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The acanthus1 is a plant that grows in cities, and is used in ornamental gardening. It has a broad, long leaf, and is used as a covering for the margins of ornamental waters and of parterres in gardens.2 There are two varieties of it; the one that is thorny3 and crisped is the shorter of the two; the other, which is smooth,4 is by some persons called "pæderos,"5 and by others "melamphyllos."6 The root of this last is remarkably good for burns and sprains; and, boiled with the food, a ptisan more particularly, it is equally good for ruptures, spasms, and patients who are in apprehension of phthisis. The root is also beaten up and applied warm for hot gout.

1 As to the Acanthus or thorn, in a more general sense, see B. axis. c. 66, and the Notes.

2 Pliny the Younger speaks of the Acanthus being used for a similar purpose, Epist. B. v. Ep. 6.

3 The Acanthus spinosus of Linnæus.

4 The Acanthus mollis of Linnæus; the brankursine.

5 "Lad's love."

6 "Black-leafed." Fée thinks it probable that this name may have been given to the variety "niger," of Miller, which grows in great abundance in Sicily and Italy.

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