The Rose-Wood Tree.


There are two kinds of wood known under the name of rose-wood, the one from the East, which, when fresh brought over, has a very fragrant smell, exceedingly like that of the damask rose, and from the wood is distilled the oil, which is sold under the name of essence of damask rose; we have no account of the tree which affords this, The other rose-wood is the produce of Jamaica, and has very much of the fragrant smell of the eastern kind, but it is not the same: the tree which produces this is fully described by that great naturalist sir Hans Sloane, in his History of the Island of Jamaica. The tree grows twenty feet or more in height, and its trunk is very thick in proportion. The leaves are each composed of three or four pairs of smaller: these stand at a distance from one another on the common stalk; the flowers are little and white, and they grow in clusters, so that at a distance, they look like the bunches of elder flowers (Dalbergia nigra? -Henriette). The fruit is a round berry, often each of the bigness of a tare. The wood of this tree is lighter, paler coloured, and of the looser grain than the eastern rose-wood.

The wood is said to be good in nervous disorders, but we seldom make any use of it.

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