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That bloom by mountain streamlets 'mid the heather,
And sweetly flourish on through summer weather-
Beautiful flowers! to me ye fresher seem
From the Almighty hand that fashion'd all,
And I can image ye as in a dream,
Fair modest maidens, nursed in hamlets small-
Beautiful gems! that on the brow of earth
Are fixed, as in a queenly diadem;
Though lowly ye, and meek without a name, Young hearts rejoice to see your buds come forth, As light e'erwhile into the world (ye) came— I love ye all!
Beautiful things ye are, where'er ye grow!
The wild red rose-the speedwell's peeping eyes-
And thousands more, of blessed forms and dyes-
Beautiful nurslings of the early dew!
Fann'd in your loveliness by every breeze,
I often wish that I were one of you,
Dwelling afar upon the grassy leas
I love ye all!
Beautiful watchers! day and night ye wake!
But ye are watchful wheresoe'er we stray-
Beautiful objects of the wild bee's love!
The wild bird joys your opening bloom to see,
Beautiful children of the glen and dell—
The dingle deep-the muirland stretching wide,
Ye o'er my heart have thrown a lovesome spell;
Linnean Class and Order. DODECA'NDRIA †, DODECAGY'NIA. Natural Order. CRASSULA'CEE‡, Decand.-Lindl. Syn. p. 63. ; Introd. to Nat. Syst. of Bot. p. 161.-Rich. by Macgilliv. p.514.Loud. Hort. Brit. p. 516 —Don's Gen. Syst. of Gard. and Bot. v. iii. p. 97.—Mack. Fl. Hibern. p. 59.-CRA'SSULÆ, Juss. Dict. des. Sc. Nat. v. xi. p. 369.—Succule'nTE, Linn.-Vent. Tabl. v. iii. p. 271.-SEMPERVIVÆ, Juss. Gen. Pl. p. 307.—Sm. Gram. of Bot. p. 162.-ROSALES; sect. CRASSULINE; type, CRASSULACEA; Burn. Outl. of Bot. v. ii. pp. 614, 730, & 735.
GEN. CHAR. Calyx (fig. 1, a. and fig. 2.) inferior, of 1 sepal, concave, permanent, in from 6 to 12, more or less deep, uniform, fleshy, rather sharp-pointed, segments. Corolla (see fig. 1, b.) of the same number of petals as the segments of the calyx, and somewhat larger, spear-shaped, pointed, channelled, equal, spreading, withering. Nectary an occasional, very minute, entire scale, at the base of each germen, on the outer side. Filaments as many,
or twice as many, as the petals, opposite to them, but not so long; when more numerous, partly alternate, awl-shaped, spreading. Anthers of 2 round lobes. Germens (see fig. 4.) as many as the petals, ranged in a radiating circle, oblong, pointed, compressed, each terminating in a spreading style, with a blunt stigma. Capsules (see figs. 5 & 6.) as many as the germens, and of the same figure, bursting along their upper or inner margin. Seeds numerous, minute, arranged along the inner margin, at each side.
The 6- to 12-cleft calyx; the corolla of from 6 to 12 petals; and the 6 to 12 capsules; will distinguish this from other genera in the same class and order.
One species British.
SEMPERVIVUM TECTO'RUM. Roof Houseleek. Common Houseleek. Great Houseleek. Aygreen. Jupiter's Eye. Bullock's Eye. Jupiter's Beard. Great Sengreen.
SPEC. CHAR. Leaves ciliated. Offsets spreading. Petals entire and hairy at the margins.
Engl. Bot. t. 1320.-Curt. Fl. Lond. t. 160.-Fl. Dan. t. 601.-Linn. Sp. Pl. p. 664.-Huds. Fl. Angl. (2nd edit.) p. 211.-Willd. Sp. Pl. v. ii. pt. II. p. 932.Sm. Fl. Brit. v. ii. p. 522.; Engl. Fl. v. ii. p. 350.—With. (7th ed.) v. ii. p. 590*. Gray's Nat. Arr. v. ii. p. 543.-Lindl. Syn. p. 65.-Hook. Brit. Fl. p. 219.-Don's Gen. Syst. of Gard. and Bot. v. iii. p. 124.-Macr. Man. Brit. Bot. p. 89.-Lightf. Fl. Scot. v. i. p. 251.-Sibth. Fl. Oxon. p. 153.-Abbot's Fl. Bedf. P. 106.-Thom. Pl. of Berw. p. 50.-Davies' Welsh Bot. p. 47.-Purt. Midl. Fl. v. i. p. 231.-Relh. Fl. Cant. (3rd ed.) p. 192.-Hook. Fl. Scot. p. 149.-Grev. Fl. Edin. p. 107.-Fl. Devon. pp. 81 & 185.-Johnst. Fl. of Berw. v. i. p. 106.-Winch's Fl. of Northumih. and Durh. p. 31.-Walker's Fl. of Oxf. p. 133.-Lindl. Fl. Med. p. 275.-Bab. Fl. Bath. p. 18.; Prim. Fl. Sarn. p. 41.-Dick. Fl. Abred. p. 39.-Irv. Lond. Fl. p.
Fig. 1. A Flower; a, calyx; b, corolla.—Fig. 2. Calyx.-Fig. 3. A perfect Stamen.-Fig. 4. Fruit.-Figs. 5 & 6. Two of the Capsules.-Fig. 7. A tuft of Leaves.
* From semper, always; and vivo, to live; from its continual verdure and tenacity of life. LEIGHTON.
of Pl. of Irel. p. 47.; Fl. Hibern. p. 62.-Sempervivum majus, Ray's Syn. p. 269.-Johns. Ger. p. 510.-Sedum tectorum, Scop. Fl. Carn. (2nd ed.) p. 325. LOCALITIES.- -On walls, and cottage roofs, frequent, but perhaps not properly indigenous.
Perennial.-Flowers from June to September.
Root branched, fibrous. Leaves numerous, in tufts somewhat resembling a full-blown double rose, oblong, pointed, keeled, very succulent, the margins fringed with hairs, and generally tinged with red; the outer ones largest, the inner ones gradually smaller. Offsets on long cylindrical, slightly downy footstalks or runners (sarmenta), globular, composed of upright leaves lying over each other. Flowering Stem from the centre of one of the rosaseous tufts of leaves, from 9 to 12 inches high, upright, cylindrical, downy, clothed with many, alternate, sessile leaves, which are narrower and less succulent than the rest. Flowers large and handsome, of a pale rose-colour, in a terminal, many-flowered cyme, with spiked branches. Segments of the Calyx 12 or more, with a similar number of petals and stamens. Sir W. J. HOOKER says, that "the number of stamens is in reality 24, of which 12, inserted one at the base of each petal, are perfect; the rest alternating with the petals, small and abortive; some bearing anthers, open longitudinally and laterally, producing, instead of pollen, abortive ovules! others resemble a cuneate pointed scale, in the inside of which, upon a longitudinal receptacle, are likewise ranged abortive ovules, in the same manner as in the real germen; thus exhibiting the most complete transition from stamens to germens, in the same individual flower."
This plant is a native of Europe on rocks, and on the roofs of houses, but is considered to be not truly wild in England, though inserted in all the Floras.
The juice of its leaves, either applied by itself, or mixed with cream, which is the best way of applying it, gives present relief in burns, and other external inflammations; it is also said to cure corns. Mixed with honey it is a useful application in the thrush. The Dispensatory describes a beautiful white highly volatile coagulum, formed of the filtrated juice of the leaves, with an equal quantity of rectified spirit of wine.
Sempervivum tectorum is one of those species which are capable of growing in the most dry and exposed situations, often attracting its food from the atmosphere much more than from the scanty source that its roots have access to. It is usually planted by being enclosed in a lump of moist clay, which is stuck upon the naked tiles of a cottage. In such a situation, the young plant first secures itself by putting forth a few roots into the clay, and then gives birth to a number of little starry clusters of leaves, which surround their parent, and overshadow the place where the roots are to continue to develope; in the first instance, protecting it from the glare of the sun, and afterwards forming, by their decay, a soft vegetable mould, into which other roots may penetrate. They are enabled to effect this by the power which they, in common with all other plants, but in a higher degree, possess of abstracting from the atmosphere its impure air, or carbonic acid, which they convert from a gaseous into a solid state, by separat. ing the charcoal or solidifiable portion, and liberating the vital air or oxygan that was combined with it. By this wonderous process, living plants become the great purifiers of the air we breathe, and it appears quite certain, that if it were not for them the earth would soon become so pestiferous as to be uninhabitable." LINDLEY'S Ladies' Botany*, v. ji. p. 106.
One of the most pleasing and instructive of Botanical books.