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The Vettones, a people of Spain, were the original discoverers of the plant known as the "vettonica"1 in Gaul, the "serratula"2 in Italy, and the "cestros" or "psychotrophon"3 in Greece. This is a plant more highly esteemed than any other: it puts forth an angular stem two cubits in height, and throws out leaves from the root, with serrated edges, and closely resembling those of lapathum.4 The seed of it is purple: the leaves are dried and powdered, and used for numerous purposes. There is a wine also prepared from it, and a vinegar, remarkably beneficial to the stomach and the eyesight. Indeed, this plant enjoys so extraordinary a reputation, that it is a common be- lief even that the house which contains it is insured against misfortunes of every kind.

1 The Betonica alopecuros of Linnæus, the Fox-tail betony.

2 The "little saw."

3 "Nurtured by breezes." M. Fraäs thinks that the Cestros of the Greeks is a different plant from the Vettonica of the Romans, and identities it with the Sideritis Syriaca.

4 See B. xx. c. 85.

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