The Ben-Nut-tree.

Botanical name: 

Balanus myrepsica.

THIS is an Arabian tree, not very large, but exceedingly singular in the nature of its leaves. They are composed of a great number of small roundish parts, growing at the extremities of strong branched foot-stalks. The leaves fall first, and these foot-stalks long after. When the leaves are fallen, and the stalks remain, the tree makes a very singular appearance. The fruit is a pod, long, but slender, and containing two seeds: these are what we call the ben-nuts. They are of an oblong figure, and irregularly rigid; the shell is hard, but the kernel fat, soft, and oily, and of a bitter taste.

The kernel operates by vomit and stool violently, and is seldom used. It affords an oil which has neither smell nor taste, and which will keep a long time without growing rancid.

The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.