Botanical name: 


A sea plant of a very singular kind and form. It has neither leaves, stalks, nor branches, nor has it the colour or aspect of our ordinary plants. It more approaches to the nature of the mushrooms, than of any other of the vegetable kinds. It grows to the rocks, and swells out to an irregularly shaped mass of matter, full of holes, of a yellowish colour, and retaining a great deal of water, which is easily pressed out, and is received again on dipping it again in the wet. It is of a roundish figure, and sometimes hollow. Sponge in the shape of a funnel is frequently seen, and has been described as a particular species; but this is only an accident in the growth.

It would be very imprudent to swallow sponge in its natural form; but calcined, it is of excellent service to sweeten the blood, and is good against the scurvy, and the evil: great care is to be taken in the burning it. It must be made brittle and fit for powdering, but if it be calcined too long, all the volatile parts will be driven off, and it will be worth nothing.

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