Thornton, Robert John (1768?-1837) / Temple of Flora, or, Garden of the botanist, poet, painter, and philosopher.
Sarracenia Flava; or, Yellow Pitcher-Plant.
SARRACENIA FLAVA; OR, YELLOW PITCHER-PLANT. THIS plant, so singular for its leaves and flowers, is native of Virginia, and grows in bogs, or shallow water. It was introduced into our gardens in the year 1752. The leaves in their infant state are flat, tapering, and of one compact substance; but at a certain age, at the top the appearance of a lid is seen, bent down, or rather then resembling the upper bill of a bird; afterwards the leaf opens from within, until it enlarges itself into a triangular hollow vase, when the lid turns back, taking the form of a friar's cowl. This contains water, and in droughts, it is said, that the lid falls down over the mouth of the tube, serving as a covering to it, to prevent the exhalation. It is called the Pitcher Plant, because small birds repair to it, and drink out of the hollow leaf. It is also named the Side-Saddle flower, from its flower being supposed to resemble a woman's pillion. The leaves, as well as flowers, are radical. Each flower is elevated on a long scape. It is defended by a double calyx. The outer consists of three small leaves: the inner of five orbicular green leaves. The petals of the corolla are five, more oblong, of a pale yellow. The stamina are numerous, and lie concealed under the target-formed stigma of the pistillum, which perishing, with the stamina, leaves the swollen germen on the elevated scape. It arranges under Class XIII. POLYANDRIA, Order I. MONOGYNIA, of LINN~EU5. The con- cealment of courtship here has furnished the poet with the following beautiful lines. IN vain a num'rous tribe of gentle swains To Sarracenia pour'd their tender strains: In vain their ardent pray'r, their artless lay; Of tyrant vice she fell the hapless prey.- A libertine, bred in the school of lies, With lawless passion to the beauty flies; Gain'd her weak heart, and soon he turn'd from thence, Scarce having yet indulg'd his eager sense; Then the fell FURIES sailing through the air, Aim their keen weapons at the tortur'd fair; SCORN in her bleeding bosom strikes his dart, And sad REPENTANCE writhes around her heart; REMORSE her stinging snakes in fury throws, And MADNESS heightens her exalted woes.- Poor injur'd suff'rer! bid adieu to peace; Not in this world of sin thy pangs will cease: Not till kind Mercy takes thee to her breast, Then bears thy spirit to the realms of rest. FRANCES ARABELLA ROWDEN.
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