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The carduus1 has leaves and a stem covered with a prickly down; the same is the case, too, with the acorna,2 the leucacanthos,3 the chalceos,4 the cnecos,5 the polyacanthos,6 the onopyxos,7 the helxine,8 and the scolymos;9 the chamæleon,10 however, has no prickles upon the leaves. There is, however, this difference among these plants, that some of them have numerous stems and branches, such as the carduus, for instance; while others, again, have a single stem and no branches, the cnecos, for example. Some, again, such as the erynge,11 are prickly at the head only; and some blossom in the summer, the tetralix and the helxine, for instance. The scolymos blossoms late, and remains a considerable period in flower: the acorna being distinguished only for its red colour and its unctuous juice. The atractylis would be similar in every respect to the last, were it not that it is somewhat whiter, and produces a juice the colour of blood, a circumstance to which it owes the name of "phonos,"12 given to it by some. The smell of this plant is powerful, and the seed only ripens at a late period, and never before autumn, although the same may be said of all the prickly plants, in fact. All of them are capable, however, of being reproduced from either seed or root.

The scolymos, which belongs to the thistle13 genus, differs from the rest of them in the circumstance that the root of it is boiled and eaten. It is a singular fact that this genus of plants bears blossoms, buds, and fruit the whole of the summer through, without any interruption: when the leaf is dried, the prickles lose their pungency. The helxine is a plant but rarely seen, and in some countries only. It throws out leaves at the root, from the middle of which there is a protuberance in the shape of an apple, covered with leaves of its own: the head of it contains a thick juice, of a sweet flavour, the name given to which is "acanthice mastiche."14

1 He probably means the thistle, but possibly the artichoke, under this name. See B. xix. cc. 19 and 43, and B. xx. c. 99.

2 This is probably the same with the second variety of the "Cnecos," mentioned above in c. 53, the Centaurea lanata, or benedicta.

3 Probably the Carduus leucographus of Linnæus.

4 According to Dalechamps, this is the Echinops ritro of modern botany.

5 See c. 93 of this Book.

6 "Many thorns." According to Dalechamps, this is the Carduus spinosissimus angustifolius vulgaris of C. Bauhin, the Cirsium spinosissimum of Linnæus.

7 Identified by Dalechamps with the Onopordon Illyricum, or Acanthium of modern botany.

8 The Acarna gummifera of modern botanists, the flowers of which yield a kind of gum with an agreeable smell. It is quite a different plant from Wall pellitory, mentioned in B. xxii. c. 19, under this name.

9 See B. xx. c. 99, and B. xxii. c. 43.

10 The black chamælcon is identified by Fée with the Brotera corymbosa of Willdenow: the white variety, mentioned in B. xxii. c. 21, with the Acarna gummifera of Willdenow, the Helxine above mentioned. Des- fontaines identifies it with the Carlina acaulis.

11 See B. xxii. c. 8.

12 The Greek for "blood" or "slaughter."

13 "Carduus."

14 "Thorn mastich," or "resin."

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