Botanical name: 


An herb of no great beauty, native of France, but kept in gardens here. It has narrow leaves, and inconsiderable flowers. It is a foot high. The stalks are weak, greenish, and a little hairy. The leaves stand two or more at every joint, for that is uncertain; they are long, very narrow, and also somewhat hairy: there rise from the bosoms of these leaves, long naked stalks, on which stand a kind of spikes of little flowers, somewhat like the spikes of plantain, only shorter; two seeds succeed each flower; and they are smooth, blackish, and of the shape of fleas; whence the name. There are many flowers in each head. A mucilage is made of the seeds to cool the throat in fevers.

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