Of fruit trees the banana and plantain are plentiful and of unusual size.
This contains a large variety of hard-wooded and valuable timber trees, including species of Weinmannia (Lalona 1), Elaeocarpus (Voanana), Dalbergia (Vbambbana), Nuxia (Valanirana), Podocarpus, a pine, the sole species in the island (Hetatra),Tambourissa (Amhara), Neobaronia (Harah¢ra), Ocotea (Varongy) and probably ebony, Diospyros sp., &c. The following trees are characteristic of Madagascar vegetation, some of them being endemic, and others very prominent features in the landscape: the traveller's-tree (Urania speciosa), with its graceful crown of plantain-like leaves growing like an enormous fan at the top of a tall trunk, and affording a supply of pure cool water, every part of the tree being of some service in building; the Raphia (rofia) palm (Sagus ruffia); the tall fir-like Casuarina equisetifolia or beef wood tree, very prominent on the eastern coast, as well as several species of screw-pine (Pandanus); the Madagascar spice (Ravintsara madagascariensis), a large forest tree, with fragrant fruit, leaves and bark; a beautiful-leaved species of Calophyllum; and the Tangena (Tanghinia veneniflua), formerly employed as a poison ordeal.
Plantain occurs in several varieties; it is in part a cheap and healthful substitute for bread, which is also made from the bitter cassava, after the poison is extracted.
Blue flag, snake root, ginseng, lobelia, tansy, wormwood, wintergreen, pleurisy root, plantain, burdock, sarsaparilla and horehound are among its medicinal plants.
Not only are rice and maize, sugar and coffee, among the widely cultivated crops, but the coco-nut, the bread-fruit, the banana and plantain, the sugar-palm, the tea-plant, the sago-palm, the coco-tree, the ground-nut, the yam, the cassava, and others besides, are of practical importance.
6), or with veins coming off from it throughout its whole course, and running parallel to each other in a straight or curved direction towards the margin of the leaf, as in plantain and banana.
Among other trees and shrubs may be mentioned the sumach, the date-palm, the plantain, various bamboos, cycads and the dwarf-palm, the last of which grows in some parts of Sicily more profusely than anywhere else, and in the desolate region in the south-west yields almost the only vegetable product of importance.
Among cultivated fruits are the following: - Mango (Mangifera indica), plantain (Musa paradisiaca), pine-apple (Ananassa sativa), pomegranate (Punica Granatum), guava (Psidium pomiferum and P. pyriferum), tamarind (Tamarindus indica), jack (Artocarpus integrifolia), custard-apple (Anona squamosa), papaw (Carica Papaya), shaddock (Citrus decumana), and several varieties of fig, melon, orange, lime and citron.
Birds are very numerous; they include various eagles, several kinds of heron, the egret, the marabout, the crane and the pelican; turacos or plantain-eaters, are common, as are other brilliantly plumaged birds.
- Sherbro Island, Bance, Banana, Turtle, Plantain and other minor islands, also Turner's Peninsula, a narrow strip of land southward of Sherbro Island, extending in a S.E.
IiXtr t ta, a water-plant mentioned by Dioscorides), in botany, a natural order of monocotyledons belonging to the series Helobieae, and represented in Britain by the water plantain, Alisma Plantago, the arrow-head, Sagittaria, the star-fruit, Damasonium, and flowering rush, Butomus (from the Gr.
- Water Plantain (Alisma Plantago).
At the launching of a war-canoe living men were tied hand and foot between two plantain stems making a human ladder over which the vessel was pushed down into the water.
Many of the smaller birds, such as the sun-birds, bee-eaters, the parrots and halcyons, as well as the larger plantain-eaters, are noted for the brilliance of their plumage.
Its main features may be summed as follows: - a purely agricultural life, with the plantain, yam and manioc (the last two of American origin) as the staple food; cannibalism common; rectangular houses with ridged roofs; scar-tattooing; clothing of bark-cloth or palm-fibre; occasional chipping or extraction of upper incisors; bows with strings of cane, as the principal weapons, shields of wood or wickerwork; religion, a primitive form of fetishism with the belief that death is due to witchcraft; ordeals, secret societies, the use of masks and anthropomorphic figures, and wooden gongs.
This change is called phyllody of bracts, and is seen in species of Plantago, especially in the variety of Plantago media, called the rose-plantain in gardens, where the bracts become leafy and form a rosette round the flowering axis.
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.
A common and handsome bird is the blue plantain-eater (Corythaeola).
Musophagidae, plantain-eaters and touracos, Ethiopian since Miocene.