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Endive, though it cannot exactly be said to be of the same genus as the lettuce, still cannot be pronounced to belong to any other1. It is a plant better able to endure the rigours of the winter than the lettuce2, and possessed of a more acrid taste, though the flavour of the stalk3 is equally agreeable. Endive is sown at the beginning of spring, and transplanted at the end of that season. There is also a kind of spreading4 endive, known in Egypt as "cichorium,"5 of which we shall have occasion6 to speak elsewhere more at length.

A method has been discovered of preserving all the thyrsi or leaves of the lettuce in pots, the object being to have them fresh when wanted for boiling. Lettuces may be sown all the year7 through in a good soil, well-watered and carefully manured8; two months being allowed to intervene between sowing and transplanting, and two more between transplanting and gathering them when ripe. The rule is, however, to sow them just after the winter solstice, and to transplant when the west winds begin to prevail, or else to sow at this latter period, and to plant out at the vernal equinox. The white lettuce is the best adapted for standing the rigours of the winter.

All the garden plants are fond of moisture; lettuces thrive, more particularly, when well manured, and endive even more so. Indeed, it is found an excellent plan to plant them out with the roots covered up in manure, and to keep up the supply, the earth being cleared away for that purpose. Some, again, have another method of increasing their size; they cut them9 down when they have reached half a foot in height, and cover them with fresh swine's dung. It is the general opinion that those lettuces only will admit of being blanched which are produced from white seed; and even then, as soon as they begin to grow, sand from the sea-shore should be spread over them, care being taken to tie the leaves as soon as ever they begin to come to any size.

1 Endive, in fact, belongs to the same family as the lettuce.

2 This is not the case; unless, indeed, under the name "lactuca," Pliny would include several plants, that in reality are not lettuces.

3 The stalk, in fact, is more intensely bitter than the leaves.

4 "Erraticun." Wild endive.

5 From which comes the French "chicorée," and our "chicory," or "succory."

6 In B. xx. c. 29, and B. xxi. c. 52.

7 The usual times for sowing the lettuce are before winter and after February.

8 An excess of manure is injurious to the lettuce.

9 As already stated in a previous Note (p. 179), lettuces when cut down will not grow again, with the exception of a few worthless lateral branches.

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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), SCRIPTU´RA
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