Rhaponticum sive rha.
A tall robust plant, native of Scythia, but kept in many of our gardens. It grows four feet high. The stalk is round, striated, an inch thick, sometimes hollow, and very upright. The leaves are large and broad: those from the root are about a foot and a half long, and a foot broad; of a deep green colour, with large ribs, and blunt at the ends. The flowers are small and white: they stand in clusters at the tops of the stalks, they are succeeded by triangular seeds.
The root is the part used, and this is what the ancients used under the name of rha. It is of the nature of rhubarb, but different in this, that it is less purgative, and more astringent; for this reason, there are many purposes which it would answer much better. We have it at the druggists, but there is no depending upon what they sell, tor they seldom keep it genuine.