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Derirations. The name, Gymnocladus, is derived from the Greek, gumnos, naked, and klados, a branch ; from the naked appearance of the branches. The genus Guilandina was named in honour of Melchior Guilandin, a Prussian traveller in Africa, and demonstrator of botany, at Padua. Generic Characters. Calyx tubular-infundibuliform, the limb 5-cleft; lobes lanceolate, equal. Petals 5,
oblong, somewhat longer than the lobes of the calyx, inserted into the summit of the tube. Stamens 10, included, inserted with the petals; those opposite the sepals a little longest. Legume oblong, compressed, very large, thick, pulpy within. Torrey and Gray, Flora.
HE genus Gymnocladus comprises but one species, a deciduous
tree, native of North America, with upright branches, and inconspicuous buds. It was constituted by M. Lamarck, from the genus Guilandina, which at present contains but one species, the Guilandina bonduc, or Bonduc-tree, a native of India. The
Gymnocladus is nearly allied to the Tamarindus indica, a large, beautiful, spreading tree, indigenous to the East and West Indies, Arabia, and Egypt, from which the tamarinds of commerce are produced. Its pods, like those of the tamarind-tree, may be preserved, and are said to be wholesome, and slightly aperient.
LINNÆUS, Species Plantarum.
DE CANDOLLE, Prodromus.
Michaux, North American Sylva.
TORREY AND Gray, Flora of North America.
Derivation. The French Canadian name, Chicot, signifies Stump-tree. It was named Coffee-tree by the early settlers of Kentucky, who used the seeds of this tree as a substitute for the coffee of Arabia.
Engravings. Du Hamel, Traité des Arbres et Arbustes, pl. 103; Michaux, North American Sylva, pl. 50; Loudon, Arborelum Britannicum, v., pl. 99; and the figures below. Specific Characters. Deciduous. Branches blunt at the tip. Leaves bipinnate ; flowers in racemes, with
whitish petals. The leaf has 4–7 pinnæ, the lower of which consist each of a single leaflet, and the rest each of 6—8 pairs of leaflets.—De Candolle, Prodromus.
HE Gymnocladus cana-
fifty to eighty feet, with a straight trunk, from twelve inches to two feet in diameter, and is often destitute of branches for more than thirty feet. The aspect of its head in winter, is remarkable from being fastigiate, and possessing but few branches, which are large, thick, and blunt at their tips, in comparison with those of most other trees, and from being destitute of any visible buds, which latter circumstance, connected with the former, gives the tree the appearance of being dead; but in summer, when clothed with leaves, its summit forms a dense, oval or roundish mass, which has a fine effect, and may be seen at a great distance. The roots of this tree are few, thick, and directed downwards, in a similar manner as the branches grow upwards. The outer bark of the trunk is extremely rough, and detaches itself, after a certain age, in small, hard, transverse slips, rolled backwards at the end, and projecting sufficiently to distinguish the tree from every other. The leaves, on young, vigorous plants, are three feet long, and twenty inches in width; but on old trees, of a large size, they are not one half of these dimensions. The leaflets are oval-acuminate, from one to two inches long, of a dull, bluish-green, and the branches of their petioles are of a violet colour. The flowers, which open from May to July, occur in white spikes, of two inches or more in length, the barren and fertile ones being borne on separate trees. The fruit, which consists of largebowed pods, from five to ten inches in length, and about two inches in breadth, is of a reddish-brown colour, of a pulpy consistency within, and contains several large, gray seeds, of extreme hardness, that come to maturity in September or October.
Geography and History. The Gymnocladus canadensis is sparingly found in Upper Canada, and along the borders of Lake Erie and Ontario, in the state of New York; but in Kentucky and Tennessee, it abounds on tracts which border the Ohio and Illinois rivers, and is associated with the Juglans nigra, Ulmus rubra, Liriodendron tulipifera, Fraxinus americana quadrangulata, Gleditschia triacanthos, and more especially with the Celtis occidentalis.
This tree was introduced into Britain in 1748, and was cultivated by Archihald Duke of Argyll, at Whitton, where the original tree is said still to exist. Soon after its introduction into England, it found its way into most of the collections of France, southern Germany, and of Italy.
The largest tree of this species in Britain, is at Croome, in Worcestershire, which attained a height of sixty feet in forty years after planting, with a trunk eighteen inches in diameter, and an ambitus of thirty feet.
In France, at Paris, in the Jardin des Plantes, there is a Gymnocladus which attained the height of fifty-five feet in sixty years after planting, with a trunk twenty inches in diameter, and an ambitus of forty feet. At Colombier, near Mentz, there is another tree sixty-five feet in height.
In Prussia, at Sans Souci, in Berlin, there is a tree of this species which attained the height of thirty feet in thirty years after planting.
In Austria, at Vienna, there is also a tree which attained the height of thirty feet in thirteen years after planting.
In the Bartram botanic garden, at Kingsessing, near Philadelphia, there is a Gymnocladus eighty feet in height, with a trunk five feet in circumference.
In Washington square, Philadelphia, there is a tree of this species about thirty years of age, fifty feet in height, with a trunk five feet and four inches in circumference, at a yard above the ground, and a head about fifty feet in diameter. There are also fine specimens of this tree in the garden of Mr. D. Landreth, of Philadelphia, and on the estate of Mr. A. J. Downing, of Newburgh, on the Hudson.
Soil, Situation, Propagation, f.c. The Gymnocladus canadensis, in its natural habitat, invariably grows in the very richest of soils, and thrives best in sheltered situations. The tree is generally propagated by seeds, which should be sown in March or April, and treated in the same manner as recommended in the common locust. It may also be propagated from cuttings of the roots, care being taken in planting, to keep the ends in the position in which they naturally grow.
Properties and Uses. The wood of the Gymnocladus canadensis is of a rosy hue, and is very hard, compact, tough, and strong, which render it very suitable for cabinet-making, and for building. Like the common locust, it has the valuable property of rapidly converting the alburnum into heart-wood, so that a trunk six inches in diameter, has only about half of an inch of sap-wood, and may
be employed almost entirely for useful purposes. The live bark is extremely bitter; so that a morsel no larger than a grain of maize, chewed for some time, causes a violent irritation in the throat. The pods, preserved like those of the tamarind, are said to be wholesome, and slightly aperient. The seeds were employed by the early settlers of Kentucky and Tennessee, as a substitute for coffee, but their use was discontinued, as soon as the Arabian coffee could be obtained. In Europe, the only use to which this tree is applied is for the purposes of ornament and shade. Being very hardy, and remarkable for the beauty of its foliage during summer, it is highly appreciated both in Europe and its native country.
Deriralıons. Cercis, is derived from the Greek, kerkis, a shuttlecock, the name given to the Judas-tree by Theophrastus. Siliquastrum is derived from the Latin, siliqua, a pod, husk, or shell, in allusion to the fruit of the trees of this genus. Distinctive Characters. Leaves simple, heart-shaped at the base, many-nerved, entire, protruded after
the flowers; these borne in groupes, each on a pedicel proceeding directly from the trunk or branches.De Candolle, Prodromus.
HE genus Cercis comprises two species of deciduous trees, of the third rank, natives of Europe, Asia, and North America. The Cercis siliquastrum is indigenous to the south of France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Japan, Asiatic Turkey, and more especially to Judea. It was cultivated in Britain by Gerard, in 1596, who says, “The
Frenchmen call it gainier, as though they should say, vaginula, or a little sheath. Most of the Spaniards name it algarrobo loco; that is, Siliqua sylvestris fatui (wild or foolish pod ;) others arbol d'amor, for the braveness' sake. It may be called in English, Judas-tree; for it is thought to be that on which Judas hanged himself, and not upon the elder-tree, as is vulgarly said.”
Engravings. Nuttall, North American Sylva, pl. -; Loudon, Arboretum Britannicum, v., pl. 103; and the figures below. Specific Characters. Leaves acuminate, villose beneath, at the axils of the veins. As compared with the
Cercis siliquastrum, its flowers are of a paler rose-colour, the legume is on a longer pedicel, and tipped with a longer style.—De Candolle, Prodromus.
OF HE Cercis canadensis, like the
Judas-tree of Europe, forms a
seldom attaining a height of twenty feet, when wild, but sometimes double this height in a state of cultivation. It is at once distinguished from that tree by its leaves being heart-shaped, and pointed, much thinner, more veined, and of a lighter green; and the flowers are generally produced in less numbers. The leaves are broadly ovate-cordate, acuminate, hairy along the veins on their under sides, of a light bluishgreen above, and of a pale sea-green underneath. The flowers, which put forth before the leaves, in March, April, and May, are of a purplish hue, acid to the taste, and are succeeded by small, flat, thin, brownish pods, containing numerous seeds.
Geography and History. The Cercis canadensis, in its indigenous state, is sparingly produced along the banks of rivers from Canada to Louisiana; and it is found cultivated for ornament in many of the gardens and collections both in Europe and in America. It was introduced into Britain in 1730; but it has never been much cultivated there.
The largest tree of this species in Europe, and perhaps on the globe, is at Paris, in the Rue Grenelle, in the garden of house No. 122, which is stated to be forty feet in height, and eighteen inches in diameter. In the Jardin des Plantes, in the same city,
there is also a tree which attained the height of thirty-six feet in fiftyfive years after planting, with a trunk ten inches in diameter, and an ambitus of twenty feet.
In the environs of London, this tree is seldom found more than ten or twelve feet in height.
In the Bartram botanic garden, at Kingsessing, near Philadelphia, there is a