previous next


Next to it comes the caltha, the flowers of which are of similar colour and size;1 in the number of its petals, however, it surpasses the marine violet, the petals of which are never more than five in number. The marine violet is surpassed, too, by the other in smell; that of the caltha being very powerful. The smell, too, is no less powerful in the plant known as the "scopa regia;"2 but there it is the leaves of the plant, and not the flowers, that are odoriferous.

1 "Concolori amplitudine." Gronovius, with considerable justice, expresses himself at a loss as to the exact meaning of these words. If Sprengel and Salmasius are right in their conjectures that the Caltha of Pliny and Virgil is the marigold, our Calendula officinalis, the passage cannot mean that the flower of it is of the same size and colour with any variety of the violet mentioned in the preceding Chapter. From the description given of it by Dioscorides, it is more then probable that the Caltha of the ancients is not the marigold, and Hardouin is probably right in his conjecture that Pliny intends to describe a variety of the violet under the name. Fée is at a loss as to its identification.

2 Or "royal broom." Sprengel thinks that this is the Chenopodium scoparia, a plant common in Greece and Italy; and Fée is inclined to coincide with that opinion, though, as he says, there are numerous other plants with odoriferous leaves and pliant shoots, as its name, broom, would seem to imply. Other writers would identify it with a Sideritis, and others, again with an Achillæa.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide References (1 total)
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: