Gardeners Dictionary: Reseda
containing The Best and Newest Methods of Cultivating and Improving The Kitchen, Fruit, Flower Garden, and Nursery; As also for Performing the Practical Parts of Agriculture: Including The Management of Vineyards, With the Methods of Making and Preserving Wine, According to the present Practice of The most skilful Vignerons in the several Wine Countries in Europe.
Together with Directions for propagating and improving, From real Practice and Experience, All sorts of Timber Trees.
The Eight Edition,
Revised and Altered according to the latest System of Botany; and Embellished with several Copper-Plates, which were not in some former Editions.
By Philip Miller, F. R. S.
Gardener tothe Worshipdul Company of Apothecaries, at their Botanic Garden in Chelsea, and Member of the Botanic Academy at Florence.
Printed for the Author;
M. DCC. LXVIII.
RESEDA. Tourn. Inst. R. H. 423. tab. 238. Lin. Gen. Plant. 535. Bastard-rocket.
The CHARACTERS are,
The empalement of the flower is of one leaf, cut into several segments almost to the bottom, and is permanent. The petals of the flower are unequal, and generally trisid, having a honey gland on heir base the length of the empalement. The honey glands are plain, erect, and produced from the upper side of the receptacle, between the stamina and the place of the upper petal, joining with the base of the petals, dilating from the sides. It hath fifteen or sixteen short stamina, terminated by erect obtuse summits; and a gibbous germen sitting upon very short styles, crowned by a single stigma. The germen afterward becomes a gibbous angular capsule of one cell, with an aperture between the styles, filled with kidney-shaped seeds fastened tot he angles of the capsule.
This genus of plants is ranged in the third section of Linnæus's eleventh class, which includes those plants whose flowers have from eleven to nineteen stamna, and three styles.
The SPECIES are,
1. RESEDA (Vulgaris) foliis pinnatis, foliolis integris alternis floribus tetragynis. Bastard-rocket with winged leaves, whose lobes are entire, placed alternate, and have four styles to the flower. Reseda vulgaris. C. B. P. 100. Common Bastard-rocket.
2. RESEDA (Crispa) foliis omnibus trifidis, inderioribus pinnatis. Hort. Cliff. 213. Bastard.rocket with all the leaves trifid, and the lower ones winged. Reseda crispa Gallica. Bocc. Sic. 77. French curled Bastard-rocket.
3. RESEDA (Phyteuma) foliis integris trilobisque, calycibus sexpartitis maximis. Hort. Cliff. 412. Bastard-rocket with entire and trisid leaves, and the largest empalement to the flower. Reseda minor vulgaris. Tourn. Inst. R. H. 413. Lesser common Bastard-rocket.
4. RESEDA (Undata) floribus trigynis, tetragynisque calycibus quinquepartitis, foliis pinnaris undulatis. Lin. Sp. Plant 644. Bastard-rocket with trisid and quadrisid flowers, whose empalements are cut into five parts, and winged waved leaves. Reseda minor alba, dentatis foliis. Barrel. Icon. 588. Smaller white Bastard-rocket with indented leaves.
5. RESEDA (Alba) foliis pinnatis, floribus tetragynis, calycibus sexpartitis. Lin. Sp. Plant. 645. Hort. Upsal. 149. Bastard-rocket with winged leaves, flowers having four styles, and an empalement cut into six parts. Reseda foliis calcitrapæ flore albo. Mor. Hort. R. Bl. Bastard-rocket with Star Thistle leaves, and a white flower.
6. RESEDA (Odorata) foliis integris trilobisque, calycibus florum æquantibus. Lin. Sp. Plant. 646. Bastard-rocket with entire three-lobed leaves, whose empalement is equal with the petals of the flower, commonly called sweet Reseda , or Mignonette d'Egypt.
7. RESEDA (Canescens) foliis subulatis sparsis. Sauv. Monsp. 41. Bastard-rocket with awl-shaped leaves placed thinly. Sesamoides flore albo, foliis canescentibus. Tourn Inst. R. H. 424. Bastard Sesamum with a white flower and hoary leaves.
8. RESEDA (Luteola) foliis lanceolatis integris, calycibus quadrisidis. Lin. Sp. Plant. 448. Bastard-rocket with spear-shaped entire leaves, and quodrisid empalements. Luteola herba salicis folio. C. B. P. 100. Dyer's Weed, or wild Woad, by some called Weld.
The first sort grows naturally in the south of France, Italy, and Spain. This is a biennial plant, which flowers and seeds the secon year, and perishes soon after. The root is long, white and a little ligneous; the leaves are unequally winged, and the lobes are entire; the stalks are channeled, rising two feet high, garnished with leaves like those below, but are smaller, and are terminated by long loose spikes of pale yellow flowers, composed of several unequal petals; the two upper are the largest, the side ones less, and the lower are so small as to be scarce conspicuous; they are all of a singular figure, and appear as if one leaf came out of two others. In the middle are situated many stamina terminated by yellow summits, and at the bottom a three-cornered germen, which afterward turns to a three-cornered seed-vessel, having three or four holes at the top, and filled with black seeds.
The second sort grows naturally in chalky land in many parts of England, and has been supposed to be the common sort, it being our common sort in England, but the former is more common abroad, and is so titled; the lower leaves of this are winged, and every lobe is cut into three small parts, and are curled, having some small indentures on their edges. The stalks rise about the same height as those of the former, and are terminated by longer and looser spikes of flowers; the flowers are paler and approach to a white. This flowers in June, and the seeds ripen in September.
The third sort grows naturally in the south of France and Italy; this is an annual plant, which has generally a single fleshy tap-root running deep in the ground, sending out several trailing stalks neat a foor long, which divide into smaller branches, garnished with small leaves, some of which are wedge-shaped and entire, others are cut into three obtuse segments. The ends of the branches are terminated by loose spikes of flowers, standing upon pretty long foot-stalks. The empalement of the flower is large, divided into six segments almost to the bottom; the flowers are white, and shaped like those of the other sorts. It flowers in July, and the seeds ripen in autumn.
The fourth sort grows naturally in Italy and Spain; this is a biennial plant, the lower leaves are unequally winged, some of the intermediate lobes or segments being much less than the others, and of different shapes. The stalks rise two feet and a half high, garnished with smaller difformed winged leaves, indented on their edges. The flowers are produced in slender loose spikes at the top of the stalks; they are small and white, of the same shape with the others, appearing in June, and the seeds ripen in September.
The fifth sort grows naturally in the south of France; it is a biennial plant; the lower leaves are large, winged, and composed of many narrow lobes or segments placed alternate, which are of a grayish colour; the stalks rise two feet and a half high, and are garnished with the like leaves, which diminish in their size to the top; the stalks are terminated by shorter and thicker spikes of flowers than either of the former, which are white, and shaped like those of the other species. It flowers in June, and the seeds ripen in August.
The sixth sort is supposed to grow naturally in Egypt; the seeds of this were sent me by Dr. Adrian Van Royen, the late professor of botany at Leyden. The root of this plant is composed of many strong fibres, which run deep in the ground, from which come out several stalks about a foot long, which divide into many small branches; these are garnished with oblong leaves, some of which are entire, and others are divided into three parts; they are about two inches long, and three quarters of an inch broad in the middle, ending in oval points, of a deep green colour. The flowers are produced in loose spikes at the end of the branches; they stand upon pretty long footstalks, have large empalements, and are of an herbaceous white colour, and smell very like fresh Raspberries, which occasions its being much cultivated in the English gardens. This plant is so like the third sort, as to be taken for the same by some, but the flowers of the third have no scent; so that those who have been imposed on, by having the seeds of the third sort sent them for this, have supposed the plant was degenerated.
The seventh sort grows naturally upon the mountains in Spain; this hath a perennial root, from which arise a few splender ligneous stalks a foot and a half high, which are thinly garnished with linear obtuse leaves, of a grayish colour; the upper part of the stalk is garnished for a good length with small, whitish, purple flowers, ranged in a very loose spike, sitting close to the stalk. These appear the latter end of May, and the seeds ripen in August.
The eight sort grows naturally upon dry banks and old walls in many parts of England, but is cultivated in some places for the dyer's use. This is now generally believed to be the plant, with which the ancient inhabitants of this island painted themselves, and not the Woad, as has been by some supposed; for the Dyer's Weed is a native here, whereas the Woad has been since introduced into this country. This is a biennial plant; the root is composed of a dew ligneous fibres; the leaves are four inches long, and half an inch broad, entire, and ending in obtuse points; these the first year spread circularly near the ground, and have some gentle wacings on their edges; the stalks rise three feet high, and are garnished with leaves of the same shape with those at bottom. They are terminated by long loose spikes of yellowish dflowers, which appear the latter end of June, and the seeds ripen in September.
The five sorts first mentioned, and also the seventh, are seldom cultivated in gardens except for the sake of variety, having very little beauty to recommend them, and being of no use; but whoever has a mind to have them, need only sow their seeds in autumn, and when the plants come up, if they are thinned and kept clean from weeds, it is all the culture they require; and if their seeds are permitted to scatter, the plants will come up in plenty, and sometimes become troublesome weeds.
The seeds of the sixth sort should be sown on a moderate hot-bed in March, and when the plants are strong enough to transplant, they should be pricked out upon another moderate hot-bed to bring them forward; but they should have a large shade of air in warm weather, otherwise they will draw up weak. About the latter end of May the plants may be planted out, some into pots, to place near the apartments, and others into warm borders, where they may remain to flower and seed. Fot the plants which grow in the full ground, often produce more seeds than those which are in pots; but at the time when the seed-vessels begin to swell, the plants are frequently infested with green catepillars, which, if they are not destroyed, will eat off all the seed-vessels.
If the seeds of this plant are sown on a bed of light earth in April, the plants will come up very well, and when they are not transplanted, will grow larger than those which are raised in the hot-bed, but they will not flower so early, and in cold seasons will scarce ripen their seeds. The plants may also be preserved through the winter in a green-house, where they will continue flowering most art of the year, but the second year they will not be so vigorous as the first.
The eight sort is the Weld, which is accounted a rich commodity for dyeing; where this is cultivated the seeds are commonly sown with Barley in the spring, and after the Barley is taken off the ground the Weld begins to make some progress, and the next season is pulled up for use. This has been long practised, and it will be difficult to prevail on the cultivaters of this plant to depart from their old customs; but if any persons will follow the directions hereafter given, I can from experience promise them much better success.
As the Weld will grow upon very poor soil, yet the crop will be in proportion to the goodness of the land; for upon very poor ground, the plants will not rise more than a foot high, whereas upon good ground I have measured them upward of three feet, and the stalks, leaves, &c. have been in proportion; so that the better the soil is upon which it is sown, the greater will be the produce.
The best way to cultivate this plant, is to sow it without any other crop; if the ground is ready by the beginning or middle of August, that will be a good season; the land should be well ploughed and harrowed fine, but unless it is very poor, it will not require dung; when the ground is well harrowed and made fine, the seeds should be sown; one gallon of the seeds is sufficient to sow an acre of land, for they are small. If rain falls in a little time after the seeds are sown, it will bring up the plants, and in two months time they will be so far advanced as to be easily distinguished from the weeds; then they should be hoed in the like manner as Turneps, always observing to do it in dry weather, for then the weeds will soon die after they are cut up; at this time the plants may be left about six inches distance; if this is done in dry weather, for then the weeds will soon die after they are cut up; at this time the plants may be left about six inches distance; if this is done in dry weather, and the work well performed, the plants will be clean from weeds till the spring; but as young weeds will come up in March, so if in dry weather the ground is hoed again, it may be performed at a small expence while the weeds are younf, and then they will soon decay; and if after this there should be many more weeds appear, it will be proper to hoe it a third time, about the beginning of May, which will preserve the ground clean till the weld is fit to pull. The best time to pull the Weld for use, is as soon as it begins to flower, though most people stay till the seeds are ripe, being unwilling to lose the seeds; but it is much better to sow a small piece of land with this seed, to remain for a produce of new seeds, than to let the whole stand for seed; because the plants which are permitted to stand so long will be much less worth for use, than the value of the seeds; besides, by drawing off the crop early, the ground may be sown with Wheat the same season; for the plants may be drawn up the latter end of June, when they will be in the greatest vigour, so will afford a greater quantity of the dye.
When the plants are pulled, they may be set up in small handfuls to dry in the field, and when it is dry enough, it may be tied up in bundles and housed dry, being careful to stack it loosely, that the air may pass between to prevent its fermenting.
That which is left for seeds should be pulled as soon as the seeds are ripe and set up to dry, and then beat out for use; for if the plants are left too long, the seeds will scatter. The usual price of the seed is ten shillings a bushel.