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The dryopteris,1 which resembles fern in appearance, is found growing upon trees; the leaves are of a somewhat sweetish2 flavour and marked with slight indentations, and the root is hairy. This plant is possessed of caustic properties,3 and hence the root is pounded and used as a depilatory. In using it the skin is rubbed with it till perspiration is excited, the operation being repeated a second and a third time, care being taken not to remove the perspiration.

1 The same plant, probably, as the Polypodion of B. xxvi. c. 37. Littré, however, identifies it with the Asplenium adiantum nigrum of Linnæus, the Black maiden-hair, or spleenwort.

2 It is the root that is sweet, and not the leaves.

3 It has no such properties.

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