Chap. 148. Of Columbine.
I. The Names. It is said to be called in Greek, A no8o-, as Coftxus thinks from Theophrastus, lib. 6. cap. 7. and yet some think the Greeks knew nothing at all of it: Dalechampius upon Athenxus, calls it, Δ/βοÎ±^βΘ-, Diofanthcs, i. e. Flos Jovis. Fa-bius Columna, in his Phytobafanos, to whom Clusius gives the greatest approbation, refers it to the ΊσίπυÎ±ν* Ifopyrum Dioscoridis. In Latin, it is called, Aquileia, Aquilina, Aquilegia, Aquilegia Rosea, Aquilegia Stellata, Leontostomum Gesneri^ Herba Leonis : and in English, Columbine.
II. The Kinds. Authors describe many Kinds hereof but those which we shall treat of are these seven following: 1. Aquilegia Vulgaris flore simplici, The Common Single Columbine. 2. Aquilegia Vulgaris flore pleno, Common Double Columbine. 3. Aquilegia inversis Corniculis, Double inverted Columbines. 4. Aquilegia Rosea, The Rose Columbine. 5. Aquilegia Degener, The Degenerate Columbine. 6. Thalictrum vel Thalictrum Hispanicum album & purpureum, Ruta Palustris, Ruta Pratensis, Pseudorhabarbarum, Tufted Columbines White and Purple. 7. Aquilegia Virginiana flore rubescente prstcox, The early red Columbine of Virginia.
III. The Descriptions. The first has Roots thick and round, for a little way within the ground, and then it is divided into Branches, furnished with ma
ny small fibres, abiding many Pears _·, and from the round Heads of the Roots which abide all the- Winter, floating forth afresh every Spring, both Leaves and Stalks. The Leaves are divers, and large spread, funding on long Footstalks, every one divided into several parts, and roundly indented about the edges, in color of a blewish green, and not much unlike to the Great Celandine. The Stalks rise up sometimes two or three feet high, reddish, and /lightly haired, which usually spread themfclves into many Branches, bearing one long divided Leaf at the lower Joint, above which the Flowers grow, every one standing on a long Footstalk, consisting of live hollow Leaves, crooked or horned at the ends, turning backward, the Flower is open, Jhewing almost like to little Birds (says Gerard ) and hollow. The variety of their colors are very much, for some are wholly white, some blew, some of a violet color, others of a bluish or flesh color ; some of a deep Red, some of a pale Red, some of a dead Purple, or dead Mur-ry, and some of mixt colors, as nature is pleased to exert her powers, all which to distinguish severally would be to little purpose, they being so commonly known. The Flowers be*ng past, small long Cods appear, four or five together, in which are contained finall black, and glittering or Jhining Seed.
IV. Double Columbine has a Root like the former, and differs not in Leaf or manner of growing from the Single >, β that until they come to flower, they cannot be discerned one from another ; the only or chief difference is, that this bears very thick and double Flowers, that is, many horned or crooked hollow Leaves set together, which Leaves are not so large as the Leaves of the single Flowers. The variety of colors in this Double Kind is as great or plentiful, or rather more than in the Single, for of those there are party-colored blew, and white, and spotted variably, which are not in the Single Kind, Δ'ΓΦ* very deep Red, very thick and double, but smaller Flower, and less plentiful in bearing, than j many other of the Double forts. These Double Kinds do give as good Seed as the Single Kinds, which thing is net observed in many other Plants.
V. The third, or Double Inverted Columbine, is not to be differenced either in Roots, Stalks, Leaves, or Seed from the former, but only in the Flowers, which makes the chief Distinction : these are as double as the former, but the Heels or Horns of these are turned Inwards, and ft and out in the middle of the flowers together : neither is there that plentiful variety of colors in this Kind, which is in the former, there being never above three or four colors seen in this sort, to wit, White, Purplish, Reddish, and a Dun, or dark overworn purplish color. These double Flowers being past: away, there come in their places small long Cods like the former, bearing Seed, continuing its kind, and not changing into any of the former.
VI. The fourth, or Rose Columbine, in its Roots, Stalks, and Leaves differs little or nothing from the former Columbines ; the chief difference consists in the Flowers, which a/though they stand in the same manner severally upon their small Footstalks, but somewhat more sparingly than the others do, yet they have no heels or horns, either inward or outward^ or very seldom _·, but stand sometimes with eight or ten small, smooth, plain leaves, set in order one by one, as in a Compass, in a double row, and sometimes with four or five rows of them, every one directly before the other, like unto a small thick double Rose laid open, or a spread Marigold : but sometimes it happens, that some of these Flowers will have two or three of the first rows of Leaves, without any heel and the rest which are inwards, each of them with apiece of a small heel or horn at them, as the former have. The colors of these Flowers are al* most as variable, and as variably mixt, as the former double kinds. This also gives its Seed, which for the most part preserves its own kind in perfection
VII. The fifth or Degenerate Columbine holds the proper form of a Columbine, being much like to the Doable Rose kind, but that the outwardmost row of Leaves are larger than any of the rest inwards, and is of a greenish, or of a purplish green color, which is not altogether so apt to give good Seed like the former. Ibis kind of Columbine might seem to some to be but a casual Degeneration,and no true natural kind, happening by some cause of Transplanting, or other wife by Art $ but finding it to hold and keep its own proper Species, ( being raised from its own Seed ) and not variously to change into other forms I am obliged, I think, to conclude the contrary.
VIII. The sixth, or Spanish Tufted Columbine, has a Root made of many long yellow Branches and St rings, which endure many Years, and encrease much. These Plants ( whether white or purple ) have both one form in Roots, Stalks, Leaves, and Flowers, and therefore need but one Description: The Leaves are both for color and form, sο like unto Columbine Leaves ( thoy lesser and darker, yet more spread, and on larger Stalks ) that they may easily deceive one, that does not considerately observe them. Lot the Leaves are much more divided, and in smaller parts, and not Jo round at the ends. The Stalks are round, strong, and a yard high at least, branching out into two or three parts, with Leaves at their several Joints at the tops whereof Rand many Flowers, which are nothing but a number of Threads, made like unto a small round Tuft, breaking out of a white Skin or Leaf, which incloses them, and which being unblown, appear like unto little Buttons. The color of these Threads or Tufts are whitish, with yellow Tips on them, and somewhat purplish at bottom, having a strong, but no good or pleasant Smell. They abide in their Beauty ( more especially if they grow in the shade, and not too hot in the Sun) a great while, and then fall away like short Down, or Threads : The Seed Vessels are three square, containing small, long, and round Seed. The purple Tufted Columbine differs only from the white, in that it is not full out Jo high, nor so large, and that the color of the Flowers or Tufts, is a blewish purple, with yellow Tips, and is much more rare than the white.
IX. The seventh, or Virginian Columbine, has a Root long, with many Fibres thereat, but differs little from our common single sort, except in the following particulars. The Stalk ( Cornutus makes to be a Dwarf, but) is as tall as our common English, and of a reddish color. The Leaves are smaller, and somewhat like to those of the Thalictrum last described, or Meadow Rue, but of a paler green color. The Flowers are of a fad reddish color, and single from the middle of them to the ends but yellowish from thence to the bottom ; the ends of whose Leaves are net blunt, as in ours, but stiff, rough, and pointed, within which homed Leaves there are five other smaller, and of a reddish color also, their points bending downwards, having many small white Threads in the middle tipt with yellow after which come five pointed or horned Seed Vessels, containing within then,ι black shining Seed.
X. the Place?. They all grow with us in our wdens as Garden flowers: but Clusius says, that the iinglcϊ kinds have been often found on some of the ^oody Mountains in Germany. The seventh Kind is a Native of Virginia, and was brought to
b>' *** Tradescant. "
XI. The Times. They most of them flower not until May, and for the most part of June, and (as Gerard hys)m J;<ly their Seed ripening in the mean time. The Aquilegia Virginianafn Virginian Kmd, flowers somewhat earlier than any of the other Kinds, afcalfj sooner by a Month.
XII. The Qualities. They are Temperate in re-pe&of Heat or Coldness, Dryness or Moisture: Aperitive, Abstersive, and Astringent; Hepatick, Ne-
Ehritick, and Hysterick, Alterative, Vulnerary, and ithontriptick.
XIII. The Specification. It facilitates the Delivery of Women in Child-bed.
XIV. The Preparations. You may have, I. A liquid Juice from the Herb and Root. 2. An Essence from the Jame. 3. A Decoction in Wine. 4. A Lo* tion. 5. A Pouder of the Seed. 6. The Root of the Common Kinds. 7. The Root of the Tufted Kind.
XV. The liquid Juice. Mixed with Milk and Honey, it is good to heal sore Mouths : and taken four or fix spoonfuls at a time in White Port Wine, Morning and Night, it opens Obstructions of the Liver, and prevails against the Jaundice.
XVI. The Essence. It has more potently the Virtues of the Liquid Juice, besides it is of excellent use to heal old running Sores, and putrid Ulcers: and being taken for some time, it is an admirable thing against Obstructions of the Reins and Bladder.
XVII. The Decoction of the Herb and Root in Wine. This being perfumed with some Grains of Ambergrise, is good against those Swoonings, which the Greeks call <iVW*fJ* *, as also to open the Obstructions of the Liver, Reins, and Womb.
XVIII. The Lotion. It is made of the Leaves boiled in Milk or Poflet-drink, and sweetned a little with Honey _·, it is good against the soreness of the Throat, also prevails against the Inflammation, Swelling, Falling and Excoriation of the Uvula 5 Cankers in the Mouth and Gums, and other moist and running Sores in those parts ; all which it heals by Virtue of its drying and binding Quality.
XIX. The Pouder of the Seed. Given to one dram in Wine, with ten grains of Saffron, it opens the Obstructions of the Liver, and helps against the yellow Jaundice, as Tragus says, but he advises that the Patient after taking of it should be said in a warm Bed, and made to Sweat well thereupork Clusius says, that a Physician in Bruges gave it to Women in Travel (in a Glass of Wine ) to cause speedy Delivery, repeating it two or three times, as need required.
XX. The Roots of the Common Kinds. Camerarius says, that in Spain they eat the Root for many days together, to help such as were troubled with the Stone in the Reins.
XXI. The Roots of the Tufted Kind. They are said to have the Virtues of Rhubarb, by reason that (besides their being yellow ) they have an opening and drying Quality, as Rhubarb has. They are good ( as Dioscorides lays) to cleanse and dry old Ulcers, and to heal them. Camerarius says, that in Italy they are used against the Plague 5 and in Saxony against the Jaundice.