« AnteriorContinuar »
DOG ROSE, OR HEP TREE. Class XII. IcosANDRIA. Order V. POLYGYNIA. Gen. Char. Calyx, pitcher-shaped, five-cleft, fleshy, contracted at
the neck. Petals, five. Seeds, numerous, hispid, affixed to the
inner side of the calyx. Spe. Char. Fruit, ovate. Peduncles, glabrous. Stalk and Petioles,
This small tree usually rises from ten to twelve feet in height, dividing toward the top into many spreading branches, covered with a smooth bark, and beset with alternate hooked prickles; the leaves are pinnated, consisting of two or three pair of pinnæ, or leaflets, with an odd one at the end—they are all of an oblong or oval shape, serrated, veined, pointed, growing close to the common footstalk, which is prickly, and at its base furnished with a sheathy expansion, fringed at the edges; the bracteæ are oval shape, fringed, and placed in pairs at the peduncles, which are smooth; the flowers are large, terminal, two or three together, and of a reddish or fleshy color; the calyx is pitcher-shaped at its base, fleshy, separated above into five long expanding divisions, subdividing into smaller segments; the corolla consists of five inversely heart-shaped petals; the filaments are numerous, slender, short, inserted in the calyx, and furnished with triangular anthers; the germens are numerous, in the bottom of the calyx, supplied with an equal number of styles, which are villous, short, compressed in the neck of the calyx, inserted in the side of the germen, and terminated with obtuse stigmas; the fruit is a fleshy, smooth, oval berry, flesh-colored, formed of the tubular part of the calyx, and contains many long round seeds. It is a native of England, and is usually found growing in woods and hedges, flowering in June and the early part of July.
The flowers of this shrub make a very conspicuous and beautiful appearance, when the are cultivated either as an ornament in the garden, or in the hedge, where they are so extensively grown. The fruit, called heps or hips, has a sourish taste, and in some parts of England is very much used in preparing a conserve; for this purpose the seeds and chaffy fibres are to be carefully removed, for, if these prickly fibres are not entirely scraped off from the internal surface of the fruit, the conserve is liable to produce great irritation on the primæ vie.
Medical Properties and Uses. The officinal preparation of the fruit of this tree, is considered by modern practitioners to possess but little, if any, medicinal virtue, although it is extensively used in some parts of Europe, and highly esteemed as useful in many disorders, as dropsies, calculous complaints, dysenteries, hæmorrhages, etc., but at the present time it is not considered of sufficient importance, to place much reliance on its powers. It is agreeable to the taste, and well suited to give form to the more active articles of the Materia Medica.