A very singular and beautiful plant, and of great virtues. It grows in our woods, and under hedges, but not very common: it is kept in many gardens. It grows two feet in height. The stalks are firm and smooth, of a reddish colour tolerably upright, and not at all branched, except for some young shoots near the top. The leaves stand two at each joint, opposite to one another, and at no great distance; they are very large, and of a shape approaching to oval. Their colour is a brownish green; they are smooth and not serrated at the edges. The flowers are not very large, but of a beautiful yellow; they resemble those of St. John's wort, and are like them full of yellow threads, which, when rubbed, stain the hands red. The fruit is a kind of berry, black when ripe, and containing a great quantity of small seeds, The whole plant in autumn frequently appears of a blood red colour, very singular and beautiful. The root is small, reddish, and irregular; it creeps under the surface.
The leaves are an excellent cure for fresh wounds. Scarce any thing is equal to them. The young and tender ones at the tops of the branches are to be chosen; they are to be bound upon the wound, and they stop the bleeding and perform a very speedy cure. I have had very late and very singular instances of the effects of this herb. Many of the common plants are celebrated for this virtue, but the effect of this is surprising.