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Gerard's Herbal - Part 2

Gerard's Herbal - CHAP. 72. Of Horned Poppy.

CHAP. 72. Of Horned Poppy.

Fig. 570. Kinds of Horned Poppy (1-4)


The Description.

            1. The yellow horned Poppy hath whitish leaves very much cut or jagged, somewhat like the leaves of Garden Poppy, but rougher and more hairy. The stalks be long, round, and brittle. The flowers be large and yellow, consisting of four leaves; which being past, there come long husks or cods, crooked like an horn or cornet, wherein is contained small black seed. The root is great, thick, scaly, and rough, continuing long.

            2. The second kind of horned Poppy is much slenderer and lesser than the precedent, and hath leaves with like deep cuts as Rocket hath, and something hairy. The stalks be very slender, brittle, and branched into divers arms or wings, the flowers small, made of four little leaves, of a red colour with a small streak of black toward the bottom, after which cometh the seed, enclosed in slender, long, crooked cods full of blackish seed. The root is small and single, and dieth every year.

            3. This is much like the last described, and according ro Clusius, rather a variety than difference. It is distinguished from the last mentioned by the smoothness of the leaves, and the colour of the flowers, which are of a pale yellowish red, both which accidents Clusius affirms happen to the former, towards the latter end of summer.

            4. There is another sort of horned Poppy altogether lesser than the last described, having tenderer leaves, cut into fine little parcels: the flower is likewise lesser, of a blue purple colour like the double Violets.


The Place.

            The yellow horned Poppy groweth upon the sands and banks of the sea: I have found it growing near unto Rye in Kent, in the Isles of Sheppey and Thanet, at Lee in Essex, at Harwich, at Whitstable, and many other places alongst the English coast.

            The second groweth not wild in England. Angelus Palea, and Bartholomĉus ab Urbe-veterum, who have commented upon Mesue, write that they found this red horned Poppy in the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile in Spain, and the fields near unto common paths. They do grow in my Garden very plentifully.


The Time.

            They flower from May to the end of August.


The Names.

            Most Writers have taken horned Poppy, especially that with red flowers to be Glaucium: neither is this their opinion altogether unprobable; for as Dioscorides saith, Glaucium hath leaves like those of horned Poppy, but fatter, low, or lying on the ground, of a strong smell and of a bitter taste; the juice also is much like in colour to Saffron. Now Lobel and Pena witness, that this horned Poppy hath the same kind of juice, as myself likewise can testify. Dioscorides saith that Glaucium groweth about Hierapolis, a city in Syria; but what hindereth that it should not be found also somewhere else? These things show it hath a great affinity with Glaucium, if it be not the true and legitimate Glaucium of Disocorides. Howbeit the first is the Mecon ceratites, or Papaver corniculatum of the ancients, by the common consent of all late writers: in English, Sea Poppy and Horned Poppy: in Dutch, Geelheul and Horne Heule: in the German tongue Gelbomag: in French, Pavot Cornu: in Spanish, Dormidera marina.


The Nature.

            Horned Poppies are hot and dry in the third degree.


The Virtues.

            A. The root of horned Poppy boiled in water unto the consumption of the one half, and drunk, provoketh urine, and openeth the stopping of the liver.

            B. The seed taken in the quantity of a spoonful looseth the belly gently.

            C. The juice mixed with meal and honey, mundifieth old rotten and filthy ulcers.

            D. The leaves and flowers put into unguents or salves appropriate for green wounds, digest them: that is, bring them to white matter, with perfect quitter or sanies.


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