Tools

Theophrastus

τραχυ δὲ και οὐ λεῖον. μέγα δὲ τὸ δένδρον καὶ τῷ ὕψει καὶ τῷ μεγέθει. πολὺ δ᾿ οὐκ ἔστι περὶ τὴν Ἴδην ἀλλὰ σπάνιον· τόπον δὲ ἔφυδρον φιλεῖ. τὸ δὲ ξύλον ξανθὸν καὶ ἰσχυρὸν καὶ εὔινον καὶ γλίσχρον· ἅπαν γὰρ καρδία· χρῶνται δ᾿ αὐτῷ καὶ πρὸς θυρώματα πολυτελῆ, καὶ χλωρὸν μὲν εὔτομον ξηρὸν δὲ δύστομον. ἄκαρπον δὲ νομίζουσιν, ἀλλ᾿ ἐν ταῖς κωρυκίσι τὸ κόμμι καὶ θηρί᾿ ἄττα κωνωποειδῆ φέρει. τὰς δὲ κάχρυς ἰδίας ἴσχει τοῦ μετοπώρου πολλὰς καὶ μικρὰς καὶ μελαίνας, ἐν δὲ ταῖς ἄλλαις ὥραις οὐκ ἐπέσκεπται.

2Ἡ δὲ λεύκη καὶ ἡ αἴγειρος μονοειδής, ὀρθοφυῆ δὲ ἄμφω, πλὴν μακρότερον πολὺ καὶ μανότερον καὶ λειότερον ἡ αἴγειρος, τὸ δὲ σχῆμα τῶν φύλλων παρόμοιον. ὅμοιον δὲ καὶ τὸ ξύλον τεμνόμενον τῇ λευκότητι. καρπὸν δ᾿ οὐδέτερον τούτων οὐδὲ ἄνθος ἔχειν δοκεῖ.

Ἡ κερκὶς δὲ παρόμοιον τῇ λεύκῃ καὶ τῷ μεγέθει καὶ τῷ τοὺς κλάδους ἐπιλεύκους ἔχειν· τὸ δὲ φύλλον κιττῶδες μὲν ἀγώνιον δὲ ἐκ τοῦ ἄλλου, τὴν δὲ μίαν προμήκη καὶ εἰς ὀξὺ συνήκουσαν· τῷ δὲ χρώματι σχεδὸν ὅμοιον τὸ ὕπτιον καὶ τὸ πρανές· μίσχῳ δὲ προσηρτημένον μακρῷ καὶ λεπτῷ, δι᾿ ὃ καὶ οὐκ ὀρθὸν ἀλλ᾿ ἐγκεκλιμένον. φλοιὸν δὲ τραχύτερον τῆς λεύκης καὶ μᾶλλον ὑπόλεπρον, ὥσπερ ὁ τῆς ἀχράδος. ἄκαρπον δέ.

3Μονογενὲς δὲ καὶ ἡ κλήθρα· φύσει δὲ καὶ

250

Enquiry Into Plants, III. xiv.

rather than smooth. The tree is large, being both tall and wide-spreading. It is not common about Ida, but rare, and likes wet ground. The wood is yellow strong fibrous and tough1; for it is all heart. Men use it for expensive doors2: it is easy to cut when it is green, but difficult when it is dry. The tree is thought to bear no fruit, but in the ‘wallets’3 it produces its gum and certain creatures like gnats; and it has in autumn its peculiar ‘winter-buds’4 which are numerous small and black, but these have not been observed at other seasons.

The abele and the black poplar have each but a single kind: both are of erect growth, but the black poplar is much taller and of more open growth, and is smoother, while the shape of its leaves is similar to those of the other. The wood also of both, when cut, is much the same in whiteness. Neither of these trees appears to have fruit or flower.5

The aspen is a tree resembling the abele both in size and in having whitish branches, but the leaf is ivy-like: while however it is otherwise without angles, its one angular6 projection is long and narrows to a sharp point: in colour the upper and under sides are much alike. The leaf is attached to a long thin stalk: wherefore the leaf is not set straight, but has a droop.7 The bark of the abele is rougher and more scaly, like that of the wild pear, and it bears no fruit.

The alder also has but one form: in growth it is

251
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.theophrastus-enquiry_plants.1916