Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/444

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vary glands first, extends from them through the whole organism. When the indulgence passes beyond the bounds of "moderation," disorders set in, which first affect the teeth; and even young Annamites are not infrequently found toothless in consequence of excess. Medical properties are claimed for the areca by the Chinese doctors. It is said to help digestion, to drive away the deleterious miasms that ferment in the body, to be an efficient vermifuge, to prevent flatulence, to heal ulcers, and to be a prophylactic against malarial influences. The people of marshy regions use it instead of tea, on account of its properties as a febrifuge. When taken in strong doses, it produces intoxication. A Chinese poet. Sou Tong, who lived in the eleventh century, celebrates this property in his verses, but adds that when one is drunken with wine he has only to chew areca to be relieved of his heaviness and brightened up. The nut has the other properties of assuaging hunger, of being an excellent eupeptic, of drying up suppurations, for which the Annamite doctors use it powdered, and above all as a remedy for worms, particularly the tapeworms; and it has other uses in Indo-Chinese medicine.


Trees in Tennessee.—But few States in North America can show a greater variety of valuable timber trees than Tennessee. Almost every tree to be found in the United States grows in that Commonwealth. The fact is ascribed by Colonel J. W. Killibrew, in a paper he read before the American Forestry Association, partly to the great diversity of soils, partly to the great differences in elevation and consequently of climate, and partly to the abundant rainfall. Colonel Killibrew has collected a hundred and thirty kinds of wood, eight or ten of which are, however, exotics. Among the indigenous trees are four varieties of ash, three of birch, two of beech, two of magnolia, five of elm, two of fir, four of gum, eight of hickory, four of locust, three of mulberry, three of maple, four of poplar, six of pine, three of sycamore, fourteen of oak, three of willow, and two of walnut, besides many single valuable kinds, such as red cedar, chestnut, cypress, Cottonwood, pecan, linden, spruce, dogwood, tiswood, etc. Nearly all the western counties of the State were originally covered with heavy forests, in which many species are nearly evenly distributed. The tulip tree, the white oak, red oak, hickory, gum, black walnut, wild cherry, basswood, ash, elm, and beech are interspersed with one another, while cypress abounds in the swamps. In Middle Tennessee, the supply of good timber is very scarce in the richer agricultural districts; but in a few counties in the southwestern part of this district is a large area of virgin forest. The most valuable timber trees in East Tennessee are the tulip, pine, chestnut, and white oak. The timbered tracts throughout the State consist largely of woodlands attached to farms. In some parts of East Tennessee there are, according to Mr. George H. Sudworth, dendrologist, hundreds and in other parts thousands of acres of standing white pine which would yield very large amounts of timber. The bulk of it lies in the northern half of East Tennessee, but it extends in a more or less scattered growth clear down to the southeastern corner of the State. Much of it is old, and in some localities it has ceased to grow. The bulk of this pine occurs alike in the narrow valleys and on the long, steep, sharp mountainlike ridges. The destruction of the forests is growing with alarming rapidity. The State, however, still has a large supply of timber; and in the future forestry of East Tennessee the regeneration of the white pine must be an important feature. Fortunately, the conditions are such as to make it comparatively easy.


North American Grasshoppers.—The common short-horned grasshoppers oae sees every summer day—constituting a group which is described as forming the prevailing type of orthopteran life throughout North America—is the subject of an elaborate essay by S. H. Scudder which is printed in the papers of the United States National Museum (Revision of the Orthopteran Group Melanopli (Acrididæ)). These active insects, whose gymnastic feats cheer and enliven our summer walks through fragrant meadows, are of considerable economical importance, as may be realized when we recollect the destruction inflicted several years ago by the Rocky Mountain locusts, and the careful investigations and elaborate reports of which they were the subject. This voracious acrid-