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App. i. Half-hardy Species of Euphorbia.
E. dendroides L. is a native of Italy, Crete, and of the Island of Hieres, near Toulon, where it forms a small branched shrub, about 4 ft. high. E. Charàcias and E. dendröides, according to Dr. Philippi, grow in the streams of decayed lava on Etna. E. dendröldes, he adds,
is one of the finest shrubs in Sicily, and rises to a height of about 6 ft., the stem forking soon above the ground, and each branch divided again, so that the form of the whole is perfectly semiglobular, In summer it is quite bare of foliage, when the numerous, smooth, verticillate branches give the plant a most singular appearance; but with the rains of autumn the numerous linear leaves begin to sprout forth at the end of the boughs, and a corymb of yellow flowers tips the extremity of each in February." (Comp. to the Bot. Mag., i. 51.) E. mellifera Ait., Bot. Mag., t. 1305., and our fig.1214., is a handsome free-growing shrub, a native of Madeira. A plant stood out in the Trinity College Botanic Garden, at Dublin, from 1821 to 1831, forming a bush about 44 ft. high, and 5 ft. in diameter, flowering all the winter. It was cut down by the severe frost of the spring of 1881, but sprang up again; and it is now (Sept. 1836), Mr. Mackay inforins us, nearly 5 ft. in height, and 5 ft. in diameter. E. Characias, in the same garden, rarely exceeds 24 ft. in height.
Other species, natives of the Levant, the Canaries, Portugal, and North and South America, may possibly be found as hardy as E. mellifera. In the Vues Phytostatiques of Webb and Bertholet's Histoire Naturelle des Iles Canaries, the E. canariensis and E. piscatòria are represented in pl 2. as the prevailing species; the latter forming handsome trees, from 10 ft. to 15 ft. high, with straight, erect stems.
STILLINGIA Garden. THE STILLINGIA.
Lin. Syst. Monœ'cia
Identification. "Stillingia was sent under that name to Linnæus by the celebrated Dr. Alexander Garden." (Smith in Rees's Cyclop.) Lin. Mant., 19.; Schreb. Lin. Gen., 658.; Smith in Rees's Cyclop.; Mart. Mill. Dict.
Derivation. Named by Dr. Alexander Garden in honour of Mr. Benjamin Stilling fleet, author of a work entitled Miscellaneous Tracts relating to Natural History, &c., partly translated from the writings of Linnæus.
Description, &c. The only hardy species is a deciduous shrub; a native of North America.
1. S. LIGU'STRINA Willd. The Privet-leaved Stillingia. Identification. Willd. Sp. Pl., 4. p. 588.; Pursh Fl. Amer. Sept., 2. p. 608. Spec. Char., &c. Shrubby. Leaf consisting of a petiole and a disk that is oval-lanceolate, pointed at both ends, and entire. Male flowers upon very short pedicels. (Michx. Fl. Bor. Amer., ii. p. 213.) Nuttall has questioned whether the sexes are not dioecious, and has noted the female flowers as "not seen," but the male ones as being disposed in spikes, part lateral, part terminal, and as having a 3-cleft, rather flat, calyx, and 3 stamens that have kidney-shaped anthers; and the bracteas as 1-2-glanded and 1-flowered. (Nutt. Gen. Amer.) A deciduous shrub, growing about 4 ft. high; a native of North America, in shady woods, in Carolina and Georgia; flowering in June and July. It was introduced in 1812, and plants were in the collection of Messrs. Loddiges in 1830. From these gentlemen we received a plant in that year, but it is since dead; as is also a plant of this species in the Hackney arboretum; we are not aware that the species is now in existence, in a living state, in England.
BUXUS Tourn. THE BOX TREE. Lin. Syst. Monc'cia Tetrándria.
Identification. Tourn. Inst., t. 345.; Lin, Gen., 486.; Smith Eng. Flora, 4. p. 132. ; Theodor Nees ab Esenbeck Gen. Plant. Flora Germanica, fase. 3. t. 16.
Synonymes. Buis, Fr.; Buxbaum, Buchisb...m, Ger.
Derivation. From puknoe, dense; in reference to the hardness and closeness of the wood; or, perhaps, to the denseness of the foliage. The Greeks called the boxes made of this wood, which were highly esteemed for their durability, pyxides; and hence, probably, arose the word pyz, which is used for the chest containing the Host in the Roman Catholic church.
Description, &c. Low evergreen trees or shrubs, with shining coriaceous leaves, and greenish yellow flowers; natives of Europe, and the temperate parts of Asia; of easy culture in any soil that is tolerably dry; and propagated freely by cuttings, or by seeds.
11. B. SEMPERVI'RENS L. The evergreen, or common, Box Tree. Identification. Lin. Sp. Pl., 1394.: Smith Eng. Flora, 4. p. 133.; Baxt. Brit. Flow. Pl., 2. t. 142. Synonymes. Buxus Raii Syn., 445., Ger. Emac., 1410. f, and other authors; Buis commun, Bois beni, Fr.; Buchsbaum, Ger.; Busso, Bossolo, Mortel, Ital.
Engraving. Eng. Bot., t. 1341.
Spec. Char., &c. Disk of leaf ovate, convex; footstalk slightly downy at the edges. Anthers ovate-arrow-shaped. (Smith's Eng. Fl., iv. p. 133.) A low evergreen tree, a native of many parts of Europe, and, according to some, including Britain; growing to the height of from 15 ft. to 30 ft.; and flowering in April and May.
Varieties and Subvarieties.
B. s. 1 arborescens Mill. Dict., No. 1.; Buis arborescent, Fr. ; hochstaninge Buchsbaum, Ger. - Arborescent. Leaves ovate. (Willd. Sp. Pl.) This is the most common form of the species.
B. s. a. argentea Hort. - Arborescent. Leaves ovate, variegated with a silvery colour.
↑ B. s. a. aúrea Hort. Arborescent. Leaves ovate, variegated with a golden colour.
B. s. a. marginata Hort.- Arborescent. Leaf ovate, with a margin of a golden colour.
↑ B. s. 2 angustifolia Mill. Dict., No. 2.
ceolate. (Willd. Sp. Pl.)
Arborescent. Leaves lan
B. s. a. variegata Hort.- Arborescent. Leaves lanceolate, variegated.
B. s. 3 suffruticosa Mill. Dict., No. 3. ; B. hùmilis Dod. Pempt., 782.; B. s nàna N. Du Ham., i. p. 83.; and our fig. 1215.; Buis nain, Buis à Bordures, Buis d'Artois, Buis de Hollande, petit Buis, Fr.; zwerch Buchsbaum, Ger.Dwarf. Leaves small, obovate. (Lam. Encyc. Willd. Sp. Pl.) This is the kind usually cultivated for edging beds in gardens. B. s. + myrtifolia Lam. Encyc. -Dwarf. Leaves small, oblong, narrowish. (Lam. Encyc., i. p. 505.; Willd. Sp. Pl.) A pretty little plant; generally quite low, but, under favourable circumstances, growing to a considerable size. Description, &c. The box is a well-known hardy evergreen tree or shrub, much esteemed in Europe, both for ornamental and useful purposes. In a wild state, it seldom exceeds the height of 12 ft. or 15 ft. in Britain; but, in Turkey and Asia Minor, trees of it have been found as high as 25 ft. The thickness of the trunk is very considerable in proportion to its height, and, in fullgrown trees, varies from 6 in. to 8 in. in diameter. The bark is yellowish on the young wood, but rough and greyish on the trunk of old trees. The leaves are opposite, oval, and almost sessile: they are persistent, of a coriaceous texture, and a shining yellowish green, when they grow in a situation fully exposed to the light; but of a fine deep glossy green when shaded by other trees. The flowers are of a greenish yellow, and are disposed in little tufts in the axils of the leaves. The tree will bear the knife patiently, and is therefore, and from the closeness of its habit of growth, well adapted for clipped hedges, and all kinds of verdant architecture and statuary. "The box," says
a French writer, "has the advantage of taking any form that may be wished, under the hands of the gardener. Here it displays a niche cut in an apparently solid green bank; there, an arbour impenetrable to the rays of the sun. On one side it covers a wall with a tapestry of continual verdure, and on the other it clothes a palisade: now it divides the walks of a garden, and now it marks out the figure of a parterre. In all cases, it presents a most agreeable verdure to the eyes, and preserves the idea of cheerfulness even in winter, when almost every other tree appears mourning for the absence of the sun." (Nouv. Cours. d'Agri., tom. iii. p. 276.) It grows slowly, rarely making shoots of more than 6 in. or 8 in. annually. But the tree is of great longevity; and so extremely hardy, that it is the only evergreen that will stand in the open air, without protection, in the gardens of Paris, Berlin, and Vienna.
Geography. The box is found wild throughout Europe and Asia, between 37° and 52° of N. lat., on mountains, and spreading as undergrowth among other trees, but never forming forests entirely by itself. The largest collections of wild box trees in Europe are in the Forest of Ligny in France, and in that of St. Claude on Mount Jura; but in both cases the box trees are mixed with trees of other species. Box trees are also found in forests of other trees, in several parts of France; particularly in Franche Compté, Dauphiné, Haute Provence, the chain of mountains stretching across Languedoc, and the Pyrenees. The box tree is produced abundantly in Turkey, and on the shores of the Black Sea; but a great proportion of the boxwood of commerce, sold in the European markets as Turkey box, is grown in Circassia and Georgia, whence it is brought to Odessa, and shipped for Europe. It is found in various parts of Persia, China, Cochin-China, and, according to some, in Japan. In Britain, the box is a disputed native. (See p. 25.) It grows plentifully upon Box Hill, near Dorking, in Surrey: not among deciduous trees, and shaded by them, as it does in its native habitats in France, and in other parts of the Continent; but only mixed with a few juniper bushes, that do not rise so high as itself. Ray mentions three other habitats; viz. Boxwell, in Gloucestershire; Boxley, in Kent; and the chalk hills near Dunstable : but the box tree does not appear to be now found growing in uncultivated ground any where in Britain, but on Box Hill. In Baxter's British Flowering Plants, vol. ii. p. 145., it is stated, on the authority of the Rev. Archdeacon Pierson, to be found in the hedges about Kilburne, near Coxwold, in Yorkshire; which, however, is no proof of its being indigenous.
History. The box tree appears to have been first mentioned by Theophrastus, who ranks the wood with that of ebony, on account of the closeness of its grain. Pliny describes it as being as hard to burn as iron, as producing no flame, and as being totally unfit for charcoal. He distinguishes three kinds, which he calls the larger, the smaller, and the Italian box; and speaks of the use of the tree for topiary work, and of the wood for musical instruments. Vitruvius also recommends the box for topiary work; and it appears to have been much employed in verdant sculpture, and close-clipped hedges, in the gardens of Roman villas in the Augustan age. Pliny describes his Tusculan villa as having a lawn adorned with figures of animals cut out in box trees, answering alternately to one another. This lawn was again surrounded by a walk enclosed with evergreen shrubs, sheared into a variety of forms. Beyond this was a place of exercise, of a circular form, ornamented in the middle with box trees, sheared, as before, into numerous different figures; and the whole fenced in by a sloping bank, covered with box, rising in steps to the top. In another part of the grounds of the same villa, the box is mentioned as being cut into a variety of shapes and letters; some expressing the name of the master, and others that of the artificer, &c. (Plin. Epist., book v. letter vi.) The same practice is followed in several Roman gardens at the present day; and, in that of the Vatican, the name of the pope, the date of his election, &c., may be read from the windows of the palace in letters of box. Virgil calls it
"Smooth-grain'd, and proper for the turner's trade,
Both Virgil and Ovid allude to the use of this wood for musical instruments, and employ the word box as if synonymous with that of flute. In more modern times, in Britain, it is mentioned by Turner, Gerard, Parkinson, and other writers on gardening and rural affairs; and, previously to the eighteenth century, was in great repute for gardens in the geometric style, from the facility with which it could be made to assume whatever form the gardener wished: it was also highly valuable when there were but few evergreens grown in England, from its hardy habit, and the liveliness of its hue. The wood of the tree has been in use for turnery from the carliest ages, and for wood engraving since the fifteenth century.
Properties and Uses. The wood of the box is remarkably heavy; weighing, when newly cut, 80 lb. 7 oz. per cubic foot, and, when perfectly dry, 68 lb. 12 oz. and 7 gr. It is the only European wood that will sink in water: it is yellow, very hard, and susceptible of a fine polish. The wood was formerly much used in England in cabinet-making and inlaying, as it still is in France; and, also, in both countries, for musical and inathematical instruments, combs, and various articles of turnery. The principal use of the boxwood, however, at present, is for wood engraving; and for this purpose it is an important article of commerce.
For Turnery, the boxwood used by the cabinet-makers and turners in France is chiefly that of the root. The town of St. Claude, near which is one of the largest natural box woods in Europe, is almost entirely inhabited by turners, who make snuff-boxes, rosary beads, forks, spoons, buttons, and numerous other articles. The wood of some roots is more beautifully marbled, or veined, than that of others; and the articles manufactured vary in price accordingly. The wood of the trunk is rarely found of sufficient size for blocks in France; and when it is, it is so dear, that the entire trunk of a tree is seldom sold at once, but a few feet are disposed of at a time, which are cut off the living tree as they are wanted. There are in the Forest of Ligny, generally, many stumps which have been treated in this manner. Boxes, &c., formed of the trunk, are easily distinguished from those made of the root, by the wood of the trunk always displaying a beautiful and very regular star, which is never the case with that of the root. Boxwood is very apt to split in drying; and, to prevent this, the French turners put the wood designed for their finest works into a dark cellar as soon as it is cut, where they keep it from three to five years, according to circumstances. At the expiration of the given time, they strike off the sap-wood with a hatchet, and place the heart-wood again in the cellar till it is wanted for the lathe. For the most delicate articles, the wood is soaked for 24 hours in fresh very clear water, and then boiled for some time. When taken out of the boiling water, it is wiped perfectly dry, and buried, till wanted for use, in sand or bran, so as to be completely excluded from the light, and air. Articles made of wood thus prepared, resemble, in appearance, what is called Tunbridge ware. The spray of the box, though it burns very slowly, is much esteemed in France, as fuel for lime-kilns, brick-kilns, ovens, &c., where a great and lasting heat is required. (Nouv. Cours., &c.)
Wood Engraving. The wood used for this purpose is chiefly imported from Turkey or Odessa; and sells, in London, for from 77. to 147. a ton, duty included; the average annual consumption in Britain being about 582 tons. In the year 1832, M'Culloch tells us (in his Dictionary of Commerce), the duty on imported boxwood was 18677. 17s. 4d. In France, the native trees are seldom of sufficient size for wood engraving; and wood to the amount of 10,000 francs is annually imported from Spain. The box trees which were cut down on Box Hill in 1815 produced upwards of 10,0007. The art of cutting on wood was invented before the art of printing; and it is supposed to have been first practised between the years 1400 and 1430. The first objects to which it was applied were very different in their character; viz. books of devotion and playing cards. The mere outlines of the figures were rudely cut in the wood with knives in the direction of the grain, and the
impressions were taken off by friction, without the aid of a press. The earliest specimen of wood engraving now extant in England is in the collection of Earl Spencer, and represents St. Christopher carrying the infant Saviour: the date is 1423. A very curious work was published between 1430 and 1450, entitled Biblia Pauperum, the Bible of the Poor. This work consisted of about 40 plates, illustrated by texts of scripture, all cut in wood (see Penny Magazine, vol. ii. p. 419.); and it is supposed to have given the first idea of the art of printing with movable types, which was invented soon after by Guttemburg. Wohlgemuth, a wood-engraver at Nuremberg in 1480, was the first who attempted to introduce shade into wood engravings; and his pupil, Albert Durer, carried the art to a very high degree of perfection; in his time the wood-cutters, or formschneiders, of Germany became so numerous as to be incorporated into a body distinct from that of the briefmahlers, letter-painters or writers. Holbein succeeded Albert Durer; but soon afterwards the art of engraving on copper having been discovered, wood engraving was comparatively neglected; and it fell into disuse till the time of Bewick, who displayed in it such extraordinary force, and delicacy of execution, as to revive a taste for the art. The first engravers on wood, and up to the time of Bewick, or nearly so, were accustomed to have the trunks of the trees on which they were to engrave sawn up into planks, and to cut out the engraving with a knife, or other tools, on the side of the grain; but, about Bewick's time, or before, the practice of cutting the trunk across into sections about 1 in. in thickness was adopted; and the engravings were cut on the wood, across the grain, with tools which will be hereafter described. The advantages of this mode are, that much finer lines can be produced; that the engraved block will give a much greater number of impressions; and that it will be far more durable. The followers of Bewick produced some beautiful engravings; but, from the mode of printing them, though they were mixed with the type, they were almost as expensive as if they had been worked, like the metal engravings, from separate plates. By the modern practice, however, woodcuts are printed from with the same ease as the movable types. The mode in which the operation of cutting on wood is still performed differs but little, according to the Penny Magazine, from that described and illustrated by a plate in a work called the Book of Trades, published at Frankfort in 1654. In this plate, the formschneider, or wood-cutter, is represented sitting at a table, holding the block in his left hand, upon which he is cutting with a small graver in his right. Another graver, and a sort of a gouge, or chisel, lie upon the table. If we enter the work-room of a wood-engraver of the present day, we shall find the instruments by which he is surrounded nearly as few and as simple. His block rests upon a flat circular leather cushion filled with sand: and this so completely answers the purpose of holding the block firmly, and yet allowing it to be moved in every direction, that it is expressively called the wood-cutter's third hand. His cutting instruments are of three sorts: the first, which is called a graver, is a tool with a lozengeshaped point, used for outlines and fine tints; the second, called a scauper, presents a triangular point and edges, and is used for deeper and bolder work; and the third, which is a flat tool, or chisel, is employed in cutting away those parts of the block that are to be left entirely light." (Penny Magazine.) The design is previously drawn upon the block with a black-lead pencil; the block, which is always cut directly across the grain, and polished so as to present a perfectly smooth surface, being previously prepared with powdered white lead mixed with a little water, to make it receive the pencil. The drawing is generally made by one artist, and the engraving executed by another. It is the business of the wood-cutter "to leave all the lines which the draughtsman has traced with his pencil; and to do this, he, of course, cuts away all the parts which form the spaces between the various lines of the drawing. The lines thus stand up, as it is called, in relief; and, when ink is applied to them by the printer, in the same way as he applies it to his metal types, they transfer the ink to the paper placed over them upon being subjected