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1 This word, as employed by Theophrastus, means a catkin, the Julus amentum of the botanists; but it is doubtful if Pliny attaches this meaning to the word, as the lime or linden-tree has no catkin, but an inflorescence of a different character. It is not improbable that, under this name, he alludes to some excrescence.
2 These were the "boletus" and the suillus;" the last of which seem only to have been recently introduced at table in the time of Pliny. See B. xxii. c. 47.
3 He alludes clearly to fungi of radically different qualities, as the nature of the trees beneath which they grow cannot possibly influence them, any further than by the various proportions of shade they afford. The soil, however, exercises great influence on the quality of the fungus; growing upon a hill, it may be innoxious, while in a wet soil it may be productive of death.
4 See cc. 93, 94, and 95, of this Book.
5 Works and Days, 1. 230.
6 Pliny seems to have here taken in a literal sense, what has been said
figuratively by Virgil, Eel. iv. 1. 26:
"Et duræ quercus sudabunt roscida mella;"
and by Ovid, in relation to the Golden Age, Met. i. 113: "Flavaque de viridi stillabant ilice mella."
Fée remarks, that we find on the leaf of the lime-tree a thin, sugary deposit, left by insects; and that a species of manna exudes from the Coniferæ, as also the bark of the beech. This, however, is never the case with the oak.
7 B. xi. c. 12.
8 By this word, Fée observes, we must not understand the word "nitre," in the modern sense, but the sub-carbonate of potash; while the ashes of trees growing on the shores of the sea produce a sub-carbonate of soda.
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