Chap. 164. Of Cress Indian.
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I. The Names. It is called in Greek, κίφμον ί ινίϊκον: in Latin, Nasturtium Indkum, Ehs Sanguineus Monardis; and in English, Indian Cress, or Yellow Larks-heels, from the Form of the Flower.
II. The Kinds. It is a singular Plant of the kind, and by its Taste declares it self to be one of the kinds of Cresses. Some do account it among the Clematides or Convolvuli, the Clambertrs or Bindweeds, but any of these it cannot be, because it has no Claspers, nor does it wind it self about any thing, but by reaibn of the number of its Branches which run one within another, it may seem to climb up a Pole, or the like, which yet it does but only close, as having something whereon to rest or lean its Branches. But Parkinson, from Lobel, makes two kinds, viz. the Round Leaved, (which is the Common ) and the Cornered Leaved.
HI. The Description. This fair and noble Plant has Roots which are small and spreading under Ο round, which perish with the first Frosts, and must be sown of rest every Pear : from this Root arise many long trailing Branches, interlaced one within another very confusedly, (yet it does not wind it self ™ith any Claspers, about either Pole, cr any other *r°p, but if you would have it lye close thereto, you mufi tyeit, or else it will lye upon the Ground) four orfive feet in length at the least, for which Reason u ίÎ±&* up a great deal of Ground. The Leaves are
smooth, green, and as round as the Pennywort which grows on the Ground, without any Cut or Inc if ure in any part, the foot Stalks of which stand in the middle of each Leaf, and grow forth at every Joint of the Stalk, where they are a little reddish, and knobbed or bunched out: the Flowers are of an excellent Gold-yellow color, and grow all along the Stalks, almost at every Joint, with the Leaves, upon pretty long foot Stalks, which are composed of five Leaves apiece, not hollow or gaping, but standing open, each Leaf apart by it self; two of them, which are larger and longer than the other, stand above, and the other two, which are lesser, stand below, which are a little jagged or bearded on both sides ; and the fifth lowejh In the midst of each of the three lower Leaves, (yet sometimes it is but in two of them) there is a little long Spot or Streak, of an admirable Crimson color, (whence the Name Flos Sanguineus : ) and the Flower has a long Heel or Spur behind it, hanging down, (from which and the Color, came the Name <?/Yellow Larks-heels:) the whole Lower has a great Beauty, and Sweetness withal, very pleasing, which being placed in the middle of some Carnations or Clove-gilliflowers, (which are both in flower at the same time) make a noble Nosegay, both for Sight and Smell. When the Flowers are past, come the Seed, which are rough or uneven, round, greenish, yellow Heads, sometimes but one, and sometimes two or three standing together upon one Stalk, bare or naked of themselves, without any Husk, containing a white pulpy Kernel.
IV. The second, or Cornered Leaved kind, in its Root, Stalks, Branches and Flowers differs little or nothing from the former : the chief Difference is in the Leaves^ for as in the former they are round, and dre fafined upon a long foot Stalk underneath, nearly in the Center or Middle of each Leaf, and bunched out _·, in this, they are broad, and seven, eight or nine cornered, of the same Smoothness and Color, fh /
harp pointed at their tops, and growing upon a long cot Stalk, which is joined to the leaf at the lower
part thereof. The Flowers are Lark-spurred, like the other, and in the whole, differs nothing from it in its Manner and Form of growing. Parkinsonjteems to say it w.u t alien from the Lije, which thd* it has not been seen here with us in England fince, yet that hinders not (says he) the Verity of the thing. When I was in the West Indies, in my Travels up and down, I faw it several times.
V. The Places. This goodly and beautiful Plant was first iound in the West Indies, and brought thence into Spain by Monardus; from whence it was afterwards conveyed into France, Flanders and England. It grows now familiarly in most of our Gardens, where it flourishes, and is become as it were a natural Inhabitant. It need not be planted or sown in Beds of Horie-dung, or the like, for the natural Ground will be futhcient, so that it is but a little defended from those Frosts in the Spring of the Year, which are apt to nip it whilst but tender, or newly sprung up.
VI. The Fives. It may be sown in March or April % the which, when it is sprung up, and having gotten three Leaves, must be taken up, and carefully replanted abroad, in the hottest place of the Garden, and in the finest and fattest Mould. It flowers sometimes in June, but usually in July, if it is well defended, and in good Ground _·, and so continues flowering till the cold Frosts and Weather in the latter end of October, does check it, and put a stop to its Luxuriant Nature the Seed growing continually ripe in the mean Season, which after it is ripe, soon falls down on the Ground, whence for the molt part the belt is gathered.
VII. The Qualities, Specification, Preparations and Virtues, are exactly the same with those of Garden Cresses in the former Chapter, ro which I refer you _·, so that no more need be spoken of them here, except that the same Preparations of this Plant, as they are stronger, so they are more Efficacious.
Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.