Chap. 144. Of Cole-flower.
I. The Names. I cannot find that this Plant was ever known to the Greeks for which reason it has no Greek name : or yet that the Ancient Romans had any knowledge thereof: but our Modem Authors call it in Latin, Brassica florida, Caulk Jwrida, Cauli flora, Brassica Cypria, in English, Cole Flowers, and Colle-Flowers.
II. The Kinds It is a singular Plant, but is certainly one of the Kinds of Coleworts : and that Species, which Pliny lib. 19. cap. 8. calls Brassica Pom-peiana.
III. The Description. It has a Root spread out into several pretty thick Branches, which are full of Fibres or Strings, from which spring forth divers large Leaves, which are large, of a whitish green color ; very like to Cabbage leaves slightly indented about the edges, yet smaller, narrower somewhat, and Sharper pointed than those of Cabbage : In the midst of which Leaves, sometimes in the beginning of Autumn, and sometimes sooner, there rises up a great white Head of white hard Flowers closely thrust together, sometimes they are of a Milk, or Cream, or yellowish white color : these never open, or spread much with us, and are then fittest for the Table, the green Leaves being cut away close to the Head: in <ut the other parts, the Plant is like to the Coleworts. These Flowers have a much pleasanter taste, than either Coleworts or Cabbages of any kind, and therefore are the mere Valuable as for Food.
IV. The Places. They grow in most parts of Europe, but very plentifully in England, Scotland and Ireland, and are only nourished up in Gardens.
V. The Times. The Colle-flower must be planted in April in a Bed of hot Horse-dung, and covered with Straw, or the like, to keep it from cold and frosty Mornings _·, and having gotten about fix Leaves, then it is to be removed into the place where you design it shall grow. The Flowers are in their Prime in most of the Summer Months.
VI. The Qualities, Specification, Preparations and Virtues, are the same with Cabbages and Coleworts, of which we have already spoken in Cap. 103. and 143. aforegoing, to which you are referred : only take this Note, That for the Table and Food, this is much the more excellent and noble Plant. Note also, That being boiled in Milk, and then eaten with Sweet fresh Butter, and Salt, and Juice of Limons, they have been found to restore admirably in Consumptions.