Tree of Life

Tate6

Minong, United States

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Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life.
Albert Einstein

*A beautiful old tree in my mother-in-law’s yard that flowers in the fall.
Here is a close-up. Euonymus europaea
[Synonyms : Euonymus intermedius, Euonymus vulgaris]
SPINDLE is a deciduous shrub or tree. Native to western Asia and to Europe (including Britain),and in flower language is said to be a symbol of ‘your charms are engraved on my heart’.
The flowers are pollinated by flies.
Some of the common names are accounted for by the uses made of the spindle’s strong wood. The Dutch used the compact and hard wood to manufacture pegs or spindles, Irish cobblers cut pegs from its branches and it was also used once for making skewers, toothpicks and parts of musical instruments eg. violin bows. In some parts of Africa its juice was not only used as an ordeal potion but also smeared on arrows.
As already referred to the light yellow wood was used once not only for skewers, knitting needles (fashioned by English gypsies) and toothpicks, but it was also prized for making parts of musical instruments, especially violin bows, and the keys for virginals, and eventually for pianos and organs. Keys for these last were being made from it well into the 19th Century.
Locally the dried fruit have been used in the past to delouse children’s hair.
The yellow dye obtained by boiling the seeds was originally relied upon for colouring butter. If the seeds are boiled with alum however they yield a green colour – and the small pink berries will provide a red). The tree also gives a charcoal which was not only used in gunpowder but has long been sought after by artists because of its smoothness and the ease with which it can be erased. (In France artists call this charcoal Fusain, the same name as that they use for the shrub or tree itself.) One other use was found for the wood in Continental Europe, although not emulated in Britain to the same extent, and this was the fashioning of pipe stems.
It came to be known to a few of the North American Indian tribes and the Iroquois turned it to medicinal use. A root infusion was taken to enhance appetite, a bark decoction was given to children for worms, and a root decoction was taken by adults for some urinary problems.
Medicinally, herbalists in Britain (until 1949) recommended a tincture of resin both as an appetite stimulant and a laxative. Today the spindle provides a commercial source for a drug used in proprietary medicines. *

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Artwork Comments

  • kellyjomitchell
  • Tate6
  • kellyjomitchell
  • brirose55
  • amarica
  • Evita
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