A. R. (Arthur Reginald) Horwood.

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

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Briar, Buckies, Bucky, Bull -beef, Canker, Canker -berry, Canker-
flower, Canker-rose, Cat-choops, Cat-hep, Cat-jugs, Cat-whin, Choop,
Chowps, Cowitch, Daily Bread, Dogberry, Dogbeer, Dog-chowp,
Dog-hip, Dog-job, Dog-jumps, Dog Rose, Eglantine, Hap, Haup,
Hedgepeak, Hippans, Dog's Hippans, Hip- rose, Hipson, Horse
Bramble, Huggan, Humack, Itching Berries, Lawyers, Buckie Lice,
Nippernails, Nips, Pig-noses, Pixie Pears, Redberries, Soldiers,
Tickler or Tickling Tommy, Yew Brimmle.

The hips of Roses were called Ticklers because boys put them
down one another's backs, Daily Bread because the young shoots are
eaten by children, Bull-beef because of the same reason.

" I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in his grace."

Much Ado About Nothing.

" To put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose,
And plant this thorn, this canker, Bolingbroke."

King Henry IV. (Vvfr I).

" The canker blooms have full as deep a dye
As the perfumed tincture of the rose."


The name Canker refers to the fruit, and the galls caused by
Rhodites rose?. Some people used to think a scratch from a rose was
venomous. The name Dog Rose is from its lack of scent and beauty,
as compared with the garden rose, though as a wild flower it is noted
for both.

Michaelmas Day is called Hipping Day in Yorkshire, because hips
were collected just then for confectionery. The name Itching Berries,
like Ticklers, refers to the practice boys had of putting berries down
one another's backs at school.

In a Scottish ballad the lines occur:

" Out of her breast there sprang a rose,

And out of his a briar;

They grew till they grew into the church top,
And there they tied in a true lover's knot".

A rose sprang up after the battle of Towton, where the rivals of

the roses fell:

" There still wild roses growing,

Frail tokens of the fray,
And the hedgerow green bears virtues
Of Towton field that day".

. The prickles' are said to point downwards, because when the Devil
was turned out of Paradise he tried to regain his place by a ladder made
of its prickles; but when only allowed to grow as a bush, he placed
its prickles in an eccentric position from spite. It is under the special
protection of elves and dwarfs in Scandinavia, &c. It was thought to
possess mystic virtues in love matters. It was of bad omen when
seen in dreams withered, but meant success in love when dreamt of
blooming; and to dream of being pinched by them shows that the
person has an ardent desire for something. Troths and roses have
thorns about them. "A bed of roses", "As sweet as a rose", "A
rose by any other name would smell as sweet ", are proverbs or well-
known quotations.

The Rose was worn by the Romans in garlands; and in Greece, if
a lover died before his wedding a rose-bush was planted at the head
of his grave. It was used in bridal bouquets and in funeral rites, and
was thought by Anacreon to possess special virtue for the dead. The
Rose was dedicated to Venus as the flower of love.

Roses and blood are connected in popular fancy, the former being
used for haemorrhage in Germany. Fro/In Chaucer's " Romaunt of the
Rose" it appears to have been connected with Whitsuntide. Churches


were decked with it on St. Barnabas' Day. The clergy used to wear
garlands of roses, and churches were adorned with it on Corpus Christi
Day. Roses were said to fade on 2Oth July, St. Mary Magdalene's
Day. The Rose was said to have formed the Crown of Thorns. If
roses bloom in autumn it indicates an epidemic in the year. In Italy
it is unlucky for a rose to drop its leaves.

" Robin Redbreasts ", as the plants were also called, were once
used for whooping-cough, and the leaves as a poultice in Greece.
When the birds complained of the nightingale's nightly wailings, the
latter replied that the rose was the cause of its grief. The first
rosaries were roses that replaced the brands on a maiden accused
of wrong and doomed to death at Bethlehem.

The colour of the rose is due to Mohammed's blood, so the Turks
tell us. There is a Roumanian legend as follows: "It is early
morning, and a young princess comes down into her garden to bathe
in the silver waves of the sea. The transparent whiteness of her com-
plexion is seen through the slight veil which covers it, and shines
through the blue waves like the morning star in the azure sky. She
springs into the sea, and mingles in the silvery rays of the sun which
sparkle on the dimples of the laughing waves. The sun stands still to
gaze upon her; he covers her with kisses and forgets his duty. Once,
twice, thrice, has the night advanced to take her sceptre and reign over
the world; twice has she found the sun upon her way. Since that day
the lord of the universe has changed the princess into a rose, and- this
is why the rose always hangs her head and blushes when the sun gazes
on her."

"Under the rose" owes its significance to the habit of wearing
roses in garlands.

The hips are made into a conserve used in medicine, and as a
dessert in Gerarde's day, who says they " maketh the most pleasante
meates and banqueting dishes, and tarts, and such like ". The petals
were used in Chaucer's time for wounds and ointments. The rose
has long been used in perfumes. It has been cultivated, and much
improved in the process in colour, scent, and form.


104. Rosa canina, L. Stem erect, branches arching, prickles equal,
hooked, leaflets flat, leaves pinnate, serrate, flowers white, large, petals
notched, peduncles smooth, sepals reflexed, not persistent, styles hairy,
fruit scarlet, many-seeded.


Crab Apple (Pyrus Malus, L.)

Not a trace of this plant has been found where fruits of Mountain
Ash have been found. It is a northern temperate plant, occurring
generally throughout Europe, Western Asia, as far east as the
Himalayas. In Great Britain it is absent from Monmouth, Cardigan,
Denbigh, Haddington, the E. Highlands, except South Perth, and
is not found in Main Argyle, Dumbarton, Mid and N. Ebudes, nor
N. Highlands or the Northern Isles, except in P>. Ross. It is often
an escape from cultivation. It is native in Ireland and the Channel

The Wild Crab is a plant of the woods and copses, but is also
found frequently in hedgerows or in parks, where it sometimes grows
to a good height. It is associated with plants such as Field Maple,
Hawthorn, Wild Cherry, Buckthorn, Cornel, and other small-timbered
trees and shrubs. Often it is just a reversion to type -of the garden

The apple has a leaning habit, much as in poplars, but is more
erect and symmetrical, a main stem dividing into numerous, finally
small, drooping, and spreading branches. The Crab is a small tree,
20-25 ft. high. The branches spread out equally, forming a wide
crown. The stock is short, giving rise to numerous branches, which
repeatedly divide. Two varieties are known, the var. acerba (or syl-
rcstris) having a glabrous fruit-stalk, the var. mitis having a downy
fruit-stalk. The Crab Apple is in flower for 5-6 days in April and
May, and as a deciduous tree is perennial, and propagated by seeds.

The resting buds have a few scales, and the lateral buds are closely
appressed. The buds produce three types of shoots: (a) long shoots,
with distant leaves; (^) non-flowering dwarf shoots of slow growth, with
annular markings and leaves close together; (f) flowering dwarf shoots
or spurs, arising from the stouter branches and producing flowers.

The leaves are spiral in arrangement, simple, with short minute
stipules. The leaf-stalk is slender and long. The blade is sharp-
tipped, with marginal teeth. The surface is glossy above. The trunk
is irregularly ridged with grey-brown furrowed bark, scaling with ease.
The flowers are white, tinged with pink, and have 5 united sepals,
hairy above. The petals have rounded limbs and narrow claws. The
numerous stamens enclose the disk, which secretes honey. The anthers
are cream colour. The style is divided into 5 branches. The fruit is
an apple, with the persistent calyx above. The ovary is 5-chambered,



and the thick fleshy coat consists of peel, a thick juicy layer, with a
thin, tough, parchment-like layer, the "core", and encloses 2 brown
seeds in each chamber.

The flowers are conspicuous and 'numerous. The honey is half-
concealed, and secreted at the base of the flower. The flowers are
much visited by insects. The flowers are sweet-scented, most strongly
at night, so that the plant is visited by moths. The stigma ripens
before the anthers, being receptive when the flower opens. The


CRAB APPLE (Pyrus Mains, L.)

flowers last from 5 to 6 days. The 5 stigmas stand above the stamens,
so that an insect visiting the flower touches the stigma first. The
anthers open on the second day, the outer rows of stamens ripening-
first. In some flowers the stigmas and stamens are more or less
touching. The flowers are directed towards the light obliquely, so
that some pollen must fall on the stigmas, and self-pollination occurs in
the absence of insect visitors and in wet weather. Self-pollinated
flowers do not produce good fruit.

The plant is visited by Bombus terrestris, B. agronim, B. lapi-
darius, B. hortorum, Apis mellifica, Anthophora pilipes, Andrena
albicans, Halictus sex-notatus, Osmia rufa, Bombylius major, Empis


lii'ida, Rhingia rostrata, Syrphns pyrastri, Onesia floralis, Di lop tins

The fruit is an edible, brightly-coloured pome or receptacle, with
a softer pericarp, luscious when ripe, and is dispersed by birds and men.

The Apple is more or less a clay-loving plant, growing on clay,
or a sand plant, growing on sand. A gravelly stony subsoil also
suits it.

A number of fungi attack the cultivated Apple, which equally infest
the Crab, of the genera Podosphcera, Entypclla, Glomerella, Nectria,
Sphferella, Fnsicladiuw, Tympanis, Sclerotinia, Pholiota, Polyporns,
Hydmim, Hypochnus, Phyllosticta, Sph&ropsis, Entomosporium, Bacil-
lus, Valsa, and Armillaria mellea. White cotton-wool-like tufts are
formed, and the branches are much distorted by Schizoneura lanigera
and S. fodiens, which cause galls; and Scolytus pruni, Mytilaspis
pomorum (a scale insect), and Lecanium caprece cause ravages.

The bark is also attacked by American Blight, the Fruit-tree Bark
Beetle; the blossom and fruit by the Codlin Moth, Earwig, Golden
Chafer, Apple-blossom Weevil, Apple Sawfly, Apple Suckers, Wasps;
the leaves by Apple Aphis, Plum Aphis, Cockchafer, Garden Chafer,
Green Leaf and Oblong Weevils, Dot Moth, Figure-of-eight Moth,
Lackey Moth, Large Tortoise-shell Butterfly, Lappet Moth, Mottled
Umber Moth, Small Ermine Moth, Common Vapourer, Winter Moth;
the shoots by the Pith Moth; the wood by the Shot-borer Beetles,
Goat Moth, and Wood Leopard, as well as many other insects.

Mains, Varro, is the Latin for Apple Tree, and has the same root
as in the Celtic and Scandinavian languages.

The Crab Apple is called Apis, Aplyn, Applelyn, Apple, Apple-
John, Appo, Appulle, Bittersgall, Bittersweet, Catsheads, Coling, Crab,
Crab-stock, Crab-tree, Grab, Grabstock, Gribble, Koling, Leather
Jacket, Morris Apple, Nurse Garden, Pomewater, Sap, Scarb Jacket,
Scrab, Screyt, Scrog, Star Apple, Well Apple, Wharre, Wilding.

As to the name Bittersgall, it was often remarked of a soft, silly
person, "He was born where th' bittersgall da grow, and one o' 'm
fall'd on his head, and made a zaate (soft) place there". In Lincoln-
shire to gather crabs is called crabbing. An acid liquor-like vinegar
is called crabvargis. It was a custom 70-80 years ago to pelt the
parson at Mobberley, Cheshire, with crab apples on Wakes' Sunday,
the Sunday next before St. Luke's Day. The name Nurse Garden
may be given because of its frequent occurrence in nursery gardens.

On Twelfth Day, in Devonshire, they go " wassailing " into the
orchard after supper, with a large milk-can full of cider with roasted


apples pressed in it. Each person takes a dome, or cup, full of the
liquor, and standing under the trees says:

" Health to thee, good apple tree,
Well to bear pocket fulls, hat fulls, peck fulls, bushel bag fulls ".

St. Dunstan is said to have bought up a quantity of barley for
brewing beer. The devil, knowing his anxiety to get a good sale for
it, offered to blight the apple trees so that there would be no cider.
St. Dunstan agreed, and sold himself to him on condition they were
blighted on May 17, 18, 19.

An apple left after the bulk are picked was held to belong to the
fairies. Squeezed between finger and thumb the direction of an apple
pip, so shot, indicated a lover's abode.

" Pippin, Pippin, paradise,
Tell me where my true love lies,
East, West, North, and South,
Pilling Brig or Cocker Mouth."

There was a custom of throwing apple peel over the head to secure
marriage or the single blessed state, according as it remained whole or
broken. An apple is thrown in the street in Sicily, and if a girl
picks it up she will not be married, but if it is not touched the young
person when married will soon be a widow.

An apple is eaten before a looking-glass on Hallowe'en in Scotland,
when the face of the desired one will be seen. On Christmas Eve in
Austria apples are used for divining. One is cut in two in the dark,
without touching it at first, then the left half is placed in the bosom,
and the right is laid behind the door. The desired one may be looked
for at midnight near the right half.

A maiden having slept with one under her pillow on St. Andrew's
or Christmas night stands with it in her hand on the next church
festival, and the first man she sees will be her husband.

An apple was said to foretell long life, but to dream of one after the
blooming is to foretell death. Dissimilarity between two persons is
expressed by the proverb:

" As like as an apple is to a lobster ".

Wild forms are often cultivated apples run wild. The fruit of the
Crab is acid and tart, and the juice is called verjuice, and used for
bruises and sprains. In Ireland people put it in cider to make it
rough. All garden orchard forms are derived from it. Pippins are


named because they were raised from seeds. The Newton Pippin,
grafted on stocks found in other parts, assumes the character of
the stock in a short time. It lives to a great age, and is very

The wood is used for turning by the wheelwright and the cabinet-


107. Pyrtis Ma/ns, L. Tree, branched, leaves ovate, serrate, shiny,
or downy below, flowers white or pink, in sessile umbels, fruit yellow,
globose, tapered below, styles united below.

Hawthorn (Cratsegus Oxyacantha, L.)

Widespread and common, it is not unnatural to find this plant is
represented in Preglacial, Interglacial, and Neolithic deposits. It is
confined to the Northern Temperate Zone in Europe, N. Africa, N.
and W. Asia, eastward to the Himalayas. In N. America it is an
introduction. It is found in every part of Great Britain, except the
Orkneys, and in Yorkshire it is found at the height of 1800 ft. It is
native in Ireland, but is often only planted, and Watson says, "few
botanists regard it as being more wild in North Britain than a casual
straggler probably brought from the hedgerows by birds ".

The Hawthorn is essentially a hedgerow plant to-day, being the
main plant used in forming hedges all over the country. Where
hedges are not cut and layered it grows to a good height and spreads
extensively. When grown singly too, as in parks in the open, it is
a graceful tree or shrub.

The first Latin name is a transliteration of the Greek name of
the plant, and the second one is a reminder, if one has not made
this discovery personally, of the sharpness of the long -pointed
thorns or modified branches, the English name summarizing this and
the character of the fruits as implied in " haw ", which really means

The May or Hawthorn is recognized by its abundance of white
blossom in May or June, and the scarlet berries or "haws" in winter,
which begin to mature in August and September. The typical thorns
or spines also serve to distinguish it, hedges being mainly composed
of Hawthorn or thorn bushes in many districts. In this state it is
closely branched, and the trunks are generally dwarf, being " layered "
periodically. It is, when a tree, often 30 ft. high, growing in the open.
The branches are dense or loose, with slender twigs which droop or



turn up at the end. In the summer appearance it is a mass of leaves
and bloom, generally with a spherical crown and very compact. The
branches may be very erect and numerous in the centre (as seen in the
winter appearance), turning out at their extremities.

The tree is generally sub-erect, leaning, with large branches, spread-
ing and drooping, with fine twigs. A bud and a long spine are
produced on the long shoots below, only a bud above. The stipules


on the short lateral spurs and at the bottom of the long shoots are
small and awl-shaped. They soon turn brown and fall, the ground
being covered with them in spring. The stipules on the upper part
are coarsely toothed, sickle-shaped, c., small and leafiike, or are large,
heart-shaped, net-veined.

The buds have spiral scales. Spines are below the buds, and these
latter are of five kinds: (i) long shoots with leaves separated by
internocles, (2) foliage-bearing dwarf shoots, (3) buds like (2) ending
in a flower-head, (4) long thorns, (5) short thorns. The leaves are
simple, arranged in spirals, petiolate. On long shoots there are large
green stipules, persistent and toothed; on the dwarf shoots the stipules



are small or ephemeral. The leaf-blade is lobed and toothed, the
leaf glossy and glabrous. The bole has a smooth bark at first, which
becomes divided into longitudinal furrows, often twisted and grey in
colour. The trunk may divide.

The flowers are white or pink, the inflorescence a corymbose cyme,
being cylindrical with a flat top. Each flower has 5 united sepals, 5
distinct white petals, 20 stamens, pink anthers becoming brown, and
they are attached to the margin of a basin. The style (i in this form)
is central with a broad stigma. The scent is due to trimethylanin.
The fruit is a haw or stone fruit, with i seed. The calyx is persistent
at the top of the fruit.

The tree is often 15 ft. high. The flowering period is May and
June. A deciduous tree, it is perennial and increased by seeds.

The honey is half-concealed, and is secreted by a ring at the base
of the flower. The stigma ripens first. The flowers are strong-
scented, and the smell is attractive to dung- and flesh-flies. The
stamens are not ripe when the flower opens. The outer are erect, the
inner bent inwards, the anthers below the stigmas. The stigmas are,
however, ripe and project in the centre, and the anthers ripen a few
days after, opening inwards. The inner anthers when it is cold are
bent down below the stigma after opening, the outer overtop the
stigmas and are bent inward. But when it is fine the stamens bend
outwards and then the honey disk is visible. If insects visit the flower
they touch stamens and stigmas with opposite sides of the head and
cross-pollination follows, but in their absence and in wet weather self-
pollination is most probable.

Sweet sap is exuded by the young shoots which insects seek. The
visitors are numerous: Anthophora, Bombus, Andrena, Odyucni^
Tachydrouiia, Empis, Microphorus, Pipiza, Rhingia, Eristalis, Helo-
philus, Xylota, Echinomyia, Sarcophaga, Onesia, Graphomyia, Mesem-
brina, Cyrtoneura, Bibio, Dilophus, Attagenus, Anthrenus, Meligcthes,
Anthraxia, Malachius, Telephorus, Asclera, Anaspis, Mordella, Clytus,
Grammoptcra, Clythra, Halictus, Nomada, Eucera, and Apis.

The fruit is edible, and dispersed by birds, &c. It is therefore
spread largely by animal agency.

Hawthorn is normally a sand plant living on a sand soil, but it
is usually enriched by some humus which is accumulated under its
own shade.

The first stages of Gymnosporangium confusiun and G. clavaricz-
forme grow on this plant. The second stage grows on Juniper in each
case. The leaves are galled by Eriophyes cratcegi, E. goniothorax, or


Cecidomyia crat&gi. The fungi Polystigma rubrum, Tympanis con-
spersa, Phleospora oxyacantha infest it.

The insects Leopard Moth (Zeuzera tzscu/i), Penthina pruniana,
Priobium castaneum, Otiorhynchus picipes, Trichiosoma tibialis, Pul-
vinaria vitis, Mytilaspis pomorum, Lecanium caprece, Aphis cratagi,
Psylla cratagi feed on the Hawthorn.

Cratcegus, Theophrastus, is the Greek name of the plant. Oxya-
cantha, Dioscorides, is from oxys, sharp, acanthos, thorn, and Hawthorn
means hedgethorn.

It is called Agald, Agarves, Aggie, Albespyne, Aglet, Aubepyne,
Azzy-tree, Bird Eagles, Birds' Meat, Bread -and-Cheese, Bulls, Butter-
and- Bread, Chaws, Cheese and Bread, Chucky-cheese, Cuckoo's
Beads, Cuckoo's Bread -and -Cheese, Eglet, Eglet Bloom, Glaston-
bury Thorn, God's Meat, Greens, Haa, Hagga, Haggils, Hagthorn,
Hagues, Halves, Harsy, Harve, Hathorn, Hawberry, Haws, Haw-
bus, Hawen, Haw-gaws, Bull-haws, Butter and Cat Haws, Hawses,
Hawthorn, Haw-tree, Haythorn, Hazel, Hazzy Tree, Hedge-thorn,
Hipperty Haws, Hog-arves, Hogberry, Hog-gazels, Howes, Johny
Macgorey, May, May Bush, Pegy at Bush, Pigall, Pig Haw, Pig's
Hales, Pixie Pears, Quick, Quickset, Quickwood, Sates, Thorn, Thorn-
berries, Whicks, White Thorn, Wick, Wickens.

The planted thorns are called Quicks to distinguish them from rails
and dead fences. Quickset means a hedge set with quicks, and so
does Quickwood. Albespyne is from alba spina, meaning white thorn.
"And there the Jewes maden him a crowne of the branches of albe-
spyne, that is white thorn." The name Bread-and-Cheese is given
because the young shoots are eaten in spring by children. The name
Glastonbury Thorn refers to the variety supposed to have sprung up
at Glastonbury from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea which produces
its blossoms on Christmas Day. It is called May because it usually
flowers (in England) during that month.

Lonely thorns in fields that do not grow larger are said to be
bewitched, and they must not be approached at night. A fiery wheel
comes from the bush which will destroy you if it comes near you. It
was said to be sprung from lightning. It is widely revered and
associated with marriage rites. The bride was decked with May
blossom in Greece. Torches lighting the bridal couple to the nuptial
chamber were made of it. It is supposed to have formed the Crown
of Thorns.

In Ireland it is unlucky to cut it down, as the fairies there protect
it. To gather leaves of the tree is considered unsafe. But to burn it


is a remedy against mildew in wheat. It is called Fairy Thorn in
Brittany and Ireland. To dream of it is a good omen. When many
blossoms are seen a severe winter will follow.

" When the hawthorn bloom too early shows,
We shall have still many snows."

The Scots have a proverb:

" Mony haws,
Mony snaws ".

A person is said to "sit on thorns" who is continually uneasy.

May Day is a survival of the old Floralia, and the Grecian bride's
wreath was of May, and is still worn at the Greek nuptials, the altar
being decorated with it. People went " maying " soon after midnight.

" 'T is as much impossible,

Unless we sweep them from the doors with cannons,
To scatter 'em, as 't is to make 'em sleep
On May Day morning."

If White-thorn blossoms are brought into the house in Essex it is a
sign of death. Many rhymes have been made up to serve as formula;
to cure pricks from thorns. The leaves were put in ale to cure a
speechless man.

It is grown for hedges, and is a useful source of firewood. It is
also an ornamental shrub in parks and gardens, and there are several


1 08. Crattegns Oxyacantka, L. Tree, branched, spinose, leaves
obovate, serrate, lobed, stipules leafy, flowers white, corymbose, calyx
glabrous, styles 1-3, fruit red, enclosing the so-called stone.

Bryony (Bryonia dioica, Jacq.)

South of Denmark in Europe, in N. Africa, and W. Asia, that is
to say, the North Temperate Zone, is the limit of the Bryony to-day,
its earlier history not being known. In Great Britain it is local,
but widely dispersed in the Peninsula province; it is absent in Corn-

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