A. R. (Arthur Reginald) Horwood.

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

. (page 5 of 23)
Online LibraryA. R. (Arthur Reginald) HorwoodA new British flora : British wild flowers in their natural haunts (Volume 3) → online text (page 5 of 23)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook



in some the stigma is ripe first, and self-pollination would occur if
insects did not visit them.

The flowers are large and purple, in a tall, conspicuous spike, and
are much visited by insects. Honey is secreted by the green, fleshy
upper surface of the ovary, and is easily reached by insects, but pro-
tected from the rain, as it then bends over. The expanded, flattened
lower ends of the fila-
ments or anther-stalks
form a hollow cone,
which encloses the
base of the style and
the honey surround-
ing it, protecting the
latter ; and where
the style issues at
the apex of the cone
hairs prevent the en-
trance of rain, while
insects can gain access
through the anther-

In young flowers
pollen covers the
stamens above, and
they project, but the
style is short and bent
over, with the stigmas
folded together; but
in older flowers the
empty stamens are
bent down and turn
outward, and the style
is longer and projects forward, with 4 stigmas outspread and recurved
taking the place of the stamens. The insects can alight, suck, and
collect pollen easily. Cross-pollination is secured, and self-pollination
is impossible. The flowers are visited by Apis, Bombus, Sphecodes,
Nomada, Cerceris, Crabro, Ammophila, Tenthredo, Empis, Syrphus,
Ino statices.

The seeds are provided with a tuft of hairs, which aid them in
their dispersal by the wind after the pods or long narrow capsules have
split open to release them. The pods split from above downwards

Photo. B. Hanley

ROSEBAV (Epilobium angustifolium , L.)


between the valves and along the centre, the seeds being attached to
the axis. They are very small, oblong, brown, with a tuft of long,
white, silky hairs at the upper end, which serve as a parachute.

Rosebay is a rock-loving plant, growing on barren stony hillsides,
or it may be a sand-loving plant, growing on a sand soil, such as the
sandy beds of the Lias or Keuper Marl.

The fungus which infests the Rosebay is called Melampsora

The Rosebay is galled by Hormomyia fasciata, Laverna decorella.
The beetles Cercus bipustulatus, Haltica lythri, H. cleracea, H. pusilla ;
the Hymenopterous insect Tcnthredo colon; the Lepidoptera, The
Mouse, Amphipyra tragopogonis, Small Phoenix Moth, Cidaria slla-
ceata, Laverna substrigillata\ the Homoptera Cidadula dahlbomii,
Apkalara nebulosa; and the Heteropterous insect Dicyphus Epilobii
feed on the Rosebay in one way or another.

Epilobium, Gesner, is from the Greek epi, on, lobos, a pod, because
the flower apparently grows upon a lobe, and the second Latin name
refers to the narrow leaves.

This plant is known by the name of Rosebay, Bay-willow, Blood
Vine, Blooming Sally, Cat's Eyes, Persian Willow, Tame Withy,
Blooming, FYench, and Rosebay Willow, Bay Willow Herb.

Rosebay was called Tame Withy because it was frequently grown
in gardens, and because of its willow-like leaves.

This handsome plant is called Rosebay because the leaves are like
laurel and the flowers purple like a rose. It was named Blood Vine
because the whole plant has a red appearance. In Ireland, "Sally"
in the name Blooming Sally is a corruption for the Latin Salix.

The Rosebay finds a place in the garden, the established plant
differing from the wild one. It used to be employed to adulterate tea,
and was boiled also as a vegetable, the young shoots being eaten as
asparagus. They are fermented to make beer in Kamschatka, and
made especially intoxicating with a toadstool, Agaricus muscarius, the
Fly Agaric. The down has been mixed with cotton and fur to make
stockings and other clothing.


1 1 8. Epilobium angustifolium, L. Stem tall, erect, terete, leaves
scattered, lanceolate, acute, alternate, flowers rose-pink, in a raceme,
irregular, stamens and style bending ultimately.



Enchanter's Nightshade (Circaea Lutetiana, L.)

This woodland wild flower is found in the North Temperate Zone
in Europe, N. Africa, Siberia, Western Asia as far east as the
Himalayas, and in temperate America, and there are no earlier
records. In Great Britain it is general in the Peninsula, Channel,
Thames, Anglia, and Severn provinces; and in S. Wales generally
except in Radnor and Car-
marthen ; in N. Wales gene-
rally except in Montgomery
and Merioneth; in the Trent
province everywhere except
in S. Lines, throughout the
Mersey, H umber, Tyne, and
Lakes provinces. It is com-
mon in the West Lowlands
and in E. Lowlands, except
in Peebles, Selkirk, and Lin-
lithgow; in the E. High-
lands, except in Stirling,
Banff, and Elgin; in the
West Highlands, except in
Mid Ebudes; and in the
N. Highlands, except in E.
Sutherland. In Yorkshire
it ascends to 1200 ft.

Enchanter's Nightshade
is a familiar denizen of woods
and copses, preferring the
dark depths of shade beneath
the outspreading branches of woodland trees, or else the comparative
light diffused in the rides which intersect a wood, where it grows
amid the wet herbage which grows rank and rife, untouched by
browsing animals or the scythe. Occasionally it turns up in the
garden or on waste ground.

This plant has a characteristic habit, the central stem being nearly
or suberect, with wide-spreading nearly patent branches, i.e. almost
at right angles. It is purple in colour and downy. The leaves are
egg-shaped at the base to heart-shaped, on long, nearly round or sub-
rotund leaf-stalks, glandular, pale green underneath, and alternate.

VOL. III. 34

ENCHANTER'S NIGHTSHADE (Circcea Lutetiana, L.)


The small flowers are white in terminal loose racemes, with a
hairy calyx, and petals equalling them in length, blunt, with a median
point and spreading. The stigma is bright red. The ovary is inferior
or below the perianth. The fruit or capsule is pear-shaped, persistent,
with hooked bristles, borne on flower-stalks turned back when ripe.

The Enchanter's Nightshade is about i foot in height usually.
Flowers are in bloom from June to August. The plant is perennial,
and reproduces by division.

The flowers are small and contain honey. There are only two
stamens. The Enchanter's Nightshade is pollinated very much in the
same way as Veronica Chamccdrys. A single style projects, with the
stamens spreading away from the centre of the corolla, which is erect.
Together they form with the stamens a platform by which insects
may reach the abundant honey secreted by the fleshy ring surrounding
the style. The latter stands lower than the stamens, slightly forward,
and forms a resting-place. When an insect settles it touches the
stigmatic knobs at the end with its abdomen. It stretches across the
stamens, and grasps the anthers, which are at first distant but are
drawn down, so that the insect's fore feet are dusted by the pollen from
them. If the insect alights on one of the stamens as it bends down,
it grasps the base of the stamen and style at their base with its
fore feet, and if the style touches the ventral surface with the stigma
it touches the side opposite that which the anther touches at the same
time. Thus the plant is cross-pollinated if the insect has come from
another flower.

The flowers wither rapidly, unless self-pollination follows in the
absence of insects, as it may do when the stamens bend over and
touch the stigma. The plant is visited by Baccha elongata, Ascia
podagrica, Rlclanostoma me I Una, Anthomvia, and other Muscidae and
Syrphidre, as well as by Musca domestica.

The single-seeded fruits catch in the coats of animals or passers-
by, and are thus dispersed.

Enchanter's Nightshade is a humus -loving plant requiring an
ordinary humus soil, such as that to be found in a wood, or under
a hedgebank, or in a shrubbery.

The two fungi Melampsora circcea and Puccinia circ&cz attack it.
The beetles Graptidera oleracea, Psylliodes chalcomera, the Hymen-
opterous insect Tenthrcdo colon, the Lepidoptera, Elephant Hawk
Moth, Chcerocampa elpenor, Asychna terminella, Anybia langiclla,
and the Hemipterous insect Metatropis rufescens feed upon En-
chanter's Nightshade in some shape or form.


Circaa, Dioscorides, is from Circe, the enchantress, who from her
knowledge of herbs would procure love, and Lutetiana, from Paris,
Lutetia being the old name for it.

The plant is called Mandrake, Bindweed, Enchanter's Nightshade.

Of the name Enchanter's Nightshade, Gerarde says: "The error
of some who have taken Mandragoras for Circsea, in which error they
have still persisted unto this daie, attributing unto Circsea the virtues of
Mandragora . .


1 20. Circcea Lutetiana, L. Stem erect, branched, downy, leaves
ovate, acute, dentate, flowers white, in a raceme, calyx 2 -cleft, hairy,
stamens pink, fruit with hooked bristles.

Sanicle (Sanicula europsea, L.)

Wood Sanicle is widely dispersed, its recent distribution being
Europe and N. Africa. It is found in all the counties of Great
Britain except Peebles, the Orkney and Shetland Islands. In the
North of England it has been found to ascend to altitudes of con-
siderably over 1000 ft.

Sanicle is a clay-loving plant, fond of the shade of woods, and
growing under trees in the moist depths of a wood, or the more open
shelter of copses on the side of a hill. In such places it is accom-
panied by Wood Anemone, Goldielocks, Wood-sorrel, Primrose, Wood
Forget-me-not, Bluebell, and many other umbrageous species.

There is scarcely anything, but its umbels of flowers and seed, to
suggest the umbelliferous affinity of this plant. It is an erect, not very
tall, plant, with leaves divided into lobes to the middle, 3- or 5-lobed,
with numerous fine -pointed teeth. Most of the leaves arise from
the base of the stem, in the manner of celery, but are more widely
spreading. The leaves are dark green and glossy, with a dark-brown
or reddish tinge.

The flowers are pink or white, and are arranged not strictly in an
umbel but a panicle, the female florets being unstalked, the outer male
stalked. The umbels are irregular with few rays. The fruit is sur-
rounded by turned-back hooked bristles, the styles being persistent.

The plant is about i foot in height. Flowers can be found in
June and July. Sanicle is a perennial plant capable of division by
the roots.

The plant is andromoncecious, i.e. the flower is hermaphrodite, and
there are also male flowers. There are 1-3 proterandrous herma-


phrodite florets in the centre of each umbel, which are surrounded by
10-20 male florets which develop later. Male flowers were found in
the centre of the umbels by Schulze. The complete flowers are pro-
terogynous, the stigma ripening first. The older flowers in the centre
are complete. The long stigmas touch the anthers of the surrounding
florets. Both resemble Astrantia major. Where the umbels are

simple, the florets
form so closely
packed a surface
that the petals re-
main rolled up in
the middle of the
flower and hairs
protect the honey
from the rain.
They make the
flower less easily
reached by insects
and less conspicu-
ous. Flies and
beetles are the
chief visitors.

The fruits are
hooked, and as-
sisted in their dis-
persal by catching
in the wool or hair
of passing animals.
Sanicle is a
clay - loving plant
addicted to a clay
soil, growing in
woods and shady
places or hollows
on granitic, volcanic, and later Liassic and

SANICLE (Sanicula et<ropa>a, L.)

where clay is formed
other rock soils.

A fungus Puccinia Saniculce commonly attacks it. No insects are
known to feed upon it.

Saniada, Brunfels, is from the Latin sanus, healthy, because of the
healing properties formerly attributed to the plant. The second Latin
name is merely Latin for European, referring to its range.


This plant is called Wood March, Sanicle, Wood Sanicle, Self-
Heal Sanicle.

Sanicle used to be regarded as a powerful vulnerary, and is very
acrimonious like all Umbelliferee, but it is not employed as a drug


123. Sanicula europ&a, L. Stem erect, smooth, shiny, radical
leaves petiolate, palmate, glossy, lobed, trifid, serrate, flowers pinkish-
white, in a panicle, fruit ovate, with hooked bristles.

Angelica (Angelica sylvestris, L.)

At West Wittering in Sussex this plant has been found in beds of
Interglacial age, when the rigour of the Glacial period was much
modified by a milder interlude. It is found to-day in the North
Temperate and Arctic Zones in Arctic Europe, Siberia, up to Dahuria,
and West Asia. In Great Britain it is widespread and common,
existing at the high altitude of 2700 ft. in the Highlands.

Angelica is almost entirely a plant of low-lying ground, that is,
where there is continual moisture and shade, growing in woods at a
low elevation, or on moist mountain heights, where the conditions
are sufficiently humid. It may also be found on the borders of
streams and in marshes, but always where there is more or less
shelter from the sun.

The plant is erect in habit. The stem is stout, tall, rather downy
above, near the umbels, but otherwise hairless, green or purplish,
hollow, furrowed. The leaves are triangular in outline, much divided,
that is ternately. The leaflets are large, bipinnate, equally toothed,
stalked, obliquely oblong to egg-shaped, lance-shaped, equal, or cut,
and not running down the stem. They may be rather heart-shaped
at the base. The lateral leaflets are somewhat unequal below. The
sheaths are large. The flowerheads are pinkish-white, in large, ter-
minal compound umbels, with 30-40 rays. There are no, or few
(1-2), bracts which fall. But there are a few awl-like, persistent, small
bracteoles. The calyx-lobes are small or wanting. The petals are
slightly hooded. The florets are nearly regular. The fruit is egg-
shaped, flattened along the back, the carpels ridged, winged. The
slender styles are bent over.

Angelica is often as much as 5-6 ft. high. The flowering season is
from June to August. The plant is a deciduous, herbaceous perennial,
reproduced by division. It ought to be cultivated in our gardens.



The flowers are numerous, white or purplish, and more or less
conspicuous. The pollen is abundant. There is also honey. The
flowers are complete, and the anthers mature first. On some the
anthers are rudimentary. The styles are turned back, and the plant
is sweet-scented and attracts many insects to it, so that it has more
chance of being cross- than self-pollinated. The insects that visit it
are Syritta pipiens, Helopkilus, Eristalis, Pipizella, Tachina, Ecki-

noniyia, Mesembrina,
Scatophaga, Lucilia,
Sarcophaga, Anthre-
n?ts, TridiiuS) Tele-
phorus, Coccinella,

Meligethes, Aihalia,
Tenthredo, Ichneu-
mons, Crabro, Philan-
this, Odynerus, Vespa,
A ndrcna, A rgynnis,
and a Neuropterous
insect Panorpa.

The fruit, being flat-
tened and margined, is
blown away with ease
by the wind. The fruits
are semi-detached on
ripening, and they may
also be knocked off by
passing animals.

This plant is a
humus-loving plant re-
quiring a soil in which
there is a fair amount
of humus.

The fungi Plasnwpora nivea and Protomyces macrosporus infest it.
A beetle Lixus turbatus, the Lepidoptera, Swallow Tail Butterfly
(Papilio mac/iaoii), Triple Spot Pug (Eupithecia trisignata), Depressaria
angelicella feed on it, and also Depressaria ciliella and CEcophora
Jlav iinacu lei la.

Angelica, Brunfels, is Latin for angelic, the reference being to
supposed properties of a magical kind, and the second Latin name
refers to its woodland habitat.

Angelica is called Ait-skeiters, Ground Ash, Ground Elder, Hem-

ANGELICA (Angelica sylvestris, L.)

Photo, n Hanley

IVY 55

lock, Jack -jump-about, Jeelico, Keck, Kecks, Keks, Kex, Trumpet
Keck, Kelk-Kecksy, Water Kesh, Kewsies Kesk, Skytes.

The first name is for oat-shooters. Children shoot oats through
the hollow stems as peas are shot through a pea-shooter. Parkinson
says: "In Sussex they call the wilde kinde (of Angelica) Kex, and
the weavers winde their yarne on the dead stalks". It is called
Trumpet Keck because the hollow stems of this plant are made by
boys into trumpets.

" Trumpet-kecks are passed unheeded by
Whose hollow stalks inspired such eager joy."

This plant was considered especially noisome to witches. It was
called Herb of the Holy Ghost from the angel-like properties therein
being considered good "against poisons, pestilent agues, or the pesti-
lence ". Angelica was used as a cure for bites of dogs and hydro-
phobia, as well as an antidote for poisons. A yellow dye of a good
colour is derived from it. The stems are candied with sugar and
used as sweetmeats or put in cakes. The root and the fruit have been
utilized as a tonic, and are aromatic and stimulant.


130. Angelica sylvestns, L. Stem tall, ribbed, hollow, purple,
downy, leaves bipinnate, leaflets ovate, serrate, flowers in large umbels,
whitish-pink, carpels 5-ribbed.

Ivy (Hedera Helix, L.)

This is an ancient plant found in Interglacial and Neolithic beds.
The present distribution is Europe, N. Africa, W. Asia as far east as
the Himalayas, in the North Temperate Zone. Ivy is found in every
part of Great Britain, and ascends to 1500 ft. in Yorkshire.

There are two forms of Ivy which favour different habitats. The
trailing "Ground Ivy" is fond of growing upon banks, under hedges,
or in woods and thickets, where it covers the ground like a carpet and
occasionally finds an upright support, and may be seen to merge into
the other type. This is essentially a climbing plant, and is found by
the roadside encircling in parasitic fashion the trunk of an ash or elm,
or in the open fields or in woods. It is especially common in gardens,
and is very often found on walls and houses.

One irresistibly connects Ivy with a climbing habit, and such is its
most marked feature. It may attain the dimensions of a tree, with
thick cracked bark, and be provided on the inner side with fibres,


which turn away from the light, of a rootlike character or holdfasts,
which assist it to climb. The young branches are green or purple.

At the base the stem is thick, and may branch above in equal forks,
and then twine around the trunk or climb up the wall, with numerous
further branchings or ramifications. The leaves are undivided or
3-lobed, when the plant is merely Ground Ivy, or 5-lobed. This di-
morphism may be due to the demand for light and air, the oval leaves
growing round the stem in woods being an advantage, whilst the
divided leaves growing on the surface are arranged to fit into each

IVY (Hedera Helix, L.)

Photo. B. Hanley

other and to cover as much space as possible. The flowering branches
also grow erect. In the climbing plant the leaf is oval, heart-shaped,
thick, entire in the flowering branches, with white or red veins.

The flowers are in simple, erect, paniclecl, raceme-like umbels, more
or less rounded, with stellate hairs. The bracts are small and hollow.
The flower-stalks are fairly long. The flowers are yellowish-green.
The calyx-teeth are triangular, the calyx superior with 5 teeth. The
5 petals do not unite above, and are triangular to egg-shaped. There
are 5 stamens. The disc is swollen. The ovary is 5-celled. The
styles are short, united at the base, with terminal stigmas.

The berry is more or less round, black or yellow, 5-celled, 5-seeded,
crowned with the calyx. The seeds are egg-shaped, 5 in a berry.

The plant may be as much as 40 ft. high. The flowers are the
latest to bloom, i.e. in October and November. Ivy is an evergreen,
woody creeper, or climber, and may be increased by layers.

IVY (Hedera Helix, L.)

I'lioto. Flatters & Oarnctt

IVY 59

The flowers are polygamous, and the anthers are mature first,
though some plants are homogamous, the stigma and anthers ripening
together. The petals are fugacious or drop, and the flower is yellowish-
green. Beetles visit it as well as flies and wasps. The stamens equal
the corolla, and are turned back. The anthers are divided into two
nearly halfway below, and incumbent or lying down. The style is
short, the stigma simple, terminal. There is abundant honey. The
flowers are sterile to their own pollen.

The fruit is edible, and the seeds are dispersed by animals. It
remains dormant during the winter, not ripening till the spring.

Ivy is usually a woodland climber, and is a humus-lover, requiring
humus soil.

Ivy is a food plant for the beetles O china hedercz, Grammoptera
ruficornis, Anobium striatum, Lepturus testae ens ^ Pogonochcerus den-
tatus, the Lepidoptera Holly Blue (Polyommatus argiolus), Old Lady
(Mania maura], Gothic (N&nia typica], Swallow-tailed Moth (Urop-
teryx sambucata), Tortrix forsteriana, the Homoptera Thamnotettix
splendidula, Zygina tilice, the Heteroptera Schirus bicolor, Derephysia
foliaceus, Ploiaria vagabunda.

Hedera, Pliny, is Latin for Ivy, and Helix, Pliny, was another
Latin name for it.

Ivy is called Benewith-tree, Bentwood, Bindwood, Eevy, Ground
Ivy, Hyven, Ivin, Ivory, Ivy, Barren, Black, Creeping, Small Ivy,
Wood-bind. It was called Bindwood possibly because of the hold it
takes. The small-leaved form growing on banks, &c., does not flower,
hence the name Barren Ivy.

This plant was said to reveal witches. "To pipe in an ivy leaf"
is to engage in a futile pursuit. " An owl in an ivy bush " denotes
union of wisdom with conviviality. An ivy bush was a common tavern
sign, giving rise to the saying, "Good wine needs no bush". It was
sacred to Bacchus. In language it is the emblem of confiding love
and fidelity.

According to Cornish tradition the beautiful Iseult, unable to
endure the loss of the brave Tristan, died of a broken heart, and was
buried in the same church, but by order of the king the two graves
were placed at a distance from each other. Soon, however, there burst
forth from the tomb of Tristan a branch of ivy and another from the
grave of Iseult, these shoots gradually growing upwards, until at last
the lovers, represented by the clinging ivy, were again united beneath
the vaulted roof of heaven.

It is largely used in Christmas decorations. It is useful for orna-


mental work in gardens and for covering buildings, lending a picturesque
appearance. The berries furnish food for birds at a time when there
is little else for them to feed upon. Cattle are fond of its foliage. It
was said to be a remedy for warts.


134. Hedera Helix, L. Stem climbing, with rooting fibres, leaves
cordate, shiny, lobed, on flowering branches, ovate-lanceolate, flowers
green, in an umbel or raceme, fruit a berry, black.

Wayfaring Tree (Viburnum Lantana, L.)

This small tree is represented in early deposits in Interglacial beds
at West Wittering in Sussex. Its recent distribution is limited to the
North Temperate Zone from Belgium southwards, and North Africa.
In Great Britain it is absent from North Devon in the Peninsula
province, but occurs in the Channel, Thames, Anglia, and Severn
provinces, except in Stafford and Salop; and only in Glamorgan,
Carmarthen, and Pembroke in Wales. It is found also in N. Lines,
Leicester, Notts, N.E. and S.W. Yorks. It is naturalized elsewhere.

The Wayfaring Tree is a woodland species especially common on
chalk or limestone tracts, where it is associated with Alder Buckthorn,
White Beam, Wild Cherry, and other trees and shrubs. It grows in
hedges also by the roadside, preferring a habitat well characterized by
open light conditions and access to the sun.

The pliability of the twigs of this shrub-like plant is implied in
both Latin names, which are derived from words meaning to tie. The
stems are numerous, with white mealy branches. The leaves are
leathery, entire, heart-shaped, oblong, toothed, wrinkled below when
young, stellately hairy, and downy beneath. The leaf-stalks, shoots,
and young leaves are densely covered with down. This may help to
preserve the plant from the attacks of insects.

The flowers are creamy-white, in perfect terminal cymes, which
are flat, with strong rays. There are 2 small bracts or leaf- like
organs. The corolla is funnel-shaped. The flat, egg-shaped drupe
or berry-like fruit is black or purple ultimately, at first scarlet. The
seeds have a ventral groove.

The tree is usually about 8-10 ft. in height. The flowers, which
in our experience are very soon picked, are to be found in May and

1 2 3 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Online LibraryA. R. (Arthur Reginald) HorwoodA new British flora : British wild flowers in their natural haunts (Volume 3) → online text (page 5 of 23)