THE earliest summer flower of the marsh is the Red Rattle or Lousewort (Pedicularis palustris), which shows its red stems and flowers so plentifully as to tint the landscape, which is brightened by its deeply-cut green leaves.

The Butterworts are, however, the summer flowers of the bog. They are sometimes called bog violets, from their blue tint and drooping heads. The Com-mon Butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris) has its yellowish unctuous leaves arranged round the root. These leaves are used in many counties to coagulate milk, hence its name. The leaves have a singular habit of >curling back over the root when disturbed. It bears also the name of Yorkshire sanicle, and it has been boiled into syrup for a confection. The larger flowered species (Pinguicula grandiflora) blossoms in the spring months in mild seasons, and is frequently found cultivated as a garden flower.

The small flowers, succulent stem, and straggling leaves of the marsh St. John's "Wort {Hypericum eloides) may be found during the summer months. Its small yellow flowers are very insignificant, but it shows the gold stamens arranged in bundles. It is not like its namesake, "The herb of war, Pierced through with wounds, Marked with many a scar," for it is only a few inches high.

On the borders of the boggy land we may find the Marsh Mallow (Althoea officinalis), with its handsome rose-coloured blossom, tall stem, and thick velvety leaves, which are often gathered yet, and boiled as a remedy for coughs and colds. The Marsh Valerian {Valeriana dioica) is a smaller variety of the great valerian we noticed by the river-side. The Bog Pimpernel (Anagallis tenella) shows its tiny leaves, and comparatively large rose-coloured blossoms to the observer; for it is frequently trodden underfoot by those who fail to look for modest beauty.

The pretty yellow spike of flowers, dotted with scarlet anthers on a stem about a foot high, is the Bog or Lancashre Asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum). It was once in repute as a hair dye when yellow hair was the fashion of the day; but its fame has disappeared, and its name remains to show the fallacy of many early notions. Its bone-breaking repute is gone. Sheep seldom eat it certainly, because a prudent shepherd would do his utmost to prevent his flock wandering on the boggy soil, for other reasons than because he was afraid of their bones becoming brittle through eating the asphodel.

The Marsh Cinquefoil (Comarum palustre) blooms in July. Its dingy purple flowers grow on a reddish stem. Its leaf-stalks have seven dark green leaflets, deeply cut at the edges. Though somewhat local, it is not an uncommon flower. It is closely allied to the tormentil. The fruit is spongy, but somewhat like a strawberry.

Of all the interesting plants which grow on marshlands, the most singular is the Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia). Those who have never seen its white blossoms growing, can form but little idea of its singular appearance. Round the root it has a circle of leaves, and each leaf has a number of red hairs, tipped with pellucid glands, which exude a clear liquid, giving the leaves a dew-bespangled appearance, as it glistens in the sunshine. These have proved a fatal trap to numbers of insects. The foliage and stem are much tinted with crimson, and the whole plant is small. Mixed with milk, the juice is used as a cosmetic; alone, the milky juice is used as a caustic for warts.

Amongst the July flowers is the beautiful Bog or Buck Bean (Menyanthes trifoliata), the queen of marsh flowers. It sometimes, too, rears its tall head by the side of the river, and is frequently planted in that position in ornamental waters, for the sake of its handsome white flowers, which appear almost hidden by a border or delicate pink fringe. Its flower-stem grows out of a sheath on the top of its stout stalk, and the flowers are scattered down the stem. The leaves are triple, like those of the field bean, and the stalk has a general resemblance to that plant. It has many valuable bitter qualities, and in this country it is used as a remedy for rheumatism, but in Sweden and Norway it is frequently used in brewing instead of hops.

The Great Spearwort (Ranunculus lingua) is quite as common by the river as in the marsh. Its blossoms are much like the common crowfoot; but its foliage is slender, and somewhat spear-shaped. The smaller species (Ranunculus flammula) flowers later, and is distinguished by its silky foliage. Ere it has done blooming, autumn days are at hand.

Summer in the Marshlands And Bogs 46