I think the Boston Journal of Chemistry has made a mistake as to the Rhamnus frangula being used for the manufacture of gun-powder; for in Science Gossip for June, 1877, is a comment on a previous article about Cornus mascula, which is called in Europe the"cornelian cherry," and which the writer adds,"if my memory is correct, is used for the manufacture of gunpowder".

Gray says that Cornus mascula is sparingly planted here. It is a tall shrub or low tree, with yellow flowers; fruit bright red; the pulp eatable and pleasantly acid.

The first article to which I referred {Science Gossip for April, 1877), says"it is a native of Austria, and little cultivated in England. In Switzerland the berries are eaten by children, and made into sweetmeats and tarts".

Our most beautiful of the Dogwood family is Cornus Florida. Tree 12 to 30 feet. More common South; very showy in flowers, which are white. The wood has been used for domestic and other purposes. Virgil says: "Bono bello cornus," and Evelyn - later - "that wedges made of it are durable as, or rather like iron." There is a trite adage of the farmers derived from its early flowering, indicating the peculiar season for planting their corn. I would like to know the saying. Is the hark still used as a substitute for Cinchona? Gray says"it is bitter and tonic".

Query last, why called Dogwood ?

[The Cornus of the ancients comprised two species - the male, which we now call Cornus mascula, and the female, now Cornus sanguinea, These are the only two with which they were acquainted. The bono bello corn/us of Virgil refers to a light lance made of the wood of one of the species, and which was used in war. The American Cornus florida has much the same good properties as its European sisters, for Cornus, even including the male cornel, is a noun feminine. The wood is still used for wedges, and other things where strength and small bulk is desired. It is in common use in Philadelphia among lumbermen and draymen for spring levers, for in addition to its great strength it will bend any way without breaking.

During the late war the bark was in common use in the South as a substitue for quinine, and it is still regarded as perhaps the best substitute for it. According to one author, it is called Dogwood because in olden times a decoction of it was the popular wash for mangy dogs. But another, with more probability, refers it to the celtic dagge, from which our"dagger"is derived, and which is in accordance with its classical history. - Ed. G. M].

Since sending you my article on the above, I came across the following in Loudon's Encyclopaedia of Plants :"Rhamnus frangula has dark purple berries. The flowers are particularly gratifying to bees. Goats devour the leaves voraciously, and sheep will eat them. Charcoal prepared from the wood is used by the makers of gunpowder. The berries of this species, and also of the Cornus, are said to be brought to market and sold for those of the buckthorn; but they are easily distinguished, the true buckthorn having four seeds, this two, the Cornus one".