Spearwort, the Great, or Ranunculus Lingua. L. an indigenous perennial, growing in wet pastures, and at the sides of lakes; it flowers in the months of June and July. - The stem of this poisonous plant is very thick, and attains the height of two feet ; the leaves have no stalks ; and the large bright-yellow, glossy flowers, appear on the extremities of the shoots. The whole is extremely acrid, and if any part of this herb be eaten by cattle in a fresh state, it is apt to produce fatal distempers.
Spearwort, the Lesser or Ranunculus FLammula, L. is also a native perennial, growing on bogs, swampy meadows, and the sides or rivulets ; flowering from June to September. - It is eaten by horses, in which it occasions many concealed disorders, but is refused by cows, goats, sheep, and hogs. - This plant is very acrid; if externally applied, if inflames and blisters the skin : - its distilled water is a most powerful emetic, operating as soon as it is swallowed; and Dr. Withering states, from his experience, that, in cases of poison having been accidentally swallowed, or in which it becomes necessary to produce an immediate vomiting, such distilled water is preferable to any other preparation ; as it does not excite the painful contractions, which are sometimes consequent on the use of white vitriol, and thus defeat the object. for which the latter is administered.