One of the prettiest of wayside plants is the golden-starred Agrimony, growing on the waste green flanks of the road and making it beautiful. It is a perennial plant, with a short woody rootstock, and "interruptedly pinnate" leaves, somewhat resembling those of the Silver-weed, the leaflets increasing in size as they near the terminal leaflet. The flowers are borne on that kind of inflorescence called a raceme, in which each flower is attached to the central stem by a stalk of its own. Were these stalks suppressed the inflorescence would be termed a spike, and indeed some authors have so described the flower-clustering of Agrimony. The flowers are little roses, and consist of a top-shaped spiny calyx, tubular, with contracted mouth and five overlapping lobes; five golden petals, ten or more stamens, and two carpels sunk in the calyx-tube, their styles and two-lobed stigmas protruding. They do not secrete honey, and are seldom visited by insects.

As the lower fruits ripen the raceme lengthens, and concurrently the calyx-tubes harden and assume a drooping position, owing to the downward curving of their little footstalks.

There is a variety with resinous-scented, larger, more crowded flowers, of local occurrence. Agrimony was formerly held in some repute as a medicinal plant, and from this circumstance it gets its name. The ancient Greeks had a word argema signifying the affection of the eyes to which we apply the term cataract, and a plant which was reputed to cure argema they called argemone, a word which has since been corrupted into agrimony. "Yarb doctors" still give it a place in their pharmacopoeia.

Agrimony flowers from June to September.



Agrimonia eupatoria. - Rosaceae. -