Gardeners Dictionary: Haematoxylon
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.
HÆMATOXYLUM. Lin. Gen. Plant. 417. Bloodwood, Logwood, or Campechy wood.
The Characters are,
The flower hath a permanent empalement, which is cut into five oval segments. It hath five oval petals which are equal, and larger than the empalement, and ten awl-shaped stamine, which are longer than the petals, terminated by small summits. In the center is situated an oblong oval germen, supporting a single stule, crowned by a thick indented stigma. The germen afterward becomes a compressed obtuse capsule, with one cell, opening with two valves, containing two or three oblong kidney-shaped seeds.
This genus of plants is ranged in the first section of Linnæus's tenth class, intitled Decandria Monogynia, which includes those plants whose flowers have ten stamina and one style.
We have but one SPECIES of this genus, viz.
HÆMATOXYLUM. (Campechianum), Hort. Cliff. 161. Logwood, Lignum campechianum, species quedam. Sloan. Cat. Jam. 213. Campeachy Wood.
This tree grows naturally in the Bay of Campeachy, at Honduras, and other parts of the Spanish West-Indies, where it rises from sixteen to twenty-four feet high. The stems are generally crooked, and very deformed, and are seldom thicker than a man's thigh. The branches come out on every side; they are crooked, irregular, and armed with strong thorns, garnished with winged leaves, composed of three or four pair of lobes, which are obtuse, and indented at the top. The flowers come out in a racemus from the wings of the leaves, standing erect; they are of a pale yellowidh colour, with a purple empalement, and are succeeded by flat oblong pods, each containing two or three kidney-shaped seeds.
The wood of this tree is brought to Europe, where it is used fro dyeing purples, and for the finest blacks, to is a valuable commodity; but the Spaniards, who claim a right to the possession of those places where it naturally grows, are for excluding all other countries from cuting of the wood, which has occasioned many disputes with their neighbours, but particularly with the English; this it is to be hoped will soon be over, as there are some of the planters in Jamaica, and the other islands in America, belongig to the crown of Great-Britain, who have propagated this tree in so great plenty, as to have hopes of supplying the demand for this wood in Britain in a very few years; for the trees grow so fast there, as to be fit for use in ten or twelve years from seed; and as they produce great plenty of seeds in the British colonies, to those seeds scattering about, the plants come up in all the neighbouring lands, therefore will soon be like an indigenous plant of the country.
Some of the panters in Jamaica have inclosed their estates with hedges formed of these trees, which are very strong and durable; but where the hedges are cut, it will greatly retard the growth of the trees, so that those who propose to make an afvantage by the propagation of the wood, should sow the seeds upon swampy lands, which may be unfit for growing of sugar, and permit all their branches to remain, which will be of great use in augmenting the bulk of their stems; and if, while the plants are young, they are kept clean from weeds, &c. it will be of great advantage in promoting of their growth. I have been credibly informed by some of the planters in Jamaica, that they have had some plants of this sort upward of ten feet high in three years, so that it requires but few years to raise a supply of this wood, sufficient to answer all the demands for it.
This plant is preserved in some curious gardens in England, for the sake of variety. The seeds are frequently brought from America, which, if fresh, readily grow when sown upon a good hot-bed, they will grow to be upward of a foot high the same year, and while the plants are young, they are generally well furnished with leaves; but afterward they make but little progress, and are frequently but thinly clothed with leaves. These plants are very tender, so should be constantly kept in the bark-stove, where, if they are duly watered, and the stove kept in a good degree of heat, the plants may be preserved very well. There are some of these plants now in England, which are upward of six feet high, and as thriving as those in their native soil.