Chap. 064. Bell-flower Great.
I. The Names. It has no known Greek Name: the Latins call it Campanula, and Campanula magna: in English, Great Bell-flower.
II. The Kinds. This is the second Species of our Generick Kinds, and is three-fold.
1. Campanula persicifolia, the Peach-leav'd Bell-flower.
2. Campanula lactescens pyramidalis, Campanula major ; the Pyramidal milky Bell-flower. (Campanula pyramidalis. -Henriette)
3. Viola Mariana, Coventry Bells. (Campanula trachelium. -Henriette)
III. The Description. The Peach-leav'd Bell flower has a Root very small, white, and thready, creeping under the upper crust of the ground, so that oft times the heat and drought of the Summer does parch it, and cause it to wither away : from whence springs many Tufts or Branches of Leaves lying upon the ground, which are long and narrow, much like to an Almond or Peach leaf, being finely nick'd about the edges, and of a sad green colour. From among these rise up divers Stalks two foot high, or more set with Leaves to the middle , and from thence upwards, with many flowers standing on small Foot-stalks, one above another, with a small Leaf at the foot of every one. The flowers stand in small green husks, small and round at bottom, but wider open at the brim, and ending in five corners, with a three forked Clapper in the middle, set about with some small threads tipt with Yellow, which flowers in some Plants are pure White, but in others of a pale Blew, or Watchet colour, having little or no scent at all: the Seed is small, and contained in round flat Heads, or Seed-Vessels.
IV. The Lactescens Pyramidalis is a great Bell-flower, whose Root is thick and whitish, yielding more store of Milk, being broken, ( as the Leaves and Stalks also do) than any other of the Bell-flowers, every one of which do yield Milk, some more, some less : From this Root rises divers Stalks, a yard high, or better, on which grow divers smooth, dark, green Leaves, broad at the bottom, and small at the point, somewhat unevenly notched about the edges, and standing upon longer Foot-stalks below, than those above. The Flowers are Blew, and in some White, not so great or large as the former, but near of the same fashion growing thicker, and more plentifully together, with smaller Leaves among them, bushing thick below, and rising smaller and thinner up to the Top like a Pyramis, or Spire Steeple.
V. Coventry Bells is a Plant which has a White Root, which being young as in the first year Sowing, is tender, and often eaten as other Rampions are, but the next year when it runs up to Seed, it grows hard and perishes. From hence spring up Leaves of a pale or fresh green colour, long and narrow next to the bottom, and broader from the middle to the end, somewhat round pointed, a little hairy all over, and dented about the edges. The next year after the Sowing, rise up Stalks, something hairy also, and branching forth from the Root into divers Arms, upon which grow several Leaves, smaller than the former, and of a darker green color. At the end of every Branch stand the flowers in green husks, from whence come large, round, hollow Bells, swelling out in the middle, and rising somewhat above it, like the neck of a Pot, and then ending in five Corners, which are either of a fair or faint White, or of a pale blew Purplish colour, and sometimes of a deeper Purple or Violet. The Flowers being past, there grows up great, square, or corner'd Seed-vessels, in which are contained in five several Cells, or Divisions, small, hard, brown, shining flat Seed.
VI. The Places. All these grow with us in Gardens, where they are brought up for the beauty of their Flowers. The Coventry Bells, Ray says, grow in Woody and Mountainous places; and Gerard says, in dark Valleys, under Hedges, among Bushes, more especially about Coventry, whence the name, and where they grow very plentifully abroad in the fields, but are also with them Nursed up in Gardens, as they are with us in London, which pleasant Bell-flower, is kept chiefly for its beauty sake, though its Root is also eaten as Rampions are. The first of them also requires to be planted in shady places.
VII. The Times. These plants are to be continued by sowing them every other year. They flower generally all the Summer Months : but the Peach-leav'd flower for the most part earlier than the others: The Coventry Bells flower in June, July, and August, and the Seed ripens in the mean Season, in regard they bring not forth their flowers all at once, but as some flower, others seed.
VIII. The Qualities. They are cold and dry in the first degree, Astringent, Traumatick, Vulnerary, Stomatick, and Alterative.
IX. The Preparations. You may make thereof,
1. An expressed Juice of the whole Plant.
2. A Decoction thereof in Wine.
3. A Cataplasm.
X. The Expressed liquid Juice. Being bathed upon any Inflamed Part,it abates the Inflammation, and stops the fluxion. And if a little Alum and Honey is dissolved therein, it makes a good Lotion for old Sores, running Ulcers, and a virulent Gonorrhæa in Man or Woman.
XI. The Decoction in Wine. It makes an extraordinary Gargle for a sore Mouth and Throat, inflammation of the Uvula and Almonds, more especially if a little Alum and Honey be also dissolved therein.
XII. The Cataplasm. It allays Inflammations, eases Pain, and represses the Flux of Humors.
Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter was proofread by Therese Richardson.