Spindle-Tree, the CoMMON, Prick-timber, Gatteridge-TREE, or Louse-berry, Evonymus Europceus, L. an indigenous shrub, which, in favourable situations, attains the height of 20 feet: it grows in woods and hedges, and is very common in Devonshire; where it flowers in the months of May and June.
The berries of this elegant shrub operate violently, both as an emetic, and cathartic : - if eaten by sheep, they infallibly destroy them. Reduced to powder, and sprinkled on the skin of men or animals, these ber-ries are said toexterminate vermin of every description. - When the Spindle-tree is in blossom, its wood is remarkably tough, and broken with difficulty; in such state, it is employed by watch-makers, for cleaning time-pieces ; by musical instrument-makers, turners, and for veneering. - We learn, however, from Bohmer, that some artisans, working in this wood, have asserted, that they became subject to nausea and vomiting. - The shoots of the Spindle-tree, in the spring, are so grateful to cows, that they generally damage the banks of fences, in order to obtain their favourite food. - Sheep and goats also eat the leaves ; but they are disliked by horses.
In dyeing, the bark of this shrub imparted, according to Siefert, a pleasing sea-green colour to woollen cloth, by adding to the decoction of such rind, one-sixth part of a solution of verdigrease, saturated with crystals of tartar. The tint was so permanent, that no change took place in its shade, after having been exposed for a fortnight to the rays of the sun. - The seed-capsules of the Gatteridge-tree, when fermented in alum-water, produce a durable pale-yellow dye.