There are many kinds of oak in our country, but there is one shrub in California, which is known by the above name, but does not belong to the species at all. Dr. Kellogg, in an article in the " San Francisco Pacific," says it is a species of the sumach. It has a beautiful foliage, smooth round berries about the size of peas, and of a yellowish color when ripe. He says :— " In every section of California we need but to introduce the subject, to hear a tale of the sore affliction of some unlucky wight who has fallen a victim in a greater or less degree to this poison shrub—to avoid it, is impossible, for it is ever-present along our path ; not to know it, is both dangerous to our-I selves and others ; several instances have come to our knowledge recently of ladies being poisoned by boquets, presented with the kindest intentions. Some persons are very susceptible of being poisoned by simply coming within the sphere of this shrub, without touching it. The poison is also sometimes so absorbed into the system as to be eliminated upon the surface in such quantities (by long continual perspiration and other favorable susceptibilities) as to appear nearly every season for about tenor twenty years after the j first original poisoning. A few have been obliged to abandon our mines altogether, while others have actually lost their lives from the effects of the poison. This low shrub seeks the shade, although common in very dry localities and open exposures ; it is wonderfully changed in general appearance by its locality ; when flourishing near trees, it becomes all at once very aspiring, and the self-same obscure growth elsewhere, is transformed, as if by the enchanter's wand into a slender creeping vine climbing to the tops ol the tallest trees—from this circumstance it is also called Poison Vine and Poison Ivy. The innocent and beautiful "Five-leaved Creeper, has been at times an object of dread and odium, or perchance, fitful presumption in our childish days, by mistaking this harmless Creeper for the true " Poison Creeper," as the Rhus is often called. We propose to suggest a word in regard to treatment. The itching pimples, burning and swelling are too well known—avoid scratching, sugar of lead in wateras a wash—cotton bats, one side dipped in elder-blossom tea, or in fresh blood—a dram of iodine in an ounce of alcohol applied with a feather,—the speediest remedy known is one halt a dram of corrosive sublimate to one half a pint of water lor a wash." If you wish to drive a cut nail into seasoned oak timber, and not to have it break or bend, just have a small quantity of oil near by and dip the nail before driving, and it will never fail to go. In mending carts and plow.", this is of great advantage, for they are generally made mostly of oak wood. In straightening old nails before using, let it be done on wood and with easy blows. A Female College is erecting at Cassville Pa. The corner stone was laid May 10th with imposing ceremonies.
This article was originally published with the title "Poison Oak of California"