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All1 the glandiferous trees produce the gall-nut as well: they only bear acorns, however, in alternate years. The gallnut of the hemeris2 is considered the choicest of all, and the best adapted for the preparation of leather: that of the latifolia closely resembles it, but is somewhat lighter, and not by any means so highly approved. This last tree produces the black gall-nut also—for there are two varieties of it—this last being deemed preferable for dyeing wool.

(7.) The gall-nut begins to grow just as the sun is leaving the sign of Gemini,3 and always bursts forth in its entirety in a single night.4 The white variety grows, too, in a single day, but if the heat happens to overtake it, it shrinks immediately, and never arrives at its proper size, which is about that of a bean. The black gall-nut will remain green for a longer period, and sometimes attains the size of an apple5 even. The best kind is that which comes from Commagene,6 and the most inferior are those produced by the robur: it may easily be tested by means of certain holes in it which admit of the passage of the light.7

1 This assertion is perhaps too general; gall-nuts are produced in very small quantities by the holm-oak.

2 A variety of the Quercus racemosa, which produces the green gallnut of Aleppo, considered in modern, as in ancient, times the choicest in quality.

3 Theophrastus says the end of June.

4 Its growth, in reality, is not so rapid as this.

5 Such a thing is never seen at the present day.

6 In Syria. We have mentioned the galls of Aleppo in Note 62.

7 This is the case when the inside has been eaten away by the insect that breeds there; of course, in such case it is hollow, light, and worthless.

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