Crow-Foot, or Ranunculus, L. a genus of plants consisting of 53 species; but only 15 are indi-genous, of which the following are the principal:
1. The flammula : See Lesser SpeaRwort.
2. The lingua: See Great Spear-wort.
3. The ficaria, or Lesser Celandine : See Filewort.
4. The auricomus, or Sweet Wood Crow-foot, or Goldilocks, which grows in woods, groves and hedges; produces yellow flowers in April and May ; and is so inof-fensive that the whole plant may be eaten as spinach ; - the blossoms are much frequented by bees.
5. The sceleratus, or round-leaved Water Crow-foot; thrives in shallow waters ; and produces small yellow flowers from June to August. The whole plant is so very corrosive, that beggars are said to employ it for ulcerating their feet, which they expose in that state to excite compassion. Internally taken, this vegetable, especially the seed-bud, is extremely poisonous to man and cattle ; hence it ought to be carefully extirpated from meadows. It is, however, eaten by goats; but refused by cows, horses, and sheep.
6. The bulbosus, or Bulbous Crow-foot, also called Butterflower, Butter-cups, &:c. It grows on meadows and pastures, produces yellow flowers in May, and turnip-shaped bulbous roots, which, like the blossoms and leaves, are so corrosive, that they speedily blister the skin : on this account they deserve, for many reasons, to be substituted for the Spanish fly.
7. The acris, or Upright Meadow Crow-foot: See Buttercup.
8. The arvenns, or Corn Crowfoot, is an annual plant growing in corn-fields; and bearing small pale yellow flowers, which blow-in the month of June, and are succeeded by flat prickly seeds. This noxious weed is particularly luxuriant on damp soils, and most severely exercises the patience of the farmer. The only effectual method of extirpating it is, to fallow the soil infested with it. - In Italy, cows, horses, and sheep, are said to eat it greedily, though it is so acrid as to poison the latter : 3 oz. of its juice killed a dog in four minutes. As it thrives chiefly in corn-fields, where cattle are excluded, its deleterious qualities are from this circumstance less known in this country. Bechstein informs us, that in Germany the milk of cows becomes tinged with bloody when feeding on the fresh leaves of this plant.
Crow-Foot. - To the different species of this plant already described (vol. ii. p. 102), we have to add - 9. The aquatilus, or Water Crow-foot, which grows in ponds and ditches, where it produces white flowers, with yellow spots at the base, from May to July. - In the 5th vol. of " Trans-actions of the Linnaean Society, " we are informed by Dt.PultneY, that the cottagers in the vicinity of Ringwood, on the banks of the Avon, support their cattle almost entirely with this plant, which is devoured with such avidity, that it is deemed unsafe to allow them more than a certain portion. The cows thus ted, continue in excellent condition, and yield a sufficient quantity of good milk. These animals are so partial to the Water Crow-foot, that, excepting the scanty pittance they procured on the adjoining heath, five cows and had not consumed more than half a ton of hay in one year. - Hogs likewise eat this vegetable, on which they remarkably improve: according to Dr. P. it is not neces-sary to allow them any other food, till they are put up to fatten.