The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes: Of Whortes, or Whortle berries. Chap 69.

Teksti ilmestynyt kirjassa:
The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes. Gathered by John Gerarde of London Master in Chirvrgeria,

Imprinted at London by Iohn Norton. 1597

Of Whortes, or Whortle berries. Chap 69.

The kindes.
Vaccinia or Whortes, of which we intreat in this place, differ from violets; neither are they flowers, but berries: of these Whortes there be three sorts found out by the auncients, reckoning the marrish Whortle for one: the later writers haue found more.

The description

1 Vaccinia nigra, the blacke Whortle, or Hurtle, is a base and lowe tree, or woodie plant, ringing foorth many branches of a cubite high, set full of small leaues, of a darke greene colour, not much unlike the leaues of Boxe, or the Myrtill tree: among which come foorth little hollow flowers, turning into small berries, greene at the first, afterwarde red, and at the last of a blacke colour, and full of a pleasant and sweere iuice; in which do lie diuers little thinne whitish seeds; these berries do colour the mouth and lips of those that eate them, with a blacke colour: the roote is woodie, slender, and now and then creeping.

2 Vaccinia rubra or the red Whortle, is like the former in the maner of growing, but that the leaues are greater and harder, almost like the leaues of the Boxe tree, abiding greene all the winter long: among which come foorth small carnation flowers, long and round, growing in clusters at the top of the branches, after which succeede small berries in shewe and bignesse like the former, but that they are of an excellent red colour, and full of iuice, of so orient and beautifull a purple to limme withall, that Indian Lacca is not to be compared thereunto; especially when this iuice is prepared and dressed with allom according to Art, as my selfe haue prooued by experience; the taste is tough and astringent: and the roote is of a woody substance.

3 Vaccinia alba or the white Whortle, is like unto the former, both in stalkes and leaues, but the berries are of a white colour, wherein consisteth the difference.

4 Carolus Clusius in his Pannonicke obseruations hath set down another of the Whortle berries, under the name of Vitis Idæa, which differeth not from the other Whortle berries, not onely in stature but in leaues and fruite also.

5 The same author also setteth foorth another of the Whortle berries, under the title of Vua Vrsi [Uva Ursi], which is likewise a shrubbie plant, hauing manie feeble branches; whereon do growe long leaues blunt at hte points & of an ouer worne greene colour: among which come foorth clussers of bottlelike flowers, of an herby colour: the fruith followeth, growing likewise in clusters, greene at the first, & blacke when they are ripe: the roote is of a woodie substance.

The place
These plants prosper best in a leane barren soile, & in untoiled woody places: they are now & then found on high grounds, subject to the winde, and upon mountaines: they growe plentifully in both the Germanies, Bohemia, and in diuers places of France and Englande, namely in Middlesex on Hampsteed Heath, & the woods therto adioining, and also upon the hils in Cheshire called Broxen hils, neere unto Beeston castle, 7. miles from the Nantwich; and in the wood by Highgate called Finchly woode, and in diuers other places.

The red Whortle berry groweth in Westmerlad, at a place called Crossby Rauenswaith; where also doth growe the Wohortle with the white berrie, and in Lancashire also upon Pendle hils.

The time.
The Whortle berries do flower in Maie, and their fruite is ripe in Iune.

The names.

Whortle berries are called in high Dutch Heydelbeeren: in lowe Dutch Crakebesien, bicause they make a certaine cracke whilest they be broken betweene the teeth, of diuers, Hauerbesien: the French men Airelle, or Aurelie, as Iohannes de Chout writeth: and we in England Whortes, Whortle berries, Blacke Berries, Bill Berries, and Bull Berries, and in some places Winberries.

Most of the shops of Germanie do call them Myrtilli, but properly Myrtilli are the fruite of the Myrtle tree, as the Apothecaries names them at this day. This plant hath no name for ought we can learne, either among the greekes or auncient Latines: for whereas most do take it to be Vitis Idæa, or the Corinth tree, which Plinie surnameth Alexandrina, it is untrue; for Vitis Idæa is not onelie like to the common Vine, but is also a kinde of Vine: and Theophrastus who hath made mention heereof doth call it without an epethere, ----------, simply, as a little after we will declare: which without doubt he woulde not haue done, if he had founde it to differ from the common Vine. For what things foener receiued a name of some plant, the same are exprest by some epethite added, that they might be knowne to differ from others, as Laurus Alexandrina, Vitis alba, Vitis nigra, Vitis sylvestris, and such like.

Moreouer, those things which haue borowed a name from some plant, are like thereunto, if not wholy, yet either in leafe or fruite, or in some other thing. Vitis alba, and nigra, that is to saie, the white and the blacke Bryonies, haue leaues and clasping tendrels, as hath the common Vine; they also climbe after the same maner: Vitis Syluestris, or the wilde Vine, hath such like stalkes as the Vine hath, and bringeth foorth fruite like to the little grapes: Laurus Alexandrina, and Chamedaphne, and also Daphnoides, are like in leaues to the Laurell tree: Sycomorus is like in fruite to the Figge tree, and in leaues to the Mulberie tree: Chamædrys hath the leafe of an Oke; Peucedanus of the Pine ree: so of others which haue taken their name from some other. But this lowe shrub is not like the Vine, either in any part, or in any other thing.

This Vitis Idæa, groweth not on the uppermost and snowie parts of moun Ida as some would haue it) but about Ida, euen the hill Ida, not of candy, but of Troas in the lesser Asia, which Ptolemie in his fift booke of Geographie 3. chapter doth call Alexandri Troas, or Alexander his Troy: whereupon it is also aduisedly named of Plinie in his 14 booke 3. chapter Vitis Alexandrina, no otherwise then Alexandrina Laurus is saide of Theophrastus to grow there: Laurus, surnamed Alexandrina, and Ficus quadam, or a certaine Figge tree, and --- , that is to say, the Vine, are reported, saith he, to grow properly about Ida. Like unto this Vine are those which Philostratus in the life of Apollonius reporteth to growe in Mæonia, and Lydia, scituated not farre from Troy, comparing them to those Vines which grow in India beyond Caucasus: the Vines, saith he, be very like, as be those that growe there in Mæonia and Lydia, yet is the wine which is pressed out of them, of amaruellous pleasant taste.

This Vine which groweth neere to mount Ida, is reported to be like a shrub, with little twigs and branches of the lenght of a cubite, about which are grapes growing aslope, blacke, or the bignes of a Beane, sweete, hauing within a certaine winie substance, soft: the leafe of this is rounde, uncut, and little.

This is described by Plinie in his 14. booke 3. chapter, almost in the selfe same workds: It is called saith he, Alexanrina vitis and groweth neere unto Phalacra: it is short, with brances a cubite long, with a blacke grape, of the bignes of the Latines Beane, with a shoft pulpe and very little, with very sweete clusters growing aslope, and a little round leafe without cuts.

And with this description the little shrub which the Apothecaries of Germanie do call Myrtillum, doth nothing at al agree, as it is very manifest; for it is low, scarce a cubite high, with a few short branches, not growing to a cubite in lenght: it doth not bring foort clusters or bunches, nor yet fruite like unto grapes, but berries like those of the Yew tree; not sweete, but somewhat sower and astringent, in which also there are many little white flat seedes: the leafe is not round, but more long then round, not like to that of the Vine, but of the Boxe tree. Moreouer it is thought that this is not found in Italy, Greece, or in the lesser Asia, for that Mathiolus affirmeth the same to grow no where but in Germanie and Bohemia, so farre is it from being called or accounted to be Vitis Idæa, or Alexandrina.

The fruit of this may be thought not without cause to be named Vaccinia, sith they are berries for they may be named of Bacca, berries, Vaccinia, as though they should be called Baccinia. Yet this letteth not but that there may also be other Vaccinia; for Vaccinia is --- dictio, or a worde of diuers significations. Virgil in the first of his Bucolikes the tenth Eclog affirmeth, that the wrten Hyacinth is named of the Latines Vaccinium, translating into Latine Theocritus his verse, which is taken out of hs 10. Eidyl.
Et nigra viola, sunt & vaccinia nigra.

Vitruuius in the seuenth booke of his Architecture doth also distinguish Vaccinium from the Violet, and sheweth that of it is made a gallant purple, which seeing that the written Hyacinth cannot do, it must needes be that this Vaccinium is another thing than the Hyacinth is, bicause it serueth to giue a purple die.

Plinie also in his 16. booke 18. chapter hath made mention of Vaccinia, which are used to die bondflaues garments with, and to giue them a purple colour.

But whether these of our Vaccinia or Whortle berries, it is hard to affirme, especially seeing that Plinie reckoneth up Vaccinia among those plants which growe in waterie places; but ours growe on mountains, upon high places subject to windes, neither is it certainly knowen to growe in Italie. Howsoeuer it is, these out Whortles may be called Vaccinia, and do agree with Plinies and Vitruuius his Vaccinia, bicause garments and linnen cloth may take from these a purple die.

The Whortle berries haue their name from the blacke Whortles, to which they be in forme very like, and are called in Latine Vaccinia rubra: in high Dutch Rooter Heidelbeere: in lowe Dutch Roode Crakebesien: the French men Aurelles rouges: they be named in English Red Whortes, or red Whortle berries. Conradus Gesnerus hath called this plant Vitis Idæa rubris acinis: but the growing of the berries doth shew, that this doth far lesse agree with Vitis Idæa than the that thought it to be Vitis Idæa but from the tops of the springs in clusters.

As concerning the names of the other, they are touched in their seuerall descriptions.

The temperature.
These Vaccinia or Whortle berries, are colde cuen in the later end of the second degree, and drie also with a manifest astriction or binding qualitie.

Red Whortle berries are cold and drie, and also binding.

The vertues.

A The iuice of the blacke Whortle berries is boyled, till it become thicke, and is prepared or kept by adding honie and Sugar unto it: the Apothecaries call iit Rob, which is preferred in all things before the rawe berries themselues. For many times whilest these be eaten or taken rawe, they are offensiue to a weake and cold stomacke, and so far are they from binding the bely, or staying the laske, as that they also trouble the same through their cold and rawe qualitie, which thing the boyled iuice called Rob doth not any whit at all.

B They be good for an hot stomacke, they quench thirst, they mitigate and alay the heate of hot burning agues, they stop the belly, they stay vomiting, they cure the bloody flixe proceeding of choler, and they helpe the felonie, or the purging of choler upwards and downwards.

C The people in Cheshire do eate the blacke Whortles in creame and milk, as in these fourth parts we eate Strawberries, which stop and binde the belly, putting away also the desire to vomit.

D The red Whortle is not of such a pleasant taste as the blacke, and therefore not so much used to be eaten, but (as I said before) they make the fairest carnation colour in the world.

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