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THE AMERICAN HOLLY.
Aiton, Hortus Kewensis.
DE CANDOLLE, Prodromus.
Michaux, North American Sylva.
TORREY AND GRAY, Flora of North America.
SPAIN AND PORTUGAL.
BRITAIN AND ANGLO-AMERICA.
Engrcoings. Michaux, North American Sylva, pl. 84; Loudon, Arboretum Britannicum, v., pl. 66; and the figures below.
ROHE Ilex opaca is a beau
tiful evergreen tree, some-
height of eighty feet, with
Varieties. The only distinct variety of this species is the Ilex opaca larifolia, which is found in Carolina, with loose, whitish flowers, and yellowish-red berries. The following variations, however, are mentioned by Loudon, on the authority of Rafinesque, but it may be questioned whether they were not mostly deduced from leaves of trees of different ages, or in the early period of their growth :
1. I. O. MACRODON. Long-toothed-leaved variety.
Geography and History. The northernmost limits of this species may be considered as Quincy and Cohasset, in Massachusetts; and it is found more or less abundantly along the maritime parts of the United States, to the Floridas, and also in lower Louisiana, and western Tennessee; but it is observed to become rare in approaching the mountains. It was introduced into Britain in 1744, and is cultivated in many of the European gardens and collections. The largest trees of this kind recorded in England are in the gardens at the Walton House, at Syon, and at White Knights, near Reading. The height of those at Syon exceed twenty-five feet.
There are several fine specimens of the Ilex opaca on the farm of Colonel Minott Thayer, in Braintree, Massachusetts, which are about a foot in diameter, a yard above the ground, and twenty-five feet in height. They have maintained their present dimensions for more than fifty years, and probably are several centuries old.
Soil, Situation, &c. In New Jersey, and on the eastern shore of Maryland, and in certain parts of Virginia, where it is particularly abundant, this species grows almost exclusively on open grounds, and in dry, gravelly soils; while in South Carolina, Georgia, and lower Louisiana, it is seen only in shady places, on the edges of swamps, where the soil is cool and fertile. In Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, it usually grows in a warm, sandy loam, and in sheltered situations. It may be propagated in the same manner as the European holly, and formed into hedges, or cultivated as an ornamental tree in gardens.
Properties and Uses. The wood of the American holly resembles that of the European species, except that it is rather browner at the heart. It is compact, heavy, of a fine grain, and is susceptible of a brilliant polish. Its principal use is for inlaying mahogany furniture, and for turning into small boxes for druggists, and for small screws. When perfectly seasoned, it is very hard and unyielding, which renders it well adapted for pulleys used in ships.' It may be dyed of various colours, so as to resemble many foreign woods. The bark may be employed for making bird-lime, in a similar manner as that of the preceding species. Medicinally, it is emetic and cathartic. The berries, taken to the number of fifteen or twenty, will excite vomiting, and will also act as a purgative.
THE EMETIC HOLLY.
Aiton, Hortus Kewensis.
DE CANDOLLE, Prodromus.
Loudon, Arboretum Britannicum.
Michaux, Flora Boreali-Americana.
Walter, Flora Caroliniana.
green Cassena, Cassioberry-bush,
SOUTHERN INDIANS. Engravings. Catesby, Natural History of Carolina; Loudon, Arboretum Britannicum, ii., figure 186; and the figures below. Specific Characters. _Leaves oblong or elliptic, obtuse at both ends, crenately sawed, and, with the branchlets, glabrous. Flowers in subsessile lateral umbels. De Candolle, Prodromus.
"The firm Cassine, endures the wrecking storm,
TRAITS OF THE ABORIGINES.
FC HE Ilex vomitoria is
an elegant evergreen
growing to a height of twelve or fifteen feet in its natural habitat, and somewhat higher in a state of cultivation. The flowers, which put forth in June, are whitish, and are succeeded by smooth, red
rries, that are ripe in October, and like those of the European holly, remain upon the branches during the winter.
Geography, History, foc. The emetic holly is found in moist, shady places, from Virginia to the Floridas, and was introduced into Britain in 1770. It was cultivated by Miller in the physic garden at Chelsea, and in several other collections in the neighbourhood of London, till the severe winter of 1789, when most of the plants were destroyed. Other plants were afterwards raised from seeds in that country, and have ever since resisted the cold of ordinary winters without protection.
In France, it has been cultivated for a long time by the Chevalier Jansen, in his garden at the Barrière Chaillot, at Paris.
Legendary Allusions. It is said that the true cassena is regarded by many of the southern tribes of the American Indians, as a holy plant, being used by them during their religious rites and solemn councils, to clear the stomach and the
head. It was an annual custom for a chief to give notice to the inhabitants of a town, in spring, to assemble at the public house, which was previously purified by fire. After they had convened, the chief was first served with a bowl or conch-shell, never before used, of their emetic broth; and next to him were served each individual of the company, according to his rank, till at last they came to the women and children. They had a belief that this beverage restored lost appetite, strengthened the stomach, and gave them agility and courage in
Lawson, in recording a tradition of this tree, says: "The savages of Carolina have it in veneration above all the plants they are acquainted withal, and tell you the discovery thereof was by an infirm Indian, who laboured under the burden of many rugged distempers, and could not be cured by all the doctors; so, one day he fell asleep, and dreamt that if he took a decoction of the tree that grew at his head, he would certainly be cured; upon which he awoke, and saw the Yaupon or Cassine-tree, which was not there when he fell asleep. He followed the direction of his dream, and became perfectly well in a short time." Among some of the tribes, it was held in such high esteem, that the decoction of its toasted leaves, called " black drink," was forbidden to be used by their women.
Properties, Uses, foc. The leaves and young shoots of the cassena are inodorous, the taste sub-aromatic and fervid, being useful in stomach fevers, diabetes, small-pox, &c., as a mild emetic; but the “black drink” of the Indians is a strong decoction, and a violent, though harmless vomitive. At a certain season of the year they often travel a distance of some hundred miles, from parts where this tree does not grow, to procure a supply of the leaves. They make a fire on the ground, and putting a kettle of water on it, filled with leaves, place themselves around it, and with a wooden vessel holding about a pint, commence by taking large draughts, which, in a short time, cause them to vomit freely. Thus they continue drinking and vomiting for two or three days, until they are sufficiently purified, when they return, with large quantities of the leaves and boughs, to their homes. The leaves and young shoots of the Ilex cassena and dahoon, and of many other shrubs, appear to be substituted indiscriminately by the Indians for making their “black drink.” In North Carolina, it is said, the inhabitants of the sea-side swamps, having no good water to drink, disguise its taste by boiling in it a little cassena, or other plants of a similar nature, and use it constantly warm, as the Chinese do their daily tea. This circumstance gave rise to the opinion that this species was the Ilex paraguariensis, and was erroneously called “Paraguay Tea.”
This tree may be cultivated by seeds or by layers, in a similar manner, and in the same kind of soil as the Ilex opaca; but its situation should be more sheltered.
LAMBERT, Monograph of the Genus Pinus.
Derivations. The word Matė, is applied by the South American Spaniards, to the cup or vessel from which the hot liquid is imbibed; whence the name of the herb. The Spanish name, Yerba de palos, signifies Tree-herb.
Engravings. Lambert, Monograph of the Genus Pinus, pl. ii.; Hooker, London Journal of Botany, vol. i., pl. 1; Loudon,
HE Ilex paragua-
growth, usually attains a height of twenty or thirty feet, with a trunk sometimes a foot or more in diameter. In places, however, where the leaf is regularly gathered, it becomes stunted, from the branches being cut every two or three years, but not oftener, owing to an opinion that this time is requisite to season the leaves, which remain, during winter, upon the trees. The bark of the trunk is smooth, shining, and whitish; and the boughs, which spring upwards like those of the laurel, are leafy and tufted. The leaves are elliptic, cuneiform, from four to five inches long; thick, glossy, crenated,
of a dark-green above, and paler below. The petioles are of a dark-red, and about half an inch in length. The flowers, which appear in October and November, in its native country, are produced in umbels of thirty or forty florets each, with four whitish petals, and with the same number of stamens. The berries are red, very smooth, about the size of small peas, and containing four nuts or seeds.
Varieties. The two following races usually considered as species, and described under the name of Ilex gongonha, may be regarded only as varieties of the same plant :
1. I. P. PARVIFOLIUM. Small-leaved Paraguay Tea.
2. I. P. ANGUSTIFOLIUM. Narrow-leaved Paraguay Tea. Both of these varieties are cultivated in the botanic garden at Rio Janeiro, and are somewhat exten