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Asia, too, produces the tragos1 or scorpio, a thorny shrub, destitute of leaves, with red clusters upon it that are employed in medicine. Italy produces the myrica, which some persons call the "tamarix;"2 and Achaia, the wild brya,3 remarkable for the circumstance that it is only the cultivated kind that bears a fruit, not unlike the gall-nut. In Syria and Egypt this plant is very abundant. It is to the trees of this last country that we give the name of "unhappy;"4 but yet those of Greece are more unhappy still, for that country produces the tree known as "ostrya," or, as it is sometimes called, "ostrya,"5 a solitary tree that grows about rocks washed by the water, and very similar in the bark and branches to the ash. It re- sembles the pear-tree in its leaves, which, however, are a little longer and thicker, with wrinkled indentations running down the whole length of the leaf. The seed of this tree resembles barley in form and colour. The wood is hard and solid; it is said, that if it is introduced into a house, it is productive of painful deliveries and of shocking deaths.

1 See B. xxvii. c. 116. Sprengel identifies it with the Salsola tragus of Linnæus.

2 Probably the Tamarix Gallica of Linnæus. Fée says, in relation to the myrica, that it would seem that the ancients united in one collective name, several plants which resembled each other, not in their botanical characteristics, but in outward appearance. To this, he says, is owing the fact that Dioscorides calls the myrica a tree, Favorinus a herb; Dioscorides says that it is fruitful, Nicander and Pliny call it barren; Virgil calls it small, and Theophrastus says that it is large.

3 Fee thinks that it is the Tamarix orientalis of Delille.

4 "Infelix," meaning "sterile." He seems to say this more particularly in reference to the brya, which Egypt produces. As to this use of the word "infelix," see B. xvi. c. 46.

5 Sprengel and Fée identify this with the Ostrya vulgaris of Willdenow, the Carpinus ostrya of Linnæus.

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