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But there are few plants of so marvellous a nature as the orchids1 or serapias, a vegetable production with leaves like those of the leek, a stem a palm in height, a purple flower, and a twofold root, formed of tuberosities which resemble the testes in appearance. The larger of these tuberosities, or, as some say, the harder of the two. taken in water, is provocative of lust; while the smaller, or, in other words, the softer one, taken in goat's milk, acts as an antaphrodisiac. Some persons describe this plant as having a leaf like that of the squill, only smoother and softer, and a prickly stem. The roots heal ulcerations of the mouth, and are curative of pituitous discharges from the chest; taken in wine they act astringently upon the bowels.

Satyrion is also a powerful stimulant. There are two kinds of it: the first2 has leaves like those of the olive, but longer, a stem four fingers in length, a purple flower, and a double root, resembling the human testes in shape. This root swells and increases in volume one year, and resumes its original size the next. The other kind is known as the "satyrios orchis,"3 and is supposed to be the female plant. It is distinguished from the former one by the distance between its joints, and its more branchy and shrublike form. The root is employed in philtres: it is mostly found growing near the sea. Beaten up and applied with polenta,4 or by itself, it heals tumours and various other affections of the generative organs. The root of the first kind, administered in the milk of a colonic5 sheep, causes tentigo; taken in water it produces a contrary effect.

1 Identified by Littré with the Orchids undulatifolia, and by Fée with the Orchis morio of Linnæus, the Female orchis, or Female fool-stones. Its aphrodisiac properties seem not to have been proved by modern experience, but it is nourishing in the highest degree. Linnæus, however, seems to be of opinion that it may have the effect of an aphrodisiac upon cattle. It is the name, no doubt, signifying "testicle," which originally procured for it the repute of being an aphrodisiac.

2 Identified by Desfontaines with the Orchis pyramidalis. and by Fée. with the O. papilionacea of Linnæus. Littré gives the Limodorum abor- tivum.

3 He is probably speaking of the Cratægonon of B. xxvii. c. 40, which Fée identifies with the Thelygonon of c. 91 of this Book. He remarks that from the description, the Satyrios orchis cannot have been a Monocorvledon.

4 See B. xviii. c. 14.

5 See B. viii. c. 72.

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