FEVERFEW. Pyrethrum; from pyr, fire, the roots being hot to the taste. Of this interesting European genus of plants, the Matricaria of Linnfeus, three species only are indigneous to England. The common feverfew, (P. parthe nium), a biennial which grows in waste grounds, hedges, and walls, flowering in June or July. Root tapering, small, and white; stem erect, branched, leafy, round, many flowered, about two feet high; leaves stalked, of a hoary green, pinnatifid. Flowers numerous, like daisies, white or yellowish, in a corymbose panicle, some times compound, on long naked stalks, erect, about half an inch broad. The whole plant has a strong disagreeable smell, a bitter taste, and yields a volatile oil by distillation. It was for merly reckoned tonic, stimulating, and anti hysterical, and th.e oil is still regarded as such. It contains much tannic acid; and in Germany it has been usefully employed in tanning and curry ing leather. Corn Feverfew, or scentless 1VIay weed, (P. inodorum), is very common in culti vated fields, and by waysides, on gravelly soils.
Root tapering, rather large, annual, flowering in August or September. Sea Feverfew (P. mariti ma), a perennial, flowering in July or August, is found on the sea coast in sandy or stony ground. The thick, woody, long-enduring root runs deep into the ground, producing a number , of hollow stems, spreading circularly on the. ground, often tinged with purple. The common wild chamomile (Matriearia ehamomilla), was for merly classed as a feverfew. The greenhouse varieties of feverfew are, some of them, handsome. They grow in any rich, light soil, and young cuttings root readily when planted under a glass. Any common soil suits the hardy kinds, which are increased by divisions or seeds. It possesses the properties of the real chamomile in a marked degree, and might be substituted for it as a medicinal agent. In the United States the only indigenous species are M. parthenium and M. diseoidea, the latter a native of Oregon.