Gardeners Dictionary: Frangula
containing The Best and Newest Methods of Cultivating and Improving The Kitchen, Fruit, Flower Garden, and Nursery; As also for Performing the Practical Parts of Agriculture: Including The Management of Vineyards, With the Methods of Making and Preserving Wine, According to the present Practice of The most skilful Vignerons in the several Wine Countries in Europe.
Together with Directions for propagating and improving, From real Practice and Experience, All sorts of Timber Trees.
The Eight Edition,
Revised and Altered according to the latest System of Botany; and Embellished with several Copper-Plates, which were not in some former Editions.
By Philip Miller, F. R. S.
Gardener tothe Worshipdul Company of Apothecaries, at their Botanic Garden in Chelsea, and Member of the Botanic Academy at Florence.
Printed for the Author;
M. DCC. LXVIII.
FRANGULA. Tourn. Inst. R. H. 612. tab. 383. Rhamnus. Lin. Gen. Plant. 235. [is so called of frangendo, breaking, because of the brittleness of its wood.] Berry-bearing Alder.
The characters are,
The empalement of the flower is of one leaf, cut at the top into five segments, which are erect. The flower bath one petal, which is cut into five acute segments; these are places between the segments of the empalement, into which they are inserted, but are shorter, and stand erect. It hath five stamina, which are the length of the petal, terminated by obtuse summits; in the center is situated a globular germen, supporting a slender stule, crowned by an obtuse stigma. The germen afterward becomes a round berry, inclosing two plain roundish seeds.
This genus of plants is ranged in the second section of Tournefort's twenty-first class, which includes the trees and shrubs with a Rose flower, whose pointal turns to a berry. Dr. Linnæus has joined this genus with the Paliurus, Alaternus, and Ziziphus, to the Rhamnus, making them only species of one genus; but according to his own system, they should be separated to a great distance from Rhamnus, and be placed in his twenty-second class, because it hath male and female flowers on different plants; whereas it is placed in the first section of his fifth class, from the flower having five stamina and but one style.
The Species are,
1. FRANGULA (Alnus) foliis ovato-lanceolatis glabris. Frangula with oval, spear-shaped, smooth leaves. Frangula, sive alnus, nigra baccifera. Park. Theat. Black Berry-bearing Alder.
2. FRANGULA (Latifolia) foliis lanceolatis rugosis. Frangula with rough spear-shaped leaves. Frangula rugosiore & ampliore folio. Tourn. Berry-bearing Alder with a larger and rougher leaf.
3. FRANGULA (Rotundifolia) foliis ovatis nervosis. Frangula with oval veined leaves. Frangula montana pumila saxatilsi, folio subrotundo. Tourn. Low mountain, rocky, berry-bearing Alder, with a round leaf.
4. FRANGULA (Americana) foliis oblongo-ovatis nervosis, grlabris. Frangula with oblong, oval, smooth veined leaves. Frangula Americana foliis glabris. Dale. American Berry-bearing Alder with smooth leaves.
The first sort grows naturally in the woods in many parts of England, so is seldom planted in gardens; this rises with a woody stem to the height of ten or twelve feet, sending out many irregular branches, which are covered with a dark bark, and garnished with oval spear-shaped leaves, about two inces long, and one inch broad, having several transverse veins from the midrib to the sides, and stand upon short foot-stalks. The flowera are produced in clusters at the end of the former year's shoots, and also upon the first and second joints of the same year's shoot, each standing upon a short separate foot-stalk, on every side the branches; these are very small, of an herbaceous colour, and do not expand; they are succeeded by small round berried, which turn first red, but afterward black when ripe. The flowers appear in June, and the berries ripen in September; this stands in the Dispensary as a medicinal plant, but is seldom used.
The second sort hath larger rough leaves than the first. It grows naturally on the Alps and other mountainous parts of Europe, and is preserved in some gardens for the sake of variety.
The third sort is of humble growth, seldom rising above two feet high; this grows on the Pyrenean Mountains, and is seldom preserved unless in botanic gardens for variety; it may be increased by laying fown the branches, but must have a strong foil.
The fourth sort grows naturally in North America, from whence I received the seeds; this is pretty like the first sort, but the leaves are longer and broader; they are smooth, of a lucid green, and have many veins. The flowers are very like those of the first sirt. These shrubs are easily propagated by seeds, which should be sown as soon as they are ripe, and then the plants will come up the spring following; but if they are kept out of the ground till spring, the plants will not come up till the year after. When the plants come up, they must be kept clean from weeds till autumn, then they may be taken up and planted in a nursery in rows, two feet asunder, and at one foot distance in the rows; in this nursery they may remain two years, and may then be planted where they are to remain; they may also be propapated by layers and cuttings, but the seedling plants are best.
The fruit of the first sort is often brought into the markets of Lonfon, and sold for Buckthorn berries; of which cheat, all such as make syrup of Buckthorn should be particularly careful; they may be easily distinguished by breaking the berries and observing how many seeds are contained in each, the berries of this tree having but two, and those of Buckthorn generally four seeds in each berry, and the juice of the latter dies paper of a green colour.