LEAVING the beaten paths, and striking for the wild moorland and breezy heaths, beyond which the blue mountain shows its silvery outline, we find but comparatively few flowers of the early spring, but the air is redolent of sweet perfume, "As if Nature's incense-pans had spilt, And shed the dews i' the air."

The sturdy Gorse shows its golden blossoms and welcomes the early bee. The variety now in bloom is the Ulex Europoeus. It has, with the Dwarf Furze, been showing a few buds during the winter. (See Winter Flowers.) The bonny, bonny Broom (Saro-thamnus scoparius).

"Yellow and bright as bullion unalloyed, Her blossoms," gleam from the graceful dark green twigs, which wave to and fro on the breezy moorland and make glad the landscape. This is the Planta genista whose story we have told, and which has a place in our "Materia Medica " as a diuretic. Old Gerarde says the flower-buds, when pickled and used as capers, wonderfully improve the appetite, but the plant is bitter. Both the furze and the broom are subject to parasites, amongst the largest of which is the acrid and bitter Broom Rape (Orolanche major), whose long clammy succulent stems, without leaves, spring up at the roots of the broom at the latter end of May. Its flowers are nearly the colour of the reddish stem, but are sometimes tinged with purple. The flowers grow abou half-way down the stem. The Lesser Broom Rape (Orolanche minor) grows on the roots of clover, and the wild thyme is sometimes afflicted by the same "man of the mountain."

On the cleared woodlands, but more frequently by the side of some clough or dell in the moorland, grows the myrtle-leaved shrubby Whortleberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), or "whorts," as they are sometimes called. This is not a solitary plant: it extends along the dell for miles. Its pretty red waxen flowers appear at the latter end of April, and the purple fruit are ripe in August. The Cowberry or Bed Whortleberry (Vaccinium vitis idoea) is of lower growth, and its leaves are not much larger than those of the common box. The Great Bilberry has duller and lighter leaves, and smaller fruit. It grows sometimes on high elevations, and the Cranberry (Oxycoccus palustris) is frequently found creeping beside it, showing its pink bells beneath its bright green leaves, which are white underneath. The fruits of all these are gathered for tarts, and are frequently sold in northern markets. In mountainous districts we shall often find the Common Raspberry (Rubus idoeus), and the Mountain Raspberry or Cloudberry (Rubus chamoemorus) may be known by its single white blossoms and delicious orange-coloured fruit, which is known in the Scottish Highlands under the name of Averans. The pink flowers of the Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) are common all over the United Kingdom, and the white flower of the Alpine Black Bearberry (A. Alpina) may be found in mountainous districts early in May. By its side the small rea flowers of the Azalea {Azalea procumbens) peep from the trailing woody stems.

Broom Rape. Broom. Fumitory. Golden Saxifrage. Pasque flower. Wood Sorrel. Water Crowfoot. Arum.

1. Broom Rape. 2. Broom. 3. Fumitory. 4. Golden Saxifrage. 5. Pasque-flower. 6. Wood Sorrel. 7. Water Crowfoot. 8. Arum.

The Juniper (Juniperus communis) is common equally on the downs as on the moorland. Its prickly branches were formerly hung up in houses to keep off evil spirits, and its berries were used to flavour gin. Its French name Genievre, gave the name Geneva to the spirit which we have contracted to the familiar monosyllable. It is a popular plant in Norway and Sweden, where a conserve is made of the berries, and the leaves are used for a variety of domestic purposes. From a gummy substance which exudes from old juniper bushes the gum sandarach is made, formerly so much used by conveyancers and lawyers as pounce for their manuscripts and deeds. The utility of the wood is so great that it is one of the favourite trees of those places where it grows to a large size.

The singular flower Butcher's Broom (Ruscus acu-leatus) or Knee Holly shows its solitary greenish-white flowers on the disk of the leaves in May. It is a rigid prickly plant, wild in the south and west of England, where its branches were and indeed are used as a broom.