rather a full fellow. But he told Mr. Tulliver several

time:2023-12-02 02:49:55 source:Yun Wen Yun Wu Network author:problem

The cassia fistula is a very beautiful tree, growing to the size of an ash, which it somewhat resembles in foliage. The blossom is very beautiful, being a pendant of golden flowers similar to the laburnum, but each blossom is about two and a half feet long, and the individual flowers on the bunch are large in proportion. When the tree is in full flower it is very superb, and equally as singular when its beauty has faded and the seed-pods are formed. These grow to a length of from two to three feet, and when ripe are perfectly black, round, and about three-quarters of an inch in diameter. The tree has the appearance of bearing, a prolific crop of ebony rulers, each hanging from the bough by a short string.

rather a full fellow. But he told Mr. Tulliver several

There is another species of cassia fistula, the foliage of which assimilates to the mimosa. This bears a thicker, but much shorter, pod, of about a foot in length. The properties of both are the same, being laxative. Each seed within the pod is surrounded by a sweet, black and honey-like substance, which contains the property alluded to.

rather a full fellow. But he told Mr. Tulliver several

The gamboge tree is commonly known in Ceylon as the "ghorka." This grows to the common size of an apple tree, and bears a corrugated and intensely acid fruit. This is dried by the natives and used in curries. The gamboge is the juice of the tree obtained by incisions in the bark. This tree grows in great numbers in the neighborhood of Colombo, especially among the cinnamon gardens. Here, also, the cashew tree grows to great perfection. The bark of the latter is very rich in tannin, and is used by the natives in the preparation of hides. The fruit is like an apple in appearance, and small, but is highly astringent. The well-known cashew-nut grows like an excrescence from the end of the apple.

rather a full fellow. But he told Mr. Tulliver several

Many are the varieties and uses of vegetable productions in Ceylon, but of these none are more singular and interesting than the "sack tree," the Riti Gaha of the Cingalese. From the bark of this tree an infinite number of excellent sacks are procured, with very little trouble or preparation. The tree being felled, the branches are cut into logs of the length required, and sometimes these are soaked in water; but this is not always necessary. The balk is then well beaten with a wooden mallet, until it is loosened from the wood; it is then stripped off the log as a stocking is drawn off the leg. It is subsequently bleached, and one end being sewn lip, completes a perfect sack of a thick fibrous texture, somewhat similar to felt.

These sacks are in general use among the natives, and are preferred by them to any other, as their durability is such that they sometimes descend from father to son. By constant use they stretch and increase their original size nearly one half. The texture necessarily becomes thinner, but the strength does not appear to be materially decreased.

There are many fibrous barks in Ceylon, some which are so strong that thin strips require a great amount of strength to break them, but none of these have yet been reduced to a marketable fibre. Several barks are more or less aromatic; others would be valuable to the tanners; several are highly esteemed by the natives as most valuable astringents, but hitherto none have received much notice from Europeans. This may be caused by the general want of success of all experiments with indigenous produce. Although the jungles of Ceylon produce a long list of articles of much interest, still their value chiefly lies in their curiosity; they are useful to the native, but comparatively of little worth to the European. In fact, few things will actually pay for the trouble and expense of collecting and transporting. Throughout the vast forests and jungles of Ceylon, although the varieties of trees are endless, there is not one valuable gum known to exist. There is a great variety of coarse, unmarketable productions, about equal to the gum of the cherry tree, etc., but there is no such thing as a high-priced gum in the island.

The export of dammer is a mere trifle - four tons in 1852, twelve tons in 1853. This is a coarse and comparatively valueless commodity. No other tree but the doom tree produces any gum worth collecting; this species of rosin exudes in large quantities from an incision in the bark, but the amount of exports shows its insignificance. It is a fair sample of Ceylon productions; nothing that is uncultivated is of much pecuniary value.

CHAPTER XI. Indigenous Productions - Botanical Gardens - Suggested Experiments - Lack of Encouragement to Gold-diggers - Prospects of Gold-digging - We want "Nuggets" - Who is to Blame? - Governor's Salary - Fallacies of a Five Years' Reign - Neglected Education of the People - Responsibilities of Conquest - Progress of Christianity.


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