Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 392: 234-235


Pliny: Natural History

genera duo. uni cicerculae folia, alteri aculeata. hic et serius floret magisque saepta obsidet villarum. semen ei rotundius, nigrum, in siliqua, alteri harenacium.1 spinosorum etiamnum aliud genus anonis. in ramis enim spinas habet, adposito folio rutae simili, toto caule foliato in modum coronae. sequitur arata frugibus inimica vivaxque praecipue.


LIX. Aculeatarum caules aliquarum per terram serpunt, ut eius quam coronopum vocant. e diverso stat anchusa inficiendo ligno cerisque radicis aptae, stant e mitioribus anthemis et phyllanthes et anemone et aphace. caule foliato est crepis et lotos.


LX. Differentia foliorum et hic quae in arboribus, brevitate pediculi ac longitudine, angustiis ipsius folii, amplitudine, iam vero angulis, incisuris, odore, flore. diuturnior hic quibusdam per partes florentibus, ut ocimo, heliotropio, aphacae, onochili. Multis inter haec aeterna folia sicut quibusdam arborum, in primisque heliotropio, adianto, polio.


LXI. Aliud rursus spicatarum genus, ex quo est achynops, alopecuros, stelephuros,—quam quidam ortygem vocant, alii plantaginem, de qua plura dicemus inter medicas—, thryallis. ex his alopecuros spicam habet mollem et lanuginem densam


Book XXI

are two kinds; the one with leaves like those of the chickling-pea, the other with prickly leaves. The latter blossoms later, and tends to be common in the enclosures round country houses. Its seed is rounder, black, and in a pod; that of the other is like sand.a Of prickly plants there is yet anotherRest-harrow. kind—rest-harrow. For it has prickles on the branches, to which are attached leaves like those of rue, the whole stem being covered with leaves so that it looks like a chaplet. It springs up on newly ploughed lands, is harmful to the crops and extremely long-lived.

LIX. The stems of some prickly plants trailOther plants. along the ground, those tor example Of the plant called coronopus. On the other hand anchusa (alkanet), the root of which is used for dyeing wood and wax, stands upright, as do, of the cultivatedb kinds, anthemis, phyllanthes, anemone and aphace. Crepis and lotus have a foliated stem.

LX. The leaves of these plants differ as do the leaves of trees: in shortness or length of stalk, in the narrowness of the leaf itself, in its size, and further in the corners, and indentations; smell and blossom differ also. The blossom lasts longer on some of them, which flower one part at a time, on ocimum for example, and on heliotropium, aphace and onochilis. Many of these plants, like certain trees, have leaves that never die, the chief being heliotropium, adiantum, hulwort.

LXI. Eared plants are yet another kind, to whichVarious plants with flower-spikes. belong achynops, alopecuros, stelephuros—by some called ortyx, by others plantago, about which I shall speak more fully in the section on medicinal plantsc—and thryallis. Of these alopecurus has a soft ear

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938