Bane-Berries, the production of the Herb-Christopher, or Actea spicala, L. a native plant, which is in a high degree poisonous, though very rare, and to be met with chiefly in the northwestern extremity of Yorkshire, in the vicinity of Malham Cove, Clap-ham, Asking, and on the lower part of Ingleborough-hill. Its favourite places of growth are shady groves ; its stalks attain to the height of eighteen inches, and it produces flowers in May and June. See Withering, 483.
Although some foreign writers assert that this plant does not possess the deleterious properties which are attributed to it by Livnneus, yet we have reason to believe that its great astringency must be highly detrimental to cattle.
In dyeing, bane-berries yield, on boiling them with alum, an excel-black colour, which, in a concentrated state, may be substituted for a cheap writing-ink. M. Von Crflt. informs us. in the eleventh cal Discoveries, p. 118, in German, that one of his respondents, M. Thielbeix, obtained from the red berries of the Herb-Christopher, a colour not inferior to that extracted from cochineal; a fact, if corroborated by farther experiments, of great importance to dyers. The latter of these writers says, that after boiling those berries with cream of tartar, he ned the dye with a solution of tin, in aqua fortis; by which pro-he produced a beautiful and uncommonly permanent colour.