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There is another fruit, called Cherries.—Theophrastus says, in his book on Plants, that the Cherry-tree is a tree of a peculiar character, and of large size, for it grows to a height of four-and-twenty cubits,1 and its leaf is like that of the medlar, but somewhat harder and thicker, and its bark like the linden; its flower is white, like that of the pear or the medlar, consisting of a number of small petals of a waxy nature; its fruit is red, like that of the lotus in appearance, and of the size of a bean; but the kernel of the lotus is hard, while that of the cherry is soft. And again he says, “The κράταιγος, which some call κραταίγων, has a spreading leaf like a medlar, only that is larger, and wider, and longer; and it has no deep grain in it as the medlar has. The tree is neither very tall nor very large; the wood is variegated, yellow, and strong: it has a smooth bark, like that of the medlar; and a single root, which goes down very deep into the earth; the fruit is round, of the size of an olive; when fully ripe it is of a yellow colour, becoming gradually darker; and from its flavour and juice it might almost be taken for a wild medlar.” By which description of the cratægus it appears to me that he means the tree which is now called the cherry.
1 A cubit was about 18 1/4 .inches.
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