Family

Barberry.

Colour

White.

Odour

Unpleasant.

Range

General.

Time of Bloom

May.

Flowers: large; solitary; nodding from a short pedicel between the two leafstalks. Calyx: of six sepals that fall early. Corolla: of six to nine petals. Stamens: usually double the number of petals. Pistil: one. Fruit: a large berry filled with seeds and sweet to the taste; it appears like a small lemon. Leaves: usually two; terminal at the ends of elongated petioles; umbrella-shaped; five to nine lobed. Beside the flowering stems other stems arise which bear a single leaf seven to nine lobed.

A strange little flower is our mandrake, and a strange way it has of growing under its great umbrella-like leaves. It seems as though its perpetual dread in life is to be wet by a thunder-shower. The fruit, called wild-lemon, is harmless, and is often eaten and enjoyed by children; but the leaves and roots possess a deadly poison.

The Indians know how to use it medicinally.