Liriodendron Tulipifera. Tulip-Tree. Poplar.
Poplar-tree; White Poplar; Yellow Poplar; White-wood; American Poplar. American Tulip-tree.
Tulip-bearing Poplar. The Old-wife's shirt. Sometimes in New-England, Cypress-tree Lyre tree of America. Len-nik-bi, of the Delaware, and Tse-u, or Tze-u [A Tseu is the Chinese name for Musa Paradisiaca, or Plantain tree. This is one of the coincidences in language, which is worthy the attention of the natural historian of America. There are many vestiges of the languages of the Chinese and Tartars, among the tribes of North American Indians. See Barton's "New Views," and Rogers's Inaug. Diss. ] of the Cheerake Indians.
Deutch. Der Tulpinbaum.
Swed. Kanoeträd; Knuträd. Knutrae. Kalm.
French. Le Tulipier; L'arbre aux tulipes. Bois jaune.
German. Virginisher Tulpenbaum (Willd.)
Ein prächtiger baum, mit schönen tulpenartigen blumen, und schöenem laube; in Nordamerika; wird auch seit langer zeit in Europäischen gärten gezogen; das holtz wird in Amerika zu allerley Schreinerarbeiten benutzt, wiewohl es den fehler hat, dass es sich bey trocknem wetter stark zusammenzieht, und bey feuchtem wetter wieder stark ausdehnt, und in fällen leicht ritzen bekommt; die wilden hohlen die stamme aus, und brauchen selbige zu ihren Kanoes.
L. Sp. Plant. 755.
Amoen. academ. 4. p. 517.
Cold Noveb. 130.
Hort. Cliff. 223.
Hort. Ups. 154.
Gron. Virg. 60. ed. n. 83.
Roy. Lugdb. 494.
Kalm. it. 2. p. 322.
Trew. ehr. t. 10.
Buttr. cun. 229.
Du Roi. harbk. 1. p.
374. Wangenh. Amer. 32. 1. 13. f. 32.
Willd. arb. 173.
Willd. Sp. Plant, p. 1254.
Mill. Dict. Herm. Lugdb. 612. t. 613.
Pluk. Aim. 379. t. 117 f. 15. et t. 248. f. 7.
Catesb. Car. 1. p. 48. t. 48.
Raj. Hist. 1798.
Du Ham. arb. tom. 2. t. 102
Pluk. Aim. 379. t. 68. f. 3.
Houttuyn. Lin. Pfl. Syst. 2. p. 70.
Bot Mag. 275.
Schmidt arb. 1. p 48.
Mich. Fl. Boreal. Am. vol. 1. p. 326.
Mich. f. Arbres Forest, vol. 3. p. 202.
Pursh, Flor. Am Sep. vol. 2. p. 382.
Muhl. Cat. Plant. Am. Sep. p. 53.
Barton's Collections, &c. part 1, p. 14, 47
Coxe's Disp. ed. 3d p. 400.
Thatcher's Disp. ed. 2. p. 257.
Shoepf. Mat. Med. Am. p. 90
Art. Hort. Kew. ed. 2d vol. 3. p. 329.
Barton's Prodr. Fl. Ph. p. 59.
Nuttall, Gen. Am. Plants.
Gen. Plant. ed. Schreb. n. 941.
Cal. 3-phyllus. Pet. 9. Samara imbricatae in strobilum. Caps. 1-2-spermx, non dehiscentes.
Nat. Syst. Juss. Magnoliae. Classis XDX Ordo XV.
Liriodendron, L. * Tulipier. Calix 3-phyllus corollseformis deciduus, bractea 2-phylla decidua cinctus Petala 6 in campanam conniventia. Antherae numerosae longx, filamentis utrinque adnatae. Germina numerosa, in conum digesta; stigmata totidem globosa, styhs nulhs. Capsulse totidem, basi tumidae 1-2-spermx non dehiscentes, apice in squamam planam lanceolatam attenuatx, supra axim subulatum dense imbricate decidux. Arbores ,- folia magna, in L. Tulipifera 3-loba, lobo medio truncato; stipulae latiores, tardius deciding; flores solitarii terminates, tulipaeformes.
Juss. Gen. Plant. p. 281. ed. 1789.
Cal. Perianth inferior, of three oblong, obtuse, concave, spreading, equal petal-like, deciduous leaves. Cor. Bell-shaped, regular, of six oblong, obtuse, equal petals, concave at the base. Stam. Filaments numerous, inserted into a conical receptacle, shorter than the corolla, linear, erect, of two cells, bursting longitudinally at the outer side. Pist. Germens numerousj disposed in the form of a cone; styles none; stigmas all crowded together obtuse. Peric. Cases numerous, imbricated in the form of a cone; lanceolate compressed, leaf-like, triangular and tumid at the base, each of one cell, not bursting. Seeds two, ovate. Ess. Cha. Calix of three leaves. Petals six. Anthers bursting outwardly. Seed cases lanceolate, imbricated in the form of a cone.
Nat. Ord. Lin. Coadunatae.
Classis Polyandria. Ordo Polygynia. Lin. Syst.
Liriodendron tulipifera, foliis trilobis, lobo medio truncato. Mich. f.
L. tulipifera, foliis abscisso-truncatis 4-lobatis, calice triphyllo. Willd. Sp. Pl. 2 p. 1254.
α acutiloba, lobis acutis acuminatisque. Mich. fl. Amer. 1. p. 326.
β obtusiloba, lobis, rotundato obtusissimis. Mich l. c.
Habitat, α. a Canada ad Virginiam et a Carolina ad Floridam
β in Pennsylvania. Mich. Fl. Am.
α Fertile grounds, Canada to Florida. Pursh,
β in Pennsylvania. Pursh.
Tulipifera Liriodendron. Mill. Dict.
Tulipifera. arbor Virginiana. Herm. Lugdb.
Tulipifera Virginiana, tripartito aceris folio: media lacinia velut abscissa. Pluk, &c .
β Tulipifera Carohniana, foliis productioribus magis angulosis. Pluk. Aim.
Arbor Tulipifera Virginiana. Raj. Catesb. et Clayton.
Pharm. Liriodendri Radix, Cortex, Semina.
Qual. Rad. flavescens, acriuscula, fragilis.
Vis. Rad. febrifuga; Cort. anthelmintica; Sem. aperientia.
Usus: Cort. radicis spiritu vini infusus: Febres intermittentes, Rheumatismus, Arthritis. Folia contusa indigent fronti Cephalalgia medendi causa imponunt — Unguentum e gemmis ad Inflammationem et Gangranam. Shoepf. Mat. Med.
Arbor exaltata magnifica, nonnunquam altitudine 100 pedales, et in circulo 30; plurimum vix ultra 70 seu 80 pedales proceritate. Ramis irregulariter contortis. Folia magna in lobis lateralis dissects, basi velut cordata,et apice truncata. Petiolalongitudine digiti. Flores numerosissimac, magnae, formosx, sed odori omnino destitutae. Calix duplex; sistens involucri proprii, et perianthemi. Involucrum foliolarum duarum: foliola triangulata et decidua. Perianthemum triphyllum, petaloideum, oblongum, concavum et deciduum. Coi-olla 6-9 petala, campanulata; petalis oblongis, obtusis, spathulatis, flavo, rubro, et viride variegatis. Staminse numerosse longae; filamentis linearis, corolla brevibus; anthers linearae filamentis adnata:. Pistilla numerosa quasi strobili dispositis; stylus nullus; stigma globosa. Seminis numerosis in squama lanceolata terminatis, et omnis in conum imbricatis. Habitat a Canada ad Louisianam usque, et ultra. Florens et Maio et Junic
Barton's Fl. Phil. MS.
This magnificent tree [This tree "was cultivated by Bishop Compton, at Fulham, in 1668, and is now not unfrequent in England, though seldom flowering till an advanced age. We have however known it blossom when about 16 years old. The first which produced blossoms in this country, is said to have been at the Earl of Peterborough's, at Parson's Green, Fulham. There were several, early celebrated for their size and beautv, at Waltham Abbey, one of which remained lately, and perhaps still flourishes." Ency.] may be considered not only as the pride and ornament of the American forest, but as the most superb vegetable of the temperate zones. It is equally remarkable for its great height, its beautiful foliage, its superb flowers, and its handsome wood. The latter is used for an infinite variety of ceconomical purposes.
The generic name is composed of two Greek words, λιριον, or λοιριον, a lily, and δενδρον, a tree, from the resemblance of the flowers to a lily or tulip.
In the Atlantic states, at some distance from the sea, the Tuliptree not unfrequently attains the height of 70, 80, and 100 feet, and not uncommonly from 18 inches to three feet in diameter. According to Catesby, it sometimes measures 30 feet in circumference. Michaux the elder, measured one tulip tree, which at five feet from the earth, was twenty-two feet six inches in circumference, and from 120 to 140 feet high. This account has since been corroborated by his son, to whose history of the poplar in his splendid work on our forest trees, I am much indebted in this article. It is, confessedly, the largest and thickest tree of North America with deciduous leaves, except the Platanus occidentalis, or Planetree. It rises with a straight or upright trunk, in general, to the height of more than 40 feet. The branches are not very numerous. Those of one summer's growth are of a shining blue colour, and are pithy; those two seasons old, have a smooth brown bark. When broken, they emit a strong but rather agreeable odour. The bark of the young trees is tolerably smooth, but in old ones it is broken into deep furrows or fissures.
When the leaves have attained their full growth in the spring, they are generally from six to eight inches in length; frequently, however, only from four to five long, and as many broad. They are supported by footstalks of a finger's length, and are disposed alternately on the stems. They are a little fleshy, of a glossy dark yellowish-green, and singularly formed, being somewhat heartshaped at their base, horizontally truncated at the top, and notched in the middle down to the middle rib. They are divided into three lobes, those of the sides being rounded off or pointed. This remarkable shape of the leaves, to which there is no exact resemblance in any other vegetable, will always distinguish the tree from all others, at first sight. Their upper surface is of a darker colour than the lower, and smooth; underneath, the veins are prominent and conspicuous. The leaves fall early in autumn. The buds of the ensuing year's shoots begin soon after to dilate, and they increase so rapidly, that by the end of December they are an inch long and half an inch broad.
The young leaves are enfolded in elliptical, obtuse, deciduous stipules.
The flowers are singularly beautiful, being variegated with yellow, orange, and lake-green; and are fully expanded, in common seasons, about the 20th of May. They are exceedingly numerous on a single tree, and are supported by peduncles which grow from the extremities of the branches. Catesby compares them to the flowers of the Fritillaria imperialis, or Crown imperial: but they have a more palpable resemblance to those of the tulip. This likenessy indeed, has given rise to the specific name. Though destitute of odour, their extreme beauty, together with the singular foliage, renders them, like the Small Magnolia, general favourites; and like them, they are brought in profusion to our markets, and vended in bunches at a cent or two cents each, for decorating our chimney hearths, &c. They are very generally purchased, by all sorts of people, for this purpose.
The calix is two-fold; consisting of a proper involucrum of two leaflets, which are triangular, plane and deciduous; and a triphyllous perianth, the leaves of which open and fall back as the flower expands; they are petal form, oblong, concave, and deciduous.
The corolla is bell-shaped, composed of six, seven, and sometimes more, oblong, obtuse, spathulated petals, spotted towards the top with green, and towards the claws with red, orange and yellow. They are open and variegated with different delicate tints, of which yellow predominates. Near the attachment of the petals to the receptacle, is the nectary, and the flowers secrete a vast quantity of honey. The bees are observed to resort to them in great numbers. It is calculated that the flowers of a single tree, may produce several gallons of excellent honey.
The stamens are numerous; the filaments are linear, shorter than the corolla, and inserted into the receptacle. The anthers are linear, and connected longitudinally, to the sides of the filaments.
The pistils are numerous; the germs are disposed in the form of a cone, destitute of a style, and the stigmas globose.
The fruit is formed of numerous long, narrow, thin scales, attached to a common axis, and imbricated in the form of a cone, varying from two to three inches in length, and pointed at the summit. When the cones are well filled, each one is composed of sixty or seventy seeds, only one-third part of which are capable of vegetation, and in certain seasons, not more than seven or eight. [Mich. f. Arbres Forest.]
It is observed also, that in the course of the first ten years after the tulip-tree has begun to produce fruit, almost the whole of the seeds are infertile; and that the largest trees with the highest branches are the best and most prolific.
There are two varieties of this tree as mentioned by Purshj one having leaves with acute lobes, and the other having the lobes obtuse. One of these varieties is figured by Plukenet, in his Phytographia, t. 68. f. 3, and it differs much from the common kind, having four slight lobes instead of two great ones at each side of the leaf. It is remarked that in the gardens in England, the leaves occasionally have divided side lobes. There are, however, differences in the colour and quality of the wood; but whether either variety in the leaves, is constantly accompanied by one of these different kinds of wood, I am not prepared to say. Perhaps not. If I were disposed to venture an opinion on the subject, it would be, that the varieties in the leaves and in the colour and quality of the wood, are wholly independent of each other.
The Liriodendron Tulipifera in many parts of the United States, and particularly where it is the most abundant, is known by the name of Poplar. In New- York and New- Jersey, it is called White-wood and Canoe-wood. It is known by another and more appropriate name, though not so generally received — that of Tulip-tree, from the resemblance of its flowers to the tulip, when less expanded than represented in the plate. By this name, Mr. Michaux informs us, the tree is recognised every where in Europe where it has been introduced; and it were much to be wished, that the common but faulty name of Poplar could be disused, for the current adoption of one founded on so manifest a resemblance. The tree has, moreover, no characters in common with the poplars; consequently this name is calculated to create confusion. The French inhabitants of Louisiana and Canada, give it the name of Yellow-wood. It is also recognized in some parts of Pennsylvania by this appellation.
It is said that the milk of cows which have eaten of the buds, acquires a bitter and disagreeable taste.
This tree is the favourite haunt of the Oriolus Baltimore, or Baltimore oriole. It is found, according to Catesby, in almost every part of the northern continent of America, from the cape of Florida to New-England. To the northward of latitude 42 it is rather rare, and of inconsiderable stature. According to Michaux f. the lower extremity and north of Lake Champlain, which corresponds to the 45th degree of north latitude on one part, and the river Connecticut, which runs parallel to the 72d of longitude, on the other, may be considered as the natural limits of the Tulip-tree in this direction; and he informs us that it is not frequently met with in the forests, neither does it acquire a very great height, before leaving the river Hudson, which runs nearly two degrees more to the east, and below the 43d of latitude. In Connecticut and Vermont the cold seems, in some degree, to check its growth. In the eastern states, in the upper parts of Carolina and Georgia, but particularly in Kentucky, this tree is most abundant. It is comparatively much more rare in the lower and maritime parts of the two Carolinas and of Georgia, as well as in the two Floridas and the lower part of Louisiana. It grows on fertile ground. [The following is the account given of the method of raising the Tulip-tree in England:— "Plants of this kind may be raised by sowing the seeds, imported annually from America by the seed-dealers, in spring, either in the full ground, in beds of rich light earth, in a warm situation, placing the seed lengthwise, and covering it nearly an inch deep; or in pots or boxes, plunging them in a gentle hotbed When the young plants appear, they should be well screened from the sun, and have free air.
They usually come up the same season; when in the former method, water should be given them in dry weather; and if the bed be covered over with hoops, to have occasional shade from the mid-day sun in scorching weather, it will be beneficial to the germination of the seeds and growth of the young plants; continuing the waterings with care occasionally during the summer; and in winter, sheltering them with mats in frosty weather to preserve their tops, which are sometimes a little tender the first year, and apt to suffer in this way.
"When the plants are two years old, they should be set out in spring in nursery rows, two feet distant, and a foot asunder in the rows; to remain a few years, till from three to six or eight feet high, when they may be planted where they are to remain.
"But they are raised best in the open ground, where the beds are prepared of good mellow, rich earth, blended with old rotten cow-dung, sifting over the seeds fine turf-mould, mixed with fine sea or pitsand. And they succeed best afterwards in a light soil, not too dry. They should have their roots and branches as little pruned as possible.
"This is a plant that grows so large as to become a tree of the first magnitude in its native situation; and it is generally known by the title of Poplar; of late there have been great numbers raised from seeds in this country, so that they are become common in the nurseries, and there are many of the trees in different parts which annually produce flowers.
"At Allerton Hall, the seat of Wm. Roscoe, Esq. there is a very large tree of this kind, which flowers well.
"These trees are highly ornamental in large plantations, among others of similar growth; and have a fine effect when planted out singly in large openings, kept in short grass, in pleasure grounds, or other situations, when they flower in any full manner"]
It is generally found mixed with other trees, as the different species of Juglans, the common hickory-nut, black-walnut, and butter-nut trees; the Gymnocladus Canadensis, or Kentucky coffeetree; the Cerasus Virginiana, or Virginian cherry tree, &c. Yet sometimes it forms extensive woods by itself, as was observed by Michaux the elder, in travelling in Kentucky, on his route to Louisville.
We are indebted to Dr. Rogers, for the chemical analysis of the Tulip-tree, which he has given in his excellent Inaugural Dissertation on this tree. [Un. Penn. 1802.] He informs us, that the distilled water produced from the bark, though not altogether insipid, possessed, only faintly, the peculiar flavour of the bark; that it was somewhat acid in the fauces; and that its odour was exceedingly agreeable, being considerably impregnated with the grateful aroma of the vegetable. It neither precipitated iron from its solutions, nor affected in the slightest manner, the blue colour of vegetable substances. Upon the application of a higher degree of heat to this distilled water, the liquor which came over, had an acid and very astringent taste. It changed blue vegetable substances red, and precipitated iron black; consequently the result was, an essential oil, with aroma in great abundance; and an acrid astringent acid.
Two pints of the cold watery infusion of the bark, afforded, by evaporation, three drachms of a dark-coloured gummi-resinous extract. During the early part of the evaporation, two scruples of pure fecula were deposited. On submitting three scruples of the extract to the action of alcohol, nearly one scruple was dissolved; and the solution was somewhat bitter. An infusion of a pound of the coarse bark in a gallon of rain water was made, and submitted to chemical operations, for the detail of which the reader is referred to Dr. Rogers's Dissertation. Two pints of this infusion afforded by evaporation, three drachms of a dark-coloured gummi-resinous extract. During the early part of the evaporation, three scruples of pure fecula were deposited. Upon subjecting three scruples of the extract to the action of alcohol, filtering, §c. the following result took place:
Fecula, about 4 parts in 2O Gum 10 Gum mucous 5 19/20 Resin 1/20.
A pound of the coarse powder of the bark was next infused in half a gallon of boiling water. At the end of twelve hours, this infusion was decanted, and an equal quantity of boiling water again affused on the bark. This was repeated four times. The first infusion was bitter, aromatic, and astringent. The second less bitter and aromatic; its astringency scarcely to be detected. The third was not in the least astringent, nor did it possess any perceptible bitterness. In the last affusion, the bark gave out neither bitterness nor astringency. A portion of the last-mentioned liquor was evaporated. It deposited a little feculent saccharine matter, which was nearly insoluble in cold water, but readily diffusable in hot. Redissolved, and tested by the oxalic acid, it afforded a white precipitate, denoting the existence of lime. The alcohol of galls detected in it, the presence of iron, in a very small quantity. The several infusions were mixed and evaporated to the consistence of a firm extract, weighing three ounces and an half. Upon one ounce of this was poured six ounces of pure alcohol, which took up two drachms. A gum blended with fecula and sugar was left behind. The spirituous solution contained about eighteen grains of resin, and five scruples of gum mucous. The alcohol of galls detected iron, and the nitrate of silver, muriatic acid, in this solution. The gummy matter exhibited, as it dried, a great number of small shining crystals. A solution of these crystals was divided into several portions, and treated as follows: The nitrate of silver was added to one; it produced a precipitate, which upon filtration proved to be the muriate of silver. To another portion the tincture of litmus was added, and the mixture became red. The precipitate of lime produced, in the third, a blue tint which soon became greenish. Upon adding the tincture of galls, no change of colour was perceivable.
Result. Gum about 11 parts, or scruples in 24, Gum mucous 6 Resin nearly 1 Fecula nearly 6 Muriatic acid, perhaps in combination, Iron, Calcareous earth, A muriatic or essential salt.
Five parts only of gum mucous, had been taken up from the extract by the alcohol. A strong mucilage was formed of the residue, to which a large proportion of spirit was added. This dissolved one part more of the gum mucous, leaving the other principles curdled at the bottom of the vessel. The alcoholic tincture of the bark yielded
Gum mucous 30 grains. Resin 16 A muriatic, or essential salt, 3.
The bark yielded, after ignition, potash, iron, and calcareous earth. Four pounds of the bark infused in a gallon of boiling water, and exposed to fermentation, yielded upon analysis, spirit of wine, vinegar, and oil. A decoction of four pounds of the recent bark, afforded five ounces of a black, or dark brown extract.
Two quarts of the tincture of the recent bark were analysed, and the following result obtained:
Impure gum, 3 drachms 10 grains, Gum mucous, 5 drachms nearly, Pure resin, 2 drachms, 2 scruples, A muriatic or essential salt in very small quantity.
The distilled water from the bark of the root, was found to be limpid, odorous, nearly insipid on the tongue, and somewhat acrid on the fauces. The colour of the infusion from which it had been drawn off, was pale yellow. An extract obtained by evaporating two pints of the infusion of the bark of the root, weighed half an ounce. To this, four ounces of spirit of wine were added. One drachm was dissolved. The portion taken up by the spirit consisted of one part resin and nine parts gum mucous; the residuum was impure gum. The infusion made with boiling water, is a much stronger bitter, than that made with cold; but not so intensely bitter as the spirituous tincture. The hot infusion differs from the cold in colour; the latter is pale yellow; the former a dark orange, inclining to red. The same difference of colour exists in the cold and hot infusions of the bark of the root.
The following statement is quoted from a paper by the late Dr. Rush, in the Transactions of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia;
"1. Two pounds of fresh root boiled in half a gallon of water, gives a strong bitter extract, equal, in my opinion, to the extract of gentian.
"2. Four ounces fresh bark infused, cut into small pieces, in a quart of proof spirit, give a tincture simply bitter, and of a peculiarly mild nature.
"3. One ounce of the dried bark in a pint of water, for twenty-four hours. The infusion was bitter.
"4. In endeavouring to reduce the dried bark to powder, I found it broke into small fibres, so that little powder was obtained from it. Upon toasting it a little over a slow fire, it was pulverised without difficulty. The powder was strongly impregnated with a bitter taste."
The Tulip-tree belongs, as has been noticed at the head of this article, to Jussieu's natural family of Magnolise; and with the magnolias, it is arranged under Linnaeus's natural order, Coadunatse. We may therefore expect to find a similarity in the medical virtues of the Tulip-tree and the different species of Magnolia, particularly the M. glauca. This is the case. The bark of the Tuliptree is considerably stimulant; yet its properties do not entitle it to a place under the head of stimulants. It is more properly considered as a tonic, and for its roborant effects I notice it here. It sometimes acts as a sudorific, and hence its usefulness in chronic rheumatism. Its powerful diaphoretic effects are certainly produced by its stimulant power; and therefore it is absolutely inadmissible, as a medicine in acute rheumatism. Those who employ it in the country will do well to bear this in mind. Like most diaphoretic medicines, it acts occasionally as a diuretic; but though I think it necessary to mention this circumstance here, it is not intended to intimate that the bark is at all useful for this virtue. Indeed it is to be regretted, that the secondary effects of medicines should have so much importance attached to them as frequently is the case. In dwelling upon these effects, writers are too apt to lose sight of the prominent virtues of the plants of which they treat. There is some slight degree of astringency also, united with a portion of bitterness and aroma. The bark of the root is simply tonic in its effects. It is a strong bitter, containing a small portion of a warm aromatic property, and an essential oil. It has long been employed by physicians in the United States as a tonic; and, united with the Cornus florida, or Dogwood, and the Prinos verticillatus or winter-berry, it has been highly commended for the cure of intermittents. It has even been said to be equal to the Peruvian bark. The late Dr. Rush mentions his having prescribed a large quantity of the powder of the root, "with as much satisfaction as any of the common bitters of the shops." [Transactions of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 1793.] It is said that this bitter has been found particularly beneficial in the last stage of dysentery. [Thatcher's Dispensatory, 2d ed. p. 529, and Coxe's Disp. 3d ed. p. 400. Also Shoepf's Mat. Med. and Barton's Collections.] The powdered root has been used combined with steel dust, in disorders of the stomach, with success. [Ibid.] Dr. Barton mentions that the bark is used in gout and rheumatism. I have already said, that it can only be safely administered in the chronic state of the last disease; and I confess myself sceptical of its curative power in the former. In a letter [Carey's American Museum, vol. 12.] addressed to Governor Clayton of Delaware, in 1792, by Dr. J. T. Young, then of Philadelphia, he says, "I have prescribed the poplar bark in a variety of cases of the intermittent fever; and can declare from experience, it is equally efficacious with the Peruvian bark, if properly administered. Infthe phthisis pulmonalis, attended with hectic fever, night sweats, and diarrhoea, when combined with laudanum, it has frequently abated these alarming and troublesome symptoms. I effectually cured a Mr. Kiser, fifty years of age, who was afflicted with a catarrh and dyspeptic symptoms for five years, which baffled the attempts of many physicians and the most celebrated remedies, by persevering in the use of the poplar bark for two weeks.
"I can assert from experience there is not in all the Materia Medica, a more certain, speedy, and effectual remedy in the hysteria, than the poplar bark, combined with 4X small quantity of laudanum. I have used no remedy in the cholera infantum, but the poplar, after cleansing the primae vise, for these two years. It appears to be an excellent vermifuge. I have never known it fail in a single case of worms which has come under my observation. I prescribed it to a child when convulsions had taken place, after taking a few doses, several hundreds of dead ascarides were discharged with the stools. The dose of the powder to an adult, is from a scruple to two drachms. It may likewise be used in tincture, infusion, or decoction; but its virtues are always greatest when given in substance."
In answer to the foregoing, the Governor replies: "During the late war, the Peruvian bark was very scarce and dear. I was at that time engaged in considerable practice, and was under the necessity of seeking a substitute for the Peruvian bark. I conceived that the Poplar had more aromatic and bitter than the Peruvian, and less astringency. To correct and amend those qualities, I added to it nearly an equal quantity of the bark of the root of Dogwood (Cornus florida or Boxwood) and half the quantity of the inside bark of the white oak tree. This remedy I prescribed for several years, in every case in which I conceived the Peruvian bark necessary or proper, with at least equal if not superior success. I used it in every species of intermittent, gangrenes, mortifications, and in short in every case of debility. It remains to determine whether the additions of those barks to the poplar increases its virtues or not; this can only be done by accurate experiments in practice."
Mr. Lawson, in his History of North Carolina, speaks of a disease allied to syphilis, which occasionally destroys the nose, as existing among the savages of that country; and he tells us that the juice of the Tulip-tree is used as the proper remedy for this distemper."
The bark of the root of the Tulip-tree can be given in extract, dissolved in water, in infusion and in decoction; but its virtues are most decided when administered in substance. Should it act on the bowels, or should the stomach be too weak to bear it in this form, a few drops of laudanum should be combined with it. The dose of the bark for an adult, is from a scruple to two drachms. In Virginia the country people infuse equal parts of the bark of the roots of the Tulip-tree, and that of the trunk and stems of the Cornus florida, or Dogwood, in brandy: they suffer the infusion to digest for eight days, and give the tincture in the dose of two wine glasses a day, in intermittents.
The proper time for collecting the bark of the Tulip-tree for medical purposes, is in the month of January or February.
If the Tulip-tree is particularly admired for its splendid appearance, and is useful as a medicine, it is not less interesting from the various ceconomical purposes to which its wood is applied. Perhaps no native tree is more serviceable, or more extensively used. The tree belongs to the class of light woods. Notwithstanding its levity, however, it possesses some counterbalancing advantages, which render it an important species of lumber. The true wood is nearly of a lemon colour, and is surrounded with white sap. The yellow colour of the heart is more or less deep; having sometimes a greenish hue, and not unfrequently shaded with violet. It is not so light as the common species of poplar. Its grain is pretty fine and compact, admitting of an excellent polish, and easily worked. It is extremely durable, when well seasoned and deprived of the blea. I have heard of some uncommon instances of the durability of this wood. In altering lately in Lancaster, a log house, which had been built upwards of eighty years, the logs which were made of this poplar, being cut transversely, had all the appearance of new timber, although they had been exposed to the weather. It is said that the worms never attack this wood. In Virginia it is employed for the shafts of large mill-wheels; and it is said to be better suited to this purpose than any other kind of wood, because it withstands the perpetual moisture to which it is exposed in these situations. The great defect in the timber of this tree, is said to be, its liableness to be affected by the vicissitudes of the weather, when used in long beams out of doors. The easiness with which it is worked, particularly when quite dry, has caused it to be used in the construction of small cabinet- ware. It works freely in the lathe, and hence is much used for all kinds of turned utensils; such, for example, as bowls, trenchers, ladles, rolling-pins, and many other culinary vessels. The figured stamps on the butter brought to our markets, are made by carved blocks of this wood; it is also employed for dead-eyes, blocks, ^c. and other articles in shipchandlery. The trunks of the largest trees are often hollow, and are made into pettiaugers, and canoes, of sufficient capacity to hold many people. From its being appropriated to the latter purpose, it takes the name of canoe-wood. The Indians esteem it the fittest kind of lumber for these boats. It is also used for coach pannels.
The nature of the soil is believed to have some influence on the shade of yellow, and upon the quality of the wood of this tree. Indeed this is very commonly remarked by those who are in the habit of working the wood. They distinguish the two kinds by the names of white poplar and yellow poplar; and say there are external signs by which these varieties can be designated^ indeed I have heard some workmen pretend to know, whether the wood was white or yellow, previously to examining it. Not being satisfied with the answers of these people, it rests as yet, in my mind, very problematical, whether there are really any external discriminating cha racters. It is said however, that in general, the Tulip-trees which grow on elevated and gravelly situations, have white wood. Whether the reverse is uniformly the case, in those that grow in low and moist grounds, I am not prepared to say. The negroes and white inhabitants of Virginia, give strong decoctions of the root of the tree, to horses that are troubled with worms. This practice is said to be efficacious in removing them. And according to Dr. Barton, the Cheerakes and probably other Indians, administer an infusion of the bruised inner bark to these animals, when bitten by the crotalus horridus, or rattle-snake. The professor does not say with what effect this practice has been followed; and the fact is here mentioned only on his authority.
Michaux [Arbres Forest.] informs us, that some persons at Paris make a spirituous table liquor, possessing an agreeable taste and flavour, from the fresh bark and roots of the Tulip-tree, adding a sufficient quantity of sugar to render it palatable. Of the precise mode of making this beverage, he does not tell us; but it is presumable the materials are brewed, and afterwards rendered more agreeable by the addition of sugar.
Fig. 1. Is a drawing of a flowering twig of the Liriodendron Tulipifera, of the natural size, having also a flower bud, as often happens.
2. A seed separated from the imbricated cone.
3. A reduced outline of the obtuse-lobed leaf mentioned in page 98.
Vegetable Materia Medica of the U.S. or Medical Botany, 1817 (Vol. I), 1818 (Vol. II), was written by William P. C. Barton, M. D.