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There is no tree productive of a more auspicious presage than one which grows in the Isle of Lesbos, and is known by the name of euonymos.1 It bears some resemblance to the pomegranate tree, the leaf being in size between the leaf of that and the leaf of the laurel, while in shape and softness it resembles that of the pomegranate tree: it has a white blossom,2 by which it immediately gives us notice of its dangerous properties.3 It bears a pod4 very similar to that of sesame, within which there is a grain of quadrangular shape, of coarse make and poisonous to animals. The leaf, too, has the same noxious effects; sometimes, however, a speedy alvine discharge is found to give relief on such occasions.

1 Or the "luckily named." It grew on Mount Ordymnus in Lesbos. See Theophrastus, B. ii. c. 31.

2 The Evonymus Europæus, or else the Evonymus latifolius of botanists, is probably intended to be indicated; but it is a mistake to say that it is poisonous to animals. On the contrary, Fée says that sheep will fatten on its leaves very speedily.

3 "Statim pestem denuntians." Pliny appears to be in error here. In copying from Theophrastus, he seems to have found the word φόνος, used, really in reference to a blood-red juice which distils from the plant; but as the same word also means slaughter, or death, he seems to have thought that it really bears reference to the noxious qualities of the plant.

4 Fée censures the use of the word "siliqua," as inappropriate, although the seed does resemble that of sesamum, the Sesamum orientale of Linnæus.

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