Trees and shrubs, without stipules. Lvs. opposite, entire, punctate, usually with a rein running close to the margin. Cal. adherent below to the compound ovary, the limb 4 or 5-cleft, valvate. Petals as many as the segments of the calyx. Stamens indefinite. Anthers introrse. Style and stigma simple. Fruit with many seeds. Albumen none.
A fine order of 45 genera and 1300 species, native of warm and torrid countries, especially of S. America, and the E. Indies.
Properties. - A fragrant or pungent volatile oil, residing chiefly in the pellucid dotting of the leaves, pervades the odor. The Caryophyllus aromaticus, native of Arabia, a tree about 20f in height, yields the clove (clou, Fr. a nail), which is the dried flower. Cajeput oil is distilled from the leaves of the Melaleuca Cajeputi, native of the E. Indies. A kind of gum kino is obtained from Eucalyptus resinifera. also a native of India. The root of the Pomegranate yields an extract which is an excellent vermifuge. All the genera are exotic with us. Many of them are highly ornamental in culture.
1. MYR'TUS, Tourn. Myrtle. (Gr. perfume.) Calyx 5-cleft; petals 5; berry 2 or 3-cellcd; radicle and cotyledons distinct.- Shrubs with evergreen lvs. marked by a marginal vein.
M. communis L. Lvs. oblong-ovate; fls. solitary; involucre 2-leaved. - This popular shrub is a native of S. Europe. In this country it is reared only in houses and conservatories. Leaves about 1 by 6'. Flowers white. Among the ancients it was a great favorite for its elegance of form, and it3 fragrant, evergreen leaves. It was sacred to Venus. The brows of bloodless victors were adorned with myrtle wreaths, and at Athens it was an emblem of civic authority.
2. PU'NICA, L. Pomegranate. (Lat. punica; Carthaginian or of Carthage, where it first grew.) Calyx 5-cleft; petals 5; berry many-celled, many-seeded, seeds baccate; placenta parietal. - Deciduous trees and shrubs.
1 P. Granatum L. Arborescent; lvs. lanceolate, with no marginal vein. - A thorny bush when wild, from S. Europe, where it is sometimes used for hedges like the hawthorn. In Fin-., etc, it is a tree 15 to 20f high. Lvs. entire, smooth, 2 to 3' by 1 to 10", obtuse. The fls. are scarlet, large, and make a fine appearance. The fr. is large, highly ornamental, and of a fine flavor. Much care is requisite for its cultivation. It requires a rich loam, a sunny sitaation, protected northward by glass. In this way double flowers of great beauty may be produced. †
2 P. nana L. Shrubby; lvs. linear-lanceolate, acute. - Native of the W. Indies, where it is used as a hedge plant. Shrub 4 to 6f high, with smaller purple fls., often double. †