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Alsine,1 a plant known as "myosoton"2 to some, grows in the woods, to which fact it is indebted for its name of "alsine."3 It begins to make its appearance at mid-winter, and withers in the middle of summer. When it first puts forth, the leaves bear a strong resemblance to the ears of mice. We shall have occasion,4 however, to speak of another plant, which may, with much more justice, be called "myosotis." As for alsine, it would be the same thing as helxine,5 were it not that it is smaller and not so hairy. It grows in6 gardens, and upon walls more particularly: when rubbed, it emits a smell like that of cucumber. It is used for abscesses, inflammations, and all those purposes for which helxine is employed; its properties, however, are not so active. It is applied topically, also, to defluxions of the eyes, and to sores upon the generative organs, and ulcerations, with barley meal. The juice is used as an injection for the ears.

1 Identified by Sprengel with the Cerastium aquaticum, and by other authorities with the Alsine media of Linnæus, the Common chickweed. Desfontaines suggests the Stellaria nemorum, the Broadleaved stitchwort, but Fée prefers the Parietaria Cretica of Linnæus, Cretan pellitory, as its synonym.

2 "Mouse-ear."

3 From the Greek ἄλσος, a "grove."

4 In c. 80 of this Book.

5 The Parietaria officinalis; see B. xxii. c. 19.

6 He has previously stated that it grows in the woods. The fact is, M. Fraäs says, that it grows equally upon garden walls, heaps of rubbish, in plains, upon shady rocks, and upon mountains, below an elevation of 1500 feet.

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