Spinach (Lapathum hortense) is a Persian plant which has been

cultivated in our gardens for about two hundred years; and

considerably longer on the Continent. Some say the Spinach was

originally brought [530] from Spain. It was produced by monks in

France at the middle of the 14th century.

This is a light vegetable, easily digested, and rather laxative,

besides having some wonderful properties ascribed to
its use. Its

sub-order, the Saltworts (Salsolaceoe), are found growing in

marshes by the seashore, and as weeds by waste places, serving

some of them to expel worms.

Spinach, says John Evelyn, if crude, the oft'ner kept out of

Sallets the better; but being boiled to a pulp; and without other

water than its own moisture, is a most excellent condiment with

butter, vinegar, or lemon, for almost all sorts of boiled flesh, and

may accompany a sick man's diet. 'Tis laxative and emollient, and

therefore profitable for the aged. Spinach is richer in iron than the

yolk of the egg, which contains more than beef. Its juice produced

in cooking the leaves without adding any water is a wholesome

drink, and improves the complexion.

It was with a delicate offering of gammon and spinach in his

hands, Mr. Anthony Roley, of nursery fame, went so sadly a


Ranula furtivos statuebat quaoerere amores:

Me miserum! tristi Rolius ore gemit.

Ranula furtivos statuebat quoerere amores,

Mater sive daret, sive negaret iter.

A wild species of Spinach, the Good King Henry, grows in

England, and is popular as a pot herb in Lincolnshire.