Anthemis PyrethrumPellitory of Spain
- Class and Order
- Syngenesia Polygamia Superflua
- Generic Character
- Recept. paleaceum. Pappus nullus. Cal. hemisphæricus, subæqualis. Flosculi radii plures quam 5.
- Specific Character and Synonyms
- ANTHEMIS Pyrethrum caulibus simplicibus unifloris decumbentibus foliis pinnato multifidis. Linn. Syst. Veget. ed. 14. Murr. p. 776. Woodville's Medical Botany, p. 286
- CHAMæMELUM specioso flore, radice longa fervida. Shaw. Afr. 138
- PYRETHRUM flore bellidis. Bauh. Pin. 148.
The Pellitory of Spain is more celebrated as an useful than an ornamental plant, the root which is of a very hot and biting nature being a common application for the cure of the tooth-ach; but, divested of its utility as a medicinal plant, it merits a place in collections on account of the beauty both of its foliage and flowers, the latter are more handsome when in bud than when fully expanded, the underside of the florets being of a fine purple colour, the upper pure white; it is moreover a very rare plant in this country, notwithstanding it was cultivated here so long since as 1570: Parkinson evidently grew it, as he observes that the roots of the cultivated plant, were much larger than those of the wild one; he tells us also, that it was too tender to endure our winters: to the latter cause, as well as to the difficulty of propagating it, for it does not ripen its seeds in this country, we may attribute its present scarcity: Mr. Miller raised this plant in 1732, in a very curious way, from seeds picked out from among raisins.
In its place of growth it is not confined to Spain, but is found in the Levant, Syria, Arabia, and elsewhere; flowers with us from May to July, and may be increased by cuttings of the roots, a mode of propagating by which we sometimes happily succeed with rare and valuable plants when all others fail.
It is a plant not very nice as to the quality of the soil in which it grows, but must have a warm dry situation, will succeed very well in a pot, or it may be planted in the open border; but especial care must be taken to secure it against frost in the winter.