Readers’ note:  translation and transcription (a coarse translation, in which Latin is not changed so much due to uniqueness), are essentially done for these Colden documents.  Parts of this document still in need of finalization.    But for now, this item is opened for public inspection.



[142.  Catnip]

142.   Nepeta floribus interruptre spicatis petiolatis, Gron. Virg. 65. 

Folia bina, opposita, longo triangularia, lanuginosa, mollia, versus petiolum cordata, crenata.


142.   Nepeta [with] discontinuous flower spike, stem.  

Leaves two, opposites, long triangular, downy, soft towards petiole, cordate, crenate.


Nepeta: catnip.  Nepeta cataria.  Presumably an introduced species, the presence of this plant in Virginia ca. 1737 suggests that a rapid naturalization process took place due to a garden escape.   This is one of two known species for which actual specimens exist in the Linnean collection.


[143.  Lemon Balm]

143.  Melissa quae Pulegium, odore vehementi, flore violaceo, radice nequaquam repeatrice.  Clayt.

Melissa floribus verticillatis subsessilibus secundum longitudinem caulis, Gron. Virg. 167.

CALYX: Perianthium monophyllum, tubulatum: superius tridentatum; inferius tridentatum; dentibus linearibus.

COROLLA:  Monopetala tubulera.  Limbus quadripartitur; lacinia superiore ovata, concava; tribus inferioribus aequalibus, subrotundis

STAM.  Flos ita exiguus, ut vix distingui possint nudis oculis.


PER.  nullum.

SEM.  quatuor, parva.

Caulus erectus.

Folia ex foliorum alis in verticillis laxis.

OBS.  Ut odore vehementiur est quam Pulegium vulgare, its viribus efficacior in omnibus morbis.  quibus vulgare in usu est.


Melissa, with smell strong Pennyroyal smell, violet flowers, root bearing no repeatrice.

Melissa, with whorls of sessile flowers along the length of the stem

CALYX: Perianth leaf divided, TUBULAR: with three teeth above, three teeth below, linear.

COROLLA:  Tubular, from a single petal. Lamina (layer) in four-parts; skirt upper ovate, concave, lower three equal ROUNDISH.

STAM.  This flower is very little, in such a way these are scarcely distinguishable with naked eyes.


PER.  none.

SEM.  four, small.

Stems erect.

Leaves from the wings (sides) in loose whorls.

OBS.  That smell is stronger than the common Pennyroyal, and so it is more effective in treating all diseases, and is always in use. 


Melissa:   Hedeoma pulegioides.  Upon first reading, we want to think Colden is talking about Melissa officinalis, the Lemon Balm from England.  The description, however, does not match this plant, and since Colden is documenting plants native to his properties (even those escaped from gardens), we have to begin with the argument that this is a native plant, and then try to identify it from a listing of plants native to New York based on this assumption.    The flower of this plant is violet.  The plant has a strong odor (“odore vehementi”) and this plant has relative living in Virginia where Gronovius and Clayton made their identifications.  In the “Observations” section of his description, Colden claims this plant is ‘cherished and used much like Pulegium vulgare, and is as effective or useful in treating morbid conditions (sicknesses) as the traditional or commonly used (vulgar) species.  For this reason I suspect the Hedeoma pulgeioides found growing in New York.  (This plant is very common along gravelly roadsides north of the Colden estate up into New Paltz.)  The America False Pennyroyal is called Hedeoma pulegioides; the traditional pennroyal of Eurasian origin is Mentha pulegium. If this plant was a true pennyroyal, Colden’s note would have inferred that this was Mentha pulegium after it escaped from traditional gardens, naturalizing on Colden’s property.  Another possibility:  there is a local wild flower in New York that resembles Pennyroyal, which has blue (cyanescens), not violet (violaceo) flowers is identified by House as Blue Curls or Bastard Pennyroyal (Trichostema dichotomun).

These three are shown below in this order.

MEDICINE:  In the “Observations” section of his description, Colden claims this plant is ‘cherished and used much like ‘Pulegium vulgare’ (as he identified its similar), but has a stronger odor.  He considered it as effective if not more effective in treating morbid conditions (sicknesses) in much the same way as the traditional or commonly used (vulgar) species of Pennyroyal.


144.  LAMIUM  foliis floralibus sessilibus amplexicaulibus obtusis.  Hort. Cliff.  314.  Gron. Virg.  66.

CAL.  perianthemum monophyllum, superne patens, definens in lacinias quique, acutas, tere aequales.

COR. monopetala.  Tubus longus.  Faux inflata, compressa.  Labium superius fornicatum; inferius minus, verticaliter cordatum, punctis rubris (ut etiam margines faucis) notatum.

STAM. ut in Didynamiis


SEM.  quatnor, nuda, glabra, ex uno latere segmento Sphaerae, ex altero angulata.

Folia.  Semicircularia, sessilia, margine laciniata, Hederulae similia.


DEAD-NETTLE flowers, leaves sessile, attached to stems, obtuse. Hort. Cliff. 314. Gron. Virg. 66.

CAL. perianthemum leaf divided above patent, ending with skirts that are sharp, almost equal.

COR. single petal, tube long, with inflated [JAWS], compressed. Upper lip arched, lower less, vertically cordate, red points (as few edges) noted.

STAM. as in Didynamiis


SEM. four, on the bare, glabrous, from one side of the segment of a sphere, the angulated out of the other.

Leaves. Semicircular, sessile, margin fringed, like that of Hederulae.

Lamium: dead nettle.  Folia . . . ‘Hederulae similae’ (Hedera-like folia and vine-like groundcover growth  support this identification.  There are three Lamium species common to the New York area, all of which were introduced from Europe and have since naturalized–Lamium album L. (white dead nettle), L. amplexicaule L, and L. purpureum L. (red or purple dead nettle).  The “amplexicaulibus” nature of this plant noted by Colden suggests this is the second species.

145.  BRUNELLA major, folio non dissecto. 

Brunella sylvestris autumnalis, floribus dilute, purpureus dense stipatis.  Gron. virg. 67?


Brunella major, non-dissected leaves.

Brunella, woodland, fall-flowering with flowers pale, red, and densely crowded.  Gron. virg. 67?

BrunellaPrunella vulgaris.  Self Heal or Heal All.  Note ‘floribus dilute purpureis dense stipatis’.  This plant is extremely common to the Hudson Valley area.  The Latin name infer another common name “quinsywort”, suggesting one of its most traditional uses.

[New York Scullcap]

146.  SCUTELLARIA novaborecensis.  Fructificatio ut a Linnaeo descripta. 

Caulis tetragonous, brachiatus ramulis & alis foliorum.

Folia ex adverso bina, lanceolata, rugosa, vix petiolata.

Flores plurumque duo simul ex alis foliorum oppositorum, nee plures, ut in aliis verticillatis.


SCUTELLARIA novaborecensis. Fruiting as described by Linnaeus.

Stem tetragonous (four sided), with branching stems and leave stems.

Leaves the front of the pair, lanceolate, wrinkled, barely petioled (short or small stemmed).

The flowers for the most part have the two lateral opposing leaves, usually not more than one, and as with others verticils (vertical leaves/stems).

Scutellaria: scullcap.  Scutellaria noveboracensis or New York Scullcap according to Colden.  Scutellaria is ruled out by Colden’s flower description, which mentions the existence of these in simple pairs, and his lanceolate leaf description.  Another possible species not displayed is S. integrifolia or S. hyssopifolia L. of the eastern North America.  The marsh scullcap or hooded willow herb seems less likely due to larger flower size and hyssop-like (therefore less lanceolate, more oblong) leaves.   This leaves us with S. galericulata L. above, or some scarcer local species as Colden’s identification.


147.  PEDICULARIS caule simplici, florbus capitatis, foliis pinnatifidus crenulatis.  Gron. Virg. 68.

CAL.  Perianthemum monophyllum, integerrimum, subrotundum, inflatum, superiore parte longius, quam inferiori.

COR.  Monopetala, ringens, rubulata.  Labium superius galeatum, compressum.  Faux marginata, compressa, magna.  Labium inferius parvum.

Stamina & Pistillum ut in Didynamiis Angiospermis.

PER.  capsula longa, sunrotunda, versus apicem compressa & vacua, bilocularis.

SEM.  globularia, in inferiore parte Capsulae.


147.  PEDICULARIS stem simple, capitate flowers, leaves pinnately crenulatis. Soil. Cypriote. 68.

CAL. Perianthemum leaf divided upright. ROUNDISH, swollen, with the upper part longer than the lower.

COR. Single petal, four [parts], tubular. Upper lip helmet-like, compressed.  JAWS margined, compressed, large. Small lower lip.

Stamens and pistils in Didynamiis Angiospermis.

PER. Capsule long roundish, with apex compressed and empty, two parts (bilocularis).

SEM. globular (spherical), in the lower part of the Capsules.

Pedicularis: Lousewort.    Probably Pedicularis canadensis or P. palustris.   The former is specific to North America.

148.  BARTSIA foliis alternis.  Hort. Cliff. 325.  Gron. virg. 68.

CAL.  Perianthemum monophyllum, tubulatum, semibifidum: apice colorato, coccineo.

COR.  Monopetala, ringens.  Tubus longitudine Calycis, Labium recturm, longum, tenue, integrum.  Inferius minimum, reflexum, in tres lacinias divisum.

STAM.  ut in Didynamiis.

PIST.  Germen conicum, Stylus filifromis, staminibus longior.

PER.  Capsula ovaca, bilocularis, clayci inclusa.

SEM.  plurima.

Folia semitrisida, scillia, alternata.

OBS.  Singulare est in hac plantula, quod Corolla non sit colorata, sed berbacei coloris.  Apex autem Calycis & superior pars foliorum subfloralium sint coccinea coloris.  Inferior foliorum subfloratium pars est herbacei coloris utque ad medium, superior autem coccinei.


148.  BARTISIA, alternating leaves.  Hort. Cliff. 325.  Gron. Virg. 68.

CAL.  Perianthemum leaf divided TUBULAR, semibifidum (partly split into two parts): apex colored scarlet.

COR.  One petal, four [parts]. Tube (flower with a) long Calyx.  Upper Lip long, thin, holding up.  Inferior Lip: minimum, reflected, divided into three (parts/tips) skirts.

STAM. in Didynamiis.

PIST. German conical filifromis Style, stamens longer.

BY. Capsule oval, bilocularis (two part), included in/partially merged with the calyx.

SEM. abundant.

Leaves semitrifida (partially three parts), squill-like, alternate.

OBS. This little plant is unique in that the Corolla is not colored, but the herb is colored.  The calyx & crowning glory of the upper part of the plant has leaves that are like a flower and scarlet color. The lower part of the leaves are like the herb, subfloral and the color is medium, the higher you go the more  scarlet it becomes.

Bartsia:  This is a fairly recently identified genus in Colden’s years of botanical activity.  This genus is attributed to Prussian botanist and doctor, John Bartsch, MD, (d. 1738) a close associate of Linne.  The plant is a member of the Scrophularia family (Scrophulariaceae), and tends to live in shady bogs and their borderlands where the soil is kept very moist.  Sandy soil may support this species as well, given the right soil type, ecological setting, and amount of sun exposure.  Other genera closely associated with Bartsia include Castilleja and Rhinanthus.    There are 60+ North American species (3-5 European and 1+ American); many are tropical; some are parasitic upon grasses.  The flower is usually non-pigmented.


149.  ANONYMA personara (Unnamed sample).

CAL.  Periantemum monophyllum, parum, persistens: laciniis quatuor, lanceolatis.

COR.  Monopetala tubulata.  Limbus compressus, clausus.  labium superius concavum, integrum.  Inferius integrum, sere plantum.  Limbi figura similis capiti Piscis.

STAM.  Filamenta quatuor, corollae inferea: duo breviora.  Anthere sub labio superiori reconditae, coalitae.

PER.  Capsula orbicularis, apice compresso, unilocularis.

SEM.  tria vel quatuor, ovata, lucida.

Caulis humilis, ramosus.

Folia bina opposita: subfloralia triangularia, integra, glabra, denticulo uno vel altero ad angulos oppositos; Folia inferiora lanceolata, petiolata. 

Flores bini, oppositi, singuli ex alis foliorum.


ANONYMOUS [Unnamed specimen].

 CAL. Perianth leaf splitting but continuous forming four lobes, each lanceolate.

 COR. Monopetala TUBULAR. Lamina compressed, blocky. Concave upper lip, sound. Lower Lip intact, leathery (strong) soles. Lamina shaped like a fish head.

 STAM. Filaments four, Corolla grafted, two shorter ones. Anthers appear hidden under the lip of the upper, grouped together.

 PER. Capsule orbicular tip, suppressed, one part.

SEM. three or four, ovate, lucid or bright.

Stem low, branched.

Leaves of two opposites: sub-floral parts are triangular, entire, glabrous, with the teeth of one or the other to the opposite angles; Lower leaves are lanceolate, petiolate.

Flowers are in pairs, and opposite one of the wings of the leaves.

Anonyma [149]:   This is probably a Scrophularia family member, but possibly mint based on certain stem and leaf notes (‘SEM. tria vel quatuor’ . . . ‘Folia bina opposita’).   A uniquely descriptive part of Colden’s writing notes: ‘Limbi figuro similis capiti Piscis’.  When viewed from a certain angle, a part of this plant closely resembles the head of a fish.  This plant has a roundish flower, that is perhaps curved more at the top (thus the pisces appearance) and is comprised of fused petals with inferior parts that are lanceolate and protruding.  There are two main flowers, with single flowers positioned at axial stems.  Since Colden’s intent is to keep what appear to be closely related plants together, this allows us to suspect this unnamed species is probably a Scrophulariaceae member (as noted above).


150.  CHELONE.

CAL.  Perianthium polyphyllum, ex octo foliis cicularibus, concavis, imbricatim positis, persistens.

COR. Monopetala, tubulata.  Faux inflata, supra convexa, infra plana.  Limbus clausus.  Labium superius concavum, rectum.  Inferius cum superiori sere aequale, versus apicem trifidum; laciniis parvus. (Os Rane sere aemulans).

STAM.  filamenta quinque, quorum quintum sterile, mutilatum.  Antherae lanugine obductae.

PIST.  Germen pyramidale.  Stylus filiformis, apice reflexus.

PER.  Capsula ovalis, duobus sulcis oppositis.

SEM.  circularia. membranacea, placentae magna adherentia.

Folia bina opposita, lanceolata, serrata, sessilia.

Flores in spicis caulis terminatricibus, vel ramulorum ex foliorum alis.

OBS.  Est Planta aquatica, Angusto florens.


150.  CHELONE.

CAL.  Perianth made of eight or more leaves, circular, spaced (hollow), in overlapping positions, continuous.

COR.  One petal flower, Tubular.  JAWS inflated, convex above and below the plane.  Lamina blocked. Upper lip is concave, right.  Lower is almost equal with the above, with trifid apex ; small fringes. (The frog is almost imitate[d by this form]).

STAM. filaments five, whose fifth sterile mutilated.  Anthers covered with down.

PIST.  Germ-bearing part (Ovum) pyramidal. Style filiform apex reflected.

PER. Capsule oval, two furrows very distinct.

SEM. circular. membraneous with placenta greatly adherent (sticky?).

Leaves in two, opposing, lanceolate, serrate, sessile.

Flowers in spikes terminatricibus (four or three) stem, leaves or branches of the wings.

OBS. The plant is aquatic, and has a short flowering time.

Chelone:  Turtle-head.  Chelone glabra.  Aquatic plant.

151.  MIMULUS.  Act. ups. 1741. p. 22, Hort. ups. 176. f.1.

Lysimachia galericulata Clayt.  Gron Virg. 69.

CAL.  Perianthemum monophyllum, tubulatum, cylindricum, pentagonum, angulis acutis, quinque dentatum, persistens.

COR.  Monopetala ringens.  Tubus cylindricus.  Labium superius semibifidum, lateribus reflexis.  Labium inferius tripartitum: laciniis subrotundis: lacinia media minore.

STAM. as in Didynamiis.

PST.  Germen conicum, Stylus unicus.  Stigma.

PER.  Capsula ovalis, bilocularis, calyce tecta.

SEM. plurima, parva.

Caulis binis oppositis lateribus sulcatus: sulci inter folia bina opposita in diversa caulis latrea variantur.

Folia lanceolata, bini opposita, serrata, sessilia.

Flores pedunculati, singuli ex alis foliorum, caerulus, rictu luteo.


151.  MIMULUS.  Act. ups. 1741. p. 22, Hort. ups. 176. f.1.

Lysimachia galericulata Clayt.  Gron Virg. 69.

CAL.  Perianthemum leaf not divided, TUBULAR, cylinder, pentagonous, acute angles, five pointed, continuing.

COR.  Monopetala, four. Tube cylinder. Upper lip, semibifidum (semidivided), with the sides reflexed.  Lower lip threefold: ROUNDISH, with fringes, more or less.

STAM.. Pretenders in Didynamiis.

PIST. German conical, unique style. Stigma.

PER. Capsule oval, bilocularis, calyx covered.

SEM. large, small.

Stem two opposite sides grooved, furrows between the two opposite leaves in different stem bark vary.

Leaves lanceolate, two opposites, serrate, sessile.

Peduncled flowers, each of the wings of the leaves, blueish, with yellow mouth.

Mimulus:  A true mimulus or monkeyflower (Mimulus sp.) is difficult to distinguish from Lysimachia nummularia (moneyplant or creeping yellow loosestrife) based on this description. However,  ‘Folia: lanceolata’ suggests the former, ‘bina opposita, serrata, sessilia’ and Flores pattern suggests the latter.  Either are possible.  For photos of monkeyflower see http://www.wordnik.com/words/Mimulus.   (Note: These are the fairly decorative varieties and may bear larger corollas or petals than earlier versions.


152.  RUELLIA?

CAL.  Perianthium monophyllum, campanulatum, quinquedentatum, persistens

COR.  Petalum unicum.  Tubus brevis.  Limbus expansus, quinquefolus, Lacinae duae superiores concave, ovatae: tres inferiores circulares, marginibus reflexis.

Filamenta quatuor; duo longiora sub laciniis superioribus; duo breviora in collo tubi.  Antherae didymae, villosae.

STAM. Germen orbiculare.  Stylus filiformis, versus lacinias superiores inclinatus.

PIST. Capsula ovalis, bilocularis, calice tecta.

PER. Plurima.

SEM. Caulis ramosus, humilis.

Folia bina opposita, angusta, longa, acuminata, rigida, integra, sessilia: fibra unica longitudinali.

Flores singuli pedunculis longis ex alis foliorum, bini oppositis


152.  RUELLIA?

CAL.  Perianth leaf divided campanulate (bell-like), five pointed, continuing

COR.  One Petal only [fused petal]. Short Tube. Lamina expanded, five parts lacinia two upper concave, ovate, three lower circular margins reflexed.

STAM. Filaments four, two longer under the upper fringes of the two shorter ones in the neck of the tube. Anthers didymal, villous.

PIST.  Germen orbicular. Style filiform, the skirts higher inclined.

PER.  Capsule oval, bilocularis, cup tops.

SEM.  Many.

Stem branched, low.

Leaves of two opposite, narrow, long, acuminate, rigid, entire, sessile, single fiber longitudinally.

Flowers each as a single, with a long stem to the leaves, found as opposing pairs

Ruellia:  The only North American Ruellia preceding Colden’s treatise is R. streptans, of Pennsylvania, which has a blue flower.  Fam: Acanthaceae.

153.  DIGITALIS. Spec. 1.

Perianthemum monophyllum, campanulatum, quinquedentatum; tribus superius: duobus inferius; persistens.

Monopetala campanulata.  Tubus magnus, patens, ventricosus; basi cylindracae arcta.  Limbus quinquefidus, expansus: laciniis semicircularibus: duobus superioribus concavis.

Filamenta quatuor, basi villosa, inferiori parte tubi inserta: duo breviora. 

Antherae didymae.

PIST.  Germen ovatum.  Stylus filiformis, staminibus longior.

PER.  Capsula ovalis, apice compressa, calyce amplexa, bilocularis.

SEM.  Plurima, parva

Caulis brachiatus, ramulis paucis ex alis foliorum.

Folia bina opposita, ovata, integra, vix petiolata.

Flores lutei, in spicis ramulorm terminalibus: singuli pedunculis brevibus ex alis foliorum minorum.


153.  DIGITALIS  Species 1

CAL.  Perianthemum leaf divided campanulate (bell-shaped), quinquedentatum [five-toothed/lobed], with three upper and two lower, continuous.

COR.  Monopetala campanulate [One ‘petal’, bell shaped]. Tube – widening greatly, with a ventricose base, cylindrical wheels. Lamina quinquefidus [5-part], expanded: semicircular lobes, with above two hollow.

STAM. Filaments four villous base, the lower part of the tube has been inserted into two shorter ones. Anthers Didymus.

PIST.  German oval. Style filiform, longer than the stamens.

Capsule oval, tip compressed calyx embraced bilocularis.

SEM. Much of a very small [seed]

Stem Branching, with few branches and few leaves coming out from the side. 

Leaves in pairs, opposing, each ovate and entire, with a very small stem or scarcely petiolate.

Flowers yellow, in terminal spikes of branches, each with short peduncles of leaves as smaller wings.


Digitalis [153]: ‘Flores lutei’ (yellow flowers) is atypical of Digitalis, but very common for several local species.  Flores ‘in spicis ramulorum terminalibus . . . ‘ confirms this (flowers in end spike and in small clusters with minorum axial leaves).  Subsequent descriptions of what Colden called Digitalis confirm these subsequent plants as being from another genus.  Although ‘laciniata’ foliage [154] is possible with Digitalis (genetic diversity), ‘Folia pinnitifida’ is not associated with true Digitalis and so further confirms the other possible genus identity.  The yellow flower, form of the flower and mistaken identification as Digitalis suggest as one possibility Rhinanthes minor (common name yellow rattle).  There are approximately 45 species of Rhinanthes, many with distinct ecological form or ecotypes for the plant, which may explain Colden’s collection of 3 different varieties.  Members of this genus are hemiparasitic and reseed as an annual.   Another possibility is the related Aureolaria species, esp. A. virginica, pedicularia or glauca.  According to the description for the third ‘Digitalis’ species provided by Colden, opposing lanceolate leaves suggests A. glauca.

154.  DIGITALIS. Species 2.

In omnibus cum priore convenit, nisi quod folia sent laciniata: sed dubito an revera sit diversa species


With all [of this plant’s observations] taken together with the preceding one, with the exception of the laciniate leaves I observed , I doubt whether this is in fact a different species.

Digitalis [154]: Probably Rhinanthus minor; see ‘Digitalis’ description above.

155.  DIGITALIS Species 3.

Caulis brachiatus, ramosus.

Folia pinnatifida, hoc est: opposite laciniata more pinnatarum: laciniae crenatae

In ceteris cum prioribus convenit.


Stem Brachiate (forking), branched.

Leaves pinnate, this is the opposite of [the plant with] a fringed, feathered fashion: Lacinia crenate

I rest, as per the previous statement/agreement made.

Digitalis [155]: Probably Rhinanthus minor; see ‘Digitalis’ description above.


ANONYMA Cruciformis.  [Unidentified cruciform]

CAL.  Perianthemum tetraphyllum: foliolis lanceolatis

COR.  Tetrapetala, cruciformis.  Petals calyce longiora, receptaculo floris inserta

STAM.  Filamenta sex, Antherae erectae.

PIST.  Germen – – – – Stylus unicus.


Causis simplex

Folio duo, opposita, petiolata, in medio caulis, laciniata, ternata

Flores in racemo caulis terminali


ANONYMOUS cruciform flower

CAL.  Perianthemum tetraphyllum: leaflets lanceolate

COR.  Tetrapetalous, cruciformis. Calyx longer petals, flower receptacle inserted

STAM.  Six filaments, anthers erect.

PIST. Germen —- Style [Stylus] unique.


Stem simple.

Folio [Leaf] seen as pairs, opposing, with petioles, emerging from the middle of a stem, fringed, as sub-alternates

Flowers in a terminal raceme stem

Anonyma [156]: Most likely Draba verna (later known as Whitlow’s grass).  A very small plant (<5″ height) with two simple leaves at the base [‘Folia duo’] and a series of small white flowers forming a brief raceme at the tip.  Lives about 4 to 6 weeks.


Erysimum:   Linn. hort. cliff. 337 note confirms.  Of European origin (?), an escapee from local gardens.

Erysimum siliquis scapo oppressis

Erysimum, scape pods crushed




158.  WALTHERIA Spec. 1.  Anagallis forte?

CAL.  Perianthemum plusquam semiquinquesidum; laciniis lanceolatis, patentibus

COR.  petala quinque, lanceolata, patentia

STAM.  Filamenta quinque, ad basin in cylindrum brevem coalitae

PIST.  Germen globulare.  Stylus unicus, persistens.  Stigma simplex.

PER.  Capsula globularis, unilocularis, apice aculeato transversim dehiscens

SEM.  duo vel tria, segmenta sphaerae, ante maturitatem cohaerentia

Caulis simplex

Folia quaterna, cruciatum posita, lanceolata

Flores singuli ex alis soliorum, pedunculis longis

OBS.  Decoctum hujus plante efficax esse in curando sudore sanguineo Vitulorum, The Bloody Murrein dicto, mibi narratum est.


158.  WALTHERIA Species 1.   Pimpernel (Anagallis) chance/lot?

CAL. Perianthemum semiquinquesidum more, lobes lanceolate, patent
five petals, lanceolate, spreading and

COR. Filaments five, at the base of the cylinder short, joined

STAM.  Germen spheroid or globular.  Style single, continuous. Stigma simple.

PER.  Capsule globularis, unilocularis tip stinging transversely dehiscent
two or three things, the segments of a sphere, associated with the before the ripeness

Stem simple

Leaves in four, cross-form, lanceolate

Flowers of each wing of the sun, with long peduncles

OBS.  Decoction of this plant is said to be effective in curing sweat bloody calf, known as The Bloody Murrain, as some have told me.

Waltheria [158]:  Colden asks whether or not this is akin to Anagallis (Linnean 1737/1753) or scarlet pimpernel, an introduced plant with red flowers.  Since there are three Waltheria species, I am inclined to believe this to be one or more of the already common local species related to Anagallis.  In modern taxonomic research, true Waltheria [Fam: Sterculiaceae] is a Madagascar, Taiwan, Malay genus, named for Prof. Walther of Leipsic.  A medicinal Waltheria was noted in southern N. Amer., ca. 1895  (W. Americana Lindl.) and W. glomerulata (yerba de solado) in trop. Amer. (a hemostatic).  The other Waltheria of the Americas is W. glomerulata Presl. which was documented much later.  Contemporary taxonomists note some species of Waltheria native to SW N. Amer.  The possibility that this is a native species in the New York area, since extinguished, appears unlikely.   Due to Colden’s apparent familiarity with many of the New Spain species, this may simply be a local flora version akin to the more southern plants, apparently then popular to Colden and others.  The color of the flower is strongly suggestive of this identification due to the medical use noted by Colden, a consequence of phytognomics (the red flowers).

MEDICINE.  A decoction of the plant is effective at curing “sudore sanguineo Vitulorum” (translated: ‘sweating blood…’ and ‘(re)vitalizing’?). 

Waltheria [159]:  see 158.

159.  WALTHERIA  Species 2.

Partes Fructificationis ut in priori.

Folia alterna, aliquando duo opposita, longa, angusta, glabra

Flores in spica caulis terminatrici.

160.  WALTHERIA Species 3.

Partes  Fructificationis, ut in prioribus, excepto quod Corollae Petala sint ovata, obtusa.

Caulis ramosus.

Folia bina opposita, lanceolata.

Flores in spicis ramulorum terminalibus.


159. WALTHERIA  Species 2.

Portions of fruit(ing section?) as in the first.

Leaves alternate, sometimes as opposing pairs, long, narrow, and glabrous (smooth)

Flowers in the ear stem terminatrici.

160. WALTHERIA Species 3.

The parts of fruit (fruiting section), as in the former, with the exception that the Corolla Petals are ovate, obtuse.

Stem branched.

Leaves in opposing pairs, lanceolate.

Flowers in terminal spikes of branches.

Waltheria [160]: see 158.



161.  GERANIUM noveboracense.

Folia radicalia circumscription circularia, profunde laciniata, petiolis longis insidentia: caulina duo opposita
Decoctum radicis hujus Plantae ad Dysenteriam nostratibus est in usu


161.  GERANIUM noveboracense.

Unique leaves, circularly edged, deeply fringed, and mounted on a long petiole, forming two opposing stems.

A decoction of the root of this plant is used to treat our dysentery.

Geranium:   The most common local geranium is G. maculatum.  The form of leaf for this plant bears resemblances to Colden’s description, although lobular quality of Colden’s described leaf samples seem less partitioned than expected.

MEDICINE.  The root, decocted, is used to treat Dysentery.



162.  MALVA caule repente, foliis cordato-orbiculatis, obsolete quinquelobis, Linn. Cliff. 347. Gron. Virg. 79.

MALLOW, with short stem, leaves cordate-orbicular, obsoletely (imperfectly or slightly off)  five lobed  Linn. Cliff. 347. Gron. Virg. 79.

Malva:  probably the exceptionally common Malva spp. (M. esculenta or rotundifolia), based on leaf-form.

House briefly names a number of Malva or mallows that were introduced from the Old World and since naturalized in North America.  The majority of Malva Family (Malvaceae) plants are of this type.  House lists the following as the most common introduced species:

  • High Mallow (Malva sylvestris Linnaeus)
  • Low, Dwarf, Running of Cheese Mallow (Malva rotundifolia Linnaeus)
  • Whorled or Curled Mallow (Malva verticillata Linnaeus)
  • Vervain Mallow (Malva alcea Linnaeus)




163.  POLYGALA foliis linearibus, capitulis subrotundis.  Gron. Virg. 80.

Caulis ramosus.

Florum capitula ramulorum terminalia

164.  POLYGALA noveboracensis.

CAL. Folia duo, ovata colorata, persistentia (Ale)

COR.  videtur monopetala, tubulata, sed ita exigua, ut partes distingui non possunt (Carina)

STAM. Et PIST. non distinguenda.

PER. Capsula ovata, compressa, bilocularis, lateraliter dehiscens.

SEM.  unicum, globulare, nigrum, in un aqueque loculo.

Caulis simplex, humilis, erectus, foliosus.

Folia alterna, sessilia, oblonga, integra: fibra unica longitudinali

Flores in capitulo caulis terminali

OBS.  Floret per totem astatem, dum flores inferiores decident, novi superiores perpetuo renascantur

Polygala [163]:  According to Paxton’s Botanical Dictionary, the following Polygala, found in North America prior to 1800, were documented about the same time: P. lutea (1739, yellow), P. purpurea (1739, purple), P. sanguinea (1739, rose), P. senega (1739, red-white), P. verticillata (1739, white).   Whether or not this species, with its fairly narrow (‘linearibus’) leaves when compared with P. senega, is a distinct species remains uncertain.  The following are the six native New York Polygala species reviewed by Homer D. House.

163.  POLYGALA foliis linearibus, capitulis subrotundis.  Gron. Virg. 80.

Caulis ramosus.

Florum capitula ramulorum terminalia

164.  POLYGALA noveboracensis.

CAL. Folia duo, ovata colorata, persistentia (Ale)

COR.  videtur monopetala, tubulata, sed ita exigua, ut partes distingui non possunt (Carina)

STAM. Et PIST. non distinguenda.

PER. Capsula ovata, compressa, bilocularis, lateraliter dehiscens.

SEM.  unicum, globulare, nigrum, in un aquoque loculo.

Caulis simplex, humilis, erectus, foliosus.

Folia alterna, sessilia, oblonga, integra: fibra unica longitudinali

Flores in capitulo caulis terminali

OBS.  Floret per totam astatem, dum flores inferiores decident, novi superiores perpetuo renascantur


163. POLYGALA leaves linear to roundish on top. Gron. Virg. 80.

Stem branched.

Flowers in heads, branching, at the ends

164. POLYGALA noveboracensis.

CAL. Two leaves, ovate colored area (wings)

COR. seems to monopetala, TUBULAR, but they are so small, so that the parts can not be distinguished (Carina)

STAM. ET PIST.  indistinguishable.

PER. Capsule ovate, compressed bilocularis, laterally dehiscent.

SEM. single, globular, black, in a [coffin-like aquoque pod, ‘aquoque coffin’].

Stem simple, humble, upright, leafy.

Leaves alternate, sessile, oblong, entire, possess a unique fiber along their length

Flowers in a terminal section of stem

OBS. Blooms throughout the summer.  As the flowers droop lower, newer ones are perpetually reborn higher up.

Polygala [164]:   Polygala senega.    MEDICINE.  This is probably the Seneca Snakeroot soonafter made famous by Colden’s daughter Jane and other botanists in the Pennsylvania-New York area.  However, Colden fails to mention any medicinal attributes in this particular writing.


165.  SOPHORA foliis ternatis.

Cytisus foliis sere sessibilus, calycibus squamula triplici auctis.  Gron. Virg. 82.  Hort. Cliff. 355.

Spartio affinis trifoliata ramosa.  Clayt. ibid.

Nostratibus.  Wild, Indigo

CAL.  Perianthium monophyllum, campanulatum, quadridentatum: dentibus tribus inferioribus minoribus: superiori majori

COR.  Papilionacea

Vexilum cordatum, marginibus reflexis.

Ale ovate

Carina compresta, prima expansione corollae integra, postea actem finditur in duo petala

STAM.  Filamenta decem, in carina more diadelpharum recondita, ad basin usque separate, non coalita

PIST.  Germen ovale

PER.  Legumen sphaeroideum, inflatum, bivalve

SEM.  aliquot, reniformis

Caulis ramosissimus

Folia terna, cuneiformia, succulenta, glabra. integra, sessilia, parva

Flores lutei in racemis ramulorum terminalibus

OBS.  hac planta (me judice) est diverso a Cystisa genere Description D. Clayton huic congruit. (est Sophora Linnaeus) Plures (qui plantam Indigophoram in Insulis Americanus viderant) mihi affirmavere haue candem in omnibus esse, sed Botanici non erant. (est tamen genere diverse.  Linnaeus)



165.  SOPHORA foliis ternatis (Sophora subalternate leaves).

Clover leaf leather sessibilus, calyx SCALE increased threefold.

Trifoliata listings affine branching.

Our Wild Indigo.

CAL.  Perianth leaf divided campanulate, quadridentatum: three lower teeth smaller, higher major

COR.  papilionaceous

Standard cordate, margins reflexed

Ale (wings) ovate

Carina compresed, at first the expansion of corolla is intact, but later splits into two petals 

STAM.  Filaments ten, shaped like a keel (diadelpharum), kept at the base of the separator, not attached

 PIST.  Germen oval

 PER.  Legume pod sphaeroid, swollen, bivalvular

 SEM.  aliquot, reniformis

 Stem ramosissimus (many branches/branchlets)

leaves three cuneiformia, JUICY, glabrous. entire, sessile, small

yellow flower clusters in the terminal branches

this plant (I judge) is different from the Cystisa genera Description [which] D. Clayton agrees to.  (Sophora is Linnaeus’s [name for it])  Others (who have seen the American [Indigo] plant in the island Indigophoram) affirmed my compassion [. . . ]is all white, but they were not botanists. (It is, however, a different class[, according to]. Linnaeus)

Sophora:  A common name for this plant according to Colden is Wild Indigo.  Possibly a Cystisus, as noted by Gron. virg. and in Colden’s ‘OBS.’ section notes.  A number of Legumes served as Indigo sources.  Yellow flowers with cuneiform, succulent, smooth, sessile leaves also suggest Cytisus, esp. C. scoparius.  Clayton’s identity (Spartio sp.) notes trifoliate leaf form.  The sphaeroid, inflating legume seed pod suggests a possible association: when matured, Cytisus pods “pop” in the sun during warm days because of their exceptionally dark purple to black color.

166.  HEDYSARUM Species 1.

CAL.  Perianthemum minimum, quadrangulare.

COR. Papilionacea

Vexillum circulare, erectum. Ale ovate Carina integra

STAM et PIS. ut in Leguminosis

PER. Legumen compressum, articulatum, ex articulis semicircularibus & ad fibram dorsalem usque sissis consistens.


Caulus ad altitudinem pedalem vel majorem assurgie nudus, ubi sit foliosis; iterum extenditur nudus, versus summitatem emittit ramulos aliquot alternos, qui sustinent flores in racemis.

Folia ternata, ovata, paululum versus petiolum cordatum, acuminata, integram petiolata: petiolis longis ad basin nodosis.

Radix perennis.


166.  HEDYSARUM Species 1.

CAL.  Perianthemum small, quadrangular.

COR. papilionaceous

Vexillum. circular, erect.
Ale.  wings ovate
Carina. keel intact

STAM et PIST. as in Legumes 

PER. Legume compressed, articulate, from the joints and the semicircular fiber dorsal consisting until high tide.


Stems rise to a height of a foot or more naked, where leafy again extending naked, towards the top [are] of a number of alternating branches sent out that bear flowers in clusters.

Ranging from Subalternate, ovate leaves, to petiolar, cordate, acuminate, entire petiolate, with long petiole base, to knotty.

Root is Perennial.

Hedysarum [166]:


CAL. Perianthemum quadrisidum: lacinii lanceolatis, quorum una superius; tres inferius.

COR. Papilionacea

Vexillum circulare, erectum, duobus punctis ovatis albis prope unguem notatum.

Ale carinam amplectantur

Carina longa, bifida, ungue angusta ut in Leguminosis

PER. Legumen longum, compressum, articulatum


Caulis simplex foliosus.

Folia alterna, ternata, petiolata, lanceolata, scabra, integra

Flores rubro-purpurei, in spica caulis terminali; aliquando plures spicae ex alis foliorum ad summicem caulis, integra


CAL.  Perianthemum quadrisidum, lobes lanceolate, which one is superior to the three below.

COR. papilionaceous

Vexillum.  circular, erect, ovate, white, almost two points marked fingertips.

Ale. embraces keel wings

Carina.  Keel long, split in two, claw narrow

as in Leguminosa

PER.  Legume pod long, compressed, articulate


Stem simple, leafy.
Leaves alternate, subalternate, petiolate, lanceolate, scabrous, entire
Flowers reddish-purple in the ear stem terminal, and sometimes leaves the wings of several spike [summicem-unid] stalk intact

Hedysarum [167]:


168.  LUPINUS novaboracensis.

CAL.  Perianthium bifidum: superius segmentum cavum, coloratum: inferius lanceolatum.

COR. papilionacea

STAM.  Filamenta omnia ad basin in membranum

Germen tegentum coalaea.  Antherarum quatuor longiores: ceterae breviores minores.

Caulis scepe ramosus: ramulus ex alis foliorum.

Folia alterna, petiolis longis insidentia.  Petiolus centro folii intercus.  Folium circumscriptione circulare, in lobos 6,7,8,vel 9, ad petiolum usque divisum: Lobis ovato-oblongis versus centrum angustiores.

Flores caerulaei in spica caulis terminali.


168.  LUPINUS novaboracensis [New York Lupine]

CAL. Perianth bifid: upper segment depression, colored, elongated below.

COR. papilionaceous

STAM. Filaments at the base of all the films

German coalaea [cover?] screened.  Anthers four longer, while the rest are shorter or smaller.

Stems often branched: Leaves spraying out like wings.

Leaves alternate, with long petioles stagnant. Petiole for leaf in the center. [Entire] Leaf boundary is circular, [with] 6,7,8 or 9 lobes, the petiole still divided, lobes are ovate-oblong, tapering towards the center.

Blue flowers in the ear stem terminal


169.  DALEA  Hort. Cliff.

CAL.  Perianthium monophyllum, laciniis acutis, longis, florem & fructum sere tegentibus.

COR. Papilionacea.

PER.  Legumen compressum, acutum, bivalve, uniloculare.

SEM.  unicum, ovatum, compressum, rubrum, nitidum

Caulis erectus, simplex, lanugine rectus

Folia alterna, ternata, ovata, integra, petiolata

Flores in spicis densis, brevibus, ex alis foliorum

OBS Planta annua fl.


169.  DALEA  Hort. Cliff.

CAL.  Perianth leaf divided lobes acute, long, flower and fruit leather covering.

COR.  Papilionaceous.

PER. Legume compressed, sharp, bivalve, uniloculare (one segment/section).

SEM. a single, ovate, compressed, red and shiny, reflective

Stem erect, simple, upright, with down

Leaves alternate, subalternate, ovate, entire, petiolate

Flowers in dense spikes, short skirts of leaves

OBS Plant is an annual flowerer.

Dalea:  Perhaps an escapee of Dalea aurea or D. alopecuroides, two southern North American varieties of the Indigo Bush found in colonies adjancet to the Gulf of Mexico.  Dalea is an annual plant.  Its indigo was fairly common in Colonial dye industry and trade.  Traditionally, the colonies relied heavily upon the Carribean to produce their much needed supplies of Indigo, but it is possible that local gardens were trying to develop a local crop as well.  If such were the case, this Dalea is an accidental replant.  Although there are several other possible genera similar to Dalea, none are native to North America.



170.  HYPERICUM floribus trigynus, caule fruti coso brachiato, foliis lanceolatis.  Gron. Virg.  88.

COROLLA pentapetala

STAMINA as basin separata vel vix coalita, atramen plura videntur ex codem puncto oriri, & ad basin adhaerere inter se.

Folia bina, opposita, integerrima.

Flores in racemis erectis ramulorum terminatricibus

171.  HYPERICUM pusillum, floribus trigynis, caule herbacea, foliis ovata-lanceolatis.

Hae in omnibus cum priori convenit, exceptis mollitie & teneritudine caulis, & quod sit multo humilior.

Hae differentia non solo attribuenda, nam amebas in eodem solo crescentes observati.

172.  HYPERICUM floribus trigynis, caule fruticoso brachiato, foliis ovato-lanceolatis.  Gron. Virg.  88.

Staminum Filamenta plurima longitudinis sere corollae sed quod basi coalita sunt in quinque distincta corpora certe observare non licuit.

Petala margine exteriori punctis nigris hotata

OBS.  Est eadem species numeri 170


170. HYPERICUM floribus trigynus, caule fruti coso brachiato, foliis lanceolatis. Gron. Virg. 88.

COROLLA  pentapetalous

STAMINA  as a separate base or barely inborn, with (I see) many of the same points of ink, adhering to the base of each.

Leaves two, opposites, high up on stem.

Flowers in clusters of branches, erect, at top of plant

171. HYPERICUM pusillum, floribus trigynis, caule herbacea, foliis ovata-lanceolatis (Hypericum little flowers trigynis stem herbage, leaves ovate-lanceolate.)

These and the previous one are similar, with the exception of the softness and tenderness of a stem, and that it is much lower growing.

Recomposed from “These differences can not be attributed solely, for both in the same soil, the observed increasing.” [These differences can not be attributed solely to the soil, for this observed species is larger in the same soil.]

172. HYPERICUM floribus trigynis, caule fruticoso brachiato, foliis ovato-lanceolatis (Hypericum flowers trigynis stem bushy arms, leaves ovate-lanceolate) Gron. Virg. 88.

Stamen filaments very long leather base Corolla but that are inborn in five distinct bodies certainly was not allowed to observe.

Petals black outer margin points [hotata?]

OBS. There is the same kind of number 170

Hypericum [170]:  Although these Hypericums are possibly the same plant, with different representations, the chief identifying features are best noted in 172.  Probably Hypericum perforatum.

Hypericum [171]:   see 170.

Hypericum [172]:   see 170.

Prenanthes [173]:




173.  PRENANTHES flosculis plurimus, foliis hastatis, angulatis.  Linn. cliff. 383.  Gron. Virg. 89.

CAL. communis auctus, cylindraceus, glaber, ore patulo, squamis circiter octe aequalibus cylindri, ad quorum basin squamulae breves acuminatae.

COR.  propria ligulata , truncata, quinque dentata.

PIST.  longissima, nigricantia.

SEM.  solitaria, oblonga, pilis fuscis coronata.

REC.  nudum.

Caulis simplex, praealtus.

Flores spicatum positi,  nutantes, dilute lutei.

Folia hastata, angulata.

Succo lacteo abundat.


173.  PRENANTHES flosculis plurimus, foliis hastatis, angulatis.  Linn. cliff. 383.  Gron. Virg. 89.

CAL.  common growth, cylindrical specimen, mouth gaping, scales approximately equal bytes cylinder whose base little scales short acuminate.

 COR. proper ligulate, mutilated, and five teeth.

 PIST. tall, blackened.

SEM. solitary, oblong, brown hair crowned.

REC. naked.

Stem simple, very deep.

Flowers pointed, wavering, pale yellow.

Leaves Spear-shaped, angulated.

Milky sap abounds.


174.  HIERACIUM Species 1.

CAL.  communis pyramidale, imbricatus, squamulis lanceolatis: intimis longissimus.

COR. propia ligulata, ovata.

PIST. brevia.

SEM. nigra, compressa, ovata, coronata stylo pappum sustinente.

Folia pinnato-hastata, alterna.

OBS.  Haec communi facie priori non absimilis.


174.  HIERACIUM Species 1.

CAL.  common pyramidal imbricate, scalar lanceolate: [closely packed], long.

COR. [] ligulate, ovate.

PIST. writs.

SEM. black, compressed, ovate, crown stylus with sustaining pappus.

Leaves pinnate-line, alternating.

OBS. This is not unlike that of the common presence of the former.

Prenanthes:  Referred to as Rattlesnake Root, Brooklyn Botanical Garden notes 5 species in the New York City area, differentiated by flower color and leaf form.  The species noted by Colden remains uncertain.  The most popular species, Prenanthes alba, was possibly made popular due to its use as a medicine by the Iroquois (Herrick, James William 1977 Iroquois Medical Botany. State University of New York, Albany, PhD Thesis, p. 478-9).

Order of figures that follow: P. trifoliata (Homer D. House. 1918. Wildflowers of New York, The University of the State of New York, 1918);  P. alba distribution map, USDA website; P. alba illustration (Britton and Brown, 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. Vol. 3: 335.)  For P. trifoliata, see also http://nymf.bbg.org/profile_genus.asp?id=3422); the USDA plants identification website has P. alba at http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PRAL2; New York Natural Plant heritage notes: http://www.acris.nynhp.org/guide.php?id=8799.


Hieracium [174]:

175.  HIERACIUM.  Species 2.

CAL. cylindricus ex squamis linearibus, ad basin paucis aliis brevioribus.

COR.  imbricata, hermaphrodita, ligulata, quinquedentata.

SEM. nigra, pappo simplici, coronata.

Caulis nudus, gracilis, ramosus.

Folia radicalia cuneiformis, venis sanguineis notata.

Flora lutei.

Succus lactens.


175.  HIERACIUM. Species 2.

CAL.  scales of the cylindrical linear, shorter than at the base of a few others.

 COR. imbricate, bisexual, ligulate, quinquedentata.

SEM. black, the EAT simple, as a crown.

Stem naked, slender, branched.

Cuneiform radical leaves, red veins.

Yellow flower.

Sap milky.


176.  HIERACIUM.  Species 3.

CAL.  communis imbricatur, cylindricus, inferne ventricosus

COR.  propia monopetala, ligulata, truncata, quinquedentata, hermaphrodita.

SEM.  cylindrica, compressa, nigra, pappo piloso coronata.

REC.  nudum, punctatum.

Caulis foliosus.

Folia alterna, ovata, sessilia, dentata: dentibus parvis distantibus.


176.  HIERACIUM.  Species 3.

CAL.  common, imbricate, cylindrical, ventricose below

COR. monopetala own, ligulate, mutilated, five-part (five-toothed), bisexual.

SEM. cylindrical, compressed, black, crown-shaped hairs (pilose).

REC. naked, spotted.

Stem leafy.

Leaves alternate, ovate, sessile, toothed: teeth are small, distinct and separate.

Hieracium [175]:  Contemporary name-hawkweed; both yellow and red varieties are noted and commonly grown in gardens.  The leaf has a distinguished hairy or bristly surface.  The flower stem is approximately twice as tall as that of Dandelion, and bears a similar flower appearance although significantly smaller and more disc-like.  This first species has distinguishing red veins in the leaves, and yellow flowerheads.

Hieracium [176]:  The oval, mildly dentate form of the leaves and their simple form suggests the true Leontodon, which lacks the pilious  (bristly) surface, although this possible identification remains uncertain.


177.  LEONTODON sive Dens leonis vulgaris.  OBS.  Dubito an haec planta revera sit Indigenes nam nullibus observavi crescentum, nisi locis cultus, idcirco suspicar semina cius advecta suisse ex Europa, cum aliis graminum seminibus.

Dubito an haec planta revera sit Indigena nam nullibus observavi crescentum, nisi locis cultus, idcirco suspicar semina cius advecta fuisse ex Europa, cum aliis graminum seminibus.


177.  LEONTODON sive Dens leonis vulgaris.

I doubt that this plant is really in need of explanation.  It is not observed growing except in places of cultivation, with greater reason to suspect the seeds were imported from Europe, along with other grass seeds.

Leontodon [177]:  Probably Taraxacum officinalis, the true Dandelion. There is uncertainty regarding Colden’s awareness of both Leontodon (False Dandelion) and Taraxacum (Dandelion).  Their resemblances are superficial and related to the similar leaf pattern at the based on a flowering stalk bearing the well-known yellowing flowerhead consisting of multiple florets.  Unfortunately, a detailed description of this plant was not given by Colden.  Colden doubts its uses or reverence, if persent, were traditional to local Indigenous culture, and he suggests that this plant was introduced from Europe by way of transplanted seeds, ‘[which look] like an allied grass seed’.



CAL.  communis imbricatus, cylindricus: squamis caudatis: cauda longa, lineari, molli.

COR.  composita, rubulosa; uniformis:  Corollulae hermaphroditae aequales: Propria monopetala, infundibuliformis: limbus quiquefido.

STAM.  Antherae in cylindrum coalitae, extra corollam extensum, ad unum latus corollae declinatum.

PIST.  Germen cylindricum.  Stylus unicus.  Stigma bifidum, laciniis reflexis.

SEM.  cylindrica, angulosa, longa, dense compacta, pilis longis coronara.

REC.  nudum, punctatum.

Caulis altus, foliosis, ad summitatem ramosus: ramulis ex alis foliorum.

Folia alterna, elliptica, utrinque acuminata, longa, serrata: denticulus acutis parvis, petiolis brevibus.

Flores ramulorum terminales, rubro-purpurei.



CAL.  common imbricate cylinder scales and caudate, with a long tail, linear, soft.

 COR. reddish composite ; uniform Corollule bisexual equal monopetala specialties, funnel: quiquefid edging.

 STAM. Anthers merged together as cylinder, extending beyond the corolla, declining to one side of the corolla.

 PIST. Germen cylinder. Style unique. Stigma bifid, lobes reflexed.

SEM. cylindrical, angular, long, densely compact, long hair for the crown.

 REC. bare, dotted.

Stem tall, leafy, branched at the top, on the wings of the small branches of leaves.

Leaves alternate, elliptic, pointed at each, long, serrate, dentil acute small, with short petioles.

Flowers terminal branches, reddish-purple.

Serratula:  Either Dyer’s Plumeless Sawtooth (Serratula tinctoria) or a local Swamp thistle (Cirsium palustre).   The latter has another Thistle or Cirsium species identified by Colden, suggesting this is possibly Serratula, as Colden noted.   Colden’s familiarity with this herb common to English gardens is a strong possibility, instead of a mistaken identification based on the similarity of certain local thistle species to Serratula.


179.  CARDUUS foliis laciniatis spinis rigidis armatis, capite magno singulari.

Latin translation of species: CARDUUS with leaves fringed, spines, stiff-armed, large singular flowerhead.

Carduus:  Thistles were of two major forms: Cirsium, which is the traditional thistle common to North America, with those in the New York region bearing a fairly thin, flexible and unwaxed leaf surface riddled with very thin bristles, ranging from very short (>1/4″) to very long (>1″).  The flowerheads of Cirsium are typically white to purple, but more often leaning towards the latter.  Carduus is the European thistle genus, distinguished from the American genus by its much larger, almost succulent or crisp (lettuce-like) leaves, with sizeable thistles (twice as large as Cirsium), that are often fewer in density and number.  The overall plant is much larger, in terms of overall size of plant, thickness of stem, and flowerhead.  Introduced to the New World, this plant might not have escaped as aggressively as it did in warmer parts of North America during later decades and centuries.  This means that the genus for Colden’s Thistle, as it would be accepted by today’s taxonomic standards, is most likely Cirsium.  The number of species of Cirsium in New York is considerable.  The larger headed thistle is the most likely species he is referring to. [The more common smaller head Cirsium, Canada thistle (C. canadensis) is a nuisance plant.]


180.  EUPATORJUM foliis verticillatis.

CAL.  communis cylindricus, imbricatus, parvus, squamis paucis coloraris: exterioribus & inferioribus ovatis: interioribus longioribus lanceolatis.

COR.. composita uniformis, tubulosa, ex paucis corollolis consistens.  Propria infundibuliformis, dilute purpurea.

SEM.  teretia, nigra, pilis coronara.

Folia petiolata, lanceolata, rugosa, serrata, verticillatim posita, sex in uno verticillo, aliquando quatuor vel quinque.

OBS.  Andivi indigenas uti Decocto radicum hujus plante in curanda lue venera.  Crescit in humidis.


180.  EUPATORJUM foliis verticillatis.

CAL.  common, cylindrical imbricate, small, with a few colored scales, and lower outer ovate, with inner longer parts lanceolate.

COR. composed of uniform, tubular, consisting of a few corollolis. It is funnel shaped and pale purple.

SEM. round, black, or hair crown.

Leaves petiolate, lanceolate, wrinkled, serrate verticillate, placed as one with six narrow parts, sometimes four or five.

OBS. Used by Andes natives as a Decoction for curing Lues Venera (VD), by boiling the root. It grows in humid or damp settings.

Eupatorium:  The two most commonly cited Eupatorium species in New York are E. purpureum and E. perfoliatum.   A number of less frequently observed species can be found in similar habitats in New York, which were typically not considered medicinal well into the 19th century.  The desciption of  ’rugosa’ flowers grouped in ‘umbella’ along the stem suggest E. purpureum.  According to Paxton’s Botanical Dictionary, the North America Eupatorium species that were documented prior to 1800 were described in the following order: E. ageratoides (1640, white flowered), A. rotundifolium (1640, white), E. maculatum (1656, purple), E. hyssopifolium (1699, white), E. perfoliatum (1699, white), E. rotundifolium (1699, white),  E. sessilifolium (1777, white), E. aromaticum (1789, white).

MEDICINE.  Indigenous use is a decoction of the root of the plant used to cure lues venera (gonorrhea).

181.  EUPATORIUM foliis connatis.  Hort Cliff. 396.  Gron. virg. 177.

Eupatorium perfoliatum aquaticum.  Clayt. Gron. virg.  94.

Caulis simplex, praealtus, perfoliatus.

Folia bina opposita, in umum ad basin coalita, rugosa, longa, lanceolata, dentata.

Flores albi, ad summitatem caulis, quasi in umbella.

Crescit in madidus & aquosis


181.  EUPATORIUM foliis connatis.  Hort Cliff. 396.  Gron. virg. 177.

Stem simple, very deep perfoliate.

Leaves a pair of opposites, in one at the base of his inborn, wrinkled, long, lanceolate, toothed.

Flowers white, to the top of the stem, as it were, in the umbel.

It grows in wet and wet

Eupatorium [181]:   The description of the leaves of this plant suggests E. perfoliatum, which became a very popular fever remedy during the early 19th century yellow and “breakbone” fever epidemics.

The following are four important species of Eupatorium noted by Homer D. House.

182.  EUPATORIUM caule colubili, foliis cordatis acutis dentatis.  Hort. Cliff. 396.  Gron. Virg. 93.

Caulis late scandi.

Folia bina opposita, cordata, mucronata, crenata, petiolis longis.

Flores albicantes, odorti, in racemis unblelatis pedunculo longo ex alis foliorum sustentatis.

Faciem gerit Clematidis, exceptis partibus fructificationis.


182.  EUPATORIUM caule colubili, foliis cordatis acutis dentatis.  Hort. Cliff. 396.  Gron. Virg. 93.

Stem wide, scaled.

Leaves of two opposite, cordate, mucronate, crenate, with long petioles.

Flowers whitish, odor, in the wings of the leaf clusters unblelatis (sp?) peduncle long supported.

The appearance resembles Clematidis, except for the parts bearing fruit.

Eupatorium [182]: ‘bini opposita’ suggests paired leaves opposing each other about the stem.  A quadrifolium form occurs occasionally in the marshlands of Dutchess County.  The note regarding cordate leaves suggests official identification is E. rotundifolium.


183.  BIDENS aquatica humilior.  Clayt. Gron. Virg. 94.

CAL.  Involucrum ex 14. circiter foliis longis lanceolatis, inter quod ordo squamarum membranacearum ovatarum.

COR.  Composita, uniformis, tubulosa.

SEM.  lata, angulata, duabus paleis coronata.

REC.  planum, paleis deciduis instructum.

Folia quinata, pinnata, lanceolata, serrata, impati reliquis majore costam terminante.

In aquosis.


183.  BIDENS aquatica humilior.  Clayt. Gron. Virg. 94.

CAL.  Enveloped by about 14 long lanceolate leaves, layered among membranous oval scales .

COR. Compounds, uniform, tubular.

SEM. broad, angular, two straw wreath.

 REC.  flat, covered by chaff, deciduous.

Five-part (Quinate) Leaves, pinnate, lanceolate, serrate, with a odd major rib/vein terminating.

In watery places.

Bidens [183]:  Tick Trefoils.  These plants common to swampy fields are known very well for the tendency of their black seeds, bearing two hooked prongs, to latch onto clothing.

184.  BIDEN Species 2.

CAL. Involucrum ex octo circiter foliis lanceolatis.

SEM.  coronata, paleis tribus, media breviori.

Folia bina opposita, lanceolata, sessilis, glabra, dentata.


184.  BIDEN Species 2.

CAL.  Envelope of about eight lanceolate leaves .

SEM. crowned, three straw (threesome parts?), half shorter [than the rest].

Paired leaves ,opposing, lanceolate, sessile, glabrous, toothed.

Bidens [184]: another sample or species of 183.


185.  GNAPHALIUM americanum.

CAL.  communis rotundatus: squamulis ovatis, coloratis, albis, superne laxioribus.

COR.  composita.  Corollulae hermaphrodite tubulosae, luteae, femininis apetalis mixtae.

SEM.  coronata Pappo capillari

Caulis tomentosus, ramosus

Folia lanceolata, longa, sessilia, alterna.

Flores corymbosa supra decompositi, sessiles, conferti, diu odorem retinentes, & colorem album squamorum calycius.

OBS.  Ni fallor bis floret codem anua, Vere sc. & autumn.


185.  GNAPHALIUM americanum.

CAL. commonly rounded: with ovate scales, colored, white, with top more lax (bent over).

COR. composites. Corollulae bisexual tubular, yellow, female apetalis, mixed.

SEM. crowned Pappus capillary

Stem tomentose, branched

Leaves lanceolate, long, sessile, alternate.

Flowers corymbose, very complex, sessile, crowded, long, retaining an aroma and colored by white scales on the calyx.

OBS. Unless I am mistaken the same blooms twice a year, Spring and Autumn.

Gnaphalium:  Note the following portions of Colden’s description: ‘CAL . . . albus . . . Flores . . . colorum album.’   A. B. Lyons Plant Names . . . (Detroit, 1900) notes G. obtusifolium (G. polycephalum Michx) as possible identity, which was then known as White or Field Balsam.  Paxton’s Botanical Dictionary does not identify a white flowering North American species.



186.  SOLIDAGO corymbosa prima.

Folia oblonga, angusta, acuta, integra, glabra, sessilia, fibra unica longitudinali.

Flores aurei in umbellae formam dispositi.


186.  SOLIDAGO corymbosa prima.

Leaves oblong, narrow, acute, entire, glabrous, sessile, single fiber longitudinally.

 Flowers Golden, in umbels form, [posting].

187.  SOLIDAGO corymbosa, foliis latis ovatis sessilibus integris alternatis.

[SOLIDAGO corymbose (comb-like), with leaves broad, ovate, sessile, entire, alternate]

Flores aurei.

Flowers Golden

188.  SOLIDAGO panniculato-corymbosa, racemia reflexis, floribus consertis adscendentibus.  Hort. Cliff. 409. Gron. Virg. 97.

Nostratibus Golden-Rod

Petala radii non dentata, sed ovata

Folia alterna, glabra, longa, integra, acuminata, versus caulem angustiora, sessilia, fibra unica longitudinali simplici.

Flores aurei.


188.  [SOLIDAGO panniculate-to-corymbose, with clustered twisted flowers, flowers joining and ascending.]

Our [Common] Name: Golden-Rod

Petals toothed rays, but ovate

Leaves alternate, glabrous, long, entire, acuminate, narrowing toward the stem, sessile, single fiber longitudinally simple.

Golden Flowers.

Solidago [186]:

Solidago [187]:

Solidago [188]:


189.  SOLIDAGO paniculato-corymbosa, racemis reflexis, floribus consertis adscendentibus.  Spec. 2

Folia lanceolata, serrata, scabra, sessilia fibra longitudinal ramulos laterales emittente.

Flores aurei.


189.  SOLIDAGO paniculate-corymbose, with twisted flowers joining ascending. Species 2.

Leaves lanceolate, serrate, scabrous, sessile, longitudinal fiber, with lateral branches emitted.

Flowers Golden


190.  SOLIDAGO  paniculato-corymbosa, racemis reflexis, floribus consertis adscendentibus, Spec. 3.

Folia alterna, glabra, elliptica, tribus nervis longitudinalibus.

Flores aurei.  Scrius flores.


190.  SOLIDAGO  paniculato-corymbosa, racemis reflexis, floribus consertis adscendentibus, Spec. 3.

Leaves alternate, glabrous, elliptical, three longitudinal nerves.

Golden Flowers. Abundant flowers.


191.  SOLIDAGO spicata.

Scapus emittit ramulos alternos, dense sitos, inferiores longiores, conum efformantes.

Folia angusta, longa, sessilia, integra, parum hirsuta, fibra unica longitudinali, simplici.

Flores albi, in ramulis spicatim dispositi.

Odor aromaticus cum reliquis Solidaginis speciebus.


191.  SOLIDAGO pointed.

Scape emits alternating branches, densely located, lower longer, forming a cone.

Leaves narrow, long, sessile, entire, slightly hairy, longitudinally fiber single, simple.

Flowers white, disposed in ramular branchlets at the tips.

Aromatic odor, like the other Solidago species.


192. SOLIDAGO floribus in racemis ex foliorum alis.

Folia inferiora observe elliptica, lata, serrata; superiora lanceolata, minima.

Flores quaterni vel plures ex uno brevi pedunculo, spicatum dispositi; florum radii albi: disci pallide lutei.


192.  SOLIDAGO with flowers in clusters of leaves, from the wings.

Lower leaves observed as elliptical, wide, serrate; the upper leaves are smaller and lanceolate.

The flowers have four or more of single short peduncles, with a point (spike) of  flowers, rays white: with pale yellow disk


Solidago [189]:

Solidago [190]:

Solidago [191]:

Solidago [192]:


193.  ASTER Species 1.

CAL.  communis haemisphaericus, imbricatus, squamis apice prominentibus.

COR.  Composita, radiata.  Radii ligulata, ovata, longa, alba.  Disci tubulata, lutea.

SEM.  ovata, acuminata, compressa, pappo simplici coronata.

REC.  nudum, puncttum.

Caulis lignosus, rubens.

Folia alterna, obverse elliptica, utrinque acuminata, vix petiolata, integra.

Flores ramulorum terminales.


193.  ASTER Species 1.

CAL.  common hemispherical, imbricate scales tip protruding.

 COR. Compound, radiate.  Radii ligulate, ovate, long, white.  Disci tubular, yellow.

SEM. ovate, acuminate, compressed, simple EAT crowned.

REC. Naked, spotted.

Stem woody, blushing.

Leaves alternate, elliptical obverse, on both sides, acuminate, scarcely petiolate, entire.

Flowers terminal branches.


194.  ASTER foliis lanceolatis semiamplexicaulibus creatis, ramulis unifloris foliosis.  Gron Virg. 99.

ASTER leaves lanceolate, semiamplexicaulibus created, branching unifloris foliaceous


195.  ASTER species 3.

Caulis ramosus; ramuli plures flores sustenent ex alis foliorum singulos.

Folia lanceolata, sessilia.

Petala radii alba; disci purpurea.


Stem branched frond more flowers sustenent wings of each of the leaves.

Leaves lanceolate, sessile.

Petals rays white disk with a purple.


196.  ASTER floribus corymbosis (saepe singularibus), caule foliosos.

?  Aster floribus terminatricibus solitariis, foliis linearibus alternis.  Gron. virg. 98.?

Folia alterna, oblonga, obtusa, angusta, rigida.

Caulis aliquando simplex solitario flore; aliquando ramosus, ramulis erectis, flore unico ramulos terminante; aliquando ramuli brevissimi, ut corymbosa videatur.

OBS.  Omnes has variationes hujus speciei, in eodem solo simul crescentes observavi.  Ergo Character differentialis cujus libei speciei nom te mere assumendus, nisi inspectis pluribus ejusdem species plantis.


196. ASTER corymbose flowers (often singular), leafy stem

? ASTER flowers terminating solitarily, alternate linear leaves  Gron. Virg. 98?

Leaves alternate, oblong, obtuse, narrow, rigid.

Stem a single solitary flower, sometimes branched, branches erect, single flower branch terminating, sometimes see shortest branchings to corymbose.

OBS. With more observations, all the variations of this species [may be found] in the same soil at the same time. Therefore, the differential characters of the species is not to be taken lightly, but only after considering a number of species of plants.


197.  ASTER noveboracensis Hermanni.  Herm. lugdb.

CAL.  communis cylindricus, imbricatus squamulis arcte incumbentibus; interioribus per gradus longioribus.

COR.  composita, radiata; Corollule numerosae: hermaphrodite in disco: femininae ligulatae plures in radio:

Propria hermaphrodite, infundibiliformis, purpurea.

Feminina ligulata, oblongo-ovata, integra, caerulea.

Cetera, ut a Linneao descripta.

Caulis ramosissimus: Ramuli alterni ex foliorum alis, floribus singularibus terminati.

Folia altern, sessilia, semiamplexicaulia, lanceolata, integra, glabra.

Florum pedunculi foliosi, sunt scilicer extremicates ramulorum.  September flores.


197.  ASTER noveboracensis Hermanni.  Herm. lugdb.

CAL.  common cylindrical, tightly fullonum SCALE drawing interior gradually longer.

 COR. composites, radiate; Corollule numerous: bisexual in a dish, the more feminine ligulate ray:

Personal bisexual, infundibiliformis, purple.

Female ligulate, oblong-ovate, entire, dark blue.

All other [appearances], like those from descriptions by Linneaus .

Stem ramosissimus: branchlets alternate wings of leaves, flowers, individual limited.

Leaves alternate, sessile, semiamplexicaulis, lanceolate, entire, glabrous.

Flowers leafy peduncles, and are clearly extremely branched. September flowers.


198.  ASTER: species 6.

Flores minores prior, per longitudinem ramulorum crescents, pedunculis foliosis, frequences Radio albo, Disco purpurea

Folia lanceolata, sessilia


198.  ASTER: species 6.

Flowers less than the first, by increasing the length of branches, peduncles foliaceous, radio frequency, white, purple disc

Leaves lanceolate, sessile


199.  ANTHEMIS noveboracensis.

? Buphthalmum florum discis ovatis, caule ramoso, foliis duplicato-pinnatis linearibus.  Gram.  Virg.  101 ?

? Cotula foetida vulgaris. Clayt. ibid.

CAL.  communis haemisphaericus: squamulis linearibus, sere at qualibus.

COR.  Composita radiata.  Corrolule hermaphrodite tubulosae, numerosae, lutea, in disco convexo; femineae ligulatae in radio

Propriae hermaphrodite infundibuliformis: limbo quinquedentato, reflexo.

feminae ligulatae, ovatae, integre, albae.

STAM. et. PIST.  ut hujus classis.

SEM.  ovata, solitaria, nuda.

REC.  conicum, paleis linearibus instructum.

Caulis ramosus.

Folia duplicato-pinnata, linearia.

OBS.  Odor non ingratus.  Herba hac Nostrates feliciter utuntur in Cataplasmate vel Suffimento ad discutiendas Contusiones & Suffusiones.

Genera in hac classe ad methodum distinguere mihi difficillimum est.


199.  ANTHEMIS noveboracensis. [New York Anthemis]

Buphthalmum ovate disc flowers, branching stem, double-pinnate leaves linear

Cotula smelly, common

CAL.  common hemispherical: SCALE linear, and such as the leather.

COR. Compounds radiate. Corrolule bisexual tubular, numerous, yellow, the disc convex, female ligulate in radio

Proper bisexual funnel: quinquedentato limb, reflex.

female ligulate, ovate, wholly, are white.

STAM. et PIST.  [like others] in this class.

SEM. ovate, solitary, naked.

Rec. conical, linear equipped with chaff.

Stem branched.

Double-pinnate leaves, linear.

OBS. The smell is not unpleasant. Our success with this herb, used in poultices or incense to disperse bruises & Suffusiones.

The method to distinguishing members in this class is very difficult .


200.  ACHILLEA foliis duplicato-pinnatis glabris: laciniis linearibus acutis laciniatis  Linn. cliff. 413.  Gron. Virg. 101.

Millefolium vulgare album, Baub. pin.  140.

[ACHILLEA double-pinnate leaves, smooth, linear, acute lobes fringed]

Aster [193]:

Aster [194]:

Aster [195]:

Aster [196]:

Aster [197]:

Aster [198]:

Anthemis:   Currently identity is A. cotula.  Paxton’s Botanical Dictionary lacks note of an American species.   Mabberley’s The Plant Book notes that this genus is naturalized to North America.   Note Claton’s identity: “Cotula foetida vulgaris“.   MEDICINE.  Rough translation of the above OBS: ‘Odor is not gratifying.  The herb is known for its use in producing a ‘Cataplasm for Inflammation’ used to treat contusions and swellings.’   The smell confers with other descriptions of Anthemis medical uses.


AchilleaAchillea millefolium.



201.  HELIANTHUS spec. 1.

Folia lanceolata, scabra, terrata, trinervia, ad caulem cordatum, vix petiolata, bina opposita.


201.  HELIANTHUS spec. 1.

Leaves lanceolate, scabrous, terrata, trinervia to stem cordate, scarcely petioled, two opposites


202.  HELIANTHUS spec. 2.

In omnibus cum priori conveniens, nisi quod solia sint petiolata, non cordata, & paululum serious florescat.


202.  HELIANTHUS spec. 2.

In fitting with the previous, except that the only ones petiolate, not cordate, a little serious, and may bloom.



203.  LOBELIA praecocior.

CAL.  Perianthemum monophyllum, campanulatum, striatum, semiquinquefidum: lacinis longis. angustis, acutis

COR.  Monopetala, leviter ringens.  Tubus cylindraceus, calyce longior, superius ad basim usque longitudinaliter divisus.  Limbus quinquepartitus; laciniis lanceolatis, quarum due superiores erectae, angustiores, & inter se ad basim petali divisae; tres inferiores latiores.

STAM.  Tubus cylindricaus, posterioiri latere convexus, anteriori concavus: inferius quadrisidus, a,plior; superius integer, angustior, Antherae prominentiae quaedam in ore tubi.

PIST.  Germen —–.  Stylus unicus, tubo stamineo tectus.  Stigman simplex.

PER.  Capsula pyramidalis, bilocularis, calyce cincta apliato & magis manifeste striato.

SEM.  plurima, minima, plaentae, magnae adhaerentia.

Caulis erectus, simplex.

Folia lanceolata, sessilia.

Flores caerulei, in spica ampla caulis terminali.

Junio floret.


203.  LOBELIA precocious

CAL.  Perianthemum leaf divided campanulate, striate semiquinquefidum: long skirt. narrow, sharp

 COR.  . Monopetala, four slightly. Cylindrical tube, longer than calyx, above the base to split longitudinally. Lamina fivefold, lobes lanceolate, two of which were raised by the higher, narrower, and to each other at the base of the petals divided the three lower and wider.

 STAM. Tube cylindricaus, posterioiri side convex, concave on the front, below quadrisidus, larger, higher integer narrower, Anthers certain projections in the mouth tube.

 PIST. Germen —– . Style one, threaded tube tops. Stigma simple.

 PER. Capsule pyramidal, bilocularis, calyx and more clearly bounded [apliaco] and [magis] striations.

SEM. great many, very small, large attached to placenta.

Stem erect, simple.

Leaves lanceolate, sessile.

Flowers blue, in the [ear=node] of large terminal stem.

June blooms.


204.  LOBELIA Sp. 2

Fructificationes partes, ut in priori

Caulis ramosus, alternatim emittens ramulos ex foliorum alis.

Folia ovata, crenata, crenate, rugosa.

Flores caerulei, in spicis ramulorum & caulis terminalibus.

OBS.  Succo lacteo acerrimo abundas.


204.  LOBELIA Sp. 2

Fructification parts, as in the prior

Stem branched, alternately emitting a branch of leaves wings.

Leaves oval, crenate, wrinkled.

Blue flowers in terminal spikes of branches and stem.

OBS. Abundant amounts of sharp milky sap.


205.  LOBELIA sp. 3

CAL.  Perinathemum, ut is primi specie, laciniis omnibus reflexis.

COR. ut in prima, sed non ringens: Limbi sacineae omnes reflexae

STAM.  ut in prima.

PIST.  tubo stamineo inclusum.  Germen pyramidale, angulatum.  Stylus unicus, tubo staminea longior, apice curvato versus Antheras.  Stigma ovale.

PER.  Capsula ovata, superius plana, calycis laciniis coronata; cetera ut in prima.

Caulis erectus, simplex, ad altitudinem tripedalem & ultra adsurgens.

Folia lanceolata, crenata, sessilia, alterna.

Flores coccinei in spica caulis terminali, pedunculis ex alis foliorum.


205.  LOBELIA sp. 3

CAL.  Perinathemum like that [of prior], at first glance, all the lobes reflexed.

 COR. as in the first, but not four, edging sacineae all reacting

 STAM. as in the first.

 PIST.  inclusive threaded tube . Germen pyramidal, angular.  Style single, long tube threaded tip bent toward the anthers. Stigma of an oval.

 PER. Capsule ovate, upper flat, calyx lobes crowned the rest as in the first.

Stem erect, simple, and no longer rising to a height of three feet.

Leaves lanceolate, crenate, sessile, alternate.

Scarlet flowers in the ear stem terminal, peduncles from leaf skirts.



206.  LOBELIA serotina, floribus caerulis.

Omnia ut in praecedenti, sercia specie (205.), excepto quod Corolla sic ringens & caerulea: limbi laciniis lanceolatis.

Folia ovata.

OBS.  Hujus datur varietas floribus albis.


206.  LOBELIA late blooming, flowers blue

Everything as in the preceding species sercia (205.), Except that the corolla is four and so blue, limb lobes lanceolate.

Leaves ovate.

OBS. This has a variety with white flowers.

Helianthus [201]:  The Helianthus species reviewed by Colden are differentiated by having either a lanceolate leaf and multiple flowers[201] or with a single stem and single large flower.  H. tuberosa or Jerusalem Artichoke if present is introduced.

Helianthus [202]:  Resembling H. annuum, the traditional sunflower.

The following 5 native Helianthus were noted by House.


Lobelia [203]: see next Lobelia entry.


Lobelia [204]:  The speciation and differentiation between the three different Lobelia are uncertain.  “Sp. 2′ refers to Specimen 2, and perhaps three different varieties of the same Lobelia were gathered.  “Sp. 2′ was rich in nectar at the time of gathering “Succo lacteo acerrimo abundas.’   The latin term ‘caerulea’ [Lobelia serotina . . . , 206] refers to colors ranging from white or light to blue to very deep blue.  The modern Lobelia inflata has flowers that range in colors from a slightly dark sky blue, mottled with white portions, to pure white.  Lobelia [206] most closely resembles this L. inflata.  Another Lobelia in the Orange County-Dutchess County region, Lobelia cardinalis, has a much larger spike with 3/4-1′ long tubular, deep red flowers atop a large stalk; the plant is 3-4′ in height.

Four Lobelia species appearing in Homer D. House’s Wildflowers of New York:

Lobelia [205]:  See above.

Lobelia [206]:  See above.


207.  IMPATIENS pedunculus solitaris multifloris, caule nodoso.  Gron. Virg.  108.

CAL.  Perianthium diphyllum; foliolis minims, concavis, deciduis.

COR.  Petala tria, inaequalia: quorum superiorus circulare, integrum, concavum; lateralia duo, bifida; lacinia superiori parva: inferiore majore latiore.

Nectarium monophyllum, cuculli instar fundum floris recipiens.

STAM.  Filamenta quinque, brevissima.  Antheae in unum coalitae, ramose, germen operiences.

PIST.  Germen cylindricum, tenue.  Stylus nullus.  Stigma simplex.

PER.  Capsula subrotunda, elastice dissiliens.

OBS.  Est diversa Species ab Europais.


207.  IMPATIENS, solitary peduncle, multifloral, stem knotted.

CAL.  Perianth split; leaflets small, concave, deciduous.

 COR. Petals three, unequal: the upper circular, entire, concave, two laterals, split in two, the upper fringe of small, lower wider majority.

Nectarius leaf divided hood like the bottom of the flower recipient.

 STAM. Filaments five, the shortest. Coalesced into one, branching, germen covered.

 PIST. German cylindrical, thin. Style none. Stigma simple.

 PER. Capsule roundish, [with] elastic dismounting.

OBS. A different species from that of Europe

Impatiens:  There are two locally native Impatiens: Impatiens pallida (I. flava) and I. biflora (I. fulva )m differentiated by the color of their flower–yellow or orange.  The yellow is more common to the region and Colden may have never seen the Orange variety to know that it may be distinguishable.  Colden rightfully equated this with other Impatiens spp. common to European flower gardens.




208.  ORCHIS Species 1

CAL.  Foliolum unicum, spathaceum, lanceolatum, ad exortum pedunculi floris.  Perianthium floris nullum.  Germen florem sustinet.

COR.  Petals quinque.  Petalus superius, ovatum, concavum; duo lateralia superiora, ova to-oblonga, parum fimbriata, ita utrinque superiori connexa, ut conjuncta Galeam efformant; duo alia petala inferiora circularia, dependentia, alarum forma.

Nectarium planum, lanceolatum, ciliatum, inferiorem & anteriorem corollae occupat partem.  Tubus longus, tenuis inferius dependit a parte inferiore corollae.

STAM.  Puro cilia necatarii stamina esse.  Nam si corollam, antequam expandatur, inspexeris, invenies Nectarium hoc peralis corollae inclutum & ejus cilia stigmati pistilli connexa.  Certe nihil aliud, quod locum staminum & antherarum supplere posser observavi.

PIST.  Germen infra corollam, quam loco pedunculi sustinet, ejusdem sum ea coloris.  Stigmata duo cornua acuminata inter quae fovea.

PER.  Capsula. (prius pedunculus floris) longo-trigona, repleta tribus ordinibus seminum.

SEM.  minutissima.

Caulis simplex, toliosus [foliosus?], sustiner spicam florum aurantii coloris.

Folia alterna, spathacea, integra, acuminata, amplexicaulia.

Radix palmata: digito uno magno, carnoso, albo: reliquis gracilibus.


208.  ORCHIS Species 1

CAL.  Leaflets a single spathe, lanceolate, shot up along the peduncles of the flower. Perianth single flower. Germen flower supports.

 COR. Five petals. Upper petals, ovate, concave, the two upper laterals, eggs to-oblong, slightly fimbriate, so both higher connected to form a combined helmet, two other lower petals circular dependency, the wings form.

Nectarius flat, lanceolate, ciliate, and the lower part of the anterior corolla occupies. Tube long, thin from below depended on the lower part of the corolla.

 STAM. Pure eyelash -ike necatarium threads exist.  If the corolla expanded, look, you will find this – Nectarius corolla petals and the famous shaped eyelash shaped pistils connected.  For all events, if nothing else, I am able to [supply?] the place of the stamens and anther [I] have observed.

 PIST. Branch within the corolla, which supports the peduncle, the same color that I have. Marks a point between the two horns of the pit.

 PER. Capsule, (first flower peduncle) long triangles, filled three rows of seeds.

SEM. very minute.

Stem simple, leafy, spiked flowers bear a yellow color.

Leaves alternate, spathacea, entire, acuminate, amplexicaulis.

Root palm-shaped, one finger high, heavily built, with white parts remaining slender.


209.  ORCHIS foliis duobus interioribus majoribus ovatis, superioribus minoribus ovato-oblongis, floribus ex alis superioribus.  Gron. Virg. 209.

Anterae videntur mihi formare arcum, circumambientem, limbum labii superioris nectarii.


ORCHIS, with two large interior leaves ovate, oblong-ovate upper smaller, flowers from the upper wings

They seem to me to form a bow in front, surrounded, [by an] upper inlet lip nectary.

Orchis [208]:  Cypripedium sp.  Palmata radix (spreading roots, like fingers from a palm) is an obvious Cypripedium attribute.

Orchis [209]:  Name related leaf description from Gron. virg. supports true Cypripedium sp. identification.  The true Cypripedium is determined by the following fairly coarse translation of the above description: ‘large oval leaves come out from withing the center of the stem, in pairs, are oval to oblong, with flower extending upwards from them [axially]. Gron. virg.’

Compare this description of Colden’s Orchis foliage with the descriptions of the next 2 species, identified by Colden as Cypripedium [again roughly translated]: “COR. petala [petals of corolla] in fours, long, lanceolate to very narrow . . . Folia alternating, obversely elliptical, plicative [bears  an irregular, mottled or patchy color pattern], with a long thin stem at its base.  Flos one smooth terminal flower.  Flowers in April.”  This early flowering season is a chief identifier.


210.  CYPRIPEDIUM prius

CAL. Periantium nullum.

COR.  Petals quatuor, longissima, lanceolata-linearia, coloris herbacei; duobus oppositus angustioribus, spiraliter contortis.

nectarium calceiforme, inflatum, obtusum, cavum, flavum, labio superiori inflexo.

STAM.  Filamenta plurima, lanuginis forma, in cavo nectarii.  Antherae rubentes lateribus filamentorum lanuginoforma, non summatitatibus, adnexae.

PIST.  Germen infra receptaculum floris, pedunculi loco, florem sustinens, cylindricum, striatum; Stigmata quatuor, crassa, trinagularia, superius plana, scuteiformia; Unum superius majus; Tria minora inferiora versus nectarium declinata: praeterea duo denticuli, unus utrinque, ex apice Germinis prodeunt (an hi stamina Linnaei).

PER,  Capsula ovato-oblonga, utrinque acuminata, heagona, unilocularis.

SEM.  numerosa, minima.  Receptacula (vel Placentae) tria, linearia, pericarpio longitudinaliter adhaerentia.

Folia alternata, observa elliptica, plicata, fibris longitudinalibus a vasi ad apicem elliptice percurrentibus.

Flos unicus caulis terminalis.

Floret Aprili.


210.  CYPRIPEDIUM first

CAL. Perianthium none

 COR. Four petals, longest, lanceolate-linear, color herbacei; two opposed narrow, spirally twisted.

nectary calceiforme swollen, blunt, hollow, yellow, upper lip is inflexible.

 STAM. Filaments numerous, tender form, in a hole in nectary. Anthers red bricks texture lanuginoforma not summatitatibus, attached.

 PIST. Branch within the receptacle of the flower, the peduncles, flower bearing, cylindrical, striatum, four marks, thick, triangular, flat above, scuteiformia one thing above the larger and three smaller lower towards nectary declined, with two teeth, one on each side, from the tip buds emerge (or threads Linnaei).

 PER.  Capsule ovate-oblong, pointed at each, heagona, unilocularis.

SEM. numerous small. Receptacula (or Placenta), three linear, with longitudinal pericarp adherence.

Leaves alternate, elliptical mark, folded, longitudinal fibers from the vessels to the apex of an elliptical motion.

Single terminal flower stalk.

Flowering April.


211.  CYPRIPEDIUM alterum

In omnibus cum priori convenit, nisi quod Corolla oetala sine ovata alba: duobus oppositis latioribus.

Flos albus.  Nectarium album, rubro striatum.


211.  CYPRIPEDIUM other

In all came together and the previous one, except that the Corolla ovate white without petals: two are very distinct broader.

Flower white. Nectarius white, striations red.


Cypripedium prius [210]: genus name implies lady’s slipper; April flowering corolla, leaf (folia) and flower (flos) description suggest trout lily (Erythronium sp.).  This identification is supported by the subsequent entry.

Cypripedium alterum [211]: white flowering variety, Erythronium album.

There are five orchids covered by House that are worth mentioning regarding Colden’s review.  The Cypripedium species are the most likely candidates to be found in close association with his home.


CAL. Spathula acuminata ad exortum pedunculi floris.  Perianthium nullum.

COR.  Petala quinque, ovata, acuminata, subaequalia patentia: quorum tria exteriora, duo interiora; ex exterioribus duo a latere, tertium inferius extenditur; duo interiora inter lateralia inferius, ita ut superior corollae pars careat petalo.  In cujus loco.

Nectarium monophyllum, planum, longitudine petalorum, inferius angustum, dente unico utrinque prominente; & immediate supra dentes  articulo donatum, superius ampliatum, obtusum, barbatum.

STAM.  Pili plurimi congesti in interiori later Nectarii, barbam formantia. Antherae minimae.

PIST.  Germen infra corallum, loco pedunculi corollam sustinens, cylindricum, ex cujus apico & centro corollae surgit Stylus unicus, incurvatus, compressus, supra petalum interius declinatus.  Stigma crasium, utrinque ala ampliatum.

PER.  Capsula columnaris, sex sulcis longitudinaliter notata, unilocularis.

SEM.  plurima, minutissima.

Folium unicum. longum, acuminatum, integrum, inferius amplectens. Caulem nudum, tenuem sustinentem.  Flores plures, dilute rubros, in racemo terminali.

OBS.  Si Flos nondum expansus aperiatur.  Nectarium stantinorum & Stylus reperientur incluse & corollae petalis tecta; Stamina sc. Barbulas efficientia.  Styli Stigmati conjuncta & adherentia.  Postes etiam flore expanso observavi sapio.  Nectarium hoc barbatum ad articulum summa in curvatum & reiterata copula, stamina stylus stigmati conjuncta, licet flore expanso distantia notabili separentur.

QVER.  Annon similis conformatia flaminum sub forma barbule vel ciliorum vel lanuginis in ceteris hujus classis naturalis?  Qui copias Hortorum Botanicorum examinare passit, determinabus.  Ego certe, qui plantas in stylus casu solummodo obvias inspecto, & in Botanica minus peritus aliis decruendum relinquo.



CAL. Spathe points to the rise of flower peduncles. Perianth none.

COR. Petals five, ovate, acuminate, subequal spreading Three of these exterior, two interior, exterior of the two sides, and a third below extends between two inner laterals below, so that the upper part of the corolla of petals free. In that place.

Nectarius leaf divided plane, the length of the petals, the lower, narrow, single tooth, both prominent and immediately above the teeth of the article given above, are amplified, blunt, a beard.

STAM. Most of the interior brick congesti nectary hairs, forming a beard. Anthers smallest.

PIST. Branch within the coral, a glandular corolla bearing, cylinder, and the center of the peak rises Corolla Style unique, bent, compressed, the inner petals declined. Stigma of tomorrow, both sides of the wing expanded.

PER.  Capsule pillar-like, with six longitudinal furrows [notata?=anxious] unilocularis.

SEM. most minute.

Leaf single. long, acuminate, intact, and the lower embracing. Stem naked, thin bear. Flowers many, pale red, in a terminal raceme.

OBS. If the flower has not yet expanded to open up.  Nectarius Container & Style found enclosed and corolla petals [homestead].  On Stamens, with the efficiency of eyelashes. Brand and style combined adherents. Later flower observed expanded and observed [improving my understanding]. Nectarius bearded to this article on the main curves and repeated connections, spinning style brand linked, although they are separated by a significant distance of the expanded flower.

QVER [essentially “Worthy of Query”]. Do not like the form of the shaped flamens eyelashes or eyelids, or down in the rest of this class of natural? Who forces gardens botanists examine suffered determine. I, at least, that the plants in the coming forth to meet the style of the case only when viewed in the Botanica and other less skilled decruendum resign.

LimodorumLimodorum orchids are the infrequent to rare species found in woodlands with a single predominant spike consisting of flowers along the stem upwards towards the tip.  There is some difficulty with distinguishing between identifications from one region to the next; Colden perhaps knew of only one species however.  Colden notes its association with certain ‘sylvis’ (tree) settings.

The following are three examples of similarly looking orchids.  Colden notes a red flowering orchid.


213.  SISYRINCHIUM caule foliisque ancipitibus.  Gron. virg.

CAL. nullus.

COR. Petala sex, ovata, caerulea, unguibus aureis.

STAM.  Tubus cylindricus, minimus, Antherae tres vel quatuor, ori tui adhaerentia.

PIST.  Germen – – – – .  Stylus tenuissimus, tubo staminoso inclosus.

PER.  Capsula globosa, trilocularis.

SEM.  plurima, globularia.

Caulis compressus, geniculatus.

Folia graminea.

OBS.  Haec planta,  ni opinor, rectius ad Syngeneam Monogamiam refertur.



213.  SISYRINCHIUM, stalk and leaves falling

CAL. none.

COR. Petals six, ovate, with a dark blue, with claws of gold.

 STAM. Tube cylindrical, the youngest, Anthers, three or four, of your mouth with a bridle attached to it.

 PIST. —- German. Style small tube staminose, enclosed.

PER. Capsule globose, trilocularis.

SEM. many, small and round.

Stem compressed, Jointed.

Leaves like grass.

OBS. This plant, if they did not, I think, more correctly referred to Syngeneam Monogamiam.


Sisyrinchium: blue-eyed grass.  Note Colden’s entry of ‘COR. Petals . . . caerulea’ (petals are blue).



214.  DRACONTIUM foliis subrotundis.

Vulgo Skunkweed.

CAL.  Spatha monophylla, maxima, ventricosa, ovato-acuminata, colorata & externe & interne, basi convoluta, decidua.

Spadix clavatus, capitulo globoso.

COR. nulla.

STAM.  superficies Capituli globosi dividitur in quadrangula plurima, ex quorum angulis erumpunt stamina quatuor, quorum Filamenta brevia compressa.  Antherae erectae oblongae & compressae, ut corollulis non absimiles sine.

PIST.  Germen vel Stylus pyramidalis in centro staminum.  Stigma pubescens.

Cortex sive exterior pars capituli, componitur ex plurimus squamis crassis erectis dense sitis fitis, inter quas erumpunt stamina & stylus.

Folia magna, foliis Brassicae capitatae similia.

Caulis nullus.

Radix magna, tuberosa, succisa, plurimas fibras laterales crassas, caudae gliris similes emittens.  Gustu servidissima.

Crescit in aquotis primo vere.

OBS.  Videtur eadem species, qua in Gron. Flor. virg. 186.  inscribitur.

CALLA aquatilis, odore alii vehemente praedita, radice repente, excepto quod hac notra non sit radice repente . . . Pole Cadweed scibi debet Pole-Cat-Weed.  Pole-Cat est Animal turpissive foetens, quod Angli etiam A Skunk dicunt.

Planta haec est antiscorbuticua insignis.

Indigenae narrant, quad Ursi avidissime banc herbam comedunt, cum primum ex latibulis suis vere erumpunt, ad promovendum motum & calorem sanguinis, longa desidia compressum, instincta naturae impulsi.



214.  Round-leaved Dragonweed

Vulgar name Skunkweed

CAL.  Spatula leaf divided most ventricose, ovate-acuminate, colored and externally and internally, and covered over the base, deciduous.

Spadix clavate, with globose head.

COR. no.

STAM. surface is divided into square  Capita (flowerhead) globose many of whose four corners burst stamens, whose filaments short compressed. Anthers erect, oblong and compressed, in order to corollulis not dissimilar from those without.

Style pyramidal, in the center of the stem. Stigma pubescent (hairy).

Cortex or outer part of the chapter, made ​​up of most scales are thick, erect, dense, which break out between the threads and style.

Leaves are large, like the leaves of cabbage heads.

Stem no.

Root large, tuberous, acrid, with many thick lateral fibers, resembling the tail of a  [?gliris=dormice] horse. Fervent taste.

It grows in the early spring in aquatic settings.

OBS. It seems the same species, by which is inscribed in Grov. Flor. virg. 186.

Call aquatic smell some violent endowed suddenly root, except that this ours is not a root . . . CPole adweed also written as Pole-Cat-Weed.  Pole-Cat is a turpissive stinking animal, which the English call a Skunk.

The plant is a distinguished antiscorbutic.

Indigenous stories talk of four Bears that eagerly eat this plant, with the first breakout of their hideouts [in the spring], to promote the movement and heat of blood, [after their] long compressed period of inactivity; this is driven by natural instinct.

Dracontium:  Vulgar name – Skunkweed.  This along with medicinal uses suggest the local skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus).  Colden notes the local naming habits transition: Pole Cadweed or Pole-Cat-Weed (Pole Cat ~ Skunk).    MEDICINE.   Two major medicinal uses are noted. There is an antiscorbutic (anti-scurvy) used defined by its unique ”insignis” (insignia or doctrine of signature) [the color and spotty color pattern of the external flower part (spathe versus spadix) resembles the skin of a scurvy patient.]  The indigenous tales state that the plant is commonly thought of as helping the bear to kill, (‘Ursi…bane’  or bear…kill), by helping to strengthen the muscles (promote movement) and heating the blood.  In compress form it will do the same [for us], as a result of natural response or impulse.

215.  ARUM caulescens, foliis ternatis.  Gron. Virg. 186.

CAL.  Spatha monophylla, oblonga, basi convoluta, apice supra spadicem reflexa.

Spadix clavatus, capitulo longo cylindrico, versus apicem crassiare.

COR.  nulla.

STAM.  Filamenta brevia, crassa, bifida, sustinentia.  Antherae duas, globulares, sica supra spadicem infra capitulum.

PIST.  Geraina plurima, basin spadicis verticillatim vestientia dense sita.  Stylus nullus.  Stigma pubescens.

caulis dividitur in duot petiolos sustinentes Foliae terna, obverse elliptica.

Flos unicus pedunculo brevi, ex ala petiolorum.


215.  ARUM caulescens, foliis ternatis.  Gron. Virg. 186.

CAL.  Spatula leaf divided oblong base Wrapped tip above reflexive spadix.

 Spadix clavate, capita long, cylindrical, apex crassiare.

 COR. none.

 STAM. Filaments short, stout, split support. Anthers, globulares, points at tip above spadix within a capitula.

 PIST. Germen many base spadix verticillate clothes, densely located. Style no. Stigma pubescent.

The stem is divided into two petioles supporting Leaves, that are three obverse, elliptical.

Flower single peduncle short, with petiole wing.

Arum:  “Arum caulescens, foliis cernatis.”  Name suggests this is a leafy plant with an obvious stem protruding from the ground.  There are only two options for this Arum: the aquatic Arum found growing in ponds and lakes, or the “Arum” later given the genera name of Arisaema–Jack in the Pulpit.  The complex Spatha and Spadix descriptions suggest the latter.  Contemporary ecology of the region also demonstrates Arisaema triphyllum as being the only woodlands native species.


Zea [216]:  white corn,  known as Mohawk-corn.  The ‘humilis praecox’ refers to this and the following species as a short-grower with early maturation.

Zea [217]: yellow corn, of New England and New York.



ZEA.  Quamvis sea nois spontanea heic crescat (nec allibi quantum scio), cum vallum frumenti genus magis in America colatur, & frequentius bic quam in Europa crescat, propie satis ad plantas Americana referri potest.

Varie species in America septentrionali coluntur non distinguende (quantum ego observati), vel numero vel figura partium, sed solummodo proportione magnitudivis unius ad alteram, & tempore maturescendi semina; supposito, quod omnes sate siut codem tempore, sc. primo Maji.


Spontaneously, Maize does not grow here (or anywhere else as far as I know), but there is no kind of seed/grain in America that is cultivate more, more often here than in Europe, and American plants are preferred.

No other species in North America is equally worshipped (as far as I have observed).  This is not due to its variety, figure, or number of parts, only its greatness in proportions when compared with others, and we waste so much time with early seeding.  [No matter when we plant,] All begin to grow from the same time of year–the first of May.

216.  ZEA humilis praecox.  seminibus albis.

Nostratibis Mohawk-corn


217.  ZEA humilis praecox, semnibus luteis.  Harum duaram Specierum partes sunt minime.  Semina sunt matura circa finem Augusti mensis.

Coluntur in Nova-anglia & locis boccalibus Nove-boraci.


216.  Corn, early growing, white seeds

Our Nostratibus Mohawk-corn

217. Corn, low growing, yellow seeds. Neither of these two species are small.  The seeds are ripe about the end of the month of August.

 Cultivated in New-England, and the northern parts of New York.


218.  ZEA elatior media, seminibus albis. 

219.  ZEA elatior media, seminibus luteis. 

220.  ZEA elatior media, seminibus caeruleis. 

221.  ZEA elatior media, seminibus rubris. 

Harum partes omnes sunt media magnitudinis.

Semina matura sunt circa finem Septembris.

Coluntur in Pensylvanica, Nova Caeserea, & australibus Noveboraci.


218.  Corn, middle height, white seeds

219.  Corn, middle height, yellow seeds

220.  Corn, middle height, blue seeds

221.  Corn, middle height, red seeds

Of these, these difference are the means for making the many different varieties.

The seeds are ripe about the end of September.

 Cultivated in Pennsylvanica New Jersey & southern New York


222.  ZEA altissima serotina, seminibus albis magis compressis, fovea in disco exteriori notaris.

OBS.  Ex hisce autum omnibus Varietates multe oriuntur, cum prope se matuo crescent.


222.  ZEA altissima serotina, seminibus albis magis compressis, fovea in disco exteriori notaris. (Corn, with deep [furrows], darkness, white seeds that are more compression in the disk, with exterior pitting noted.)

From all these autumnal variety far arise when near his early growing.

OBS.  From these arise the vast varieties for everyone to see if grown next to each other.


223.  ZEA semine nudo.  Jujus semine carent cortice seu membrana dura, qua semine teguntur.  Hanc crescentem nonquam vidi; vidi autem semina.



224.  MYRICA foliis oblongis alternatim sinatis.  Linn. cliff. 456.  Gron. virg. 192.


Masculi flores.

CAL.  Amentum cylindricum, undique imbricatum, constans

Squamis ovato acuminatis, concavis.

Perianthium proprium nullum.

COR.  nulla.

STAM.  Filamenta quamor, brevia.  Antherae ovatae, didymae.  Feminei flores in eadem planta.

CAL.  Amentum conicum, imbricatum. Squamulis lanceolatis.

COR.  nulla.

PIST.  Styli duo, subulati, longi, colorati, rubri, ex unaquaque squamula.

PER.  Amentum sit globulus, plurimus foliolis setaceis constansm inter que semina apparent.

SEM.  Nux parva, ovata, nitida, continens. Nucleum ejusdem formae.

Amenta mascula formentur ad occasum foliorum praecedentis anus: feminina autem sequente vere.  Amenta mascula plura ad extremitates ramulorum; seminina pauciora sub masculis: unicum sere in singulo ramulo.

Caulis ramolus.

Folia longa, alterna, ad modiam costam alterne sincraea

OBS.  Indigenas uti radice hujus plante in ore masticata ad sistendem sanguinis flexum in vulneribus recentisdus, mibi narratam est.



224.  MYRICA foliis oblongis alternatim sinatis. Linn. cliff. 456.  Gron. virg. 192.


Masculine flowers.

 CAL. Amentum cylinder, overlapping sides, comprising

Scales ovate, acuminate, concave.

Perianth no proper.

 COR. no.

 STAM. Filaments four shallows. Anthers ovate, Didymus. Female flowers on the same plant.

 CAL. Amentum conical, overlapping. SCALE lanceolate.

 COR. no.

 PIST. Two styles, subulati, long, color, red, for each SCALE.

 PER. Insanity is the ball, most leaflets horsehair constant, between the seeds appear.

SEM. Nut small, ovate, shining, at the container. Nucleus of the same form.

Male thong-shaped setting leaves preceding the addition of feminine next spring. More male Amenta at the ends of branches, fewer feminine under males, one found in each branch.

Stem ramolus.

Leaves long, alternate, the rib means alternately sincraea

OBS. Use of native plants in the root edge masticated the stoppage of blood trapped in a curve on the new, to me, is not told.



225.  AMBROSIA foliis composito-multifidus: internodiis remotissimis. Gron. virg. 188.

Masculi flores in amentum laxum digesti.

CAL.  Perianthium commune plurimorum flosculorum, monophyllum, planum, circulare, nutans, pedunculo brevi centro folii inserto.

COR.  nulla (ni sallor).

STAM.  Antherae septem vel plures, aliquandora, globosae, inferiori concavo lateri perianthii insertae.

Femini flores infra masculas in eadem planta.

CAL. Involucram triflorum: foliolis tribus, ovatis, quorum unum duobus ceteris majus, acuminatum.

COR. nulla.

PIST.  Germen ovatum.  Stylis duo, capillares, reflexi.

PER.  Capsula turbinata, lateribus dentata, & apice aculeata

SEM.  unicum, globulare, nigrum.

Caulis altus, aliquando sexpedalis.

Folia triangularia, alterna, dupliciter pinnatim laciniata.

Flores masculi in spicis amentaceis ramulorum terminalibus.

Flores feminei plerumque tres in uno onvolucro, flos sc. unis intra unumquodque involucri foliolum; sed unus rantum ad maturitatem pervenire soler & semen producit.


225.  AMBROSIA foliis composito-multifidus: internodiis remotissimis. Gron. virg. 188.

Male flowers like a thong, seen extensively.

 CAL. Perianth most common flowers, leaf divided plane, circular, nodding leaf inserted in the center of a short peduncle.

 COR. no (unless fallor?).

 STAM. Anthers of seven or more, aliquandora, globose, lower side concave perianth inserted.

Female flowers on the same plant, the male below.

 CAL. Triflorum envelope: three leaflets, ovate, one of the two others, more pointed.

 COR. no.

 PIST. German oval. Two styles, hair reflected.

 PER. Capsule turbinate, the sides of her teeth, and the sharp tip

SEM. only globulare, black.

Stem tall, sometimes sexpedalis.

Leaves triangular, alternate, pinnately fringed double.

Male flowers in terminal spikes amentaceis branches.

Female flowers, usually three in one envelope, each single flower inside an envelope, with only one reaching maturity producing seed


226.  AMBROSIA foliis inferioribus amplis trilobatis, superioribus integris obverse ellipticis.


AMBROSIA with ample amounts of lower leaves, trilobatis, with upper leaves entire obverse elliptical.


227.  CARPINUS squamis strobilorum inflatis.  Hort. cliff.  447.

Nostratibus Iron wood. Belgis Noveboracensibus  Herbout.

Squamulae inflata continent ad basin nucem ovatam non angulatam.


Scales containing the swollen base of the nut, not ovate, but angulated.


228.  LIQVIDAMBAR.  Hort. Cliff. 486.

Nostratibus Gumwood.  Belgis Novaboracensibus Beil. Sted.

Hanc arborem ultra latitudinem 41.  graduum crescentum nunquam vidi.


The tree is never observed to be seen growing more than 41 degrees latitude north.



229.  PINUS foliis longissimis ex una theca quinis.

Nostratibus The white Pinetree.

230.  PINUS foliis longissimis ex una theca ternis.

Nostratibus The Blak [sic] Pine, vel Pitch Pine.

231.  PINUS foliis longissimis ex una theca binis.

Nostratibus The Yellow Pine.

Hanc arborem nunquam ultra 41. graduum latitudinem observati.


The tree is observed never more than 41 degrees latitude.


232.  PINUS foliis singularibus.

Nostratibus The Spruce Pine.

Folia parva, brevia obverse elliptica, singularia, pinnatatum more ex adverso & alternatim sita.

Coni parva, cylindrici, ab extremeicatibus ramulorum dependentes, quorum squamae molliores biflorae.

Semini minima, globularia, non facile distinguenda, ala membranacea autca; duo simul intra tandem squamam.


Our [what we call] The Spruce Pine

Leaves small, short obverse elliptical, singular (in ones), small pinnate more from opposing to alternating in place.

Small cone, cylinder, hanging from extreme branches whose scales make for a soft biflorae.

Seed minimum globularia not easily distinguished, with membraneous flat Bat-like wing , the two together within extending the the length of the scales


233.  THUYA strobilis squamosis: squamis reflexo acuminatis.  Hort. upsal. 289.

Nostratibus Arbor vitae.

Folia minima, imbricata pinnatatum more, ut & ramuli ex adverso crescentes.

Conus minimus, globularis, ex squamis paucissimis circiter sex compositus, & ab inferiori foliolum latere costae adhaerent plures.

Crescit frequens ad ripas fluvii Hud’sons dicti, in locis saxoses, nec alibi unquam observati.


233.  THUYA strobilis squamosis: squamis reflexo acuminatis. Hort. upsal. 289.

Our Tree of Life.

Leaves small, imbricate pinnatate fashion, in the front of growing branches.

Cone small, globular, with small scales formed from about six parts, and from the lower side of the leaflet, several ribs are attached.

It grows on the banks of large rivers Hud’sons said, in rocky places, or elsewhere, has ever observed.




234.  SAGITTARIA americana.


CAL.  Perianthium triphyllum: foliolis ovatis, concavis, reflexis.

COR.  Petala tria, circularia, calyce duplo majora.

STAM.  Filamenta plurima, in capitulum congesta.

Femina in distincta planta.

CAL.  ut in mare.

COR.  ut in mare.

PIST.  Germina plurima, in capitulum congesta.

SEM.  plurima, compressa, membranacea, sere triangularia.

Hae duae plantae soliis floribus & fructificatione distinguendae, foliis & caule simillimae.

Folia sagittata.

Flores in spica laxa caulis terminatrici.

OBS.  Pluries examinavi & nunquam vidi flores masculos & femineos in cadem planta, uti in Europaeis.


CAL.  Perianth triphyllum: leaflets ovate, concave, reflexed.

 COR. Petals three, circular calyx twice as large.

 STAM. Filaments numerous, concentrated in the capita.

 Femina in a distinct plant.

 CAL. as stated (so marked).

 COR. as stated (so marked).

 PIST. Many plants, in the congested capital.

SEM. most compressed membraneous almost triangular.

These two plants, have distinct seats for flowers and fructification; stem and  leaves are very alike.

Leaves sagittate.

Flowers in a loose spike at the end of the stem.

OBS. Examined several times and never saw the male flowers and women in the same plant, as in the European [species]


235.  TAXUS repens, foliis singularibus.

OBS.  Foliis, ramulis, cortice & ligno cum Pino 232.  convenit, ad altitudinem circiter bipedalem assurgit.

Fructificationis partes non vidi.

Crescit in Borealibus Noveboraci, ubi terram sepe per satis amplum spatium tegit; infra Latitud. 43 gr. nusquam observavi.


235.  TAXUS repens, foliis singularibus

OBS. Leaves, twigs, bark, and wood like Pine 232. grows at a height of two feet or more.

I have not seen the parts of fructification.

It grows in the northern New York, where there is a wide enough space for the ground to form a grove; growing below a latitude of 43 degrees (gr. = grade) was never observed




236.  ADIANTUM fronde supra decomposita bipartita.

Fructificationes semicirculares, ad marginem superiorem foliorum adhaerents.

Caulis niger, nudus, plusquam pedalis, dividitur in duos ramulos, qui subdividuntur in plures etiam nigros, ad planum horizontis sere paralel’os.

Folia alternatim pinnata, trapezii forma, crenata.


Fructifications are semicircular, and adhere to the upper margins of the leaves.

Stem black, naked, more than a foot long, divided into two branches, which are then  subdivided [further] into a number of black, fine specimens, parallel to the plane of the horizon.

Leaves alternately pinnate, trapezium shape, crenate


237.  POLYPODIUM novaboracense.

Fructificationes in punctis subrotundis, per discum folii aversum utrinque fibram median folii & auriculi, ordinibus duobus distributae.

Folia lanceolata petiolo brevissimo, pinnatim & alternatim costae media adherentia, & versus costam unus angulus auriculo augmentatus.  Folia superiora gradatim minora, & fructificationes in foliis superioribus.


Fruiting bodies appear as roundish spots, with discs on both sides of the leaf that are exposed to the fibers in the middle of the leaf and ear, ordinarily with the two distributed (dispersed evenly).

Leaves lanceolate petiole short, pinnate and alternate means of rib supports him, and against one of the rib angle ear augmented. Upper leaves with more on down to less, and fruiting in the higher leaves.


Zea [218]: white corn.  The phrase ‘elatior media’ refers to the leaf structure, translated as ’wide flat leaves, of medium size.’  The following 4 species are similar, differing only in the color of their kernels.

Zea [219]: yellow corn.

Zea [220]: orange corn.

Zea [221]: red corn.

Zea [222]:  has a whitish seed head, tightly packed; very difference from the corn cob in appearance on the plant; ‘serotina’ means wheat-like.  Perhaps this is one of the domestic grains or a relative/hybrid thereof.  Other options include the locally highly common swamp grass, rush or reed species, in particular the local wetlands dominant species.

Zea [223]: too brief to effectively identify.


Myrica:  One of the New York Myrica sp. (M. gale or M. cerifera) is the most likely identification.  There is also a M. carolinensis noted in the Mid-Atlantic area.   MEDICINE.  This plant is considerably aromatic, in particular its leaves and young stems. Indians used the root of the plant as a masticatory (chewed), and to make a medicine for assisting the flow of blood, in particular for those who were weakened or wounded and in a state of recovery.

Ambrosia [225]:  a local Ambrosia.

Ambrosia [226]:  another local Ambrosia.

Carpinus:  Common name-Ironwood.  More than likely the Ironwood (Carpinus caroliniana or C. americana) common to parts of this part of New York.


Liquidambur:  Common name-Gumwood. For  Liquidambur styraciflua L.,  Colden notes a geographical limitation (41 degree latitude, preferring the warmer climates) exists regarding where this plant can be found.  It extends as far north as Connecticut, New England.


Pinus [229]:  “The white Pinetree” ; 5-needle theca noted by Colden.

Pinus [230]: “The Blak pine, vel Pitch Pine”, with a 3-needle theca noted by Colden.

Pinus [231]: “Yellow Pine”; 2-needle theca noted by Colden.

Pinus [232]: “The Spruce Pine”

Thuya:  “Arbor vitae”  According to Colden, they have a flavorant value for some recipes and are frequently used as such by the local “Hud’sons”.


Sagittaria: arrowleaf (Sagittaria latifolia).

Taxus repens: Creeping or Ground Yew

Adiantum: maiden-hair fern

Polypodium: common fern

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