Torreya, now confined to North America and Japan, still lingered,- as did Ocotea, now profusely developed in the tropics, but in north temperate regions only existing in the Canaries: the evergreen oaks, so characteristic of the Miocene, were reduced to the existing Quercus hex.
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.
There are, too, valuable timber trees, such as the yellow pine (Podocarpus elongatus), stinkwood (Ocotea), sneezewood or Cape ebony (Pteroxylon utile) and ironwood.
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