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The cypress, the walnut, the chesnut, and the laburnum,1 are averse to water. This last tree is also a native of the Alps, and far from generally known: the wood is hard and white,2 and the flowers, which are a cubit3 in length, no bee will ever touch. The shrub, too, known as Jupiter's beard,4 manifests an equal dislike to water: it is often clipped, and is employed in ornamental gardening, being of a round, bushy form, with a silvery leaf. The willow, the alder, the poplar,5 the siler,6 and the privet,7 so extensively employed for making tallies,8 will only grow in damp, watery places; which is the case also with the vaccinium,9 grown in Italy for drugging our slaves,10 and in Gaul for the purpose of dyeing the garments of slaves a purple colour. All those trees11 which are common to the mountains and the plains, grow to a larger size, and are of more comely appearance when grown on the plains, while those found on the mountains have a better wood and more finely veined, with the exception of the apple and the pear.

1 The Cytisus laburnum of Linnæus, also known as "false ebony," still a native of the Alps.

2 But blackish in the centre; whence its name of false ebony.

3 Meaning the clusters of the flowers.

4 The Anthyllis barba Jovis of modern botanists. The leaves have upon them a silvery down, whence the name "argyrophylla," given to it by Mænch.

5 But in c. 30, he says that the poplar grows on hilly or mountainous declivities.

6 This tree has not been satisfactorily identified; but Fée is of opinion that it is probably a variety of the willow, the Salix vitellina of Linnæus. Sprengel thinks that it is the Salix capræa.

7 The Ligustrum vulgare of Linnæus. It has black fruit and a white flower, and is rendered famous by the lines of Virgil—Eel. ii. 17: O formose puer, nimium ne crede colori; Alba ligustra cadunt, vaccinia nigra leguntur." It is evidently this juxtaposition that has prompted Pliny to mention the vaccinium in the succeeding passage. In B. xii. c. 51, and B. xxiv. c. 45, Pliny seems inclined to confound this shrub with the Cyprus, the Lawsonia inermis of Linnæus, the Henna of the east, a totally different plant.

8 Wooden tallies used by public officers in keeping their accounts. They were employed till the middle ages.

9 The Prunus mahaleb, Desfontaines says; but Fée identifies it with the black heath-berry, or whortle-berry, still called "vaciet" in France. It does not, however, grow, as Pliny says, in watery places, but in woods and on shrubby hills.

10 See B. xxi. c. 97.

11 These observations, Fée says, are borrowed from Theophrastus, Hist. Plant. B. iii. c. 4, and are founded on truth.

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