The chestnut covers considerable areas in Prigord, Limousin and Beam; resinotis trees (firs, pines, larches, &c.) form fine forests in the Vosges and The indigenous fauna include the bear, now very rare but still found in the Alps and Pyrenees, the wolf, harbouring chiefly in the Cvennes and Vosges, but in continually decreasing areas; the fox, marten, badger, weasel, otter, the beaver in the extreme south of the Rhne valley, and in the Alps the marmot; the red deer and roe deer are preserved in many of the forests, and the wild boar is found in several districts; the chamois and wild goat survive in the Pyrenees and Alps.
The firs are distinguished from the pines and larches by having their needle-like leaves placed singly on the shoots, instead of growing in clusters from a sheath on a dwarf branch.
On the lawn near the cathedral stand two of the earliest larches grown in Great Britain, having been introduced from Tirol by the 2nd duke in 1738.
Pines of three species, junipers, larches, oaks, maples, willows and the Thuja Orientalis have been identified.
On the French Alps a sweet exudation is found on the small branchlets of young larches in June and July, resembling manna in taste and laxative properties, and known as Manna de Briancon or Manna Brigantina; it occurs in small whitish irregular granular masses, which are removed in the morning before they are too much dried by the sun; this manna seems to differ little in composition from the sap of the tree, which also contains mannite; its cathartic powers are weaker than those of the manna of the manna ash (Fraximus ornus), but it is employed in France for the same purposes.
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