A. R. (Arthur Reginald) Horwood.

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

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anthers between the groups of stamens. The stamens (in bundles)
touch or are interwoven at the margin, and the stigmas may touch the
pollen-covered anthers. Insects settle on one of the 5 outspread petals,
and reach the anthers between two groups of stamens, and bring about
either cross-pollination if they touch the stigma first, or self-pollination
if they touch the anthers first. The petals and stamens later become
erect, and self-pollination follows in the absence of insect visitors.

The visitors are Hymenoptera (Apidae, Tenthredinidse), Diptera
(Bombylidse, Empidae, Syrphidcc), Lepidoptera (Large Skipper, Hes-
pcria svk'anns, Meadow Brown, Satyrus Janira), Coleoptera (Chry

The seeds of this plant are dispersed by its own mechanism. The
capsule is erect, opening at the top, splitting along divisions, and the
seeds are dispersed by breaking up of the valves, and to some extent
by the wind. The seeds are oblong or elliptic, netted, and dark brown.

It is a humus-loving plant, and requires a humus soil.

The fungus Melampsora hypericonini infests it. The beetles
Cht'vsoniela fucata, Cryptocephalus lo-punctatus, the moths Purple
Cloud (Cloantha perspicillaris), Black-veined Moth (Scoria de alb at a],
Treble -bar (Anailis plagiata], Nepticula septembrclla, Satyr Pug
(Eupitkecia Satyrata), Grapholite flypericana, Gracilaria acuoguttclla,
Ringed Carpet (Boarmia cinctaria\ the Homopteron Aphis papaverii,
and the gall-fly Cecidomyia serotina feed on it.

Hypericum, Dioscorides, is from the Greek hyper, over, ereike,
heath, and perforatum (Latin) refers to the perforate leaves.

Perforate St. John Wort is called Amber, Balm of Warriors


Wound, Cammock, Herb John, St. John's Wort, Penny John, Rosin
Rose, Touch and Heal.

Leaves boiled in wine were supposed to cure and heal up wounds.
Perhaps also the perforations were thought to resemble wounds, when
by Doctrine of Signatures the plant would in the older days therefore
cure wounds. In the Netherlands the people gathered it before dawn,
and it was reputed to take away the ill effects of lightning. It was
believed that it revealed a witch, and on St. John's Eve, when they
were active, it was worn as a charm. For similar reasons they call it
Devil Chaser in Italy, and doorways and windows were decorated on
that day. The name Devil's Flight sums up the idea that it drives
away evil spirits. If one trod on it at night in the Isle of Man a fairy
horse would appear and carry one about all night. On Midsummer
Eve it was employed as a love charm.

It is placed under the beams in the roof in Denmark for divination
by lovers, one for each, and if they grow together it is considered
a good omen. On St. John the Baptist's Day it was hung up over the
doors of houses, according to Stowe (Survey of London], to drive away
witches. The red pods are connected with John's beheadal as drops
of blood. It was dedicated to St. John. The plant was also called
Peterwort. In the Middle Ages they called it Fuga Dsemonum. It
formed one of the ingredients of " Save " of Chaucer's day, and was
used by knights for their wounds. It was used for wounds in the
same way as balsam. Red and yellow dyes are given by the plant.
Steeped in turpentine a red varnish is produced. An essential oil is
secreted in the perforations of the plant. Spirits and oils are tinged
purple by the flowers. It is bitter and astringent, and acts as a diuretic,
having been used for ulcerated kidneys.


6 1. Hypericum perforatum, L. Stem erect, 2-angled, leaves
oblong, with pellucid dots, flowers yellow, sepals acute, erect, not
fringed, styles equalling the capsule, petals oblong.

Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum, L.)

None of the seed-bearing beds have produced seeds of Herb
Robert as yet. The North Temperate and Arctic Zones form the
limit of its range in Arctic Europe, North Africa, Siberia, Western
Asia, as far as N.W. India. It is found in every part of Great Britain,
as well as Ireland and the Channel Isles, and in Yorkshire it is found
at the height of 2000 ft.

VOL. III. 40


A hedgerow plant, Herb Robert is one of the unfailing signs of
spring with its characteristic scent, which is perceptible in the middle
of a lane. It grows where one also finds Red Campion, Winter Cress,
Garlic Mustard, Hedge Parsley, Cow Parsnip, Cleavers, Nipplewort,
and many another hedgerow flower. It is also a common woodland
species, forming big clumps where there is open space, and is always
a shade-lover. But another habitat is waste ground, where it is

commonly accompanied by
Hedge Mustard, Nipple-
wort, and wayside thistles.
1 1 is a straggling, spread-
ing plant, with many diverg-
ing branches, slender, shin-
ing, but stiffly hairy, and
vinous red, with swollen
nodes. The leaves are
opposite, 3-5-parted, with
lobes divided into three
parts at the back and nearly
to the midrib, the segments
having a small terminal red
spine. There are paired
stipules or leaflike organs
at the nodes. The flowers
are streaked red and white,
or white. The flower-stalks
are 2-flowered, the sepals
closely united, the petals
entire and as long as the
calyx, which has long awns,
and is slightly glandular. The capsules are transversely wrinkled.

The plant grows to a height of 2 ft. The flowers are in evidence
for six months from April onwards. Herb Robert is a perennial.

The honey is not protected by a fringe of hairs from the rain in this
plant, as in the Meadow Crane's Bill, and the flowers are not so ex-
panded or large as in the latter, but are partly drooping in wet weather,
and the corolla is tubular, the petals smooth. The 5 stigmas are
adjacent when the plant is in flower, and the 5 outer stamens are quite
near them in the centre, and thus protect the honey. The anthers
project above them and become covered with pollen. The 5 inner
stamens remain bent outwards, and are not in an insect's way. The

HKRB ROBERT (Geranium robertianttiH, L.)


stigmas expand and separate before the outer stamens wither, and the
papillar surface is exposed, though previously hidden. The 5 inner
stamens become erect as the outer wither, and surround the style,
which elongates, the 5 stigmas standing just above the circle of pollen-
covered anthers. At the base of each outer stamen a hollow occurs
at the base of each sepal, in which the honey lies, and this is only
reached by insects with a tongue 7 mm. long, or those which can thrust
the head into the narrow portion of the flower.

A fly, Rhingia rostrata, with proboscis 11-12 mm., can easily get at
the honey. It settles first on one petal, then on another, and in older
flowers the proboscis first touches the stigmas, then the ripe anthers,
but in younger flowers only the mature anthers.

The flower is visited by Diptera, Syrphidse, Rhingia, Coleoptera,
Dasytes, and Lepidoptera, such as Pieris napi, the Green-veined

Herb Robert is dispersed by its own agency. The fruit is made
up of several carpels, which split up into I- seeded parts, and the
calyx expands and closes up a second time when the seeds are ripe
and the carpels split, the seeds being scattered by an explosive move-
ment. 1

Emphytus carpini, Amasis obscura (Hymenoptera) live on it.

The plant was called Robertiamtm, Fuchs, from Robert Duke of
Normandy, or from St. Robert.

Its names are numerous: Bird's-eye, Bloodwort, Soldiers' Buttons,
Cuckoo-meat, Cuckoo's Eyes, Cuckoo's Victuals, Death-come-quickly,
Dog's Toes, Dragon's Blood, Fellow Grass, Fellow-wort, Fox Grass,
Garden Gate, Fox, Scotch and Wild Geranium, Herb Robert, Jenny
Wren, Kiss Me, Knife and Fork, London Pink, Wild Pink, Ragged
Robin, Redbreasts, Red Shank, Redweed, Robert Robin, Robin
Flower, Robin Hood, Robin-i'-th'-Hedge, Robin Redbreast, Robin
Redshanks, Robin's Eye, Sailor's Knot, Stinking Bob, Stock Bill,
Stork's Bill, Wren's Flowers.

Tea was made from it with Ground Ivy and Five-finger Grass.
The plant was much used for red rash. Because of the disagreeable
smell it was called Fox Geranium. Where it is called Death-come-
quickly it is not plucked. Once it was a remedy for gout. The origin
of the Geranium is explained thus. The prophet Mohammed one day
washed his shirt, threw it upon a mallow plant to dry, but when it

1 When the petals fall the axis lengthens. The 5 seeds at the base of the column enclosed in capsules,
rod-like above, form part of the axis at first, but separate. When ripe the carpels become erect, the outer
layers of the extremities become tense, and the rods are jerked out and the seeds scattered.


was afterwards taken away the sacred contact with the mallow had
changed it into a Geranium.

It was called Herba Robertas in the fourteenth century, and
Sadroc. It was used as a vulnerary, on the Doctrine of Signatures,
because the whole plant is blood-red in colour. It is astringent, and
was used for ulcers, scrofula, &c. It has an unpleasant smell when
rubbed, and for this reason was considered as a remedy for the
unmentionable insects.


68. Geranium robertianum, L. Stem branched, spreading, leaves
ternate or quinate, leaflets pinnatifid, flower red or pink, small, sepals
hairy, capsule wrinkled, hairy.

Spindle Wood (Euonymus europgeus, L.)

No trace of this small tree has been found in Glacial or other
beds. It is distributed throughout Europe as far east as the Caucasus,
and in North Africa, and West Siberia. In Great Britain it is
absent from Radnor, N. Lines, S. and Mid Lanes, Isle of Man, as
far as Kirkcudbright, and elsewhere it is found only in Roxburgh,
Berwick, Edinburgh. It is thus rare in Scotland, and in Ireland quite

The Spindle Tree is principally a woodland species, but it occurs
here and there as a hedgerow plant along the roadside. It grows
along with other shrubs in the plantation mixed with Field Maple,
Holly, and Hawthorn, or scattered about in the midst of oak planta-
tions. It is a bushy shrub or small tree with quadrangular or square
stem, the bark green, grey in older stems, smooth, strongly smelling,
with long, acute, opposite leaves slightly toothed, on short leaf-

The flowers are greenish-white, umbellate, or in an umbel, the four
acute petals oblong, 4-cleft, and with 4 anthers, as many as ten flowers
on one cyme, which is often dichotomous. The flower-stalks are long,
the capsules are 4-lobed, deep, and, when the fruit is ripe, of a beauti-
ful rose or orange-crimson colour, like a capsicum, and the seeds, which
are not truncate, are enclosed in an orange arillus or covering of a
fleshy nature.

The Spindle Tree is from 5 to 20 ft. high. The flowers are in
bloom in May and June. The capsules are 4-5-celled, and are ripe
about September, when they are red and especially attractive and con-
spicuous. The plant is a deciduous shrub increased by seed. The

"2*N- "*'-'' -" J -


o. II. Irving

SPINDLEWOOD (Euonymus europaus, L.


seeds are enclosed in an orange arillus. The embryo is surrounded by

The styles are surrounded by a fleshy disk containing honey in a
thin layer, accessible to short-lipped insects. It is tricecious. There
are staminate flowers with rudimentary pistils, and pistillate flowers
with rudimentary stamens, and hermaphrodite flowers which are male
as a rule in function, and rarely produce seeds.

The flowers have no attraction except to flies, which cross the
flowers in every direction with outspread labelke, touching anthers and
stigmas in different places. Four anthers stand out some distance from
the stigma on rigid anther-stalks and open outwards, when the stigma
is not ripe, and the lobes are not outspread. They separate on the
second day, and after pollination has ensued. Only by a separation
of the sexual organs is it possible for cross-pollination of the plant to
take place, while self-pollination cannot happen.

The Spindle Tree is visited by Diptera (Syrphidae, Muscidae,
Bibionidae), Hymenoptera (Formicidae). It is dispersed by the agency
of animals. The fruit is edible, and the seeds are dispersed by
animals. The two cotyledons are green.

Spindle Tree is partly a humus-loving plant requiring a humus soil,
and partly a sand plant, and living on sand soil.

Cczoma euonymi forms yellow pustules on the leaves and young
branches. Death's Head Hawk Moth, Copper Underwing (Amphi-
pyra pyramidia], Scorched Carpet (Ligdia adustata], Theristis candella,
and Acrobasis angustella, Hyponomeuta cognatella, H. plembellus,
H. euonymellus, Abraxas adustata, and the Homoptera, Aphis euonymi,
Siphonophora pisi, attack it.

Euonymus, Theophrastus, is from two Greek words, denoting to-
gether "having a good name", therefore lucky, prosperous.

The English names are: Ananbeam, Butcher's Prick-tree, Cat-rash
or Cat Rush, Cat-tree, Cat-wood, Death Alder, Dogrise, Dogtooth
Berry, Dogtree, Dogwood, Foul -rush, Gadrise, Gaiter -tree, Gaten-
tree, Gatteridge, Louse Berry, Pincushions, Prickwood, Skewer-wood,
Skiver, Skiver-timber, Spoke Wood, Witch Wood. Prick timber, &c.,
refers to its use as skewers, &c., and so does Skewer- wood. It was
called Cat Rush, &c., "perhaps from having a green bark like a rush ".
In Bucks it is unlucky to bring it into the house. The name Dogwood
was supposed to be given because a preparation of the leaves was
given to dogs to drive away vermin, and the name Louse Berry was
given because the berries when sprinkled on the hair destroy lice.

The wood is very hard, hence its employment in making skewers.


A good drawing charcoal is also derived from it. It yields a good
yellow dye, and, with alum added, a green dye. In Germany they
bore the young shoots to make pipe-stems of them.


73. Euonymus europteus, L. Shrub, branches quadrangular, leaves
lanceolate, opposite, serrate, flowers white or green, in umbels,
peduncles axillary, capsule with an arillus, scarlet, obtusely angular,
or lobed.

Tufted Vetch (Vicia Cracca, L.)

Tufted Vetch appears to-day (not earlier than the present epoch)
in the Northern Temperate and Arctic Zones, in Arctic Europe, N.
Africa, N. and W. Asia, India, and Greenland. It is ubiquitous in
Great Britain, ranging as far north as the Shetlands, and in the
Highlands it is found at altitudes of 2400 ft. It is a native of Ireland
and the Channel Islands.

The common Vetch or Tare is a familiar feature of our hedgerows
and lanes in the early summer, seeking the support of some stronger
upright plant. It is associated with Bryony, Red Campion, Welted
Thistle, various brambles, and other hedgerow bushes, scrambling
over them profusely in wild disorder.

The Tufted Vetch has the climbing habit. The plant is downy
or silky. The rootstock is creeping. The stem is angled, spreading.
The leaves are stalkless, pinnate, with leaflets each side of a common
stalk. The leaflets are linear, oblong or lance-shaped, acute, or with
a blunt point, in 10 pairs, silky. The stipules are half arrow-shaped,
entire or nearly so. The tendrils are branched.

The flowers are 10-30, in dense racemes arranged one side of the
stalk, blue or purple. The flower-stalk is longer than the leaves. The
ultimate stalks are short. The flow r ers are drooping. The tube of the
calyx is short, swollen below, the teeth shorter than the tube, the upper
pair very small, the others awl-like. The standard is wavy at the side,
the limb short. The style is equally downy all round at the top, the
hairs longer below the stalked stigma.

The pods are not bearded, linear to oblong, smooth, obliquely blunt,
beaked, many-seeded. The seeds are nearly round, black. The hilum
is linear and extends half-way round the seed.

The plant is 3-6 ft. high. The flowers are in bloom during June,
July, and August. The plant is perennial.

The flowers are numerous, brilliant in colour, and conspicuous.
The anthers ripen before the stigma. The short style is \\ mm. long,


T 53

and below the stigma clothed with long upwardly-directed hairs, which
are longer and closer on the outer than on the inner side, and form
a brush. The anthers lie close to the brush and pollen falls from them
on the latter at an early stage, when the stigma is at a lower level than
the hairs, included in the pouch formed by the flat top of the keel,
when the latter is depressed projecting from the narrow slit at its
extremity. The alse serve as levers for insects to depress the keel,
and they are united in two places with the edge of the keel. In the

TUFTED VETCH (Vicia Cracca, L.)

middle of the upper border there is a deep fold in each ala fitting into
a corresponding hollow in the keel, which lies in front of the pollen
cavity. The wing bulges in and forms a depression behind this fold
which fits into a second cavity in the keel, and the two fit very closely,
the cells interlocking, in a similar manner to the above structures.

The return of the wings and keel to their former position after an
insect visit is ensured by their elasticity, by aid of processes on the
alse that clasp the staminal column, and others on the carina that
serve the same purpose, and by the broad base of the standard, which
curves laterally to clasp the claws of the alse and the carina, the calyx
holding the standard in position. The flower is visited again and


again by insects which gradually remove the pollen, and the stigma
becomes sticky receiving pollen from other flowers. In spite of the
close fitting of the parts, the honey in the flowers is easily reached by
bees, as the flowers are small.

The visitors are Apidse, Vespidse, Diptera (Empidoe), Lepidoptera,
Small White (Pieris rapai).

The woody fibres of the pods are directed at half a right angle to
the axis of the pod, and when ripe the valves curl up corkscrew-wise,
when dry, shooting the seeds out in all directions.

Tufted Vetch is addicted to a more or less sandy humus soil, or
sandy loam, growing on a great variety of rock soils from the early
Cambrian to Pleistocene or Glacial beds.

The " rust ", Uromyces fabcz, attacks this plant, also U. pisi and
Ascochyta i>isi, and it is galled by a beetle, Apion gyllenhalli, and
visited by Apion cracca and Crepidodera rufipes, the moth New Black
Neck (To.rocampa craccf?}, and the Heteropterous insect Strongylocoris

Vicia, Varro, is from a Latin root meaning to bind, from the
tendrils. Vetch is the same as Fitch. Cracca, Doclonaeus, is said to
be from a Greek root meaning croak.

Tufted Vetch is called Blue Tar-fitch, Cat-peas, Cow Vetch, Wild
Fetches, Huggaback Pea, Tar Grass, Wild Tare, Thetch Grass, Tine,
Tine Grass, Tare, Tine Weed.

There is a proverb:

" A thetch will go through
The bottom of an old shoe."


89. Vicia Cracca, L. Stem climbing, tall, with branched tendrils,
leaflets in 10 pairs, narrow, acute, downy, stipules semi -sagittate,
entire; flower-stalks long, lateral, flowers numerous, purple, 10-30 in

Meadow Vetchling ( Lathy rus pratensis, L.)

The recent distribution, which is all we have knowledge of so far
of Meadow Vetchling, shows that it is confined to the Northern
Temperate and Arctic Zones in Arctic Europe, N. and W. Asia as far
as the Himalayas, and it has been introduced into North America. In
Great Britain it is common everywhere as far north as Shetland, and
ascends in the Highlands to a height of over 1500 ft. It is a native of
Ireland and the Channel Islands.


1 SS

The common yellow Meadow Vetchling is, like the violet Tufted
Vetch, a common associate of the hedgerow alliance, but whilst the
latter is especially fond of growing in the hedge itself, the former may

MEADOW VETCHLING (Lathyrus pra/ensis, L.)

be found usually with small stunted bushes which grow between the
road and ditch. It is fonder of moist ground, and may be found with
rushes on the sides of ponds and marshes.

The stem, while not essentially that of a climber, is slender and
needs supporting, and is provided with simple, 2-leaved tendrils. It is


angular, slightly downy, and branched. The leaflets are in pairs,
lance-shaped, 3-nerved, finely hairy beneath. The stipules or leaflike
organs, as wide as the leaves, are broadly lance-shaped and arrow-
shaped, the petals round. The flowers are yellow with darker veins,
borne on many-flowered flower-stalks, in racemes, drooping, turned all
one way, the flower-stalks as long as the calyx, which has awl-shaped
teeth. The pod is stalkless, with a long tapered point, containing
numerous seeds, and flattened at the sides. The seeds have a small

The plant grows to a height of 3 ft. It is in flower in June, July,
August. It is perennial, and propagated by means of the roots.

When the keel is depressed the tip of the style emerges, and the
brush of hairs sweeps the pollen out of the apex of the keel, coming in
contact with the bee's abdomen, and recoils again when the bee goes
away. The vertical style is incurved, and expands below the oval
stigma into an elliptic lamina or plate, and is covered with oblique
hairs, and lies in the apex of the keel. Its hairy surface is turned to
the bottom, facing the free edges of the tip of the keel. There is a
pouch between the sides with a fold between to which entrance can be
had only at the tip. Its anthers lie in the pouch, ripen when it is in
bud, and pollen falls on the stigma. When the keel is depressed the
latter emerges and pollen is swept out. Pollen in the pouches is also
forced up. The wings and keel are closely locked, and it requires
a good deal of pressure from an insect to exsert the style and stigma.
In spite of pollen being pushed up close to the stigma, insects probably
cross -pollinate the flower, rubbing off its own pollen and applying

The visitors are all bees, Eucera, Bombus, Diphysis, and Megachile.

The pod, which contains many seeds, contracts when dry, and
the seeds are thus expelled to a distance by a catapult arrangement.

Meadow Vetchling is a humus-loving plant, which grows on humus
soil, or even sand soil where the ground is moist and damp.

The larvae of Cecidoniyia lathyri cause the terminal expanded leaves
to meet and enclose the young leaves, on which they feed. The
fungi Uromyces pisi and U. faba both grow upon it. The beetles
Brtichus loti, Phyllobius uniformi, Apion subulatum, the Thysanop-
terous Thrips phalerata, the Lepidoptera Wood White (Leucopliasia
sinapis}, Botys fuscalis, Cemiostoma nuailesella feed upon it.

Lathyrus, Theophrastus, is Greek for a kind of pulse, and the
specific name refers to the meadow habitat.

Meadow Vetchling is also called Angleberries, Craw-peas, Fitch,


Yellow Tar, Yellow Fitchling, Lady's Fingers, Mouse Pea, Crawpea,
Tom Thumb Vetchling.


90. Lathyrus pratensis, L. Stem climbing, angled, not winged,
tendrils small, leaflets 2, narrow, lanceolate, stipules sagittate, as long
as leaflets; flowers yellow, veined, flower-stalk many-flowered, in
raceme, secund, hile small.

Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa, L.)

Preglacial, Interglacial, and Neolithic beds have yielded evidence
of the early occurrence of this plant in Britain. In its present distri-
bution it is confined to Europe, but the Bullace is found in Africa and
the Himalayas, both in the Warm Temperate Zone. In Great Britain
it is found south of Sutherland throughout the country, up to a height
of 1300 ft. in Yorkshire. It is met with in Ireland and the Channel

The Sloe is so common a wayside plant as scarcely to need descrip-
tion. It is found not only by the highway, with Spindle, Maple, Crab,
Hawthorn, Cornel, and Elder, but also in the hedgerows, in fields, and
in woods, forming dense brakes in the latter, or in the open, where the
Blackthorn blossoms make the otherwise dark growth of branches
quite white in early spring.

As the Latin specific name indicates this plant is peculiarly spinous,
which separates it from P. instititia, where there are few spines. The
plant is a bushy tree with numerous interlacing branches, rigid.

The Sloe has the shrub habit. It is small, rigid, much-branched,
the branches spreading, zigzag, spinous (hence spinosa], the spines
being arrested branches. The wood is hard and tough. The bark is
black. The leaves appear after the flowers. They are egg-shaped,

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