OF THE VEGETABLES OF NORTH CAROLINA
THE Spontaneous Shrubs of this Country are the Larks-heel Tree; four sorts of Honey-suckle Tree, or Woodbind, the first always grows in low moist Grounds, the other in clear dry Lands, the Flowers of which are more cut and lacerated; these grow about two or three Feet high; the third, which is of the same height, is one of the most beautiful Flowers of its Colour that is to be met with, and is found growing for the most part by the sides of Swamps, or on the Banks of the Rivers, but never near the Salt Water. The Flowers of these are of a whitish colour, but the last is the most beautiful, growing in great bunches out of one Stem, and is commonly the bigness of a large Turnip. In April and May, nothing can be more beautiful, being at that time in their greatest splendor, which affords not only a pleassant sight, but a most grateful and fragrant Smell to those that pass through the Woods. There is another Honey-suckle that grows in the Forrest, and is about a Foot high, bearing it’s Flowers on small Stems, the main Stock being no thicker than a Wheat Straw; all these sorts differ very little from ours, only with this variation, that those here are larger.
Princes-feather, are very large and beautiful, not only in the Gardens, but in several parts of the Woods. Tres colores, Branched Sun-Flower, Double Poppies, Lupines of several sorts, and all Spontaneous. The sensible Plant, (as I have been informed) grows near the Mountains, which I did not see my stay in those Parts.
The Bastard Saffron is plenty in this Province, and I do not doubt but that the true Saffron of England would thrive well here if Planted, and the same care taken.
The Cotton Plant being so very profitable, I will give a Description of, which is as follows: It hath small Stalks about three Feet high, and sometimes higher, divided into several small Branches, wherein are many broad Leaves, cut for the most part into three Sections, and sometimes more, indented about the Edges, not unlike the Leaves of the common Mallows, but lesser, softer, and of a grayish Colour, among which come forth the Flowers, the Edges whereof are of a Yellowish Colour, and the middle part Purple; after which appears large Burs or Husks, wherein the Seed and Cotton is contained, as soon as it is ripe it opens into four Parts or Divisions, if Care be not taken, it casteth forth its Seed and Cotton upon the Ground. This Plant beareth but for one Season, and as soon as the Seeds are ripe it immediately perisheth, as many other Plants do; so that the Planters are obliged to sow the Seed every Spring, which is ripe in the Autumn, and they cut it down at that time as we do Corn. It groweth in great Plenty in several Parts of this Country, and is a beneficial Commodity to the Planters.
The Yellow Jessamine grows wild in several parts of the Woods, affording a most pleasant and grateful Smell.
Ever-Greens are to be met with all over this Province, of several curious sorts, of a very quick Growth, affording pleasant and refreshing Shades in the extremity of hot Weather: And such are the lofty Cypress or White Cedar, the Red Cedar, the Pitch Pine, the Yellow Pine, the White Pine with long Leaves, and the smaller Almond-Pine: Hornbeam, Holly two sorts, Bay-Tree, two sorts of Myrtle, two sorts of Ever-green Oaks, Misseltoe of the Oak, Gullberry-Tree, Privet, Savine, Yaupan, or Cassena, whereof the Tea is made, so very much in request amon[g]st both the Indians, and Christians, with many other Ever-greens.
I shall in the next Place treat of the Timber that this Country produces, viz.
The Chestnut Oak, is a very lofty Tree and clear of Boughs and Limbs, for fifty or sixty Feet high, and is commonly four or five Feet Diameter, they are the largest Oaks we have, and yield the fairest Planks. These kind of Oaks grow chiefly in low Land that is stiff and rich; some of them are so high that a good Gun will hardly kill a Turkey on the top of them, though with Swan Shot. They are called the Chesnut Oak from the sweetness and largeness of the Acorns; the Leaves and Bark of this and all the following Oaks are of a very Binding Nature, and may successfuly be used to stop all kind of Fluxes, the Salt is Diuretick, and the Wood of some are of the same Uses and Virtues with Guajacum; as is manifest in its cure of the Yaws and other Disorders. In most of all the Oaks, grows a long Moss, whereof the Cattle and Deer are very fond, which I have already mentioned.
The White Scaly Bark Oak; this is used as the former in building Sloops, Brigantines, Ships, and other Vessells of Burthen. And though it bears a larger Acorn, yet it never grows to the bulk and height of the former. This kind of Oak is found generally growing on dry stiff Lands and is so called from the Scaly broken White Bark which covers the Tree. This and the former produce good Mast for Swine to feed on.
The Red Oak sometimes grows very large and lofty in good Land, but it is not used as the former in building of Vessels, being a very Porous Timber, and not durable, yet it is sometimes used for Pipe Staves, and makes good Fences and Clap-Boards, which are the only use made of it in this Country; it is so called from the redness of its Wood. It produces good Mast for Swine.
The Spanish Oak has a whitish smooth Bark, grows pretty large in wet low Ground, and is very free from Limbs or Boughs; it is durable Wood, and very easy to split, therefore some use to build Vessels with it, it affords good Plank, Clap-Boards, Rails, for Fences, and also excellent good Mast for Swine; the Bark of this Tree is used for the Cure of the Yaws.
The Bastard-Spanish-Oak is betwixt the Red and Spanish-Oak, it is not as durable as the former, but makes good Rails for Fencing, and Clap-Boards, and is very good Wood for the Fire, this being all the Use that is made of it at present; it likewise bears a very good Mast for Swine to feed on.
The Black-Oak grows large, and is durable Wood under Water; it is seldom made use of in building Ships, but is sometimes used in House-Work; it bears as good Mast as any of the former for Swine.
The White-Iron, or Ring-Oak, is so called from the durability and lasting quality of the Wood; this Wood is found to be one of the best Oaks we have in this Country, or in America, for Pipe-staves and Building of all kind of Ships; it is as large as the former, grows on dry Lands, and seldom fails of producing a good Crop of Acorns.
The Turkey-Oak, so called, from the small Acorns it bears, which are sweet, and eat like the Acorns of the Chestnut-Oak, on which the Wild Turkies feed, and are very fat in the Season; this Wood is only used for Firing and Fences, not being so durable as the former are.
The Live-Oak, so called, from its being Green all the Year, it grows on dry sandy Ground, and is the most durable Oak in all America, but it is short, and will not afford Plank of any considerable Length, therefore unfit to build Ships with. There are some few Trees that will afford a Stock of twelve Feet, but it being so very firm and weighty, they never make use of it upon these Occasions, moreover the Wood being so very hard, the Sawyers seldom attempt the cutting of it: It is observable, that a Nail being once driven into it, it is next to an impossibility to draw it out again; the Limbs thereof are so cured, that they serve for excellent Timbers, and Knees and makes the best Trunnels of any Oak in the World for Ships and Vessels of any sort; the Acorns thereof are as sweet as any Chesnuts, and the Indians draw an Oil from them as sweet and palatable as that from the Olive, though of an Amber Colour; with these Acorns some have counterfeited and made Chocolate not to be distinguished by a good Palate; this Wood makes excellent Window Frames, Mallats, and Pins for Blocks. They are of an indifferent quick growth; there are two sorts of this Oak, and Swine that feed on its Acorns, are excellent fine Pork.
The Fresh Water Oak, grows in Ponds of fresh Water, in Swamps by the River sides, and in low Grounds over-flown with Water, they continue Green all the Year; there is little or no use made of it, except for Fire or Fences.
The Cypress is not an Ever-green in Carolina, and is therefore called the Bald Cypress, because the Leaves during the Winter Season turn Red, and do not recover their verdure till the Spring. These Trees are the tallest and thickest of any we have in this Part of the World; some of them being above thirty Six Feet in circumference; the Nuts which these Trees bear yield a most odoriferous Balsam, that most effectually cures all new and green Wounds, Gonorrhoea’s, and old Gleets, and being drank with Alicant, stop all kinds of Fluxes of Blood, and consolidate Ulcers in stubborn Bodies, and dry up excessive Moistures, and cure Ruptures, Polypus, Carbuncles, and many other disorders. The Planters and Indians most commonly make their Periaugers and Canoes of this Wood, with which they pass over large Creeks and Bays, to Transport their Lumber from one River to another; some of these Periaugers are so large that they will carry thirty or forty Barrels of Pitch or Tar in them, though of one entire Piece of Timber; some trade in them to Virginia and other Places along the Coast, with Pork and other Productions of the Country: Of these Trees are likewise made curious Boats for Pleasure and other Necessary Crafts; this Wood is very lasting and free from the Rot by the Worms in the Water, which often ruin many Vessels and Boats made of Oak and other Wood, which I shall describe in its proper Place, when I treat of those insects: It is reported that no Moth or other Vermine will abide in a Chest made of this Wood.
The Pine-Tree, whereof there are four sorts, if not more. The Pitch-Pine is a very large fair Tree, free from Boughs or Branches, ’till you come near the top, and continues green all the year like the Fir-Tree, it’s Timber is much redder than the former, and it’s Leaves narrower, shorter and more sharp pointed like the Pine; their Fruit is Scaly, the Bark of the Tree is blacker, tougher, and more flexible than that of the Fir-Tree. The Wood of this Tree being so full of Bitumen, or Turpentine, and is so durable, that it seems to suffer no decay, though exposed to all Weathers, or lying upon the Ground or in the Water for many Ages; and is used in many domesticks Affairs. This Tree affords four excellent Commodities, viz. Turpentine, Tar, Pitch, and Rosin, how they are made, I shall treat of in another Place.
The White and Yellow-Pine, grow to be very large Trees much after the same form with the former, but it’s Leaves are larger, and the Wood is not so full of Turpentine, therefore more easy to be sawed, it affords excellent good Plank for Building, and several other uses, they make Masts, Yards, and several other Necessaries of this Pine, being the most useful Tree in the Woods.
The Almond-Pine, this last bears Kernels in the Apple, tasting much like Almonds; for which Reason it is so call’d, it much resembles the former in bigness and groweth, is used for Masts, Boards, Piles, Fences, and several other things.
The Dwarf-Pine, seldom exceeds above Seventeen Feet high, and is therefore of little or no use, except for shew, being an Ever-green, as all the rest are. There are many Virtues ascribed to the Produce of these Trees (which they rightly deserve) not only in external, but internal Disorders, which are well known amongst us.
The Cedar, whereof there are two sorts, the Red and the White. The Red Cedar is encompassed with a vast number of Branches, which grow gradually lesser and shorter, as they approach the top of the Tree, so that it grows exactly in the Form of a Pyramid. The Leaves are small and round like those of the Pine Tree, but shorter and not so sharp pointed; it beareth Berries all times of the Year, which are sweet and pleasant to eat; it is a most beautiful Ever-green, and is here in great Plenty. Those near the Salts grow generally on Sand Banks, and that in the Freshes is found in the Swamps and low wet Grounds. It is a soft Wood like Firr, and of a reddish Colour, but hardens in process of time; of this Wood, Tables, Wainscot, and other Necessaries are made, ’tis esteemed for its sweet scent, and it is as durable and lasting a wood as any we have in Carolina; it is much used in Posts for Houses and Sills, as also to build Sloops, Boats, &c. by reason the Worms will not touch it, though it remain in the Water, or upon Land, for several Years. Of this Cedar, Ship loads may be exported, and it was formerly so very plentiful and common in this Province, that they have fenced large Plantations with it; the Coffins for the Dead are frequently made of it, by reason of its lasting Quality, the Wood of this Tree is profitable against the French Pox, and an infusion in Vinegar helps Scabs and other cutaneous Disorders.
The White Cedar, so called, because it nearly approaches the other Cedar in Smell, Bark, and Leaves, only this grows taller, is exceeding streight, very light, and free to split: It is tough and durable, and maketh good Yards, Top-masts, Boms, and Boltsprits, the best Shingles for Houses, Pails, and other Vessels, necessary for several uses, are made of it’s Wood; with the Bark and the Red Cedar, the Indians most commonly use to make their Cabbins of, which proves firm, and resists all Weather.
The Tulip Trees, which are called by the Planters Poplars, as being nearest in grain to that Wood. These Trees grow exceeding large and tall, some being found Twenty one Foot and more in circumference as I have frequently seen in many places in this Province. And I have been informed, that some are found ten Feet Diameter; several of these Trees bear a white Tulip, and others a party-colour’d one: The Wood makes handsome Wainscot Tables, Shingles for Houses, and Planks for several uses; it is very durable and lasting under Ground, and in the Water. The Planters frequently make an Oyntment of the Buds, which is excellent good to cure all manner of Inflamations, Scalds and Burns; The Cattle are fond of its Buds, which gives a very odd taste to the Milk.
The Aspen Trees are the same here as in Europe, but are scarcely to be found in this Province; the Bark is used inwardly in the Sciatica, and other Rheumatick Disorders, and in the Strangury, but the Leaves being taken inwardly, are said to cause Barreness.
The Ash Tree, whereof we have two sorts; the first is only like the European in the Grain of the Wood, for it differs from ours in the Leaves and the Bark, and Keys, it bears none; the Wood is very tough, but there is little use made of it at present. The second sort is what they call in these Parts by the Name of the Water-Ash, and differs from the former by only being brittel and the Bark is food for the Beavers, both these sorts of Ash grow in wet low Swampy Grounds, and on the Banks of the Rivers.
The Sycamore Tree grows in low and Swampy Land, and by River sides; the Bark is quite different from ours, but very beautiful, being mottled and clouded with several Colours, as White, Blue, &c. The Leaves of this Tree are exactly of the form and shape with those in Europe; Keys it bears none, but a Bur like the sweet Gum, or the Chesnut, but its Grain is fine and beautifully mottled with variety of Colours, and is made use of for several domestick Necessaries, such as Wainscot, Tables, Chairs, Trenchers, Dishes, Stocks for Guns, and the like. The Buds of this Tree boiled and applyed, help the hardness of the Spleen, and other hard swellings; the Fruit loosens the Belly and the Tears that issue out of the Tree in Spring, the biting of Serpents.
The Beech Tree is frequently to be met with very large, whereof there are two sorts; the first is much the same as in Europe, and is in plenty all over this Province, but is little regarded or made use of, only for Fire-wood, not being durable Timber, yet affords plenty of Sweet Mast for Swine, which makes the Pork very oily, except it be hardened with Indian Corn before it is killed or made use of.
There is another sort of Beech found here in several places called Buck-Beech, and differs little from the former, only in the Bark and Leaf there is some small difference, and the Tree is generally not so large. The Leaves applied, help Swellings, Blisters, and Excoriations of the Skin; the Juice that comes out of the Tree bored, is excellent against Scruffs, Tetters, Ring-worms, Scabs, and sore Mouths; the Kernel of the Nut helps the Gravel and Stone in the Kidneys, so doth the Ashes.
The Elm Tree, whereof are two sorts, the first grows on high Lands, and is like the European Elm. The Indians take the Bark of the Root of this Tree, and beat it to a Pulp whilst fresh, and then dry it in the Chimney, with which they heal a Cut or green Wound, very speedily. The other kind of Elm grows in wet or low Grounds, and differs but little from the former, only the Bark is so very tough, that the Europeans and Indians make Ropes of it for several uses, which they strip of in April or May, when the Sap begins to run, this they can do with the greatest ease imaginable at that time, there being such plenty of other valuable Timber, there is little or no other use made of it at present. The Decoction of the Bark and Leaves of the Elm is of a cleansing, drying, and binding Quality, and therefore good in Wounds and broken Bones; the Liquor that issueth out of the Tree takes away Scruff, Pimples, Spots and Freckles from the Face; one Ounce of the inner-Bark in Wine, Purges Flegm.
The Mulberry Tree, whereof there are three sorts here, beside the different bigness of some Trees Fruit. The first is the common red Mulberry, whose Fruit is long and taper at the Ends, and is the earliest in this Province (except the Strawberries) they are sweet and luscious, the Planters make use of their Fruit (which is above an Inch long) instead of Raisons and Currans, for several Dishes; they yield a transparent Crimson Liquor, which I do not doubt would make good Wine, if the Planters Inclination tended that way: The Parakeetoes and other Fowl feed upon the Fruit in the Season, and likewise the Hogs, as they drop from the Trees. These Trees grow to be very large, and make the most delightful and pleasant Shades to sit under in the Summer, of any in these Parts of America, by their large Boughs spreading at great distances, and growing as round as any I have ever seen; you shall see in most of their Plantations, and especially near their Dwelling Houses, these pleasant Arbours.
The other two sorts bear a smooth Leaf fit for the Silk-work; the first of these bear a white Mulberry, which is common: The second bears a Fruit like a small Blackberry which is very sweet; the Wood of these Trees are very durable and tough, and when the Indians can’t get the Locust Tree, they use this, to make their Bows with. These Trees grow extraordinary round, and pleasant to the Eye, as any in these Parts, the Fruit, Leaves, and Barke are used in Gargarisms for sore Throats and the Tooth-ach.
The Hickery Trees are of the Wallnut kind, and bears a Nut as they do, whereof there are three sorts, viz. the Common white, the red, and the flying Bark’d.
The common or white Hickery grows tollerably large, but is not a durable Wood, for if it be cut down and exposed to the Weather, it will be quite rotten and spoiled in three Years (as will likewise the Beech of this Country) but it is very tough, easy to split, and maketh the best Hoops I have seen. It bears a Nut much like the Wall-nut of this Country, with a Husk about it, but of an Oval Form; the Kernels are sweet, good to eat, and make Oil; the Hogs feed plentifully on them in the Season, by which means they become Fat, and make excellent Pork.
The Indians gather great Quantities of these Nuts, and the Black Wall-nuts (being ripe in Autumn) which they preserve and lay up in Stores for the Winter Season, whereof they make several Dishes and Banquets; this is generally done after the following Manner, they take these Nuts and break them very small between two Stones, until the Shells and Kernels are indifferent small, and this Powder they present to Strangers upon little Wooden Dishes, the Kernel dissolves in the Mouth, the Shell is spit out, and tastes as well as Almonds. They likewise thicken their Venison Broath with this Powder, whilst the Shell precipitates and remains at the bottom, making it very rich and agreeable in Taste; these Nuts have much the same Virtues with the Wall-nuts.
The Red Hickery, is so called, from the Heart thereof being red, firm, and durable, whereof are made walking-sticks, Mortar, Pestils, and several other fine Turners Ware. Both these sorts are plenty in this Province, and are the best Fire-wood they have.
The third sort is called the Flying Bark’d Hickery, from its britle and scaly Bark: It bears a Nut with a bitter Kernel, and a soft Shell; of this Wood they make Coggs for Mills, and several other Necessaries: The Leaves of all these sorts of Hickery have a fragrant smell, and are much like our Wall-nut in Europe.
The Black Wall-nut Trees are plenty and large in this Province, and the Wood firm and durable, whereof beautiful Wainscot Tables, Chests of Drawers, and several other Necessaries are made. Some of this Wood is very Knotty, but fine Grain’d, and partly of the Colour of the Yew Tree; it is so durable, that some have bottom’d Ships with it, it is likewise reported that it is never eaten by Worms bred in the salt Water. The Kernels of these Nuts are good to eat, but after some time they grow rank and oily. It grows exactly in the shape of the European Wall-nut, but the shell is much thicker and harder, as most of the native Nuts of America are. This Fruit is very agreeable and pleasant to eat; when it begins to grow ripe and hath its yellow Husk or Coat on, it looks exactly like a Lemon. The old Hogs feed plentifully on these Nuts, which make them fat, and good Pork, but the young Swine are not able to crack them, so that great quantities lye under the Trees. It is called the Black Wall-nut from its Black Barck, to distinguish it I suppose from the other Hickery, whereof it is a Species.
The Ches-nut Tree in this Province grows mostly toward the Heads of the Rivers, and hilly parts of the Country; it is large and durable Wood, and is useful in building of Houses and many other Conveniences. The Nut of the Ches-nut Tree is smaller than the European, but much sweeter and better relish’d; they have the Virtues of Almonds and Hazle-nuts, but more nourishing, the Leaves or Bark of the Tree boiled in Wine are good against the Bloody Flux, and all other kind of Fluxes.
The Sweet-Gum Tree, so called, from the sweet and fragrant Gum it yields in the Spring, by making an Incision in the Bark and Wood. It cures the Herps, Tettars, Inflamations, Morphew, and many other cutaneous Disorders: It is likewise a soveraign Balsam for several internal Disorders, as I have often experienced; it bears a Leaf partly like the Aspen Tree, a round Bur, with a kind of Prickle like the Horse Chesnut, wherein is contained the Seed; scarce any Wood has a finer or better Grain, being very durable, and is frequently made use of for Tables, Drawers, &c.
The Black Gum Tree, whereof there are two sorts; the first bears a black Berry well tasted, which the Indians commonly mix with their Pulse, and the kind of Soups they make, to which it gives a pretty flavour, and Scarlet Colour: The Bears crop these Trees for their Fruit, of which they are very fond, yet if they are kill’d at that Season, they eat unsavoury, which no doubt is occasioned by their eating those Berries, for at other times, when they feed on Beech and other Mast, their Flesh is well tasted and good Food.
The second sort bears a Berry in shape like the former, but bitter and ill tasted. This Tree the Indians report is never hurt or wounded by Lightning, as other Trees generally are. It has no certain Grain, and it is almost impossible to split it for Use; from whence I am persuaded the Indians took this Notion, that it is never hurt as above, from its being so very difficult to split.
The White Gum Tree bears a sort of long bunched Flowers, and is a beautiful knotted and curled Wood, and maketh curious Furniture of several kinds, if wrought by skillful Artists.
The Locust Tree bears a Leaf like the Liquorish Plant, and has large and long Prickles (like the Hawthorn Tree, but as long as the Quills of a Porcupine) in the Boughs and Body of the Tree: It is the most durable Wood we have, and is made choice of for all sorts of work that is exposed to the Weather; it grows pretty tall and large, there are two sorts of it, the White and the Yellow, it bears Cods like Kidney-Beans, but much larger, wherein are contained some few Seeds, and a certain Juice or Substance as thick and sweet as Honey, but of a dark brownish Colour. Of this Tree the Indians make their choisest Bows, being tough and flexible; the Fruit of this Tree is much of the same Virtues and Uses with Honey.
The Honey Tree is so like the Locust, that there is scarce any Difference between them, only the Honey Tree is more prickley than the former; and are a Species of the Locust though call’d by different Names; it bears long Cods like the former wherein is contained the Seeds and the Honey. This Tree grows as large as the Locust, and will bear in five Years from the time of Planting; they were first brought here by the Indian Traders, and propogated by their Seed, but from what part of America is not known: These Trees, if planted, would make the best of Hedges, being very prickley, and of quick growth; I have seen Orchards of these Trees in Virginia, where excellent Metheglin is made of their Fruit, they sometimes boil it to the consistence of Honey, and use it after the same manner.
The Service Tree groweth to be very large, and beareth long Leaves like those of the Ash Tree; the Flowers grow in great Clusters, and are of a whitish Colour, after which come forth small Berries, somewhat long, which are unpleasant to the Taste, ’till they have lain by for some time, then they become soft and mellow; they are in taste and operation like the Medlar, but seldom made use of but by the Indians, the Planters not regarding them: The Leaves are astringent, and stop Fluxes, and the Fruit is cooling, drying, and binding, (especially when they are hard, and not altogether ripe) they stop Fluxes in the Belly, and all other kind of Fluxes; they Strengthen the Stomach, stop vomiting, and outwardly heal Wounds, being dry’d and made into Powder.
The Birch Tree is plentiful in this Province, but generally towards the Freshes on the Banks and Heads of the Rivers, but never near the Salt Water; it differs something in the Bark from the European Birch, and the Leaves are sharper and smaller; it buds in April, and the Parakeetoes come from all Parts to feed on them at that Season. Where this Wood grows there are no Plantations; the Leaves are cleansing, disolve and purge watry Humours, help Dropsies and Stone in the Bladder, the Ashes of the Bark is effectual to heal sore Mouths, and take away Scabs. The Mushrooms are binding and cure the Piles, the Tears are pleasant to drink and quench Thirst.
The Alder Tree grows in wet low Grounds near the Freshes and heads of the Rivers, but is not common amongst the Planters, or near the Salt-Water; this Tree is so well known amongst us, that it would be needless to describe it. The Bark and Twigs are much used by the Planters in dying Wool and Cloath black; the Wood is soft, but durable and lasting in the Ground or Water, makes good Piles, and other Necessaries, the Leaves and Bark are cooling and binding, and used in hot Swellings or Ulcers in the Body.
The Laurel Tree is plenty all over this Province, and grows in low and swampy Ground, in height and bigness equalizing the lofty Oaks; the Planters dye a yellow Colour with the Leaves and Berries of this Tree, the Wood is not durable in the Weather, yet serves for several Uses when kept dry, its Virtues are doubtful, yet it is said to provoke Vomit, and bring down the Menses.
The Ascopo is a Tree, so called by the Indians, very like the Laurel in its Leaves, the Bark is of a hot spicy Nature, much like the Cassa Lignea; I never saw this Tree growing, but the Indian who procured me a Branch of it assured me, that they are plentifully to be met with at the Heads of the Rivers, and near the Mountains, and that they grow pretty large.
The Bay Tree delights to grow in the same Ground with the Laurel, it is a beautiful Ever-green, the Wood of this as well as the Laurel, are of little use only for Fire, and is plenty all over this Province; the Berries yield a Wax whereof they make Candles, which in burning afford a pleasing smell, besides it is useful in Chirurgery, the Leaves are of a bitter astringent Nature, but grateful to the Stomach, and resists Vomiting; when made into a Pulse, help all Inflamations, the stinging of Bees, and other venemous Beasts, the Bark of the Root in Rhenish Wine provokes Urine, opens Obstructions, cures Dropsies and Jaundice, but kills the Fætus; the Berries expel Wind and ease all manner of Pains proceeding from Cold, therefore good in the Cholick, Palsies, Convulsions, Epilepsies, and many other Disorders; some have the Leaves tun’d up with Beer, which makes it pleasant and grateful to the Stomach.
The Bay Tulip Tree is another beautiful Ever-green, is very common, and grows in the same Ground with the former; its Virtues are uncertain, neither have I known any use made of it.
The Horn-beam Tree, grows in some places in this Province both plentiful and large, the Leaves are like those of the Elm or Witch Hazel, but tenderer; the Timber of the Tree becomes so strong, durable, and hard, in process of time, that it may rather be compared to a Horn than Wood, from whence it took the Name Horn-beam, or Hard-beam; it is excellent for making Arrows, Pullies, Shafts for Mills, and many other Necessaries; yet is little regarded, or made use of, by reason of the great plenty of other Wood in those parts; there may be an Oil drawn from it, which is of excellent use in the cure of the French Pox.
The Maple Tree, of which there are two sorts, the first has an exceeding white Grain, and generally grows in the plain and champion Country; the second has a much harder and more curled Grain, and grows in the Hilly and Mountainous parts; both these sorts are large, with a smooth Bark, great Boughs, and Leaves much like those of the Vine, hanging by long reddish Stalks, which make delightful and refreshing Shades to sit under from the Heat of the Sun: The Flowers which are of a whitish-green Colour, hang in Clusters, after which come forth long Fruit resembling the Wings of Grass-hoppers, with white and little Kernels in them: Of this Wood is made Wainscots, Tables, Trenchers, Dishes, Spinning-wheels, and the like; the Leaves and Roots are Astringent, stop all sorts of Fluxes, and the Root helps Pains of the sides and Liver.
The Persimon Tree agrees with all Lands and Soils, they are common on all Plantations, the Fruit when ripe is nearest to our Medlar, it is one of the greatest Astringents I have ever met with, for if eaten, or chew’d before it is ripe, it draws the Mouth up like a Purse. The Fruit when ripe, being apply’d to a Foul wound, presently cleanses it, but causes exquisite Pain: The Fruit soon rots after it is ripe, and contains four flat Stones, resembling those of the Tamarinds. The Planters make Beer of its Fruit, which they call Persimon Beer. There are two sorts of this Fruit, the one ripe in Summer, and the other not before the Frost visits those Parts; these Trees sometimes grow to two Feet diameter, some make use of the Bark, instead of the Cortex peruviana, or Jesuits Bark, for Agues, and it is reported that that Bark is from the Persimon Tree in New-Spain.
The Holly Tree, whereof there are two sorts, one with a large Leaf, and the other with a smaller, they generally are to be met with in low wet Grounds; both sorts are in plenty, and grow tollerably large, yet I have seldom seen any use made of their Wood, there being such plenty of much better. Their Berries are said to be good in the Cholick, for ten or twelve being taken inwardly, purge strongly by Stool. The Birdlime which is made of the Bark, being applied Plasterwise, consolidates Wounds, eases all manner of Pains, and strengthens the Nerves, but if taken inwardly, it is mortal, for it glues the Intrails together, so that the passages of the Excrements are intirely shut up.
The Chinkapin Tree is a kind of a Chesnut, and very plentiful, they bear great quantities of Nuts which are less than a Hazle-nut, and of a Piramedial Form, they are in Taste like a Chesnut, but sweeter: It’s Nut has a Husk or Bur about it like the former, which opens when it is ripe, so that the Fruit falls to the Ground, which is good feeding for Hogs, making them fat and excellent Pork. The Grain of the Wood and the Leaves on the Trees are very like the Chesnut, but the Timber is not so large, yet it is used to Timber Boats, Shallops, &c. and makes anything that is to endure the Weather; this and the Hickery are very tough Rods to whip Horses with, yet this Wood is in Substance very brittle. This Tree the Vine delights to twist about, it is good Fire-wood, but very sparkling as well as the Sassafras; the Nut or Kernel of this Tree has much the same Virtues with those of the Chesnut, but more binding, and are of excellent use to stop Fluxes.
The Sassafras is very common, and grows large, its Wood being sometimes above two Feet over, ’tis durable and lasting for Bowls, Timber Posts for Houses, and other things that require standing in the Ground, notwithstanding it is very brittle and light, it hath a pleasant smell. The Leaves are of two sorts, some long and smooth, the others indented about the edges (especially those growing at the top of the Branches) sometimes like those of the Fig-tree, it bears a small white Flower, which is cleansing to the Blood, if eaten in the Spring with other Salating; it likewise bears a small Berry, which when ripe, is black and very oily, Carminative, and extremely prevalent in Coughs: The Bark and Root help most Diseases proceeding from Obstructions, and of singular use in Diets for the French Pox, it strengthens the whole Body, cures Barrenness, and is a Specifick to those afflicted with the Gripes, or defluctions of Rheum; the same in Powder, and strong lotions being made thereof, is much used by the Savage Indians, to mundify old Ulcers, and several other uses; it is a beautiful and odoriferous Ever-green, makes a delightful and fragrant Fire, but very sparkling.
The Willow Tree differs from the European, both in Bark and Leaves, but the Grain is not to be distinguished from the former, and is commonly to be met with growing on the River sides, and Banks of fresh Water, as the Birch does.
The Black Wild Cherry Tree, grows common in the Woods in several places, and especially on light Lands, to be very large, the Leaves and Grain are like those of the European Black Cherry, in May they are in their Bloom of Flowers, at which time they appear all over as white as a Sheet; it bears small black Cherries, in prodigious Quantities, which are ripe in June, the Parakeeto’s, Wild Turkies, Swine, and several other Beast and Birds feed upon them at that time. These Cherries are very sweet and well tasted, and are better for making of Cherry Brandy than any I have ever met with in Europe, yielding a fine Colour, and most grateful Flavour to the Brandy, and have the same Virtues with the European Cherries.
The Red Cherry Tree, is very scarce, and rarely to be met with, it’s Virtues and Uses are much the same of those with us.
The Wild Plum Tree, whereof there are two sorts, if not more, one is much sooner ripe than the other, and differ in the Bark, one being very Scaley like the American Birch, and the other smooth, these Trees are in great plenty in these Parts, and especially amongst the Indians, who are very fond of them. These Trees when they are in Blossom, smell as sweet as any Jessamine, and look as white as a Sheet, but are something Prickly, you may make them grow to what Shape you please; they are very Ornamental about a House, and make a pleasant sight in the Spring with their beautiful white Liverys: Their Fruit is red, and very cooling and palatable to the sick; they are of a very quick growth, and bear in five Years from the Stone. The English large Black Plumb, thrives well, as does the Cherry, being grafted thereon; this Fruit is in great Request amongst the Indians, which they sometimes dry and preserve for the Winter.
There is another sort of Plum, about the bigness of a Damson, the Tree is but small, and seldom exceeds ten Inches in thickness, the Plum has a very physical taste, what may be its Virtues is doubtful, but this I am sensible of, that when it is chew’d in the Mouth, it is apt to make that part sore; the Wood is something porous, but exceeds the Box for it’s fine yellow Colour.
The Damson Tree, whereof there are two sorts, the black and the white, and are about the bigness of our European Damsons, they grow any where if planted from the Stone or Slip, they bear a whitish Blossom, and are a good Fruit, they are found growing in great plenty on the Sand-Banks, and all along the Coast, they never grow large, but are plentiful Bearers. The Fruit of this and the Plum Trees are very cooling and good in Fevers.
The Fig Tree, is to be met with growing wild in some parts of this Province, and especially near the Mountains, the Fruit of this is but small, notwithstanding the Tree grows to be very large. The Leaves and Fruit are good to dissolve and waste all hard Kernels and scrophulous Tumors.
The Hawthorn, or white Thorn Tree, of these there are two sorts, the first is exactly the same with ours in Ireland, and grows commonly near the Freshes and heads of Rivers, but never near the Salt Waters. The second sort grows plentifully in some parts of this Province, the Fruit, or Haws, are quite different from those with us being considerably larger and longer, and of a very agreeable taste. These Trees are near as large as the European, but have few or no Prickles: There is no use made of the Timber, neither do they plant this or the other in Hedges, because Timber is so plenty at present. The Leaves, Flowers, and Haws, are very binding, therefore good to stop all kinds of Fluxes; the Powder of the Stone drank in Rhenish Wine, is of very great service in the Stone, Gravel, and Dropsie.
The Black Thorn, or Sloe Tree grows plentifully in several parts of this Province, (and is a Slender Tree about the bigness of our Hazel) but is quite different from our Sloe Tree in Ireland, the Fruit being generally twice as large and as long as ours; this is of a more astringent or binding Nature than the former. The Bark of this Tree being dryed and made into a fine Powder, and apply’d to inveterate old Sores (and especially in the Legs) very speedily cleanses and drys them up, and is one of the best Remedies on those occasions, I have ever met with.
The Dog-wood Tree, grows very plentifully in this Province, on light and rich Grounds, the Trunk or Body whereof, is covered with a rough Bark of a russet Colour with some Pith in the middle, like that of Elder. It flowers the first in the Woods, of any Tree in this Province, making the Forrest very beautiful at that Season; it bears a white Blossom in the Months of February and March, much like the wild Rose. The Leaves are full of Nerves or Sinews, in form like those of Plantain, of a loathsome smell and bitter taste. Some of these Trees are ten or twelve Inches diameter, and have a very fine and beautiful Grain, and serves for several uses within Doors, but is not durable, being exposed to the Weather. The Bark of the Root of this Tree, is frequently made use of by way of Infusion, and given to Children to kill the Worms; these being the only use made of it at present.
The Sugar Tree grows very beautiful and high, with a smooth Bark and large spreading Branches, which make an excellent Shade to sit under in the extremity of hot Weather. The Leaves are very large and broad like those of the Vine, but I never observed any Flowers or Fruit growing on it, so can’t satisfie the Reader as to that Point. It is of a very tedious growth, and is commonly to be met with at the heads of Rivers, and near the Mountains, but no where else. The Indians tap it at certain Seasons of the Year, and place Gourds to it to receive the Liquor, and when they have got a sufficient quantity of Juice, they boil it to the consistence of Sugar, which is as sweet, and serves for the same use, but what other Virtues, or Uses, it may be indued with, I am a stranger to.
The Hazel-nut Tree is so well known, that it would be needless to say much on that head, it grows plentifully in some parts of this Province, and especially near the Mountains and heads of Rivers, but its Nut is not as good as the European, having a much thicker and harder Shell, and so have most of the Fruits in America that I have seen. The Hazel-nuts before they are thoroughly ripe are an excellent Astringent, and stop Fluxes of all sorts, a Decoction of the inner Rind of the Tree, drank for some Days together, is good against the Strangury and kill Worms.
The Papau Tree is not large, being only about eight or ten Inches diameter, but has the broadest Leaves of any Trees I ever saw in the Woods of Carolina; it bears an Apple, about the bigness of a Hens Egg, which contains a large Stone in it, when it is ripe it is of a beautiful yellow colour, and as soft and sweet as any Fruit can be. The planters make Puddings, Tarts, and many other Dishes of the Fruit of this Tree.
The Red-bud Tree, so called from its red Buds; it bears a beautiful purple Lark-heel Flower, and makes the most agreeable and best Sallad of any Flowers I have ever met with; its Fruit is ripe in April and May, these Trees are not large, seldom being above ten or twelve Inches through. The Flowers and Fruit are very cooling, and of an astringent Nature.
The Sorrel, or Sower-wood Tree, so called from it’s Leaves, that taste exactly like Sorrel. I have never known any uses made of these Trees, which are but small, being not quite as large as the former.
The Pellitory is a small Tree that grows in this Province, especially near the Salts, Sand-banks, and Islands. The Planters use it frequently to cure the Tooth-ach, by putting a piece of the Bark in the Mouth, which is very hot, and causeth much Rheum and Spittle to flow from thence; and as I am credibly inform’d, is one of the Ingredients that the Indians use when they Husquenaw their young Men and Boys, whereof I shall treat in it’s proper Place, when I come to describe the Customs of those People.
The Myrtle Tree, whereof are two sorts, different in Leaf and Berry. These Trees grow in great plenty in wet swampy Grounds, about ten or twelve Feet high, and bear small white Berries in great quantities, which the Planter’s Wives and Children pull in the Months of October and November, at which time they are ripe, and boil them in Water in large Pans, and so skim off the Wax it produces, which is of a greenish colour (but in process of time becomes white) and yields a most fragrant and oderiferous smell. This they strain and make into Cakes or Candles, which are not only very lasting, but grateful and pleasant for Ladies to burn in their Chambers. Some mix half Tallow with them to make Candles, others without any mixture at all, and are more durable in burning than Tallow or Bees-wax; and the best in the World to burn in Binnacles in Ships that pass the Equinoctial Line, and all excessive hot Countries, because they will not melt with the extreamity of the heat, so readily as the former. A Decoction of these Berries cure the falling out of the Womb, Tettars, and Scald Heads, by fomenting the Parts, and their Syrup is good in Coughs, and the like disorders in the Breast.
The Sumach Tree grows about nine or ten Feet high, and has tough and pliant Stalks, and Branches full of Twigs (like Oziers) of a brownish colour, whereon grow Leaves that are soft and hairy, having a red sinew or ridge growing through the midst of them, and indented all about the edges. The Flowers which come forth in July are of a greenish yellow colour, and grow with the Leaves upon long and red Stalks in clusters, after which follow small reddish Seeds in bunches like Grapes, which are ripe in Autumn. This Plant is in very great plenty all over this Province, but little or no use is made of it at present. Yet it is of great value and use in Europe in dressing Skins, and especially the Spanish Leather. There are small Birds that feed on it and the Myrtle Berries in the Winter. This is one of the Ingredients used in the cure of the Yaws. The Leaves and Seeds stop all kind of Fluxes, and help the Hæmorrhoides, all Issues of Blood and weakness of the Stomach and Intestines; outwardly they resist putrefaction; drie up running Sores, heal old Ulcers, Gangrens, &c. the Gum put into the Teeth eases the Pains thereof.
The Indico Tree (which is a kind of Woad, such as Dyers use to dye Cloth) grows plentifully in this Province, but I have never known any uses made of it.
The Indian-Nut Tree grows to be very tall, large, and smooth, and free from Branches ’till you come near the top, whereon grow Leaves like those of the Date, but broad and sharp at the point as Thorns, whereof the Indians make Needles, Bodkins, and many other Instruments for their uses, among these Leaves come forth clusters of Flowers like those of the Ches-nut Tree, from whence are produced large Fruit of an oval Form: In that end next the Tree, are two Holes, and sometimes three quite through the Fruit; the outside of this Fruit is covered with a substance not unlike Hemp, or Flax, before it be beaten soft: In the middle whereof is contain’d a great Nut, with a very hard shell, of a brown colour, wherein is contained a white Kernel, firm and solid, which tastes like an Almond; and within the Cavity or hollowing thereof is found a most beautiful Liquor like Milk, and of a pleasant Taste. This Tree continues green all the Year, the Timber, though large, is very spungy within and hard without. The Indians tie Ropes about these Trees for more ease in gathering the Fruit, and they sometimes cut off tender Twigs and Branches towards the Evening, at the ends whereof they tye Gourds to receive the Liquor that distills from the Branches thereof, which they drink as Europeans do Wine, and very much cools and refreshes their wearied Spirits. They sometimes make Canoes of this Tree, and of the Hemp that grows on the outside of the Fruit, Ropes for several uses; from the Kernel likewise is produced a most precious Oil, wherewith the Indians anoint their feeble Limbs after long Journies, which not only refreshes them, but likewise mitigates all manner of Pains and Aches. The Christians sometimes distil this Liquor, from whence is produced a strong and pleasant Spirit like our Aquavitae, and is used as a great Cordial for many Diseases in these parts.
The Palmeto Tree, the Leaves whereof grow in great Clusters, only on the tops of the Trees are long stalks, exactly in the shape of a Fan. This Tree when it is at its utmost growth is about forty or fifty Feet in height, and about two Feet diameter; and it is observable that the growth of this Vegetable is so very slow, that it is scarce perceivable in the age of Man, the Experiment having been often try’d in several places where it grows. The Wood of it is very porous and stringey, like some Canes, with the Leaves of this Tree the Bermudians make fine Hats for Women, Baskets, and many pretty Boxes for several uses, which are transported to the Northern parts of America, where this Tree does not grow, and to Great-Britain and Ireland. In North Carolina, this Tree is a Dwarfish kind, and the Planters make of the Fans of this Tree, Brooms to sweep their Houses with, which is all the use I have seen them make of it.
The Hollow-Canes, or Reeds, such as Angling Rods are made of, and Weavers use for their Reeds, grow in great plenty in many places in this Province, especially in wet low and Swampy Grounds, though there is none to be met with to the northward of James’s River in Virginia. They continue green all the year, and are extraordinary good Pasturage for Cattle and Horses in the Winter, and in the Month of March, when the Planters are obliged by the Laws of the Country to burn off the old Grass in their Fields and Woods, as the Heath is burnt off the Mountains in Ireland, by the Farmers in those Places. They are so very large towards the Heads of the Rivers that one joint will hold a Pint of any Liquor. When they grow old they bear an Ear like Oats, wherein is contain’d their Seeds, exactly like the Grains of Rye (which being boiled is good Meat, and often made use of by the Indians) soon after which they decay both Root and Branch, but the Seeds never fail to grow again. These hollow Canes are Lodges for vast Numbers of Wild Beasts, which the Indians frequently set on fire to drive them out, by which means they kill vast Numbers of them, and you shall hear these Canes during the time that they are burning at a great distance cracking and making a Noise like two Armies engaged, and firing at each other, which has deceived many, supposing it to be the Indians coming to War upon them.
The Arrow-Wood, so called from the Indians making use of it for Arrows for their Bows, and Rammers for their Guns. It grows very streight, of several sizes, and is tough and pliable, as the smallest Canes, of which it is a kind, and grows in great plenty on the Banks and River-sides. It is very strange to see how the Indians will harden the Points of their Arrows, and how artfully they can fix sharp Flint Stones to them, by which means they kill Deer, Turkies, and several other Beasts and Birds.
The Prickley-Ash, is so called from some resemblance it has to the Ash-Tree in its Leaves: It grows up like a Pole, whereof the Europeans and Indians make Poles to set their Canoes along the Shallow Waters, it is very light and full of Pith like the Elder, but is full of prickles and Thorns like the Sweet Bryar, but larger. It bears Berries of a purple colour in large Clusters like the Alder Tree. The Root of this Tree is Cathartick and Emetick, and is frequently made use of in Cachexies, with good success.
There is a kind of Prim, or Privet, that grows in this Province on dry barren and sandy Banks, by the Sound side, it differs little from ours, only this bears a smaller sort, and grows into a round Bush, and is beautiful to behold, when it’s Flowers are full blown. The Leaves and Flowers are cooling and good in all Inflammations and soreness of the Eyes, Ulcers in the Mouth and Throat, looseness of the Gums, and to stop Fluxes.
The Gallberry Tree is a little Shrub, so called from its bearing a Black-Gall or Berry, with which the Women dye their Cloth and Yarn. It is a beautiful Ever-green, growing plentifully in Swamps, low Grounds, and Ponds of fresh Water; and sometimes on the Banks of the Rivers.
The Savine, is a low Shrub, and is plentifully to be met with in this Province, especially in dry Ground and Banks on the River sides. It beareth Leaves and Berries much like those of the Cedar, it is a beautiful Ever-green, but is not as prickley; neither has it such a strong smell as the Barren Savine that grows in our Gardens. The Virtues of this Plant are so well known, that it would be needless to repeat them.
The Misseltoe, or Missteltoe, that grows upon the Oak, was formerly held in great veneration amongst the Pagans in their Sacrifices; and it is much to be admired to see such a Dwarfish Shrub grow without any visible Root, on so tall, noble, and lofty Trees, as it does, and of a quite different Nature to them. Various are the Opinions amongst Writers how this Plant is produced. Some assign it’s growth to a certain Moisture and Substance gathered together upon the Boughs and Joints of Trees through the Bark, whereof this vaporous moisture produceth and bringeth forth the Misseltoe. Others assign it’s produce from the Dung of Wood-Quests, Black-Birds, and several other Birds that feed upon it’s Seeds, which they discharge upon several Branches and Barks of Trees, and that the Seed will not grow without suffering a change in these Birds Bodies. But which of these Opinions may approach nearest Truth, I will not take upon me to decide. But this I am certain of, that set the Seed after what manner you will, it will never grow. It grows in this Province in as great plenty as in any part of the World, especially upon all the species of Oaks, and several other Trees. It seldom exceeds above two Feet in height, and there are two sorts of it. The first beareth Seed, and is full of green Branches all the Year. The second is barren and fruitless, and sheddeth its Leaves in the Winter, which it doth not recover ’till Spring: The Leaves of this Shrub is of a very bitterish Taste, and the Berries are so transparent, that one may see thro’ them, and within is a small black Seed or Kernel. The Leaves and Berries are of a viscous and clammy nature, whereof the best Bird-lime is made, far exceeding that which is made of the Holly Bark. The Deer and Sheep are very fond of it’s Leaves, croping them wherever they can reach, which makes them very fat. It’s Uses in Physick are too well known, to be inserted here.
The Indian-Tea Tree, which in their Language is called Yaupan, and Cassena, grows in great plenty in this Province, especially on the Sand Banks and Islands, bordering on the Sea, none to be met with near the Freshes or heads of Rivers, that I ever could learn. This Yaupan is a Shrub, whereof there are three sorts. The first is a Bush of about twelve Feet high, and groweth in rich low Grounds. The second is about four or five Feet high, and grows on the Sand Banks. The third seldom grows to be a Foot high, and is found both on the rich low Ground and on the Sand Banks. It grows the most like Box of any Vegetable I know, being very like it in Leaf, only dented about the edges like Tea, but the Leaf somewhat flatter. It bears a small whitish Flower, which continues not long, after comes small Berries about the bigness of a grain of Pepper, which are at first of a reddish colour, but in the Month of December, when they are ripe, they become brown. All these sorts differ very little from each other in taste, when the infusion is made, neither is there any difference in the Leaves, that I could ever perceive, only those that grow in the low and rich Ground; are of a deeper Green, and larger than those growing on the Sand Banks, and this may be occasioned by the richness that attends the low Grounds, thus situated. The Cattle, Sheep, and Deer are very fond of these Plants, and crop them wherever they can reach or find them. The Wood is very brittle, and its Bark of a light Ash-colour. The Planters frequently make use of it with Physick, by reason of it’s safe and speedy passage through the Bowels and Ureters, which I have often experienced, and is of excellent use in the Stone and Gravel, by it’s diuretick Quality. It is likewise used as Tea and in making Punch. What request it is of amongst the Indians, and how they cure it, I shall inform the Reader when I come to treat of these People.
The Piemento, or All-spice Tree, grows commonly in wet and low Grounds, about eight or ten Feet high, though I have known some transplanted to high Land, where it thrives very well. It bears a Berry different in shape from those in the East Indies, being longer and taper, yet not inferior to any of that sort. The Leaves of this Tree are much like the Hurts, and so is the Bark.
The Hurts, Huckle-Berries, Bill-Berries, or Blues, of this Country, whereof there are four sorts that we are well acquainted with. The first sort is the same Blue or Bill-Berry which grows plentifully in the Mountains in Ireland, and many other places. The Juice of these Berries are of a very binding and cooling Nature, therefore good in Fluxes and Fevers, they cool and comfort the Stomach, and stop Vomiting.
The second sort grow on small Bushes in the Savannas and Woods, their Leaves are of a dark Green colour, much like the former, but larger, amongst which come little hollow Flowers, which turn into Berries, and are longer than the former.
The third sort grow on one single Stem, about three or four Feet high, in low rich Lands, and on the Banks of the Rivers; their Fruit are as large and good as the former, and are very plenty in many places of this Province.
The fourth sort grow on Trees about ten or twelve Feet high, and about the thickness of the small of a Man’s Leg; are very pleasant, and bear wonderfully: These grow plentifully in wet low Grounds, in many places in this Province; the Planters gather great Quantities of them in the Season, dry them in the Sun, and make use of them for Puddings, Minc’d Pyes, and many other Uses as we do Currans and Raisons: All these sorts ripen gradually one after another. The Indians get many Bushells of them, which they likewise dry on their Matts in the Sun, and preserve and keep all the Winter, whereof they make Bread mix’d with Indian-Corn-Meal, like our Plum-Cakes, and several other Eatables, which are pleasant enough.
April-Currans, so call’d, from their being ripe in that Month, grow on the Banks of the Rivers, or where Clay has been thrown up; the Fruit when ripe, is red, and very soon gone. They are tollerable good Fruit whilst they last, and the Tree (for it is not a Bush they grow upon) is a pleasant Vegetable.
Bermudas-Currans, so call’d, from their growing plentifully in that Island, are very common in the Woods of Carolina on a Bush, much like the European Currans, but not so agreeable to the Taste, being but an indifferent Fruit, though frequently eaten by the Planters.
Winter-Curran, so call’d, by reason it bears Fruit which are only ripe in October; it grows on Bush about seven or eight Feet high, and the Fruit is like our Bill-berry; the Planters make the same uses of it as we do of Raisons and Currans, for Puddings, Minc’d-Pyes, &c. This Bush is very beautiful to behold, growing round, and is a plentiful Bearer. All these sorts of Currans are of a very cooling and binding Nature, therefore good in Fevers and Fluxes.
The Brier-Rose, or Hip-Tree, is to be met with in some places, especially on dry Lands, but is generally of a Dwarfish kind, but its Fruit is as good as ours. The Pulp is cooling and agreeable to the Stomach, good in Fevers or violent Heats, and is of excellent use in the Fluxes of this Country.
The Rasberries are of a purple Colour when ripe, very agreeable in Taste, but are not as rich Fruit as the European. They grow on a Stalk more like the Bramble than the Rassberry-Bush, and are in many parts of this Province, and its a difficult matter to root them out, when once planted; they have much the same Virtues with the European Rassberry, but are more binding.
The European Rassberry thrives and bears in Carolina to admiration, and is as grateful and pleasant Fruit in it’s kind, as any in the World; and are to be met with growing in most of their Gardens. This Fruit has much the same Virtues with the Black-Berry, but is more Cordial and less Binding.
The Black-Berry grows after the same manner as those with us, but their Brambles or Stalks are not so thick or long, and their Fruit is not to be compared with ours, being ill tasted and bitter, but has much the same Virtues, viz. cooling and astringent; the Juice, with Honey, Allum, and red Wine, fastens loose Teeth.
The Dew-Berrys grow on small Brambles or Stalks about two or three Feet long exactly like the Black-berry. This Fruit is sweet and good to eat, and like our Black-berry in shape, but is as red as a Ras-berry when ripe, and has much the same Virtues with the former.
I will in this place give an account of the Straw-berry though it be not a Shrub. The Straw-berrys in this Province are not only large, sweet, and good, but in as great plenty as in any part of the World, growing almost every where, and are the first Fruit the Hogs feed upon in the Spring. The Planters in their Canoes go to the Islands (which are to be met with in several parts of the Rivers) and pull what quantities they please, bringing generally home their Canoes full of this pleasant Fruit, from those parts where the Hogs can’t come to feed. They quench thirst, help inflammations of the Stomach, comfort the Heart, and revive the Spirits, help diseases of the Spleen, and Reins, provoke Urine, are good against the Stone and Gravel, and are usefull in Fevers, by cooling and comforting the inward parts.
The Honey-Suckles or Wood-bind (whereof there are four Sorts I have already given an account of) are very plenty in this Province, and are much the same as those with us, but do not grow so large. The Leaves and Flowers are pectoral and Diuretick, and cure Asthmas and Coughs, outwardly they are Cosmetick, and take away Scabs and Pimples in the Face, the juice is vulnerary, eases wounds in the Head, strengthens the Nerves, and makes an excellent gargle for sore and dry mouths.
The Yellow-Jessamine is to be met with here in several parts of the Woods, and not only affords in the Summer-time, when it is in it’s splendor a most delightful prospect, but likewise a pleasant shade and a grateful and fragrant smell to those that pass through the Woods. The Flowers are an excellent perfume, an Oil made of them with Oil of Olive is of excellent use in Convulsions, Cramps, and Stitches in the side. The Flowers are of the nature of Camomile, and are good in all hard and cold swellings, in Clysters, help the Collick and pains of the Womb, and cure the Schirrus thereof, help delivery, Coughs, shortness of breath, Pleurisies, pain of the Stomach and Bowels.
I shall in the next Place give an account of the Vines that this Country produces; and first the European Vines, which thrive well, and their produce are extraordinary great, the Lands of Carolina being as proper for Vines as any in the World, yet there are but few Vineyards planted in this Colony at present, for I have seen but one small one at Bath-Town, and another at Neus, of the white Grape, the same with the Madera, I have drank of the Wine it produced, which was exceeding good. Though of late they have got Slips of several Sorts of curious Vines, which no doubt will soon come to perfection, there being nothing wanting but industry to make this as fine a Wine and Oil Country, as any in Europe, as may appear from the few Tryals that have been already made. Ripe Grapes eaten largely, often cause Diarrhea’s, yet the Stones stop vomiting and Fluxes, being dried and given in Powder. When they are dried in the Sun, they are good against Coughs, Asthmas, Colds, Obstructions, Ulcers in the Mouth, Lungs, Kidneys, and many other parts; outwardly, they ripen Tumors, help Gouts, Gangrenes and Mortifications.
The Vines that are Spontaneous and produce Grapes in Carolina, are of six Kinds, and are as follows, The Fox-grape, whereof there are four sorts, two of which are call’d the Summer-Fox-grape, because they are ripe in July.
The other two are call’d the Winter Fox-grape, because they are not ripe till September or October.
The Summer Fox-grapes do not grow in clusters or great bunches as the European do, there being only five or six upon one stalk, and are as big as a large Damson. The Black sort are very common and plentiful all over this Province, but the White are very scarce and seldom to be met with. These Vines always grow in Swamps and wet low Lands, running sometimes very high according to the growth of the Timber which they meet and twine about for their support. They have the largest Leaves of any Vine I ever saw, therefore wou’d make delightful and Shady Arbours to sit under in the extremity of the hot Weather. This Fruit always ripens in the Shade, and has a pretty Vinous taste, but is not so juicy as the European Grape, having a much thicker Skin, and is of a more glutinous Nature, yet pleasant to eat.
Winter-Fox Grapes are much of the same bigness with the former, and are very plenty in most parts, refusing neither Swampy, Dry, Hilly, or Sandy Grounds to grow in, and are greater producers than the former, and when thorow ripe, have a Vinous Flavour and eat well, but are as Glutinous, have as thick Skins, and the Leaves as large as the other sort.
The White are very clear and transparent, and have indifferent small Stones. They make very pleasant Shades in all parts of the Woods where they grow; and if they are transplanted, thrive wonderfully. I have seen Stems of these kind of Vines, that were thicker than a Man’s Thigh.
The small Black Grapes grow plentifully in Carolina, and have large Clusters or Bunches growing together like the European. These Grapes, though very small, are well relish’d, and plentiful Bearers, they have a thick Skin and large Stone, which makes them yield little Juice, which is of a Crimson Colour, and hath a Vinous Flavour. The Black Grapes and the following, are not ripe until Autumn.
There is another Black Grape, exactly resembling the other small Black Grape, only the Juice is of a lighter Colour, but as well relished as the former.
The small White Grape is to be met with in this Province, but is very scarce, growing in few parts of the Woods, yet its Bunches or Clusters are as well knit together, and as well relish’d, as any of the former; all these Kinds of Grapes might be indifferently used in Physick; as the European’s are.
The Planters pull and eat some of these Grapes when they are ripe, and frequently juice them, whereof they make Vinegar, which is all the use I have seen made of them, as also of all the other Spontaneous sorts growing in Carolina. What remain in the Woods are devoured by several Beasts (that climb high Trees) and the Birds.
I shall in the next place give an Account of several other sorts of Vines (growing in this Province) that produce no Grapes, some whereof are most beautiful Ever-Greens, others affording most pleasant Shades and fragrant Flowers, and are as follows.
First, the Scarlet Trumpet Vine, so called, from the glorious red Flowers like a Bell or Trumpet, which it bears, and makes a fine Shade in the Woods where it grows, inferior to none I ever saw. It loses its Leaves (which are large) in the Winter, and remains naked until the Spring. It bears a large Cod that holds its Seed, but I never saw any use made of its Bark, Leaves, Flowers, or Seeds, in Physick or otherwise.
There is another sort of Vine which I know no Name for, but it is a beautiful Ever-Green, with Leaves like the Jessamine, but larger and of a harder Nature, this grows to be a large Vine, and twines itself round the Trees; it grows near, and makes a fine Shade. It bears a Black Berry which is not ripe till Winter. It is a very Ornamental Plant, and worth transplanting; for I never saw any thing make a more pleasant and delightful Shade to sit under in the extreamity of the Heat in the Summer, and likewise from the Rain and severity of Weather in the Winter. But what Virtues it may be endued with, is uncertain.
The May-Cock, is a Vine so called, from an Apple which it bears, and is ripe in that Month, it has a beautiful Flower, and the Fruit is of an agreeable sweetness, mixt with an acid Taste. It is a Summer-Vine, and is naked all the Winter ’till Spring, at which time it buds, and in the Summer Season is very Ornamental. The Fruit of this Vine is cooling and quenches Thirst.
The Oak-Vine is no Tree, but so called, from a Burr it bears like the Oak, and generally runs up those Trees, it’s Stalk or Stem is so very porous, that you may suck Liquors through it at a length of two or three Feet; I know no other use it is for, never having seen it made use of amongst either Christians or Indians, in any manner of Disorder.
The Poysonous Vine, so called, by reason it colours the Hands of those that handle it, of a yellowish Colour, but what Uses or Virtues it hath, is uncertain, no Experiment as yet having been made of it. The Juice of it stains Linnen, never to be wash’d out by any Art. It dyes a blackish blue Colour, this is done by breaking a bit of the Vine, and pressing with it’s End what Mark you think proper. It runs up any Tree it meets with, and clasps round it. The Leaves of this Vine are shaped like Hemlock, and fall off in the Winter.
The Small Bamboo is another kind of Vine, grows in wet low Grounds, and is seldom thicker than a Man’s Finger; the Stem is like the Sweet-brier, full of Prickles and Joints, but very rough. These Vines bear small Black-berries, their Root is like a round Ball, which the Indians boil (as we do any Garden Root) and eat, which they say is good and nourishing. When these Roots have been out of the Ground for some time, they become exceeding hard, and make Heads for Canes, on which several Figures may be cut. I know of no other uses made of them at present.
Prickley Bind-weed, or Sarsaparilla, is a kind of Prickley Vine, not unlike the former, it groweth plentifully in several Places, but especially on dry Lands, or the Banks of Rivers. It has many Branches set full of sharp prickles with certain clasping Tendrels (like several of the other Vines) with which it taketh hold upon Shrubs, or whatever is next to it. One single Leaf groweth at each Joint, like that of Ivy, frequently mark’d with little white Spots, and guarded or bordered about the Edges with crooked sharp Prickles. The Flowers are of a whitish colour, and fragrant smell. The Berries are like those of the wild Vine, green at first, and red when they are ripe, and of a biting Taste, wherein is contain’d a black Seed, like Hemp, the Roots are long, and grow deep in the Ground. It is good against Catharrs, all manner of Defluctions, Gout, and Pox, being of a Sudorifick Nature.
The Indian Figg-Tree, commonly call’d the Prickley-Pear. This strange and admirable Plant, call’d Ficus Indica, grows in great plenty, especially on the Sandbanks and dry Land, and seems to be nothing but a multiplicity of Leaves; that is, a Tree made of Leaves, without Body or Boughs, for the Leaves set in the Ground, do in a short Time take Root and produce other Leaves, that grow one above another, ’till such time as they are pretty tall like a Tree, their Leaves spreading out like Boughs, sometimes more or less according to the difference of the Soil it grows in, adding one Leaf above another, whereby it spreads over a great piece of Ground. These Leaves are long, broad, and thicker than a Man’s Hand, of a deep green colour, set full of long sharp and slender Prickles. On the tops of these Leaves come forth long Flowers, not unlike those of the Pomgranate-Tree, and of a yellow colour, after which is produced the Fruit, like the common Fig, or small Pear, in shape. The outside of this is Fruit of a greenish Colour, but within it is full of red Pulp or Juice, staining the Hands of those that touch it with a sanguine or bloody colour. The tops of these Figs are invironed with certain scaly Leaves like a Crown, wherein are contain’d small Grains that are the Seeds, which being sown, bring forth Plants round bodied like the Trunk of other Trees, with Leaves placed thereon like the former, which being planted in the Ground, bring forth Trees of Leaves also. The Fruit of this Plant is luscious and sweet, and frequently eaten, but must be well cleansed from the Prickles, otherwise wherever they enter, it’s a hard matter to get them out, and frequently leave Knobs in the Skin. Upon this Plant grow certain Excrescences, which in continuance of time become Insects, which are the Cochenele, so much valued, for dying the best and richest Scarlet Colours. I have already made mention of it’s changing the colour of the Urine like Blood, whereby many at first sight doubted of their Recovery, imagining what they voided to be pure Blood, being altogether Strangers to its Effects upon the Urine; whereas it only gives this high Tincture, without any Pain, as I have frequently experienced. We have no certain Account, from the Antients, of the temperature or virtues of this Plant; yet I am very certain, that it is indowed with many excellent Qualities, and that the Juice of it’s Leaves are good against Ulcers of long continuance, Burnings, and Inflammations in several parts of the Body.
Thus having given you the most exact Account that I could learn of the Trees, Shrubs, and Vines, that this Country naturally produces (But undoubtedly there are many other Species that are not yet known, which time and enquiery must discover) I shall therefore proceed to give an Account of the European Fruit-trees that are to be met with here, most of which thrive well. And first of the Apples, and their different Species.
The Golden-Russet is an excellent Fruit, and thrives well; this Apple, and the following sorts, are soon ripe, and have great produce.
The Red-strak’d grow well, whereof they make Cyder in many places: But for the most part, these and the other Fruits are only Food for the Hogs, there being such plenty of most kinds, that they are little made use of or regarded.
The Summer and Winter Pearmains are apt to speck and taint on the Trees, especially the South-side of the Fruit, and the Trees are frequently damaged by small Worms, that breed in several parts of the Bark, which cut Circles about the Branches, and sometimes round the Body of the Trees, and destroy the Bark that it soon dies (especially above those Circles) for want of a sufficient quantity of Juice or Nourishment from the Roots, to produce Leaves and Fruit, this frequently happens in the heat of the Weather, when the Trees are loden with Fruit.
The Winter-Queening thrives well, and produces excellent and durable Fruit, of which the Planters make good Cyder, and is seldom prejudiced by the Worms.
The Harvy-Apple, likewise thrives well, whereof they make Cyder.
The Leather-coats, both Apple and Tree stand well, have as great produce, and thrive as well as any in this Province.
The Jenneting is an early Fruit, thrives well, but is soon gone, in this warm Climate.
The Coddling looks as fine and fair to the Eye as any Fruit in the World, yet the Tree suffers after the same manner as the Pearmains do, or rather worse, for they commonly dye before they come to their full Growth. The Planters make the first of their Coddling Cyder against the Reaping of the Wheat, which is in the beginning of June, as I have already made mention.
The Long-stalk, is the same here as in Europe, it thrives well, and makes good Cyder.
The Lady-Finger, or Long-Apple, is the same as in Europe, and full as good. There are several other sorts of Apples in this Country called by different Names, according to Peoples fancies, and most of them good for Cyder. All these Fruits are very cooling, therefore good in Inflammations and Fevers, they gently loosen the Belly, and are of excellent use in all Burnings, Scaldings, &c. and take away the Heat of St. Anthony’s Fire.
I never met with the Wilding or Crab Tree growing in this Province, or any other part of America that I have been in.
There are several sorts of Pears in this Country, all which thrive well, and are as good as any in Europe, such as the Katherine, Sugar, Warden, Burgomot, Jenneting, Quince Pears, and many others, which are as well relished as any I have met with, but all these Fruits are of short continuance, being soon ripe and almost as soon gone.
The Quince-Tree thrives well, and is in plenty, and it’s Fruit is as well relished as in any part of the World. The Fruit eaten raw, is pleasant, of which the Planters make a Wine or Liquor which they call Quince-drink, and is the best Drink that Country affords at present, though they have plenty of Cyder, and some Perry made there. They likewise draw a Spirit from this Fruit, Apples, and Peaches, which is as pleasant and grateful as any Brandy I have ever tasted. This Quince-drink, most commonly purges those that make use of it, and cleanses the Body, which is a contrary Effect to what it hath in Europe, being of an astringent Nature there; which contrary Effect must certainly be owing to the difference of the Climates. The least slip of this Tree stuck in the Ground, comes to perfection, and will bear in three Years.
The Peach, whereof there are several sorts (these Trees do not differ in Shape, but in their Fruit only) viz. the Queen’s, the Nutmeg, the Newington, and the grand Carnation Peach; the Black, the White, the Roman, and the Indian Peach, and many other sorts, called by different Names, according to Peoples fancies, are all standing Trees like the Apple or Pear, with us; for the Reader is to understand, that there is no such thing as Wall-Fruit in this Province, there being Heat enough, therefore do not require it. These Fruits thrive to admiration, coming to Perfection without any Pains or trouble, for the Ground in these parts is so natural for these sorts of Fruit, that a Peach-stone being Planted, or falling on the Ground, will grow and bring forth a Peach-tree that will bear in three Years, or sooner. And it is to be observed, that in their Peach Orchards, and many other places where the Stones fall, they grow so thick, that they become a perfect Wilderness of Trees, that the Planters are obliged to pull them out of the Ground, as we do Weeds out of our Gardens. They generally bear in such plenty, that the weight of the Fruit frequently break off great Limbs of the Trees. The Planters sometimes take out the Stones and dry the Fruit in the Sun, which they preserve for the Winter; they are grateful to the Stomach, and cause a good Appetite: They also make a Liquor of them which is very cooling, and good in Fevers. The Flowers loosen the Belly, kill Worms in Children, and open Obstructions.
The Indian-Peach Tree, is a kind of Peach common amongst the Indians, which they claim as their own, and affirm that they had it growing amongst them before any Europeans came to America. This Tree grows as large as any Apple Tree, the Flowers are of a reddish Colour, the Fruit is generally larger than the common yellow Peach, and more downy, it is an extraordinary good Fruit, very soft and full of Juice, will freely part from the Stone, which is much thicker than any of the former. These Peaches are common amongst the Indians, and those that live remote from the Christians, haveing no other sort: They are a hardy Fruit, and seldom damaged by the North-East Winds, as the other are. Of this sort there is made Vinegar, therefore some call them Vinegar Peaches; though this may seem to be a Spontaneous Fruit of America, yet in those parts already inhabited by the Europeans, I never cou’d learn that any of these Peach-Trees were ever found growing wild in the Woods. The Indians have plenty of this sort of Peach, but scarce any other is to be found amongst them. They have much the same Virtues with the former.
The Nectarines, whereof we have two sorts, which are very fair and large, viz. the Red, which clings to the Stones, and the Yellow which parts from them. I see no foreign Fruit like these for thriving in all sorts of Lands, and bearing to admiration. The Planters raise them from the Stone, which never fails to produce the same sort the Stone came from; for I never observed much Pains taken in either Inoculating or Pruning their Fruit Trees, as is customary in Europe, notwithstanding they bear in as great plenty. This Fruit has much the same Virtues with the former.
The Apricock-Tree grows to be very large, exceeding most Apple Trees. They are great Bearers, if the Season proves favourable, but it often happens in an early Spring, and when the Trees are full blown, that the North-East Winds which happen in the latter end of February or beginning of March, blast and destroy most part of it’s Fruit. The Flowers are of a whitish Colour, and the Fruit round like a Peach, Yellow within and without, wherein is contain’d brown smooth Stones, less than those of the Peach, having a sweet Kernel. These Trees are generally raised from the Stone, and never fail to produce as good Fruit as the Stone came from. The Fruit is cooling and pleasing to the Stomach, but apt to surfeit; an Oil made of the Kernel is much of the same Nature with the Oil of Sweet Almonds.
The Medlar Tree, I never observed growing in North Carolina, but do not doubt it would thrive as well as any other Tree from Europe.
The European Wall-nuts are very large Trees, and thrive as well here as in any part of the World. There are two of these Trees growing at Bath-Town, which were produced from the Nut, and are exceeding great bearers, and the most beautiful and fragrant, when in their prime, of any Trees of that Sort, I ever saw. These Trees, arrive sooner to Perfection here than in any part of France or Spain, are excellent good Fruit (when ripe) and used in several Disorders of the Body, such as malignant Fevers, &c.
The Cherry Tree. The common red and black Cherry bear exceedingly well from the Stone, but would do much better had they been grafted in the Indian Plum Tree Stocks, because these admit of no Succors or Scions to grow round the Tree, which the Cherry Tree is subject to, and proves very prejudicial to the Trees and Fruit. Cherry Trees are not only liable to this, but several Apple Trees and other Fruit-Trees, which might be soon remedied by a skilful Gardener, or careful Planter, whose Genius tends that way. The Cherries are ripe here a Month sooner than those growing in Virginia. The Fruit of the Black Cherry is good in Epilepsies, Convulsions, Apoplexies, Palsies, and many other Disorders; the red is cooling, quenches Thirst, and good in Fevers, &c.
The large round Black-Plums, thrive well, and become large Trees, if planted in stiff Grounds; but they will not answer if planted in light sandy Ground, where they are subject to be torne up by the Storms and Squals of Wind, that are frequent in this Country. The same misfortune attends both Forest and Fruit Trees, growing in these kinds of Grounds. There are several other kinds of these Trees that bear Fruit of various Colour, Figure, Magnitude, and Taste, but have much the same Virtues with the Cherries, being of a cooling Nature.
The Damson Tree thrives well, and the Planter’s Wives and Daughters make good Dishes of it’s Fruit. The Leaves of these Trees are used with Rhenish-Wine for Defluctions and swellings in the Jaws and Throat.
The Figg-Tree, of which there are two sorts, viz. the greater and the lesser. The large Figg Tree hath many Branches full of Pith within, like Elder, and large Leaves of a dark green Colour, divided into several Divisions. The Fruit comes out of the Branches without any appearance of Flowers, that I could perceive, which is in shape like Pears. This Tree, notwithstanding it grows to be very large, yet beareth the lesser Fruit, which it produceth in abundance, especially if planted in light Lands, for it thrives no where better than on the Sand Banks, and near the Sea-shoar. This Fruit being broken before it is ripe, yieldeth a white glutinous Liquor, but when the Figs are ripe, the Juice of it is like Honey, and as sweet.
The lesser or smaller Fig Tree, is like the former in it’s Leaves and Fruit, but seldom exceeds seven or eight Feet in height, growing more like a Bush than a Tree. The Fruit is ripe in July, very sweet and luscious, and considerably larger than the former. If the Frost proves severe in Winter, the Tops of this Shrub decay and dye. As soon as the Spring approaches, it sprouts and bears vast quantities of Fruit. I could never observe any Flowers it has, for it comes out of the Branches, like the former. The Leaves of these Trees are sharp, opening, and vulnerary; and being applied with the Roots of Marsh-mallows, waste away the King’s Evil and all hard Tumors; the Fruit is likewise used with good success in the same Disorders, the Juice or Milk is Cosmetick, and with Barley-meal and Lard, help the Gout and Piles, &c.
The Filberd-Tree being planted here, in a few Years degenerates into a small Dwarfish Nut, no bigger than the Hazle, yet it’s Fruit is as good as any in Europe, but few are either so industrious or curious to plant these Trees, there being such quantities of spontaneous Fruit.
The Orange-Tree groweth to be as large as a small Pear Tree, having many thorny Boughs or Branches; the Leaves are partly like those of the Bay-tree, these, and their Flowers (which are of a beautiful colour) yield a most fragrant smell. The Christian Inhabitants have planted many of these Trees of late, which thrive tollerably well, especially near the Sea-Coast and light Ground, where they chiefly delight to grow. The Flowers are of great Use in Perfumes; a Water made of them is Pectoral, and helps Fevers, the outward Rind is very hot, dry, and of thin parts; it expells Wind, and comforts a cold Stomach.
The Bead-Tree, so called from it’s Fruit resembling Glass-Beads at a distance. It bears Flowers (much like those of the Olive) which smell sweet. It grows in a round Bunch about four or five Feet high, and is to be met with in many of their Gardens; their Fruit are as large as Peas, and hard when ripe, but easily drill’d, whereof are made Bracelets, and several other Toys. It is ornamental in Gardens, and the Flowers are good for Obstructions in the Head. The Decoction of the Bark with Fumitory and Myrobalans, help Agues. The Leaves and Wood are accounted deadly to Beasts, and the Fruit is very dangerous, if not poysonous.
The Gooseberry-Tree, or Bush, does not thrive here, though I have frequently met with it in their Gardens, but of a dwarfish Kind to what we have in Ireland, and other parts of Europe, but I am perswaded that if it had been planted in their swamps or moist low Grounds, it would thrive and bear well.
The Red and White Currans thrive much better here than the former, and bear tollerably well when planted near a shade, or in moist low Grounds. The Fruit is cooling and grateful to the Stomach.
The Barberry-Tree or Bush, whereof we have two sorts which thrive well, viz. one with, and the other without Stones, wherein consists the difference; the colour and the taste of the Fruit being the same. The Flowers are of a yellow colour, and grow in clusters upon long Stems, after which are produced long slender red Berries, when they are ripe. The Leaves spring forth in March, and the Flowers in August. The Bark and Leaves open Obstructions, and are of singular Use in the Jaundice. The Fruit is very cooling in Fevers, grateful to the Stomach, and causeth a good Appetite.
The Rose-Tree, and it’s Kinds. There are none to be met with growing Spontaneous in this Province. These Trees have been brought from Europe, and other Parts, and are to be met with in most Planters Gardens, especially the common white and red Rose, but few of the other sorts.
The Rosemary is not a Spontaneous Shrub in Carolina, as in France, Spain, and many other parts of Europe, in the same Latitude; but is to be met with in most of their Gardens, and thrives well.
There are many other Fruits in this Country, that I am a Stranger to, which are beneficial and advantagious to the Planters, not only for their own Use, but likewise in feeding their Swine, and makeing them exceeding fat, and as well tasted as any in the World.