Hindering knotgrass

​There are claims that at various times in the past, the popularity of dwarfs may have led some to try manufacturing them through stunting growth, though it is unclear this ever met with success.  Among other methods, such as physically constricting growth, knotgrass has been attributed with the power of stunting growth, hence Shakespeare’s reference to ‘hindering knotgrass’. 

Get you gone, you dwarf;

You minimus, of hindering knot-grass made;

You bead, you acorn!

Source: Lysander, in William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1600), Harold Brooks, ed., 2nd edn (London: Methuen, 1979), III.ii.327-29

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