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Theatrum Botanicum: The Theater of Plants: or, An herball of large extent: containing therin a more ample and exact history and declaratioin of the physicall herbs and plants ....


John Parkinson


Theatrum Botanicum: The Theater of Plants: or, An herball of large extent: containing therin a more ample and exact history and declaratioin of the physicall herbs and plants ....




Rare Books


Tho. Cotes


Indiana State University. Rare Books & Manuscripts




…of the red, so is there of the white corrall, other sorts of smaller, or even as small, and some smaller and finer than the red, some also of a most pare white corall.
Corallium album alterum. Loose white corall
This white corall growth greater and with blacker armes and branches then the last, but is not of so firme a substance being lesse solid and more porous or spungy then it within, and with sundry holes or hollow markes on the outside.
Sundry other sorts of white corall have beene observed by Imeratus of Naples, on sistulous or slender like a pipe, with many branches called Corallium album fifftulosum. Another is bunched out with knots like warts and spotted withal, called corallium verrucosum punctatum. A third hath markes like flarres , set on a all branches, and is of two forts both a greater and a lesser, called Album stellatum. A fourth hath certaine divisions therein, as if they were joynts and called Corallium album articulatum.
The blacke Corall growth great below, where it sticketh to the Rocke, spreading into fewer branches, but as smooth as they were polished and shining like Jet it selfe. There is aid to one found that is yellow. Else like unto the blacke.
5. Corallium nigrum hirsutum. Rough bristly blacke corall. This sort is often found as tall as any man, and of a large sise in the truncke or body, having sundry blacke sprigges like rough bristles, or the aulnes of come standing round about it one above another up to the toppe.
The place and time
Most of these corals are found about Marselles, and the Ile of Sardinia, and other places in the Mediterranean Sea, and sledome on this side it, and their time is with the others.
The Names.
[Κορα’λλ ογ] In Greeke is like wise corallium in Latine, and so called by all that have written of it, and thereto rubrum or album, &c, is set for distinction fake, yet the white is not remembered by Dioscorides, Theophrastou, or Pliny and but onely by our modern Writers; The blacke sorts are called Antipathes, and Corallium nigrum. The last is set forth in the Italian Baldo of Pona, by the name of the second fort of Antipathes, or blacke hairy corall, and is called by the Fishers of Sardinia Sambeggia.
The Vertues.
All the sorts of Corall doe colle and binde, yet the white is thought to be of a colder operation then the red and the blacke, to be as effectual to al purposes as either of the other: but red Corall is of most use, and is contended by be very effectual for those that spit blood, or the bleede much either at the mouth or nose, or any other flux of blood in man or woman, and being often taken in wine or other drinke doth diminish the speene, it helpeth also the gonorrhea in men, and the whites in women, it likewise helpeth them much that are troubled with the stopping of their water, or hardly make it but by dropped, and also … that have tormenting paines of the stone in the bladder, if the pouther when it is burnt to be taken in drink: the pouther taken in wine, or in water if they have an agne procureth rest as it is did: it is good to be given to those that have the falling sicknesse, or have crampes when it is burned and made into pouther: it d’yeth and bindeth more then before it did: it is also much commended against melancholy and sadnesse, and the refresh and comfort the fainting spirtis: it stayeth the bleedings of the hemorrhodiall veines, and of wounds, and of the menstrues, causing also an easie delivery of the birth, it also fasteneth loose teeth, helpeth sore gummes and ulcers in the mouth, and healeth up soule hollow ulcers in other parts: the ashes thereof being burned, mixed with other medicines for the eyes helpeth the watering, heate and rednesse in them, by cooling and drying up the moisture in them, although Galen hath made no mention of Corall in his booke of simple medicines, yet he appointeth it as an ingredient into sundry medicnes, that are for those that have phtisicke or couth of the lungs, tending to a consumption, and that spit blood, and that have soule running sores and ulcers and to cleanse imposthumes.
Chap. LVI
Alie Marine plante. Other Sea Plants
There yet remaine some other sorts of sea plants, which are many of them of a stony substance, or crushed over like as if they were so, although while they are in the water, theye grow like unto trees of divers shapes and forms, and because there is no use in PHysicke knowne of them, nor yet for any other purpose then to behold the variable works of nature., or rather of the God of nature in the sea, and to seede the minds of the curious, I will be breese inthem , and but onely shew you them.
1. Abies marina the sea firre.
This is clufius hath set it downe (who found it on the sea shore of Flanders) growth upon oyster or mussel shells, seldome above an handful high, very neerely resembling a low or dwarfe firre tree, with branches set in order, being small and brittle, composed as it were of scales, some being flat and other round compassing the branches all about. Lobel referreth it to the Corallines, calling it Muscus Coralloides alter.
2. Cupressus marina. The sea Cypresse.
The also is so like unto the small cypresse tree, as nothing can be more, having branches set round but without order, and rising upwards, as the sprigs of the cypresse doth, and with leaves thereon in the same to me and manner: this having beene lone kept in a paper booke, and set in water, willspread it selfe abroad, and shew the forme as it grew.
3. Myrica & Erica Marina. Sea Tamariske and Sea Heath
Other also he faith he found growing on the like shels, that were likesome unto Tamariske and some unto Heath, being but of a fingers length, with short branches covered over with a hoary saltnesse of the sea.
4. Refedamarina. Base wilde rocket of the sea
Clufius in his sixt booke of Exotickes , and sixt Chapter saith, he had this at Amsterdam, and for the rarenesse, there set it forth to e of a hard woodey substance, crusted over with the white saltnesse of the sea, being not the whole plant, but much of the lower parts, broken away, yet containing sundry branches, covered upwards with sundry small rough cups or vessels handing downwards, of a whitish ash colour, not much unlike unto th seede vessels of refeda when they are ripe, but much lesse, and so brittle that they might be rubbed to pouther betweene ones fingers.




John Parkinson, “Theatrum Botanicum: The Theater of Plants: or, An herball of large extent: containing therin a more ample and exact history and declaratioin of the physicall herbs and plants ....,” Cunningham Memorial Library Digital Exhibits, accessed June 9, 2023,

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