Nat. ord., Fungi.

Maize Smut.

A fungus is found growing on the Indian Corn, Zea Mays, which has been found to contain an alkaloid, Ergotin. Besides other ingredients, it contains a fixed oil and resin, soluble in ether, but not in alcohol. This Ergot of Maize produces some of the effects of Ergot of Rye.

Characters. - It is often as large, sometimes larger than an orange. It is covered with a dark grey or brown epidermis, which bursts when ripe. The spores are spherical, minute, their surface covered with echinulate warts like prickles; they are deep-seated, nearly black and pulverulent, having the appearance of soot under the naked eye.

A notice will be found in Hale's New Remedies.

Part employed. - The fresh, just ripe fungus.

Preparations. - Trituration of the fungus, gathered when it has turned black, but before the frosts have affected it. Tincture.