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The garden plants, too, like the rest of the vegetable productions, are subject to certain maladies. Thus, for1 instance, ocimum, when old, degenerates into wild thyme, and sisymbrium2 into mint, while the seed of an old cabbage produces rape, and vice versâ. Cummin, too, if not kept well hoed, is killed by hæmodorum,3 a plant with a single stalk, a root si- milar to a bulb in appearance, and never found except in a thin, meagre soil. Besides this, cummin is liable to a peculiar disease of its own, the scab:4 ocimum, too, turns pale at the rising of the Dog-star. All plants, indeed, will turn of a yellow complexion on the approach of a woman who has the menstrual discharge5 upon her.

There are various kinds of insects,6 too, that breed upon the garden plants—fleas, for instance, upon turnips, and caterpillars and maggots upon radishes, as well as lettuces and cabbages; besides which, the last two are exposed to the attacks of slugs and snails. The leek, too, is infested with peculiar insects of its own; which may very easily be taken, however, by laying dung upon the plants, the insects being in the habit of burrowing in it. Sabinus Tiro says, in his book entitled "Cepurica,"7 which he dedicated to Mæcenas, that it is not advisable to touch rue, cunila, mint, or ocimum with any implement of iron.

1 These absurd notions are borrowed from Theophrastus, De Causis, c. 8.

2 See B. xx. c. 91.

3 Or, according to some readings, "limodorum," a parasitical plant, probably the Lathræa phelypea of Sprengel. Fée suggests that this plant may be the Polygonum convolvulus of Linnæus, or else one of the Cuscutæ, or a variety of Orobanche.

4 "Scabies." A fungous excrescence, Fée thinks, now known as "puccinia," or "uredo."

5 See B. xvii. c. 47. Fée says that he has met with persons, in their sound senses, who obstinately defend the notion here mentioned by Pliny.

6 See Theophrastus, Hist. Plant. B. vii. c. 5. Many of these insects, however, do not breed upon the plants, but are only attracted to them.

7 "Book on Gardening."

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