* Ilex. l. 161. Holly. Four males, four females. Many plants, like many animals, are furnished with arms for their protection; these are either aculei, prickles, as in rose and barberry, which are formed from the outer bark of the plant; or spinae, thorns, as in hawthorn, which are an elongation of the wood, and hence more difficult to be torn off than the former; or stimuli, stings, as in the nettles, which are armed with a venom∣ous fluid for the annoyance of naked animals. The shrubs and trees, which have prickles or thorns, are grateful food to many animals, as goosberry, and gorse; and would be quickly devoured, if not thus armed; the stings seem a protection against some kinds of insects, as well as the naked mouths of quadrupeds. Many plants lose their thorns by cultivation, as wild animals lose their ferocity; and some of them their horns. A curi∣ous circumstance attends the large hollies in Needwood-forest, they are armed with thorny leaves about eight feet high, and have smooth leaves above; as if they were con∣scious that horses and cattle could not reach their upper branches. See note on Meadia, and on Mancinella. The numerous clumps of hollies in Needwood-forest serve as land∣marks to direct the travellers across it in various directions; and as a shelter to the deer and cattle in winter; and in scarce seasons supply them with much food. For when the upper branches, which are without prickles, are cut down, the deer crop the leaves and peel off the bark. The bird-lime made from the bark of hollies seems to be a very similar material to the elastic gum, or Indian rubber, as it is called. There is a fossile elastic bitumen found at Matlock in Derbyshire, which much resembles these substances in its elasticity and inflammability. The thorns of the mimosa cornigere resemble cow's horns in appearance as well as in use. System of Vegetables, p. 782.


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