Friday, July 15, 2016

1794 - Hypochondriacal Passion - Old News About Dandelions

Nicholas Culpepper is a well known and beloved herbalist. 

 When looking for interesting illustrations for this post I came across this 1883 description of Culpepper's writing style in a book about a gentleman who was led into botanizing by, among other fortuitous events,  the ownership of Culpepper's Herbal.  Since I agree wholeheartedly, here is an excerpt from William Jolly's work.
Before this meeting, however, John's (John Duncan) knowledge of plants was neither small nor uninteresting, as it could scarcely be with so humorous and practical a master as Culpepper. We have seen how he began the study while yet in his teens, during his apprenticeship at Drumlithie, and how he early purchased a copy of Culpepper. 
Notwithstanding his strange-looking name, Culpepper was an Englishman, born in London in 1616, and dying in 1654. His book is curious and interesting, bearing on its front that it contains "nearly four hundred medicines made from English herbs, physically applied to the cure of all disorders incident to man, with rules for compounding them," by "Nicholas Culpepper, Student in Physic and Astrology." 
Of each plant, it gives a description, sometimes pretty minute, though popular and unscientific; the places where it was to be found; its flowering time; its "government," according to the astrological influences under which it should be gathered, to possess potency ; and its "virtues" or the diseases it was held to cure, with directions for preparation and use. It contains a deal of queer, old world learning. 
Nicholas Culpepper's style is quaint, with a touch of biblical antiqueness, often dryly humorous, and not seldom rudely outspoken. 
He does not describe the elder tree, for instance, " since every boy that plays with a popgun will not mistake another tree instead of it;"   he says that if eyebright " was but as much used as it is neglected, it would half spoil the spectacle-maker's trade ;" and that the common practice of applying a medicine in one part of the body to affect another, is "as proper as for me when my toe is sore to lay a plaister on my nose."  
He gives curious personal details, as his curing his own daughter of the king's evil with pilewort. He tells us, "Mars loves no cowards, nor Saturn fools, nor I neither."   He essays practical philosophy and kindly moralizing.  
Fuchs - 1543
For example, he wishes 
  • "gentlewomen would keep butter-burr preserved, to help their poor neighbours, as it is fit the rich should help the poor, for the poor cannot help themselves ;"  
  • "let no man," says he, "despise cinquefoil, because it is plain and easy-the ways of God are all such;" 
  •  "seven years' care and fear makes a man never the wiser nor a farthing richer; 
  • "he that reads this, and understands what he reads, hath a jewel of more worth than a diamond."

He leaves a remedy to the world, "not caring a farthing whether they like or dislike it; the grave equals all men, and therefore will equal me with all princes, until which time the Eternal Providence is over me ; then the ill tongue of a prating fellow, or one that hath more tongue than wit or more proud than honest, shall never trouble me: wisdom is justified by her children: and so much for wormwood."
 He talks facetiously of Dr. Tradition, Dr. Reason, Dr. Experience, Dr. Ignorance, Dr. Folly, and Dr. Sickness. Altogether, the good Culpepper aims at being at once the " guide, philosopher, and friend" of his disciples. 
Certainly,  he cannot be accused of ever being wearisome, obscure, or dull.

I did not know what the king's evil was.I find it was the swelling of lymph nodes due to tuberculosis.  (Caution: slightly disturbing vintage photo of a child's head with swellings.)

Now, on to Culpepper's thoughts on dandelions!! 
By the way, when posting portions of any book or article I break up paragraphs for easier reading online.  I have also changed all the letters "s", written in the style of that day as  "f"s,  back into an "s".  Original scan posted at end of this post.

From Culpepper:

DANDELION, VULGARLY called piss-a-beds.
Description. IT is well known to have many long and deeply-gashed leaves lying on the ground, round about the head of the root; the ends of each gash or jag on both sides, looking down towards the root, the middle rib being white, which, broken, yieldeth abundance of bitter milk, but the root much more.

From among the leaves, which always abide green, arise many slender, weak, naked, footstalks, every one of them bearing at the top one large yellow flower, consisting of many rows of yellow leaves, broad at the points, and nicked in, with a deep spot of yellow in the middle; which growing ripe, the green husk wherein the flower stood turneth itself down to the stalk, and the head of down becometh as round as a ball, with long reddish seed underneath, bearing a part of the down on the head of every one, which together is blown away with the wind, or may at once be blown away with one's mouth. 
 The root groweth downwards exceeding deep, which, being broken off within the ground, will, notwithstanding, shoot forth again; and will hardly be destroyed when it hath once taken deep root in the ground. 

It groweth frequent in all meadows and pasture grounds.

It flowereth in one place or other almost all the year long.

Government And Virtues. 
 It is under the dominion of Venus. It is of an opening and cleansing quality, and therefore very effectual for the obstructions of the liver, gall, and spleen, and the diseases that arise from them, as the jaundice and hypochondriacal passion.

It wonderfully openeth the passage of urine, both in young and old; it powerfully cleanseth aposthumes, and inward tumours in the urinary passages, and by the drying and temperate quality doth afterwards heal them; for which purpose the decoction of the roots or leaves in white wine, or the leaves chopped as pot-herbs with a few alisanders, and boiled in their broth, is very effectual. And whoever is drawing towards consumption, or an evil disposition of the whole body, called cachexia, by the use hereof for some time together will find a wonderful help.

It helpeth also to procure rest and sleep to bodies distempered by the heat of ague fits, or otherwise; the distilled water is effectual to drink in pestilential fevers, and to wash the sores.
You see here what virtues this common herb hath, and that is the reason the French and Dutch so often eat them in the spring, and now, if you look a little farther, you may plainly perceive that foreign physicians are more liberal in communicating their knowledge of the virtues of plants than the English.

English physician - Page 102

Thursday, July 14, 2016

1836 - Deacon Corey's "Grafted Dandelions"

Deacon Corey was a man full of energy, a Brookline Massachusetts farmer and Baptist deacon who put his hard earned money where his mouth was when it came to improving his community.
He first came to my notice in this amusing bit of leafy history.


At a recent meeting of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, a discussion on profitable vegetable culture took place.    William D. Philbrick had been appointed to lead the discussion, and said that the Dandelion holds the first rank in the list of spring greens.  

Its earliness, the mild and pleasant bitterness of its flavour, its healthfulness as an article of food, the ease with which it is grown, and the certainty with which it produces a crop in our changeable climate combine to give it a first place in favour both with marketmen and consumers. 

 It is only recently that the dandelion has been much cultivated, and when the attempt was first made it caused considerable merriment. The first man who cultivated for Boston market was Deacon Corey, of Brookline, who began about 1836. 
The marketmen of that time used to call them “Deacon Corey's grafted dandelions.”  Now they are grown by the acre. The seed was at first obtained by selecting the largest of the wild dandelions ; lately, however, the French dandelion has been generally used, being larger, and since its introduction it has been much improved in colour and appearance. 

The dandelion is always treated as an annual by the gardeners, who plough under the old roots as soon as the crop is taken, and use the land for melons or squashes, for the crop produced from old roots is much inferior to what is grown from young ones.

Looking at the map above you can see that Boston's Back Bay had not yet been filled in making it difficult for many farmers to get their goods into the city. 
 "Before the Back Bay in Boston was filled there was no direct access to north Brookline from the east until a road was constructed over the mill dam in 1829. "
Deacon Corey would have benefited greatly in 1836 from this new road.

The following information is an excerpt from an 1874 book, Historical Sketches of Brookline, Massby Harriet F. Woods.  It is very readable for that sort of thing!   Elijah Corey did many good things besides develop Boston's taste for alternative greens.  
First, though, I am including some photos of Brookline from around the time Deacon Corey was taking his improved dandelion greens into Boston.
Brookline History

Cypress Street, which was originally the New Lane, was created in the17th century for residents of North Brookline to be able to get to the Meeting House...Google kmz download

Elijah Corey, afterwards the deacon, married, when quite young, Polly Leeds of Dorchester... This was in November, 1797.   The "wedding visit" (the old time name for a " Reception") was a gay affair for those times, and a quiet farming place, as Brookline was then. Almost everybody in the town was invited, and there was the inspiriting music of a fife and drum. 
There was not much finery in those days, but what there was, was conspicuous on this occasion. An old citizen tells us that his mother, then young and fair, wore a new white silk hat, with white feathers, almost exactly in the style of those worn by young ladies the present season. 
Mr. William Ackers, the former owner of the Fisher place on the corner of Boylston Street, used to relate an incident of his own participation in this ancient wedding.  He was a stylish young man in those days, and had had black satin " small-clothes," ordered for the occasion, but as he was leaving his own house, a sudden slip in the muddy yard brought his satin finery to utter discomfiture, and he was forced to go back and make his toilet anew, in plainer garb. 
 The old house (lately the Bartlett house) was crowded with merry guests and the cheerful occasion was an event long talked of afterwards. ...
Deacon Elijah Corey was left a widower in 1827, and in 1829 married the widow of Captain Robert S. Davis.
The causeway across the valley from Washington Street to the steep hillside was built by Deacon Corey about fifty years ago. At the entrance of it stood a barn, underneath which was a cider-mill. This barn was destroyed by fire several years since.
All the Coreys of three generations have been farmers and have been considered shrewd, practical men. The two brothers, Elijah and Timothy, were among the first projectors of the Baptist Church enterprise in this town, and to that purpose devoted time, labor, and money.
None who were familiar with the old Baptist vestry will ever forget Deacon Elijah Corey's voice and manner in his old age. If the meeting flagged and there was an awful silence, Deacon Corey would strike out in a high key, " Come Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove," to the tune of Turner, or St. Martin's, or " Life is the time to serve the Lord," to the tune of Wells, or some other familiar old hymn, and by the time he had sung a line or two, other voices joined in and the solo became, not lost in, but a part of, a chorus.
His exhortations abounded in striking metaphors and strong language, frequently beginning with, "Brethren,  a thought struck me," and he usually made the thought strike his hearers before he finished.      He often ended an exhortation with the desire that the Lord would " make our souls like the chariots of Amminadib" (Song of Solomon vi. 12).    But in what respect this would have been desirable, was not apparent to the listeners; and we often wondered what the good deacon's idea of such a condition of soul might be. There is no question, however, but that all through his life he had at heart not only the building up of his church here but of the denomination to which he belonged, not only here but abroad....He died in May, 1859, aged eighty-six, and was buried from the Baptist Church. A bunch of apple-blossoms, a fit tribute to one who had been all his life a farmer, was the only floral offering laid upon his breast. 
Pg. 54The congregation at once became so large that their little new chapel would not hold them, and steps were soon taken to build a church. The five gentlemen above mentioned agreed to build it at their own expense, and each give a certain percentage of the whole cost, whatever it might be.
Deacon E. Corey pledged forty per cent. (that's our man!), Deacon T. Corey and Deacon Griggs each twenty per cent., and the others each ten. The church was built at a cost of about six thousand dollars; a few friends who had moved in gave from ten to a hundred dollars each, and the work was paid for. But there was no room for sheds, and hardly room enough to walk around the church on the west side, on their own ground which they had now bought.
At last the owner of the much desired piece of land, seeing that the church was built, signified his willingness to sell for a sufficient bonus.
Deacon Corey offered fifty bushels of corn, in addition to what was asked in money, and his offer was accepted.  The land was secured, the sheds built, a strip west of them now in Mr. Panter's yard was sold to Mr. Holden, the next owner on that side, and thenceforward the Baptist ship sailed in smooth water.
The meeting-house was dedicated November 20, 1828.  But the little chapel stood in front of it, and the gallows-like hay-scales in front of that. The hay-scales were bought and taken down, the chapel moved to the rear of the church and altered over into a parsonage; it still stands with additions and improvements, next south of the present church. The green in front of the church was fenced and planted with trees, and soon became a very attractive spot.

1941 - Seeds Go To War

I was cruising the Library of Congress images and came across this nice silkscreen print.  

Sometimes I wish I had a bigger house so I'd have more walls to hang things on.  This WWII poster makes me feel good.

  • Title: Grow it yourself Plan a farm garden now.
  • Creator(s): Bayer, Herbert, 1900-1985, artist
  • Related Names:
       United States. Rural Electrification Administration , sponsor
  • Date Created/Published: NYC : NYC WPA War Services, [between 1941 and 1943]
  • Medium: 1 print (poster) : silkscreen, color.
  • Summary: Poster for the U.S. Department of Agriculture promoting victory gardens, showing carrots, lettuce, corn, tomatoes, and potatoes growing.

Monday, July 11, 2016

1888 - Kohl-rabi to Lettuce - Part 12 of Sturtevant's History of Garden Vegetables

Published November 1, 1888

 (Continued from page 808.)

 Kohl-rabi. Brassiea oleracea caulo-rapa, D C.
It is now found as Brassica oleracea Gongylodes Group if you are looking it up.
I FIND no certain identification of this race in the ancient writings.
The bunidia of Pliny seems rather to be the ruta baga, as he says it is between a radish and a rape.
The goggulis of Theophrastus and Galen seems also to be the rutabaga, for Galen says the root contained within the earth is hard, unless cooked.    

In 1558 Matthiolus speaks of the kohl-rabi as having lately came into Germany from Italy. Between 1573 and 1575 Rauwolf saw it in the gardens of Tripoli and Aleppo.  Lobel in 1570, Camerarius in 1586, Dalechamp  in 1587, and other of the older botanists, all figure or describe it as under European culture.

 This plant, in the view of some writers, is a cross between the cabbage and the rape, and many of the names applied to it convey this idea. This view is probably a mistaken one, as the plant in its sportings under culture tends to the form of the marrow cabbage, from which it is probably a derivation.

 In 1884, in two plants in pots in the greenhouse, I had good kohl-rabi bulbs, and one of these extended itself until it became a marrow cabbage, and when planted out in the spring attained its growth as a marrow cabbage. This idea of its origin finds countenance in the figures of the older botanists, thus Camerarius, in 1586, figures a plant as a kohl-rabi which in all essential points resembles a marrow cabbage, being tapering from a small stem into a long kohl-rabi, with a flat top like the marrow cabbage.

 The figures given by Lobel, in 1591, Dodonseus,  in 1616, and Bodseus,  in 1644, when compared with Camerarius' figure, suggest the marrow cabbage.

A long highly improved form, not now under culture, is figured by Gerarde in 1597, J. Bauhin,  in 1651, and Chabreeus,  in 1677, and the modern form is given by Gerarde, and by Matthiolus  in 1598.   A very unimproved form, out of harmony with the other figures, is given by Dalechamp,  in 1587, and Castor Durante,  in 1617.

This synonymy can be tabulated in order as below: 

 1. Caulorapum. Cam. epit., 1586, 251.

2. Rapa, Br. peregrina, caule rapum gerens. Lob. ic, 1591, 246.
    Br. caule rapum gerens. Dod. pempt., 1616, 625.
    Rapa brassica. Bodseus, 1644, 777.

3. Caulo rapum longum. Ger., 1597, 250. 3. 
    Br. caulorapa. J. Bauh., 1651, ii., 830. 
    Br. caulorapa sive Rapo caulis. Chabr., 1677, 270.

4. Caulorapum rotundum. Ger., 1597, 250. 
    Brassica gongylodes. Matth. op., 1598, 367.

5. Brassica raposa. Lugd., 1587, 522. 
    Bradica raposa. Cast. Dur., 1617, app. 

 Matthiolus, as we have stated, says the plant came into Germany from Italy ; Pena and Lobel say it came from Greece ; Gerarde, that it groweth in Italy, Spain and Germany, from whence he received seeds. 

These excerpts indicate a southern origin for this vegetable, and the marrow cabbages are very sensitive to cold. The more highly improved forms, as figured in our synonymy, are in authors of northern or central Europe, while the unimproved forms are given by more southern writers. This indicates that the present kohl-rabi received its development in northern countries. 

 The varieties now grown are the white and purple, in early and late forms, the curled leaf, or Neapolitan, and the artichoke-leaved. One, at least, was in American gardens as early as 1806, and the rest appear before 1863.

The nomenclature of this plant is deserving of attention, from the presence of foreign words, for which its history seems to afford but little justification. The kohl-rabi, Turnip-rooted cabbage, Arabian, cole rape, cole turnip, Cape cabbage, or Hungarian turnip, is called

  • in France choux-raves, chou de Siam, boule de Siam
  • in Germany, oberkohlrabi; 
  • in Flanders, raapkool; 
  • in Holland, koolraapen boven den grond
  • in Denmark, overjordisk kohlrabi, kundekaal; 
  • in Italy, cavolo rapa, torsi; 
  • in Spain, col rabanho; 
  • in Portugal, couve rabano, couve de Siam; 
  • in Norway, overjords-kaalrabi
  • in India, ole hole, or gool jur ka kuhun. 

Lavender. Lavandula vera D C.

 Lavender is sometimes grown for the use of the leaves as a condiment, but more often for the flowers, which find use in perfumery; but we have never heard of its being grown on a large scale in the United States, although it was in garden culture in 1806. 

 Its present growing is doubtless very insignificant. There is no satisfactory identification of lavender in the writings of the ancients, although it seems to have been well known to the botanists of the sixteenth century, and the use of the perfume was indicated as early as the fourteenth century, and as a medicine even in the twelfth century.

Its seed was in English seedsmen's lists of 1726, for garden culture. 

Lavender is called -  
in France lavande, aspic, lavande femelle ; 
in Germany, lavendel, spike; 
in Flanders, lavendel; 
in Denmark, lavendel; 
in Italy, lavanda; 
in Spain, espliego 

Lavandula spica L., a more southern species, is confounded with the above in cultivation, and is also cultivated on a large scale for purposes of distillation.

Mawe, in 1778, named four varieties,

  • the narrow-leaved with blue flowers,
  • the narrow-leaved with white flowers, 
  • the broad-leaved and 
  • the Dwarf. 

This vegetable was the prason of the ancient Greeks, the porrum of the Romans, who distinguished two kinds, the eapitatum, or leek, and the sectilis, or chives, perhaps, although Columella,  Pliny  and Palladius  indicate these as forms of the same plant brought about through difference of culture, the chive-like form being produced by thick planting. They seem to have been very popular at Rome. 

In Europe the leek was generally known throughout the middle ages, and in the earlier botanies some of the figures of the leek represent the two kinds of planting alluded to by the Roman writers. In England, in 1726, Townsend  says that "leeks are mightily used in the kitchen for broths and sauces.

When they reached America I do not find recorded, but prior to 1775 they were grown at Mobile, Ala., and were cultivated by the Choctaw Indians.  The leek may vary considerably by culture, and often attains quite a large size ; one with the blanched portion a foot long and nine inches in circumference, and the leaf fifteen inches in breadth and three feet in length, has been recorded. 

Vilmorin  described eight varieties in 1883, but
some of these are scarcely distinct.
 (These 6 are reasonably different,
especially if you are a leek aficionado.)


The leek, or porret,  is called: 
in France poireau, poiree, poirette, porreau
in Flanders and Holland, prei
in Germany, lauoh, porree
in Denmark, porre ; 
in Italy, porro ; 
in Spain, puerro ;
 in Portugal, alho porro ; 
in Greece, to prasa ; 
in Sweden, puris ; 
in Russia, pros; 
in Norway, purre. 
In Arabic, karrat or Jcour- nas; 
in Bengali, puroo ;
in Egypt, korrat
in India, kundaneh, zalook or puroo
in Persian, gundena

 This species is supposed by authors to be a cultivated form of Allium ampeloprasum L. 

 Lentil. Ervum lens L.

The cultivation of the Lentil is very ancient, as it has been found in the Egyptian tombs of the twelfth dynasty, or 2,200 to 2,400 B.C.

It has also been found in the lacustrine debris of Switzerland dating from the age of bronze.  Its culture was well known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, and has been continued through the middle ages to the present time. New word for me..."lacustrineof, relating to, or associated with lakes".

 Bauhin,  in 1623 names a large and a small sort, the seed reddish, pale yellow, White, tawny and black, and Vilmorin,  in 1883, describes four varieties for garden culture. 

Its seed is used in soups and stews, and the culture is of more importance in the warmer regions. Lentils are recorded by Burr,  in 1863, for American use; but much of the seed found exposed for sale in groceries is imported. 
The lentil is called:
in France lentille, arousse, aroufle;

in Germany, linse;

in Flanders and Holland, linze; 

in Denmark, lindse ; 

in Italy, lente, lenticchia; 

in Spain, lenteja; 

in Portugal, lentilha.

In Arabic, a'ds ;

in Egypt, adz ;

in India, mussoor ;

in Sanscrit, mussoora ;

in Latin, lens ;

in Slav, lesha ;

in Illyrian, lechja ;

in Lithuanian, lenszic;

the Greeks, fakos or fakai;
the Berbers, ades. 

 Lettuce. Lactuca sativa L.
(I have to confess I am not looking too hard for lettuce art as I plan to post Sturtevants paper on lettuce, in which he goes into greater detail.)

This, the best of all salad plants, as a cultivated plant has a high antiquity.  

It is evident, by an anecdote related by Herodotus, that it appeared at the royal tables of the Persian kings about 550 B.C.    The medicinal properties as a food-plant was noted by Hippocrates, 2430 B.C.,   praised by Aristotles, 356 B.C.,    and the species described by Theophrastus, 322 B.C., Dioscorides, 60 A.D., and mentioned by Galen,  164 A.D., who gives an idea of a very general use. 

Among the Romans it was very popular. Columella, A.D. 42, describes the Caecilian, Cappadocian, Cyprian and Tartesan.   Pliny, A.D. 79, enumerates the alba, Caecilian, Cappadocian, crispa, Graeca, Laconicon, nigra, purpurea and rubens.  Palladius,  210 A.D., implies varieties, and mentions the process of blanching.   Martial, A.D. 101, gives to the lettuces of Cappadocia the term viles, or cheap, implying abundance.

In China its presence can be identified in the fifth century.  In England, Chaucer, about 1340, uses the word in his prologue, "well loved he garlic, onions and lettics," and it is likewise mentioned by Turner,  in 1538, who spells the word lettuse. It is mentioned as cultivated in Isabella Island, in 1494, by Peter Martyr,  as also in Mexico at a later date; is noted as abundant in Hayti in 1565,  etc. 

In the report of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station for 1885, eighty-seven varieties are fully described with 585 names or synonyms. Vilmorin describes, in 1883, one hundred and thirteen kinds as distinct.

The number of varieties named by various writers at various times are as follows:
(This is an interesting way to look at lettuce history!, showing cultural preferences.)
For France,
  • in 1612, six; 
  • in 1690, twenty-one; 
  • in 1829, forty; 
  • in 1883, one hundred and thirteen. 
For Holland, 
  • in 1720, forty-seven. 
For England, 
  • in 1597, six; 
  • in 1629, nine; 
  • in 1726, nine; 
  • in 1763, fifteen; 
  • in 1765, eighteen; 
  • in 1807, fourteen. 
In America, 
  • in 1806, sixteen; 
  • in 1885, eighty-seven. 

The cabbage and cos lettuces are the sorts now principally grown, but various other kinds, such as the curled, are frequently, and the sharp-leaved, oak-leaved, etc., occasionally, as novelties. In this large class, I shall content myself with offering the synonymy of a few of the varieties now known, and which shall indicate the antiquity of our cultivated types.   

The Lanceolate-leaved Type
  • Lactuca longifolia. Bauh. phytopin., 1596, 200.
  • Lattuga franzese. Cast. Dur., 1617, 244, cum ic. 
  • Lactuca folio oblongo acuto. Bauh. pin., 1623, 125; prod., 1671, 60, cum ic. 
  • Lactuca longo at valde angusto folio. J. Bauh.,1651, ii.,999, cum ic.; Chabr.,1677, 313, cum ic. 
  • Deer Tongue. Greg., 1883. 

The Cos Type
 Pena and Lobel, in 1570, say that this form is but rarely grown in France and Germany, although
common in the gardens of Italy; and Heuze  says it was brought from Rome to France by Rabelais in 1537. 

  •  Lactura florescens. Cam. epit., 1586, 299, cum ic. 
  •  Lactuca intybacea, Lombard Lettuce. Ger., 1597, 240, cum ic.  (illustration to right)
  •  Lactuca foliis endivise. Matth. op., 1598, 399, cum ic. 
  •  Lactuca Romana louga dulcis. J. Bauh., 1651, ii., 998, cum ic. ; Chabr., 1677, 313, cum ic. 
  •  La Romaine. Le Jard. Solit., 1612. 
  •  Romaines. Vil„ 1883, 307. 

We can reasonably believe the lettuce of Camerarius to be very close to the Florence Cos. The Lombard lettuce was grown as a sport in the garden of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station, in 1886, and the figures by Bauhin and Chabraeus may well be the Paris Cos. 

I would not be understood, however, as implying that these figures represent the improved forms of our present culture, but as the prototypes from which our plants have appeared, as shown not only by resemblance of leaf form, but through the study of variables in the garden. 

Ray, in 1686, describes the Cos as having light green and dark green varieties, and these, as well as the Spotted Cos, are indicated by Bauhin in 1623.

The Headed Lettuce. 

 This is the sort commonly grown, and the figures given in the sixteenth century indicate that the heading habit was even then firmly established. 

We have the following synonyms to offer, premising that types are referred to, and not exact variety resemblance : —


  •  Lactuca crispa. Matth., 1558, 264 ; Pin., 1561, 195. 
  •  Lattuga. Cast. Dur., 1617, 243. 
  •  Laroyale? Le Jard. Solit., 1612; Quintyne, 1690, etc. 
  •  Laitve Blonde de Berlin, syn. Laitve royale. Vil., 1883, 295. 
  •  Berlin. 


  •  Lactuca sativa sessilis sive capitata. Lob. ic, 1591, i., 242. 
  •  Lactuca capitata. Bod., 1616, 645. 
  •  Very Early Dwarf Green. 


  •  Lactuca. Cam. epit., 1586, 298.  
  •  Lactuca capitata. Ger., 1597, 240. 
  •  Lactuca crispa. Matth. op., 1598, 399. 
  •  Batavians. Vil., 1883. d. Lattich. Roszlin, i550, 167. 
  •  Green Fringed.    This latter identification is from the appearance of the young plant. The old plant is remarkably different, forming a true rosette. 

Cutting and Miscellaneous. 


  • Lactuca crispa altera. Ger., 1597, 240. 
  • Lactuca crispa et tenuiter dissecta. J. Bauh., 1651, ii., 1000; Chabr., 1677,314. 
  • Curled Cutting.

  •  Lactuca foliis querni. Bay, 1686, 219.
  •  Oak-leaved.

  • Capitatam cum pluribus capitibus. J. Bauh., 1651, ii., 998; Chabr., 1677, 313.  
  • Egyptian Sprouting. 

The minor variations which are now separated into varieties did not receive the same recognition in former times, the same variety  name covering what now would be several varieties; thus Quintyne, in 1693, calls perpignans both a green and a pale form, etc.   Green, light green, dark green, red and spotted lettuces are named in the old botanies; hence we cannot assert any new types have appeared in modern culture. 

 The generic names of the lettuce in the various languages are : 
  • in Greek, thridahine, thridakinos, thridax hemeros; 
    I want this! 
  • in Latin, Lactuca
  • in France, laitue cultivee
  • in Germany, lattich; 
  • in Flanders and Holland, latouw; 
  • in Denmark, salat; 
  • in Italy, lattuga; 
  • in Spain, leehuga, ensiam; 
  • in Portugal, alface; 
  • in Sweden, Denmark and Russia, lalduk;
  • in Norway, salat ;
  • in Arabic, Mass  or khus;
  •  in Ceylon, salada;
  • in China, ye tsai, kiu,  sheng-tsai, pai-ku;
  • in Cochin China, rau, diep tau;
  • in Egypt, chaff
  • in Hindustani, kahoo; 
  • in India, kahoo; 
  • in Japan, hantats, futsu kusa, too ts:isa.