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being more frequent in the southern part of the State. On the margin of the forest we also perceive the American plum-tree, a small tree bearing an orange-coloured fruit; yonder on the bank of the river stand mighty trunks, indigenous to a wet soil, and stretching forth their branches far beyond the edge of the water; perhaps the flowery Echinocystis lobata, Torr. & Gr., clasps itself around them; there you may find also the Platanus occidentalis, L., here called sycamore, with its glistening bark and deeply-indented leaves, and the Populus monilifera, L, called cotton-wood, because its fruits, which are strung together like beads, on bursting cover the surrounding earth with its wool-like capsules.
Flowers of the most brilliant hues bedeck the rivers' banks; above all the Lobelia cardinalis, L., and the Lobelia syphilitica, of the deepest carmine and cerulean tinge, the yellow Cassia Marilandica, L., whose leaves serve for the affusion of the senna, and the delicate Cassia chamæcrista, L., with sensitive elder-leaves, then the delicate Rosa blanda, L., a rose without thorns, also the Scrophularia nodosa, L.
The sandy parts of the banks have their own particular Flora. Dwarfish cyperoids, and the frequent Mollugo verticillata, L., Lespedeza repens, Torr. & Gr., Eragrostis reptans Nees, Euphorbia maculata L., and other creepers partly cover the gravelly sand; among them rises the deep-rooted Allionia nyctaginea, Mich., Euphorbia Cyathiphora Mich., Darlingtonia brachyloba, D. C., the only species of mimosa, Crotalaria sagittalis, L., amsonia salicifolia Pursh, and Clematis pitcher., Torr. & Gr., with procumbent violet-colored stalks, and thick reflexed tips of the calix, finally, Polanisia graveolens, Raf., an isolated apparidacea, of repulsive smell.
The banks flattening, the marshy ground commences, upon which thrive the Iris versicolor, L., Cephalanthus occidentalis, L., Asclepias incarnata, L., the primrose-tree (Lysimachia), liver-wort (Eupatoria), most frequent, however, are the tall Physostegia Virginiana, Beuth, with rosy-red blossoms, and the Helenium auctumnale, L., in which the yellow color predominates. In spring, the dark violet blossom of the Amorpha fructicosa, L., diffuses its fragrance. Let us now jump in the boat and row to the opposite flat bank, where a branch of the river joins a swamp, and at the end of our excursion examine the aquatic vegetation.
Already where we cannot touch the bottom with the oar, we perceive a little white flower, waving to and fro, supported by long spiral halms between straight grass-like leaves. This is the valisneria spiralis, L., a remarkable plant, which may also be met with in Southern Europe, especially in the canal of Languedoc, and regarding the fructification of which different opinions prevail. This plant has two different blossoms, a male and a female one, the latter are situated on spiral pedicals, which, lengthened at the time of blooming, elevate the flower above the surface of the water to reach the female blossom without separating; though this was heretofore supposed, it was believed that the male flower, after separating, rose to swim round the female, delivering the pollen it was bearing at the time. · As, however, no such male flower was ever observed to separate and swim freely about, but the particles of pollen have been observed, the latter are presumed solely to reach the surface and fecundate the female flowers.
Already, nearer to the land, we observe similar grass-like leaves, but with little, yellow, stellated flowers; these belong to the order of the Schollera graminea Willd, which also vegetate on the banks, but then in diminished size. Other larger leaves belong to the amphibious Polygony (polygonium amphibium), and different species of the potamogeton, the ears of whose blossoms rise curious above the surface of the water. We can already look down upon the bottom of the river. Ceratophyllum echinatum Gray, predominates; at intervals charas and utriculareas may be found. Clearing our way through a row of tall swamp weeds (rye-grass, zizania aquatica, L., rush-grass, Scirpus lacustris, L., Scirpus pungens Vahl.), among which the white flowers of the bur reed (Sparganium ramosum Huds., Sagittaria variabilis Engelm.), and Echinodorus subulatus Engelm., are conspicuous, we steer into a large inlet entirely covered with the broad leaves of the odoriferous seagarland (Nymphaea odorata, Ait.), but little differing from the European water lily, and the Nelumbium luteum, Willd., of which the former modestly waves its beautiful flower on the surface of the river, whilst the latter, the queen, in fact, of the waters, proudly raises her magnificent crown upon a perpendicular foot-stalk; yonder, on the opposite bank, the evening breeze lifts the triangular leaves, and rosy-red flowers of the marsb-mallow (Hibiscus militaris Cav.), overhung by gray willows and the silver-leaved maple (Acer dasycarpum, Ehrh., and acer rubrum, L.,) on which a multitude of white herons have alighted. A profound silence reigns everywhere, scarcely interrupted by a few dragon-flies, buzzing about, and over the entire scene the parting sun difuses his rosy, faint, trembling light. It is a solemn, sublime scene; an hour thus passed, within nature's bosom, is an hour of consecration; an hour of true edification and devotion. Nature, indeed, is the most sublime temple of God.
At the termination of our excursion, let us throw a glance over the whole, and consider how man turns to advantage the wealth of the vegetable creation.
The species of corn that are cultivated have already been mentioned at length, with the exception of a species used for nourishment by the Indians, to wit, the wild maize (Zizania aquatica L.), which has been slightly noticed. This plant, six feet high, or more, has a panicle but below male, another above, female flowers.' In autumn, when the grains are ripe, the Indian, or rather his squaw, rows in a canoe to this aquatic harvest, the tops of which he bends over the gunwale of his boat, beating out the grain with a stick; the rice is so loosely enclosed between the bearded husks as to fall out at the slightest puff of wind, by reason whereof this harvest can only be continued for a few days after the maturity of the crop. Many prefer this wild to the ordinary rice, and cattle feed with avidity on its succulent leaves.* The timothy grass (phleum pratense L.), was imported almost a century since from Europe, and has been cultivated until now, as also the . Dactylis glomerata, L., Poa pratensis, L., Festuca pratensis, Huds., and other European grasses for fodder, for which purpose the indigenous herbs command an inferior value, with hardly the exception of the Calamagrostis canadensis, Beauv., and several glycerias, one of which Glyceria fluitans, R. Br., produces the manna seed," that is often mixed as groats with the soup. A gigantic grass attaining the height of forty feet, the Arundinaria macrosperma, Mich., thrives in the south
* The Indians have a wild-growing succedaneum for the potato, to wit: the mealy, bulbous roots of the nelumbium luteum, and paint themselves yellow with the root of hydrastis canadensis, L.
on the banks of the Mississippi, and along the Ohio as far as to its falls, near Louisville, Kentucky. Its stalks are frequently sold for fishing-rods in the market.
The forest furnishes of eatable fruits, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries, mulberries, grapes, wild plums and cherries, wild apples and hips, the Amelanchier canadensis, Torr. & Gr., the persimmon, the pawpaw, hickory, hazel, and walnuts. Many other fruits are greedily devoured by “pigs and boys," as Asa Gray remarks, when speaking of the May-apple, the fruit of the Podophyllum peltatum.
The sugar maple, besides the sugar gathered from its sap, furnishes also firewood of very superior quality; the wbite oak (Quercus alba L., Quercus macrocarpa Mich.), and the hickories, especially Carya alba Nutt., and Carya tomentosa Nutt., yield also excellent fuel; the Carya amara Nutt., however, to a less degree.
The bark of the dying oak (Quercus tinctoria, Bartr.), furnishes the famous color for the home-made woollen fabrics of the farmer. From the wood, which may be easily split, of the Quercus imbricaria Mich., with not lobated, but laurel-like, leaves, roof-shingles are made. Oak, linden, ash, walnut, cherry, hickory, and maple trees, furnish the wood required by wheelwrights and cabinet-makers, for their work; the hardest is the iron-wood (Carpious Americanus Mich., and Ostrya Virginica, Willd.); the wood of the sycamore and the cotton-wood is almost useless.
Next follow the plants used for medicinal purposes. It is well known, that the medical profession has usurped almost every thing having either taste 'or smell, in the vegetable creation, in order to prepare those infallible remedies and specifics, mixtures, pills, and drugs, so abundantly praised and recommended in the newspapers, and at every street corner; although it can hardly be doubted that they prove much more frequently injurious than beneficial, their healing properties being at best very indifferent. Too much time would be taken up, should we enumerate every herb and root. emetics besides the phytolacea decandra do they not substitute for ipecacuanha! how many drastics besides the Radix Podophylli for jalap! And what specifics against the bite of serpents, and fevers ! We confine ourselves to a few wild growing drugs, most frequently
met in the trade; the blood-wort, Sanguinaria canadensis, L.; milk. tare, Polygala senega L. ; Cassia Marilandica L.; Lobelia inflata L.; Menyanthes trifoliata L.; Sassafras officinale Nees. We shall, however, not exhibit ingratitude towards some popular remedies, whose virtues entitle them to mention here, for example, the slippery elm (ulmus fulva Mich.), and the oriental sesame, frequently growing in our gardens (sesamum orientale L.); the interior bark of the former and the leaves of the latter, may be recommended as mucilaginous remedies, the latter, especially, for summer complaints; and an infusion of water-melon seeds may be drunk in case of dropsy, after intermitting fevers.
We shall conclude with the best and most efficient medicinal herb. Various species of the vine grow here, they climb the highest trees, and separate themselves from the trunk, so that the bunches of grapes hang down from the twigs as big as one's arm; the grapes are small, of good flavour, and are much used by housewives for preserves; if cultivated this grape attains a larger size, and is most succulent. The American vine, less influenced by the weather than the European, admits of more successful cultivation than the latter. The fox-grape (Vitis labrusca L.), is the most improvable variety, and furnishes various brands; Isabella, &c. The tilling of vines makes rapid progress in the Western States, and is already commenced in Illinois. St. Clair and Monroe Counties in the south produce an excellent Catawba wine, wbich may be safely compared to good Rhine-wine, and is nearly equal in strength to the Hungarian wines. Also in the environs of Peoria and Nauvoo, the cultivation of the vine has been commenced, and that with a success which bids fair to be lasting. Let us hope, that at no distant time many counties of the fertile Prairie State will be clothed in the green dress of this noble plant.
The times have long since passed when herds of buffaloes were feeding in the prairies of Illinois, and the beaver built her dwellings here, and the elk (Elaphus canadensis Ray), bounded through the forests. The latter must now be hunted up, far away in Minnesota. The last beaver was killed in Wisconsin, in 1819, and the last buffalo (Bison Americanus, Gm.), on this side of the Mississippi, was seen in 1832. Also the black bear (ursus Americanus Pall.), has become very rare. Civilization has driven all these beasts, together with the Indians, to the