A FINE, tall, and beautiful plant; kept in gardens for its use in medicine, as well as for its appearance. It is four feet high. The stalk is thick, round, and firm; perfectly smooth, and painted on the surface with several colours; purple, white, green, and others. The leaves are very large, and stand on long foot-stalks: they are of a deep and strong green; and each is divided into several portions in the manner of fingers. The flower is like that of the common arum or cuckoo pint: it is contained in a hollow green case, of a deep purple within, and the pistil is also of a deep purple; after this is fallen, appear as in the arum, large red berries in a cluster. The whole plant is of an acrid and insupportable taste.
The whole plant is to be gathered when in flower, and dried; it may afterwards be given in decoction, powder, or otherwise. It was vastly esteemed for malignant fevers, and in the small pox; but it has relate lost much of its credit: at present it is only used in some compositions.
The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.