The Universal Herbal: Actaea Spicata; Common Black-berried Herb Christopher, or Bane-berry.

The Universal Herbal;
or botanical, medical and agricultural dictonary.
Containing an account of All the known Plants in the World, arranged according to the Linnean system. Specifying the uses to which they are or may be applied, whether as food, as medicine, or in the arts and manufactures.
With the best methods of propagation, and the most recent agricultural improvements.
collected from indisputable Authorities.
Adapted to the use of the farmer - the gardener - the husbandman - the botanist - the florist - and country housekeepers in general.
By Thomas Green.
Vol. I
Printed at the Caxton Press by Henri Fisher.
Printer in Ordinary to His Majesty.
Raceme ovate, fruits berried. — This species grows naturally in several places in the north of England. It rises two feet and an half high. It flowers in July, and in autumn ripens its fruits, which are black and shining, about the size of peas, and very poisonous. Indeed the whole plant is of an acrid and poisonous nature, and therefore though a powerful repellant, and having a root useful in some nervous cases, must be administered with caution. The juice of the berries mixed with alum yields a black dye. Toads seem to be allured by the smell of this plant; but Dr. Withering observes, that this may be owing to its fondness for the same damp shady situations as the toad. There are two varieties of this species, one an American plant with white berries; the other of British origin, and being only distinguished from the rest of the same species by its berries being red instead of black.

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