Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A name of various trees having an abundance of milky juice, especially of a South American tree, Brosimum galactodendron, natural order Urticaceæ, and allied to the fig-tree. When the trunk is incised, a rich, milky, nutritious juice, in appearance and quality resembling cow's milk, is discharged in such abundance as to render it an important food-product to the natives of the region where it grows. The tree is common in Venezuela, growing to the height of 100 feet. The leaves are leathery, about 1 foot long and 3 or 4 inches broad. The cow-tree of Pará is a sapotaceous tree, Mimusops elata, the milk of which resembles cream in consistence, but is too viscid to be a safe article of food. Also called
- n. In British Guiana, the hya-hya or milk-tree, Tabernæmontana utilis. See milk-tree, 2, and Tabernæmontana.
- n. The karaka of New Zealand, Corynocarpus lævigata, so called by the colonists from the fondness of cows for its leaves. See karaka.
- From their milky sap. (Wiktionary)
“One of the very remarkable trees of South America -- a region notable for its natural-history wonders -- is that called the cow-tree.”
“Near this lake Humboldt received proof of the truth of the accounts he had heard of an extraordinary tree, the palo de la vaca, or cow-tree, which yields a balsamic and very nutritive milk, drawn off from incisions made in the bark.”
“One of the noblest trees of the forest is the Massaranduba, or "cow-tree" (_Brosimum galactodendron_), often rising one hundred and fifty feet.”
“It is called the cow-tree; and we were assured that the negroes of the farm, who drink plentifully of this vegetable milk, consider it a wholesome aliment.”
“Amidst the great number of curious phenomena which I have observed in the course of my travels, I confess there are few that have made so powerful an impression on me as the aspect of the cow-tree.”
“The milk of the cow-tree contains, on the contrary, a caseous matter, like the milk of mammiferous animals.”
“On comparing the milky juices of the papaw, the cow-tree, and the hevea, there appears a striking analogy between the juices which abound in caseous matter, and those in which caoutchouc prevails.”
“Sometimes it is morphine or the narcotic principle, that characterises the vegetable milk, as in some papaverous plants; sometimes it is caoutchouc, as in the hevea and the castilloa; sometimes albumen and caseum, as in the cow-tree.”
“The Novus Orbis of Laet, in which I found the first account of the cow-tree, furnishes also a description and a figure singularly exact of the fruit of the bertholletia.”
“Indies by Laet, a Dutch traveller, a passage that seems to have some relation to the cow-tree.”
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