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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 young2 layers; he says, too, that the wild asparagus3 from 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.

1 De Re Rust. c. 6. It was the donax that was thus employed; as it is in France at the present day.

2 Oculis. See B. xvii. c. 33.

3 See B. xix c. 42.

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