in eight months, and in three years a height of 70 feet. The wood is heavy, hard, and strong, but is not durable in contact with the soil, and is therefore not suitable for fence-posts or telegraph-poles. It is used for cabinet work as well as for fuel; the leaves yield large quantities of medicinal oil. Windbreaks of two or three rows of blue gum afford excellent protection to orchards.
The bark of the blue gum is smooth and pale brown. The leaves are swordshaped, 6 to 12 inches long, tough, leathery, and bluish-green on young trees, but dark green on older trees. The flowers are solitary (in most other species they are in small clusters) in the axils of the leaves and appear from December to June. When the flower-bud expands the top of the calyx drops off, and there is a “veritable starburst” of some 100 creamy-white stamens. A flower consists of the cupshaped lower portion of the calyx, which is well adapted to hold the very abundant supply of nectar, and a ring of stamens, with the pistil in the center. There are no petals. The seed-cases are round, top-shaped, or in the blue gum angular, and a pound of seed will produce 10,000 plants. E. globulus was introduced into California in 1856.
Other species of Eucalytus which are promising commercially are the sugar gum (E. corynocalyx), the red gum (E. rostrata), and the gray gum (E tereticornis) ; but none of these are comparable to blue gum (E. globulus) in rapid growth and ability to flourish over a wide range of conditions in California. The sugar gum is much used in southern California as a street tree and for windbreaks. It strongly resists drought, but succumbs easily to frost. The red gum has been largely planted in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, California. The gray gum endures drought and cold better than many species, and can, therefore, be planted over a wide range of the state. The timber of all three species is strong and valuable. (Fig. 56.)
ESPARCET. — See Sainfoin.
EYSENHARDTIA. — See Rockbrush.
FALSE INDIGO (Amorpha fruticosa). — In Iowa this genus is ranked in importance with Trifolium (clover) and Melilotus (sweet clover). In Nebraska it grows throughout the state in wet valleys, deep ravines, and along streams. In broad ravines it occurs as a tall treelike shrub, forming rather close thickets. It blooms in early spring, and the dense masses of violet-purple and yellow flowers stand out prominently in the landscape. Honeybees visit the flowers in great numbers and gather both pollen and nectar. Unlike most members of the pulse family, the flowers have no keel or wings and the pollen is easily obtained.
FENNEL, DOG. — See May-weed.
FETTER-BUSH (Lyonia nitida). — An evergreen shrub with oblong-oval, leathery, entire leaves, growing 3 to 6 feet tall, and found in wet land from Virginia to Florida and Louisiana. The white urn-shaped flowers are in clusters in the axils of the leaves. They bloom in April or May, are nectariferous, and helpful in building up the colonies, but do not furnish a surplus.
FIGWORT (Scrophularia marilandica). — Also called heal-all, square-stalk, and carpenter’s square. A strong-smelling herb, 3 to 6 feet tall, with square stems, opposite leaves, and small greenish-purple flowers, growing in woodlands from Massachusetts to Kansas and Louisiana. The abundant nectar is secreted in two large drops at the base of the ovary. In 1879 a small field of figwort at Medina, Ohio, made a remarkable showing. Honeybees visited the flowers from morning until night during the entire period of blooming. After the nectar was removed other drops would exude in about two minutes. At one time this plant excited a considerable furore among beekeepers, as it was thought that for artificial pasturage it would exceed anything then known. The honey obtained, however, would not warrant the large expense of its cultivation. The flowers are very frequently visited by wasps, and are often called wasp-flowers. In California S. californica occurs on the mountains, and would be of great value if it were more common. This species was formerly known as S. nodosa, var. marilandica.