Delphinium staphisagria, a native of waste places of Italy, the Greek islands, and Asia Minor, is now generally distributed throughout the Mediterranean countries and the adjacent islands, e. g., the Canaries. It was known to the ancients, being mentioned by Nicander (581), Dioscorides (194), Pliny (514), and others, the last-named author stating that the powdered seeds were used for destroying vermin of the head and body, in which direction it is still popular. Throughout the Middle Ages the drug continued in use, according to Pietro Crescenzio (172), of the thirteenth century. The seeds were collected in Italy, where the plant is still cultivated, being still in demand in domestic medicine as an insecticide.
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.