The Universal Herbal: Croton Tinctorium; Officinal Croton.

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.
Leaves rhombed, repand; capsules pendulous; stem herbaceous, branching, about nine inches high; root annual; flowers in short spikes, from the sides of the stalks at the ends of the branches. Nissole dyed both silk and wool of an elegant blue colour: but the French attempt to extract a material from it for dyeing, similar to indigo, did not succeed. The women about Albudebar dye their stockings with it. This is also the plant from which the tournsol, used for colouring wines and jellies, is made. It is made from the juice that is lodged between the calix and the seeds: this, if rubbed on cloths, at first appears of a lively green, but soon changes to a bluish purple. If these cloths be put into water, and afterwards wrung, they will dye the water of a claret colour. The rags thus dyed are brought to England, and sold in the druggist shops under the name of tournsol. — Native of the south of France, Spain, Italy, and the kingdom of Tunis. The seeds of this plant should be sown in the autumn, soon after they are ripe, in a small pot filled with light earth, and plunged into an old tan-bed in a frame, where they may be screened from the cold in the winter; and in the spring following, the pot should be removed from a fresh hot-bed, which will bring up the plants in a month's time; and when grown large enough to remove, they should be each planted into a small pot, and plunged into a fresh hot-bed, being careful to shade the glasses daily, until the plants have taken new root: they should then have air daily admitted to them, in proportion to the warmth of the season, but must be sparingly watered. Mr. Miller declares, that the above is the only treatment under which he has known these plants to succeed, and that they have by this management, not only flowered, but produced good seeds.

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