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The only ones among all the trees that bear nothing whatever, not so much as any seed even, are the tamarisk,1 which is used only for making brooms, the poplar,2 the alder, the Atinian elm,3 and the alaternus,4 which has a leaf between that of the holm-oak and the olive. Those trees are regarded as sinister,5 and are considered inauspicious, which are never propagated from seed, and bear no fruit. Cremutius informs us, that this tree, being the one upon which Phyllis6 hanged herself, is never green. Those trees which produce a gum open of themselves after germination: the gum never thickens until after the fruit has been removed.

1 See B. xxiv. c. 41.

2 But in B. xxiv. c. 32, he speaks of the fruit of the black poplar as an antidote for epilepsy. In fact, he is quite in error in denying a seed to any of these trees.

3 See c. 29 of this Book.

4 The Rhamnus alaternus of Linnæus, the Phylica elatior of C. Bauhin. In reality, it bears a small black berry, of purgative qualities.

5 "Infelices," "unhappy" rather.

6 Daughter of Sithon, king of Thrace, who hanged herself on account of the supposed inconstancy of her lover, Demophöon. See Ovid, Heroid. 2.

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