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1 It is probable that the nard of the ancients, from which they extracted the famous nard-oil, was not the same plant which we know as the Indian nard, or Andropogon nardus of Linnæus. Indeed, it has been pretty conclusively established by Sir William Jones, in his "Asiatic Researches," that the Valeriana Jatamansi is the plant from which they obtained the oil. Among the Hindoos, it is known as djatâmansi, and by the Arabs under the name of sombul, or "spike," from the fact of the base being surrounded with ears or spikes, whence, probably, the Roman appellation. This species of valerian grows in the more distant and mountainous parts of India, Bootan and Nepaul, for instance.
3 Fée supposes that this is not lavender, as some have thought, but the Allium victorialis of modern naturalists, which is still mixed with the nard from the Andropogon. He doubts the possibility of its having been adulterated with substances of such a different nature as those mentioned here by Pliny.
4 Fée is of opinion, that the Greek writers, from whom Pliny copied this passage, intended to speak of the ears of nard, or spikenard.
5 According to Dioscorides, this appellation only means such nard as is cultivated in certain mountains of India which look toward Syria, and which, according to that author, was the best nard of all. Dalechamps and Hardouin, however, ridicule this explanation of the term.
6 Generally supposed to be the Valeriana Celtica of modern naturalists. See B. xxi. c. 79.
7 Probably the Valeriana Italica of modern naturalists.
8 See B. xix. c. 48.
9 Known in this country as fox-glove, our Lady's gloves, sage of Jerusalem, or clown's spikenard. See B. xxi. c. 16.
10 Not always, but very seldom, Brotier says. Clusius has established, from observation, that this plant is only a variety of the Valeriana Celtica.
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