I. The Names. It is called in Latin, Convolvulus minor, and Volubilis minor, to which they add Purpureus, because of the Purple color of the Flower: And in English, Bindweed the lesser, and Blew or Purple Bindweed.
II. The Kinds. There are several Species of it, as,
- 1. Convolvulus minor vulgaris, The Common Small Bindweed. (Calystegia sepium. -Henriette)
- 2. Althaea foliis, Mallow leav'd. (Convolvulus altheoides -> C. thunbergii. -Henriette)
- 3. Purpureus, Purple Bindweed. (Ipomoea tricolor? -Henriette)
- 4. Ceruleus Hispanicus, Blew Spanish Bindweed. (Convolvulus tricolor? -Henriette)
- 5. Convolvulus Spicae foliis, Lavender leav'd Bindweed: of all which in order. (Convolvulus cantabricus? -Henriette)
III. The Description. It has a Root small and slender, running both very deep into the ground, and spreading also far about, especially where the ground is loose and mellow: From this Root comes Stalks, which rise up and wind themselves upon any thing which is near it, but otherwise usually spreads every way on the Earth, with long trailing and winding Branches, one within another, having Leaves thereon, some what like unto the greater White Bindweed, but much lesser: The Flower is for form, like the former White Bell-flower, and is sometimes wholly White, or has Plants purplish, but less, made of one leaf plaited as it were into five folds, and opening wide at the Brims: after which come small blackish Seed, contained in small, long and round heads.
IV. The Mallow leav'd has a small and brownish Root, creeping under ground, and shooting up branches in distant places: From this Root springs branches, which grow not high, nor climb much upon any thing, but for the most part lies with its finally slender, hairy twigs upon the Earthy having divers leaves very thinly, or poreingly set on them, something broad and long, like unto the leaves Marsh-mallows, but smaller, crumpled, and cut in on both sides, at the lower ends, dented about the edges, and of a hoary or dusty grayish green Color, which when they are cleared, are clammy, or sticking like Gum to the teeth, sharp, and somewhat bitter in taste. The Flowers come forth one by one at the Joints with the Leaves, all along the Stalk, up to the top, every one upon a long Stalk, which are very like the former, just before described; they consist of one whole leaf, yet plaited as it were before the opening into five plaits, and being open, have five corners, as if it had five leaves, broad like a Cup or Bell at the brims, and small at the bottom, of a fine pale Purple color, and sometimes deeper, after which come forth heads of small Seed.
V. The Small Purple Bindweed, is in all things like unto the first of these described in this Chapter, saving that the Flowers are of a pale purplish, or blewish color, the folds being White, or of a deeper Purple without, and White within, the bottom being also agreeable therewith, which is of much beauty.
VI. The Spanish Blew Bindweed, has a small thready Root, which dies every Year, from which shoots forth several small Branches a yard long, or more, having several Leaves standing singly thereon, small and long at the bottom, and broader, and almost round at the end, a little hairy as it were, all over. At every leaf for the most part, from the middle of the Stalks upwards, comes forth a Flower, like unto the common sort, folded into five plaits, which open into so many corners, of a most admirable Sky colored Blew (so pleasant to behold, that it amazes the spectators) with White bottoms, pointed upwards, and Yellow in the middle, which passing away, there comes small, round white heads, containing within them, small blackish cornered Seed, which is to be new sown every Year.
VII. The Lavender leav'd. This is like the first in all things, except the Leaves, which are long and narrow, resembling those of Lavender, or Linaria: But it has a finer Flower, plaited or folded in the compass of its Bell very orderly, especially before the Sun rise, for afterwards, when it opens its self, the folds are not so much perceived; and it is of a deep Purple color: the Seed is not unlike the rest, corner’d and flat, growing out of slender Branches, which stand upright and thick together, proceeding from a White woody Root.
VIII. The Places. The First of these is common, and grows almost every where in Fields, By-ways, dry Ditches, Ditch banks, and Hedge sides, through England.
The Second and Fourth grow in Spain, and are nourished up with us in Gardens.
The Third and Fifth are common with us in England: This Fifth or last, Gerard says he found it growing in the Corn Fields about Great Dunmow in Essex, in such abundance, that it does much hurt to the Corn, and Parkinson says, it is as great a plague to the Fields where it grows, as the first is.
IX. The Times. They all flower from May to the end of August, and the Seed ripens gradually in the mean Season.
X. The Qualities. They are all much of a Nature, being hot and dry in the first Degree, a little Astringent, Vulnerary, Arthritick, and Alterative.
XI. The Preparations. You may have,
- 1. A liquid Juice.
- 2. An Essence.
- 3. A Pouder.
- 4. A Balsam.
- 5. A Cataplasm.
- 6. A Distilled Water.
XII. The liquid Juice. Being often snuffed up the Nostrils till it comes out again at the Mouth it cleanses and heals Running Sores or Ulcers in those parts: And if a little Nitre is dissolved in it, it purges the Head and Brain.
XIII. The Essence. It has the same Virtues, but is more Discussive, and prevalent for the cleansing of Ulcers, and healing of Wounds.
XIV. The Pouder. Strewed upon a foul Ulcer, it cleanses it (if also washed with the Essence) and afterwards it incarnates and heals.
XV. The Balsam. It is an excellent Vulnerary, and cures simple Wounds many times at once dressing.
XVI. The Cataplasm. Made of the Green Herb, it discusses Tumors, and applied upon Contusions disperses the Humors gathered together.
XVII. The Distilled Water. If you dissolve a little Sal Prunella, or Nitre in it, it is good against Heats and Breakings out in the Face, Tannings, Sun-burnings, Pimples, Scurf, and other like Deformities.
Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter has been proofread by Nick Jones.