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The conferva1 is peculiar to running streams, those of the Alpine regions more particularly; receiving its name front "conferrumino,"2 to solder together. Properly speaking, it is rather a fresh-water sponge than a moss or a plant, being a dense, porous mass of filaments. I know an instance where a man, who fell to the ground while lopping a tree of considerable height, and broke nearly every bone of his body, was cured by the agency of this plant. The patient's body was covered all over with conferva, the application being continually sprinkled with water the moment it began to dry, and only removed for the purpose of changing it when the plant gave signs of losing its virtues.3 It is hardly credible with what rapidity he recovered.

1 Possibly the Conferva rivularis, or the C. glomerata of Linnæus, the River conferva or River sponge, or the Green cluster conferva.

2 On account of its asserted agglutinative properties. In reality it is an inert plant, and is never used in medicine.

3 Fée considers this statement as fabulous in every respect.

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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), FE´RIAE
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