A small and rather elegant tree, from twelve to forty feet high, chiefly an inhabitant of low wet forests, from Carolina to Florida, and in Louisiana, not far from the banks of the Mississippi; but it is never met with in Canada, as stated by Wildenow in the " Species Plantarum." It was first introduced into France from the Mississippi by the French Canadians, under the name of the Milk-wood of the Mississippi, from the fact that the young branches, when cut, yield a milky juice. The wood, according to Elliott, though not used by mechanics, is extremely hard, heavy, and irregularly grained, agreeing in this respect pretty nearly with the species of Sideroxy-lon of the West Indies, deriving their name from the hardness of their wood, which is compared to iron. One of the tropical species has wood nearly of the same yellow color and close grain as that of the box tree.

The younger infertile branches generally produce axillary spines, which often increase in size with the advancing growth of the wood. The bark of the trunk is gray and smooth, at length cloven into narrow longitudinal chinks; that of the branches is brownish gray and smooth. The leaves, at first somewhat silky - pubescent and whitish beneath, are rather narrow and lanceolate, somewhat obtuse, smooth and reticulated above, attenuated below into a moderate and slender petiole, brought together usually in lateral clusters; in the centre of which, surrounded by the round clusters of flowers, issues occasionally a spine. The leaves, at length smooth, are about three inches long including the petiole, and an inch or less in width.

The flowers, small and greenish, are in axillary or lateral rounded clusters; the peduncles simple, all of a length, and, as well as the calyx, quite smooth. The stamens are five in number, and about the length of the corolla. The leaves on the infertile branches are more decidedly lanceolate than the rest. The berries are oval, juicy, black when ripe, and about the size of small peas. A tree now in Bartram's Botanic Garden, at Kingsessing, in rather an unfavorable shady situation, probably forty years old or more, has attained the height of about forty feet, but, being slender, is not more than eight inches in diameter; it appears, however, as though it might attain a still larger growth, and is perfectly hardy in this climate.

* See Frontispiece.