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BRITISH FLOWERING PLANTS

the most interesting being the green caterpillar of a moth (Plusia moneta), allied to our common Gamma Moth (Plusia Gamma), which, a few years ago, spread from Central Europe into Holland and England. P. moneta, which measures about an inch and a half across the wings, is pale golden- -grey, with some silvery markings in the middle of the forewings, and is varied with pale violet towards the borders.

The leaves and root of Monkshood are used in medicine, chiefly to lower the temperature of the body in cases of fever.

In cases of poisoning by aconite an emetic should be given, followed by stimulants (such as brandy), and warmth and friction should be applied to the body. Digitalis and strychnine may be employed as antidotes.

Bane-berry—Actæa spicata

(Plate V)

This is a plant growing from 1 to 2 feet high, with large trifid bipinnate leaves. The small flowers grow in clusters. The calyx and corolla are yellowish white (with 4 sepals and petals), and the berry is black. The plant grows in shady woods and thickets, and flowers in May. It is a local plant in Britain, and is only found in the north of England and Scotland. The leaves, like those of various other Ranunculaceæ, will raise blisters on the skin. The berry also is of course poisonous; hence its name. It is an irritant, causing sickness and diarrhoea. No British insect is recorded as feeding on this plant.

Several other plants belonging to the Ranculaceæ are more frequently found in gardens than wild in Britain, and some of these are probably introduced rather than truly native species. Among these we may mention the Pheasant's Eye (Adonis autumnalis), which is about 1 ft. in height, and bears a bright scarlet flower, with a black centre; the Hellebores, or Christmas Roses, bearing large green flowers, composed of 5 broad sepals (the petals being rudimentary) incurving towards the extremity, and highly poisonous; the