Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Lamb (The Vegetable) or Tartarian lamb;

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Lamb (The Vegetable) or Tartarian lamb;
technically called Polypodium Barometz. It is a Chinese fern with a decumbent root, covered with a soft, dense yellow wool. Sir Hans Sloane, who calls it the Tartarian lamb, has given a print of it; and Dr. Hunter has given a print which makes its resemblance to a lamb still more striking. The down is used in India for staunching hæmorrhage.   1
“Rooted in earth each cloven hoof descends,
And round and round her flexile neck she bends;
Crops the grey coral moss, and hoary thyme,
Or laps with rosy tongue the melting rime;
Eyes with mute tenderness her distant dam,
And seems to bleat, a Vegetable Lamb.”
Darwin: Loves of the Plants, 283, etc.



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