flavour.


26. Barbarea vulgaris, Ait. Stem (flowering) angular, erect, radical
leaves dark-green, shining, lyrate, terminal leaflet orbicular, upper
leaves obovate, dentate, flowers yellow, numerous, style distinct, pods
appressed, with subulate point, short.

Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale, Scop.)

As yet no traces of this plant have been found in seed-bearing
deposits. It is found throughout the Warm Temperate region in
Europe and W. Asia. It has been introduced into the United States.
Though common in most parts of Great Britain, Hedge Mustard does
not occur in Brecon, Radnor, Montgomery, Merioneth, Peebles,
Selkirk, Mull, and the Shetlands. It is found in Ireland and the
Channel Islands.

The Hedge Mustard, as the name suggests, is found by the sides
of our roads and hedges, and may be said to be most common near
villages and houses, and may possibly owe its distribution largely to
former herbal usage. It is also a regular member of the flora of waste
ground, where it ousts many more tender plants, being a vigorous
plant which occupies much space.

Like some other plants, Hedge Mustard has two different habits,
before and after flowering. Before flowering it has a main stem, hairy,
and often purple, as in Winter Cress, with numerous leaves, with seg-
ments divided nearly to the midrib and with the lobes turned back,
prostrate on the ground, and few above. In this form it is similar to
many plants with cyclic foliar arrangement and erect stem. When the
flowers have opened from a series of dividing branches, and have com-


menced to produce fruit, the aspect is rather like that of a candelabra,
and by this time the basal rosette of leaves has usually disappeared.
The plant is frequently covered with dust, more so than most wayside

It may be distinguished by its small yellow terminal racemes of
flowers borne on leafless branches. The pods are closely united to the
stem throughout their length, long, acute above, with sharp style, and

borne on short flower-stalks,
being usually downy. The
leaves have a terminal
pointed lobe, and lateral ones
with the points turned back.
The Hedge Mustard is often
2 ft. high. It flowers from
May to July. It is annual,
and reproduced by seed.

The flowers are similar
to those of Alliaria. On each
side of the 2 shorter stamens
are honey-glands, and each
of the 4 honey drops lies
between the stamens and
the pistil. The anthers and
stigma ripen together, and
the former face the latter.

The longer anthers are
at first taller than the stigma,
and project when the flower
opens and bend inwards; the shorter ones, at first within the flower,
being ultimately on the same level, but not quite so long as the stigma,
curve outwards slightly. They all six grow, and the longer ones
exceed the stigma. Cross-pollination is arranged for, but may not
occur. In the absence of insects pollen from the four long stamens
falls on the stigma. The flowers are inconspicuous and visits are in-
frequent, but honey is sought by Pieris napi, P. rapce, which thrust
the proboscis between the stigma and anthers. Pollen is sought by
Andrena dorsata. The insects visiting it are Hymenoptera (Apida^,
Andrcna dorsata], Lepicloptera, as above.

Hedge Mustard is dispersed by its own agency. The pods open
and allow the seeds to fall out around the plant, or disperse them to
some distance.

Photo. \V. I-:. Mayes

HEDGE MTSTARD (Sisymbriwn officinah, Scop.)


It is a sand-loving plant, and requires a dry sand soil or sandy
loam, derived from older sandy rocks, grits, and sandstones.

It is galled by Cecidomyia sisymbrii. A beetle, Ceuthorkynckus
assimilis, visits it, also the beetles Phyllotreta nemorum, P. ochripes,
Poophagus nasturtii, P. sisymbrii.

Theophrastus gave the name Sisymbrium, which was the Greek
name of a water-mint, and officinale means medicinal.

The plant is called Bank Cress, Hedge Mustard, Hedgeweed,
Lucifer Matches, Crambling Rocket, Sauce Alone.

Hedge Mustard was eaten as a relish with salt fish, hence the last
name, and was used in sauce. It was held to be diuretic, expectorant,
and was regarded as a remedy for asthma, hoarseness, and chronic
coughs. This plant has a somewhat saline taste. The seeds are
pungent, but not so strong as mustard.


31. Sisymbrium officinale, Scop. Stem erect, branched, divaricate,
leaves at base runcinate, points recurved, terminal lobe hastate, upper
linear or absent, flowers small, yellow, pods appressed on short
pedicels, downy, subulate.

Sauce Alone (Sisymbrium Alliaria, Scop.)

There are no deposits from which this is known in a fossil state in
the British Isles. It is a plant which is found in the Temperate Zone
in Europe, North Africa, Temperate West Asia, as far as the Hima-
layas. In Great Britain it is found everywhere except in Cardigan,
Flint, S. Lines, Stirling, Mid Perth, Main Argyle, Cantire, S. Ebudes,
Mid and N. Ebudes, Sutherland, Caithness, and the Northern Isles.
From the Grampians it ranges southwards, up to a height of 1000 ft.
in England, but it is less common in Scotland and Ireland.

Garlic Mustard grows with Hedge Mustard along the wayside and
beneath the hedge, or it may line the ditch which flanks the highway.
Once used as a garnishing it may to some extent owe its frequency
around a village, or its occurrence on highways, to this cause. A
rather moist habitat suits it best, though it will grow on a high bank
where there is shade enough to maintain a fair supply of moisture
continuously. It manages to win its way to the front in spring to the
exclusion of all else, but may be seen with the Greater Stitchwort, Reel
Campion, Lords-and- Ladies, &c.

Jack-by- the-hedge is a tall, handsome plant, with an erect habit,
and numerous heart-shaped, toothed leaves alternately arranged, the


leaves being coarsely veined, and moved by heliotropic tendency to
turn towards the sun, on each aspect towards the greatest source of light.
The plant smells strongly of garlic, especially when the leaves are
bruised, quite as much as Ramsons.

All the leaves are
borne on long foot-
stalks, and the broad,
deep teeth give their
leaves a notched ap-

The flowers are
white and small, the
petals are stalked and
inversely egg-shaped.
The pods are linear,
slightly curved up-
ward, longer than the
stalks, rounded, biloc-
ular, and 2-valved.

The plant is 2-3
ft. high, and flowers
from May to June.
It is perennial, and
deciduous and herb-

It has 4 honey -
glands as in the
Cuckoo - flower, and
the honey forms into
four drops in the
middle of the flower,
forming in wards, 1 from
the base of the short
stamens. The drops

lie between the long and short stamens, and at length fill the lower
part of the space between the stamens and pistil, adhering firmly to
it. There are none where the abortive or functionless stamens should
be. The sepals in bud protect the parts, and being white, attract
insects, and when the flowers open, they fall. The anthers open

1 Causing, it may l>e, the sepals to drop early. This does not happen where the nectar is formed
between the stamens and sepals, or outwards.

Photo. Rev. C. A. Ha

SAUCE ALONE (Sisymbrium Alliaria, Scop.)


inwards, and the inner ones closely surround the stigma, and self-
pollinate it, but honey and pollen seekers cross-pollinate it. The
visitors are Hymenoptera (Apidae), Diptera (Syrphidae, Muscidse),
Coleoptera (Nitidulida;, Curculionidse).

Jack-by-the-hedge is dispersed by its own agency. The dry pods
curl and burst open, and the seeds are dispersed to some distance.

The plant is a sand plant and a humus-loving plant, and flourishes
best upon a sand soil, in which there is a fair proportion of humus

It thrives on sandstone formations, Keuper, and Liassic formations.

There are no fungal pests. A Hemipterous insect, Siphonophora
alliaritz, feeds on it.

Alliaria was an old genus proposed by Fuchs, derived from
Allium, garlic, alluding to its smell.

This species is called Beggarman's Oatmeal, Cardiacke, Caspere,
Eileber, English Treacle, Garlick-wort, Hedge-garlick, Jack-by-the-
hedge, Leek-cress, Garlick Mustard, Penny Hedge, Poor Man's
Mustard, Poor Man's Treacle, Sauce Alone, Swarms.

Once it was used as a vegetable and boiled with meat, hence
the name Sauce Alone. It was fried in Wales with bacon and
herrings. The garlic smell is most noticeable when the plant is
rubbed between the fingers. It was employed as a sudorific, and for
cancers and gangrene. The seeds were used to promote sneezing. It
was reputed to be antiseptic.


32. Sisymbrium Alliaria, Scop. Stem tall, erect, leafy, leaves
cordate, radical leaves reniform, dentate, sinuate, veined, strong-
smelling, flowers white, small, pods longer than pedicels, seeds striate.

Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria Holostea, L.)

This plant has been found in Interglacial beds in Great Britain.
It is distributed throughout the Temperate Zone in Europe and
Western Asia. The Greater Stitchwort is found in every English,
Scotch, and Welsh county except Mid Lanes, Stirling, N. Perth,
N. Ebudes, the Hebrides, and Shetlands. It is found at a height
of nearly 2000 ft. in the Highlands.

The pretty starlike flowerets of the Greater Stitchwort are a
welcome sign in early spring of the return of the flowers, and this
reminder we meet with in every hedgerow or brake, where this
charming wild flower grows. It is perhaps commoner in narrow


straggling plantations where there is a good deal of light than in
dense woodlands where this is not the case.

Perhaps to compete better with other deciduous herbaceous plants
the Stitchworts have adopted the grass habit. The stem is more or
less erect or ascending, prostrate at the base, and at the nodes is
brittle, and hairy above, angular, the angles rough, slender. The
stem is more stout upwards, and below is supported by surrounding
herbage as a rule. The leaves are stalkless, rigid, united below,
lance-shaped, with a long narrow point, fringed with hairs, narrow
just above the base to an acute point. The margin is rough, toothed.

The flowers are large, few, white, satiny, on slender ultimate stalks,
in a panicled cyme, leafy. The bracts are leafy. The petals are half-
divided to the base, and twice as long as the obscurely 3-veined or
nerveless sepals. The flowers are rarely double, and the petals may
be irregularly lobed. The capsule is round, as long as the calyx.

Some petals may be wanting occasionally. Greater Stitchwort is
known also as Satin flower.

The flowers bloom from April to June. The plant is perennial,
increasing by division. The height is 1-2 ft.

The mode of pollination in the Greater Stitchwort is similar to
that of the Grassy Stitchwort. The flowers are much more con-
spicuous, however, and larger, though it is true that they grow less
in the open, but they are visited by a variety of insects. The
flowers are bisexual. The honey-glands are yellow. They lie on
the external side of the outer stamens between the petals. There is
a honey -pit above, and the glands yield abundant honey, which
explains the frequency of insect visits. In the ordinary course the
pollination takes place in three stages. The outer ring of stamens
open, standing close to the centre of the flower, and turn the anthers
upwards, while the inner stamens are not yet mature. The stigmas
are bent inwards. In the second stage the inner stamens open, and by
this time the outer have bent back and shrivelled. The stigmas are
now erect, but the papillar surfaces are turned towards each other. In
the third stage the stigmas are widespreading, and in this state the
flower may be self-pollinated. But with insect visits, owing to the
proterandrous conditions, the flower is usually cross-pollinated.

The insects that visit it are Diptera (Empidae, Syrphidae, Muscidae),
Hymenoptera (Apidae, Tenthredinidae), Coleoptera, CEdemera, Lepi-
doptera (Pieris napes], Thysanoptera (T/irips).

Greater Stitchwort is dispersed by its own agency. The 6-valved
capsules open when ripe, allowing dispersal by the wind.


It is a humus-loving plant requiring a peaty loam or humus soil,
usually growing in or near woods, or sheltered tracts where vegetable
matter collects.

The micro fungi Puccinia arenaricz and Ustilago violated are para-
sitic on it.

The leaves are galled by Brachycolus stellarice. Melampsorella
Caryophyllacearum (Witches' Broom of Silver Fir) also attacks Great
Stitchwort. The beetle Cassida obsoleta, the moths Marsh Pug

GREATER STITCHWORT (Stellaria ffolos/ca, L.)

Photo. B Hanley

Eupithecia pygmczata, Gelechia tricolorella, G. maculea, Coleophora
solitariella visit it, and the Hemipteron Siphonophora pisi.

Holosteum, Dioscorides, is from the Greek holos, all; osteon, bone;
and is used by antiphrasis to express the very opposite. Stellaria is
from the Latin for star.

The plant is called Adder's-meat, Adder's Spit, Agworm-flower,
Allbone, Bachelor's Buttons, Easter Bell, Billy White's Buttons, Bird's-
eye, Bird's-tongue, Brandy-snaps, Break-bones, Cuckoo-flower, Cuckoo-
meat, Cuckoo's Victuals, Dead Man's Bones, Devil's Corn, Devil's
Eyes, Easter Flower, Scurvy, Snake and Star Grass, Headache,
Lady's Lint, Lady's White Petticoat, May Flower, May-grass, Milk-


cans, Milk Maid, Miller's Star, Moon-flower, Moonwort, Owd Lad's
Corn, Pick Pocket, Piskies, Pyxie, Shepherd's Weather Glass, Shirt
Buttons, Smocks or Smock-frocks, Snakeflower, Snap Crackers, Snap
Jack, Snappers, Snap Stacks, Snapwort, Snow, Snowflake, Star-
flower, Star of Bethlehem, Starvvort, Stichewort, Stitchwort, Thunder-

Such is a fair example of the multiplicity of local names for common
flowers, which are not without some interest in every case.

This plant was called Stitchwort because it used to be drunk in
wine with powdered acorns for pain in the side or the "stitch".
It appears to have been called Thunder- flower because the unripe
capsule contains air, and when pressed goes off with a bang, and
children are fond of doing this. It was called Allbone on account
of the jointed stems, or as explained above. The name Lady's Lint
may be from the fine threads in the stalks. It is called Devil's Eye,
being held in special favour by fairies, and peasants hesitated to pluck
it in case they were " pixy-led ".

The Yellow Underwing hovers over it in daylight in the sunlight.


55. Stcllaria Holostea, L. Stem erect, slender, rigid, rough, leaves
sessile, long-keeled, acuminate, grooved, fringed, flowers white, petals
twice as long as sepals, bifid, capsule globose.

Perforate St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum, L.)

This common plant has been found in Preglacial beds in Suffolk,
Interglacial beds in Sussex, and in Neolithic beds in Edinburgh. At
the present time it is at home in the North Temperate Zone in Arctic
Europe, North Africa, Siberia, West Asia as far as the Himalayas.
In the United States, America, it is an introduction. It is generally
distributed in Great Britain, but it is absent in the counties of Cardigan,
South Lines, Stirling, S. Perth, P^lgin, Westerness, Mid and N.
Ebudes, West Sutherland, and the Northern Isles. In Yorkshire it
grows at a height of 1000 ft.

The Perforate St. John's Wort is as familiar a plant along the road-
side as Herb Robert, the Yellow Vetchling, or Tufted Vetch, or Hedge
Parsley, Cleavers, and Wood Basil, which commonly grow with it. It
is generally found near hedges or banks, and the highway is quite gay
with clumps of its yellow bloom from July to September.

Many rounded or slightly angular stems arise from the same root
in this as in other species, giving it a clustered appearance. They are


rs -

/ ,

N!O. i. Perforate St John's

Hyfiertcuvi f-erjoratvm, L. )
/, Capsuk. with persistent
styles, opening by *epta. *,
Upper part of plant, showing
linear steln-teaves and c^h^^
withflowers, with 5 liniw^y
.i^pals. 5 petals, stamens
united below in 3 bundles,

. No. .-. Herb Robt-rt
(Geranium Robcfiiunum, I..;

a, Petal (enlaced), with
smooth claw. , Carpel, with
part of beak, attaching it to
the axis, c, Part of plant/
showing 5-foliolate leaves,
dowers with 5 petals, angular
calyx, fruit with

No. 3. Spindle Wood
(Euonymus europceus, L.)

a, FJower, with 4 sepals
and petals alternating, 4
stamens attached ko disk,
confluent with

yNJrange al^/wr, I
^-plant. with opposite

leaVes, and axiJHry cymes,
...:^u a :.. : - $ tages


seeds, rS$.. ,

sinal! gamosepalous calyjf, /t , :a ly x , with u
with unequal teeth. I, Scetl " ^ Up^erfplttt ^d|^lan<,_
c, Part of plant, with pinnate lanceolate paired 'leaflets, ajid

leaf, and branched tendrils, tendril, sagittate stipules,

with flowers (papilionaceous; IonK flower-

showing vexillum, alae, and


r, with 2
of 5),
tyle, and
with leaves,

v, I,.). 6. Iilacktlu)rn"(/ > /v/;///i' spinosa, L.).


W JWW o;

fnro^i bat ,^.-.-




\lh '


icar Jtal^ iind t

, \




I. Perforate St. John's Wort (Hypericiuti perforatuin, L.). 2. Herb Robert (Geranium Robert iamitn, L.). 3. Spindle

Wood (Euoiiyinits eiirofreits, L.)- 4- Tufted Vetch ( I'icia Cracca, L.)- 5- Meadow Vetchliny (I.atliynts f>ra-

teiisis, L.). 6. Hlacklhorn (Primus sfinosa, L.).


PERFORATE ST. JOHN'S WORT (Hypericum perforatum, L.)

erect, tall, branched above, the branches being opposite, and like the
stem 2 -edged.

The leaves are small, stalkless, oblong, with scattered semi-trans-
parent dots, perforated. The under side is covered with black dots.
The dots contain oil, and may protect the plant from cattle. The


sepals are erect, acute, and entire, the petals oblong, the flowers yellow,
the margins of the sepals entire, without glands, whilst there are black
dots on the petals.

The petals are notched. The three styles equal the capsule, and
the stigmas are simple. The anthers are crowned with black glands.

The plant is 18 in. in height in many cases. The flowering season
is from July to September. It is perennial, and can be increased by

The flowers are conspicuous and yet have no honey, and are
adapted for self-pollination. They contain plenty of pollen. There
are three groups of stamens united below, of different lengths, with
anthers directed upwards which open in quick centrifugal succession
outwards, and are immersed in pollen, the shortest opening first, the
longest last. There are 3 styles, which radiate outwards. The stigmas
developed at the same time are terminal, and on a level with the longest

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