Locust Bean

(Catalpa bignonioides) A tree from the south-eastern states of America, whose wood has been prized for, among other things, chess sets, musical instruments, and coffins. African Americans in Louisiana boil the leaves to wrap around eggs to colour them at Easter (Fontenot). A decoction of the fruits has been used as a cough cure (Lindley). Other names for it include Cigar Tree (Harper), Indian Cigar and Smoking Bean (Hyam & Pankhurst) (it is said that the Indians actually smoked the capsules (Perry. 1972).

Lolium perenne > RYE-GRASS Lolium temulentum > DARNEL LONDON PLANE

(Platanus x acerifolia) It used to be said that it thrived in London because it shed its bark, the argument being that in doing so the tree could "breathe" (Ackermann), a fallacy, of course, for trees do not "breathe" through their bark. Many people believed that the London Plane was an unhealthy tree to live near. It may perhaps be true, for there is a theory that the small spicules which form the fruit swarm in the air surrounding the trees and cause bronchial catarrh and pneumonia, as well as certain throat affections (Brimble). Certainly, children make itching powder from the fruits.

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