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Ilex opaca,


(AITON, Hortus Kewensis.

DE CANDOLLE, Prodromus.
Цех ораса,

MICHAUX, North American Sylva.
LOUDON, Arboretum Britannicum.

TORREY AND GRAY, Flora of North America
Houx de l'Amerique,

Amerikanischer Stechpalmenbaum, GERMANY.
Agrifoglio a foglio di quercia,

Agrifolio americano,

American Holly,

Derivation. The specific name, opaca, is derived from the Latin opacus, thick, bushy, as if giving shade.

Engrcvings. Michaux, North American Sylva, pl. 84; Loudon, Arboretum Britannicum, v., pl. 66; and the figures below. Specific Characters. Leaves ovate, flat, coriaceous, acute, toothed in a scolloped manner, spiny, and gla

brous, but not glossy. Flowers scattered at the base of only those branches that are a year old. Teeth of the calyx acute. Sexes diæcious.—De Candolle, Prodromus.


OTHE Ilex opaca is a beau

Stiful evergreen tree, some-
Ultimes growing to the

a height of eighty feet, with
a trunk four feet in diameter; but its ordinary
height, in favourable situations, is not more than
thirty or forty feet, with a diameter of twelve or
fifteen inches; and near its northernmost limits
it is seldom found to exceed ten feet in height.
The bark of the trunks of old trees is smooth, and
of a whitish-gray; but on the young shoots and
branches it is green and shining. The leaves are
ovate, acute, spinous, glabrous, and flat; and are
of a light-green colour. The flowers, which ap-
pear in the months of May and June, are whitish,
but not conspicuous, and are succeeded by hand-
some, round, scarlet berries, that remain long
attached to the branches, often during the winter.

Varieties. The only distinct variety of this species is the Ilex opaca laxifolia, 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

1. I. O. MACRODON. Long-toothed-leaved variety.
2. I. O. LATIFOLIA. Broad-leaved variety.
3. I. O. ACUMINATA. Sharp-pointed-leaved variety.
4. I. O. GLOBOSA. Round-leaved variety.

Geography and History. The northernmost limits of this species may be con. sidered 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, foc. 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..

Ilex vomitoria,



war. Detite, Streen and on the come their niet wa

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 war. 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 snil as the Ilex opaca; but its situation should be more sheltered

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Ilex paraguariensis,

Ilex paraguayensis,

LAMBERT, Monograph of the Genus Pinus.

(ST. HILAIRE, Histoire des Plantes du Brési..
Ilex paraguariensis,

DE CANDOLLE, Prodromus.

The Peragua, Maté,

Yerba maté, Yerba de palos,



Paraguay Tea, Maté,



Derivations. The word Maté, is applied by the South American Spaniards, to the cup or vessel from which the hot liquid is imbi bed; 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, Arboretum Britannicum, vol. ii., figure 189; and the figures below. Specific Characters. Evergreen. Leaves glabrous, lanceolately-cuneated, oblong-oval, obtuse, remotely

serrated. Drupes with persistent calyxes crowned with 4-lobed stigmas.


o g HE Ilex paragua- A

Sriensis, when un

obstructed in its

Pic 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

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