John Wilson.

A synopsis of British plants, in Mr. Ray's method, with their characters ... online

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According to the Most Accurate Observations,
* And the Biax-MaJLERN Avthors.

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P R E F A C E.

THE principal defign in publijhing this
Synopsis, is to inftru^ beginners in the
knowledge of Britilh Plants ; especially fucb
as are unacquainted with the Latin tongue:
For tho^ there are fever al authors^ in our own lan-
guage^ on that fubje£lj yet none of them have pur-
fued any regular method: Some difpofing the plants in
an alphabetical order ; others according to their fup-
pofedvirtuesy orinfuch an unintelligible manner^ that a
learner^ having no certain rule to direct him^ mufl
undergo a very tedious fearchy before he can poffibly
find out hts unknown plants if he be fo happy as ta
meet with it at all : But this difficulty willy in a greaf
meajurey be removedy by the regular and familiar me -
thod which is followed in this Synopfis. And that it
may be the more eafily under fioody it will be neceffary to^
obferve by what notesy or propertieSy plants are con -
fiantly known and (bfiinguifi>edy and thereby become re-
ducible to a certain uniform order, ^hefe arCy generaU
fyy the Flowers, the Fruit, and the Seed : But Mr
Ray, whofe model is here copiedy takes in any other
farts that are leaft fubjeli to change or alteration \
but admits only of fo many as are fufficiently determi-
nate^ which feldom amount to more than three ; and
allthofe plants t^at have the fame parts conJlru£led
after the like manner y however they may differ in
other refpeSsy arCy never thelefsy difpofed of together y
which difpofition is called a Clafs, or Tribe. For
injisnce^ all plantSy having Pentapetalous Flowers,
jucceededby two naked feeds y joined clofe together whiJfi-
greeny and feparated when ripCy be their other par (s e-
ver fo diffimilary are ranged together y and conptute
me clafs, called Umbelliferous : And all rough leaved
plantSy that have their leaves placed alternately upon


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P R E' F A C E;

the ftalks^ their flowers monopetalous^ cut into Jk^
figments^ and fucc^eded by four naked feed^^ are Uk^-
wife ranged together^ and oonftitute another, clalsj callgd
^^erifoliate. In like manner the reft are dijlinguifhed y
Jo that in all they make up twenty-two clajfes in this
Synopfis; and the particular pr^erties^ or charac-
ters^ whereby they are fever ally known j being prefix^ d^
a learner^ by moderate application^ may^ in a fbort
time^ become acquainted with thofe claffes^ and be
able to retain them in his memory y fo as to recolleSf,
them upon occajion. Befides the notes or properties
which af certain each particular clafs^ there are others'
fo be found in every plants which denominate the fub-
altern genera, or kinds. For example^ Angelica and
Cowparfnip are both of the Umbelliferous tribe^ each
having a pentapetalous flower^ fucceeded by two na-,
ked feeds •, but then there is a remarkable difference
between the two plants^ for the leaves of the firrmer
are winged^ and the leaves of the latter are jagged or
finuated ; which properties diftinguijb thefe twokinds.
Accordingly all the different genera, or kinds ^ are digeft-r
ed under their feveralclaffes^ and properly cbaraSertfed ;
(ind^ after the fame manner^ under every genus, all the
different (iptcits are difpofedy with fbort defcriptions ta
diftinguifh them from each other. So that when any un^
known plant occurs^ it may eajily be known •, fdr^ by exa-
mining its appearance and properties^ it will readily be
referred to its diftinSt clafs j from whence ^ by obferving
its more particular marks and charaSters^ it may be traced
p its fubaltern genus and fpecies •, where it has^ firft
the name given it in Mr Ray 'j Synopfis, afterwards
thofe by Calpar Bauhine, Gerard, ^»JParl^infon ; and
that thefe authors may be readily canfulted for further
information^ the pages of each are inferted. And it
muft be obferved^ that in this diftribution of the plants^
the third edition of Mr Ray'j Synopfis is followed^
excepting a few fuch tranfpofitions as the properties^
Upn examination^ plainly directed 5 the mofi material

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i/ which are : ift, The /pedes of Fumana are placed
with the papilionaceous tribe ; 2d,* the Plantains and
Spurges, amongfi the plants han)ingmonopetalousflowers
ad dry feed-vejfels ; 3d, Lyfimachia filiquofa. Pa-
paver corniculata, Chelidonium majus, and Balfamine^
will be found amongjt the ftliquous^ or poded plants^
with tetrapetalous flowers ; 4th, Luteola, with the
vafculiferousj tetrapetalous ', andj 5th, Refeda, cr
Me Rocket, amongft the vafculiferous plants^ with
bexapetalpus flowers.

As it may be ferviceable to know the-phct^ where
plants^ that are not very common^ have been founds
it was thought proper^ not only to preferve thofe men^
tioned in Mr Ray'j Synopfis, but to add fever al more %
heing partly fuch as -I met with in an authentick ma-
nufcripty of the late Mr Lawfon, to which I have
affixed his Name j and partly fuch as I have had op^
portunity to ohferve myfelf which are diftingui/hed
by this mark -f" : "the officinal and dilpepfatory plants
have an afterijk prefix^ d^ and their virtues are generally
tranfcribed from Mr MillerV Botanicum Officinale.

That this Synopsis might be more compleat^
I have not fcrupled to colleif the cbaraSers anddefcrip^ -
tions from the beft Modern Authors ; And as I '
have had frequent opportunities of examining moft of
the plants my felf I have correSied fome errors^ and
juppliedmany, defeSs in thofe authors. The reader will
ohferve that I have entirely omitted the Fungi, Moi-'
fes, Graffes, and Trees; which was to avoid raifing .
the pice of thi^ volume too high^ by enlarging thebu%
of it too much: I chofe therefore to make my fit ft :
publick ejfay with fome diffidence ^ that in cafe my per-
formance Jhould not give the expeSled fatisfaSfion^ I
mighty homever^aitone for my faulty by moderating the
expence ; dejigning^ if this meets with a better fate^
md finds acceptance with the publick ^ to throw inta
another volume what is, now l^t out of this^

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A T A B I, E of the C L AS S E S.

X |OApilki7plants>aBdth<^ nearly irfembling them fage r

V> n. Hetbs with apetalous flowers 1 1

HI. La€lefeent herH ^^^^ ^ compound flower 3 3

IV. Herbs not kaefeent, with a difcous flower and pappoos

feed 41

V. Corymbifcrous herbs 47

VI. Herbs with compound flowers, and fquamous heads ^53
y II. Herbs with fimplc ftowctt, and each flower firccecded by a

fingle naked iaed 60

VIII. Ui^Biferoog herba 63

}X. Stellate herbs 76

X. Afpcrifoliate, or rongh-leav'd plants , 78

XL Herbs and underflurubs, with their flowers genefaSy in

whork 83

XII. Hoi^s with a great numb^ erf" naked feeds fiKceeding each

flower loi

Xin. Berry-bearing plants 117

XiV. Herb5 with many pods, or little horns 125

XV. Hcrbswithmonopetelousflowers, and dry feed- veffisls 133

XVI. Vaiculi&ious phmts, with .dipetalous and tripetaloaa

flowors 168

XVII. Siliquous plants, with tetrapetalous ilowers 171

XVIII. Vafeuliferous plants, with tetrapetalous flowers 194

XIX. Leguminous plants, with papilionaceous flowers, and fuch
, as neatly refemble them 197

XX. Vafculiferous i^nts, with pentapetalous flowers 218
' XXL Vafculiferous plants with hexapetalous, or polypetalous

flowers. 152

XXIL Plants widi bulbous itwtd 255

EXPLICATION of the Abreviations.
C. Gafpar Bauhinia Pin«^ Bafil 1671 . G. Gerald's Hifte*
ry of Plants, hmdon 1597- G. E. Gerard's Hiflory of. Plants,'
with Johnfon's EmendatioAs, /i/<^ 1633. R. Mr Ray's Synop-
fis, liEdit, P. Parkinfon's Theatre of Kants^ Lond, 1640.
Pr. Ca^yaar Bauhinis prodrcMUus, ihid.iSTt. P. Parad. Parkin-
ion's Flower Garden, ibid 1629.

4^ ^^*»^*» *i * i *x >t > t ^^^ *|-*f-«^*l-l-*«-^*l-^-»^ < >t > l * X »
E R R S r A.
Page 2. line 36. for Cetercah, read Ceterach ; p, 28. /. 31, for
fj^endente, r. fpkndente j p, 2^ /. 23. refemk^ng, r, the league f
rt^emble-i p, 35. /. iA, for dofe, r. fi^rti p, 102. /. 21. after
rcdus, r. feliis ; p, 104. /, 7. for on the oppoflte fide oJ^ r. oppo-
foe to I /. 168. /. 33. r. Laraea; p, 169./. 10. r. Grc^ra i
t^i'ji.Lz forfil<iuotts, X. JU'iuous.

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ACaulis &? acduloSy without ftalk; that is, when
the flower of a plant grows clofe to the
ground, having no vifible ftalk.

Acinus G? acinic are the berries or fruit of the
Elder, Ivy, i^c.

Ala^ is the Siniis of a Stalk, which the leaf or
pedicle makes with the ftalk or branches.

Apices^ Sufnmits, are thofe bodies which hang u**'
pen the thives or threads, which generally furround
the pointals of flowers, and contain the pfolifick
powder analogous to the male fperm in anwials.
f^^. 2. Vi^. 5.

Arbor ^ a Tree, is defined to be a woody plant of
the Jargeft growth, whofe trunk is perennial and
fingle, and divided into feveral large branches -, which
are again divided into fmaller twigs, on which the
leaves, flpWers, and fruits are ptoduced.

Arijta^ is that Iharp-pointcd needle which ftands
out from the hulk or covering of the grain of Corn,
Grafs, &c. and is called Awn or Beard.

Articulation^ is the connexion of parts that con-
fill: of joints or knees \ fuch as the pods of Birds*
foot, French Honey-fudde, i^c. which, wlien ripe,
"clmd^ into fo many parts as there are joints.

A/j, is a taper column, placed in the center of
Ibme flowers, about which the other parts are difpo-

Bacca^ a Berry, is a roundifli fruit, for the moft
part foft, containing One or more feeds in a pulpy

Balaujlium^ is the Clip of the flower of the Wild '

b Mar-

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a A Bvtmical DiWwnary.

BarbuU^ are the femiflorets in cbmpound radia-
ted flowers.

Bifida trijid^ quadirfid^ fplit into two, three, or
four' Parts.

Bivalve y the Pods or Hufks of plants, which open
lengthways, hke the Ihell of a mufcle*
\ pracbia^ are divifions of the large branches of
trees from the trunk.

Bra5iea^ the petals, or flower-leaves of plants.
Bulbus^ fee Root.
. Calyfhay is the thin involucrum or cover of fome

Cahx. the. Fmpalement, is thofe leaves that are
xture than the petals, and generally;
• parts of the flower before it blow,
it becomes the capfule, or feed-veflfel^
:ver. Tab. 2. Fig. 4. where the fmall
)ack part of the flower, reprefent the

in flowers, are generally underftood
t;o mean the chives.

Capillary Plants^ are iiich as have no main ftem,.
but their leaves arife froxn the root upon pedicles,
and produce their feeds on the back part of thfeir
leaves. ' ^

CapituUmy is the head, or top of any plant.

Capfulay is the fliort pod or hufli pf a plant, con*,
taining the feed. Dry feed-veflfels, according to the
number of cells into which they- are divided, are"
called unicapfular, bicapfular, tricapfujar, tetracap-'
fular,. pentacapfular, i. e, feed-veflfels' having one,,
two, three, four, or five cells, tfr. '

Carina. Stt FloWftr:. . .
. Cauday the Tail of .a Leaf, is a produftion of the,
middle rib, and cpnriedts the leaf with the ftalk,
after the manner of a pedicle.

CaudeXy is the trunk of a tree.'

CauliSy a Stalk, is a part of a plant receiving the


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A Botanical Di&ionary, 3

nourifhment from the root, and conveying it f5
the other parts, with ^hich it is cloathed^ not hav-
ing one fide diftiflguifhaWe from the other. :
Caulis indeterminatus^ an Indeterminate Stalk; the
flowers aft not placed at the tops only, but all ^long
the fides of the ftalks and branches, as in Wofm*
Wood, Mugwort, i3c.

Caulis voluhilis^ a Twining Stalky is that whieft
twifts about ^ny prop without the help of tendrils,
as the Hop, i^c. *

Caulis jcandens^ a Climbing Stalk, is that which
clirribs by fh6 help of tendriis, as th^ Vine, 6ff . •

Caulis repensj a Creepng Stalk, is that which lie^
on the ground, and propagates itfelf by emitting
roots, ^s the Strawberiy, i3c.

Caulis procumhensy a Procumbent, or Trailing
Stalk, is that which lies on the ground, without
emitting foots. •

Cirriy are the little fibres of the roots of pknts. '

Clavi(uluSy or Capreolus^ a Tendril, is a part of a
ftalk tur/lng, artd iayirfg hold on any adjacent bo-
dy, as in the Pea.

Coma J ^s the top of a branch or flower.

Comsy a Corte, is a dry feed-veffel, confiftirig of
feveral lignous parts, adhering clofely together^ and
fep^rating Wfien ripe.

Corymbiferous Plants^ are fuch as havfe radiated
difcous ftoWefs, but no down adhering to their feeds.

Coryfribusy differs frotti an umbel, in that the rays^
^r bedicles, are difpofed in fiich a manner, as to fornt
d Iphere, as in the berries of Ivy, ^c.

Cubitus^ ^ Cubit, that is, a foot and a half.-

Cucullate plants^ are fuch as have flowers refelfH
- bfing a hood of cowl, fuch as the Monks weaf.

CUlmus^ ^ Stdk of Corn, or Grafs.

Gylindrusj Cylinder; the fruit of pknts are tefm^
cd cyfindticalj. when they rcfcnible a eoliirtin, or



4 A Botanical UtUtonary.

' 2)^//V«iz/«^, Indented Leaves; their fegmcnts are
more acute than thofe of tfic Crenated L^ave§.

Digitated.. See Leaves.

Dicotyledones Plants^ that have two feqjl leaves.

Bifcus^ the Dilk, is an aggregate of flqtets, form-
ing, as it were, a plain furface, as in the flower of
the Dafie. Tab. i^fig. lo.

Dijfepimentum^ is the thin Septum, which divide^
the feveral cells in the fruit of plants.

EcbinuSy thofe pl^ts, or parts of plants, which
ve befet very clofely with ipines, like a bedge-hog,^
are termed Echinated.

Emarginatus^ thofe leaves of plants which are hol-
lowed at their extremities, fo as to form a heart, are
called Emarginated Leaves.

Embryo^ the tender Foetus of a plant.

Epiphyh/permous^ plants that bear their ieeds on
the back part of their leaves.

Efculent Plants^ fuch plants, or the roots of them,
as may be eaten, as Beets, Carrots, TumepS| Ra^
diflies, fcff.

Fimbria^ Fringe, thofe parts of plants, or flowers,
whofe borders end in fmall threads, refemHing frin-
ged linen, are termed fimbriated.

Fijiulous Plants y are fuch whofe ftalks are hollow-
like a ppe.

Flos^ a Flower, is the organs of generation of
both fexes, adhering* to a common placenta, toge-
ther with their common coverings ; or of cither (tx,
ieparately, with its proper coverings, if it have any.

Flos amentaceus^ Amentaceous Flowers \ fuch as
are termed Katkins, as in the Hafel.

Flos apetdusy Flowers without leaves; fuch a$
have no other covering to the parts of generation
but the cmpalement.

Flos companiformis^ a Bell-Ihaped Flower, confift-
ing but of one fingle leaf, in its form refembling
the Ibapeof a bell: Of this flower there are four'




A Botanical DWtonary. 5

fpecies, viz. i/. That which is properly fo cafled,
the figure of the leaf moft nearly refembling the
fhape of a bell \ idy The Cylindrical Bell-lhaped
flower^ its leaf is more contrafted, and bears the re-
femblance of a narrow oblong tube -, 3^, The wide
and expanded Bell-flower, which opens and ipreads
its leaf in the form of a bafon ; j^b^ The GJobous
Bell-fliap'd Flower j its mouth is of a much lels
circumference than its belly.

Flos careapbylleuSy a Clove. Gillyflower Flower, has
many petals ranged circularly, that fjpring up from the
bottom of the empalement, as out of a pipe ; by which
it differs from the Rofe Flower. Tab. 2. Jig. 15.

Flos compofttnsy a Compound Flower, compofed
either of florets, or femiflorets, or bodi together.
Tab. 2. fig 10.

Flos cruciformiSy a Crofs-fhaped Flower, is com-
pofed of four petals, placed in the form of a crofs ^
fuch are the flowers of Muflrard, Cabbage, ^c.

Flos fofculoftts, a Flofculous Flower, is that whiA
is compofed of feveral florets, included in one com-
mon empalement.

Flos infundibuliformisy a Funnel-fliaped Flower,'
Flos labiatusy a Labiated Flower, an irregular
monopetalous flower, divided, ufually, into twa
lips-, the upper lip is called the crefl:, and the under
lip is called the beard ; fometimcs the creft is want-
ing, and the flyle and chives fupply its place. This is
called an Unlabiated Flower. Tab. 2. fig. 8.

Flos lilidceusy a LiUy-lhapM Flower, generally
compofed of fix petals, which refemble a Lilly. It
is peculiar to this flower, that it is generally fuceeed-
ed by tricapfular fixiit.

Fhs monopetalusy a flower compofed of one leaf.

All thofe flowers, whofe petals are joined at the

bottoms, fo that they fall oflT entire, are termed

Monopet^ous Flowers.

4 Regular Monoprtalous Flower^ is that in which'

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6 A Botanical Di6fionary.^

the petal is not all divided i or, if divided^ the feg-?
inents anfwer each other.

An Irregular Monoptalous Flower^ is that in whicK
the parts of the petal do not anfwer one another..
This is called an Anomalous Monopetalous Flower •.

Flos ftudus^ a Naked Flower, which has no em-
palement, as the Marlh-marigold, 6fr.

Flos fapilionaceusy a Papilionaceous, or Pea-bloom
Flower, in Ibme meafure refemblihg a butterfly, witK
its wings expanded. It always confifts of thefe four'
parts : The ftandard, (VexilUim) which is a large eredt
legment or petal ; the two wings, (Ales) which com -
pofe the fides ; and the keeL (Carina) which is a
concave petal or foment, relembling the lower part
of a boat : This is fometimes entire, fometimes it
confifts of two petals or fegments, adhering clofc-
ly together, ^ab.i. Fig.iu

Fm ferfonatus^ a Perfonated Hower ; an irregu-
lar monopetalous flower, whofe upper part refembles;.
the beak of fowls. Of this kind is the Snapdragon^
Toad-flax, i^c

Flos^urceolatuSj or Pitcher-lhap'd Flower-, of
this fort is the Bilberry, and moft of the Heaths.'

Flos polypetalusy a Polypetafous Flower ; that is, a
flower compofed of feveral leaves -.When thefe a-
gree in figure and pdfition, k is called a Regular Po-
lypetalous Flower : Tab. 2. jig. 6. But when the
petals do not agree in figure and pofition, it is called
an Irrejgular Polypetalous Flower. Tab. 2. fis- 12.

Flos radiaius^ a Radiated Flower^ confiifs of
two parts ; the diflc, which is an a^regate of flo-
rets, forming a plain fiirface, and tne rays, \rfiicli
are feveral femiflorets, fet round the diffi:,/in the
form of a Jftar. Thde are called Radiated t)if
cous Flowers ; but thofe which have no foch raysj,
are* called Naked Difcous Flowers. The Dafie
has a radiated difcous flower, and Tanfey a naked
difcous flower. Tab. 2. jfo. 10.

" ' -^ ' ■ • •■ Flos:

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A Botankal Dictionary. ^

Ftos rt^fa<€us^ a Rofe-ihap*d Flayer, confifb-
'of four, or more petals, which are placed circular-
ly in the form of a Rofe. Tab. 2. fig^ 6.

Flos fcorpioides^ that is, when the flowers are ran*
ged on one fide of the pedicle, which twifts at the
top in the form of a fcorpion's tail.

Flos femiflofiukJiiSy a SeraifiofculousFlower, is com*
pofed of fcveral femiflorets, included in one com-
mon empalcmei^ as in Dandiiion, fe?r.

Flos fpicatusy a Spiked Flower, is that whofe
flowers are fet on the pedicle in iiich a maniKr as to
form an acute cone.

Flos ftamineus^ a Stamineous Flower, is compcStd
of many chives included in one empakracnt, having
no petals 5 of cMs fort is Bifl:ort, Orache, 6?^.

Flos ftcriUsy Barren Flowers, wluch have no em^
bryo adhering to them \ fo are called Male Flowers^
and Fatfe Flowers.

Flos vcrticillatus^ Whortfliap'd Flowers. Thefe
flowers grow clofe^y united funwM)ding the ftalk at
the feveral joints : Ctf this fort is Pennyroyal, 6?r;

Flos umbellatas^ an Umbelkted Flower, has the
extremity of the ftalk or branch divided into feve-
ral pedicles, or rays, beginning from the feme point,
and opening in fuch a manner as to form a kind of
inverted cone. When the pedicles are fuhdivided
into others of thefame form^' upon which the flowers
are difoofed, the firft order is called Rays, the fe-
cond Pedicles. That umbel which conufts of pe-»
dicles only, is called a Simple Umbel ; that which
is compofed both of rays and pedicles, is called a
Compound Umbel. Tc^ 2. fig. i.

FlofculuSy a Floret, a little tube expanded at the *
top, ufually into five fegments, and fitting upon
the embryo of a fingle feed : From -the inner part
of the tube arife five chives, which, uniting toge-
ther, form a flieath ; and from the cmtryo of the
feed arifes a-ftyle, which paflTes thrg' the flieath,




8 A Botankai DiBmary^

and is ufually bifid, and reflcxed at the top. T^^
«. fig. 14*

Foliumj a Leaf, a part of a plant, extended in-
to length and breadth in fuch a manner, as to have
one fide diflinguiftiable from the other.

Folium Jtmplex^ a Simple Leaf, not divided to
die middle rib. ^ah. i. Jig. i, 2, 3, 4, (^c.

Fblium compqfitum^ a Compound Leaf, divided
into feveral parts, each refemhling a fimple leaf.
^ab. I. fig^ It ^.

Folium digitatumj a Digitated Leaf, a compound
leaf divided into feveral parts, all of which meet

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Online LibraryJohn WilsonA synopsis of British plants, in Mr. Ray's method, with their characters ... → online text (page 1 of 22)