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King Lysimachus1 first discovered the plant which from him has received the name of lysimachia, and the merits of which have been so highly extolled by Erasistratus. This plant has green leaves resembling those of the willow, and a purple2 blossom: it has all the appearance of a shrub, the branches are erect, and it has a pungent smell. It is found growing in watery soils. The properties of it are so extremely powerful, that if placed upon the yoke when beasts of burden are restive, it will be sure to overcome all stubbornness on their part.3

1 A king of Thrace, contemporary with Alexander the Great. Sprengel and Desfontaines identify this plant with the Lythrum salicaria of Linnæus, the purple Willow-herb. Fée, on the authority of Dioscorides, identifies it with the Lysimachia vulgaris of Linnæus, the yellow Willow-plant. Littré gives the Lysimachia atro-purpurea of Linnæus.

2 Pliny has probably mistranslated the Greek πυρ́ῥόν here, "reddish yellow."

3 An absurdity, of course.

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