A COMMON water plant, with leaves like flags, and rough heads of seeds: It is two or three feet high. The stalks are round, green, thick, and upright. The leaves are very long and narrow, sharp at the edges, and with a sharp ridge on the back along the middle; they are of a pale green, and look fresh and beautiful. The flowers are inconsiderable and yellowish: they stand in a kind of circular tufts about the upper parts of the stalk: lower down stand the rough fruits called burs, from whence the plant obtained its name; they are of the bigness of a large nut meg, green and rough. The root is composed of a quantity of while fibres.
The unripe fruit is used: they are astringent, and good against fluxes of the belly, and bleedings of all kinds: the best way of giving them is infused in a rough red wine, with a little cinnamon. They use them in some parts of England externally for wounds. A strong decoction of then is made to wash old ulcers, and the juice is applied to fresh hurts, and they say with great success.
The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.