Anemone, or Wind-Flower, is the name of a plant d on account of thai flowers', which, by Greeks, were supposed not to open till the wind blows ; whence it received its original name. Lin-njeus enumerates twenty-one spe-. of which the following rive deserve particular notice, though the first of these is not i;
1. Anemone pratensis, L. the dart-flowered, or Meadow mone, as described and represented in Dr. Woodville's . Botany, vol.iii. p.409, plate My.— It produces beautful or almost black flowers, blow in March and April never expand
* Some botanical writers confound this plant with the Anemone pulsatilla which is a distinct species.—The Anemone prutensis, in the beginning of May : it was thence-important our gardens by the late, and justly celebrated Mil tax 1731,
In its recent •, the meadow-.
cinamone is almost flavourles its taste, when chewed. is pungent, and the tongue and fauce; a property in a slight degree : .leaves. Hence we may conclude, that this plant possesses considerable medicinal virtues •. a supposition amply confirmed, though often Contested, by various practitioners of great respectability.
Chemists, however, have proved experiment, that cue of its constituent parts is camphor, which has been obtained in the form of crystals. Hence it has been sucfully employed in the cure of chronic affections of the eyes, especially in gutta serena, cataract, and opacity of the cornea. But, on account of its singular efficacy, it has generally been used in external applications, as an excellent aperient, detergent, and vulnerary me-d cine, with whose virtues the ancients were well acquainted, though they accounted for such effects from superstitious notions.
The juice of the anemone root, chewed in small quantities, stimulates the salival glands, and frequently affords sudden relief in ex-eruc tooth-ach, if it proceed an acrimony or superfluity of humours, in phlegmatic habits. When boiled in rich wine, and applied as a cataplasm, it not only abates inveterate inflammations of the eyes, but also cleanses indolent and foul ulcers. Its leaves and Stalks, slowly simmered in ptisan, and occasionally eaten, are said uncommonly to increase the maternal milk. If credit be due to the ancients, they also cure that frequent and destructive complaint of young females, called ci ; and, when beaten up with a mixture of wax and turpentine, so as to form a-;- store the doubt, however the numerous other vir-this vegetable, be founded of it, properly repeated, especially the leaves bruised together with marshmallow root or other cooling herbs, may cure paralytic attacks in their commencement. herpetic eruptions, and even the leprosy; though we would not rely upon its efficacy in true syphilis, in caries or mortification of the bones, and still 1 in cases of melancholy, or mania.
The dark violet leaves of this species, when boiled together with those of the Serratula tinStoria, L. or common saw-wort, and a proper addition of alum, afford, according to Professor Pallas, an excellent green water-colour for landscape and other paintings.
2. Anemone Pulsatilla, L. or Pasque Flower, so called because it generally blossoms about Easter, when it adorns some of our dry, chalky - bills. In April it bears beautiful bell-shaped flowers, of a purple or reddish colour.. A description and representation of it may be found in Sowerby's eng lish Botany, p. 4. 5.—51.
Although species may not be virtues similar to the preceding, yet it is its flowers are of great efficacy in curing inveterate ulcers, in man and cattle. As it is a poisonous plant, the inhabitants of Kamtschat-ka use its leaves for staining their arrows; which, unless the wound be immediately cleansed, and the communicated virus extracted by the mouth, are said to prove inevitably fatal : in like manner, these un-tutored savages destroy the whale's which frequent their coast.
Both the flowers and leaves of this species are employed by foreign dyers for green colours of various shades. From the expressed juice of the leaves, a green ink may be prepared ; and if the florets only be used, it will be of a lighter shade, but from the whole flower, the colour will be much deeper. Relying on the authority of Dambourney, we shall add, that animal wool previously immersed in a solution of bismuth, acquires a pleasing light vissoane colour.
3. Anemone ncmorosa, L. or the Wood-Anemone ; another wild sort, bearing only one white, or sometimes purplish, flower on a plant.— See Curtis's Flor. Lond. ii. 38.
In medicine, this plant may be usefully employed as a substitute for cantharides, or Spanish flies; for it produces not only a more speedy, but less painful, effect, Its juice is so extremely acrid, that it has been justly suspected to occasion the dysentery among cattle, and inflammation, accompanied with a discharge of bloody urine, in sheep. Hence the necessity of guarding these animals against the cause of distempers, which are frequently so formidable in their consequences, as to deprive the unwary husbandman of a great portion of his most valuable iive-stoek.
4. Anemone ranunculoides, L. or the Yellow Wood-Anemone, which grows wild near Kings Langlcy, Herts, and Wrotham, in Kent. It generally produces, in April, two flowers on one stalk, with rounder leaves than the preceding species. See p. 5. Gerard's Herbal, 383.1.
On account of its corrosive acri-, mony, the juice of this vegetable is also used by the inhabitants of Kamtschatka, for a similar deleterious purpose as is mentioned of the second species.
5. Anemone Apennina, or rather Alpina, L. the Blue Mountain Anemone, which grows wild in Wirrlbledon woods, likewise near Harrow; Lutton-hoe, Bedfordshire ; and Berkhamstead, Herts. See p. 4. Curt. Flor. Lond.
Its medicinal uses are, though in an inferior degree, similar to those before described.