Page:Journal of botany, British and foreign, Volume 9 (1871).djvu/49

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ON THE SO-CALLED " OLIVES OF SOUTHERN CHINA. 39

Cayiarium Pimela ; foliolis 9-11 oblongis acutis inaequilateris glabris, racerais lateralibus simplicibiis.

Canarinm album; foliolis 11-13 ovato-lanceolatis supra glabris subtus scabris, racemis confertis subterminalibus.

These are, however, neither quite accurate, nor by any means sufficient for the discriiuiuation of the two species ; and, in their lieu, I propose the following, drawn up after a careful comparative exaniinatiou of living specimens of each tree.

Canarimn Pimela ; petiolo petiolulisque viridibus, foliolis 4-5-jugis cum imparl oblongo-lanceolatis 3-6 poll, longis 2^-3g poll, latis venulis elevato-reticulatis, racerais phis minus compositis, drupis pedicellis clavato- incrassatis 5-7 lin. longis suffultis fusiformibus utrinque obtusis sub- trigonis 20 lin. longis immaturis glauco-viridibus maturis purpureo-nigris laevibus, putamine obtuse fusiformi Isevi.*

Canarimn album ; petiolo petiolulisque alutaceis, foliolis 5-6-jiigis cum imparl oblongo-lanceolatis 2|— 4 poll, longis 12-16 lin. latis venulis supra non prominulo-reticulatis, racemis simplicibus, drupis sessilihus ovoideis 15 lin. longis immaturis flavido-viridibus maturis sordide flavidis valde rugosis, putamine acute fusiformi ruguloso.

I should remark that, when dried, the leaves of both species have the veinlets prominent, but the network is much closer and finer in those of the white Olive.

As regards the mode of using these fruits, the following is the informa- tion I have myself gathered, from personal observation and inquiry of the natives : — -The white Olive is either eaten fresh, in which state its strongly resinous flavour renders it disagreeable to the European palate, or is placed, when quite ripe, in tubs filled with salt, stirred about continually, and, after the lapse of a day taken out and dried. In this state it is hawked al)out in great abundance, and tastes much as the European Olive might be expected to do, if removed from the brine in which it is kept and allowed to dry, with an appreciable sonpqon of turpentine superadded. I have been told it is regarded as a preventive of sea-sickness. The black Olive is never eaten raw, but only after having been steeped for a few moments in boiling water. Thus prepared (and packed in jars, with the addition of a little salt, when desired to be preserved), it is of a fine purplish-red colour, like well-made fresh pickled cabbage, and has some resemblance iti taste to freshly pickled mango, a flavour to me not un- pleasant, but de gnstlbtiH non est dlspulandnm . This fruit is held in much higher esteem than the other, and it is usual to keep a strict watch over it as it ripens to prevent depredation. I have seen a man who was found luxuriating in the umbrageous coma of a tree to which he could lay no claim, with a basket full of the fruit in his possession, tied " spread- eagle " fashion to the trunk for nearly a day, the monotony of his durance being varied by periodical flagellations. •

Loureiro thus tiescribcs the reputed qualities of the two Olives :

G. album. DrupEe muria conditac olivis Europajis similes sunt colore, et quodammodo etiam forma et sapore ; sunt autem saluberrimfc, ita ut medici non eas denegeiit ajgrotis, experientia docti digestionem et appe- tituni cibi proniovere.

C. Pimela. Drupae muria conditae frequenter apponuntur mensis, non minus sapidae quam oliv;ie, sed stomacho graves.

  • The three very slightly elevated bands, scareely conspicuous, are represented

far too promiueatly in Kunig's figure. (Ann. 13ot. vol. i. pi. 7, fig. 1- g.)

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