Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 392: 204-205


Pliny: Natural History

cacumine suo se propagat. seritur autem semine melius quam radice aut surculo, semine quoque non sine negotio; plantaria transferuntur. sic et Adonium, utrumque aestate. alsiosa enim admodum sunt ut sole tamen nimio laedantur. sed ubi convaluere, rutae vice fruticant. habrotono simile odore leucanthemum est, flore albo, foliosum.


XXXV. Amaracum Diocles medicus et Sicula gens appellavere quod Aegyptus et Syria sampsucum. seritur utroque genere, et semine et ramo, vivacius supra dictis et odore mollius. copiosum amaraco aeque quam habrotono semen, sed habrotono radix una est alte descendens, ceteris in summa terra leviter haerens.1 reliquorum satio autumno fere incipiente nec non et vere quibusdam locis, umbraque2 gaudent et aqua ac fimo.


XXXVI. Nyctegreton inter pauca miratus est Democritus, coloris hysgini, folio spinae, nec a terra se adtollentem. praecipuam in Gedrosia narrat


Book XXI

accord, reproducing itself by layers from the head. It is however grown from seed better than from the root or from slips; from seed too not without trouble. The seedlings are transplanted—as is the adoniuma—both in summer. For they are very chilly plants, yet liable to be injured by too much sun. But when they have grown strong, they sprout after the manner of rue. Like southernwood in scent is leucanthemum, with a white flower and abundant leaves.

XXXV. Diocles the physician and the people ofSweet marjoram. Sicily have called sweet marjoram the plant known in Egypt as sampsucum. It is reproduced by the two methods, from seed and from branch-cuttings, being longer-lived than the plants mentioned above and of a milder scent. Sweet marjoram produces as copious a quantity of seed as does southernwood, but the latter has one root penetrating deep into the earth, while the roots of the othersb cling lightly to the surface of the ground. The planting of the rest takes place generally in the beginning of autumn, and also, in some places, in spring, and they delight in shade, water and dung.c

XXXVI. Nyctegretond was one of a few plantsNyctegreton. chosen for special admiration by Democritus; it is of a dark-red colour, with a leaf like a thorn, and not rising high from the ground; a special kind grows in Gedrosia. He reports that it is pulled up by the

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938