previous next


The proper times1 for watering are the morning and the evening, to prevent the water from being heated2 by the sun with the sole exception, however, of ocimum, which requires to be watered at midday; indeed, this plant, it is generally thought, will grow with additional rapidity, if it is watered with boiling water when sown. All plants, when trans- planted, grow all the better and larger for it, leeks and turnips more particularly. Transplanting, too, is attended with certain remedial effects, and acts as a preservative to certain plants, such as scallions, for instance, leeks, radishes, parsley, lettuces, rape, and cucumbers. All the wild plants3 are generally smaller in the leaf and stalk than the cultivated ones, and have more acrid juices, cunila, wild marjoram, and rue, for example. Indeed, it is only the lapathum4 that is better in a wild state than cultivated: in its cultivated state it is the same plant that is known to us as the "rumix," being the most vigorous5 by far of all the plants that are grown; so much so, indeed, that it is said that when it has once taken root, it will last for ever, and can never be extirpated from the soil, more particu- larly if water happens to be near at hand. Its juices, which are employed only in ptisans,6 as an article of food, have the effect of imparting to them a softer and more exquisite flavour. The wild variety7 is employed for many medicinal purposes.

So true it is, that the careful research of man has omitted nothing, that I have even met with a poem,8 in which I find it stated, that if pellets of goats' dung, the size of a bean, are hollowed out, and the seed of leeks, rocket, lettuces, parsley, endive, and cresses is inserted in them, and then sown, the plants will thrive in a marvellous degree. Plants9 in a wild state, it is generally thought, are more dry and acrid than when cultivated.

1 From Theophrastus, B. vii. c. 5. Evening is generally preferred to morning for this purpose; the evaporation not being so quick, and the plant profiting more from the water.

2 It should, however, be of a middling temperature, and warmed to some extent by the rays of the sun.

3 These statements are consistent with modern experience.

4 See B. xx. c. 85.

5 He says this probably in reference partly to the large leaves which characterize the varieties of dock.

6 Dishes made of rice or barley. See B. xviii. c. 13.

7 See B. xx. c. 85.

8 He does not give the name of the poet, but, as Fée says, we do not experience any great loss thereby.

9 From Theophrastus, Hist. Plant, B. vii. c. 6.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide References (8 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: