The Botanist's Companion, Volume II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 241 pages of information about The Botanist's Companion, Volume II.

474.  Spinach, Spinacia oleracea.—–­Two sorts of this vegetable are cultivated.  The Round-leaved, which is very quick in its growth, is sown for summer use; and if the seeds are put into the ground every three weeks, a constant succession is obtained while the weather is warm; but frost will soon destroy it.

The Prickly Spinach is not so quick in growth, and is hardy enough to stand our winters:  it is therefore sown in August, and succeeds the round-leaved sort; and is a good vegetable all our winter months.

475.  Tarragon.  Artemisia Dracunculus.—­The leaves of this make a good ingredient with salad in the spring; and it also makes an excellent pickle.  It is propagated by planting the small roots in spring or autumn, being a perennial.

476.  Thyme.  Thymus vulgaris.—­This is a well-known potherb used in broths and various modes of cookery:  it is propagated by seeds and cuttings early in the spring.

477.  Truffles.  Lycoperdon Tuber.—­Not in cultivation.  The poor people in this country find it worth their while to train up dogs for the purpose of finding them, which, by having some frequently laid in their way, become so used to it, that they will scrape them up in the woods; hence they are called Truffle-dogs.  The French cooks use them in soups, &c. in the same manner as mushrooms.  The truffle is mostly found in beech woods:  I have mentioned this, because it is very generally met with at table, although it is not in cultivation.

478.  TURNEPS.  Brassica Rapa.—­The varieties in use for garden culture are, the Early Dutch, the Early Stone, and the Mouse-tail Turnep.  The culture and uses of the turnep are too well known to require any description.

The country people cut a raw turnep in thin slices, and a lemon in the same manner:  and by placing the slices alternately with sugar-candy between each, the juice of the turnep is extracted, and is used as a pleasant and good remedy in obstinate coughs, and will be found to relieve persons thus afflicted, if taken immediately after each fit.  Although this is one of the remedies my young medical friends may be led to despise, yet I would, nevertheless, advise them to make use of it when need occasions.

The yellow turnep is also much esteemed as a vegetable; but is dry, and very different in taste from any of the common kinds.

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SECTION X.—­CULINARY PLANTS NOT IN CULTIVATION.

The following section cannot be too closely studied by people in all ranks of life.  Many of our most delicate vegetables are found growing wild; and in times of scarcity, and after hard winters, many articles of this department will be found highly acceptable to all, and the condition of the poorer classes would be bettered by a more intimate knowledge of those plants.  In fact, these and the medicinal plants ought to be known to every one:  and in order to facilitate the study of them, I have been thus particular in my description of the different kinds.

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