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The cereals are divided again into the same number of varieties, according to the time of the year at which they are sown. The winter grains are those which are put in the ground about the setting of the Vergiliæ,1 and there receive their nutriment throughout the winter, for instance, wheat,2 spelt,3 and barley.4 The summer grains are those which are sown in summer, before the rising of the Vergiliæ,5 such as millet,6 panic,7 sesame,8 horminum,9 and irio,10 in accordance, however, with the usage of Italy only; for in Greece and Asia all the grains are sown just after the setting of the Vergiliæ. There are some, again, that aræ sown at either season in Italy, and others at a third period, or, ill other words, in the spring. Some authors give the name of spring- grain to millet, panic, lentils,11 chick-peas,12 and alica,13 while they call wheat, barely, beans, turnips, and rape, sementive or early sowing seeds. Certain species of wheat are only sown to make fodder for cattle, and are known by the name of "farrago,"14 or mixed grain; the same, too, with the leguminous plants, the vetch, for instance. The lupine.15 however, is grown in common as food for both cattle and men.

All the leguminous16 plants, with the exception of the bean, have a single root, hard and tough, like wood, and destitute of numerous ramifications; the chick-pea has the deepest root of all. Corn has numerous fibrous roots, but no ramifications. Barley makes its appearance17 above ground the seventh day after sowing; the leguminous plants on the fourth, or at the very latest, the seventh; the bean from the fifteenth day to the twentieth: though in Egypt the leguminous plants appear as early as the third day after they are sown. In barley, one extremity of the grain throws out the root, and the other the blade; this last flowers, too, before the other grain. In the cereals in general it is the thicker end of the seed that throws out the root, the thinner end the blossom; while in the other seeds both root and blossom issue from the same part.

During the winter, corn is in the blade; but in the spring winter corn throws out a tall stem. As for millet and panic, they grow with a jointed and grooved18 stalk, while sesame has a stem resembling that of fennel-giant. The fruit of all these seeds is either contained in an ear, as in wheat and barley, for instance, and protected from the attacks of birds and small animals by a prickly beard bristling like so many plisades; or else it is enclosed in pods, as in the leguminous plants, or in capsules, as in sesame and the poppy. Millet and panic can only be said to belong to the grower and the small birds in common, as they have nothing but a thin membrane to cover them, without the slightest protection. Panic receives that name from the panicule19 or down that is to be seen upon it; the head of it droops languidly, and the stalk tapers gradually in thickness, being of almost the toughness and consistency of wood: the head is loaded with grain closely packed, there being a tuft upon the top, nearly a foot in length. In millet the husks which embrace the grain bend downward with a wavy tuft upon the edge. There are several varieties of panic, the mammose, for instance, the ears of which are in clusters with small edgings of down, the head of the plant being double; it is distinguished also according to the colour, the white, for instance, the black, the red, and the purple even. Several kinds of bread are made from millet, but very little from panic: there is no grain known that weighs heavier than millet, and which swells more in baking. A modius of millet will yield sixty pounds' weight of bread; and three sextarii steeped in water will make one modius of fermenty.20 A kind of millet21 has been introduced from India into Italy within the last ten years, of a swarthy colour, large grain, and a stalk like that of the reed. This stalk springs up to the height of seven feet, and has tufts of a remarkable size, known by the name of "phobæ."22 This is the most prolific of all the cereals, for from a single grain no less than three sextarii23 are produced: it requires, however, to be sown in a humid soil.

Some kinds of corn begin to form the ear at the third joint, and others at the fourth, though at its first formation the ear remains still concealed. Wheat, however, has four24 articulations, spelt25 six, and barley eight. In the case of these last, the ear does not begin to form before the number of joints, as above mentioned, is complete. Within four or five days, at the very latest, after the ear has given signs of forming, the plant begins to flower, and in the course of as many days or a little more, sheds its blossom: barley blossoms at the end of seven days at the very latest. Varro says that the grains are perfectly formed at the end of four times26 nine days from their flowering, and are ready for cutting at the ninth month.

The bean, again, first appears in leaf, and then throws out a stalk, which has no articulations27 upon it. The other legu- minous plants have a tough, ligneous stalk, and some of them throw out branches, the chick-pea, the fitch, and the lentil, for instance. In some of the leguminous plants, the pea, for example, the stem creeps along the ground, if care is not taken to support it by sticks: if this precaution is omitted, the quality is deteriorated. The bean and the lupine are the only ones among the leguminous plants that have a single stem: in all the others the stem throws out branches, being of a ligneous nature, very thin, and in all cases hollow. Some of these plants throw out the leaves from the root, others at the top.28 Wheat, barley, and the vetch, all the plants, in fact, which produce straw, have a single leaf only at the summit: in barley, however, this leaf is rough, while in the others it is smooth. * * * In the bean, again, the chick-pea, and the pea, the leaves are numerous and divided. In corn the leaf is similar to that of the reed, while in the bean it is round, as also in a great proportion of the leguminous plants. In the ervilia29 and the pea the leaf is long,30 in the kidney-bean veined, and in sesame31 and irio the colour of blood. The lupine and the poppy are the only ones among these plants that lose32 their leaves.

The leguminous plants remain a longer time in flower, the fitch and the chick-pea more particularly; but the bean is in blossom the longest of them all, for the flower remains on it forty days; not, indeed, that each stalk retains its blossom for all that length of time, but, as the flower goes off in one, it comes on in another. In the bean, too, the crop is not ripe all at once, as is the case with corn; for the pods make their appearance at different times, at the lowest parts first, the blossom mounting upwards by degrees.

When the blossom is off in corn, the stalk gradually thickens, and it ripens within forty days at the most. The same is the case, too, with the bean, but the chick-pea takes a much shorter time to ripen; indeed, it is fit for gathering within forty days from the time that it is sown. Millet, panic, sesame, and all the summer grains are ripe within forty days after blossoming with considerable variations, of course, in reference to soil and weather. Thus, in Egypt, we find barley cut at the end of six months, and wheat at the end of seven, from the time of sowing. In Hellas, again, barley is cut in the seventh month, and in Peloponnesus in the eighth; the wheat being got in at a still later period.

Those grains which grow on a stalk of straw are enclosed in an envelope protected by a prickly beard; while in the bean and the leguminous plants in general they are enclosed in pods upon branches which shoot alternately from either side. The cereals are the best able to withstand the winter, but the leguminous plants afford the most substantial food. In wheat, the grain has several coats, but in barley,33 more particularly, it is naked and exposed; the same, too, with arinca,34 but most of all, the oat. The stem is taller in wheat than it is in barley, but the ear is more bearded35 in the last. Wheat, barley, and winter-wheat36 aræ threshed out; they are cleaned, too, for sowing just as they are prepared for the mill, there being no necessity for parching37 them. Spelt, on the other hand, millet, and panic, cannot be cleaned without parching them; hence it is that they are always sown raw and with the chaff on. Spelt is preserved in the husk, too, for sowing, and, of course, is not in such case parched by the action of fire.

1 See c. 59 of this Book.

2 Triticum hibernum of Linnæus, similar to the "siligo" mentioned in the sequel. Winter wheat was greatly cultivated in Apulia.

3 "Far." This name is often used in the classics, to signify corn in general; but in the more restricted sense in which it is here employed, it is "Triticum dicoccum," the "Zea" of the Greeks. It consists of two varieties, the single grained, the Triticum monococcum of Linæus, and the double-grained, the Triticum spelta of Linnæus, which is still called "farra" in Friuli.

4 Hordeum sativum of Linnæus.

5 See c. 66 of this Book.

6 Panicum Italicum of Linnæus.

7 Panicum miliaccum of Linnæus. This was probably one of the first grains from which bread was made.

8 The Sesamum orientale of Linnæus. It is no longer cultivated in Europe, thouhgh formerly it was much used in Greece.

9 It is very doubtful if this is the same as early, the Salvia horminum of Linnæus, as that is one of the Labiatæ, whereas here, most probably, a leguminous plant is spoken of.

10 It has been asserted that this is identical with the Sisymbrium poly- ceratium of Linnæus, rock-gentle, rock-gallant, or winter-cress. Fée, however, is strongly of opinion that it can only be looked for in the Sisym- brium irio of Linnæus.

11 Ervum lens of Linnæus.

12 The Cicer arietinum of naturalists, the Garbanzo of the Spaniards. It abounds in the south of Europe and in India.

13 A variety of spelt was called by this name; but it was more gene- rally applied to a kind of flummery pottage or gruel.

14 Hence our word "forage."

15 Lupinus hirsutus and pilosus of Linnæus.

16 From Theophrastus, Hist. Plant. B. viii c. 2.

17 All this, of course, depends upon numerous circumstances.

18 This is certainly the fact, as Fée says, but it is the same with all the graminea.

19 A characteristic of the Panicum miliaceum in particular.

20 Or porridge; "puls."

21 It has been suggested that this was maize, but that is indigenous to South America. Fée has little doubt that it is the Holcus sorgho of Lin- næus, the "Indian millet," that is meant.

22 From the Greek φόβη. The stalk and husk of the sorgho is covered with a fine down. The reading "cornis" has been adopted.

23 This is considered by Fée to be very improbable.

24 In reality these vary, according to the rapidity of the growth.

25 Strictly speaking, spelt has seven.

26 This depends upon the time when it is sown, and numerous other cir- cumstances.

27 Strictly speaking, he is right; but still there is a swelling in the stalk, to be perceived at the points where the leaves take their rise.

28 This is incorrect; they all of them throw out leaves from the root.

29 The same as the "Ervum" probably, the fitch, orobus, or bitter vetch.

30 Not so with the pea, as known to us.

31 This is only true at the end of the season, and when the plant is dying.

32 These annuals lose their leaves only that have articulations on the stem; otherwise they die outright at the fall of the leaf.

33 If by "tunica" he means the husk of chaff, which surrounds the grain, the assertion is contrary to the fact, in relation to barley and the oat.

34 Only another name, Fée thinks, for the Triticum hibernum, or winter- wheat. Spelt or zea has been suggested, as also the white barley of the south of Europe; see c. 20.

35 Egyptian wheat, or rather what is called mummy-wheat, is bearded equally to barley.

36 Siligo.

37 Before grinding.

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