Theophrastus, Enquiry into Plants

LCL 70: 22-23

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καρδίαν, οἱ δ᾿ ἐντεριώνην· ἔνιοι δὲ τὸ ἐντὸς τῆς μήτρας αὐτῆς καρδίαν, οἱ δὲ μυελόν.

Τὰ μὲν οὖν μόρια σχεδόν ἐστι τοσαῦτα. σύγκειται δὲ τὰ ὕστερον ἐκ τῶν προτέρων· ξύλον μὲν ἐξ ἰνὸς καὶ ὑγροῦ, καὶ ἔνια σαρκός· ξυλοῦται γὰρ σκληρυνομένη, οἷον ἐν τοῖς φοίνιξι καὶ νάρθηξι καὶ εἴ τι ἄλλο ἐκξυλοῦται, ὥσπερ αἱ τῶν ῥαφανίδων ῥίζαι· μήτρα δὲ ἐξ ὑγροῦ καὶ σαρκός· φλοιὸς δὲ ὁ μέν τις ἐκ πάντων τῶν τριῶν, οἷον ὁ τῆς δρυὸς καὶ αἰγείρου καὶ ἀπίου· ὁ δὲ τῆς ἀμπέλου ἐξ ὑγροῦ καὶ ἰνός· ὁ δὲ τοῦ φελλοῦ ἐκ σαρκὸς καὶ ὑγροῦ. πάλιν δὲ ἐκ τούτων σύνθετα τὰ μέγιστα καὶ πρῶτα ῥηθέντα καθαπερανεὶ μέλη, πλὴν οὐκ ἐκ τῶν αὐτῶν πάντα οὐδὲ ὡσαύτως ἀλλὰ διαφόρως.

Εἰλημμένων δὲ πάντων τῶν μορίων ὡς εἰπεῖν τὰς τούτων διαφορὰς πειρατέον ἀποδιδόναι καὶ τὰς ὅλων τῶν δένδρων καὶ φυτῶν οὐσίας.

III. Ἐπεὶ δὲ συμβαίνει σαφεστέραν εἶναι τὴν μάθησιν διαιρουμένων κατὰ εἴδη, καλῶς ἔχει τοῦτο ποιεῖν ἐφ᾿ ὧν ἐνδέχεται. πρῶτα δέ ἐστι καὶ μέγιστα καὶ σχεδὸν ὑφ᾿ ὧν πάντ᾿ ἢ τὰ πλεῖστα περιέχεται τάδε, δένδρον θάμνος φρυγανον πόα.

Δένδρον μὲν οὖν ἐστι τὸ ἀπὸ ῥίζης μονοστέλεχες


Enquiry Into Plants, I. iii.

again call only the inner part of the core itself the ‘heart,’ while others distinguish this as the ‘marrow,’

Here then we have a fairly complete list of the ‘parts,’ and those last named are composed of the first ‘parts’; wood is made of fibre and sap, and in some cases of flesh also; for the flesh hardens and turns to wood, for instance in palms ferula and in other plants in which a turning to wood takes place, as in the roots of radishes. Core is made of moisture and flesh: bark in some cases of all three constituents, as in the oak black poplar and pear; while the bark of the vine is made of sap and fibre, and that of the cork-oak1 of flesh and sap. Moreover out of these constituents are made the most important parts,2 those which I mentioned first, and which may be called ‘members’: however not all of them are made of the same constituents, nor in the same proportion, but the constituents are combined in various ways.

Having now, we may say, taken all the parts, we must endeavour to give the differences between them and the essential characters of trees and plants taken as wholes.

Definitions of the various classes into which plants may be divided.

III. Now since our study becomes more illuminating3 if we distinguish different kinds,4 it is well to follow this plan where it is possible. The first and most important classes, those which comprise all or nearly all5 plants, are tree, shrub, under-shrub, herb.

A tree is a thing which springs from the root with

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.theophrastus-enquiry_plants.1916