No. 72. Pinckneya pubens.
Names. Pinckney Bark.
Fr. Quinquina Pinckney.
Vulgar. Bitter Bark, Georgia Bark, Florida Bark, Fever-tree.
Classif. Nat. Order of Rubiacea. Pentandria monog. L.
Genus PINCKNEYA. Calyx superior five parted unequal colored, one or two segments, larger bracteiform. Corolla tubular, border five cleft recurved. Stamens five exserted, inserted at the base of the tube. One style; capsule rounded bivalve bilocular, dissepiment double; seeds winged.
Sp. Pinckneya pubens. Leaves opposite petiolate, oval, acute at both ends, subtomentose beneath; flowers terminal cymose.
Description. Large shrub, with many stems, from fifteen to twenty-five feet high, branches opposite tomentose. Leaves opposite, with stipules and petioles, oval, four or five inches long, acute at both ends, petioles and lower surface very pubescent, or nearly tomentose, margin entire; flowers terminal, cymose, rather large, one or two inches long; calyx pubescent, coloured of yellow and red, four segments, smaller, angular, acute, one or two larger, obovate, obtuse, reticulate with red; corolla white, spotted with red; five long stamens, filaments filiform, erect, white, anthers brown; pistil yellow; capsule round, compressed, thin, cartilaginous; seeds round, flat, and winged.
History. Discovered by Bartram, in Georgia and Florida, called by him Mussenda bracteata. Michaux established the genus, dedicated to General Pinckney, a botanist, philosopher and statesman; it is intermediate between Cinchona and Mussenda. Only one species is known, found from Carolina to Louisiana, along the sea coast, in cool, shady groves and swamps, on the banks of rivers, &c. It blossoms in June and July, and is very ornamental. The genus Cinchona, producing the Peruvian bark, extends no further north than the West Indies; this shrub appears to be the representative and substitute of it on the north continent, by its near organization and qualities.
Properties. Nearly similar to those of the Peruvian barks; the inner bark is bitter, and contains Cinchona; this is the officinal part. It has long been used in Georgia and Florida, in intermittent fevers with success, and found nearly equal to the officinal bark. This property has been confirmed by Barton and Law. Six cases out of seven are said to have been cured. The powder, infusion, and decoction are equally available. Doses from twenty to sixty grains of the powder; the best vehicle must be mild wine, as for common bark. We have no account of any other use being attempted; but there is little doubt that it will be found a general tonic, antiseptic, and stimulant, like the Pale Bark or Cinchona lancifolia, to which it is nearest alike, and it may be safely tried in fevers, rheumatism, gangrene, and all the diseases where Pale Bark is employed or indicated.
Medical Flora, or Manual of the Medical Botany of the United States of North America, Vol. 2, 1830, was written by C. S. Rafinesque.