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But the most beautiful feature of all in the maple is what is known as bruscum, and, even more particularly so, the molluscum. These are both of them tuberosities of this tree, the bruscum presenting veins more violently contorted, while those of the molluscum are disposed in a more simple and uniform manner: indeed, if this last were of sufficiently large size to admit of tables being made of it, there is no doubt that it would be preferred to the wood of the citrus even. At the present day, however, we find it but little used except for the leaves of tablets, or as a veneer for couches.1 Tuberosities are also found on the alder,2 but as much inferior to those already mentioned, as the alder itself is to the maple. In the maple the male tree3 is the first to blossom. The trees that frequent dry spots are preferred to those that grow in watery localities, which is the case also with the ash.

There is found in the countries beyond the Alps a tree, the wood of which is very similar to that of the white maple, and which is known as the staphylodendron.4 This tree bears a pod5 in which there is found a kernel, which has the flavour of the hazel-nut.

1 "Silicios." This word appears to be explained by the accompanying word "laminas;" but it is very doubtful what is the correct reading.

2 The Alnus glutinosa of Decandolles. In c. 38, Pliny says, very in- correctly, that the alder has a remarkably thick leaf; and in c. 45, with equal incorrectness, that it bears neither seed nor fruit.

3 Fée observes, that it is incorrect to say that the male tree blossoms before the female, if such is Pliny's meaning here.

4 From the Greek, meaning "a tree with clusters." It is the Staphylea pinnata of Linnæus, the wild or false pistachio of the French.

5 "Siliqua." This term, Fée says, is very inappropriate to the fruit of this tree, which is contained in a membranous capsule. The kernel is oily, and has the taste of the almond more than the nut.

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