Chap. 135. Of Claver-Grass.
The Names. It is called of Dioscorides, as it is thought, in Greek, MiJ>x«: irom its being brought from the Medcs into Greece ; and so the Me die urn malum, or Pome citron, was so called, being brought first from Media : In Latin, Medica h and in English, Clover-grafts. The Arabians call it, Cot, Alafaleti, and Alfosfofa : and this is that very Plant which the French call Saint Foln, which our Moderns have found so mightily to improve Land.
II. The Kinds. This Claver-grass it self is a Species of the Trefoils, but being hettei known under this name, we thought good to treat of it here. Claver-grass is manifold,
1. Medica legitima, Fcenunt Burgundiacum, Trifolium Cochleatum, Cla\Ter, Claver-grass, Medick Fodder, Snail Claver, Snail Trefoil, and Saint Foin.
2. Medica Racemosii, Trifolium Cochleatum Pclycarpon, Cluttering Snail Claver.
3. Medica Frutescens, Medica ficrc lutco, Tri-folium Sylveflre luteum Siliqua Cornuta, Lens major repens Tibernwontani, Woody Snail Claver ;
4. Medica Marina, Trifolium Cochleatum Aiarinuiv, Sea Claver.
5. Medica Cor data, Trifolium Cordatum, Heart Claver, or Trefoil.
6. Medica Lunata, Trifolium Lunatum, Moon Claver. Par hi η fin has four other kinds, but these are the chief which grow in England.
III. The Descriptions. The first of these has a Root which runs deep down into the Earthy sometimes two feet or more _·, it it thick, and fends forth many tough thready firings, and continues long, sometimes ten, twenty or thirty Tears. From this Root rise up several weak, green Stalks, with divers fmfil fad green Trefoil Leaves Jet thereon without order. The Flowers grow upon long Stalks, coming from the
Joints and Tops of the Branches, clustering in a thick short Tuft, of a blewish purple in those which grow in our parts, but in others of diverse and several colors, as more purple, near a violet, or paler blew, or of a brownish blew, and yellow colors, parted: in some parts of Spain, and at Narbon in France, they are of a yellow color also. The Flowers being past, small, Snail-like, round Cods follow, set together, not so much twined as many other Medica's are, containing within them small pale colored Seed.
IV. Observations 7 τ. The Author of the Country farm gives a mighty commendation of this Plant and says, That there is not any Pulse, or other Food which is more agreeable, and good for the Feeding of Beasts, than this Claver-grass or Snail-Clover, called by the French, Saint loin, not only for the nourishing and fattening of Cattle, but also to cure Beasts which are lick. It is called Burgundy-Hay, because the Burgundians have always been very careful in Sowing this Herb, and managing Sandy and Barren Land therewith, for that it makes the Worst and Poorest Land very Rich and Fruitful. The benefit of this Herb is so great, that every good Husbandman ought to reserve a good part of his Ground to be sown therewith.
V* Observat. 2. In Sowing of this Saint Foin Seed, though it grows wTell in fat Grounds freed from Weeds, yet it grows also very well in Poor, Lean, Sandy and Barren Grounds, especially such as are easie to be Plowed, and such as have been thrice Sown with Grain, before this is put into it, that it may the easier take deep rooting in the Earth, which it naturally does : but in lowing of this Seed, you must not be sparing of it, for by how much the more Seed you Sow, by so much the more will the Herb grow in thickness h nor will
Harrowed several ways, as long ways, broad wavs, and corner ways ; and if it is a dry Season, and a dry Ground, it ought to be gently watered, but not in thole Months between the latter end of Septem-
ber and beginning of April, lest any hard Frost
nip it, and so kill it. to be Mowed, or Cut the first Year, others lay
bit! or οίÎ± browmfb blew, and yellow colors, part- three or four times, but your Experience must guide ed:lnLe parts of Spam, and at Narbon ut you in\^;J^^^^^^
France they are of a yellow color also. The blow- a Year by which great advantages are made of it, eribetnt plft small, Snail-like, round Cods follow* and that Land which has not been worth twelve fet together not so much twined as many other Me-1 Pence an Acre per Annum, by the Improvements ot
dica'x are, containing within them small pale colored Saint Loin have in a lew Years been made worth c / Î¹ forty Shillings, and three Pounds an Acre, and fome-
times more, which is much for the Encouragement of the Husbandman, to proceed in this kind of Husbandry.
VII. Observ. 4. The fit times for Cutting it
Claver-Grass, or Snail Trefoil i?wn>?V\f^ >f>M^"d jw, in the
wu j J 9 . J j New of the Moon, but you must not let it lye up-
on heaps any longer than a Day in the Meadows, for if it should lye any long time, it wrould endan-get the killing the Roots which are under it, and utterly destroy it, for which reason it is necessary to dry it forthwith, and as soon as may be, stirring and turning it every day from day to day, and then as soon as ever it is dry to carry it away.
VIII. Obfer. 5. This is also to ^e taken special notice of, That none of your Cattel ought to seed on the Grounds on which it is ibwn, because it is apt to be killed by them, by bruising it with their Teeth in biting it off, whereas cutting it with a Sythe hurts it not: nor must Cattel be suffered 'to eat it green, because it is apt to make them Sick, by reason of its heat and moisture : for which rea-ion it is always cut down, dried, and made into Hay and then it is to be given to your Beasts, but in small quantity, because it breeds much Blood, Flesh and Fat, even to such a Degree, as with Fat-ness to choak them.
IX. Observ. 6. You must always be careful to gather and reserve Seed of this Grass, to Sow again, when you lee you shall have occasion for it: it must not be gathered the first Year it bears, by reason of its weakness and poorness,but in all the following Years, so soon as the Husks in which the Seed is contained shall appear dry, and the Seed or Grains themselves are turned yellow, which will be in the Months of June and July, you may then fave it.
X. Observ. 7. That this Grass being sowed in barren Land is very profitable there is no doubt 5 and if it is considered that the first charge is the. principal charge, even for a long time, it is lb much the more valuable : for Land being once Sowed with this, it not only enriches the ground for the present, but for many years after : for this first lowing will be sufficient for ten or twelve Years, let the ground be what it will _·, and as the Soil may be, it m^iy last twenty or thirty Years, or more, according as it is carefully lookt after, and well managed, which is a matter of so great weight, as ought to put every prudent Husbandman into the thoughts and confederation of it.
XI. The Second Kind has a Root long and running pretty deep into the ground, which endures long^ from whence it has Branches lying upon the Earth, a foot in length or more, set with small round trefoil Leaves on pretty large Footstalks : the Flowers of a purple color it fends forth at the Joints, on long Footstalks, small and many clustering together, after which come forth somewhat rough, small, wrinkled Snail-like Shells or Husks7 in which are contained the Seed,
XII. The third, or Woody Snail Claver has a long Root, consisting of many long firings, and continues many Tears, shooting forth new Stalks every Year, which are many, hard, round, flexible, and β weak as not to be able to stand upright, but lying on
the Ground, about a foot or more in length, and divided into many branches, on which grow small, long, and narrow Leaves, by three's on a long footstalk, with a thick middle Lib, on the back of each : the Flowers are small, and many together, of a yellow color, and somewhat sweet ; which being passed away, several small, flat, twined Cods follow, like to those of the first kind, but smaller, which contain within them smaller Seed likewise, flattish, and almost of a Kidney fashion.
XIII. The fourth, or Sea Claver, has a Root somewhat thick, and enduring many Tears, from whence rise up several hoary trailing Branches spreading them-selves on the ground a foot or two long, with many small and very hoary round Trefoil Leaves, on short Footstalks. The blowers are many, small, and yellow, growing at the end of the Branches^ _·, which being pajl away, many small withered Shells or Husks do follow, much like to the other small Snail Clavers. There ts afo another kind of Sea Claver, whose Root perishes Yearly, but it grows bigger and greener than the other, and the blowers are small and yellow, coming from the Joints of the Branches, but one at a place, which are followed by small hard and round prickly Heads, and whose windings are difficult to be discerned.
XIV. The fifth, or Heart Claver, has a thick and thready Root, which perishes every Year; from whence spring forth several very slender, small, and weak Branches, full oj Joints, and round greenish Trefoil Leaves, standing upon long footstalks, broad at the endss and dented in, in their middle, making the fa-fhion of a Heart, with dull, red, or purplish, and sometimes almost blackish spots on them. The Flowers grow two or three together upon Foot stalks coming from the Joints h they are small and yellow, which being past away, leave behind them smallprickly twining Heads, like unto the other small Claver-grasses.
XV. The sixth, or Moon Claver, has its Roots, Leaves, and manner of growing, much like to the other Snail Trefoils, or Clavers, before defieri-hed, especially like to the first : the Leaves are
hairy, and dented about the edges : the Flowers are small and yellow, which being passed away, crooked, fiat Cods, of an indifferent breadth, after the (1)Î±νϊ or fashion of a Moon three quaters old, follow : '/> which are contained Seed, in shape or form of small little Kidneys.
XVI. The Places. The first grows naturally in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and France, from whence it was brought into Flanders and England, in both which places it flourishes admirably, and serves them and us for Hay for our Cattel, and Horses: in Spain they have no other Hay with which they seed their Horses, which makes them exceeding Fat: the same they do in the Low Countries, whereby their Cows yield the greater abundance of Milk. It is sown in the Fields of Italy, Spain, France, the Low Countries and England, for Food for their Beasts. The second grows oftentimes in Fields, Meadows, and Pastures. The third grows in Meadows, by Hedge and Wood sides, and places somewhat shaded. The fourth grows near to the Sea in several places, as in our Marshes and Fields at Woolwich, Deptford, &c. and by the Sea side about West Chester, as also on the Mediteranean Sea shore, and about Venice. The fifth is often found in our Lie Ids and Meadows ; and though Camerarius calls it Medica Arabica (I suppose because it grows in that Country :) yet, with Johnson,we say, it grows Wild with us in our Meadows in England, having seen it, I believe, an hundred rimes. The sixth grows also plentifully in our Fields and Pasture grounds.
XVII. The Times. The first of these, (the ground being first made fit for its entertainment, by well Ploughing it up, and killing the Weeds thereof) is to be sown in the end of April, or something earlier, in the New of the Moon, and towards the latter end of the Day, that it may receive the refreshing Dews of the Night, by which means it will the sooner, and more easily spring out of the Earth, and you may Mow it in June, and July, and August, for Hay, and after the first Year somewhat earlier. The first, and all the rest flower in June and July, and their Seeds are ripe in the end of August, or soon after. But the Seed of the first is not to be gathered in the first Year, by reason of its weakness, as is before observed, but in all the following it may be gathered in July, or as soon as it appears ripe.
XVIII. As to the Qualities, Specification, Preparations, and Virtues, of the first, or the other five^ Authors have observed nothing concerning them, but that they (especially the first) are a good nourishing food for Horses, Cows, and other Cattel, and that the first is so powerful to fatten them, that they usually ftint them to a quantity, for fear of suffocating them, by reason of their growing too fat.
XIX. Observation t. From this it appears, that it is of a nourishing Virtue, and by reason it encreases Flesh and Fat, I am of the Opinion, that the Liquid Juice or Essence, or Syrup thereof, may be very powerful in restoring such as are in Conjunctions : it is indeed good against Coughs, Cold*, Wheesings, vehement Catarrhs, Obstructions of the Lungs, and other Distempers of those parts.
XX. Observ. 2. The signature ot the Plant, chiefly of the Cods and Seed, the latter being somewhat like a Kidney, made me believe it might be good against the Stone, Gravel, and Sand, or Tartarous Matter in the Reins, Ureters, and Bladder, which occasions Stranguries, occ. I made tryal of the Juice, Essence, Decoction in White Wine, and the Syr.<v, and in the first Patient I gave it to, I found it.excellent! ν toamwer mv Expectation : I have iince ma<k tryal or it upon several other Patients with
very good success _·, yet I cannot say, but in some tales it has not answered the end. The Decoction of the Seed in White Port Wine, has the same Virtue, but I believe not full out so powerful as the Juice and Essence of the Plant; but the: pouder of the Seed given to one dram is more effectual : So also the Fixed Salt of the whole Plant made by Incine-lation.
XXI. Observ. ?. Dioscorides says the Green Herb has a cooling property, and for that purpose it is chiefly used. Avicen commends the Oil made of it against the Trembling of the Heart. Gesner says that a Liquor may be drawn out of it by fire ( Parkinson supposes he means an Oil to be drawn out of the Seed, as out of Sweet Almonds ) good against the Stone. From this I observe, and am apt to believe, that if an Oily Tincture, or a Saline Tin-Sure, be made of the whole Plant, they may be very effectual for that purpose, being duly taken in a proper Vehicle.