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W. P. A. History of Pontotoc County, Mississippi

Chapter IV:  FLORA

Fruit Bearing Trees

On WILD PLUM TREES the flowers appear in numerous small clusters before the leaves and are white with bright red portions in the center.  With its profusion o flowers this tree is one of the delights of early spring in the woods.  The fruit or plum, which ripens in the late summer, is red or orange and about an inch in diameter.  Horticulturists have selected and improved certain species for cultivation.  The wood is heavy, hard, close-grained, and reddish brown in color.

The fruit of the WILD CHERRY is dull, purplish-black, about as large as a pea, and is born in long hanging clusters.  It ripens in late summer and is edible, although it has a slightly bitter taste.  The wood is a reddish brown with yellowish sapwood; moderately heavy, hard, strong, fine grained, and does not warp or split in seasoning.  It is valuable for its luster and color and is used for furniture, interior finish, and tool and implement handles.  With the exception of black walnut, cherry lumber has a greater unit value than any other of our hardwoods.

The flowers of the HAWTHORN are white; some fragrant and others with a slightly unpleasant odor.  They appear in early spring .  The fruit, from one-fourth to three-fourth inches in diameter when ripe , has a pulpy, sweet, edible flesh.  One or two varieties yield a fruit highly prized for making jelly.  The wood is strong, tough, heavy, and hard, but rarely used for any purposes.

The flowers of the CRAB APPLE are about an inch in diameter, very fragrant, rose colored, and in clusters of three to five.  The fruit is a flattened globe, pale yellowish green, three-fourths to one inch in diameter, and is used for preserves or jelly. The wood heavy, hard, close grained, light brown tinged with red, with thick yellow sapwood, and is  sometimes used for levers, handles of tools, and other small objects.

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