Bilberry - "Treachery." The origin of the bilberry is accounted for by the following Greek legend: Cenomaus, the father of the lovely Hippodamia, chose Myrtillus, the youthful son of Mercury, for his personal attendant. Now Cenomaus was particularly proud of his skill as a charioteer, and insisted that all who sought his daughter's hand must compete in a chariot race with him. Pelops, who greatly desired to win Hippodamia, offered a large reward to Myrtillus if he would draw out the linch-pin from his master's chariot. Myrtillus yielded to the tempting bribe, with the result that the chariot was overturned and Cenomaus killed. But with his dying breath he implored Pelops to avenge him, which he did by flinging Myrtillus into the sea. The waters, however, bore back his body to the shore, and Mercury changed his son into the " whortleberry," or bilberry, the former " whortle " being an easy corruption in speech of "myrtil." When the flowers fade they are succeeded by dark blue berries.
Bindweed (great) - "Insinuation." This belongs to the convolvulus family.
Bindweed (small)-" Humility."
Bird's-eye - "Watchfulness." This dainty little blue flower, which grows in such profusion on the banks and waysides of our country lanes, has earned its name from the white speck upon the blossom which gives it the appearance of a little eye watching all one's movements.
Bird's-foot (Trefoil) - " Revenge."
Bird's-tongue - "Melody."
Bittersweet (Woody Nightshade) - "Truth." As the truth is not always palatable, so bitterness and sweetness are invariably linked together through life.
Bitter wort - "Injustice."
Black Ash - "Solitary grandeur."
Black Poplar - "Courage." This tree was sacred to Hercules.
Blackthorn - "Difficulty."
Bladder-nut - "Frivolity."
Bleeding Nun - "Contrition." This flower, which belongs to the cyclamen family, was formerly worn as a charm against bad weather.
Blessed Herb (Herba Benedicta) - "Benediction." There is an old saying respecting this plant that "when the root is in the house the devil can do nothing, and flies from it; wherefore it is blessed above all other herbs."
Blessed Thistle - "I command respect."
Legend says that it grew upon Calvary's mount, and, receiving upon its leaves some drops of the Saviour's precious blood, bore them in remembrance ever after.
Blue Mountain Anemone-" I aspire to thee."
Blue-flowered Greek Valerian-" Separation." Also called " Blue-eye."
Bluebottle (Centaury)-" Delicacy."
Blush Rose-" Maiden modesty."
Bonus Henricus-" Goodness."
Bo-tree-" Knowledge " or " wisdom." From the Sanscrit, " Bodha "-" knowledge."
Borage-" Bluntness." Also "courage."
Box-" Stoicism." This apt meaning has been bestowed upon the box because it requires little sunshine, seems unaffected by heat or cold, and flourishes for years untended.
Boy's Love-" A jest." Another name for southernwood.
Branch of Currants-" You please all."
Briar Rose-" Pleasure and pain." Of the many species of thorn which claim to have composed Christ's crown, the briar is given an authoritative position, and there is an exquisite couplet which tells how " Men only saw the thorns on Jesus' brow, But angels saw the roses."
Bridal Rose-" Happy Love."
Bride-Wort-" Matrimony." This pretty old name was often employed for the meadowsweet, since its soft, fluffy flowers much resemble the white feathers worn by brides.
Broom-" Humility." In Latin the broom is called " Genista," and in French " Genet " The story runs that from its name originated " Plantagenet," the title borne for several centuries by the Royal House of England, The idea came from the fancy, or fact, that on a day of battle Geoffrey of Anjou wore a sprig of broom in his helmet, the " planta genet." This count was the second husband of Matilda, daughter of Henry I. of England, and from their union the Plantagenets descended. A pretty north-country rhyme runs that
" When the gorse is out of bloom, Kissing's out of season."
Butcher's Broom-" Ardour."
Bryony-" True affection."
Buekthorne-" A talisman."
Bud of White Rose-" Heart innocent of love."
Bugle-weed-" I call thee."
Bulrush-" Indiscretion," " hastiness." To be continued.