Theophrastus, Enquiry into Plants

LCL 70: 202-203

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μύας ἐνίοτε ἐνδὸν ἴσχει. τελειούμενον δὲ σκληρύνεται κηκίδος μικρᾶς λείας τρόπον.

6Ἡ μὲν οὖν δρῦς τοσαῦτα φέρει παρὰ τὸν καρπόν. οἱ γὰρ μύκητες ἀπὸ τῶν ῥιζῶν καὶ παρὰ τὰς ῥίζας φυόμενοι κοινοὶ καὶ ἑτέρων εἰσίν. ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ ἡ ἰξία· καὶ γὰρ αὕτη φύεται καὶ ἐν ἄλλοις· ἀλλ᾿ οὐδὲν ἧττον, ὥσπερ ἐλέχθη, πλειστοφόρον ἐστίν· εἰ δέ γε δὴ καθ᾿ Ἡσίοδον φέρει μέλι καὶ μελίττας, ἔτι μᾶλλον· φαίνεται δ᾿ οὖν καὶ ὁ μελιτώδης οὗτος χυλὸς ἐκ τοῦ ἀέρος ἐπὶ ταύτῃ μάλιστα προσίζειν. φασὶ δὲ καὶ ὅταν κατακαυθῇ γίνεσθαι λίτρον ἐξ αὐτῆς. ταῦτα μὲν οὖν ἴδια τῆς δρυός.

VIII. Πάντων δέ, ὥσπερ ἐλέχθη, τῶν δένδρων ὡς καθ᾿ ἕκαστον γένος λαβεῖν διαφοραὶ πλείους εἰσίν· ἡ μὲν κοινὴ πᾶσιν, ᾗ διαιροῦσι τὸ θῆλυ καὶ τὸ ἄρρεν, ὧν τὸ μὲν καρποφόρον τὸ δὲ ἄκαρπον ἐπί τινων. ἐν οἷς δὲ ἄμφω καρποφόρα τὸ θῆλυ καλλικαρπότερον καὶ πολυκαρπότερον· πλὴν ὅσοι ταῦτα καλοῦσιν ἄρρενα, καλοῦσι γάρ τινες. παραπλησία δ᾿ ἡ τοιαύτη διαφορὰ καὶ ὡς τὸ ἥμερον διῄρηται πρὸς τὸ ἄγριον. ἑτέρα δὲ κατ᾿ εἶδος αὐτῶν τῶν ὁμογενῶν· ὑπὲρ ὧν λεκτέον ἅμα συνεμφαίνοντας καὶ τὰς ἰδίας μορφὰς τῶν μὴ φανερῶν καὶ γνωρίμων.


Enquiry Into Plants, III. viii.

flies: but as it develops, it becomes hard, like a small smooth gall.

Such are the growths which the oak produces as well as its fruit. For as for the fungi1which grow from the roots or beside them, these occur also in other trees. So too with the oak-mistletoe; for this grows on other trees also. However, apart from that, the oak, as was said, produces more things than any other tree; and all the more so if, as Hesiod2 says, it produces honey and even bees; however, the truth appears to be that this honey-like juice comes from the air and settles on this more than on other trees. They say also that, when the oak is burnt, nitre is produced from it. Such are the things peculiar to the oak.

Of ‘malt’ and ‘female’ in trees: the oak as an example of this and other differences.

VIII. 3Taking, as was said, all trees according to their kinds, we find a number of differences. Common to them all is that by which men distinguish the ‘male’ and the ‘female,’ the latter being fruit-bearing, the former barren in some kinds. In those kinds in which both forms are fruit-bearing the ‘female’ has fairer and more abundant fruit; however some call these the ‘male’ trees—for there are those who actually thus invert the names. This difference is of the same character as that which distinguishes the cultivated from the wild tree, while other differences distinguish different forms of the same kind; and these we must discuss,4 at the same time indicating the peculiar forms, where these are not5 obvious and easy to recognise.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.theophrastus-enquiry_plants.1916