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and it may be, that the same means which, applied to the tree, doth extremely accelerate the sap to rise and break forth, would make the tree spend itself in flowers, and those to become double: which were a great pleasure to see, especially in appletrees, peach-trees, and almond-trees, that have blossoms blush-coloured.

514. The making of fruits without core or stone, is likewise a curiosity, and somewhat better: because whatsoever maketh them so, is like to make them more tender and delicate. If a cion or shoot, fit to be set in the ground, have the pith finely taken forth, and not altogether, but some of it left, the better to save the life, it will bear a fruit with little or no core or stone. And the like is said to be of dividing a quick tree down to the ground, and taking out the pith, and then binding it up again.

515. It is reported also, that a citron grafted upon a quince will have small or no seeds; and it is very probable that any sour fruit grafted upon a stock that beareth a sweeter fruit, may both make the fruit sweeter, and more void of the harsh matter of kernels or seeds.

516. It is reported, that not only the taking out of the pith, but the stopping of the juice of the pith from rising in the midst, and turning it to rise on the outside, will make the fruit without core or stone; as if you should bore a tree clean through, and put a wedge in. It is true, there is some affinity between the pith and the kernel, because they are both of a harsh substance, and both placed in the midst.

517. It is reported, that trees watered perpetually with warm water, will make a fruit with little or no core or stone. And the rule is general, that whatsoever will make a wild tree a garden tree, will make a garden tree to have less core or stone. Experiments in consort touching the degenerating of plants, and of the transmutation of them one into another.

518. The rule is certain, that plants for want of culture degenerate to be baser in the same kind; and sometimes so far as to change into another kind. 1. The standing long, and not being removed, maketh them degenerate. 2. Drought, unless the earth of itself be moist, doth the like. 3. So doth removing into worse earth, or forbearing to compost the earth; as we see that water mint turneth into field mint, and the colewort into rape, by neglect, &c.

519. Whatsoever fruit useth to be set upon a root or a slip, if it be sown, will degenerate. Grapes sown, figs, almonds, pomegranate kernels sown, make the fruits degenerate and become wild. And again, most of those fruits that use to be grafted, if they be set of kernels, or stones, degenerate. It is true that peaches, as hath been touched before, do better upon stones set than upon grafting: and the rule of exception should seem to be this; that whatsoever plant requireth much moisture, prospereth better upon the stone or kernel, than upon the graft. For the stock, though it giveth a finer nourishment, yet it giveth a scanter than the earth at large.

520. Seeds if they be very cold, and yet have strength enough to bring forth a plant, make the plant degenerate. And therefore skilful gardeners make trial of the seeds before they buy them, whether they be good or no, by putting them into water gently boiled: and if they be good, they will sprout within half an hour.

521. It is strange which is reported, that basil too much exposed to the sun doth turn into wild thyme; although those two herbs seem to have small affinity: but basil is almost the only hot herb that hath fat and succulent leaves; which oiliness, if it be drawn forth by the sun, it is like it will make a very great change.

522. There is an old tradition, that boughs of oak put into the earth will put forth wild vines: which if it be true, no doubt, it is not the oak that turneth into a vine, but the oak-bough putrifying, qualifieth the earth to put forth a vine of itself.

523. It is not impossible, and I have heard it verified, that upon cutting down of an old timber tree, the stub hath put out sometimes a tree of another kind; as that beech hath put forth birch; which, if it be true, the cause may be, for that the old stub is too scant of juice to put forth the former tree; and therefore putteth forth a tree of a smaller kind, that needeth less nourishment.

524. There is an opinion in the country, that if the same ground be oft sown with the grain that grew upon it, it will in the end grow to be of a baser kind.

525. It is certain, that in very sterile years corn sown will grow to another kind.

"Grandia sæpe quibus mandavimus hordea sulcis,
Infelix lolium, et steriles dominantur avene."

And generally it is a rule, that plants that are into other species, than those that come of thembrought forth by culture, as corn, will sooner change selves; for that culture giveth but an adventitious nature, which is more easily put off.

This work of the transmutation of plants one into another, is inter magnalia naturae; for the transmutation of species is, in the vulgar philosophy, pronounced impossible and certainly it is a thing of difficulty, and requireth deep search into nature ; but seeing there appear some manifest instances of it, the opinion of impossibility is to be rejected, and the means thereof to be found out. We sec, that in living creatures, that come of putrefaction, there is much transmutation of one into another; as caterpillars turn into flies, &c. And it should seem probable, that whatsoever creature, having life, is generated without seed, that creature will change out of one species into another. For it is the seed, and the nature of it, which locketh and boundeth in the creature, that it doth not expatiate. So as we may well conclude, that seeing the earth of itself doth put forth plants without seed, therefore plants may well have a transmigration of species. Wherefore, wanting instances which do occur, we shall give directions of the most likely trials: and generally we would not have those that read this our work of "Sylva sylvarum" account it strange,

and sow in it purslane seed, or lettuce seed; for in these experiments, it is likely enough that the earth being accustomed to send forth one kind of nourishment, will alter the new seed.

or think that it is an over-haste, that we have set | whereof you shall find some instances following, down particulars untried; for contrariwise, in our own estimation, we account such particulars more worthy than those that are already tried and known: for these latter must be taken as you find them; but the other do level point-blank at the inventing of causes and axioms.

526. First therefore, you must make account, that if you will have one plant change into another, you must have the nourishment overrule the seed: and therefore you are to practise it by nourishment as contrary as may be to the nature of the herb, so nevertheless as the herb may grow; and likewise with seeds that are of the weakest sort, and have least vigour. You shall do well, therefore, to take marsh-herbs, and plant them upon tops of hills and champaigns; and such plants as require much moisture, upon sandy and very dry grounds. As for example, marsh-mallows and sedge, upon hills; cucumber, and lettuce seeds, and coleworts, upon a sandy plot; so contrariwise, plant bushes, heath, ling, and brakes, upon a wet or marsh ground. This I conceive also, that all esculent and garden herbs, set upon the tops of hills, will prove more medicinal, though less esculent, then they were before. And it may be likewise, some wild herbs you may make sallad herbs. This is the first rule for transmutation of plants.

527. The second rule shall be, to bury some few seeds of the herb you would change, amongst other seeds; and then you shall see whether the juice of those other seeds do not so qualify the earth, as it will alter the seed whereupon you work. As for example, put parsley seed amongst onion seed, or lettuce seed amongst parsley seed, or basil seed amongst thyme seed; and see the change of taste or otherwise. But you shall do well to put the seed you would change into a little linen cloth, that it mingle not with the foreign seed.

528. The third rule shall be, the making of some medley or mixture of earth with some other plants bruised or shaven either in leaf or root; as for example, make earth with a mixture of colewort leaves stamped, and set in it artichokes or parsnips; to take earth made with marjoram, or origanum, or wild thyme, bruised or stamped, and set in it fennel seed, &c. In which operation the process of nature still will be, as I conceive, not that the herb you work upon should draw the juice of the foreign herb, for that opinion we have formerly rejected, but that there will be a new confection of mold, which perhaps will alter the seed, and yet not to the kind of the former herb.

529. The fourth rule shall be, to mark what herbs some earths do put forth of themselves; and to take that earth, and to pot it, or to vessel it; and in that to set the seed you would change: as for example, tak from under walls or the like, where nettles put forth in abundance, the earth which you shall there fnd, without any string or root of the nettles; and pot that earth, and set in it stock-gilly-flowers, or wall-flowers, &c. or sow in the seeds of them; and see what the event will be: or take earth that you have prepared to put forth mushrooms of itself,

530. The fifth rule shall be, to make the herb grow contrary to its nature; as to make groundherbs rise in height: as for example, carry camomile, or wild thyme, or the green strawberry, upon sticks, as you do hops upon poles; and see what the event will be.

531. The sixth rule shall be, to make plants grow out of the sun or open air; for that is a great mutation in nature, and may induce a change in the seed: as barrel up earth, and sow some seed in it, and put it in the bottom of a pond; or put it in some great hollow tree; try also the sowing of seeds in the bottoms of caves, and pots with seeds sown, hanged up in wells some distance from the water, and see what the event will be.

Experiments in consort touching the procerity, and lowness, and artificial dwarfing of trees.

532. It is certain, that timber trees in coppice woods grow more upright, and more free from under boughs, than those that stand in the fields: the cause whereof is, for that plants have a natural motion to get to the sun; and besides, they are not glutted with too much nourishment; for that the coppice shareth with them; and repletion ever hindereth stature: lastly, they are kept warm; and that ever in plants helpeth mounting.

533. Trees that are of themselves full of heat, which heat appeareth by their inflammable gums, as firs and pines, mount of themselves in height without side boughs, till they come towards the top. The cause is partly heat, and partly tenuity of juice, both which send the sap upwards. As for juniper, it is but a shrub, and groweth not big enough in body to maintain a tall tree.

534. It is reported, that a good strong canvass spread over a tree grafted low, soon after it putteth forth, will dwarf it, and make it spread. The cause is plain; for that all things that grow, will grow as they find room.

535. Trees are generally set of roots or kernels; but if you set them of slips, as of some trees you may, by name the mulberry, some of the slips will take; and those that take, as is reported, will be dwarf trees. The cause is, for that a slip draweth nourishment more weakly than either a root or kernel.

536. All plants that put forth their sap hastily, have their bodies not proportionable to their length; and therefore they are winders and creepers; as ivy, briony, hops, woodbine: whereas dwarfing requireth a slow putting forth, and less vigour of mounting. Experiments in consort touching the rudiments of plants, and of the excrescences of plants, or superplants.

The Scripture saith, that Solomon wrote a Natural History, "from the cedar of Libanus, to the moss growing upon the wall" for so the best translations

have it.

ment of a plant; and, as it were, the mold of earth or bark.

And it is true that moss is but the rudi- | winds. It would also be tried, whether, if you cover a tree somewhat thick upon the top after his polling, it will not gather more moss. I think also the watering of trees with cold fountain-water, will make them grow full of moss.

537. Moss groweth chiefly upon ridges of houses tiled or thatched, and upon the crests of walls; and that moss is of a lightsome and pleasant green. The growing upon slopes is caused, for that moss, as on the one side it cometh of moisture and water, so on the other side the water must but slide, and not stand or pool. And the growing upon tiles, or walls, &c. is caused, for that those dried earths, having not moisture sufficient to put forth a plant, do practise germination by putting forth moss; though when, by age, or otherwise, they grow to relent and resolve, they sometimes put forth plants, as wall-flowers. And almost all moss hath here and there little stalks, besides the low thrum.

538. Moss groweth upon alleys, especially such as lie cold and upon the north; as in divers terrasses: and again, if they be much trodden; or if they were at the first gravelled; for wheresoever plants are kept down, the earth putteth forth moss.

539. Old ground, that hath been long unbroken up, gathereth moss: and therefore husbandmen use to cure their pasture grounds when they grow to moss, by tilling them for a year or two which also dependeth upon the same cause; for that the more sparing and starving juice of the earth, insufficient for plants, doth breed moss.

540. Old trees are more mossy far than young; for that the sap is not so frank as to rise all to the boughs, but tireth by the way, and putteth out moss. 541. Fountains have moss growing upon the ground about them;

"Muscosi fontes:"

The cause is, for that the fountains drain the water from the ground adjacent, and leave but sufficient moisture to breed moss: and besides the coldness of the water conduceth to the same.

542. The moss of trees is a kind of hair; for it is the juice of the tree that is excerned, and doth not assimilate. And upon great trees the moss gathereth a figure like a leaf.

543. The moister sort of trees yield little moss; as we see in asps, poplars, willows, beeches, &c. | which is partly caused for the reason that hath been given, of the frank putting up of the sap into the boughs; and partly for that the barks of those trees are more close and smooth than those of oaks and ashes; whereby the moss can the hardlier issue out. 544. In clay-grounds all fruit-trees grow full of moss, both upon body and boughs; which is caused partly by the coldness of the ground, whereby the plants nourish less; and partly by the toughness of the earth, whereby the sap is shut in, and cannot get up to spread so frankly as it should do.

545. We have said heretofore, that if trees be hidebound, they wax less fruitful, and gather moss; and that they are holpen by hacking, &c. And therefore, by the reason of contraries, if trees be bound in with cords, or some outward bands, they will put forth more moss: which, I think, happeneth to trees that stand bleak, and upon the cold

546. There is a moss the perfumers have which cometh out of apple trees, that hath an excellent scent. Query, particularly for the manner of the growth, and the nature of it. And for this experiment's sake, being a thing of price, I have set down the last experiment how to multiply and call on


Next unto moss, I will speak of mushrooms; which are likewise an imperfect plant. The mushrooms have two strange properties; the one, that they yield so delicious a meat; the other, that they come up so hastily, as in a night; and yet they are unsown. And therefore such as are upstarts in state, they call in reproach mushrooms. It must needs be, therefore, that they be made of much moisture; and that moisture fat, gross, and yet somewhat concocted. And, indeed, we find that mushrooms cause the accident which we call incubus, or the mare in the stomach. And therefore the surfeit of them may suffocate and empoison. And this showeth that they are windy; and that windiness is gross and swelling, not sharp or griping. And upon the same reason mushrooms are a vene

rous meat.

547. It is reported, that the bark of white or red poplar, which are of the moistest of trees, cut small, and cast into furrows well dunged, will cause the ground to put forth mushrooms at all seasons of the year fit to be eaten. Some add to the mixture leaven of bread dissolved in water.

548. It is reported, that if a hilly field, where the stubble is standing, be set on fire in a showery season, it will put forth great store of mushrooms.

549. It is reported, that hartshorn shaven, or in small pieces, mixed with dung and watered, putteth up mushrooms. And we know that hartshorn is of a fat and clammy substance; and, it may be, ox-horn would do the like.

550. It hath been reported, though it be scarce credible, that ivy hath grown out of a stag's horn; which they suppose did rather come from a confrication of the horn upon the ivy, than from the horn itself. There is not known any substance but earth, and the procedures of earth, as tile, stone, &c. that yieldeth any moss or herby substance. There may be trial made of some seeds, as that of fennel-seed, mustard-seed, and rape-seed, put into some little holes made in the horns of stags, or oxen, to see if they will grow.

551. There is also another imperfect plant, that in show is like a great mushroom: and it is sometimes as broad as one's hat; which they call a toad's stool; but it is not esculent; and it groweth, commonly, by a dead stub of a tree, and likewise about the roots of rotten trees: and therefore seemeth to take his juice from wood putrified. Which showeth, by the way, that wood putrified yieldeth a frank moisture.

552. There is a cake that groweth upon the side

of a dead tree, that hath gotten no name, but it is large, and of a chestnut colour, and hard and pithy: whereby it should seem, that even dead trees forget not their putting forth; no more than the carcasses of men's bodies, that put forth hair and nails for a time.

557. This experiment of misseltoe may give light to other practices. Therefore trial would be made by ripping of the bough of a crab-tree in the bark; and watering of the wound every day with warm water dunged, to see if it would bring forth misseltoe, or any such like thing. But it were yet more likely to try it with some other watering or anointing, that were not so natural to the tree as water is; as oil, or barm of drink, &c. so they be such things as kill not the bough.

558. It were good to try what plants would put forth, if they be forbidden to put forth their natural boughs; poll therefore a tree, and cover it some

553. There is a cod, or bag, that groweth commonly in the fields; that at the first is hard like a tennis-ball, and white; and after groweth of a mushroom colour, and full of light dust upon the breaking; and is thought to be dangerous for the eyes if the powder get into them; and to be good for kibes. Belike it hath a corrosive and fretting nature. 554. There is an herb called Jew's ear, that grow-thickness with clay on the top, and see what it will eth upon the roots and lower parts of the bodies of trees; especially of elders, and sometimes ashes. It hath a strange property; for in warm water it swelleth, and openeth extremely. It is not green, but of a dusky brown colour. And it is used for squinancies and inflammations in the throat; whereby it seemeth to have a mollifying and lenifying


555. There is a kind of spungy excrescence, which groweth chiefly upon the roots of the laser-tree; and sometimes upon cedar and other trees. It is very white, and light, and friable; which we call agaric. It is famous in physic for the purging of tongh phlegm. And it is also an excellent opener for the liver; but offensive to the stomach: and in taste, it is at the first sweet, and after bitter.

556. We find no super-plant that is a formed plant, but misseltoe. They have an idle tradition, that there is a bird called a missel bird, that feedeth upon a seed, which many times she cannot digest, and so expelleth it whole with her excrement: which falling upon the bough of a tree that hath some rift, putteth forth the misseltoe. But this is a fable; for it is not probable that birds should feed upon that they cannot digest. But allow that, yet it cannot be for other reasons: for first, it is found but upon certain trees; and those trees bear no such fruit, as may allure that bird to sit and feed upon them. It may be, that bird feedeth upon the misseltoe-berries, and so is often found there; which may have given occasion to the tale. But that which maketh an end of the question is, that misselToe hath been found to put forth under the boughs, and not only above the boughs; so it cannot be any thing that falleth upon the bough. Misseltoe groweth chiefly upon crab-trees, apple-trees, sometimes upon hazels, and rarely upon oaks; the mislive whereof is counted very medicinal. It is ever green winter and summer; and beareth a white glistering berry and it is a plant utterly differing from the plant upon which it groweth. Two things therefore may be certainly set down: first, that superfotation must be by abundance of sap in the bough that putteth it forth : secondly, that that sap must be such as the tree doth excern, and cannot Asimilate; for else it would go into a bough; and besides, it seemeth to be more fat and unctuous than the ordinary sap of the tree; both by the berry, which is clammy; and by that it continueth green winter and summer, which the tree doth not.

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put forth. I suppose it will put forth roots; for so will a cion, being turned down into clay: therefore, in this experiment also, the tree would be closed with somewhat that is not so natural to the plant as clay is. Try it with leather, or cloth, or painting, so it be not hurtful to the tree. And it is certain, that a brake hath been known to grow out of a pollard.

559. A man may count the prickles of trees to be a kind of excrescence; for they will never be boughs, nor bear leaves. The plants that have prickles are thorns, black and white; brier, rose, lemon-trees, crab-trees, gooseberry, berberry; these have it in the bough: the plants that have prickles in the leaf are, holly, juniper, whin-bush, thistle; nettles also have a small venomous prickle; so hath borage, but harmless. The cause must be hasty putting forth, want of moisture, and the closeness of the bark; for the haste of the spirit to put forth, and the want of nourishment to put forth a bough, and the closeness of the bark, cause prickles in boughs; and therefore they are ever like a pyramis, for that the moisture spendeth after a little putting forth. And for prickles in leaves, they come also of putting forth more juice into the leaf than can spread in the leaf smooth, and therefore the leaves otherwise are rough, as borage and nettles are. As for the leaves of holly, they are smooth, but never plain, but as it were with folds, for the same cause.

560. There be also plants, that though they have no prickles, yet they have a kind of downy or velvet rind upon their leaves; as rose-campion, stockgilly-flowers, colt's-foot; which down or nap cometh of a subtil spirit, in a soft or fat substance. For it is certain, that both stock-gilly-flowers and rosecampions, stamped, have been applied with success to the wrists of those that have had tertian or quartan agues; and the vapour of colt's-foot hath a sanative virtue towards the lungs; and the leaf also is healing in surgery.

561. Another kind of excrescence is an exudation of plants joined with putrefaction; as we see in oakapples, which are found chiefly upon the leaves of oaks, and the like upon willows: and country people have a kind of prediction, that if the oak-apple broken be full of worms, it is a sign of a pestilent year; which is a likely thing, because they grow of corruption.

562. There is also upon sweet, or other brier, a fine tuft or brush of moss of divers colours; which if you cut you shall ever find full of little white worms.

Experiments in consort touching the producing

of perfect plants without seed.

563. It is certain that earth taken out of the foundations of vaults and houses, and bottoms of wells, and then put into pots, will put forth sundry kinds of herbs: but some time is required for the germination for if it be taken but from a fathom deep, it will put forth the first year; if much deeper, not till after a year or two.

564. The nature of the plants growing out of earth so taken up, doth follow the nature of the mold itself; as if the mold be soft and fine, it putteth forth soft herbs; as grass, plantain, and the like; if the earth be harder and coarser, it putteth forth herbs more rough, as thistles, firs, &c.

565. It is common experience, that where alleys are close gravelled, the earth putteth forth the first year knot grass, and after spire grass. The cause is, for that the hard gravel or pebble at the first laying will not suffer the grass to come forth upright, but turneth it to find his way where it can ; but after that the earth is somewhat loosened at the top, the ordinary grass cometh up.

566. It is reported, that earth being taken out of shady and watery woods some depth, and potted, will put forth herbs of a fat and juicy substance; as penny-wort, purslane, houseleek, penny-royal, &c. 567. The water also doth send forth plants that have no roots fixed in the bottom; but they are less perfect plants, being almost but leaves, and those small ones; such is that we call duck weed, which hath a leaf no bigger than a thyme leaf, but of a fresher green, and putteth forth a little string into the water far from the bottom. As for the water lily it hath a root in the ground; and so have a number of other herbs that grow in ponds.

568. It is reported by some of the ancients, and some modern testimony likewise, that there be some plants that grow upon the top of the sea, being supposed to grow of some concretion of slime from the water, where the sun beateth hot, and where the sea stirreth little. As for alga marina, sea weed, and eryngium, sea thistle, both have roots; but the sea weed under the water, the sea thistle but upon

the shore.

569. The ancients have noted, that there are some herbs that grow out of snow laid up close together and putrified, and that they are all bitter; and they name one specially, flomus, which we call moth-mullein. It is certain, that worms are found in snow commonly, like earth-worms; and therefore it is not unlike, that it may likewise put forth plants.

much as when they grow big, they will disjoin the stone. And besides, it is doubtful whether the mortar itself putteth it forth, or whether some seeds be not let fall by birds. There be likewise rockherbs; but I suppose those are where there is some mold or earth. It bath likewise been found, that great trees growing upon quarries have put down their root into the stone.

571. In some mines in Germany, as is reported, there grow in the bottom vegetables; and the workfolks use to say they have magical virtue, and will not suffer men to gather them.

572. The sea sands seldom bear plants. Whereof the cause is yielded by some of the ancients, for that the sun exhaleth the moisture before it can incorporate with the earth, and yield a nourishment for the plant. And it is affirmed also that sand hath always its root in clay; and that there be no veins of sand any great depth within the earth.

573. It is certain that some plants put forth for a time of their own store, without any nourishment from earth, water, stone, &c. of which vide the experiment 29.

Experiments in consort touching foreign plants.

574. It is reported that earth that was brought out of the Indies and other remote counties, for ballast of ships, cast upon some grounds in Italy, did put forth foreign herbs, to us in Europe not known; and, that which is more, that of their roots, barks, and seeds contused together, and mingled with other earth, and well watered with warm water, there came forth herbs much like the other.

575. Plants brought out of hot countries will endeavour to put forth at the same time that they usually do in their own climate; and therefore to preserve them, there is no more required, than to keep them from the injury of putting back by cold. It is reported also, that grain out of the hotter countries translated into the colder, will be more forward than the ordinary grain of the cold country. It is likely that this will prove better in grains than in trees, for that grains are but annual, and so the virtue of the seed is not worn out; whereas in a tree it is embased by the ground to which it is removed.

576. Many plants which grow in the hotter countries, being set in the colder, will nevertheless, even in those cold countries, being sown of seeds late in the spring, come up and abide most part of the summer; as we find it in orange and lemon seeds, &c. the seeds whereof sown in the end of April will bring forth excellent sallads, mingled with other herbs. And I doubt not, but the seeds of clove trees, and pepper seeds, &c. if they could come hither green enough to be sown, would do the like. Experiments in consort touching the seasons in which plants come forth.

570. The ancients have affirmed, that there are some herbs that grow out of stone; which may be, for that it is certain that toads have been found in the middle of a free-stone. We see also that flints, lying above ground, gather moss; and wall-flowers, and some other flowers, grow upon walls; but 577. There be some flowers, blossoms, grains, and whether upon the main brick or stone, or whether fruits, which come more early, and others which out of the lime or chinks, is not well observed: for come more late in the year. The flowers that come elders and ashes have been seen to grow out of stee- early with us are primroses, violets, anemonies, ples; but they manifestly grow out of clefts; inso-water-daffodillies, crocus vernus, and some early

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