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There is a third kind of centaury also, known as the "centauris triorchis."1 It is but rarely that a person cuts it without wounding himself. The juice emitted is just the colour of blood.2 Theophrastus relates that this plant is under the protection of the triorchis, a kind of hawk, which attacks those who gather it; a circumstance to which it owes its name. Ignorant3 persons are in the habit of confounding all these characteristics, and attributing them to the centaury first named.

1 Theophrastus, as stated by Pliny, in B. ix. c. 9, says that centaury is protected by the "triorchis" (see B. x. cc. 95, 96), and Pliny in translating the passage has made a mistake as to a third kind. Fée is probably right in his conjecture that the Centaurea centaureum is meant; though Brotier and Desfontaines look upon this as being a distinct plant, and identify it with the Rumex sanguineus of Linnæus.

2 The root of the greater centaury, Fée remarks, is of a deep red within.

3 Pliny himself is one of the "imperiti" here.

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