moneywort


Значение термина moneywort в knolik


moneywort - Moneywort(Lysimachia nummularia)
moneywort - The Moneywort has one of those personalities which, whether in the plant or the animal world, seems to evoke the affections of all with whom it comes into contact. For such individuals pet names seem naturally to take the place of the ordinary names, and so the Moneywort, that is, the "Money Plant," is far more often known by the endearing epithets of "Creeping Jenny," "Wandering Jenny," "Running Jenny," or sometimes "Creeping Joan" and "Wandering Sailor," all of which suggest definite personification and, of course, allude to its rapid trailing over the ground. "Meadow Runagates" has the same reference, with the added implication of those damp pastures by stream sides in which it is most at home. Tabernamontanus, one of the German plant writers about 1588, named the plant Hirunclinaria after the swallows, because "as swallows doe usually fly close to the ground so this plant cleaveth close to the earth," but his happy suggestion was never seriously endorsed.

The earliest English Herbal, that of Turner, who was a little previous to Tabernamontanus, speaks of it quaintly as "Herbe 2 pence and Two penigrasse," and as "Herb Twopence" and as "Twopenny Grass" it is still known. Here the allusion is to the leaves which are set two and two in neatest fashion on the trailing stems, like a school out for a walk, and, being rounded (though each has a short, sharp tip) and lying always in two rows, faces turned to the sky, look like rows of pence. "Moneywort" and "Strings of Sovereigns" are names with the same idea underlying them, but no doubt in these the glamour of the big, golden flowers has suggested an opulency not strictly inherent in the "twopenny" leaves. Its specific name nummularia is from the Latin nummulus - money.

Now the Moneywort is a Loosestrife and own sister to the tall, yellow loosestrifes that, like it, also love gardens, and begin to hold up golden cups to the Midsummer sun, and "keep the flag flying" till well on into the autumn. (The purple loosestrife - Lyihvum salicana - is no relative, despite the name.)

The flowers of the Moneywort individually are even handsomer than those of the common yellow loosestrife. They spring singly on slender stalks just where a leaf joins the stem, and are large indeed in comparison with the rest of the little plant. Their five sepals are quite a feature, for they are large, pale-green, and heart-shaped, and rather "frilly" round the base, where the heart lobes have not room to spread. No doubt this "frilliness" is protective against small, creeping insects which might be tempted to invade a flower only just off the ground and so specially accessible. The five petals look distinct because they are so deeply lobed, but they are really a golden cup at the base. The stamens, also five in number, stand up rigidly within, but if one peers down into their supporting filaments one discovers that they are there joined to form a low ring. Moreover, with a lens, one can see that these filaments are covered with tiny golden hairs, or knobs, which must roughen the surface for the delicate legs of little flies to negotiate, and hence, perchance, still further protect the pollen that lies in the arrowhead-shaped anthers on top. These anthers are set each on its filament just where the "arrow-head" forks, so that they tilt and sway at the slightest touch. Note, as a small matter but one of some interest, that the stamens face the corresponding petals and do not, as is usual in flowers, alternate with them. This is a peculiarity of the whole family - the Moneywort belongs to the Primulaceæ, - and it seems to imply that, at some time or another, a whole ring of outer stamens has been eliminated from the flower's structure.

The ovary within appears normal, and the style is long enough to bring the stigma just below the level of the stamens. Pollen from these stamens must often fall upon it, but it means no more to the ovules within the ovary than if a little dust fell on that receptive surface. The flower is absolutely sterile to its own pollen. On the other hand, pollen from other Moneywort flowers does not seem to have much effect, at any rate in this country, for, as a rule, when the flowers are done no fruit follows. It is rather inexplicable and it has been argued that the plant is, therefore, not a true native, and that there is something in our climate that does not suit it. But it is probably because it has found out a simpler, and more reliable method of propagating itself, and therefore does not trouble to set seed.

This alternative method of continuing existence lies in its trailing shoots - its "stolons." Now a "stolon" is defined as a creeping stem which dies off every year and is abundantly beset by leaves not very far apart. Close to the turned-up tip of each stolon, in the angle formed by little leaf-stalks, buds appear which produce roots. These roots pass into the ground and establish themselves. Then when winter comes the stem and leaves die down between the old root and the new one, but when the following spring arrives a new plant arises where the little roots entered the earth. Hence from a single plant which sends out a stolon in various directions many new plants may appear by this so-called "vegetative" method of reproduction. The stems of the Moneywort are quadrangular, and leaves and stems are all quite smooth.

A little, unexpected romance has been discovered in the life-history of the Moneywort. It appears that it is at times the host of a minute, single-celled, green plant - an alga - whose name, Phyllobium dimorphum, is really more imposing than the plant itself. Phyllobium also frequents damp woods and flooded meadows, and at one stage of its life it is just a single cell swimming about in drops of water by means of two oars or "flagella." When it meets a Moneywort leaf it sends out delicate tubes which pass into the tissues through the little mouths, or stomata, that exist for the water evaporation of the leaf, and there it spreads. Later the protoplasm of these tubes collects into one large cell, which rests throughout the winter, and in the spring breaks up into a number of little bodies, which pass out into the surrounding moisture. These bodies meet in pairs and unite their substance, and then put out the two oars and, swimming, begin life afresh. Sometimes, instead of forming one large cell, a number of small resting cells take its place, hence the second name "dimorphum" - of two forms. It does not appear that this uninvited guest wants anything from the Moneywort but a home - the shelter of its tissues - to develop in. This is proved by the fact that it as often enters dead leaves as living ones, and is quite unaffected if the leaf dies during the time it is honouring it with its presence. Single-celled plants which live thus within the tissues of other and higher plants without benefiting their host, and taking nothing but shelter from them, are known as the Endosphceraceæ.

A word as to the reputed virtues of the Moneywort in olden days. It was one of the many "best possible" woundworts. "In a word, there is not a better wound-herb, no not tobacco itselfe, nor any other what-soever," said an old herbalist. And so it was called "Centum morbia," while again it was a specific for whooping cough, "being boyled with Wine and Honey … it prevaileth against that violent cough in children commonly called the chinne-cough, but it should be chine-cough, for it doth make as it were the very chine-bone to shake." Finally, most curious of all, we are gravely told that if serpents hurt or wounded themselves, they turned to this plant for healing and, so it was sometimes called "Serpentaria."

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