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states; and as it ripens at the very period in midsummer when fruits are scarcest, there can be no more welcome addition to our pomonal treasures, than its deep purple and luscious berries. According to Loudon, it is a tree of great durability; in proof of which he quotes a specimen at Sion House, 300 years old, which is supposed to have been planted in the 16th century, by the botanist Turner.
The White mulberry, (M. alba,) is the species upon the leaves of which the silk worms are fed. The fruit is insipid and tasteless, and the tree is but little cultivated to embellish ornamental plantations, though one of the most useful in the world, when its importance in the production of silk is taken into account. There are a great number of varieties of this species to be found in the different nurseries and silk plantations; among them the Chinese mulberry, (M. multicaulis,) grows rapidly, but scarcely forms more than a large shrub, at the north; and its very large, tender, and soft green foliage is interesting in a large collection. The fruit is we believe of no importance; but it is the most valnable of all mulberries as food for the silk worm, while its growth is the most vigorous, and its leaves more easily gathered than those of any other tree of the genus.
THE PAPER MULBERRY TREE. Broussonetia.
Nat. Ord. Urticaces.
Lin. Syst. Diccia, Tetrandria.
The Paper mulberry is an exotic tree of a low growth, rarely exceeding twenty-five or thirty feet, indigenous to Japan and the South Sea Islands, but very common in our
gardens. It is remarkable for the great variety of forms exhibited in its foliage; as upon young trees it is almost impossible to find two exactly alike, though the prevailing outlines are either heart-shaped, or more or less deeply cut or lobed. These leaves are considered valueless for feeding the silk worm; but in the South Seas, the bark is woven into dresses worn by the females; and in China and Japan, extensive use is made of it in the manufacture of a paper, of the softest and most beautiful texture. This is fabricated from the inner bark of the young shoots, which is first boiled to a soft pulp, and then submitted to processes greatly similar to those performed in our paper-mills. This tree blossoms in spring, and ripens its fruit in the month of August. The latter is dark scarlet, and quite singular and ornamental, though of no value. The genus is diœcious; and the reason why so few fruit-bearing trees are seen in the United States, is because we generally cultivate only one of the sexes, the female. M. Parmentier, however, who introduced the male plant from Europe, disseminated it in several parts of the country; and the beauty of the tree has thereby been augmented by the increased interest which it possesses, when laden with its long, hairy berries.
The value of the Paper mulberry, in ornamental plantations, arises from its exotic look, as compared with other trees, from the singular diversity (of its foliage, the beauty of its reddish berries, and from the rapidity of its growth. It is deficient in hardiness for a colder climate than that of New-York; but farther south it is considerably esteemed as a shade-tree, for lining the side-walks in cities. In winter, its light fawn or ash-coloured bark, mottled with patches of a darker gray, contrasts agreeably with other trees. It has little picturesque beauty, and should never be planted in
quantities, but only in scattered specimens, to give interest and variety to a walk in the lawn or shrubbery.
THE SWEET GUM TREE. Liquidambar.
Nat. Ord. Platanaceæ. Lin. Syst. Monccia, Polyandria.
According to Michaux,* the Sweet gum is one of our most extensively diffused trees. On the seashore, it is seen as far north as Portsmouth; and it extends as far south as the Gulf of Mexico, and the Isthmus of Darien. In many of the southern states, it is one of the commonest trees of the forest; it is rarely seen, however, along the banks of the Hudson, (except in New-Jersey,) or other large streams of New-York. It is not unlike the maple in general appearance, and its palmate, five-lobed leaves are in outline much like the Sugar maple, though darker in colour, and firmer in texture. It may also be easily distinguished from that tree, by the curious appearance of its secondary branches, which have a peculiar roughness, owing to the bark attaching itself in plates edgewise to the trunk, instead of laterally, as in the usual manner. The fruit is globular, somewhat resembling that of the buttonwood, but much rougher, and bristling with points. The male and female catkins appear, on different branches of the same tree, early in the spring.
This tree grows in great perfection in the forests of New Spain. It was first described by a Spanish naturalist, Dr. Hernandez, who observed that a fragrant and transparent
*N. A. Sylva, 1. 315.
gum issued from its trunk in that country, to which, from its appearance, he gave the name of liquid amber; this is now the common name of the tree in Europe; and the gum is at present an article of export from Mexico, being chiefly valued in medicine as a styptic, and for its healing and balsamic properties. "This substance, which in the shops is sometimes called the white balsam of Peru, or liquid storax, is, when it first issues from the tree, perfectly liquid and clear, white, with a slight tinge of yellow, quite balsamic; and having a most agreeable fragrance, resembling that of ambergris or styrax. It is stimulant and aromatic, and has long been used in France as a perfume, especially for gloves." In the middle states a fragrant substance sometimes exudes from the leaves, and, by incision, small quantities of the gum may be procured from the trunk; but a warmer climate appears to be necessary to its production in considerable quantities.
We hardly know a more beautiful tree than the Liquidamber in every stage of its growth, and during every season of the year. Its outline is not picturesque or graceful, but simply beautiful, more approaching that of the maple than any other: it is therefore a highly pleasing, round-headed or tapering tree, which unites and harmonizes well with almost any others in composition; but the chief beauty lies in the foliage. During the whole of the summer months, it preserves, unsoiled that dark glossy freshness which is so delightful to the eye; while the singular, regularly palmate form of the leaves readily distinguishes it from the common trees of a plantation. But in autumn it assumes its gayest livery, and is decked in colours almost too bright and vivid
* Arboretum Brit. 2051.
for foliage; forming one of the most brilliant objects in American scenery, at that period of the year. The prevailing tint of the foliage is then a deep purplish red, unlike any symptom of decay, and quite as rich as is commonly seen in the darker blossoms of a Dutch parterre. This is sometimes varied by a shade deeper or lighter, and occasionally an orange tint is assumed. When planted in the neighbourhood of our fine maples, ashes, and other trees remarkable for their autumnal colouring, the effect, in a warm, dry autumn, is almost magical. Whoever has travelled through what are called the pine barrens of New-Jersey, in such a season, must have been struck with the gay tints of the numberless forest trees, which line the roads through those sandy plains, and with the conspicuous beauty of the Sweet gum, or Liquidamber.
The bark of this tree, when full grown, or nearly so, is exceedingly rough and furrowed, like that of the oak. The wood is fine-grained, and takes a good polish in cabinetwork; though it is not so durable, nor so much esteemed for such purposes, as that of the Black walnut, and some other native trees. The average height of full grown trees is about 35 or 40 feet.
Liquidambar styraciflua is the only North American species. It grows most rapidly in moist or even wet situations, though it will accommodate itself to a drier soil.
THE WALNUT TREE. Juglans.
Nat. Ord. Juglandaceae.
Lin. Syst. Monacia, Polyandria.
The three trees which properly come under this head, and belong to the genus Juglans, are the Black walnut, the European walnut, and the Butternut.