Devil's Bit.

Botanical name: 

Plate 15. Succisa.

A WILD plant in our meadows, with slender stalks, and globous flowers. It grows two feet high. The stalks are round, firm, and upright, and divided into several branches: they have two little leaves at each joint. The flowers are as big as a small walnut, and composed of many little ones; their colour is very strong and beautiful. The leaves which grow from the root are four inches long, an inch broad, obtuse, of a dark green, and a little hairy, not at all divided, or so much as indented at the edges. The roots are white, and composed of a thick head, which terminates abruptly as if it had been bitten or broken off, and of a multitude of fibres. The Devil, as old women say, bit it away, envying mankind its virtues.

The leaves are to be gathered before the stalks appear. They are good against coughs, and the disorders of the lungs, given in decoction. The root dried and given in powder, promotes sweat, and is a good medicine in fevers, but we neglect it.

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