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Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/266

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The Sweet Gum.

Liquidambar styraciflua, Wild. Sp. Pl. vol. iv. p. 476. Pursh, Fl. Amer. vol. ii. p. 635. Mich. Arbr. Forest. de l'Amer. Sept. vol. iii. p. 194, Pl. iv.—Monœcia Polyandria, Linn. Amentaceæ, Juss.

This species, which is the only one that grows in the United States, is distinguished by its palmate leaves, the lobes of which are toothed and acuminate, the axils of the nerves downy. In large individuals, the bark is deeply cracked. The wood is very hard and fine grained, but is now little used, although formerly furniture of various kinds was made of it. When the bark is removed, a resinous substance exudes, which has an agreeable smell, but is only obtained in very small quantity.