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Crow-foot.

Plate 14. Ranunculus.

A COMMON wild plant. There are several sorts of it, but the kind used in medicine is that most common in meadows, and called the common creeping crowfoot. It grows a foot or more high; the stalks are firm, thick, branched, and of a pale green; but they seldom stand quite upright. The leaves on them are few, and divided into narrow segments; the flowers are yellow, of the breadth of a shilling, and of a fine shining colour; they stand at the tops of all the branches; the leaves which rise from the root are large, divided in a threefold manner, and often spotted with white.

Some are so rash as to mix a few leaves of this among salad, but it is very wrong; the plant is caustic and poisonous. They are excellent applied externally in palsies and apoplexies; for they act quicker than cantharides in raising blisters, and are more felt. It is a wonder they are not more used fur this purpose; but we are at present so fond of foreign medicines, that these things are not minded.

There are two other kinds of crow-foot distinguished as poisons; though all of them are, with some degree of justice, branded with this name: but the two most pernicious kinds are that called spearwort, which has long, narrow, and undivided leaves; and that with very small flowers, and leaves somewhat like the divisions of those of smallage. These both grow in watry places.


The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.



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