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Theophrastus

ταῖς διαφοραῖς. πειρατέον δέ, ὡς ἐλέχθη, καὶ τῶν ἄλλων λαμβάνειν ὁμοίως.

XII. Πολὺ δέ τι γένος ἐστὶ καὶ τῶν σαρκορρίζων ἢ κεφαλορρίζων, ἃ καὶ πρὸς τὰ ἄλλα καὶ καθ᾿ αὑτὰ τὰς διαφορὰς ἔχει ῥίζαις τε καὶ φύλλοις καὶ καυλοῖς καὶ ταῖς ἄλλαις μορφαῖς. τῶν γὰρ ῥιζῶν, ὥσπερ εἴρηται πρότερον, αἱ μὲν λεπυριώδεις αἱ δὲ σαρκώδεις, καὶ αἱ μὲν ἔχουσαι φλοιὸν αἱ δ᾿ ἄφλοιοι, ἔτι δὲ αἱ μὲν στρογγύλαι αἱ δὲ προμήκεις καὶ αἱ μὲν ἐδώδιμοι αἱ δ᾿ ἄβρωτοι. ἐδώδιμοι μὲν γὰρ οὐ μόνον βολβοὶ καὶ τὰ ὅμοια τούτοις, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἡ τοῦ ἀσφοδέλου ῥίζα καὶ ἡ τῆς σκίλλης, πλὴν οὐ πάσης ἀλλὰ τῆς Ἐπιμενιδείου καλουμένης, ἣ ἀπὸ τῆς χρήσεως ἔχει τὴν προσηγορίαν· αὕτη δὲ στενοφυλλοτέρα τε καὶ λειοτέρα τῶν λοιπῶν ἐστιν.

2Ἐδώδιμος δὲ καὶ ἡ τοῦ ἄρου καὶ αὐτὴ καὶ τὰ φύλλα προαφεψηθέντα ἐν ὄξει καί ἐστιν ἡδεῖά τε καὶ πρὸς τὰ ῥήγματα ἀγαθή. πρὸς δὲ τὴν αὔξησιν αὐτῆς, ὅταν ἀποφυλλίσωσιν, ἔχει δὲ μέγα σφόδρα τὸ φύλλον, ἀνορύξαντες στρέφουσιν, ὅπως ἂν μὴ διαβλαστάνῃ ἀλλὰ πᾶσαν ἕλκῃ τὴν τροφὴν εἰς ἑαυτήν, ὃ καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν βολβῶν τινες

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Enquiry Into Plants, VII. xii.

about these plants; now we must endeavour, as was said,1 to set forth the special points of the other classes in like manner.

Of herbs which have fleshy or bulbous roots.

XII. 2There is a large class of these which have fleshy or bulbous roots: these exhibit differences both as compared with other plants and with one another both in roots leaves stems and their other prominent features.3 Of the roots, as has been said4 already, some are in layers, some fleshy, some have a ‘bark,’ some not; and again some are round, some oblong, some edible and some not fit for food. Among edible roots are not only purse-tassels and others which resemble them, but also the roots of asphodel and squill, though not of all kinds of the latter, but only of the kind called ‘Epimenides’ squill (French sparrow-grass) which gets its name from its use5; this kind has narrower leaves and is smoother than the others.

6The root of cuckoo-pint is also edible, and so are the leaves, if they are first boiled down in vinegar; they are sweet, and are good for fractures. To increase the root, having first stripped7 off the leaves (and the leaf is very large), they dig8 it up and invert9 it in order that it may not shoot,10 but may draw all the nourishment into itself. This some

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.theophrastus-enquiry_plants.1916