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CHAP. 91. (16.)—DIFFERENT OPINIONS ON THE DRACONTIUM.

It is Egypt more particularly that produces the clematis known as the "aron," of which we have already1 made some mention when speaking of the bulbs. Respecting this plant and the dracontium, there have been considerable differences of opinion. Some writers, indeed, have maintained that they are identical, and Glaucias has made the only distinction between them in reference to the place of their growth, assuming that the dracontium is nothing else than the aron in a wild state. Some persons, again, have called the root "aron," and the stem of the plant "dracontium:" but if the dracontium is the same as the one known to us as the "dracunculus,"2 it is a different plant altogether; for while the aron has a broad, black, rounded root, and considerably larger,—large enough, indeed, to fill the hand,—the dracunculus has a reddish root of a serpentine form, to which, in fact, it owes its name.3

1 In B. xix. c. 30.

2 Fée says that the Dracontion of the Greeks and the Dracunculus of the Latins are identical, being represented in modern Botany by the Arum dracunculus of Linnæus, the common dragon.

3 From "draco," a "dragon" or "serpent." Fée says, that it is not to its roots, but to its spotted stem, resembling the skin of an adder, that it owes its name.

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