The prevalent bush plants are khansa (umbrella mimosa), acacias, aloes, and, especially, Boswellia and Commiphora, which yield highly fragrant resins and balsams, such as myrrh, frankincense (olibanum) and " balm of Gilead."
The Latino-barbaric word Olibanum (quasi Oleum Libani), the common name for frankincense in modern commerce, is used in a bull of Pope Benedict IX.
Olibanum of Java), corrupted in the parlance of Europe into benjamin and benzoin; camphor, produced by Cinnamomum Camphora, the "camphor laurel" of China and Japan, and by Dryobalanops aromatica, a native of the Indian Archipelago, and widely used as incense throughout the East, particularly in China; elemi, the resin of an unknown tree of the Philippine Islands, the elemi of old writers being the resin of Boswellia Frereana; gumdragon or dragon's blood, obtained from Calamus Draco, one of the ratan palms of the Indian Archipelago, Dracaena Draco, a liliaceous plant of the Canary Island, and Pterocarpus Draco, a leguminous tree of the island of Socotra; rose-malloes, a corruption of the Javanese rasamala, or liquid storax, the resinous exudation of Liquidambar Altingia, a native of the Indian Archipelago (an American Liquidambar also produces a rose-malloes-like exudation); star anise, the starlike fruit of the Illicum anisatum of Yunan and south-western China, burnt as incense in the temples of Japan; sweet flag, the root of Acorus Calamus, the bath of the Hindus, much used for incense in India.
In Rome olibanum alone is employed; in other places benzoin, storax, lign, aloes, cascarilla bark, cinnamon, cloves and musk are all said to be occasionally used.
FRANKINCENSE,' or Olibanum 2 (Gr.
2 " Sic olibanum dixere pro thure ex Graeco b At(3avor "(Salmasius, C. S.
Papyrifera (Plosslea floribunda, Endl.) of Abyssinia, which, though both thuriferous, are not known to yield any of the olibanum of commerce; and (B) B.
158), as true frankincense, or olibanum; from this, however, it differs in its softness, and tendency to melt into a mass' (Birdwood, loc. cit., p. 146).
Of India, p. 52), " has been thought to yield East Indian olibanum, but there is no reliable evidence of its so doing."
Olibanum as a reputed natural product of China.
Bernhard von Breydenbach, 8 Ausonius, Florus and others, arguing, it would seem, from its Hebrew and Greek names, concluded that olibanum came from Mount Lebanon; and Chardin (Voyage en Perse, &c., 1711) makes the statement that the frankincense tree grows in the mountains of Persia, particularly Caramania.
Frankincense, or olibanum, occurs in commerce in semiopaque, round, ovate or oblong tears or irregular lumps, which are covered externally with a white dust, the result of their friction against one another.