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Of some plants the fruits1 are in the earth, of others both in the earth and out of it, and of others, again, out of the earth solely. Some of them increase as they lie upon the ground, gourds and cucumbers, for instance; the same products will grow also in a hanging position, but they are much heavier even then than any of the fruits that grow upon trees. The cucumber, however, is composed of cartilage and a fleshy substance, while the gourd consists of rind and cartilage: this last is the only vegetable production the outer coat of which becomes of a ligneous nature, when ripe. Radishes, turnips, and rape are hidden in the earth, and so, too, are elecampane,2 skirrets,3 and parsnips,4 though in a different manner. There are some plants, again, to which we shall give the name of "ferulaceous," anise5 and mallows, for instance; indeed, we find it stated by some writers that in Arabia6 the mallow be- comes arborescent at the sixth month, so much so, in fact, as to admit of its being used for walking-sticks. We have another instance, again, in the mallow-tree of Mauretania, which is found at Lixus, a city built upon an æstuary there; and at which spot, it is said, were formerly the gardens of the Hesperides, at a distance of two hundred paces from the Ocean, near the shrine of Hercules, more ancient, tradition says, than the temple at Gades. This mallow-tree7 is twenty feet in height, and of such a thickness that there is not a person in existence who is able with his arms to span its girth.

In the class of ferulaceous plants we must include hemp8 also. There are some plants, again, to which we must give the appellation of "fleshy;"9 such as those spongy10 productions which are found growing in damp meadows. As to the fungus, with a hard, tough flesh, we have already11 made mention of it when speaking of wood and trees; and of truffles, which form another variety, we have but very recently given a de- scription.12

1 By the word "fructus" he no doubt means the edible parts solely, the leaf, stalk, or root, as the case may be.

2 Fée is surprised to find elecampane figuring among the garden vegetables. It has a powerful odour, is bitter, and promotes expectoration. Though not used as a vegetable it is still used as a preserve, or sweetmeat, mixed with sugar. See further on it in c. 29 of this Book.

3 See c. 28 of this Book.

4 See c. 27 of this Book.

5 Fée remarks that this juxtaposition of anise and mallows betokens the most complete ignorance of botany on the part of our author; there being few plants which differ more essentially. The field-mallow, or Malva silvestris of Linnæus, or perhaps several varieties of it, are here referred to. The anise will be further mentioned in c. 74 of this Book.

6 Fée suggests that the plant here mentioned may have been an annual, probably the Lavatorea arborea of botanists, or some kindred species. In a few months it is known to attain a height of ten feet or more.

7 In Fée's opinion this tree cannot have belonged to the family of Malvaceæ; the Adansonia and some other exotics of the family, with which Pliny undoubtedly was not acquainted, being the only ones that attain these gigantic proportions.

8 There is no resemblance between mallows and hemp, any more than there is between mallows and anise.

9 "Carnosa."

10 Hardonin thinks that he alludes to the Conferva, or river sponge. again mentioned in B. xxvii. c. 45. Fée, however, dissents from that opinion.

11 In B. xvi. cc. 11 and 13, and in cc. 12 and 14 of the present Book.

12 In c. 11 of the present Book.

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