Blue Bottle.


A VERY common and a very pretty weed among our corn; the leaves are narrow, and of a whitish green; and the flowers of a very beautiful blue and large. The plant is about a foot high, and, when in flower, makes a conspicuous and elegant appearance. The root is hard and fibrous; the stalk is very firm, and white angulated, and branched. The leaves that grow from the root have some notches on the edges; those on one the stalk have none, and they are narrow like blades of glass; the flowers stand only on the tops of the branches, and they grow out of scaly heads. The seeds are beautiful, hard, white, and shining.

The leaves which grow on the stalks of the blue-bottle, fresh gathered and bruised, will stop the bleeding of a fresh wound, even if a large vessel be cut. They are not sufficiently known for this purpose, but they exceed all other things: and may save a life where a surgeon is not to be had in time for such an accident. A distilled water of the flowers used to be kept in the shops, but it was of no value. An infusion of them works gently by urine.

There is a large kind of this plant in gardens (Probably Centaurea montana. -Henriette), which is called a vulnerary or wound herb. But it is not so good as this.

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