This is one of five species of Himalayan plants which, until recently, were included in the genus vaccinium. The new name for them is ugly enough to make one wish that they were vacciniums still. Pentapterygium serpens is the most beautiful of the lot, and, so far as I know, this and P. rugosum are the only species in cultivation in England. The former was collected in the Himalayas about ten years ago by Captain Elwes, who forwarded it to Kew, where it grows and flowers freely under the same treatment as suits Cape heaths.
In the wet season they push out new shoots, from which grow rapidly wands three or four feet long, clothed with box-like leaves, and afterward with numerous pendulous flowers. These are elegant in shape and richly colored. They are urn-shaped, with five ribs running the whole length of the corolla, and their color is bright crimson with deeper colored V-shaped veins, as shown in the illustration of the flowers of almost natural size. They remain fresh upon the plant for several weeks. The beautiful appearance of a well grown specimen when in flower may be seen from the accompanying sketch of the specimen at Kew, which was at its best in July, and remained in bloom until the middle of September.
Boyle your Quinces that you intend to keep, whole and unpared, in faire water, till they be soft, but not too violently for feare you break them, when they are soft take them out, and boyle some Quinces pared, quarter'd, and coar'd, and the parings of the Quinces with them in the same liquor, to make it strong, and when they have boyled a good time, enough to make the liquor of sufficient strength, take out the quartered Quinces and parings, and put the liquor into a pot big enough to receive all the Quinces, both whole and quartered, and put them into it, when the liquor is thorow cold, and so keep them for your use close covered.
Take Damask Roses, clip off the white of them, and take six ounces of them to every pint of faire water, first well boyled and scummed, let them stand so as abovesaid, twelve hours, as you doe in the Syrupe of Violets, wringing out the Roses and putting in new eight times, then wringing out the last put in onely the juice of four ounces of Roses, so make it up as before, if you will put in Rubarb, take to every two drams, slice it, string it on a thred, hang it within the pot after the first shifting, and let it infuse within your Roses: Some use to boyle the Rubarb in the Syrupe, but it is dangerous, the Syrupe purgeth Choller and Melancholly.
A Tart of Straw-Berries.
Pick and wash your Straw-Berries clean, and put them in the past one by another, as thick as you can, then take Sugar, Cinamon, and a little Ginger finely beaten, and well mingled together, cast them upon the Straw Berries, and cover them with the lid finely cut into Lozenges, and so let them bake a quarter of an houre, then take it out, stewing it with a little Cinamon, and Sugar, and so serve it.
The use of Oyle of Violets.
Oyle of Violets, Cammomile, Lillies, Elder flowers, Cowslips, Rue, Wormwood, and Mint, are made after the same sort; Oyle of Violets, if it be rubbed about the Tempels of the head, doth remove the extream heat, asswageth the head Ache, provoketh sleep, and moistneth the braine; it is good against melancholly, dullnesse, and heavinesse of the spirits, and against swellings, and soares that be over-hot.
To dry Apricocks.
Take them when they be ripe, stone them, and pare off their rindes very thin, then take halfe as much Sugar as they weigh, finely beaten, and lay them with that Sugar into a silver or earthen dish, laying first a lay of Sugar, and then of Fruit, and let them stand so all night, and in the morning the Sugar will be all melted, then put them into a Skillet, and boyle them apace, scumming them well, and as soon as they grow tender take them off from the fire, and let them stand two dayes in the Syrupe, then take them out, and lay them on a fine plate, and so dry them in a Stove.
Take Beanes, the rinde or the upper skin being pul'd off, bruise them, and mingle them with the white of an Egg, and make it stick to the temples, it keepeth back humours flowing to the Eyes.
To dissolve the Stone; which is one of the Physitians greatest secrets.
Take a peck of green Beane cods, well cleaved, and without dew or rain, and two good handfulls of Saxifrage, lay the same into a Still, one row of Bean cods, another of Saxifrage, and so Distill another quart of water after this manner, and then Distill another proportion of Bean codds alone, and use to drink oft these two Waters; if the Patient be most troubled with heat of the Reins, then it is good to use the Bean codd water stilled alone more often, and the other upon comming downe of the sharp gravell or stone.
To make a close Tart of Cherries.
Take out the stones, and lay them as whole as you can in a Charger, and put Mustard, Cinamon, and Sugar, into them, and lay them into a Tart whole, and close them, then let them stand three quarters of an hour in the Oven, and then make a Syrupe of Muskadine, and Damask water and sugar, and so serve it.
Recipe from the 1653 book (with original spelling)
Take Lemmons, rub them upon a Grate, to make their rinds smooth, cut them in halves, take out the meat of them, and boyle them in faire water a good while, changing the water once or twice in the boyling, to take away the bitternesse of them, when they are tender take them out and scrape away all the meat (if any be left) very cleane, then cut them as thin as you can (to make them hold) in a long string, or in reasonable short pieces, and lay them in your glasse, and boyling some of the best White-wine vineger with shugar, to a reasonable thin Syrupe, powre it upon them into your glasse, and keep them for your use.
Oyle of Cowslips.
Oyle of Cowslips, if the Nape of the Neck be annointed with it, is good for the Palsie, it comforteth the sinews, the heart and the head.
To make a Tart of Medlers.
Take Medlers that be rotten, and stamp them, and set them upon a chafin dish with coales, and beat in two yolks of Eggs, boyling till it be somewhat thick, then season it with Sugar, Cinamon, and Ginger, and lay it in paste.