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peared before the author's death. This volume is limited to figuring and describing the willows of Austria, amounting to 60 sorts; of which engravings are given of both sexes, on extra-large folio plates: the specimens being of the natural size, and mostly from 1 ft. 6 in. to 2 ft. in length; exhibiting both sexes when in flower, when the leaves are fully expanded, and the female catkins matured. This is indeed a splendid work, and only equalled by the small portion which appeared of the Historia Salicum of Hoffmann, before mentioned. A great drawback, however, to the utility of Host's work is, that the author has given new names to most of his sorts, and has identified but a very few of them with the kinds described by other botanists.
In 1829, His Grace the Duke of Bedford had printed, for private circulation, the Salictum Woburnense, in which 160 species are figured and described; all of which, with the exception of a very few, were at that time alive in the salictum at Woburn. The engravings are small, but good; the descriptions are chiefly taken from Smith, but are partly original, by Mr. Forbes, the Duke of Bedford's gardener. "We have in the Salictum Woburnense," Sir W. J. Hooker observes, "a standard set of figures of all the British, amongst many exotic, species; which, together with those of the English Botany, do, it must be confessed, give to the British naturalist an advantage over all that Continental authors have published on the subject; and to them I refer in every instance, and with great satisfaction. The arrangement of the species in the Salictum is due to the botanical skill and knowledge of Mr. Forbes, head gardener at Woburn, which His Grace has fully acknowledged; and that department does him great credit." (Br. Fl., i. p. 416.)
In 1831, Sir W. J. Hooker, in the second edition of his British Flora, had, with the aid of Mr. Borrer, arranged the British species in 18 groups, and enumerated under these 68 species, considered by him and others as indigenous; which, in the third edition of the British Flora, published in 1835, were increased to 71. In the same year (1835), Dr. Lindley adopted the system of Koch in his Synopsis of the British Flora, 2d edit., and reduced the 71 species of Smith and others to 28 species.
The willows of North America were, as far as they were known in 1814, described by Pursh, with the assistance of Mr. G. Anderson, who had in cultivation several rare species from that country; and some species have subsequently been added by Nuttall. Since then, Dr. Barratt of Middletown, Connecticut, has undertaken to describe all the willows grown in America, whether indigenous or exotic, amounting to 100, a conspectus of which he has sent to Sir W. J. Hooker, arranged in 9 groups, chiefly the same as those of Mr. Borrer. Cuttings of most of these 100 sorts have been received by the Duke of Bedford, and planted in his salictum at Woburn, where many of them are alive. Some other particulars respecting them will be found in the Companion to the Botanical Magazine, vol. i. p. 17. As Dr. Barratt's descriptions must necessarily, in great part, be taken from dried specimens, it appears to us very doubtful how far they will be of use to the European botanist; but there can be no doubt as to the benefit which will result from the introduction of all these sorts into British gardens, because there they may be compared in a living state with the kinds we already possess.
Lightfoot, in his Flora Scotica, paid considerable attention to willows; but, according to Sir J. E. Smith, "he laboured at the subject with hesitation and mistrust, from an opinion of the species being confounded by cross-impregnation." Lightfoot, and his contemporary Hudson, therefore, Sir James adds, have hardly enumerated a fourth part of the native willows of our island. The cultivation of willows, with a view to the determination of their specific characters, was, according to Sir J. E. Smith, first taken up with vigour and effect by James Crowe, Esq., F.L.S., of Lakenham, near Norwich, "a most excellent British botanist," about the end of the last century; and Sir James E. Smith, writing in 1828, says that he had laboured full 30 years in the study of willows in Mr. Crowe's garden, which contained all the sorts that could then be procured in any part of Britain. (Rees's Cycl.) Mr. George
Anderson, F.L.S., had at that time a collection at West Ham, in Essex, which he was studying for the same purpose; as had Edward Forster, Esq., at Walthamstow, and which has since been removed to Woodford, in Essex; and W. Borrer, Esq., at Henfield, in Sussex. At Lewes, in the same county, Mr. Woollgar had extensive willow grounds, studied the species very assiduously, and communicated several facts to Sir J. E. Smith. Subsequently, a collection was made by His Grace the Duke of Bedford at Woburn, which appears to have been the most extensive till then made in England; and the next greatest number of sorts is in the arboretum of Messrs. Loddiges, at Hackney. In all these salictums, we are informed by those who have examined them, the plants were placed too closely together to attain their characteristic form and size. At Woburn, the plants were, till 1836, crowded together in a very limited space, which necessarily prevented their habits from being properly studied; but they have since been transplanted, and allowed more room; though they are not, even now, as it appears to us, in a situation either sufficiently large, or adequately exposed to the influence of the sun and the air. A few species of willows have attained the size of trees in the Horticultural Society's Garden; but, as far as we are aware, there is no extensive collection of full-grown willows any where either in Britain or on the Continent. Most of the kinds in the Woburn salictum are in the arboretum at Flitwick House, at Goldworth, and at Messrs. Loddiges's, Hackney; and we believe, also, that there are excellent collections in the principal botanic gardens, more especially in that of Edinburgh. The Duke of Bedford, indeed, has liberally contributed cuttings from his collection at Woburn to all who have applied for them; so that, if willows are not in future extensively cultivated, and properly studied, it will not be for want of plants, but from the cultivators not allowing them sufficient room to attain their natural size and habits. On the Continent, the best collections are in Germany, and principally, we believe, at Erlangen, under the direction of Koch. Dr. Host is said to have cultivated upwards of 300 sorts in the botanic garden under his care at Vienna; and there are good collections at Göttingen, Bremen, and Berlin.
In an economical point of view, scarcely anything was added to our knowledge of the culture and uses of the willow since the time of the Romans; till the slight notices of the uses of willows given by Ray, and afterwards by Evelyn. The first systematic essay on the subject appears to have been written by Dr. Walker, about the latter end of the last century, though not published till 1812. It is entitled Salicetum; or, the Botanical History and Cultivation of Willows; and it is contained in his volume of Essays, p. 403— 469. Here 22 species are described, and an account is given of their uses and mode of cultivation. All these species, and various others, which are promised to be described in a future volume, were cultivated by the author in his garden at Collinton, near Edinburgh.
Salices, &c., by Dr. Wade, was published in 1811, and contains descriptions of most of the European species at that time known, with directions for their propagation and culture.
Willows for basket-making and hoops were principally imported from Holland and France, till towards the commencement of the present century; when our exclusion from the Continent, in consequence of the continued war, led to the formation of plantations at home. The Society of Arts, directing their attention to the subject, have, at various times, offered premiums for the cultivation of willows; and in their Transactions for 1801, 1804, and 1805, as well as in previous and subsequent volumes, will be found accounts of plantations made for which premiums were awarded. In England, the principal of these plantations were made by Arthur Borron of Warrington, in Lancashire; Mr. Wade of Suffolk; and Mr. Phillips and Mr. Bull of Ely: and, in Scotland, by Mr. Shirreff, at Captainhead, near Haddington.
The principal plantations of willows for basket-making, in every country, are made along the banks of rivers and streams; and, in England, those on the
Thames and the Cam are the most celebrated. In both these rivers, and in some others, small islands are frequently planted entirely with willows, and are called osier holts. There are many such islands in the Thames, between London and Reading. The most extensive willow plantations in fields are in the fenny districts of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire; and, perhaps, the largest plantation in England is that of Mr. Adnan, near Reading. The principal market for basket willows is London; but they are in demand, more or less, in every town in the country. The willow is frequently cultivated as a pollard, the lop being valuable for fence-wood, poles, hurdles, and fuel. It is sometimes, also, cultivated as a timber tree; but, as an ornamental tree or shrub, it may be considered to be in a great measure neglected.
Properties and Uses. The importance of the willow to man has been recognised from the earliest ages; and ropes and baskets made from willow twigs were probably among the very first of human manufactures, in countries where these trees abound. The Romans used the twigs for binding their vines and tying their reeds in bundles, and made all sorts of baskets of them. A crop of willows was considered so valuable in the time of Cato, that he ranks the salictum, or willow field, next in value to the vineyard and the garden. In modern times," the many important uses," Sir W. J. Hooker observes, "rendered to man by the different species of willow and osier, serve to rank them among the first in our list of economical plants." In a state of nature, the willow furnishes food by its leaves to the larvæ of moths, gnats, and certain other insects; and, by its flowers, to the honey-bee. Its wood, also, is preferred to most others by the beaver. The leaves and young shoots are wholesome and nourishing to cattle; and in some northern countries they are collected green, and then dried and stacked for that purpose. In France, those of S. caprea, whether in a green or dried state, are considered the very best food for cows and goats; and horses, in some places, are fed entirely on them, from the end of August till November. Horses so fed, it is stated, will travel 20 leagues a day without being fatigued. (Bosc.) In the north of Sweden and Norway, and in Lapland, the inner bark is kiln-dried and ground for the purpose of mixing with oatmeal in years of scarcity. In a rude state of civilisation, the twigs of the willow were used in constructing houses, household utensils, panniers, the harness of horses and cattle, and for various purposes connected with boats and fishing. The twigs are still very generally applied, in Russia and Sweden, to all these uses; and Dr. Walker relates that he has ridden in the Hebrides with a bridle made of twisted willow twigs, and lain all night at anchor with a cable made of the same material. The bark of the trunks of young trees is used generally, throughout the north of Europe, for the same purposes as that of the lime tree (See p. 368.); and in Tartary, it is said, it is macerated, and the fibre, when separated, spun into threads, from which cloth is woven.
The bark of the willow, and also the leaves, are astringent; and the bark of most sorts may be employed in tanning. That of S. càprea is used both for tanning and dyeing black, in Sweden, the north of Scotland, and Switzerland. (Walker.) A substance called salicine has been extracted from the bark of S. Russelliana, S. Helix, and some other kinds of willow, which Professor Burnet states to have been "proved to be equally efficient with the Peruvian bark ;" and he remarks on the wise provision of Providence, in placing the remedy for agues, and other low fevers, exactly in those moist marshy situations where these diseases are most prevalent. (See Burnet's Inaugural Address to the MediccBotanical Society, February, 1831, p. 12.) This new principle was first discovered by M. Leroux; and M. Majendie states that he has known three doses of 6 grains each stop a fever; which is nearly the same quantity as would be required for the same purpose of sulphate of quinine. (Annales de Chimie, tom. xliii. p. 440., as quoted in Brande's Journal for 1831.) Salicine is in the form of very fine nacreous whitish crystals, perfectly soluble in water or alcohol. It is very bitter, and partakes something of the colour of willow bark. The process for obtaining it is rather long; and it requires about 3 lb
of willow bark, when dried and pulverised, to yield 1 oz. of salicine. (Ibid.) The wood of the willow is soft, smooth, and light: that of the Salix càprea is heavier than that of any other species of the genus, weighing, when dry, 41 lb. 6 oz. per cubic foot, and losing a twelfth part of its bulk in drying; that of Salix álba weighs 27 lb. 6 oz. per cubic foot when dry, and loses, in drying, somewhat more than a sixth part of its bulk. In Pliny's time, willow wood was in request for the fabrication of shields, on account of its lightness; and in the present day, it is, for the same reason, preferred for making cutting-boards for the use of shoemakers and tailors. It is also used for whetting the fine steel instruments of cork-cutters, and other mechanics. It is in demand for turnery, and for shoes, shoemakers' lasts, and toys; for dyeing black, in imitation of ebony, as it takes a fine polish; and for a great variety of minor purposes. The wood of the larger trees, such as S. álba and S. Russelliana, is sawn into boards for flooring, and sometimes for rafters; in which last situation, when kept dry and ventilated, it has been known to last upwards of a century. The straight stems of young trees, when split in two, make excellent styles for field ladders, on account of their lightness. The boards are well adapted for lining waggons and carts, particularly such as are intended for coals or stones, or any hard material, as willow wood, like other soft woods, is by no means liable to splinter from the blow of any hard angular material. It is also valued for the boards of the paddles of steam-vessels, and for the strouds of water-wheels, as it wears in water better than any other kind of wood. The red-wood willow, or stag's-head osier (S. frágilis), according to Mathew, produces timber superior to that of S. álba, or of any other tree willow. It is much used in Scotland for building small vessels; and especially for fast-sailing sloops of war, by reason of its lightness, pliancy, elasticity, and toughness. The wood, when dry, is easily known from that of all other willows, by its being of a salmon colour; on which account it is sometimes used in cabinet-making and for children's toys. "Formerly," says Mathew, " before the introduction of iron hoops for cart wheels, the external rim, or felloe, was made of this willow; and, when new, the cart or wain was drawn along a road covered with hard small gravel (and, in preference, gravel somewhat angular); by which means the felloe shod itself with stone, and thus became capable of enduring the friction of the road for a long time, the toughness and elasticity of the willow retaining the gravel till the stone was worn away. Under much exposure to blows and friction, this willow outlasts every other home timber. When recently cut, the matured wood is slightly reddish, and the sap-wood white. When exposed to the air, and gradually dried, both are of salmon colour, and scarcely distinguishable from each other." (On Nav. Timb., p. 63.) S. Russelliana being very nearly allied to S. frágilis, its wood has, probably, the same characteristics. The longer shoots and branches of the tree willows are made into poles for fencing, hop-poles, props for vines, and other purposes; and, when forked at one end, into props for supporting lines for clothes. They are also much used for the handles of hay-rakes, and other light agricultural implements; and they are split, and made into hurdles, crates, and hampers; and, when interwoven with the smaller branches, into racks, or cradles, for the hay and straw given to cattle in the fields, or in feeding-yards. The smaller rods, with or without the bark on, are manufactured into various kinds of baskets, for domestic use; and, split up into two, four, or more pieces, for making lighter and ornamental articles, such as work-baskets, ladies' reticules, &c. It is a remarkable fact, that basket-making was one of the few manufactures in which the ancient Britons excelled in the times of the Romans. These baskets, or bascaudæ, as they are called by Martial, are said to have been of very elegant workmanship, and to have borne a high price. (See Encyc. Brit., art. Basket-making.) At Caen, in France, hats are manufactured from strips or shavings of the wood of the S. álba, in the same manner as they are manufactured in Switzerland from shavings of the wood of Daphne Laurèola; and as they were, some years ago in Essex, from the wood of Pópulus fastigiata. Branches of two or three years' growth are taken and cut up into thin slices
with an instrument called a shave, and afterwards divided into ribands by a steel comb with sharp teeth. Similar willow hats were formerly manufactured in England, and sheets of what is called willow, which is a kind of stuff woven with fine strips of the wood and afterwards stiffened, are still in common use for the framework of bonnets; and, when covered with felt, for light cheap summer hats. This stuff is chiefly manufactured by the weavers at Spitalfields, where one set of persons cut the willows into thin strips, and others weave these strips into sheets.
The downy substance which envelopes the seeds is used by some kinds of birds to line their nests; and by man, occasionally, as a substitute for cotton, in stuffing mattresses, chair cushions, and for other similar purposes. In many parts of Germany, it is collected for making wadding for lining ladies' winter dresses; and a coarse paper may be formed of it. The shoots of willows of certain vigorous-growing kinds, when cut down to the ground, produce, in two years, rods which admit of being split in two for hoops for barrels; while others, in one year, produce shoots more or less robust, and of different degrees of length, which are used, with or without their bark on, for all the different kinds of basket-making and wickerwork. This last application, indeed, is by far the most general purpose to which the willow is applied. In the neighbourhood of London, the market-gardeners use the smaller shoots of T. decipiens for tying up broccoli, coleworts, and other vegetables sent to market in bundles; and, both in Britain and on the Continent, the smaller shoots of willows are used for tying the branches of trees to walls or espaliers, for tying up standard trees and shrubs into shape, for making skeleton frames on which to train plants in pots, for tying bundles and packages, and for a thousand other purposes which are familiar to every gardener, or will readily occur to him in practice. The lop of willows, and all the branches or old trunks which can be applied to no other useful purpose, make a most agreeable fuel, producing, when dry, a clear fire with little smoke; but, when the wood is moist, it is apt to crack. In the time of Evelyn, willow wood appears to have been that principally used in the manufacture of charcoal, both for smelting iron, and for gunpowder; but, for the former purpose, it has long given way to the coke of mineral coal. It is still in request for gunpowder, on account of its taking fire readily, and is esteemed by painters for their crayons.
The uses of the entire plant are various. Almost all the species being aquatics, and of rapid and vigorous growth, they are peculiarly fitted for planting on the banks of rivers and streams, for restraining their encroachments, and retaining the soil in its place. Various other trees and shrubs, from being also aquatics, and having numerous roots, are, no doubt, adapted for this purpose, such as the alder; but the willow has this great advantage, that it grows readily by cuttings, and, therefore, does not require the soil to be disturbed by the operation of planting. As coppice-wood, to be cut down every six or eight years, S. càprea and its numerous varieties are valuable plants; few others producing so great a bulk of hoops, poles, and faggot-wood in so short a time, in a cold, moist, undrained soil. S. álba is also an excellent species for coppice, where the soil is drier and better; and forms a good nurse for plantations of timber trees that are made in moist situations. The shrubby kinds make hedges, both in dry and in moist soil; but, in the latter, such hedges are of most value on account of the use of their annual shoots in basket-making. The sorts of willow that can be grown for timber with most advantage are, S. álba, S. Russelliana, S. frágilis, S. càprea, and some others, which we have enumerated under the head of Culture. The trees which are most ornamental are, the well-known S. babylónica, S. álba mas, S. álba fœm., S. vitellina, S. pentándra, S. acutifolia, S. præ cox, S. purpùrea, S. Hèlix, S. amygdalina, and some others. S. càprea is remarkable for the profusion of its flowers; S. vitellina, for its yellow bark; S. decipiens, for its white cane-like shoots; and S. acutifòlia, and S. præ'cox for their purple shoots, covered, when not exceeding three or four years' growth, with a delicate bloom, like that of