CHAP. 67.—THE VINE-DRESSERS' REED.
The reed is employed in Italy more particularly, as a sup-
port for the vine. Cato1
recommends that it should be
planted in a damp situation, the soil being first turned up with
a double mattock, and a distance of three feet left between the
layers; he says, too, that the wild asparagus3
which the cultivated species is produced, may be planted together with it, as they agree particularly well together.
(37.) He says also that the willow may be planted in its
vicinity, than which there is no aquatic plant of more general
utility, although the poplar may be preferred for the training
of the vine, and the support of the Cæcuban grape; although,
too, the alder affords a more efficient protection by the hedges
it forms, and, planted in the very water, makes a rampart
along the banks in defence of the adjoining country against
the violence of the rivers when they overflow; when cut down,
too, this last tree is useful for the innumerable suckers which
it throws out.