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4. North-west District, Bogs on Kingsdown, and about South Wraxhall. Marshy fields at Bromham. These are the only localities in Wilts where I have observed this species. M. cæspitosa has been reported me from Districts 2 and 5, but as yet have seen no examples. Well distinguished from M. palustris by the close pressed hairs or bristles on the stem, the more deeply divided calyx, and the entire segments of the small corolla. Root fibrous, not creeping. Engl. Bot.
3. M. arvensis, (Hoffm.) Field Scorpion-grass. Suppl. t. 2629. St. 42, 13. M. intermedia, Link. Locality. In open cultivated fields, also in woods, thickets, and on shady hedge-banks. A. Fl. June, August. Area, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Common in all the Districts. It varies much in luxuriance and in height. In shade, M. arvensis becomes much larger, and is often mistaken for M. sylvatica.
4. M. collina, (Hoffm.) hillock, or early Scorpion-grass. Collinus means growing on hills or hillocks; from collis, a little hill or elevation. Engl. Bot. t. 2558. St. 42, 11. M. hispida, Koch. Locality. On sandy banks, wall-tops, and other very dry places. A. Fl. April, May. Area, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Generally distributed. This species bears much resemblance to M. arvensis, but is smaller, often only 2 or 3 inches high, and scarcely ever above 6 or 7; the flowers smaller, bright blue, scarcely tinged with pink in bud, as they are in all the preceding species. The plant dries up, and disappears early in the summer.
5. M. versicolor (Ehrh.) partly coloured Scorpion-grass (yellow and blue). Engl. Bot. t. 480 (left fig.) 1. St. 42. 12.
Locality. On dry banks, wall-tops, cultivated fields, and wet meadows, hence varying much in height. A. Fl. May, June. Area, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Very sparingly distributed throughout the Districts. This plant bears some resemblance to M. arvensis, and collina, but differs from both in its more rigid habit, more leafy stems, from a few inches to near a foot high. Flowers small and nearly sessile. Calyx segments, quite closed over the fruit after flowering. Corolla at first pale yellow, and turning blue as it fades.
ORDER. SOLANACEÆ. (JUSS.)
Name. From (solor), I ease, because of its stupifying power. 1. S. nigrum, (Linn.) black Nightshade. Engl. Bot. t. 556. St. 1. 4.
Locality. In cultivated ground, waste places, and by road-sides. A. Fl. July, October. Area, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. In all the Districts, but not general. Leaves stalked, ovate, with coarse angular teeth. Flowers small and white, in little cymes almost contracted into umbels. Berries small, globular, black, or rarely green. This plant is also called the Garden Nightshade, and has had the reputation of being very poisonous. This fact is however disputed by recent inquirers; and we find Dr. Swain Taylor, in his work on poisons, denying that the effects of the plant on the system, are in any way as dangerous as they are supposed to be.
2. S. dulcamara, (Linn), Bitter-sweet, Woody Nightshade. Dulcamara is a Latin substantive, compounded of dulcis, sweet, and amarus, bitter. The roots and stalks of this species upon being chewed, first cause a sensation of bitterness, which is soon followed by a considerable degree of sweetness; while on the contrary, the berry which is at first sweet becomes intensely bitter in the mouth; whence the English name Bitter-sweet. Engl. Bot. t. 565. St. 18, 3.
Locality. In moist hedges and thickets. Shrub, Fl. June, August. Area, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Not uncommon throughout the Districts. Flowers rather small, in loose cymes, blue, with yellow anthers. Berries small, globular or ovoid, and red. In Wiltshire this plant is frequently, but most erroneously, called Deadly Nightshade. This term, however, ought to be applied only to the Atropa Belladonna.
ATROPA, (LINN.) DEADLY NIGHTSHADE. DWAle.
Name. From Atropos, the third Fate; she who was supposed to
"Bitter-sweet (dulcamara), with a small blew flower, plenty at Box, (and Market Lavington, in the Withy-bed, belonging to the Vicarage.-Bishop Tanner.)" Aubrey, Nat. Hist. Wilts., p. 50.
cut the thread of life, in allusion to the deadly quality of the plant. Dwale, from the obsolete verb to Dwaule, to be delirious.
A. Bella-donna, (Linn.) Deadly Nightshade. Bella-donna, (Fair Lady) probably arose from its being used as a cosmetic by the Italian belles. Eng. Bot. t. 595. St. 3, 5.
Locality. In waste places, especially about old ruins, on a calcareous soil. P. Fl. June, August. Area, 1. 2. * 4. *
1. South-east District, "In a lane at the foot of Alderbury Hill,” Dr. Maton, Nat. Hist. Wilts. "Clarendon," Mr. James Hussey. 2. South-middle District, "In a field belonging to Mr. Farrant at Bemerton," Major Smith.
4. North-west District. In the upper part of Box Valley, and Littleton Drew. "Near Bradford," Dr. Davis, "Flor. Bath." A very rare plant in the county, and now become exceedingly scarce in all the localities. Stems from 2 to 3 feet high. Leaves entire, some very large, but placed in pairs of unequal sizes. Flowers of a lurid purple colour, bell-shaped, drooping. Berries when ripe, of a shining violet black, the size of a small cherry, most poisonous when taken internally. Their effects are best counteracted by drinking plentifully of vinegar.
HYOSCYAMUS, (LINN.) HENBANE.
Named from (hus, huos), a hog, and (kuamos), a bean, which the fruit somewhat resembles in shape; but whether hogs are fond of, or can eat it with impunity, is doubtful.
H. niger, (Linn.), dark or Common Henbane or henne belle, a name apparently formed of hen and bell, suggested by the resemblance of its persistent and enlarged calyx, to the scallop-edged bells of the Middle Ages. Engl. Bot. t. 591. St. 3. 4.
I am sorry to state that many of the rarer and more local plants of the County, which a few years since were plentiful, are now become extremely scarce from the rapacity of collectors; this is much to be regretted. I would therefore take the present opportunity of expressing a hope that botanists will, for the future, be more sparing in gathering specimens, lest they soon become entirely extinct. T. B. F.
VOL. XI.-NO. XXXII.
Locality. Waste places near villages, preferring a calcareous soil. A. or B. Fl. June, August. Area, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. South-east District, "Alderbury and Stratford," Dr. Maton, Nat. Hist. Wilts. "About Milford but rarely," Mr. James Hussey. Amesbury," Dr. Southby.
2. South Middle District, Occasionally at Shrewton. 3. South-west District, "Warminster," Mr. Wheeler. North Division.
4. North-west District, Box, Rudlow, Colerne, and Slaughterford. "Quarries on Kingsdown and Monkton Farley," Flor. Bath.
5. North-east District, "Great Bedwyn," Mr. William Bartlett. Now become a scarce plant in Wilts, from its being so much sought after by herbalists. Stem much branched, round, covered as is the whole herbage, with copious, viscid, glandular hairs, or down, emitting an oppressive and fetid odour. Leaves, soft and pliant, the upper ones nearly entire. Corolla of a peculiar lucid colour, approaching to a dingy yellow, most beautifully and delicately pencilled with dark purple veins. Seeds numerous, singularly impressed or reticulated with deep dots. Plant highly narcotic.
[Datura Stramonium, (Linn.) common Thorn-apple, Engl. Bot. t. 1288, has been observed at Amesbury (South-east District) by Miss Batho, who has kindly presented me with a specimen. Doubtless an escape from the cottagers garden, where it is occasionally seen. Flowers white; purplish in D. tatula.]
The thanks of the Society are due to James Waylen, Esq., for the drawings which illustrate the paper on All Cannings; and to Mr. Weaver, for the ground-plans of the Churches.
Reply to the Query relating to Stonehenge,
At p. 112 of the present volume of the Wiltshire Magazine.
AM not aware of any instances in the immediate neighbourhood of Stonehenge, of church towers having large blocks of sarsen stone in their foundations, though there are many instances of it in the Pewsey vale and its vicinity.
My father resided for twenty-five years in West Amesbury House, and I have often heard him express his conviction, that a considerable quantity of fragments of the stones of Stonehenge were built into its walls. I could myself point out pieces of stone in the garden wall, which appear to be precisely similar in quality to the stones of the outer circle.
The house has undergone great alterations since my father lived in it. One of its wings was taken down about 1824 or 5, and about twenty-five years since, the court in front was filled up by building some rooms, so that it might not now be so easy to discover the original materials. It is now the farm house. Stonehenge stands on the estate, so that the builder of the house was the owner of that monument.
As to the time when some of the stones disappeared; it is most probable (if it was ever completed,) that a long period intervened between the destruction or removal of the first, and of the last of the missing stones. Inigo Jones, in his work on Stonehenge, which was written in 1620, according to the short account of his life prefixed to the edition of 1725, says, "Those of "Those of the inner circle, and lesser Hexagon not only exposed to the fury of all devouring age, but to the rage of men likewise, have been more subject to ruine. For being of no extraordinary proportions, they might easily be beaten down or digged up, and at pleasure made use of for other occasions, which I am the rather enduced to beleeve, because, since my first measuring the work, not one fragment, of some then standing are now to be found." Jones's Stonehenge, p. 63, original small folio of 1655; p. 42 ed. 1725.-W. C. K.