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Of the trees which, as we have already stated,1 bud in winter at the rising of the Eagle, the almond blossoms the first of all, in the month of January2 namely, while by March the fruit is well developed. Next to it in blossoming is the plum3 of Armenia, and then the tuber and the early peach,4 the first two being exotics, and the latter forced by the agency of cultivation. Among the forest trees, the first that blossoms in the course of nature is the elder,5 which has the most pith of any, and the male cornel, which has none6 at all. Among the cultivated trees we next have the apple, and immediately after —so much so, indeed, that it would almost appear that they blossom simultaneously—the pear, the cherry, and the plum. Next to these is the laurel, and then the cypress, and after that the pomegranate and the fig: the vine, too, and the olive are budding when these last trees are in flower, the period of their conception7 being the rising of the Vergiliæ,8 that being their constellation.9 As for the vine, it blossoms at the summer solstice, and the olive begins to do so a little later. All blossoms remain on the trees seven days, and never fall sooner; some, indeed, fall later, but none remain on more than twice seven days. The blossoms are always off before the eighth day10 of the ides of July, the period of the prevalence of the Etesian11 winds.

1 In the last Chapter.

2 In Paris, Fée says, the almond does not blossom till March. If the tree should blossom too soon, it is often at the expense of the fruit.

3 Probably the apricot. See B. xv. c. 12.

4 See B. xv. c. 11.

5 See B. xxiv. c. 8.

6 This, of course, is not the fact. As to the succeeding statements, they are borrowed mostly from Theophrastus, and are in general correct.

7 The rising of the sap.

8 The Pleiades. See B. xviii. cc. 59, 60.

9 It was supposed in astrology that the stars exercised an effect equally upon animal and vegetable life.

10 25th of July.

11 See R. xviii. c. 68.

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