Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 A Brazilian Forest
 The Palm Tribe
 The Banyan Tree
 The Mangrove Tree
 The Wellingtonia Gigantea
 The Dragon Tree of Orotava
 The Bread-Fruit Tree
 The Cedars of Lebanon
 The Baobab
 The Traveller's Tree
 The Victoria Regia
 The Cactus Tribe
 Rafflesia Arnoldi
 The Caoutchouc Tree
 The Pitcher-Plants
 The Egyptian Lotus
 Sensitive Plants
 Back Cover

Title: Wonders of the vegetable world
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026286/00001
 Material Information
Title: Wonders of the vegetable world
Physical Description: 119 p., 2 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 17 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Adams, W. H. Davenport ( William Henry Davenport ), 1828-1891
Freeman, William Henry, fl. 1839-1875 ( Illustrator )
Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher )
Publisher: T. Nelson and Sons
Place of Publication: London ;
Edinburgh ;
New York
Publication Date: 1872
Subject: Trees -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Botany -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1872
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
United States -- New York -- New York
General Note: Preface signed: W.H.D.A.
General Note: Added title page and frontispiece printed in colors, and some illustrations by W.H. Freeman.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026286
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002220956
notis - ALG1172
oclc - 58796213

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Front Matter
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Half Title
        Page 5
    Title Page
        Page 6
    Table of Contents
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    A Brazilian Forest
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    The Palm Tribe
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    The Banyan Tree
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
    The Mangrove Tree
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    The Wellingtonia Gigantea
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
    The Dragon Tree of Orotava
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    The Bread-Fruit Tree
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
    The Cedars of Lebanon
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
    The Baobab
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    The Traveller's Tree
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
    The Victoria Regia
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    The Cactus Tribe
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
    Rafflesia Arnoldi
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
    The Caoutchouc Tree
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
    The Pitcher-Plants
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
    The Egyptian Lotus
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
    Sensitive Plants
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
    Back Cover
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
Full Text
This page contains no text.

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HE study of Botany is full of interest toevery well regulated mind and its attractions may fairly be described as inexhaustible It has moreover the advantage of beingat all times and in all places available of requiringno ponderous library of reference of needing noprofessors to be continually explaining its arcanaThe books of the botanist are everywhere in themeadow and the wood and the valley by the margeof the running stream in the silent pool on theweedy shores of estuaries and seas They are alwaysopen at sunrise as at sunset in the glow of summeras in the cold airs of winter and on all their pagesyou may find written abundant testimony to thewisdom goodness and power of the CreatorThis little volume is intended as an introductionto a study at once agreeable useful and humanizing

iV PREFACEIt does not deal however with the scientific elementsor technicalities of Botany It is an introduction inthis sense only that by describing the remarkablecharacteristics of some famous trees and singularplants it shows how genuine is its interest howdelightful its variety how manifold are its uses andthus the writer hopes will induce the youthfulreader to cultivate a further knowledge of the scienceLike other volumes in the same series it is intendedto illustrate and enforce the truth of the poet s assertionTo knowThat which about us lies in daily lifeIs the prime wisdomand to engage the mind of youth in meditation uponthe wonders and beauties of the Divine handiworkas a revelation from the Most Highw H D A

WONDERSOFTHE VEGETABLE WORLDIOne vast massOf mingling shade SHELLEYHERE are few of us insensible to thebeauty and the joy of woods the charmsof leafy groves and the mysteries of venerable forests There are few whose ears are deaf tothe music of the whispering leaves when the breezeis wandering from glade to glade and avenue toavenue like a spirit in search of some sister lovedand lost There are few whose eyes cannot perceiveall the glory of colour which steeps the woodland inlustre the bright emerald green of the springtime the riper hues of summer and the purpleand gold and crimson in which autumn rejoices likea king in his regal pomp There are few who love

8 A BRAZILIAN FORESTnot the forest gloom and the long arcades of ancestral trees and the sense of awe and loneliness Whichseems to belong to their silent depths recalling theold myths of the poets the legends of fabulousArcady and the days of oreads and hamadryads orgnomes elves and fays Minstrel and painter havefound an inspiration in woodland scenery from alltime from the days of Theocritus to those ofTennyson from the days of Poussin and SalvatorRosa to those of Turner and Creswick The foresthas ever been the region of charm and spell Itfigures in the fairy song of Ariosto in the fantasticpoem of Spenser it is rich with the legendarysuperstitions of Germany and the folk lore of ourEnglish land All that is sublime and inspiring inour thoughts or dreams is naturally associated withthe forest and into its dim recesses the philosopherretires to meditate the savage to worship his selfconceived gods youth to indulge in its vagrantfancies and love to repose in radiant visionsMark the sable woods exclaims the poetMark the sable woodsThat shade sublime yon mountain s nodding browWith what religious awe the solemn sceneCommands your steps as if the reverend formOf Minos or of Numa should forsakeThe Elysian seats and down the embowering gladeMove to your pausing eyeThe interest and wonder of the forest moreoverare inexhaustible Nature scatters abroad herwealth with a hand that is never weary No twotrees are alike no two leaves exactly resemble oneanother There is no need for copying for servile

A BRAZILIAN FOREST 9i nitation the Mind that conceived this mightyirhole can no more stint its glorious ideas than theSclouds cease to drop moisture Look at the leaf ofH the ash so brightly green and regular in shapecontrast it with the narrow spiky leaf of the willowI or the dark crumpled follicle of the birch each howdifferent yet each how exquisitely made A similardiversity is observable in branch and bough andstem and root the oak is as unlike the beech as thealder is unlike the chestnut Nor are they lessvarious in their uses and properties The shipbuilder claims the oak and the Pontic pine thebuilder lays his hand on the cedar and sycamorethe chemist draws a valuable extract from the yewand for the last covering of our mortal dust we appropriate the elm They change too in their individual aspects with every month nay with everyhour of the day from the fresh dawn of morning tothe gray shadows of evening twilight undergoing achange of outward seeming but ever crowned withan air of majesty like a hero who towers superior tothe conditions that surround him One might spendone s life in the forest and daily find some freshtheme for pleasant meditation some new food for agraceful curiosity The fir woods that hang uponthe slopes of the Scottish mountains the rich deepmasses of beech that clothe the round outlines of theChiltern Hills the patches of venerable trees thatstill linger within the circuit of the New Forest treeswhich flourished in stalwart vigour when far belowThe Roundhead rodeAnd hummed a surly hymn

10 A BRAZILIAN FORESTall these have a charm a value and an interestwhich would occupy one for years before one couldfully recognize all their various and ever varyingrelationsBut it is not of English trees neither of thefamous oak inseparably associated as it is with ournational glories nor of the stately elm where therook loves to build his substantial nest nor of thegraceful ash the last to wave its banners of brightgreen and the first to fold them before the comingwinter nor of the yewBeneath whose sable roofOf boughs as if for festal purpose deckedWith unrejoicing berries ghostly shapesMay meet at noontideit is not of the chestnut which welcomes May withso radiant a burst of blossoms nor of the willowdrooping low over the silent grave nor of the quivering aspen nor the far spreading sycamore that Iam about to speak With these dear old glories ofour native land these familiar friends of our boyhood in whose embracing arms we have often takenrest we need not now concern ourselves but goingfurther afield and venturing into strange tropicregions where Nature riots in a luxuriance all unknown to our temperate climes I shall surely lightupon more curious trees and plants more wonderfulthough not more beautiful than those whichi makeup our native woods and find somewhat to say abouttheir properties and uses which will amuse and yetinstruct my gentle readersHave they ever I wonder attempted to form any

A BRAZILIAN FOREST 11iidea of what a tropical forest is An English groveor a Highland wood is as I have said full of attract1 iveness and interest very impressive in its grave andi tanquil beauty but to the artist s eye it can nevercompare with a tropical forest all aglow with initense colour and full of exuberant life The depthsof Borneo or Ceylon the primeval masses which forShundreds of miles clothe the hot reeking lowlands ofthe Amazons or those Brazilian wildernesses thevirgin forests whose unfathomAble depths havenever been disturbed by the foot of man since theearth first rose out of chaos no tongue can tell nopen can describe their marvellous and all aboundingsplendours Huge trees soaring to the height ofone hundred and one hundred and fifty feet treeswhose giant stems shine like the columns of somemystic natural temple trees whose branches arethickly embowered in softest mosses and the mostdazzling foliage whose closest shades are haunted bymyriads of rare birds and insects and whose farreaching arms are interlaced by bands of glitteringclimbers while scores of parasitesLike restless serpents clothedIn rainbow and in firetwine around their gray trunks in strict embrace andadorn their colossal majesty with blooms minuteyet beautiful Trees and climbers and parasitesgrasses rich mosses and ferns almost as tall as treesthese spread over many a league of unknown andunexplored ground along the banks of mysteriousstreams into the heart of inaccessible valleys Trees

12 A BRAZIIUAN FORESTeverywhere weaving their branches together soclosely that even at noon the forest depth is obscureas twilight and so intertwining their parasiticalovergrowth that the traveller finds himself at allpoints confronted by an insuperable barrier I Treeseverywhere some with long narrow pendulousleaves others with fan shaped leaves these withleaves drooping like a warrior s plume those withleaves sharp and erect like a soldier s spear I Treeseverywhere some tall and stately as a Grecianpillar others bent and gnarled as if Time had treatedthem sorely Trees and thorny shrubs and floweringshrubs and creepers and immense ferns both climbing and epiphytous trees around you and aboveyou until to the confused eye all nature seemstransformed into one vast and inextricable wildernessof leaf and blossom such is a tropical forestMr Bates in his South American travels visitedthe forest country around Para that is an unbroken forest extending three hundred miles southward and eastward of that city He never succeededin penetrating into its interior but frequently explored the outskirts and this is the scene he waswont to wonder atThe ground was thickly carpeted with Lycopodiums but it was also encumbered with masses ofvegetable debris and a thick coating of dead leavesFruits of many kinds were scattered about amongstwhich were numerous species of beans some of thepods a foot long flat and leathery in texture othershard as stone In one place might be seen a quantityOrder Lycopodiaceae club mosses

A BRAZILIAN FOREST 13Il1 large empty wooden vessels such they appearedSto be but in reality they had fallen from the Sapuieaya tree They are called Monkey s Drinking cupsCuyas de Macaco and are the capsules of the nutsiold under this appellation in Covent Garden Marketl The top of the vessel is pierced with a circular holein which a natural lid fits easily When the nutsripen this lid becomes loosened and down falls theheavy shell with a crash scattering the nuts over theground The tree which bears this extraordinaryburthen is of immense height It is closely alliedto the Brazil nut tree t whose seeds are likewiseenclosed in large wooden vessels but these are without lids and fall entire to the ground It is at least120 feet high and rises to the noble stature of 1000 feet before it throws off any branches From twelveto twenty of these sweet edible nuts lie in a podThe monkeys are very partial to them and willpatiently sit for hours hammering at a capsule withi stone in order to open it and as soon as they havesucceeded the on lookers rush to the spot to purloinas many as they can The natives assail the quarrelling party with stones a proceeding which incitesthe monkeys to revenge themselves by a discharge ofnuts By this means the Indians load their boatswithout trouble and the monkeys are left to make aS fresh forayIn his forest wanderings Mr Bates was especiallyattracted by the colossal trees He says that onthe whole they had not remarkably thick stemsLesythis Ollaria order Lecythidacemat Bertholletia Excelsa same ordern

14 A BRAZILIAN FORESTthe great and uniform height to which they growwithout throwing off a branch is a much morenoticeable feature than their thickness but at intervals he paused before a veritable giant Only oneof these huge patriarchs of the woods can flourishwithin a given space it monopolizes the domain andnone but humble individuals can nestle within itsshadow The cylindrical trunks of these largertrees were generally about twenty to twenty five feetin circumference Von Martius another Braziliantraveller mentions having measured trees in thePara district belonging to various species Symphoniacoccinea Lecythis spirula and Crataeva Tapia whichwere fifty to sixty feet in girth at the point wherethey become cylindrical The height of the vastcolumn like stems could not be less than 100 feetfrom the ground to their lowest branch The totalheight of the Pao d Ano and the Massarandubastem and crown together may be computed at from180 to 200 feet Where one of them stands thevast canopy of leafiness rises above the other foresttrees like a domed cathedral above the minor buildings of a cityA very curious feature in these trees is the growthof buttress shaped projections around the lower partof their stems The spaces between these buttresseswhich may be compared to thin walls of wood formspacious chambers like stalls in a stable some ofthem large enough to hold half a dozen personsThe purpose of these structures says Mr Batesis as obvious at the first glance as that of theOrder Bignoniacese

A BRAZILIAN FOREST 15imilar props of brickwork which support a highwall They are not peculiar to one species but arecommon to most of the larger forest trees Theirnature and manner of growth are explained when aiseries of young trees of different ages is examinedIt is then seen that they are the roots which haveraised themselves ridge like out of the earth growinggradually upwards as the increasing height of thetree required augmented support Thus they areplainly intended to sustain the massive crown andtrunk in these crowded forests where lateral growthof the roots in the earth is rendered difficult by thenumber of competitorsAmong other remarkable inhabitants of the Brazilian wilderness we may name the lofty Moira tinguthe Samaiima t and the Massaranduba or cow tree 4The Eriodendron Samaiima or silk cotton treeholds in the New World the same position as theBombax in the Old It rises to an enormous staturewithout branches and then spreads out a gloriousmass of foliage The bark is light in colour andthe capsule pod contains a large quantity of downof a brown tint and exquisite silky softness TheMassaranduba is also called the Palo de Vacca theArbor de Lacte the Galactodendron utile or theCow tree Its bark furnishes an abundant supply ofmilk as pleasant to drink as that of the cow Ifexposed to the air it thickens into a glue which isexcessively tenacious and often employed to cementbroken crockery The tree has a wild strange apOrder Leguminosae tribe Mimosaet Order Sterculiacea t Order Urticaceea

16 A BRAZILIAN FORESTpearance owing to its deeply scored reddish andrugged bark a decoction of which is used as a reddye for clothDid our readers ever hear of the Pashiiba orbulging stemmed palm It is not one of thetallest kinds for its height when full grown seldomexceeds forty feet the leaves are somewhat lessdrooping and the leaflets broader than in otherspecies but if less beautiful it is perhaps far moreremarkable Its roots grow above ground radiatingfrom the trunk at an elevation of ten or twelve feetso that the tree seems to be supported on stilts andwhen it is old a person can stand upright amongstthe roots with the perpendicular stem wholly abovehis head I About midway this stem bulges out in acircular swelling which gives it its distinctive nameThe roots closely resemble straight rods but theyare studded with stout thorns whilst the trunk ofthe Pashiuiba is perfectly smoothSuch are some of the marvels of a Brazilian forestperceptible to the traveller even at a cursoryglance There are others however which must benoticed more in detail and the entire vegetableworld i full of curious things that command ouradmiration and excite our wonder To these willthe succeeding pages be devotedIriartea Ventrioosa

IIt V almr Q0a r ibtThose groups of lovely date trees bendingLanguidly their leaf crowned headsLike youthful maids when sleep descendingWarns them to their silken bedsMOORENNA the great botanist has not inaptlycalled the tall and crested Palm treesthe princes of the vegetable world andwherever they bloom they enrich the landscape bytheir grace and majesty The most perfect of thetribe have a tall cylindrical stem which shoots upward from the earth without knot or blemish likean Ionic column springing to an immense heightand yet so symmetrical that its slenderness conveysno idea of feebleness The summit bears a crown ofemerald green plumes like a diadem of giganticostrich feathers these are frequently twenty feetlong droop slightly at the ends and rustle musicallyin the breeze In the arid desert it forms an objectof peculiar beauty as it soars erect and gracefulnear some welcome spring of living waters a landmark to the wayworn traveller but to see it in allits glory you must visit the paln groves of TropicalAmerica or Polynesia and wander enchanted inOrder Palmacem

18 THE PAIM TRIBEtheir grateful shades Under the natural screenwhich the thick green feathery branches supply theorange and the lemon the pomegranate the olivethe almond and the vine flourish in wild luxurianceand pour forth an abundance of luscious fruit Andhere while the eye is never weary of gazing on theglorious blossoms which brighten and adorn thescene the ear is also ravished with the sweet clearmelody of numerous birds attracted to the palmgrove by its cool shadows its fruits and crystalspringsThe valley of the Amazons rejoices in an infinitevariety of these beautiful trees Among them aforemost place must be given to the Fan leavedwhich abound in the islets and on the banks of themighty river and its tributaries Their stems arehuge smooth cylinders three feet in diameter andabout a hundred feet high Their crowns consist ofenormous clusters of fan shaped leaves whose stalksalone measure seven to ten feet in lengthNothing in the vegetable world we are told canbe more imposing than this grove of palms Nounderwood obstructs the view of the long perspective of towering columns which forces on thespectator s mind the remembrance of the long drawnaisles of Gothic cathedrals The crowns denselypacked together at an immense height overheadshut out the rays of the sun and the gloomy solitude beneath where every sound has a strange reverberation can be compared to nothing so well asa solemn temple In such a scene it is meet thatMauritia flexuosa

THE PALM TRIBE 19the soul on Devotion s wing should mount toGod IHumboldt has christened the Mauritia flexuosathe Tree of Life It is the chief almost the onlySnourishment he says of the unconquered nation ofthe Guaranis at the mouth of the Orinoco whoskilfully stretch their mats woven from the nervesof the leaves from one trunk to another and duringthe rainy season when the Delta is inundated livelike apes on the tops of the treesThese habitations are partially roofed with mudthe women light their household fires on a flooringof the same material and the traveller ascendingthe river at night gazes astonished on the hundredspiral shafts of flame and smoke which seem kindledin the very airBut not only with a habitation does the Mauritiasupply these savages it also feeds them Beforethe flowers are developed the trunk affords them afarinaceous pith like sago the sap provides wineand the joys of Bacchus the fresh fruits coveredwith scales like fir cones yield them nourishmentwhether they eat them after the full development oftheir saccharine principle or when they simply contain an abundant pulpThe fruit was first brought to England by SirWalter Raleigh The tree does not attain maturityin less than 120 or 150 yearsS The Assai palm deserves mention on account orits edible properties The fruit which is perfectlyround and about as large as a cherry contains but aEuterpe oloracea

20 THE PALM TRIBEsmall quantity of pulp lying between the hard kerneland the skin With the addition of water the pulpforms a thick violet coloured beverage which stainsthe lips like blackberries and is universally drankby the Indians of the Tocantins The tree itselfrises without knot or blemish to a great heightThe outer part of the stem is as hard and as toughas horn split into narrow planks it is used for thewalls and flooring of the Indian hutsA noble palm grows in the neighbourhood ofSantarem which the natives call Bacdba Itgrcws to a height of forty to fifty feet The crownis of a shining glossy emerald green and of a singularly flattened or compressed shape the leaves beingarranged on each side in nearly the same plane Thefruit ripens towards the end of the winter and thenatives manufacture from it an agreeable liquor byrubbing off the pulpy coat of the nuts and mixingit with water The beverage resembles milk andpossesses a piquant nutty flavour As the Bacabaon account of its smooth stem is very difficult toclimb the natives whenever they want to quenchtheir thirst with its fruit cut down and thus destroywith the wasteful thoughtlessness of all savagesa tree which has taken a score or two of years togrowThe Urucuri t is another Brazilian or Amazonianpalm and one of singular beauty It flourishes inimmense groves under the crowns of the loftierforest trees the smooth pillar like stems being nearlyall of equal elevation forty to fifty feet and theEnocarpus distichus t Attalea excelsa

THE PALM TRIBE 21Sbroad finely pinnated leaves interwoven above in aSnatural dome like vault of ever fresh greenery Thefruit which in size and shape resembles the date isSnever eaten by the Indians It is palatable but notSwholesomeBut still more celebrated in Tropical America isSthe wide spread Peach palm called by the Tup6Indians the Pupunha The English name wouldseem to allude to the colour of its fruit rather thanto its flavour which travellers contemn as dry andmealy or like a mixture of chestnuts and cheeseSVultures devour it eagerly and hover about the treeSwhen it is ripe in noisy and quarrelsome flocksSThe Pupunha is a noble ornament to the landscapeSbeing when mature from fifty to sixty feet in heightand frequently as straight as a scaffold pole ASbunch of ripe fruit is a sufficient load for a strongman and each tree bears several of them The nutin good condition is as large as a full sized peachand if boiled will bear comparison with an Irishman s delicacy a mealy potato In the neighbourhood of Egra where the Pupunha is carefully cultivated it is thus prepared for table and eaten withtreacle or salt A dozen of the seedless fruits makeit is said a good meal for a grown up personIt is astonishing to what a variety of uses theAmazonian Indians apply the palm It providesSthem with house food drink raiment salt implements weapons fishing tackle and even musical instruments The rafters of their huts are formedperhaps of the straight and uniform palm called LeoGulielma speciosa

22 THE PALM TRIBEpoldina pulchra the Carand is brought into requisition for the roof and the split stems of the Iriarteaexporiza furnish the doors and frame work The widebark which grows beneath the fruit of another speciesis woven into an apron The comb with which manyof the males adorn their heads is made from palmwood and their fish hooks from its spine Caps forthe head and cloth for the loins are manufacturedfrom the fibrous spathes of the Manicaria sacciferaThese too supply the native with his hammock andbow strings Various species of palms yield oil andedible fruit from eight kinds an intoxicating liquorcan be distilled and from the Jard assu by burningits small nuts he procures a substitute for saltFrom the spinous processes of the Patawd he makeshis arrows and arms himself with lances and harpoonsfrom the Triatea ventricosa The long blow pipethrough which he hurls the envenomed dart at birdsand animals comes from the Setigera palm fromthe stems of various trees he fashions the harshbassoon like musical instrument employed in hisdevil worship and finally the great woodyspathes of the Maximiliana regia provide him withcooking vesselsIn Ceylon and Malabar one of the principal palmsis the remarkable Talipot Talipat or Umbrella bearing palm which frequently attains the extraordinaryelevation of 100 feet is straight as a giant s spearfive feet in circumference at the base and taperingtowards the summit where it terminates in a magnificent crown of enormous palmate plaited leavesCorypha umbraculifera It is also called the Great Fan Palm

THE PALM TRIBE 23Each leaf near the outer margin is divided intonumerous segments and united to the trunk byspiny leaf stalks It usually measures about eighteenfeet in length exclusive of the leaf stalk and aboutfourteen feet in breadth so that a single leaf willform an excellent canopy for a score of men It isconsequently employed for many important purposessuch as roofing houses or making tents The Singalese noble on state occasions is always followedby an attendant bearing above his head a richlyornamented Talipat leaf which can be folded uplike a fan into a roll of the thickness of a man sarm and is wonderfully light In Malabar theleaves are used as a substitute for paper the characS ters being inscribed with an iron stylus but theyundergo a preliminary process of boiling dryingI damping rubbing and pressing The oil employedin colouring the writing preserves them from insectsbut changes with age so that a Singalese determinesthe date of a book by carefully smelling at itAbove its crown of leaves the Talipat at the ageof thirty or forty years raises an erect pyramid otflowers of a bright creamy hue but disagreeableodour At first they are enclosed in a hard sheathfrom which when matured they extrude themselveswith a loud noise To this peculiarity Moore alludesin the following linesHearts where slow but deep the seedsOf vengeance ripen into deedsTill in some treacherous hour of calmThey burst like Zeilan s giant palmWhose buds fly open with a soundThat shakes the pigmy forest round i

24 THE PALM TRIBEThe fruit is abundant globose and about an inchand a half in diameter As soon as it has ripenedthe tree decays and in two or three weeks liesrotten on the groundVegetable ivory now manufactured into manyornamented articles is the hardened albumen of theCorosso first made known in England by SirWilliam Hooker It is clear and liquid at firstthen milky and sweet and finally solid The stemof the tree which produces the Corosso nuts is sodwarfed that they lie in clusters upon the groundwhile its enormous tufts of pinnated leaves attainthe height of twenty feet The Corosso is a nativeof the sheltered and romantic valleys which nestleamong the Peruvian AndesWax is obtained from several species of thePalmaceae as from the Ceroxylon or Wax palm discovered by Humboldt in South America whichgrows to a height of 180 feet and the Camanbawhose tan like leaves are coated with a yellow waxFrom the Calamus verus we obtain the wellknown canes called ratans and the Sago palm twhich flourishes in the swampy districts of theEast supplies us with a farinaceous food of greatvalue The Corypha Australia a native of Victoria in Australia yields a profusion of fan shapedleaves which are employed in the manufacture ofstraw hats This noble tree attains the stature of140 feetThe Palm oil largely used in the manufacture ofsoap and candles and in the preparation of thePhytolephas macrocarpa t Corypha cerifera Sagus farinifera



THE PALM TRIBE 27peculiar compound with which the wheels of railwaycarriages are greased is expressed from the nuts ofthe Elais palm a native of Guinea The palm treeworms the larvae of a kind of beetle eaten inSurinam as a delicacy flourish on the Areca oleraceaThe Areca or Catechu palm yields the celebratedBetel nuts so largely masticated by the HindusFrom these nuts our chemists obtain an astringentdecoction useful in dyspepsia and many otherdiseasesWhat would become of the wanderer in the desertsof Arabia and Barbary if Providence suddenly decreed the extinction of the Date palm Thousands of human beings would inevitably perish forthe inhabitants of Fezzan live wholly upon itssaccharine and delicious fruit for nine months of theyear In Egypt Arabia and Persia it forms theprincipal food of the people and a man s wealth isS computed by the number of date palms he possessesWhen dried the fruit becomes an important commercial staple Cakes of dates pounded and kneadeduntil solid enough to be cut with a hatchet supplythe provision of the African caravans on their toilsome journey through the sun lighted Sahara Theyoung leaves or palm cabbage are eaten by thePersians and Arabs who also distil a species of winefrom the sap by fermentation A single palm willyield three or four quarts daily for a fortnight afterwhich the quantity diminishes and the tree graduallydries up The date stones or seeds are roasted as aS substitute for coffee or ground for the sake of theirPhoenix dactylifera

28 THE PALM TRIBEoil and the residuum given as food to cattle Bagsand mats are made out of the leaves the fibres supply a rude rough cordage and the leaf stalks all kindsof basket and wicker workThe Date palm is the palm tree alluded to inScripture and in the oases of the Great Desertsprings up a fountain of life for the refreshment ofthe traveller and the sustenance of the Arab nomadeIt generally attains a height of fifty feet is crownedwith a crest of from forty to eighty glaucous pinnated leaves and flowers at the age of twelve yearsIn Egypt we meet with the Doum palm a tree ofshorter stature but remarkable for the repeatedforkings of its stem From the sweet and yet pungent flavour of its fruit it has been popularly calledthe Gingerbread Tree but to an European stomachthe gingerbread would prove sadly difficult of digestion The kernel resembles ivory and the nativesfashion it into beads and other small ornamentsBoth the Date and the Dotm palm are found inEgypt but the former disappears as the travellerdescends the Nile and ehters Nubia Generallyspeaking it may be said that the Doum is the Egyptian as the Date is the Saharan palm tree Its valueis not so great as that of its famous congener norare its uses so various but then the Egyptian is lessdependent upon it than the Arab upon the DateTo the inhabitant of the Sahara the latter is foodcomfort wealth nay life It is easy to understandsays a French writer the gratitude cherished by theArab towards this tree which thrives in the sandywaste draws sustenance from brackish water fatal to



THE PALM TRIBE 31almost every other plant preserves its freshness whenall around it decays and withers under the rays ofan implacable sun and resists the tempests whichbow its flexible crest but cannot tear up its solidlyplanted roots It may be said without exaggerationthat a single tree has peopled the Desert thatwithout it the nomade tribes of Western Africamust cease to existWhat the Date palm is to the Arab the Cocoa nutpalm is to the Polynesian Originally it wouldseem to have been a native only of the Indian coastsand South Sea Islands but it is now diffused overall the tropical world There are about eighteenknown species of which only one the cocoa nutitself does not belong to America but flourishesbest in the neighbourhood of the sea coast It isthe crown and glory of the coral islets which stud thesapphire expanse of the Pacific Ocean its cylindricaland slender stem about two feet in diameter and from60 to 100 feet in height with its crest of greendrooping pinnated leaves generally sixteen to twentyin number and from twelve to twenty feet in lengthforming a conspicuous ornament of the tropicallandscape ofThe studded archipelagoO er whose blue bosom rise the starry islesand justly entitling it to the poet s praise asThe loftiest Dryad of the woodsWithin whose bosom infant Bacchus broodsThe uses of this tree are manifold and its valuableCocos nucifera

32 THE PAIM TRIBEproperties claim man s gratitude Its hard agatelike polished timber known as Palmyra and Porcupine wood is prized by the cabinet maker the hardnut which encloses its fruit the savage carves intohandsome bowls and goblets the milky liquid withinhas a sweet and delicious flavour and is verywholesome refreshing and digestible the fibroushusk can be woven into sails and cordage or usedfor stuffing mats and cushions the terminal bud orPalm cabbage is delicate eating the central partof the stem when young affords a sweet and excellent food the fermented sap yields the spirituousliquor so well known as arrack the dried leavescan be employed for thatch and every boy knowsthat the nut itself is a popular and justly prizeddaintyCommercially speaking the most valuable productof this all important tree is the oil or butter obtainedfrom its kernel and largely used in Europe in themanufacture of stearine candles In the East it isemployed as an unguent and for illuminating purposes It is obtained by pressure of the kernel orby boiling it over a slow fire Seven or eight nutswill supply one quart It is liquid in tropicalclimates but in colder temperatures solidifies into awhite butter like oil Compression separates it intoa more liquid part called olein and a more solid partknown as cocosin or cocostearinThe Cocoa palm ripens in about seven years andcontinues productive for seventy or eighty eachtree bearing annually from eighty to one hundredinuts

THE PALM TRIBE 33The Double cocoa nut Cocos de Mer of theSeychelles Islands which in the early days ofmaritime enterprise was regarded as a marvel andoriginated a score of fables is the fruit of a palm ofa wholly different genus It was originally foundfloatingpn the waves of the Indian Ocean and as itsSbirth place could not at first be discovered becameenveloped in an atmosphere of mystery As a supSposed talisman against poison and infectious diseasesit was eagerly sought after and a good nut wouldfetch the enormous sum of 150 It was said thatonly one tree in the world produced this rare andwondrous fruit Solomon s Nut was the popularappellation and that its roots Were fixed deep inSthe ocean bed while a griffin kept watch and wardover the treasure as the Dragon over the Hesperidanapples But in 1768 it was discovered by twoFrench officers Captain Duchenin and M Barregrowing plentifully in the Seychelles Islands andwas ascertained to be the fruit of a palm with astraight slender stem 100 feet high which requiresupwards of a century and a quarter to reach maturity The whole tree possesses the useful propertiesof the family to which it belongs and flourishesSonly on two islands in the Seychelles group whichare named Praslin and CurieuseWhat rice is to the Hindu what wheat is to theEuropean is the Banana t to the inhabitants of thetropical islands They would perish without it orbe reduced to feed like the beasts on the herbageof the fields But the banana supplies them with aLoidoicea Seychellarur t Order Musacesm3

34 THE PALM TRIBEwholesome and abundant food with a pleasant drinkwith a valuable medicine with materials for clothingin a word with almost all the necessaries of theirsimple and easily contented life It is now understood to be a variety of the plantain the one bearingthe technical name of Musa sapientum the other ofMusa paradisiaca both appellations testifying tothe esteem in which the plant is heldFor Musa sapientum of the wise men alludesto a statement by Theophrastus that its fruit was thedaily fare of the wise men of India and Musa paradisiaca to a tradition that it was identical with theTree of Knowledge of Good and Evil which flourished in the garden groves of EdenA goodly treeLaden with fruit of fairest colours mixedRuddy and goldThe name of Musa is derived we are told fromthe Arabic word moz a plantain and the genuscomes from the Cape of Good Hope and the islandsof the great Eastern Archipelago where it fattensand flourishes beneath an unclouded sun Its presentrange is almost universal and it will even thrive inregions where the thermometer descends to 45 Itgrows most freely in humid localities and in spotssheltered from the wind for its large floating leaves6 feet long and 2 feet broad of the brightest greenare so delicately woven that the lightest gust ofair will rend them into fragments These leavesyield a remarkably fine flax which is manufacturedinto fleecy muslins The process is thus

THE PALM TRIBE 35The fibres of the petioles are easily pulled outand separated with a knife they are washed in threeor four waters and bleached and dried on linen exTHE BANANA PALMposed to the sun they are then stretched in everydi irection After this they are macerated for anThe petiole is the stalk of thb leaf

36 THE PALM TRIBEhour in lime juice which renders them perfectlywhite and fit for spinning or if left in a flockystate they are made into tinder or waddingFrom the stem of the banana a peculiar juice isdistilled which acts as an admirable remedy in casesof diarrhoeaThe fruit of the banana or Musa sapientum isshorter and rounder than that of the Musa paradisiaca or plantain When ripe it glows like goldexternally and within mellows into a soft creamyhue Stewed in claret or fried in butter it makesa dainty dish to set before a king Dried in thesun or in an oven and pounded it can be manufactured into a nourishing kind of bread as a whitishand fragrant meal it will keep for a long time andis not inferior to porridge In Guiana it is calledConquin tayThere is more succulence in the plantain than inthe banana It is a native of East India but musthave been imported into America soon after its discovery by Columbus since its fruit formed a staplearticle of food early in the sixteenth century andnow its varieties are scattered over the whole of thatgreat continentThe stem of the plantain is usually fifteen or twentyfeet high The leaves are very large frequently tenfeet long and three broad so that one leaf makes avery sufficient shelter from the sun It is propagatedby suckers and a sucker attains maturity about ayear after it is planted After fruiting the stem iscut down but the plantain does not need renewingfor nearly twenty years

THE PALM TRIBE 87Numercus are the uses of this important esculentWe have spoken of its fruit as an article of food adecoction of it yields a pleasant beverage the top ofthe stalk boiled is an excellent vegetable theleaves are employed for packing and for thatchand the fibre for textile purposes and cordageIts importance as a staple of nutriment may beinferred from Humboldt s calculation that the foodproduce compared with that of the potato is as 44to 1 and with that of wheat as 133 to 1 A squareSspace of one thousand feet will grow forty or fiftyplants and one acre of ground will yield sufficientsupport for fifty men Take a patch of land Cultivate it with wheat and it shall nourish its tillerplant it with bananas and it shall maintain half acompany of soldiersSome wild species of the plantain flourish in manyparts of the East One kind Musa Troglodytarumcommon enough in the fair islands of Polynesiabears its clusters erect and aloft like a chieftain sphune of feathers and not pendent like all othervarieties In the golden Philippines there lives aSspecies of Musa bearing a green unsavoury fruitwhose stem supplies the well known Abaca orManilla hempThe gorgeous Strelitzias which are now found inmany English hot houses having been imported fromthe Cape of Good Hope belong to the order Musacece Their flower stalks spring like lances fromthe centre of numerous leaves borne upon longpetioles which are ensheathing at the base Theirflowers are orange and dark blue The Heliconia

38 THE PALM TRIBEwhich possesses an edible root and the Uraniaa plant of more than ordinary beauty are also members of the banana tribe The leaves of the latterhave been compared to broad sword blades they areeight feet long a foot broad and rise straight upwards alternately from the top of a stem five or sixfeet highUrania Amazonica or Wild Banana

IIII e angan mHE poet Southey in a well known passageof the Curse of Kehama describes thiswonderful tree with as much felicity astruth The quotation is somewhat hackneyed yetmay be new to our younger readers The scene isa green and sunny glade in a tropical forestAnd in the midst an aged banyan grewIt was a goodly sight to seeThat venerable treeFor o er the lawn irregularly spreadFifty straight columns propped its lofty headAnd many a long depending shootSeeking to strike its rootStraight like a plummet grew towards the groundSome on the lower boughs which crossed their wayFixing their bearded fibres round and roundWith many a ring and wild contortion woundSome to the passing wind at times with swayOf gentle motion swungOthers of younger growth unmoved were hungLike stone drops from the cavern s fretted heightBeieath was smooth and fair to sightNor weeds nor briars deformed the natural floorAnd through the leafy cope which bowered it o erCame gleams of checkered lightSSo like a temple did it seem that thereA pious heart s first impulse would be prayerThe Banyan or Pagod tree is a native of sunnyHindustan and Cochin China and frequently attainsFicus Indica order Urticacee

40 THE BANYAN TREEan almost incredible size I have read of one whichhad no fewer than 350 stems each stem equal ingirth to a large oak besides 3000 smaller ones thewhole forming a canopy of foliage overspreading anarea of 1700 square yards and covering a spacecapable of containing 7000 persons That is to saythis one tree extended over as much ground as thetransept of the Crystal Palace or St Paul s Cathedral Its leaves are shaped like a heart about five or

THIE BANYAN TREE 41R six inches long and its fruit resembles in shapesize and colour a rich scarlet cherry growing inpairs from the axils of the leaves The branchesfrequently extend over two acres horizontally straightS out from the trunk and send forth long straightshoots or arms which root themselves in the groundand form props like smooth pillars covered withsilvery bark for the boughs and simultaneouslysupply them with additional moisture from theearth The main trunk will measure about 28 feetin girth and 60 to 80 in height The props orstems frequently possess a circumference of 10 to14 feet In the branches the Bonzes or Hinduhermits plant their huts and in their pleasantshadow the traveller protects himself from the ardourof a tropic sunIn Moore s Lalla Rookh the procession of theprincess is represented as encamping under a banyanunder one of those holy trees says the poet whosesmooth columns and spreading roofs seem to destinethem for natural temples of religion The Hindusconvert them into temples placing their idols underits shade wherefore they call it the pagod tree Insome places says Pennant it is believed to be thehaunf of spectres as the ancient spreading oaks ofWales have been of fairies in others are erectedbeneath the shade pillars of stone or posts elegantlycarved and ornamented with the most beautifulporcelain to supply the place of mirrorsSo MiltonThe bended twigs take root and daughters growAbout the mother tree a pillared shade

42 THE BANYAN TREEAs for the fruit only birds and monkeys eat itbut its milky juice supplies a kind of caoutchoucand the wood of the larger stems is useful from itstoughness and lightnessAllied to the banyan is the Pippul tree a nativeof Ceylon and the Indian mainland where it receivesa considerable amount of veneration Vishnu beingsupposed to have sprung into life under the pippuland Buddha to have enjoyed its shade The leavesare heart shaped 8 inches long and 6 broad atthe broadest part Unlike the banyan its branchesdo not send forth any roots but it yields acaoutchouc juice Most of the Indian caoutchouchowever is obtained from the various species ofFicus or fig tree such as the Ficus elastica andFicus toxicaria but it is far inferior for commercialpurposes to that of the Siphonia elastica an American tree of which we shall hereafter have occasion tospeakFicus religiosa order Urticacees

IVI Cl r I ngjrnobf GrmeHE Mangrove is a genus of plants belongingto the natural order Rhizophoraceae AllS its individuals are tropical and all nativesof the coast especially of estuaries and the mouthsof great rivers where they flourish in the mudextending their closely intertwined roots even downto low water mark and often presenting to thevoyager an impassable barrier Most of the speciespossess the peculiar property of sending down rootsfrom their branches and thus they spread withgreat rapidity over an immense area forming thickmangrove forests the resort of myriads of aquaticbirds of innumerable legions of crabs and of hostsof shell fish which adhere to their branches Theleaves are of a dark glossy green which contrastspleasantly with the long narrow scarlet pods Thewood is hard and durable From the roots whenleft bare by the receding tide a sickly odour arisesand the vicinity of a mangrove forest is always cursedby the deadly malaria It is partly to this circumstance must be attributed the unhealthy character ofthe estuaries of the African riversOrder Rhizophoracesa

44 THaE MANGROVE TREEThe seeds germinate while still attached to theparent branch The pod opens at the bottom theyoung plant with its long thick radicle extendsitself and rapidly grows downwards until the fruitfalls off penetrates into the mud and in due timerises into a lofty treeThe whole number of species known is abouttwenty The fruit of the common mangrove Rhizophora mangle is sweet and eatable and its fermentedjuice yields a light wineKingsley in his Westward Ho has painted amangrove forest very graphicallyThe shore he says sank suddenly into a low lineof mangrove wood backed by primeval forest Theloathy floor of liquid mud lay bare beneath Uponthe endless web of interarching roots great purplecrabs were crawling up and down The black bankof dingy leathern leaves above the endless labyrinthof stones and withes for every bough had loweredits own living cord to take fresh hold of the foulsoil below the web of roots which stretched faraway inland all seemed one horrid complicatedtrap for the voyager there was no opening norelief nothing but the dark ring of mangroves andhere and there an isolated group of large and smallparents and children bending and spreading as if inhideous haste to choke out air and sky Wailingsadly sad coloured mangrove hens ran off across themud into the dreary dark The hoarse night ravenhid among the roots startled the voyagers with asudden shout and then all was again silent as agrave The loathly alligators lounging in the



THE MANGROVE TREE 47slime lifted their horny eyelids lazily and leeredupon you as you passed with stupid savagenessLinies of tall herons stood dimly in the growinggloom like white fantastic ghosts All was foulsullen weird as witches dreamHappily no landscape dark and drear as thispollutes our British shores and threatens the marinerwith delirious death I

VE felingtnnia iganterOverhead up grewInsuperable height of loftiest shadeA sylvan scene and as the ranks ascendShade above shade a woody theatreOf stateliest viewSMILTONHIS noble tree indisputably the giant andmonarch of the vegetable world is a nativeof California where it was discovered in1852 by a Mr Dowd It was first described by DrLindley When it has attained its full growth itsdimensions are truly colossal What does the readerthink of a tree 450 feet high more than twice theheight of the Monument of London which couldnot find room to rear its branches beneath the domeof St Paul s and whose huge trunk measures 116feet in circumference It is difficult for the liveliestimagination to realize any adequate conception ofsuch a leviathan And if such a task be one to taxthe fancy what shall we say of a forest of theseverdurous colossi stretching over leagues and leaguesof densest shadeAnd yet such a scene there is at Calaveras inCalifornia where the awe and astonishment of theIt is now scientifically known as the Sequoia gigantea and belongsto an old genus Sequoia sempervirens of the Taxodium family



THE WELLINGTONIA GIGANTEA 51traveller are excited by the gigantic masses of theMammoth Tree Grove They are situated in lat380 N and long 120 10 W at an elevation abovethe sea level of 4370 feet Within an area of fiftyacres are found one hundred and three trees of goodlyproportions twenty of them exceeding seventy fivefeet in circumference and yet these are saplings nothalf arrived at the maturity of their treehood Theneighbouring squatters will point you out a stumpwhich affords sufficient area for a public meetingand on which so runs the record thirty twopersons danced four sets of cotillions at one timewithout coming into chance collision This stumpmeasures twenty five feet across without the barkIt engaged the labour of five men for twenty twodays to fell it and this was accomplished not withaxe or saw but by boring it off with pump augersThe bark was removed to England and put up inthe Crystal Palace as a visible representation of amammoth tree During the conflagration of 1866it was unfortunately destroyedThe largest tree now standing has been namedfrom its immense size two breast like protuberanceson one side and the number of small trees of asimilar species adjoining the Mother of the ForestIt measures in circumference without the barkAt the base 84 feet or including thebark 90 feetTwenty feet from the ground 69 feetSeventy feet from the ground 43 feet 6 inchesOne hundred and sixteen feet 39 feet 6 inchesfrom the base ncheHeight to the first branch 137 feetTotal height 321 feet

52 THE WELLINGTONIA GIGANTEAFigures sometimes give one but a poor idea of magnitude but let the reader think of a tree which risesto a greater height than pillar or column in GreatBritain before it throws off a single branchNear this huge tree lies prone upon the groundthe majestic bark of the Father of the Forestworthy of its title from its superiority in size Itmeasures in circumference at the roots 110 feetIt is 200 feet to the first branch the whole of whichsurpassing length is hollow and forms a tunnelwhere a man can walk erect Its height whenstanding is computed to have been 435 feet Threehundred feet from the roots and where it was brokenoff by striking against another large tree it measureseighteen feet in diameterNow let us turn our attention to a graceful pairapparently inclining towards one another and therefore appropriately named The Husband and WifeThese are of the same dimensions at the base about60 feet in circumference nd in height about 250feetThe Hermit stands alone in silent grandeurwith a tall shapely trunk shooting upwards like acolossal monument to an elevation of 318 feet and60 feet in circumferenceAnother giant has been christened Herculesits girth is 95 feet and its height 312 feet In thehollow trunk of the Burnt Tree which is prostrate and hollow from repeated burnings a personcan ride on horseback for sixty feet It is supposedwhen standing to have been 103 yards highA bent broken and melancholy looking tree is

THE WELLINGTONIA GIGANTEA 53the Old Maid of this family of Anakim 261 feethigh and 59 feet in circumference It has a suitablecompanion in the Old Bachelor a rough andscathed old trunk 298 feet in height and about 60feet in girthThe Siamese Twins at about 40 feet from theground divide into two separate trees and reach analtitude of 300 feetMr Hutchings to whose interesting pages we areindebted for most of these details speaks of thePride of the Forest as one of the most beautiful trees of this wonderful grove It is well shapedhe says straight and sound and although notquite so large as some of the others it is nevertheless a noble looking member of the grove 275 feetin height and 60 feet in circumferenceThe Mother and Son standing side by sideform a picturesque couple and may well rejoice ineach other s almost perennial vigour The former is315 feet in height and the latter 302 feet Unitedlytheir circumference is 93 feetThe Guardian a tree of noble aspect is 312feet high by 81 feet in circumference You maycontrast it with the Beauty of the Forest whichsoars upward with stately crest to the height of307 feet while measuring round the tru4k five andsixty feetThere are also the Two Guardsmen 300 feethigh the Horseback Ride a hollow and prostratetrunk 150 feet long Uncle Tom s Cabin 305feet high and 91 feet in circumference and thebeautiful group of the Three Graces which to

64 THE WELLINGTONIA GIGANTEAgether measure 92 feet in circumference at their baseand are each nearly equal in height or about 295 feetIt was at first the opinion of the highest botanicalauthorities that each concentric circle of the trunkor about two inches in diameter was the growth ofone year and as nearly three thousand concentriccircles it was supposed might be counted in thetrunks of the fallen trees one might reasonably conclude that they were in existence three thousand yearsago Or that they were but fresh green saplings whenRameses the Great was adorning Thebes with architectural marvels had shot upward in the glory oftheir lusty vigour long before Romulus became thefounder of the Roman state and counted their ageby centuries what time the redemption of mankindwas accomplished on the tree of Calvary Butlater researches have shown the number of concentricrings to be exaggerated and that the actual age ofthe trees is about eleven hundred yearsIt was at first supposed that the mammoth groveof Calaveras was the only group of trees of thekind in existence But in 1855 similar vegetablewonders were discovered at Mariposa and in theneighbourhood of the sources of the Frezno In theMariposa wood one large stem whose top has beenstripped of its branches bears the poetical name ofSatan s Spear in allusion to Milton s well knowncomparisonTo equal which the tallest pineHewn on Norwegian hills to be the mastOf some great ammiral were but a wandIts circumference is 78 feet

THE WELLINGTONIA GIGANTEA 55Another huge trunk with a dilapidated crestlooking strangely like the ruin of some feudal castleis known as The Giant s Tower It is 70 feet incircumference In close contiguity occur two treesof a very different character one shapely andslender and crowned with a luxuriance of beautifulfoliage the other a weirdly monster has a scarredand knotted trunk with branches all gnarled andbroken these are Beauty and the Beast Theso called Rambler measures at its base 102 feetfrom base to top 250 feet Two giants namedThe Sisters are respectively 82 and 87 feet ingirth and each is about 225 feet in heightThe entire group at Mariposa comprises threehundred trees covering a triangular area of betweenfour and five hundred acres About one half of thesehave been measured by American travellers fromwhose report we may select a few itemsOne tree 102 feet in circumferenceOne tree 97 feet in circumferenceOne tree 92 feet in circumferenceThree trees 76 feet in circumference eachOne tree 72 feet in circumferenceThree trees 70 feet in circumference eachOne tree 68 feet in circumferenceOne tree 5 feet in circumferenceOne tree 63 feet in circumferenceThree trees 63 feet in circumference eachTwo trees 60 feet in circumference eachOne tree 5 58 feet in circumferenceAnd so on down to 40 feet in circumferenceSome six or seven miles from Mariposa as thecrow flies is the Frezno grove consisting of aboutfive hundred trees of the Taxodium family on aboutas many acres of undulating forest land denseshadowy and magnificent Here the two largest

56 THE WELLINGTONIA GIGANTEAmeasure 81 feet each in circumference and the othersfrom 51 to 75 feetIn no other part of the world ye believe do theSequoias attain to such imposing dimensions TheSequoia sempervirens popularly known as the RedWood which extends from Upper California toNootka Sound almost rivals its fellow species andis frequently found more than 300 feet high Bothkinds have been introduced into England where ashardy evergreen trees they are admired intruders inthe garden But to witness all their majestic beautythey must be seen in their native habitat where theystand like giant warders to guard the solitude of thelong untrodden wildernessGod of the forest s solemn shadeThe grandeur of the lonely treeThat wrestles singly with the galeLifts up admiring eyes to TheeBut more majestic far they standWhen side by side their ranks they formTo wave on high their plumes of greenAnd fight their battles with the storm

VIII D ragon grae of 1rord baUR readers will be prepared when theyperuse the poetically sounding title ofthis chapter for some marvellous legendof enchanter Paynim warrior knight and laidlybeast We naturally associate ideas of romanceand mystery with that peculiar creation of romancethe dragon from the monster which was slain by StGeorge of Cappadocia to the Dragon of Wantleywhich as everybody knows was gallantly encountered and killed by More of More Hall But theDragon tree of Orotava is not distinguished by anymyth or fable though it possesses a certain historicinterest and is remarkable for its hoar antiquityOrotava is a quiet but picturesque little town ofsome nine thousand inhabitants situated on thenorth coast of Teneriffe one of the Canary Islandsin the immediate shadow of the mighty Peak andembowered among gardens groves and vineyardsHere grows a noble individual of the Lily tribea huge tree which when Humboldt measured itwas sixteen feet in diameter and still bore itsannual burthen of foliage flowers and fruits ItDracana Draco

58 THE DRAGON TREE OF OROTAVATHE DRAGON TREE OF OROTAVAhad attained this notable magnitude as early as thefifteenth century a gigantic rugged umbelliferoustree which the Guanches the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands had at one time connected with their religious rites

THE DRAGON TREE OF OROTAVA 59The stem of the dragon tree however is generallyshort in proportion to its thickness and its headconsists of numerous diminutive branches whichterminate in tufts of sword shaped leaves Thesubstance which it yields an opaque resin brittlesmooth of a deep reddish brown colour and powerful as a styptic is called dragon s bloodSpecies of the Draco are found in China NorthernAfrica and New Zealand The dragon s bloodof commerce is chiefly procured from the PterocarpusDraco of South America the Calamus Draco orEast Indian palm and the red Sandal wood tree ofthe East Indies

VIIThe bread tree which without the ploughshare yieldsThe unreaped harvest of unfurrowed fieldsAnd bakes its unadulterated loavesWithout a furnace in unpurchased grovesAnd flings off famine from its fertile breastA priceless market for the gathering guestBYnoTCARCELY inferior in utility and importance to the palms is the Bread fruit treea native of the islands of the Indian andPacific Oceans and a genus of the natural order asbotanists call it of ArtocarpaceceIt is a slender tree forty to fifty feet high andfor half its height without a single branch Itsleaves a foot and half in length are large pinnatifid dark green and lustrous Its fruit composedof consolidated fleshy calices is covered with aroughish rind is of an oval shape about the size ofa child s head and contains a number of almond likenuts At first the fruit is green when half ripebrown and when mature of a golden yellow Ashort thick stalk attaches it to the branches of thetree and it hangs either singly or in groups of twoor three together The pulp in its early stage iswhite mealy and consistent like new breadArtocarlus incisa

THE BREAD FRUIT TREE 61THE BREAD FRUIT TREEThe old navigator Dampier describes this tree inhis usual quaint fashionIt grows he says on a large tree as big and

62 THE BREAD FRUIT TREEhigh as our largest apple trees it hath a spreadinghead full of branches and dark leaves The fruitgrows on the boughs like apples it is as big as apenny loaf when wheat is at five shillings thebushel it is of a round shape and hath a thickrough rind when the fruit is ripe it is yellow andsoft and the taste is sweet and pleasant Thenatives of Guam use it for bread They gather itwhen full grown while it is green and hard thenthey bake it in an oven which scorcheth the rindand makes it black but they scrape off the outsideblack crust and there remains a tender thin crustand the inside is soft tender and white like thecrumb of a penny loaf There is neither seed norstone in the inside but all is of a pure substance likebread It must be eaten new for if it is keptabove twenty four hours it grows harsh and choakybut is very pleasant before it is too stale Thisfruit lasts in season eight months in the year duringwhich the natives eat no other sort of food of breadkind I did never see of this fruit anywhere buthere the island of Tahiti or Otaheite The nativestold us that there is plenty of this fruit growing onthe rest of the Ladrone Islands and I did neverhear of it anywhere elseThe reports which were circulated of the beneficialproperties of this tree induced the West Indianmerchants to petition the British government for itsintroduction into the Antilles For this purpose theBounty a ship of 215 tons was equipped in 1787and under the command of Lieutenant Blighdespatched to Otaheite or Tahiti as it is now and

THE BREAD FRUIT TREE 63more properly called to obtain a cargo of trees fortransport to the West Indies The object of theexpedition was frustrated by the outbreak of thefamous mutiny Bligh and eighteen of his officersand crew were flung into a small boat in which theysuccessfully accomplished a voyage of 3618 miles tothe isle of Timor while the mutineers after variousmisadventures established themselves on Pitcairn sIsland A second expedition however was moresuccessful and the bread fruit tree was happilynaturalized in the West Indian Archipelago Butof late it has been superseded by the banana whichthe negroes consider of a better flavour

VIIIdbe tebars of i hbanonIt was a cedar treeThat woke him from the deadly drowsinessThe broad round spreading branches when they feltThe snow rose upward in a point to heavenAnd standing in their strength erectDefied the battle stormSOUTHEY0 the natural order or family which botanistsdistinguish as Coniferae Conifers or ConeShearing trees and to the genus Abies oraccording to other authorities to the genus Cedrusbelongs the stately CedarThere are many varieties of this noble tree Inthe south of Europe and especially on the warmslopes of the Pyrenees flourishes the Spanish cedarIn the sunny air of the West Indian Islands thosefair Antilles so lavishly endowed by Nature bloomthe rich flowery panicles of the Barbadoes cedarwhich rears its solid trunk to the height of seventyor eighty feet Its wood is remarkably fragrantbut not so its fruit its bark or its leaves these allexhale a disagreeable odour Nor is it a true cedaronly resembling the cedrus in the resinous propertiesof its timber The red cedar which clothes with



THE CEDARS OF LEBANON 67dense shadowy groves the heights of California is aspecies of fir But a true cedar is the magnificentDeodar the Devadara or god tree which the Hindusregard with peculiar veneration and which at anelevation of from 7000 to 12 000 feet spreads aboutthe craggy sides of the Himalayas in deep darkmysterious forests It frequently rears its pillar liketrunk some 150 feet above the ground and rejoicesin a mass of far spreading branches which mightshelter a battalion of soldiers Then there is thecedar of Algiers t which flourishes on the lowerridges and spurs of the Atlas Mountains Both thesespecies according to Dr Hooker are identical withthe cedar of Lebanon The deodar is well knownin our British gardens but rather as an ornamentalshrub than as a tree At least the writer has neverseen any considerable specimens of it Its wood isdurable close grained hard and yet so resinous thatits splinters burn like candles Its turpentine isused medicinally in Hindustan its tar and pitch forvarious purposes and its wood when polished forarticles of furnitureBut the finest species of Cedrus is the far famedcedar of Lebanon so called from its native home inthe mountainous regions of Palestine It has enjoyed a distinguished reputation from the remotestantiquity The ancients highly valued its timber onaccount of its durability for such is the pungencyof its bark no insect will venture to touch it ItsHebrew name erez compact or compressed refersto the excessive firmness of its roots In Holy WritCedrus Deodara t Cedrus Atlantica Cedrus Libani

68 THE CEDARS OF LEBANONwe meet with numerous references to its admirablecharacteristicsThus the prophet Ezekiel describes it xxxi 3 5as A cedar with fair branches and with a shadowing shroud and of a high stature his height wasexalted above all the trees of the field and hisboughs were multiplied and his branches becamelong because of the multitude of waters when heshot forthThe Psalmist refers to its far spreading branchesShe sent out her boughs unto the sea and herbranches unto the river Ps lxxx 11Jeremiah when he purposes to build a widehouse and large chambers would ciel it withcedar xxii 14The fragrancy of its wood caused it to be employedfor purification And the priest shall take cedarwood and hyssop and scarlet and cast it into themidst of the burning of the heifer Num xix 6It was with cedar wood that Solomon adorned theinterior of the great Temple and he sent to HiramKing of Tyre for cedar trees out of Lebanon AndHiram replied to the Jewish sovereign s demand Iwill do all thy desire concerning timber of cedarand concerning timber of fir My servants shallbring them down from Lebanon unto the sea andI will convey them by sea in floats unto the placethat thou shalt appoint me and will cause them tobe discharged there and thou shalt receive them1 Kings v 8 9 So the glorious House of theLord was covered with beams and boards of cedarand within the walls were built with boards of cedar

THE CEDARS OF LEBANON 69and the floor and the walls of the ceiling there wasno stone seen all was cedar and cedar finely carvedwith gourds and festoons of flowersCedar was also employed by David for the palacewhich he built at Jerusalem 1 Chron xiv 1 andby Jeshua and Zerubbabel in the second templewhich was erected in the Holy City after thecaptivityIt was on the loftier heights of Lebanon that thecedar flourished flourished in immense green forestswhose shadow stood out dark and deep against theradiant Eastern sky Alas how are the mightyfallen The woodlands which spread over leaguesand leagues which not even the axes of Hiram s30 000 workers could destroy though they labouredfor many months are now reduced to one scantygrove which according to Dr Hooker contains butfour hundred trees And of these four hundred notabove twelve of the ancient race remain The othersare offshoots of comparatively modern date Butsome of the patriarchs are venerable with an old agefar exceeding the old age of the European forestsSeveral are estimated at from four hundred to eighthundred years old the age of the twelve elders isbeyond computation Of the younger trees theyoungest will number two hundred yearsThis cedar grove sole relic of the Lebanon gloriesis situated high up on the western slope of themountain range ten hours south east from Tripoliand at an elevation above the sea level of 6172 feetThe space which it covers does not exceed half adozen acres or about three quarters of a mile in

70 THE CEDARS OF LEBANONcircuit and nowhere else is the scenery so ruggedlygrand or so Alpine nowhere else are the proportionsso gigantic or the ravines so profound and awfulThe wood bark cones and even leaves of theLebanon cedar are saturated says Dr Thomsonwith resin The heart has the red cedar colourbut the exterior is whitish The branches are thrownout horizontally from the parent trunk with a slightupward inclination which the Arabs consider a signof its superior intelligence This inclination theyassert is always greater before a fall of snow as ifthe tree anticipated and prepared to receive itsburthen Climb into a cedar tree and you meetwith a succession of verdurous floors or terracescircling around the trunk and gradually decreasingin dimensions as you ascend The beautiful conesseem the natural ornaments of this delightful greenflooringMost of the Lebanon patriarchs are about fiftyfeet in height and their girth is represented by thesame figure One however measures sixty threefeet in circumference They spread out their branchesto an enormous distance so that beneath their umbrageous canopy a darkness like that of twilightprevails even at noondayThe Arabs call them the saints They worshipthem with a deep reverence and believe that a severeretribution will assuredly overtake the rash or presumptuous individual who may venture to lay rudehands upon them Once a year at the Feast of theTransfiguration the Greeks Maronites and Armenians wind up the mountain side in Jong proces

THE CEDARS OF LEBANON 71sion and celebrate mass on a plain stone altar erectedin their shadeThe cedar is known by its horizontal brancheswhich divide irregularly into branchlets by its darkgreen pointed leaves its erect oval cones about fourinches long and three in diameter and its reddishfragrant wood It loves a dry open soil yet requiresthat its roots should find their way to an abundanceof water It was introduced into England towardsthe close of the seventeenth century and has becomepermanently naturalized It is even found in aflourishing condition as far north as Inverness AtNorbury Park near Leatherhead in Surrey thecedars have attained a noble growth and formA pillar d shadeUpon whose grassless floor of red brown huet ghostly shapesMay meet at noontide Fear and trembling HopeSilence and Foresight Death the skeletonAnd Time the shadowThose of Deepdene near Dorking are not less magnificent ranging in colour from the black greenof the yew to the silvery gray of the deodaraWhoever has floated down the regal Thamesbetween Weybridge and Walton must remember thenoble old trees which adorn its grassy bank near theancient site of Ham House They are among theprincipal ornaments of the luxuriant landscapeswhich lie about Sheen and Richmond At LordMiddleton s seat of Peperharow four giants flourishwhich were planted in 1736 One of them measuresfifteen feet in circumference at three feet from theground Some of its branches span seven feet anda

72 THE CEDARS OF LEBANONits dark verdant terraces of leaf extend for nearly100 feet horizontally Not less worthy of note arethose at Goodwood in Sussex One thousand wereplanted by the third Duke of Richmond in 1761Only 158 now remain but these are of unusuil sizeThe largest boasts of twenty five feet girthI have said that the wood of the cedar defies theattacks of insects Its durability may not be doubtedfor it was found in the Temple of Apollo at Uticaundecayed after a lapse of two thousand years Itspitch was formerly used in embalming and Gerardthe old botanist declares it was good for the eyesand when mixed with vinegar cured worms in theears and the bites of serpentsThe finest cedar in France is that which Daubentonthe naturalist planted in the Jardin des Plantes ofParis It may be termed an historical tree Achance shot during the celebrated siege of theBastile struck off its terminal branch and consequently arrested its upward growth As somecompensation however it spread out its great greenbranches horizontally with renewed vigour and stillflourishes a stately and honoured patriarchAl

IxRCHBISHOP TRENCH in his learnedand thoughtful book on the Parableshas some very judicious observations onthe love of nature The lover of a truth he sayswhich shall be loftier than himself will not be movedfrom his faith that however man may be the measureof all things here yet God is the measure of manthat the same Lord who sits upon his throne inheaven does with the skirts of his train fill histemple upon earth that these characters of naturewhich everywhere meet his eye are not a commonbut a sacred writing that they are hieroglyphics ofGod and he counts this his blessedness that hefinds himself in the midst of such and because inthe midst of them therefore never without admonishment and teaching This entire moral andvisible world he continues from first to last withits kings and its subjects its parents and its childrenits sun and its moon its sowing and its harvest itslight and its darkness its sleeping and its wakingits birth and its death is from beginning to end aOrder Sterculiaces

74 THE BAOBABmighty parable a help at once to our faith and ourunderstandingIn the vegetable kingdom there are parables enowof which poets and divines and philosophers haveoften made excellent use These characters ofnature these hieroglyphics of God have received all the illustration that the loving faith andgentle wisdom of the purest spirits could give themNot a tree not a plant not a flower from the statelyoak to the modest violet from the graceful palm tothe shrinking mimosa but has afforded a theme forthought a suggestive fountain of fancy and imagination There flourishes a tree on the luxuriant bankof many a West African river which might easily bemade to point a moral and adorn a tale Its size isimmense seen from afar its huge trunk loomsagainst the hot sky like a rock the most massivebuttress with which human hands ever sought tostrengthen a palatial building is but as a reed whencompared with it You would think that its timberwas the solidest the hardest the most impenetrableof any tree in the world Yet in truth its wood issingularly soft and fibrous there is no grain nohardness in it you may scoop it as you would thepith of a cane Now do you want an illustrationTake one from history and compare it to somemighty empire which to all appearance is a colossalgiant imperishable and unconquerable and yetexamined more closely proves to be without anygenuine solidity and is neither enduring nor compactThus there are tongues in trees and every forestevery grove is full of eloquent voices which speak

THE BAOBAB 75to all who have ears to hear the lessons of love andwrsdomDo you know upon what tree I have based thislittle sermon of mine dear reader Probably notthe Baobab wondrous as it is enjoys no such worldSwide reputation as the cocoa nut or the bread fruittree One reason for its limited fame is the comparatively recent date of its introduction into EuropeThere was born at Aix in Provence on the 7thof April 1727 one Michel Adanson born of Frenchparents but descended from a Scottish stock Hewas educated at Paris At an early age he manifested a warm love of natural history studies andwas never weary of investigating the properties ofplants or the habits of animals With such tastesit was fortunate for him that his masters wereReaumur the inventor of the well known thermometer and Bernard de Jussieu the eminentnaturalist When only twenty one years old heembarked for Senegal considering that there a vastand unoccupied field lay before him in the study ofthe productions of that part of Africa He spentfive years in the colony and gathered together veryvaluable and extensive collections of plants andanimals Then he returned to France and about1757 published an account of his labours and adventures entitled Histoire Naturelle du SenegalIn this work was embodied a description of theremarkable tree to which I have referred and whichthe Africans know by the name of the BaobabBefore I proceed to say a few words about itsmarvels I may state that Adanson spent a long and

76 THE BAOBABvirtuous life in the pursuit of his favourite studiesthat he suffered great privations during the stormytime of the French Revolution and that he died onthe 6th of August 1806 in the eightieth year of hisageAs a monument to his memory botanists havenamed the Baobab in their scientific nomenclatureAdansonia digitata The genus Adansonia towhich it belongs and of which it forms the onlyknown species is included in the natural order Sterculiacece and distinguished by a simple deciduouscalyx or cup a very long style with numerousstigmas and a wooden capsulJ or shell like covering containing a farinaceous pulp To this sameorder belong the Silk Cotton trees such as theBombyx and the Eriodendron and the TheobrohmaCacao which yields the well known and nutritiouscocoa Mucilage therefore seems the predominatingproperty of all the trees of the Sterculiaceae familyThe Baobab is the largest known tree in the worldNot that it is the loftiest for in height it is surpassedby many but that its trunk is the most massive oftenattaining a diameter of from 20 to 30 feet and acircumference of from 90 to 100 Its branches arelike ordinary forest trees in thickness and frequently70 feet in length while they form a hemisphericalhead of 120 to 150 feet in diameter like a monsterdome or canopy of foliage The leaves are digitatethat is divided like fingers the flowers white andexceedingly large on drooping stems or pedunclesof a yard longThe trunk of the Baobab is rugged and rent into

THE BAOBAB 77ide furrows which afford securely sheltered nookstfo sheep and other animals The branches as mayYHE BAOBABbe supposed spread over a vast area of ground andtheir fruit are suspended from the under side clothed

78 THE BAOBABwith a very rich deep sea green downy substancewhich induced Captain Clapperton to compare themto so many velvet purses The popular Englishname for them is Monkey Bread because theyare much relished by the monkeys who concealthemselves among the interlacing boughs and find apleasant asylum in the overlapping foliageThe rind of the Monkey Bread is not hardWithin the dark seeds are affixed to numerousfibres and the whole is embedded in a farinaceouscream coloured sub acid pulp which the Africansconsume as food and employ to thicken their soupsThe medicinal properties of the tree are importantThe dried pulp mixed with water in certain proportions is useful in cases of dysentery The leaveswhen dried and powdered are called Lalo by thenegroes who use them in this state as a remedy fordiarrhoea fevers and other diseases and to check excessive perspiration The expressed juice of the fruitmixed with sugar is considered a specific in putridand pestilential fevers for every poison you seeGod mercifully provides an antidote or takenwith water it forms a most refreshing beverageI have already pointed out that the timber of thiscolossal tree is not what might have been expectedfrom its huge dimensions it is soft fibrous yieldingand almost wholly destitute of carbon The Baobabloses its leaves annually just before the heavy rainsset in and then its mighty trunk and scarcely lessmighty branches all bare and desolate and sombrepresent a very impressive spectacle It stands likean aged monarch shorn of all regal splendour like

THE BAOBAB 79some patriarchal chief who has stripped himself ofhis pomp in a time of sorrow and lamentationThere can be no question that the Baobab attainsto a wonderful longevity Some botanists have goneso far as to assert that there are individuals nowexisting which witnessed the roaring floods of thegreat Deluge Adanson met with a tree about 32feet in diameter whose age from the concentriclayers of its trunk he estimated at 5500 years Ishould suppose there was some error or exaggerationin these statements but at all events among thewonderful characters of Nature and among theWonders of the Vegetable World I think we mayjustly rank the colossal Baobab

Xr CrabdIer s CutT is impossible to exaggerate the beauty ofthe Madagascar forests Their tropicalluxuriance astonishes the European accustomed to the sober stateliness of the woods ofNorway the piny wildernesses of the Apennines orthe beech groves of our English hills Giganticferns mingle with rare feathery grasses and over allrise the elegant columnar trunks of crested palmswhile the wonderful Lattice Leaf Plant spreads itsdelicate reticulated folioles over the dimpling surfaceof the sequestered streams The flora of Madagascar is remarkable for its novelties This Lattice LeafPlant Water Yam Lace Leaf or Ouvirandranoas it is variously called has no fellow or congenerin any other clime Its root stock about nine incheslong and as thick as a man s thumb wears a lightbrown skin with a white central farinaceous pithwhich renders it no unsavoury food The flowerstalks peeping just above the water of the runningbrooks in which the plant delights terminate inbright forked spikes of flowers but the most curiousfeature is the leaf which lies just under the surfaceOuvirandra fenestralis



THE TRAVELLER S TREE 83of the water is of an elongated oval form and wovenliterally woven of fine tendrils crossed at rightangles so as to resemble the most exquisite networkYou cannot conceive of anything more perfect indesign or execution It would put to shame theproductions of the most celebrated loomsThe Vacquois or Vacoa Pandanus utilis is alsoworthy of notice Its leaves are singularly tenaciousand are used by the Malagays in the manufacture ofsacks or bags for the transport of valuable goodsLarge quantities are exported annuallyThe Cerbera Tanghin or Tanghinia veneniferabears a seed of peculiarly poisonous properties Itis no larger than an almond and yet it is said thatone would be sufficient to poison twenty personsIts active principle is called tanghicin and likestrychnine it produces the most violent convulsionsfollowed by asphyxia The Malagays use it in theirtrials of ordeal Just as in the Dark Ages theaccused were made to walk over red hot ploughshares or flung into ponds and their guilt or innocence determined by the result of the cruel experiment so the Tanghin seed is administered inMadagascar to the unfortunate criminal If byvomiting he reject it from his stomach he is declared innocent if death ensue he is pronouncedguilty And yet it is evident that his chances ofescape will depend solely on his strength of constitution or on the connivance of his judges whomight find the means of administering a powerfulemeticOrder Apocynaceae or Nux Vomica tribe

84 THE TRAVELLER S TREEThe island forests also supply numerous gumyielding essences among others the Copal treewhich furnishes the gum resin employed in the artsunder the name of copal and the Vahea whence amuch esteemed kind of caoutchouc is extractedNumerous lianas and a multitude of epiphytousplants twine round the trunks of the forest treesand interlace among each other in apparently inextricable confusion We can only refer to the Abruspeccatorius whose red and black seeds commonlyknown as Angola pease are woven into pretty necklaces the Angrcecum sesquipedale an orchidaceousplant with large irregular flowers the Angrcecumfragrans whose odorous leaves furnish a pleasant andwholesome infusion and the gorgeous Heritieraargentea whose tall trunk is adorned with a profusion of silver white leavesBut the most notable of the vegetable wonders ofMadagascar is the Traveller s Tree Its stem resembles that of the plantain with which it is otherwise allied but it sends out its leaves like wingsor like a large expanded fan only on two oppositesides As the lower leaves gradually decay in anaged tree the undermost clusters will be twenty toforty feet above the ground There will generallybe found a score of these leaves on a vigorous trunkthe stalk being six to eight feet and the brightemerald green oblong blade four to six feet in lengthThe fruit grows in three or four bunches forty orfifty fruit in each bunch and each fruit containing aquantity of the silkiest fibre imaginable of a beautifulUrania speciosa or Ravenala Madagascariensis Order Musaceae

THE TRAVELLER S TREE 85purple tint and enclosing thirty or thirty five seedsThe leaves are much used for the thatch and theleaf stalks twisted together for the walls of theislanders huts But the property which has procured for the Urania its distinctive appellation of theTraveller s Tree resembles the beneficent arrangement of the pitcher plants its petioles always contain water even in the hottest and driest period ofthe year and the wayfarer if he feels athirst hasonly to pierce the thick part of the base of a leafstalk to obtain fully a quart of pure and refreshingliquid Surely the goodness of the Creator cannever be over praised Everywhere we meet withfresh and abundant illustrations of his inexhaustiblebounty on the sea shore in the desert sand amongthe depths of the virgin forest we trace the eternalevidence of a wisdom which is infinite of a compassion which knows no limitHappy who walks with Him whom what he findsOf flavour or of scent in fruit or flowerOf what he views of beautiful or grandIn nature from the broad majestic oakTo the green blade that twinkles in the sunPrompts with remembrance of a present Godfs

XICSe xictomiz gegiaF all the Lily tribe beautiful exceedinglyas is every member of it none cancompare with the glorious Victoria Regiawhich had it blossomed in fairy land would undoubtedly have been hailed as Queen of the FlowersThe Nymphmeaceae brighten the lakes and streamsand woodland pools of most of our Europeancountries where the pale water lily nestling itsshining blooms on the azure wave is the favourite ofpoet and artist but it is in tropical climes that itsvarieties reach their more magnificent developmentThese plants are distinguished by their fleshy rootstocks which lie embedded in the ooze at the bottomof their aquatic haunts while their large longstalked heart shaped leaves spread themselves likeshields on the surface of the water The flowershave usually four sepals and numerous petals andstamens The seeds contain a farinaceous albumenand are said to contain narcotic and sedative properties They form an article of diet with somesavage racesMore than fifty species are known The VictoriaVictoria

THE VICTORIA REGIA 87regia was discovered by Sir Robert Schomburgkluring his travels in Guiana and Demerara At theTHE VICTORIA REGIAclose of a summer s day worn with hunger andfatigue he rested himself on the rocky bank of theriver Berbice at a point where it had broadened into

88 THE VICTORIA REGIAa sheltered and beautiful lake surrounded by a beltof luxuriant foliage To his delight and wonder hefound its waters covered with this glorious lily inevery stage of development from the conical brownbud whose opening leaves just disclosed the creamcoloured petals within to the deep crimson glory ofthe full blown flower There too were the wrinkledleaves as yet but partially expanded and there thebroad smooth emerald shields stretched out upon thetide of a size and texture to support an infant Pucksome of the flowers too glistering like giganticcrowns and measuring four feet in circumferenceHe felt rewarded for all his toil by the discoveryof a plant so beautiful and so superb and hithertounknown to European botanists In complimentto the British sovereign it was named the Victoriaregia and immediately took its place among therare flowers of the botanic worldBy dint of great care some plants were importedinto England One was placed in the charge of thelate Sir Joseph Paxton at the Duke of Devonshire sgardens Chatsworth and the late architect of theCrystal Palace frequently told the story of thedelight with which he and his noble patron whileconversing together in the conservatory speciallydevoted to it suddenly beheld its buds unfold andits beautiful petals reveal themselvesThere are now several specimens of the Victoriain the United Kingdom as in the Botanical Gardensof Glasgow and especially at Kew The Victoriahouse as it is called in the latter famous Gardensis always crowded by admiring visitors who surround

THE V1 CTORIA REGIA 89with eager interest the circular tank thirty six feetin diameter in which the Queen of Flowers displaysher splendour There too are appropriately exhibited several other species of the Nymphaeacem aswell as the sacred bear of India the enchantedLotus whose story we shall hereafter tell and theEgyptian papyrusThe Spaniards call it the Water Maize They collect the seedsand eat them roasted The fruit is a sort of globular berry coveredwith formidable prickless

XIIQIf dartes CribeHE Cactce or Cactace form a very numerousfamily including nearly five hundredknown species while the real number isundoubtedly greater They are all however nativesof America and most of them of the intertropicalregions of the New World Here they flourish inextraordinary vigour and with their strange fantasticforms lend a peculiar and most original character tothe landscape They are among the plants whichthe poet describes as adorning the scenery of thatromantic isle where first the vision of Columbuswas fulfilledHere blue savannas fade into the skyThere forests frown in midnight majestyCeiba and Indian fig and plane sublimeNature s first born and reverenced by TimeThey are all distinguished by the same genericqualities the stems are fleshy either simple orbranched and often very soft and succulent Manywhen advanced in years have a sort of woody centrecomposed of rings which increase yearly and coveredwith a layer of inner bark so that the fleshy juicySOrder Cactace e



THE CACTUS TRIBE 93portion is in itself only a layer of bark Instead ofleaves they usually present strange clusters of hairsor prickles One species alone the Pereskie wearthose folial decorations which to an English eyeseem an essential part of shrub or plant but inwondering at their remarkable conformation and theexceeding beauty of their flowers the lack of leafiness is soon forgottenIt is impossible to describe the weird grotesqueness of shape which they often exhibit One mightbe pardoned for supposing them to be freaks ofNature If seen only on the canvas of the artistwe should undoubtedly refer them to the ingeniousexercise of his imagination The Torch thistle maybe compared to a spear throwing off many minorjavelins the stem of the Pereskime to a thorny imitation of a palm tree for it bears a thick crown ofbranches on a straight column thirty feet in heightthe Mesembryanthemum inflexum covers the groundwith an infinity of bright terminal flowers theEuphorbia grandidens reminds you of a statelycandelabrum the Opuntia or Indian fig dividesits stem into prickly leaf like sepals while theMelocactus or Melon thistle swells out into afinely marked globular gourd adorned with branching flowers There are some with flat some withangular others with channelled stems many creepand climb up taller trees not a few drag their slowlength along the ground They are all hardyvigorous capable of enduring prolonged thirst theirepidermis or outer skin being of so tough a naturethat it is neither affected by a dry atmosphere nor a

94 THE CACTUS TRIBEburning sun And though there are several specieswhich ascend the Andean slopes even to the veryborder of the clime of eternal snow most membersof the family love to plant themselves on a dryrocky soil and there under a sky which is almostalways hot and fierce they spread and thrive untilthey cover leagues of barren plain with their wonderand their beauty for not even the desert places ofthe earth will God leave without abundant evidenceof the wondrous wealth and depth of his creativepowerOne of the commonest species is the Cactus opuntiawhich rapidly forming an almost impenetrable fenceis much valued by American settlers as a protectionfor their enclosures One of the most useful is theMelocactus mammillaris which abounds on thewaterless plains of North America and is thereesteemed by the traveller with as sacred a love asthe well in the Sahara by the Arab caravan Itsstem affords from half to a full pint of clear limpidwater Judge therefore of the delight with whichthe parched gasping thirsting wayfarer scorchedby an unclouded sun and spent with fatigue alightsupon a group of these vegetable fountains thesenatural reservoirs of life One of the most beautifulis the Night bloing Cereus well known in ourEnglish conservatories and whose bright flowersexpand only at midnight closing them at dawnnever to open again reminding us of a poet whogives one precious song to the world and is silentfor ever afterCereus speciosissimus

T HE CACTUS TRIBE 95Children of night unfolding meekly slowlyTo the sweet breathings of the shadowy hoursWhen dark blue heavens look softest and most holyAnd glow worm light is in the forest bowersTo solemn things and deepTo spirit haunted sleepTo thoughts all purifiedFrom earth ye seem alliedO dedicated flowersThe Euphorbium tribe are sometimes distinguishedas a separate order but there can be no questionthat they are closely allied to the Cactaceae both inproperties and form There are not less than twentyfive hundred species and a majority of these flourishin tropical America The principal feature in theirphysiology is the acrid milky juice which they contain as in the Caoutchouc thus the milk of theEuphorbium thymifolia is considered a good vermifuge by the Tamiil medicine men with that of theE hectagona the Indians poison their arrowsthat of the E balsamiferum furnishes the CanaryIslanders with an agreeable jelly while that ofthe Manchineal or Hippomane mancinella yields adeadly venom It is said that if you take shelterunder its boughs during a shower of rain the droppings from the leaves will produce ulcers and blistering wounds upon your skin But close beside itever grows the Trumpet flower whose sap is anexcellent antidote to the Manchineal poison Evilnever stands alone in this world good always thrivesand blooms in its vicinity as if to bid us rememberthat the love of God is infinitely more enduringthan his wrathBignonia leucoxylon

96 THE CACTUS TRIBEResembling the Cacti in singularity of formthough belonging to a distinct order is the Stapeliahirsuta It grows near the ground with strangeprickly stems and brilliantly coloured flowers attracting the traveller by its quaint shapes and brighthues but quickly repelling him by its nauseousodour of carrion Swarms of flies hover around itor cluster on its petals just as they might uponsome putrid carcass The different species ofStapeliae are popularly distinguished by the nameof Carrion flowersIn Texas the traveller meets with several speciesof the Yucca of which the handsomest is certainlythe Yucca Treculeana t so named after its discovererM Trecul From its rich tuft of leaves springs amarvellous cluster of white bell shaped flowerscovering the rocky plains where it grows withbeauty It is frequently found associated with oneof the Cacti the Opuntia frutescens and with thethistle like Silphium terebenthinaceum whose tallstalk wears at its summit one perfect flower Another fine Cactus found in Western Texas is theOpuntia microdasys a robust thorny plant of fantasticappearance very common now in English conservatories and the landscapes are also enriched with thequaint Cereus Peruvianus the globular Mamillariarodanthe with its rosy blossoms and the rareEchinocactus robustus not less curious than rareOrder Asclepiadese t Order Liliacea

XIIIHE reader who glances at the accompanyingillustration will assuredly be of opinionthat the Rafflesia Arnoldi is one of themost curious of plants in appearance It will probablyremind him by its general outline and aspect of someof the wonders of the sea shore those strange andmany hued creatures which may occasionally be seenfloating in the translucent deep Certainly it deserves to be included among the Wonders of theVegetable World for it is only a flower a flowerwithout stalk or leaf growing upon the roots ofvarious species of Cissus like a fungus on the barkof a forest tree It belongs to an order or family ofparasitical plants called Rafflesiaceae which in itsturn is comprised in a class or division known asRhizantheae or Rhizogens All the Rhizogens arenatives of warm climates two or three species arefound in the south of Europe but the majorityflourish in Africa and in tropical Asia and AmericaIn their general structure they resemble fungi andthey resemble them too in their manner of decayOrder Rafflesiacee7

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