previous next


There is another plant, similar to the preceding one, and hence known as the "pseudoanchusa,"1 though by some it is called "echis,"2 or "doris," as well as by many other names. It is more downy than the other plant, however, and not so substantial; the leaves, too, are thinner, and more drooping. The root of it, treated with oil, does not give out any red juice, a sign by which it is distinguished from the genuine anchusa. The leaves of this plant, or the seed, taken in drink, are extremely efficacious for the stings of serpents; the leaves, too, are applied topically to the wound; and the powerful smell of them will keep serpents at a distance. A preparation of this plant is taken, also, as a potion, for affections of the vertebræ. The Magi recommend that the leaves of it should be plucked with the left hand, it being mentioned at the same time for whom they are being gathered: after which, they are to be worn as an amulet, attached to the person, for the cure of tertian fevers.3

1 The Anchusa Italica of Linnæus, according to Fée, false alkanet, or wild bugloss. Though resembling the genuine plant in its external features, it has no colouring properties. Sprengel identifies it with the Lithospermum fruticosum of Linnæus, a plant, as Fée remarks, very different in its appearance from the genuine alkanet.

2 In erroneously giving it this name, Fée remarks that Pliny has confounded the pseudoanchusa with the ἑχιον of the Greeks, the Echinum rubrum of Linnæus, and has attributed to it the characteristics of the latter plant.

3 Fée remarks, that all that Pliny says of the medicinal properties of this plant does not merit the honour of a discussion.

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 (4 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: