Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

and climate to their growth, that this state might, with more propriety, than any portion of Greece, be called “ MOREA." We have about four thousand plants natives of the state, and we know of no plant, either in Tennessee or Kentucky, not a native of this state. Of the oak family, we have more species, than any other state has, and if any native tree deserves to be an emblem of it, the Oak, deserves that distinction.

The walnut has the next claim on us. · Whether we consider our latitude, our climate, our soil, our secondary formation, or our low elevation above the sea, we readily ascertain that our botany is rich. ' To those of our patrons, who, are thorough botanists, and possess all the large works on botany; any remarks which we can make, in this volume, necessarily brief on all subjects, would be useless. To common readers they would be equally useless. · We shall therefore confine the remarks which follow, to our grape vines, flowering shrubs and plants, and to such as are medicinal or useful in the arts of life. ' : .

.
And we begin with a parasite and lover of all the trees, and
shrubs, which we have noticed, under this head of botany.
That parasite and courtier is the grape vine.
FAMILY.

BOTANICAL NAMES.
Grape vine,

Vitis.
SPECIES.

SPECIES.
Fox grape,

Vitis Vulpina.
Sweet prairie grape,

Vitis Sciotoensis.
Hill grape,

Vitis Accuminatis. .
White grape,

Vitis Alba maxima. ..
Red large grape,

· Vitis Rubia maxima.
Frost grape,

Vitis Gigantea ohioensis. Besides these, there are a great many varieties, of these vines.

THE FOX GRAPE has a large fruit, as big as an ounce ball, it is whitish in color, and produces abundantły. It is cultivated in many placos.

The WHITE GRAPE, is the largest grape and the shortest vine, growing in rich, wet and swampy grounds, in Brown and Cler

[ocr errors]

mont counties. Its fruit is transparent, showing every seed, in the grape, which is nearly an inch in diameter. The vine, attains a height of only ten feet, and half an inch in diameter. It deserves to be extensively cultivated, by Longworth of Cincinnati, who hạs been long worthily employed, in cultivating all sorts of vines, native and naturalized. . · The next valuable native vine, now attempted to be introduced to public notice is the SWEET PRAIRIE GRAPE. Its fruit is red, and when wild, grew extensively along the banks of the Scioto, in our once extensive natural meadows. It never grew more than twenty feet in height, and its vine, was only one inch in diameter. It grew near the plum bushes and covered them, in

the proper season, with its vines loaded with the delicious, sweet : clusters of its fruit. Twenty years since, we have seen at one

view, (near us on the Scioto,) treeless meadows, with whole acres of these vines, loaded with fruit, and covering the low plum bushes. Packed in sugar, these grapes produce excellent raisins, and pressed, their juice makes a most delicious wipe, which we prefer to any imported from Europe. A Mr. Myers near us, raises more and more of them annually, which in appearance and flavor resemble the grapes brought from Lisbon. They are exactly alike, except ours is a native, and th rives best here, of the two.

There is a larger grape than these, found originally on Deer creek, some twenty miles southwest of Circleville. The fruit is larger, but hardly so sweet as our Scioto, sweet prairie grape. The last one, or DEER CREEK GRAPE, is naturalized and thrives well.

THE SCIOTO HILL GRAPE VINE, grows on gentle acclivities, in this region, and attains, twenty or thirty feet in height, and its stem is half an inch in diameter. It grows on sunny sides of hills, among under-brush, and bears fruit well, when not too much shaded by trees. Its fruit is not so large, as either of the forementioned grapes, and it is rather too well stored with seeds. For a tart or jelly, it has no rival in any country, so delicious and pure is it, to the taste. It makes an excellent preserve, and is highly prized by all who know its worth.

: All these vines, we cheerfully, and pressingly and warmly

introduce to our friends, N. Longworth, Esquire, of Cincinnati, and to William Prince and sons, of the Linnæan garden, Long Island. We wish also to introduce it to all other lovers of a vine, of modest merit, genuine and modest worth. Having brought forward these vines, humble, as to pretension, show and parade, which they avoid, like those of the human family, who rely solely on their own intrinsic goodness and worth; we now mention

THE FROST GRAPE, " Whose vine, in diameter, is from twelve to eighteen : inches, and whose topmost boughs often tower more than one hundred feet on high, covering the tops of the largest trees, along the Ohio river, and, all its tributaries. This most stately vine, after climbing to so great a height; after all its lofty pretension, show, effort and parade, produces a fruit that is small, of a sourish-bitter taste, and is of little or no val. ue. It resembles, in all respects, a cold, heartless politician, who flatters, some foolish, weak man in power, to help him up to the highest station, in a state, which the parasite merely shades with his luxuriant foliage, without producing in return for the favor, a single cluster of any value. But we dismiss the whole grape family, with a few remarks.

We have, in Ohio, not only one of the best regions for the grape vine, but the very best grapes, now already, for wine or for raisins, and these are natives of our own soil and climate. Lying in the same parallels with those countries of Europe, where the vine flourishes best, our soil is even superior to theirs, for our own most delicious grapes. Having the fruit, the soil and the climate best adapted to these grapes, all that is now needed, is the disposition to cultivate our own vines! Every family in this state, who own a few acres of land, might raise, annually, all the grapes which they nced. Properly trimmed, and taken care of, the vine never grows too old to bear fruit, and there are vines now in Italy, which are two thousand years old. Such a vine might be laid on a stone wall, on any sunny side

of a hill, in our hilly region, and be trained along, for miles in length. Even one such vine, might in time support a great number of persons, by the sale of its grapes, wine, vinegar,

brandy, fuel, &c. &c. A volume would hardly suffice to tell · all the advantages, which this state might derive, from the cul

tivation of the vine. Our hilly region is, in places, fit for nothing else, yet it is adapted best of all places, to the cultivation

of the vine. i The vines, imported from Switzerland and the Cape of Good

Hope, cultivated at Galilopolis by our old friend, MENAĞER and others; by N. Longworth Esquire of Cincinnati; and, by the people of Vevay, Indiana, thrive very well, and produce abundantly,, but, we prefer our own Ohio grapes, to all others, in the world. The wines of the places which we have named, are hard, and contain so much spirit in them as to make one's head'ache, severely, after drinking a bottle of it at dinner, whereas, our wines, made along the Scioto and Miami rivers, from our own grapes, never produce any disagreeable effects, on those who drink them. This wine is as delicious as champaign or Burgundy. It makes one's lips water to even think of our own delicious wines, made of our own native grapes, without either sugar or spirits of any sort, in them. .

Our cider-wine, is composed of cider, twenty eight gallons, . and grape juice, three or four gallons. In such cases, sweet apples are used to make the cider, and this mixture sells at about fifty cents a gallon. It is used in the upper Miami country, as well as all along the Scioto river.. .?

Besides the grape, we have the currant, in our gardens, whose berries are often used in the fruit, either new, preserved in pots, or made into wine. This plant, thrives no where, better than in this state, and no where produces more or better berries. They make an excellent wine, but, require a great deal of sugar to render the wine palatable.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

:: We mention only a few of them, not for the mere botanist,

but for all other readers. Those who want technical terms, are referred to Nuttall's Botany of the United States.

FAMILY. BOTANICAL NAMỆ. . . . SPECIES.
Red bud.

Cercis. ... Canadensis.. This plant is between a shrub and a tree, and it is every where dispersed through the woods, along the Ohio river, and all its tributaries. Whoever sees, but even once, the red-bud, in early spring, will never lose the impression, made on his mind, through the eye. The tree is then, one surface of beautiful, red blossoms. It is redder than the peach blossom, which it much resembles, in aspect. Its whole top appears to be one mass of red blossoms, forming a delightful contrast, with the dall, brown woods around it.

To any lover of nature, who passes along the Ohio river, in a steamer, the red-bud, offers a rich treat, in early spring. Instantly, almost, after this tree shows its red blossoms, the family of dogwood, cornus florida, of two varieties, one with white and the other with pale-yellow blossoms, opens its flowers and adds much to the beautiful aspect of the woods. These two trees or shrubs, as we please to call them, are nearly of the same size. One species of dog-wood has a white and the other a pale-yellow flower, and they both expand their large blossoms, about the same time. Thus, we have red, white and yellow flowers, in every direction in the woods, at the same time. At a distance, each tree resembles in aspect, so many large bunches of flowers every where dispersed in the woods. • In autumn, the red-bud, is loaded with its pods, filled with

seeds. The pods, siliquae, are about as large as the pods of : a small bean, whereas, the corpus, is loaded with red berries,

rivalling in its aspect, the red-bud, in spring. Thus each tree, takes its turn, in wearing its beautiful scarlet livery. I

Several birds live on the berries of the cornus florida in winter, and man uses the bark of its roots, as a medicine. It is denominated the "yellow bark," and is as valuable, as the quin- ;

« ZurückWeiter »