Botanical name: 

Plate 42. Scabiosa.

A common wild plant in our corn-fields, distinguished by its tall round stalks, and round blue flowers. It grows to three feet in height. The leaves rise principally from the root, and they lie spread upon the ground. They are oblong, and irregularly divided at the edges; they are of a pale green, hairy, and rough to the touch. The stalks are round, upright, hairy, of the same pale green, colour, and they have a few leaves on them, placed two at a joint; these are more deeply divided than those on the ground. The flowers stand at the tops of the branches, they are of deep blue colour, and each is composed of a number of smaller flosucles, collected into a head. The root is long and brown.

The leaves growing from the root are to be gathered for use before the stalks appear. They are best fresh. A strong infusion of them is good against asthmas, and difficulty of breathing, and the same infusion made into syrup, is good against coughs. The flowers are said to be cordial, and an infusion of them to promote sweat, and carry off fevers, but this is less authentic; the juice externally applied is good against foulnesses of the skin.

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