Monday, December 06, 2004


The Milktrees

"These trees are characterized by their leathery, evergreen, simple and alternate leaves and milky sap.The sexes are found in separate flowers on the same plant, each with 2 calyx lobes and no petals. The male flowers, borne in terminal spikes, possess 2 stamens of which the filaments are united at base; the female flowers, solitary or paired at the base of the male spikes, possess a 2-celled ovary. The fruit takes the form of a dry capsule containing large, nearly spherical seeds."

"The Pima Indians used to stupefy fish by macerating the twigs of this tree (JUMPINGBEAN-TREE; Sapium Biloculare (Watson) Pax), then throwing them into the water."
"The name
Jumpingbean comes from the fact that this is one of two sorts of seeds which are commonly inhabited by the restless grubs of the moth Carpocapsa saltitans. In their saltations they cause the pods to roll and jerk-to the delight of small boys who buy them at fairs."
Donald Culross Peattie: TREES

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