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Thoreau and the Language of Trees$
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Richard Higgins and Robert D. Richardson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520294042

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520294042.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Forest Lessons

Forest Lessons

Chapter:
(p.82) Forest Lessons
Source:
Thoreau and the Language of Trees
Author(s):

Richard Higgins

Richard Higgins

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520294042.003.0009

Botany appealed to the wordsmith as well as the naturalist in Thoreau. “How copious and precise the botanical language!” he enthused in his journal in 1851. He used its precise lexicon to describe trees.

The broad flat brown buds on Mr. Cheney’s elm, containing twenty or thirty yellowish-green threads, surmounted with little brownish mulberry cups, which contain the stamens and the two styles—these are just expanding or blossoming now. The flat imbricated buds, which open their scales both ways, have had a rich look for some weeks past. Why so few elms so advanced, so rich now? Are the staminiferous and pistilliferous flowers ever on different trees?...

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