William Salisbury.

The Botanist's Companion, Volume II online

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19. GENTIANA verna. VERNAL GENTIAN. - A delightful little plant of the
finest blue colour the Flora exhibits in all her glory: its scent is
also delightful: it is somewhat scarce and difficult to procure; but if
more generally known, few gardens would be destitute of such a treasure.
It is of tolerably easy culture, and grows well in loam: it is small,
and is best kept in a pot.



20. GENTIANA Pneumonanthe. MARSH GENTIAN. - Is also a beautiful plant,
and grows well in any moist place. From its beautiful blue flowers it is
well adapted to the flower garden; it delights in bog earth.



21. GERANIUM phaeum. BLACK-FLOWERED GERANIUM. - This is a perennial, and
makes a fine ornamental plant for the shrubbery: it will grow in any
soil and situation.



22. GLAUCUM Phoeniceum. PURPLE HORN POPPY. - An annual flower of
singular beauty, and deserving a place in the flower garden.



23. GNAPHALIUM margaritaceum. AMERICAN CUDWEED. - This plant affords
beautiful white flowers, which drying and keeping their colour, it is
worth attention on that account, as it affords a pleasing variety with
the different Xeranthema, and others of the like class in winter.



24. HIERACUM aurantiacum. GRIM-THE-COLLIER. - This is an old inhabitant
of our gardens, and affords a pleasing variety.



25. HOTTONIA palustris. WATER VIOLET. - This is a plant of singular
beauty in spring; it is an aquatic, and makes a fine appearance in our
ponds in the time of its bloom.



26. IBERIS amara. CANDYTUFT. - An annual flower of considerable beauty
and interest. We have several varieties of this sold in the seed-shops.



27. IMPATIENS NOLI ME TANGERE. - A very curious flower which is grown as
an annual. The construction of the seed-vessel causing the seeds to be
discharged with an elastic force is a pleasing phaenomenon.



28. LATHYRUS sylvestris. - EVERLASTING PEA. - This is also a great
ornament, and frequently found in gardens; it grows very readily from
seeds sown in the spring of the year.



29. LEUCOJUM aestivum. SUMMER SNOW FLAKE. - This is a very noxious plant
in the meadows where it grows wild. I have seen it in the neighbourhood
of Wooking in Surrey quite overpower the grass with its herbage in the
spring, and no kind of that animal that we know of will eat it.

It is however considered an ornamental plant, and is often found in our
flower gardens. It is of easy culture: the roots may be planted in any
of the autumn or winter months.



30. MALVA moschata. MUSK MALLOW. - This makes a fine appearance when in
bloom, for which purpose it is often propagated in gardens: its scent,
which is strong of vegetable musk, is also very pleasant.



31. MELLITIS mellyssophyllum. MELLITIS grandiflora. BASTARD BALM. - Both
these plants are very beautiful, and are deserving a place in the flower
garden: they are of easy culture, and will grow well under the shade of
trees, a property that will always recommend them to the notice of the
curious.



32. MENYANTHES Nymphoides. ROUND-LEAVED BOG BEAN. - This is a
beautiful aquatic, and claims a place in all ornamental pieces of water.



33. NARCISSUS poeticus. NARCISSUS Pseudo Narcissus. - These are much
cultivated in gardens for the sake of the flowers. The florists have by
culture made several varieties, as Double blossoms which are great
ornaments. The season for planting the bulbs of Narcissus of all
kinds is the month of October: they will grow well in any soil, and
thrive best under the shade of trees.



34. NUPHAR minima is also beautiful, but it is not common. It
will form an ornament for pieces of water.



35. NYMPHAEA alba. NYMPHAEA lutea. - These are aquatics, and scarcely
any plant is more deserving of our attention. The fine appearance of the
foliage floating on the surface, which is interspersed with beautiful
flowers, will render any piece of water very interesting: it should also
be observed that gold-fish are found to thrive best when they have the
advantage of the shade of these plants. It is difficult in deep water to
make them take root, being liable to float on the surface, in which
state they will not succeed. But if the plants are placed in some
strong clay or loam tied down in wicker baskets and then placed in the
water, there is no fear of their success: they should be placed where
the water is sufficiently deep to inundate the roots two feet or a
little more.



36. OPHRYS apifera. BEE ORCHIS. - There are few plants that are more
generally admired than all the Orchideae for their singular beauty and
uncommon structure. The one in question so very much resembles the
humble-bee in appearance, that I have known persons mistake this flower
for the animal. It is unfortunate for the amateurs of gardening that
most plants of this tribe are difficult of propagation, and are not of
easy culture. I have sometimes succeeded with this and other species, by
the following method: - to take up the roots from their native places of
growth as early as they can be found, and then procure some chalk and
sift it through a fine sieve, and also some good tenacious loam; mix
both in equal quantities in water; a large garden-pot should then be
filled with some rubble of chalk, about one third deep, and then the
above compost over it, placing the roots in the centre, at the usual
depth they grew before. As the water drains away, the loam and chalk
will become fixed closely round the bulbs, and they will remain alive
and grow. By this method I have cultivated these plants for some years
together.

In this way all those kinds growing in chalk may be made to grow; but
such as the Orchis moryo, maculata, and pyramidalis, may be grown in
loam alone, planted in pots in the common way. Care should be taken that
the pots in which they are planted are protected from wet and frost in
the winter season.



37. ORNITHOGALUM latifolium and umbellatum are also ornamental, and are
often cultivated for their beautiful flower. The season for planting the
bulbs is about the month of September.



38. PAPAVER somniferum. GREATER POPPY. PAPAVER Rhoeas. CARNATION POPPY.
- These are made by culture into numerous varieties, and are very
beautiful; but the aroma, which is pregnant with opium, renders too many
of them unpleasant for the garden.



39. POLEMONIUM coeruleum. GREEK VALERIAN, or JACOB'S LADDER. - Is also a
beautiful perennial, and claims the notice of the gardener. Its
variety, with white flowers, is also ornamental. It is raised
from seeds, which are sold in plenty in our seed-shops.



40. PRIMULA officinalis. COWSLIP. PRIMULA vulgaris. PRIMROSE. PRIMULA
elatior. OXLIP. PRIMULA farinose. BIRD'S EYE. - All well known ornaments
of numerous varieties, double and single. The third species is the
parent of the celebrated Polyanthus. The last is also an interesting
little plant with a purple flower. It grows best in bog earth.



41. ROSA rubiginosa. SWEET BRIAR. - This lovely and highly extolled shrub
has long claimed a place in our gardens. We have several varieties with
double flowers, which are highly prized by the amateurs of gardening.



42. SAXIFRAGA umbrosa. LONDON PRIDE. - -A beautiful little plant for
forming edgings to the flower garden, or for decorating rock-work.



43. SAXIFRAGA oppositifolia. PURPLE SAXIFRAGE. - Perhaps we have few
flowers early in the spring that deserve more attention than this. It
blooms in the months of February and March, and in that dreary season,
in company with the Snow-drop, Crocus, and Hepaticas, will form a most
delightful group of Flora's rich production. The Saxifrage is a native
of high mountains, and it can only be propagated by being continually
exposed to the open and bleakest part of the garden: it succeeds best in
pots. It should be parted every spring, and a small piece about the size
of a shilling planted in the centre of a small pot, and it will fill the
surface by the autumn. The soil bestsuited to it is loam.



44. SEDUM acre. STONE CROP. SEDUM rupestre. ROCK GINGER. - All the
species of Sedums are very ornamental plants, and are useful for
covering rocks or walls, where they will generally grow with little
trouble. The easiest mode of propagating and getting them to grow on
such places is first to make the place fit for their reception, by
putting thereon a little loam made with a paste of cow-dung; then
chopping the plants in small pieces, and strowing them on the place: if
this is done in the spring, the places will be well covered in a short
time.



45. STATICE Armeria. THRIFT. - This plant is valuable for making edgings
to the flower garden. It should be parted, and planted for this purpose
either in the months of August and September, or April and May.



46. STIPA pinnata. FEATHER GRASS. - We have few plants of more interest
than this; its beautiful feathery bloom is but little inferior to the
plumage of the celebrated Bird of Paradise. It is frequently worn in the
head-dress of ladies.



47. SWERTIA perennis. MARSH SWERTIA. - This is a beautiful little plant,
and worth the attention of all persons who are fond of flowers that will
grow in boggy land. It is a perennial, and of easy culture.



48. TROLLIUS europaeus. GLOBE FLOWER. - This is also a fine plant:
when cultivated in a moist soil its beautiful yellow flowers afford a
pleasing accompaniment to the flower border and parterre in the spring
of the year. It is easily raised by parting its roots.



49. TULIPA sylvestris. - This beautiful flower is also an inhabitant of
our flower-gardens; it is called the Sweet-scented Florentine Tulip. It
has a delightful scent when in bloom, and is highly worthy the attention
of amateurs of flower gardens. It should be planted in September, and
will grow in almost any soil or situation.



50. TYPHA latifolia. TYPHA angustifolia. TYPHA minor. - These are all
very fine aquatics, and worth a place in all pieces of water; the
foliage forms a fine shelter for water-fowl.



51. VIOLA tricolor. HEART'S-EASE. - Is an annual of singular beauty, and
forms many pleasing and interesting varieties.



52. VIOLA odorata must not be passed over among our favourite native
flowers. This is of all other plants in its kind the most interesting.
It forms also several varieties; as Double purple, Double white, and the
Neapolitan violet. The latter one is double, of a beautiful light blue
colour, and flowers early; it is rather tender, and requires the
protection of a hot-bed frame during winter. It is best cultivated in
pots.



53. VINCA minor. LESSER PERIWINKLE. - This is also a beautiful little
evergreen, of which the gardeners have several varieties in cultivation;
some with double flowers, others with white and red-coloured corols,
which form a pleasing diversity in summer.



54. VINCA major. GREAT PERIWINKLE.-I know of no plant of more beauty,
when it is properly managed, than this. It is an evergreen of the most
pleasing hue, and will cover any low fences or brick-work in a short
space of time. The flowers, which are purple, form a pleasing variety in
the spring months.



* * * * *



MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES



53. BETA vulgaris. I have noticed this plant before, both as to its
culinary uses and for feeding cattle: but having received a
communication from a friend of mine who resides in the interior of
Russia, relative to his establishment for extracting sugar from this
root, I cannot omit relating it here, as it appears to be an interesting
part of agricultural oeconomy.

"I have here two extensive fabrics for the purpose of making sugar from
the Red Beet, and we find that it yields us that useful article in great
abundance; i. e. from every quarter of the root (eight bushels
Winchester measure) I obtain ten pounds weight of good brown sugar; and
this when refined produces us four pounds of the finest clarified lump
sugar, and the molasses yield good brandy on distillation. This is not
all; for while we are now working the article the cows are stall-fed on
the refuse from the vats after mashing; and those animals give us milk
in abundance, and the butter we are making is equal to any that is made
in the summer, when those animals are foraging our best meads." -
Dashkoff, in the government of Orel, 1500 miles from St. Petersburgh,
Jan 7, 1816.

The above account, which is so extremely flattering, may no doubt lead
persons to imagine that the culture of the beet for the same purpose in
this country might be found to answer: and as it is our aim in this
little work to give the best information on these subjects without
prejudice, I shall beg leave to make use of the following observation,
which is not my own, but one that was made on this subject by a Russian
gentleman, whom I have long had the honour of enumerating among my best
friends; and who is not less distinguished for his application both to
the arts and oeconomy, than he is for his professional duties, and his
readiness at all times to communicate information for the general good.

"The land where the Beet is grown is of an excellent quality, very deep
and fertile, and such as will grow any crop for a series of years
without manure. Such soils are seldom found in this country but what may
be cultivated to more advantage. In such land, and such alone, will this
vegetable imbibe a large quantity of the saccharine fluid; for it would
be in vain to look for it in such Beet roots as have been grown on poor
land made rich by dint of manure.

"It may also be a circumstance worth remarking, that although the sugar
thus obtained is very good for common use, it by no means answers the
purpose of the confectioner, as it is not fit for preserving; and for
this purpose the cane sugar alone is used; so that although great merit
may attach to the industry of a person who in times of scarcity can
produce such an useful article as sugar from a vegetable so easily
grown, yet when cane sugar can be imported at a moderate rate, it will
always supersede the use of the other."



56. PYRUS malus. THE APPLE. - This useful fruit, now growing so much to
decay in this country, which was once so celebrated for its produce, is
grown in great perfection in all the northern provinces of France; and
she supplied the London markets with apples this season, for which she
was paid upwards of 50,000 l.; and can most likely offer us good cyder
on moderate terms.

The French people, ever alive to improvement and invention, having
discovered a mode of extracting sugar in considerable quantity from this
fruit, I shall transcribe the particulars of it.

On the Preparation of Liquid Sugar from Apples or Pears. By M. DUBUC.
(Ann. de Chim. vol. lxviii.) - "Several establishments have been made in
the South of France for making sugar from grapes; it is therefore
desired to communicate the same advantage to the North of France, as
apples and pears will produce sugar whose taste is equally agreeable as
that of grapes, and equally cheap.

"Eight quarts of the full ripe juice of the Orange Apples was boiled for
a quarter of an hour, and forty grammes of powdered chalk added to it,
and the boiling continued for ten minutes longer. The liquor was
strained twice through flannel, and afterwards reduced by boiling to one
half of its former bulk, and the operation finished by a slow heat until
a thick pellicle rose on the surface, and a quart of the syrup weighed
two pounds. By this method two pounds one ounce of liquid sugar was
obtained, very agreeable in flavour, and which sweetened water very
well, and even milk, without curdling it.

"Eight quarts of the juice of apples called Doux levesque, yielded by
the same process two pounds twelve ounces of liquid sugar.

"Eight quarts of the juice of the sour apples called Blanc mollet,
yielded two pounds ten ounces of good sugar.

"Eight quarts of the juice of the watery apples called Girard, yielded
two pounds and a half.

"Twenty-five chilogrammes, or fifty-pounds of the above four apples,
yielded nearly fourty-two pounds of juice; which took three ounces of
chalk and the white of six eggs, and produced more than six pounds of
excellent liquid sugar.

"In order to do without the white of eggs, twenty pounds of the juice of
the above apples were saturated with eleven drachms of chalk, and
repeatedly strained through flannel, but it was still thick and
disagreeable to the taste; twelve drachms of charcoal powder were then
added, and the whole boiled for about ten minutes, and then strained
through flannel; it was then clear, but higher-coloured than usual;
however, it produced very good sugar. Six quarts of apple-juice were
also treated with seven drachms of chalk, and one ounce of baker's
small-coal previously washed until it no longer coloured the water, with
the same effect.

"Eight quarts of apple juice, of several different kinds and in
different stages of ripeness, of which one-third was still sour, were
saturated with twelve drachms of chalk, and clarified with the whites of
six eggs; some malate of lime was deposited in small crystals towards
the end, and separated by passing the syrup very hot through the
flannel. Very near two pounds of sugar were obtained.

"Ten pounds of bruised apples, similar to the last, were left to
macerate for twenty-four hours, and four quarts of the juice were
treated with five drachms of chalk and the white of an egg: it yielded
one pound six ounces of liquid sugar; so that the maceration had been of
service.

"Twenty-four pounds of the pear called Pillage, yielded nine quarts of
juice, which required eighteen drachms of chalk and the whites of two
eggs, and yielded about twenty-four ounces of sugar, which was less
agreeable to the taste than that of ripe apples.

"Six quarts of juice from one part of the above pears, and two of ripe
apples, (orange and girard,) treated with eight drachms of chalk and the
whites of two eggs, yielded twenty-six ounces of very fine-tasted sugar,
superior to the preceding.

"Six quarts of juice, of an equal quantity of apples and pears, treated
with ten drachms of chalk and thirteen of prepared charcoal, deposited
some malate of lime, and yielded a sugar rather darker than the
preceding, but very well tasted.

"Cadet de Vaux says, that apple juice does not curdle milk, and that a
small quantity of chalk added to it destroys some part of the saccharine
principle. But eight quarts of juice from ripe apples called orange,
which was evidently acid, as it curdled milk and reddened infusion of
turnsole and that of violet, were treated with four drachms of chalk and
the white of an egg: it yielded twenty-two ounces of syrup, between
thirty-two and thirty-three degrees of the hydrometer, which did not
curdle milk. Another eight quarts of the same juice evaporated to
three-fourths of its volume, and strained, yielded twenty-three ounces
of clear syrup, which curdled milk, and was browner than that of the
neutralized juice, and approached towards treacle in smell and taste.
Perhaps the apple called Jean-hure, used by Mr. Cadet, possesses the
valuable properties of furnishing good sugar by mere evaporation. It is
necessary to observe, that unless the fire is slackened towards the end
the syrup goes brown, and acquires the taste and smell of burnt sugar.

"A hundred weight of apples yield about eighty-four pounds of juice,
which produce nearly twelve pounds of liquid sugar. Supposing,
therefore, the average price of apples to be one franc twenty cents
(tenpence) the hundred-weight, and the charge amounts to forty cents
(four-pence), good sugar may be prepared for three or four sols (two-
pence) per pound [Footnote: A gramme, fifteen grains English.-A drachm,
one-eighth of an ounce.]. The only extra apparatus necessary is a couple
of copper evaporating pans." - Retrospect, vol. vi. p. 14.

The distressed state of our orchards in the Cider counties has lately
much engaged the attention of all persons who are accustomed to travel
through them; and no one can possibly view the miserable condition of
the trees, without being forcibly struck with their bad appearance: the
principal case of which, I am sorry to say, has arisen from
mismanagement [Footnote: Vide Observations on Orchards, lately published
by the author of this work.]; and it certainly does in a great measure
tarnish the laurels of our boasted agriculturists, when we find such
great quantities of this useful fruit produced in France, that very
country which we have been taught to believe so greatly behind us in the
general oeconomy of life.



57. SPERGULA arvensis. - This plant has been recommended as a crop for
feeding cattle, and is stated to be cultivated for that purpose in some
parts of Germany and Flanders: but I believe we have many other plants
better calculated for the purpose here.



58. VIOLA odorata. - This is a very useful plant in medicine, affording
a syrup which has long been used in the practice. It is however
discarded from the London Pharmacopoeia.



59. URTICA canadensis. CANADIAN HEMP NETTLE. - During the late war,
when, from unfortunate circumstances and misunderstandings amongst the
potentates of Europe, the commercial intercourse was checked, great
speculations were made among the people to discover substitutes for such
articles as were of certain demand; and one of the principal was of
course the article Hemp, which, although it can be partially cultivated
in this country, is a plant of that nature that we should find the
article at a most enormous price were we dependent on our own supply
alone. The great growth that supplies all the markets in the world is
Russia, where land is not only cheap, but of better quality than here;
but with which country we were once unhappily deprived of the advantage
of trade. This caused persons to seek for substitutes: and I once saw
one that was made from bean-stalks, not to be despised; but it is
probable that none has reached so high in perfection as that produced
from the plant above named. A person has grown and manufactured this
article in Canada, and has exhibited some samples in London, which it is
said have obtained the sanction of government, and that the same person
is now engaged in growing in North America a considerable quantity of
this article. As this, therefore, is a subject of great interest to us
as a maritime nation, I shall insert the following account that is given
of this plant. I am, however, quite unacquainted with its culture or
manufacture, and cannot pledge myself for the accuracy of the detail.

"PERENNIAL HEMP. Cultivation. - Affects wet mellow land, but may be
cultivated with advantage on upland black mould or loam, if moist and of
middling good quality. Manure will assist the produce. It may be planted
from the beginning of October to the latter end of March, in drills
about fifteen inches asunder and nine inches distance in the drills.

"Propagation. - Sow the seeds in a bed in the month of March, and
transplant the roots next autumn twelvemonth, as above directed; or
divide the old roots, which is the quickest way of obtaining a crop.

"Time of Harvesting. - If a fine quality of Hemp is desired, mow the
crop when it is in full bloom; but should a greater produce of inferior
quality be more desirable, it should stand until the seeds are nearly
ripe. It should remain in the field about a week after it is mown, and
when sufficiently dry gathered in bundles and stacked as Hemp.

"Separation of Hemp from the Pulps. - Rot it in water, as practised with
Hemp.

"The Perennial Hemp grows to the height of from four to six feet.

"The root inclines horizontally with numerous fleshy fibres at the
extremity.

"The buds many, and resembling the buds of the Lily of the Valley.

"It is the Urtica canadensis of Kalm, one of which was brought over and
planted by the side of this plant, and we could not find any difference."



60. LAPSANA communis. NIPPLE-WORT. - This plant is considered by the
country people as a sovereign remedy for the piles. The plant is
immersed in boiling water, and the cure is effected by applying the
steam arising therefrom to the seat of the disease; and this, with
cooling medicine and proper regimen, is seldom known to fail in curing
this troublesome disease.



61. DAPHNE laureola. WOOD LAUREL. - The leaves of this plant have little
or no smell but a very durable nauseous acrid taste. If taken internally
in small doses, as ten or twelve grains, they are said to operate with
violence by stool and sometimes by vomit, so as not to be ventured on
with safety, unless their virulence be previously abated by long


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Online LibraryWilliam SalisburyThe Botanist's Companion, Volume II → online text (page 22 of 23)