Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

in a deep, sandy loam, in a rather moist climate, in the West Riding in Yorkshire.

The situation most favourable to this tree, is one which, while it is sheltered from high winds, is at the same time, sufficiently exposed to the light and air to admit of the maturation of its leaves on every side, and the perfect ripening of its wood, without which it can neither resist the severe frosts of winter, nor form blossom-buds. At Kinlet, in Worcestershire, England, there is a tulip-tree, in a sandy loam, and partially sheltered situation, the lower part of which always comes into leaf before the upper part has the least appearance of doing so.

The lower part is sheltered by high ground, while the upper part is exposed to a strong west wind. It flowers freely, and has a splendid appearance at that season, as also in autumn before it sheds its yellow leaves. If it were desired to grow the tulip-tree for the purpose of forming straight, clean timber, it should be placed in a close plantation, where one plant would draw upon another.

Propagation and Culture. The Liriodendron tulipifera is seldom, if ever, propagated otherwise than by seeds, which come up best in very fine mould, or sandy loam, in a shady situation, kept rather moist; but the varieties are, of course, multiplied by layers, budding, grafting, or inarching. When the seeds are sown in autumn, they generally come up in the following spring; but, sown in spring, or the beginning of summer, they generally remain a year in the ground. "In France, and occasionally in England, the obtuse-lobed variety is raised by layers, or inarching; but, in either case, it requires two or three years before the plant can be separated from the parent stock. The tulip-tree, like the magnolias, having roots furnished with but few fibres, does not transplant readily; and therefore, the plant ought either to be kept in pots, or, if in the free ground, transplanted into the nursery every year; or, if neither of these modes be practicable, they should be removed to their final situation, when not more than two, or at most, three years old. The progress of growth of young trees, in England, in favourable situations, has been at the rate of sixteen feet in ten years.

Insects. From the bitter qualities of its leaves, the Liriodendron tulipifera does not seem to be much attacked by insects. In Smith and Abbot's “Insects of Georgia,” it is stated, that the Phalana liriodendraria, or tulip-tree butterfly, feeds upon it. The insect went into the ground in Georgia, May 15th, came out the 5th of June; others, which went in the 11th of July, came forth on the 1st of August. The moth sits on the bodies of the trees, but is not very common.

Properties and Uses. The timber of the Liriodendron tulipifera, though classed among light woods, is yet, much heavier than that of the common poplar; its grain is equally fine, but more compact, and the wood is easily wrought, and polishes well. When dry, a cubic foot weighs twenty-five pounds. It affords excellent charcoal, the product of which, from dry wood, is twenty-two per cent. The heart-wood, when separated from the sap, and perfectly seasoned, long resists the influence of the air, and is rarely attacked by insects. Its greatest defect, when employed in wide boards, and exposed to the weather, is, that it is liable to shrink and warp, by the alternations of moisture and dryness; but this defect is, in a great measure, compensated by its other properties, and may be, in part, owing to its not being allowed sufficient time to be properly seasoned. The nature of the soil on which it grows, has so striking an influence upon the colour, and quality of this wood, that mechanics distinguish it by the names of White Poplar and Yellow Poplar. The external appearances which mark these varieties are so equivocal, that they can only ascertain to which of them a tree belongs, by cutting it. It is known, in general, that the white poplar grows in dry, gravelly, and elevated places; and is recognized, too, by its branchy summit, and by the small proportion which the light yellow heart-wood bears to

the sap-wood. The grain, also, is coarser and harder, and the wood decays more speedily; hence, it is neglected when the other variety can be obtained. The yellow poplar possesses every quality requisite to fit it für a great variety of uses. At New York and Philadelphia, and in the adjacent country, it was formerly employed in the construction of houses, for rafters, and for joists of the upper stories, for which purposes it was esteemed, on account of its lightness and strength, but as the timber has become scarce, pine and spruce have taken its place. In the middle, southern, and western states, where this tree abounds, it is more generally used in building, and is considered as the best substitute for pine, red cedar, and cypress, and serves for the interior work of houses, and sometimes for the exterior covering. The panels of doors and of wainscots, and the mouldings of chimney pieces, are made of this wood. In some states, shingles are made of it, about fifteen inches long, which are preferred to those made of pine, because they are more durable, and are not liable to crack from the effects of intense frost and sunshine. In most of the large cities and towns in the United States, boards sawn from this tree, are generally used for the panels of carriages. When perfectly dry, they take the paint well, and admit of a brilliant polish. Large quantities of this wood are consumed in the manufacture of trunks, covered with cloth, or skins; of tables, and bedsteads, which are stained, in imitation of mahogany, and for the seats of chairs. It often enters into the composition of bureaus, and cabinet-work generally, particularly when it is inlaid with veneers. It is also used for the circular boards and wings of winnowing machines, also for the construction of sleigh and wagon bodies, where white pine is not abundant, and for the interior of canal and steamboats. As it is easily wrought in the lathe, it is often used for bowls, brush, and broom heads and handles, and numerous other articles among turners' wares. Among agriculturists, trunks of these trees are often formed into eating and drinking troughs for their animals, which, when exposed to the weather, last as long as those made of chestnut and butternut. In some parts of the country, the wood of this tree is employed for the rails of rural fences. It is found useful, also, in the construction of bridges, as it unites lightness with strength and durability. The Indians who formerly inhabited the middle states, made choice of this tree to form their canoes, for which purpose it was well adapted. The trunk being of great length and diameter, and the wood being light and strong, it was sometimes wrought by them into canoes that would carry twenty or more persons. It is still used by the Indians and others in the western country, for the same purpose. Michaux remarks that, when one of these trees is felled, the chips of the heart-wood that are left upon the ground, particularly those which are left half buried in the leaves, suffer, at the end of three or four weeks, a remarkable change; the lower part becomes of a dark-blue, and they exhale a fetid, ammoniacal odour; though the live part of the bark of the trunk, branches, and still more of the roots, has an agreeable smell, and a very bitter taste, and, even under the same circumstances as the heart-wood, it neither acquires the blue colour, nor the disagreeable smell.

The bark of this tree is considered, by some, as scarcely inferior to the cinchona, being a powerful tonic and antiseptic. The aromatic principle appears to reside in a resinous part of the substance of the bark, and, when used, stimulates the intestinal canal, and operates as a gentle cathartic. In many instances, the stomach cannot support it, unless each dose is accompanied by a few drops of laudanum. These properties were well known to the American Indians, who employed the bark of the roots of this tree for the cure of intermittents.

"If Fever's servid rage
Glow'd in the boiling veins," * * * * *

"Anxiously they sought
The Liriodendron, with its varied bloom,
Orange, and green, and gold ;" * * * *

* * * * "To supply
The place of fam'd Cinchona, whose rough brow
Now ruddy, and anon with paleness mark'd,
Drinks in its native bed, the genial gales
Of mountainous Peru."

TRAITS OF THE ABORIGINES.

And even at the present day, in parts of the country where this tree abounds, some of the inhabitants steep the bark of the roots with an equal portion of dogwood bark, in brandy, during eight days, and take this tincture as a remedy for the intermittent fever. The bark, reduced to powder, and given in substance to horses, appears to be a pretty certain remedy for worms.

In Europe, the uses of the Liriodendron tulipifera are limited almost entirely to those of ornament; for there are numerous trees which would produce excellent timber, if cut down. We have never heard of any having been felled for this purpose. Every possessor of a tulip-tree, in Europe, values it far higher for its beauty in a living state, than for its products, or the artificial application of them. On the continent, where trees ripen seeds, they may be considered as affording some profit from that source.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Deritations. The name Annona was given to this genus by Linnæus, who derived it from a South American fruit of a grateful favour, called anona, which signifies a mess, or dish of food, to be eaten with a spoon. Asimina was Latinized by M. Adanson. from a word of Canadian origin of a doubtful meaning. Orchidocarpum was probably intended to express a resem blance between the fruit of this genus, and that of some species of Orchis. Porcelia is a name given by Ruiz, in honor of Antonio Porcel, a Spanish promoter of botany. Uraria was also applied to this genus by Linnæus, and is derived from the Latin upa, a grape. The German name, Flaschenbaum, signifies Flask-tree, from the shape of the fruit. The French and Italian names are merely modifications of the Spanish one. It is called Custard Apple, on account of the pulp of the fruit often being eaten with a spoon, after the manner of eating a custard. Generic Characters. Calyx 3-parted. Petals 6, spreading, ovate-oblong, inner ones smallest. Anthers

numerous, nearly sessile. Ovaries many, but for the most part only 3, ovate or oblong. Carpels the same number as the ovaries, baccate, sessile. Seeds many, disposed in a single or double row.-Don, Miller's Dict.

HE hardy species of the genus Annona are chiefly confined to the United States, and vary in height from two to thirty feet. The low shrubs are deciduous, with white or purple flowers, and bear fruit about the size of small plums. They are rather tender,

and difficult of cultivation, although they have been introduced

it into Europe at different periods from 1736 to 1820. All the species require peat soil, and are only propagated by seeds.

[graphic]

Annona triloba,

THE THREE-LOBED-CALYXED ANONNA.

Synonymes.
Annona triloba,

LINNÆUS, Species Plantarum

DE CANDOLLE, Prodromus.
Anona triloba,

Michaux, North American Sylva.

Don, Miller's Dictionary.
Asimina triloba,

LOUDON, Arboretum Britannicum.
Uvaria triloba,

TORREY AND GRAY, Flora of North America.
Anone à trois lobes, Asiminier de Vir-

FRANCE.
ginie,
Dreylappiger Flaschenbaum,

GERMANY.
Annona,

ITALY:
Anona,

SPAIN.
Asiminier,

FRENCH LOUISIANA.
Papaw, ,

BRITAIN AND ANGLO-AMERICA.

Engravings. Michaux, North American Sylva, pl. 60; Loudon, Arboretum Britannicum, i., figure 39; and the figures below. Specific Characters. Leaves oblong-obovate, acuminate ; petals dark-purple; the exterior orbicular,

3 or 4 times the length of the sepals.- Torrey and Gray, Flora.

[graphic]

Description.

[ocr errors]

in

HE Annona triloba is a
small tree, seldom ex-
ceeding thirty feet in

height, densely clothed with long leaves, lying over one another, in such a manner as to give a peculiarly imbricated appearance to the entire plant. T'he trunk is covered with a silver-gray bark, which is smooth and finely polished. The leaves are borne on short petioles, and are alternate, five or six inches in length, and of an elongated form, widening from the base to the summit. They are of a fine texture, and the upper surface is smooth and brilliant. The flowers appear South Carolina and Georgia in March, and a month or six weeks later farther north. They are campanulate and drooping, and put forth before the leaves; the outer petals are purple, and vary in colour in different plants; in some they are very dark, and in others light, inclining to yellow. The fruit ripens in August, and is about three inches long, and one and a half inches thick, yellow, ovate; oblong, irregular, and swelling into inequalities. It contains a yellow pulp, of a sweet, luscious taste, in the middle of which lie, in two rows, twelve seeds, or triangular stones, divided by as many thin membranes.

Geography and History. Michaux did not observe this tree north of the river Schuylkill; and it appears to be unknown, or extremely rare, in the low and maritime parts of the southern states. It is not uncommon in the bottomlands which stretch along the rivers of the middle states, where, at intervals, it

BL

« AnteriorContinuar »