But the strip of coast between the Apennines and the sea, known as the Riviera of Genoa, is not only extremely favourable to the growth of olives, but produces oranges and lemons in abundance, while even the aloe, the cactus and the palm flourish in many places.
The olive indeed in all ages clothed the hills of a large part of the country; but the orange and lemon, are a late importation from the East, while the cactus or Indian fig and the aloe, both of them so conspicuous on the shores of southern Italy, as well as of the Riviera of Genoa, are of Mexican origin, and consequently could not have been introduced earlier than the 16th century.
The western dry areas have the old-world leguminous Astragalus and Prosopis (Mesquit), but are especially characterized by the northward extension of the new-world tropical Cactaceae, Mgmmillaria, Cereus and Opuntia, by succulent Amar llideae such as A gave (of which the so-called American aloe is a type), and by arborescent Liliaceae (Yucca).
At first sight a South African Euphorbia might be mistaken for a South American Cactus, an Aloe for an A gave, a Senecio for ivy, or a New Zealand Veronica for a European Salicornia.
The principal trees are the alder, aloe, palm, poplar, acacia, willow and eucalyptus.
The vegetation of the island is characterized by tropical luxuriance, - the moutainous regions being clad with dense forest, in which various species of palms, the camphor-tree (Laurus Camplaora), and the aloe are conspicuous.
- Fibre is obtained from the aloe plants, this industry being in the hands of women; ostriches are reared for the sake of their feathers, and large quantities of gum and resin are collected.
The plants generally have a rhizome bearing radical leaves, as in asphodel, rarely a stem with a tuft of leaves as in Aloe, very rarely a tuber (Eriospermum) or bulb (Bowiea).
In cold weather the Egyptians warm their rooms by placing in them a brazier, "chafing-dish," or "standing-dish," filled with charcoal, whereon incense is burnt; and in hot weather they refresh them by occasionally swinging a hand censer by a chain through them - frankincense, benzoin and aloe wood being.
The "Century-plant" is a name given to the Agave, or American aloe, from the supposition that it flowered once only in every hundred years.
Aloe, stump of a tree, as forming the original plough.
ALOE, a genus of plants belonging to the natural order Liliaceae, with about 90 species growing in the dry parts of Africa, especially Cape Colony, and in the mountains of tropical Africa.
In some cases, as in Aloe venenosa, the juice is poisonous.
The plant called American aloe, Agave americana, belongs to a different order, viz.
Aloes is a medicinal substance used as a purgative and produced from various species of aloe, such as A.
Lign-aloe is a corruption of the Lat.
Lignum-aloe, a wood, not a resin.
In Belgium and the north of France flat ropes of aloe fibre (Manila hemp or plantain fibre) are in high repute, being considered preferable by many colliery managers to wire, in spite of their great weight.
Medicinal plants, as the castor-oil plant and aloe, come to perfection without culture; and coffee, indigo, cotton and tobacco are also of spontaneous growth.
The wars of this nation with the Tepanecs, which went on into the 15th century, were merely destructive, but larger effects arose from the expeditions under the Culhua king Acamapichtli, where the Aztec warriors were prominent, and which extended far outside the valley of Anahuac. Especially a foray southward to Quauhnahuac, now Cuernavaca, on the watershed between the Atlantic and Pacific, brought goldsmiths and other craftsmen to Tenochtitlan, which now began to rise in arts, the Aztecs laying aside their rude garments of aloe-fibre for more costly clothing, and going out as traders for foreign merchandise.
Though aloe-beer or " pulque " was allowed for feasts and to invalids in moderation, and old people over seventy seem to be represented in one of the picture-writings as having liberty of drunkenness, young men found drunk were clubbed to death and young women stoned.
Long and severe religious fasts were customary at special seasons, and drawing blood from the arms, legs and body, by thrusting in aloe-thorns, and passing sharp sticks through the tongue, was an habitual act of devotion recalling the similar practices of devotees in India.
The juice extracted by tapping the great aloe before flowering was fermented into an intoxicating drink about the strength of beer, octli, by the Spaniards called pulque.
Was of skins of woven aloe and palm fibre, but at the time of the conquest cotton was largely cultivated in the hot lands, spun with a spindle, and woven in a rudimentary loom without a shuttle into the mantles and breech-cloths of the men and the chemises and skirts of the women, garments often of fine texture and embroidered in colours.
Here the more common European plants and trees give place to the wild olive, the caper bush, the aloe, the cactus, the evergreen oak, the orange, the lemon, the palm and other productions of a tropical climate.
High, bearing on its numerous branches a very large number of lurid red or yellow, somewhat tubular flowers, recalling those of an aloe, and from i to 2 in.
Beyond the walls and the deep moat, especially on the northward side towards the port of Gravosa, are many pleasant villas, surrounded by gardens in which the aloe, palm and cypress are conspicuous among a number of flowering trees and shrubs.
The Sokotran aloe is highly esteemed; in the middle ages the trade was mostly in these products and in ambergris.
Tobacco, maize and potatoes have been introduced; and the aloe and prickly pear, called in Morocco the Christian fig, are also found.
Next to sugar, aloe-fibre is the most important export, the average annual export for the five years ending 1906 being 1840 tons.
Nearly all the aloe-fibre exported is taken by Great Britain and France, while the molasses goes to India.
The most familiar species is Agave americana (see fig.), a native of tropical America, the so-called century plant or American aloe (the maguey of Mexico).
Manufactures are few and undeveloped, but lace from the aloe fibre, Turkey carpets and basket-work are produced by the villagers, and boats are built at both the principal towns.