Skip to main content

Full text of "Bulletin"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at http : //books . google . com/| 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

3 2044 106 442 890 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Goosle ^ 

Digitized by VjOOQ 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 






Director of Public Oardena and Planiationt. 

Vol. IV. 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




Acrostichum aureura, excelsum, 

lomarioides ... 62 

African Rubber ... 2/8 

Agricultural Conference 306 

" "Don'ts" 96, 119, 142, 192, 

" Instructors, Conference 

on ... 238 

" Scholarship 1 19 

Agriculture in Bermuda 205 

" of Porto Rico 106 

AUouya ... 178 

Analyses, Banana Soils 25 

Ben Oil ... II4 

" Camphor leaves 136 

" Cassavas ... 75 

" Lemon-grass Oil 106 

•' Soil for Camphor 135 

Arrowroot ... 239 

** Consumption of at the 

Public Institutions ... 307 

Arsenate of Lead, admitted duty 

free ... 2l6, 283 

" " for Caterpillars 10 

Ashby, Mr., appointment of, as 

Fermentation Chemist 
Assam Rubber: 

distance in planting 
effect of soil, &c., on yield 
in Algiers 
in Jamaica 

preparation of the rubber 

when to tap 
Attacus jorulla 




Bamber, M. Kelway, on Camphor 

in Ceylon 
Banana in Bermuda 

" soils of St. Mary and St. 
Catherine ... 
St. Catherine- 
Rio Magno... 
Riversdale ... 
St. Mary— 
Highgate ... 
Port Maria... 
Barkley, Sir Henry, on Coco de mer 
Barrett, O. W., on the Lleren 
" •* on the Tanier 
Bastard Logwood 
Ben Oil, Analysis of 
" " Nature and Commercial 
Uses of 
Beet root 





28, 30, 32 








Bermuda, Agriculture in. . . 205 

Bananas ... 207 

Lily Bulbs ... 205 

Onions ... 206 

Oranges ... 206 

Potatoes ... 206 

Tobacco ... 206 

Black-leg disease of Cattle 151 

cause ... 152 

hygienic ... 153 

symptoms ... 152 

treatment ... 152 

preventive or prophylactic 153 
Blake, Sir Henry, on Camphor in 

Ceylon ... 177 
Board of Agriculture 22, 46, 63, 95, 

118, 142, 166, 191, 214, 238, 283, 305 

Boehmeria nivea ... 286 

" tenacissima ... 286 

Bordeaux mixture ... 157 

Botrychium Underwoodianum 202 

Brazilian Coffee Legislation 127, 176 
Bread-fruit tree. Introduction of, to 

Jamaica ... 44 

Brown-rot disease of Cocoa pods 1 1 

Brown, S. W., Resignation of 240 

Bucher, Dr. E., on Logwood Disease 79 

Buck, Sir E. C, on Turmeric 164 

Bud-rot disease of the Coco-nut 156 

Cabbages ... 218 

Cacao cultivation in Ceylon 236 

Calathea Allouya ... 178 

Camphor in Ceylon ... 129, 177, 232 

analysis of soil and leaves 135, 


Blumea balsamifera 130 

botany ... 130 

characters ... 140 

Cinnamomum Camphora 130 

cultivation ... 131 

distillation of Camphor 137, 

Dryobalanops Camphora 130 

elevation ... 177 

exports ... 130 

market value ... 130, 177, 232 

oil ... 140 

preparation of the Camphor 1 36 

propagation ... 131 

soils for ... 134 

sublimation experiments 140 

uses ... 130 

yield ... 137, 141, 177 

Camphor tree weevil ... 116 

Carrots ... 219 

Cartwright, Consul, on export of 

Kapok from Guayaquil 233 

Cassava Analysis of ... 75 

" land in Clarendon, Inspection 

of ... 240, 283 

" Remedy for Caterpillars on 10 
" Trials, IIL ... 73 

'* yields of ... 76 

Digitized by 




Castilloa Rubber : 97, 145, 166, 172, 253 
age at which trees may be 

tapped ... 146, 260 

as shade for cocoa 256 

best districts in Jamaica 255 
climate and situation 147, 254 
coagulating the latex 99, 150, 262 
cost of collecting the rubber 263 



Darien Castilloa 


Darien ' Caucho' 


decrease of milk with 


crease of altitude 


distance in planting 

149, 257 

flow of sap 

146, 254 


146, 253 

'hule bianco/ 'Colorado' 

'negro/ 'timu' 


in Ceylon 


in Darien 


in Isthmus of Panama 


in Tobago 


in Venezuela ... 


in Mexico 



148, 255 

resins in rubber... 



148, 255 

shade for Castilloa 


study of 


tapping 149, 







, 262 

Castilloa Tunu 


Caterpillars on Cotton, Cassava, &c. 

Remedy for 


Cattle in Porto Rico 




age at which the trees i 


be tapped 


analysis of rubber 


best districts in Jamaica 




collecting the rubber 


cost of collecting 


distance in planting 


in Brazil 


in Ceylon 


in German colonies 


in Hawaii 


in India 


in Nicaragua ... 




number of trees per acre 










Ceylon, Camphor in ... 129, 


177, 232 

" Grass Oils in 


Chalmers, F. V., on Tobacco of 

Jamaica ... 59*233 

► 307 

China Grass 


Citronella Oil 


Citrus decumana 


" Fruits, Cultivation and Market- 

ing of 


" in Porto Rico 



Cocoa Diseases, II. 

Coco de mer 

Coco-nut, bud-rot disease 

" in Porto Rico ... 113 

" Selection of Seed 63, 176 

Coffee cultivation in Brazil 234 

" Porto Rico 108 

" Legislation in Brazil 127, 176 

" Trust, proposed 177 

Colletotrichum gossypii, var. 

barbadense ... 77 

Colocasia ... 181 

Colombian Scrap Rubber 271 

Commercial Agent in London 63, 95, 

« ^,_ "®' '4^' ^H 

Congo Rubber ... 278 

Com, Anal3rsis of ... 7 

" Notes on Imported and Native, 

and Anal3rsis ... 6 

" production and consumption 204 

Cotton, Application of Paris Green 

to ... 141 

" Disease ... 77 

" in Porto Rico ... II2 

" Remedy for Caterpillars on 10 

" Seed, Sea Island, for 1906 127 

Cousins, H. H., on Cassava Trials 73 

" GinepasaStock 

Food ... 8 

" " " Imported and 

Native Com ... 6 

Cox, Hon. H. E., on Tea i 

Cucumbers ... 219 

Cultivation and marketing of Citrus 

Fruits ... 19 

Curcuma longa ... 163 

Dalrymple, W. H., on Black-leg 

disease ... 151 

Date Palm, The culture of 208 

climatic requirements 208 

fungoid disease of 214 

in Jamaica ... 213 

in the United States 21 1 

irrigation ... 210 

planting and cultivation 209 

pollination ... 210 

jrield ... 21 1 

Dioscorea spp. ... 3 

Diseased Plants, and Insect Pests : 

How to forward ... 85 

Disease Cocoa ... 11 

" Cotton ... 77 

" Coco-nut ... 95, 156 

Distillers' Course ... 240 

Divi-divi ... 121, 122, 124 

" Don'ts," Agricultural ... 96, 1 19, 142, 

192, 215 

Earle, Prof., on Logwood Disease 78 

Early Oranges ... 81 

Economic Products, Seasons and 

Prices for, in Kingston 66 
Edwards, J. W., on Logwood 

Disease ... 80 

Digitized by 




Fawcett, W., on Early Oranges 8i 

Fern, New name for a Jamaican 62 

" New species of Botrychium 201 
" New species of Polypodium 117 
Fertilizer, Tobacco Dust as a 178 

Fibre Machines ... 300,304 

Ficus elastica ... 274 

Forests and Rivers ... 188 

Formalin, the use of, for preserving 

fruit ... 154 

Forsteronia floribunda ... 279 

Freeman, W. G., Review of book on 

Para Rubber ... 169 

Fruit, New Method of keeping, 

by use of Formalin ... 154 

Fruits: Seasons and Prices for, in 

Kingston ... 66 

Funtumia elastica ... 171, 264 

age at which seed is pro- 
duced ... 171,264 
age at which tree may be 

tapped ... 171, 264 

as shade for Cocoa 171, 265 
attacked by caterpillars 267 
best districts in Jamaica 265 
coagulating the milk 171, 265 
collecting and pre- 
paring the rubber 265 
destruction of Ir6 forests 266 
distance apart for planting 171 
elevation for 171, 265 
habitat ... 171,264 
in Trinidad ... 264 
in Western Africa 1 71, 264 
pruning ... 265 
seeds ... 171 
situation for ... 171,265 
soil ... 171, 265 
value ... 266 

Garcinia Mangostana ... 203 

Garden Eggs ... 220 
Gillespie Bros. & Co., on Jamaica 

Ginger ... 166 

Ginep, Analysis of ... 8 

" as a Stock Food ... 8 

Ginger, Jamaican ... 166 

Grabham, M., on Silk Worms 121 
Grape Fruit and Shaddocks, Notes on 36 

Graphiola phoenicis ... 214 

Grass Oils in Ceylon ... lOO 

Grubs, beetles, &c., To destroy 217 

Hard and Soft-wooded plants. 

Planting of ... 161 

Harris, W., Notes on Rubber-pro- 
ducing plants 241 
" " Seasons and Prices for 
Fruits, Vegetables, &c. 
in Kingston markets 66 
" '* on the cultivation of 

vegetables ... 217, 305 

" on Yams ... 3 

Hart, Mrs. Ernest, on Ramie and its 

possibilities ... 296 

Hevea brasiliensis ... 169, 241 


Hides and Skins ... 123 

Hilipus elegans ... 116 

Historical Notes on Economic 

Plants: Tea ... I 

Hope Gardens, Appointment of Asst. 

" " Superintendent 191, 239, 


" " Description of 33 

Plan of ... 34 

Howard, Dr. L. O., on Weevil 

attacking Camphor trees 116 

Insecticide, Tobacco Dust as an 178 
Insect Pests ... 116 

" " How to forward 85 

Instructors, Agricultural, Conference 238 
" for School Gardens 306 

Ir6 ... 264 

Jamaica Ginger ... 166 

" Rubber ... 279 

collection of milk 279 

locality ... 279 

preparation of the rubber 280 

propagation ... 280 

source ... 279 

value ... 280 

jrield ... 279 

Kapok ... 233 

Keeping fruit, by use of Formalin 154 

Kidney beans ... 221 

Kohl Rabi ... 221 

Lagos Silk Rubber : See Funtumia 

elastica ... 171, 264 

Landolphia florida, Heudelotii, 
Kirkii, Mannii, Owariensis, Peter- 
siana ... 278,279 

La Zacualpa Rubber Plantation : 145 

Castilloa lactiflua 146 

Castilloa elastica 148 

cleansing the rubber 150 
coagulating — native 

Indian method 150 

labour ... 147 

latex ... 149 

location of the Plantation 147 

planting ... 148 

tapping methods 149 

washing the rubber 150 
Leather, Manufacture of, in 

Jamaica ... 121, 123 

Lemon Grass Oil ... 102 

" '* *' from Montserrat 105 

Lettuce ... 221 

Levy, H. Q., on Cultivation and 

Marketing of Citrus Fruits 49 

Lewkowitsch, Dr. J., on Ben Oil 113 

Lily Bulbs in Bermuda ... 205 

Lleren: A rare root crop 178 

Lodoicea sechellanm ... 89 
Logwood : Disease, Cultivation 78, 122 

" Root Rot ... 78 
Lucas, George L., on Tobacco Dust 

as Fertilizer and Insecticide 178 

Digitized by 




Macfayden, Dr. James, on varieties 

of Shaddock ... 37 

Maize, production and consumption 204 

Mangosteen, The ... 203 
Mangrove ... I2i, 122, 124 

Manitoba Rubber ... 267 

Manihot Glaziovii ... 267 
Maxon, Wm. R., on a new 

Botrychium 201 
" " on a new name 
for a Jamaica 

Fern... 62 
'* " on new species of 

Pol)rpO(dium 1 17 

Mexican Rubber Plantation 145 

Milk Withe ... 279 

Moringa Oil ... 113 
Morris, Sir D., on Grape Fruits 

and Shaddocks 36 
*' " on Sea Island Cotton 

Seed ... 127 
Mosquitoes, How to keep from the 

house ... 158 

Mozambique Rubber ... 278 

Mulching, Value of ... 13 

'Murupita' ... 273 

Musk Melons ... 221 

Mustard and Cress ... 222 

Nash, George V., on Coco de mer 87 
Nierenstein, Dr. M., on Tanning 
Materials and Leather in Jamaica 121 

Oil of Ben, Analysis of ... 114 
" " Nature and Commercial 

Uses of ... 113 

Oils, Grass ... 100 

Okra ... 222 

Onions ... 222 

*' in Bermuda ... 206 

Orange, early crops ... 81 

*' in Bermuda ... 206 

" Rust Mite of the 9 

Packing vegetables ... 23 1 

Palm, The Double Coco-nut 87 

" The Palmyra ... 8 

" The Talipot ... 19 

Palmyra Palm ... 8 

Para Rubber: ... 169,241 

acreage in rubber ... 253 

analysis of rubber soil in 

Ceylon ... 243 

as a mixed crop ... 245 

climate ... 169, 241 

" in Ceylon... 169,242 

" in Federated Malay 

States 242 

coagulation ... 251 

diseases ... 247 

distance in planting 244 

draining land ... 246 

exporting seed of 159 

habitat of ... 241 

holing ... 245 


Para Rubber : 

localities for, in Jamaica 243 

manuring ... 246 

nurseries ... 244 

planted with cocoa 245 

planting operations 244 

propagation ... 244 

pruning young trees 248 

rainfall ... 242 

smoking and coagulation 252 

soil, analysis of . . . 243 

tapping ... 170,248 

yields in Ceylon 250 

Paris Green : Application to Cotton 141 

Parsley ... 223 

Peas, English ... 223 

Peppers ... 224 

Pine Apples in Porto Rico II2 

Plan of Hope Gardens ... 34 

Planting of Hard and Soft-wooded 

plants ... 161 

Plants, Diseased, How to forward 85 
Polypodium dendricolum, Fawcettii, 

nesioticum, trifurcatum 117, 1 18 

Porto Rico, Agriculture of 106 

" Cattle ... no 

" " Citrus Fruits III 

" " Coco-nuts ... 113 

" Coffee ... 108 

" " Cotton ... 112 

'* " Pine-apples 1 12 

Sugar ... 108 

*' " Tobacco ... 109 

Potatoes, " Irish" ... 225 

*' in Bermuda ... 206 

Pot-stills in Jamaica ... 64 

Pumelow ... 36 

Pumpkins ... 227 

Radish ... 228 

Rambong ... 274 

Ramie: ... 285 

analysis . . . 289 

cultivation: ... 286 

climate ... 286 

manure ... 289 

planting ... 287 

preparation of the ground 287 

propagation ... 287 

soil ... 287 

cutting the stems 290 

description ... 285 

future prospects 292 

harvesting ... 290 

introduction into Jamaica 286 

quality of the fibre 293 

lecture at Society of Arts, 

extracts from ... 296 

machinery for decorticating 304 

retting ... 291 

value of the fibre 292 

varieties ... 286 

yield ... 292 

Rhea ... 286 

Ridley, H. N., on Exporting seed 

of Para rubber ... 159 

Digitized by 



Ring-barking : 


how to ring-bark 


ring-barking compared with 

felling and burning off 


when to ring-bark ... 


why ring-barking kills a tree 182 

Rivers, Forests and 


Rubber, Acreage in 

160, 253 



*• Assam 




Gold Coast 




" Castilloa 97, 145, 166, 

172, 253 

" future of 


in the Federated Malay 



" in Mexico, A plantation 


" Jamaican 



171, 264 

" Milk Withe 


*' Rambong 


*' species of Sapium used 

for adulterating Para 




169, 241 



" which is the best species to 



" Withe 


Rum, Standardization of Jamaica 96, 

118, 142, 191 

Rust Mite of the Orange 9 

Sapium ... 271 

Scholarship, Agricultural 119 

School Gardens ... 284 

'* Book on 306 

*• " Grants for 191 

" " Instruction to 

Teachers 237 
Seabrook, Wm. B., on application 

of Paris Green to Cotton 141 

Sea Island Cotton Seed for 1906 127 
Seasons and Prices for Fruits, 

Vegetables, &c., in Kingston 66 

Seed beds, Preparation of 217 

*' Coco-nuts, Planting 176 

" of Para rubber, methods of 

packing for export 159 

" Sowing ... 217 
Senior, Hermann Mayer, on 

Vanilla Statistics ... 207 

'Seringa-Rana' ... 273 
Shaddocks, Grape Fruits and, 

Notes on ... 36 

Sheep, Barbados ... 123 

Sierra Leone Rubber ... 278 
Silk Rubbtr of Lagos: See Fun- 

tumia elastica ... 171,264 

" Worms, Notes on ... 121 
Simmons, Mr. Robert, Appointment 

of as Assistant Chemist 306 
Sinclair, S. W., on Coagulation of 

Castilloa Rubber ... 99 


Skins, Hides and ... 123 

Slugs and Snails, Remedies against I IS 

Soils, Renovation of Worn-out 193 

Cow-peas ... 200 

effect of ploughing when soil 

too wet or too dry 198 

green manures ... 199 

improving the soil 198 

increasing the stock of humus 199 
mineral plant food 194 

nature of the soil ... 193 

nitrogen compounds 194 

soil air ... 196 

soil moisture and humus 195 

stable manure ... 198 

substances thrown off in soil 

by plants ... 196 

terracing and soil washing 199 
tillage ... 197 

Spillman, W. J., on Renovation of 

Worn-out Soils ... 193 

Spinach ... 228 

Squash ... 228 

Standardization of Jamaica Rum 96, 
118, 142, 191 
Stockdale, F. A., on Cotton Disease 77 
Students for Diploma in Agriculture, 

Fee to Examiner ... 240 

Sugar in Porto Rico ... 108 

Sweet Com ... 228 

Swettenham, Sir Frank, on Acreage 

in Rubber ... 160,253 

Swift's Arsenate of Lead 10, 216, 283 

Talipot Palm ... 19 

Tanier, the Oldest Crop... 180 

Tanning Materials and Manufacture 

of Leather in Jamaica ; 121 
Acacia Catechu ... 121 

Algarobilla ... 122 

BadamirBark ... 122 

Bastard Logwood 122 

Bauhinia variegata 121 

Broad-leaf ... 122 

Caesalpinia coriaria 121 

Cassia Fistula ... 122 

" siamea ... 122 

Divi-divi ... 121, 122. 124 

Eucalyptus ... 122 

Hides and Skins ... 123 

Laguncularia racemosa I2l, 122 
Leather manufacture 123 

Mallet Bark ... 122 

Mangrove 121, 122, 124 

Morrel Gum 

Prosopis juliflora ... 

Quebrachia Lorentzii 

Quebracho Colorado 




Terminalia Catappa 

White Mangrove 
Tatham, A., on Ring-barking 

121, 122, 124 


Digitized by 




Taylor, Sir William, on Rubber in 

the Federated Malay States 233 

Tea ... I 

Teversham, T. F., Resignation of 96 
Thompson, W. J., on Planting of 

Hard and Soft-wooded plants 161 

Tillman, Dr. H., on Early Oranges 83 
Tobacco Dust as Fertilizer and 

Insecticide ... 178 
experiment under shade 284 
for the Navy ... 58,307 
of Bermuda ... 206 
" Jamaica 58, 200, 283, 307 
" Porto Rico ... 109 
Tomatoes ... 229 
Turmeric: ... 163 
character and value in com- 
merce ... 164 
cultivation ... 163 
curctunin ... 165 
food ... 165 
haldi ... 163 
medicine . . . 165 
preparation of the root-stock 163 
Turnips ... 230 

Vanilla statistics ... 207 

Vegetables, Notes on cultivation 

of ... 217,305 

*' Seasons and Prices for, in 
Kingston ... 68 

Virgen Rubber 

age at which crops may be 

elevations for, in Colombia 

" '* in Jamaica 
value of 





Ward, Swinburne, on Coco de mer 


Water Melons 

Watson, Dr. Forbes, on Ramie 
Watts, Hon. F. on Lemon-grass O: 
Weevil attacking Camphor trees 
Wildman, M. E. de, on Lagos Silk 

Rubber ... 171 

Worn-out Soils, Renovation of 193 

Wortley, E. J., Analyses of Imported 

and Native Com 7 
" Appointment as Lec- 

turer in Agricultural Science 144 

Wright, Herbert, on Cacao cultiva- 
tion in Ceylon 236 
" on Grass Oils 100 

" on Para Rubber 169, 241 

Yams, Notes on 


Zacualpa : See La Zacualpa Rubber 
Plantation ... 145 

Digitized by 






Vol. IV. JANUARY. 1906. Part 1. 



VL — Tea (continued.) 

An article on tea appeared in the Bulletin for June and July, 

In order to bring the subject up to date the following para- 
graphs by Hon. H. E. Cox are reprinted from Jamaica in 1905, 

" There are at present only two tea plantations in the western 
hemisphere ; one at Summerville, South Carolina, U.S.A., and the 
other at Ramble in St. Ann, Jamaica. 

" Varieties of the tea plant were introduced into Jamaica in 1868, 
and were planted in the public gardens on the Blue Mountains, 
some 4,900 feet above sea-level, where they grew well. Some 
twenty years later a plantation of about 13 acres was formed in 
the neighbourhood of the gardens at Cinchona, but the cultivation 
was discontinued, and although the bushes are still growing well, 
it has not yet been resumed. In 1 896 the plantation at Ramble 
in St. Ann was commenced. Its progress at first was very slow, 
every step having to be tested by experiment. The soil being 
different to that at Cinchona, the rainfall less than at that place, 
and the elevation only i,6oo feet above sea-level, it was necessary 
to commence by trying whether the plant would grow under the 
altered conditions sufficiently well to make it worth while to incur 
the great initial expense of forming a plantation. This test was 
made with 250 plants and a packet of seed from the Cinchona 
gardens. The result being favourable, the cultivation was 
extended as plants or seed could be procured ; but the quantity 
not being large, for several years only a small acreage could be 
planted. Of course, seed could have been imported, but it was 
decided not to do so for two reasons ; firstly, that the tea grown 
might be homogeneous in character, and secondly, for fear of 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

importing certain enemies of the plant with the seed. Latterly 
the cultivation has expanded more rapidly, seed being obtained 
from the plants first put in ; there are now from 8o to 90 acres 
with plants of various ages. 

"After demonstrating that the plant would grow in St. Ann, it 
was necessary to experiment in manufacturing the tea from the 
leaf to judge whether its quality would justify a heavy expenditiu-e 
on machinery for curing it. This test having been passed, 
machinery was procured and tea prepared for market, the first 
occasion being at the Thickets Show, in August, 1903. Since that 
time additional and improved machinery has been set up, and 
with the experience gained by practice in the manufacture, a good 
class of tea is being turned out. 

" Tea is essentially a factory crop ; it requires a large initial 
outlay for buildings and machinery ; and there must be a consider- 
able expenditure for keeping the ground clean while the plants are 
growing, about five years. In Jamaica this item constitutes a 
serious handicap on the planter, as compared with India, where 
the rate of wages is very much lower. For these reasons, tea cultiva- 
tion requires a much longer period of waiting, before it can be 
remunerative, than some other cultivations, such as the banana ; 
but on the other hand, it is not subject to aay great risk from 
hurricanes, and it is a crop with many advantages for the settler 
who lives within reach of a factory. He can grow the plant in 
his provision ground without stopping his other cultivation, and 
when the plants are large enough he will have at the factory at 
all times a market for his leaf." 

The Gleaner Newspaper published an interview with Sir D. 
Morris, Commissioner for the Imperial Department of Agriculture, 
in the course of which reference was made to Mr. Cox's tea planta- 
tion, as follows : — 

*' Amongst the newer industries, I am glad to find that the Hon. 
H. E. Cox has extended his tea cultivation at Ramble, St. Ann, to 
90 acres. This area is beautifully kept and the trees are in 
excellent health. The quality of the tea has greatly improved 
since my last visit to Jamaica, and when the new machinery which 
Mr. Cox has imported is in full working order, the tea of the 
coming season should all be of first-class quality. The tea is 
entirely made by machinery, and does not come in contact with 
the hands of the working people during the process of manufacture. 
This is the only tea cultivation in the West Indies and the 
prospects for the industry are very favourable." 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


By W. Harris, F.L.S., Superintendent of Hope Gardens. 

As far as I am able to gather the cultivated yams of Jamaica 
may all be referred to foiu- species of Dioscorea, viz. : — 

D. sativa, Linn.. D. alata, Linn., D. cayennensis, Lam., and D. 
trifida, Linn., all climbing plants belonging to the order Dios- 
coreaoBa, and cultivated in the tropics. 

It is exceedingly difficult to get good botanical specimens of 
these cultivated plants, but from enquiries made amongst cultiva- 
tors, and by carefully comparing the information thus gained with 
the published descriptions of cultivated species of Dioscorea, I have 
arrived at the determinations here given. If ever the numerous 
recognised varieties are critically examined, it is possible that 
some of those now included D. sativa, and D. alata will be referred 
to other species. 

DIOSCOREA SATIVA, Linn. "Negro Yam." 

Stem cylindrical, not winged, more or less prickly ; leaves heart- 
shaped, roundish, gradually tapering into a sharp point. 

Tuber large, of a dark colour externally, but the end white and 
bitter when boiled if not perfectly ripe. This yam is of a dirty 
white colour when cooked, and is soft, but is considered a good 

The Negro Yam is always cut before it is quite ripe, otherwise 
a very small " head" for planting would be obtained. It is a hardy 
yam and is the best kind for cold districts in the hills. 

Varieties. — " Man Yam." A larger yam and better flavoiu-ed than 
the " Negro." Tuber oblong, of nearly the same diameter through- 
out its length. This is allowed to ripen before being cut. 

" Lucea Yam." This is a longer yam than either the " Negro" 
or the " Man." In flavour it is considered superior to the " Negro" 
but inferior to the "Man." Tuber about the same thickness 
throughout its length. This yam is largely cultivated in the 
western parishes (Hanover, &c.), and is shipped in considerable 
quantities from the port of Lucea (hence its name) to Kingston, 
also to Cuba. It is a first-rate yam. 

" Mozella," or " Bitter Yam." Very like the "Lucea," but of a 
purplish coloiu" underneath the skin, and with a bitter taste when 
cooked, even when carefully cured. 

The stems of this variety climb to a great height, reaching the 
top of the highest tree if they happen to get hold of the branches. 

DIOSCOREA ALATA, Linn. "White Yam." 

India. Stems sharply angled, winged ; leaves heart-shaped, 
roundish, or pointed, variable in size and shape, often very large. 
Tuber very large as a rule, white. 

Varieties: — "Guinea Yam." One of the larges white yams. 
Skin smooth ; tuber soft when cooked, flavour good. Like the 
** Mozella Yam," the stems climb to a great height. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

** Moonshine Yam," Skin of a purple colour. A good white 

"Snake Yam." Tubers club-shaped; growing to a length of 3 
or 4 feet, and 8 or 9 inches in circumference. Not grown to any 
extent, being of poor quality. 

"Silver Yam." A dry, floury yam, one of the best of the white 

'' Bull-head Hard Yam." A rough coated, hairy yam, the shape 
of the tubers supposed to have some resemblance to a bull's head. 
It is a hard yam when cooked, but of good flavour. 

"Two-sister's Hard Yam." Somewhat similar to the "Bull- 
head." Called " Two-sisters'' because each " head" produces two 

" Bear-and-drop Hard-head." Produces a large number of small 
tubers which are joined together in a mass by fibrous roots. When 
handled, however, they drop asunder. The tubers are very watery 
when cooked, and this is altogether a useless sort, and not 

*' Bragging Tom Yam." Said to be the largest white yam grown. 
Tubers measuring 3 to 4 feet in length, and 18 inches in diameter, 
have been grown. It is very scarce, but was formerly cultivated 
with much care. Large pits were dug, filled with rotten manure, 
and covered with soil and the " heads" planted. In addition to 
being a very large yam, it is considered one of the best when 
carefully cultivated. 

"Pucka Yam." A large, round sort, and so soft that in cooking 
it must be steamed, not boiled. A good yam. 

" Bullet-tree Pucka Yam." A large, round yam like the " Pucka," 
but the surface of the tuber is curiously pitted, the indentations 
being of a considerable size. 

" Flour Yam." A soft floury yam. One of the best. 

"Barbados Yam." A large yam, but clammy when cooked, and 
not considered a first-class kind. In some districts, however, it is 
of fair quality and is much liked. 

DISCOREA CAYENNENSIS, Lam. " Yellow Yam. ' ' *' Afou Yam. ' ' 
Stems cylindrical, sparsely prickly below ; leaves heart-shaped, 
roundish, pointed, 7 nerved, about 3^ inches long by 3 inches 
broad, quite glabrous, papery in texture ; flower spikes usually in 
pairs, produced from the axils of the leaf stalks. Tuber large, 
often branched, of a sulphur-yellow colour. If the tubers are 
allowed to become exposed during growth they are very bitter 
when cooked. Those grown in good open soils are fairly dry and 
mealy, but tubers grown in heavy, damp soils are clammy in 
texture when boiled, and anything but palatable. At best it is a 
heavy, coarse yam, but is grown extensively and is a general 
favourite amongst the working classes. It thrives best in hot dis- 
tricts, but it is a hardy yam and is not so readily affected by 
unfavourable climatic conditions as the more delicate white yams. 
It can be had at almost any time of the year, as tubers are cut 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

from the growing plants often twice, the hills are moulded up again 
and fresh tubers are produced. There do not appear to be any 
named varieties of this plant. 

DIOSCOREA TRIFIDA Linn. ''Indian Yam:' ''\ampee'' "Cush- 
Cush" Stem angular, slightly winged; leaves 3-lobed; tuber 
cylindrical, about 6 inches long. Each plant produces several 

This is quite the nicest of all yams for table. The tubers boiled 
or roasted, and eaten with good butter, are delicious. They have 
a " nutty" flavour not noticeable in other yams. 

DIOSCOREA BULBIFERA, Linn. " Acom Yam." ''Bulb-bearing 
Yam:' East Indies. Naturalised in West Indies. 

Stem sub-cylindrical ; leaves heart-shaped, ovate, pointed ; tuber 
somewhat globose. 

This plant produces numbers of rather large bulbils on its 
stems ; these are of a light brown colour, about 3 inches long, 
oval roundish, or flat on one side. They may be planted to pro- 
pagate the plant. The tubers are rarely eaten, but a good starch 
is obtained from them. 


There is no crop so generally grown in the West Indies as 
that of yam of one kind or another. In Jamaica, yams may be 
seen from near the coast up to 4,000 feet altitude, and they seem 
to thrive everywhere. 

Tubers grown in good open soils are naturally superior to those 
grown in damp, heavy clayey soils, but certain varieties are suited 
to the soils of certam districts, and as this is a crop on which the 
small cultivator largely depends for his food supply, he grows 
only those varieties that he knows from his own experience, and 
that of his neighbours, will produce good crops in the land that 
he cultivates. 

The main crop of yams is planted from January to end of March, 
but planting is continued to July. 

The " Negro" and " Indian" yams are planted first, and they 
take from five to seven months to produce edible tubers; the 
" Afou" or " yellow yam" is planted next, and it takes about seven 
months ; the " White Yams" are planted last, and they take ten to 
twelve months to arrive at maturity. The length of time varies 
according to altitude and climate. In the mountains, from the 
time of planting to the time of lifting the ripe " heads" occupies 
twelve months. 

The first tubers of "Negro Yam" and its varieties, and the 
" Afou" are cut during the growth of the plants, but the " White 
Yams" are allowed to finish their growth and ripen before being 
cut. When the tubers are all cut, the base of the vine, with the 
fibrous roots is carefully moulded up. and left undisturbed for a 
period of five or six months, or longer, during which time the 
" head" is formed. When the stems and leaves turn yellow and 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

begin to decay, the " head" is ripe. The heads, as a rule, are 
lifted, and kept perfectly dry till required for planting. Shoots 
are produced by these in the same way as produced by potatoes 
that are kept for seed. Generally, the heads are planted whole, 
but occasionally a head is composed of two or three small tubers, 
and these are separated and planted, two of these small heads 
being placed in a hill instead of one strong one. 

Preparing the hills. The cultivator with his hoe digs the ground 
on an area of about four feet by three ; he thoroughly pulverizes 
this and picks out all stones, roots, &c., and draws the soil into a 
mound. The hills are usually 6 feet apart, and when all are pre- 
pared, he proceeds to plants his "heads." With his hand he 
makes an opening in the centre of the hill or mound of earth, and 
carefully plants his " seed," generally one strong head to each hill. 
As soon as planting is finished, he puts a stout bamboo pole or 
stake frmly in the ground, one to each plant, as a support for the 
vines to twine on, and he slants these in one direction up the hill 
(yams are generally grown on the hill-sides in Jamaica). He care- 
fully watches his plants, moulding the hills, and training the 
young vines in the way that they should grow. 

When the tubers are fit for cutting they are used principally by 
the grower and his family, but any surplus stock is disposed of. 
His wife takes them to the nearest local market and either sells 
them, or barters them for plantains, " new sugar," or any other 
product not grown or prepared in her own district, or she carries 
them to Kingston market, and with the proceeds purchases such 
necessaries as she may require. 

Catch crops are always grown between yam hills ; these may 
be com, peas, ochro, pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, or other quick 
growing crops. 

A curious fact in connection with the twining habit of yams 
may be noted here. As far as I am aware, the stems of all the 
cultivated species, with one exception, twine to the right, that is 
from the west, by the south to the east. The exception is the 
Indian yam, or Cush-Cush, it twines to the left, that is from the 
west, by the north to the east. 


By H. H. Cousins, M.A., Agricultural Chemist. 

Analyses of seven samples of imported American corn as sold 
in Jamaica have been made to ascertain the average composition 
of the imported article in comparison with well-cured native com. 

The average of the seven samples, which show little variation, in- 
dicates a content of 9*4 per cent, of albuminoids as against 12*4 in a 
fair sample of country corn based upon a content of 12 ^ moisture. 

These figures clearly bring out the fact that our tropical com is 
richer in flesh-producing material than the imported corn grown 
in the United States and is therefore superior as a food for horses. 

These analyses are the work of Mr. E. J. Wortley, Assistant 
Chemist, and are a continuation of the analyses already published 
in this Bulletin, Vol. HI. Oct., 1905, p. 214. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

•o/o wqi J 







•o/o |« J 











•92-9 ^K 








•TOSoJim mox 




































a g 

1 1 






r f 

O g 
► O 

Digitized by 




By H. H. Cousins, M.A., Agricultural Chemist. 
My attention was called to the practical value of the fruit of 
ginep (Melicocca bijuga) for feeding sheep by Mr. Facey of 
Montego Bay — 

Analyses have been made in the Laboratory with the following 
results : — 


Skin 227 I Seed 317 I Pulp 45'6 I 

The seed is fairly rich in albuminoids and may fairly be regarded 
as a concentrated food-stuflf that should be valuable as an addition 
to grass and green fodder. 


Sir J. E. Tennant in his work on " Ceylon," speaks as follows 
of the Palmyra Palm (Borassus flabelliformis). 

"The palmyra is an invaluable palm, and one of the most 
beautiful of the family. It grows in such profusion over the 
north of Ceylon, and especially in the peninsula of Jaffna, as to 
form extensive forests, whence its timber is exported for rafters 
to all parts of the island, as well as to the opposite coast of India, 
where, though the palmyra grows luxuriantly, its wood, from local 
causes, is too soft and perishable to be used for any purpose 
requiring strength and durability, qualities which, in the palmyra 
of Ceylon, are pre-eminent. To the inhabitants of the northern 
provinces this invaluable tree is of the same importance as the 
coco-nut palm is to the natives of the south. Its fruits yields them 
food and oil ; its juice " palm wine" and sugar ; its stem is the 
chief material of their builings ; and its leaves, besides serving as 
roofs to their dwellings and fences to their farms, supply them 
with matting and baskets, with head-dresses and fans, and serve 
as a substitute for paper for their deeds and writings, and for the 
sacred books, which contain the traditions of their faith. It has 
been said with truth that a native of Jaffna, if he be contented 


Digitized by VjOOQ 

with ordinary doors and mud walls, may build an entire house (as 
he wants neither nails nor iron work), with walls, roof, and cover- 
ing from the Palmyra palm. From this same tree he may draw 
his wine, make his oil, kindle his fire, carry his water, store his 
food, cook his repast, and sweeten it, if he pleases ; in fact, he 
does so live from day to day dependent on his palmyra alone. 
Multitudes so live, and it may be safely asserted that this tree 
alone furnishes one-fourth the means of sustenance for the 
population of the northern provinces." 


The mite* which causes the rust of the orange, lives on all 
citrus plants. It is very small, only ^^^ of an inch in length. 
The eggs hatch in four or five days, and within seven to ten days 
the young mites undergo a moult. The period of moulting, or 
casting the skin, lasts two days, and eggs are probably laid in a 
few days after the moult. 

The mites feed on the essential oil of the leaves and fruit, and 
move from one part of the plant to another as the conditions 
favour them. 


On the leaves each puncture of the mites causes a minute pimple, 
and if the mites are abundant, the leaf surface loses its gloss, and 
has a tarnished dusty appearance. The leaves do not drop off, 
but there is a loss of vitality, and the growth of the plant is to 
some extent checked. 

If the fruit is severely attacked, it does not attain its full size. 
The skin shrinks and toughens, preserving the fruit from injury 
and decay, so that it carries better, keeps longer, and is superior 
in flavour to bright fruit. 


In applying remedies, the life history must be remembered ; and 
that while it is comparatively easy to kill the adult mites, it is 
very difficult to kill the eggs and the young mites while they are 
protected by the old skin during the moulting stage. Either the 
remedy must be sufficient to kill eggs and young as well as adults, 
or it must be repeated at intervals. 

Whale Oil Soap. — Whale oil soap solution, made by dissolving 
one pound of the soap in ten gallons of water, is effectual in 
killing all the adults, and a large percentage of moulting mites 
and eggs. Applications should be made by a spray pump, and be 
repeated several times at intervals of a few days. 

One pound to five gallons of water in still more effectual but 
while not injuring the leaves, may cause the blossoms to fall off 
if applied when the plant is in flower. 

Sulphur, — Finely powdered flower of sulphur kills both adult 
and young mites, but does not affect the eggs. It may be dusted 
on the plant, or applied in water by spraying, — putting two or 
three ounces of sulphur to one gallon of water. If scale-insects 

* H. 0. Hubbard in Ann. Rep. U. S. Dept. of Agri. 1884, page 361. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


are troublesomei the sulphur in the same proportions can be used 
with kerosene emulsion, so that both the mites and the scale- 
insects are attacked by each application. 



Paris Green has been recommended in the Bulletin* as a dry 
application for the Cotton Worm, and it is believed that under all 
ordinary conditions the method recommended is the simplest, 
cheapest and most effective. 

But where six or seven hundred acres of cotton are planted out 
in fields of from lOO to 300 acres as a new cultivation with large 
numbers of wild cotton plants growing all through the neighbour- 
hood the opportunity for the cotton worm to increase and multiply 
is at once made use of, and when rain falls every afternoon, 
washing off the Paris Green, the resultant plague of cotton worms 
causes very extensive destruction, and a new remedy has to be 
found to deal with any such emergency. 

It is believed that such remedy is arsenate of lead applied by 
means of a knapsack spray pump. It does not wash off easily, and 
does not injure young foliage as excess of Paris Green does. 

It is useful for the destruction of any caterpillar or worm that 
injures by eating, e.g. the cassava caterpillar, and should be kept 
ready in stock for any emergency that may arise. 

Prof. Fernald of Massachusetts Agricultural College recom- 
mendst the following recipe : — 

Arsenate of Lead, 
4 oz. arsenate of soda (50 ^ strength). 
1 1 oz. acetate of lead. 
150 gallons water. 

" Put the arsenate of soda in 2 quarts of water in a wooden pail, 
and the acetate of lead in four quarts of water in another wooden 
pail. When both are dissolved, mix with the rest of the water. 
Warm water in the pails will hasten the process." 

The proportion of water may vary, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture 
(Bull. 41, Div. Entom.) recommends less than half the water. 

If fungus also attacks the leaf, as it did cotton in Vere lately, 
mix with Bordeaux mixturej as follows : — 

" Prepare the arsenate of lead as above, but instead of adding 
the arsenate of soda and acetate of lead, when dissolved, to the 
water, mix the two together well, then add one-third of this to 50 
gallons of Bordeaux mixture". 

Arsenate of lead is put on the market in a very convenient form 
under the name of Bowker's Disparene & Swift's Arsenate of Lead. 
The latter can be purchased in Kingston. 

* Bulletin of the Department of Agriculture, Jamaica, 11. July 1904, page 159; 
III. Sept. 1905, page 203. 

t Bulletin No. 96- Hatch Experiment Station of the Maseachusetts Agricultural 
CoUege. Maj 1904. 

X Bulletin of the Department of Agriculture, Jamaica, IIL March 1905, page 51. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



In the December Bulletin (page 270) an account was given of a 
disease of Cocoa pods in which the darkening of the pod is 
accompanied by white mould on the outside. 

Mr. Hart in a paper on " Some Fungi of the Cacao Tree* states 
that in Trinidad "the disease was observed to be most prevalent 
in places where the atmosphere was humid and where the pods 
had been allowed to rot beneath the trees." 

Mr. Albert Howard, formerly the expert in fungoid diseases to 
the Imperial Department of Agriculture, recommends,! besides 
the remedies mentioned last month, " Reduction of shade. Where 
cacao is grown under shade as in Trinidad, and where this dis- 
ease is prevalent, it would be advisable to diminish the number 
of shade trees and to prune the cacao trees as much as possible, so 
as to considerably reduce the humidity of the atmosphere. In this 
way conditions could be adjusted so as to be unfavourable to the 
development and spread of the fungus while not interfering with 
the growth of the cacao tree." 

Another disease has been noticed as occurring in Jamaica, that 
known as the " brown rot" disease of the pod.J This was deter- 
mined here, and confirmed by reference to the Commissioner of 
the Imperial Department of Agriculture. It is described in the 
paper by Mr. Howard as follows — 

"When cacao pods are attacked by this disease, a circular 
brown patch makes its appearance which gradually extends all over 
the pod and causes complete destruction of the rind and its con- 
tents. The time taken in the destruction of a pod varies somewhat 
according to its ripeness, but usually falls between six and ten 
days from the appearance of a diseased spot visible to the naked 
eye. This appearance must not be confused with the rusty or 
" mahogany" pods which result from " thrips" when the whole of 
the outside of the pods takes on a rusty colour but when the rind 
is not diseased.** The definite brown patches in question gene- 
rally commence either at the insertion of the stalk or at the free 
end of the pod, but they may occur at other points, especially 
where the rind has been injured or where the pod comes in contact 
with a branch. These diseased pods are particularly numerous 
near the " breaking-grounds" where the beans are extracted by 
the pickers. If one of these attacked pods is carefully examined 
it will be found that the brown area is rotten and that the decay 
extends to and spreads round the shell of the pod to a much 
greater distance than would be supposed from a surface examina- 
tion. The disease soon spreads to the " beans" which are speedily 
attacked and destroyed by a greyish fungus mycelium which grows 

* W. Indian Bulletin Vol. I. pp. 422-7 with plate, 

f W. Indian Bulletin Vol. U. p. 198. 

I Diplodia oaoaoioola. 

** Tne rusty colour of the pods attacked by *' thripa" is caused bj the formation of a 
cork layer, below the epidermis, which cuts off all the cells above it. These cut off calls 
consequently dry up and turn brown. The cork layer is really a new epidermis layer 
formed on account of the numerous perforations made in the original epidermal cells 
by the "thrips." 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


with enormous rapidity in the mucilage surrounding the seeds, and 
eventually dries up the whole contents of the fruit, and gives to it 
a curious sour smell. 

" When the diseased patch on the rind is about the size of a 
penny piece, small circular mounds, about the size of a pin's head, 
can be seen about the centre of the brown area on the rind from 
which a greyish white powdery dust is expelled which turns black 
in a short time. This dust is composed of elliptical dark brown 
one-septate spores. The small mounds into which the surface of 
the pod is raised are found to be due to the fructifications of a 
fungus in which the above spores are formed which rupture the 
epidermis and liberate the spores through a small circular opening. 

Remedial Measures. 

" It is obvious when we consider the character of this disease 
that no steps can be taken, with any hope of success, to arrest the 
spread of the fungus when once it has gained access to a pod— in 
other words, there is no * cure' for the disease. Preventive measures 
alone are possible, and these must be directed towards the des- 
truction of everything in the plantations which harbours the fungus 
with a view of preventing further infection by means of spores. 
The following treatment is suggested for dealing with the disease. 

"I. As a general rule care should be taken not to allow the pods 
to get too ripe, as the fungus seems most liable to attack pods in 
this condition. Again, ripe pods, showing small brown discoloured 
areas, should be picked at once so as to save the beans if possible. 

" 2. All husks or shells left after the beans have been extracted, 
should be buried as soon as possible under the trees, and, if the 
buried heaps are large, lime should be added to hasten decay and 
prevent local souring of the soil. There are two obvious reasons 
why this expense in burying pods should be incurred. First, there 
is the advantage to the soil in supplying humus, and secondly, 
the fungus is deprived of a substratum on which it thrives and 
produces countless millions of spores which may infect living pods. 
The " breaking-grounds" should be moved from time to time so as 
to give as many trees as possible the benefit of this manuring. 
Recently, while making a tour through the island of Grenada, I 
was very forcibly impressed by the general absence of this disease 
in plantations where the pods were systematically buried, and also 
by its presence on estates and small holdings where this practice 
had not yet been adopted. Indications are not wanting, however, 
that cacao planters are realising the importance of this step, both 
from the point of view of the enrichment of the soil and the preven- 
tion of disease. 

" 3. All badly diseased pods on the trees where the fungus has 
reached the beans, and all old husks on the ground which have 
turned black and become covered with the sooty spores of the 
fungus, should either be buried away from the cacao trees or else 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


"4- AH dead cacao trees, old prunings and branches should be 
periodically collected and burnt, and the ashes which are rich in 
potash, spread under the trees. This proceeding is necessary 
because the fungus lives on dead cacao wood and will thus be able 
to infect healthy pods." 


The value of mulching has been recognised in Jamaica for some 
years, and in the December Bulletin an account was given of exact 
experiments that had been carried out in Dominica under the 
general superintendence of Hon. Dr. F. Watts, showing that 
mulching cocoa with leaves and grass during a period of three 
years gave a greater increase in crop than various manures. 

The report of the Annual General Meeting of the United 
Planters' Association of Southern India held last August, has just 
been received, and it is instructive to note that the coffee planters 
there appear to think they may have been using too much artificial 
manure during the past 20 years, and that they are just beginning 
to recognise the value of mulching. 

The following are extracts from the very interesting report of 
the meeting : — 

Mr. a. F. Martin : — Dr. Lehmann has told us that the general 
practice in several countries is that the amount of manure to be 
put on a field is calculated by first of all determining how much 
of the soil constituents the crop has removed from the ground • 
but in coffee we have not only to consider what amount has been 
removed by the crop, but we have to consider the general health 
of the tree. I would like to know if it would not be necessary to 
give other manures and a greater quantity than has actually been 
removed by the crop ? 

Dr. Lehmann : — In other countries, as a general principle, the 
manure is added in proportion to the soil constituents removed by 
the crop. It is absolutely impossible, however, to keep a book 
account of that kind. But as a general principle, it has been 
recommended by certain German chemists, and the results they 
have obtained are certainly satisfactory. In regard to the coffee 
tree, there is absolutely nothing to show that the coffee tree will 
differ from other crops. The coffee tree will yield in proportion 
to its vigour. It cannot yield a crop if it is not in a vigorous 
condition ; unless it is injured to such an extent as to put forth a 
special effort to reproduce its species before it dies, as, for 
example, in a badly bored tree. But these are abnormal conditions. 
Under normal conditions, a coffee tree will produce an amount of 
crop to a certain extent proportionate to the vigour and health of 
the tree. Perhaps you may have a number of examples which 
appear to contradict this, for the principle is only generally 
applicable. If we return to the soil the same amount of plant 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


food we have removed from it, the amount of plant food will 
remain stationary. Mr. Hughes in his attempt to arrive at a 
similar basis for Ceylon has taken into account the leaves that 
drop off and the pulp and everything else. All these are returned 
to the soil. Therefore they do not require to enter into the 
calculation. But I do not recommend a reduction in manures. I 
only recommend, and that most emphatically, the necessity for 
experimenting with manures. I do not wish to lay before you 
any facts and figures for reducing your bill in manuring. I only 
wish to enlist your sympathies in the matter of experimenting, and 
in order to do so I have pointed out that there may be a possibility 
of reducing such a very important matter as the manure account. 
In order to convince you that there may be a possibility of reduc- 
ing that expenditure, I have quoted facts and figures which have 
led me to think that there is such a possibility. I don't want to 
interfere with the present manuring problem. We are not in a 
position to do so, but we are in a position to realise that we must 
have information on the matter, that our present system of 
manuring is not necessarily accurate or the best or the right 
thing to do. 

Mr. HARRIS: — ^I should like to mention in connection with 
what Dr. Lehmann said about the matter of experimental plots, 
that what he stated is perfectly correct and that the average for 
the past 4 years show that the manured plots have yielded the 
smallest crops. But it is rather interesting to notice that during 
the last year of the experiment the no-manured plots show a 
decided tendency to decrease ; which rather points to the fact that 
they might have fed on manure previously received. 

DR. LEHMANN :— That is just what I have been wishing to 
impress upon the meeting. Probably we have over-manured the 
plots in the past. If we had done so, we must know it ; because, 
of the manure that we put into the soil, although a certain propor- 
tion of it remains there, a certain proportion is lost. The experi- 
ments which I have made in regard to the after effects of poonac 
on Ragi have conclusively indicated that there is very little 
manurial effect of poonacs left in the soil after one year. Our 
principal manures have been bone and poonac. Bone contains 
a certain amount of nitrogen. Its principal constituent is 
phosphoric acid. If we take as a basis the experience of other 
countries, we may say that phosphoric acid will remain in the soil ; 
but the nitrogen, which is the most expensive constituent, will 
undoubtedly be lost sooner or later. If we have applied manures 
which have given nitrogen for four years, then we have been 
applying very much, too much of it. The nitrogen that is 
applied in the poonacs will certainly not last longer than four 

Mr. DANVERS : — The nitrogen in bone, will it not last longer ? 

DR. LEHMANN : — I might say that in the experiments I have just 
told you about there was apparently no after effect either from the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


poonac or the bone. As regards the availability of bone meal 
Dr. kellner's experiments conducted in Japan are probably the 
most valuable to us. He found that bone meal was, under the 
conditions which existed in his experiments, much more available 
than the results of Wagner, Maerker and other German investiga- 
tors indicated. Kellner found bone meal about as available as 
Basic Slag, and in that case the after effect is of course relatively 
small for if the principal part of the fertilizer is used the first year 
there is not much left of it for the second and third years. What 
I saw on Mr. Sprott's estate seems to indicate that Kellner's results 
obtained in Japan are more likely to apply to India than Wagner's 
experiments made in Germany. Mr. Sprott had put out what ap- 
peared to me very coarse bone meal to one of his fields about lO 
months before I visited his estate. This bone meal was left on the 
surface and only covered by the leaves which gradually dropped 
from the shade trees and coffee bushes. All we could find of this 
bone meal was a splinter a little over an inch long and a little less 
than half an inch thick, and this crumbled to powder when rubbed 
between the fingers. You will agree with me, I am sure, that this 
indicates that under the conditions existing on Mr. Sprott's estate, 
bone meal decomposes very quickly. Possibly the reason for this 
is that the bone meal is surrounded by decomposing organic 
matter, and that the carbonic acid produced helps to dissolve the 

Mr. DANVERS:— I think the solubility of Mr. Sprott's bone 
manure is largely due to the nature of the plots to which it was 
applied. I am still digging up bones in my estate that were put 
out 9 or 10 or even 25 years or more years ago. 

I would like to ask Dr. Lehmann whether he has had any oppor- 
tunity of ascertaining if there is any diflference in quality, judged 
by analyses, between coffee from these manured and unmanured 
experimental plots ; whether there has been any deterioration in 
the unmanured coffee or improvement in the manured ? 

Dr. Lehmann : — I have not had an opportunity of determining 
the specific gravity of the coffee from these plots. I shall do so, 
with Mr. Harris and Mr. Denne's permission, in future. But as 
there has been no difference in the average quantity of coffee pro- 
duced apparently manures have had no effect on these plots ; and 
I do not know whether it will be reasonable to expect that manures 
had an effect on the quality if they had no effect on the quantity. 
In regard to the matter of bone manure, I am very much interested 
in what Mr. Danvers has told us. It seems to confirm the idea I 
have given you just now in regard to the reason why Mr. Sprott's 
results are different from those obtained in Europe. In the expe- 
riments made in Europe with bones in pot-cultures, the soil in the 
pots is comparatively poor in organic matter. Although Mr. C. 
Danver's estate soil contains more organic matter than is used in pot 
culture it does not contain as much organic matter as there is, or 
was, on the surface of Mr. Sprott's estates. I may here mention 
another idea I have ; that is, that the organic matter on the surface 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


soil is one of the most essential things we have to consider in the 
matter of coffee growing. We hear of the deterioration of coffee, 
and have several indications that that deterioration is due to a 
diminution of the organic matter in the soil. I think it behoves 
us to be most careful in regard to this organic matter. In these 
tropical climates organic matter decomposes very very quickly. 
There are indications, I believe, that coflfee is able to assimilate 
directly organic matter which is on the surface. As a rule, plant 
roots are not able to do so. Organic matter in the soil acts only 
on the mechanical condition of the soil with crops like wheat, 
barley and oats. But in the case of coffee we are dealing with a 
plant about which we know very little, and the fact that there is a 
great cluster of very thick white rootlets going through organic 
matter on Mr. Sprott's estate seems to me to indicate that probably 
or possibly, coflfee roots may be surrounded with that network of 
mycelium, which Dr. Butler has found to exist on the roots of tea 
plants. I cannot speak with any degree of certainty about it. 
But it appears to me, that the thickness of the white-tipped coflfee 
roots that I have seen is larger than is generally the case ; and 
from the fact that these roots are found in such large numbers on 
the surface and from the fact that they are of such large diameter 
I conclude that there is a possibility that these roots are able to 
make use directly of the organic matter which is on the surface, 
and that they do not only make use of this organic matter but may 
very possibly require it ; and to my mind, at any rate, there is a 
very hopeful indication that coffee may be improved in quality in 
the future. I may mention here, too, that all the mulching experi- 
ments which have been carried out in Mysore have, so far as I 
know, been very successful indeed. I remember one patch of very 
poor coflfee on a heavy clay soil, in an otherwise nice piece of 
coflfee, which I advised the manager to mulch heavily. The next 
year when I saw that patch, I could not distinguish it from the 
surrounding coflfee. I think Mr. Harris will bear me out that on 
his estate the mulching that has been done has been effective. 
The eflfect of a mulch is two-fold ; it supplies organic matter to 
the surface when it decomposes and it prevents the nasty disagre- 
able caking on the soil which is so deleterious to coflfee. 

Mr. SprOTT : — I should be obliged if Dr. Lehmann could tell us 
what manure had been put to these experimental plots previous to 
their being taken up for experiments, and also if he could tell us 
the amount of manure which he put to the manured portions of it. 
I do not know if Mr. Harris could tell us that. I ask him because 
I have been very much of Dr. Lehman's opinion, after having had 
very many conversations with him on the subject. I think we 
have been very much over-manuring and have wasted a great deal. 
I am trying now putting smaller doses of manure, for I think there 
is a possibility of our having over-manured. I am watching very 
carefully whether coflfee deteriorates in any way by lessening the 
manure. So far, I can only say it has not; and I think that 
spreading our manure in smaller quantities over an area will bring 
in beneficial results. I can also strongly bear out what Dr. Lehmann 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


said about mulching. I have tried it on several bare patches of 
ground. It has done far more good than a heavy dose of manure. 
Mr. Danvers : — I have some patches to which manuring year 
after year has done no good ; but mulching has done good to 

The Honble. MR. HODGSON : — I have been very much interested 
in what Dr. Lehmann has told us today. Whenever he comes to 
our Session, he has a great deal to say to us of very great value. 
Very important is the problem to us of the psssibility of reducing 
the cost of manure. I believe that Dr. Lehmann is on the right 
track in this matter, for I have noticed for some years past that 
a great many estates have necessarily been obliged to reduce 
the cost of manuring as a matter of economy. The price of coffee 
having gone down, they simply have no money for heavy manu- 
ring, and curiously enough, concurrently with the reduction 
in the quantity of manure applied, there has been in many cases 
an increase even in the crop returns. That is a remarkable thing. 
It rather bears out what Mr. Harris and Mr. Sprott have told us 
about the two plots of unmanured lands yielding larger crop aver- 
ages. But then there are two accounts to be considered in work- 
ing out profits, the Revenue and the Capital account , and both 
these have to be kept in view. Along with the Revenue account 
the condition of the estate, whether it has deteriorated or not, must 
be taken into consideration in working out profits. 

If this were not done, it would be quite possible to show a good 
profit in the Revenue account which in reality has been taken out 
of Capital, that is to say by sweating the trees, and this might 
even be hept up for two or three years. It is therefore very neces- 
sary, as Dr. Lehmann always impresses upon us, to be very care- 
ful as to our facts in drawing conclusions from experiments. 

Mr. Danvers : — I think what you say bears out what Dr. Leh- 
mann recommends, viz., the carrying out of these experiments for 
a long series of years. In four years the yield of crops may not 
have reduced but the estate may have deteriorated. 

Dr. LEHMANN: — The reason why I am very cautious in the 
matter of even hinting at the fact that the manure might possibly 
be reduced, is, that I know from bitter experience how difficult it is 
for an estate that has run down to pick up again. It is frightful 
expenditure and trouble to get an estate into a good bearing con- 
dition. If it has once been allowed to run down, it is very diffi- 
cult for it to pick up again. 

Mr. HARRIS:— Mr. Sprott asked me if I could supply him with 
certain information regarding my plots. I should be delighted to 
do so. But it is difficult to go back in memory to ten years. If he is 
interested in the matter I will try and have the information collected 
for him from my records. As regards the plots there are ten diflf- 
erent plots ; with the exception of the two unmanured plots, the rest 
of them are all manured, and have been manured for the last four 
years, with different mixtures. The object of the experiments is 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


to determine which is the most satisfactory manner in which we 
could apply phosphoric acid. 

Dr. Lehmann : — I think there are two objects ; one to find out 
in what particular constituents the soil was lacking, because if we 
apply nitrogenous manure to a soil which is already rich in 
nitrogen but poor in potash, nitrogenous manure will give us no 
result. But if we apply potash, it will give good results in such land ; 
so that the whole plan of experiments was to find out first of all 
in what particular constituents that soil was lacking, whether 
potash or phosphoric acid, nitrogen or lime. In addition to that 
Mr. Harris' plot was particularly deficient in phosphoric acid, and 
he had been recommended to apply phosphoric acid over and over 
again. It had been previously manured with basic slag. It was 
desired to find out whether bone or superphosphates would give 
better results. That was applied on this estate, because Mr. 
Harris' estate is not particularly rich in iron. On some estates 
there was, to my mind, a suspicion that superphosphates would 
not act properly, because it would be transformed into phosphate 
of iron, whicn is, according to recognised dogmas of agricultural 
chemists, valueless. However, it was in their experiments in 
connection with soil to find out whether it was rich in organic 
matter, they found that phosphate of iron is valuable. It is a 
notion that phosphate of iron is valueless because it is insoluble. 
Whether such is the case we do not know. We have to fight shy 
of these notions and suggestions and suppositions. We must 
experiment and try to find out what really is the truth. 

Mr. Danvers : — I suppose it will be difficult to find any estate 
in India which has not been manured for 20 years. 

Dr. Lehmann : — I saw an estate 20 years old. It was in a 
magnificient condition, had an exceptionally rich soil, and was in 
a favoured locality. An estate like that will do very well to 
experiment with very small doses of manure 

Mr. Harris : — May I ask Mr. Sprott to what extent he has 
reduced the application of manure, roughly speaking ? 

Mr. Sprott : — Speaking from memory, we used to put out as 
much as 7 to 8 cwts. of bone and poonac. I have put out 5 cwts. 
bones and poonac or fish in one portion of the estate every year 
for some eight years, and it has steadily improved, previous to 
that the chief manure I used was cattle and fish manure. Fish 
manure I have put as much as 7 to 10 cwts. per acre. The manure 
I have put out for the last 20 years has all been on the surface. 
I have put out this year in February I cwt. refined saltpetre to 
some portions of the estate without anything else at present, i 
am now going to back it up with 3 cwt. of fish manure or bones 
and poonac, thus making 4 cwts. for the year ; on other portions I 
have put 2 cwt. of crude saltpetre, and it will get 3 cwt. bones and 
poonac or fish later. 

Dr. Lehmann : — In good poonac we already apply all the 
phosphoric acid that is removed. If there is U mistake — ^I don't 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


know that there is a mistake — in manuring, it is that we have 
been putting out too much bone. There is five times the amount 
of potash removed that there is of phosphoric acid, and we have 
applied no potash. We have applied bone and poonac. Bone 
contains 23 per cent, of phosphoric acid. In 2 cwt. of bone we 
have 20 times as much phosphoric acid as we really require. It 
is a very large amount of phosphoric acid that has been applied 
to the estate in proportion to the potash and nitrogen. Potash 
has been particularly disregarded in former years, and now they 
may apply very much potash. 


The famous Talipot Palm (Corypha umbraculifera) is a native 
of Ceylon and the Malabar Coast. In Ceylon it is rather common 
in the moist region up to 2,000 feet altitude. 

It has an erect, straight, cylindrical trunk 30 to over 80 feet 
high. The measurements of a specimen that flowered at Peradeniya, 
Ceylon, were as follows : — Height of stem 84 feet, of flower 
panicle 21 feet, total 105 feet; girth at 3 feet from the ground 
round the persistent bases of the leaves 13 ft. 9 inches, at 21 feet 
from the ground 8 feet 3 inches ; age about 40 years. The tree 
dies after once flowering and fruiting. 

The trunk is surmounted by a crown of gigantic fan-like leaves* 
These leaves have prickly stalks 5 to 10 feet long, and when 
fully expanded form a nearly complete circle of 8 to 16 feet in 
diameter, and composed of 80 to 100 radiating segments, joined 
together and plaited like a fan till near the extremity, where they 
separate and form a fringe of double points. 

The leaves are made into fans, mats, and umbrellas, and are 
used for writing on. They are also largely employed for thatch- 
ing. " The leaf being dried is very strong and limber, and most 
wonderfully made for man's convenience to carry along with them ; 
for though this leaf be thus broad (enough to cover 15 or 20 men) 
when it is open, it will fold close like a lady's fan, and then it is 
no bigger than a man's arm ; it is wonderfully light." (Knox.) 

A bread is made of the pounded soft interior of the trunk. The 
seeds have the hardness of ivory, and are known as Bazarbatu 
nuts ; they are used as beads in Ceylon, and largely in the 
manufacture of buttons in Europe. The young fruit pounded is 
used for stupefying fish. 

Visitors to the old Botanic Garden at Bath a few years ago will 
remember the fine specimen that existed there. It fruited in 1902, 
and then died. 

A supply of seeds was obtained and plants raised from these 
may now be had from Hope Gardens. 

The Talipot is not suited for small gardens, but where space can 
be spared for it on a lawn it will grow into a noble tree. 


Digitized by VjOOQ 



(From a Special Correspondent in " Madras Mail, II th October.") 

We may be certain that present prices are enabling the Ameri- 
can Rubber gatherers to exploit very out-of-the-way districts, in- 
volving heavy transport charges ; and yet the increase in output is 
not serious, the rise in exchange no doubt taking away much of the 
benefit from the enhanced price. So that it looks likely that, if 
Brazilian exchange is maintained at its present level, a compara- 
tively moderate drop in prices would render it unprofitable to work 
much of the country that is now being tapped, in which case a 
really serious drop would be deferred for an uncertain number of 
years. Supposing, however, that the continual planting up of 
Rubber in the East finally brings this about, and there is a struggle 
ending in the survival of the fittest, the only possible result can be 
the knocking out of wild rubbers and the transference of the indus- 
try into the hands of the planter, who could, if necessary control 

This is looking far ahead indeed, but both in cinchona and tea 
the maintenance of some control over output is recognised, and as 
the rubber supply will eventually be chiefly in British hands, the 
possibility of such a control, if ever required is evident. It is use- 
less at present, to attempt careful estimates of rubber production. 
In Ceylon, apparently all tea land under some 2,000 ft., and much 
other land, is going into rubber, but what will it do and what the 
yield will be is another question. Mr. Burgess holds the view that 
the Straits must eventually excel Ceylon in production on account 
of the fine land that is being opened in the former country. But 
against this is the great accessibility of all the Ceylon districts, 
and transport is a very important point after leaving the sea. No 
doubt the more sanguine estimates of yield will not be realized, 
and I hear that the large trees at Peradeniya, which Mr. Wright 
expected would give some I2lb. of rubber each per annum under 
the latest method of tapping, have stopped their flow of latex to a 
great extent. I am satisfied with the, to me, unavoidable conclu- 
sion that a good class of rubber, under suitable conditions, will 
yield large profits for many years to come. 


Mr. Burgess, the Straits expert, states that Eastern plantation 
rubber is found not to be as resilient or of such recuperative power 
as the wild product (Amazon Para). This is hardly surprising, 
seeing that, practically. Eastern rubber is all from young trees, 
whilst the American is from picked forest giants ! The same 
reason may, perhaps, partly account for the fact that some Eastern 
rubber at any rate has shown signs of not keeping after a couple 
of years, though Mr. Burgess is inclined to think that the acetic 
acid or formalin used for coagulation has produced this effect. 
This is a matter for the chemist and experience to decide ; I cer- 
tainly have samples of rubber, taken in India four years ago. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


which are practically as sound as they were at first and no coagu- 
lant was used. 

Para is first and the rest nowhere with most planters, 
especially in Ceylon. The Castilloa at Peradeniya are not impos- 
ing trees for their age, and Mr. Wright's experience of this variety 
does not seem very favourable. The trees milk fairly well, but 
are apt to die within the year. Another keen planter, with 
Castilloa growing at 1,000 feet found it almost impossible to get 
the latex to coagulate. In S. India, however, these difficulties do 
not occur. It takes a very large amount of ill-treatment to even 
affect the health of a Castilloa at 3,500 feet and the latex 
coagulates without special difficulty. Generally speaking the 
Castilloa prefers a drier climate than that which Para revels in, 
and also does better at a fair distance above sea-level. Ceara is 
being tried here and there, planters being encouraged by the 
copious flow of milk from the old trees which survive from plant- 
ings of twenty years ago and more. These certainly produce 
excellent rubber nearly if not quite equal to Para in appearance 
when carefully prepared, and the tree grows on very poor soil and 
at a considerable elevation. It also does not demand a heavy 
rainfall, though like all rubbers it thrives best with a good allow- 
ance of moisture. Ficus elastica is certainly not a tree to plant 
amongst coflFee or near anything valuable, if one may judge from 
the Peradeniya trees. These completely occupy a large area with 
their roots, and are now showing signs of decay. As, however, I 
understand they are getting on for 50 years old, there would be 
time to extract a fortune out of them if they contained it ; some 
quicker-yielding trees,however,are preferable. Funtumia trees grow 
well in S. India at 3,000 feet or so ; at Peradeniya it is found that 
they are so eaten by caterpillars that nothing can be done with 
them. I would certainly give the award, as a general thing, to 
Para. It is as far as I have seen, decidely the hardiest of all. It 
resists ill treatment wonderfully and is practically unaffected, as 
far as I can see, by excess of rain or severe drought ; whilst it is 
a useful shade for coffee for a good term of years. In South India 
I have given measurements of growth at 3,500 feet and I may 
mention that I have plants 6 feet high from seed planted at stake, 
amongst coffee, in 1 904. Taking the opinion that " it does not 
pay to tap trees at over 3,000 feet," what does this mean ? We 
must remember that the nature of the forest tapping, where trees 
are scattered and where, we are told, trees of 2 feet girth would not 
be noticed as worth tapping and only the widely scattered giants, 
giving 5 lb. or more rubber, are selected. At over 3,000 feet these 
giants would be comparatively rare and take much finding, but 
plantation conditions would make all the difference. At 3,500 
feet the trees on a plantation would be at just the same distance 
apart as at 1,000 feet or 2,000 feet. They would perhaps require 
another year to make equal growth, but this would not prevent 
their paying handsomely. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




The usual monthly meeting of the Board of Agriculture was 
held on Tuesday 1 2th December, present : Hon. H. Clarence Bourne> 
Colonial Secretary, Chairman, the Director of Public Gardens, 
the Island Chemist, the Superintending Inspector of Schools, His 
Grace the Archbishop, Mr. G. D. Murray and the Secretary. 

The following letters from the Colonial Secretary were sub- 
mitted: — 

1. re W. I. Agricultural Conference intimating that the propo- 

sal for holding the Agricultiwal Conference in Jamaica 
next year had been definitely abandoned owing to insu- 
perable difficulties in transport. 

2. Sending copy of letter from Imperial Institute re Cotton 

Cultivation and asking the Board to comply with the re- 
quest made that the Imperial Institute should be kept in- 
formed of the progress of cotton cultivation in the Colo- 
nies and that reports or special information should be 
regularly forwarded. Also asking that the Board might 
consider it desirable to send additions to the standard 
collection of cotton referred to. 

This was directed to be circulated. 

3. Asking whether the Board of Agriculture could arrange for 

the syllabus in connection with the proposal to confer the 
Jamaica Scholarship on Agricultiu-al Students. 

With reference to the last letter, His Grace the Archbishop said 
that a Committee of the Schools Commission consisting of the 
Chief Justice and Mr. Capper had considered the various matters 
involved and had made a report, a precis of which he read. He 
suggested that the matter might wait over a month until this report 
had been considered and adopted by the Commission at its first 
meeting and sent to the Governor. 

After discussion it was accordingly resolved to hold over con- 
sideration of the matter until next meeting. 

(The Chairman here left the meeting as he had to attend a meet- 
ing of the Privy Council and he asked the Director of Public 
Gardens to take the Chair.) 

The Secretary submitted letters on the subject of Jamaica 
Tobacco and Mr. Chalmers' experiment in blending with Virginia 
Tobacco for use in the Navy, which were directed to be circulated. 

The Secretary read letter from Mr. Robert Thomson suggesting 
that a report he had made on agricultiu-e in the parish of Man- 
chester with special reference to packing of oranges might be 
published in the Bulletin of the Department of Agriculture. 

It was pointed out that this report had been made to Mr. Haggart 
and published in the newspapers, but had not been sent either to 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


the Board of Agriculture or to the Agricultural Society as it ought 
to have been. 

The Secretary was directed to reply to Mr. Thomson and say that 
if the report was sent to the Board, it would consider whether it 
should be published. 

The Secretary submitted a letter from the Rev. J. F. Gartshore, 
Secretary Hanover Agricultural Society, thanking the Board for 
the services of Mr. Cradwick. 

This was directed to be circulated. 

The Secretary submitted two letters from the Honourable J. V. 
Calder acknowledging receipt of the copy of Mr. Olivier's minute 
re the Locked Still matter, with memo by the chairman to whom 
it had been submitted. 

These were directed to be circulated. 

The following reports by the Chemist were submitted : — 

1. Application of A. A. Forbes to give his son a second year's 

course as an agricultural student without a scholarship 
and without fees. This was allowed on the recommen- 
dation of Dr. Cousins. 

2. Application from C. A. Liddell for admission as an agri- 

cultural student on the usual terms. This was approved. 
The following reports of the Director of Public Gardens were 
submitted : — 

1. Hope Experiment Station. 

2. Reports from Mr. Cradwick and letter re drainage experi- 


These were directed to be circulated. 

A report from the Secretary re Cotton Gins and Baler was 
submitted and directed to be circulated. 

The following papers in circulation since last meeting not yet 
submitted to the Board, were now submitted, as follows : — 

Letters from the Colonial Secretary forwarding letter from Hon. 
T. H. Sharp asking for the appointment of an Entomologist in 
Jamaica, with comments by members of the Board. 

His Grace the Archbishop moved " That the Board of Agricul- 
ture is satisfied of the fact that the successful development of 
various industries in Jamaica will largely depend upon the advice 
and guidance of a competent Entomologist and therefore earnestly 
recommend the Government to make provision for the appoint- 
ment of such an officer at the earliest possible opportunity." 

Mr. Capper seconded and this was unanimously agreed to. 

The Secretary was instructed to forward the resolution to the 
Colonial Secretary as the unanimous opinion of the Board. 

Memorandum on the Standardization of Jamaica Rum, with 
comments by the Board. 

After discussion it was agreed that the most judicious course 
would be first to have a meeting of representative sugar planters 
to talk over the matter. The papers were referred back to Dr. 
Cousins to make further suggestions as to communicating with 
sugar planters. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The following papers which had been circulated were submitted 
for final consideration : — 
Chemist's Reports : — 

1. Research in Tropical Medecineby Capt. Wanhill, R.A.M.C. 

2. Training of Distillers at the Laboratory. 

3. Distribution of Cane Tops. 
Reports Director of Public Gardens : — 

1. Experiment Station. 

2. Mr. Cradwick. 

Letters re Jamaica Tobacco from I. Sir D. Morris, 2. Mr. F. V. 
Chalmers, 3. The Imperial Institute, with members' comments on 
the last, which were read. 

The Director of Public Gardens read a paragraph which had 
appeared in the Jamaica "Daily Telegraph', reporting on the 
sailors' opinion in the Navy of tobacco issued to them for trial ; 
they objected to the pipe tobacco but were well pleased with the 
cigarette tobacco. 

Papers re Mr. Nolan and Jamaica Rum, with the Chemist's 
comments on same urging a standard of 200 parts of Ether. 

This standard was approved of. 

[Issaed 10th January, 1906.] 
Printed at the Oovt, Printing Office, Kingston^ Jam. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 





Vol. IV. FEBRUARY. 1906. Part 2. 


By H. H. Cousins, M.A., Government Chemist. 

At the suggestion of the writer, the Board of Agriculture ar- 
ranged that Mr. Cradwick should take a number of soil samples 
from typical cultivations of the smaller planters in St. Mary for 
partial Analysis in the Laboratory, so that advice might be given 
as to the need of drainage, humus, or lime in each case ; our pre- 
vious Analyses and experiments having indicated that the banana 
soils of St. Mary are not in present need of commercial fertilizers, 
but require special attention to drainage and humus and in some 
cases lime, it appeared desirable that a good number of typical 
soils should be examined to this end. 

Mr. Cradwick made a special visit to St. Mary * and early in 
1905 sent in 51 examples of soil to the Laboratory, with observa- 
tions as to the conditions he noticed in each case. 

Unfortunately several of the samples were labelled with perish- 
able labels and only 39 samples were capable of being identified. 

These have been examined as to 

A. Mechanical condition. 

B. Percentage of Lime as Carbonate. 

C. Percentage of Humus, soluble in Ammonia, and the results 
are here given. Mr. Cradwick's original observations being quoted 
in each case. 

♦ Mr. Cradwick'B Report will be found in BulUUn Oct. 19(6, page 220. Editor, Bulletin. 


Digitized by VjOOQ 


A— Rio Magno— St. Catherine: 
[" Soil from the bank near River, Bananas poor, cocoa very 

No. I — Surface Soil. 
Sample lost. 

No. 2 — Subsoil. 

Lime as carbonate . . . Abundance 

Humus ... 1.28^ 

Mechanical condition ... Clay, loam 


From a previous sample examined in the Laboratory from the 
same source, it was found that this soil was variable, some pat- 
ches being very good soil for bananas and others below par in 
humus and general fertility. 

The soil does not lack lime. 

No. 3 — Surface soil. 
["Near Immortelle nursery, between house and river, poor 
bananas, cocoa worse".] 

Lime as carbonate . . . Abundance 

Humus ... 2.23^ 

Mechanical condition ... Clay, loam 

This soil does not lack lime and the humus is fairly good. 
The soil is inclined to be heavy and drainage is probably the 
factor required to ensure a good and vigorous growth of bananas 
and cocoa. 

The subsoil sample was lost, but there are indications, that the 
subsoil here is impervious and that deep drains would be neces- 
sary to enable the cocoa roots to penetrate and develop. 

No. 5 — Surface soil. 
[" From corner near cow-pen, good bananas and good cocoa."] 
Lime as carbonate ... 125% 

Humus ... 4- 16^ 

Mechanical condition ... Stiff clay 


The humus in this case is very high and despite the stiflF na- 
ture of the soil, the results of the cultivation are reported as satis- 

If well drained, this soil should be of very high fertility. 

There is abundance of lime and an unusual amount of humus. 

Hampstead— St. Mary. 

No. 7 — Surface soil. (Missing). 
No. 8— Subsoil of No. 7, 
[" Just inside gate — a spot where nothing has thriven, the pro- 
prietor says it is improving from the application of banana trash."] 
Lime as carbonate ... Abundance 

Humus ... 0.36^ 

Mechanical condition ... Clayey marl 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



This soil is almost devoid of humus and one that would absorb 
an enormous amount of vegetable matter without greatly improving 
its nature. 

It is doubtful whether soils of this type can be profitably culti- 
vated for bananas. 

No. 9 — Surface soil, 

["Near by cotton tree — everything thrives here, but I think more 
drainage would improve the bearing of cocoa. 

Bananas very fine and very large cocoa pods on some trees 
grown from seedlings from Hope Gardens."] 

Lime as carbonate ... Abundance 

Humus ... 4-4% 

Mechanical condition — Stiff soil, inclined to clay 


This soil is very rich in humus and contains an abundance of 

Mr. Cradwick's suggestion as to deeper drainage can be confi- 
dently supported. 

This soil is worth handling on intensive lines of cultivation and 
has a large reserve of banana-producing power to draw upon. 

The contrast between this soil and the previous one is very 

No. II — Surface soil. 

[" From spot where bananas give good bunches but do not finish 
up well. Cocoa does not grow in spite of being near a big 

Lime as carbonate ... Abundance 

Humus ... 3. 37/^ 

Mechanical condition ... Heavy clay 

No. 1 2 — Subsoil of above. 
[" This land wants more drainage."] 


This soil only needs deep drainage to produce excellent results. 
The humus is well up to standard. In my opinion this soil 
would repay the cost of deeper drainage and intensive cultiva- 

No. 13 — Surface soil, 
[" One of the spots I suggested as no use wrestling with, better 
plant some good trees and grass on it."] 

Lime as carbonate ... Very high 

Humus ... 4-4^ 

Mechanical condition ... Clayey loam 


This soil is so rich in humus that if adequate drainage is prac- 
ticable, it should grow good fruit. 

A trial should be given of this before abandoning the land to 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


No. 15 — Surface soil 

["Spot where the Laboratory has been experimenting with 

[" Very poor and ' shotty/ has improved with manure but still 
looks pretty bad. The bananas look spotty and thriftless, do not 
bear, and have a lot of little round galls or warts on them. 

The manure has grown about the finest Spanish needle I have 
ever seen.''] 

Lime as carbonate ... Excessive 

Humus ... 0.95^ 

Mechanical composition Clay marl 


This soil is quite unsuited for bananas by nature, and in my 
opinion will not repay the heavy applications of vegetable refuse 
and manure that would be required to enable it to produce good 

No. 17. — Surface soil. 

[" ' Pasture Piece,' a field of young cocoa, about 3 years old, most 
of which are growing nicely. The land has some drains, but they 
are not systematic, and I recommend, in order to make a success 
of this field, that contour drains at intervals of not more than 24 
feet should be put in."] 

Lime as carbonate Abundance 

Humus ... 4.25^ 

Mechanical condition — Stiff" clay with similar 


A first class soil, but demanding deep drainage. Unless this is 
attended to the cocoa will probably fail after a few years. 

HiGHGATE, St. Mary. 

No. 21. — Surface soil. 

["'John's Piece,' where cocoa is growing well. More drainage 
would improve the bearing. Fine bananas were growing on this 
land, but shelter trees would be useful both for bananas and 

Lime as carbonate ... 1. 25^ 

Humus ... 2.57 

Mechanical condition — Stiff — inclined to 
clay, with similar subsoil. 


Drainage is clearly essential. The humus is good, but might 
be higher to advantage. The soil does not lack lime. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


No. 23. — Surface Soil. 

["Bananas and cocoa, 2 years old, nearly all look poorly. This 
sample is not taken from the worst spots, which I have advised to 
be thrown up and planted in trees and grass to provide manure 
for the better land from which the sample was taken."] 
Lime as carbonate ... 10°^ 

Humus ... 3.2^ 

Mechanical condition — Stiff clay with similar 


With drainage this soil should grow good bananas. The hu- 
mus in this sample is higher than in the previous one reported 
upon (No. 21). 

Oracabessa a. St. Mary. 

No. 25. — Surface soil. 

[" Very mixed cultivation of good bananas, cocoa, coffee and 
coco-nuts. Bananas are very fair as ratoons, but late, and the 
proprietor says are late every year. Well-drained land, but not 
forked since the prize-holding contest of three years ago."] 
Lime as carbonate ... 2.75^ 

Humus ... 2.84^ 

Mechanical condition — Stiff, inclined to clay. 


This land is in good heart, but would give better results with 
more tillage. This land should be forked thoroughly and a sup- 
ply of green manure secured, so as to maintain the standard of 

No. 27. — Surface soil. 

[" From heavy flat, near house, bananas grow well here, but are 
also late. I have suggested that bananas on this land should be 
replanted oftener and particular attention be paid to drainage. 
Trash, which is very easy to obtain, should be applied as heavily 
as possible, and the land receive a dressing of lime."] 
Lime as carbonate ... 2.25^ 

Humus ... 339^ 

Mechanical condition — Stiff, inclined to clay. 


The analysis shows that this soil contains abundance of lime. 

The addition recommended by Mr. Cradwick might prove of 
advantage in making the soil more friable, but it would tend to a 
somewhat rapid loss of humus. 

Drainage and tillage are obviously the chief requirements. 

The present standard of humus is quite good for an average 
banana soil. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Oracabessa, B. 

No, 2(),— Surface soil, 
["Bananas planted July, 1904. Drained and in good health, 
but in many spots the bananas are coming on very slowly."] 
Lime as carbonate ... 125^ 

Humus ... 3.39^ 

Mechanical condition — Stiff soil, with very 
stiff clay subsoil. 

The indications are that more drainage would remedy the de- 
fect noted by Mr. Cradwick. 

The lime and humus are quite satisfactory. 


No. 31. — Surface soil. 
Lime as carbonate ... 2.5^ 

Humus ... 30% 

Mechanical condition — Stiff clay. 

No. 33. — Surface Soil. 
Lime as carbonate ... ^ 0% 

Humus ... 2.32^ 

Mechanical condition — Medium clay. 

No. 31 is a good soil for bananas if well drained. 
No. 32 is somewhat deficient in humus. 

There is no deficiency of lime. Drainage is the chief factor to 
be considered in the cultivation of these soils. 
No. 35. — Surface Soil. 
["A fair sample of many 'gall spots' which appear in the 
midst of very good land, fruit is both small and late. 

A manure that would increase the size of bunches and bring in 
the fruit earlier is much needed"]. 

Lime as carbonate ... 3-0^ 

Humus ... 1.84^ 

Mechanical condition — Light soil of medium texture. 


The humus in this soil is below par, and it is very doubtful 
whether any manure other than farmyard manure would do much 

Galls are often a temptation to the use of extravagant manur- 
ing that the crop cannot pay for and in many cases are best left 

Port Maria. 

No. 37. — Surface soil. 
[" From cocoa walk near house. I have suggested as a first step, 
systematic drainage, forking right through the land, manuring 
with trash or any kind of manure available, together with Lime 
and the replanting of the bananas. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The cocoa here was badly damaged by the hurricane."] 
Lime as carbonate ... 1.62^ 

Humus ... 2.86^ 

Mechanical condition — ^Very stiff clay with 
impervious sub-soil. 


All Mr. Cradwick's proposals, with the exception of the use 
of lime, are fully supported from the Laboratory observations. 

This is a very heavy soil and would be benefited by deep 
drainage and tillage and the humus could be increased to advan- 

PORT Maria— B, 

No. 39 40. — Surface and Sub-soil, 

[" From a spot where bananas practically go to nothing, it is 
drained very irregularly to a depth not exceeding 18 inches."] 
Lime as carbonate ... Considerable. 

Humus ... 3-07% 

Mechanical Condition — Stiff clay with light 
coloured clay marl, sub-soil. 


This soil cannot be expected to grow good fruit without a really 
deep and efficient system of drainage. 

Considering the amount of chalk in the soil, the Humus must 
be considered good. 

This is a type of soil on which bananas grow with difficulty 
and if all the land were similar to this, it would be expensive to 
work and the results probably disappointing. 


No. 41 & 42. — Surface and Sub-soil. 

[" From Banana Walk, Eastern slope — ^Bananas four years old, 
good stems but damaged by winds. 

Land wants draining and cultivating only."] 

Lime as carbonate ... • 61 ^ 

Humus ... 1.552 

Mechanical condition — Red soil, stiff clayey 
loam, with similar sub-soil. 


This soil is deficient in Humus and a heavy covering of refuse 
manure should prove beneficial. 

Drainage is obviously necessary. The soil is capable of great 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


No. 43 & 44.— Surface soil and Sub-soil, 
[" From flat near house ; Bananas not so good. Land wants 
draining and manuring."] 

Lime as carbonate .. Nil. 

Humus ... 0.89% 

Mechanical condition — Clay loam, with 
similar sub-soil 


This soil is entirely deficient in chalk, and should be treated 
with half a ton of lime each year. The humus is so low, that 
bananas cannot be expected to grow. 

Heroic measures are required to improve this serious deficiency. 

Drainage is also imperative. As compared with the[previous soil, 
this presents far greater difficulties in converting it into good 
banana land. 


No. 47. — Surface soil, 
[" From Orange River field about the centre where cocoa trees 
look well."]. 

Lime as carbonate ... 1. 8//^ 

Humus ... 5 09/^ 

Mechanical condition — Stiff clay soil. 

A soil with a splendid standard of Humus and containing 
abundance of chalk. Retentive and demanding drainage. 

No. 48. — Surface soil, 

[" Higher up the same field where the cocoa looks middling"]. 

Lime as carbonate ... I 87^ 

Humus ... 3 11^ 

Mechanical condition — Stiff loam. 


This soil only has f as much humus as the previous sample and 
this would account for the trees not doing quite so well. 

No. 49. — Surface soil, 

[" Top of the same field, cocoa trees poor, much exposed to 
wind or rain. 

There the trees require a good wind-brake to protect them. 
I would suggest as an experiment that the proprietor should 
drain a small section of this land to an extent that might even 
seem extravagant"]. 

Lime as carbonate ... I • 75 ^ 

Humus ... 2.56^ 

Mechanical condition — Stiff clay. 


Digitized by VjOOQ 



A comparison of the three last soils will illustrate how in the 
tropics, the upper area of hills in cultivation get washed and poor 
in Humus, while a progressive enrichment is found in the lower 
levels. All these soils indicate the desirability of drainage. 

They do not need lime. The humus of the upper portion is so 
much less in amount than that of the lower, that it is not surpris- 
ing that the cocoa should be poor, apart from the exposure to 
wind which Mr. Cradwick has pointed out. Any drainage works 
would have to be carried out at a carefully adjusted gradient and 
the washings carefully replaced on the soil. Every effort should 
be directed towards reducing loss of fertility in the upper area. 

These soils indicate that the original idea upon which the work 
was based is sound, viz : — 

That in most cases the needs of the banana soils in St, Mary 
and the neighbouring districts are not chemical fertilizers, but 
rather — 

(i) Drainage 
(ii) Humus 

and in some cases 
(iii) Lime. 
Mr. Cradwick is to be congratulated upon the way in which his 
advice has been generally supported by the conclusions derived 
from the subsequent examination of the soils in the Laboratory, as 
is here evident and it is hoped that this work may be extended in 
the future so that a large number of the smaller cultivators may 
be advised as to the practical treatment of the soils on their 


The cultivated area at the Hope Gardens contains not only an 
ornamental garden but also an Experiment and Teaching Station, 

The first beginning of an Experiment Station at Hope was in 
1874 under Mr. Robert Thomson. The Government came into 
possession of 200 acres of land there in 1873, and determined to 
transfer the new varieties of Sugar Cane, received from the Botanic 
Gardens of Mauritius andMartinique and planted in the small garden 
at Castleton, to the ample area at Hope. Nearly 18 acres were 
put under Cane in 1874, and 5 more in 1875, and during the same 
year lO acres were planted in Teak. A small nursery was also 
formed. In 1 88 5, Sir D. Morris, at that time Director, proposed 
that the land round the nursery should be made into a public park 
at a cost of £5,000, though he thought a Botanic Garden could not 
be carried on without a system of reservoirs for the storage of 
water. However, Governor Sir Henry Norman decided that, as 
there were no conveniences at that time for people travelling 
cheaply from Kingston, there should be no outlay except grad- 
ually in forming a Garden. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


In 1897 the Government transferred the present Director with 
Office and Herbarium from Cinchona to Hope, with the intention 
of making it the central botanical establishment of the island. 
Since that time the Garden has gradually been formed and ex- 

The following plants are grown for experimental purposes, and 
also for use in teaching agricultural principles, and the best 
methods of dealing with these tropical crops : — Sugar Cane, Cocoa, 
Coffee, Tobacco, Banana, Rubber, Nutmeg, Citrus, Grape Vine, 
Pine Apple, Cassava, Sweet Potatoes, &c. 

Practical instruction is giv^n in the Garden to apprentices, to 
boys from the Industrial School, to Students at Training Colleges, 
to Elementary School Teachers in their vacation, to Agricultural 
Students, and to Planters themselves. 

There are about 8 acres under Sugar Cane of several varieties 
which are being tested by the Agricultural Chemist and distribu- 
ted to Planters. Seedlings are grown from seed and are tested as 
they mature. 

Forastero and CrioUo Cocoa are grown, and experiments are 
being made as to the eflfect of shade trees, and as to the difference 
in growth, and yield of crop, when planted close and at wider 
distances apart. 

Coffee of several kinds may be seen : — Arabian or common 
Coffee, Liberian, Abbeokuta, Highland Coffee of Sierra Leone 
(stenophylla), Maragogipe, Golden Drop, &c. 

Tobacco is under cultivation, and the leaf is cured in the to- 
bacco house close by. The apprentices are instructed in all the 
details of cultivation, and the technique of curing the leaf for 
cigar tobacco. A quarter of an acre of Sumatra seed tobacco is 
grown under the shade of cheese cloth. This tobacco yields a 
very high-class leaf for the outside wrapper of cigars. 

A collection has been established of twenty-three varieties of 
Banana from various parts of the world, chiefly obtained through 
the kindness of the Director of Kew Gardens and the Commis- 
sioner of the Imperial Department of Agriculture. 

Budded Citrus plants have been planted out for comparison, 
both of varieties that have proved successful in Florida and Cali- 
fornia, and also of native seedling trees. Attempts are being 
made to get a variety of Orange which will bear fruit when the 
highest prices are obtained in English and American markets. 

Pine Apples of several varieties are grown, and experiments 
are being made in cross-fertilising different varieties, with the 
object, for instance, of getting a pine with the flavour of the Rip- 
ley, the fine appearance of the Smooth Cayenne, and the good 
carrying qualities of the Red Spanish. 

Rubber plants of various kinds are grown : — Para, Castilloa, 
Ceara, Lagos silk rubber, Landolphia, &c. 

* See Guide to Hope GardeoB by Walter JekyU. Published by MeBsri. Aston Gardner 
& Cn., Kingston. Prioe, One SnUling. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by VjOOQiC 


There are 28 varieties of Cassava collected from different parts 
of Jamaica, 10 from Porto Rico, and 30 from Colombia. These 
68 varieties are being tested as to weight of tubers per acre, and 
percentage of starch. The starch is said to be better for laund- 
ries and for dressing Manchester goods than that produced by 
any other plant. It is claimed also that Cassava yields more 
starch per acre than ony other plant. 

Similar tests, besides value as food, are also carried out with 
reference to Sweet Potatoes, — 2^ varieties from Jamaica, 12 from 
Barbados, and 9 from the U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, Washington, 
D. C. 

Results of tests of plants are published from time to time in the 
Bulletin and Annual Reports. 

A plan of the cultivated portions of the Government grounds is 
given, so that visitors may readily find any particular kind of 
economic plant grown there for experimental or teaching purposes. 

The following is an Index to the numbers on the plan : — 

1. Lemon Grass. 

2. Oaasava. 

3. Pine Apples. 

4. Yam Beans. 

5. Tobacco and Cassava. 

6. Citrus Grove and Cassava. 

7. Bananas and Mangoes. 

8. Tanias, Cassava and 8weet Potatoes. 

9. Cassava. 
10a. Tobacco. 

10b. Sumatra Tobacco under Shade 

11. School Garden. 
1 2 Plantation of Cananga and Para 


13. Cassava. 

14. Cassava. 

15. Ippi-appa. 

16. Seedling Canes. 

17. Cocoa. 

18. Cassava. 

19. Canes (Seedling). 
20 Ippi-appa. 

21. Canes. 

22. Cassava. 

23. Tobacco House. 

24. Cassava. 

25. Sweet Potatoes. 

26. Seedling Canes. 

27. Assistant Superintendent's Quar- 


28. Canes. 

29. Bananas. 

30. Navel Oranges and Sweet Potatoes 

31. Khus-khus Grass. 

32. Pergola with Climbers. 

33. Crotons, &c. 

34. Director's Residence. 

35. Economic Plants. 

36 & 37 Vanilla, Cocoa, &c. 
38 Orchid Walk. 

39. Pergola with Climbers. 

40. Lawn 

41. Road to Castilloa Rubber. 

42. Rockery with Lace Bark plants 

and Succulents, and, beyond 
Honduras Logwood. 

43. Lawn with Date Palms. 

44. Director's Office. 

45. Lawn bordered with Oleanders 

and Carob Bean plants. 
46a. Nursery. 
46b. Plant Houses. 

47. VanUla. 

48. Rose Garden. 

49. Water Works Conduit. 

50. New Nursery. 

Digitized by 



The following popular notes on varieties of grape fruit and 
shaddocks, by Sir Daniel Morris, K.C.M.G., D.Sc, D.C.L., appeared 
in Garden and Forest, an American horticultural journal published 
at New York, April 22, 1896. Recently applications for information 
in regard to the respective merits of grape fruits and shaddocks 
were received from the Board of Agriculture in the Bahamas and 
other sources, and with the view of placing the facts on record in 
an accessible form, they were reprinted in the pages of the West 
Indian Bulletin^ and are now reproduced here : — 

During my recent visit to New York I was much interested to 
notice the considerable demand that existed there for grape fruit,t 
from the West Indies. It appears to be very strongly recommended 
by the medical faculty for its refreshing and tonic properties, and, 
in consequence, the use of it has become an important feature in 
the diet in American cities. The fruit I saw in New York called 
grape fruit consisted of various sorts and qualities, and there is 
little doubt that much confusion exists as to what is really grape 
fruit as distinct from the allied citrus fruits passing under such 
names as PumelowJ, Shaddock, Forbidden fruit. Paradise fruit and 
others. The chief characteristics of all these fruits, distinguish- 
ing them from the different varieties of the orange, are associated 
with the size and colour. They are all, or nearly all, larger than 
the largest orange, and they are uniformly of a pale-yellow colour. 
In texture the rind may be smooth or even polished. It is seldom 
rough, nearly always firm and not very thick. The pulp is pale 
yellow or greenish-white, sometimes pink or crimson. The vesi- 
cles of the pulp (juice bags) are more distinct than in the orange ; 
very juicy, somewhat sweetish with a distinct, but agreeable, bit- 
ter flavour. The pith surrounding the segments possesses more 
of the bitter then the pulp, but is less agreeable, and on that ac- 
count is never eaten. In shape these fruits vary a good deal. 
Some are quite globular, others somewhat flattened at the top and 
tapering below, forming a pear-shaped body. Even in the globu- 
lar fruits the top is more or less flattened. There are none, I be- 
lieve, pointed at both ends. 

Having indicated the general characters of this class of citrus 
fruits, I may venture on a brief sketch of their origin and history. 
It is agreed by all authorities that these fruits are quite distinct 
from the other groups of the orange family, such as the true 
oranges and the citrons. They have, therefore, been kept apart 
and ranged under the Giant Citrus, Citrus decumana. In this species 
the tree is 12 to 18 feet high, with a flat crown and spreading 
branches, usually with no spines. The leaves are elliptic-rounded 
at both ends, eniarginate (that is, with a notch at the apex) and 
crenulate (having the edge marked with small depressions); 

♦ From West Indian Bulletin. VI., 1906. page 284. 

t It is so called because the fruits grow in clusters like n bunch of grapes. 

X It is invariably spelled Pomelo in the Qnitdd States. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


the under side of the leaf is softly hairy, with the wings broad, 
crenulated as in the leaves, and bordered with fine hairs. The 
flowers are in clusters of from three to nine, large, white, and fra- 
grant. The fruit is either globose or pear-shaped, forming many 
seedling varieties without distinct names. This is supposed to be 
a native of the islands of the Pacific, whence it had been brought 
to southern China, Japan, and India. It was introduced to the 
West Indies, according to Macfayden, from China by Captain 
Shaddock, whose name has since been given to it. The term 
shaddock may be correctly applied to any of the larger members 
of the giant citrus, and is equivalent to the French pompelmouse, 
which is another form of the Dutch pomplemoes. The word po- 
melow, so widely used in India and Ceylon, is supposed to be a 
contraction of * pomum melo,' the melon apple. The largest " pu- 
melows' in India are said to reach * 2 feet in circumference and 
weigh 10 to 20 lb.' The best sort, according to Bonavia, is 'the 
thin-skinned, red pumelow of the Bombay market.' This is of a 
globose shape, juicy, and ' of the colour of raw beef internally.' 
There are, however, numerous grades in size, some being almost 
as small as oranges. In India the varieties do not appear to have 
recognised names. Elsewhere the smaller fruits have been vari- 
ously called Paradise apples. Forbidden fruit, and Grape fruit. 

As regards the proper classification of the West Indian varieties, 
I cannot do better than record that put forth by Dr. James Mac- 
fayden, the learned author of the Flora of Jamaica^ which, however, 
he never lived to carry into more than one volume and part of 
another. Referring to the large-fruited sorts, he states : ' There 
are two varieties of shaddock. In the variety a. maliforntis, the 
the fruit is globose, with the pulp of a pale-pink colour, approach- 
ing to a very light yellow. In the variety h. pyriformis the fruit is 
more or less pear-shaped, and the pulp is of crimson colour, more 
or less intense. The second cTf these varieties is the more esteemed, 
being sweet and juicy and having only in a slight and palatable 
degree the acridity which abounds in the first. . I may remark that 
I have always found the pear-shaped variety good, whereas it is 
seldom the case with the round-shaped fruit. There cannot be a 
doubt but that, if budding, as is done in China, were more gene- 
rally practised, instead of trusting to propagation by seed, the fruit 
would be much improved.' 

The smaller pumelows or shaddocks are ranged by Macfayden 
under a distinct species, which he calls Citrus paradisi. The tree 
is described as 30 feet high, of handsome appearance, with sub- 
erect branches and sharp at the apex. The leaves are oval, 
rounded, and smooth on both sides. The flowers have linear 
petals and the stamens are twenty-five in number. The diff'erences 
between this and C. decumana appear to consist in the more erect 
habit of the plant, in the rounded (not emarginate) leaves, and in 
the linear-rounded (not oblong-obtuse) petals. With regard to the 
fruit he remarks: 'There are also two varieties of this species : 
var. a. pyriformis, Barbados Grape fruit ; var. h, maliformis, For- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


bidden fruit. The pear-shaped variety, as the shaddock, possesses 
most of the sweet principle, and is, on the whole a preferable 
fruit.' This classification was made by Macfayden nearly sixty 
years ago, therefore long before these fruits were so widely dis- 
tributed as now in other parts of tropical America. He was so 
accurate and skilful an observer that, as far as the new world 
fruits are concerned, we cannot very well improve upon it. It is 
doubtful whether the small- fruited sorts he places under C.paradisi 
really deserve specific rank, but that point does not affect the main 
question with which we started, namely — what are the differences, 
if any, existing between the shaddock and the grape fruit ? In 
summing up the results of the investigation, we may say that all 
the larger-fruited sorts may be called indifferently either pumelows 
or shaddocks. These are merely the eastern and western names 
for the same thing, and are perfectly interchangeable. No dis- 
tinction appears ever to have been made between them. 
There are two well-marked varieties, one being globose, with the 
flesh of a pale-pink colour, and the other pear-shaped, usually with 
a deep-pink or crimson pulp. As regards the small fruited sorts, 
these, according to Macfayden may be either globose, when they 
are called forbidden fruit, or pear-shaped, when grape fruit is the 
older name. The name forbidden fruit (from a fancied connexion 
with the Garden of Eden) is tolerably old in the West Indies. 
Tussac, in the Flores des Antilles, published in 1824, gives a good 
figure of the typical shaddock, which he translates into the French 
Chadec. In Vol. Ill, pp. 73-74, he states : ' J'ai eu occasion d' ob- 
server a la Jamaique, dans le jardin botanique d'East, une espece 
de Chadec dont les fruits, qui n'excedent pas en grosseur une belle 
orange sont disposes en grappes : les Anglais de la Jamaique don- 
nent a ce fruit le nom de " Forbidden-fruit,'* fruit defendu, ou 
smaller shaddock.' Later on he refers to the same fruit in the 
following words : * Cest une assiette de dessert tres distinguee et 
fort saine' (p. 74). In the case of the forbidden fruit and grape 
fruit they are exactly reversed. As usually happens, when a name 
has become familiar in commerce, it is eventually applied in a 
much wider sense than the original one. Thus, the term grape 
fruit has become so general that any moderately large fruit pro- 
vided the skin is pale-yellow, thin and smooth, and the pulp of a 
delicate flavour, is designated by it. The fruit commonly called 
grape-fruit in New York is really the forbidden fruit of the West 
Indies. The true grape fruit is pear-shaped, and according to Mac- 
fayden, when obtainable at its best, is preferable to the forbidden 
fruit. The fruit shipped from the Bahamas as grape fruit is usual- 
ly round with a polished yellow skin of a silky texture and very 
heavy. This is probably one of the best of its class, and quite 
equal to Macfadyen's pear-shaped variety. Next comes some ex- 
cellent fruit from Jamaica, no doubt that already referred to by 
Tussac under the name of forbidden fruit, a smaller shaddock. 
According to the New York estimation, this would be almost a 
typical grape fruit, supplying ' une assiette de dessert tres distin- 
gu6e et fort saine.' 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Further information on the pumelow was contributed by Sir 
Daniel Morris to the Gardeners' Chronicle, 1896, Vol. H., p. 616, as 
follows : — 

I have been asked more than once lately whether there is no 
fruit, yet unknown to most English palates, which might be in- 
troduced into this country, and form a pleasant article of food. 
As there seems to be some general interest in the subject, your 
readers may, perhaps, like to hear of some fruits which have come 
under my notice. 

The pumelow of India, one of the giant members of the orange 
tribe, is well known to people who have lived in the East. Some 
very large specimens have been known to attain a circumference 
of more than two feet, and to weigh from 1 5 to 20lbs. Generally 
pumelows are not held in high esteem in India and Ceylon, except 
by those who have lived long there, and know how to select the 
best sort by their size and colour. The best Bombay pumelows 
are said to be exceptionally good. They have a pink pulp of a 
juicy character, sweet in flavour, with a slight but agreeable bitter 
taste. The first pumelows were brought to the West Indies by Cap- 
tain Shaddock about 1 50 years ago. Since that time the fruit has 
always been known in that part of the world as the shaddock, in 
compliment to the person who introduced it. Owing to circum- 
stances of soil and climate, and to the raising of plants almost 
exclusively by seed, many varieties have sprung up that have be- 
come recognized by distinct names. Of the larger fruits, the 
pumelow or shaddock proper, there are two well marked forms ; 
the first is the apple-shaped shaddock, usually with a whitish or 
a pale pink pulp, the other is a pear-shaped fruit, with a pink, 
and sometimes a deep crimson pulp. Both these are large fruits, 
weighing from 3 to 6 lbs. in weight ; they have the characteristic 
pale yellow skin, and inside there is a white pithy layer more or 
less thick ; then comes the pulp with the vesicles or juice bags 
very prominent — indeed the latter are so distinct that they can be 
easily separated the one from the other. The bitter flavour 
is very marked in the inferior sorts, in some instances it becomes 
quite acrid. The best sorts have a sweetish flavour and only a 
slight taste of bitter, of the smaller fruits, to which Macfadyen has 
given the name of Paradise fruits, there are in the West Indies two 
well marked forms. The apple shaped fruits are known as for- 
bidden fruit, while the pear shaped sorts are known as Barbados 
grape fruit. Both these are very attractive looking fruits ; they 
have a pale yellow skin usually very thin, are soft and silky to 
the touch, while the pulp is sweet and refreshing. The slightly 
bitter flavour is regarded as giving them tonic properties of great 
value in dyspepsia and allied ailments. 

During the last fifteen years the paradise fruits, or more cor- 
rectly grape fruit, have been in great demand in the United States. 
They have been very strongly recommended by the medical 
faculty, and in consequence their use has become an important 
feature in the diet of a large number of the American people. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The consumption of them has increased by leaps and bounds, and 
every year for the past few years it has more than doubled. A 
few days ago (says Garden and Forest) 2 barrels of small-sized 
grape fruit realized the extraordinary price of £5 each in New 
York ; and 7 barrels of similar fruit were sold in Philadelphia for 
£5 lOs. each. Such fruit would retail at more than $1.00 a piece 
This is probably the highest price ever paid for specimens of the 
orange tribe. It shows very clearly how keen is the demand for grape 
fruit, and what importance is attached to it as a refreshing and 
healthful adjunct to the food supply of the United States. At one 
time there was a better market for grape fruit — or, rather forbid- 
den fruit, as it was called — in the United Kingdom than in Ame- 
rica, but the tables are now turned. America especially 
since the destructive frosts in Florida, has now absorbed 
almost the whole supply from the West Indies. Sooner 
or later, however, English people will realise the special merits of 
the grape fruit and a demand will arise for it, to the possible ad- 
vantage of those West India Islands which are in a position to 
supply it. It would be well, therefore, for the people in that part 
of the world to establish small orchards of grape fruit trees of the 
best quality, and to be prepared to ship the fruit in such condition 
that they may get the best price for it. This would be one way 
of alleviating, to some extent, the depression under which they 
are now suffering, owing to the unremunerative character of the 
sugar industry. 

The following, containing further notes on grape fruits and 
shaddocks, was contributed by Sir Daniel Morris to Chambers* 
Journal of January 30, 1897. 

Under the title of 'paradise fruits,' Dr. Macfadyen, many years 
ago, described some interesting members of the orange family. 
Their origin was not clearly traced, but there was little doubt that 
they had been produced by seed variation in the West Indies. 
Their nearest relations were the common shaddocks or pumelows 
{Citrus decumana). These are well known as the largest of the 
citrus fruits ; some fine specimens have weighed as much as 20lbs., 
and measured 2 feet in circumference. According to Alphonse 
de Candolle, ' shaddocks and pumelows are probably natives of 
the islands east of the Malay Archipelago.' They were found in a 
wild state by Seemann and others in the Fiji Islands and the 
Friendly Islands, so there is little doubt of their Polynesian origin. 
They are now distributed in most tropical countries, but, except in 
a few localities, they are not so highly esteemed, for instance, as 
the best oranges. Usually the skin is thick and pithy, and the 
pulp bitter, and there is little or no demand for them in commerce. 
The paradise fruits, on the other hand, are in great demand, and 
they are regarded as the most refreshing and wholesome of any 
of the citrus family. Recently in New York, some of the latter 
were retailed at almost fabulous prices, and the demand increases 
every year. The paradise fruits, while they fall specifically under 
Citrus decumana, or the giant Citrus, have many points of merit, 
not the least of which, is the keen preference shown for them by 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


the people of the United States. They are quite distinct from the 
true oranges, citrons, and other groups of the orange family. 

The typical fruits of Citrus decumana are those known in India 
as pumelows (a contraction of pomum melo, the melon apple) called 
by the French Pompelmouse or Pamplemouse, and by the Spanish 
and Dutch Pompelmoos. As these fruits were first introduced to 
the West Indies by Captain Shaddock, in that part of the world 
they have always borne his name. Pumelows and shaddocks are 
only the old and new world names for the same fruit. Some- 
times it is stated that the largest fruits are called shaddocks and 
the next in size pumelows. There is no authority for this distinc- 
tion. In this place, I shall quote pumelows and shaddocks indif- 
ferently as convenient popular names for all the largest fruits of 
the typical Citrus decumana. A preference may unconsciously be 
given to the use of the word shaddock, but only because it is the 
most familiar name in the West Indies. As regards the varieties 
of these fruits existing in different parts of the world, they are for 
the most part distinguished by the locality where they are grown 
rather than by any character they may possess. For instance, in 
India the best pumelow, according to Bonavia, is the thin-skinned, 
red pumelow of Bombay. This is a perfectly globose fruit, very 
juicy, and with the pulp of a rosy-red colour. The botanical 
characters of Citrus decumana are perhaps more marked than in any 
other species. The tree is larger, and both the young shoots and 
under side of the leaves are covered more or less with soft down. 
No other species of citrus has the latter characteristic. The tree 
may be as high as 20 feet, with a flat crown and many spreading 
branches. Usually there are no spines. The leaves are distinctly 
rounded at both ends, with a notch at the apex ; the edges are 
uneven or wavy, owing to the presence of a number of small de- 
pressions ; the stalk or petiole is furnished with two broad wings, 
also wavy, and bordered with fine hairs. The flowers are somewhat 
like those of the orange, but larger, and are both white and fra- 
grant ; they are usually in clusters of three to nine. The fruit is 
spherical or pear-shaped, very large, sometimes even as large as a 
man's head, and very heavy. The juice is always slightly acid, 
while the rind in the common sorts is remarkably thick, with a 
bitter inner membrane. The vesicles containing the juice are 
very prominent, and arranged transversely ; in the orange they 
are hardly discernible. 

Pumelows or shaddocks differ from other citrus fruits in size ; 
they are invariably larger than the largest orange and, in addi- 
tion, are compact and very heavy. In colour, they are pale-yellow, 
almost like lemons, but they differ from the lemon in having 
usually a smoother skin. The flesh is pale-yellow or greenish- 
white ; in some sorts there is a tendency to pink or crimson, as in 
the so-called 'blood-oranges.' The pink-fleshed shaddocks, if 
otherwise acceptable, are more esteemed than the white-fleshed. 
They are said to be sweeter and more juicy, and have only in a 
slight and palatable degree the peculiar flavour of the ordinary 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


shaddocks. Macfayden, sixty years ago, stated that he always 
found the pear-shaped shaddocks better than the spherical sorts. 
His experience is not invariably endorsed at the present time. 
Some of the spherical fruits are of a very delicate flavour, and, as 
already mentioned, the best of the Indian sorts are not only spheri- 
cal, but have also a pink flesh. 

So far, I have described the fruits of the typical Citrus decumana 
only. When we come to the smaller fruits, we find that both in 
the tree yielding them, as well as in the fruits themselves, there 
are certain distinguishing features which show they are rightly 
separated by Macfadyen, although we cannot go so far as he has 
done in assigning the plant producing them specific rank. Mac- 
fadyen grouped the smaller fruits under Citrus paradisi, thus ex- 
pressing his appreciation of them by designating them the fruits 
of Paradise. He distinguished two varieties, to which he gave 
the names of forbidden fruits and the Barbados grape fruit. He 
described the tree as of handsome appearance, about 30ft. in height, 
with branches sub-erect and sharp at the apex. It will be noticed 
that in the shaddock the tree was 20 feet high, with a flat crown 
and spreading branches. The leaves are oval, rounded, and 
smooth on both sides. The flowers have linear instead of oblong 
petals, and the stamens are twenty-five to twenty-six in number 
instead of thirty to thirty-five. The fruits, as in the shaddocks, are 
either spherical or pear shaped. To the pear shaped fruits 
were assigned the name of grape fruit, because they usually 
grow in clusters ; while the spherical fruits were called for- 
bidden fruit from a fancied connexion with the Garden of Eden. 
This classification was made by Macfadyen nearly sixty years ago 
therefore long before these fruits were so widely distributed, as 
now, in various parts of tropical America. The forbidden fruit 
was known to Tussac in 1824, who called it 'Fruit Defendu, or 
smaller shaddock.' Later he refers to the same fruit in the fol- 
lowing words : * Cest une assiette de desert tres distinguee et fort 
saine.' With the exception of the shape, forbidden fruits and 
grape fruits are very much alike, but they are both superior to any 
shaddock or pumelow — the fruits of Citrus decumana-- while the 
smaller and more delicate fruits bear the distinctive name of para- 
dise fruits. Of these the grape fruit is the one now so highly 
esteemed in the United States. The Penny Cyclopoedia had adopted 
a similar classification even in 1837. It is stated :* When these 
fruits arrive at their greatest size, they are called pompelloes or 
pompelmousses ; when at the smallest, they form the forbidden 
fruit of the English markets. Another small variety, with the 
fruit growing in clusters, is what the West Indians call grape 

The grape fruit is not a shaddock nor a pumelow. It is quite 
a distinct fruit, and possesses exceptional merits ; at its best, it 
differs from the shaddock as much as a fine apple from a common 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


We may be sure that such keen-witted men as the fruit mer- 
chants of New York would not give high prices for grape fruit 
unless it were in great demand and thoroughly appreciated by 
people able to pay for a choice and delicate article. It is esti- 
mated that there were received in the United States last year 
grape fruit of the value of about £20,000. The demand for it is 
quite of recent date, but it is increasing so rapidly that in a few 
years the grape fruit will be one of the most valuable of the citrus 
fruits in the New World. 

There are doubtless, many inferior sorts of grape fruit. In fact 
in the West Indies the plants have been allowed to run almost 
wild. No care has been taken to select the best varieties, or to 
bud and graft them, so as to keep them uniformly at a high stan- 
dard. Garden and Forest, the leading horticultural journal in 
America, very wisely advises that, wherever the fruit is grown, it 
should be borne in mind that the highest success will only come 
with the use of the best varieties. There is no need to grow the 
thick-skinned and bitter sorts, and those with a dry, cottony pulp, 
while there are varieties both of the apple-shaped and pear- 
shaped fruits with a silky skin, full of juice and of a most delight- 
ful flavour, with just enough bitter to give it piquancy and sug- 
gest its valuable tonic qualities, 

Mr. C. B. Hewitt gives the following account of the grape fruit : — 
At one time it was not thought much of in Florida, being only eaten 
by the old Floridians as a spring tonic, to drive away malaria. 
As soon as its great medicinal qualities were recognized, the doc- 
tors began to recommend it for indigestion, and also as an appe- 
tizer. The majority of people who eat this fruit do not like it at 
first, and many have not tried to like it, on account of the bitter- 
ness of the pithy membrane dividing the pulp. The correct 
way to eat this interesting fruit is to remove carefully this 
lining and to eat only the pulp. Some people prefer to cut 
the fruit open through the middle, take away the seeds, and 
then sprinkle a little sugar over the cut surface, and work it 
in with a spoon. Then let it stand for a little time, or overnight 
and eat before meals.' * There is nothing,' continues this writer, 
'in the fruit line yet discovered that possesses the medicinal quali- 
ties of the grape fruit. The demand for it will increase from year 
to year, and take up all the fruit that will be grown for the next 
twenty years. As many as 6,000 fruits are said to have been 
gathered from a single tree. This was an exceptionally fine spe- 
cimen. It was described as 49 feet in height and 30 feet across 
its widest branches. It was thirty-four years old.' There are 
many varieties of grape fruit, some seedless, or with an occasional 
seed only. 

The grape fruit is in such great demand in America chiefly be- 
cause it has been so highly recommended by the medical faculty 
for its valuable dietetic and tonic qualities. It is also very re- 
freshing, and is regarded as a specific for dyspepsia. The Ameri- 
cans are large fruit-eaters, and seldom begin or end a meal with- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


out fruit of some kind. To supply them with bananas alone, 
there arrived from the West Indies during the year 1895, 185 car- 
goes of this fruit, comprising nearly 17,000,000 bunches, of the 
value of over £5,000,000 sterling. Jamaica furnished the larger 
share of this immense shipment of tropical fruit; and that island 
is becoming quite prosperous in spite of the great depression that 
has overtaken all the sugar-producing countries in that part of the 
world. Hitherto, Florida has supplied a good deal of the grape 
fruit for the American market, but since the disastrous effects of 
the 'freeze' of last year, the Florida plantations have been almost 
destroyed. Much English capital invested in fruit growing in 
that state has been lost, and many of our young countrymen set- 
tled there have suffered a severe reverse of fortune. Even where 
the groves are not quite destroyed, it will take years of toil and 
expenditure to bring them back to their former condition. For 
some time, at least, the chief supplies of grape fruit must therefore 
be drawn from the West Indies. The people in that part of the 
world would do well to establish trees of the best varieties, and 
take advantage of the opportunity to participate in what promises 
to be a steady and remunerative industry. 


Stephen Fuller, the writer of the following letter (one of the 
last he wrote in his official capacity), was agent for Jamatca in 
London for no less than thirty years — from 1 765 to May I795> 
when he was succeeded by Robert Sewell. 

He belonged to a well-known Jamaica family founded by 
Colonel Thomas Fuller, a soldier of fortune, who, coming out un- 
der Venables in 1655, became a member of the Council. Other 
members of the family sat in the House of Assembly during the 
eighteenth century. 

The Council and the Assembly at that period considered it de- 
sirable that, their agent should have a seat in the House of Com- 
mons, and when Sewell succeeded Fuller they raised the salary 
from £500 to £1,000 with that end in view. 

Fuller represented Jamaica in the House of Commons during 
the early part of the struggle which led to the abolition of the 
Slave Trade, and was an out and out supporter of the planters' 
views, publishing various Reports on the subject by direction of 
the Assembly. 

The bread-fruit trees referred to had been brought to Jamaica, 
from Otaheite, by Admiral Bligh, in 1 791 ; for which Bligh re- 
ceived a vote of one thousand guineas from the House of Assem- 
bly of Jamaica, and the gold medal of the Society of Arts of 
London. The letter appears in the manuscript letter-book of the 
Agent of Jamaica for 1794-1801, in the Library of the Institute of 

F. C. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

HONBLE. Gentlemen : 


London, 31st March, 1795. 

It is with singular pleasure I have heard that there are many of 
the breadfruit trees, now in fruit, and many more in blossom in 
our island. As we owe the blessing of this introduction entirely 
to the King, I am sure you will think as I do that he has a peculiar 
right to the primities, the fruits first produced from those trees. 
I know nothing that would give his Majesty greater pleasure, and 
if it was accompanied with a proper compliment from the Legis- 
lative body, it would make the present still more acceptable. 

The manner I would wish it to be sent in, if you think proper, 
is this, to send ten or twelve in number of the fruit, in a large jarr, 
covered with strong rum, well corked, bound with leather and 
pitch and resin melted upon the cork. And I would wish it to be 
directed to the Chairman of the Custom House, with a letter to 
him by the same ship (tho' I will signify to him that he may 
expect such a present), setting forth the reason of sending 
it to him, in order that it may not be overhaled by the 
searchers, who will be sure to do it some injury or 
other : and if you will give orders for it to be delivered to 
me, I will take care to get a capital flint glass vase for it, properly 
inscribed and to put some proof spirits instead of the rum and 
present it myself. His Majesty knows me, and has been pleased 
to express great satisfaction at the method I took two or three 
years ago to enrich his garden at Kew with a great number of Ja- 
maica plants more than had been introduced there in twenty years 
before. I will consult Sir Joseph Banks upon it, and we will en- 
deavour to make it an agreeable present, equally honourable to the 
maker and the receiver. I have been many years in persuit of 
this object, even since Captain Cooke's returned from his first 
voyage to Otaheite ; old Beeston Long and myself being the two 
first persons that subscribed our names to a paper drawn by my- 
self promising a reward to the first person that should bring the 
Breadfruit tree to the Island of Jamaica ; but all our endeavours 
proved abortive, till His Majesty most nobly undertook it, 
strenously persevered in it after one failure, and at last accom- 
plished it. His Majesty is a true friend to the colonies. I am of 
opinion we owe more to him than is generally known in regard to 
the defeat of the absurd attempt of abolishing the slave trade, 
which I think we shall hear no more of, even in the H. of Com- 
mons after the next general election. Till then, you will. I hope 
to live to see a considerable increase of negroes in our Island, and 
every one of them with two or three breadfruit trees in his own 
garden. They will then see who are their friends. 

I have the honour to be, Honble. Gentlemen, 

Your most obliged and obedient servant, 

Stephen Fuller. 
The Honble. 

The Committee of Correspondence. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



The usual monthly meeting of the Board of Agriculture was 
lield at Headquarter House, on Tuesday, 1 6th January, 1 906, at 
11.15 a.m. Present: — Hon. H. Clarence Bourne, Colonial Secre- 
tary, Chairman ; the Director of Public Gardens, the Superintend- 
ing Inspector of Schools, the Island Chemist, His Grace the Arch- 
bishop, Messrs. C. E. deMercado, J. W. Middleton, G. D. Murray 
and the Secretary. 

The Secretary submitted the following letters from the Colonial 
Secretary's Office : — 

1. Contagious Diseases Animals Bill, — Re Contagious Diseases 
Animals Bill, stating that it was not proposed to introduce the 
proposed bill at the next session of the Legislative Council. 

The Secretary read a minute saying that when he was attending 
a meeting of the local Agricultural Society at Appleton, one small 
penkeeper said that he had lost 10 cows and one bull in two weeks 
and that the carcases had been allowed to lie and rot. He sug- 
gested that a description of a few of the most contagious diseases 
among animals might be published throughout the island, that it 
might be made compulsory to report to the police the outbreak of 
any such diseases and the burning of carcases ought also to be 
made compulsory. 

(The Chairman here left the meeting to attend a meeting of the 
Privy Council and the Director of Public Gardens was asked to 
take the Chair.) 

After discussion Mr. Middleton moved that members of the 
Board should meet members of the Board of Management of the 
Agricultural Society at the latter's meeting the next day and dis- 
cuss the whole matter of legislation regarding contagious diseases 
among animals so as to get something practical settled as soon 
as possible. 

This was agreed to. 

2. Coco-nut Disease, — Letter from Mr. G. P. Dewar, Harmony 
Hall, Duncans, asking if the Government could not introduce 
some law to make it compulsory for the owners of diseased coco- 
nut trees to cut them down and burn them, as the disease was 
prevalent in Hanover where he was in charge of a valuable pro- 
perty, and seemed to be gradually spreading without anything 
being done to prevent it. 

The Secretary was instructed to reply first that the matter had 
been referred to the Director of Public Gardens, who had replied 
that the same bud-rot disease had been dealt with in the Bulletin, 
in which was stated the result of experiments laid down by him 
and carried out by Mr. Cradwick, that the disease could be pre- 
vented by spraying with Bordeaux mixture ; and secondly that the 
Board would arrange for Mr. Cradwick to give a demonstration at 
Lucea. On the suggestion of the Archbishop it was resolved 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


that the Director of Public Gardens should publish a leaflet em- 
bodying what was known concerning this disease. 

3. Sweetstuff Factory. — Letter from Mr. Edward Redsue, British 
Colombia, suggesting that a big sweetstuff factory should be 
started in Jamaica for the production of Jamaica Rum Lime 
Tablets and other Rum flavoured Sweetmeats. 

The Secretary was instructed to ask the authority of the Gover- 
nor to have this letter published in the newspapers for the infor- 
mation of all whom it might concern. 

4. Jamaica Scholarship. — Letter from Schools Commission re Ja- 
maica Scholarship. Mr. Cousins' memo re proposed alteration in 
Jamaica Scholarship with criticisms of the Superintending In- 
spector of Schools and the Archbishop were also read. 

After discussion the Archbishop moved that — 

" In the opinion of the Board of Agriculture it is undesirable to 
allocate the Jamaica Scholarship every third year for agriculture, 
that a more efficient stimulus of general agricultural education 
might be effected on the following lines as indicated more fully in 
the correspondence, each of the Scholarships to be available an- 
nually : — 

1. The restriction of the Jamaica Scholarship to as low a point 
as is consistent with making it really available for the purposes 
of various classes of students. 

2. The appropriation of the remainder of the available money 
for an Agricultural Scholarship tenable for two or three years at 
an Agricultural College abroad to be awarded upon the Diploma 
Examination of the Board of Agriculture." This was unanimous- 
ly agreed to. 

School Chart. — His Grace the Archbishop brought forward a mat- 
ter which had been discussed at the Board before and which had 
been in hand for nearly two years. This was a list of " Agri- 
cultural Dont's" prepared by Mr. E. J. Wortley in conjunction 
with Messrs. Hicks and MacFarlane, to form a chart to be hung 
up in schools and be repeated over twice a week by scholars. 
The Secretary was instructed to get copies of this typed and sent 
to each member of the Board who were asked to make any sug- 

Mr. S. Olivier.-r-A letter of acknowledgement from Mr. Sydney 
Olivier re the Locked Still matter was directed to be circulated. 

Cotton. — A letter from Mr. G. Musgrove, Jackson, Mississippi, 
in reply to the Secretary's letter sending him a sample of cotton 
was submitted and directed to be circulated. 

Reports. — The following reports from the Chemist were sub- 
mitted : 

1. Agricultural Scholarships Examination. 

2. Report work of Agricultural Students for Michaelmas 

3. Report on Banana Soils of St. Mary. 

4. Progress Report Distillers Experiments. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


5. Appointment of two assistants, Sugar Department. 

These were directed to be circulated. 

The Director of Public Gardens submitted Reports as follows : — 

1. Experiment Station. 

2. Instructors. 

3. Letter from India re varieties of bananas. 

These were directed to be circulated. • 

The following papers which had been circulated, but not yet 
submitted to the Board, were submitted : — 

1. Memo re proposed alteration in Jamaica Scholarship. 

2. Report of Committee appointed to investigate the Cotton 
Caterpillar Pest in Jamaica. It was resolved to publish this re* 
port in the form of a spe.cial ' Bulletin.' 

3. Publications on ' Bud-rot Disease of Coco-nut Palms' and 
forwarding diseased plants and insect pests, both sent by the Im- 
perial Department of Agriculture, Barbados. 

[Issued 17th February, 1906.] 

Printed at the Govt. Printing Office^ KingataHy Jam. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 





Vol. IV. MARCH. 1906. Part 8. 



By H. Q. Levy. 

An Address delivered at the Annual Meeting of Elementary School 

Teachers for Agricultural Instruction, January, 1906, 

The subject set down against my name on the Syllabus, is " The 
Cultivation and Marketing of Citrus Fruits." Some may well ask 
why it is that I persistently advocate the cultivation of Citrus 
fruit year after year when we cannot dispose of those we already 
have growing wild about the different parts of the Island. My 
answer would be, as I have often repeated, because by cultivating 
standard varieties we would have a ready-made market for all the 
fruit we could grow ; secondly, we would have a more even grade 
of fruit that would better stand shipment, and thirdly, by having 
the trees in grove form we could handle them quicker and more 
carefully than by the present system. I advise, time and again, 
the planting of the improved varieties of oranges and grape fruit 
as I firmly believe that there will always be a market for them if 
shipped in a proper manner and given every chance of their ar- 
riving at their destination in a good condition ; on the other hand, 
I have always said that at no distant day we will have no sale for 
oiu" wild oranges except when the foreign markets are bare of sup- 
plies. Now this is a subject well forth considering, for it means 
bread and butter to many of us. Are we going to waste time until 
we are elbowed out of the market altogether ? or are we going to 
set about planting improved varieties and so gradually capture a 
portion of the market that is ready waiting for us ? Do not be 
discoiu-aged by the number of failures that have taken place in the 
past, for if you enquire into each one you will be siu-e to find that 
in every case the parties were doomed to failiu-e from the very 
commencement. Citrus culture needs careful study and a special 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


knowledge of the requirements of the tree to ensure its success, 
so that at the outset when men who knew nothing of the cultiva- 
tion or principles to be followed, launched out by planting 30 or 
40 acres of oranges and grape fruit, were simply tempting Provi- 

Now it is not my intention or desire that any of you should go 
away from this Lecture Hall believing that by taking up citrus 
culture you are going to make your immediate fortunes, or that even 
if you follow my instructions implicitly there will be no failure ; 
these things I cannot promise, but this I will say, that it is my firm 
belief that all those who embark in citrus culture on a small scale 
at first, and follow out my instructions will in the years to come 
find they have in their small groves quite as profitable an invest- 
ment as any other product they may grow, and one that is espe- 
cially suited to the man of small means. 

For all practical purposes, in dealing with citrus plants this 
afternoon, although there are endless varieties, we need only take 
into consideration for commercial purpose, two of the species, 
the " Sweet Orange" and the Pomelo, or as we call it in Jamaica, 
" Grape Fruit," and as the cultivation and treatment of both are 
similar, I will treat them under one head, which will both save 
time and prevent any undue confusion in your minds. 

In the first place I would particularly warn you against the 
great mistake most people have made in starting on too large a 
scale, a quarter of an acre you will find will be quite large enough 
an area for a start, extending your cultivation as you gain expe- 
rience and your means allow. A universal mistake that nine- 
tenths of the men in Jamaica make, whether in Commerce or Agri- 
culture, is, taking on more than they can manage. Always bear 
this in mind, that whereas the right amount of money spent on 
just sufficient cultivation, may bring you in a handsome profit, the 
same amount spent on twice the acreage or undertaking, is sure to 
land you in serious losses and make you disgusted with that special 

In starting a citrus grove the first thing to be considered is suit- 
able land, and this is a great point if you desire to meet with suc- 
cess. In every case a gentle slope will be found to give much 
better results than very level land, heavy clays should be avoided, 
a soil of limestone formation such as the red soils of St. Ann and 
Manchester, do admirably for oranges and grape fruit, and you 
might say constitute the natural home of the orange in Jamaica. 
The ideal location for a grove will be found on soils that are inter- 
spersed with limestone rock, but yet having plenty of deep soil 
around them ; it will not be so easy to cultivate but will be found 
in the long run to give better results. A rich sandy loam is also 
good, but you will find that this description of soil, being found 
nearer the sea coast, is accompanied by a very dry and hot at- 
mosphere, the fruit takes longer to mature and the colour will 
not be so good when it ripens. 

Having chosen the spot for your grove you must set about pro- 
pagating plants to stock it. For this purpose I would advise your 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


•starting a small nursery, as it is better to grow your own plants 
than purchase them from other parties, it will be found cheaper, 
more interesting, and when the planting time arrives, you may cull 
out all the bad ones, only planting those with good fibrous roots 
.and well-developed stocks. 

I will not go into the method of forming a nursery, as I under- 
stand that is part of the course which you are now undergoing in 
the section of field work. But I must tell you this, under any 
circumstances use only grape fruit stock for budding on, and at 
all times use budded trees in preference to seedlings for your 
groves, and you are sure to get the same quality and kind of fruit 
as the description from which you took your bud- wood. But if you 
grow seedlings and allow them to become permanent trees you are 
siure to get the majority of them bearing very indifferent fruit, 
and of uncertain shipping qualities. Grape fruit is an exception 
to this rule, so long as you prociure your seeds from trees that are 
far removed from any other variety of citrus plants, but even then 
the fruits from which you take the seeds, although looking fine 
and a desirable sort, may have been hybridized by some inferior 
one in that particular section. 

Having started your nursery, the plants doing well, and near 
ready to be transplanted, that is, when they have reached a height 
of about two or three feet, it is best to turn your attention to the 
land chosen for your grove. It should be cleaned and lined out, — 
for oranges 20-25 feet apart, and for grape fruit 25-30 feet, the 
rows running parallel and square to each other ; at each stake dig 
a hole 2 feet in diameter and about the same depth, say one month 
before planting ; leave it open until just the day before so that the 
sun may get a fair play on the soil in the bottom of the hole. In 
filling in a hole put the top soil at the bottom and fill in with the 
surrounding top soil scraped from around the hole, using the earth 
from the bottom of the hole to replace any such soil taken away 
from the adjacent land. The tree should be planted on a hill 
somewhat resembling that used for planting yams but not quite so 
high and somewhat more rounded over the top, this will enable 
your plant to be placed about 6 inches higher than the surround- 
ing soil. In taking up the plants from the nursery be careful to 
preserve every small root, do not take up more than you can plant 
immediately and never expose, even for a moment, the roots to the 
direct rays of the sun or to high winds ; the ends of the longer 
roots should be cut back a few inches, also the tap root, the head 
of the plant must have its share of trimming and all the leaves 
cut away three-quarter of their area, as by so doing you equalize 
to a certain extent the shock to the plant that you have caused by 
disturbing the roots. Arriving with your plant at the side of the 
hill, use your hand to make a hole in the centre of it, large enough 
to take in all the roots when laid out in their original position : 
stand the plant upright, then put in some earth and firm it well 
around the tap root, leaving no air spaces, as this would be sure 


Digitized by VjOOQ 


to cause the death of the plant or stunt its growth : pour in some- 
water and put in more earth, firming it again, continue putting 
earth and water alternately until the soil is level with the highest 
root ; that highest root should now be about 6 inches higher than 
the surrounding soil. As the earth settles, so will the tree, until 
it takes up a permanent position with the top root just exposed to 
the air. Citrus plants should never be planted deep, better to have 
them six inches too high than half an inch too deep ; de- 
fective planting has been the cause of more failures than all others 
put together, as by planting too deep you will find it make no 
growth and be a fitting subject to all the diseases to which the 
citrus family is subject, and these are many, especially when 
planted under unfavoiu-able conditions. It will be well to spread 
some dry grass or trash of any kind all over the hill until you are 
certain that the tiees have taken root, say in about four weeks, as 
by so doing you :onserve the moisture in the soil ; if no rain, you 
must water at lea >t once a week until the first growth after plant- 
ing has fairly ripened, this stage is reached when the new leaves 
turn to a dark gn^en. 

As it would be very expensive to keep the land clean for a 
number of years where only citrus plants are cultivated it is ad- 
viiable to establish catch crops which would give some revenue and 
at the same time not injure the trees in your grove. Fortunately 
thei e are many such crops that may be grown without detriment, 
such as bananas, cocoes, yams, cassava, corn or peas. Try to 
avoid planting sweet potatoes in any citrus grove, except you plant 
only two rows down the centres and keep the vines from 
spreading too near to the trees, the same applies to pumpkins. 

I will now demonstrate to you the distances apart it would be 
best to plant the plants I have named so as to give you a maximum 
yield and a minimum amount of damage to your citrus cultivation. 

(l) Banana as catch crop until orange trees are 2 or 3 years 
old, orange trees 20 ft. apart, bananas in the middle of the rows at 
a distance of 8 ft. from one another : — 

Oranges Bananas Oranges Bananas 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


(2) Yams put in between the oranges at distances of 5 ft. then 
.^another row of three yams at distances of 5 ft., and so on : — 

Oranges Tarns Oranges 

(3) Cocoes put in like the yams, but one also in the middle of 
reach square, and so on : — 

Oranges Cocoes Oranges 

(4) Corn and peas : the corn should be put in at distances of 4 
^eet apart, and the peas between the rows of corn : — 

^ OQ»05o©0 »-i 

X o ) o > o S :o X 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Always keep your land clean and as soon as your trees start ta 
bear, remove all catch crops from the land except peas which you 
may continue to grow for some time as this being a nitrogeneous 
crop rather adds to the fertility of the soil than otherwise. 

I should not pass this stage without giving you some advice as- 
to the varieties of oranges and grape fruit to plant. In the 
citrus family we have a large number of species, and these are 
again divided up into endless varieties. For instance take the 
sweet orange. Of the cultivated varieties we have under the 
class called Navel : — Petersfield, Washington, Australian, Thom- 
son's Improved, &c., and under ordinary or seeded varieties, St. 
Michael, Valencia, Ruby, Homosassa, Parson Brown, Majorca, 
Jaffa, Pineapple, Tardif, Rivers, Blood, &c., and a host of others 
too numerous to mention ; then it is almost the same with grape 
fruit ; the imported varieties include the following : — Marsh seed- 
less. Triumph, Pernambuco, Royal, Walters, Duncan, &c., and in 
Jamaica there are almost as many varieties as there are trees in 
the island. But for our purpose we can bring the oranges down 
to two or three varieties that are worth while cultivating. I 
would advise your propagating in preference to all others the 
Petersfield Navel as being the most vigorous grower and heaviest 
cropper of them all ; the Washington and Thomson's Improved 
Navel are also very good ; all Navels are classed as seedless 
varieties. Of the seeded sorts you cannot get a better than the 
Pineapple, for although it contains a very large number of seeds 
it is a very strong grower and cropper, and is seldom attacked 
by disease of any kind, and having a very tough skin, is one of 
the best shippers I know of. Of grape fruit I should advise yoiu" 
planting some selected Jamaica variety as the foreign sorts are 
not to be compared with them either for flavour or texture. I 
have tried all the oranges and grape fruit quoted, therefore I 
speak from actual experience. 

The citrus tree requires very little pruning except in the tim^ 
of its first growth after planting when all suckers below a heigh^ 
of two feet from the ground should be removed with a sharp knife 
and covered with some paint, after that just prune up the limbs 
that have a tendency to droop towards the ground, and any dry 
branches ; more than this would not be necessary. 

With manuring we have to be very careful, as the citrus are 
very particular. Stable manure of any kind should never be used 
except very old and well rotted, the same applies to that obtained 
from the pig. Sheep manure is different, it can be used at once. 
Ashes are good at all times. Remember all manures must be 
applied in advance of the roots so that it may be thoroughly in- 
corporated with the soil before the roots reach it, in which case it 
will be of benefit to the tree, otherwise applied it will bring on 
endless diseases of the root. 

This brings us to the stage when I must say something as to the 
diseases of the citrus. All are more or less caused from bad man- 
agement, such as planting too deep first and foremost, the appli- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


cation directly to the roots of rank manures, bad cultivation, and 
a disease that I call " Greedy Choke Puppy" i,e., planting catch 
crops right up to the trees, allowing pumpkin and bean vines to 
grow all over them. 

I will first deal with a disease known as " Foot Rot." It is first 
observed by a yellowish gum exuding from the roots or the trunk 
adjacent to them and when the bark is pealed oflf the wood imme- 
diately under it will be found to be of a brownish colour in the 
first stages, and later quite dead. This disease, if handled at 
once can easily be cured ; first remove the soil from around the 
root for about l8 inches, cutting away all diseased bark and wood 
and applying white-wash, with a little coal tar added, to the cut 
surfaces and allowing the hole to remain open until filled up by 
the natural washing of the rains. 

" Die Back" as its name denotes, is a dying back of new growths 
and smaller branches. This is due to the application of highly ni- 
trogeneous manures and also wet soil ; if these causes are removed 
and some dry wood ashes applied to the root system the trees will 
soon recover. 

" Scale Insects" are more prevalent in densely shaded groves 
and poorly fed trees. They exist under the most favourable con- 
ditions and if not checked will eventually kill the tree. For these 
pests soft soap emulsion is a good remedy, but it has to be re- 
peated until you have eradicated the pests, and ever after keep a 
watchful eye for the return, dosing them as soon as they make an 

What I have told you will be quite enough to give a fair start 
and if you follow out my instructions as regards planting and 
growing the catch crops I have mentioned, you will find at the 
end of about foiu* years you will have a nice grove that will be 
capable of helping out your income and which has cost you almost 
nothing as far as ready money is concerned. 

I hope I have not wearied you with this long string of details, 
but they are all quite necessary to entail success and must be 
. carefully followed. 

Now there is the other part of my discourse which I will treat 
as briefly as possible, and that is the marketing of citrus fruits. 
The present system I think is an impossible one, and is bound to 
bring ruin sooner or later to all concerned in it. I am sorry to 
have to say it, but our ordinary labourer is far too careless an in- 
dividual to be trusted to pick and handle oranges and grape fruit 
all over a property as is now done. To get good work you must 
personally supervise the picking, and this is not possible where you 
have to employ dozens of hands scattered over a large area. In 
a grove it is different as the trees are blocked together and you 
can take row by row ; then the trees being of lower growth, most 
of the fruits can be picked directly from the ground or from short 
ladders, put in small canvas bags hung from the shoulder and these 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


when filled emptied into the field boxes, which in turn can be carted 
to the packing house instead of the fruit being bulked in a cart as 
is done at present. Citrus fruits should at all times be handled as 
carefully as eggs ; in picking, if an orange should drop on the 
ground destroy it at once, do not let that orange get in your pack 
as it will be sure to rot and contaminate others. If possible clip 
the oranges directly from the trees as by doing this the buds imme- 
diately behind the oranges, which will form the growth for 
the succeeding crop, are not destroyed as is done when a part of the 
stem is picked from the tree along with the fruit. After pick- 
ing, oranges should be placed in thin layers in the packinghouse, 
remaining thus for at least four days before packing and grape 
fruit at least a week ; by that time the skins have become tough and 
all bruises are easily recognised. All fruits bearing these marks 
should be discarded. The fruit is now ready for packing opera- 
tions. First all fruit should be divided into three classes, brights or 
fully ripe and clean, secondly, fully ripe but discoloured or russet, 
and thirdly, greenish fruit ; then each of these grades must be 
sized and packed separately. Now wrap in tisssue paper, if pos- 
sible bearing the packer's Trade Mark, then pack in Standard 
size boxes, each box holding according to the size of orange or 
grape fruit the following number of fruit. The standard packs for 
oranges are 96, II2, 126, 150, 176, 200, 216, 225, 250 ; smaller 
oranges than these are generally classed as unmarketable. Grape 
fruit arc packed in the following sizes. 

The method of placing oranges in the box to get them to hold 
the exact quantity is illustrated by the following diagrams* : — 

o 00 o 

00 00 

o 00 o 

00 00 

o 00 o 

00 00 

A B 

1 Packing 96 to the box ; four layers, 
alternating, as in A and B. 

o CO o 

o o o o 

o o o o 


o o o o 

o o 

O o 

A 8 

2 Packing 112 to the box ; four 
layers, alternating, as in A and B. 





















A B 

3— Packing 126 to the box; firsf, 
third and fifth layer as in A, and 
second aud fourth layer as in B. 

o o o o o o 

o o o o o o 

o o o o o o 

o o o o 

o o o o o o 

A B 

4— Packing 160 to the box ; five 
layers, alternating, as in A and B. 

^See Bulletin of the Botanical Department, December, 1896, page 283. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


o o o o o 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

A B 

5— Packing 176 to the box; first, 
third and fifth layers as in A, ana 
second and fourth layers as in B. 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

A B 

6~Paoking 200 to the box ; fire 
layers, alternating, as in A and B. 


o o o o o 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

a o o o o 

A B 

7— Packing 225 to the box ; five 
layers, alternating, as in A and B. 

A B 

8— Packing 260 to the box; five 
uniform layers. 

Always remember that neatness counts for much in putting up 
oranges. After packing slightly above the edges of the box, this 
is as it should be, in putting on the cover use gentle pressure dis- 
tributed as even as possible over the whole surface to get the fruit 
to settle down'; then nail on the cover with three straps, which 
should go completely around the box ; neatly stencil your mark and 
despatch. All this of coiu-se refers to the packing of boxes. With 
barrels it is different. The oranges should be allowed to remain in 
the house as before, and as it is unnecessary to size as with boxes, 
this operation is saved. Neither is it advisable to wrap in tissue 
paper ; ordinary straw paper being the kind adopted. It is not 
generally known that it requires an expert to properly pack a 
barrel of oranges, but nevertheless such is the case, and this is 
how it should be done. First search the barrel well for any nails 
that may be protruding inside through carelessness of the cooper, 
then start by packing oranges around the outer edge of the bottom 
of the barrel, using a slightly smaller size of orange for the first 
row round than you intend to put in the middle part ; this will com- 
pensate for the inside lining. Turn all the whorls of the paper 
up for about four layers and see that as far as possible each layer 
after the first one contains the same size oranges, as the object 
should be to get each layer exactly level before starting another 
one. Never use your thumb to push an orange in place ; you are 
sure to injure it, but use all your fingers to give a gentle pressure 
sideways to each orange ; when you come to the centre, if space 
allows, put in three oranges at once and use the palm of your hand 
to gently firm the three down into their place and so act as a 
wedge against all the others ; continue each row like this until you 
come to the last, which should just come level with the top of the 
barrel. Place the heading on top of the oranges and give the 

Digitized by 



barrel a slight but sharp rocking motion to and from you, pressing 
the top down with yoiu" elbows in the meantime ; on uncovering 
you will find that the fruit has settled down just to the chine of 
the barrel ; after heading up, stencil and despatch. 

With these details I must bring my lecture to a close, but before 
doing so, let me seriously impress on all of you, the desirability, 
in fact the absolute necessity, of the better handling of our fruit. 
An orange or grape fruit is not an India rubber ball, but a fragile 
fruit, which if properly handled can be kept for months so long as 
it is well ventilated, but if bruised at all will be decayed and un- 
fit for anything after a few days, and in some instances, after a 
few hours. Your obligations are not over when you have nailed 
the heading down ; they continue until the fruit reaches the con- 
sumer and he finds it the article you represent it to be. You call 
the shopkeeper a dishonest and unscrupulous man who sells you an 
article that is not up to that standard he represents it to be ; well 
the same name applies to the packer who gets an order for good 
marketable fruit, but instead puts up half rotten and unmarketable 
stuff or handles the fruit carelessly and so jeopardises its keeping 
qualities. Also remember that you are not only injuring your own 
name by pursuing this dishonourable course, but that of your 
country and its products in the markets abroad, and that if some 
reformation is not immediately started these same markets will be 
forever closed to all of us. 


32 S.S. 371 

Colonial Secretary's Ofl&ce, 30th January 1906. 
I am directed to transmit herewith, to be laid before the Jamaica 
Agricultural Society, for their information and for publication should 
the Board of Management so desire, a copy of a despatch from the 
Secretary of State for the Colonies, enclosing copy of correspon- 
dence in regard to Mr. F. V. Chalmers' experiment of blending 
Jamaica with Virginia tobacco for use in the Navy. 
I have the honour to be. 
Your obedient Servant, 

T. L. Roxburgh, Asst. Col. Sec. 

371 Downing Street, 30th October, 1905. 

Governor Sir J. A. Swettenham, K.C.M.G., &c., &c., &c. 
With reference to my despatch No. 347 of the 6th inst., and to 
previous correspondence, I have the honour to transmit to you for 
your information, the accompanying copy of a letter from Mr. F. 
V. Chalmers relative to the supply from Jamaica and other British 

* Oontinued from BMlhtin 0/ tna Department oj AgriouUure Deo. 1905 page 271. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Colonies of the tobacco required for His Majesty's Naval service, 
together with copies of correspondence with the Admiralty on the 

I have, etc., 
(Sgd.) Alfred Lyttelton, 

13 Devonshire Square, Bishopsgate, E.C., 

20th September, 1905. 
C. P. Lucas, Esq., C.B., Colonial Office. 
I have the honour to report to you the result of my interview 
with you some time since, upon the introduction of Sir Alfred 
Jones. I have been twice to the West Indies, Jamaica, and have 
also reported upon growths from Barbados and St. Kitts to the 
Imperial Commissioner of Agriculture. At the request of the Lords 
of the Admiralty, I blended and manufactured 8,657 tins of tobacco 
by way of experiment for the Navy, and I am pleased to tell you 
that the production is second to none. Should this meet with the 
approval of the seamen, it will give a great impetus to the West 
Indian Tobacco Industry, and I see no reason in future, if proper 
care and advice are given, why the whole of the tobacco for the 
Navy should not be composed of tobacco grown in one or other of 
the Colonies, entirely eliminating foreign growth. Such being 
the case. Colonial tobacco would vie with American or any other 
growth. In other kinds of tobacco, I have advised Jamaica to ex- 
periment and the results are most gratifying, and I have reported 
that in my opinion, with some small modifications the productions 
should compete with Havana and Sumatra, and I am told the in- 
crease in acreage this year is to be very considerable, but this ex- 
periment will have to be watched most carefully and continu- 
ously or there will sure to be delay, if not relapse. 

I am, etc., 
(Sgd.) F. V. Chalmers. 

33923-1905 Downing Street, 26th September, 1905. 

The Secretary to the Admiralty, 
With reference to your letter of the 15th of December last, (V. 
8192) relative to Mr. F. V. Chalmers' suggestion for the supply from 
British Colonies of the tobacco required by His Majesty's Naval 
service, I am directed by Mr. Secretary Lyttelton to acquaint you, 
for the information of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, 
that he understands that 8,657 tins of West Indian tobacco have 
been supplied by Mr. Chalmers for the Navy, by way of experi- 
ment, and I am to state that Mr. Lyttelton would be glad to be 
informed of the result of this experiment. 

I am, 

(Sgd.) C. P. LUCAS. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Admiralty, S.W., 2lst October, 1905. 
The Under Secretary of State 

for the Colonies, Downing Street, 
I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty 
to acknowledge the receipt of Mr. Lucas' letter of the 26th ultimo, 
No. 33923/1905, on the subject of the supply from British Colonies 
of the Tobacco required for H. M. Naval service. 

2. In reply, I am to acquaint you for the information of the Sec- 
retary of State for the Colonies, that with the assistance of Mr. 
Chalmers, the Admiraity obtained a supply (1,508 lb.) of teaf To- 
bacco from Jamaica, but, as it transpired that this tobacco by itself 
was not suitable for pipe smoking and that there is not at the 
present time any Colonial grown Tobacco suitable for blending 
with it, arrangements were made for it to be blended and manu- 
factured with a quantity of Virginia grown Tobacco, the proportion 
being 1,508 lb. Jamaican to 5,075 lb. Virginian. This preparation 
is now undergoing trial in the Fleet and my Lords will be happy 
to communicate the general results of the experiment in due course. 

3. As, however, more than 75 per cent, of the blend now under 
trial is of American origin, it is evident that this test does not go 
very far in the direction of substituting Colonial for Foreign grown 
Tobacco, and it is doubtful whether such a step is practicable at 
the present time. It is true that My Lords are informed that much 
attention is being given to the cultivation of Tobacco in Victoria 
and Rhodesia, and that it is hoped eventually to produce there a 
type possessing the same qualities as that now grown in Virginia, 
and therefore suitable for blending with West Indian Tobacco. 
But planting in these Colonies seems to be, as yet in the experi- 
mental stage, whilst, so far as their Lordships are aware, supplies 
even of Jamaica Tobacco, are not at present procurable in the 
open market in any quantity. 

4. In the event, therefore, of the present trial proving successful, 
it must still be a matter for careful consideration whether any re- 
liance can be placed upon obtaining regular and suflScient supplies 
of Colonial grown Tobacbo at a reasonable price, and it would be 
very helpful to their Lordships in dealing with this question if 
they can be given fuller information with regard to the position 
and prospects of the Tobacco planting industry in the Colonies 
generally, and also as to whether the Secretary of State is pre- 
paring to take any special action in regard to the promotion of 
Tobacco cultivation which will be likely to assist the Admiralty in 
obtaining adequate supply from Colonial sources. 

I am, etc., 
(Sgd.) GEO. H. HOSTE, Pi. Sec. 

The following paragraphs are taken from a letter of a corres- 
pondent in Africa, who has had considerable experience in grow- 
ing Sumatra tobacco in Sumatra. His notes will be of great 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


interest to those who are engaged in the cultivation of this tobacco 
in Jamaica : — 

Many thanks for Bulletin of July, 1905, which I have read with 
interest. I have further received your letter of the 1 2th October 
and in reply to your query re fermentation. 

A light coloured leaf in Sumatra tobacco by no means implies 
want of fermentation. Most of the cigar manufacturers are under 
the impression that fermentation darkens the leaf, which it does 
of heavy tobacco, but a certain proportion of Deli leaf is very 
light coloured (L. sorting mark) and sells at the highest price for 
the American's in the Amsterdam market. 

My experience is that a cigar manufacturer of course knows 
whether a leaf suits him or what its faults are, but when they try 
to find a reason or suggest a remedy for these faults, they are at 
sea, because they have no experience as growers. 

Twenty* tons is a good weight of Sumatra leaf to ferment ; less 
would probably be insufficiently fermented, therefore this to- 
bacco is not a poor man's business. 

With regard to your Bulletin, which is of great interest to me, 
you may like to have the following notes, but having no experience 
of your climate or soil, of course they must be considered merely 
in the light of Sumatra and African experience, and for this reason 
may not be of great value. 

Topping — I see you did not top apparently, but let the plants 
flower. If I remember aright, this was done also in the Connecti- 
cut Valley ; it was also tried in Deli about 1897, but abandoned in 
favour of the old plan of topping, as it was found the leaf by not 
topping was too papery to work, also the lengths were poor. 

Age of plant when harvested — The quicker the growth the finer the 
leaf of course. In Deli, 100 to IIO days, from date of sowing to 
harvesting, is the rule. 

Curing — Yours is the first attempt I have seen to grapple with 
the problem of too rapid curing in the Bam ; a state of affairs which 
seems to prevail everywhere I have tried Sumatra tobacco, except 
in the very moist atmosphere of Sumatra itself. 

Here we ran three streams in furrows through the C. Bams day 
and night while the tobacco was curing, also watered the floor 
heavily, with however but little efi'ect ; the dry bulb of Psychro- 
meter still showed 10° and 12° difference to the wet one, conse- 
quently the leaf cured blotchy. 

I should like to try the method of hanging the cloth round Bam 
but should think it expensive. I note you partly sweated the leaf 
on floor before hanging to turn it yellow. Perhaps in your cli- 
mate this may do well, but in Deli we were specially warned 
against this, as " green sweat" is said to give the leaf an acrid 
flavour, impossible to eradicate by fermentation. 

* A press of half % ton of Havana tobacco ferments well, and if part of this, gay 
90 lbs., be Sumatra, the latter is fern ented. Editor, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Fermentation — ^Your tobacco would appear to have followed the 
lines of the American Sumatra leaf in the Washington bulletins 
which perhaps suits that leaf, but it is quite different to a Deli 

For instance, you ran it up on first bulking to 125 F. 52 C. I 
should have turned it at 40^ once or twice, and then brought it 
gradually up to 52"" or higher, but of course all depends on how 
the tobacco looks when turned. 

Too rapid fermentation makes the leaf first tender then weak, 
and an excessive rise in temperature may burn it altogether. Too 
slow and you dry it out, so it's like fly fishing, cast too fine or too 
coarse and you lose your fish. 

It would seem the climate of Jamaica is very suitable for the 
growth of a nice cigar leaf, and I trust that your experiments will 
induce growers to take it up. 

Our shade unfortunately was blown right away in a storm, so I 
have no shade tobacco in Bam. The plants were about 3 feet 
high, growing fast and gave every promise of being a fine leaf, 
so I was sorry. 

Perhaps later you would feel inclined to exchange samples of 
our fermented leaf. I am just beginning fermentation now and 
will be finished about March. 

I find a good plan is to get a few bundles of Sumatra leaf to 
keep by one as a standard. 


By William R. Maxon. 

In the first fascicle of Christensen's Ijidex Filicum (1905), Acros- 
tichum lomarioides, Jenman, a middle American species, is reduced 
to A. aureum, L., supposed to be dispersed generally throughout 
the tropics. In first proposing lomarioidesy Jenman suggested that 
A. aureum might prove an aggregate of several more or less closely 
related species ; and arguing from analogous cases we judge this 
to be likely. But at present we are concerned only with lomarioides, 
described at length by Jenman ; this and aureum he held to be as 
distinct as " any two closely allied species in any genus." Seve- 
ral recent writers have not held to this opinion ; but from field 
observation and the collection of adequate material we are quite 
convinced that the two are, as Jenman has said, absolutely distinct, 
and we shall try to prove this conclusively in a later paper. 

Jenman's use of lomarioidcs for an American plant is, however, 
invalidated by the earlier application of the same name to an East 
Indian species, by Bory. In its stead we propose, with the same 
type : 

Acrostichum excelsum nom. nov. 

Chrysodium lomarioides, Jenman, Timehri 4 : 314. 1885. 

Acrostichum lomarioides, Jenman, Bull. Bot. Dept. Jamaica. 

n. 5: 154, 1898. 

Not Bory, Belang. Voy. Bot. 2 : 21. pL 2. 1833. 

♦ Proc. of The Biological Society of Washington. Vol. XVITL Oct. 17. 190 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The type of Jenman's species is from British Guiana, but the 
plant occurs also in Jamaica, Porto Rico, Florida, Mexico and 


The coprah produced by l,ooo Ceylon ordinary nuts is about 
twice as much as that obtained from Seychelles nuts. This re- 
sult has been obtained in the same soil, under the influence of the 
same climate, and is entirely due to selection. It is to be hoped 
that the discussion raised on the subject by the planters after their 
having seen the nuts introduced from Ceylon may prove the be- 
ginning of a careful selection of nuts for planting in Seychelles. 
Many of them have already informed me that they have found on 
their estates a few of their trees producing nuts similar to those 
of Ceylon and that they intend keeping them for propagation. 
It is probable that the trees which produce very small nuts have 
less requirements than those which produce bigger nuts, and that 
varieties which produce big nuts normally will bear smaller nuts 
if they are starved out. But when one thinks of the very trifling 
amount of plant food which is removed from the soil by coco- 
nut cultivation, there seems to be no difficulty in supplying the 
elements which are required to a greater extent by the big-nut 
varieties. The planter must choose between having small nuts 
without trouble and having double the crop by using proper me- 
thods and selection. — Annual Colonial Report, 1904, Seychelles. 


Extracts from Minutes. 

The usual monthly meeting of the Board of Agriculture was 
held on Tuesday, 13th February, at Headquarter House. Present : 
the Director of Public Gardens, the Island Chemist, His Grace the 
Archbishop, Messrs. C. A. T. Fursdon, C. E. deMercado, J. W. 
Middleton, and the Secretary. 

The Secretary read an apology for absence from the Chairman, 
Hon. H. C. Bourne, intimating that there was a meeting of the 
Privy Council which he had to attend at the same hour, and asking 
that Mr. Fawcett might take the chair. 

The Secretary read minutes of previous meeting which were 

The Archbishop asked leave to bring up a matter he had men- 
tioned at last meeting, viz. : the question of a Jamaica Agent in 
London to protect and facilitate their commercial interests. The 
same matter had been discussed some years before by the Mer- 
chants' Exchange and such an appointment had been approved of, 
the only objection being lack of money. Mr. Middleton in 
support of the proposal, moved that a Committee be appointed. 

The Chairman asked the Archbishop and Mr. Middleton to 
form this Committee, and make a report to the Board on the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


As the day and hour of the meeting of the Board so often clashed 
with the meeting of the Privy Council, it was resolved to alter the 
day to the Monday of the same week in the month, at the same hour. 

The Secretary read the following letters from the Colonial Se- 
cretary's OflSce : 

I Authorising publication of Mr. Edward Redsue's letter 
re Sweetmeat Factory. 

In connection with this the Secretary said that sweetmeats were 
now being made at the Barossa Creamery and the person doing so 
had promised to experiment in the direction mentioned, namely 
rum and lime juice tablets. 

2. Sending copy of report of the Second International 

Congress of Master Cotton Spinners & Manufacturers 
This was directed to be circulated. 

3. Reports from Mr. Nolan giving results of his work in the 

United Kingdom. 

With regard to the matter of the use of steam coils in Jamaica 
pot-stills especially referred to the Board, the Secretary stated 
that to save time he had sent the papers to the Chemist for his 
opinion which he now presented. This was read together with a 
list of the estates using steam coils. 

It was resolved to advise the Government "that it was the 
opinion of the Board that the contention that steam heat is in- 
jurious cannot be maintained and that the erroneous impression 
arises from a confusion of pot-stills heated with steam coils, and 
continuous stills in which the liquor is brought into direct contact 
with the live steam." 

The Secretary was directed to forward this resolution to the 
Government together with a copy of the Chemist's minute and 
list of estates using steam coils and resuls of their crops, for the 
information of Mr. Nolan. 

4. Letter from the Imperial Commissioner of Agriculture 

for the West Indies sending copy letter to him from 
Mr. F. V. Chalmers advising satisfactory results of a 
blend of Jamaica Tobacco in that issued to the Navy. 
The Secretary submitted Draft Contagious Diseases Animals 
Bill as revised by a joint committee of the Board and the Agricul- 
tural Society and said the draft had been submitted to the members 
of the Committee and Penkeepers for further revision orsuggestions. 
The Secretary submitted letter from Mr. E. A. dePass, London, to 
the Chemist giving opinions re the commercial aspects of High 
Ether Rum on the Continent. 

This was directed to be circulated. 

The following reports from the Chemist were submitted : 

I. re Award of Scholarships reporting that of seven candi- 
dates who had competed for three scholarships, only 
one candidate, Mr. L. L. Carrington, attained a standard 
of over half marks and recommending that he be 
awarded a Scholarship and the other two be held in 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


This was agreed to. 

2. Asking authority to publish the results of the Sugar 

Experiment Station work for 1 905 in the form of a 
special report, which was granted. 

3. Asking authority for the purchase of a steam-heated pan 

from Mr. Lazarus, Kingston, at a price not to exceed 
£15 to be charged to "Alterations" and New Plant for 
Estates Distilleries on the estimates of the Sugar Ex- 
periment Station. 

This was granted. 

The following reports from the Director of Public Gardens were 
submitted : — 

1. Report Hope Experiment Station. 

2. " Instructors. 

These were directed to be circulated. 

The Secretary reported that Mr. Sharp advised safe receipt of 
the Steam Gin and that it had been erected in the Ginnery at El- 
tham and was in good working order ; also safe receipt of the 
Baler from the railway workshop, also found in good order. 
Owing to the heavy loss on cotton by his Company through cater- 
pillars, Mr. Sharp said he would be unable to make an offer for 
these at present. 

The Secretary stated that although he had written several times 
to Mr. Levy of Brown's Town to return the Hand Gin which he 
had not been able to get in working order, it had not yet been 
sent back. One Cotton Gin was in the hands of the Black River 
Agricultural Society and one with Mr. Shore at Little River, and 
one retained in the office. 

The Secretary submitted a small book by Mr. E. J. Wortley en- 
titled " Agricultural Practices and Morals'' and which embodied a 
list of the " Agricultural Don'ts" prepared for the Board for use 
in Schools. The Board's approval of the Book was asked. 

This was directed to be circulated. 

The following papers which had been circulated, but had not 
yet been before the Board were now submitted : — 

1. Notes on School Gardens together with notes by Mr. 

Cradwick and comments by members of the Board. 
All these were directed to be returned to Mr. Williams. 

2. Itinerary of Mr. Hirst, Instructor in St. Catherine. 

The following papers which had been circulated were submitted 
for final consideration : — 

1. Agricultural Scholarships' Examination. 

2. Report : Work of Agricultural Students for Michaelmas 


3. Report on Banana Soils in St. Mary. 

4. Progress Report Distillers Experiments. 

5. Appointment of two assistants, Sugar Department. 

6. Report Hope Experiment Station. 

7. Report Mr. Cradwick. 

8. Letter from India re Bananas. 

9. Lettter from Mr. Sydney Olivier re Locked Still. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




Compiled hy Wm^ Harris, F.L,8,y Superintendent of Hope Chirdens. 

As there is a good deal of misapprehension with regard to the seasons for the 
various crops grown in Jamaica, and the duration of the season for each crop, the 
compiler visited the principal market in Kingston once a week for twelve months for 
the purpose of noting the various products offered for sale, and the prices charged 
to consumers. These prices are at least one-third, and frequently three or four 
times higher than the prices paid by the retail dealers to the growers of the 
commodities enumerated. The prices noted for economic products such as ginger, 
anatta, <&c., were those paid by a large exporting firm to the producers. 

It will be readily understood that the seasons vary somewhat according to 
prevailing weather conditions, and the prices also vary according to supply and 

Approximate Seasons for, and prices in Kiihgston, of fruits, vegetables and other 


Common name. 

Botanical name. 

Seasons and prices in Kingston Market. 




Cashew fruits 

Cashew nuts 

Coco-nuts — dry . 
Coco-nuts —green 


Custard Apple . 

Grape Fruit 

Grapes — black 

Grapes — white 

Musa sapientum 

Rubus jamaicen- 

Vaccinium meri 



Cocos nucifera 
Cocos nucifera 

Anona Cheri- 

Anona reticulata 

Melicocca bijuga 

Passiflora macro- 

Citrus decumana 

Vitis vinifera 

Vitis vinifera 

Throughout the year — l|d. to 3d. per 

dozen fingers. 
Jane to November — 4d. to 9d. per quart. 

Summer months — 4d. to 6d. per quart. 

May to August — 3d. to 4d. per dozen. 

May to September — l^d. to 3d. per quart. 

Throughout the year — 9d. to Is. per dozen. 
Throughout the year — Is. to Is. 6d. per 

October to February — 1 d. to 3d. each. 

Plentiful November to midtUe of February ; 

scarce during remainder of the year — Is. 

per dozen. 
August and September — Jd. to Ijd. per 

Throughout the year, but most plentiful 

during the winter months — 3d. to 6d. each. 
Scarce April to August— 10s. to 12s. per 

100; fair supply August to November — 

8s. to 10s. per 100; plentiful November 

to end of March — 58. to 10s. per 100. 
Scarce and poor January to March — Is. 6d. 

per lb., none middle March to end of May ; 

June to end of year fair supply — Is. to Is. 

3d. per lb. 
None in the early part of the year ; scarce 

and poor April and May — 2a. per lb., June 

to end of year fair supply — Is. 6d. to 28r 

per lb. 

Digitized by 



Common name. 


Numerous va- 



Melon — Musk 

Melon — Water 

Orange— Sweet 

Orange— Tangier- 





Sour Sop 

Botanical name. 

Citrus medica, 
var. acida 

Mangif era indica 

Cucurbita Melo 

Cucumis Melo . 

Cucurbita mos- 

Citrullus vulgaris 
Achras Sapota 

Citrus Auran- 

Citrus nobilis . 

Carica Papaya 
Ananas sativa, 

Ananas sativa, 

Ananas sativa, 

Arachis hypogsea 
Citrus decumaua 

Anona muricata 

Seasons and prices in Kingston Market. 

Scarce and green April to August — fairly 
plentiful end of August to December; 
plentiful December to March — Is. per 100. 

The r^[ular season for this fruit begins in 
April and prices for No. 11 and other 
favourite varieties are then 3d. per dozen. 
The fruit is very plentiful from middle 
of June to end of August, and prices drop 
to jd. per dozen. From October to May 
the fruit is occasionally seen in the market, 
and the price is |d. to Id. each, according 
to variety and quality. 

Winter and spring months — 4|d. to 9d. 

Plentiful during the spring, autumn and 
winter months— -6d. to 9d. each. 

Plentiful during winter and spring months ; 
scarce and poor March to end of August — 
6d. to 9d. each. 

Throughout the year, but most plentiful 
during the autumn and winter months — 
9d. each. 

Plentiful April to middle of June— 3d. per 
dozen ; scarce middle of June to July. 
4^d. to 6d. per dozen; none July to 
October then fairly plentiful to April — 
i^d. to 6d. per dozen. 

Scarce June to end of August — 3s. to 4s. 
per 100; fairly plentiful September to 
November — Ss. to 4s. per 100 ; plentiful 
November, to end of May — 2s. to 3s. per 

Scarce during June ; none July and Aug- 
ust ; fair supply September to November ; 
plentiful November to end of May — 6d. per 

Throughout the year — Id. to 2d. each. 

Rather scarce September to March — 5d. and 
6d. each ; fair supply March to May — 
4id. to 6d. each plentiful May to end of 
August — 2d. to 6d. each. 

Same seasons as previous — 3d. to 6d. each 
when plentiful; 6d. to Is. each when 

Same seasons and prices as for BuU-head. 

Throughout the year — 1 id — 2d. per quart. 
Plentihil November to June, and to be had 

all through the year — 6d. each. 
Plentiful December to June— Id. to 2d. 

each; scarce in July — 3d. each; none 

August and September ; scarce in October 

and November — 3d. each. 

Digitized by 



Common name. 

Botanical name. 

Seasona and prices in Kingston Market. 


Sweet Cap 
Sweet Sop 



Avocado, or 
Alligator Pear 

Beans — French . 

Beans — Lima, or 



Cabbage — ^native 

Calalu or 

Calalu, Jockatoe 
(See also Indian 


Chocho— White 
and Ch-een 


•Corn, Indian or 
Maize — Green 


Passiflora mali- 

Anona squamosa 

Blighia sapida 
Persea gratissima 


Beta vulgaris 

Artocarpus incisa 
Brassica oleracea 

Amarantus viridis 
A. gangeticas 
A. spinosus 


Daucus Carota 

Sechium edule . 


Zea Mays 

Scarce during Februaiy — Is. per dozen. ; 

plentiful March to beginning of June — 3d. 

to 9d. per dozen ; scarce during latter part 

of June — Is. per dozen ; none from early 

part of July to February. 
Throughout the year — l}d. to 3d. per dozen. 

None from February to early part of June ; 
fairly plentiful middle of June, and plenti- 
ful July to September ; then a fair supply 
to end of January — 3d. to 9d. per dozen. 

Plentiful July to October — f d. per dozen ; 

November to end of June not plentiful — 

l^d. to 2d. per dozen. 
Season begins early part of July, and pears 

are plentiful to end of September — }d. to 

l^d. each ; scarce from October to end of 

April —Id. to 2d. each ; none during May 

and June. 
Throughout the year, but most plentiful 

during the autumn and winter months — 2d. 

per lb. when plentiful, to 6d. per lb. when 

Throughout the year — i^d. to 6d. per quart. 

Throughout the year, but most plentiful and 
best during winter and spring months — 9d. 
to Is. per dozen. 

Throughout the year ; most plentiful Decem- 
ber to March— Id. to 2d. each. 

Throughout the year ; best during winter and 
spring months — i^d. to 9d. each, according 
to size. 

Throughout the year ; very plentiful during 
and after the rainy seasons — Id. to l^d. 
per bunch. 

Throughout the year — Id. to l|d. per bunch. 

Throughout the year ; best during winter 
and spring months — l|d. to' 3d. per bunch. 

Throughout the year, most plentiful Novem- 
ber to end of February — 3d. to 6d. per 
dozen when plentiful, 6d. to Is. per dozen 
when scarce. 

Throughout the year, most plentiful Novem- 
ber to March — 6d. to 9d. per dozen tubers. 

June to August, and October to December — 
6d. to 9d. per dozen cobs 

Digitized by 



Common name. 

Botanical name. 

Seasons and prices in Kingston Market. 

Com, Indian, or 
Maize — Sweet 
Com, or Sugar 


Garden Egg 

Gourd, Bottle, or 

Indian Kale, 

Calalu, or 




Pea — English, or 

Pea — Black-eye 

Pea — Gungo, 
Congo, or 
Pigeon — dry 

Pea — Gungo, 
Congo, or 
Pigeon — green 

Pear— Red 
Kidney Bean, 
Haricot Bean 


Potato — Irish 

Potato — Sweet 


Spinach (See 
Calalu, and 
Indian Kale) 



Zea Mays 

Cucimiis sativus 


Lagenaria vul- 


Lactuca sativa . 


Carum Petro- 

Pisum sativum . 

Vigna Catjang . 

Cajanus indicus . 

Cajanus indicus 


Musa sapientum, 
var. paradisiaca 

Solanum tuber- 

Ipomoea Batatas 

Cucurbita Pepo 
Allium fistulosum 


Brassica Rapa 

June to August, and October to December- 
6d. to 9d. per dozen cobs. 

Throughout the year, small but plentiful— 

6d. to Is. per dozen. 
Throughout the year 9d. to Is. 6d. per 

Throughout the year, but most plentiful 

during the cool months of the year — 3d. to 

6d. each. 
Throughout the year — Is. to Is. 6d. per dozen 


Throughout the year — 6d. to Is. 6d. per 

dozen heads. 
Throughout the year— 2d. to 6d. per lb. 

Throughout the year — Id. to l|d. per bunch. 

During the winter and spring months, not 

plentiful — 3d. to 6d. per dish 
Throughout the year, but most plentiful 

April to June, and October to December — 

3d. to 6d. per quart. 
Throughout the year — 3d. to 6d. per quart. 

Throughout the year — 2 Jd. and 3d. per quart. 

Throughout the year, but most plentiful 
March to June, and November to Decem- 
ber — 4jd. to 6d. per quart. 

Throughout the year — }d. to Id. each finger* 

During the winter and spring months — 1^ to 

2d. per lb. 
Throughout the year — Jd. to fd. per lb., or 

4s. to 5s. per 100 lbs. 
Throughout the year — i|d. to 6d. each. 
Throughout the year, but most plentiful 

during the cool months — l^d. to 3d. per 

bunch, according to size. 

From February to July, plentiful and good 
— 3d. to 4|d. per lb. ; from July to Febru- 
ary, fair supply medium quality — 4}d to 
6d. per lb. 

Throughout the year, but plentiful and good 
during the winter and spring months — l)d 
to 3d. per bunch. 

Digitized by 



Common name. 

Water OreBs 

Tam — Negro, 

Lncea, &c. 
Yam, White, 


Barbados, &o. 
Yam — Yellow or 


Yampee, or 
Indian Yam 

Botanical name. 

Nasturtium offici- 
Dioscorea sativa 

Dioscorea alata . 


cayennensis var. 

Dioscorea trifida 

Seasons and prices in Kingston Market. 

Throughout the year — Id. to l|d. per bunch. 
June to December — 7b. to 10s. per cwt. 
January to May — lOs. to 12s. per cwt. 

January to June, and August to end of year 
— Ss. to 10s. per cwt. 

Throughout the year, but most plentiful 
during the autumn, winter and spring 
months — 6d. to 28. per dozen according to 


Common name. 



'Coflfee (Fancy) 

vCoffee (Fine) 

Botanical name. 

Bixa Orellana 

Picraena excelsa 


Coffea arabica . 

Coffea arabica 

Seasons and prices paid by Merchants to 

25s. to 30s. per 100 lbs. 
end of May. 

Crop from Dec. to 

30s. to 348. per ton of 20 cwts., 6s. per ton 
extra for free on board. From April to 
October there was no demand and no trade. 

328. to 34s. per 100 lbs. in January with a gra- 
dual rise to 44s. per 100 lbs. in March when 
the spring crop closed; 408. to 418. per 100 
lbs. for middle year crop — Middle of May to 
end of July ; 408. to 448. per 100 lbs. for 
autumn crop, starting in September and 
lasting to end of year. 

368. per 100 lbs. in January to May, and 
348. to 40b. in June when crop finished. 
No business July to middle of October, 
when new crop started at 36s. per 100 lbs. 
dropping to 348. in November and Decem- 

338. per 100 lbs. in Januaiy to June when 
crop finished. No business July to middle 
of September, when new crop started 
in Manchester at 308. per lOOlbs. This price 
was maintained to middle of October when 
all crops started and the price advanced to 
328. dropping to 30s. again in middle of 
November and remaining at that figure to 
end of year. _____^ 

♦ All the produce of Estates is sent direct to London or Liverpool. 
Blue Mountain Coffee realises as high as 130s. 

Cocoa get* 528. 

Digitized by 



Common name. 

Botanical name. 

Seasons and prices paid by Merchants to 

€offee (Ordinary) 

Ooffea arabica . 

€offee (Good Or- 

Coffea arabica . 

€offee (Parch- 

Coffea arabica 


Pustic (roots) 

Fustic (trunks) 

Ceesalpinia coria- 



28s. to 30s. per 100 lbs. in January to end 
of crop in Jnne ; no business to begin- 
ning of September when new crop started 
in Manchester at 20s. per 100 lbs., this 
price was advanced to 22s. during Sep- 
tember and remained at that figure to 
middle of October when all crops came in 
and the price rose to 23s. and 24s. at the be- 
ginning of November ; in the middle of No- 
vember the price dropped to 22s. at which 
figure it remained to the end of the year. 

30s. per 100 lbs. at beginning of January 
to end of crop in June. This g^ade of 
coffee oontinned to appear after the end of 
the crop in June to the opening of the new 
crop in Manchester at the end of August 
when the price dropped to 23s. per lOOlbs. ; 
this price was maintained to beginning of 
November when it rose to 26s. and re- 
mained at this figure to the end of the 

20s. per cwt. (112 lbs.) at beginning of Janu- 
ary rising to 21b. by middle of the month, 
and 24s. by end of the month. During 
February to end of March the price 
remained steady at Ids. per cwt., it then 
rose to 16s. and remained at that figure to 
middle of May when it went up to 248. per 
cwt. From middle of August to middle of 
Oct. none was offered, then all crops came 
in and the price utarted at 20s. per cwt« and 
remained at that figure to end of the year. 

5s. 3d. per cwt. for large quantities, sellers 
finding their own bags ; 4s. 6d. per cwt. for 
small quantities — January to June. In 
December the prices paid were £6 per ton 
for large quantities and £4 10s. per ton 
for small quantities. 

From January to middle of April 358. per 
ton (20 cwts.) and 68. extra for free on 
board ; during May and early part of June 
39s. per ton ; June to beginning of August 
43b. ; August and September 488. ; Octo- 
ber to end of November 40s. and during 
December 368. per ton. 

From January to middle of April 48s. per 
ton of 20 cwts., and 68. extra for free on 
board ; May to early part of June 52s. ; 
from middle of June to end of September, 
568. ; from beginning of October to end of 
November 488. and during December 448. 
per ton. 

Digitized by 



Common name. 

Botanical name. 

Seasons and prices paid by Merchants to 



Zingiber ofSci- 

Cola vera 

Logwood (roots) 

Logwood (trunks) 
Orange, Sweet 



Citrus Auran- 


Pimento sticks 
and clubs 




Pimenta officina- 

Pimenta officina- 

Ananas sativa 

Ananas sativa 

Smilax papyra- 

January 26s. to 28s. per ICKilbs. ; in February 
268. to 288. ; from February to end of 
April, 288. ; May, 328. to 34s. ; June, 36s ; 
crop all reaped ; July, 328. ; August, 36s. 
per lOOlbs. No trade after early part of 
August to middle of December when crop 
started at 24s. per lOOIbs. 

Crop starts in March. No trade before 
June when 128. 6d. per lOOlbs. was paid 
for fresh nuts. This price advanced to 15s. 
per 100 lbs. by middle of June and dropped 
to 88. in July for cured nuts. It remain- 
ed at 8s. to end of crop. The trees give 
2 crops — Mar. to June, and Aug. to Nov. 

From January to June 34s. per ton of 20 
cwts., and 6b. extra for free on board. 
From middle of June to end of year 50s. 
per ton. For local consumption at Chemi- 
cal Works the price paid is equal to 
shipping rates free on board. 

48s. per ton (20 cwts.) at wharf, 6s. extra 
for free on board, Jan. to middle of April ; 
52s. May and June ; 50s. to end of year. 

10s. to lis. per 1,000 January and February ; 
12s. 6d.— 138. March; 148. April; 15s., 
May; IBs. to 18s., June — Crop over; 20s. 
July and August. New crop started in 
August with a demand for Canada ; 18s. 
in beginning of September, dropping to 
15s. by end of the month ; 12s. Gd. to 12s. 
in October; and 12b. 6d. and 13s. during 
November and December. 

16s. to I 8b. per 100 lbs. January to March ; 
18s. 6d. to 20b. March to beginning of 
May when the Southside crop comes in 
and lasts to about end of June ; July 18s. 
full crop in August, 188. 6d. ; September 
18s. 6d. dropping to 14s. 6d. at end of 
month ; October 13b. 6d to 16s. 6d. ; 
November 158. 6d. : December 15s. 

Sticks, f inch to 1^ inch, diameter, 8s. to 
lOs. per 100. 

Clubs, 3 inches to 6 inches, diameter, 4s. to 
8s. per dozen. Both in good demand. 

January to early part of March, 3s. per doz. ; 
4s. in April ; 28. to 38. per doz. from April 
to August. No trade from end of August. 

During March, 48. to 7s. per dozen ; April, 
to end of June, 6s. per dozen, July, 5s. per 
dozen, A.ugust, 4s. per dozen. 

4d. to 4^d. per lb. from January to end of 

The real crop time is from January to end 

of June. 

[Issued 22nd March, 1906.] 
Printed at the Oovt, Printing Office, Kingston, Jam, 

Digitized by 






Vol. IV. APRIL, 1906. Part 4, 


Final results of test of 23 varieties. 
By H. H. Cousins, M.A., Oxen., F.C.S., Island Chemist. 

The results obtained in this series of trials at the Hope Experi- 
ment Station of Cassavas at 12 and 15 months' growth have been 
given in this Bulletin (1905 pp. 152-155 and 2i8-2l9)and the final 
results of the tonnage and starch yield per acre after 21 months' 
growth have now been obtained. 

Tables are given showing the results of the final yield, the 
comparative yields of tubers and of starch at 12, 15 and 21 
months' growth, and ^nally of the increased yield of tubers and 
of starch by prolonging growth from 1 2-1 5 months and 15 to 21 
months respectively. 

Best varieties for harvesting at 12 months. 

* White Top' proved the best variety in these experiments with 
a yield of 10.5 tons tubers containing 7,902lbs. starch per acre. 
Next came ' Long Leaf Blue Bud' with 9 . tons tubers followed 
by 'Blue Top' with 8 i tons per acre. 'Smalling' was fourth, 
closely followed by ' Rodney' and ' Luana Sweet.' 

Best varieties for harvesting at 15 months. 

* White Top' fell off after 12 months' growth and is clearly a 
variety that does not improve by a longer period of growth than 
a year. At 1 5 months, ' Long Leaf Blue Bud' proved to be the 
most prolific variety, yielding 15.4 tons of tubers with 4,95 5lbs. 
starch per acre. ' Smalling,' ' Mullings' and ' Luana Bitter' fol- 
lowed in the order named. 

Best varieties at 21 months. 

* Blue Top' is the champion cassava of this series having given 
us 21 .9 tons of tubers and over 7 tons of starch per acre (15,818 
lbs). This result would have been considered fabulous previous 
to this careful series of field trials, and it is claimed that we have 
now proved that cassava can be grown without irrigation in the 
plain of Liguanea in Jamaica to give a yield of starch greater 
than has ever been recorded before of any starch-producing plant. 

It is true that this crop has taken the plant practically two 
years to produce, but when we remember the cheapness of land 


Digitized by VjOOQ 


and the low cost of cultivation involved in the prolonged period 
i>f growth, it is abundantly clear that the cost of increasing the 
starch yield from 3i to 7 tons per acre is out of all proportion to 
the value of the increased product. 

It would appear therefore, that the most economic production of 
:starch would be attained by the cultivation of such a variety as 
*Blue Top' upon a biennial basis. 

For quick returns ' White Top' would be the better variety and 
in starting a starch factory it would be advisable to grow half the 
cassava area as an annual and half as a biennial crop. 

The variety ' Black Stick' has steadily improved during the 
second year of growth and now holds second place in starch pro- 
duction with the record percentage of 38.2 per cent, of starch in 
the tubers and an indicated yield of nearly 7 tons starch per acre. 
'Smalling,' although giving a bigger tonnage of tubers than 'Black 
Stick' stands decidedly below that variety in starch yield. "Mul- 
lings" comes fourth with a little less than 6 tons starch per acre, 
while ' Long Leaf Blue Bud' that led at 15 months has not since 
gained at all in yield of tubers and shows only a very small increase 
in starch per acre as the result of the further 6 months' growth. 

Clearly, this is a variety that is at its best at 15 months, and 
one that it would not pay to grow as a 21 months cassava in com- 
petition with the other varieties. 

Percentage of starch in the tubers. — At 12 months' 'Luana Sweet' 
had the highest content of starch (35-2 per cent.), at 15 months,' 
'Long Leaf Blue Bud' heads the list with 37.4 per cent., while at 
12 months' growth this variety is very slightly inferior to 'Black 
Stick,' which leads with 38.2 per cent, of starch in the tubers. 

The recorded maximum starch content for a Jamaican Cassava 
is 39 . 1 per cent, for the variety ' White Smooth Bitter' grown by 
the Hon. T. H. Sharp at Inverness in Clarendon in 1903. 

This variety as grown at Hope only attained a content of 35.5 
per cent, of starch. 

These experiments emphasize the fact that Cassava varieties are 
so variable in their yield under different conditions of soil and 
locality that it is most desirable to carry out careful tests of a 
selected series before the best varieties for any given place and 
purpose can be correctly ascertained. 

Not only is there a great variation in the yield of tubers, but 
also of starch content and period of growth. 


1. Under conditions obtaining at Hope and without irrigation a 
yield of lOj tons tubers at 12 months, of isi tons at 1 5 months 
and of nearly 22 tons tubers per acre at 21 months has been re- 

2. The indicated yield of starch per acre has risen from 3i 
tons at 12 months to 5i tons at 15 months, and 7i tons starch at 
21 months' growth. 

3. This yield has been obtained at a cost of about £5 per acre 
and it is abundantly clear that we can produce enormous crops of 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


^cassava in Jamaica at a cost that should enable us entirely to 
replace Potato starch in the British market. 

4. Cassava can be grown to give a large yield upon a soil and 
with a rainfall that would not give good crops of sugar cane 
without irrigation. Large areas of land, at present producing 
little or nothing, could be profitably used for the growth of cas- 
sava for starch manufacture. This is an industry that can be 
confidently recommended to capitalists and land owners as one of 
the most promising means of increasing our exportable produce 
without trenching upon land at present productive of other pay- 
ing crops. 

I desire to acknowledge the work of Mr. F. A. Thompson of 
this Department in analysing the tubers and the careful way in 
which the Superintendent at Hope Gardens recorded these results 
in the field. 

Cassava Trials III, 
(Tweoty-one varieties harvested affer 21 months growth.) 

Gain per 

acre from 


15 to 21 



































Blue Top 
Black Stick 
















11. f) 










8 2 













Long Leaf Blae Bud. 







. • 



Doff House 





36 4 





Prize or Silver Stick. 










White Smooth Bitter. 










White Slick 










Brown Stick 









Black Bunch of Keys 










White Top 










Silver Stick 










Bobby Hanson 










Black Bitter Long Leaf 

Blue Bud 










White Bunch of Keys 


67 6 








Cotton Tree 







, , 

, , 


Luana Sweet 










New Green 





















Luana Bitter 





► 29.7 



zed by V 

> o.s 




Comparative yields at i 

different stages. 


Tons per acre. 

Lbs. Starch per acre. 















Blae Top 








Black Stick 
























Long Leaf Blue Bad 








Duff House 








Prize or Silver Stick 








White Smooth Bitter 








White Stick 








Brown Stick 








Black Bunch of Keys 








White Top 








Silver Stick 








Bobby Hanson 








Black Bitter Long Leaf Blue Bud 





6l93i 7,567 


White Bunch of Keys 





4,906 ~ ^* 



Cotton Tree 







Luana Sweet 








New Green 
















Luana Bitter 








Mass Jack 








Yellow Belly 



• ■a 






Tons tubers per a. 

lbs. starch per acre 











Blue Top 






Black Stick 


















Long Leaf Blue Bud 






Duft House 






Prize or Silver Stick 






White Smooth Bitter 






White Stick 






Brown Stick 






Black Bunch of Keys 






White Top 



264 1 



Silver Stick 






Bobby Hanson 






Black Bitter Long Leaf Blue Bud . 






White Bunch of Keys 






Cotton Tree 






Luana Street 






New Green 










384 1 


Luana Bitter 




1,261 1 


Mass Jack 






Yellow Belly 

0.3 1 
Loss j 




Digitized by 




From Commissioner^ Imperial Department of Agriculture, to Director 

of Public Gardens, 

Imperial Department of Agriculture for the West Indies, 

Barbados, January 23, 1 906. 
My dear Fawcett, 
I am in receipt of your letter of the 8th instant advising the 
sending of some bolls from Mr. DeMercado's cotton in Vere ap- 
parently attacked by anthracnose. 

I enclose for your information a report prepared by Mr. Stock- 
dale on the samples sent. 

With kind wishes, 

Very sincerely yours, 

(Sgd.) D. MORRIS. 

Imperial Commissioner, 

The four cotton bolls forwarded by Mr. Fawcett from Mr. De 
Mercado's estate in Vere are small and ill-shaped. Two of these 
show the characteristic spots of anthracnose, from which spores of 
Colletotrichum gossypii are given ofif. These spores appear to be of 
a greater diameter than those described by Mr. Lewton-Brain (W. 
1. B., Vol. v., p. 191) as Colletotrichum gossypii var. barbadense, and 
I should be pleased if Mr. Fawcett could obtain further specimens, 
so that this difference might be looked into more fully. 

The spots of anthracnose on these two bolls were over-grown 
with Fusarium which is probably saprophytic (West Indian Bulle- 
tin. Vol. v., p. 178). The other two bolls show no signs of 
anthracnose, but appear to have been dried up through some 
purly physiological causes and have subsequently become covered 
with Fusarium, I have seen many such examples in Barbados this 
year, more frequently immediately after changes of weather when 
the plant does not seem able to support or properly feed a large 
number of bolls. 

Suggested Remedial Measures — The fungus that causes the An- 
thracnose spreads by means of spores which are disseminated by 
wind and insects and is capable of growth on all parts of the 
plant. If the area is badly attacked it would be advisable to 
destroy all diseased plants and parts of plants and not to set 
cotton in the infected area for a few years. 

If a young crop of cotton is badly infected, spraying with Bor- 
deaux mixture would probably prevent the germination of spores 
and so prevent further infection of bolls. This must not be done 
if any of the bolls are matured, as the solution of copper salts 
would seriously discolour the lint and therefore reduce its value. 
If the crop of cotton is advanced and the disease is doing serious 
damage, experiments with dry fungicides might be conducted, say 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


with a mixture of sulphur and lime (the lime being in excess of 
the sulphur). 

This mixture can easily be made and can readily be applied. 
The slowly-evolved gases, are readily soluble in water, forming a 
solution which should be strong enough to kill the spores and 
germinal tubes, but too weak to injure the leaves of the plant. I 
have been unable to obtain any information respecting any ex- 
periments that have been carried on either in America or the 
West Indies with a view to obtaining a treatment for the pre- 
vention of anthracnose of cotton, and therefore this makes it all 
the more important that experiments should be started even on a 
small scale, to obtain such information. 

Another point in the treatment of this disease is very important 
— this is the sterilization of cotton seed before planting. Spores 
are held attached to the seed coat and these possibly produce the 
disease in the cotyledons of seedlings. Further information on 
the sterilization of cotton seed will be forthcoming before next 
planting season as experiments are now in hand dealing with this 

F. A. StoCKDALE, Mycologist. 


In the fall of the year 1902 the Director of Public Gardens went 
on special leave to the iStates. He was fortunate enough to in- 
terest Dr. Britton, Director of the New York Botanical Garden, in 
Jamaica, and on his return Dr. Britton allowed Prof. Earle to ac- 
company him to study generally the plant diseases of the Island. 
Prof. Earle made a report which was published in the Jamaica 
Bulletin for February, 1903. One of the diseases investigated was 
the Logwood Root Rot, and the following is Prof. Earle's state- 
ment about it. Recently letters have appeared in the *' Gleaner" 
from Dr. Bucher and Mr. J. W. Edwards on the subject, and it has 
been thought well to call the attention of planters again to the 

I. By Prof. Earle. 

On some estates, especially toward the western end of the island, 
logwood trees are dying in considerable numbers. 

The diseased trees usually occur in groups, the infection spread- 
ing slowly but in constantly widening circle. An examination of 
dying trees shows the roots to be badly rotted. Their surface tis- 
sues are invaded by a white fungus mycelium that is usually more 
abundantly developed in the region between the bark and the 
wood. The disease seems to attack first the small rootlets, grad- 
ually spreading to the larger roots and the crown when the tree 
dies. In many cases seeming healthy trees near the border 
of infested areas were found to have the roots on the side next the 
dying trees badly diseased, while on the other side they were 
still perfectly healthy. The fungus seems to be the mycelium of 
some of the Hymenomycetes. Numerous species of Polyporaceae 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


and Thelophoraceae were taken on logwood stumps and logs, 
but in no case could their connection with this root rot be satis- 
factorily proven. Whatever the nature of the fungus, leaving 
stumps of trees that have died from this disease in the neighbour- 
hood of living trees is clearly dangerous. Dying trees should be 
dug and the roots burned as soon as the disease can be detected. 
Where it is confined to certain small definite areas as is often the 
case, it would be advisable to dig a trench three feet deep just out- 
side of the diseased area in order to prevent its spread under- 
ground to the roots of healthy trees. On a few of the estates ex- 
amined the disease was so widely scattered that this method of 
treatment would not be practicable. Here it would seem best to 
clear the infested tract entirely of logwood, marketing such as was 
sufficiently mature, and allowing the land to grow up in pimento 
and limes, or reserving it for pasturage or cultivation. It should 
be mentioned in this connection that pimento trees are said to die 
from a similar root rot in some parts of the island. If this should 
prove to be identical with the logwood root rot, pimento would 
not be available as an alternative crop. 

This root rot seems to spread slowly. One old logwood chip- 
per assured me that trees had been dying for thirty-five years on 
a spot that he pointed out. This area does not now include over 
three or four acres. This would indicate that by vigorous mea- 
sures it could be controlled. The disease was found on various 
kinds of soils and under moisture conditions varying from dry 
rocky hill sides to the margin of swamps. In some cases the dis- 
eased areas were on 'spots where the soil was rich and deep and 
the moisture and drainage condition perfect. It was not observed 
on the heavy clay lands towards the eastern end of the island but 
whether this was due to the absence of infection or to the char- 
acter of the soil could not be determined. 

n. By Dr. E. Bucher. 

In driving through Westmoreland one cannot but notice that the 
logwood blight investigated some time ago by Prof. Earle of the 
New York Botanical iGarden* is rapidly spreading. Too many 
pastures look as if the logwood trees, young and old, had been 
singed by fire from the top downwards. Prof. Earle pronounced 
the blight to be a contagious root disease. If not attended to, it 
will do serious damage to the logwood industry in that part of the 

Logwood growers will do well to remember the disastrous ex- 
perience of European wine growers with phylloxera. That insect 
pest appeared to be harmless enough at first, until it spread so 
fast that it was hopeless to cope with it. The best vineyards of 
France were laid bare. Those who had thought themselves to be 
the wealthiest cultivators suddenly found themselves to be almost 

* Now Director of the Agrioultural Experiment Station, Cuba. JSditor, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


beggars. Utter ruin was only averted by making a fresh start, 
pulling out every vine stock and replanting the vineyards with the 
hardier American plant. 

A logwood grower who sees the disease appear on his property 
owes it not only to himself but also to his neighbours to eradicate 
the disease as it appears and prevent its spread. If any one doubts 
that this can be done successfully let him pay a visit to that model 
logwood property, Old Hope. There he will look in vain for a 
dead logwood tree. Mr. J. W. Edwards, the attorney, will perhaps 
be good enough to tell us by what means he has managed to keep 
Old Hope free from the disease. We will be thankful to him if he 
will give us the information. 

m. By J. w. Edwards. 

With reference to Dr. Bucher's letter, I am bound to admit that 
the remarks about the logwood generally in Westmoreland are 
only too correct. 

I took Prof. Earle, when he was in the country three years ago, 
to Old Hope. 

The Professor went to considerable trouble to inspect the trees 
at different positions on the property that showed signs of the 
disease and after most minute investigation he pronounced it a 
root disease that was highly contagious. 

Acting on his advice I have from that time cut down and burnt 
wherever practicable, any trees showing the slightest trace of the 
disease, with satisfactory results. 

As Dr. Bucher who is such an eminent authority on logwood, 
thinks that Old Hope is in a fair state of cultivation, it may in- 
terest logwood growers to show the system that has been pursued 
at this property. 

The growth of young saplings is encouraged every year with 
the view of having rotation crops. 

Saplings are grown thickly in order to induce the growth of long 
straight trunks, but after a time the useless ones are thinned out 
to give light and air to the most promising ones. 

On no account are any saplings allowed to be trimmed of the 
prickles which are evidently given them by nature to protect them 
from stock, and when the trunks are sufficiently strong to resist 
pressure from animals in rubbing against them, the prickles dis- 
appear natiu-ally, the trunks then presenting a nice clean smooth 

If after the trunks are naturally cleaned off, it is thought that 
too many limbs are thrown out some of the lower ones should be 
cut off with an upward cut to prevent soakage by water. 

The shippers are never allowed to rest their wood against other 
trees, in order to preserve the bark from injury by chafing. 

Another matter that receives attention is the killing of duck ants' 
nests, which are so frequently seen on trees; this is done by 
arsenic sweetened with molasses, or sugar. 


Digitized by VjOOQ 


24th January, 1906. 

The Governor directs* the publication, for general information, 
of the following letter from the Director of Public Gardens and 
Plantations, containing suggestions for promoting the earlier 
ripening of oranges. 

By command, 

H. Clarence Bourne, 

Colonial Secretary. 

Department of Public Gardens and Plantations. 

Hope Gardens, Kingston, P.O., 

1 2th January, 1906. 

I have the honour to acknowledge your letter No. 11002/13504, 
dated 14th ultimo with reference to the controversy on the ship- 
ment of unripe oranges, and asking me to consider whether it i§ 
feasible to cause oranges to ripen earlier. 

2. There are two classes of oranges exported viz. : the fruit of 
seedling trees, and that of budded trees, of which the number ex- 
ported of the former is enormously in excess of the latter. The 
problem therefore refers chiefly to the fruit of seedling trees. 

3. Budding trees from early varieties can to some extent and 
after a considerable time, bring in early fruit : these trees will also 
be aflfected by any solution of the general problem. 

4. To the peasantry, who own the vast majority of the trees, I 
would ofifer the following suggestions. Early fruit is encouraged 

(1) removal of all fruit late in October or early in Novem- 


(2) removal at the same time from the trees of all dead 

wood, lichens, moss, and other growths, — this of course 
should be also done throughout the year. 

(3) opening up the main roots for a foot or 18 inches from 

the stem, and removing the soil from them. 

(4) application of lime on surface of ground from stem as 

far as branches extend, — all the above work to be 
finished during November. 

(5) forking up the soil in December for a breadth of a foot 

all around the tree just outside the extremities of the 
root-system, and application of woodashes, bones and 
a little well-rotted pen manure to it, or the equivalent 
in commercial fertilisers. 

(6) maintaining a mulch of grass, &c., from January until 

the fruit is full and then removing it. 

* Jamaioa Gazette, 26th January, 1906. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


(7) irrigating, whenever possible, by using waste water, &c., 

during the same months that the mulch is used. 

(8) thinning out the fruit by one half when they are about 

the size of marbles. 
5. I believe that these cultural operations would have a decided 
effect in bringing in earlier fruit, and would be well worth the 

I have, etc., 

W. FAWCETT, Director. 
The Hon. The Colonial Secretary. 

The following letter on the same subject is reprinted from the 
"Gleaner" of the 1 2th February. 

The Director of Public Gardens and Plantations to the Editor of the 


Hope Gardens, 9th February, 1 906. 

Mr. T. H. Sharp's letter on producing early fruit in the orange 
is interesting and suggestive. 

His statement that *• the trees have two energies : the energy of 
reproduction and the energy of growth" is correct, and the theory 
and its practical applications have been treated at some length in 
the Bulletin for February, 1 904, in which it is shown that "a de- 
crease in nutrition during the period of growth favours the develop- 
ment of the reproductive parts while abridging the vegetative parts." 

The consideration of this fact in the economy of plant life was 
not omitted in the letter to the Colonial Secretary, but the method 
suggested is that used by nature herself, checking or preventing 
nutrition, rather than injiu-ing and half-killing the tree, as Mr. 
Sharp proposes, by " smashing the outer bark as well as the cam- 
bium" of the trunk near the ground by blows from a mallet. 

Under natural conditions plants undergo a decrease of nutrition 
from various causes : two of these causes, — drought, and in some 
plants, the fall of the leaf, e.g., in oiu- " common cedar," are readily 
recognized by every one as natural checks to growth. 

The fall of the leaf prevents the chemical union of the mineral 
constituents taken up by the roots with the carbon extracted from 
the carbonic acid of the air, — which chemical change takes place 
in the leaf, forming the food of the living organism. 

The check by drought to the absorption of food materials by 
the roots is much more serious, if it is thorough, and if it lasts 
long enough. 

In treating the orange we cannot cut off its leaves, but we can 
interfere with the action of its roots. We cannot prevent rain 
falling, but we can do something to prevent absorption by the 
roots, and so imitate drought. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The removal of the soil from the roots was suggested for 12 to 
1 8 inches from the stem ; if that is not sufficient to stop growth, I 
would remove the soil to a greater extent, but then comes in the 
question of expense and whether it would pay to do so. 

Forking round the extremities of the root system was also sug- 
gested ; this should be done in such a way that the roots would be 
carefully cut back, so limiting root action. 

These two methods of checking nutrition are not only effective 
for that purpose, but they conduce to greater vigour. 

Opening up the main portion of the roots near the stem aerates 
and dries the soil all round, checks any tendency to foot-rot, and 
prevents attacks there by grubs. Shortening back the roots leads 
later on to extensive branching and development of the roots, 
especially as the ground has been loosened in the direction of 

I am, etc., 


Dr. Tillman has kindly contributed the following account of the 
methods adopted in his Orange Grove, which is a model for cul- 

Dr. Tillman to the Director of Public Gardens. 

Camden Grove, Race Course, P.O. Jamaica, 

1 0th March, 1906. 
Dear Sir, 

In reply to yours of the 28th December, I beg to enclose here- 
with, a/c sales of fruit sold in December ; and you will see that 
the prices range from 8/ to 9/ per box. It cost 6/ to place a box 
of oranges on the market, including everything — capital paying 
prices for that time of year. 

During August I got 15/ to 16/ ; September, 14/ and 14/3 ; Octo- 
ber, 11/ to 12/, and November, 10/ to ll/. You must pardon my 
not answering before, as I had to wait for the last a/c sales, and 
they did not come to me until end of last month. 

Re my efforts to obtain early fruit : Immediately after the 
October seasons will permit, I pick off all fruit, say early in No- 
vember, and start ploughing with two pony ploughs, up and down 
each side of the intervals, between the trees ; making three cuts on 
each side, about three inches deep — the first cut being made 
directly under the extreme end of the outside of the lateral 
branches. -• v 

The same cuts are made by the other plough, the other way of 
the interval, so that the fine terminals of the surface roots are 
sliced through on each of the four sides of the trees that is pruned. 
The whole interval is not ploughed or close ploughed, for the 
reason that I would not be able to do the whole 32 acres quickly 

As soon as each interval has had three cuts made both sides, all 
over the cultivation, then the ploughs are allowed to plough 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


thoroughly the whole field. The ploughing is so done that each 
cut of the plough throws the earth towards the tree, so as to pro- 
tect the cut ends of the roots with the fine dirt thrown by the next 
cut. The ploughs have new socks every six days to ensure clean 
and deep cutting when the above work is being done (ordinarily 
only every fourteen days are they changed). 

The trees are in the meantime gone over with a gang of women 
under two headmen ; all infested leaves that are bad are cut ofif with 
the scissors, and those with scale insect scrubbed by hand with 
small pieces of bagging dipped in warm soap or kerosene emulsion 
— branches also scrubbed. 

All the inner branches and twigs that prevent light and air 
from going freely through the tree, are pruned away to throw all 
the energy for blossoming into the terminal branches. No water 
is allowed near the trees for fully six weeks — that is, the whole 
of November and part of December. Water is then applied, say 
about the second week in December, and the trees thoroughly 
flooded, the cultivator being passed over two days after, to save 
the earth drying and cracking and conserving the moisture below 
the surface. 

Pruning roots and branches and cleaning the trees coupled with 
the rest that the trees get for the six weeks while sufi'ering for 
want of water, compel a large number of the trees to commence 
to blossom about three weeks after the first application of water, 
and from then, each watering (three weeks apart), brings out more 
blossoms ; so that blossoms first appear during the first week in 
January. This year fully a thousand trees commenced to bloom 
during the first ten days of January ; of course in the majority of 
cases, only partially. 

I have had quite a few trees that I picked fruit from as late as 
the middle of November, bloom in January slightly, but of course 
the trees that had been relieved of fruit earlier than November, 
bloomed earlier and heavier. 

This coming season I do not intend to pick any fruit in Novem- 
ber ; so that I will have all fruit shipped by end of October. All 
blossoms after the 15th March will be picked off so as to save the 
trees carrying late fruit needlessly and thus ensuring an early 
bloom next season. 

The above method can only be adopted in the irrigated districts 
of Vere and St. Catherine, as only with irrigation can the trees be 
controlled in a great measure ; and as you are aware, there are 
barely half a dozen groves altogether in the two parishes named ; 
but I am certain that a great deal of good could be effected in 
the hills where practically, all the fruit comes from, if the trees 
were treated as you recommend them to be. Of course the trees 
in the hills are entirely at the mercy of the seasonal rains and 
would not, even with irrigation, bloom very early in the year owing 
to the climatic conditions. 

Even at the present time of writing, many of the wild trees are 
loaded with over-ripe and unmarketable fruit, thus perpetuating a 
lot of the mischief and compelling the sending away of immature 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


fruit in August and September, the trees not blossoming until 
April ; in consequence, our fruit continues to have such a bad name 
in the market. 

A very important fact also must not be lost sight of, and that is, 
that the fruit grown in the lowlands only take from seven to seven 
and a half months to mature, whereas fruit in the hills take from 
eight to nine months. 

Hoping the above will prove that not only can fruit be grown 
in the irrigated lowlands, but what is more important still, that 
groves established and properly cultivated, can be made to pro- 
duce early ripe oranges to supply the best market. That would 
give Jamaica an unrivalled position as a citrus fruit centre. Florida 
California, and the Mediterranean, owing to the climatic conditions, 
would never be able to supply mature fruit in the months of 
August and September. 

Cuban groves under go-ahead American management, with irri- 
gation, would be our only competitors. I will with great pleasure 
give all the facts and figures after the coming season to the public 
as I feel sure there is a great future before the industry on these 

Yours faithfully, 

(Sgd.) Harry G. Tillman. 



Much disappointment has lately been experienced, both by the 
sender and also by the receiver, through plants, supposed to be 
diseased, and insect pests reaching the laboratories of the Impe- 
rial Department of Agriculture in an unfit condition for scientific 
examination. It is hoped that officers of the department and 
others will carefully study and follow the suggestions that have 
been given by the Department on former occasions. (See Agricul- 
tural News, Vol. I, p. 243, and Vol. n, p. 235.) The chief reasons 
for this state of things are one or more of the following : — 

(l) The fragmentary nature of the material sent for investiga- 
tion. (2) Lack of care in transmitting , the specimens arriving 
shrivelled or dead or mouldy. (3) Absence of information as to 
the conditions under which the plants grew. 

It must t)e pointed out that a few fragments of a diseased plant 
are of little use for investigation, and sufficient material should be 
sent so that the primary cause of the trouble may be located. 

In order that time and labour may not be wasted in the exami- 
nation of unsuitable material, care must betaken in collecting and 
packing specimens so that they may arrive at Barbados in good 
condition. Fresh specimens of moist vegetable matter should not 
be sent packed in boxes or in envelopes, but should be either 
suitably dried and sent in a well-ventilated package or, preferably 

* Repriuteil from the Agricultural l^ews, Vol. IV., p. 366. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


placed in spirit immediately after collection and forwarded in a 
bottle or corked tube. Care must be taken with the strength of 
the spirit used. A 30-per cent, spirit is quite suflScient to act as 
a preservative, and this can easily be obtained by taking distilled 
rum and adding two parts of water to one of the rum. If mate- 
rial is sent in undiluted spirit or high wines, it becomes so hard 
and brittle that examination is exceedingly diflScult. 

When leaves, buds, or twigs are attacked, the specimens should 
show as many stages of the disease as possible. Detached leaves 
alone are, as a rule, useless. If practicable, the root, after the soil 
has been shaken off, should be sent, as in many instances, the 
primary cause of the trouble is located there. 

When fruits or herbaceous stems are attacked, pieces showing 
all stages of the disease, should be placed in spirit as before. 
When it is thought desirable to send very large specimens, such 
as portions of branches, roots, or whole cacao pods, these should 
be collected as late as possible before the mail steamer leaves and 
sent in a well ventilated case. 

Full particulars should also be forwarded, giving details of the 
time of appearance of the disease, the damage done, the part at- 
tacked, the nature of the soil, drainage, and also whether an ap- 
parently similar kind of disease had been previously observed. 

With regard to the forwarding of insects for examination, di- 
rections have already been given in the Agricultural News (Vol. TV. 
p. 168), but on account of the repeated disappointment resulting 
from material being badly packed the following detailed instruc- 
tions have been prepared : 

Insect material for transmission must be packed in such a way 
(l) that it will not be broken, bruised, or crushed, and (2) that it 
will not be spoiled by the growth of moulds, mildew, or bacteria. 
In considering the manner of forwarding insects, these may be 
divided roughly into these three groups : (i) Larvae that is, grubs, 
maggots, caterpillars, including borers, etc. (2) Hard insects, 
such as beetles, bugs, grass-hoppers, crickets, bees and wasps. 
(Scale insects may be included in this group.) (3) Frail insects, 
such as butterflies, moths, flies, etc. 

In packing for transportation the following rules apply to these 
groups : — 

Group I. — When sent alive, larvae should be packed with a 
supply of the food plants on which they have been found feeding 
or in the plant material they infest, in such way that they should 
not be rattled about in the package or crushed by portions of the 
food plant, etc. When not sent alive they should be preserved in 
a tightly-corked tube or vial in diluted spirit or formalin. 

Group 7/.— When sent alive these insects should be provided 
with food, as for instance, in the case of lady-birds, leaves and 
twigs infested with the plant lice or scale insects on which they 
feed should be included and packed in such a way that they can- 
not rattle about in the box. Footholds, such as crumpled pieces 
of blotting paper, should be given the insects also. When not 
sent alive insects of this group should be dried and wrapped loose 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


ly in soft tissue-paper, each insect in a separate paper, and then 
packed in a strong box. In the case of scale insects, each infested 
leaf and twig should be folded or wrapped in soft paper and 
dried before being enclosed in a tight package. — — < 

Group IIL — Insects of this group should be killed and handled 
carefully to prevent injury, folded or wrapped in paper and 
well dried before being packed. Butterflies, with their wings 
folded together, may be folded in paper, moths may be wrapped 
loosely in tissue paper, and flies may be included in layers of 
tissue paper between cotton wool, in small boxes. 

Full notes should accompany all insect specimens, stating the 
nature of the damage done, the part of the plant attacked where 
insects were found, and whether larva or adult does the damage ; 
if the larva, a specimen of the adult should be included also, if 
possible. Notes on their habits such as whether night feeder or 
day feeder, where eggs are laid, etc., should in every case be added 
so far as known. 

Disappointment is most likely to result from (l) insufficient ma- 
terial, (2) insufficient notes and information as to habits, etc., (3) 
bad packing which allows specimens to be crushed or to decay in 
transportation, and (4) from sending specimens so broken and 
battered that it is impossible to identify them. 


Several "double coco-nuts" were received from the Commis- 
sioner of the Seychelles Islands in 1 896. There is one plant now 
growing in the Hope Gardens close to the Casuarina tree on the 
other side of the stream, and a plant also in Castleton Garden. 

They grow very slowly, no stem being yet seen above ground ; 
the height of the top of the largest leaf is loj feet. A nut which 
failed to germinate may be seen on application at Hope Gardens, 
and another at Castleton Garden.* 

The history and the structure of this palm are of such an 
interesting nature that the following articles on it are reprinted. 

I. By George V. Nash.* 

In the Indian Ocean several hundreds of miles to the eastward 
of Zanzibar, and about four degrees south of the equator, isa 
group of islands known as the Seychelles. These were discovered 
by the Portuguese as early as 1505 ; were occupied by the French 
in 1743 ; seized by the British in 1 794, and formally ceded to them 
in 1814. Here at the time of the French occupation in 1743 was 
discovered a beautiful palm, the fruit of which had been known 
for many years, but the origin of which had been one of the 
mysteries of those early times. As in those times mysteries al- 
ways give rise to most fabulous tales, so was it with this unknown 
fruit, which, on account of its obscurity, was accredited with most 

* Journal of the New York Botanical Garden, January, 1906, p. 7. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


wonderful properties and given a worth far in excess of its intrin- 
sic value. It was known as coco de mer, coco de Solomon, and 
coco des Maldives, this last name being applied because so many 
of these nuts had been found floating in the sea near the Maldive 
Islands. It was averred by these ancient people that it was not a 
product of the earth but of the sea, and the Malay and Chinese 
sailors insisted that it grew on a tree deep in the water off" the 
coast of Sumatra, but that the tree instantly disappeared when 
they dived down to see it. The negro priests were firm in the 
belief that it grew near the island of Java, its branches protruding 
above the water, and that here a monstrous bird had its home, 
from which it made nightly sorties to the land, killing tigers, ele- 
phants and other large animals ; they further asserted that ships 
were attracted by the waves which surrounded the tree, an attrac- 
tion from which there was no escape, and that the sailors fell an 
easy prey to this voracious bird. One can well understand with 
what care the poor superstitious sailors of the Indian Archipelago 
must have avoided this spot. 

Not only did these tales serve to bring the fruit into notice, but 
its reputed value as an antidote to poisons made its acquisition 
greatly to be desired by the princes of Hindostan, who, prone to 
use such poisons on others, were constantly in fear of being made 
victims themselves of some wily poisoner. 

It is not strange that they were willing to pay large sums for 
these mysterious objects which would protect them from their 
enemies. They firmly believed that water which had been kept in 
one of these was purified from all harm, and could be drunk with im- 
punity, no matter how active may have been the poison placed in 
the liquid. The sovereign of the Maldives was not long in turning 
this to his own advantage as a means of increasing his wealth, for 
he made it a matter of death for any one to have in his posses- 
sion one of these nuts — all were his property, which he disposed 
of at a high price or used in making royal presents. But in 1 743, 
upon the discovery of the tree which bore these fruits, this value 
and repute quickly subsided, for, so they must have reasoned, 
where there is no mystery how can there be any virtue. 

One of the earlier accounts of this palm occurs in a book of 
voyages published in 1776 in Paris.* A plate illustrating the 
Seychelles themselves and several other plates depicting features 
of the palm and its fruit are given. It is there stated that many 
of these palms grow near the shore of the sea, most of the fruit of 
such trees dropping into the sea and floating upon its surface. 
The winds waft them, and the currents, the direction of which in 
those parts is E.N.E., carry them to the shores of the Maldives, 
the only part of the world where these fruits had been known 
previous to the discovery of their origin on the Seychelles. 

The palm grows upon three of the islands of the Seychelles, 
occuring in all parts of them, the best trees growing in deep gorges. 
One such gorge on the island of Praslin is known as the Ravine 

* Voyage a la Nouvelle Guiaee par M. Sonnerat. Paris. 1776. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


of the Coco de Mer, and is said to be one of the most beautiful 
spots in tropical climes, the trunks of these charming palms rising 
to a height of ninety or a hundred feet and bearing aloft a crown 
of magnificient fan-shaped leaves, often twenty feet long and ten 
or twelve feet wide. 

The many economic uses of this palm make it of exceeding 
value to the natives of the Seychelles. The heart of the crown of 
leaves is eaten as a vegetable, as is done with the cabbage palm. 
The leaves, perhaps, are the most important, being used extensively 
in house-building, not only for thatching, but also for making walls 
and partitions; and the down of the young leaves is used in 
filling mattresses and pillows. The nuts are made into utensils of 
various kinds, and the young leaves furnish material for making 


On the Double Cocoa-nut of the Seychelles {Lodoicea Sechellarum) ** Sea 
Cocoa-nut/' '* Double Coconut/' *' Coco de mer,'' 

By Swinburne Ward, Esq., Civil Commissioner, communicated 
by Sir W. J. Hooker, F.R.S., & L.S., &c. 

This extraordinary specimen of the palm tribe, the largest and 
most curious of all the many varied kinds scattered over all tropi- 
cal regions, is found only in two small islands belonging to the 
Seychelles group, " Praslin" and " Curieuse," which lie in juxta- 
position between 4"" and 5"" of S. lat., and 55*" and 56° E. long., — 
nearly three hundred miles north-east of Madagascar, which, 
though itself an island, may, from its immense size, be legitimately 
considered the nearest mainland. 

The name by which it is best known, that of " Coco de mer," 
was given to it by some French navigators who had picked up the 
nut floating at sea, and being unable to ascertain anything respec- 
ting the tree that produced it, supposed it to be the production of 
some unknown submarine plant. It has often been found on the 
coasts of Ceylon and the Maldive Islands, drifted thither by some 
of the mysterious currents which perplex mariners all over the 
Indian Ocean. The nuts attained in these countries to an almost 
religious value, and were sold in India for fabulous prices. A 
medicine was made of the kernel, which was said to possess res- 
torative qualities much in request in those countries where poly- 
gamy prevails. 

It was not until the discovery of the Seychelles Islands by the 
French in 1742 that authentic information was obtained respecting 
the true nature of the tree, and the astonishment of those previ- 
ously acquainted with the Coco de mer may well be imagined upon 
their finding large forests entirely composed of this palm, growing 
most luxuriantly upon a small and quite unhabited island, and 
towering far above all ordinary tropical vegetation. 

But little is even now known respecting the growth and peculi- 
arities of this extraordinary palm, owing to the great length of 
itime it requires to arrive at maturity, and the consequent difficulty 

^Journal of the Linaean Society, VIII, 1866, p. 135 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


of obtaining accurate information with regard to its developmentr 
The information gathered from the inhabitants is not of much 
value , they are very unobservant, and the truth of their replies ta 
any questions that may be put to them can never be depended 

The shortest period before the tree puts forth its buds is thirty 
years, and one hundred years must elapse before it attains its full 
growth. No one can tell how long it will last, or how old some 
of the gigantic specimens may be. No nuts planted since the 
British came into possession have arrived at their full growth. 
One in the garden at Government House, planted fifteen years 
ago, is still quite in its infancy, about sixteen feet in height, but 
with no stem yet visible, the long leaves shooting from the earth 
like the Traveller's Palm and much resembling them in shape, 
only much larger. Nine months after the nut has been planted^ 
supposing germination to have begun at once, the leaf sprouts 
at an angle of 45° from the root; it is very closely folded^ 
with a smooth hard surface, terminating in a sharp point. 
When about two feet above the surface it expands, and nine 
months after another leaf follows, coming up the grooved surface 
of the midrib of that which preceded it, and so on at intervals of 
nine months, each succeeding leaf becoming larger in size. All 
these leaves cluster together and support each other, no stem ap- 
pearing above the ground. From the age of fifteen to twenty-five 
the tree is in its greatest beauty, and the leaves at this period 
much larger than they are subsequently. They consist of two 
layers of fibres crossing each other at right angles, imbedded in a 
thick stratum of parenchyma enclosed in a tough skin. 

The stem of the full-grown tree, like that of all Palms, consists 
of hard fibres imbedded in medullary substance enclosed in a hard 
sheath, so hard that a good axe is required to cut it. It splits 
readily, but is extremely durable. Unlike the Cocoa-nut trees, 
which bend to every gentle gale and are never quite straight, the 
Coco de mer trees are as upright as iron pillars, undisturbed in 
their position by the heavy gales and violent storms so often oc- 
curring in tropical regions. 

At the age of thirty the tree first puts forth its blossoms. The 
male and female trees are quite distinct ; and the female blossom 
may be considered as the germ of the nut, as it offers nothing of 
the appearance of what is generally regard as a blossom. The 
female tree alone produces the nut, and it is twenty feet shorter 
than the male tree, which frequently attains a height of one hun- 
dred feet. 

The male flower is an enormous catkin, about three feet in 
length and three inches in diameter, of a reddish-brown colour, 
and covered with rhomboidal valvate scales disposed spirally about 
the stem, from the angles of which the stamens spring. Within 
its circumference, at intervals corresponding to the apertures from 
which the stamens shoot, are found little masses containing such 
a succession of stamens in progressive stages of development that 
the flowering is maintained for eight or ten years, each coming 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


stamen thrusting off and replacing the one that preceded it. The 
whole has a most disagreeable, oily odour, and if cut and put in 
any accessible place, is greedily attacked by ants. It may be seen 
in all stages upon the same tree — in full bloom, faded, and quite* 

The female blossoms spring from a strong stem forming a regu- 
lar zigzag, and are composed of three bracts three or four inches^ 
in diameter. A gummy secretion exudes from the apex of these, 
which secretion doubtless arrests and secures the pollen necessary 
for their fecundation. The fruit stalk is supported by three very 
strong bracts ; the outer one of these, the top of which is wedge- 
shaped, penetrates the stalk of the leaf immediately above it, in 
the under side of which nature has left a fissure accessible to it. 
By this provision the stalk is enabled to support the weight of 
fruit which hangs upon it, sometimes exceeding foiu- hundred- 
weight. Eleven nuts have been seen on one stalk, the probable 
weight of each being about forty pounds. Such clusters are, how- 
ever, very rare, and four or five may be taken as the average num- 
ber on one stalk. 

From fructification to full maturity a period of nearly ten 
years elapses. The fruit attains its full size in about four years, 
and is then soft, and full of a semi-transparent jelly-like substance 
of an insipid, sweetish taste. The mesocarp is a leathery sub- 
stance of a brownish-green colour, adhering to the shell. As the 
nut ripens- this gradually dries up into a white, horny kernel, 
about half an inch in thickness, and of no use whatever, supposed 
to be poisonous, but, probably, only quite indigestible. The nut 
in its perfect state is about eighteen inches long, and of the same 
breadth, something in the shape of a heart, with two separate com- 
partments. It is enveloped, like the Coco-nut in a fibrous husk ; 
but its texture is not nearly so thick or so strong, and it drops off 
soon after the nut falls from the tree. The nuts, sawn in half, and 
divested of the kernel, form excellent calabashes, and are uni- 
versally used for baling boats. The entire nut is frequently used 
as a water-keg, and holds three or four gallons of water. It has, 
however, to be " caulked" in the centre, where germination takes 
place, before it becomes completely watertight. 

The arrangements provided by nature for the roots of both 
male and female trees are of a most peculiar nature, quite distinct 
from those provided for any other known tree. The base of the 
trunk is of a bulbous form, and this bulb fits into a natural bowl, 
or socket, about two and a half feet in diameter and eighteen 
inches in depth, narrowing towards the bottom. This bowl is 
pierced with hundreds of small oval holes about the size of a 
thimble, with hollow tubes corresponding on the outside, through 
which the roots penetrate the ground on all sides, never, however, 
becoming attached to the bowl ; their partial elasticity affording 
an almost imperceptible but very necessary " play" to the parent 
stem when struggling against the force of violent gales. 

This bowl is of the same substance as the shell of the nut, only 
much thicker. As far as can be ascertained, it never rots or wears 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


out. It has been found quite perfect and entire in every respect 
sixty years after the tree has been cut down. At Curieuse many 
sockets are still remaining which are known to have belonged to 
trees cut down by the first settlers on the island. 

This curious arrangement renders it impossible that the trunk 
could grow in a slanting position ; and there is no known instance 
of its doing so, either on the flat, or on the steep sides of the 
mountains, in both of which situations the tree thrives equally well. 

The high price still fetched by the nuts will ultimately be the 
cause of their complete extinction in these islands. The growth of 
the palm is so very slow that no one can expect to reap where he 
has sowed, and the people consequently never take the trouble to 
plant any for the benefit of posterity. Not content too with dig- 
ging up those nuts that have fallen and taken root they ruthlessly 
destroy whole trees by cutting them down for the sake of 
the nuts and the heart leaves, which latter are used for 
making hats, fans and baskets. Many of the trees still standing 
are quite spoilt by the practice of cutting out these centre or heart 
leaves, leaving the tree shorn of its beauty, and with an untidy, 
ragged appearance. Besides the ravages of man, fire is a terrible 
enemy to these forests, a year seldom elapsing without there be- 
ing suff'erers by accidental conflagrations, especially those forests 
situated at the nort-west end of Praslin, in which are now found 
only such male trees that from their height overtopped the flames 
that destroyed the females. At the south-east end of Praslin they 
are more plentiful the dry season being in the south-east monsoon, 
and as the forests are to windward, they are not exposed to much 
danger from spreading fire. 

No suggestions will induce proprietors to abandon their present 
habit of wilfully destroying the trees for the sake of the nuts and 
leaves, or to take some pains for the cultivation and reproduction 
of this magnificient palm. Not many years will elapse before the 
Coco de mer becomes in reality as rare as it was supposed to be 
when first picked up at sea by the wondering mariners, and the 
only relics left of its former magnificence will be the decaying 
blackened stumps of the trees so wantonly destroyed, and the 
curious sockets in which they stood for so many years. 

Seycelles, April 1 6, 1863. 


Letters from SiR H. BarKLEY and SWINBURNE WARD, ESQ., 
relative to the Coco de Mer. 

Government House, Mauritius, 
6th June, 1 864. 
Having brought the resolution adopted by the Linnean Society, 
on 3rd of March, relative to the destruction of the Sea Cocoa-nut 
Tree in the Seychelles Islands, under the notice of the Civil Com- 
missioner of that group, and called upon him to suggest officially 

♦ Journal of Linuean Society, IX, 1866, p. 118. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


what measures could be taken to ensure the preservation of the re- 
maining trees, I have received the report of which I now beg to 
enclose a copy. 

The Society will be glad to learn that Mr. Ward did not find on 
a visit of inspection, that that destruction had been carried so far 
as had been represented to him, but that, on the contrary, one for- 
rest of these palms in He Praslin is carefully preserved by its 
owner, and still contains magnificent specimens. 

As this island is almost entirely private property, the interfer- 
ence of the Government would be difficult, except in the way of 
exhortation and remonstrance ; but as He Curieuse, where a certain 
number of trees are found, is still vested in the Crown, and used 
for a purpose which renders it inaccessible to the public, I trust 
there can be no danger under any circumstances of the extinction 
of this most interesting species. 

I am confident that whilst Mr. Ward remains in his present post 
he will do all in his power to protect the existing trees, and to 
secure the planting of others. 

I remain. Sir, 

Yoiu* obedient Servant, 

Henry Barkley. 
77? George Bentham, Esq., 

President L.S., &c., &c. 

Preservation of the Coco de mer. 

Civil Commissioner's Office, 

Seychelles, May 17, 1864. 

I have the honour to acknowledge the recelp^ of your letter (No. 
H. 890) of May 6th enclosing a communication from the Linnean 
Society on the subject of the destruction of Coco de mer trees at 
Praslin, and directing me to report, for the information of His 
Excellency the Governor, upon the measures which ought to be 
taken for the preservation of such of the Lodoicea trees as now 

The paper on the Coco de Mer, to which the Linnean Society 
alludes, was written a short time after my arrival ; but although I 
had made a tour of inspection round the islands, including Praslin 
and Curieuse, I had not then visited the district in which this palm 
principally flourishes. 

There is no doubt that the Coco de Mer has entirely disappeared 
from many parts of the island of Praslin, where it formally 
abounded — destroyed by accidental conflagrations, and ruthlessly 
cut down to make room for manioc cultivation. The land in these 
parts of Praslin, with a very small exception, is entirely in the 
hands of private individuals, and no steps could have been taken 
by Government with respect to preserving the trees. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


I returned, on the 9th instant, from a visit to the more distant 
Islands of the group in the " Pleiad," which was placed at my dis- 
posal by Colonel Playfair, and I took the opportunity during this 
tour, of visiting the Lodoicea forest at Ause Marie Louise, on the 
southern point of the island of Praslin — a small lovely valley 
reaching to the sea-board, surrounded by lofty hills, the sides and 
crests of which are covered with Lodoicea several hundred in 

This forest is in the property of a Mr. Campbell ; and I am glad 
to be able to report that more care is taken of the trees here than 
is the case in any other part of the island. They may be seen in 
all stages of growth, from the sharp, sword-shaped spattie just 
shooting from the ground, to palms one hundred and twenty feet 
in height, long since arrived at maturity, and at whose age it is 
impossible even to guess. None are actually planted by the pro- 
prietor ; but he occasionally allows nuts to remain and take root 
where they fall ; and as the trees are usually surrounded at the 
base by thick undergrowth, many other nuts are overlooked by 
the men employed to collect them, a certain amount of reproduc- 
tion being thus ensured. 

The leaves of the male trees alone are cut for the sake of the 
material from which hats, fans, and baskets are made. Cutting 
these leaves prevents the trees from giving any blossoms ; but the 
male trees preponderate over the female, and these growing in al- 
most inaccessible spots, which flower undisturbed, are quite suf- 
ficient to fecundate all the female trees in the district. The 
flowering process continues for years ; and the small blossoms 
that spring from the huge catkin forming the basis, as it were, of 
the flowers, are reproduced, apparently, ad infinitum. 

A comparatively small number of trees are found on Curieuse 
Island, and these never attain the same size and perfection as 
those at Praslin. ' Soon after my arrival, I gave directions to Mr. 
Forbes, in charge of the lesser establishment, to keep up the sup- 
ply by planting germinating nuts ; but he succeeded with but a 
small proportion of those planted. Unfortunately, too, several 
trees which were thriving in the vicinity of the cemetery were 
accidentally burnt. I have directed him to plant all the germin- 
ating nuts that he can find for the future, and to take all the care 
he can of the trees now remaining. 

When at Praslin, I selected a Coco de Mer with a perfect healthy 
germ nearly a foot in length, which I forwarded to Sir William 
Hooker, by the 'Nomo,' on the nth instant. 

I have the honour to be. Sir, 

Your most obedient servant, 

Swinburne Ward, 

Civil Commissioner. 

The Honourable The Colonial Secretary, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Extracts from Minutes. 

The monthly meeting of the Board of Agriculture was held at 
Headquarter House on Monday, the I2th March, at 11.15 a.m. 
There were present : — ^The Hon. H. Clarence Bourne (Chairman) ; 
Director of Public Gardens ; Superintending Inspector of Schools ; 
Island Chemist ; His Grace the Archbishop of the West Indies ; 
Messrs. J. W. Middleton, G. D. Murray and Jno. Barclay (Secre- 

Commercial Agent. — The Secretary read the report of the com- 
mittee appointed in matter of a commercial agent for Jamaica in 
London, the adoption of the report was unanimously agreed to. 

The Chairman asked the Archbishop, Mr. Middleton and Mr. 
Murray to form a deputation to wait on His Excellency and pre- 
sent the report ; and the Secretary was instructed to write the Co- 
lonial Secretary and ask when it would be convenient for the 
Governor to receive the deputation. 

Day of Meeting, — As Mr. Miuray reported that he could not 
attend the meetings of the Board if they were held on Mondays, 
the Archbishop proposed that the meetings should be held on the 
Wednesday of the same week of the month at 2 p.m., instead of 
II. 15 a.m. 

This was agreed to. 

Contagious Diseases. — ^The Secretary reported that the committee 
appointed had again revised the draft of the proposed Bill and it 
had been sent on by the Agricultural Society to the Governor. 

Cotton Gin. — The Secretary reported that he had received the 
Hand Cotton Gin from Mr. Levy, that it had been sent to the 
Railway workshop for repair and it would be stored in the office 
for future use. 

Diseased Coco-nuts. — A letter was read from the Colonial Secre- 
tary informing the Board that Mr. G. P. Dewar had pointed out 
that he especially desired to call attention to the need for owners 
of blighted coco-nut trees to be compelled to cure or burn them, as 
until they were made to do so their neighbours would suffer. He 
said that when the trees showed any symptoms of unhealthiness 
they were beyond remedy as the leading bud was rotten and de- 
cayed, and that while spraying was good, eradication was better. 

The Governor asked the views of the Board on Mr. Dewar's 

The Director of Public Gardens said that Mr. Dewar was wrong 
in saying that when the trees showed signs of unhealthiness they 
were beyond remedy, that bud-rot could be cured in its earlier 
stages by spraying with Bordeaux mixture, which arrested the de- 
cay. He had arranged for Mr. Cradwick to visit Lucea on the 
19th May and Mr. Dewar could arrange to meet Mr. Cradwick 

The Secretary was directed to reply to the Colonial Secretary 
io this effect. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Mr. Nolan's Work. — The Colonial Secretary also forwarded a 
letter from Mr. Nolan, forwarding cutting from The Wine and Spirit 
Gazette, and also a report of the case which he had instituted 
under the Merchandise Act with a copy of a prosecution which 
took place in Lanark under the Food and Drugs Act in which 
the defendants were convicted. 

These were directed to be circulated. 

Resignation of Mr, Teversham, — A letter was also read from the 
Colonial Secretary intimating the resignation of Mr. T. F. Tever- 
sham as from the 28th February on account of ill-health. 

The chairman stated that various alternative proposals were 
before the Government and provisions had been made in the 
estimates of £200 for carrying on the work. 

Standardisation of Jamaica Rum, — The following papers which 
had been circulated but had not yet been before the Board were 
submitted : 

With regard to the standardisation of Jamaica rum, the Director 
of Public Gardens* minutes on the subject were read to the eflfect 
that a standard of this kind was unnecessary and would be injurious 
to our interests. 

Of the members present Mr. Cousins, Mr. Murray, and the chair- 
man were in favour of the proposed standardisation. 

Mr. Fawcett was opposed to it and the Archbishop thought that 
the facts as contained in the papers should be reported to the Go- 
vernor to form his own opinion. 

The Chemist was asked to make a summary of the arguments 
in favour of his case to be sent first to Mr. Fawcett to state his 
arguments against it, both then to be circulated among the mem- 
bers of the Board. 

Agricultural " Don'ts." — In reference to the above, these having 
been revised by the Superintending Inspector of Schools with the 
suggestion of the members of the Board before him, were ap- 
proved. The Archbishop said that he hoped to get the Board of 
Education to adopt them and have them hung up in the form of a 
large chart for use in schools. 

Report from Mr. Cousins on his visit to Trelawny and West- 
moreland and Report Hope Experiment Station were also pre- 

[Issaed 12th April, 1906.] 

Printed at the Oovt, Printing Office, Kingston, Jam. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 





Vol. IV. MAY. 1906. Part 5. 


By "A Forester/* Bluefields, Nicaragua, Jan., 1906.* 
The roots of young plants of Castilloa elastica (the Central 
American rubber tree) are well developed and branch a good 
deal. They are very thickly clothed with root hairs at the tips. 
These hairs are very fine and fragile and in transplanting young 
seedlings great care should be taken not to injure them. I believe 
that the condition of the roots of a tree makes more difference 
with the amount of rubber it will give than the leaves. A tree 
with small yield is generally healthy in the leaves, but has some 
defect in the roots. Transplants are likely to have defective tap 
roots and on this account blow over. 

There are two distinct types of branches on the Castilloa tree — 
temporary and permanent. All the branches for the first three or 
four years are temporary. They grow alternately on different 
sides and almost at right angles to the trunk. After some time 
the temporary branch drops, when besides the scar which is left 
will be found a small bud. This bud is either to the right or left 
of the scar, but never above or below it. Whenever one such bud 
on a tree grows to the right all the other buds do the same, and 
vice versa. I have never found a tree with buds on both sides. 
Such buds are the beginning of permanent branches. Only a 
small number grow into branches, but any of them can be forced 
by cutting through the bark to the wood, above the bud, and thus 
severing the sieve tubes connecting the leaves and roots. These 
permanent branches project upward at an angle of 45 "^ or less. 
Forced branches do not grow as fast as natural ones. The 
permanent branch bears temporary branches of its own, and later 
may bear other permanent branches. 

This question of branching may prove important. Some 
planters claim that trees that put out permanent branches early 
grow faster and yield better than later branching trees. Others 

* From the India Rubber World. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


claim that branching is not good for the trees. I believe that 
branched trees grow somewhat faster because they get a larger 
leaf surface, but I do not think that this leaf surface aflfects the 
amount of latex. Trees planted far apart branch more freely and 
earlier than those which are close together. There also seem to 
be more branches on trees grown in the sun than in the shade. 
It has been suggested that it would be well to grow branches on 
the trees — by the forced method above described — in such manner 
that the trees could be ascended by tappers without a ladder. The 
fact that some temporary limbs turn permanent might be in- 
vestigated, and perhaps a way could be found to make them turn 
permanent at will, if desirable. 

The Castilloa is a fast growing tree. It appears to grow faster 
between the ages of two and four. The leaf surface of the tree, 
and consequently the amount of light it gets, has a great deal to 
do with its growth. Shade grown trees are not nearly so large 
at the same age as those grown in the sun. Some planters 
believe that trees grown in at least partial shade yield more latex, 
but if this is so, I do not believe that they yield enough more to 
pay for the loss in growth, for under any ordinary conditions the 
trees yield in proportion to their size. Monthly measurement of 
a large number of Castilloa trees shows that they grow on an 
average of about \ inch per month in circumference. This varies, 
however, the trees sometimes growing not at all for a month and 
growing \ inch or more the next month. An experiment in the 
effect of tapping on growth did not show that it made any 

The proper distance in planting depends a good deal on how 
soon the plantation is to be tapped. Trees planted 10 x 10 feet 
begin to crowd each other at about six years. If the plantation 
is to be tapped at this age, or earlier, this is a good distance for 
planting. When the trees get older, the poorer and weaker ones 
can be bled out. The experiment of planting four trees in a hole 
shows that it is possible for two, three, or even all four to grow 
well and apparently not to hinder each other. If these trees continue 
as they have begun, it seems to me that the way to grow the most 
good trees on a given piece of land would be to stake the land at 
a distance of 1 5 or 20 feet, and to plant a circle of 8 or 10 trees 
about each stake. Any trees grown in this way which did not 
keep up to the others should be cut down, and by the time they 
are ready to tap there should be three or four good trees in each 
group. This method would avoid one trouble which has shown 
itself where one tree was planted to a hole, and that is that when 
the time for tapping came many of the trees were poor and stunted 
and not worth anything. This irregularity of growth loses much 
time and can be avoided where only the best trees are allowed to 

Whatever the method of tapping employed for Castilloa, the 
healing of the cut requires to be considered. The general idea 
has been that the cut must not be made too deep and this is true 
to a certain extent. But it may also be made too shallow. Be- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


tween the bark and the wood is the growing part of the tree, a 
tissue called cambium. This part alone has the powers of form- 
ing new bark and new wood. If a cut is made which does not go 
into the cambium, the cut will not heal over with new material. 
Of course, it will dry up and turn black, and in this way protect 
the tissue under it, but the piece of bark taken out is gone for 
good. On the other hand, a cut made just to the cambium will 
heal quickly. 

The Para rubber tree (Hevea) shows some important differences 
in latex from the Castilloa. Of course all that I have noted on this 
tree is done here in Nicaragua and it may behave differently in 
Brasil or Ceylon. The first noticeable thing in cutting the Pard 
tree is the small yield. When a Castilloa is tapped, the cut is 
immediately filled with latex, which runs in a small stream from the 
lower end. The Hevea when first cut shows no latex. In a few 
seconds it begins to appear in drops on the cut surface and after 
3 to 5 minutes begins to drop from the end of the cut. The small 
yield at the first tapping seems to be balanced by the fact that 
more can be got by multiple tapping. In Ceylon, according to 
report, the yield increases each day, but here I have noticed no 
increased yield. I tapped one tree nine days in succession, and 
though it yielded every day (a thing which Castilloa would not do) 
the yield decreased instead of increasing. The Hevea tree will 
not do here because there is too nuch labour involved in multiple 
tapping. I think the trees here, if tapped rightly, would yield as 
much as those in Ceylon, but as labour cost so much more, it 
would not pay. I am confident from comparing yields printed in 
The India Rubber World that Castilloa will yield as much with 
four tapping operations a year as Hevea will with ten or twenty 
when the trees are the same age. 


Mr. S. W. Sinclair, Manhattan Plantation, Bluefields, Nicaragua, to 
Director of Public Gardens, 

Manhattan Plantation, 
February 2nd 1 906. 
Dear Sir, 

Your favour of June 23rd 1 905 has just reached me. 

Replying to your enquiry about the Sinclair Coagulator, beg to 
say that it consists of a piece of board through which holes are 
bored 2 ins. by 2 ins. (holes should be about \ inch). Over this 
board a sheet of absorbent paper is placed, (I enclose sample) ; 
paper must be laid on the board wet, if put on dry, it will warp 
and give an uneven sheet of rubber. Having the board and paper 
laid on wet, now proceed to tack on the rim or frame, which should 
be from l\ in. high to I J in. and your box will be ready for coagu- 
lating. As soon as the latex is brought in from the field, I add 
four times its volume of water, then strain through a fine metal 
sieve ; then I place the whole in a cone bottom tin tank to settle, 
which takes about one hour. I then decant off the water until the 


Digitized by VjOOQ 


latex becomes as thick as when it came from the tree, then I pour 
it in my boxes and the water that is in the latex, which can't be 
decanted off, will pass through the absorbent paper in about 10 
minutes leaving the rubber. 

I then expose it to a heat of lio degrees F. for 5 or 6 hours, 
when the rubber can be lifted off the box. 

A new sheet has to put on after being used 10 or 12 times. 

The time of exposure to heat varies and it is hard to give a cor- 
rect formula in this respect, but one soon learns by the feel of the 
sheets, just when to take them from the boxes. I take them off as 
soon as my fingers don't stick, when pressed against them. 

I may mention here that this method is for Castilloa elastica. 

The Hevea latex passes through the absorbent paper. 

I am carrying on experiments now and expect soon to be able 
to handle both kinds of latex. 

Rubber coagulated on the above method becomes transparent 
like Ceylon biscuits, and runs it a close second in price, we aim to 
bring it up to par. 

With respects, I am. 

Yours sincerely, 

S. W. Sinclair. 



By Herbert Wright, Controller of Experiment Station, 

(Paper read before the Ceylon Agricultural Board.) 

The Citronella industry is far from being in a flourishing con- 
dition in Ceylon, and many persons who in the old days found it 
a profitable cultivation now declare it to be unremunerative. It is 
common knowledge, however, that Citronella oil exported from 
Java obtains a much higher price than that from Ceylon, and it 
has been argued that, if the same price could be realised for the 
oil exported from this island, it might once more become an in- 
dustry worthy of serious consideration. Planters in the Straits 
and the authorities of the Imperial Department of Agriculture for 
the West Indies are taking up the subject in earnest, and residents 
in this island are beginning to send in numerous enquiries as to 
the possibilities with this product. The moment, therefore, seemed 
opportune to present a few facts regarding Citronella and also 
Lemon Grass, as results have been obtained at the Experiment 
Station, Peradeniya, and in various parts of Ceylon. 


We will first consider Citronella oil. I have brought with me 
a sample of one of the grasses from which the oil is obtained, and 
also a quantity of pure oil fresh from the still. As you are pro- 
bably not concerned with the exact botanical identity of Citronella' 
grass, 1 may dismiss that vexed question by saying that the speci-- 

For preyjouB articles on Graas Oils, see Bulletins, March, 1903, p. 63: Dec. 1908* 
Feb. 1904, p. 43 ; Oct. 1904, p. 224 ; March, 1905, p. 49. « 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


men as here presented is as near the wild "Mana" grass as it dan be, 
and is by most botanists regarded as being a variety of the " Mana" 
grass so common in many parts of this island. The cultivation 
of Citronella has hitherto been confined to the Southern and South- 
West Provinces, the Matara, Galle, and Hambantota districts being 
well-known in connection with this product. Exactly why it has 
been more or less limited to these localities it is difficult to say, 
as the grass grows well in districts having an annual rainfall of 
80 to 100 inches, and, as will be shown later, has been success- 
fully cultivated at an elevation of 2,000 feet in the Central Pro- 
vince. It is not easy to obtain reliable information as to the yield 
per acre in these provinces, but it is usually estimated that about 
36 bottles each containing ij lb. of oil are obtainable per acre per 
year. If such is the case it can be asserted that the Peradeniya 
district, at an elevation of 2,000 feet, is as good as any part of 
the Southern Province for this product. At Peradeniya one acre 
of the Maha-pangiri variety gave in 1904 I9,320i lb. of grass, 
from which 84 lb. of pure oil were obtained ; in 1 905, the same 
plot produced 5,757J lb. of grass, which yielded 38 lb. of oil. 
This one-acre plot gave in the second and third year from plant- 
ing 122 lb. of oil or 61 lb. per year. From other plots in their first 
year 60 lb. of oil were obtained per acre. 

Value.— Messrs. Chas. P. Hayley & Co., of Galle, have off'ered 
85 to 88 cents per lb. for the crude unfiltered oil. The yields I 
have given you were obtained from a plot on the rocky hill-side 
facing the Peradeniya Gardens, which was previously occu- 
pied by Mana grass and Lantana, It is not a rich soil but a typi- 
cal patna-like compound similar to what may be seen in many 
parts of the Island. The results show that we can obtain a crop 
of 60 lb. of oil per acre per year (210 to 250 lb. of grass giving 
I lb. of oil), the oil realising from Rs. 5 1 to Rs. 53 per acre in 
Galle. It must be admitted that this is not a very big return, but 
it is about as much or even more than what is obtained on many 
Citronella estates. The yearly expenditure for weeding, cutting, 
transporting and distilling is probably about Rs. 20 to Rs. 30 per 
acre, and if the good variety is cultivated it will require re-plant- 
ing every third year at a cost of Rs. 3 per acre. In addition to 
such current expenditure one must allow for clearing, for plants, 
and the wear and tear of the machinery. It is obvious from these 
remarks that Citronella cultivators are not rolling in profits, and 
various points will require attention if the prospects of the in- 
dustry are to be made brighter. 

Points Requiring Attention.— The first and foremost is to 
check the adulteration which has been practised, so that Ceylon 
can obtain a better reputation and command a price equal to that 
paid for the oil exported from Java. This matter is, as most of 
you are aware, receiving the attention of Government, and it is not 
necessary for us to make any remarks beyond pleading for a ces- 
sation of adulteration, or exporting the adulterated article under 
definite grades, so that buyers will know what they are purchasing. 
Another point of practical importance is the complete condensa- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


tion of the oil. Often the oil and water, as they pass into the re- 
ceiver, are quite warm instead of being cold. The cold water 
should enter the condensing chamber at the end furthest from the 
distilling chamber, so that the oil-vapour will meet a cooler atmo- 
sphere the nearer it gets to the receiver. I find in practice that a 
60 foot coil of piping, 3 to 4 inches in diameter, is sufficient to 
effect perfect condensation, and it is the opinion of many that the 
good yield of oil obtained at Peradeniya is partly due to the 
completeness of the condensation which is obtained. There are 
other points of importance which might be touched upon, but be- 
yond advising the planting at definite distances, instead of at hap- 
hazard, selecting the better variety and paying attention to the 
seasons and the time of cutting, I propose to dismiss the subject 
of Citronella. As most of you are aware, certain Citronella 
planters have found relief in quite another way, namely, by taking 
up the cultivation of Lemon grass in place of Citronella. 


The main reasons which have led to this change are, first, that 
Lemon grass oil is valued at 35 to 40 cents an ounce in Galle ; 
and, secondly, the grass can be cultivated and distilled in just the 
same manner as Citronella. Of course, the demand is not an un- 
limited one, and the price may be lowered if too much oil is placed 
on the market. The Lemon grass is quite a different plant, but, 
as you can see from this specimen, it is similar in many respects 
to Citronella grass. It yields a valuable oil, a pure sample of 
which I have placed on the table for your inspection. The prac- 
tical details connected with Lemon grass cultivation are identical 
with those of Citronella, and therefore need not be dealt with here. 
The points to consider are the yield and value of the oil. I can- 
not give you the figures of outsiders, but the results at the Experi- 
ment Station are probably similar to those obtained elsewhere. 
At Peradeniya, at an elevation of i,6oo feet, the grass can be cut 
six months after planting, and from one plot, which was planted 
in July, 1904, we obtained in December of that year 8,063 lb. of 
grass yielding 13 J lb. of oil per acre, the same plot cut in April of 
this year gave 5,281 lb. of grass and 13 lb. of oil per acre so that 
the yield per acre in the first year has already been 26^ lb. of oil. 
This works out at 40 cents per ounce in Galle, at over Rs. 160 per 
acre in the first year. You will remember that the Citronella may 
give a gross return of Rs. 51 to Rs. 53 for the same period. The 
ease with which these products are cultivated is remarkable. All 
that is necessary is to make holes, mamoty wide and mamoty 
deep, and plant young shoots in rainy weather. Nearly all the 
plants will grow well, and the grass can usually be cut and 
distilled six months after planting. 

CONSTITUENTS REMOVED.— In comparing the value of Lemon 
grass as against Citronella, it is as well to bear in mind the effect 
of cultivating these products on the soil. In each case the weight 
of grass removed is considerable, and it is somewhat surprising 
that crops so exhausting can be grown on relatively poor soils. In 
order to emphasise this point I now quote the results of analyses 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


made by Mr. Bruce, which show that every 10,000 lb. of Lemon 
grass contain about 65 lb. of potash, 12 lb. of nitrogen, 12 lb. of 
lime, and 9 lb. of phosphoric acid. The same quantity of Citron- 
ella grass removes less potash and lime but more nitrogen and 
phosphoric acid. The weight of Citronella grass per acre is 
usually much greater than that of Lemon grass, and is in most 
cases the more exhausting of the two. 

Sufficient has been said to show that we have in Lemon grass 
and Citronella two products which can be regarded as catch crops 
since they gave a return six months from planting ; the cultivation 
is simple, the plants are very hardy and seem to be comparatively 
free from disease. They can be grown on poor soils in a very 
large part of this Island, and there is a fair demand for the oil. 
It is proposed to publish the results in detail in the Magazine of 
the Society, and to show by means of diagrams and photographs 
the nature of the plants and also the machinery, used in these 
industries, and it is therefore unnecessary for me to prolong my 


H. E. the Governor : You mentioned that the cost was Rs. 
30 an acre ? 

Mr. WRIGHT: That was for cutting the grass, transporting, and 
distilling, and also weeding. 

H. E. the Governor : Does anybody know about the range of 
these grasses — the elevations at which they would grow ? 

Mr. Wright : Hitherto they have been confined to the South- 
ern Province ; and this is the first time, I believe, that we have 
grown them at 2,000 feet elevation at Peradeniya. 

H. E. the Governor : I have seen some plants growing very 
freely at Nuwara Eliya, 6,000 feet elevation, apparently in Patana 

Mr. Wright : Citronella grass, as is well-known, is a variety of 
the Mana grass, which grows wild. Wherever Mana grows you 
might undoubtedly grow Citronella grass. 

H. E. the Governor : We might try it somewhere in the hill 

Mr. Wright mentioned the Horton Plains. 

The Hon. Mr. J. FERGUSON enquired if Mr. Wright would 
recommend planters who had Mana grass fields to try Lemon 
grass or Citronella. 

Mr. Wright thought there would be no objection provided the 
planting was considered a part of the co-operative experiments 
being carried on by the Department. Any particular product that 
the authorities considered experimental they would help the 
planters to grow, provided they gave the results in return. 

The Hon. Mr. J. FERGUSON : Are co-operative experiments to 
be introduced at diflferent elevations ? 

Mr. Wright said that was a matter they wished to see brought 
forward. They would carry out experiments and see if certain 
plants would grow at every thousand feet elevation. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Mr. Ferguson remarked it would be well for the Society to get 
planters to make co-operative experiments. As regarded eleva- 
tion, Mr. Campbell mentioned to him that in the Himalayas at 
7,000 feet elevation that grass grew. 

H. E. the Governor : What I observed two days ago showed 
that this grass will grow up to 7,000 feet ; we can try several 
elevations. We have got at the present moment a certain number 
of gentlemen in various parts of the Colony who are prepared to 
assist us in experiments, and whose names are noted as being 
affiliated for the purpose. 

Variation in Yield at Certain Seasons.— Mr. Ferguson : 
Mr. Wright might be able to give us details as regards crops in 
relation to acreage. 

Mr. Wright said that there was a great variation in the weight 
of grass obtained at certain times of the year and in the weight 
of the oil. In the case of Citronella, taking three seasons' 
records it roughly worked out at I lb. of oil from 250 lbs. grass. 
On the other hand from Lemon grass they roughly got I lb. of 
oil from 500 lb. grass. Lemon grass, of course, was smaller. 
He pointed out that at the end of the dry season they got more 
oil from a given quantity of grass. 

Soil Exhaustion and Rotation. — Dr. H. M. Fernando 
remarked that it was well-known that Citronella grass exhausted 
the soil to a great extent, would it therefore be advisable to plant 
it as a catch crop among coco-nuts, etc.? 

Mr. Wright explained that Citronella was very exhausting to 
the soil if grown alone, but if it was associated with other products 
the exhaustion was far from being at all dangerous to cultivation. 
If at the end of two or three years they did not re-open land in 
Citronella or Lemon grass but adopted a rotation crop, either of 
crotalaria, or ground nuts, or even chillies — he had seen that 
product used in the Southern Province — they would get better 
results from the soil after that. Of course, if they did not grow 
anything with coco-nuts or cocoa or rubber the land would lose 
all the same by being allowed to remain exposed. 

Mr. Ferguson pointed out that the gross return from Lemon 
grass was given at Rs. 160 an acre, and Citronella Rs. 54. Was 
there any particular reason for the difference ? 

Adulterated Oil.— Wr. Wright explained that in the old 
days Citronella oil obtained a better price than Lemon grass oil. 
The price was simply the result of the greater demand for the one 
article than the other. They might be able to raise the price of 
Citronella oil by exporting it under a Government guarantee of 
purity. At the present time Citronella oil was simply adulterated. 

H. E. the Governor : Am I to understand that the price 
obtained for Citronella oil, at the present time, is the price of 
adulterated Citronella oil exported from Ceylon ? 

Mr. Wright : — It is the price of crude, unfiltered oil. 

The Hon. Mr. W. H. jACKSON wished to know if any analysis 
had been made of the waste grass after the oil had been expressed. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Me had seen it used for stocking the still. It might be returned 
to the soil. 

Mr. Wright remarked that he, too, had seen it used as fuel and 
also to feed cattle which seemed to relish it greatly. The only 
thing that was lost by using it as fuel was the nitrogen. The 
potash would be there and the lime. The ashes might be used on 
the land. 

Planting up Patanas.— The Hon. Mr. W. H. Jackson said 

that if the grass grew like Mana they might try it on waste land 
which, in places, grew nothing but Mana. 

H. E. the Governor : That is what is proposed to do near 
Hakgala — to grow it on Patana land. 

Mr. WRIGHT: — I have already established places at Band- 
arawela. Will that place answer ? 

The Hon. Mr. W. H. JACKSON : — I think so. That is about the 
barest place. 

II. Lemon-Grass Oil from Montserrat* 

A specimen of lemon-grass oil was forwarded to the Imperial 
Institute in September, 1903, by the Hon. F. Watts, Government 
Analytical and Agricultural Chemist to the Leeward Islands, with 
the request that its commercial value might be ascertained. 

In the letter accompanying the sample, analyses of this and 
other West Indian lemon-grass oils were given, and the character- 
istic partial solubility of these oils in alcohol was noted. No 
information was given, however, regarding the exact botanical ori- 
gin of the Montserrat oil, and as a knowledge of this point is of 
some importance in placing such products on the market a request 
was made for a herbarium specimen of the plant from which the 
oil was distilled, in order that it might be identified ; at the same 
time a larger sample of the oil was asked for. These supplement- 
ary materials were received in January, 1904. 
Identification of the Plant, 

The herbarium specimen of the plant was submitted for exami- 
nation to the Director of the Royal Gardens, Kew, who identified 
it as Andropogon nardus, L. var genuinus, Hack, which is commonly 
known as the true lemon-grass. 

Chemical examination of the oil. 

The oil was examined in the Scientific and Technical Depart- 
ment of the Imperial Institute, and gave the following results : 

The specimen measured about eight fluid ounces, and consisted 
of clear, limpid, yellow liquid, with a pleasant lemon grass odour. 
It dissolved to the extent of about 97 per cent, in 70 per cent, 
alcohol, and on distillation about 25 per cent, of the oil was ob- 
tained between l8o*'-220'' c, and 50 per cent., which was princi- 
pally citral, between 220°-230^c. 

The following table shows the analytical results obtained with 
the Montserrat oil both at the Imperial Institute and in the West 

^ From BuUetiD of the Imperial Institute, IL 


Digitized by VjOOQi 


Indies, and for convenience of comparison the corresponding 
figures for commercial lemon-grass oil distilled in India from 
Andropogen citratus. 

Montserrat Lemon- 
grass Oil. 

0} CO 


East Indian 



Specific gravity at 15° c. .. 
Angle of rotation in 1 00 

m.m. tube 
Citral determined by the 
sodium bi-sulphite method 


— 0= 





0899 to 0903 
+ r25to 3Y 
70 to 7S7o 

These results indicate that the Montserrat oil contains as large 
a proportion of the valuable constituent citral as the East Indian 
oil, and only differs from the latter product in being incompletely 
soluble in 70 per cent, alcohol. 

Lemon-grass is now principally employed as a source of citral, 
and the commercial value of the oil depends principally upon the 
amount of this constitutent contained in it. 

Commercial valuation of the oil. 

Specimens of the oil, accompanied by a statement of the results 
of its chemical examination, were submitted to dealers in essential 
oils both in this country and on the Continent for commercial 
valuation. The reports from these firms indicated that, although 
in some cases there was a tendency to quote a low price (4id. per 
oz.) for this oil owing to its being incompletely soluble in alcohol, 
yet the general opinion appeared to be that, if placed regularly 
on the market in fair quantities, it would be worth from 5d. to 6d. 
per ounce, which is about the price of good quality East Indian 
oil at the present time. 

These results indicate that Montserrat lemon grass oil, in spite 
of its peculiar partial insolubility in alcohol, would probably find 
a ready sale at remunerative prices in this country and on the 


Porto Rico is essentially an agricultural country. This follows, 
as a natural result, the even climate, the cheap labour, and the 
good market for the various products of the soil. 

♦ Prom BegUt&r of Porto Bwofor 2905, Compiled I 

' th£ Secretary of Porto Rico, DecenCn^ 

Digitized by 



Since the American occupation there has been a steady increase 
in the acreage under cultivation, and, owing to the generally good 
prices obtained in the fiscal year just passed a marked impetus 
has been given to the raising of sugar, coffee, cattle, tobacco, 
cotton, citrus fruits, pineapples, cocoanuts, &c. 

Land suitable for agricultural purposes has increased at least 
20 X in value during the past year, and hardly an acre of ground 
within a radius of 15 miles of San Juan can now be purchased for 
less than $100. In the country districts, within easy access of 
the railroad or macadam roads, fairly good land will average $40 
per acre ; and in the interior and in places remote from transporta- 
tion, grazing land can still be purchased as low as $5 to $10 
per acre. 

Much credit is due to the United States Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station for its practical demonstrations of what crops can 
be grown to advantage in Porto Rico, and of the most modern 
methods of cultivation. This information is made public by 
bulletins issued by them from time to time. 

There has been a marked increase in the importation of modern 
agricultural implements, which admit of the cultivation of larger 
tracts of land with little additional labour. 

Fertilizer is also used much more extensively than in former 
years, and in order to guarantee the quality of the same, the last 
Legislative Assembly of Porto Rico passed an Act to regulate the 
registration and inspection of commercial fertilizers, fertilizer 
materials and chemicals in Porto Rico. This law makes it a 
misdemeanour to sell for offer or sale in this island any fertilizer 
or fertilizer material which does not conform to the formula given 
on the tag attached to the package. 

As a further incentive to agricultural pursuits, the Legislative 
Assembly appropriated the sum of $10,000 for the development 
of the fibre plants of the island, this sum to be expended under 
the direction of the Governor in the purchase of fibre or other 
product grown by planters on the island, the purchase and opera- 
tion of machinery for the preparation of such products for market- 
ing, or in such other ways as in his opinion will best tend to the 
demonstration of the possibilities of growing and marketing such 
products upon a remunerative basis to persons engaging in such 

In order to afford every possible protection to coffee, cotton, 
and citrus fruits, the last Legislature also passed a law to guard 
against the importation of plant diseases or insects harmful to 
plants. This law provides that no coffee tree or plant, or any 
portion thereof, or the seeds of same (except roasted coffee for 
domestic consumption), and no rooted citrus plants or cuttings, 
and no cotton seed, seed cotton, cotton lint, loose or in bales shall 
be brought into the island of Porto Rico from any state or 
territory or other country whatsoever, without having attached 
thereto in a prominent and conspicuous place, a certificate under 
oath signed by a duly authorized state or government entomologist, 
stating that such trees, plants, roots, seed hulls or seed, and any 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


and all portions thereof are free from disease ; provided that in 
the case of cotton seed, seed cotton, cotton seed hulls or cotton 
lint, such certificate shall state in addition that the shipment 
originated in a locality where, by actual inspection by said attest- 
ing official or his agent, the Mexican Boll Weevil was not found 
to exist. 

Sugar has been grown in Porto Rico since 1 548 and unquestion- 
ably has now supplanted cofifee as the chief source of the Island's 

For the fiscal year 1904-1905 there was exported (almost entirely 
to the United States) 271,325,118 lbs. of an estimated value of 
$11,925,804, as against 259,294,060 lbs. of an estimated value of 
$8,690,814 for the fiscal year 1903-1904. 

The good price obtained for last season's crop has boomed the 
sugar industry of the Island and great activity is now being shown 
in the opening up of new land, formally used only for grazing 
purposes, in order to supply the growing capacities of the mills. 
New centrals have been built, others are in course of construction 
and all the old factories of any importance are installing modern 

The introduction of improved agricultural implements into the 
island during the past few years, has permitted the more rapid 
exploitation of great areas of land at a considerably less rate of 
expense than was formerly possible. The use of fertilizer has 
become more prevalent and has amply repaid those who have 
made use of it. 

The manufacture of sugar can be undertaken profitably only by 
capitalists, and on a large scale with modern machinery. Sugar 
land is easily worth $100 per acre and a sugar central will cost 
approximately $1,000,000. A net profit of $75, to $100 is a fair 
yield per acre. 


Coffee, which has always formed one of the three principal 
staples of the island, is now attracting much interest in the 
United States, and the tide of public opinion seems to have at 
last turned in its favour. This is evidenced by the fact that 
previous to the Spanish-American war but one-half of one per 
cent, of the coffee crop of the island went to the United States, 
while in the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1 903, the States took 
three per cent, of the crop, and in the fiscal year ending June 30th, 
1905, they took nine per cent. This shows a steady increase in 
the quantity exported to the United States, and, as a convert to 
Porto Rican coffee can never be induced to use anything else, it 
is confidently expected that in the near future the coffee crop of 
Porto Rico will again reach the high water mark of 60,000,000 
pounds as in 1 896, and will be almost entirely consumed in the 
United States. Every effort is being made to create a market 
there for the Porto Rican bean and the last Legislative Assembly 
passed an Act providing for the establishment of a Commercial 
Agency in the United States for the sale of coffee and other 
products of Porto Rico. This agency is now open for business 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


at No. 91 Wall Street, New York City, and it is the duty of the 
agent in charge to correspond with the coffee planters and dealers, 
and other producers in Porto Rico, with a view of putting such 
growers and producers in direct communication with purchasers 
of such products and to promote in every way possible the 
opportunity for growers and producers to market their products 
directly with purchasers. All products consigned to the agency 
will be disposed of to the best advantage and without charge to the 
shipper other than for cost of transportation, storage, and actual 
expenses incurred in marketing the same. 

Coffee can be grown profitably on nearly all kinds of soils, 
provided there is a good drainage. Virgin forest soil on the 
mountain sides, however, is the best, and much of this land can 
still be had for about $10 per acre. In order that the Porto Rican 
coffee may command the highest prices it must be able to compete 
with the fine grades of J^va coffee. With this end in view the 
Coffee Experiment Station is now experimenting with fine coffees 
from all parts of the world. Samples of these and their breedings 
will be sent to the United States markets, and after it has been 
demonstrated which best suit the American taste, these selected 
varieties will be recommended to the coffee growers and, if 
possible, seeds or seedlings will be placed at their disposal. 
Experiments are also under way to increase the production per 
acre, which now averages about 250 pounds as against a far 
larger output in other countries. Until quite recent years the 
cultivation of coffee was conducted in a very primitive way, but 
the cultivation now is conducted along up to date lines and seed 
and nursery beds are found in the coffee districts where a few 
years ago only volunteer plants were used. 


The poor prices paid for ordinary leaf tobacco on the field 
during the past two years, disheartened the farmers, and, in con- 
sequence, the 1905 crop was a very small one. There was a good 
demand this season and much higher prices were paid, and the 
few fortunate farmers who had not exchanged their crops for 
provisions or sold their field of tobacco before picking, made very 
fair profits. It was a somewhat unusual occurrence for the bulk 
of the profit to be made by the farmers, as they usually sell to 
speculators, who, in turn, sell to the factories. The farmers have 
been greatly encouraged by the rise in price and knowledge that 
in future the factories will buy direct from them, and as a result 
a large crop is being prepared for 1906. 

The new system of picking the leaves for wrappers from the 
standing plants and drying separately from the stalk, has given 
very good results, and wrappers treated in this way have greatly 
improved in quality and have brought a much better price. 
Tobacco grown under cheese-cloth continues to give good results ; 
this method of planting is gradually extending and proves very 
profitable if carried out on a large scale. 

The cultivation and curing of leaf tobacco in Porto Rico is 
still in a very crude state : the land is badly prepared and the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


seed not judiciously selected ; for instance, some districts whose 
speciality is fillers use the same seed as those that grow tobacco 
for wrappers, and vice versa : there is no uniformity of leaves 
among the plants, the seed principally used is mixed, and there- 
fore, gives a variety of plants ; and finally, practically no fer- 
tilizing is done, although an increase of from 25 to 30 per cent, can 
be obtained by its careful application. It is worthy of note, how- 
ever, that the stimulus of this year's good prices has made the 
farmers more careful in the selection of seed, in cultivating and 
in fertilizing. 

The style of barn in which the drying is carried on (very little 
curing being done by the farmers) is responsible for the spoiling 
of half the tobacco brought in from the fields, they are usually 
open at the sides and the tobacco is at the mercy of the wind and 
rain. Very fine tobacco is often destroyed by careless handling 
and improperly built barns, and tobacco which would be worth 
$15 to $18 per quintal if properly dried, will not bring more than 
$10 or $12 if carelessly handled. The barns should be so con- 
structed that they may be immediately and tightly closed, or 
opened for ventilation. 

There is a great future for leaf tobacco in Porto Rico, especi- 
ally for light wrappers, if modern methods are adopted, but it is 
difficult to persuade the average farmer to givfe up his old way of 
doing things. 


Cattle raising in Porto Rico has always been a profitable busi- 
ness, as there is a continual demand both for beef cattle and for 
draught animals. Some few American mules and horses have 
been imported for ploughing and other agricultural work, but, 
while they accomplish more in a given time, they are more ex- 
pensive to keep, as they require grain if used for heavy work. 
Oxen, on the contrary, feed entirely on grass, and, although slow, 
are steady workers and accomplish a great deal of work. Practi- 
cally all the hauling to the towns in the Island which are not 
connected by railroad, is done by bullock teams which draw im- 
mense loads. While it is true that, owing to the increased area 
which is being devoted to the raising of cane, the available pas- 
turage has been greatly reduced, still there is plenty of land in 
the interior of the Island suitable for cattle raising, which can be 
bought for from five to ten dollars an acre. Prior to the American 
occupation there was a large export trade to Cuba and adjacent 
islands, but this has been gradually falling off, as is shown by the 
fact that I3>II0 cattle were exported during the fiscal year 
1903-1904, while only 8,185 were exported during the fiscal year 

The native horses, though small in size, are tough and wiry, and 
as they live exclusively on grass they are inexpensive to keep. 
They make good coach and saddle horses and almost all the travel 
from one part of the island to another is done either by coach or 
on horseback. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The native mules, although small, make very satisfactory pack 
animals, and are used extensively for the transportation of coffee 
from the mountains to the shipping points. 

All the livestock in Porto Rico has deteriorated greatly owing 
to the continual in-breeding, but steps have been taken to improve 
the breeds by crossing with good stock brought from the United 


It is estimated that there are 7,000 acres under cultivation at 
this time in citrus fruits, of which about 70% is planted in oranges, 
25^ in grape fruit (pomelo) and 5^ in lemons. This acreage is 
continually increasing and there will be approximately 1,500 
acres more planted during the next twelve months. Among the 
varieties of oranges most commonly planted here are the Parson 
Brown, Ruby, Washington Navel, Pineapple, Hart's Late, Val- 
encia Late, Enterprise Seedless, Jaffa and the native : and among 
the grapefruit are the Duncan, Walters, Bowen, Marsh Seedless 
and Thomson Seedless. This acreage has all been set out in 
citrus fruits since the American occupation, and although sufficient 
time has not yet elapsed for the marketing of a full crop, yet 
some shipments were made from these groves last winter which 
reached New York in good condition and brought a fair price. 
This has demonstrated that Porto Rican oranges, if intelligently 
handled, have the necessary keeping qualities and will bring good 
prices. In past years shipments were made of the native orange 
gathered from trees scattered around, but they were shaken from 
the trees, carried to the point from which shipment was made in 
baskets on pack animals, and then packed promiscuously in boxes 
and barrels without any attempt at sorting. Naturally this fruit 
arrived at its destination in poor condition and required so much 
re-handling and sorting that there was very little margin for 
profit, and the Porto Rican orange acquired the reputation of being 
a poor shipper. Now, however, that the oranges can be gathered 
from the groves where they receive intelligent supervision from 
the time they are picked until they are placed aboard the steamers, 
it will take but little time to overcome any bad impressions that 
may have been created. 

The present rate of freight from Porto Rico to New York on a 
box of oranges is about 28 cents, as compared with 35 cents 
freight and 56 cents duty from Cuba, 98 cents freight from Cali- 
"ornia, and 72 cents freight from Florida. This allows quite a 
margin in favour of the native fruit as far as the question of 
freight rate is concerned. While it is true that the two steamship 
companies running between Porto Rico and New York do not at 
this time provide adequate facilities for the shipping of fruit, yet 
they have made every assurance that as soon as there is a suffi- 
cient quantity of fruit to warrant it, they will undoubtedly meet 
the situation. 

A careful study of the ' conditions in Porto Rico would seem to 
indicate that in order to obtain the best results, oranges and grape- 
fruit should be budded on the native rough lemon stock. In a 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


majority of the groves the trees are set out 25 feet apart, making 
about 70 trees to the acre. One advantage of this system is that 
pineapples may be planted between the rows for the first two or 
three years. The principal drawbacks with which the orange 
growers here have to contend are the wind, scale and ants ; the 
former may be overcome by a wind-break, and the scale and ants 
can be kept within bounds by constant spraying and washing. 

The Porto Rico citrus fruit proposition is an enticing one and 
there is apparently little risk in the venture. It does not require 
a large capital, as nursery trees of all kinds can be bought in 
Porto Rico at $25.00 a hundred ; land, according to location, from 
$20.00 to $100.00 per acre, and unlimited labour can be secured 
at from 30 to 50 cents a day. There is absolutely no reason why 
a grove that has received careful and intelligent cultivation should 
not return to the grower a net profit of $200.00 per acre at the end 
of the fifth year and a proportionately greater profit in the suc- 
ceeding years. 


Pineapple culture has been taken up largely by the orange 
growers as a means of deriving some income while waiting for 
their groves to come into bearing. When planted between the 
rows of trees, about 4,000 pineapple plants can be set out to the 
acre without interfering with the trees, and when planted by them- 
selves from 8,000 to 10,000 pines can be set out to the acre. The 
pines which appear to grow best in Porto Rico are the Red Spanish, 
the Cabezona, the Pan de Azucar and the Smooth Cayenne. Red 
Spanish is the favourite with the planter as it has shown good 
keeping qualities and shipments have brought on an average of 
$2.50 per crate, thus allowing a handsome profit to the grower. 
The good returns from last season's crop has resulted in the plant- 
ing of a greatly increased acreage and it is estimated that at least 
4,000,000 plants have been set out this year. 

The climate of Porto Rico seems to be peculiarly adapted to 
the raising of pineapples and careful cultivation and a little fertil- 
izer show a corresponding increase in the size of the fruit. Several 
canning factories are now in operation and as a good supply of 
fruit is now assured, more factories will soon be erected. 


Forty years ago the cultivation of cotton in Porto Rico had de- 
veloped into an important industry, the larger portion of the crop 
being planted in the southern districts. From 1879 to 1903, how- 
ever, the cultivation of cotton was practically abandoned. In 
1903 interest in cotton was again revived and some few farmers 
planted small tracts as an experiment. The quality of the fibre 
obtained was so desirable that the acreage has been gradually in- 
creased and it is estimated that there are now about 6,000 acres 
under cultivation. The quality of the fibre of the crop of 1904 met 
with favour both in the United States and in Europe, but this year 
the fibre has been found to be very weak and inferior and the 
planter has been discouraged by the low prices obtained. It is 
claimed by the cotton experts on the island that the inferiority of 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


this year's crop is due to the fact that poor land was used for plant- 
ing, that fertilizer was not used, that the cultivation was indifferent, 
and that the cotton was picked before it had suflBciently matured. 

Experiments have proved that a good quality of of Sea Island 
cotton can be grown in Porto Rico which will average a yield of 
1,200 to 1,700 pounds per acre. Suitable land can be procured 
for about $40.00 per acre. 

As yet neither the Boll Weevil nor other serious pests has made 
its appearance. The caterpillars have done some inconsiderable 
damage but they were quickly exterminated by the use of Paris 
Green — ^they only attacked the leaves and generally left the bolls 


Coco-nut trees are scattered all through the island but grow to 
best advantage along the coast, and where these trees can be 
found in any large number close to some shipping point the coco- 
nuts can be handled quite profitably. There are some few groves 
on the island now in full bearing and many more are being set 
out. About fifty trees are planted to the acre and a good crop 
can be gathered at the end of the seventh year with a correspond- 
ing increase in the quantity of coco-nuts as the trees become older. 
Coco-nut trees require very little care from the time they are 
planted until they come into full bearing, and land suitable for the 
growing of coco-nuts can be bought as low as $10.00 per acre, 
but the price increases according to the proximity to a shipping 


[The first part of the article condenses the information published 
in the Bulletin of the Department of Agriculture, Jamaica, Jan., 
1904, on MORINGA, then comes the following : — ] 

A firm of oil manufacturers in Kingston, Jamaica, have recently 
made an experiment to ascertain the cost of production of the oil. 
They paid 8s. per cwt. for the seed, and found that the husks 
constituted 40 per cent, and the decorticated seeds 60 per 
cent. The seed when expressed warm, but not hot, yielded 
about I2i lbs. of oil per cwt. Their final result showed a cost of 
£80 per ton for the oil. A sample of this oil was sent to England 
for valuation, and a report was received which stated that " Oil of 
Ben'* was now superseded by an oil obtained from the head of the 
sperm whale, and that the value of the sample submitted was 
about equal to that of the best cotton seed oil. 

In May, 1 903, a small specimen of Ben oil was supplied to Dr. 
J. Lewkowitsch from the Imperial Institute. A report on this 
sample has been published in " The Analyst, 1903," vol. 28, p. 343, 
from which the following extract is taken : — " The chief interest 
in this oil depends on its low iodine value ; this explains why the 

* From Bulletin of the Imperial iQstitute. II., 1904, pages 117-120. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


oil is specially applicable for lubricating watch-springs and other 
delicate machinery." The following constants were determined : 
Specific gravity at I5°c. (water at I5°c. — l) 091267 

Iodine value ... ... 722 

Iodine value of the liquid fatty acids 97* 53 

Refraction (butyro-refractometer) ... 50*0° 

A sample of pods and seeds which were identified as those of 
Moringa pterygosperma has been received recently at the Imperial 
Institute from Northern Nigeria. On examination in the Scientific 
and Technical Department, the seeds were found to contain 38 
per cent, of a pale yellow oil which was almost odourless, and 
possessed a bland agreeable taste. This oil (obtained by extrac- 
tion with ether) consisted of a liquid and a solid portion which 
were separated by filtration at 17 to l8°c. and separately examined. 
The analytical constants of these two portions are given in the 
following table : — 

Liquid ptrtions. Solid portions. 

Specific gravity at I5°c. ... 


Acid value 


Free fatty acids (calculated as 

oleic acid) 


Saponification value 


194 4 

Ether value 



Iodine value 



Samples of the seed and of the oil 

were submitted 

to brokers 

for valuation. • They reported that in 

order to obtain trustworthy 

commercial quotations, large samples of the oil would be neces- 
sary for practical trials, and that if the results of these trials 
proved satisfactory the oil would probably be able to compete for 
edible and culinary purposes with American refined cotton seed 
oil, which is at present worth about £22 per ton. The seeds were 
valued at about £7 per ton delivered in London. 

Another sample of Ben oil from Jamaica was received at the 
Imperial Institute in December, 1 903. It had a very slight, 
pleasant odour, and an agreeable taste. On examination in the 
Scientific and Technical Department it yielded the following re- 
sults. When filtered at I7°c. it was found that 60 per cent, of the 
material was liquid, whilst the remaining 40 per cent, consisted of 
a nearly white solid fat. The liquid portions was clear, bright 
and of a pale yellow colour. The constants of these two portions 
were found to be as follows : — 

Liquid portions. Solid portions. 

Specific gravity 
Acid value 
Free fatty acids (cal- 
culated as oleic acid) 
Saponification value 
Ether value 
Iodine value 

09124 at 15° 

196- 3 



c. 08650 at ioo°c, 

3-6 r 

193 6 



Compared with water at 16<'c. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


From these accounts of Ben oil, it appears that although it would 
not yield the extravagant profits expected in 1817, yet if it could 
be produced at a sufficiently cheap rate it would be likely to find 
a market for dietetic purposes, and possibly an opening might 
be secured for the liquid portion of it as a lubricant for fine 

The cost of producing the oil as given by the firm of oil manu- 
facturers at Kingston, Jamaica, appears very large ; it must be 
pointed out, however, that the initial cost of the seed was very 
considerable, the yield of oil was less than would be expected from 
the fact that the decorticated seed contains from 35 to 38 percent, 
of oil, and no allowance seems to have been made for the residual 
cake which might be of value as a cattle food. 



By far the greatest natural checks are birds, which not only eat 
slugs, but are especially partial to snails, breaking their shells 
against a stone and picking out the mollusc. Toads are great 
devourers of slugs and small snails. Poultry and ducks eagerly 
search for them. Centipedes attack slugs, and ants frequently 
kill snails, but none of the foregoing save birds do any appreci- 
ably good in keeping down an excess of these molluscan creatures. 


The following may be mentioned as tending to prevent and 
lessen the attacks of these pests : — 

(i) Drainage, because dampness favours them, 
(ii) Avoid long manure, or in fact any organic manure where 
slugs are abundant in the soil. Employ artificials for a 
(iii) Dry dressings of some irritant to kill the pests, (a) Soot 
and lime ; (b) salt and lime ; (c) lime and caustic ; soda 
or to act mechanically, (d) powdered coke. 
The lime must be in a very finely-divided state and quite fresh. 
Two or three dressings must be given, the second some 1 5 to 30 
minutes after the first. Lime and caustic soda is found to act 
best — four parts of caustic soda to 96 of lime well mixed. Dry 
dressings, except powdered coke, should be applied very early in 
the morning. 

(iv) "Rings" of slaked lime or fine ash soaked in kerosene may 

be put round choice plants, 
(v) Heaps of bran-mash or moist oatmeal or cornmeal may be 

placed here and there. These baits attract the slugs, 

which may then be easily collected, 
(vi) Heavy applications of soot are best to keep off snails, 

which should be dealt with mainly by hand picking and 

by trapping with cabbage leaves. 

^Extract from Leaflet No. 132, of Board of Agriculture k Fisheries of Englaad. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


(vii) Rows of peas, &c., are best protected either by spreading 

cinders and lime along the rows, or by heavy dressings 

of slaked lime, 
(viii) Hedge bottoms, and rough herbage at the base of walls 

should be cleaned out and the masses of hibernating 

snails crushed, 
(ix) Land that is thoroughly fouled with slugs should be 

treated with gas-lime and in the winter deeply trenched, 
(x) Ducks and poultry should be kept, as they greedily devour 

both kinds of pests, 
(xi) Birds should be encouraged. It is easier to keep them off 

fruit than to suppress the snails and slugs which they 

largely devour. 


The following letter has been received from Dr. Howard, Chief 
of the Bureau of Entomology of the U.S. Dopt. of Agriculture. 

This weevil was killing the Camphor trees at Cinchona, but has 
not been noticed on any other trees. If it be a fact, as Dr. 
Howard supposes, that this insect pest has been imported in some 
way from Central America, it is an additional proof of the neces- 
sity of stringent precautions against such importations by care- 
ful fumigation. 

Dr. L, 0. Howard, Chief of Bureau of Entomology, Dept. of Agri. 
U.S.A., to Director of Public Gardens and Plantations, Jamaica. 

Washington, D.C 
December 2 1st, 1 90 5. 
Dear Mr. Fawcett, 

I have received yours of the 7th instant, with specimens of 
larva and beetle found attacking young camphor trees at the 
Botanic Garden at Cinchona. 

Mr. Schwarz reports that the weevil is Hilipus elegans, Gu6rin. 
of the family Curculionidae. There are several hundred species 
of this tropical or sub-tropical genus known from Central and 
South America, including a few species from the West Indies. 
Your species is not a native of the West Indies, but has been 
manifestly imported during recent times from some part of Central 
America where the insect is said to be quite abundant. Nothing 
is known of the habits of any of the species, but since the genus 
Hilipus is closely allied to our northern pine weevils it may be 
inferred that they live under bark of various deciduous trees. I 
am not able to give you any reniedial measures, but any camphor 
tree that shows the least sign of being affected by the weevil 
should by all means be uprooted and burned. 

Yours very truly, 

L. O. Howard, 

Chief of Bureau. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



By William R. Maxon, U. S. Nat. Museum, Washinton, D. C* 

Among the ferns collected in Jamaica by the writer in 1904 is 
a simple-leaved Polypodium which is distinct from the several re- 
lated species of middle America. It may be known as POLYPODIUM 
NESIOTICUM, new species. 

Rhizome suberect, about i cm. long, densely clothed with close- 
ly appressed imbricate lanceolate dull light-brown scales ; fronds 
few, approximate, 15 to 22 cm. long; stipe relatively very short 
(I to 2 cm. long), densely beset with slender spreading rigid red- 
dish hairs ; lamina (largest) 20 * 5 cm. long, ' 9 cm. broad, bright 
green, firm, moderately thick, linear-lingulate, rather blunt at the 
apex, attenuate and decurrent at the base, the under surface 
sparsely hairy, the upper surface glabrate, the margins regularly 
marked by broad shallow undulations, ciliate ; midvein apparent 
on the under surface nearly throughout, on the under surface con- 
cealed by the parenchyma except towards the base ; venation free, 
the oblique veins for the most part alternately 3 to 5 times forked ; 
sori round, either terminal or dorsal, wholly superficial, 2 to 4 to 
each group of veins irregularly disposed in two or four interrupted 

Jamaica — Founded upon a single specimen, U. S. National 
Herbarium, No. 520,770 from the vicinity of Vinegar Hill, altitude 
1200 meters ; William R. Maxon, No. 2773 ; June 23, 1904. Grow- 
ing upon the trunk of a forest tree, ten feet from the ground. 

The present species appears to be a very rare member of a 
group of tropical American species represented in Jamaica by the 
well known Polypodium trifurcatum. L. and by P, Fawcettii, Baker,t 
and P. dendricolum, JenmanJ the last apparently very close to the 
Colomhidin P. parietinum, Klotzsch.§ P. Fawcettii Sind P. dendricolum 
have been well distinguished by Jenman || since their original 
publication. P. nesioticum is very distinct from both, but for the 
benefit of those who have not material of these rare species the 
following notes may be of use. 

P. Fawcettii is correctly said by Jenman to be " infrequent at 
4,000 to 6,000 feet altitude in damp forests on the trunks and 
branches of trees.** Two numbers (2723, 2760) were collected in 
such situations by the writer in 1903 and 1 904. It is character- 
ized, briefly, by its dark villous slender conspicuously upright 
rhizome, numerous closely set small, very narrow fronds, and al- 
most simple veins, — ^the sori being borne in two rows near the 
midvein, each upon a short spur given off by the otherwise simple 

* Keprlnted from Smithsonian Misobllanbous Collections (Quabteblt Issue) 
TOlume 47. Published April 6, 1906. 

t J(ywm, Bot, Brit, and For. 27 : 270. 1889. 

t Oard. Chron. IH. 16 ; 467. 1894. 

SLinnaea 20; 873. 1847. lUostrated by Kanze, Farrenkr. 2; 41. pL 117, f. 1. 

IBvU. Bot, Dept. Jamaica Ui , 6S-69. 1897. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


vein. In all these characters the plant contrasts strongly with P. 

P. dendricolum appears to be a very rare species. Professor 
Underwood states (in litt.) that it is " represented at Kew only by 
a tracing of the type," the type being presumably in the Herbarium 
of the Jamaican Botanical Department at [Hope Gardens] Kingston, 
Jamaica.* There is, however, a single frond from the type specimen 
preserved in the Jenman herbarium at New York, and this agrees 
absolutely with two other numbers of Jamaican specimens, viz, : one 
(without definite locality), collected by D. Watt in 1903; and another 
from the slopes of Monkey Hill (above New Haven Gap), altitude 
about 1,800 meters, Maxon, No. 2,736 ; both of which numbers are 
represented in the herbarium of the New York Botanical Garden 
and the U.S. National Herbarium. This species is somewhat more 
closely related to P. nesioticum than is P. Fawcettii, It is distin- 
guished by its reduced stature (5 to 7 cm.), thicker texture, more 
general villous covering, deeply scalloped (instead of undulate) 
margins, simpler venation, and particularly (l)by having the mid- 
vein covered on both surfaces by parenchyma, and (2) by what 
Jenman calls "embossed respectacles," /.^., having the parenchy- 
ma considerably raised (on the under surface) above the concealed 
veins toward their extremities, thus imparting a marked rugose 
effect to the under surface. The last character is sufficient in it- 
self to distinguish P, dendricolum at sight. 

The venation of P, nesioticum is peculiar and shows an approach 
to that of P. trifurcatum. . . 



The usual monthly meeting of the Board of Agriculture was 
held at Headquarter House on Wednesday, llth April, 1906, at 2 
p.m., present : — ^The Hon. H. Clarence Bourne, in the chair, the 
Director of Public Gardens, the Superintending Inspector of 
Schools, His Grace the Archbishop, the Island Chemist, Messrs. 
C. A. T. Fursdon, G. D. Murray and the Secretary. 

Commercial Agent, — In the matter of a Commercial Agent to re- 
present Jamaica in London, the Secretary reported that His Grace 
the Archbishop, Mr. G. D. Murray and himself, (Mr. Middleton 
being ill with fever), met His Excellency in the forenoon of the 
day of the meeting, who, after discussing the matter, promised to 
put it before the Privy Council. 

The Secretary was directed to forward to the Colonial Secretary 
the report of the Committee on the matter ; and letters from Mr. 
A. R. Davey of London to the Archbishop which the latter 
submitted in confidence. 

Standardization of Rum.— The papers referring to the standardi- 
zation of rum were put before the meeting, but as they had not 
circulated round the Board, the Secretary was directed to send 
them on. 

♦ The type with Jenman's name in his own handwriting is in the Herbarium at 
Hope Gardens. Editor Ihdhiin of the Department oj Ag^riciiUvre. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


A cutting from the Glasgow Herald forwarded by the Chemist, 
pointing out the variation of the contents of ethers in Jamaica rum 
and the necessity for a standard, was submitted. 

Agricultural DonUs. — A letter from the Superintending Inspector 
of Schools to His Grace the Archbishop, referred to the Board, was 
submitted, asking the Board if it could supply a copy of " Agricul- 
tural Don'ts" Chart to every school in the island. 

After discussion the Secretary was directed to write the Colonial 
Secretary informing him that this Chart has been prepared at the 
instance of, and was approved by the Board, that it had been 
revised by and had the approval of the Superintending Inspector 
of School, and asking His Excellency to approve of the cost of 
such charts to be issued to all schools being placed on the 
estimates either of the Agricultural or Education Department for 
next year. 

Letters from the Colonial Secretary's Office were submitted 
among others on the following subjects : — 

1 Salary of Superintendent of Field Experiments. — Re increase in 

salary to Superintendent of Field Experiments, advising 
that the Governor approved of the reduction of £30 of 
the amount for "Distillery Materials for Estates" and of ' 
the increase by £20 perannum of the salary of the Su- 
perintendent of Field Experiments. 

2 Resignation of Mr. Teversham. — Re resignation of Mr. Tever- 


Agricultural Scholarship. — Forwarding copy of a Bill entitled 
"The Scholarship Law, 1901, Amendment Law, 1906," His Grace 
the Archbishop and the Superintending Inspector of Schools 
thought it was not advisable to reduce the Scholarship below 
£180 per annum which they thought the lowest figure that a 
student could pay his way at Cambridge. Mr. Cousins, Mr. 
Fursdon and Mr, Murray considered that £156 per annum was 
under the circumstances sufficient. Mr. Fawcett thought that it 
was not desirable that there should be any change in the Scholar- 
ships, but that the examination for the Jamaica Scholarship 
might be so arranged as to ensure the teaching in schools of the 
principles of Agricultural Science and so encourage the students 
to adopt agriculture as a profession. Under the circumstances 
the Chairman agreed with the majority. 

The Secretary read two letters he had received from the Secretary 
o f the Schools Commission as follows : — 

(1) Examination for Agricultural Scholarships. — In reply to the 

report by the Island Chemist expressing regret at the 
disappointing results of the recent examination for agri- 
cultural scholarships at the Government Laboratory, 
pointing out that it was no doubt due to the existence of 
an impression among students that learning in scientific 
agriculture, as a profession, would not afford them as 
good means of livelihood as the practice of one of the 
learned professions. 

(2) Cambridge Local Agricultural Section. — Transmitting copy of 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


letter from Dr. Cairns, Cambridge, in reply to one ad- 
dressed to him conveying suggestions by the Island 
Chemist for the amendment of the second part of the 
Agricultural Science Section of the Cambridge Senior Ex- 
amination, intimating that the syllabus had been modified 
in the direction suggested by Mr. Cousins ; also asking 
Mr. Cousins if he had any further remarks to make on 
the schedule. A copy was referred to the Chemist for 
his remarks. 
Cotton Gin. — The Secretary submitted an offer of Mr. Sharp of 
£5 for the Cotton Gin now in his possession. 

It was resolved not to accept the offer, and meantime to retain 
ownership of the Gin of which Mr. Sharp had the use. 

Mr. Cradwick in St. Mary. — The Secretary submitted a letter from 
the Hon. R. P. Simmonds making application for the services of 
Mr. Cradwick in connection with the St. Mary show to be held on 
the 5th July, asking if he would be allowed to spend the first 
week in June, and the week of the show in St. Mary. 

After discussion it was agreed that Mr. Cradwick could spend 
the first week in June and the week of the show in St. Mary, but 
that ihe should returh to his ordinary duties the day after the show. 
Reports. — ^The following reports from the Director of Public Gar- 
dens were submitted and directed to be circulated : — 

1. Hope Experiment Station. 

2. Instructors. 

The following reports from the Chemist were submitted ; — 

1. Proposal as to distillers' course at the Laboratory. This 

was approved of. 

2. Report on successful working of new plant at Hampden 


3. Distillery progress in Westmoreland. 

4. Appropriation Accounts Government Laboratory and Sugar 

Experiment Station for 1905-06. 

5. Mr. Calder*s enquiries' as to Agricultural Students with 

memo from Chemist. All these were directed to be 
The following papers, which have been circulated, were now 
submitted for final consideration : — 

1. Reports of two cases instituted under the Merchandise 

Marks Act. 

2. Letter from Mr. Nolan forwarding cutting from the Wine 

and Spirit Gazette. 

3. Report Hope Experiment Station. 

4. Reports Mr. Cradwick. 

5. Letter from Mr. J. B. Sutherland re apprenticeship of his 

son at Hope Gardens. 
The meeting then adjourned till 1 6th May at 2 p.m. 

[Issued 14th May, 1906.] 
PrirUed at the Oovt, Printing Office ^ Kingston, Jam. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 





Vol. IV. JUNE, 1906. Part 6. 


By M. Grabham, M.A., M.B. 

Notes on Attacus jorulla* : — 250 young larvae received from M. 
Patin, (Belgian Consul to Colombia) in June 1900. Eggs brought 
by him from Sta. F6 de Bogota, Colombia. He stated that their 
natural food was a species of Hippomane, as this food plant was 
not obtainable here, the sandbox (Hura crepitans) and Plum 
(Spondias purpurea) were used at his suggestion. Branches of the 
trees were isolated in bags of mosquito netting and the larvae 
placed on the leaves. They grew well in their early stages, but 
in the final moults most of them refused to eat and died. It was 
thought that this might have been due to the lack of moisture, M. 
Patin said that in the Andes about Sta. Fe the moisture was in- 
tense. The leaves were frequently sprayed but this had no effect. 
Some larvae were kept in an insectarium and fed on freshly 
gathered leaves ; these fared no better. About ten spun very 
indifferent cocoons and about six moths developed — all of very 
feeble vitality. A few eggs laid by these moths did not hatch. 
Specimens of the moths were placed in the Museum of the Institute 
of Jamaica ; and some were sent to the U.S. National Museum at 
Washington for identification. 

The common Wasp {Polista sp.) proved the most formidable 
enemy, killing and devouring the caterpillars whenever they 
approached too close to the netting. 




The following plants yielding tanning materials are stated to 

occur in the Island : Acacia Catechu, Bauhinia variegata. + Caesalpinia 

coriaria (Divi Divi), Laguncularia racemosa (white mangrove). Of 

* The identification was made by Dr. Djar of the U.S. National Mugeum. 

tQuarterly Journal. The Int-titute of Commercial Research in the Tropics, Liverpool 
Univereil^. Vol. I, 2, April, 1906. 

XAcacia Swna (not A. Catechu) occurs in Jamaica: it closely resembles A, Catechu, and 
has similar properties. Bauhima variegata is generally known as the ** Butterfly Tree." 
Editor, Bulletin of the Department of Agriculture^ Jamaica. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


these " Divi-Divi" pods and the barks of the red and white man- 
groves appear to be in regular use in the Colony. 

There appears to be a small export trade in tanning materials ; 
thus, in 1903,478 tons* of Divi-divi pods were exported, princi- 
pally to Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, and in the same 
period, 133 tons of bark were exported, part of which was pro- 
bably bark for tanners' use. Comparison with Dominica, where 
tannin-yielding plants, such as Cassia fistula\ C, Siameaf and 
(Terminalia Catappa\\ "are found, and with Mauritius, where 
" Badamir bark" (Terminalia Catappa), and "Jamrose bark" (T. 
Mauritania) occur, lends support to the supposition that these 
plants also occur in Jamaica. 

Only about a year ago different Australian species of Eucalyp- 
tus appeared on the European market, such as Eucalyptus occi- 
dentalis (Mallet Bark) and E, oleosa (Morrel Gum), containing 52 to 
55 per cent, of tanning materials : the export of these new materi- 
als has been a great success. I find that in the West Indies dif- 
ferent kinds of Eucalyptus are to be found, especially E. punctata. % 

It seems that the Logwood industry suflfers in Jamaica through 
the so-called "Bastard Logwood," which does not contain the dye 
stuff, and according to F. S. Earle, late of the New York Botani- 
cal Garden, who has been in Jamaica, § " a wise policy would 
ensure the prompt destruction of such trees whenever detected, as 
they have no value except for firewood, and should not be allowed 
to produce seeds." A. G. Perkin, and also the present writer have 
found that there is a close relationship between the tannins and 
colouring matters in the plants. The relation between the Divi- 
divi and AlgarobillaT^ plants containing 40 to 50 per cent, tan- 
nins, with the logwood, makes it probable that the "Bastard 
Logwood*' could find use as a tanning material. 

A similar relationship exists between Quercus tinctoria, from 
which the dye stuff " Quercitron" is obtained, and some different 
kinds of oak used for tanning, such as Quercus robur, Q. pendunculata, 
&c., where^ with the increase of the tannins, the amount of colouring 
matters becomes less. From the tanner's point of view the cultiva- 
tion of Laguncularia racemosa (white mangrove), which has been 
mentioned as being found in Jamaica, should be very successful, 
as it would be one of those very seldom obtainable exotic plants 
which could be used for tanning light leather, and if produced on 
a large scale could compete successfully with " Mangrove extract ;" 
this substance, which is principally derived from the bark of a tree 
found in the German Cameroons, produces only dark leathers. 

* See figures in succeeding article. — Editor, 

+ These trees are all cultivat-d in Jamaica. — Thrminalia Catappa is commonly 
known as the ** Almond" although it is very different from the almond of commerce. 
There is a native TWminalia (viz. : T. latifo^\ called " Broad I.eaf." EdiUtr. 

X SpecieB cultivated in Jamaica include E. Qlohulus (in Blue Mts.) E. citriodora, 
E salvjna, E. rohuMa, E. rostrata. Editor. 

'§ See Bulletin of the Department of Agricultv^re, Jamaica, Vol. I. Part 2, Feb. 1908, 
pages 30, 31. EdiUjr. 

1 Algarobilla iH the name given to seed- po Is of Prosopis AlgarohiUa, a native of the 
Argentine Republic, and P.juUflora, native of Mexico, a ad mountainous lands south 
to Chile. Editw. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


There is also a good opportnnity for introducing other plants 
which contain tannins, and would grow successfully in those 
one and a half million acres not cultivated at present. Of course 
according to the reports of the Kew Botanical Gardens, the at- 
tempts to introduce Gambier in the West Indies has not been a 
success, but I have reason to believe that this is due to the sensi- 
tiveness of the plant to climatic changes. Similar observations 
have been made by M. Greshoff on Gambier of the Malay pen- 

But greater success can be expected from the introduction of 
" Quebracho Colorado." * Quebracho belongs to those trees which 
would probably prosper there, and which are very important in the 
tanning trade. 3,525 tons of Quebracho Extract were imported in 
the years 1898-1902 from Argentina into the United Kingdom, and 
about one quarter of the 11,786 tons, which have been imported to 
Germany, were sent afterwards to British ports. 


It seems that there is not much breeding of cattle, sheep, &c., done 
in Jamaica, t which is rather astonishing, as the island seems to 
have open waste pastures and plenty of Guinea and Scotch grass, 
both well adapted for the feeding of cattle. As to the cattle of 
Jamaica, Mr. B. M. Greaves, of Portmadoc, who recently visited 
the island, writes to me, " I think I saw more Shorthorn cattle than 
any other sort, and some of them were really good looking beasts." 
The sheep seem to be of a similar build to the Welsh, and could 
be used in this case for making "roller leather;" (this is used for 
covering the wheels of cotton spinning machinery). There is a 
good market for this kind of sheep skin in Great Britain. 

G. M. Rummel, of the Bureau of Animal Industry, U. S. A. De- 
partment of Agriculture, describes the Barbados sheep in the 
Breeders' Gazette as follows : — " The skin is thicker over the upper 
part of the ribs than in other parts of the body, and becomes 
thicker towards the tail, the difference of the rump being quite 
perceptible. Loose skin (not folds, however) may be seen on the 
top of the neck." A leather tanned from a sheep's skin as des- 
cribed is sure to have a market. 

According to the reports of Messrs. P. C. Cork and J. M. Gibb, 
V.S., the conditions of introducing and breeding sheep in Jamaica 
are favourable. 


The Leather manufacture seems to be quite in its infancy. 
There are in Jamaica only twenty-one tanneries, employing in all 
fifty-five persons, and producing from twenty-eight to thirty-one 
tons of leather per annum. There is, however, a large import trade 
in raw and manufactured leather ; thus unwrought leather to the 
value of £6,027, and leather manufactures valued at £66,999, were 
imported in the year 1903-4. 

♦ Quebrachia Lorentzii, growing chiefly in province of CorrienteB, Argentine Repub- 
lic. Editor. 

t Thn official state ment by the Collector General gives the number of horned stock 
as 107,694 in the year ended 3l6t March, 1905. Editor, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


What has been stated above indicates that there is a possibility 
of developing the leather industries in Jamaica. The following 
methods might be mentioned : — 

I. To develop the cultivation of tanning trees and plants, 
especially the White Mangrove. 2. To investigate the 
question of the Bastard Logwood in respect to tanning 
properties. 3. To iutroduce tannin-containing plants 
from the other West Indian islands, and the Quebracho 
Colorado. 4. To encourage the breeding of cattle and 
sheep, and to try to introduce the Barbados sheep. 5. 
To develop tannin extract works : it would be advisable to 
try with primitive methods, similar to those used in South 
America, and to develop them afterwards into more 
modern methods. 6. To develop the present important 
industry of leather manufacture. 

Probably the Bastard Logwood would contain a tannin which 
yields " bloom" on the leatner. 

I notice in the last number of the Collegium that the German 
Consul in Freemantle (Australia), has been ordered by his GQvern- 
ment to collect the seeds of Eucalyptus occidentalis (Mallet Bark) 
and £. oleosa (Morrel gum), mentioned in my paper, for the pur- 
pose of introducing into Hereroland, western parts of West 
Africa and inner parts of the Togo. 



Statement showing the export of Divi Divi and bark of all kinds 
for the three years 1902 to 1905. 

DIVI Divi. 
Countries. 1902-3. 1903-4. 1904-5. 

United Kingdom 

45,800 lbs. 

2,600 lbs. 


• . . 

2,050 " 


274,387 lbs. 

98,504 " 

84,137 " 


44,646 " 

30,154 " 

59,403 " 


7,000 " 


Bark of all kinds. 

United Kingdom 


1,782 lbs. 

29,472 lbs. 

United States of 


20,990 lbs. 

3.S00 " 

810 bags 

i< « 

£20 6 

^Supplied by the Hon. Collector General, Jamaica. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


France £42 19 294,215 " 213,362 lbs 


18,900 " 


2,240 " 

Germany £112 

Bermuda (Lace) £760 

Imports of leather manufactured 


Imports 1903-4. 

Leather manufactured, viz. : Boots alid Shoes. 

United Kingdom 

£21,455 19 10 

United States of America ... 

35,587 10 II 


134 2 4 


220 I 10 

Foreign States 

7 5 2 


4 12 4 

British West Indies 



20 5 8 



£57,431 I 

United Kingdom 

219 13 6 

£57,650 13 7 
Leather, viz. : Other manufactures unenumerated. 

United Kingdom ... £3,377 10 3 

United States of America ... 994 14 3 

Canada ... 5 12 9 

Germany ... 39 I 

France ... 27 2 3 

United Kingdom 

£4,443 19 
22 15 

United Kingdom 
United Kingdom 
United States of America 



£4,466 15 I 

Saddlery and Harness. 

United Kingdom ... £7,5l8 4 

United States of America ... 1,653 12 9 

Canada ... 21 15 10 

Germany ... 19 15 9 

Cuba ... 360 

£9,216 10 8 


127 4 

4 17 6 

Leather Unwrought. 
Ignited Kingdom 
United States of America ... 

£9,349 12 2 






£6,027 17 2 

Digitized by 



Imports 1904-5. 

Leather manufactures, viz. : Boots and Shoes. 

United Kingdom 

United States of America 




British West Indies 


British East Indies 


Foreign States 

United Kingdom 

Leather, other manufactures 
United Kingdom ^ 
United States of America ... 
Foreign States 

£17,981 19 


31,302 18 


40 6 


206 4 




48 9 


121 4 


5 8 



17 18 

United Kingdom 

Saddlery and Harness. 
United Kingdom 
United States of America ... 

United Kingdom 

Leather unwrought. 
United Kingdom 
United States of America . . . 

£49,725 17 
692 13 


£50,418 10 



£2,365 4 

470 5 

58 17 





£2,895 4 
49 13 


£2,944 17 


£5,158 14 

912 5 

19 5 

4 19 

6 12 

6 12 


£6,108 8 
4 8 


£6,112 16 


£3,441 8 
2,111 2 

5 II 




£5,558 4 10 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



The "Times" says : — In our Financial and Commercial Supplement 
for February 19 we published a letter from our Rio de Janeiro 
correspondent describing the new law which empowers the Execu- 
tive to regulate the trade in coffee, in agreement with the govern- 
ments of the coflfee States of the republic. On Monday Reuter re- 
ceived a telegram from Rio de Janeiro to the effect that the Presi- 
dents of the States of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Geraes, and St. Paulo 
have signed an agreement with regard to the pricing of coflfee, 
and stipulating for a minimum price on the home markets of 55f. 
to 65f. (gold) per sack of 60 kilogrammes of No. 7 grade coffee. 
" The contracting parties also agree to take measures of a na- 
ture to prevent the export of the inferior qualities of coffee, to 
push advertising in Europe, and to reduce the acreage under culti- 
vation. They finally authorize the State of St. Paulo to raise 
a loan of £15,000,000." 


Hon, Sir D, Morris to Director of Public Gardens, Jamaica. 

Imperial Department of Agriculture for the West Indies, 

Barbados, March 31, 1 906. 

I have the honour to enclose, for your information, copies 
of an extract from ithe "Agricultural News" containing a state- 
ment of the arrangements proposed to be adopted by this Depart- 
ment for supplying specially selected and disinfected Sea Island 
cotton seed during the coming planting season. 

2. I also enclose a copy of an announcement which I have recom- 
mended to appear in the Official Gazette and of a "Notice" in regard 
to the conditions under which selected seed will be shipped by 
this Department. 

3. It is desirable, in order to maintain the high quality of the 
West Indian product that, as far as possible, only the specially 
selected and disinfected seed supplied by the Department should be 
planted in these colonies. I trust you will do all you can to 
encourage and advise planters in this direction. Recent prices 
ranging from I/d. to 20d. per pound prove that by a systematic 
selection of seed West Indian cotton is steadily attaining a higher 
standard of quality than the average cotton produced in the Sea 
Islands. During the last few weeks applications for West Indian 
seed on a large scale have been received from Florida, Cuba, and 
Porto Rico. 

I have the honour to be. 

Your most obedient servant, 

D. Morris, 
Commissioner of Agriculture for the West Indies. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



[Reprinted from the Agricultural News, Vol. V. p. 97.] 

It is recognized that the most important matter requiring atten- 
tion, in order to maintain the high quality of the Sea Island cotton 
produced in the West Indies, is to plant seed obtained from 
healthy plants that have given a good yield per acre, and that 
have produced lint which has fetched the highest price during the 
current season. The experience of a successful cotton grower 
is : — ^The selection of seed is the one thing. that cannot be over- 

As it will be impossible to obtain further supplies of seed from 
the Sea Islands, the West Indies have to depend on their own re- 
sources. This is not a difficult matter, provided growers realize 
the necessity of making the selection of seed a matter of the first 
importance. They should be prepared to take some trouble in 
making themselves acquainted with the subject, and in carrying 
out for themselves the process of seed selection, or they should be 
prepared to pay a reasonable price for selected seed. Seed of in- 
ferior quality should not be planted on any account. The 
difference in cost between good seed and inferior seed is a small 
matter as compared with the difference in the price realized for 
the crop. 

The general lines on which cotton growers are recommended to 
make a choice of cotton seed for planting during the coming 
season are these : First, the plants from which it has been obtained 
should be thoroughly healthy, and they should not have suffered 
severely at any time from the cotton worm or other pests. The 
next point is to ascertain that the plants are of good habit and are 
prolific, yielding, on an average, say, not less than 200 lb. of lint 
per acre. The third point, and perhaps the most important of all, 
is that the plants have yielded lint that obtained the highest prices 
during the current year. 

As already stated, the Imperial Department of Agriculture has 
undertaken a series of experiments in seed selection that are likely 
to prove of great value to the industry. These experiments are 
intended to cover the careful selection of seed, on field results, for 
immediate planting, as well as the systematic selection of im- 
proved seed from individual plants, as described in the Agricultural 
News (Vol. V, p. 38), for future years. 

It has been abundantly proved by general experience both in 
the Sea Islands and in the West Indies, that it is impossible to 
obtain first-class cotton from inferior seed. In Egypt, also, the 
importance of selecting good seed is fully recognized. Mr. 
Foaden states : — 'Of all plants , cotton responds the most liberally, 
as far as both yield and quality are concerned, to careful treat- 
ment, and the sowing of good seed is the very first essential to the 
production of good stapled cotton. However careful our land 
may be prepared and manured, the production of superior cotton 
from inferior and mixed seed is an impossibility.' Further, there 
is the opinion of the British Cotton-growing Association, as fol- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


lows : The bulk of the cotton from the West Indies is turning 
out very well, but you must impress on all the growers the 
necesssity for very careful selection of seed, and extreme care in 
cultivation and handling, for unless Sea Island cotton is quite 
right in all respects, it suflFers severely in price.' 

As announced in the columns of the Agricultural News (Vol. V. 
p. 89), the Imperial Department of Agriculture is prepared to 
supply specially selected and disinfected cotton seed for plant- 
ing during the months of May to August next, and to deliver the 
seed at any port in the West Indies at the rate of five cents (2 Jd.) 
per lb. Applications for such seed will be received by the prin- 
cipal agricultural officers in each island, as follows : For An- 
tigua and Montserrat, by the Hon. Francis Watts, C.M.G. ; for St. 
Kitt's, Nevis, and Anguilla, by Mr. F. R. Shepherd ; for Barbados, 
by Mr. J. R. Bovell, F.L. S., F.C.S. ; for St. Vincent, by Mr. W.N. 
Sands. Applications from Jamaica, British Guiana, Trinidad, and 
other colonies not mentioned above, may be forwarded direct to 
the Imperial Commissioner of Agricultural, Head Office, Barbados. 
All applications will be dealt with in the order in which they are 

In order to prevent disappointment in regard to the germina- 
ting qualities of the seed, it is recommended that immediately on 
its arrival it be turned out of the bags or barrels, in which it i s 
packed, and spread out on a dry floor in order that any excess of 
moisture may be removed. After the lapse of a day or two, the 
seed may be replaced in the bags or barrels, and kept until it is 

It is also recommended that about 1 00 seeds, taken from the 
bulk, be sown in soil, or placed between folds of damp cloth, as 
described in the Agricultural News (Vol. II, p. 153), in order to test 
its germinating power. In the event of doubt arising as to the 
condition of any selected cotton seed received from the Imperial 
Department of Agriculture, a sample of not less than 1 00 seeds 
should be forwarded within seven days from the date of the ar- 
rival of the seed, to the agricultural officer through whom it was 
ordered, in order that it may be carefully tested. It should be 
borne in mind that the best results are likely to be obtained when 
the selected cotton seed is sown within a period of one month 
after it has been received. 


By M. KelwAY BAMBER, Government Chemist, and J. C. 
Willis, Director Royal Botanic Gardens. 

The recent establishment by the Goverment of Japan of a 
monopoly of the production and sale of camphor in Formosa has 
attracted much attention to this product, and at the same time, by 
raising the market price, has rendered it by no means unlikely 
that this may prove to be a profitable cultivation in Ceylon. The 

♦ From Circulftr, Royal Botanic Gardens, Ceylon. Series 1.— No 24, N^oveinber, 1001 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


present circular is issued to lay before the planting public the 
chief facts connected with this industry, and to describe the 
methods of cultivation and preparation which have been found 
best suited to Ceylon in the experiments so far tried with this tree. 

The total export of camphor to Europe and America is perhaps 
about 60,000 piculs annually, or 8,000,000 lb. The market value 
of crude camphor in Europe is at present about 1 55 shillings per 
cwt., or about is. 4jd. per lb. Camphor was formerly used 
chiefly as a drug and for the prevention of insect ravages in 
clothing, &c., but of late years, in addition to these uses, it has 
been largely employed in the manufacture of smokeless 
powders and of celluloid. The tree also produces an oil — cam- 
phor oil, — obtained with the camphor in the preparation of the 
latter, and which is used in the manufacture of soaps and for 
other purposes. 


Common, Formosa, Chinese, or Japanese camphor is the product 
of Cinnamomum Camphora, Nees, a tree occurring native along the 
eastern side of Asia, from Cochin-China to Shanghai, and in the 
islands from Hainan to South Japan ; its limits of latitudinal 
range are from 10* to 34° N., but it is cultivated in Japan to 
36° N. In the southern parts of its range it occurs chiefly in the 

Two other forms of camphor are frequently met with, though 
rarely exported to Europe. Barus, Bhimsaini, Borneo or Malay 
camphor is the product of Dryobalanops Camphora, Colebr., a large 
tree of the family Dipterocarpaceae, occurring in the Islands of 
Sumatra, Borneo, &c. This camphor is slightly heavier than 
common camphor, and is highly prized by the natives of India 
and China, who purchase the entire very small produce at fancy 
prices, from 100 to 200 shillings per pound. A third form, Ngai, or 
Blumea camphor, is prepared in S.E. China from Blumea balsamh 
fera, one of the family Compositae. In Ceylon the natives prepare 
a small quantity of camphor from the roots of cinnamon, Cinna- 
momum zeyianicum, a plant nearly related to the true camphor. 
In the remainder of this paper only the common camphor, 
Cinnamomum Camphora, will be deal with. 

In its native country the plant grows into a tree about 100 feet 
high with a trunk 2 to 3 feet in diameter. It is evergreen, with 
moderate si^ed laurel-like leaves, which when crushed smell 
strongly of camphor. It may be well to mention in this con- 
nection that the tree is very handsome when young and forms one 
of the best ornamental trees for roadsides, parks compounds, 
&c., in Ceylon. 

The native habitat of the species is not widely extended, but it 
has been successfully cultivated in Ceylon, India, Australia, 
Florida, California, and elsewhere. It was introduced into Ceylon 
by the Royal Botanic Gardens in 1 85 2. In 1895 plants were 
largely distributed from Hakgala to many planters and others. 
These were the result of seeds obtained in the autumn of 1893 
from Japan. Mr. Nock, Superintendent of Hakgala, has collected 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


information about these trees, some 950 in all, and reports as fol- 
lows : — 

"During 1895 plants of camphor were distributed from Hakgala 
to planters in various parts of the Island at elevations ranging 
from 250 to 6,450 feet, with annual rainfalls varying from 54 in- 
ches on 104 days to 217 inches on 212 days. Replies as to the 
growth of the plants have been received from thirty localities, 
and I think it is pretty well proved that under certain conditions 
of soil and climate camphor will thrive at all elevations in Cey- 
lon from about sea level to the highest mountains. 

" It appears to thrive best in a well-drained deep sandy loam 
in sheltered situations with a rainfall of 90 inches and over, and 
dislikes poor or close, stiff, undrained soil. The growth is slow in 
sterile soil, but, under favourable conditions, in good soil is 
very rapid, the tree reaching a height of 18 to 20 feet in five 
years, with a spread of branches of 8 to 12 feet and a stem of 6 
to 7 inches in diameter. This compares very favourably with the 
growth of the trees in their native habitat, where a tree 30 feet 
high and 6 inches in diameter at ten years old is considered good. 
The best five-year old tree (from planting) in Ceylon is at Veyan- 
goda, at an elevation of about 1 00 feet with a rainfall of about 
100 inches on 180 days. It is 25 feet high and growing luxuri- 
antly. The next best are at Hakgala, where the largest is 20 feet 
high, with a spread of 13 feet, and a stem-diameter of 7^ inches 
at the ground. 

" The habit of the trees in Ceylon in good soil is bushy, with a 
tendency to throw up many stems. This is a point of importance, 
as it shows that the tree will coppice well and stand frequent cut- 
tings or prunings, and possibly even plucking of the flush as with 
tea. In close, hard, undrained or stiflf clayey soil the growth is 
poor, and the habit stunted or dwarfed, and this is also the case 
in exposed windblown situations. 

" Of course tt is only in the experimental stage here yet, but 
judging from my experience of it for some years, it is my opinion 
that as a minor product it should be grown in the form of hedges, 
planted at distances of 6 to 9 feet apart and 2 to 3 feet apart in 
the row. The rows should run N.W. and S.E., or across the di- 
rections of the prevailing winds, and the plants be allowed to grow 
6 to 9 feet high. Planted in this way there would be ample room 
for cultivation, and each row would shelter the other from the N. 
E. and S.W. winds, besides forming a large surface for clipping. 
As the young shoots appear to yield the most camphor, the crop 
could be obtained by clipping the hedge with a pair of light shears, 
and the expense would be very slight. The trees might also be 
planted at 6 feet apart, and treated in the same way as tea bushes, 
or they might be planted 12 feet apart, and trained as pyramids, 
or again planted 4 feet apart and alternate plants coppiced in al- 
ternate years.'* 


Mr. Nock states : — 

"Camphor plants are best and easily propagated from seeds. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The seeds do not keep well, and should be sown as soon as pos- 
sible after ripening. They ripen in Japan, which at present is the 
only important source of seed, in October and November, and 
should be ordered some time in advance, so as to obtain them as 
soon as they are ripe. I find it a good plan to soak the seed in 
water for twenty-four to forty-eight hours before sowing, agitating 
the water occasionally. The best seeds, being heavier, will sink 
to the bottom, and these should be sown thinly by themselves ; 
the lighter ones should be sown thickly, as only a small percent- 
age will germinate 

"The seeds should be sown in well-prepared beds of sandy 
loam and leaf mould ; they should be sown from i to | inch deep, 
making the bed firm, but not tight. The beds should be kept 
shaded and just moist. Too much wet will cause the young seed- 
lings to damp off, and if allowed to get too dry the germs will 
quickly dry up and die. 

" We have been most successful when the seed has been sown 
in boxes (made of i inch wood) l8 by 13 by 3^ inches, filled with 
the kind of soil described above. The boxes are handy to lift 
about, and can be easily protected from heavy rain and strong 
sun. Sheds made after the style of the old cinchona seed sheds 
answer well for standing the boxes in, and if made light and airy 
would do well to sow the seeds in direct, but care should be taken 
not to allow the young plants to be 'drawn.' 

" We find it a good plan to prick out the seedling into supply 
baskets as soon as they are large enough to handle comfortably, 
or transplant them into beds, placing the plants 6 inches apart 
every way, and keeping them shaded and watered until they 
begin to grow, when they will bear the full light of the sun, but 
will require to be freely watered in dry weather. 

" When the plants are from 9 to 1 5 inches high they are at their 
best for final planting, but if the weather is unsuitable they may 
be kept in the nursery till they are 2 feet high, or until good 
planting weather occurs viz., dull showery weather. In such 
weather they require very little shading, and soon take hold of the 

" Cuttings do not strike root readily, and only under certain 
conditions will they be successful. If the prevailing weather 
should be too dry they soon go off, and if too wet and cold they 
decay before roots are formed. We have had batches of cuttings 
with 70 per cent, beginning to callus over, and young shoots 
forming, that have gone off after three or four days of rough wea- 
ther — cold high winds and heavy rains — and others that have 
gone the same way after a week of dry sunny weather. The 
favourable conditions arc equable heat, light, and moisture ; with 
these, and wood for cuttings in a proper state, a large percentage 
will strike root and make good plants. 

" The nursery beds for seeds as well as cuttings should be made 
in a well-drained situation, and as near water as possible. The 
beds may be any length, and from 3 to 4 feet wide. The soil for 
cuttings should be composed as follows : one part good sandy 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


loam, one part leaf mould, and one part clean sharp sand (to this 
it would be beneficial to add a good sprinkling of powdered char- 
coal), all thoroughly mixed. The soil should be 6 to 9 inches deep. 
A layer of good sharp sand one inch thick should be laid on the 
surface. As a protection against hot sun and heavy rains it would 
be well to put a roof of thatch over the beds in the form of a shed 
but it should be constructed with open sides to allow plenty of 
light and air. A shed 4 feet wide, with a lean-to roof on stout 
posts, open at the back and front, will be found a useful size. 
The posts should be 6 feet high in front and 3 ft. 6 in. at the back. 
The roof may be thatch, shingles, or other light material. If more 
than one is required, a space 4 feet wide should be left between 
the sheds to give room for watering, weeding, and general atten- 

" The best material for cuttings is that from straight, healthy, 
and well matured shoots of the current year's growth, not too soft 
or too hard. If too hard they will not root readily, and if too soft 
they will be liable to damp off. The cuttings may be of any size 
from the thickness of a lead pencil to | inch in diameter. They 
should be cut into lengths of from 6 to 9 inches. A clean cut 
with a very sharp knife immediately below a joint to form the 
base of the cutting is of the greatest importance. If the cut por- 
tion is torn or jagged, or too far away from the joint, it is almost 
certain to decay, though it may remain green for a long time. 

" The operation for inserting the cuttings is best done by open- 
ing a trench with a sharp spade so as to form a straight edge. 
The prepared cuttings should be laid against this and the soil 
pressed firmly round them. They should be placed in rows 9 to 
12 inches apart and 3 inches apart in the rows, and at a sufficient 
depth to leave only two or three buds above the surface. 

"The sooner the cuttings are made and put in after being taken 
from the trees the better. After the cuttings are put in, the beds 
should be watered to settle the soil, and if in the open, they must 
be carefully shaded and sunlight must be only gradually let in as 
they become rooted and can bear it. If all goes well they should 
be rooted in 2 to 3 months, but they will not be ready for planting 
out for three or four months. 

"Camphor may also be propagated by layers. The operation 
of layering is very simple. The shoots should be bent down to 
the soil. The branch at the bend should be cut half-way through, 
then cutting upwards for about i J to 2 inches, so as to form a 
tongue. The cut portion must be kept apart by a slight twist, or 
by placing a piece of brick or a small stone in the cleft. The 
shoot should then be pegged down firmly into a groove made in 
the soil for its reception and covered with soil. The end of the 
shoot must be kept upright by tying it to a stick. 

" Another simple way is to split the branch at the bend where 
it is to be laid in the ground, making the split about 2 inches 
long, and keeping the cut parts open by inserting a piece of wood 
or stone. Peg down well into the soil and stake. The ends 
of the shoots should be cut back a few inches with a sharp knife." 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


It is thus evident that the plant will thrive almost anywhere in 
the Island if the water supply be sufficient and the soil well 
drained. The best method of treatment is probably to grow it as 
hedges, which are easily managed and clipped. It may also be 
planted along roads, jungle edges, &c.. but should never be mixed 
with the tea, as the young leaves are very like those of tea, and a 
twig or two of camphor will spoil a whole break of tea. 

The following analyses of two soils at Hakgala — on one of 
which (A) camphor does very well, on the other (B) only modera- 
tely — will help to guide to the selection of suitable spots : — 


" Six samples of soil were received from Mr. Nock at Hakgala, 
which represented the character of the soil and sub-soil, where 
camphor trees grew well and only fairly well. 

" iVi?. / i4, represents a section 15 inches deep between trees 
showing the best growth, viz., 20 to 25 feet high and 1 2 to 15 feet 
in diameter at five years and nine months from the time of plant- 
ing. The surface soil here is about I foot deep. It is composed 
of agglomerated particles of dark brown colour and yellow frag- 
ments of decomposing gneiss. It is very rich in nitrogen and the 
lower oxide of iron, has a fair amount of lime, but is deficient in 
potash and phosphoric acid. 

" No. 2 A, representing the upper 6 inches, is of a dark brownish 
colour when dry, and is almost entirely composed of the agglo- 
merated particles mentioned in No. i A and rootlets, &c. The 
analysis shows it to contain the bulk of the nitrogen, and an ex- 
cess of the lower oxide of iron, but it is deficient in potash and 
phosphoric acid. 

No, 3 A, represents the sub-soil at 15 inches deep or 3 inches 
below the actual surface soil. It is composed of yellow pieces of 
decomposing light-coloured gneiss, more or less bound together 
with a clayey matrix. It also contains a fair amount of nitrogen 
and rather more phosphoric acid and potash than the surface soil, 
and would be fairly easily penetrated by roots. 

^^ No. I B. — This is taken from a section 15 inches deep, where 
the camphor is only doing fairly well. The plants five years and 
nine months old are from nine to ten ft. high and 6 to 8 ft in di- 
ameter. It is more finely divided than No. I A, and is of a lighter 
brown colour. Chemically, it is also somewhat poorer, though 
containing a good amount of nitrogen. Lime and mineral plant 
food generally may be considered deficient, especially potash, and 
this no doubt accounts for the poorer growth of the camphor trees 
in this part. 

''No, 2 By representing the top 6 inches, is a dark coloured loam, 
somewhat richer in nitrogen and phosphoric acid than No. I B, 
but is very poor in lime, magnesia, and potash. 

No, 3 B, representing the sub-soil 15 inches from the surface, is 
a yellow loam much more finely divided than No. 3 A, but other- 
wise of somewhat similar composition. When wet it is of a re- 
tentive clayey nature requiring drainage. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Analysis op soil (Camphor). 
Mechanical Composition. 

Fine soil passing 90 mesh 
Fine soil passing 60 mesh 
Medium passing 30 mesh 
Coarse sand and small stones 


Organic matter and combined water 

Oxide of iron and manganese 

Oxide of iron and aluminum 




Phosphoric acid 

Sand and silicates 

Containing nitrogen 
Equal to ammonia 
Lower oxide of iron 

Fine soil passing 90 mesh 
Fine soil passing 60 mesh 
M edium soil passing 30 mesh 
Coarse sand and small stones 



Chemical Composition, 


Organic matter and combined water 

Oxide of iron and manganese 

Oxide of iron and aluminum 




Phosphoric acid ... 

Sand and silicates ... 

No. 1 A. 
Per cent. 

No. 2 A. 
Per cent. 

No. 3 A. 
Per cent; 



... 26-00 

... 3400 

• •• 


... 24-00 

... 18-60 

• •• 



7 60 



... 46 00 

... 40 00 

100 00 



Chemical Composition. 
No. 1 A. 
Per cent. 

No. 2 A. 
Per cent. 

No. 3 A. 
Per cent. 



... 6-000 

6 900 



... 17.700 

... 11.600 



... 7-080 

... 9.800 



... 7-676 

10 000 



















... 62-400 

... 63 000 


100 -ooo 

100 000 














il Con^oaition. 

No. 1 B. 
Per cent. 

No. 2 B. 
Per cent. 

No. 3 B. 
Per cent. 



... 17-60 

... 47 60 



... 16-60 

... 2660 






43 60 

... 69 60 

... 21-60 


6-100 . 

.. 6 100 



11-900 . 

.. 16-600 



8-000 . 

.. 8-200 




.. 8050 



-080 ... -060 



.070 . 




•016 ... -007 



0.25 . 





. 63-000 


61 0(10 




Digitized by 


•269 ... 



•314 .., 

•460 ... 


Fair ... 

Much ... 



Containing nitrogen 
Equal to ammonia 
Lower oxide of iron 

" The ash of the camphor leaves was analyzed to determine the 
constituents most required by their growth. The leaves con- 
tained — 

Per cent. 

Water ... ... ... T4.32 

Organic matter* ... .. 19*68 

Ash ... ... ... 610 

100 00 

^Containing nitrojten 1*47 per cent. 
Equal to ammonia 1*78 *' 

Compositimi of Ash 

Per cent. 

Lime ••• ... ... 32^90 

Magnesia ... ... ... 6*48 

Oxide of iron ... ... 2*00 

Alumina .. ... ... 311 

Potash ... ... ... 14-86 

Soda ... ... ... 4-21 

Phosphoric acid ... ... 2*16 

Sulphuric acid ... ... 2-00 

Sand and silica ... ... 1-20 

Carbonic acid ... ... 26-10 

Carbon and undetermined ... ... 4-98 


"The chief mineral ingredients required by the camphor plant 
for the growth of leaves are lime and potash, an average yield of 
prunings removing 196 lb. of lime and 87 lb. of potash, which 
could be returned to the soil after the distilled wood had been 
burned for fuel purposes. 

'• M. Kelway Bamber, F.C.S., &c." 


As soon as the plants have reached a fair size and formed stout 
woody stems below — say in three years or less in very good 
situations — they may be clipped. The simplest method will per- 
haps be to use hedge shears, placing a long basket below the 
hedge to catch the clippings. C3nly the leaves and young twigs 
are required ; woody twigs yield little or no camphor. 

In Japan, where however, they only use the wood of full-grown 
trees as a source of camphor, the chips of wood are distilled in a 
primitive-looking but effective still, with bamboo tubes (these have 
the advantage that they can afterwards be split to remove any 
camphor from them) and a wooden condenser with water running 
over its lid. In Ceylon probably the best method will be to fix up 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


a small still of any good pattern with a glass condenser and 
plentiful water supply, working it by means of steam from the 
factory boiler. As the distillation is a somewhat uncertain opera- 
tion, especially to the beginner, and as it is probable that more 
efficient methods will be discovered, the details of the principal 
experiments tried are given below. Material for these experi- 
ments was obtained from the gardens at Peradeniya (l,600 feet), 
Hakgala (5, 600 feet), and Anuradhapura (300 feet). 


The first distillations were from Il2lb. of prunings received 
from Hakgala on the 28th June, 1900. These were conducted in 
a large cask fitted with a metal cover leading to a metal condenser 
which was cooled by a constant flow of water. Distillation was 
effected by means of steam from a boiler, passing into the lower 
part of the cask below a perforated iron plate. The prunings 
were chopped up into fragments about I inch long, covered with 
water, the top, connected with the condenser, luted on, and steam 
turned on to gradually bring the water to the boil. 

A strong pungent smell of camphor and eucalyptus came ofif as 
soon as distillation commenced, which persisted for some time 
even when the distillate was cooled to 50'' F., a temperature below 
that which could be obtained practically. The loss was mini- 
mized by bringing the water to the boil very slowly, and only 
admitting just sufficient steam to keep it at the boiling tempera- 
ture. It was found that the metal cover to the cask retained a good 
proportion of the camphor, but it was not so pure as when con- 
densed in a wooden box similar to that in use in China and Japan. 
The purest camphor was obtained when the distillate was made 
to pass through a long glass tube surrounded with a jacket of cold 
(running) water, the crystals being deposited when the tempera- 
ture of the glass did not exceed 50° C. or 122^ F., a temperature 
that could easily be maintained in a condensing apparatus up- 
country at all times of the year. In the low-country a more rapid 
flow of condensing water and a proportionately longer conden- 
sing apparatus would be required to obtain the same results, as 
the water is much warmer and the steam also is at a higher tem- 

In all the experiments the camphor had almost entirely distilled 
over during the first three hours, as several distillations conducted 
for twelve hours and longer resulted in no better yield, and the 
smell of the camphor under these circumstances was contaminated 
with that of decomposition products from the nitrogenous matter, 
&c., in the leaves and twigs. Three distillations could be made in 
the same apparatus during the day. 

The amount of steam required for the distillation even of large 
quantities would be nominal, and would hardly be felt in an ordi- 
nary boiler working in a tea factory. 


The first distillation from part of the prunings obtained from 
Hakgala in June, 1 900, only yielded '35 per cent., but this was 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


increased to '62 percent, by better regulation of the steam pressure 
and the condensing water. The camphor had a slight smell of 
eucalyptus, and was not so strong as ordinary camphor. The 
leaves were quite fresh when distilled. 

Separate distillations were again made in August with fresh 
leaves and twigs, and the green branches of about half inch to I 
inch thick the former yielded '85 per cent, camphor, but the latter 
a mere trace, both of camphor and oil. 

7th September, igoo. — Three distillations of camphor leaves from 
Peradeniya were made in the usual manner, the yield from the first 
being I '10 per cent, of camphor and camphor oil. In the second 
distillation, when the leaves had partly dried, I '06 per cent, of 
camphor and oil was obtained, calculated on the fresh leaves. In 
the third distillation the leaves had undergone partial decompo- 
sition, the result of becoming heated to a temperature of 106° F. 
The yield in this case was '68 per cent, camphor and '38 per cent, 
of oil, so that it would appear advisable to distil the leaves as 
fresh as posssible, as the oil is less valuable than the camphor. 

9th October, 1 900, — A sample of young camphor flush weighing 
Ililb. plucked from two trees in Hakgala, one 8 feet in diameter 
and 12 feet high, yielding 8 lb., and the other 5 feet in diameter 
and 7 feet high, yielding 3 J lb. This was carefully distilled in a 
copper retort over a lamp, and the vapour condensed in a glass 
vessel. In the first four hours '63 per cent, of pure camphor was 
obtained, which smelled only of pure camphor; on further distil- 
lation '08 per cent, more camphor was obtained, which did not 
smell quite so pure. Heating by the direct flame beneath the ves- 
sel appears to take longer in removing all the camphor than driving 
it over with steam under slight pressure. 

24th October, 1900. — A distillation of camphor clippings from 
Hakgala yielded ,77 per cent, camphor and '27 per cent. oil. 

30th October, 1900. — A distillation of 12 lb. of camphor flush was 
made in a copper vessel with a glass condenser, yielded '69 per 
cent, camphor and '34 per cent, camphor oil. The trees were in 
active growth when this flush was plucked. 

9th January, 1901, — A camphor tree that had become slightly 
cankered was received from Hakgala in separate parcels of leaves, 
branches, stem, and roots. Several distillations of the leaves and 
twigs were made both in the fresh state and when air-dried, some 
of them being continued for twelve hours. The yield of camphor 
and oil varied somewhat, but appeared to depend on the propor- 
tion of leaves to twigs, the latter containing much less than the 
former. A glass condenser was employed for all these distillations, 
the camphor and oil being obtained quite pure. 

The first experiment yielded '875 per cent, camphor and '986 
per cent, oil, a far larger proportion of oil than in any previous 
distillation of similar leaf. 

A second distillation, which was continued at a low tempera- 
ture for eleven hours, yielded I '08 per cent, pure camphor and 
0*32 per cent. oil. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Five other distillations at intervals of some days with the air- 
dried leaves gave the following yields : — 

No. 1. — 2*310 per cent, camphor and '114 per cent, oil, equal to 1*02 per cent. 

on fresh leaf. 
No. 2. — 2-149 per cent, camphor and oil, equal to -98 per cent, on fresh leaf. 
No. 3. — 2-425 per cent, camphor and traces of oil, equal to 1-05 per cent, on 

fresh leaf. 
No. 4. — 2*3 » per cent, camphor and traces of oil, equal to 1-01 per cent, on 

fr^h leaf. 
No. 6 — 2-08 > per cent, camphor and traces of oil, equal to -96 per cent, on 

fresh leaf. 
From these figures it will be seen that air-drying the leaf before 
distillation does not cause any appreciable loss of camphor, 
though a certain amount of oil disappears, either by volatilization 
or oxidation. The camphor obtained from the air-dried leaf also 
had a somewhat purer smell than that from the fresh leaf, though 
this latter was easily rendered pure by re-distillation with steam. 
Three distillations were made of the branches and stem of the 
camphor tree, but no appreciable quantity of camphor was ob- 
tained from either, nor did the bark of the stem appear to contain 
more than traces. The roots, however, contained an oil, 5lb. of 
roots yielding l'22 per cent. This oil was located mainly in the 
bark and in a thin layer of wood beneath it. It had only a slight 
smell of camphor, and more resembled a mixture of aniseed and 

On the 7th August, 1901, 5lb. of young flush was received from 
Hakgala in a slightly heated condition. It was at once put into a 
copper vessel with fifteen pints of water, and a glass dome luted 
on, which was connected with a glass condenser. The water was 
heated slowly from below, and a thermometer placed, so as to 
register the temperature of the vapour 2 inches above the water 
and camphor leaves. 

At 50° C. (122° F.) crystals of camphor condensed on the glass 
dome, which at 90° C. (194° F.) were carried back into the water 
by the condensed steam. At 100° C. the steam and camphor 
vapour was passing rapidly into the glass condenser, while the 
leaves were covered with oily drops of camphor and oil. Distil- 
lation at 100° C. was continued for two hours, when 4J litres 
(7*93 pints) of water containing camphor and oil had collected in 
the condenser. This was then passed through a wet paper filter 
to separate the camphor and oil from the water, 24*53 grams of 
the mixture being obtained, equal to I'lO per cent. The oil was 
separated from the camphor as much as possible, the yield of 
each on the original flush being 755 per cent, pure camphor and 
'345 per cent, camphor oil. Another distillation was made in the 
same way of lolb. of coppice shoots one year old from a tree that 
had been cut down. The yield of camphor from this was very 
small, only '192 per cent, and shows that the first year's growth 
from a tree cut down to the ground is practically valueless, but it 
is probable that young flush from such coppiced trees would in- 
crease in the camphor contents during the next and succeeding 

Further distillations were also made of the entire prunings 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


weighing 50lb. of a five year and nine months old tree of average 
growth, the leaves (27lb.) and branches (231b.) being distilled 
separately, the former yielding 767 per cent, of pure camphor and 
some oil, the latter only traces of oil, showing that the whole of 
the camphor is practically in the leaves and not in the young 
wood. The reason of this should be investigated, as it is from 
old wood that the bulk of the camphor of commerce is obtained. 

The camphor obtained from all the above experiments has the 
usual crystalline form, and is perfectly colourless unless 
condensed in an iron vessel, when it is tinged with red from 
the oxidized iron. It floats on water, in which it is almost 
insoluble, and small fragments rotate rapidly when floated 
on this liquid. It burns with a yellow smoky flame, leav- 
ing no residue, and volatilizes readily at the ordinary temperature. 
It is easily soluble in alcohol, ether, and chloroform, and is preci- 
pitated from the former in white flocculent masses, when the solu- 
tion is poured into water. It sublimes readily, and has an odour 
of camphor, but not so powerful as ordinary camphor from old 
wood. Its specific gravity is '987; it melts at 175° C, (347'' F.) 
and boils at 205° C. (400° F.). It dissolves readily in nitric acid, 
with some development of heat, and immediate separation of the 
solution into two layers, the upper of a red colour and the lower 
pale yellow or colourless. The addition of water precipitates the 
camphor as a white mass from the upper layer of the solution ap- 
parently unchanged. 


These were conducted at varying temperatures and under 
different conditions in order to try and obtain the translucent state 
common to commercial camphor. The most successful method 
was by mixing the crude camphor with slaked lime in the pro p 
tion of 40 to I, and subjecting this in a closed vessel to a low heat 
for twelve hours, the heat being gradually increased up the sides 
of the vessel in order to drive all the camphor into the upper por- 
tion. Copper vessels are the best for the purpose, as glass is liable 
to fracture from condensed moisture running down to the heated 

Before sublimation can be effected it is essential that all the 
camphor oil should be expressed from the camphor. The cam- 
phor when first distilled appears to be practically free from oil, 
but after standing some days oil gradually separates and sinks to 
the bottom of the mass of crystals, and this appears to continue for 
months. Filtration with the aid of a vacuum effects a partial 
separation, but in practice on a large scale it would be best 
effected by means of a centrifugal machine similar to that employed 
for the separation of crystalline sugar from molasses. 


The oil obtained with the camphor from the leaves is of a clear 
yellow colour, having a specific gravity at 80° F, of '9662. It con- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


tains a certain amount of camphor in solution, which can be sepa- 
rated to some extent by cooling to lo"* C. It would therefore be 
advisable to cool the mixture of camphor and oil, as much as pos- 
sible, before submitting it to centrifugal expression. 

The root oil, of which I '22 per cent, was obtained from the air- 
dried roots, was almost colourless, and had no smell of camphor. 
It consisted of a mixture of two oils, one lighter and one heavier 
than water, the specific gravity of the mixed oils being 1*058 at 
80° F. 


The figiu-es above given show that the yield varies a good deal, 
but that on the average about 75 to I per cent, of camphor may 
be expected from the young leaves and twigs, as well as a small 
quantity of camphor oil, which also has a market value. Samples 
of camphor mixed with the oil were valued lately at Rs. 1 26 per 
cwt. If we assume that clippings will yield about I per cent, of 
camphor and oil worth Re. I per lb., we should be well within the 
mark. The cost of obtaining this should be about Rs. 53 per acre,, 
made up as follows: — 

Rs. c. 
Pnining 1,210 trees and carrying t factory 37 

Distilling, fuel, packing, &c. ... 16 

63 u 

/. e,, camphor can be put on the market as cheaply as tea per 
pound if the yield be at the rate of 177 lb. per acre (cost of tea 
being estimated at 30 cents.) Now 177 lb. will be yielded by 
17,700 lb. of clippings. In the case of bushes 6 feet apart this 
means 14 J lbs per bush per annum, or about seven times the 
weight of flush obtained from a prosperous tea bush. On the 
other hand, the bushes are only half as many to the acre, and the 
plucking is much coarser, so that this estimate is not unreason- 
able, and the product is more valuable than tea. It seems not 
unreasonable to expect that where a bush, with 36 square feet of 
space to grow in, yields 12 to 15 lb., of clippings a year, the cul- 
tivation will prove remunerative — not a bonanza, but yielding a 
fair profit. In Hakgala Gardens this yield is exceeded, so far as 
rough experiments show. 


Afr. Wm. B. Seahrook to Director, Public Gardens and Plantations,'* 

James Island, South Carolina, 
U. S. A., February 2 1st, 1906. 
My Dear Sir, 
I remember the interest you took in the appliance used for ap- 
plying Paris Green to the cotton plant for destroying caterpillars. 
I am now trespassing upon your time to give you some further in- 
formation on this subject. Last summer there was introduced a 

♦ For previoufi letter by Wm. Seabrook on Paris Oreen, see Bulletin July, 1904, page 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


small kind of bellows, called a *' powder gun," with long handles, 
and the nozzle terminating in a little fixture like the sprinkling 
nozzle of a watering pot. The Paris Green powder is put in a 
receptacle in the bellows, the nozzle is put in the middle of the 
cotton bush, a very slight convulsive movement of the bellows 
handle — that is all. The little puflf of powder that is blown out is 
so slight that it is hardly possible to see it, pump it out until you 
can see it, and you will be sure to burn up the cotton. It is the 
simplest to operate of any contrivance yet devised ; is more effica- 
cious in its deadly work on the worm, and the most convenient to 
handle. When I wrote to Sir Daniel Morris about it, he immediately 
asked to be put in communication with the manufacturers, looking 
forward to obtaining a supply another season, should they be 
needed. While instructing them to send him one of their catalo- 
gues I took the liberty of instructing them to send one to you too. 
I hope you will get it safely.* 

M)*^ thoughts are full of pleasant memories of Jamaica — beauti- 
ful Island — and of the pleasant acquaintances made, and friend- 
ships enjoyed during my brief stay there. I remember with kind- 
est interest Mr. Fursdon and Mr. Sharp, who were very kind to me. 
Give them my kindest regards, should you see them. 
I am very sincerely and truly yours, 




The usual monthly meeting of the Board of Agriculture was 
held at Headquarter House on Wednesday, 1 6th May. Present : 
The Hon. H. Clarence Bourne, Colonial Secretary, in the chair, the 
Director of Public Gardens, the Island Chemist, His Grace the 
Archbishop, the Superintending Inspector of Schools, Messrs. C. 
E. DeMercado, J. W. Middleton, G. D. Murray and the Secretary. 

Standard for Jamaica Rum, — The Secretary read letter from the 
Colonial Secretary's Office stating that the Governor was not pre- 
pared at the present moment to prescribe a standard quantity of 
ethers for Jamaica rum. 

The Secretary also read a letter from the Secretary of the North- 
side Sugar Planters Association stating that it was the opinion of 
the Association that any law to standardise Jamaica Rum was un- 
fortunate and likely to deal a stiff blow against the rum industry. 

He also submitted the papers giving the Chemist's arguments in 
favour of standardisation and the criticism of members of the Board. 

He was directed to reply to Mr. Shore informing him of the Go- 
vernor's decision regarding standardisation. 

Agricultural Don'ts. — The Secretary read a letter re " Agricultural 
Don'ts" from the Colonial Secretary, stating that when next year's 
estimates were under consideration the amount required for print- 
ing the charts of " Agricultural Don'ts" might be submitted for con- 

* One of these powder guns is now in upe, and can be seen at Hope Gardens. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


sideration under Agricultural Vote. Also letter from the Education 
Department stating that the Board of Education was willing to re- 
commend that the chart be placed in schools if the Board of Agri- 
culture was willing to print it. 

Commercial Agent in London, — ^The Secretary read a letter from 
the Colonial Secretary on the matter of the appointment of a Com- 
mercial Agent in London, stating that the Governor had consulted 
the Privy Council on the matter and they had advised that the rule 
laid down by Mr. Chamberlain when Secretary of State 
should be followed, viz. : that such an Agent should be ap- 
pointed and maintained by the commercial community in the 
Colony and be entirely unconnected with the Government, though 
there would be no objection to the Government making if neces- 
sary, and the Legislative Council was willing, a small grant to some 
such body as the Royal Jamaica Society of Agriculture and 
Commerce if that Society were willing to take the matter 
up, but on a previous occasion when this decision was intimated to 
that Society, the Secretary replied that its funds were unable to 
stand the expense and they desired the Government largely to in- 
crease its suggested grant. This the Government was unable to 
do. It remained for those interested to make some arrangements 
whereby the funds necessary for carrying out their suggestion be 
provided by those likely to profit most by the Agency. 

Sugar Grant. — The Secretary submitted copy of Law 3 of 1 906 
entitled "A Law in aid of Law 45 of 1903" to give the Board of 
Agriculture, with the sanction of the Privy Council, a wider dis- 
cretion as to the expenditure of the £lO,000 therein mentioned, in 
the interest of the sugar industry. 

Demerara Rums. — The Secretary submitted a copy of the Official 
Gazette of British Guiana, also an extract from the Demerara Ar- 
gosy showing the variation in the contents of ethers in Demerara 
Rums which ranged from 30*1 to 1 227. 

Truck System, — ^The Secretary submitted a private letter, referred 
by the Governor, where complaint was made of a practice found 
prevailing on the writer's estate and others, of overseers supply- 
ing bread, beef and pork to the labourers and stopping the cost of 
it out of their wages when they were charged for more than they 
got, and that they did not get work unless they agreed to pur- 
chase these things. The writer suggested that there should be a 
law here similar to the Truck Act in England to prevent this. 

After discussion in which it was said that there were very few 
estates where this practice would be carried on, it was resolved to 
refer copies of the letters to the Westmoreland and Northside 
Sugar Planters Associations for their remarks. 

Cotton Seed. — ^The Secretary read letters from the Imperial De- 
partment of Agriculture calling attention to the importance of using 
the Department's selected and disinfected Sea Island Cotton seed. 

It was stated that matter on the subject was being published in 
the Bulletin and in the Agricultural Journal. 

Leave for Mr. Cousins. — The Secretary submitted a letter from 
the Colonial Secretary's Office stating that Mr. Cousins had ap- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


plied for leave of absence for three months from the 23rd July 
next and proposed that the Assistant Chemist should act as Go- 
vernment Chemist and manage the routine work of the office, 
while the Fermentation Chemist should be placed in charge of 
the Sugar Department and act for Mr. Cousins on the Board of 
Agriculture, and asking him to ascertain from each member of 
the Board whether there was any objection to the proposed ar- 

The Secretary stated that none of the members of the Board had 
had any objection to offer and the Governor had accordingly 
granted leave to Mr. Cousins. 

ChemisVs Reports. The Secretary submitted Reports of the Che- 
mist as follows : — 

1. Applications from Distillers to attend special Course. This 
was referred to the Advisory Committee of Sugar Experiments. 

2. Work of Agricultural Students for Easter Term. This was 
directed to be circulated. 

Director Public Gardens' Reports, The following reports from the 
Director of Public Gardens were submitted : — 

1. Hope Experiment Station. 

2. Instructors — Mr. Cradwick and Mr. Briscoe. These were di- 
rected to be circulated. 

Lecturer in Agricultural Science and Assistant Chemist. The fol- 
lowing paper which had been circulated but had not yet been be- 
fore the Board was submitted : — 

K'il. Letter from Mr. Cousins recommending Mr. E. J. Wortley to 
fill the appointment of Lecturer in Agricultural Science ; and stat- 
ing that the best plan for filling the post of Assistant Chemist 
would be to offer a salary of £220 rising to £240 by annual incre- 
ments of £10 through the Crown Agents on a three years' agree- 
ment, the funds to be provided as follows : — 

Present salary of Assistant Chemist £150 to £200 by £10, salary 
of Assistant in Sugar Laboratory (vacant) £70. 

It was agreed that this latter recommedation should be adopted. 
A letter was submitted from the Colonial Secretary intimating 
that Mr. Wortley had been appointed in Mr. Teversham's place. 

The following papers which had been circulated were now sub- 
mittted for final consideration : — 

1. Re Standardisation of Jamaica Rum. 

2. Proposals as to Distillers' Course. 

3. Report on the successful working of the high ether Instal- 
lation at Hampden Estate. 

4. Distillery Progress in Westmoreland. 

5. Appropriation Accounts, Government Laboratory and Su- 
gar Experiment Station for 1 905-06. 

6. Reports Instructors. 

7. Report Hope Experiment Station. 

[Issaed 14ih June, 1906.] 
Frvnittd at th^ Oovt, Printing Office^ Kingston^ Jam. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




Vol. IV. JULY. 1906. Part 7. 


We have received particulars about the fine La Zacualpa rubber 
plantation in Mexico, of the Hidalgo Plantation Co., in an in- 
teresting pamphlet entitled " Rubber : what it is and how it 
grows,*' by the general manager of the company. This is the 
second edition of the pamphlet, (which is illustrated from photo- 
graphs), and in his foreword the author says : " Since the first 
edition was issued, rubber has advanced in price, with every pros- 
pect of its going higher, and the attention of the business world 
is more than ever turned to this profitable industry. This book 
is dedicated to the young people of our public and private schools, 
with the hope that the matter it contains will be found interesting 
as well as instructive." 

The first part deals with rubber generally, but here we only 
quote some particulars about La Zacualpa estate, which show how 
a big rubber estate in Mexico is run, and give information of use 
to planters of Castilloa elastica, 


La Zacualpa rubber plantation is, without doubt, the foremost 
of its kind in Mexico, and for depth of soil, requisite rainfall, sys- 
tematic drainage and intelligent management has not its equal in 
the world. It is situated between the towns of Huistla and Es- 
cuintla, about 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean, and near the Pan- 
American railroad which is to connect Tapachula with the Te- 
huantepec railroad at San Geronimo. This road has already 
reached Tonala, and will be pushed through to completion under 
a most favourable concession from the Mexican Government. The 
planted trees are easily accessible at all points by avenues run- 
ning for miles ; seven of these have already been named, as fol- 
lows : Harrison avenue, Van Court avenue, Alicia avenue, Butler 
avenue, San Carlos avenue, La Reina avenue, Santa Helena ave- 
nue. These are crossed by streets that are numbered, and the 

• Prom ••Ceylon Observer." 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


visitor can ride for miles through groves of healthy rubber trees, 
the branches of the older trees arching overhead. At the present 
writing some 8,000 acres are planted. 


In a letter received from Mr. O. F. Cook, of the Agricultural 
Department, Washington, he says: "You will doubtless be in- 
terested to know that I have recently described the Soconusco rub- 
ber tree as a distinct species under the name Costilla lactiflua. The 
Castilla of the Soconusco District of the State of Chiapas ("C. lac- 
tiflua")> is peculiar in having the complemental inflorescence flat- 
tened and with a broad mouth ; it is very similar to the primary, 
except in the smaller size. The specific name alludes to the fact 
that the milk of the tree flows freely when the bark is cut, so that 
it can be collected in quantity and coagulated by improved 
(creaming) methods, instead of the rubber being harvested 
wholly or partly by pulling the 'scrap' (burucha) from the gashes 
in which it has dried." 

The Department (or County) of Soconusco, in the state of Chia- 
pas, one of the twenty-seven States forming the Republic of 
Mexico, is the natural home of the Castilloa elastica, or Mexican 
rubber tree, as is proven by the great number of wild rubber trees 
which grow spontaneously in its forests. In their wild state they 
grow tall and lank, reaching a height of over fifty feet and a dia- 
meter of twelve to eighteen inches. 

As far as known the trees are long-lived, and increase their 
output of latex yearly until as many as twenty-five pounds of 
crude rubber have been taken from a single tree. It is only within 
a few years that attention has been called to the cultivation of 
this tree. During the years 1 889 and 1 890 a grove of some 5,000 
of these trees was planted on La Zacualpa, a plantation in the 
above Department, which trees are now (1905) on an average, 
eighteen inches in diameter and forty feet in height, and are 
yielding about two and one-half pounds of rubber to the tree. 

They stand about 400 to the acre, and are in prime condition. 
These are the trees referred to by Mr. O. F. Cook, Bulletin 49, is- 
sued by the United States Department of Agriculture, as follows : 
" The planted trees at La Zacualpa abundantly demonstrate the 
practicability of rubber culture." 

The successful production of rubber and growth of these trees, 
combined with their present healthy state, has proved the fact 
that Castilloa elastica can be easily cultivated in its native habitat, 
with large profits. Cultivated trees are raised from the seed, and 
begin to yield milk during the sixth year from date of planting. 
The trees have no natural enemies, as by reason of the quantity 
of resin and albuminoids contained in the milk, they are not mo- 
lested by worms, insects, birds or animals. 

Owing to the successful conditions noted above, this plantation 
has been extensively developed, and under the care of expert rub- 
ber cultivators about 3,000,000 rubber trees are growing vigorously. 
The cultivation of rubber is a new enterprise, calling for the most 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


careful study, and is a notable addition to the world's varied in- 
dustries. Consequently, the questions of soil, rainfall and climatic 
conditions must enter largely into the calculations of those con- 
templating its future. 

The rubber tree requires a rich loam soil ; warm, moist climate ; 
low altitude ; a large and evenly distributed rainfall, and perfect 
drainage. All these conditions exist in the Department of Soco- 

The rain record, taken daily by the British Vice-Consul, R. O. 
Stevenson, has averaged l6o inches for many years past. 

The plantation consists of 18,791 acres of land, of which 12,000 
acres have been set apart as La Zacualpa Rubber Plantation and 
are now being planted with rubber trees. 


The management is entrusted to one superintendent, two major- 
domos, or sub-managers, and one corporal to every thirty men. 
During the planting season about 300 men are employed, with ten 
corporals. All the planting is done under the supervision of rod- 
men who have formerly worked with engineers,, and the lines out- 
lining the planted squares and avenues between are run with 
great care. At sunrise the plantation bell calls the labourers to 
work, all assembling in the patio, or yard, in front of the mana- 
ger's house. The major-domos receive their instructions from the 
manager and communicate them to the corporals, who in turn di- 
rect their men regarding the work of the day, and are responsible 
for the performance of their respective duties. The bell, which 
can be heard in all parts of the plantation, announces the noon 
hour, and at I o'clock work is resumed, continuing till sunset. 
Everything is done in the most systematic manner, and the plan- 
tation is kept clean and in good order at all times. The supplies 
needed are furnished from the company's store, and a large bake 
oven is provided for the use of the labourers. Generally four or 
five women do all the baking, and sell bread to those wishing to 


is an ideal one, level for the most part, but sufficiently rolling for 
good drainage, well watered, entirely free from stones and gravel, 
and has the reputation all through that country of being a very 
choice strip of rubber land. The elevation at no point exceeds 
400 feet, and at some places is as low as 1 00 feet. La Zacualpa 
Rubber Plantation is a most interesting place, and improvements 
are constantly being made. A sawmill is in constant use, prepa- 
ring timber for the construction of permanent houses for the na- 
tive labourers and other buildings for the company's use. Excel- 
lent tiles have been made from clay found on the plantation, and 
are used in roofing buildings. The population of La Zacualpa to- 
day, including men, women and children, is over 600. The same 
plan has been carried out in the buildings for the labourers as 
that used in the plantation proper, the buildings being situated on 
plazas, or squares. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



The Castilloa elastica, or Mexican rubber tree, is between five 
and six years old when it blooms. Before blooming the tree sheds 
its leaves. The blossoming season begins in January and con- 
tinues until April. Clusters of small, whitish blossoms first put 
forth, and three weeks later the tiny petals fall, leaving a little 
green centre which gradually enlarges, and is filled with seed 
points sticking fast to a round disc. The blossoms are as nu- 
merous as the leaves, and each one has at least twenty seeds 
about the size of an ordinary pea. When the blooming and 
seeding time is over the trees put forth new leaves. 


The seeds are encased in a shell which is hard while green, but 
it soon softens into a sticky substance like fish gelatine. The 
first turning in the ripening process is to a sickly yellow, which 
gradually changes to a bright red. As soon as the seeds are ripe, 
with the first rains they begin to fall. This is a busy time on the 
plantation. The seeds literally cover the ground underneath the 
trees, and the labourers gather them into sacks and carry them ta 
the nurseries. There they are dumped into pails filled with water 
and washed thoroughly to detach them from the discs and rid 
them of the enveloping gelatine substance. When the seeds have 
been ripe sixty days they will no longer germinate, and to get the 
best results should be planted immediately after washing, which 
is done to facilitate handling and prevent them from germinating 
in the gelatine coating. 


There is some difference of opinion among planters as to the 
best methods of planting, some advocating partial shade, and 
again some would plant from a nursery previously formed, and 
others with the seed at stake. Difference of local and climatic 
conditions is no doubt the cause of this diversity of opinion, as 
each section calls for different methods. The method adopted on 
La Zacualpa, and that which has been productive of the best re- 
sults in that locality, is the following :— 

The land is first surveyed into squares of thirty-three acres 
each, which includes avenues and roads twenty-four feet wide be- 
tween them. The roads run in straight lines, and are cleared of 
all trees and shrubs, thus making them available for the use of 
the workmen and inspection of the plantation. The roads run- 
ning north and south are called avenues, and those east and west 
streets, the former being named and the latter being numbered. The 
roads are now several miles long, and in order to facilitate trans- 
portation of the labour to various parts of the plantation, the 
Company is about to put in a small electric railroad. The land 
is cleared by cutting down the forest and is then burnt off. Some 
of the largest trees are left, and most of them escape the fire and 
send out new foliage, which then acts as partial shade to the 
young trees. After the burning the land is then staked out ta 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


allow for 400 trees to the acre. A small mound of earth is made 
at each stake, and the rubber seeds are imbedded therein. 

The seed will germinate in from eight to fifteen days, and one 
month from the time of planting the plant attains a height of 
about eight inches, and its growth from this time on is rapid and 
may roughly be put down as one foot per month. Our three- 
years-old trees are over thirty feet high, and those of four years 
about thirty-five feet. After the planting has been done, great 
care is taken that the forest growth does not choke out the young 
tree. This growth is kept down continually, thus giving the 
young rubber tree a good start until it is able to take care of itself, 
which it can do two years after planting, after which time it re- 
quires very little attention. 


The native Indian method of tapping is as follows : — Before be- 
ginning to tap, a place is selected on the tree, preferably on the 
inclined side, and a hole made in the ground below, lined with a 
wide green leaf. The tapper makes two incisions with his machete 
at right angles, coming together in the centre. This is done to 
ascertain where the milk runs best. Once decided, the tapper 
makes a narrow incision at the point of convergence and impro- 
vises a funnel of the same leaf used in lining the hole in the 
ground. This acts as a conduit for the milk, which runs from the 
tree in a steady stream into the hole until it coagulates along the 
line of incision, when, if desired, it is scraped off twice or more 
before the stream finally ceases. Very often the milk spurts out, 
and one could not stand close to the tree where the machete is at 
work without getting one's clothes spoiled. The rubber coagu- 
lates where it falls on the clothes, and will not wash out ; only 
a solvent will remove it. 

The bark of the tree is not only cut once, but at least four or 
five times, at intervals of two feet. The next year the angles 
cross each other, giving the tree a peculiar criss-cross appearance. 
Once the milk is flowing freely, the tapper leaves the tree and 
goes to another, repeating the process already described. By the 
above method a dozen trees are considered an average day's work. 
When the milk ceases to flow the tapper returns and carefully 
picks up the leaf in the hole and pours its contents into a large 
gourd. This is naturally a crude and wasteful process. An un- 
skilled tapper either gets all the milk on his own clothes or else 
it runs round the tree and is lost. It is usual to begin tapping in 
May and continue until December inclusive. 


The latex, or milky juice of the bark of the rubber tree, is 
quite distinct from the sap which circulates through the wood, and 
contains from 32 to 44 per cent, of gum. Pure rubber milk is 
white when it first runs from the tree, closely resembles that of 
the cow ; but in the drying process it gradually oxidizes and turns 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



When the milk is brought in from the forest it is thinly spread 
on the long, palm-shaped leaves of the oja blanca, which have first 
been laid on the ground in the hot sun. Toward the stem, where 
the milk lies thickest, it is necessary to stir it while drying ; other- 
wise it would coat over thickly on the outside and be full of the 
residue fluid, bringing a lower price in consequence. When the 
leaves are coated evenly, a quarter of an inch thick, they are piled 
one above another and pressed hard enough to cause the rubber 
strips to adhere closely. Then by a dexterous movement, the 
tough leaves are pulled off and the thin layers are rolled into 
slabs ready for packing. 


The slabs of dried rubber are packed in bales of 1 50 pounds 
each, covered with the native-made matting, sewed up in sacks, 
shipped per steamer to various countries and sold to the rubber 
manufacturers. The first process in the manufacture of crude 
rubber — necessary on account of its being prepared by the native 
method — is to pass the slabs through large corrugated steel rollers, 
water falling from a reservoir upon the rubber as it passes through. 
This is repeated a number of times until all the dirt and foreign 
matter is eliminated, and the rubber rolled into thin perforated 
sheets having a rough surface. These sheets are from eight to 
twelve feet long, and eighteen inches wide. They are then hung 
in the dry room, where they remain until all the moisture has 
evaporated. The rubber is then ready for the next process. 


By the methods now adopted the foreign matters are washed 
out of the latex before coagulation takes place, thus producing a 
very high grade of rubber from the Castilloa, having a marketable 
value equal to that of Para. 

Until now it was generally assumed that the Central American 
rubber was of much inferior grade to that of Para. It has now 
been proved, however, that the actual difference is very slight, if 
there is any, and resolves itself into the question of preparing it 
for the market at the time of tapping. During the past few 
months the best qualities of some rubber from cultivated Castilloa 
trees brought $1.54 and $1.56 gold per pound on the London 
market. This price was higher than that of best South American 
Para sold at the same time. Mexican rubber from wild Castilloa 
trees and shipped in the old way already referred to was quoted 
at 60 and 65 cents per pound, or less than one-half the price ob- 
tained for the same rubber prepared according to modern methods. 
As it is necessary to treat the latex as soon as possible after it is 
collected from the tree, receiving stations should be established 
on a large plantation, such as La Zacualpa, so as to avoid the 
transportation of the latex to any great distance. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


By W. H. Dalrymple, R.C.V.S. 

From time to time the Veterinary Department receives requests 
for information regarding "Black-leg," a disease quite fatal to 
young cattle frequently in the best of condition, but which does 
not appear to be recognized by many, and it is for the purpose of 
supplying to our cattle owners something like accurate data on 
the subject that the Station publishes this short bulletin at the 
present time. We are not prepared to say that this disease is of 
more frequent occurrence than heretofore in the State : but, on 
account of the greater tendency on the part of our people to raise 
and own animals of better breeding, and, in consequence, of 
greater value, losses occurring in their stock may be receiving 
more attention as to cause, with the result that the trouble is 
being more frequently recognized rather than becoming more 

The value of young " scrub " cattle is relatively so inconsider- 
able that when a few of them die on the farm little thought is 
taken of the probable cause of death and, therefore, no investiga- 
tion is made to endeavour to discover it. Black-leg may have been 
at the bottom of many of such fatalities in the past, unrecognized, 
and because of the proper sanitary measures not having been taken 
to destroy infection in the bodies of the victims, the disease may, 
no doubt, have become established in certain localities, laying the 
foundation for the cases in the more valuable animals, and which, 
because of their greater value, has caused owners to seek more 
information regarding the fatal ailment. Fortunately, although 
the disease is a very fatal one among young cattle, it can be almost 
wholly prevented by vaccination. In fact, statistics recorded by 
the National Department of Agriculture at Washington go to 
show that out of 1,500,000 animals vaccinated, the loss reached 
only about one-half of one per cent. 

Besides being known as black-leg, the disease has other names, 
such as black-quarter, quarter-ill, symptomatic anthrax, symp- 
tomatic charbon, etc. To avoid confusion, however, we will 
confine ourselves to the first name, black-leg. The use of the 
terms, symptomatic anthrax and symptomatic charbon has led to 
a good deal of misunderstanding and error in our State, so far 
as this disease is concerned, because, having anthrax or charbon 
as a part of the name, many have been led to think that the 
disease was genuine anthrax or charbon. Some writers on 
veterinary medicine use the terms, symptomatic anthrax and charbon 
symptomatique (the French), because of its apparent resemblance 
to the external appearance of that disease, especially a swelling 
that is usually to be found in those parts of the body thickly 
clothed with muscular tissue. But since bacteriology has as- 
sumed the rank of a most import science, it has been found that 
the two diseases are separate and distinct and produced by entirely 

*Banetin No. 8C, March, 1906, of the Agri., Experiment Station of Louisiana. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


different organisms or germs. So that, in reality, the one has nothing 
at all to do with the other ; the only similarity of importance being 
perhaps that both are rapid and fatal in their effect. For the in- 
formation of our German settlers we may mention that this disease 
is known in their language as " Rauschbrand." 


Black-leg is a rapidly fatal infectious disease of young cattle* 
and is caused by a spore-bearing organism, the Bacillus Chauvoev 
Spring and fall are said to be the most favourable seasons for the 
development of the ailment, and cattle between the ages of six 
and eighteen months are the most liable to become affected, al- 
though partial susceptibility seems to remain up to about four 

The manner of infection is by indirect contact with the germ on 
infected soil, the organism gaining entrance to the body through 
abrasions of the skin, and, perhaps, in rare cases, through the 
mucuous membrane of the mouth and other parts of the alimen- 
tary canal. The wounds or abrasions are generally quite minute 
in size, but sufficiently deep to penetrate through the skin into 
the tissues underneath. Punctured wounds, such as those received 
from barbed wire fences or from stubbles or briers in pastures, 
seem to be the most likely method of infection, and correspond 
somewhat closely to the only manner in which the disease may 
be produced artificially — viz., through injection of the virus hypo- 


The disease is easy of recognition on account of the symptoms 
being quite characteristic. It is characterized, first, by the symp- 
toms of a more or less intense fever, and by the appearance of a 
specific tumour, or swelling, upon the body, neck or upper part of 
the limb above the knee and hock, causing stiffness or lameness. 
This swelling is almost constantly found in the thick flesh or mus- 
cles of the parts mentioned. It consists of a progressive inflam- 
matory enlargement, of firm and uniform consistence, rapidly ex- 
tending in area and depth, and later becoming insensitive, crepi- 
tant and resonant, or in other words the swelling emits a crack- 
ling sound when the hand is passed over it. This crepitant sourd 
is due to the collection of gas in the affected flesh, and which is 
produced by the germs of the disease. When the swelling is cut 
into, a frothy, dark red fluid escapes, and the flesh of the swel- 
ling is dark in colour, with the appearance of being mortified. 

With few exceptions, the disease terminates fatally, death 
usually occurring in from twelve to thirty-six hours after the first 
appearance of the symptoms. 


With regard to treatment, it may be said that curative (?) agents 
are of little or no avail — prevention being the only satisfactory 
method of attacking the disease. This may be divided into the 
following, viz., hygienic and preventive or protective. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



This aims at destroying or preventing the spread of infection 
in all places where cattle are kept, and the second, to endeavour 
to fortify the systems of susceptible animals against an invasion 
of the black-leg germs. 

Similar to anthrax (charbon) in this respect, black-leg infection 
is largely spread from the dead animal through the medium of 
carnivorous animals and birds (dogs, buzzards, etc.), or omnivo- 
rous animals (hogs) attacking the carcasses and carrying the 
germs broadcast, or the victim may be skinned for its hide, or in- 
cisions made into the swellings to " doctor" the patient, and the 
infection scattered from the cuts made in the swelling. These and 
other processes naturally assist in disseminating the virus or poi- 
son. In a circular on this disease, issued by the United States 
Department of Agriculture, at Washington, D. C, the following para- 
graph is italicized in order to give it emphasis: "It is, therefore, 
of the utmost importance that cattle owners in the infected dis- 
tricts be made to realize that an animal affected with black-leg 
may be the cause of large subsequent losses from the same disease, 
perhaps not immediately, but within a period of years to follow, 
and it can not be recommended too urgently that they make every 
effort to reduce the danger by taking adequate measures to des- 
troy, as completely as possible, this source of renewed infection." 

The best method of disposal is to cremate or burn the dead ani- 
mal, and in order to ensure complete destruction of it, it should be 
placed on a couple of logs, or over a trench, and plenty of dry 
wood heaped around it. A few quarts of coal oil should then be 
poured on, and fire set to it. It has been claimed that in some 
parts of the State it is not possible to obtain suflScient wood for 
the purpose of burning up the bodies of animals that have died 
from infectious diseases, such, for example, as in certain parts of 
southwest Louisiana. This section, however, has the advantage 
of having oil in abundance, and an inexpensive and convenient 
method is, first, to dig a trench of sufficient size, and placing in 
the bottom of it a quantity of old sacking to act the part of a 
" wick," then saturating the sacking by directing a pipe from a 
barrel filled with oil into the trench. By regulating the flow of 
oil, a continuous flame may be kept up until the carcass is com- 
pletely consumed, and at a minimum of cost where such a method 
can be conveniently undertaken. 

It is important that the carcass be entirely destroyed. The 
place, also, where the body has lain should be subjected either to 
heat or it should be sprinkled with some powerful disinfectant, 
such as crude carbolic acid, creolin, zenoleum,ilime, or other agent. 

Unfortunately, there has as yet been no sure method found of 
completely eradicating black-leg infection from a pasture. 

Preventive or Prophylactic. 

It is to the division of prevention which we term prophylactio, 
combined, necessarily, with the hygienic, that we have to look for 
the most gratifying results, which are to be found in preventive 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


vaccination of susceptible animals, and for which we are indebted 
to the discovery of Arloing, Cornevin and Thomas, that animals 
could be protected against black-leg by injecting them with more 
or less virulent material obtained from the tumours of animals 
that had died of the disease. The beneficial results of this treat- 
ment may be appreciated by the reference made in our prelimi- 
nary remarks concerning the record of the United States Depart- 
ment of Agriculture. And, further, it may be mentioned that 
during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1904, the Department dis- 
tributed over 1,000,000 doses of black-leg vaccine, which were 
used and reported upon by over 10,000 persons with highly satis- 
factory results, the mortality reaching only 0.44 per cent. 

Black leg vaccine is now a commercial commodity and may be 
obtained from, or through, any of our large wholesale druggists, di- 
rections accompanying the material, or it may also be had, free of 
cost, by making application to Dr. A. D. Melvin, Chief of Bureau 
of Animal Industry, United States Department of Agriculture, 
Washington, D. C, and subscribing to certain stipulated condi- 

In conclusion, it may be stated that, although sheep and goats, 
as well as cattle, are susceptible to black-leg, they are rarely at- 
tacked by it, the disease being most common and destructive in 
the young bovine species. 


A good method of conserving fruit in as nearly as possible 
its natural state has been largely sought after for a long 
time, but whatever means have been employed, a perfect result 
has not been obtained. One reason is the rapidity with which 
fleshy fruits ferment and rot under the action — as Pasteur has de- 
monstrated — of various organisms, fungi and bacteria. Taking 
this view, and believing that if these micro-organisms could be 
destroyed, the period during which the fruit can be kept in per- 
fect condition might be considerably prolonged, the English agri- 
cultural authorities have instituted a series of experiments under 
the direction of the Jodrell Laboratory, Kew. These have been very 
successful. The English Journal of the Board of Agriculture re- 
viewed them in a recent number (No. 5, August, 1905, "Method of 
preventing the rapid decay of ripe fruit.") This high authority 
gives its fullest support to the scheme. 

The method which has produced the best results is to immerse 
the fruit in cold water containing 3 per cent, of trade solution of 
formalin (40 per cent, of formaldehyde.) 

There are two methods employed, according as the fruit has a 
soft pulp or is firm-fleshed, and whether it is eaten whole or not. 
With the former class, to which cherries, strawberries, grapes, &c., 
belong, the fruit is plunged into the solution for ten minutes. 

♦From the Jowrtial d'Agricultwre Pratiqn^^ iu Agricuttwrdl Gazette of N, 8. Wales, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Then it is taken out and steeped for five minutes longer in cold 
water, and is finally spread out on a metal strainer, or in any 
other suitable place to allow it to drain and dry. In the second 
case, when the fruit has a peel or skin which is not eaten, it is 
subjected to the formalin solution only. 

The Kew experiments were carried out on five kinds of fruit — 
cherries, strawberries, gooseberries, pears, and grapes. These had 
not been specially selected, but were bought in fruit-shops, and 
in some cases from street vendors. 

The following figures show the number of days during which 
the fruit so treated remained perfectly sound, after an equal quan- 
tity of each fruit, non treated, taken for comparison, had become 
rotten : — cherries, 7 days ; strawberries, 4 ; gooseberries, 7 ; pears, 
10; and grapes, 4. These results apply in every case to fruits 
which were perfectly ripe at the time of treatment ; but if they 
are subjected to the process before maturity, they keep just as 
well, while the normal development and flavour undergoes no 
more alteration than when the fruit is placed in a refrigerator. 

It would have been interesting to know the length of time which 
elapsed between the beginning and end of the experiment, in ad- 
dition to the number of days during which the treated fruit re- 
mained in good condition longer than the other. The practical 
English people, having proved that this method of conservation is 
excellent for their indigenous fruits, are hoping to see their mar- 
kets supplied with several delicious varieties of tropical fruits, 
which, under former conditions, has been impossible. 

A minute examination of ripe fruit from the West Indies intend- 
ed for the Colonial Produce Exhibition at the Crystal Palace, 
clearly showed that the decomposition of the mangoes, for in- 
stance, during the journey was entirely owing to mould and fer- 
mentation caused by bacteria and fungi attacking the outer sur- 
face, and not owing to a tendency of the fruit to decay or ripen 
too quickly. A similar treatment could be profitably employed on 
a number of tropical fruits which are imported in a good condition 
(such as bananas), but which often have a dark and disagreeable 
appearance, caused by an exterior fungus. Pears, apples, oranges, 
citrons, &c., might all be treated with the same advantage. 

In England great importance is attached to this new means of 
conservation, which is at once very simple, inexpensive and ab- 
solutely harmless. Several other preservatives have been tried, 
but taking all conditions into consideration — ease of application^ 
smallness of cost, and perfect safety during its application — for- 
malin comes easily first. It is easy to understand why the English, 
who are the greatest importers of fruit from all parts of the world, 
should be eager to discover a process for preserving as long as 
possible its quality and appearance ; and it is because of their in- 
contestable and official statements that we think it obligatory on 
us to bring this new process under the notice of all producers, 
merchants, and consumers, to whom the preservation of fruit is a 
daily problem. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


But although the use of the preservative is chiefly directed to- 
wards the keeping of table fruit, it might be applied quite as ad- 
vantageously to cider fruit. Many cider apples and pears, in 
spite of the great resistance of their anatomical structure, as com- 
pared with that of the garden varieties, have just as much need of 
protection. The greatest enemy to cider apples intended to be 
kept for a long time is rot. It originates in the same way as on 
eating-apples, and there can be no doubt that the same treatment 
will produce the same results on similar subjects. We repeat the 
mode of procedure. Plunge for ten minutes in cold water con- 
taining 3 per cent, of formalin. A tub or a cask cut in halves 
will serve for the purpose of a bath. Take out the fruit, and drain 
and dry on trays, then place in the storeroom as usual, putting on 
one side for comparison a lot of the same species and weight 
which have not been sterilised. The expense of this new method 
of conservation is quite insignificant, and the profits must be very 
high if the fruit will keep for some time in a perfect state as is 
alleged ; and if the treatment can be as successfully carried out 
with the more delicate garden fruits, it will become of immense 
importance, and aff'ect every species under the sun. 


Coco-nut trees are often unproductive for various reasons, and 
they die from diseases due to diff'erent causes. But for some years 
it has been evident that a specific disease has been attacking these 
trees independently of unsatisfactory or unhealthy conditions. 

This is known now as the " bud-rot" disease, from its habit 
of attacking those portions of the tree which are in the young, 
immature, or bud stage. 

The flowers, while still in a very immature stage of budding, 
are most liable to attack ; but instances also occur where the "cab- 
bage" is first attacked while the tree is in full bearing and shows 
no sign of disease. As the " cabbage" is the vegetative bud of 
the whole tree on which its life depends, the disease is fatal when 
it reaches it. 

The appearance of the flowers is well known. There are several 
long branches, covered with numerous small flowers, which con- 
tain pollen only, and a few larger knob-like flowers, which gra- 
dually grow and become coco-nuts. 

The flowers and branches are at first all enclosed in a sheath or 
spathe, and in this condition the whole thing is commonly called 
a "sword." The earliest appearance of the " sword" is as a small 
protuberance just above the base of the leaf-stalk. 

The disease is most liable to attack the tree when the " swords" 
first bud out. If it attacks these when they first appear, the pro- 
bability is that they rot away without growing much, and the tree 
has the appearance of being sterile. Or, it may insinuate itself 
at a later stage, and grow up amongst the flowers possibly even 
without aff'ecting the outer sheath. The eff'ect is to cause the nuts 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


to drop at various stages, either when they first appear after push- 
ing out from the sheath or even when they are nearly full-grown. 

The disease extends from the flower bud along the stalk of the 
adjacent leaf, causing it to turn a yellow colour, and spreads along 
the stem itself, until finally it reaches the *' cabbage" and kills the 

Although bacteria have been found in great numbers in diseased 
spots, it is not yet decided whether they constitute the disease it- 
self, or whether they are only the accompaniment of another 

But the practical point is that by means of experiments which 
have now been carried on for some time, it has been shown that 
this disease can be checked by two methods. One plan is to fire 
the tree by putting a light td the fibrous material, the so-called 
"strainer," at the base of the leaves during dry weather. The fire 
burns the leaves, and scorches all the tender parts, killing the 

Another plan is to spray the head thoroughly with Bordeaux 
mixture. Several instances can be pointed out where trees have 
been sprayed, and are now healthy-looking and are holding their 
nuts. It is advisable, however, to spray diseased trees every six 
months, for say two years, as a prevention against its breaking 
out again. 

Firing a tree is the easier method, and there is no expense for 
spray pump and for the Bordeaux mixture : but the leaves have 
been burnt, and it will take about two years before any fruit is 
obtained. If the average annual crop is worth 4s., this delay 
means a loss of 8s. a tree. 

The expense of the Bordeax mixture and its application is esti- 
mated to cost about 2d. a tree, without counting the cost of the 
spray pump. 

The spray pump can be worked by two boys, one to climb the 
tree, and point the nozzle at the end of the hose downwards all 
round the head, while the other works the pump. 

When the cabbage is rotten, or when a tree dies, it should be 
cut down, and the head with its leaves should be thoroughly 
burnt, otherwise it remains a source of infection to other trees, not 
only in the neighbourhood, but probably for long distances round. 


Bordeaux mixture is best made according to the following for- 
mula : — 

Blue Stone (Copper Sulphate) 6 pounds 
Unslacked Lime 4 pounds 

Water 50 gallons 

It requires careful mixing, or the ingredients will not combine 
properly. Put 25 gallons of water into a barrel. Tie up 6 pounds 
of copper sulphate in a piece of coarse sack, and hang this by a 
stick laid across the top of the barrel so as to be just beneath the 
surface of the water until it has slowly dissolved. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

In another barrel slake 4 pounds of lime very slowly and care- 
fully, at first only adding about a quart of water at a time, until a 
perfectly smooth paste, free from grit is obtained. Add water to 
make the whole 25 gallons, and wait until cool. Now pour both 
together into a cask holding 50 gallons. The milk of lime should 
be thoroughly stirred before pouring, and finally the mixture 
should be well stirred for foiu: or five minutes with a wooden pad- 

If not perfect, the mixture is liable to injure the foliage, and in 
order to test this, put the blade of a penknife into the mixtiure and 
leave it for one or two minutes. If there is any deposit of copper 
on the blade, showing a brownish colour, it is not safe to use it, 
and more lime must be added until the knife is not discoloured. 



The following rules for preventing the mosquito plague is 
adapted from the United States Bulletin : — 

1. Mosquitoes breed only in water; usually standing water in 
artificial places, not running streams. 

2. Mosquitoes occur in the vicinity in which they breed. In- 
vasions from long distances are exceptional. 

3. The young mosquito or " wriggler" lives in water at least 10 
or 12 days. 

4. Although the wrigglers live in water, they must come fre- 
quently to the surface to breathe. 

5. Kerosene oil on the surface of the water prevents the wriggler 
from breathing. 

6. Destroy the breeding places and you will destroy the 

7. Empty the water from all tubs, buckets, cans, flower pots, 
vases, etc., once a week. 

8. Fill in or drain all pools, ditches and various excavations, 
such as post holes left unfilled, etc. 

9. Change regularly all water needed in chicken-runs, yards, 

10. Treat with kerosene oil all standing water which cannot be 
screened or drained (l oz of oil (two tablespoonsful) will cover 
1 5 square feet of surface). The oil does not affect the water for 
use if the water is drawn from below. 

11. Put wire netting over cisterns, wells and tanks of water 
in every-day use. 

12. Places in which it is undesirable to place oil, such as 
watering troughs for stock, ponds, etc., can be kept free of the 
wrigglers by putting in gold fish. The nymphs of dragon flies 
and tadpoles of frogs also feed on the wrigglers. 

13. See that the plumbing about the place is in perfect order. 
Prevent leakage of pipes or clogging of eaves and gutters. 

14. Inspect all cesspools and see that the covers are absolutely 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


15. Clean away all weeds, grass and bushes about ditches, 
ponds, and other possible breeding places, since these afford a 
hiding place for the adult mosquitoes. 

16. Clean up vacant lots and back yards of all cans, tins, 
bottles and rubbish. 

17. First do away with or treat all places where mosquitoes are 
known to breed, and then begin to work on places where they 
might breed. Remember that large quantities breed in wild 
pines, hollows in trees and in banana leaves. Keep the vegeta- 
tion low near the house. 

18. As a citizen of your community you should feel a personal 
responsiblity for the destruction of the mosquitoes in your district, 
and seek to co-operate with your neighbours in the work of doing 
away with breeding places. Inspect and treat with kerosene-oil, 
gutters, culverts, ditches, man-holes, catch-basins, etc., along the 
roadside. Man-hole covers should be screened. 

19. Where oil is applied to standing water it must de distri- 
buted evenly over the surface. Use a hand syringe, or, if the area 
is great, a knapsack sprayer. 

20. Houses should be cleared of all winged mosquitoes by the 
burning of insect powder. The mosquitoes will fall to the floor, 
and should be collected and burned. 

21. Relief in any community or district depends entirely upon 
the co-operation of the members of the community. 


By H. N. Ridley, M.A., F.L.S., Director of the Botanic Gar- 
dens, Straits Settlements. * 

As is well-known, the seed of the Para Rubber tree deterio- 
rates very rapidly after it is ripe and soon loses its germinating 
power, it is not always easy to send seed long distances without a 
very large percentage of losses, at the same time the demand for 
seed in distant parts of the world is very considerable, and a good 
many experiments have been tried in the Botanic Gardens in 
various methods of packing to ensure their arrival in good con- 
dition. The reports received from the recipients of these seeds 
have been remarkably good, as the following records will show :- 
Of 7,500 seeds sent to Jamaica on August, 31st, were received on 
25th October, and Mr. Fawcett writes : — "The 7,500 seeds sent 
in biscuit-tins are all germinating very well and we shall scarcely 
lose 500 of them." t 

One hundred were sent in a similar manner to Calabar on the 
date July, 6th and arrived on September, 20th. The Acting 
Secretary writes in reply : — " The seeds were soaked in water for 

♦ Agricultural Bulletin of the Straits aod Federated Malay States. Vol. V., No. I., 
Jan., 1906. 

t Orer 87 per cent, of the eeed" sown ffer'i inated, but some of the seedlings were 
constitutioQally week and died, so that only 5,071 plants survived, or about 68 per cent, 
of the seeds sow u A War lian case arrived with 2,500 seeds, but only 18 plants were 
raised out of the whole number. Director^ Bulletin of the Agrieultural Depwrtment^ 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


two days on their arrival and were then planted with the upper 
portion left above the soil. Ninety out of the hundred seeds 
have already germinated (Nov. 7th.) and appear healthy young 

To the Royal Gardens, Kew, 135 seeds were sent on July, 6th, 
packed in charcoal, in a biscuit-tin. They arrived in a month, 
and 123 germinated. On February, 1 2th, 1903, 20 seeds were 
sent to Mr. J. C. Harvey, Vera Cruz, Mexico, who writes. May 19th, 
1903, that " out of the 20 seeds of Hevea brasiliensis I have 14 
young plants. They came up in a few days, and possibly a few 
more may germinate, though three seeds were decayed." These 
were all sent in biscuit tins. Those sent to Jamaica were packed 
in slightly damped incinerator earth, but it was necessary to 
replace the upper part of the packing with sawdust to reduce the 
weight, as incinerator earth is very heavy and the box, a two- 
pound tin, which contained 1 50 seeds would have been over par- 
cel post weight. 

The other tins were filled with damp charcoal finely powdered. 
In packing, a certain amount of care is required in damping the 
charcoal so as to get it equally moistened all through, and not 
either over wet or over dry. This is best done by damping the 
charcoal thoroughly and then drying it in the sun constantly 
stirring and turning it over, till it is uniformly slightly damped. 
The incinerator earth which had been exposed to the elements 
was damp when received and only wanted partial drying to fit it 
for packing. Its weight is against its use, but both it and the 
powdered charcoal have the great advantage of preventing any 
attacks of mould or bacteria likely to cause decomposition. 
Other experiments with powdered coir fibre, and coir dust, saw- 
dust and variously prepared soils have been tried, but the results 
do not seem to have ever been as successful. One experiment 
was maae in putting the seeds in water for a month, and though 
that might be effective for a fortnight or so, they had all perished 
by the end of the month. 


Sir Frank Swettenham writes with regard to an article which 
appeared in The Standard of August 8 last : — ^The acreage planted 
with Para rubber in the Straits and Malay States on January i 
last was 30,000 acres, and in Ceylon 25,000 acres. Since that 
date the total area planted in the Malay States does not amount 
to 10,000 acres. 

The United Planters' Association in the Malay States have taken 
pains to go into this queston, and in their latest report they give 
the following figures : Total acreage planted with rubber in the 
Straits and Malay States 30,000 acres; Sumatra, 5,000 acres ; Java, 
5,000 acres ; Ceylon, 25,000 acres ; India and Burma, 5,000 acres ; 
total 70,000 acres. Allowing that all this is good, and will give the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


good yield of 200 lb. per acre, the amount produced would be 
14,000,000 lb. This acreage cannot, however, be all in full bear- 
ing till the end of 1911, and they calculate that no more than this 
acreage can be in bearing till 1911, because it is not yet planted. 
The exports from Para for the last three years have remained 
practically constant at about 30,000 tons, and the world's pro- 
duction was, in 1898, as nearly as it can be ascertained, about 
60,000 tons, or 134,000,000 lb. The present production is estimated 
at 70,000 tons, or 156,000,000 lb., of which Asia can only produce 
14,000,000 up to the year 191 1, What she can produce after that 
date will depend upon the area planted and successfully cultivated 
between now and 1911. — Standard^ Dec. 6. 



By W. J. Thompson, F.R.H.S., Travelling Instructor. 

In travelling about the country I am surprised to find how few 
people seem to remember that hard and soft wooded plants need 
totally different treatment to enable them to develop properly. 
People go on planting young cocoa and orange plants just as they 
plant banana suckers, with the result that most hard wooded trees 
are not giving more than half the crop they should. 

Two typical types of soft wooded plants are banana and cane ; 
two typical types of hard wooded plants are cocoa and oranges. 

The soft wooded plants, which consist chiefly of water, need 
to have their bases covered with a considerable amount of damp 
soil if they are to continue thriving. On the other hand, hard 
wooded plants, consisting chiefly of wood, need just the reverse 
condition to get them to grow as they should, viz., the base of the 
plant must be kept level with the surrounding ground, so that it 
can get enough sun, light and air. 

It is most important that planters of all degrees should realize 
the different requirements of the two different classes of plants. 
In almost all cases where I am asked to inspect sickly plants and 
trees of cocoa, &c., I find that most of the cases where the young 
plants are not growing, or old plants are not fruiting, or dying 
off, can be traced to the plants having been planted too deeply. I 
have come across scores of cases where cocoa plants have had 
their bases from 3 ins. to 12 ins. below the surface of the ground ; 
and although when the bases of this class of plants are planted 
too deeply, nature comes to the tree's assistance by young roots 
being formed just below the surface of the ground, these surface 
roots do not compensate for the loss of the natural upper roots of 
the tree which have died off, or are in a half dead condition 
through not getting enough light and air. With deep planting, 
if the plant does not die after a few years, it does not give the 
amount of fruit that a properly planted tree will do. Too much time 
and care cannot be given to the planting of these hard wooded 
plants to see that they are planted properly. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


In July last, in St. Catherine, I inspected about 20 cocoa trees — 
old trees, about 12 feet high; only three of the trees had their 
bases showing level with the siurounding ground ; and although 
this is the season when we do not expect to see many cocoa pods 
on the trees, one tree had 6o pods, the other two had from 40 
to 50 pods each, while the rest of the 17 trees had not 60 pods 
between them. 

Within the last few months I have been paying a good deal of 
attention to the question of shade for cocoa, but I have found that 
in all cases, if the cocoa tree has been properly planted that the 
trees gave good returns whether they were shaded or not ; but 
where the tree had been planted too deeply, whether shaded or 
not, the condition of the tree and the yield were not satisfactory. 

In planting out hard wooded plants, intelligent workmen should 
be employed, and it should be strongly impressed upon the work- 
men which the base of the plant is and that when the soil has fi- 
nally settled down, the base of the plant should be level with the 
surrounding ground. 

I observe that when the workmen are going to plant out seed or 
young plants of cocoa after the soil has been cultivated, that they 
are careful to make a kind of shallow basin, and when it comes 
to planting the seeds or plants are placed from two to six 
inches deep. This way of planting is wrong, and is responsi- 
ble for such a large percentage of plants not giving satisfactory 

The way to prevent the plant from settling down too low after 
planting is to leave the cultivated soil six inches higher than the 
surrounding ground where the plant or seeds are to he planted. 

As a rule if seeds are being planted, there is not so much risk 
in putting them too deeply ; but even with seeds, after the soil has 
been made somewhat fine, care should be taken to see that they 
are not planted more than an inch under the ground. I find that 
it is when seedlings are planted out, that the greatest loss takes 

When transplanting the young cocoa plant from the bamboo 
pots or beds, care should be taken to take off a little of the sur- 
face soil till the base of the young plant is reached, and after 
this is found, make a small hole in the raised soil and put the 
young plant in the soil ; just deep enough for the base of the 
plant to be on a level with the raised soil. It is better to place 
the young plant an inch too high than half an inch too low. '^waoAiij 

This may seem a small matter to some people, but I have looked 
into the subject minutely, and to say that one-fourth of the young 
plants planted out each year die, and that from the fruiting trees 
we are not getting as much cocoa as we should by 40 per cent, 
through the trees being planted too deeply, is making a very low 
estimate of losses. 

This deep planting of such plants as cocoa and oranges is a 
most serious matter for the planter. 

If all small, stunted cocoa trees, such as make a little growth in 
the dry weather and die back in a wet season are examined, it will 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


be found, if the soil is taken away from the stem, that the base of 
the plant is several inches below the surface of the ground. In 
such cases I would strongly recommend that the plants be dug 
out and thrown away ; they cannot be transplanted and would never 
do any good if left to grow. The same advice applies to citrus 

Unless care is taken to get these young plants properly planted, 
good soil, manure, labour, etc. are all wasted, and those who will 
look into the matter will find that all the cocoa trees that are giving 
good returns, have their bases level with the surface, and those that 
are not giving good retiurns or are in a half dead state will be 
found with their bases several inches below the surface of the 

The reason why these hard-wooded trees do not thrive when 
planted too deeply in the soil, is because the base of the tree is 
kept too damp and cold, the lower roots of the tree die off and the 
few surface roots cannot support the tree. That Jamaica has the 
climate and soil conditions suited for producing very fine cocoa 
can be judged from the fact that we have cocoa trees in the Island 
measuring 60 inches round the trunk two feet from the ground, 
the trees being in a healthy condition and giving large crops of 
pods each season. These trees are exposed to all the sun that 
passes, and the bases stand level with the surrounding ground. 


Turmeric * is extensively cultivated all over India for its root- 
stocks, and is now found more or less wild in Jamaica, especially 
in the western districts. It is the well-known haldi universally 
used as a condiment with curry-stuflfs and also as a dye, and is one 
of the most profitable of crops in India. The dye-yielding rhi- 
zome is harder and much richer in colour than the edible. 

. The preparation of the soil necessary for turmeric is similar to 
that for ginger, but lands intended for turmeric need not be 
worked so fine. The usual planting time in India is about the 20th 
of May. The plants spring up in about a fortnight. One or two 
weedings are necessary, and care must be taken that the fields 
are not inundated. After about a year and nine months turmeric is 
lifted. When it is raised the first year, as is the practice in some 
places, the produce is less in quantity and inferior in quality. 


Various systems are apparently practised for preparing the rhi- 
zome for the market. Of Bengal it has been said : "After the 
rhizomes have been dug out of the ground, they are freed from the 
fibrous roots and cleaned. They are then put in earthen pots, the 
mouths of which are to be carefully closed with earthen covers 

* Carouma longa, Linn. Information from Dictionary of Economic Products of 
India; and fientley and Trimen^s Medicinal Plants. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 64 

and cow-dung. These pots are then very carefully heated. The 
turmeric is made to boil in its own juice, a process which gets rid 
of the raw smell of turmeric. It is then dried in the sun, the dry- 
ing taking nearly a week, during which the turmeric requires to 
be covered in the night to protect it from dew. In some places 
tumeric is boiled in water in which a little cow-dung is mixed." 

Of the north-west provinces, Sir E. C. Buck says : — " When 
dug up the roots are boiled and dried in the sun ; in this form 
they are the turmeric sold in the Indian bazaars. When the 
dye is to be used the roots are again boiled and powdered while 
wet. A decoction is then made of this paste in water, in which 
the cloth is well steeped, being subsequently dried in the shade. 
In the Kumaon district the roots are soaked in lime-juice and 
borax before being powdered instead of being boiled." Of the 
Punjab, Mr. Baden Powell says the tubers are taken up in 
November and dried partly by the action of fire and partly by 
exposure to the sun. Of Coimbatore it is reported : — ^The roots 
are carefully sized and separately boiled in a mixture of cow-dung 
and water, dried and sent to market." 


There are two sorts of turmeric seen in commerce — the round 
and the long, but both are the produce of the same plant ; the cen- 
tral rhizomes or root-stocks constituting the round, and the lateral 
or secondary rhizomes {tubers) the long ; the latter are the more 
abundant. The former are roundish or somewhat ovate, usually 
from about one inch and a half to two inches in length, and one 
inch in diameter, pointed at one end, and marked externally with 
annular ridges. They are often found cut into halves, The latter 
are somewhat cylindrical, more or less curved, pointed at the two 
extremities, frequently having on their sides one or more short 
knobs or shoots, about the thickness of the little finger, two or 
three inches long, and marked externally with annular ridges. 
Both sorts are yellowish externally, very hard and firm, and when 
broken having a waxy-resinous appearance, and an orange-yellow 
or reddish-brown colour. The powder is orange yellow. Tiu*- 
meric has an aromatic taste and odour somewhat resembling gin- 
ger, but peculiar. When chewed it tinges the saliva yellow. 

The following is a quotation from the Market Report published 
in the Chemist and Druggist for 23rd September last : — 

"Good Madras finger has been sold at from 17s. to l/s. 6d. per 
cwt., being steady, and Cochin split bulbs are quoted at from 
7s. 9d. to 8s. per cwt., according to quantity." 


A special form of turmeric is grown for this purpose, namely 
a harder root, much richer in the dye principle than in the ordi" 
nary condiment form. 

The colour is only deposited in the rhizome with age, and 
hence, in all probability, the above mentioned forms have 
been obtained by a process of careful selection of stock 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


observed to produce the colour freely. It is of importance^ 
however, that the European merchant, in purchasing for dye 
purposes, should see that he gets the hard dye-yielding form and 
not the softer aromatic condition, which is used as a condi- 

The rhizome is still largely used by the European dyers, 
though the fluctuation in the trade may be viewed as due 
to the development of the aniline industry. Professor Hummel 
says of it :- "Notwithstanding the very fugitive character of the 
colour it yields, it is still much used, especially by the wool and silk 
dyers for the production of compound shades — olives, browns, &c. 
It gives a bright yellow colour without the aid of a mordant, but 
when mordants are used with it, it yields other colours not unlike 
those obtainable from the yellow dye-woods. The colouring 
matter of turmeric is one of the few for which cotton has naturally 
a strong attraction." 

Although turmeric is rich in colouring matter, its want of per- 
manence is a hindrance to its application as a dye-material. 

Some time back the use of turmeric was almost exclusively limit- 
ed to printing and dying silks. It is now employed to a vast extent 
in stuff-dying, forming an important constituent in certain compound 
colours, especially the so-called '* sour-browns. " 


Turmeric forms one of the indispensable ingredients in curries, 
and is used for coloiuring confections, etc. 


Turmeric contains about one per cent, of a volatile oil, to which 
its odour is due, some starch, a yellow colouring matter called 
curcumin, and other unimportant substances. The alkalies change 
the colour of curcumin to reddish brown ; and boracic acid pro- 
duces an orange tint ; hence paper tinged with tincture of tur- 
meric is largely employed as a test of the presence of alkalies. 

Turmeric is not now used as a remedial agent, but is introduced 
into the pharmacopoeias as a test of the presence of alkalies. For 
this purpose the British Pharmacopoeia directs unsized white paper 
to be steeped in tincture of turmeric and dried by exposure to the 
air. It is also occasionally employed in pharmacy in colouring 
ointments and other preparations. 

Used as a stimulant in native medicine in India : externally 
applied in pains and bruises, and internally administered in dis- 
orders of the blood. Its use as an external applicant in bruises, 
&c., is perhaps its most frequent medicinal application. The 
fresh juice is said to be an anthelmintic. A decoction of the 
rhizome is applied to relieve catarrh and purulent opthalmia. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


According to Gillespie Bros. & Go's. New York Market Report 
for March l6, ginger continues to be the principal factor in the 
spice market. The continued upward movement of the European 
market, and the situation in Jamaica as reported by cable, make 
it almost impossible to attempt to predict what price Jamaica root 
will reach, or even to name quotations, London has advanced 
2s. per cwt. within the past fortnight, and buyers here have 
advanced their offers let. per lb., but were unable to obtain any 
ginger even at the advance. With the situation as it is to-day, it 
is possible to obtain almost any price within reason for the small 
parcels that are coming to hand. On to-day's market we quote 
from 8c. to 8fc. per lb. for dark scraggy root, and from lOc. to 
Il^c. per lb. for the small white to bright bold ginger. 


On La Zacualpa plantation in Ghiapas, Southern Mexico, 
there has been established a botanical station, the principal object 
of which is to study the Gentral American rubber tree (Castilloa 
elastica), its culture, and the preparation of commercial rubber 
from this tree. On La Zacualpa and affiliated plantations there 
are now planted over three million trees, and at least two addi- 
tional million trees will be planted. In connection with the botanical 
station, there is a laboratory for chemical and physiological inves- 
tigation of the latex. A complete meteorological observatory 
will soon be ready on La Zacualpa, and two meteorological substa- 
tions, will be established in the mountains close by, where simul- 
taneous observations will be made at the elevations of 2,000 and 
3,500 feet. The main station is situated at 250 feet above the sea, 
twelve miles from the Pacific Ocean, on the lowlands at the foot 
of Sierra Madre, about sixty miles from the border of Guatemala. 
The director of the station is Dr. Pehr Olsson-Seffer from Stanford 



The usual Monthly Meeting of the Board of Agriculture was 
held at Headquarter House on Wednesday, 13th June. Present :- 
The Director of Public Gardens, the Island Chemist, His Grace 
the Archbishop, the Superintending Inspector of Schools, Messrs. 
C. A. T. Fursdon, C. E. DeMercado, J. W. Middleton, and the 

Acting Chairman — The Secretary read letter from the Colonial 
Secretary's Office intimating that the Governor had appointed Mr. 

♦ Extract from the Agricultural News, April 14th, 1906. 
tB>om Science, March 16. 1".06. p, 439. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


T. L. Roxburgh, Acting Colonial Secretary, to act as a Member of 
the Board, and as Chairman in the room of Mr. Bourne, Colonial 
Secretary, who had been granted leave of absence from the Qth 
inst. Mr Roxburgh then took the chair. 

The Secretary read the minutes of the previous meeting which 
were confirmed. 

Commercial Agent in London — The Archbishop said as a mat- 
ter arising out of the minutes he would like to ask the opinion of 
the Board whether they should drop the matter of a Commercial 
Agent in London owing to the adverse reply of the Governor, or 
whether they should go on with it, and if so what should be done. 
He quoted from a lecture delivered at the Colonial Institute, what 
South African Colonies were doing to find new markets for their 
products. He believed that what His Excellency had quoted as 
Mr. Chamberlain's decision against Crown Colonies having Agents 
did not refer to Commercial Agents, but referred first to a political 
agent and second to a man doing business on his own account, 
but what we wanted was purely a Commercial Agent whose atten- 
tion would be wholly devoted to the commercial interests of the 
Colony. There was need in this Colony for Government support, 
not only for the stimulus it would give the matter but for the status 
it would give the Colony. 

Mr. Middleton supported the idea of going on with the matter. 

Mr. DeMercado said he supported the idea, but in this matter 
almost everything would depend on the personality of the agent. 

The Board unanimously agreed that the Committee already ap- 
pointed to deal with the matter should take it up again, viz: the 
Archbishop, Mr. Middleton and Mr. Murray. 

Elder Dempster & Co. £500 & Instructors — The Secretary read let- 
ter from the Colonial Secretary's Office transmitting copy of a 
despatch from the Secretary of State for the Colonies stating that 
this Government would receive £500 a year to be paid by Messrs. 
Elder, Dempster & Co. in lieu of their Instructors, provided the 
money was devoted by the Government to the same purpose. 

The Secretary submitted letter from the Colonial Secretary's 
Office stating that the Governor had perused with interest the 
report on the successful working of the High Ether Instalation 
at Hampden Estate. 

Labourers on Estates — The Secretary read letter from the Secre- 
tary of the Northside Sugar Planters' Association in reply to his 
letter, stating that with reference to the sale of beef, pork and bread 
by overseers on sugar estates the practice did not prevail on the 
northside estates as it was the general rule on them that particular 
care be taken to pay the labourers in full, and no compulsion 
was put on them to buy anything, and that it appeared the 
present law was sufficient to meet such cases. 

The Secretary stated that he had no reply from the Secretary 
of the Westmoreland Sugar Planters' Association. 

Mr, Cradwick & St. Mary Show — A letter from the St. Mary Show 
Committee was submitted stating that as rains prevented Mr. Crad- 
wick from carrying out his programme for week ending June 9th 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


they would ask the further concession of allowing him to be in 
the parish for week ending 23rd June, besides week ending 30tb 
as at present arranged. 

The Board agreed that if this could be carried out, without dis- 
arranging Mr. Crad wick's itinerary materially, it might be done. 

The following reports from the Director of Public Gardens 
were submitted : — 

1. Hope Experiment Station. 

2. Instructors. 

The following report from the Chemist was submitted : — 

Candidates selected by the Advisory Committee to attend 
Distillers' Course. 

These were approved with the addition of Mr. F. L. Clark, 
Richmond Estate, who was one of the first applicants but whose 
name had been omitted in error from the list, the extra £10 grant 
to be met from savings in the Sugar Experiment Station vote. 

The following papers which had been circulated but had not 
yet been before the Board were submitted : — 

Resignation of Mr. Rudolf — Letter from C. S. O. for the information 
of the Board re resignation of Mr. Rudolf. 

The Secretary stated that the Report of the Board of Agricultiure 
and of the Chemist for the year ending 31st March, 1906, had not 
been returned from circulation yet. 

The following papers which had been circulated were now sub- 
mitted for final consideration : — 

1. Work of Agricultural Students for Easter Term. 

2. Report Hope Experiment Station. 

3. Reports by Mr. Cradwick and Mr. Briscoe. 

The meeting then adjourned till Wednesday llthjuly, at2 
p. m. 

[iBsaed 11th July, 1906.] 
Printed at th$ Oovt. Printing Office, Kingston, Jam. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 





Vol. IV. AUGUST. 1906. Part 8. 


Review by W. G. Freeman, in Botanisches Centralblatt. 
Wright, Herbert, Hevea brazHiensis or Para Rubber. Its botany, 
cultivation, chemistry and diseases. (A .M. and J. Ferguson, 
Colombo. I06 and VII. pp. With 28 plates. 1905.) 
The first plants of Para Rubber were received at Heneratgoda, 
Ceylon, from Kew in 1875, having been raised from seed collected 
by Mr. Wickham in the Ciringals of the Rio Tapajos. Propaga- 
tion, first by cutting and later by seed, was carried on and now 
there are some 40,000 acres of this plant in Ceylon whilst large 
quantities of seed have been distributed to many parts of the 
world. Although at first it iwas thought that Hevea should be 
planted in places but little above the sea-level it has been shown 
that it will grow up to 2,000 feet and even higher in some districts of 
the island. The laticiferous system is briefly described and the 
functions of the latex discussed. 

At Para itself there is a rain-fall of 80 to 120 inches and a mean 
temperature of 75° to 8i°F., and although it is pointed out that these 
conditions are not absolutely necessary for the cultivation of Para 
rubber, many parts of the tropics possess them and in these areas 
the industry promises to become as important as in Ceylon, the 
Malay Peninsula and India. 

The cultivation of the plant is dealt with in detail, and illustrated 
by views of trees grown in various conditions, e.g., drained swampy 
lands, rocky hillsides, &c. With wide planting coffee and cacao 
can be grown with success amongst Hevea, whilst as " catch crops*' 
for the first few years, Groundnuts {Arachis hypogaea), Cassava 
(Manihot utilissima) and lemon grass {Andropogon) have given good 

A chapter is devoted to soils and manuring. Three chapters 
treat fully of the important question of tapping. The harm done 
by bad tapping by which the wood is injured is illustrated. Vari- 
ous patterns of tapping instruments are described and illustrations 
given of several ; Golledge's knife, and Bowman's and Northway's 


Digitized by VjOOQ 


knives are spoken of as having given good results. The use of 
scrapers of any kind is deprecated on the ground that in practice 
they tend to clog the freshly opened latex tubes. There are four 
principal methods in vogue of tapping trees, (a) single oblique 
lines, (b) V-shaped incisions, (c) single oblique cuts joined by a 
vertical channel ; known as " half-herring-bone" when all the cuts 
are on one side of the vertical line, and " full herring-bone" when 
on both sides, (d) spiral curves. The advantages and disadvan- 
tages of the various methods are discussed. Owing to the favour- 
able results obtained, the last method has recently gained favour 
in Ceylon and elsewhere. The main stem is practically the only 
part of the tree to be tapped and the greatest yields are obtained 
from the lower portion, up to six feet from the ground level. Some 
doubt appears to exist as to the quality of the latex obtained from 
higher levels and contrary lesults are reported from different 
localities. It is most important in practice to take advantage of 
what is now generally known as the " wound response" which is 
usually obvious within 24 to 48 hours after the first tapping. In 
an experiment quoted the yield of latex obtained from the same 
number of incisions, over approximately the same area on one tree, 
increased from 61 cc. on the first tapping, to 449 cc. on the four- 
teenth tapping, about two a half months later. Tapping every 
day either for the whole of the rainy season or during alternate 
months has given excellent results on a large scale on several 
Ceylon estates. Trees to tap should, in Ceylon, be not less than 
20 inches in circumference 3 feet from the ground and at least 4 
to 6 years old. Such trees may be expected to yield I to 3 lb. of 
dry rubber per tree up to their tenth year and much more in sub- 
sequent years. Exceptionally well developed trees have given as 
much as 1 2 to 25 lb. a year without shewing any ill effects or 
signs of exhaustion. 

The general physical and chemical properties of latex are 
briefly touched upon and analyses quoted of that derived from the 
plant under discussion. The production of rubber from latex is 
fully discussed, and the various methods and machines employed 
are described, as also the purification, vulcanisation and uses of 

The commercial varieties of Para rubber are enumerated, their 
preparation described, and comparative chemical analyses given 
of various kinds of plantation rubber from Ceylon and the Straits 

The recently established value of the seeds of Hevea brasiliensis 
as a source of oil is pointed out, as also the possible use of the 
residual cake as a feeding stuff. The methods of transporting 
the seeds in a living condition are discussed ; the best results 
appear to have been obtained by packing them in powdered char- 
coal and sawdust in sealed tins. The use of Wardian cases is 
however still the most satisfactory method. A chapter is devoted 
to the diseases of the plant, and an appendix contains estimates 
supplied by planters of the cost of planting rubber in Ceylon. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The following notes on the Silk Rubber of Lagos are taken 
from an article by M. E. De Wildman published in the Revue des 
Cultures Coloniales, and translated in the Agricultiu-al Bulletin of 
the Straits and Federated Malay States, Vol. IL, 4 April, 1 903, 
p. 136. 

The plant is specially cultivated at present in Western Africa 
in the Congo Free State and on the Cameroons, and is, according 
to the author, the best rubber plant to cultivate in these regions, 
and this is so for several reasons, it is easy to procure seed as the 
plant is wild in this part of the world and one can be siu-e that 
it will grow well as the soil and climate are naturally suitable for 
it. The German Colonial reports show that Funtumias of the 
same age as Castilloas are relatively more advanced, the Funtu- 
mias give seed at the end of two years and a half, while the Cas- 
tilloa fruits only at the end of from three and a half to four years. 
If one compares the latex of the two, at the same age, one can see 
that it is much more concentrated, less watery and sticky in Fun- 
tumia than in Castilloa, and that it can give a return more quickly. 
Castilloa, according to M. Koschny can only be milked when 
eight years old. As to the rubber itself, that of Funtumia is as 
good or better than that of Castilloa. The results of comparative 
researches with Funtumia and Castilloa in West Africa are in 
favour of the former. 

The seed, sown freshly gathered, sprouts after about 1 5 days 
and grows very rapidly, and the plants are readily transported. If 
at first the stem bifurcates forming a bush, either a shoot is deve- 
loped above the bifurcation, or one branch grows more strongly 
than the other eventually forming the trunk. Among the advan- 
tages of Funtumia one may mention that the latex flows more 
easily and quickly than that of Castilloa or Ficus and the seeds 
keep good for 6 weeks and even germinate after three months. 
Nor is the Funtumia particular as to soil, it grows equally well in 
lateritic or basaltic soils, in soils rich in humus or stony. As to 
altitude, it has been noticed that it does best below 800 metres. 
It is reckoned that in April, 1 902, there were in the Cameroons 
200,000 plants, exclusive of wild ones. The plan of planting 
Funtumias in a lightly cleared forest as has been frequently done 
is not recommended. They do not grow so well in shade as in 
full sun when they are too week to resist the drying action of 
sun and wind, they naturally should be protected, but when 
they are strong enough to resist this'they develop better when fully 
exposed to the sun, provided that the ground is damp enough. 
From the experiments made in plantations in German territory 
the Funtumias should be planted 6 metres apart. 

The tree is one of the best shade trees for cocoa, but as it is 
pyramidal in form it will be necessary to plant close which is not 
a disadvantage. It is also recommended to use the tree to grow 
vanilla on as in ten years when the vanilla is dying out the rubber 
trees will be ready for tapping. The latex is coagulated by boil- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


ing, but this must be done gently and can only be done after the 
addition of water. It is advisable also to stir the mass while boil- 
ing slowly to prevent the formation of a porous mass in which por- 
tions of uncoagulated latex may be included. After coagulation 
the rubber must be carefully washed. 


By "A. FORESTER/' Bluefields, Nicaragua, February 1906. 

What latex is to the tree is still a debatable question. I think 
that it is simply a protection against insects and evaporation 
whenever the tree is wounded. Anything striking against the out- 
side bark, if it hits hard enough, will bruise the inner bark so that 
the latex flows. An examination of this place a day or two later 
will show a thin coat of rubber entirely covering the bruise. Tro- 
pical trees do not have the thick outer corky bark of northern 
trees. Anything striking them is liable to bruise the inner bark. 
This sheet of rubber forming would prptect the bruise from too 
much evaporation and from insect attacks. Leaf cutter ants do 
not attack the leaves of Castilloa and cattle do not seem to be fond 
of them, but I believe that this is not due to the latex but due to 
the thick coat of epidermal hairs, a thing which few tropical trees 
seem to possess. It is noticeable that ants do attack Hevea which 
has not a hairy leaf. 

The study of the structure of the latex shows that it has two dis- 
tinct parts — watery solutions and a solid substance in minute glo- 
bules. The watery solutions contain no rubber. They do contain 
the substance which forms the residue of the black water, though 
this substance is apparently changed by oxidation before becom- 
ingblack water. They may also contain sugars and proteids, as 
these substances are evidently there, but it is more than likely that 
these substances are not in the original latex but come from some 
other bark tissue than the "milk tubes." 

The solid globules are principally rubber but they are said to 
be surrounded by protoplasm and contain a nucleus. In that case 
they would be cellular in their nature. As the tube in which they 
are enclosed is already a cell, it would be a case of a cell within 
a cell, which is rather rare in botany. At the same time they are 
very small for cells. I have not been able to examine the structure 
of the single globule, as my microscope is not powerful enough, but 
I think that they are not cellular but are originally chromotophores 
in which rubber has been stored. In that case they would be 
formed in a similar manner to starch grains in a potato and other 
roots. I believe that this is the case and that the substance in so- 
lution, later forming the black water, bears the same relation to 
rubber that sugar does to starch ; that is, they are similar forms of 

♦From the India Rubber World. Contioued from BitUfftin for May. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


carbohydrates which can be readily changed from one to the other 
by the action of an enzyme, and when they are to be transported 
from the soluble substance and, when stored, the solid substance. 
This state of things seems to be the same in all latex bearing 
plants, as all that I have examined contain this watery solution 
and the solid globules, though the watery solution does not always 
turn black and the solid globule is not always rubber, but some 
times a sticky substance. 

Dr. Weber asserted that the black water was due to oxidation 
and he believed that rubber itself was an oxidation product. Latex 
which is gathered and quickly corked up away from the air, 
forms no black water. Black water gets blacker for longer stand- 
ing in the air until about five days after gathering. Fresh black 
water can immediately be turned to its deepest black by ammonia, 
but animonia will not affect black water five days old. I believe 
that the action of ammonia is the same as the oxidation in the 
air. Contact with metals will make black water blacker. Sugar 
slowly takes the black colour away and latex which has not been 
allowed to oxidize has water which resembles that formed by 
sugar. I believe that sugar reduces it to its former state. I do not 
see any reason to think that rubber itself is an oxidation product. 
It is possible, but if so it can be further oxidized by the use of. 
nitric acid. 

The problem of tapping has a great deal to with how the latex 
is situated in the tree. According to most writers it is carried in 
" milk tubes" which are in the bark and are arranged vertically. I 
have not found any writers who seem to know what these milk 
tubes are like — whether the latex runs up or down in them, or 
what connection these milk tubes have with other parts of the 
plant. When I first got here I tried a number of experiments, 
trying to increase the flow of latex by multiple tapping, gradual 
tapping, and so on, but* all these failed. The reason for these 
failures I now attribute to the shape and position of the latex 
carrying tissue in the plant. This tissue, I believe, is the part 
known as the bast fibre. Bast fibres are long fibrous threads, 
tapering to a point on each end, having a thick, tough wall and in 
most plants dead, and containing nothing in the cell cavity. 

In the Castilloa, the microscope shows that the bast fibres have 
a larger cell cavity than in most plants. It is reasonable to sup- 
pose that they are in such cases alive and contain something. I 
have seen no other tissues in the Castilloa bark which contain the 
latex and therefore believe that these bast fibres do. The bast 
fibres are arranged vertically and are probably only a few inches 
long. Those I have examined in temporary branches were from 
I to 3 inches, but they are probably longer in older parts of the 
trees. The fibres are probably connected to each other by pits 
but I have not been able to locate these connections. These pits 
would not allow solid substances to pass from one fibre to another, 
but would allow water and watery solutions. 

The rubber being in solid globules is probably formed right in 
the fibre itself. The fibres are not arranged in regular joints, as 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


was the opinion of Carlos Berger, but are irregularly arranged^ 
the tapering end of one fibre fitting between other fibres. When 
the fibres are cut across by a tapping instrument their content is 
ejected by bark pressure. Such a cut will take latex from the 
tree only for a distance of 3 or 4 inches each side of the cut. This 
shows that the latex does not run up and down the tree or from 
one fibre to another. If no more cuts are made, the latex will not 
be renewed in the cut fibre for some time (not entirely for about 3 
months), although the surrounding fibres are full of latex. This 
shows that all the latex from the tree cannot be taken from one 

The distance apart that cuts should be made around the tree is 
a disputed subject, and depends not only on the length of the bast 
fibres and the way to get the most yield, but also on the amount of 
injury done to the tree. If yield were the only consideration, one 
foot would be a good distance and would give, I believe, the 
maximum yield. Eighteen inches will give close to the maximum, 
giving enough more latex from each cut to make up for the fewer 
cuts. Both of these distances, however, are objectionable, because 
a large number of cuts appears to detract from the healing powers 
of the tree, and the more cuts, the greater the chances of the tree 
being injured by the borer. Another point in the number of cuts 
is the time and labour in making the cuts. Six cuts to a tree is 
twice as much labour as 3 cuts, but if it does not give twice as 
much rubber it would be cheaper to make 3 cuts and tap a larger 
number of trees in a day. 

The tapping is now being done with only 3 cuts per tree ; one 
at the base, one at 5 feet from the ground, and one halfway 
between these. Tapping above 5 feet necessitates the use of lad- 
ders, and this would mean more labour and would hardly pay 
with young trees. I believe the making of 4 cuts, the top one 6 
feet from the ground, would give enough more than 3 cuts to pay, 
if it is not too great an injury to the tree. 

The first signs of healing appear between one and two weeks 
after the cut is made, and in two months at the latest the cut is 
well healed. In time the old cut will fill with new material which 
contains latex and can be tapped again if necessary. Another 
strong reason why the tool should cut to the cambium is that not 
only does the shallow cut miss cutting some " milk tubes'' but it 
misses a very large proportion of the tubes. The milk tubes are 
formed by the cambium in layers. The ones closest to the outside 
bark were formed when the tree was very young and small in cir- 
cumference. At that time the patches of tubes were* close together. 
Since then the same number of tubes had to spread out and cover 
a circumference of, say 18 or 20 inches. The spaces between 
these tubes are filled by medullary rays which run from the pith 
outward through the wood to the outside bark. Therefore the out- 
ermost layers contain very few milk tubes, the next more, and so 
on, until the innermost layer has the most since it was formed 
when the circumference was greatest. This is borne out in factSr 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


A much larger yield is actually obtained by cutting into the cam- 
bium than by cutting almost into it. 

Another thing to be avoided is cutting too deep. When a cut 
goes through the cambium into the wood the healing commences 
at the edges of the cut cambium, and has to spread slowly, making 
new cambium before it can make new bark or wood. If too much 
wood is exposed in this case it will often dry up before the cam- 
bium can heal over and in that case it never heals. I have seen 
an old machete cut with a half inch of wood exposed, with the 
bark thoroughly healed all round it. I was told that it had been 
that way without healing for two years. 

As to the time to tap, there appears to be no reason why the 
trees should not be tapped at any time during the rainy season. I 
should imagine that the dryest season in March and April would 
be a poor time, but I have not been here during that season. Rain 
generally makes the milk rather watery and makes it flow more 
freely, but I have never seen it so watery that it would not pay to 
tap, except in a tree which had been recently tapped. Tapping in 
heavy rain would not do, as it would wash the latex, which does 
not flow into the cups and might fill up the cups and spill the 
latex in them. 

Temperature afi*ects the flow of latex very noticeably. The 
yield of rubber is much greater in the early morning than at any 
other time of the day, and always decreases toward noon and in- 
creases toward night. This is not so noticeable on cool cloudy 
days. It would probably not be so noticeable in a shady planta- 
tion and for this ireason some people have claimed that shade 
grown trees yield more. I believe that the reason temperature af- 
fects the flow is because a large amount of the water is evaporated 
and the latex is more solid and does not flow so freely. 

Experiments of others have shown that young trees and younger 
parts of old trees contain a large percentage of resin in their rub- 
ber. I have made one observation which suggests a reason for 
this. In cutting a temporary branch, or leaf stem, it is noticeable 
that the latex comes very close to the outside bark and that there 
appears to be a second ring of tubes in the inner bark. Micros- 
copic examination of these parts shows a large number of collen- 
dyma cells close to the outside bark. These cells are similar to 
bast fibres, but the the thick part of the walls is not uniform. Col- 
lenchyma cells are never formed by older trees except in their 
young parts. I think it possible that these collendyma cells carry 
latex which is richer in resins than ordinary latex and which may 
possibly be entirely resin. Of course these collenchyma cells re- 
main in the plant as it grows older but form a very small propor- 
tion of its tissue at that time. It is possible that rubber or resin 
may have some chemical relation to the cellulose of which the 
thick walls of both collenchyma and bast fibres are formed. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



The following notes on the preparation of seed coco-nuts for 
planting, from the Report of the Philippine Bureau of Agriculture, 
are worth noting : — 

" In preparing nuts for planting the best results have been ob- 
tained in the following manner. The nuts are selected from trees 
known to be good bearers, bearing not less than 150 nuts per 
year, these uniform in size, brown in husk, rich in copra and fully 
ripe. Fully 98 per cent, thus selected will germinate successfully. 
After cutting they should be placed immediately in the nursery 
provided (of course in the shade), on the ground — not hung on 
poles as the native is said to do. Prior to placing in seed beds, a 
bit of the husk should be chipped oflf on one side, it should then 
be laid, cut side up, and left to germinate. Nine months usually 
elapses before they are ready for planting. The nut when placed 
on end, as is sometimes done, sends out a spindling plumule, 
easily broken at Ithe point of protuberance, and at best never 
gains the vigour of those germinated according to the method 
given. Two thousand nine hundred and thirty-one trees have 
been planted this year, most of them on ground that has been 
ploughed and pulverized and put in the same condition as for a 
corn crop. The result has been a marvellous growth, the trees 
being more than twice as large as those left to themselves." 


The " Times" correspondent Rio Janiero says : — t 


The downward course of exchange continued apace from l/f 
on the 1st February last to 14 j| on the 14th of this month. The 
recent movement was little short of hysterical. Between Good 
Friday and Easter Sunday, there was no reason to believe that 
there would be any greater demand for bills this year than usual, 
yet the Banco da Republica changed the bank rate fifteen times 1 
Every one of these changes is telegraphed up and down the coast 
at enormous expense, and yet the only diflference between opening 
and closing rates was ^.j ^^ three points — that is to say, the mar- 
ket opened at four points below the closing on the previous work- 
ing day, and oscillated round I5d. at intervals of about 20 minutes 
for no other visible reason than to [keep the brokers running and 
the cable busy. If the 15 millions for valorisation is borrowed 
and remitted (a contingency not more improbable because it has 
been repeatedly denied) the balloon will once more be filled with 
gas, but otherwise the ballast thrown out by the Banco da Repub- 
lica can only help for a little while, and we may soon rest again 

' Pro jn the Hawaiian Foretter and Agriculturist^ April, 1906. 
t See Bulletin, Oct., 1905 p. 216; June, 1906, p. Z^r. 


Digitized by VjOOQ 


on the hill of 1 2d., dangerously near the precipice over which we 
fell in 1897. 


The coffee valorisation scheme continues stagnant, owing to the 
refusal of President Alves to call a special Session of Congress. 
Dr. Nilo was very well received at the capital of Minas, which ap- 
pears to indicate that both the States of Minas and Rio are luke- 
warm regarding the project. In Sao Paulo, on the other hand, 
planters and politicians are highly indignant at the dilatory action 
of the Federal Government, and a seditious spirit is commencing 
to make itself felt. Valorisation or separation is now the motto 
of the extreme faction, and the government is doubtless now bit- 
terly repentant at having been induced to play with fire. The po- 
sition is extremely difficult, and it will be very interesting to see 
how the executive will set about reconciling the Paulistas until 
November, when President Penna will have to shew his hand. 

Daily entries of coffee are much larger than usual for the time 
of year, and Rio already shows an increase of over 300,000 bags 
in comparison with last year. It is quite possible that we may re- 
ceive nearly ten thousand bags per diem until the end of the sea- 
son. An optimistic estimate of only 3,500,000 bags for next sea- 
son has been widely disseminated. 


An article on this subject was published in this Bulletin for 
June, page 129. The following extract is from a speech of His 
Excellency Sir Henry Blake a short time ago in Ceylon. 

I want to read you the results of an experiment made by Mr. 
Kelway Bamber from four camphor trees growing at Hakgala, 
which, as you know, is 5>500 feet above sea-level. Camphor is 
growing and growing well at Henaratgoda almost on sea-level. 
Therefore, we may assume, it will grow over almost any part of 
this Island. These four trees were of different sizes. They took 
the prunings of six or eight inches, and these six or eight inches 
gave at the rate of 47 lbs. of prunings per tree. They calculated 
that each tree : would bear pruning four times a year, and that 
would give 188 lbs. of prunings per tree per annum. Planted 12 
by 12, it would give 56,400 lbs. per acre per annum of fresh pru- 
nings. Now Mr. Bamber distilled from the fresh prunings I * 5 
per cent, of camphor, and from that 56,400 at I * 5 there would be 
864 lbs. of camphor per acre. Then take the cost of planting, 
etc., at R144, distilling, fuel and labour at R30, weeding per acre 
R6, in all R180, .and you get a net result of £74 4s. per acre. 
That is calculating camphor at 2s. per lb., camphor being 3s. per 
lb. at present. Taking half the weight of prunings, take even a 
quarter and you get about £l8 per acre; and it seems to me this 
additional product is worth considering." 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



By George loutrel Lucas. 

The waste product of all the American tobacco factories, in the 
form of stems stripped from the leaves in the manufacture of to- 
bacco products, is saved and finely ground and forms a valuable 
by-product in the shape of a fertilizer and insecticide. 

Good unsoaked stems contains 2 to 3^ of nitrogen and 6 to 10/^ 
of potash, and only a trate of phosphoric acid ; the nitrogen ex- 
ists in both the nitrate and organic forms. 

The potash occurs principally in the soluble form, and is free 
from chlorides judging from analysis. 

The stalks are richer in nitrogen than the stems ranging from 3 
to 4^ nitrogen, but are considered poorer in potash. Tobacco is 
an exhausting crop, and the dust would prove an excellent ferti 
lizer to apply to tobacco fields. 

A ton of good tobacco stems should contain nitrogen equivalent 
to 500 pounds of nitrate of soda and potash equivalent to the 
amount contained in 200 pounds of sulphate of potash. 

I have used hundreds of tons of tobacco dust in the past 20 
years, and my faith in its fertilizing properties is unshaken, and 
could I procure it in any quantity in Jamaica, I would take all 
offering ; but it is unprofitable to use unless finely ground, be- 
cause, being so bulky in the form of stems, it becomes too expen- 
sive to haul and handle. 

Tobacco dust is especially valuable as a fertilizer and insecti- 
cide for pine-apples, and it is the only safe article that can be used 
for dropping in the bud or heart of the plants ; my plan is to go 
over the pine-apple fields after the suckers or slips have been 
planted 4 or 5 weeks and drop about a good pinch or two tea- 
spoonsful into the heart of each plant ; this acts as a splendid 
stimulant and kills the mealy bug and discourages ants from 
building their nests at the base of the 'plants, and whilst it will 
not kill ants, it will eventually drive them away for the want of 
mealy bugs to feed upon ; the potash and ammonia contained in 
the dust will stimulate the plants and force them to make a vigo- 
rous growth and keep them free from insects and in a healthy 


By O. W. Barrett. 

Though perhaps one of the oldest cultivated plants, Calathea 
Allouya is almost unknown outside of the West Indies ; it is occa- 
sionally cultivated in Trinidad and several other of the British 
Antilles but appears to attain its greatest development and popu- 
larity in Porto Rico. 

• Prom Plaiii W(yrU, Vol VII, No. 6, June 1904. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Taxonomically it stands in the Zingiberaceae near Phrynium. 
In habit above ground it resembles the Turmerics (Curcuma) but 
has the pseudo-stem of Amomum ; the subterranean habit is very 
similar to that of some of the Phryniums. According to Grise- 
bach, the flower is small, white, and borne in roundish heads, like 
those of ginger— very unlike the large, fragrant, pale lilac, radical 
flower of Calathea (Phrynium) zebrina. 

The clumping habit of the family is exemplified in the slow- 
spreading cluster of lO to 25 loosely attached " heads," each of 
which bears a false stem composed of 4 to 8 erect, sheathing 
petioles. These " heads" may be considered as a kind of short 
stem, some 2 to 3 inches long and about I inch in diameter, or as 
a rhizome lying just beneath the surface of the soil and receiving 
at its base the roots and tuber stipes. New shoots are produced 
either from the tip of the " head" or from the side ; thus the indi- 
vidual head is at least biennial while the clump is, of course, 
perennial. Growth ceases at the end of the rainy season, about 
December, and begins about April : the mat of dead leaves serves 
to protect the succulent, truncate " heads" from the fierce winter's 

The oblong-linear or linear-lanceolate leaf blade tapers abruptly 
at the tip but runs very gradually at the base into the slender, 
yellowish, channelled petiole. The strong veins, running at a 
rather small angle with the mid-rib, especially near the base, give 
the lamina a somewhat corrugated appearance ; and though the 
petiole is always erect and rather stout, the mid-rib allows the long 
blade to droop gracefully. 

Strong clumps growing in rich, cool soil or in partial shade 
attain a height of 3 or even 4 feet, the leaves from the central 
heads being much taller than those from the outside of the clump. 
By nature the Lleren is evidently a plant of the jungle and shaded 
river banks. At present it does not lappear to grow wild any- 
where in Porto Rico ; like the " Yautia" (Xanthosoma spp.), it seems 
to have become through its hundreds of centuries of domestication 
an utter slave to human husbandry. In iact it rarely flowers and 
never (?) produces seed ; while it is not impossible to find natives 
who will admit having seen the large " Yautia" (Xanthosma) 
flowers, I have been uable to find one who remembered seeing 
those of the Lleren. 

The most important part of this interesting plant, however, is 
the peculiar tuber-like bodies which are borne on slender roots 
or stipes, from 3 to 6 inches beneath the soil sxu-face. This 
pseudo-tuber is oval or elliptic in shape, from I to 2 inches in 
length, and covered with a thin smoothish cuticle of a pale yellow- 
ish colour ; a few small rootlets are attached to the outer skin as 
well as to the stipe. The fact that no " eyes" are present pre- 
cludes its being termed a tuber, but the abruptness with which it 
arises at the tip of the more or less specialized root which is not 
continued within the starch body, mark it as the limit of a root 
running tuberward. The centre of this body, to the extent of 
about one-third of the entire content, is occupied by a translucent 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

I So 

portion of a firm and crisp ibut gelatinous nature ; the main por- 
tion resembles the interior of the common potato but is finer- 
grained and much more gummy. Though the glutinous character 
disappears upon cooking, the crispness remains even after pro- 
longed boiling. 

The thin cuticle being removed after cooking, there appears a 
delicious morsel, snow-white outside, semi-transparent in the 
centre, which may be eaten as a side dish with butter, or, as many 
prefer, as a relish with salt, like radishes ; it is also good in soups. 
From December to May it is fairly common in the markets and is 
also frequently sold, cooked but not peeled, in the streets in the 
evening — a dozen or so tied in a bunch with the attached root- 
stems, at I cent, per bunch ; they thus take the place of pea-nuts. 

The flavour of the Lleren is difficult to describe — there is cer- 
tainly a taste like sweet-corn, and something quite its own besides. 
The surest thing about it is that if you try it once, you will again. 

By O. W. Barrett. 

Of all the plants which made life possible to the wild men of 
old Caribea, the handiest was undoubtedly the Tanier. It grew in 
the loose alluvium along the forest streams and its tempting 
tubers were continually in evidence to the savage ancestors of 
the forefathers of the Arawaks. The idea of the goodness of 
these roots once grasped, a few worthless plants pulled out from 
among the edible ones, a sprouting tuber fragment piu-posely 
trodden into the soil — and agricultiu-e was begun. 

There is very good reason, as Mr. O. F. Cook has shown,t for 
believing that the cultivation of economic plants originated in 
Tropical America ; and in many ways the Tanier appears to have 
been cultivated longer than any other plant in this region. 
Nearly all the cultivated plants of the world readily produce 
seed ; but the Tanier, though flowering under favourable circimi- 
slances, has entirely lost its natural power to ripen seeds. Some 
varieties of the yam, the sweet potato, and even of the banana 
occasionally bear seeds in the home of the Tanier ; but many of 
their varieties have been introduced from other regions and their 
varieties are not so numerous in islands like Jamaica and Porto 
Rico as those of the Tanier. , 

As a vegetable slave this remarkable old crop has been spared 
the fate of most economics — exile from its own home ; for, strange 
as it may seem, the Tanier still remains almost unknown outside 
of Tropical America. Other food-plants have been carried to 
the far corners of the earth ; others less easily propagated and 
less productive, like the taro and the yam, have become staple 

» From the World, October 1904. 

•f "The American Origin of Agrioalture," PopulcMr Science Monthly, October, 190$, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


articles in all hot countries, Central America included. This ap- 
parently paradoxical fact will undoubtedly be explained when the 
history of agriculture is better known. 

The family Araceae is one of the most interesting and impor- 
tant in the realm of plants, the genus Colocasia alone includes 
about fifty edible varieties (thetaros) and Xanthosoma (the taniers) 
holds about the same number of kinds. Until recently the 
taniers were confused with the taros, the usual local confusion 
of names helping to perpetuate the error even amongst those who 
must have known better. To be sure there is some similarity 
between the two plants in their appearance above ground, but the 
intrinsic characters of the leaves, flowers, and roots are very dis- 

Though its varieties have scores of names throughout Tropical 
America, •' Yautia" is probably the oldest name of which we have 
any record ; this was the general term applied by the aborigines 
when the Spaniards arrived in Porto Rico, the island which, from 
the first, was most famous for its agricultural advancement. And 
in this island has the " Yautia" reached its highest development — 
running here into some twenty distinct native varieties.About ten 
kinds are grown in the Windward Islands ; northern South Ame- 
rica has but very few ; Cuba and Hayti have half a dozen or less ; 
and the few varieties of Central America appear coarse and un- 
producttve in comparison with the Porto Rican sorts. Taya, 
Tanier, or Cocoe are the common names in the British West In- 
dies ; in Cuba and Santo Domingo both Taro und Tanier are in- 
cluded under the name "Malanga ;" while in the Central American 
republics it passes under almost as many names as there are In- 
dian tribes. 

Few plants yield a higher proportion of food material for the 
weight of the entire plant than does the Tanier; in fact fully 75 
per cent, of the weight of some types is food. In the " Rollisa" 
variety of Porto Rico the tubers comprise about 35 per cent, of 
the weight of the living plant and the edible rootstock about 20 
per cent, more ; the young leaves are also edible, closely resem- 
bling spinach when boiled, but having more "body" and a richer 
flavour. The central stem, or rhizome, of many varieties is com- 
monly eaten by the poorer classes but contains some fibre and only 
15 to 20 per cent, of starch. 

The obovoid or roundish tuberous roots are borne just below 
the surface of the soil, loosely attached at right angles to the cen- 
tral stem. In cropping, the leaves are grasped in the hands and 
the whole mass of tubers usually comes up with one good pull, 
and a quick shake will detach most of them from the parent root. 
Individual tubers weigh from a few ounces in some types to one 
and one-half or even two pounds in the better sorts. Each plant 
produces from two to four pounds, but since six thousand to ten 
thousand plants can be grown on an acre the yield is six to twenty 
tons of superior roots containing 20 per cent, to 30 per cent, of 
starch and little fibrous matter. Five to ten tons of the rhizomes, 
which may be utilized for feeding swine or for making starch 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


may be added to these figures. By removing the first tubers as 
soon as ripe, by means of a " machete" and allowing the plant to 
remain in situ for six months longer, a second crop may be har- 
vested ; by this method, called *' castration" in Trinidad, it is esti- 
mated that an acre of Tanier can be made to yield thirty tons of 
tubers at one planting ; few crops can produce one half of this 

Though preferring rich, moist loam, the Tanier is content with 
almost any soil ; like its near relative, the Taro, or Elephant's 
Ear, it revels in plenty of fresh water, but while the leaf develop- 
ment may be greater in wet situations the tuber percentage suffers. 
The leaves vary from pale green to deep mauve purple ; in some 
sorts, like the " Palma," leaves three feet wide by four feet long 
are common. A Tanier field in its prime is a beautiful sight. 

Boiled, fried, or baked, the better kinds of Tanier are superior 
to the Irish potato ; though most varieties are not so " mealy" they 
are richer, firmer, and possess more distinct flavour. Most sorts 
are pure white, but four are pinkish purple, and several are of 
various shades of yellow. The roots keep fairly well after har- 
vesting and would undoubtedly endure shipping to the Central 

And now that the days of popular prejudice against anything 
new in the food line are dying out fortunately, we may expect to 
see the rare and royal old Tanier soon entering the northern mar- 
kets and rapidly gaining favour as one of the best of many good 
things to come out of the Tropics. Twenty thousand years late 
but it will win ! 


By A. Tatham, Australia.* 

Seeing what a vast amount of ring-barking has been performed 
in Australia in the past, it may seem somewhat of an anomaly to 
describe the process now. This article, it is hoped, will be of use 
to future operators, and tend to prevent, or at least lessen, some of 
the annoyances and expense usually connected with it. Tne sub- 
ject will be discussed under the following heads : — 

Why does ring-barking kill a tree ? 

How to ring-bark. 

When to ring-bark. 

Ring-barking compared with felling and burning-off. 


The only way to answer this question is to describe the struc- 
ture and functions of the roots, stem, and leaves of a tree. A tree 
cannot grow unless it gets moisture, as it is utterly incapable of 
getting nourishment from the soil except in a soluble form. The 
roots that perform this office are the very fine thread-like ones 

'Agricultural Journal of Victoria, III. 9, 1906, p. 642. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


found at the ends of the large ones. They are composed of 
elongated cells, the walls of which contain numerous thin spots 
on their surface. So thin are these that water can pass through 
them but absolutely nothing else, not the smallest particle of solid 
material, except the root is in any way injured. These cells are 
packed close together, and the thin spots in each coincide with 
those of the adjacent one. There is no opening whatever in their 
walls. So far, science has not actually proved exactly how mois- 
ture ascends to the leaves of a tree. As many cells are found in 
the stem that have such dense walls, it almost appears impossible 
for moisture to penetrate them. And yet it is by these cells in 
the stem that the sap ascends, the action being different to that of 
the root cells. Whenever two liquids of different densities are 
separated from each other by a membranous partition, it is na- 
ture's law that the denser fluid will attract the lighter, until both 
become the same density. This action is called endosmose. Now 
the cells in the roots of trees contain reserve material, stored there 
from the previous year's growth, and composed of mucilage and 
protoplasm, which is far densier than water. When the soil gets 
moist, the water .in it is attracted through the cell walls to the 
denser liquid in the cell. This action goes on from cell to cell 
till it reaches the stem. Here capillary action starts. The sap 
ascends to the leaves, through the wood cells of the vascular bun- 
dles. These, in addition to other kinds of cells, form what is 
known as the sap-wood. The action of the rising sap is very 
rapid. As soon as it gets to the leaves it is elaborated and re- 
verts again to the roots. The water taken up is largely evaporated 
by the leaves ; the matter retained by them being the nourishment 
obtained from the soil, plus the reserve material from the roots. 
This at once causes a denseness of cell contents, that attracts the 
thinner rising sap, and so the action goes on till want of moisture 
in the soil prevents it. A tree, as is well known, is composed of 
two kinds of wood — heart and sap. The heartwood is to all in- 
tents and purposes dead, it takes no part in the life of the tree, 
other than to support the crown. It is in the heart that decay first 
sets in. It is possible for a tree to live for years with little or no 
heartwood, as may be seen in the case of a hollow one. The 
sapwood on the other hand, is the life of the tree, as by it the 
sap ascends and descends. 

Having now seen how sap rises in a tree, the next and most 
important point is how does it come down, for it does come down, 
otherwise tree stems would never increase in girth. The leaves 
are the organs of nutrition, as well as respiration. The substance 
sent up by the roots has been utilized to form new shoots and 
leaves, in other words, height growth. As soon as warm weather 
sets in, the leaves begin to collect material from the atmosphere, 
mostly, carbon. Quite four-fifths of the carbon used in the struc- 
ture of a tree is obtained in this way, the quantity used may be 
guaged by the amount of charcoal left after the wood has been 
burned. They also return to the atmosphere oxygen. The pro- 
cess of respiration is carried on through minute cells, found chiefly 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


on the under side of the leaf, called stomata. During dull, cold, 
or wet weather these cells are closed ; but on a bright warm day 
they open, and the work of the tree growth is briskly carried on. 
The leaves collect the gases from the atmosphere, digest the car- 
bon dioxide with the moisture, and dilute plant food from the 
roots, and pass it down along the branches and stem to them again. 
As this substance passes down, it takes a totally different course 
to the sap that came up. Instead of going down through the cells 
in the wood, it descends between the stem and the bark, and, as 
it does so, adheres to the stem, and gives birth to the cambium 
layer which forms the annual ring, or a year's growth of new 
wood. It is as well to remember this growth begins at the top of 
the tree ; if it were not so, ring-barking would be work thrown 
away. The roots of jthe tree are also supplied with nutrition, 
which is stored in their cells, and is used the following season for 
future height growth. Having seen now the uses of the different 
parts of the tree and the system adopted by nature to keep life 
going, it is not very diflScult to understand why ring-barking kills 
a tree. When a ring of bark is removed from the stem it severs, 
so to speak, the connection between the leaves and the roots. The 
downward flow of sap is voluminous, as well as rapid, and if only 
a narrow strip of bark be removed the wound is soon healed over. 
But let a broad band be taken, the sap, as a rule, cannot repair 
damages and the drying influence of the atmosphere and sunlight 
cause it to perish. But even this can be healed, if paper is wrapped 
round the ringed portion, so as to exclude air and light. Now, 
above the cut or ring, growth, still progresses. The root still send 
up sap. The leaves still send it down, but it cannot pass back to 
the roots. The roots are now isolated ; they are unable to get 
nourishment for themselves, or to store up any for next season's 
growth. Their cells are at last emptied of nutriment. They con- 
tain only the material procured from the soil. Nature's law no 
longer acts. Passing up moisture to the leaves ceases, and the 
tree dies. 


Although this operation is simplicity itself, still, unless care is 
taken it will result in endless trouble, and unnecessary expense. 
More especially in the case of young trees ; in fact, the younger 
the tree the harder it is to kill, as a rule. Before describing the 
manner of doing the work, it will be as well to explain some often 
misquoted terms. Suckers are, strictly speaking, shoots that grow 
from the roots only, not from the stem. Shoots grow from the 
stem and branches. To ring bark properly, a band of bark 
should be removed from round the stem of the tree of sufficient 
width to prevent the possibility of the renewal of the bark. Not 
less than lo inches is advisable, and in the case of gum trees 15 
inches is not too much, as they seem to possess greater recupera- 
tive power than other trees. Great care should be taken that the 
bark is entirely removed, and that the stem of the tree is cut into 
as little as possible. It is advocated by some that to give a cut 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


into the stem tends to hasten the death of the tree ; but it is not, 
as a rule, an economical system. First, by cutting into the sap- 
wood, the rise of sap is arrested ; not being able to get up to the 
leaves, it causes a dense mass of shoots to grow below the cut. 
These often take two stripping operations before the stump is 
killed. Second — the cutting into the wood, especially in young 
trees under 8 inches in diameter, causes them to be so weakened 
that the first gale breaks them off. The result is double work 
getting rid of the shoots, and also the fallen tree. It must be ad- 
mitted that the tree-top often does die very quickly after this style 
of work ; but as it is the roots that have to be killed, and as it 
fails to do so, it cannot be recommended. " More haste less 
speed," is very applicable to ring-barking. Where trees of a large 
size have to be operated on, say 2 feet and over in diameter, what 
is often permissible, and, in fact, preferable, is to "chip-ring," i,e. 
cut well into the sapwood ; the death of the tree is speedy, and 
only in a few cases do shoots grow. The reasons for this are : A 
large or old tree has fewer dormant buds existing on the lower 
portion of the stem. The dormant buds are very numerous in 
young trees, and lie under the bark. It is one of nature's provi- 
sions to enable a tree to recover incase of accident.- In aged trees 
the germs of the buds may be buried by successive growths of 
wood, and the bark is thicker, especially near the ground. Again, 
an aged tree makes very little height, or circumference growth 
annually. Its energy is chiefly concentrated on the production of 
seed. This seed bearing is a severe tax on a tree, so much so, 
that, after bearing a crop, it takes two or more years to recover 
enough material to enable it to bear another. Therefore, when a 
tree of this description is ringed, it is not in a state to bear the 
shock, and a speedy death results. It often happens that an old 
tree, in spite of chip-ringing, still continues to live. This is 
caused by the existence of what is known as " internal bark." 
When a tree has been severely wounded, and has renewed the 
bark over the place, decay will often comn.ence under the bark 
on the wounded surface. The new bark will, so to speak, follow 
the decay trying to cover it, and, although the external appear- 
ance shows no indication of this and even after ringing it cannot 
be perceived, a strip of bark exists that connects the top and bot- 
tom of the cut. This is sufficient to upset all calculations, and if 
not rectified will enable the tree to make a good recovery. The 
only method is to fell a tree of this description. From the pre- 
ceding remarks it may be gathered that in the case of young trees 
full of vitality, ring-barking is best, as it does not prevent the sap 
rising, and therefore enables the roots to exhaust themselves ; but 
it allows no additional nourishment to return to them. In aged 
trees chip-ringing is permissible, the tree does not possess vitality 
or nutritive material enough to cope with the shock it receives. 


This is undoubtedly the most important part of the operation. 
There can be no question, that the time for doing it is when the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


sap is moving freely, so as to facilitate the removal of the bark. 
But as often as not the operation is undertaken too early in the 
season, the result being a dense growth of shoots, whereas if the 
ringing is left over till spring has set in, a speedier death of the 
tree is assured, few, if any, shoots are thrown, and most of the 
shoots will die, when the crown dies. Nourishment for the roots 
is only collected on warm, bright days, and it is highly probable 
that the storage of reserve material only takes place towards the 
end of summer. However, owing to climatic differences, no hard- 
and-fast rule can be laid down, for in the northern portions of 
Victoria, August might prove the best month ; south of Dividing 
Range, September ; whilst at an elevation of 1,000 feet or over, 


Both these systems have their advocates where small areas are 
concerned, but where the acreage runs into hundreds, only one 
is mentioned — ring-barking. Seeing the object in view is to des- 
troy the timber, so as to allow sunlight into the soil, and so induce 
a growth of sweet grass, naturally the cheapest and quickest 
method is the one to be favoured. 

Undoubtedly ring-barking is at first the cheapest, if not in the 
long run ; but it is the slowest method. No good results can be 
looked for under twelve to fourteen months, and probably no 
really decent grazing can be expected under three years, unless a 
fire has run through the area. By the time the last tree has fallen, 
and the logs have been cleared up, can it be said to be a cheaper 
method than direct felling ? Certainly the operation is spread 
over a number of years, therefore the annual outlay, especially as 
the necessary work can be done in slack seasons, is often so 
slight, that it can almost be made to appear an inexpensive system. 
Hence its adaptability to the requirements of the usual run of 
graziers. It has many disadvantages ; the incessant accumulation 
of rubbish by windfalls, and especially after a fire; the greater 
danger of fire being carried from dead tree to dead tree, with the 
least chance of stopping or preventing it ; the great harbour it 
affords to rabbits, attracted by the grass and sheltered by the 
decaying roots and logs, and the least chance of eradicating 
them ; and the surprising growth of seedlings that takes place, 
which, if not destroyed in the earliest stages of growth give end- 
less trouble, and often lead to the abandoning of the area. On 
the other hand, in some districts the resulting firewood has a not 
insignificant market value, so much so, that instances are not want- 
ing in which, after deducting all charges connected with ringing of 
trees, and cutting of fuel, a balance has been left of ten shillings 
and more per acre. The humus caused by ages of decayed vege- 
tation, and the addition of the leaves and twigs of the rung 
timber, must add materially to the value of the land, and though 
at first is often detrimental to a sweet growth of grass, will 
eventually cause a thick sward to form. 

Felling and Burning-off. — As a rule, this is only practised on 
small areas, its initial cost being far too heavy to suit most selec- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


tors. Its chief advantage is that in twelve or fifteen months^ 
work can be accomplished equal to ten years or more where ring- 
barking is done. It has the further advantage of affording a 
quick growth of sweet grass, especially if seed has been sown 
broadcast over the ashes of the burn, as ought always to be done. 
Its disadvantages are its first cost ; its destruction of what is often 
a marketable commodity, the resulting firewood is too charred to 
be acceptable for household purposes, and very little remains if 
the work is properly done. The intense heat of the fire destroys 
the humus layer, even burning into the soil in places. These 
patches of burnt ground, especially where piling has taken place, 
are often the cause of the introduction of one of the worst pests 
to the grazier in the cooler and moist districts — the bracken fern. 
Its spores are blown considerable distances by wind, and find the 
best of material for germinating on when they strike a patch of 
burnt earth or charcoal debris. Grass, on the other hand, avoids 
the severely burnt patches. The burning-off is also a source of 
great danger to neighbouring properties. 

Ring-barking, prior to burning of the dense undergrowth, is a 
good method where practicable. In districts like Gippsland, a lot 
of rubbish is destroyed, including shoots from the trees. But it 
may not always be possible to combine the two, the undergrowth 
being too dense to permit of ringing till after the burn. 

An argument is often put forward in favour of ring-barking, as 
compared to felling or grubbing, and'that is the loss of "goodness" 
to the soil. It is maintained that a ringed tree returns something 
to the soil, which is lost to it otherwise. Such a theory cannot 
be accepted, except it be that the resulting decaying debris acts 
as a top dressing, in other words, humus. If a tree can directly 
return " goodness,'' then the object of ring-barking will fail. The 
tree grows from the top downwards. The operation of ringing, 
if successful, is as effectual in severing connection between head 
and root as felling would be. Even allowing the possibility of 
such an action, its influence would be restricted to the roots and 
the soil directly surrounding them. If any reason exists for the 
better growth of grass near stumps or on sites previously occupied 
by them, it may be put down to the influence of decayed vegeta- 
ble matter, and the, so to speak, trenching operations, caused by 
the roots of the tree having given the soil an upward lift as they 
increased in size. 

This* article is written after a series of experiments, extending 
over three years. The question, when to ring-bark, may not be 
actually proved to satisfy all districts and species of trees. But 
it is hoped that the remarks made, may, in addition to the expe- 
riences gained by others, assist future operators and lessen the 
often tedious work. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 88 

At the recent meeting of the International Navigation Congress 
at Milan, one of the questions taken into consideration was " the 
influence which the destruction of forests and the desiccation of 
marshes has upon the regime and discharge of rivers," and seven 
papers bearing on the subject were read and discussed. Of these, 
three were from Austria, and the others from Germany, France, 
and Russia. The problem as to the effect of forests on the water 
supply of rivers and on climate is of great social importance on 
account of the agricultural and commercial interests which are so 
closely connected with the use of timber, and with the utilisation 
of running water. 

It is allowed by all the authors of these papers that, due to the 
improvident way in which the forests have been dealt with, there 
has been a marked change in the water supply of the neighbour- 
ing rivers ; that where forests have been cut down brooks have 
disappeared, and many small rivers that at one time were useful 
as sources of power are so no longer for want of water ; that in 
the larger rivers torrents have become more impetuous, and flood- 
ing more frequent ; while, on the other hand, navigation sufl^ers at 
times for want of water. 

The greatest harm has been done in the mountain districts, 
where the steep slopes allow the rain-water to run off" too rapidly, 
carrying away the surface soil and transporting pebbles and boul- 
ders into the rivers, causing shoals, thus decreasing their capacity 
to discharge the flood water. 

The extent to which forests, both on the Continent and in 
America, are being cut down and destroyed, and large areas of 
land, which at one time were covered with primaeval forest, have 
become barren wastes by fire or the lumberman's axe without any 
attempt at re-afl*orestation, was one of the subjects dealt with in 
the presidential address of Mr. J. C. Hawkshaw at the Institution 
of Civil Engineers in 1902. Mr. Hawkshaw pointed out that, 
notwithstanding the displacement of wood in building structures 
by iron, yet large quantities of timber are still required, not only 
for building purposes, but for temporary structures, such as coff"er 
dams and scafl*olding ; pit props for mining ; sleepers required for 
the railways, which, in this country, he estimated at an annual 
value of 18 million pounds, and those required for renewals at 
three-quarters of a million pounds ; while for the railway service 
of the united States there are required 15 millions of acres of forest 
land to maintain a supply of sleepers. 

The question for consideration at the Congress was whether the 
wholesale destruction of forest land for cultivation or for timber 
supply is having any material eff'ect on the rainfall and consequent 
water supply ; and the eff'ect of forest destruction on the rivers of 
the country from which the trees are removed was also considered. 

• From '» Nature." Februari/ 1, 1906, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 89 

The physical conditions of forest land are that, owing to the 
shelter from sun and wind, the atmosphere is generally colder 
and damper than in the open country, and evaporation conse- 
quently less. It is calculated that a hectare of forest land (2j 
acres) gives off every day 37 cubic metres of oxygen and 57 
metres of carbonic acid, leading to a great expenditure of heat ; 
and that from every hectare of forest land sufficient heat is ab- 
stracted to melt 316 cubic metres of ice. Ligneous plants also 
withdraw from the ground and discharge as vapour more than 
40,000 gallons of water per hectare per day, which causes a sen- 
sible reduction of temperature. When clouds pass over a forest 
they encounter a cool, damp atmosphere, the point of saturation 
comes closer, and rain is caused. This condition of forest land 
has been remarked on by aeronauts, who find that a balloon is 
invariably affected, and drops when passing over forests. 

The advantages claimed for forests with regard to water supply 
are that the trees act as regulators of the rainfall ; that the aver- 
age quantity of rain falling on land covered with forests is greater 
than in the open ground to the extent of about one-sixth ; that it 
holds up the water for a time and discharges it later on when 
water is most required in river basins, the rain being held back by 
the leaves of the trees and coming to the ground more gradually ; 
the rain that falls on the surface is also taken up by the layer of 
dead leaves on the ground, which permits of a gradual percola- 
tion to the sub-soil. Observations show that in summer the ground 
of the forest is damper than that of the adjacent cleared land, 
and snow remains for a much longer period in forest land before 
melting than in cleared land. 

On the other hand, it has been contended by some of those who 
have made a study of sylviculture that forests do not increase the 
quantity of water flowing to the springs and rivers, but reduce it. 
The numerous striking facts quoted do not bear out this conten- 
tion, which is mainly based on the fact that the substratum water 
stands at a lower level on forest land than in the adjacent cleared 
ground. This fact is generally admitted to be the case at one 
period of the year. As the result of many years' observations, it 
has been found that the maximum level of underground water is 
reached in May, that the water accumulates in the ground from 
August to January ; and that the rivers are supplied by this re- 
serve, and were it not for this accumulation many brooks and 
river feeders would cease to flow in summer. 

Several very striking examples are given by the authors of the 
papers as to the deleterious effects of cutting down forests*, espe- 
cially in hilly districts. In the commune of La Bruguiere, the 
forests on the slopes of the Black Mountain were cut down ; the 
consequence of this removal of the trees was that a brook which 
ran at the foot, and the water from which was used for driving 
some fulling mills, became so dried up in summer as no longer to 
be of any use, while in winter the sudden floods caused very great 
damage in the valley. The forests were re-planted, and as the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


^rees grew up the water coming to the brook was so regulated as 
to serve its former useful purpose in driving the mills, and the 
torrents in winter were moderated. Several other examples of a 
similar character are given. 

In Switzerland, amongst other examples is quoted one that 
occurred in the canton of Berne, where, owing to the re-planting 
of the mountain-side with fir trees, the water again appeared at 
a spring which had ceased to flow. After a period the trees were 
cut down and the land converted into pasturage, since when the 
spring has almost disappeared only opening out at occasional in- 

In the Kazan district of Russia, once celebrated for its forests 
of oaks and linden, which are now nearly all cut down, there were 
formerly seventy water-mills constantly at work. Less than half 
now can be worked, and even they only run half time, and are 
idle in summer for want of water ; while in winter the little rivers 
that worked these mills are converted into impetuous torrents, 
breaking up the mill dams and doing other damage. These aban- 
doned water-mills stand out as a striking proof of the conse- 
quences of the destruction of forests. 

In Sardinia, where the surface consists of plutonic rocks covered 
with a thin layer of earth, all the streams have a rapid slope. The 
woods, which occupied in 1 870 an area of more than 2^ million 
acres, or about 43 per cent, of the whole surface of the island, 
now are reduced to about one-sixteenth of this area. Since the 
removal of the trees the floods in the rivers rise with a rapidity 
and flow with a velocity never known before, and a great number 
of bridges have been destroyed by the floods. The beds of the 
channels have been raised in some places above the surface of the 
land, owing to the detritus brought down in floods. 

In Wisconsin, U.S.A., the settlers cut down the forests and con- 
verted the land into tillage and pasture. During a period of about 
seventy years nearly the whole of the forest land was thus cleared 
with the result that, as the forest disappeared, the water in the 
river became lower; finally thirty miles of the channel entirely 
dried up, and many water-mills that were formerly worked by the 
stream are now deserted and useless, owing to the want of water 
to run them. 

In Sicily, owing to the cutting down of the forests on a vast 
scale in the province of Messina, the bed of the river has been 
raised by the stones and earth carried down by the torrents so as 
to stop all drainage from the land, and great damage has been 
done by the fioods. Several other examples are given to the same 
efl*ect where forests have been cleared in the same district, and 
these are compared with other streams where the forests still exists 
and their condition remains unaltered. In the former case, land- 
slides from the mountains have become very frequent. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



The usual monthly meeting of the Board of Agriculture was 
held at Headquarter House on Wednesday, llth July, 1906. 
Present : — The Hon. T. L. Roxburgh, Acting Colonial Secre- 
tary in the chair; the acting Director of Public Gardens, the 
acting Isand Chemist; the Superintending Inspector of Schools, 
Messrs. C. A. T. Fursdon, J. W. Middleton, G. D. Murray and 
the Secretary. 

His Grace the Archbishop sent an apology for absence, as 
he would be away in Trelawny and St. Ann for II or 12 days. 

No Truck System— Th^ Secretary submitted a letter from the West- 
moreland Sugar Planters' Association with reference to the matter 
of estates compelling labourers to purchase bread, beef and pork 
from the estates, saying that the Association was not aware of any 
estates doing so. 

The Secretary was instructed to acknowledge receipt of the letter, 
and he was also instructed to write the Colonial Secretary that 
the Board had not been able to find out that the practice com- 
plained of existed on more than the estate given. 

Official Letters — The Secretary read the following letters from 
the Colonial Secretary's oflBce : — 

1. Re Agricultural Instructors, that the suggestions of the Board 
with regard to the Instructors, to be employed with the £500 from 
Elder, Dempster & Co. would be conveyed to the Agricultural 

2. Re Asst. Superintendent at Hope Gardens, that the Governor 
has already approved of the employment of foreman Taylor tem- 
porarily as Agricultural Instructor at the Experiment Station at a 
salary of £lOO a year, and that the matter of permanently filling 
the post of Asst. Superintendent would be considered with the 
estimates for 1 907-08 : and that His Excellency had authorised the 
Director of Public Gardens to insert £150 as salary fortheofl5cer 
to be selected. 

Mr. Middleton moved that a committee be appointed to go more 
thoroughly into the matter and report to the Board. This was 
agreed to and Mr. Middleton and Mr. Fursdon were appointed. 

3. Standard of Rum. — Sending copy of minute by the Chemist 
re standard quantity of ethers for Jamaica rum. 

It was agreed that the Secretary should acknowledge receipt of 
the letter, and say that the Board would allow the consideration 
of this matter to lie over for a time. 

4. School Gardens — Special grants to school gardens ; referring 
minutes by the Superintending Inspector of Schools and the Di- 
rector of Public Gardens on the matter. 

The Secretary was instructed to reply that the Board would ap- 
prove of the transfer of £30 under the allocation for model gardens 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


from the estimates of the Public Gardens to the amount on the 
estimates of the Education Department for school gardens and 
would approve of there being one vote in future for this purpose, 
and that should be on the estimates of the Education Depart- 

Course Postponed, — ^The Secretary submitted a letter from the 
Island Chemist to the acting Chairman, stating that owing to the 
recent heavy rains sugar crops were so backward that many dis- 
tillers would not be able to attend the Distillers' Course as arranged ; 
that he was convinced that the only way was to postpone the Course 
to October 8th to 26th when Mr. Allan would be able to take part, 
and if his (the Chemist's) leave commenced on July 5th he 
would get back in time for the Course. As the matter was urgent 
he asked the acting Chairman to approve, which had been done. 

The Board approved of the action taken. 

Reports Presented, — The following reports from the Chemist's De- 
partment were submitted : — 

1. Postponement of Distillers' Course. 

2. Work of Agricultural Lecturer. 

3. Suggestion by Mr. Cousins that he be permitted to visit various 
centres in Great Britain and Germany'in the interest of Jamaica 
rum, to be on half pay for a fortnight, his travelling expenses from 
London as a centre to be paid from the Laboratory allowance for 
travelling, and asking that the Colonial Office in London be re- 
quested to furnish him with introductions to the British Consuls at 
Bremen and Hamburg. 

It was agreed to inform the Colonial Secretary's Office of the 
proposals and that the Board approved of them. 

4. Proof of Chart of " Agricultural Dont's" for approval. With 
some alterations in the type of printing, this was approved of. 

Reports I and 2 were directed to be circulated. 

The following reports from the Director of Public Gardens were 
submitted : — 

1. Hope Experiment Station. 

2. Instructors. 

These were directed to be circulated. 

The meeting adjourned till Wednesday, 15th August at 2 p.m. 

[Issaed 4th Ang., 1906.] 
Printed at the Oovt. Printing Office, Kingstfm^ Jam. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 





Vol. IV. SEPTEMBER. 1906. Part 9. 


There is a vast difference in the natural fertility of soils. Some 
do not produce well from the start unless special attention is 
given to making them productive ; others produce large crops for 
a short time and then rapidly diminish in fertility ; while others, 
known as strong soils, remain productive for many years without 
attention to their fertility. But even the strongest soils will wear 
out in time unless they are intelligently managed. 


In order to understand the methods necessary for restoring worn- 
out soils, let us consider what occurs in a fertile soil that is grow- 
ing a large crop. Imagine a cubic inch of ordinary field soil 
magnified into a cubic mile. It would then present very much the 
appearance of a mass of rocks varying from the size of a pea to 
masses several feet in diameter. Scattered among these rock 
masses would be many pieces of decaying plant roots and other 
organic matter, resembling rotting logs in a mass of stones and 
gravel. The masses of organic matter would be found to contain 
large quantities of water, and to somewhat resemble wet sponges, 
while every mass of rock would have a layer of water covering its 
surface. The open spaces between the solid masses would be 
filled with air. 

If a crop were growing on this soil, its roots would be found 
threading their way among the masses of rock and decaying roots, 
and pushing these aside by the pressure exerted by the growing 
roots. From the surface of the growing root, near its tip, small 
hollow threads (the root hairs) extend into the open spaces and 
suck up the water covering the rock particles. The root hairs are 
not open at the end ; they absorb the water through their walls. 
The plant food is dissolved in this water, but is usually present in 

• Farmers' BuUeiin No. 245, U. S. Dept. of Agriculture. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


exceedingly small quantities. While the plant is growing a con- 
stant stream of water flows up through it and evaporates at its 
leaves. For every pound of growth in dry matter made by the 
plant, from 300 to 800 pounds of water flow up through it. 

The plant food substances dissolved in the soil water may be 
divided into two classes according to their ultimate source. 


Plants in their growth make use of thirteen chemical elements, 
nine of which they secure directly from the soil. These are called 
the mineral plant foods ; they are phosphorus, potassium, calcium, 
magnesium, sodium, iron, silicon, chlorin, and sulphur. We have 
already seen that the soil consists mainly of small particles of 
rock. The rock particles are of many kinds, but nearly all kinds 
contain more or less potassium, calcium, phosphoric acid, &c. 
Every year the soil water dissolves off" a thin surface layer from 
each particle. Plants appropriate this water and thus secure 
mineral plant food. 

Many generations of plants have thus been collecting their 
small toll of food from the soil and storing it up in their tissues. 
The amount of plant food made ready for plant use during 
each growing season through the slow solution of the mineral par- 
ticles of the soil is doubtless supplemented to a considerable 
degree by the same kinds of materials set free from the organic 
matter also found in the soil — that is, the mineral matter originally 
secured from the dissolving minerals, but built into plants during 
some former season, may again be used by other plants when the 
old matter is given an opportunity to decay in the soil. These 
foods derived directly from the mineral matter of the soil and in- 
directly from it through the growth, death, decay, and return of 
former crops are also supplemented in many cases by the ap- 
plication of mineral matter m the form of commercial fertilizers. 


In addition to the nine elements already mentioned, the growing 
plant requires four other elements, as follows : hydrogen, which 
it secures from water (water is a compound of hydrogen and oxy- 
gen) : oxygen, which it secures partly from water and partly from 
the air ; carbon, which is secured from carbonic-acid gas in the 
air ; and nitrogen. 

Nitrogen is in many respects the most important of all the plant- 
food elements. It is not found in appreciable quantities in the 
rock particles of the soil. Ordinary plants depend for their 
nitrogen entirely on decaying organic matter. As decay proceeds 
nitrates are formed from the nitrogen contained in organic matter. 
The nitrates are exceedingly soluble, and unless soon made use of 
by growing crops they are washed out of the soil. Nitrogen is 
therefore usually the first element to become exhausted in the soil. 

Fortunately, there are certain species of bacteria that can use 
atmospheric nitrogen, of which there is an inexhaustible supply. 
One family of plants — ^the legumes — has learned to exchange work 


Digitized by VjOOQ 


wHh these bacteria, and these plants are thus easily supplied with 
an abundance of nitrogen in a form which they can use. When 
these nitrogen-fixing bacteria are present in a soil on which a le- 
guminous crop is growing, the bacteria invade the roots of the 
legume and live there. Their presence is usually made manifest 
by swellings — the so-called tubercles — on the roots of thrifty plants 
of clover, alfalfa, beans, peas, and other legumes. Nitrogen from 
the soil filters into the roots, where the bacteria appropriate 
it, manufacture an abundance of nitrates, and give a portion to 
the plant in exchange for starch. The tissues of leguminous plants 
become very rich in nitrogenous compounds, and when they 
decay in the soil they set free large amounts of nitrates for the use 
of any crop which may be growing at the time. 

The cultivation of leguminous crops is one of the most im- 
portant and economical means of maintaining a supply of nitro- 
genous plant food in the soil. Nitrates may, of course, be supplied 
in commercial fertilizers ; but fertilizers containing nitrogen are 
very expensive, and it usually pays better to supply nitrogen by 
growing legumes or by the application of stable manure, which is 
rich in nitrogen when properly handled. In good farm practice 
both stable manure and leguminous crops are used as sources of 


In order to produce a ton of dry hay on an acre of land it is 
necessary that the growing grass should pump up from that acre 
approximately 500 tons of water. In order to supply this enormous 
.quantity of water, the soil must not only be in condition to absorb 
and hold water well, but it must be porous enough to permit water 
to flow freely from soil grain to soil grain. The presence of large 
quantities of decaying organic matter (humus) adds enormously to 
the water-holding capacity of the soil. One ton of humus will 
absorb 2 tons of water and give it up readily to growing crops. 
Not only that, but the shrinkage of the particles of decaying 
organic matter and the consequent loosening of soil grains keep 
the soil open and porous. 

Furthermore, humus of good quality is exceedingly rich in 
both nitrogen and mineral plant food. The maintenance of fertil- 
ity may almost be said to consist in keeping the soil well supplied 
with humus. The first step in renovating worn-out soils is to give 
them an abundant supply of humus of good quality. Perhaps the 
best source of humus is stable manure containing both the liquid 
and the solid excrement, especially when the stock are fed with 
rich nitrogenous foods. Even a poor quality of barn-yard manure, 
which has had much of the plant food leached out of it, has con- 
siderable value because of the humus it makes. 

Another cheap and valuable source of humus, but one which 
must be used understandingly, is crops grown to turn under as 
manure. The legumes are especially valuable for this purpose 
because of the nitrogen they contain, but other crops, such as corn 
sown thickly, may sometimes be made to supply large quantities 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


of humus of fair quality. Crops thus used are called green 


A proper circulation of air in the soil is just as important as any 
other factor of plant growth. Nearly half of the volume of ordi-^ 
nary soils is occupied by air spaces. The air spaces in the soil 
wind in and out between the soil particles, just as they do in a heap' 
of larger stones. If the layer of water on the surface of the soil 
grains becomes so thick as to stop the air passages here and there 
the soil is then too wet for most crops and needs drainage. Plants 
have no special breathing organs, the oxygen required in their 
breathing finding entrance all over the surface of the plant. Plant 
roots must therefore be supplied with air, and hence the soil must 
be porous enough to permit of free circulation of air. A good supply 
of humus and proper tillage will accomplish this result in clay soils, 
Sandy soils are usually too porous, needing humus to help them to 
retain water. 

Another reason why air must circulate freely in the soil is that 
large quantities of oxygen are required to insure proper decay of 
organic matter to supply plant food. Also, carbonic acid gas is 
produced !by the decay of organic matter, and this must escape 
easily to make room for the atmospheric oxygen needed in the soil. 
The movement of air in the soil is frequently shown by the bub- 
bles which appear at the surface of the soil just after a heavy rain. 
As the water soaks into the soil it drives the air out, and bubbles 
may be seen at the surface if water enough is present to form 

One of the most important objects of ploughing is to loosen up 
the soil and mix fresh air with it. 


Considerable evidence has been accumulated during recent years 
to show that the cause of the failure of some soils to produce 
satisfactory crops may be ascribed to unfavourable conditions pro- 
duced in the soils by the plants themselves. It is thought that 
during the growth of the plant certain unknown organic substances 
are given off which, when they accumulate in the soil to any ex- 
tent, are harmful to the further growth of plants of the kind that 
produce them. It is possible that some of the benefits known to 
arise from systematic crop rotation may be explained on this basis. 
These harmful substances seem to be disposed of rapidly by cer- 
tain soils, usually those in which organic matter is readily con- 
verted into humus. Other soils, usually marked by a lack of the 
brown carbonized organic matter, do not seem to possess this 
property of removing harmful plant products to such a degree. 
This idea is in accord with the common experience that dark- 
coloured soils, well filled with organic matter, are usually very 

In connection with the study of these poisonous organic pro- 
ducts, it has been found that they may be destroyed or at least 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


rendered harmless in a variety of ways. Barn-yard manure or de- 
caying organic matter, such as a green crop of cow-peas, turned 
under has a very marked effect in freeing the soil from them. 
Thorough and complete airing of the soil will often destroy or 
overcome these poisonous substances. The beneficial effects of 
ploughing and of thorough surface tillage are thus explained, in 
part at least, on the basis of the thorough aeration secured. When 
the same crop is not grown oftener than every three or four years 
on the same land the injurious substances th^ crop throws oflf seem 
to have time to disappear before the same crop is grown again ; 
hence the benefit from crop rotation. When the soil is well sup- 
plied with humus there is seldom any trouble from this source, and 
the same crop may be grown year after year with good yields, 
though continuous cultivation of the same crop may invite injury 
from certain insects and fungous diseases which live over in the 
soil or in the remains of the crop. 


Improper methods of tillage add very greatly to the evil effects 
that result from lack of humus. In many parts of the country the 
land is ploughed only 3 or 4 inches deep. Below the ploughed 
stratum the soil becomes sour, densely packed, and unfit for plant 
roots. When such soils are ploughed deeply and this sour packed 
subsoil is mixed with the upper portion, the growth of many crops 
is greatly retarded. This has led many farmers to believe that 
deep ploughing is ruinous. Some farmers have tried to remedy 
the difiiculty by subsoiling. The subsoil plough breaks up the 
packed layer but does not throw it out on top. But while subsoil- 
ing does break up the hard layer into chunks it does not pulverize 
it or put humus into it. In most cases work done in subsoiling is 
practically wasted, and it is doubtful if it ever pays. A much 
better method is to plough a little deeper each year until a depth 
of 8 or 10 inches is reached. This gives a deep layer of good 
soil, particularly if the supply of humus is kept up. 

When new soil, or that which has lain undisturbed for several 
years, is broken up, it is always best to plough deep from the be- 
ginning, for the deeper layers will be about as fertile as any, except 
the top inch or two. It is wise too, never to plough the same depth 
twice in succession. In general, autumn ploughing should be from 
7 to 9 or 10 inches and spring ploughing from 5 to 7 inches deep. 
There are special cases in which these rules do not apply, but their 
discussion would take us too far from the purpose of this paper. 

We plough the soil in order to loosen its texture and get air 
into it ; also to turn under stubble, manure, &c., to make humus. 
Killing weeds is another object accomplished by ploughing. After 
a soil has been thoroughly pulverised to great depths, so that there 
is no danger of turning up packed clay, the deeper the ploughing 
the better the crops. But the cost also increases with depth so 
that ordinarily it does not pay to plough more than about 10 inches 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Sandy soils are usually not injured by handling when wet ; but 
the case is different with clay soils. A fair quality of brick can 
be made from any heavy clay soil by working it thoroughly when 
wet and then drying it in the sun. The effect produced by work- 
ing wet clay soils is known as puddling. Irrigation ditches in the 
west are puddled by first flooding them to make them muddy, and 
then driving bands of sheep along in this mud. This makes the 
bottom impervious to water and prevents loss from leakage. If a 
clay soil is ploughed, or even harrowed, when too wet, it is more 
or less puddled. In this condition it becomes cloddy and imper- 
vious to air and water. Old roadways that have been thoroughly 
puddled from traffic in all kinds of weather may be distinguished 
in fields many years after they have been ploughed up and put 
into cultivation. 

The proper time to plough land is when it is just moist enough 
to break up mellow, neither wet enough to leave a slick surface 
where rubbed by the mouldboard nor dry enough to break up in 
large clods ; or, as the southern farmer puts it, when the soil has a 
good season in it. If continued rain follows wet ploughing, little 
harm follows ; but hot, dry winds would soon leave only a mass of 
unmanageable clods. In spring and midsummer ploughing, parti- 
cularly, it is of the utmost importance to run the harrow immedia- 
tely after the plough. This prevents the formation of clods. 


One of the most serious results that follow shallow ploughing, 
at least in hilly regions, is the washing away of the soil in torren- 
tial rains. When terraces are properly laid out they do prevent 
washing, but they are a very expensive means of accomplishing 
the end sought. They occupy land that ought to be in crops. 
They seed the land with weeds. When improperly constructed, 
and they usually are, they cause great ditches to be washed in the 
hillsides. Besides this they cut the land up into small, irregular 
patches and greatly increase the cost of tillage. There is a better 
way of preventing washing in nearly all cases. 

In the first place, where land has been ploughed only 3 or 4 
inches deep for several years the subsoil becomes impervious to 
water and can not absorb a heavy rainfall fast enough to prevent 
its flowing over the surface. But when the land is ploughed 
gradually deeper until a good depth of loose soil is obtained, and 
particularly when an abundance of humus is supplied from grass 
TQots and stubble, or from green crops turned under, or, better 
still, from barn-yard manure, the soil becomes so porus that the 
heaviest rains cause little or no flowing of water on the surface. 


We have seen that poverty in soil may be due to poor texture, 
unfavourable structure, lack of humus, deficiencies in the amount^ 
form, or proportion of plant food, and to the presence of harmful 
mineral or organic compounds. With the exception of nitrogen, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


most soils, even those that are very poor, usually contain an 
abundant supply of plant food, though sometimes other elements 
are lacking or are present only in those forms that plants can not 

To increase fertility we must improve texture and add plant 
food and humus. Tillage may do much to improve texture, but 
tillage alone will not suffice. We must add humus. In doing so 
we add plant food, and make the soil more permeable to air and 


There are three general methods of supplying humus to the soil. 
The first and best is the addition of stable manure. When pro- 
perly managed it adds large quantities of both plant food and 
humus. But manure is not always available. When such is the 
case, the best thing to do is to make it available. Raise more for- 
age, keep more stock, and make more manure. But this takes time 
and capital so that other means are sometimes necessary. When 
stable manure is not to be had, we may plant crops for the pur- 
pose of turning them under, thus adding large quantities of humus 
at comparatively little cost. Ploughing under green crops is 
called green manuring. Under certain conditions this is an 
excellent practice. 


Properly handled, stable manure is by all means the best remedy 
for poverty of the soil. Very few farmers handle manure so as to 
get even as much as half the possible value from it. There is 
probably no greater waste in the world than in connection with 
the handling of manure by the farmer. Five-eights of the plant 
food in manure is found in the the liquid part of it. This is usually 
all lost. Not only is this the case, but the solids are heaped beside 
the stable, frequently under the eaves, where rains wash away 
much of their value. Fermentation in these manure heaps also 
sets free much of the nitrogen to escape into the air. 


The practice of ploughing under green crops as manures is not 
very general, and we do not know as much as we should like to 
know of the value of this method. Some crops do not thrive when 
sown on land into which a green crop has recently been ploughed. 
This is particularly true of those crops that like a solid seed bed, 
or which are sensitive to acids. When a heavy green crop is 
ploughed under, it goes through a fermentation not unlike that 
which occurs in a barrel of kraut, resulting in the formation of a 
considerable amount of acid. 

Alfalfa is particularly sensitive to acids, and it also requires a 
compact seed bed. It is unwise, therefore, to green manure the 
land just before sowing with alfalfa. 

Generally speaking, when it is desirable to plough in a green 
crop before fall-sown crops, it should be done a month or six 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


weeks before planting time, and the soil should be harrowed fre- 
quently or otherwise compacted. A few good rains will wash out 
most of the acids and aid in compacting the soil. The acids may 
also be counteracted by adding lime. 


The cow-pea has been a boon to the farmers of the Southern 
States, and its value is coming to be generally recognized. During 
the past few years the demand for cow-pea seed has exceeded the 
supply, and high prices have resulted. 

It seldom pays to turn under a crop of cow-peas in the green 
state. It is better practice to make hay of them, feed the hay, 
and put the manure back on the land. As is the case with all 
legumes, the roots of the cow-pea crop add a great deal of nitro- 
gen to the soil, and have a marked effect on fertility. If a heavy 
green crop of cow-peas is ploughed under in the autumn it is best 
not to plant the land until the following spring. 


We may sum up the matter briefly thus : To build up and main- 
tain fertility in the soil, feed a large part of the crops and return 
the manure to the land. If manure is not available, plough under 
crops grown for the purpose. Plough deep (but do not subsoil). 
Grow leguminous crops for the nitrogen they add to the soil. 


This sample of tobacco was sent to the Imperial Institute by the 
Director of the Department of Public Gardens and Plantations of 
Jamaica. It was grown experimentally under shade cloth during 
the season 1904-1905 from Sumatra seed. 


The sample consisted of six leaves of the " wrapper" type of 
cigar tobacco, showing a dull, olive-brown tint. The leaves were 
of fair length, uniform in colour, thin and free from " stains" and 
" burns." They were somewhat brittle when handled, but this was 
probably due to their having been packed between sheets of card- 
board, which had absorbed the moisture, rendering the leaves 
abnormally dry. 

When ignited the tobacco burned evenly and steadily, evolving 
a fairly fragrant aroma and leaving a greyish-white ash. 

As the sample was very small, it was impossible to submit it to 
chemical examination. It was therefore sent to a firm of tobacco 
experts to be tried for wrapping cigars and for the determination 
of its commercial value. The experts' report on the tobacco was 
as follows : — 

" The tobacco is of very handsome appearance, thin in texture 
and therefore highly productive as a ' wrapper' for tobacco ; in 
use it is somewhat ' tender' and does not appear to have quite as 

♦ From Bulletin of The Imperial Institute, Vol. IV. No. 2. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


much elasticity as Sumatra tobacco of similar texture [see note 
under 'Description of Sample' as to probable reason of this 
' tenderness"] ; the burning is very fair, and the flavour not unsatis- 

Similar tobacco, well put up, would fetch on the English market 
up to about 3s. per lb. for first lengths, say 2s. 3d. per lb. for the 
second lengths, and from Is. 3d. to is. 6d. per ft. for the third 

" We feel sure that the soil and climate which have produced 
this tobacco are suitable for growing * wrapper' tobacco equal to 
most in the world, and if labour is plentiful and cheap and the 
area of suitable ground large enough there is a chance in time of 
this district of Jamaica becoming a serious competitor of Borneo, 
Sumatra, and Java." 

The experts also suggest that it might be worth while to carry 
out a similar cultivation experiment in Jamaica with Java tobacco, 
as this would probably yield a " wrapper" leaf which would be 
stronger in texture and of even better flavour than the present 

Tne results of the experts' trial of this tobacco show that it is of 
good quality, and that if a similar quality can be placed on the 
English market in quantity, it will probably realise remunerative 



The systematic status of the members of the group of Botrychium 
ternatum has been the subject of a good deal of comment within 
the past ten years. Naturall}*^ there have developed legitimate 
differences of individual judgment and interpretation ; and, while 
in one or two instances the results offered have been such as to 
suggest doubt that the author was in actual possession of some of 
the forms under discussion, it is probably true that no two students 
working with the same series of specimens would arrive at con- 
clusions absolutely identical. It becomes often an exceedingly 
difficult matter to decide whether a given series of plants — and too 
often a small series — constitutes a sufficiently marked and coherent 
assemblage to stand apart, specifically distinct, from an obviously 
related form ; or, whether, on the other hand, it is to be regarded 
as a mere local variation induced, it may be, by habitat. 

Of the so-called species recently recognized,! several — and they 
are, in the opinion of the writer, very few in number — do not ap- 
pear to be valid species in the ordinary sense of the term : they 
lack distinctive diagnostic characters and pass insensibly into 
another form. And, it must be confessed, a study of the entire 

• From the Bulletin of the Tarrey Botanical Club, 32: 219-222, pi. 6. 1905. 
t Underwood, Au index to the dcecribed spccitiJ of Botrychium. Bull. Torrey Club 30. 
42-55. Ja., 1903. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


group must of necessity be more truly comparative and involve a 
wider view than is usually to be required in most groups of pteri- 
dophytes. But the fact remains, that there are distinct groups, in- 
habiting definitely restricted areas and comprising individuals in 
close agreement in habital and foliage characters, which offer com- 
paratively small but absolute differences from allied groups of in- 
dividuals from other regions ; and it appears to the writer that, 
unless reduction of the most sweeping sort is to be made, it is 
undoubtedly the most logical proceeding to recognize these as 
species and to designate them as binomials. The recognition of 
sub-species implies or ought to imply the existence of specimens 
showing the transition from the typical form to the sub-specific 
centre of variation. In two or possibly three instances among the 
recently recognized " species" referred to above, such intermediates 
seem to exist, and the writer hopes to discuss these later at greater 
length ; but in the majority of cases intermediates (if existent at 
all) have not found their way into herbaria, and the supposed 
justification for the reduction practised by several American writers 
appears to be contained in the fast disappearing fallacy that the 
sum of the differences and not their constancy is the criterion for 
specific segregation, — a logical pursuit of which principle would 
lead by no very circuitous route to the treatment accorded the 
group by Hooker and Baker. 

The plant here to be described is not associable specifically 
with any described form. It may very appropriately bear the 
name of one whose studies must necessarily prove largely instru- 
mental in a final elucidation of this perplexing group. 


Plant of large stature (3 dm.), to be placed between B, Jenmani 
and B, decomposiium of the ternatum group. Roots copious, stout, 
cordlike, corrugate above, fasciculate from a short (1-2 cm.) under- 
ground prolongation of the axis : common stalk short (about 2 
cm.), bud densely covered with a compact growth of silky hairs ; 
sterile division short-petiolate (5-10 cm ), 12-20 cm. broad and 
nearly as long, commonly pentagonal in shape, tripinnate, the basal 
pinnules of the lowermost lateral divisions usually much elongated 
and again deeply pinnatifid ; ultimate segments relatively very 
large, bluntly obovate or broadly spatulate, the margins evenly 
and finely crenate-dentate with an occasional shallow lobation ; 
texture slight, resembling that of B. ohliqum ; venation manifest : 
sporophyl about 30 cm. long ; panicle rather lax, about 8 cm. long, 
bipinnate ; sporangia large, sessile. 

Jamaica. — Type in the herbarium of the New York Botanical 
Garden, Jenman collection. Co-type in the U.S. National Herbarium 
(no 521 103). Of the several specimens collected by Jenman only 
one is fertile. Other Jamaican specimens are : Underwood 179 and 
2620, Maxon 1573, and D, E, Watt (U. S. N. M. 520982), all from the 
vicinity of Cinchona, altitude about 1500 meters; and two speci- 
mens in the herbariam of Capt. John Donnell Smith, communicated 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


by Hart. The last, though indicated by Dr. Christ as represent- 
ing a new species, were not described, presumably on account of 
their immatiu-e condition. 

The series at hand indicates that B, Underwoodianum is one of 
the most distinct species in the ternatum group. As stated, it ap- 
pears to be most nearly related to B. Jenmani, Underw.* and B. de- 
compositum Mart. & Gal.f From the former it differs conspicuously 
in its greater size and more delicate texture ; and from the latter 
imperfectly known species very noticeably in the following dis- 
tinctive characters : (l) the peculiar shape and spacing of the seg- 
ments, and (2) the wide divergence of the main divisions which 
spread ordinarily at an angle of nearly or quite ninety degrees. 
There is, moreover, in most specimens so pronounced a basiscopic 
development of the first lateral division as to give a decided pen- 
tagonal shape to the leaf, though this feature is not especially 
noticeable in the type specimen. 

(United States National Museum). 


The species included in the genus Garcinia are a comparatively 
small but valuable group of oriental tropical economic plants. 
For, not only are the timbers furnished by the Garcinias well 
adapted for building-construction and furniture, but some of the 
tamarinds, the gamboge of commerce, as well as the much esteemed 
mangosteen of Malaya are among the products yielded by them. 
Of all these products, the luscious mangosteen, which, by univer- 
tal consent, has been admitted to be the most delicious of oriental 
fruits, is perhaps the best-known to the layman. In the sunny re- 
gions of the Malayan sea-board where, for the major portion of the 
year, sunshine and shower regularly alternate to result in a truly 
marvellous equability of climate, the Garcinia Mangostana grows 
to perfection. Its artificial cultivation in those regions as well as 
on the friable loams of the evergreen forests that follow the courses 
of the rivers of the Peninsula has always been attended with con- 
siderable success. For, within the favoured localities of its limited 
but indigenous distribution, few fruit-crops demand less attention 
in cultivation ; while, after it survives the early stages of its growth, 
no operations of a cultural nature, beyond manuring, require to be 
done for the maintenance of the crop. 

Well-grown seedlings would be at least a foot in height at the 
close of the first year and bear from four to six leaves each. At the 
commencement of the south-west monsoon, the seedlings should be 
removed from the nursery beds and planted out in pits previously 
prepared on the plantation. These pits are best excavated at dis- 
tances of 20 ft. from one another, and should be located in open, 

* Fern Bull. 8. 69. 1900. (Type from Jamaica), 
t M6m Aoad. Sci. Brux. 15" : 15. pi. 1. 1842. (Type from Mexico). 
X From** The Tropical Agriculi^wrkiy March 1906. 


Digitized by VjOOQ 


well-drained loamy land. They should each be 3 ft. square and 3 
ft. deep, and be filled in with surface soil, vegetable mould and 
cattle droppings worked up to a friable and fine degree of tilth. 
In planting, care should be taken to see that every transplant occu- 
pies the centre of the pit in which it is put out ; for, the species 
being a surface feeder, the fullest facility should be afforded it for 
developing its feeding-roots evenly around it. The plants should 
be shaded with light bamboo-and-grass tatties placed horizontally 
over each and supported upon bamboo uprights 6 ft. high. This 
shade should be given directly the transplants are put out and be 
maintained for at least one year. The tatties may be removed 
when there is rain as well as at night and in the cooler parts of 
the day. The plants should also be copiously watered throughout 
the warmer months of the year for at least two years after they 
are put out. 

The mangosteen plant has been known to bear fruit in the 
fifth year from planting out or in the sixth from germination. At 
this age it ordinarily attains to a height of 10 ft. and a basal 
girth of I ft., and its conical crown, which is formed low on the 
bole, casts a cover of about 10 ft. in diameter. The yield of 
fruit varies with locality as well as care in manuring and general 
cultivation ; but it usually is small and continues to be poor unti! 
the plant reaches its tenth year. Again, the earlier fruits are 
small and irregularly developed and contain very few pulpy seeds. 
Thus, the number, size, shape and flavour of the fruits are improved 
only with advancing years ; but, even in young crops, considerable 
improvement could be effected by heavy periodic manuring and 
watering. A healthy plant in its tenth year is capable of yielding 
from two to three hundred mangosteens valued at from Rs. 3 to 
Rs. 5 per hundred. An acre stocked with plants standing at dis- 
tances of 20 ft. from one another would hold at least 100 plants. 
And if, at the end of the tenth year, they yield, on an average, 200 
fruits each, valued at the rate of Rs. 4 per hundred, the plantation 
would yield an approximate income of Rs. 800. The species is 
well adapted for cultivation in all localities with heavy rainfall, a 
a loamy soil, and enjoying freedom from frost. It luxuriates in 
bright and vigorous sunshine and demands plenty of light for its 
most perfect development. The soil, however, should be moist 
and well drained. It is best grown as a pure crop, unmixed with 
species other than itself. — Madras Mail 


It is evident from the experience of the past few years of good 
crops that the consumption of corn [maize] in the United States has 
increased much more rapidly than the production. Indeed it may 
be doubted whether there has been any enlargement in the corn 
area during the past eight years. The statistics of the Agricultu- 
ral Department show an area last year 14 millions greater than in 

♦From •* The Louisiana Plami^r and Sugar Afanufa/dwrer," Vol. XXXVIl, No. 2. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


l897> but the census of 1900 show conclusively that the figures 
of the Agricultural Department were grossly inaccurate for at 
least five years prior to and including those of 1900. In the past 
eight years the population has increased 13 millions, or nearly 20 
percent. The prevailing relatively high prices, therefore, seem to 
be due to the fact that consumption has caught up with production 
and consequently low prices for corn are not to be expected again 
unless there is a large increase in the area devoted to producing 
this crop. 

An important factor affecting prices of corn in recent years has 
been the changed method of marketing the crop. Farmers have 
taken their time in disposing of their surplus. The policy has 
prevailed generally of holding ample reserves through the year, 
so as to provide • for deficiences in case of crop failures. This 
has prevented the accumulation of large stocl<s " in sight" which 
always have a more depressing influence on prices than liberal 
supplies in farmers' hands. The remarkable situation exists 
to-day of an almost complete exhaustion of stocks of corn at 
market Centres, notwithstanding the fact that last year's crop was 
the greatest on record. Under such conditions the farmer is in a 
position to dictate the price, within a reasonable limit, and he is 
likely to continue in that position. Speculators who have under- 
taken to depress prices by short selling have not yet met with 
any success. — Kansas City Star, May 21. 


The following notes of interest are taken from the Report of the 
Superintendent of the Public Garden, Bermuda for 1905 : — 

Tomatoes, — " The opening up of new sources of supply has con- 
tributed not a little to the low prices and a now somewhat limited 
demand for Bermuda produce in New York ; indeed the once very 
profitable tomato trade was brought to an end in 1900 by large 
quantities being sent in early from the Southern States ; and now 
that it has been proved possible to export from Cuba and Jamaica 
excellent fruit from November to March and April, the year round 
supply is complete : the resuscitation of this colony's lost tomato 
trade is not, therefore anticipated. In 187 1 the boxes of tomatoes 
exported to New York numbered 115,868 valued at £13,718 ; in 
1900, 146 were sent, valued at £il." 

Lily Bulbs. — " The lily bulb industry was, until quite recently, 
in danger of being destroyed, through the disappointing results 
obtained by American forcers from Bermuda bulbs ; many having 
given up growing them. Happily some four or five of the larger 
Bermudian growers realized the importance of selecting and care- 
fully cultivating pure Harrisii stock, though, perhaps, somewhat 
late in the day, for already a large proportion of the trade has been 
diverted to Japan. ^ 

It may be assumed, however, that Bermuda growers will, by 
careful attention to the requirements of the American and English 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


forcing trade, be able to secure the present prices for unmixed 
Harrisii bulbs of £5 to £6 per 1000 for many years to come." 

Onions. — "These comprise in value about three-fifths of the total 
output of produce from Bermuda : during the year under review 
400,138 boxes were shipped, valued at £62,454." 

Potatoes. — "The figures for 1 904 shew that the potato at any 
rate pays for the labour expended upon it : 23,417 barrels were 
imported from Canada and the United States, valued at £7,260 ; 
assuming that one-foiuth of these were sets for planting, the cost 
would be about £1,815. Against these, 31,134 barrels were ex- 
ported, valued at £23,805 : shewing a yield of 5 J barrels to one 
planted and a balance in favour of the colony of £22,020. This 
year 28,590 barrels were shipped yielding £21,214". 

Tobacco. — Professor Dunstan states as follows : " It may be 
pointed out that although 5d. per lb. is quoted for the sample of 
Connecticut wrapper leaf it does not follow that it will ultimately 
' pay best to cultivate this variety. The Connecticut leaf is not 
economical as a wrapper and for this reason is falling out of 
favour with cigar manufacturers, and it may be taken as a gene- 
ral rule that a ' filler ' of the Cuba type and a wrapper of the 
Sumatra type, are what is principally in demand for the cigar 
trade at the present time. 

" Having regard to the fact that it would be useless to intro- 
duce to Bermuda, as a new crop, anything that yielded less than 
50 per cent, on the outlay it was decided by the Board to proceed 
with a preliminary experiment in growing tobacco under tent 
cloth on the lines practised in Florida and Connecticut as it was 
seen by the reports of United States Department of Agriculture 
that these tobaccos were being sold for from 6/ to 10/ per lb. The 
writer had also seen bales of wrapper tobacco opened at Jamaica 
which had cost 10/ per lb. A sum of £ 1 00 was granted by the 
Legislature for this experiment, which was commenced in April." 

Oranges. — " The destruction of citrus trees in Bermuda by scale 
insects is almost complete ; the extreme virulence with which these 
parasites attack their host is almost beyond belief. 

In view of the desirability of resuscitating the growing of oranges 
in the colony, having regard more especially to their added value 
during the tourist season, special eflforts have been made to settle 
the question as quickly as possible of whether it is possible to give 
back to Bermuda her lost oranges. 

As a result of close observation and of previous experience it 
soon became evident that the solution lay in the selection of a 
variety immune, or in some degree resistant to the scale insect. 

It has come within the writer's experience among citrus trees in 
Jamaica to observe that the " Navel" orange enjoyed almost com- 
plete immunity from the attacks of scale insects, and moreover 
was a very satisfactory all round fruit to grow. 

And now, judging by the behaviour of this variety in the collec- 
tion at the Public Garden, the statement may be recorded that it is 
only a question of time, or rather of the rate at which they can be 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


propagated, when budded trees of this practically immune variety 
will be available for distribution. 

Twelve thousand Rough Lemon and Seville Orange stocks have 
been raised from seed obtained from Jamaica ; these are now ready 
for transplanting to the nursery rows where they will be budded 
and prepared for distribution. Buds can be imported from Ame- 
rica at a cost of $1.50 per 100." 

Bananas. — "The Canary Island banana {Musa Cavendishii) 
thrives exceedingly in Bermuda, probably better than in any other 
part of the world ; including that part of China which is its native 

Its doing so well here is another instance of the peculiar effect 
of our unique climate upon certain plants. 

There are in Bermuda probably not more than thirty acres 
under bananas, planted and cultivated in a style that did very well 
when there was plenty of land and some to waste, but which would 
have to be replaced by more up-to-date methods if the banana 
became an article of export. There is evidently a good demand for 
Canary bananas in America, for the United Fruit Company, the 
great collecting and distributing firm, sends as far as the Cana- 
ries for them : and it is quite possible that if constant supplies 
were forthcoming from Bermuda this firm would undertake to re- 
ceive them at New York. 

Planted ten feet by eight apart and given even less care than is 
bestowed upon potatoes, an acre of bananas could be made to 
yield in Bermuda quite 2,000 bunches per annum." 


Mr. Hermann Mayer Senior, vanilla importer, gives the follow- 
ing figures, which approximately represent the world's output of 
vanilla during the seasons 1905-6: Burbon, 70 tons; Seychelles, 
45 tons ; Mauritius, 5 tons ; Comores, Mayotte, Madagascar, &c. 120 
tons ; Guadeloupe, Java, Ceylon, and Fiji, 10 tons ; Mexico, 70, tons; 
Tahiti, 100 tons — total, about 420 tons. Comparing the above 
figures with 1904-5 it may be noted that the world's output was 
larger by about forty tons. A British Consular report on Tahiti 
states that the exports during 1905 amounted in value to £12,087 
against £15,969 in 1904, £23,424 in 1903, and £47,417 in J902. 
Last year the exports by weight amounted to 122^ tons against 
I34i tons in 1904. The U. S. A. received 92 tons, France 25^ 
tons. New Zealand l\ tons, and the United Kingdom if tons. No 
steps have yet been taken to conserve this industry at Tahiti, 
remarks the Consul, and as a consequence, the local price has 
fiuiher fallen from the equivalent of Is. ofd. per lb. in 1904 to 
lOi per lb. in 1905. 

* From *'The Chemist and I>rugg^ist^" June 30, 1906. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



The date palm {Phoenix dactylifera) is cultivated principally in 
Northern Africa and in the countries bordering on the Persian 
Gulf. Its tall, straight trunk, covered with the scars of fallen leaf- 
stalks, and surmounted with a tuft of feathery leaves attains a great 
height — often of over 80 feet. It has the male and female flowers 
on separate individuals, and in its natural state the female flowers 
are pollinated by the wind. Each female tree produces from six 
to twenty flower clusters, each of which gives rise to a bunch of 
dates. The trees live to a great age and have been known to pro- 
duce good crops up to 200 years of age. At the base of the stem 
a number of suckers arise, and by these offshoots the tree should 
be propagated, since the date palm is very liable to variation. 

The average exports of dates from the Persian Gulf region for 
the five years ended 1902 amounted, according to figures contained 
in the Consular Report on the trade of the Persian Gulf for the 
year 1903, to 167,301 cwt. 

As will be seen from the following pages, many attempts, some 
attended with considerable success, have been made to introduce 
the cultivation of the date palm into different parts of the world 
and to establish a date industry. Up to the present, so far as we 
know, the only place out of Africa and the Persian Gulf region, 
in which real success has been achieved, is in the island of St. 
Helena. It appears likely, however that good results will be ob- 
tained in certain districts of the south-west of the United States. 

In the following short account of the culture of the date palm 
free use has been made of three publications of the United States 
Department of Agriculture, viz., a paper in the Yearbook for 1900, 
entitled ' The Date Palm and its Culture,' and Bulletin No. 53 of 
the Bureau of Plant Industry, 'The Date Palm and its utilization 
in the south-western States,' both by Mr. Walter T. Swingle; and 
Bulletin No. 54 of the Bureau of Plant Industry, 'Persian Gulf 
Dates and their introduction into America,' by Mr. David G. Fair- 


The date palm requires above everything else, a plentiful sup- 
ply of water for its roots, and a hot, dry atmosphere in which to 
mature its fruits. There are many districts, including parts of the 
West Indies, where the tree has grown well, but where it is doubt- 
ful if good fruits will be obtained on account of the humidity of 
the atmostphere. On the other hand, such climatic conditions as 
are required by the date palm are known to exist in parts of the 
United States, and it is upon this fact that the hopes for its suc- 
cessful introduction as a new industry in that country are based. 

It would appear advisable to state clearly the requirements of 
the date as to climate and water supply. 

Heat, — One of the principal requirements of the date is a high 
temperature, especially when it is maturing its fruit. In the win- 

* From the " West Indian Bulletin^' Vol. V, 1904, p. 139. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


ter they are able to withstand a fair amount of cold ; but for the 
ripening of the fruit a high temperature is absolutely necessary. 
Swingle states : 'There is little hope of growing even early sorts 
unless the mean temperature in the shade goes above 8o° F. for at 
least one month in summer, and the mean temperature of the fruit- 
ing season, from May to October, is above 70° F. It is, further, 
fairly certain that during the months when the fruit is developing, 
viz.. May to October, inclusive, the mean temperature must be 
about 75° F., and during June, July, and August above 80° F., if 
moderately late varieties of dates are to be brought to matiu-ity. 
In regions where late varieties of dates come to maturity, the mean 
temperature for June, July, and August must be 90° F. or there- 

Dry atmosphere. — In this case, again, while the date palm grows 
fairly will in a moist climate, the fruit natures properly only in a 
drj' atmosphere. Consequently, dates are grown most successfully 
in the hottest and driest regions. 

Water supply. — Although the date delights in a dry, hot climate 
it requires a constant, though not particularly abundant supply 
of water at its roots. The subject of irrigatiion is therefore one 
of primary importance to the date grower. 


The Arabs of Mesopotamia plant only suckers ; these are seldom 
over 6 feet long and generally with few roots. They are planted 
with the growing bud only 2 or 3 inches above the surface of the 
soil, and for the first month are watered every four days, and later 
at longer intervals as the season may demand. 

The French colonists give much more attention to the careful 
planting of dates. They plant in regular rows, the arrangement 
depending, as a rule, on some properly conceived system of irri- 
gation. It is held by them that the palms should be placed at 
distances of 30 feet, and in intervening spaces are usually oc- 
cupied by garden crops. 

It is found in the Sahara that one male tree will provide suf- 
ficient pollen for about lOO female trees, and the male and female 
trees are accordingly planted in this proportion. 

Little has been done in the way of working out the manurial 
requirements of the date palm. The Arabs use what manure they 
can obtain from their camels and goats. On the larger plantations 
it has been found impossible to obtain a sufficiently large supply 
of farmyard manure. There can be no doubt that a proper system 
of green manuring, with such leguminous plants as alfalfa, horse 
bean,cow-pea, and others, would be a great advantage. Neither 
in Africa nor on the Persian Gulf does any such system appear to 
be known. 

As suubsidiary crops between the palms, in addition to garden 
produce, cereals are frequently grown, but the yield is rarely good : 
grape vines appear also to thrive well and produce good fruit. 
Many fruit trees, including olives, seem to appreciate the shade 
afforded by the date palms. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



In the Sahara, irrigation is practised by means of trenches, 
where no crops are grown under the palms. These are excavated' 
alongside of the trees and occasionally filled with water. Where 
barley or alfalfa is grown, the land is divided up into small beds 
from 10 to 30 feet in diameter, which are surrounded by a raised 
rim. The bed can then be flooded. On account of the alkalinity 
of the soil, it is found especially necessary to provide a good 
drainage system. 

Mr. Fairchild gives the following account of the method of irri- 
gation practised at Dassorah : — 

' The method of planting is determined by the irrigation ditches, 
which are large (often 3 feet by 3 feet) and cut the ground up 
into small rectangular peninsulas, lO to 15 feet by 20 to 30 feet 
in size. On each peninsula two, or sometimes three, palms are 
set. Often the peninsulas are much larger and hold from four to 
five or even as high as ten palms. The size of these peninsulas 
depends somewhat on the permeability of the soil and the height 
to which the irrigation water rises in the ditches. On an average 
100 palms are planted to a "djerib," which unit of measure is a 
trifle less than an acre. * 

' In order to prevent the waters receding too quickly from the 
canals when the tide falls, dams of mud are built, and pipes, or 
the hollow trunks of palms, are run through them, which permit 
the water forced into the canals by the rising tide to flow away 
slowly. The length of time during which the canals are filled 
with water is more or less under the control of the proprietor, and 
as the supply is practically unlimited, no tax of any kind is paid, 
nor is any regulation necessary regarding its use. 

' In short, the Bassorah date grower has only to see that his 
ditches are kept in order, which is an easy matter where the soil 
is as pure adobe as the clay of a brick-yard, and the back water 
of the river will fill and empty them twice every 24 hours. The 
conditions of this form of irrigation, which might be called a tidal 
one, are quite ideal and so far as known are found on such a scale 
no where else in the world. ' 


Male and female plants are produced in about equal numbers. 
As has been stated, date palms are pollinated in the wild state by 
wind, but where the trees are pollinated artificially, only one 
male tree is required for every 1 00 females. 

'The male flower cluster of the date consists of a stalk bearing 
a considerable number of short twigs to which the flowers are 
attached, the whole contained in a sheath, at first entirely closed, 
but which finally ruptures, disclosing the flowers. The Arabs cut 
the male flower clusters from the trees shortly before the flowers 
have fully opened. The separate twigs to which are attached the 
male flowers are from 4 to 6 inches long, and bear probably from 
twenty to fifty male flowers, each containing six anthers full of 
pollen. One of such twigs suffices to pollinate a whole female 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


' flower cluster, and to bring about the development of a bunch of 

' The female flowers, like the male, are borne inside of sheaths 
which are at first entirely closed. Finally the sheath is split open 
by the growth of the flowers within, and at this stage pollination 
is accomplished. The two tips of the cracked-open sheath are 
separated, and the cluster of female flowers pulled out. A twig 
of male flowers is then inserted into the cluster of female flowers 
and tied in place by a bit of palm leaf or with a string. This 
completes the operation of pollination. 

* The fruit cluster soon begins to grow rapidly, and in a few 
weeks the piece of palm fibre or thread with which the male 
flowers are held in place, is broken by the pressure of the grow- 
ing fruit clusters.'* 


The age at which date palms commence to bear depends very 
much upon the climate, the fertility of the soil, and the water sup- 
ply. In Arizona, United States, it is stated by Swingle, trees have 
been known to bear within four years of the planting of the seed. 
It is, however, usually considered that trees do not yield paying 
quantities ol fruit till they are from six to eight years old. 

In regard to the bearing of the date palm. Swingle writes : 
'When date cultivation is practised scientifically, practically no 
seedlings are grown, but instead orchards are started by planting 
fairly large off'shoots, which soon strike root, and which often 
bear abundantly four or five years after being transplanted. How- 
ever, in the large plantations made in Algeria by the French, it is 
not considered advisable to allow the palms grown from off'shoots 
to bear fruit until six years after they are transplanted, and the 
trees are not in full bearing until ten or eleven years after they 
are plated. 

' They continue bearing from this age, if well cared for until 
they are lOO years or more old. a good tree producing an average 
of from 100 lb. to 200 ib. of fruit a year, although some trees have 
been known to produce as much as 400 ib. or 600 lb., when grown 
in rich soil and abundantly irrigated.* 


Efforts have been made to establish a date-growing industry in 
various districts of the United States. There are portions of 
Nevada, California, and Arizona, where it is thought the date 
palm will thrive. In 1898, efforts were made to secure suckers of 
the best kinds of dates from Algeria. With these was started a 
special date garden in conjunction with the Arizona Agricultural 
Experiment Station, where a very large number of varities of dates 
has been gathered together, and an attempt is being made to estab- 
lish the cultivation of the date in some of the irrigable areas of 
the district. 

* BulleHn No. 53, Bureau of Plant Industry, U. S Department of Agriculture, pp, 26-7. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


In concluding his article, in the Yearbook for 1900, Swingle says 

* It has been shown that there is good ground for the hope that 
enough dates to supply our markets may be produced within our 
boundaries, thus retaining in this country nearly half a million 
dollars now paid annually for foreign dates. It is even possible 
that a still larger trade may be built up by producing the choicer 
vgirieties suitable for serving as table fruit, such as the " Deglet 
Noor," now so rare on our markets and so costly as to preclude its 
being sold in any large quantities. 

' The date palm has been shown to be adapted to special soil 
conditions occurring only in a few areas of limited extent in the 
south-west. It requires a long, extremely dry and hot summer in 
order to mature its fruits properly, yet the roots demand a con- 
stant supply of water. It is unable to endure severe cold in winter, 
although more hardy than the orange tree. It is pre-eminently 
suited for culture in irrigated areas in desert regions, and, fortu- 
nately, is able to endure without injury large quantities of alkali 
in the soil and in the water used for irrigating, conditions often 
occurring in desert regions, and which prevent the growth of 
most cultivated plants. There are many places in Arizona and 
California where the culture of the date can be undertaken with a 
good hope of success. Marketable dates of good quality have al- 
ready been produced in considerable quantities in the Salt River 
Valley, Arizona, and excellent fresh dates ripen every year at 
Winters, in northern California. 

' The Department of Agriculture and the University of Arizona 
have undertaken in co-operation the establishment and mainte- 
nance of a special date garden at Tempe, in the Salt River Valley, 
Arizona, and in 1899-1900 about 420 young palms, comprising 
about twenty-seven of the best known varieties, including the 
famous " Deglet Noor," were imported by the Department from 
the best date regions of the western Sahara and sent to this garden, 
where they are now growing. Some three dozen plants of the 
"Rhars" one of the best early dates for drying, were distributed 
at the same time in California in co-operation with the University 
of California.' 

Three years later, in Bulletin No. 53 Swingle writes: — 

' The (Collection of varieties at Co-operative Date Garden at 
Tempe is by far the most complete in the world, since it com- 
prises the best known varieties from the Algerian Sahara, from 
Egypt, and from the regions about Bassorah and Maskat, where 
most of the dates imported into America are produced, as well as a 
large collection of varieties from the Pangh Ghur region in Balu- 
chistan. Together with the seedlings that have originated in the 
valley and the sorts growing at the experiment station farm at 
Phoenix, there are something over ninety named varieties now 
on trial in the Salt River Valley. It is very probable that some 
of these will prove to be adapted for profitable culture in this 
valley, even if the Deglet Noor can not mature. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


'There are several seedling dates that have originated in the 
Salt River Valley in Arizona, which promise to be valuable. 

' In addition, there are several other seedling varieties of con- 
siderable value which have already fruited in central Arizona^ 
some of which may prove adapted to culture on a large scale. 

' Two of the varieties introduced from Egypt by the Department 
of Agriculture in 1 890 have been fruiting for some time at Phoenixy 
Arizona. In 1900, one of the sorts, the Amreeyah, bore over 30a 
lbs., while another, the Seewah, bore over 200 lbs. These dates 
were packed in J ib. boxes, and Professor A. J. McClatchie writes 
that they sold readily for 20c. a box wholesale and 25c. retail, and 
there was a demand in the local market for ten times the quantity 
that could be furnished. The Seewah, in particullar, is a very 
promising date for culture in the Salt River Valley, in Professor 
McClatchie's opinion, as it is fairly early and of excellent quality 

* The choicest date that reaches America and Europe, the famous 
Deglet Noor of the Algerian and Tunisian Sahara, is very sweet, 
of exquisite flavour, and is adapted to serve as a dessert fruit ; it 
sells for more than Smyrna figs, being the most expensive dried fruit 
on our markets. The demand for these dates during the holidays 
is nevertheless greater than the supply, and if they could be sold 
somewhat cheaper, the consumption of this fruit would be enor- 

' The Salton Basin or Colorado Desert, in south-eastern Cali- 
fornia, recently put under irrigation, has a hotter and drier sum- 
mer climate than the Algerian and Tunisian Sahara, where the 
best grades of Deglet Noor dates are grown, and is, indeed, better 
adapted to the culture of this fruit, since not only is the climate 
more favourable but the soils are richer, and the irrigation water 
is of better quality. 

' The date palm will prove of equal value on the more alkaline 
areas of other arid regions in the south-western States where the 
winters are warm enough to permit it to grow. Most regions do 
not have sufficient summer heat to mature the Deglet Noor date, 
and other sorts which ripen earlier must be planted. 

' It is very probable that the culture of the best second-class 
dates, suitable for employment in confectionery and for household 
uses, will prove a profitable industry in the Salt River Valley, 
Arizona, and it is possible that the Deglet Noor variety may mature 


The following extracts are from the Annual Report (1900-OI), 
of the Director of Public Gardens and Plantations, Jamaica : — 

' Seventy-five date palms were received from Algiers in Novem- 
ber 1899. They were in tubs, pots, and wicker baskets. To enable 
them to recover from the effects of their long journey, and to get 
acclimatized, they were placed in the nursery, looked after there, 
and gradually exposed to the sun and hardened. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


'In February and March 1901, sixty-nine of the plants were 
planted in prepared holes on the lawn between the Director's oflSce 
and residence. The plants are placed 36 feet apart in rows which 
are 27 feet asunder. Five of the original plants have died. 

* A 4-inch water main runs along the side of the drive, parallel 
with the palms, and connexions have been made with this by 
means of f-inch galvanized pipes with brass cocks, and laid to 
the root of each palm, so that each tree has its own supply of 

' Three suckers have been established, so that we have at present 
seventy-three young trees. 


The only fungoid disease reported as attacking date pahns in 
the West Indies is recorded from Antigua, Jamaica, and Trinidad. 

The following description of the fungus is taken from Tubeuf 
and Smith's Diseases of Plants' (p. 325) : — 

' Graphiola phoenicis^ Poit. This fungus is a parasite on leaves 
of palms, e.g.. Phoenix dactylifera and Chamerops humilis, in the open 
in Italy and other Mediterranean countries, in hot-houses elsewhere. 
The sporocarps make their appearance as little black protuber- 
ances on both sides of the leaf. The mycelium forms a close 
hyphal tissue, which encloses and kills parenchymatous cells, dis- 
places the bundles of sclerenchyma and ruptures epidermis and 
hypoderm. Deformation is, however, localized to these spots.' 

The following is translated from Frank's Die Pilzparasitaren 
Krankheiten der Pflanzen (Breslau, 1 896, p. 1 27) : — 

Graphiola phcenicis occurs on the leaves of the date palm both in 
its natural habitat and in our houses. The fruit-bodies appear as 
scattered, hard, dark swellings, about 1.5m. across, and which are 
sometimes surrounded by a clearer border showing the part of the 
leaf-tissue containing the mycelium of the fungus. E. Fischer 
{Botanische Zeitting, 1 883) has sown spores of the fungus on date 
palm leaves and has thus made successful infections. Other spe- 
cies of this genus occur on other palms. 

[This fungus can be kept in check by spraying with Bordeaux 
mixture. Ed. Bull.] 



The usual monthly meeting of the Board of Agriculture was 
held at Headquarter House on Wednesday, 15th August, 1906, 
Present : — The Hon. T. L. Roxburgh, Acting Colonial Secretary, 
Chairman, the Acting Director of Public Gardens, the Acting Isand 
Chemist, the Superintending Inspector of Schools, His Grace the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Archbishop, of the West Indies, Messrs. C. A. T. Fursdon, J. W. 
Middleton, G. D. Murray and the Secretary, John Barclay. 

The Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed. 

The Secretary read the report of the Committee appointed to 
go into the matter of the Assistant Superintendent at Hope 

It was agreed to acknowledge receipt of the letter from the Go- 
vernment, and to forward the recommendations of the Committee. 

The Secretary reported that the Government Printing OflSce had 
returned the draft of the " Agricultural Don'ts*' chart to the Acting 
Chemist with the remark that they could not carry out the recom- 
mendations of the Board as they had not the type, and that to 
save time he had replied that under the circumstances to simply 
alter the type of the numbers would be suflScient. 

The Secretary read a letter from the Westmoreland Sugar 
Planters' Association acknowledging his letter with regard to the 
truck system alleged to prevail on sugar estates in that parish. 

The Secretary read letters from the Colonial Secretary's OflSce 
as follows : — 

1. Re the Island Chemist's visit abroad to gain information 

with regard to the Rum Industry, stating that the 
Governor had adopted the recommendations of the Board 
and approved of the travelling expenses being charged, 
as suggested, but pointing out that no estimate of the 
amount required had been given and that his consent was 
given strictly on the understanding that the Vote should 
not be exceeded. 

2. Copy of letter to the Superintending Inspector of Schools 

stating that on the advice of the Board of Agri- 
culture, the Governor had approved of the appropriation 
of £30 of the item of £50 for " Model School Gardens in 
Country Districts" on the Estimates for Agricultural Ser- 
vices, in aid of the item on his estimates of £50 for School 
Gardens, for the purpose of making grants for tools, and 
that in future there should be one Vote on the Estimates, 
and fhat should be on those of the Schools Department. 

3. Re Board's Report for last year, stating that the paragraph 

relative to the adoption of a legal standard of ether con- 
tents in Jamaica Rum was incorrect and suggesting a 
paragraph to be substituted. 

The Secretary stated that the report had been prepared 
by the Chairman (Mr. Bourne) and Mr. Cousins and thev 
had in error included a matter which appeared in the 
April minutes and therefore occurred this year, and he 
had replied that the whole matter would be deleted from 
last year's report. 

This was approved of. 


Digitized by VjOOQ 


4. Papers re Swift's Arsenate of Lead, containing an applica- 
tion from J. M. Crosswell & Co., for the admission of this 
insecticide free of duty like Paris Green, with minutes 
from the Collector General and the Island Chemist. The 
Secretary reported that it would come slightly cheaper 
than Paris Green, and it was resolved to recommend to the 
Government that it be admitted free of duty. 

The Secretary read letter from the Northside Sugar Planters 
Association asking for a report on the working of the High Ether 
Process at Hampden. 

The Secretary was instructed to reply that the Board was not 
in a position to give the information asked for until the return of 
the Goverment Chemist from his leave of absence early in Octo- 

The Secretary submitted letter from Mr. J. Briscoe, Superinten- 
dent of the Parade Gardens, asking for an increase of salary. 

The Board directed the Secretary to reply that they could not 
recommend the increase asked for. 

The Secretary submitted the following reports :— 

From the Chemist on the work of the Students for mid-summer 
term, which was directed to be circulated. 

From the Acting Director of Public Gardens on the work of the 
Experiment Station and the work of the Instructors. These were 
directed to be circulated. 

The meeting then adjourned till Wednesday, 12th September. 

[Issaed 10th Sept.., 1906.] 
Printed at the Oovt, PritUing Office, Kingston, Jam, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 





Vol. IV. OCTOBER, 1906. Part 10. 


By W. Harris, Superintendent of Hope Gardens, 

In view of the existing demand for fresh vegetables on the 
Isthmus of Panama, the following notes are published in the hope 
that they will be useful to those who may feel inclined to venture 
on the cultivation of any or all of the crops named. 

Preparation of seed beds. 

Select a level piece of ground in the open, but shelterd from 
strong winds, where the soil is light and good. Mark off the 
number of beds likely to be required. The beds should be 4 feet 
wide with paths 1 8 inches wide between them. Having marked 
off the beds with a peg at each corner, they should be thoroughly 
dug up and the soil broken fine. Before sowing seeds the surface 
of the beds should be raked over to remove all stones, hard lumps 
of earth, etc. Seeds of very tender plants should be sown in 


When the ground is ready for sowing seeds, or for planting out 
young seedlings, spread all over the surface a layer of dry grass, 
banana trash or such like. The beetles, grubs, etc., collect under 
the trash and after 3 or 4 days fire is set to it, and large numbers 
of the pests are destroyed. A double purpose is thus served, as 
the ashes of the burnt trash are very beneficial to the young 


Having prepared the seed bed, get a rod four feet long, lay this 
across the bed, and whilst holding it in position with one hand, 
mark off the shallow drills with the forefinger, or a piece of stick 
along the four foot rod. For coarse seeds such as beans to be 
sown in long rows, a line should be stretched along the full length 
of the bed, and the drills opened out with the corner of a hoe. It 
is better to sow all seeds in drills at the proper distance apart ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


the seedlings are easier to thin, and weeds can be pulled out with- 
out destroying a number of the young plants. 

Small seeds should only be covered very slightly with fine soil, 
but the larger seeds may be covered to a depth of half an inch, or 
an inch. 

The best time to sow seeds and transplant young plants is 
during showery weather. 


Sow the seed in drills where the crop is to grow, in a sandy, 
open situation. Ground that has been manured for a previous 
crop will not require to be again manured for beet. Allow a dis- 
tance of 15 inches between the drills, and as soon as the young 
plants are large enough to handle, thin them out to 9 inches apart 
in the drills. The young plants taken out may be used to supply 
vacancies, or to plant elsewhere, but these beets are never so good 
as those which are not disturbed. 

The seed should be soaked in luke-warm water for about twelve 
hours before sowing, then taken out, allowed to drain, and sown 
whilst still damp, and covered to a depth of I i or 2 inches. 

Quantity of Seed — ^The quantity of seed required to sow a row I 
chain in length is I J ounces. 

Varieties — ^The " turnip-rooted^* varieties are best for culture here, 
and the following are highly spoken of : — Carter's Early Crimson 
Ball, Egyptian Turnip-rooted, Eclipse, Dewings Improved Blood Turnip, 
Bassano, Landreth's Very Early, and Early Blood-red Turnip. 

Prices of seed — ^The price of English seed varies, according to the 
variety, from 6d. to 2/ per ounce, and American seed from 10 to 
20 cents per ounce. 


A good soil, heavily manured is requisite for the production of 
tender and succulent cabbages. They should occupy the coolest 
and moistest situation in the garden as heat and drought are in- 
jurious to them. The seed should be sown in beds of light, rich 
soil, and as soon as the plants begin to crowd each other they 
should be transplanted to their final positions. The distances 
between the plants will depend on the size of the variety grown, 
but, generally, 2 feet between the rows and 18 inches from plant 
to plapt will be suflScient. They should, whenever possible, be 
planted out in moist weather, and in absence of rain should be 
irrigated or watered regularly. 

Quantity of seed — A quarter of an ounce of seed will produce 
sufficient plants for 7 rows one chain in length. 

Varieties — ^The following should be tried : — Carter's Early Heart- 
well, Carter's Model, Carter's Little Pixie, Carter's Mammoth Beef' 
hearted. Early Jersey Wakefield, Carter's Early Dwarf Ulm Savoy, 
Henderson's Charleston Wakefield, Henderson's Early Summer, Hen- 
derson's Autumn King, Landreths All the Year Round, Bloomsdale 
Early Dwarf Flat Dutch, Redland Early Drumhead. 

Prices of seed — English, 4d. to l/6d. per ounce; American 25 to 
50 cents per ounce, according to variety. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Sow in the open where the crop is to grow. Carrots require a 
good light soil which has been previously well dug and manured. 
The seed is sown either broadcast on a bed, or in drills, but the 
latter is the preferable method as the young plants can be thinned 
more uniformly. A distance of 12 inches between the rows and 
6 inches from plant to plant is generally allowed. The seedlings 
.are usually thinned twice ; the first thinning when they are quite 
young, leaving a space of 3 inches between the plants in the row ; 
a second thinning takes place when the roots are small but of 
edible size, when every second plant should be pulled to allow the 
requisite space between those that are left to grow. 

Quantity of Seed, — ^The quantity of seed required to sow a drill 
one chain in length, or a bed about 1 6 feet by 4 feet marked oflf 
in drills, is one ounce. On account of the bristles on carrot seed 
it is somewhat difficult to sow with regularity ; it is usual, therefore, 
to mix the seed with fine sand or sifted dry earth and sow the 

Varieties. — The short-rooted kinds are worth a trial : — Early 
Short Horny Carter^ s Improved Early Horny Carter's Summer Favourite, 
Danvers' Early French Forcing, Early Scarlet Horn, Half-long Red, 
Extra Early Forcing, Nantes. 

Prices of seed, — English, 4d. to 1/6 per ounce ; American, lO to 
25 cents per ounce. 


The American method of cultivation is to plant in hills about 4 
feet apart each way, in rich sandy soil. The hills are previously 
prepared by thoroughly mixing with the soil of each a good 
shovelful of well rotted manure. The seeds are planted in the hill, 
and three or four strong plants allowed to each. When the fruit 
is in fit condition it is gathered whether required for use or not, 
as if allowed to ripen it destroys the productiveness of the plants. 
The plants should always have plenty of moisture regularly 
supplied during growth. 

In one or two counties in England, the soil and climate of which 
seem unusually well adapted to the growth of cucumbers, large 
quantities are grown in the open air for the London markets ; from 
such sources there are said to be sent not less than 600 tons a 
week during the cucumber season, and of these 100 tons have been 
known to be sent to Convent Garden in a single day. The seed 
is sown where the plants are intended to grow, two feet apart in 
the rows, and the rows four feet asunder. They soon push into 
active growth and cover the ground with vines, which spread in 
all directions, and come into bearing. During their growth weed- 
ing and thinning their superfluous shoots are well attended to, and 
in the fruiting season, fruit from 10 to 12 inches in length green 
and solid though sometimes unshapely, is continually being cut. 

Seed required, — One ounce of seed will plant 50 hills. The seeds 
should be soaked in luke-warm water for a few hours before 
planting, and only those that sink to the bottom of the vessel 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


ought to be used ; the seeds that float on the surface of the water 
are often imperfect and would not grow. 

Varieties. — Carter's Best of All, Stockwood, Improved Early White 
Spine, Livingston's Evergreen, Extra Early Green Prolific, NichoVs 
Medium Green, Long Green Turkey, Landreth's First, Landreth's 

Prices of Seed. — English, 6d. to is. per packet; American 5 to 
20 cents per packet, or 10 to 40 cents per ounce. 


Soil and Situation. — A good rich soil is necessary, plenty of 
thoroughly rotted short stable or cattle manure should be dug in. 
A sheltered position should be chosen, where abundance of water 
can be given. 

Sowing seed. — ^The seed is sown in nursery beds. About one 
ounce of seed should give 1 000 plants. 

Planting. — The plants are set out at 3 feet apart in rows, the 
rows being 5 feet apart. About 3,000 plants go to the acre. 

Cultivation. — If well grown, large fruits are desired, only a 
certain number should be allowed to each plant in proportion to 
the strength and peculiar variety. The ends of the branches 
should be pinched when the fruits are ripening. The varieties 
differ in the length of time they take to ripen their fruit, from two 
to six months. In a tropical climate like Jamaica, it is preferable 
to grow those varieties which require the longest time, as the fruit 
is larger and better flavoured. In temperate climates, on the other 
hand, the " early" varieties are preferred. 

Varieties, — The following are the chief varieties — 

(1) Long Purple. — The fruit is from 6 to 8 inches long, and 2 to 
3 inches in diameter. It is best in quality before it is fully grown. 
Five or six months are necessary for its growth. There may be & 
or 10 fruits on a large healthy plant. 

(2) Early Long Purple. — This is only an early variety of the 
preceding, and the plant is not so strong nor so large. 

(3) Round Purple. — The fruits are large and somewhat pear- 
shaped. Not more than 3 or 4 should be left to grow on a plant. 

(4) New York Improved. — ^The fruit is like that of the Round 
Purple, but the plant is smaller. Not more than 2 fruits should be 
allowed to a single plant. 

(5) Early Dwarf Purple. — ^This is an early variety. The plant is 
low-growing and branching, and may carry 10 or 12 fruits. The 
fruit is of a longer shape than the Round Purple, 3 or 4 inches 
long and about 2 in diameter at the thick end. 

(6) IVhite China. — This is a very distinct variety, with long 
slender white fruit. 

(7) Landreth's Thornless Large Round Purple. — This is a variety 
recommended by Messrs. Landreth. 

Prices of seed. — American 30 to 60 cents per ounce ; French 3d. 
to 1/ per ounce. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



The cultivation of Kidney Beans (Red Peas) is well understood 
liere, as they form one of the principal crops grown by the 
peasantry, but they are grown as a field crop and the pods are 
allowed to ripen on the plants. They should be grown in rows at 
least 2 feet apart, and the plants 9 to 12 inches apart in the rows. 

Quantity of Seed. — A little over half-a-pint of seed will plant a 
row a chain in length. 

Varieties. — Carter's White Advancer, Carter's Newington Wonder, 
Monster long podded Negro, Improved Golden Wax, Flageolet Wax, 
Henderson's Earliest Valentine, Cylinder Black Wax, Yosemite Mam- 
moth Wax, Early Warwick, Early Mohawk. 

Prices of &^rf.— English ranges from lOd. to 2s. per quart; 
American 25 to 60 cents per quart. 


This vegetable holds a place intermediate between the cabbage 
and the turnip. It is very hardy and resists drought better than 
the turnip. 

Sow the seed thinly in a seed bed, and when the young plants 
are a couple of inches high they should be transplanted into any 
good, well-manured piece of ground, planting them about 9 inches 
apart in the rows, and the latter 18 inches asunder. If the weather 
be dry, water should be given till the plants take fresh root. 
With the exception of weeding and stirring the ground 
occasionally, no further cultivation is necessary. 


The soil for lettuce should be well manured with good rotten 
manure. The seed should be sown in drills about 15 inches apart, 
and as soon as young plants are large enough to handle they 
should be thinned out to about 12 inches. The plants removed in 
thinning should be transplanted at the usual distances and they 
will be ready for pulling from two to three weeks after those left 
in the seed drills. After transplanting it will be necessary to 
water the plants for some days till they get established. 

The surface of the soil between the rows should be kept stirred 
during growth, and an occasional application of weak liquid 
manure, when the plants begin to form heads, will be beneficial. 

Quantity of seed required. — Half an ounce of seed will sow a drill 
one chain in length. 

Varieties. — Boston Market, Tennis Ball Black Seeded, All the Year 
Round, Henderson's New York, Perfected Salamander, Big Boston, Vir- 
ginia Solid Header, Largest of all. Yellow Seeded Butter, Golden Queen. 

Price of seed. — American 10 to 30 cents per ounce. 


Melons thrive best in a moderately enriched light soil ; the hills 
should be from three to six feet apart each way, according to the 
richness of the soil, if the soil is poor or sandy, plant at four feet. 
Previous to planting, incorporate well with the soil in each hill a 
couple of shovelsful of thoroughly rotted manure ; plant twelve or 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


fifteen seeds in each hill, and when well up, thin out to three or 
four of the most promising. Pinch oflf the leading shoots as the 
growth becomes too luxuriant, and if the fruit sets too numerously 
thin out when young, which will increase the size of those remain- 
ing and cause them to ripen more quickly. 

Quantity of seed. — One ounce for sixty hills. 

Varieties. — Early Hackensack, The Newport, Emerald Gem, Balti- 
more or Acme, Extra Early Citron, South Jersey, Atlantic City, Extra 
Early June. 

Price of seed. — American, lo to 30 cents per ounce. 


No plants are more easy to grow than these ; they may be sown 
in any kind of soil, but preferably in a moist and shaded position^ 
with the certainty of having plants fit to cut in a couple of weeks. 
Sow each broadcast in a bed, and rake lightly over. 

Quantity of seed required, — One ounce of seed will sow a bed 16 
feet by 4 feet. 

Mustard Varieties. Finest White, Brown or Black, New Chinese, 
Prices of seed, English, 3d. & 4d., per ounce or 1/3 per pint, except 
New Chinese, which is 2/ per pint. American 5 cents per ounce or 
40 cents, and $I per lb. 

Cress Varieties : — Plain or Common Golden. — ^A delicious salad — - 
Carter's Cut and Come Again, Australian. 

Prices of seed : — English, 3d. and 4d. per ounce; American 10 to 
15 cents per ounce. 


Plant beginning of August, October, December and February to 
keep a supply of young pods from October to May. 

Okra is extensively grown, its young pods being used in soups 
stews, etc. It thrives well in any moderately rich soil, the richer 
the better. The seed should be planted about 3 feet apart in 
rows where the plants are to remain. 

Quantity of seed. — A couple of ounces of seed will plant a row 
one chain in length. 

Varieties. — White Velvet, Dwarf Prolific, LandretKs Long Green f 
Landreth's Long White. 

Price of seed. — ^American, 10 cents per ounce. 


Onions succeed best in an open situation in a rich loam, rather 
light than heavy. If the soil is too light, means must be taken to 
make it firm. It should in the first place be dug and broken up 
fitoe, to ensure an equal looseness throughout ; it should then be 
trodden down with the feet in order to render the bed uniformly 

Well-rotted stable maniu*e, the sweepings of poultry and pigeon 
houses, and bat manure are recommended. Sheep's dung, and 
well decomposed night soil are likewise excellent. 

Shallow drills about 12 inches apart should be drawn, and the 
seeds sown thinly along the drills and very lightly covered with 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


fine soil, then the whole surface should be well trodden, and 
smoothed with the back of a rake. The young onions should be 
thinned to a distance of 3 inches when large enough to pull, and 
the seedlings thus removed may be transplanted, if desired. Later 
on a second thinning will be necessary, when every second plant 
should be pulled, leaving a distance of 6 inches between the plants 
in the drills. 

Even to keep down weeds, deep hoeing is not advisable, as the 
ground must be kept solid, but the soil between the drills should 
be lightly hoed occasionally. 

When the bulbs have attained their full size, the leaves are bent 
down at the neck of the bulb by the back of a wooden rake. This 
checks the flow of sap and causes the leaves to decay, and the 
bulbs to ripen more quickly. When the leaves wither, the onions 
are taken up and left lying for 3 or 4 days to dry in the sun, with 
an occasional turning over ; they are then fit for market. 


Parsley likes a good but not too rich soil, in a somewhat shady 
situation. The seed should be sown in drills 1 foot apart, and 
covered with fine mould to the depth of half an inch. The seed 
germinates very slowly, often taking several weeks, and the drills 
should be frequently watered till the young plants are well above 
the ground. 

Quanti:y of seed.-r-HdiU an ounce will sow a drill one chain in 

Varieties. Carter's Ferned-leaved, price 1/6 per ounce, Carter's 
Perpetual, price 1/ per packet. Champion Moss-Curled, price 1/ per 
ounce, Covent Garden Garnishing, price Qd. per ounce. Double Curled, 
price 4d. per ounce, Henderson's Emerald, price 10 cents per ounce. 

PEAS, (English) 

Sow from beginning of September to beginning of March, once 
a fortnight, or once a month, to have peas for market from No- 
vember to May. 

Soil. — A good friable loam, in which there is plenty of lime, is 
the best for peas. The soil should be dug to a good depth, and 
left rather rough so that the rain water may not run off it, but pass 
through the soil. 

Manure. — Well-rotted stable manure should be applied in greater 
or less quantity according as the soil is more or less poor, and it 
should be dug in about a foot below the surface. 

The ground having been prepared, the first thing to be done is 
to mark the distances for the rows, and this will depend on the 
heights of the varieties selected. Tall growing varieties require 
to be planted not less than 7 or 8 feet apart, and in England they 
are often planted at twice or thrice that distance apart, and other 
low growing crops, such as turnips, etc., planted between the rows, 
it having been abundantly proved that the further the rows are 
placed apart, the better the yield and produce. As a rule, however, 
the distance between the rows may be about the same as the 
height to which the varieties usually grow. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Sowing the Seeds. — Having decided on the distances apart for the 
tows, and marked them with pieces of stick, a line should be 
stretched and drills made with a garden hoe, about 3 or 3 J inches 
deep, and about 6 inches wide, then the seeds should be sown, not 
too thickly, but allowing room enough for them to grow, without 
robbing each other of nourishment and moisture. When the seeds 
have been sown, the soil taken out of the drills should be broken 
fine with a rake if lumpy, and the peas covered with it, and lightly 

As soon as the plants have grown a few inches, a little earth 
should be drawn by a hoe towards them, and this should be re- 
peated as they advance. They should then be at once staked, 
and as soon as the tendrils appear the sticks will be in readiness 
for them to lay hold of. Small sticks may be used at first, but as 
the plants advance in growth, taller, twiggy branches will be neces- 
sary. Two rows of sticks are needed for each row of peas, one 
on either side of the plants. In staking begin at one end of the 
row, put the sticks firmly in the ground, and slant those on one 
side slightly in the same direction in a line with the row, and if 
those on the other side of the peas, are equaliy slanted in an op- 
posite direction a kind of lattice work will be formed and will be 
a good support for the plants. 

If Ihe weather be hot and dry, a thick layer of litter spread be- 
tween the rows will be advantageous, by keeping the ground 
moist and comparatively cool. 

Quantity of seed. For a row of one chain in length if pints of 
seed are required, making allowance for a proportion that either 
will not come up at all, are so weakly as to be of no account. 

Varieties. The varieties of the Pea are so numerous that a mere 
list of the names would occupy several pages. From experiments 
carried out at the Hill Garden, for productiveness, the following 
can be recommended : — Carter's Balmoral Castle, Carter's Princess 
Royal, Laxton's Alpha, Duke of Albany, Laxton's Prolific, Kentish In- 
victa, Abundance, Carter's Telephone, Carter's Telegraph, Ne Plus Ultra, 
Henderson* s First of all, Horsford's Market Garden, Landreth's French 

Prices of seed. English, gd. to 2/6 per quart ; American, 25 to 80 
cents per quart, according to variety. 


They should be planted about 2j feet apart in rows, and the 
latter should be about 3 feet asunder in good mellow soil. 

Quantity of seed. — Half an ounce of good seed should produce 
suflScient plants for five rows of one chain each, planted at 2^ feet 

Varieties. County Fair. — Particularly sweet and mild, being 
thicker in the flesh than any other sort and enormously produc- 
tive. Seed, 10 cents per packet, 40 cents per ounce. 

Cardinal. — Glossy bright red in colour ; five to six inches in 
length, being about an inch broad at the base and tapering to a 
point. Very sweet and thick fleshed. Seed, 5 cents per packet 
40 cents per ounce. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Ruby King. — An exceedingly large and handsome pepper of mild 
flavour ; the fruits of a bright ruby red. Seed lO cents per packet, 
25 cents per ounce. 

Large BelL — An early variety of mild flavour, a favourite for 
pickling and for use in the natural state. Seed 5 cents per packet, 
25 per ounce. 

Golden Dawn. — Of similar shape and size as Large Bell, but of 
more delicate flavour ; colour yellow. Seed, 5 cents per packet, 
25 cents per ounce. 


Plant from October to January to have new Potatoes ready for 
market from end of December or beginning of January to April. 

Soil. — Potatoes will grow in almost any kind of soil with good 
cultivation, but a good friable loam, rather light than otherwise, 
and free from stagnant water is the best. Good potatoes are pro- 
duced in light sandy soil, but a liberal supply of manure is neces- 
sary to ensure a heavy crop. 

Manure. — ^The quantity and kind of manure to be employed 
must depend on the nature of the soil, to a light sandy soil, a 
liberal supply of thoroughly decomposed manure should be given, 
but if the soil is of a heavy, damp nature, half rotted long manure 
is best. In hot, dry soils, cow dung when it can be obtained, is 
preferable, as it retains more moisture than stable manure, but it 
should be well mixed with litter. Pig's dung is too powerful in 
an unmixed state, but when mixed with about twice its own bulk 
of earth it forms an excellent manure. Generally speaking, how- 
ever, for the hills of Jamaica, farm-yard manure, that is the excre- 
ments, both solid and liquid, of the various animals kept about a 
place, mixed with litter and refuse and allowed to decompose, is 
probably the best. 

** Seed '* or Sets. — There is some difference of opinion as to 
whether the tubers should be planted whole or cut, but from experi- 
ments made in the Gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society at 
Chiswick, London, it was found on the mean of two plantations 
that the produce from cut sets exceeded that from whole tubers by 
nearly one ton per acre. Good sized tubers are considered best 
for sets. The eyes in the Potato are true buds, and it stands to 
reason that good sound tubers with strong eyes or buds, will pro- 
duce much more healthy and vigorous plants than small tubers 
with comparatively weak eyes. This, also, has been proved by 
actual experiment. 

When good sized tubers are used for sets they may be cut in 
halves passing the knife through from the bunch of eyes at the 
top, and generally the halves may be divided again. One good 
eye to each set is all that is really necessary, but it is safer to cut 
the set so that it may have two eyes, as sometimes an eye is blind, 
or so weak as to be unable to push. 

The sets should not be planted for a few days after being cut, 
but kept in a dry place, and some wood ashes or such like mate- 
rial mixed with them to absorb the juice exuding from the fresh 
cuts, and thus prevent decay setting in. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Modes of planting — For garden cultivation, or small patches of 
ground, drawing drills with the hoe, if the soil is well pulverised, 
or digging trenches are probably the best methods. I have no 
doubt that drawing the earth into hills, as is done for Sweet 
Potatoes, and planting a set in each hill would be an excellent 
plan. By this means each plant could be moulded with fine soil 
when needed, and the hills being above the level of the ground 
would ensure good drainage, and it should always be borne in 
mind that two of the main things necessary to ensure success in 
the cultivation of the Potato are good drainage, and a good body 
of pulverised soil. In heavy wet ground a good plan is to throw 
the soil up in ridges. These are really raised beds about 4^ feet 
wide, with trenches 18 inches wide between them ; the soil taken 
from the trenches is thoroughly broken up, and used for covering 
the sets, and for moulding the plants later on. The trenches act 
as so many drains during heavy rains and keep the ridges com- 
paratively dry. 

Some growers spread the manure on the ridges, or in the drills 
or trenches just previous to planting and lay the sets on it ; but 
this is not considered a good plan, as later on the young tubers come 
into direct contact with the manure which causes them to scab, 
and as the manure is provided to afford nourishment to the fibrous 
roots, not the tubers, it is a mistake to run the risk of spoiling the 
appearance of a crop by adopting this method. For field cultiva- 
tion I should recommend opening trenches or drills from end to 
end of the ground, spread the manure evenly in the bottom 
of the trenches, or on the tops of the ridges if that system 
of cultivation is adopted, and cover it to the depth of a couple of 
inches with fine soil, then lay the sets and cover up. If only a 
garden, or small piece of ground is to be planted it will be better 
if it is evenly manured and well dug over sometime previous to 
planting, and when the season comes round the trenches can be 
opened and the sets planted without any further maniu'ing. 

Dibbling in the sets is a system followed in England to a con- 
siderable extent, but unless the soil has been well cultivated 
previously it is not a system to be recommended here. The sets 
are likely to be placed at unequal depths, and the chances are that 
the eyes will be turned down in the holes instead of being placed 
uppermost, and in performing the work the ground gets trodden 
unnecessarily, the consequence being that if dry weather follows, 
the soil cakes and the buds are unable to push through it, whereas 
if rain follows immediately after planting, it collects in the holes 
and as likely as not causes the sets to rot. 

Distance apart. — The distance at which the sets should be placed 
apart varies with the nature of the soil and vigour of the kind 
grown ; in rich soils a greater distance should be allowed than in 
poor soils. In general, the distances should be 2\ to 3 feet 
between the rows, and 12 to 15 inches between the sets in each 
row, but as a rule, the greater the distances the better the yield. 

Depth. — ^The depth to which the sets should be covered also 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


varies somewhat, but 4 to 5 inches in heavy, and 5 to 6 inches in 
light soils are about the proper depths. 

Subsequent culture, — This consists in keeping the ground free 
from weeds, earthing up the plants as they advance in growth, and 
keeping the soil stirred and fine, as the more it is pulverised, the 
better, but taking care not to injure the young roots or tubers. 

Lifting. When the tops are observed to wither from natural 

decay the crop may be lifted, and this should not be delayed too 
long, as if so, in this climate the new tubers are apt to vegetate. 
Choose fine, but if possible cloudy weather as potatoes should be 
exposed to light, and specially bright sunshine as little as possible. 
Exposure to the sun causes the tubers to turn green, and it is well 
known that the green parts of a potato contain a more or less 
poisonous principle. After lifting, the potatoes should be stored 
in a dry airy room or shed, but light should be excluded as much 
as possible. Potatoes are too often exposed to the light, and when 
such are cooked they are yellow in appearance and have a 
decided bitterish flavour, whereas if kept in the dark till required 
for cooking they would be white and floury. 

Varieties. — The varieties of the Potato are exceedingly numerous, 
but the kinds to be grown for shipping during the winter months 
are those known as *' new potatoes" — the various kinds of Kidney 
potato — Carter's First Crop. A re-selected stock of the earliest, 
most prolific and best Kidney in cultivation. Price 5/ per peck 
(14 lbs), per i cwt. or bushel 17/6. 

Carter's Improved Early Ashleaf. — The first early White Kidney 
Price 4/6 per peck (14 lbs), per J cwt. or bushel 14/. 

Myatt's Early Prolific Ashleaf. — This is the variety so largely 
grown in Cornwall and Jersey as an early Potato for the English 
markets, and it is probably the most certain early-cropping Kidney 
in commerce. Price 2/6 per peck (14 lbs), per \ cwt. or bushel 

Victor (Sharpe). Several seasons' trial have fully confirmed all 
that has been said of the Victor Kidney Potato. It is proved to be 
one of the earliest, most prolific, and best flavoured of all early 
potatoes. Price 3/6 per peck (14 lbs), per \ cwt., or bushel 12/. 

Snowdrop. — Of sterling merit, both as to quality and produc- 
tiveness. One of the handsomest Kidneys grown. Price 3/ per 
peck (14 lbs), per J cwt. or bushel, 1 0/6. 

Early Norther. — This variety seems to do well everywhere. Its 
table qualities cannot be excelled, cooking dry and floury, whether 
baked or boiled. Price 70 cents per peck, $2.25 per bushel. 


Plant at same time as Squash, in hills 8 feet apart each way, 
and only allow one plant to each hill. 

Varieties. — Calhoun, Winter Luxury, Yellow Cashaw, Jonathan, Large 

Price of seed. — American, 5 to 10 cents per packet, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



The radish will succeed in any light, open soil, but rather a 
shady spot should be selected. To grow them properly the ground 
should be dug deeply, and the surface raked fine. The seed is 
usually sown thinly broadcast in beds about four feet wide, and 
the surface lightly raked over after sowing. In dry weather the 
beds should be watered early in morning. 

Quantity of seed required, — One and a half ounces of seed will 
sow a bed i6 feet long by four feet wide. 

Varieties, — Earliest Long Frame y Carter* s Violet French Breakfast, 
Carter's Early White Turnip, Carter's Extra Early white-tipped 
Scarlet, Mixed Turnip, Early Round Dark Red, Market Gardeners' 
Early Long Scarlet, 

Prices of seed, — English, from 4d. to 8d. per ounce ; American, 
10 cents per ounce. 


By sowing at intervals of two or three weeks from beginning of 
August till March, a succession of spinach is easily kept up from 
about October till May. The soil for spinach should be deep and 
rich, neither very stiflF nor very light, and should be rather moist, 
otherwise frequent waterings will be necessary. The seed should 
be sown in drills about an inch deep, and IS to 1 8 inches apart, 
and the plants should be thinned out to about 6 inches apart in 
the rows. Beyond keeping the ground free from weeds, the soil 
stirred occasionally, and watering frequently and copiously in 
dry weather, no further cultivation is needed. 

Quantity of Seed required, — To sow a drill one chain in length f 
of an ounce of seed will be needed. 

Varieties, — Carter's Market Favourite, The Carter, Bloomsdale 
Spinach, Ever Ready, Prickly Scedcd-Curlcd, Round or Summer, 

Prices of seed, — English, 3d. and 4d. per ounce ; American 10 to 
15 cents per ounce. 


Plant in hills, prepared as for Melons, 4 feet apart each way 
for the bush varieties, and 6 to 8 feet apart for the running sorts. 
About 2 plants may be allowed to each hill. If very large fruit 
is desired only two or three should be left on each plant, selecting 
the best, and the branches should be cut off about two or three 
leaves beyond the last fruit. 

Quantity of seed. — One ounce for 50 hills. 

Varieties, — Bws\i\i\nAs— Long Island, White Bush, Golden Custard 
Bush, White Bush Scalloped ^ Yellow Bush Crookneck, 

Running kinds — Landreth's White Turban, Henderson's Delicate 
Winter Crookneck, 

Price of seed, — American, 10 to 25 cents per ounce. 


Plant once a fortnight from beginning of August to beginning 
of January to have young, tender corn from end of October to 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


" All varieties of Sweet or Sugar Corn may be either sown in 
rows four and one-half feet apart, and the seeds placed about 
eight inches apart in the rows or planted in hills at distances of 
three or four feet each way, according to the variety grown, or the 
richness of the soil in which it is planted. The taller the variety, 
or the richer the soil, the greater should be the distance apart. 

Quantity of seed. — One quart of seed will plant 200 hills, or a 
row 100 yards in length; 8 to 10 quarts for an acre. 

Varieties, Perry's Hybrid — An early twelve-rowed variety, grow- 
ing only 4 to 5 feet high. Kernels white, large, sweet and very 
tender. Price of seed, 25 cents per quart. 

Moore's Early Concord. — Ears large and well-filled; and unsur- 
passed for richness and delicacy of flavour. Price of seed 25 
cents per quart. 

Stabler's Early. — A valuable second early corn, remarkably large 
for so early a ripener. Yields an abundant crop, is desirable for 
family use, and one of the most profitable for market or canning. 
Price of seed, 25 cents per quart. 

Squantum. — One of the sweetest varieties, and is largely used 
for market and canning. It is a general favourite and is wonder- 
fully productive. The Squantum is the variety used almost exclu- 
sively at the famous Rhode Island clambakes, which is sufficient 
evidence of its quality. Price of seed, 25 cents per quart. 

Extra Early Minnesota. — Maturing for table in about seventy days 
from germination. Ears well made out. Desirable in the family 
garden and profitable to shippers. Price of seed 20 cents per 

Early Landreth Market. — Cultivated on large areas and almost 
exclusively by the market gardeners of* Burlington County, New 
Jersey. The edible grain is white and sweet. This variety will 
mature ears for market in about eighty days from germination. 
The stalk is leafy and grows to a height of 6 feet. A very profit- 
able sort as a money maker. Plant in rows 4 feet apart, and 
thin the plant*-, to two feet in the rows. Price of seeds 20 cents 
per quart. 

Landreth' s Sugar. — A remarkably productive variety; two ears 
on every stalk, often three, and sometimes four. The ear remains 
long in milky condition for the table, the edible grain being pure 
white and exceedingly sugary. Matures for market in about 82 
days. This Sugar Corn will afford to growers more baskets of 
marketable ears to the acre than any other variety in cultivation. 
Plant at distances of 4J feet between the rows, and 3 feet from 
plant to plant in the rows. Price of seed 27 cents per quart. 


The seed should be sown in prepared beds or in boxes, and as 
soon as the plants are a couple of inches high they should be 
pricked ofi^ into another bed, a few inches apart, when they have 
attained a height of about 6 inches they may be planted out. If 
the seeds have not been sown too thickly the young plants may 
be allowed to remain in the original bed or box till they are strong 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


enough to be transplanted at once to their permanent positions. 
They like a light, sandy, well manured soil. They should be plant- 
ed about three feet apart in rows which should be about four feet 
asunder. A strong stake should be driven in at the root of each 
to tie the plants to, and particular attention should be paid to 
stopping the lateral growths to throw all the strength into the 
main stem. The tomato is a gross feeder and should be liberally 
supplied with rich mulching material, and irrigated freely till the 
fruit begins to ripen, when they should be kept rather dry at the 

Quantity of seed. — Half an ounce of seed will produce 750 plants. 

Varieties, — ^These are so numerous that it is a somewhat difficult 
matter to make a selection, the following however, are recommend- 
ed : — Carter's Perfection (a winner of 38 first prizes at Horticultural 
Shows), Carter's Dedhqm Favourite (a winner of 22 first prizes^ 
Carter's Market Favourite, Harefieid Gentf Carter's Sandwhich Island 
(specially recommended as being better suited for long journeys, 
and rough handling than the general run of tomatoes). Ham Green 
Favourite f Trophy ^ Acme, Chiswick Red, Duke 0} ^ork, Carter's Blen- 
heim Orange, The\ Mikado, Table Queen, Ponderosa, Trophy extra 
selected. Early Bermuda, Early Jersey, The Money Maker. 

Prices of seed, — English seed ranges in price from 6d. to 3/6 per 
packet ; American seed from 5 to 25 cents per packet, or from 30 
to 60 cents per ounce. 


The turnip succeeds best in light sandy soils. Stiff retentive 
soils are ill adapted for the growth of good, well flavoured roots. 
Land that has been well manured seldom fails to produce good 
turnips, it is, therefore, well to see that the land has been properly 
prepared for them before sowing the seed. Drills should be drawn 
about 2 inches deep and 12 inches apart, and seeds sown thinly. 
As soon as the young plants can be handled they should be 
thinned to 3 inches apart, and later on a second thinning will be 
necessary when every other one should be removed. The surface 
of the soil between the rows should at all times be kept open and 
free from weeds. 

Quantity of seed — To sow a drill one chain in length half an 
ounce of seed will be required. 

Varieties —Carter's White Swan's Egg, Carter's Jersey Lily, Carter's 
Purple Top Strapleaf, Henderson's Golden Ball, Purple Top White 
Globe, Early Snow Ball, Early White Milan, 

Prices of seed — English ranges from 3d. to 6d. per ounce; 
American, usually 10 cents per ounce, except for new varieties. 


Cultivate as stated for Musk Melons, except that the hills should 
be double the distance apart, and only one plant allowed to each 

Quantity of seed — One ounce to 30 hills. 

Varieties — Florida Favourite, Henderson's Green and Gold, Kolbs 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Gem (this variety is stated to be largly grown in the Southern 
States for shipments to the northern markets), The Jones, Landreth's 
Boss, Arkansas Traveller. 

Price of seed — American, 10 to 15 cents per ounce. 


The list here given, though a fairly comprehensive one, does 
not include the names of all the vegetables that might be grown 
for export, but if the kinds named, or a few of them at least 
were grown and shipped, a start would be made and next year 
a few more varieties might be included. I have been careful 
to name only such things as can be raised quickly and with- 
out much trouble, and at the same time such as are pretty 
certain to meet with a ready sale at remunerative rates if put 
on the market in good condition. I do not wish to be understood 
to mean that one grower can successfully cultivate all the kinds 
named ; soil, climate, water supply and other things will have to 
be duly considered, and each grower will have to use his own 
judgment in these matters. One man might try Tomatoes, Gar- 
den Eggs, Sweet Corn, and Kidney Beans, another might try 
Melons, Squashes and Cucumbers, &c. ; another Potatoes, Cab- 
bages, Green Peas, Turnips, Carrots, and Beet-root ; another Salads 
and so on. What I should like to impress on one and all, how- 
ever, is, that the time for planting is near at hand and he who 
would like to try and grow and ship vegetables during the coming 
winter and spring must be up and doing. The seeds which are 
named in this list may be obtained from Messrs. Jas. Carter and 
Co,, 237 and 238, Highholborn, London ; Messrs. Sutton and Sons, 
Reading, England ; Messrs. Vilmorn-Andrieux and Co., 4, Quai de la 
Migisserie, Paris, France, and the American kinds from Messrs. 
Peter Henderson and Co., 35 and 37 Cortlandt St., New York ; Messrs. 
D. Landreth and Sons, 21 and 23 S. Sixth St., Philadelphia ; Messrs. 
Atlee Burpee and Co., 475 and 477 N. 5th St., Philadelphia, Pa. A 
remittance to cover cost of seeds and postage should accompany 
orders to ensure prompt attention. 

The only difficulty I apprehend in this matter is in the packing. 
There is no doubt that vegetables of excellent quality can be 
grown here, but careful means will have to be devised to get them 
to the markets in the best possible condition. In the United 
States there would appear to be a regulation-size box, crate, or 
hamper for nearly every vegetable product grown there, and a 
well recognised method of packing each product, and what we 
need now is more precise information on these points. It might 
be possible to procure samples of the various packages for the 
guidance of intending shippers, who could either have similar 
boxes, etc., made here, or import them as required if found 
cheaper to do so. These, however, are matters of detail which 
can be attended to whilst the crops are growing. The first thing 
to be done, and that soon, is to decide on what is to be grown, 
and get the seed in the ground. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



There has been much talk of late in Ceylon planting circles con- 
cerning the possibility of camphor cultivation in that Island, and 
many are anxious to learn whether operations are likely to prove 
profitable, especially in view of the extreme scarcity and high 
prices which now appear to be more or less permanent. Camphor 
has been cultivated for experimental purposes in Ceylon and 
India for a number of years, but not until quite recently has it 
been successfully produced. So far as we can learn, the planter 
has not the best methods of distillation at his disposal, and has 
not been able to extract camphor in paying quantities. This is 
well illustrated by the fact that nine months ago there were over 
one hundred acres under the camphor plant in Ceylon, yet up to 
the present not more than a ton of crude camphor has been 
produced. Recently the Governor of Ceylon has been talking of 
the potentialities of camphor culture and since then there has 
been an unprecedented rush for seed. Concessions of land have 
been granted in Ceylon, and planting will shortly commence on a 
substantial scale : and as the climatic conditions are said to be 
similar to those of Formosa, there seems every reason that the 
experiment should ultimately be successful. It appears, however, 
there is great difficulty in obtaining true camphor-seed from Japan, 
as, naturally, the Japanese are prepared neither to assist the 
planter nor to give away the secrets of their distillation. If it 
were possible to get hold of a Japanese or Chinaman actually 
engaged in the camphor industry, the difficulty might be quickly 
solved, as the Ceylon planter has everything to learn regarding 
distillation. In other words, he has a certain quantity of raw 
material at hand, and is as yet unable to obtain an adequate yield 
of the crude product. Mr. Kelway Bamber, the Ceylon Govern- 
ment chemist, has been at work for some time at Peradeniya, and 
has succeeded in perfecting an inexpensive still which it is hoped 
will render the process an easy one. The profit at present prices 
would be considerable, but a grower would probably have to take 
a much lower price than the ruling quotation of 350s. per cwt. 
The demand for camphor is only a limited one, but we believe the 
danger of over-production in Ceylon is remote, and that planters 
would be justified in going ahead. 

Ever since the Japanese monoply was established some eight 
years ago, the crude-camphor market has been more or less 
starved or only supplied with extremely limited quantities. This, 
of course, is not entirely the fault of the Japanese Government, as 
they have encountered many difficulties in working their monoply 
in Formosa. Labour-troubles, native rebellions, earthquakes, and 
the late war have all contributed their quota in regard to diminished 
shipments. One fact, however, stands out prominent since the 
institution of the monoply — /.^., the refining of camphor in Europe 
and the United States has dwindled to a mere shadow compared 

♦ From ** The Chemist and Druggist" Aug., 18, 1 906, p, 303. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


with what it was a decade ago ; and, in spite of official denials 
^o the contrary, the refining is gradually passing into Japanese 

With the advent of extremely high prices undoubtedly the con- 
sumption has fallen off considerably, and where possible the 
public for certain disinfecting purposes have had to fall back 
upon the less-esteemed naphthalin, in which a large business is 
now done. This is, of course, only natural when it is considered 
that the wholesale price of refined balls in large quantities in the 
open market has been from 4s. to 4s. 3d. per lb. for over eighteen 
months. It was thought that after the Russo-Japanese war there 
would be a fall in price, but, on the contrary, the price rose to its 
present quotation, and at the moment the position is regarded as 
exceedingly firm. It must not be forgotten, however, that there 
have been some exceedingly dull periods this year, and at times 
the article has almost " gone a begging/' the extreme prices 
having frightened buyers. 


In his annual report for the year 1905, Sir William Taylor, 
K.C.M.G., the Resident General of the Federated Malay States, 
states that the high price of rubber and the proved suitability of 
land in those States for its cultivation have led to numerous appli- 
cations for land in the four States, but more particularly in Se- 
langor, where almost all the accessible land between the Klang 
and the Selangor rivers has been taken up for rubber planting. 
Large areas of land have been applied for and granted for the 
purposes of this industry, and most of the large estates have been 
converted into, or sold to, limited liability companies. Next to 
the coast districts of Selangor, the Sungei Ujong district of the 
Negri Sembilan appears to be the locality most in favour with 
rubber prospectors. 

According to Mr. Carruthers, the Director of Agriculture, the 
area alienated for the planting of Para rubber is some 100,000 
acres, of which about 38,000 acres has already been planted. 
Most of the Para rubber trees of the age of five years or more have 
been planted 200 to the acre ; some estates have as many as 300 
to the acre. The number of trees of all ages in the Federated 
Malay States may perhaps be put at six to seven millions. 

The rubber production of 1 905 is estimated to have been 
300,000 lbs. 


According to H. M. Consul at Guayaquil (Mr. H. Cartwright) 
kapok (the fibre of the silk cotton tree) is a new article of export 
from that port. It has been enquired for from California, Liver- 
pool and Belgium. The product is gathered from the districts 
lying along the coast between Guayaquil and Manta, at Puna, 

♦ From the " Board of Trade Journal Aug, 2'\ 1906, p. 379. 
t From the "Board of Trade Journal,'' Aug, 16, 1906, p. 328. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Bahia de Caraques and many other places. The price paid varies 
from I2S. to l8s. per quintal (lOO lbs.) uncleaned. The loss of 
weight in cleaning is about 50 per cent., consisting of oily seeds, 
parts of the pod and the inner core of the pod. There is no doubt, 
says Mr. Cartwright, that a very large quantity of this could be 
collected in the country, but for the fact that there is such a 
scarcity of labour, and also that the people in some of the districta^ 
where it is gathered find the manufacture of hats more remunera- 
tive. The quantity of kapok exported is, so far, small — in lQ02r^ 
21 tons; in 1903, 23 tons ; in 1904, 18 tons. 


The coffee planters of Southern India, wishing to know exactly^ 
how their industry stood in relation to that of Brazil, the Govern- 
ment of India in April, 1905, at the instance of the Government 
of Madras, sent a Despatch to the India Office asking for informa- 
tion regarding the Brazilian coffee industry. Very detailed ques- 
tions were asked regarding labour and wages, cultivation, area, 
soil and forests : the system of cultivation ; the type of trees ; the 
raising of bye-products, shade on estates, abandonment of old and 
opening up of new estates, &c. ; crops and the curing of coffee ; 
diseases, and pests ; finance, and cost of production ; climate, and 
physical features of the coffee districts ; transport and duties. 
This despatch was transferred through the Foreign OflSce to the 
British Minister in Brazil, who distributed the lists of questions ta 
the various Consuls, in order that they might make personal 
enquiry into the subject. The answers to these questions have 
now been collected and issued as a white paper by the India 

Transmitting the replies from the Consuls, the British Minister 
in Brazil, in his Despatch dated the 6th February, 1906, says : 

"The difficulty of obtaining trustworthy information of a statis- 
tical nature in this country is sufficiently recognised to render all 
explanation of the inability to furnish full and exhaustive reports 
from the various Consular districts unnecessary. The enormous 
area of the country, the diflSculties of communication and the 
expense of travelling preclude the possibility of acquiring minute 
information which could only be obtained by a personal visit to 
the numerous coffee planters scattered throughout a large portion 
of Brazil, except by experts specially appointed for the purpose, 
without other occupations to attend to and with considerable 
funds at their disposal for travelling purposes." 


The British Consul-General at Rio de Janeiro writes of his 
district : — 

"Coffee planting is the principal industry of Brazil and coffee 
is the principal article of export. The consumption of the worlds 
is estimated at 16,000,000 bags, the bulk of which is produced in 

♦ Fro'i. " mis Tropical Agriculturist** July 15th, 1904, p.74. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Brazil which yields some 9,000,000 to 15,000,000 bags. The- 
limited demand for the quantity produced caused a crisis in recent 
years owing to bimiper crops and over-production. Since then 
there have been schemes to restrict production, but these have 
only taken effect in the State of Sao Paulo, in which State alone 
can any oflScial statistics on this subject be obtained. 
Sao Paulo is the principal coffee district. 


The conditions of labour are different in each locality. It may, 
however, be calculated that men earn about $2 a day and women 
$ I beside food. "Colonials" or those labourers established on 
the estate receive land and a certain number of trees in lieu of 
wages ; others have an interest in the crop. The labour is chiefly 
Italian and negro, and is bad and scarce. Immigration is required, 
but has been so badly treated that it is discouraged. Owing to 
extravagance, the planters are mostly in difficulties and do not pay 
wages when due, or the men are fleeced by the truck system. It 
is possible for the labourers to live by the cultivation of their own 
plots. The work on the estate takes some nine months of the 

Note. — I melries = 2s. 2*934d. formerly, now Is. 5d. say Re. I 
cts. 6. 


It is only the principal coffee districts which are comprised in 
the newspaper reports ; and there are large tracts of land 
unplanted and suitable for coffee, and these lands are likely to 
remain unplanted until the demand for coffee increases. It would 
probably not be practicable to obtain land for coffee-planting 
where restriction is in force, nor under the circumstances would it 
be likely to be profitable. There are extensive railways through 
the principal coffee districts, the rates vary but are high. 

Old fazendas are abandoned and not cultivated, but coffee is 
picked when the trees happen to yield. When the trees no longer 
bear, the plantation is abandoned, and as the land is privately 
owned it does not revert to Government, nor is it taxed. Coffee 
trees yield berries up to 30 years. After bumper crops the next 
crop or two is smaller. Land in Sao Paula in some districts pro- 
duces 3 or 4 times as much as that in Rio de Janeiro. There does 
not seem to be any extension of planting, and that planting is to* 
replace those trees that go out of bearing. There is not much 
planted that has yet to come into bearing. Trees begin to bear 
three years after planting. In Rio the land is hilly, and in Sao 
Paulo undulating and flat, with a red soil. There is some heavy 
forest and much scrub, and the undergrowth is very thick, with- 
creepers, thorns and grass ; heavy timber is found in the forests. 


The cost of production and placing at local railway stations 
may be estimated at $4*3000 a bag of 60 kilos (or 132^ lbs.) 

From " l%e Tropical AgrieulttirUt" July 16, 1906. p. 74. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


By Herbert Wright. 

It is a matter of common knowledge that the value of the 
Ceylon cacao has, during the last few years, fallen considerably, 
and had it not been found that this product could be profitably 
cultivated as a permanent intercrop with Para and Castilloa 
rubber, the industry would in all probability have remained 
stationary. While the value of Ceylon cacao has recently shown 
a decline, that of many other countries has not done so, and 
judging from the numerous local applications regarding the 
varieties to be selected, the suitability of each kind in conjunction 
with rubber and other matters, it appears necessary to consider 
our position and see what improvements are possible. In the 
Matale, Kurunegala, Dumbara and other districts the combined 
cultivation — cacao and rubber — is rapidly extending, and seems 
likely to prove a very remunerative one. 

The output and value of cacao from Ceylon are obvious from a 
consideration of the following supplied by the Principal Collector 
X){ Customs, Colombo : — 

Year. Quantity. Total value. Value per cwt. 


qr. lb. 






I 24 






I 22 






2 I 






3 2 






3 20 






3 12 









The price of Rs. 70 per cwt. obtained in 1892, as against that of 
Rs. 35 per cwt. in 1 905, takes us back to the most vital consi- 
deration i.e,f the variety or quality of the cacao grown and 
exported during these periods. Since the ravages of the disease 
or diseases affecting the stems and pods first became prominent 
in Ceylon, there has been a tendency to replace the old CrioUo 
or Caracas variety with the more prolific varieties of Forastero 
and Amelonado, in the belief that the latter was not as liable to 
the ravages of parasitic fungi. Now, however, the planters are 
beginning to realise that all varieties of cacao at present cultivated 
in Ceylon are liable to be affected by the same diseases, and 
when the latter appear in the fluted and high stems of the 
Forastero variety, are very difficult to effectively excise. There 
has been, during the last two or three years, a distinct tendency 
to plant the old Caracas type in preference to the Forastero ; 
the change of variety can be shown to be one of the factors 
responsible for the varying value placed upon the cacao exported 
from Ceylon. 

* From " I%6 Tropical Agriculturist,'' July 15, 1906, p. 73, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


During recent years the cultivation of shade trees for cacao 
has also undergone considerable change, and whereas the original 
plantations contained mixed species of forest types, or a prepon- 
derance of Erythrina umbrosa, they are now giving way to Hevea 
brasiliensis, Erythrina iithosperma, Castilloa elastica, &c., : further- 
more, the results of experiments indicate that the shade of 
Erythrina Iithosperma need not be permanent throughout the whole 
year, but may be treated so as to form a shade of varying intensity 
according to the seasons. 

In all the species mentioned above there is observable one 
important and common agreement i,e., they all change their foliage 
annually and return large quantities of organic matter, in the form, 
of leaves, to the soil. Methods of manuring have also changed 
to some extent, during the period under consideration, and the 
effect of the change in modes of cultivation can be shown to aflfect 
the quantity or quality of the article produced. The Ceylon 
methods of cultivation, particularly with regard to pruning, weed- 
ing and manuring, are almost unique, and the differences obser- 
vable in Surinam, Trinidad, Samoa, Cameroon, &c., provide 
interesting material for our consideration. 

In Ceylon the methods of fermenting, washing and curing are 
often quite different and sometimes quite in contradiction to those 
of other countries, and the effect of these processes on the 
quality of the article is only too fully recognised. In the opinion 
of many, the condition of the trees, whether they are free or 
suffering from disease, is of importance in determining quality 
and quantity. 

It is therefore obvious that there are several factors which need 
to be considered in connection with the present and the past con- 
dition of the cacao industry in Ceylon. 

The factor which is perhaps more responsible for the range in 
value of the cured beans than any other is the variety of cacao 
selected, and with this we will deal. 


In planning the School Garden, run the boundary lines to har- 
monise with the lines of the School building and the road by 
making them parallel or at right angles to them. 

Draw a plan of the proposed Garden to scale, marking adjacent 
buildings and roads, garden foot-paths and beds, and noting what 
crops it is intended to cultivate. 

This plan must be submitted in duplicate to the Superintending 
Inspector of Schools, and approved by him and by the Director 
of Public Gardens before a grant is made for the commencement 
of the garden. 

The first requisite is such a fence as will keep out pigs and goats 
as well as the larger animals. The gate should be strongly made 
and well hung. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


In dry districts provision for watering or irrigating should be 
carefully considered. 

The land will probably require at first much preparation by 
tillage and manuring before it is fit to lay out as a School Garden, 
but such preparation is of the highest educational value. 

It should be thoroughly forked throughout first, removing stones 
and stumps and burying weeds. 

Then mark out the main path 6 ft. wide, and the side paths 3 ft 
wide, according to the directions given in the leaflet on School 
•Gardens. A good strong line 66 feet long is essential for this 
work, and for lining out beds afterwards — such a line costs l/iod. 
in Kingston. 

It is recommended to put the whole ground at first under such 
crops as corn, peas, yams, sweet potatoes. A preliminary plan 
(in duplicate) of the ground under such crops should be submitted 
with the main plan. 

The plan given in the leaflet is merely suggestive and need not 
be rigidly followed. The chief crops of the district should have 
an important place in the scheme. 

When the plans have been approved, they should be mounted 
.on a board, hung up in the school, and if necessary, carried out to 
the Garden for reference when work is being done. They should 
be strictly adhered to unless permission is first obtained from the 
Superintending Inspector of Schools. 

An estimate (in duplicate) of the expense for fencing and tools 
should be sent to the Superintending Inspector of Schools with 
the plans. In exceptional cases it may be necessary to hire labour 
ix) remove stumps, plough up very hard land, or erect a fence ; 
in such cases an estimate of expenditure should also be submitted. 

The Agricultural Instructor of the district should be consulted 
as to both plan and estimate, before they are submitted to the 
Superintending Inspector of Schools. 



The usual Monthly Meeting of the Board of Agriculture was 
held at Headquarter House on Wednesday, 1 2th September, 
1906, at 2 p.m. : Present : — The Hon. T. L. Roxburgh, Acting 
Chairman, the Acting Director of Public Gardens, the Acting 
Island Chemist, the Superintending Inspector of Schools, His 
Grace the Archbishop, Messrs. C. A. T. Fursdon, J. W. Middleton 
and the Secretary, John Barclay. 

The Secretary read the minutes of the previous meeting which 
were confirmed. 

The Secretary read copy of letter from the Colonial Secretary 
to the Jamaica Agricultural Society, forwarded for the information 
of the Board of Agriculture, in which the Governor agreed to the 
recommendation of the Conference on Agricultural Instructors, 
with the exception that Mr. Cradwick and Mr. Briscoe, being 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


t)ublic oflScers, would not be under the control of the joint Com- 
mittee of the two Boards. The Secretary also read letter from Mr. 
Cradwick saying that his engagements already made would carry 
him up to the 25th March 1907, and to interrupt these would cause 
a great deal of inconvenience and dissatisfaction to the diflferent 
local Agricultural Societies and Show Committees, and as he would 
be away from the district in connection with the Prize Holdings 
Competition and the Teachers Coiu-se three months of this time, 
he suggested that he should be allowed to remain in the western 
district till the end of the financial year, and if a new Instructor 
were appointed he could initiate him to his duties there during 
.the remaining period. 

It was resolved to advise the Agricultural Society of the circum- 
stances, and, in the absence of the joint Committee proposed but 
which had not been appointed, and as Mr. Cradwick's duty was 
so intimately connected with the Branches of the Agricultural 
Society, to state that the Board thought it advisable for Mr. Crad- 
wick to carry out his engagements in his present district to the 31st 
March, and from 1st April next take up his new district, and to 
ask their opinion on the matter. 

The Secretary submitted resolutions from the Central Cornwall, 
Santa Cruz, Appleton, Petersfield and Hanover Agricultural 
Societies aski ig that Mr. Cradwick's services might be retained 
for the western district. 

The Secretary submitted letter referred from the Colonial Secre- 
tary's Office regarding the supply of arrowroot to the General Peni- 
tentiary which was usually obtained from St. Vincent at about 
2id. per lb., with a minute asking whether the arrowroot could 
not be obtained at the same price or even a little over in Jamaica. 

The Secretary was instructed to write the Collector-General to 
ask what quantity of arrowroot was imported into Jamaica. The 
Secretary reported that he had some time ago made enquiry 
•on the subject and had letters. He found then that although 
arrowroot was not cultivated but grew in old cultivations from 
ratoons, people usually would not sell under 6d. per quart which 
worked out at about 4d. to 4id. per lb. and that he could not get 
anybody to undertake it under 3id., that even at that figure they 
would require to know of a certain outlet before they would pre- 
pare it in quantity. He was, however, again making enquiry. 

The Secretary submitted a letter from the Hon. H. Cork, asking 
whether the articles that have been published in the Journal of the 
Agricultural Society and in the Bulletin of the Department of 
Agriculture on Rubber could not be collected and published in 
pamphlet form. 

After discussion, Mr. Harris was asked to edit a pamphlet to 
contain all the practical instruction as regards rubber growing 
that was available up to date, and submit the pamphlet at next 

The Secretary submitted a letter from Mr. A. B. Lindo, Montego 
Bay, making application for the post of Assistant Superintendent 
at Hope Gardens. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The Secretary was instructed to forward same to the Govern-^ 

The Secretary submitted letter from Mr. W. M. N. Henry^ 
Enfield, asking the Board to supply seeds for his school garden. 
He was directed to reply that the Board had no funds to supply 

The Secretary supplied the following reports ; — 

From the Chemist : — 

1. Arrangements for holding Distillers Course in October, 

which were approved. 

2. Examination of Students for Diploma in Agriculture asking 

the Board to sanction a grant of £lO to be paid, as usual, 
as examiner's fee to Prof. d'Albuquerque out of the 
amount provided on the Estimates for "Instruction in 
Bookkeeping", etc., under the heading "Agricultural 

This was authorised. 

3. Resignation Of Mr. S. W. Brown from the staflF of the Sugar 

Department, having been appointed Science Master at 
Wolmer's School, as from the 1st September, also sug- 
gesting that the vacancy be not filled until Mr. Cousins' 

This was agreed to. 
From the Director of Public Gardens : — 

1. Report Hope Experiment Station. 

2. Mr. Cradwick's Report. 

3. Mr. Briscoe's Report and Itinerary. 

These were directed to be circulated. 

The Secretary read letter which had just been handed in from 
Messrs. Walcott, Robinson & Dunn, stating that the Directors of 
the Amalgamated Products Co., Ltd., desired to obtain a fair, im- 
partial and reliable report as to the quantity and portions of the 
lands of their estate called * Longville* in the parish of Clarendon 
which were suitable for and could be cultivated in cassava on pro- 
fitable and commercial lines, and asking if Mr. Cradwick could be 
permitted to inspect the property and furnish such a report. 

It was ageeed that the Secretary should write Mr. Cradwick and 
ask him if possible to arrange to take an early opportunity to do 
so, his expenses being paid by the Amalgamated Products Co. 

The Meeting then adjourned till Wednesday, 17th October, at 
2 p.m. 

[Issaed 6th Oct., 1906.] 
Printed at the Govt, Printing Office, Kingston, Jam. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 





Vol. IV. NOVEMBEK, 1906. Part 11. 


Compiled by W. HARRIS, F.L.S., Superintendent of Hope Gardens. 

At the request of the Board of Agriculture the following in- 
formation on rubber producing plants, much of which has already 
appeared in various issues of the Bulletin, has been brought to- 
gether in pamphlet form for the use of intending rubber planters 
in Jamaica. 

Rather copious quotations have been made from Mr. Herbert 
Wright's valuable book on Para Rubber,* this being the most 
recent work on the subject, a copy of which should be in the 
possession of every grower of Para rubber. 

It is impossible to say precisely at this stage of the industry 
which kind of rubber tree will be found best suited in every 
respect to the conditions that obtain here, but the indications 
would appear to be in favour of Castilloa. Personally I am in- 
clined to think that the Lagos Silk Rubber (Funtumia elastica) 
will prove to be one of the best if not actually the best for many 
of our districts. The young trees at Hope Gardens abound in 
latex which flows freely and we know that the marketable rubber 
is of very fine quality, and said to be superior to Castilloa. 

(Hevea brasiliensis), 

What is known as Para Rubber of commerce is obtained chiefly, 
if not entirely, from the species known as Hevea brasiliensis, a tree 
indigenous to the vast region drained by the Amazon and its 
tributaries, estimated to embrace a territory nearly two-thirds the 
size of Europe. Para is in about south latitutde l°, but the 
district of the same name extends over a vast forest region to the 
south and west throughout which, and the enormous forests of 

♦** Bevea hratnUensis or Para Rubber^ its Botany^ CuUiaation^ Chemistry and Diseases,*^ 
By Herbert Wright. 2nd edition Colombo, A. M. k J. Ferguson. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Central and Northern Brazil, the rubber trees are abundantly found. 
The climate is remarkable for its uniformity of temperature, 
usually not exceeding 87° F. at mid-day or below 74° at night. 
The greatest heat recorded is 95°, and the mean for the year is 
81°. "The rainfall occurs principally during the months from 
January to June, the maximum being in April when it reaches 15 
inches. For the remaining six months of the year very little falls 
but there are fine days in the wet season and occasional showers 
in the dry." {Kew Bull. 1 898, p. 244.) 

According to E. Ule, in his book dealing with rubber in the 
Amazon district, — the annual rainfall is usually between 80 and 
120 inches, and the mean temperature between 76° and 81°. 

Mr. H. A. Wickham states* : — The whole of the Hevea which 
I procured for the government of India were the produce of large 
grown trees in the forest covering the broad plateaus dividing the 
Tapajos from the Madeira River. The soil of these well-drained, 
wide-extending forest-covered table-lands is stiff, not remarkably 
rich, but deep and uniform in character. The Hevea found grow- 
ing in these unbroken forests rivals all but the largest of the trees 
therein, attaining to a circumference of 10 feet to 12 feet in the 
bole. These forest plains having all the character of wide-spread 
table-lands occupy the space betwixt the great arterial river systems 
of the Amazon, and present an escarped face, which follows at 
greater or less distance and abuts steeply on the igapo or bagas, 
i.e, the marginal river plains subject to inundation by the annual 
rise of the great river. So thorough is the drainage of this high- 
land that the people who annually penetrate into these forests for 
the season's working of the rubber have to utilize certain lianas 
(water-bearing vines) for their water supply, since none is to be 
obtained by surface-well sinking, in spite of the heavy rainfall 
during a great part of the year. 

The Climate in Ceylon, In Ceylon, according to Mr. Herbert 
Wright, an elevation of 2,000 feet in the Central Province, and 
3,000 feet in the Uva Province [south-eastern] is considered to be 
near the maximum, and a rainfall of 70 inches near the minimum 
for the cultivation of this species ... It is being tried in districts 
having 200 inches of rain per year and also in dry irrigable areas, 
but reliable results cannot be obtained for many years. 

Federated Malay States. In the Federated Malay States, Mr. 
Wright says, there is no evidence of the highest elevation at 
which Para Rubber will thrive. According to Carruthers the 
growth of the Para rubber from sea-level up to 300 feet in the 

Federated Malay States is better than at most places The 

climate of the Federated Malay States is very uniform and can be 
described in general terms as hot and moist. The annual rainfall 
except in places close to the mountain ranges, is about 90 inches. 
.... There is no well-marked dry season. Generally speaking 
July is the driest month, but has seldom a less rainfall than 3^ 

♦ In Bull. No. 49. Rnrenu of Plant Industry. U. S. Dept. of Agri.— *• Tlie Culture o/ 
ike Central America Rxihher Tree }»y O. F. Cook, copiou^< extracts from which werw pub- 
lished in Bulletin of Dept. of Agriculture for 19o4 and 1906. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


inches. The wettest season is from October to December, and 
there is another wet season of slightly less degree during March 
and April 

The average maximum temperature occurring between noon and 
3 p.m. is in the low-country just under 90°, and the average 
minimum occurring before sunrise is just over 70°. The general 
mean temperature is about 80° 

Soil — The soil in which the trees grow in the forests on the 
Amazon and its tributaries is deep and rich, mainly alluvial, 
sometimes a stiff clay, sometimes a vegetable mould ; and it is 
frequently inundated along the banks of the rivers. Young plants 
however, are not often observed to grow actually within reach of 
the tides. 

For sake of comparison the following analyses of Para rubber 
soil in Ceylon (from Mr. Herbert Wright), and a typical banana 
soil from the parish of St. Mary are here given. 

Rubber Soils at Henaratgoda 

Banana Soil 

in St. 


Soil under old rubber. 


Per cent 

Per cent. 

Coarse sand and small 





Fine earth 




Insoluble matter 






Organic matter and 

combined water 









Phosphoric acid 



Carbonic acid as 
Carbonate of lime 

not determined 


Humus (soluble in 






•I 161 

Available potash 



Available phosphoric 





It will be seen from the foregoing that there are many districts 
In Jamaica suitable for the growth of Para rubber. Portions of St. 
Andrew, St. Thomas-in-the East, the lower lands in Portland, St. 
Mary, St. Ann, St. Catherine, Upper Clarendon, Manchester, St. 
Elizabeth, Trelawny, St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland. 
There are available districts in every agricultural parish in the 
island, districts in which cocoa is or might be successfully culti- 

"To secure land at the right elevation, with the requisite rain- 
fall and proper soil, is the first consideration in connection with 
the successful culture of the Para rubber tree. The elevations 
most suitable are from sea-level up to 1,200 or 1,300 feet. It will 
grow at a higher elevation ; indeed there are reports of it growing 
at over 2,000 feet ; but it would probably take longer to come to 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


maturity than if it were planted at a lower elevation. A rainfall 
of 80 in. to 100 in. per annum is usually considered more suitable 
than an excessive rainfall of 150 in. to 200 in." (R. Hoffman: 
See Bulletin of Department of Agriculture, December, 1905, p. 263.)^ 


Propagation — The tree may be propagated by cuttings of the 
green lateral twigs as soon as they begin to harden, and by seedsr 
the latter method being the more expeditious. 

Seeds soon lose their vitality on exposure to the atmosphere and 
should therefore be planted as soon as possible after gathering. 

We have found that a good method is to place the seeds on a 
thin layer of sifted coco-nut refuse, or powdered charcoal or a 
thick layer of sand in a shaded position, then cover them with 
sacking which should be kept continually moist. The sacking i& 
removed every morning and all the seeds that have germinated 
since the previous morning are picked out and potted in bamboo 

Last year we received a consignment of 7,500 seeds by post 
from Singapore, and owing to the careful way in which they were 
packed for transport we were able to raise and distribute 68 % of 

Nurseries-'T\\t practice in Ceylon appears to be to plant the seed- 
lings in nursery beds, and when nine to twelve months old, these 
are cut back and the stumps are planted in the field. In Jamaica, 
they are planted out in their permanent places, as soon as they are 
a few inches high ; and our experience is that there is no check, 
and they grow rapidly in favourable situations. 

Planting Operations. 

Distance — Various distances from lo' x 10' to 20' x 20' have 
been tried in Ceylon, but Mr. Herbert Wright states that in 
order to allow the plants to develop freely in circumference the 
maximum distance should be allowed, as the desired length 
of trunk is usually obtained even when the Para rubber tree 
is grown in the open. From considerations of the condition 
of trees from 2 to 20 years old, the following table is compiled 
in order to show the probable number of Para rubber trees of 
known age an estate can bear without interfering with the natural 
growth of the plants : — 

Total spread of 

Number of trees; 

Age of trees. 

the branches in diameter. 

per acre. 

Four years old 

12 feet 



15 " 



25 " 



30 " 


Twelve " 

35 " 


Fifteen " 

40 " 


Twenty " 

40 " 


This shows the approximate number of trees to the acre at 
different ages without any interference of the branches of adjacent 
trees with one another. There is, however, no objection to the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


branches of trees partially overlapping, and it is more than likely 
that any excessive branch development will be kept back by pru- 
ning or pollarding rather than by reducing the number of trees 
below 200 to the acre. 

Holing — With regard to the preparation of the holes, Mr. Wright 
recommends that they should be l^ x 2 x 2 feet. The larger the 
holes, the better for the plant. Good holing will give the plants 
an excellent start ; the dribbling in of seeds in small holes is not to 
be recommended. It is hardly necessary to point out that the 
planting operations should be carried out when rain is plentiful. 

As a mixed crop — Para rubber is much more likely to be grown 
as a mixed crop with cocoa, bananas, &c., in Jamaica than as a 
pure crop, at any rate for some time to come, and the question thus 
arises as to the proper distance to plant amongst other crops. 
Cocoa has been found to be the best and most profitable crop to 
grow with rubber trees for the reason that the trees help each other. 
The cocoa has a heavy fall ot leaf and thus manures and benefits 
the rubber, and the rubber acts as a wind-break to the cocoa. 

The successful and continued cultivation of inter crops with 
Para rubber mainly depends on the distance the plants are from 
one another. The rapidly-growing surtace roots of Para rubber 
will ultimately take possession of the soil, and the inter crops of 
tea, cocoa, or coffee cannot be expected to thrive except the rubber 
plants are widely planted. The cultivation of tea under closely- 
planted rubber is more or less of a catch crop ; but several estates 
are known where the rubber is widely planted amongst tea and 
both are bearing and doing well. Cocoa and cofl'ee planted in the 
middle of the lines will last for several years under rubber. The 
roots of these plants do not as closely ramify the soil as those of 
the crowded tea plants, though they will ultimately have to face 
the struggle for existence with the roots of Para rubber and will 
probably be choked out. Cocoa may be planted 10 to 20 feet 
apart, and the amount of soil on good cocoa estates which is free 
from roots is often very large and permits of the growth of other 
trees on the same acreage. Cocoa under rubber will last much 
longer than tea, and the protection by the Para rubber trees against 
excessive exposure is no doubt greatly in favour of the two products 
being grown together. The planting of both products on the same 
soil is done in such a way as to allow free root areas for both 
species during the first five years, many planting the cocoa and 
rubber both twenty feet apart so that there will be approximately 
100 rubber and 100 cocoa trees per acre.* Though the rubber 
ultimately becomes the stronger component, it is surprising how 
long both products can be successfully grown together. In the 
cultivation of inter crops with Para rubber it is essential that 
both products be planted at the same time, as the Para rubber 

* But if it is intended to keep both crops growing permanently, it is suggested that 
the cocoa and rubber be planted alternately at distances of 15 feet apar , so that there 
will be approximately nearly 100 cocoa and 100 rubber trees to the acre. Ed/Uor^ Bulletin 
of the Department of Agriculture, Jdmaieo, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


tree is about as strong as the coconut palm in its root system and 
quickly takes possession of the soil. (H. Wright in Para Rubber.) 
Manuring. — "The Para rubber does not necessarily require a 
soil with a high percentage of organic matter and mineral food as 
was imagined by early investigators, although rubber grows well 
on such soils. Under cultivation the trees can be made to grow 
well on light sandy loams at the proper elevation in districts 
having the necessary rainfall and temperature. So, given a fair 
balance of plant food the Para rubber tree will flourish, as there 
is not much drain on the soil by food material being permanently 
removed — only the mineral matter and nitrogen taken away in the 
rubber. Although the loss is small, yet it should be taken into 
consideration after a number of years, and an attempt made to 
replace the mineral matter and nitrogen. We do not at present 
advance any opinion as to the effect of manuring on the yield of 
latex in old trees, nor yet can we refer to any reliable results 
which would allow us to put forward even an hypothesis. We 
are at present of the opinion that manuring at the young stage 
would help on the young plants and thus prove to be beneficial, 
giving rise to good wood and large supplies of leafy material. We 
would strongly recommend that the fallen leaves be buried with 
lime or basic slag in trenches, or round the trees at a distance of 
4 to 6 feet from the trunks ; this basic dressing will promote 
nitrification and give rise to the more rapid decomposition of the 
organic matter. Light forking is recommended to break up the 
hard surface of the soil and so aerate it and allow penetration of 
the rain and air."* 

*^ Draining. — t It is erroneous to suppose that because Para 
rubber is a forest cultivation draining is unnecessary. Draining 
is as necessary for rubber trees as it is for any other product in 
order to encourage the free circulation of air, water, and food 
solutions throughout the soil, and to check wash on steep hillsides. 
The distance of the drains from one another and their size must 
depend upon the soil conditions. In swampy and boggy land, 
little above the water level, the drains should be as wide and deep 
as possible, either between each row of trees or in exceptional 
cases around individual trees. Several areas in the low country 
of Ceylon, consisting of bogs rich in organic matter, have been 
converted into good rubber land by making drains two to three 
feet wide and three to four feet deep, and heaping the earth in 
the middle to form a dry soil on which the rubber plant can live 
for a couple years. On hillsides the drains need be only about 
one to one and a half feet deep. They should be made at right 
angles to the slope in order to check the formation of gorges. 
The distance of the drains from one another will vary according 
to the slope and climatic conditions ; on flat land a distance of 60 
to 70 feet seems sufficient, whereas on steep hillsides 20 to 30 feet 
is not too close. . . . 

♦ C%rcula/r R. BoU Gard . Ceylon, Vol. III., No. 6, p. 82. 
t Para Rubber, by H. Wiight. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



" It is often relatively easy to successfully grow a small number 
of plants in any particular district without their suffering from 
the ravages of innumerable insects and fungi. But if the same 
crop is grown on a large scale matters often take a different 

turn There are already several insects and fungi which 

live on the leaves of the Para rubber trees, but none of them are 
very harmful. To a very limited extent the annual fall of leaf 
that takes place on all Para rubber trees after they have passed 
their second or third year is an advantage when dealing with leaf 
pests, as the foliage can be easily and regularly collected and 
burnt. . , . 

" Fruit disease, — Para rubber planters in many parts of Ceylon 
have occasionally been alarmed at the curious behaviour of certain 
fruits ; some dry up and remain attached to the twigs, and others 
of all ages fall to the ground without expelling the seeds. The 
fall of the unexploded fruits is often due to wind, and there is no 
parasitic fungus to be found in the tissues. It has been stated that 
the fruits are subject to the attack of a parasitic fungus belonging 
to the genus Nectria, and Carruthers reports having successfully 
inoculated Para rubber fruits with this fungus, but was not certain 
as to whether it attacked the fruits when on the tree or only when 
they fell to the ground. 

"Themosteffective way of fighting the fruit disease is to collect 
all dried fruits which are on the trees and those which have fallen 
to the ground and burn the lot on the spot. On the average 
rubber estate there can be no real objection to burning such small 
quantities of fruits as this treatment involves. 

" Stem Disease. Fungus. — In his account of canker (Nectria) of 
Para rubber, Carruthers points out that a parasite fungus occurs 
on the stems and branches, which may prove fatal to the trees. 
The area attacked by the fungus can be detected often by the 
change of colour of the bark or by the exudation of the latex. 
When, however, the fungus has got a firm hold of any local patch 
of tissue, the latex tubes become quite empty and dry up, so that 
it not only threatens the life of the tree, but also robs the planter 
of the latex or rubber for which the tree is being cultivated. It is 
necessary that all cankered areas should be excised and the tissue 
burnt on the spot. All the discoloured areas should be removed, 
even if the woody tissues below the cambium are permanently 
damaged in the operation. In some cases it is true that the 
cankered area is, by means of a layer of cork, prevented from 
extending to other parts of the stem, but it is unwise to leave the 
matter to chance. 

*^ Root Disease, Fungus. — A root disease due to a fungus has 
already been mentioned as occurring in the Straits and Ceylon 
in association with white ants, but probably preceding thenu 
Petch has shown that the Ceylon fungus can spread underground 
on roots of grasses, &c., and that it is a species of Polyporus 
(Fomes semitostus). The hyphae are described as occurring on 
the first six inches of the trunks as well as the roots. Any trees 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


so affected should be isolated by digging a deep trench round 
them about a foot wide, as in the case of the root disease in tea, 
and, if possible the diseased specimens should be uprooted and 

burnt As Messrs. Ridley and Derry have pointed out, 

this fungus, the mycelium of which is underground, is the worst 
feature against close planting, as under such conditions it might 
spread very rapidly. The uprooting of all dead stumps of trees 
would appear to be necessary if this disease is to be kept in cheeky 

" The Para rubber naturally grows to a tall slender tree, 
and it remains to be seen how by pruning or pollarding the young 
plants an increase in circumference may be obtained at the 
expense of the growth in height. Considering what has been 
accomplished with tea, where plants ordinarily growing into fairly 
stout trees over twenty feet high have been converted into small 
bushes two to four feet in height, it would be idle to predict the 
possibilities with Para rubber. The prevention of the unnecessary 
growth in height may well form the subject of many experiments. 
The plants can be prevented from growing into slender woody 
structures by removing the terminal bud with a knife or thumb- 
nail pruning, or, as is more commonly the case, by pruning the 
terminal young leaves and the enclosed bud. If the central bud 
is effectively and repeatedly removed, without doing considerable 
damage, the stem cannot grow in height except by means of 
lateral shoots ; these will subsequently require bud-pruning once 

they have attained the required size At Heneratgoda the 

trees which have forked at 7, 9 and II feet from the ground show 
an increase of about 30 inches in thirty years or an average of one 
inch per year, throughout a long and fairly reliable period. Young 
trees which have been bud-pruned in the manner suggested above 
show an increased rate of circumferential growth, and this means 
the attainment to a tappable size at an earlier period." — (Herbert 


" When one considers that the rate of growth of the Para 
rubber tree in Ceylon is such that a circumference of 20 inches 
cannot be attained much before the fourth, fifth or sixth year, it is 
obvious that, under ordinary methods of cultivation, all ideas of 
extracting rubber from trees under these ages should not be 
encouraged ... If the tree has a circumference of much less than 
20 inches, tapping cannot be recommended, because the available 
tapping area is too small. The production of new tissue would 
be a strain on the young plant, and the thin bark tissues would 
probably be quickly cut away long before the desired quantity of 
rubber had been obtained. . . . 

The best Season to Tap. The Para rubber trees in Ceylon drop 
their leaves in February or March, produce new leaves and flowers 
after a leafless phase of a few days or a couple of weeks, and yield 
ripe fruit in August and September. There is an active vegeta- 

♦ H. Wright, Para Kubber. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


-tive period from September to February, a short resting period in 
February, and a floral and foliar condition from February to 
September. The yield of latex should be most abundant when the 
trees are leafless, as they cannot then lose much water by trans- 
piration, and it is of interest to note that the experiments made by 
Arden in 1902 seem to give support to this view. Arden states 
that the yield from trees tapped when they were leafless was much 
greater than from trees tapped when the leaves were beginning to 
appear or when in full foliage. In Nicaragua the latex from other 
rubber trees contains the highest percentage of caoutchouc during 
the dry season. The possession of abundance of latex during the 
dry season lends support to the theory of its function as a water 
store during drought. In many parts of the tropics, however, 
the leafless period occurs when the dryness and temperature of the 
air are at the maximum, and the collecting of latex would, during 
such a time, be limited to the very early part of the day and the 

What part of the day to Tap. " The best flow of latex with the 
minimum quantity of scrap rubber is obtained in the early morning 
or evening on sunny days, but tapping may be done further on 
into the day, when the temperature is low and clouds and moisture 
are abundant. In a district like Peradeniya the tapping may be 
continued up to 8 or 9 a.m., and recommenced at 3 to 4 p.m. All- 
night tapping is of course only possible when the artificial 
lighting of estates is more perfect than at present. In the early 
and late parts of the day the temperature is lower, the air usually 
more moist, and there is less transpiration of water from the leaves ; 
the combined efl^ect of these factors is a better flow of latex dur- 
ing such times. According to Ridley* the girth of the tree de- 
creases during the day and increases towards evening, an obser- 
vation which may throw some light on the theories regarding 
tension of the laticiferous tissue and transpiration. 

Frequency of Tapping, " The frequency of tapping varies con- 
siderably, but it is by no means clearly proved that the tree will 
jiot stand tapping every alternate day throughout the greater part 
of the year. The fact that an interval of one day is sufficient for 
the wound response to become obvious is of interest and import- 
ance. It is perhaps not advisable to judge the eff'ect of very 
frequent tapping from the results obtained in the Amazon districts, 
as there the trees are usually very old and in many cases have 
never been tapped before. Nevertheless, it is of interest to learn 
that in those districts, the Para rubber tree is often tapped for 1 80 
days continually without apparently doing v^xy serious damage 
to the trees." 

Mr. R. Derry says : — " I consider the latex flows most freely 
when the new leaves appear, which with most Hevea trees is about 
March, and the advantage of tapping about that time is not so 
much a question of actual yield as it is of the amount of bark 
removed in the operation, which would be less at the best season. 

* AddueI Report of the Director, Botanic GardeoB, Singapore. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


There would also be another season commencing in September 
with those trees then flowering. As with all trees, the ratio of 
growth is variable at different periods, but taking the girth of 
Hevea trees here, a 3-year old tree at 3 feet from the ground being 
13-15 inches, and an l8-year old tree lOO inches: the annual 
increment would average nearly 6 inches in circumference, and I 
am sanguine that Hevea trees can be tapped in Malaya when 6 
years old, if not earlier, when I estimate the girth at 24-30 inches 
on good free soil*. Tapping should be commenced at the base of 
the tree, working upwards to 6 or 8 feet if necessary, and if a tree 
be operated on in a workmanlike manner, three annual tappings 
could be executed before going over old incisions." 


Yields in Ceylon. "The yield of rubber varies from 7 lb. per 400 
trees in one tapping to a maximum of 25 lb. per tree in twelve 
months' tapping. The first series of reliable yieldsj are those 
obtained at Henaratgoda from 1888 to 1 896. One tree at Henarat- 
goda was lightly tapped every second year, and gave for nine 
years an average annual yield of I J lb. of dry rubber: — 

27I oz. in 1888 

42 oz. in 1890 

45 oz. in 1892 

51 oz. in 1894 

48i oz. in 1896 

This tree was twelve years old when first tapped, and the annual 
yield of I J lb. was from the 1 2th to the 20th year of the tree's life. 
The method of tapping consisted of scraping off the rough outer 
bark and making numerous V-shaped incisions to a height of 
about five feet. The tree had a circumference of 50J inches and 
was growing with other trees of nearly equal size, distanced 30 
feet apart. Other experiments have been made at Henaratgoda 
which indicated similar results by consecutive weekly tappings of 
the trees. 

Yields on Estates. "To form an estimate of the yield to b® 
obtained from large acreages of Para rubber trees of known ag® 
is no easy task, and the best way to deal with this part of the 
subject is to give only the results which have been obtained on 
rubber estates in this island. 

Matabele District. " In the Matabele District there are estates 
where an average yield of f lb. of dry rubber per tree from 5,000 
trees has been obtained in one month's tapping. The average 
circumference of these trees was 35 inches a yard from the ground. 
On another property a yield of 3j^ lb. of rubber per tree has been 
obtained from 499 trees in seven months' tapping. Another 
estate, in the same district, has obtained an average yield of 3i lb. 

* Iq his rei ort to the India Office Cross mentioned that Hevea trees of 6-8 inchw 
diameter are tapped in Braiil. 
t H. Wright, • ara Rubber, 
t Dr. Trimen, Notes on Rubber Experiments. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


of dry rubber per tree from 311 trees in one year, The age of 
these trees varied from lO to 15 years, and the trees varied in cir- 
cumference from 30 to 70 inches at a yard from the ground. 
These trees were tapped on the full herring-bone system; the 
tapping area covered half the tree and extended from the base to 
a height of seven feet. The tapping was done very carefully, the 
distance of seven feet being worked through in 240 days of con- 
tinuous tapping. The yield from these particular trees will pro- 
bably be increased by a change in the method of tapping and 
tapping instruments during the current year. On a third Matabele 
estate the Para rubber is inter-planted among cocoa the cocoa is 
planted 12 by 12 feet, and the rubber through alternate lines of 
cocoa, 24 by 12 feet. By the V method of tapping a yield of 3 lb- 
of dry rubber from each of 10,000 trees is expected during the 
present year, the trees being 8 to 1 5 years old. On this estate 
several encouraging experiments in tapping from 6 feet upwards 
to a height of 15 feet have been made, light ladders being used 
for the purpose. 

The Province of Uva. "The most successful results at high 
elevations in Ceylon have probably been obtained in the Province 
of Uva. On Passara Group estate, Passara, Para rubber is being 
cultivated up to and over 3,000 feet above sea-level. The trees 
are of various ages, and one specimen, 13 years old, measures 54 
inches in circumference a yard from the ground, and 60 to 70 feet 
in height, though growing at an elevation of about 2,6oo feet. 
Tapping is being carried on with promising results up to 2,8oo feet, 
and from the trees at an elevation of 2,6oo feet, varying in age 
from 7 to 13 years, an average yield of 2 lb. of dry rubber per 
tree was obtained during 1905. 

South Ceylon : Kalutara, Ambalangoda, Rayigam, &c. — " In the 
South of Ceylon equally good and often better results have been 
obtained. On one estate, 8,731 trees, having a minimum circum- 
ference of twenty inches, gave in one year, an average of 1 . 72 lb. 
of dry rubber per tree ... A section of another rubber property 
in the South of Ceylon has given, from il-year-old trees, the 
average circumference of which is 30 inches only, no less than 
Sh lb. of dry rubber from each of 255 trees.'* 


" If* the pure latex is allowed to stand in a receptacle, it 
finally coagulates and the caoutchouc globules with other sub- 
stances float to the top, leaving a more or less clear liquid behind. 
By the addition of chemical reagents or by subjecting the latex to 
different temperatures coagulation may he hastened or retarded. 
The coagulated substance after washing, pressing, and drying is 
ultimately known as the rubber of commerce. In the production 
of rubber from latex the planter may either take advantage of the 
presence of coagulable constituents in the latex or adopt chemical 
and mechanical means for the separation of the caoutchouc 
globules from the rest of the latex . . . 

♦ H. Wright, Para Rubber. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Smoking and Coagulation. — " The coagulation of the latex may 
be hastened by exposing it to heat and the products of combustion 
of a fire. The latex can be coagulated fractionally by such a 
process, and the finished product, when properly manufactured, is 
less liable to putrefaction than the rubber prepared by many other 
methods. The smoke from burning palm nuts used in the Amazon 
district, contains, among other substances, small quantities of 
acetic acid, acetone, and creosote, The acetic acid is probably the 
agent responsible for effecting the coagulation ; the other sub- 
stances, particularly the creosote, are absorbed, the latter acting as 
an antiseptic in preventing the rapid decomposition of the albu- 
minoids present. In Brazil the latex is poured into a shallow 
basin 6o cm. to I metre in diameter and 20 to 30 cm. deep, and 
pieces of bark, dirt, &c., removed. A fire is then made of wood 
and resinous substances, and is kept going either with green 
branches of Mimusops elata, or with palm nuts from Attalea excelsa^ 
and Maximiliana regia, these palms are usually grown in the Botanic 
Gardens in various parts of the tropics, the latter species being 
more commonly known as the " Cocurito " palm. A chatty, open 
at both ends, is placed on the fire and the smoke allowed to issue 
from the upper aperture. A paddle like implement is then dipped 
into or covered with the latex, and held over the smoke until the 
latter is coagulated. It is stated by Bonnechaux* that 8 litres of 
latex are completely coagulated in about \\ hours by these means. 

"The decomposition of the albuminous substances in the 
rubber may be prevented by the addition of suitable antiseptic 
reagents to the latex, when the rubber is prepared in other ways, 
though quickness in drying or complete extraction of the moisture 
from coagulated rubber is often sufficient to bring about the same 
result. Dickson's apparatus is devised to meet many of these 
requirements." — (Herbert Wright.) 

"Samples of rubber prepared at Kuala Kangsar have been 
reported on as equal to good Para (Brazilian) and would fetch 
best Para prices. I have always found the latex to coagulate 
readily with only the addition of a pinch of alum, and by placing 
immediately in smoke, both putrefaction and mould are avoided. 
If the rubber is sound, the market value depends on the state of 
dryness in which it is received. What has been prepared at 
Kuala K angsar has been kept smoked until shipped. A parcel 
sent to London 3J years ago was reported to have lost 26^ per 
cent, in washing, and the manufacturers thought that if sent 
home in bulk, the loss would reach 30 per cent. This, however, is 
a question for the planter himself ; smoke has a chemical action 
in the coagulation of latex from Hevea as well as saving decom- 
position, and assists in gradually drying. To be as dry as possible 
depends on the time the rubber has been kept smoked, and I am 
of opinion that dry marketable rubber could not be prepared 
under two months.'* — (R. Derry, Singapore). 

♦ Jumelle. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Sir Frank Swettenhara, K.C.M.G., writes with regard to an Article 
which appeared in The Standard of August 8, last : — The acreage 
planted with Para rubber in the Straits and Malay States on Janu- 
ary I, last, was 30,000 acres, and in Ceylon, 25,000 acres. Since 
that date the total area planted in the Malay States does not 
amount to 10,000 acres. 

The United Planters' Association in the Malay States have 
taken pains to go into this question, and in their latest report they 
give the following figures : Total acreage planted with rubber in 
the Straits and Malay States 30,000 acres : Sumatra, 5,000 acres : 
Java, 5,000 acres ; Ceylon, 25,000 acres ; India and Burma, 5,000 
acres ; total 70,000 acres. Allowing that all this is good, and will 
give the good yield of 200 lb. per acre, the amount produced 
would be 14,000,000 lb. This acreage cannot, however, be all in 
full bearing till the end of 191 1, and they calculate that no more 
than this acreage can be in bearing till 1911, because it is not yet 

The exports from Para for the last three years have remained 
practically constant at about 30,000 tons, and the world's produc- 
tion was, in 1898, as nearly as it can be ascertained, about 
60,000 tons, or 134,000,000 lb. The present production is esti- 
mated at 70,000 tons or 156,000,0001b. of which Asia can only 
produce 14,000,000 up to the year 191 1, what she can produce 
after that date will depend upon the area planted and successfully 
cultivated between now and 191 1. Standard, Dec. 6. 

Information on Para rubber may be found in the Bulletin of 
the Botanical Department, Jamaica, as follows : — 1894, pp. 99- 
105 ; 1899, pp. 82-84 ; 1900, pp. 186-190. And in the Bulletin of 
the Department of Agriculture as follows: — 1905, pp. 258-269; 

1906, pp. 20-21, 159-160, 169-170, 233. 

(Castilloa elastica,) 

This tree grows in Central America from south of Mexico, 
south-wards to the west coast of South America. 

The tree has a variety of local names, the most important of 
which are * Hule' or ' Ule' and * Caucho.' 

Distinct from this plant is Castilloa Tunu, a tree also found in 
Central America and sometimes confused with the true Central 
American rubber tree which it closely resembles in appearance. 

In an article in the Beihefte zum Tropenpflamer for July, 1 90 1, 
Mr. Th. F. Koschny, a planter of long experience in Costa Rica, 
distinguishes the following varieties of *Hule* trees: 

Castilloa elastica : 

' Hule bianco' White rubber tree 

' Hule negro' Black rubber tree 

* Hule Colorado' Red rubber tree 

Castilloa Tunu : 

' Hule tunu' Gutta percha. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The names of the three so-called varieties are given from the 
colour of the bark of the trees. * Hule bianco' is described as the 
only one worth cultivating, giving thick and abundant latex. 

The tree is not shade-loving, being seldom found in forests, and 
not easily injured by tapping. ' Hule negro' gives a watery latex, 
and that of ' Hule Colorado' whilst good, is scanty. 

The plants distributed from Kew and now under cultivation in 
various tropical colonies, would be more correctly termed, accord- 
ing to the place of their origin, Darien, " Castilloa" or Darien 
"Caucho" trees. This would distinguish them from the Ule trees 
of Mexico, British Honduras, and Nicaragua, and indicate their 
history. {W. I, Bulletin, 1901, p. 350.) 


The study* of Castilloa furnishes evidence that with this tree 
there is a relation between climate and rubber production, and 
that this relation is the opposite of that commonly supposed to 
exist. Practical experiments in Central America soon showed, 
that Castilloa will not thrive in swamps or where the drainage is 
deficient though the need of continuous humidity for Castilloa is 
still insisted upon. 

The total rainfall of a place affords but the slightest intimation 
of its climate in relation to vegetation. A sudden, heavy shower 
may wet the soil much less than the same amount of water 
falling as a steady rain, and in the supply of water to plants the 
difference is even greater ; the period during which the atmosphere 
and soil are moist is of importance to them, but not the amount of 
water which patters off their leaves or falls into the rain-gauge. 
Humidity even to the point of saturation for six months may be 
of no avail to plants unable to survive an equal period of drought. 

The lowland forests of the west-coast districts of Guatemala 
and southern Mexico, while composed in the main of the same 
tropical elements as those of eastern Guatemala, yet showed a 
striking deficiency of plants requiring continuous humidity. 
Nevertheless wild Castilloa seems to have existed in the past as in 
the present in far greater abundance, the wild product having 
long been an article of export in quantity far more considerable 
than from the eastern districts. 

Freer flow of milk in drier regions, — A second contrary fact to the 
popular supposition that rubber production is confined to continu- 
ously humid climates was encountered when it was found that, in 
spite of the greater dryness, the milk flows down from the rubber 
trees of Soconusco with a freedom unknown in eastern Guatemala 
where it merely oozes out into the gashes made by the " uleros." 

Decrease of milk with altitude and continuous humidity. — That 
rubber milk is obtained with greater freedom on the drier western 
coast shows that continuous humidity is at least not indispensable, 
but it does not prove that the larger production is due to the drier 
climate. There may be, and probably are, difl'erences in the trees 

* Extracts from Bull. No. 4i»» Bureau of Plant Industo', U. S. Department of 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


of the two regions, though these have not been detected. But that 
there is a climatic element even on the west coast is made plain 
by the fact that as the coastal plain is left behind and the slopes 
increase in altitude and humidity, the production of rubber 
gradually declines. At an altitude of about i,8oo feet on the 
Esmeralda coffee estate, only a few miles from La Zacualpa, 
wild Castilloa trees apparently normal in other respects yielded 
milk very sparingly, while at an elevation of 2,500 feet no milk 
dropped from the cuts. Castilloa trees grew vigorously and 
attained a diameter of 15 inches in twelve years at "Quien Sabe," 
in the coffee district above Tapachula. The trees grow naturally 
up to 1,500 feet and beyond. Above 1,000 feet the rubber gatherers 
do not expect to find much rubber. Trees planted at an altitude 
of 2,000 feet from seed brought from the coast do not yield 

Castilloa on the Isthmus of Panama. — The idea that the Castilloa 
sent from the Isthmus of Panama to British India came from a 
continuously humid district seems not to be justified by the state- 
ments of Mr. Cross, who secured seeds and cuttings in the vicinity 
of Colon. He says : 

" The interior of the Darien forests would frighten most people. 
The undergowth is composed of boundless thickets of a prickly 
leaved species of Bromelia often 8 to 10 feet high, the ground 
swarms with millions of ants, and the snakes raise themselves to 
strike at any one who approaches. The Caucho tree grows not in 
inundated lands or marshes, but in moist, undulating, or flat situa- 
tions, often by the banks of streamlets and on hillsides and 
summits where is any loose stones and a little soil. It is adapted 
for the hottest parts of India, where the temperature does not fall 
much below 74° F. The tree is of rapid growth, and attains to a 
great size, and I am convinced that, when cultivated in India, it 
will answer the most sanguine expectations that may have been 
formed concerning it. I have been, up the Chagres and Gatun 
rivers. I came out on the railway about 7 miles from Colon. I 
go back to the same place (the village of Gatun), from which place 
by the river the India-rubber forests are reached." — (Trans. Linn. 
Soc, London 2d. ser. 2 : 213.) 


Where cocoa grows there also will Castilloa thrive. In Portland 
a tree growing in dry limestone was, at 5 years of age, 18 feet in 
height of clean stem before branching, and 15 to 18 inches in 


The propagation of this rubber tree is most easily effected by 
seed, but the seeds must be sown as soon as they are ripe as they 
very quickly lose their vitality. Cuttings can also be made. 


" In good soil and in moist situations no shade at all is required 
for the young tree, but otherwise it does want a certain amount of 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


shade for the first two or three years after planting. Too dense 
shade, however, is not beneficial to it and plants set out in the 
forest make very slow progress and develop into spindly trees." 
(Capt. M. Short, in West Indian Bull., 1905, p. 139.) 

"The Castilloa is a fast growing tree. It appears to grow 
faster between the ages of two and four. The leaf surface of the 
tree, and consequently the amount of light it gets, has a great deal 
to do with its growth. Shade grown trees are not nearly so large 
at the same age as those grown in the sun. Some planters 
believe that trees grown in at least partial shade yield more latex, 
but if this is so, I do not believe that they yield enough more ta 
pay for the loss in growth, for under any ordinary conditions the 
trees yield in proportion to their size. Monthly measurements of a 
large number of Castilloa trees show that they grow on an average 
of about { inch per month in circumference. This varies, however, 
the trees sometimes growing not at all for a month and growing 
J inch or more the next month. An experiment in the effect of 
tapping on growth did not show that it made any difference." — • 
("A Forester in the "India Rubber World.") 


" I find that cocoa bears well under the shade of Castilloa. Nine 
years ago I planted an acre of rubber and cocoa together — the 
rubber at 24 feet apart, and the cocoa at 12 feet — and so far as I 
have noticed there is very little, if any, difference in the bearing 
of these cocoa trees and those under the shade of Bois ImmorteL 
On finding this I planted last year fifteen acres in the same 
manner, arid there is every reason to expect that in another eight, 
or nine years they will give a gross return of about £50 per 
acre. Coffee also bears well under Castilloa." — (Capt. Short, in 
" Tropical Agriculturist,'' Aug. 28, 1900.) 

As bearing on this phase of the subject, the following extracts 
from an article by Mons. P. Cibot, in Vilbouchevitch's Journal 
d* Agriculture Tropicale, descriptive of cocoa cultivation in Venezuela 
are likely to be of interest : — 

"I have recently had the opportunity in Venezuela of visiting 
one of the principal plantations which produce that cocoa, so 
justly reputed, known as Caracas. I found opportunity there to 
study also a plantation of Castilloa elastica used as a shade tree. 

" General Fonseca, installed in the fertile Valley for some twenty 
years, has gradually acquired the greater part of the plantations 
laid out in it. He owns to day thirteen plantations, producing a 
total of 480,000 lb. cocoa in 1903-4. 

"Going over General Fonseca's plantations, I could not but 
admire their beautiful appearance and the care taken with the 
irrigation of the whole property ; but my attention was specially 
drawn to the plantation of Castilloa elastica mentioned above. 

"In 1895-6 about 8,000 plants were put out in places where 
shade was wanted for the cocoa trees. These trees, aged eight to 
nine years now, are a beautiful sight ; they have attained a height 
of 36 to 45 feet, and have an average circumference of 33 inches. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


" At about four or five years the Castilloas easily out-grow the 
cocoa trees and commence to give them a little shade. As they 
plant up Castilloas on the property, they kill out the " Bucares" 
or other shade trees, ring-barking them with the axe at about a 
yard above the ground. 

" The yield of Castilloa plantations is no longer to be doubted ; 
the result obtained at Ocumare is a new proof, but the experiment 
made by General Fonseca is specially remarkable as it shows that 
the Castilloa can h% grown among cocoa without in any way harm- 
ing their production. Indeed, at Ocumare they have noticed no 
diminution in the number of pods carried by the trees shaded by 
Castilloa, nor any change in the quality of the bean." 

In the Tropical Agriculturist for February, 1 905, (p. 529) the 
following extract is published from a letter from a planter at 
Matabele, Ceylon, in which he sums up his experience in regard 
to Castilloa and cocoa as follows : — 

"I have very large Castilloas growing both along roads and 
also scattered through cocoa, the latter of about fourteen years' 
growth showing no evidence of prejudicial influence from the 
Castilloas. My clearing of some 30 acres of Castilloas and cocoa 
planted together six years ago so far supports the contention that 
these two products may be grown together." 

Captain Short says : — There is little doubt that the return per 
acre would be greater from a plantation of cocoa and Castilloa 
than from cocoa shaded by Bois Immortel. 

" On Richmond estate there is an acre of cocoa twelve and a 
half years old, planted 12 feet by 12 feet, shaded by Castilloas 
and Bois Immortel. The rubbers are at 24 feet by 24 feet. The 
Immortels are being gradually killed, many of them being already 

The cocoa crop for 1 903-4 from this field was 3 bags. This 
would give a return per acre of from £22 lOs. to £25 3s. thus : — 
3 bags cocoa @ £4 ... £12 

75 rubber trees J lb. each @ 3/6 per lb. 10 


"If the average yield were lib. per tree, this would give a 
return of £25 3s. per acre. 

" The return from other cocoa fields of the same age, planted on 
similar soil and shaded by Bois Immortel was 3 i to 4 J bags per 
acre. Taking the average of 4 bags this gives £16 per acre, so 
that deducting the cost of the rubber extraction, the return from 
the cocoa and rubber would be from £4 to £6 more. 

"By applying some nitrogenous manure to supply the deficiency 
in the soil arising from the absence of the Bois Immortel tree, 
this figure would doubtless be increased. It is also probable that 
the rubber could be planted closer than 24 feet. 

The proper distance in planting depends a good deal on how 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


soon the plantation is to be tapped. Trees planted lO x lo 
feet begin to crowd each other out at about six years. If the 
plantation is to be tapped at this age, or earlier, this is a good 
distance for planting. When the trees get older, the poorer and 
weaker ones can be bled out." {Bulletin^ Department of Agriculture, 
Jamaica, 1 906, p. 98). 

Mr. Orde, who is managing the West India Rubber Syndicate, 
in Tobago, has furnished the following information on young 
Castilloas : 

The Castilloas on Louis d'Or estate are still young. Planting 
was begun in the autumn of 1 898, and the oldest trees are six 
years or thereabouts. 

The larger number of the trees have been planted to stand 
finally at a distance of 17 feet. Some fields are planted at 8^ 
feet by 8^ feet, others at 8^ feet by 17 feet, in the hope that a 
yield might be obtained from the cultivation while young, by 
tapping the intermediate trees before they grew large enough ta 
necessitate being cut out. 

It has been found that a well-grown field, planted at 8J feet by 
8i feet, cannot stand longer than about five years without being 
thinned out, as at that age the branches begin to interfere with 
each other, and the tree tends to become thin and spindly. 

Experiments were made in tapping some of these young trees,^ 
averaging five to six years old, in 1904. Large numbers of them 
were tapped as severely as possible with chisel and mallet. The 
latex was in some cases taken wet and washed before coagulation 
and in others it was allowed to dry on the tree, and picked off 
afterwards as scrap. 

There are some twenty to thirty trees on the estate, aged seven 
years from seed, and experiments have also been made on these, 
from which it appears that the yield increases fairly quickly as 
the tree gets older. 

Six of these trees were tapped, not severely, in March 1 904, 
and gave I2i oz. dry rubber. The same trees were tapped again 
in September and gave 10 oz., or nearly i lb per tree in the two 
tappings. These trees, however, were rather above the average 
in growth for their age. 

Trees planted at 8 J feet by 8^ feet could not be left growing to 
this size without injury to each other ; and if a field is planted 
with the idea of getting rubber from the intermediate trees, as 
soon as they get old enough to yield, and before it is necessary 
to cut them out, it would seem that 8 J feet is too close a distance, 
and that 12 feet would be about the most suitable distance. {West 
India Bulletin, 1905, pp. 140-141) 

Professor O. F. Cook,* says : " As yet there have been no 
experiments yielding any definite information on the above point, 
but the recent trend of opinion among planters seems to be dis- 
tinctly in the direction of closer planting. There has been a 

Bulletin No. 49, Bureau of Plant Industry, U. S. Dept. of Agriculture. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


gradual decline from 20 feet and upward between trees to 12 feet 
and under. 

"The questions of shade and of distance between trees are closely 
related and need to be considered together because several of the 
arguments for shade can be met, wholly or partially by close 
planting. The first of these is that of the greater expense 
incidental to open culture. The frequency with which the land 
requires to be cleaned, and the period of years during which it 
would be necessary to continue such cleaning, depends largely 
upon the amount of overhead shade present to discourage the 
under-growth. Some planters on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec are 
evidently taking advantage of this fact and are setting close with 
the intention of removing alternate trees before they are large 
enough to injure their neighbours by crowding ; and it is expected 
that if they are " tapped to death" they can be made to yield 
enough rubber to more than cover the expense of planting. At 
least there seems to be no reason why, if the land is to be cleared 
it should not be made to produce as much rubber as possible, 
instead of being planted with useless trees for a purpose which can 
be attained quite as fully by setting the rubber trees closer to- 

There is danger, however, that any suggestion which promises 
earlier returns from rubber culture will be over-done. The rubber 
of very young trees is of low grade and expensive to collect ; also 
it would be very poor policy to risk permanent injury from weak 
spindling growth which overcrowding would undoubtedly cause. 
More is likely to be lost than gained by trees standing at less 
than 8 feet for even a few years. Better than uniform close 
planting would be to set the north and south rows farther apart 
than the trees in the rows. With a given number of trees this 
would secure the maximum of shade on the ground, because the 
morning and afternoon sun would not shine down the rows. The 
cleaning of the land or the cultivation of a catch crop or a shade 
crop between the rows would also be facilitated. The distances 
would depend on the size which the Castilloa trees were expected 
to attain in any given locality, the rows from 12 to 20 feet apart, 
the trees from 8 to 12 feet in the rows being fair average estimates. 


" In attempting* to plan a rational culture for Castilloa it will 
be worse than useless to insist upon all or any of the cultural 
measures which have been found desirable with coffee, cacao, or 
other tropical crops. Castilloa is not cultivated for the pods 
like cocoa, for the flowers like cloves, for the fruits like oranges, 
nor for the seeds like coffee. The increase of the size of the trunk 
and of the amount of milk contained in its inner bark are objects 
of cultural solicitude." 

" Open culture with relatively little cleaning at first would be 
more practicable if the weeds and undergrowth cut down in the 

* Extracts irom Boll. No. 49, Bureau of Plant Industry, U. S. Dept. of Agriculture. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


dry season could be left spread over the ground. This would do 
more to conserve the moisture of the soil than the same vegetation 
alive, but the danger of fire will in most localities forbid the use 
of this method of culture." 

"With shade recognized as a means of influencing natural 
conditions of soil or climate it becomes evident that each planter 
will need to use his best judgment in determining what local 
conditions require. In Costa Rica, Koschny advises the thinning 
of the forest by the removal of two or three trees out of every five. 
At La Zacualpa more are cut out. Some of the planters on the 
Isthmus of Tehuantepec practice clean culture. No general 
principles will determine which is best, because no one method is 
applicable everywhere. 


" The earliest age at which Castilloa trees may be tapped with 
safety and advantage has been stated all the way from four to 
twelve years, while from eight to ten years is the conservative 
estimate. At the same time it must be admitted that little in the 
way of positive knowledge exists on this point, and careful 
experiments may be necessary to determine whether, for example, 
the taking of half a pound of rubber from each tree in the sixth 
year will retard growth so as to diminish the yield of succeeding 
years. As the trees approach maturity and have occupied most of 
the available space, as much may be taken as will not weaken the 
tree and shorten its life. 

" The inferior quality of the rubber obtained from young trees 
also lessens the inducement for tapping them. It has been known 
for several years that the rubber and gutta-percha obtained from 
young plants or from the leaves and twigs of the trees is different 
from that yielded by the trunk of mature age, in that a smaller or 
larger percentage of rubber is replaced by non-elastic, brittle, or 
sticky substances commonly referred to as " resins." Dr. C. O. 
Weber has recently published the following results of analyses of 
samples of rubber from trees varying in age from two to eight 

Per cent. 



"The same writer also gives a table showing the varying 
amount of resin in samples from different parts of the same tree : 

Resin in rubber from— Per cent. 

years : 


in I 

•ubber from trees. 

years old 











Trunk ... 2'6l 

Largest branches .. 377 

Medium do ... 4*88 

Young do ... 5*86 

Leaves ... 750 

♦ Extracts from Bull. No. 49, U. S. Dept. of Agri. 


Digitized by VjOOQl 

26 1 

If these figures represent facts at all general, they lessen very 
distinctly the prospects 6f any plans which contemplate the tap- 
ping of very young trees, and it will be necessary to agree with 
Dr. Weber that eight years is the minimum age at which a planta- 
tion can be expected to furnish rubber for the market." 


The following* is a description of a method of tapping the trees 
in the forests of Nicaragua : 

When the collectors find an untapped tree in the forest they first 
make a ladder out of the lianas or '* vejucos" that hang from every 
tree. This they do by tying short pieces of wood across them 
with small lianas, many of which are as tough as cord. They then 
proceed to score the bark with cuts which extend nearly round the 
trees, like the letter \ , the point being downward. A cut like this 
is made about every 3 feet all the way up the trunk. The milk 
will all run out of the tree in about an hour after it is cut, and it is 
collected into a large tin bottle made flat on one side and furnished 
with straps to fasten on to a man's back. A decoction is made 
from a liana {Calonyctionspeciosum\ and this, on being added to 
the milk in the proportion of I pint to the gallon, coagulates it to 
rubber, which is made into round, flat cakes. A large tree, 5 feet 
in diameter, will yield, when first cut, about 20 gallons of milk, 
each gallon of which makes 2j pounds of rubber. I was told that 
the tree recovers from the wounds and may be cut again after the 
lapse of a few months ; but several I saw were killed through the 
large harlequin beetle (Acrocinus longimanus) laying its eggs in the 
cuts, and the grubs that are hatched boring great holes all through 
the trunk. When these grubs are at work you can hear their rasp- 
ing by standing at the bottom of the tree, and the wood dust 
thrown out of their burrows accumulates in heaps on the ground 

That improved methods and tools are to be used for cultivated 
trees is one of the points on which all the rubber planters agree, 
but as yet none of the many improvements suggested has attained 
any popularity, and it is at least doubtful whether any of the 
devices brought forward at this time is to be looked upon as a 
practical solution of the problem. Some inventors have worked 
on the erroneous idea that the rubber comes from the sap, like 
sugar from the maple, and have thus completely wasted their time. 

An enumeration of some of the features essential for a good 
tapping instrument may save further labour on wrong lines. 

The cutting edge must be keen, and must therefore be easy to 
sharpen. A thick or blunt edge bruises the wood and milk tubes, 
and this interferes with the flow of milk. 

There should be a means by which the depth of the cut can be 
regulated, since it is important to cut deep enough to reach the 
milk and yet not so deep as to reach into the wood, but axes and 
chisels with shoulders to prevent too deep penetration are not 
promising because the thickness of the outer bark is variable. The 

♦ From Bull. No. 49. Bureau of Plant Industry. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


shoulders also bruise the bark if the cutting is by blows. Bull. 
No, 49, Bureau of Plant Industry. 

*Mr. Hart states that "the invention of the new tool described by 
Dr. Weber is a step in the right direction, and working on the same 
lines we are now in possession of an instrument which allows still 
more freedom to the operator and enables him to make a narrow, 
deep, or broad channel at will, with ease and despatch.*' 

Washing the latex — By the methods now adopted the foreign 
matters are washed out of the latex before coagulatior: takes place, 
thus producing a very high grade of rubber from the Castilloa, 
having a marketable value equal to that of Para. 

Until now it was generally assumed that the Central American 
rubber was of much inferior grade to that of Para. It has now 
been proved, however, that the actual difference is very slight, if 
there is any, and resolves itself into the question of preparing it 
for the market at the time of tapping. During the past few months 
the best qualities of some rubber from cultivated Castilloa trees 
brought $1.54 and $1.56 gold per pound in the London market, 
This price was higher than that of best South American Para sold 
at the same time. 

Coagulating the latex — " The separation of rubber from the latex, 
a process commonly called coagulation, is in a somewhat more 
advanced state of investigation than the subject of tapping, if, 
indeed, the recent experiments of Dr. Weber do not mean that a 
final and satisfactory conclusion has been reached. Dr. Weber 
finds that by the simple expedient of diluting the fresh latex of 
Castilloa with five times its volume of boiling water and adding 
8 ounces of formaldehyde to each barrel of the resulting fluid, aH 
the impurities to which the inferiority of Castilloa rubber are due 
can be removed, since they will remain in solution, while after 
twenty-four hours the clean rubber will be found in a " snow-white- 
cake" which can be lifted off the top. Dr. Weber contends that 
rubber prepared in this way is " absolutely free from solid im- 
purities of any description either soluble or insoluble, 

organic or inorganic," and that it is equal or superior to the finest 
brands of Para rubber. Bull No, 49, Bureau of Plant Industry. 

Yield — "It may be said that at the present stage of this inquiry, 
2 pounds per tree is looked upon as the reasonable maximum yield 
to be expected from adult trees of twelve years and upward, grow- 
ing under favourable natural conditions. This is the highest 
estimate which is known to the writer as having been made by 
reliable planters of intelligence and experience ; and some such 
hold that the probabilities lie nearer to half a pound than to 2 
pounds. It is appreciated that this estimate is much smaller than 
many claims based on wild trees and that it is much larger than the 
results reached on some of the earlier plantations would seem to 
promise. The estimate is not, however, made as an average of all 
published figures, but is reached rather by the elimination of un- 
warranted expectations from one end of the series, and from the 

*BuU, R. Botanic Gardens, Trinidad, 1905, p. 163. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


other of disappointments due to adverse local conditions. — Bull. 
No. 49, Bureau of Plant Industry. 

Captain Short states : Tapping was carried on (at Richmond 
estate) in February, 1904 with the following results : 

Total )rield Average per tree. 

f eb, 4, 19 trees gave ... 4 lb. 6 oz. sH oz. dry rubber 

Mar. 19 do ... 3 " lo " 3 

Feb. 8, 16 do ... 4 " I " 4 " 

Mar. 15 do ... 2 " ll " 2^ " 

Feb. 17, 15 do ... 5 " II " ^ " 

April 27 do ... 3 " " 3 " " 

These fifty trees gave an average yield of just under ^ lb. of dry 
rubber in the two tappings. 

The yield of latex varies greatly in trees of the same size and 
age. Two trees out of these fifty gave 7J to 8^ cups of latex at 
each tapping, the one tree yielding I lb. lO oz. of dry rubber in the 
two tappings, the other I lb. 9 oz. Other trees tapped in the same 
month gave i lb. in the two tappings and another gave f lb. in one 
tapping. Trees of the same age and size gave less than half these 
amounts. Why this should be I cannot say, and I believe no 
explanation has yet been given to account for the difference in 
the yield of latex. As far as my own observation goes, trees in 
the open, or only partially shaded, appear to be better yielders, as 
a rule, than those in denser shade. 

In comparing this tapping with that of 1 899, it appears that, at 
nine years old, a tree on an average yields about one-half of what 
a tree thirteen to fourteen years old does. 

The results of the different tappings have led me to conclude 
that from | lb. to I lb. of rubber per annum may be safely 
reckoned on, as the average yield of a tree thirteen to fourteen 
years old. 

It is intended at the next tapping to use a ladder, and to tap 
as far as possible up the stem. No doubt the total yield of rubber 
would then be greater. It is also intended to tap a few trees con- 
tinuously for twelve to fourteen days, or every second day for a 
month, although it is very doubtful if the yield of latex would be 
much increased by so doing, or that the extra yield so obtained 
would compensate for the greater damage to the tree. In this 
respect the Castilloa appears to differ from the Para, and the 
experiments to be tried in 1905 will probably do something towards 
settling the point. 

The cost of collecting was 8d. to 9d. per lb., but this cost 
would be reduced when tapping is carried on regularly and on a 
larger scale. The rubber extracted from the nine-year old trees in 
1899 to 1900 was valued at 3s. 9d. per lb., a good price at the time. 
Information on Castilloa rubber may be found in the Bulletin 
of the Botanical Department, Jamaica, as follows : — 1895, pp. 34- 
38 ; 1898, p. 37 ; 1899, pp. 74-76, 85 ; 1900, pp. 2-7 ; 1901, p. 141. 
And in the Bulletin of the Department of Agriculture, as follows : 

1904, pp. IOI-I03, 162-168, 188-192, 231-236, 257-260, 283-285; 

1905, pp. 13-20, 43-46, 67-70, 84-85, 133-134, 156-158, I 81-183, 
229-230, 233-243; 1906, pp. 97-100, 145-150, 172-175. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


(Funtumia elastica.) 

Locality, — A new rubber-yielding plant suddenly came into 
notice in the colony of Lagos in 1 894. This proved to be a 
handsome tree, locally known as Ir6, Ireh, or Ereh. It belongs to 
the same natural order as the Landolphias. The particulars 
respecting it were gradually accumulated at Kew. It was at first 
known as Kickxia africana^ but is now more correctly named 
Funtumia elastica. It is widely distributed in West Africa from 
Sierra Leone to the delta of the Niger, the island of Fernando Po, 
and the Gaboon. It is believed that rubber was first obtained 
from it on the Gold Coast in 1883. (Agricultural News, 1902, p. 


Mr. J. H. Hart states : Plants put out in Trinidad at one of the 
trial sections at St. Clair in July, 1898, averaged in January, 1901, 
thirteen and a half feet in height, with a stem circumference of 

seven inches Mr. Millen of Tobago, who has been in the 

native forests of this plant, reports it as being a large forest tree. 
.... The St. Clair trees even at their present early age of three 
years, bleed freely, but are not yet of suflScient size to base any 
reliable estimates as to yield or value. . . . The rubber keeps 
well and appears to stand near to good Para in value. A point 
which will recommend it to some is the fact that although it 
certainly grows faster under shade, it can make good growth when 
fully exposed to the sun. — {W. I. Bull., 1901, p. 108.) 

In Western Africa. — The following notes on the Silk Rubber of 
Lagos are taken from an article by M. E. De Wildman published 
in the Revue des Cultures Coloniales, and translated in the 
Agricultural Bulletin of the Straits and Federated Malay States, 
Vol. n., 4 April, 1903, p, 136. 

"The plant is specially cultivated at present in Western Africa 
in the Congo Free State and in the Cameroons, and is, according 
to the author, the best rubber plant to cultivate in these regions, 
and this is so for several reasons ; it is easy to procure seed as 
the plant is wild in this part of the world and one can be sure that 
it will grow well as the soil and climate are naturally suitable for 
it. The German Colonial reports show that Funtumias of the 
same age as Castilloas are relatively more advanced, the 
Funtumias give seed at the end of two years and a half, while the 
Castilloa fruits only at the end of from three and a half to four 
years. If one compares the latex of the two, at the same age, one 
can see that it is much more concentrated, less watery and sticky 
in Funtumia than in Castilloa, and that it can give a return more 
quickly. Castilloa, according to M. Koschny can only be milked 
when eight years old. As to the rubber itself, that of Funtumia 
is as good or better than that of Castilloa. The results of 
comparative researches with Funtumia and Castilloa in West 
Africa are in favour of the former." 

"If at first the stem bifurcates forming a bush, either a shoot is 
developed above the bifurcation, or one branch grows more 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


strongly than the other eventually forming the trunk. Among 
the advantages of Funtumia one may mention tnat the latex flows 
more easily and quickly than that of Castilloa or Ficus and the 
seeds keep good for six week: and even germinate after three 
months. Nor is the Funtumia particular as to soil, it grows equally 
well in lateritic or basaltic soils rich in humus or stony. As to 
altitude, it has been noticed that it does best below 8oo metres 
(2625 ft) It is reckoned that in April, 1902, there were in the 
Cameroons 200,000 plants, exclusive of wild ones. The plan of 
planting Funtumias in a lightly cleared forest as has been frequently 
done is not recommended. They do not grow so well in shade as 
in full sun ; when they are too weak to resist the drying action of 
sun and wind, they naturally should be protected, but when they 
are strong enough to resist this, they develop better when fully 
exposed to the sun, provided that the ground is damp enough. 
From the experiments made in plantations in German territory 
the Funtumias should be planted 6 meters [20 ft.] apart." 

" The tree is one of the best shade trees for cocoa, but as it is 
pyramidal in form it will be necessary to plant close which is not 
a disadvantage." 

Best Districts in Jamaica. Small trees of this species are growing 
at Hope Gardens and atCastleton. It will probably be found that 
it will succeed best in the districts recommended for Para rubber. 

Pruning. In Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago it is noticed that 
the young trees if left to themselves are liable to assume a bushy 
habit and are thus rendered less valuable for rubber-yielding 
qualities. To correct this it is recommended that the trees be 
pruned by gradually taking off all the lower branches and that 
one central, clean stem be encouraged. In Lagos the tree attains 
a height of 90 to lOO feet before branching, which makes it easy 
for the collector to tap the trunk. 

Collecting and preparing the rubber. " In tapping the trees the 
bark is first cut in a vertical direction from the bottom to the top. 
This single line is about ^ to f of an inch broad, and deep enough 
to reach the inner bark. This forms the main groove. On each 
side of this two series of oblique grooves, about two feet apart, 
are cut, each running into the main groove. The side grooves 
are made beginning at the top, and gradually reaching the base of 
the tree. All the milk exuding from the lateral grooves will find 
its wa^ into the main groove and so ultimately reach the bottom, 
where a vessel is placed to receive it. When sufficient milk has 
accumulated it is then collected and made into rubber. 

The methods adopted for coagulating the milk are at present 
of two kinds, viz., " the cold process" and "the heat process." 
The cold process is chiefly practised by the Fanti men introduced 
from the Gold Coast. A cavity is excavated in the trunk of a 
fallen tree so as to form a cistern of the capacity necessary for 
holding the milk collected during several days. Into this the 
rubber gatherers pour the milk, after straining it, from day to day, 
until it is quite full. It is then covered with palm leaves and left 
for 12 to 14 days and sometimes much longer, depending on the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


season, until most of the watery portions have either evaporated 
or sunk into the wood. After being kneaded and pressed together 
the rubber thus obtained has a dark, brownish colour, with the 
inner portions of a slightly lighter colour. Such rubber is known 
locally as " silk rubber." 

" The heat process is the one generally adopted by the natives 
of Lagos. This is much simpler in working, as it disposes of all 
the milk collected at the close of each day. After being strained 
the milk is placed in a vessel and boiled. The rubber begins to 
coagulate almost directly the heat is applied, and after the boiling 
is over is removed in a somewhat sticky condition, owing to being 
burnt, and of a blackish colour. It is pointed out that the heat 
process, though simpler, impairs the quality of the rubber, and is 
calculated to injure the industry. It is probable that if the heat 
process were somewhat modified the results would not be so inju- 
rious. An experiment was tried at the Botanic Station to coagu- 
late the milk by heat, but not applied directly to it. The result 
was much more satisfactory. The rubber came off of a milky 
white colour, and after being pressed it was clean and firm 
without being sticky." {Bull. R. Gardens, Kew, 1895, pp. 245-246.) 

Value of the rubber. "The question of making West African 
rubber more marketable is now exercising the minds of merchants 
engaged in that trade. The rubber that comes from Para (South 
America) fetches on the English market double the price of that 
product from West Africa. The only reason for this is the different 
method of curing the rubber when taken from the tree — a very 
simple process . . . The difference between Para and African 
rubber is similar to that between a loaf of bread just made up 
into dough and a loaf that has been through the oven and been pro- 
perly baked. In other words while the substance is the same, the 
one is an imperfect article ; the other a finished one, so far as the 
production of rubber is concerned." {Agricultural News, 1904, p. 343.) 

It appears that in Lagos, owing to the wholesale destruction of 
the trees in the hinterland, a most promising and valuable industry 
has been practically ruined. In 1 894 the exports of rubber shipped 
from the colony amounted to 5,867 lbs. valued at £324 6s. 4d. In 
1895 these figures rose to no less than 5,069,576 lbs. of a total 
sterling value of £269,893." 

"There is, unhappily, reason to fear that the usual result may 
follow this sudden discovery. Already there seem to be grounds 
for the belief that, in so far as the term 'rubber industry* implies 
the intelligent growth and cultivation of the plant for profit, it 
conveys a false impression of the methods in vogue in the interior." 

" Judicious tapping with due regard to the life of the tree, and 
its future usefulness, is the exception ; rubber-bearing trees are 
ruthlessly sacrificed by irresponsible seekers after wealth, and 
dead trunks are becoming a too familiar feature in the landscape 
of the productive districts. Sooner or later a purely destructive 
policy of this kind must exhaust the richest country ; adventurers 
will have to stray further afield, and the cost of transport will 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


«qual or exceed the value of the article." {Annual Report on Colony 
4>f Lagos for 1895.) (Colonial Office Reports, No. 185, 1896.) 

In 1897 the Governor of the colony sent Messrs. Leigh and 
Dawodu of the Botanical Department [two natives of Lagos who 
were trained at Hope Gardens, 1890-1893, and subsequently spent 
a year at Kew] into the interior to report on the condition of the 
rubber trees in the forests, and to give advice to the kings and 
<:hiefs on the proper methods of tapping, and to induce them to 
devote as much care and attention to the raising and cultivation of 
this tree as they give to kola and oil palm. 

Messrs. Leigh and Dawodu reported that the forests abounded 
with Ir6 trees, but through over-tapping they were almost ruined 
and rubber working had practically ceased. And they go on to 
say "rubber collectors have now to go 15 or 16 days ofFIbadan 
for rubber beyond the Protectorate of this colony. The countries 
where active rubber working is going on, are Benin and Aboko 

In the Annual Report on Lagos for 1897 the following statement 
occurs : — " As was anticipated, the falling off in the production of 
rubber, due to the reckless way in which it was collected, has come 
to pass, the amount shipped in 1897 being 4,458,327 lbs, as against 
^,484,365 lbs, in 1896. It is early to talk pessimistically of the 
'extinction of the industry,' inasmuch as the opening up of fresh 
country to peaceful commerce cannot fail to revive the production. 
At the same time the greed and guile of the small minority that 
<:ollects and adulterates rubber, coupled with the apathy of the large 
majority that only looks on, must inevitably deal a severe blow 
to the trade. Steps are, however, being taken to encourage the 
native chiefs to have the rubber collected in a thrifty and system- 
atic manner, which, it is hoped, will show good results in the near 

It would appear from the following that Funtumia is now being 
largely planted in West Africa : — " From an interesting report 
issued by the London Chamber of Commerce in June, 1905, we 
gather that rubber planting in West Africa is progressing rapidly, 
some 15,900 plants of Funtumia elastica having been planted at 
Aburi in 1902, and reported in 1905 as twelve feet high." 

"It is reported that caterpillars have been very destructive to the 
rubber plants." {Bull Botanical Department^ Trinidad^ July, 1906, 

p. 74.) 

Information on Lagos silk rubber may be found in the Bulletin 
of the Department of Agriculture, 1906, pp. 171-172. 

{Manihot Glaziovii,) 

Ceard or Manitoba rubber is produced by Manihot Glaziovii, a 
tree related to the cassava, but attaining to a height of 30 to 50 

Locality, Soil and Climate — "Ceara is a coast town of Brazil in 
lat. 4° S., and the flat country which runs back to the hills is 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


described by Mr. Cross as manifestly possessing * a very dry, arid 
climate for a considerable part of the year. This is evident from 
the fact that mandiocca and other crops require to be irrigated. 
The rainy season is said to begin in November and end in May or 
June ; torrents of rain are then reported to fall for several days in 
succession, after which the weather moderates for a brief space. 
According to some statements there are occasional years in which 
hardly any rain falls. This assertion concurs with the aspect 
presented by the country in general. The daily temperature on 
board the ship ranged from 82'' F., but inland in is often probably 
90°. The localities traversed by me nowhere seemed to be 
elevated more than 200 feet above the sea.' At Pacatuba, about 
forty miles from Ceara, the actual place where the specimens were 
obtained, ' the general forest was tolerably high, but the sparse 
small foliage did not afford much shade from the fierce rays of the 
sun. The soil was in places a sort of soft sandstone or gravel 
which was bound up in the most extraordinary manner. Neither 
grass nor weeds grew among this underwood, and there was an 
entire absence of ferns, mosses, and other plants.' In another 
place somewhat further from the coast, the traveller, shortly after 
entering the bush-like forest, 'came on a large tract of land 
covered by immense masses of grey granite, some of which might 
be fifty tons or more in weight. These had been broken where 
they lay, and were the result of a volcanic explosion. Rounded 
masses of the same rock also cropped out in many places ..... 
Many good-sized rubber trees were growing in the spaces between 
these granite masses . . . The situation was very dry, but no 
doubt some seedlings had sprung up, which owing to numerous 
thickets of shrubs, were not perceived.' (Journal of Botany, 1880, 

p. 323.) 

United States Consul Furniss reported recently that vast forests 
of this tree have just been discovered in the interior of the State 
of Bahia. The area is said to be very large, but cannot be defined 
as the region has not been fully explored. The attention called 
to the first discovery, has led to further explorations, with the 
result that from time to time comes notice of other sections where 
like trees occur in profusion. 

It is native to many parts of Brazil and when planted will grow 
on the interior plains and highlands as well as close to the sea . . 
It is also cultivated in many sections, large plantations having 
been set out during the last few years in Sergipe, Bahia and other 
States." (Bull. Dept, of Agru, Jamaica, 1905, p. 72.) 

In Nicaragua — The cultivation of Ceara, or Manitoba rubber was 
begun in Nicaragua about four years ago. The spflendid condi- 
tion of the plantings and the large yield and excellent quality of 
the product taken in trial tappings, give promise of the success of 
the enterprise. The Ceara rubber tree is a dry land plant, and 
will not prosper in a wet soil. It is being planted in the districts 
of La Pas and Momotombo (300 feet above sea level), where the 
Momotombo mountain by driving the clouds to one side, protects 
this section from the force of the tropical rains so that it is com' 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


paratively dry, receiving just about enough water to grow corn, 
which is abundant for Ceara rubber. The soil is sandy, with an 
admixture of a little clay, and very deep and level or slightly roll- 
ing. The Nicaragua Rubber Co.'s plantation is the "San 
Nicholas," on which are the oldest and'largest trees in this sec- 
tion. Three-year-old trees on this plantation measure 26 inches 
in girth 3 feet above the soil, and are more than 30 feet high. 
Ceara rubber trees yielded latex at two years of age. Twenty-one 
trees from fourteen to twenty-one months old, with an average age 
of fourteen months, were tapped, and together gave 7^ lb. of dry 
rubber. A tree fifteen months old gave 3 oz. of rubber. However, 
it is not intended to tap until the trees are four years old in order 
not to retard the best development. It is expected that four-year- 
old trees will produce I lb. of rubber each, and from that time the 
product will augment rapidly. There are now in the district out- 
side of native plantings, four American plantations of Manihot 
Glaziovii, on which are planted some 200,000 trees.while as many 
more will be planted in another year. (Work*) 

" In Hawaii — It is considered unlikely that the climate of Hawaii 
will prove suitable for the Para rubber tree ; for a similar reason, 
it is doubtful whether the cultivation of Castilloa elastica should 
be attempted on more than an experimental scale. 

" The Ceara rubber {Manihot Glaziovii), on the other hand, finds 
the climate of Hawaii quite suitable ; it makes rapid growth in 
Hawaii, thriving from sea-level up to 2,500 feet. As this tree will 
stand a moderate tapping at three years, comparatively early 
returns may be obtained. A company has already planted 
100,000 seeds of this species, and expects to have half a million 
growing within another two years." {Agricultural News, 1905, 

p. 393). 

In the German Colonies — " The German East Africa Plantations 
Company of Lewa continues to extend its plantations of rubber 
trees, Manihot Glaziovii, and at the end of 1 902 they had reached 
250,000 in number." {Agricultural News 1905, p. 7). 

Best districts in Jamaica — Considering the character of the 
country in which the Ceara rubber tree is a native, the most likely 
districts in the island for its success in yielding rubber are the 
Liguanea plain, Palisadoes, sea-coast parts of western St. Thomas- 
in-the-East, southern portions of Clarendon and St. Catherine, 
districts round Black River, and the country along the sea-coast 
of St. James and Trelawny. 

Propagation and Planting — " The seed-coat is of remarkable thick- 
ness and very hard, and the natural process of germination 
occupies a long period — it is said more than a year. All that is 
necessary to hasten this, if desired, is to assist the seed-coat in 
splitting. This is best effected by holding the seed firmly, and 
rasping off with a file both edges at the radicular end.f It is best 
not to file off the actual end, as it may thus easily happen that the 

» From Bull Dept. ofAgri, Jamaica 1905, p. 269. 
t This end IB to be recognized externally by poBBessing at its side aflat two-lobed 
appendage technically known as the caruncle. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


radicle of the embryo may be injured, After this treatment^ 
properly performed, the young plant appears above ground in twa 
or three weeks. The seedlings require no particular attention. 
They grow rapidly, and may be finally planted out at distances 
of twenty feet. A peculiarity which they share with their close 
relative the mandioc, is the possession of large tubers on the 
spreading roots." — {Journal of Botany, l88, p. 324.) 

"It can also be propagated by cuttings of about one foot in 
length taken from the ends of strong shoots. In planting, each 
cutting may be put in the ground to the depth of 6 inches. In 
loose, sandy soil, or dry, gravelly wastes, if found to support any 
kind of bush, plantations might be formed at little expense." — 

Collecting the Rubber, and Yield — "According to Cross (Report 
p. 14) this is an operation of a very simple description. On com- 
mencing work, the collector takes with him a stout knife and a 
handful of twigs to serve as a broom. Arriving at a tree, any 
loose stones or dust is swept from the ground around the base, 
and some large leaves are laid down to receive the droppings of 
milk which trickle down. Some do not go to the trouble of 
sweeping the ground or laying down leaves, for which reason the 
milk adheres to sand, dust, decayed leaves, and other impurities. 
The outer surface of the bark of the trunk is pared or sliced off 
to a height of four or five feet. The milk then exudes and runs 
down in many tortuous courses, some of it ultimately falling on 
the ground. After several days the juice becomes dry and solid, 
and is then pulled off in strings and rolled up in balls or put into 
bags in loose masses. Only a thin paring should be taken off, 
just deep enough to reach the milk vessels ; but this is not always 
attended to. Nearly every tree has been cut through the bark, 
and a slice taken off the wood. Decay then proceeds rapidly, and 
many of the trunks are hollow. In this condition the trees must 
yield far less milk, and many no doubt are broken over by the 
wind or wither away. Collecting is carried on during the dry 
season only, when rain seldom falls." 

" In the Tropical Agriculturist for March, 1887, Mr. W. B. Lamont 
furnished the following results of experiments carried on by him 
in the districts of Henaratgoda and Mirigama : — " No satisfactory 
result will follow any attempt to obtain produce before the tree 
is at least four years old ; no system of cutting or piercing the 
bark will give a satisfactory yield ; and it is only in the dry 
season, when the tree is leafless, and the growth at a standstill, 
that a satisfactory result can be obtained in the way of harvesting. 
The plan of obtaining the rubber that my experiments led up to, 
was, as soon as the leaves begin to fall, to remove the outer 
bark in vertical strips of not more than two inches wide, and not 
less than four inches apart. The tender inner bark thus exposed 
to the sun breaks out in something like running sores, from which 
the rubber slowly exudes and drips on the surface as fast as 
discharged. In this process the strip of exposed bark is 
destroyed, but a vigorous tree will close in the bared part in the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


course of the year, if the width is not more than two inches* 
Ceara rubber, planted at 100 trees per acre, will, after the second 
year, require hardly any expense in cultivation. As for harvest- 
ing, I collected 30 lbs. last January and February by one boy at 
15 cents a day, or say 23 cents per lb., the local value being about 
80 cents. Supposing each tree gave an average yield of I lb. per 
annum, and allowing 30 cents for cultivation and collecting, 50 
cents would remain as profit, or R50 per acre." 

"Dr. Trimen, in his Report for 1893 (p. 13), remarks; — " Cear4 
rubber has not taken any hold on planters here as a permanent 
cultivation ; yet it might, I think, be worked at a profit by a 
system of annual planting, and the sacrifice of successive crops of 
trees when they reach ten or twelve years. About I J lbs. of dry 
rubber is at that age obtained from each tree." — {Kew Bulletin, 
1898, pp. 4, 6-7, 8.) 

Analysis of rubber — "At the request of the Inspector-General of 
Agriculture in India, I lb., of moulded Ceard rubber (in 17 pieces) 
and I lb. of Ceara " Scrap" rubber were sent to the Agricultural 
Chemist by the Government of India for analysis, and the result 
is given as follows : — 

Report on the composition of two samples of Ceara rubber, 
' Scrap* and ' Prepared,* sent by R. L. Proudlock, Esq., Govern- 
ment Botanic Gardens and Parks, the Nilgiris, Ootacamund, 1 6th 
September, 1902. 

Water 4 92 3 64 

Pure caoutchouc 87 * 67 90 ' 09 

Resins 2 * 86 4 * 09 

Ash 4 55 2 18 

Total 100 00 1 00 00 

" The rubbers are of excellent quality as regards colour and 
texture and the analysis shows a high amount of pure caoutchouc." 
Bulletin of The Straits and Federated Malay States, October, 1 903, 
pp. 329-330. 

Information on Ceard rubber may be found in the Bulletin of 
the Botanical Department, Jamaica, as follows : — 1895, pp. 31-34 ; 
1897, pp. 242-243 ; 1898, pp. 37-38 ; 1899, p. 84. And in the 
Bulletin of the Department of Agriculture as follows : — 1905 pp. 
72-76, 269. 


(Sapium sp,) 

Mr. Robert Thomson, until lately one of Messrs Elder, Dempster 
and Company's Agricultural Instructors in Jamaica, and formerly 
of Bogota, Colombia, in 1888 wrote as follows concerning this 
rubber : — 

"This rubber is known in commerce as Colombia Virgen. It 
has been exported chiefly to the United States, and next to the 
Para rubber, it has realized the best prices in the market . . . 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


" I have established in this country during the last five years a 
plantation of this rubber, consisting of about 70,000 trees, this 
being, I believe, as yet the only plantation made of this sort. 
Under cultivation this tree thrives admirably, growing with great 
rapidity, and averaging about five feet a year. 

" Crops are obtainable in from six to eight years, but a tree five 
years old yields as much as I pound of rubber. It is a large forest 
tree, the trunks attaining six and seven feet in circumference. 

Four arrotas (lOO lbs.) of rubber have been extracted from a 
single tree, but the average yield is far less 

"The important consideration as regards this species, apart 
from its intrinsic value, is that it grows at great elevations on the 
Colombian Andes, viz., at from 6,000 to 8,00o feet above the sea. 

" Prior to the wholesale destruction of this tree (but few now 
remain) by the rubber collectors, I explored, some five years ago, 
the forests wherein it abounded in order to examine the soil, 
climatic and other conditions affecting its growth. It may be 
mentioned that its area of distribution has been peculiarly limited 
to a small section of the Cordilleras some 1,500 miles from the 
sea. The total quantity of rubber exported during the few years 
the article existed could not have amounted to many hundred tons. 

" It is very difficult to propagate the tree from cuttings, hence 
I have had to resort, during my supervision of the plantation, to 
propagation by seeds, which, moreover, were always procured 
with much difficulty." 

Messrs. Hecht, Levis, and Kahn, wrote in May, 1 890, to Royal 
Gardens, Kew: — 

" We beg to say that Colombian scrap rubber has been known 
in the market for the last few years, and is of a very superior 
quality indeed. 

" It would be difficult to give you the exact average market 
value, but it has varied during the last few years between 2/3 and 
3/ per lb. At the present moment the value is about 2/lld. to 3/." 
{Bulletin of the Botanical Department, Jamaica^ 1894, pp. 1 10 — III.) 

In the Journal of the Jamaica Agricultural Society for May, 1 906, 
Mr. Thomson gives some further information with regard to 
virgen rubber, as follows : — 

" This is the only important species of rubber indigenous to the 
cool bracing temperature of lofty tropical mountains. The other 
important species grow in the hottest zones of the earth. Hence 
to prospective planters settling in Jamaica the climatic conditions 
involved are of the greatest consideration. The temperature on 
the mountains is like a perennial English spring. As is well- 
known. Englishmen flock to the island of Ceylon to settle on the 
mountains ; there the mountain climate is duly appreciated. In 
like manner the varied resources of our mountains are destined to 
attract attention. 

The elevation above the level of the sea at which the virgen 
rubber was found growing in a state of nature, four degrees from 
the equator, ranged from 5,000 to 7,500 feet 

" From a cultural point of view, I have never in all my experi- 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


ence of tropical planting cultivated a tree that flourished like this 
rubber tree. Every plant with its striking foliage and abounding 
vigour grew with great rapidity. In the course of a year the 
plants attained a height of from six to eight and ten feet. In three 
years the stems were five to six inches in diameter 

" I remember having collected one lb. of rubber from a wild seed- 
ling which was about five years old. Under the elaborate cultural 
treatment to which the other species of rubber are now subjected, 
there can be no doubt that when 50 to 60 feet high, in less than 
10 years, not less than one pound per tree will result. And in a 
few years subsequent thereto, double and treble this quantity per 

" I have the pleasure to express my conviction that in certain 
parts of the temperate climate of the parish of Manchester, with 
its abundant humidity, and its peculiarly constituted soil, the 
virgen rubber could be cultivated with great success. Sites should 
be selected near the foot of the gentle rolling hills characteristic 
of the district — a district capable of being turned to more impor- 
tant account than any other in the island. Though this tree grows 
freely on high ridges in its native habitat, far greater returns are 
yielded by trees at the base of such ridges. There are thousands 
of acres of land obtainable above an elevation of 2,700 feet emi- 
nently fitted for this culture in Manchester. 

"I have elsewhere pointed out that plants cultivated near the 
equator at high altitudes (coff'ee for instance) are cultivated in 
Jamaica under precisely similar climatic conditions at about 2,000 
feet less altitude. Hence the altitude at which the virgen rubber 
flourishes in Colombia from 4,500 to 7,500 feet, is equalized here 
at an altitude of 2,000 feet less. 

" As the virgen rubber is a gigantic tree, care must be taken to 
plant it wide apart. The permanent distance might be 24 feet 
asunder. In 10 or 12 years the trees would cover the ground. 
Subsequently the trees would not expand materially, inasmuch as 
tapping the trees would interrupt growth. Regular crops, I feel 
sure, would result from the trees when eight years old, and of 
course annually afterwards." 

The rubber produced by another species of Sapium, native of 
Brazil, is used for adulterating Hevea rubber, and even in some 
cases to replace it altogether. It seems that the great demand has 
led to the practice for some years past. 

Dr. Huber, the author of the report, questions if the practice, 
which he says has passed unnoticed for twenty years, can be 
described as fraudulent. He considers that if the union makes no 
difference to the manufacturer, then no harm is done ; and, on the 
other hand, the knowledge is gained that the sources of supply are 
greater than was formerly known, as the tree in question is plenti- 
ful, and exists over a very wide area, and is known in the State 
of Amazonas by the name of *Taparu,' and in the neighbourhood 
of Para as * Murupita,* * Seringa-Rana,' &c"— (Agricultural News, 
1905, p. 271). 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Information on Virgen rubber may be found in the Bulletin of 
the Botanical Department, Jamaica, as follows: — 1894, p. 1 10. 


(Ficus elastica.) 

Source — Assam Rubber* is obtained from large trees of Ficus 
elastica. This fig tree generally germinates in the fork of another 
tree, sending down immense aerial roots into the ground and from 
the top of these (60 to 1 00 feet high) it throws out its branches. 

Locality — It grows in the damp forests which clothe the base of 
the Himalaya Mountains in Sikkim, and stretch away into Assam 
and Burma. 

Effect of Soil, &Cy on Yield—'' As the distance from the hills 
increases, and the atmosphere in which the tree grows gets drier, 
the quantity of rubber to be obtained from a tree decreases ; and 
whilst it is stated by the men who fetch it from the hills, that 
one tree is able to produce from 2 to 3 maunds ( 1 60 to 240 lbs.), 
the men who gather it from the forests at the foot of the hills, only 
get from 20 to 30 seers (40 to 60 lbs.) per tree, and if far from the 
hills, only half that quantity is obtained, especially if the ground 
is gravelly or otherwise severely drained." C Mann, Conservator of 
Forests, Assam, 

Yield— In Algiers, this tree thrives but does not form milk in 
sufficient quantity to to make it a profitable source of rubber. 
Continuous tapping for 6 months year after year, Mr. Mann aflBrms, 
will kill the trees, and accordingly he urged either that tapping 
should be restricted to three months a year (January, February, and 
March), or that a regulation should be made prohibiting the 
tapping of forests more frequently than once every three years. 
Mr. Mann further gives instructive figures as to the value of the 
rubber trees and their yield of caoutchouc. " Assuming that a 
tree reaches its full size at fifty years without tapping, and would 
after that, yield every third year, one maund of rubber, which 
would be collected, manufactured, and delivered in Calcutta at 15 
rupees per maund, and should realise the present price of good 
rubber, viz., 35 rupees per maund, it would have a net profit of 20 
rupees, per tree every third year. Besides this, one maund of 
lac may be reckoned on from every tree per year, which, if collected 
at its present rate, could be delivered in Calcutta at 10 rupees per 
maund, whilst it fetciies 1 5 to 20 rupees per maund there now, 
which is a profit of 5 rupees at least per tree yearly. 

" All these figures are the lowest, and the tapping the most 
cautious ; still if the tree planted lives a second fifty years, which 
it is sure to exceed, it produces 320 rupees for rubber and 250 
rupees for lac, which is more than any two timber trees of fifty 
years each, which might be grown in that time could equal.^' 

Mr. Mann then deals with the two kinds of rubber manufactured 
by the people of Assam, viz., one in irregular solid lumps or loaves 

* The notes on -this rubber in India are chiefly derived from the information given by 
Watt's Dictionary of Eeonomic Products of India 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


about l6 to 20 oz., in weight, and the other in balls of rubber 
threads each weighing 12 to l6 oz. The price paid (in 1869) for 
the two kinds varied, he says, from 8 rupees to 12 rupees, but this 
was paid for by pieces of Eri silk cloth of that value in exchange 
for a maund of rubber. This fetched in Calcutta from 20 rupees 
to 40 rupeees per maund, but Mr. Mann adds " if care were 
bestowed on the manufacture, it beyond doubt would fetch much 
higher prices." Messrs. Martin Ritchie & Co., however, purchased 
their rubber only in the fluid state from the people who tapped the 
trees. It was brought to them either in earthen pots or cane 
baskets made water proof with a previous coating of rubber. This 
coating of rubber, Mr. Mann states, was held to retain the sap in 
its fluid state. He goes on to say that, rubber in this fluid state 
was first purchased at 1-8 rupees per maund, but soon rose to 5 
rupees for the best or thickest procured from the aerial roots, and 
4 rupees for the next best procured from the lower part of the 
stem, and 3 rupees for the worst supposed to come from the upper 
branches of the tree and to have been mixed with the juice of 
other species of Fig and water. 

A full grown rubber tree of about 50 years old will yield at the 
very lowest lO lbs. of rubber, if very carefully tapped, and this 
quantity may be expected about 16 times, which will be an equally 
safe estimate for calculating the yield of a rubber tree. To be 
quite on the safe side, calculate 10 trees per acre which would 
give about I,600 lbs. of rubber from every acre. This, at the price 
at which rubber was collected in the Darrang district and sold, 
and deducting the expenditure incurred in collecting it, would give 
a net profit of 54 rupees per 80 lbs., or l,o8o rupees per acre in 
50 years, and if the rubber trees have a longer life, the yield may 
be reckoned for their remaining years of life at the same, if not a 
higher rate. 

Collection — Among forest trees and in regard to dimensions, 
this is facile princeps and there is no other, not even the Banyan 
that approaches it in dimensions and grandeur. Mr. C. Brownlow 
points out that every portion below the head of the foster tree is 
strictly root and incapable of throwing out a branch, and as the 
head is rarely less than 60 to lOO feet high, it is no easy matter 
to procure a branch. These cables and buttresses as they approach 
the ground, throw out smaller and subsidiary rootlets of all thick- 
nesses down to that of twine. If any of these be cut they die below, 
but from above grow again downwards. It is only necessary to 
see the tree to appreciate the fearful risk encountered by the gum 
gatherers, who by no means confine their operations to the base, but 
climb up as high as the roots extend, and higher along the hori- 
zontal branches, chopping at intervals of every few inches, the 
cuts answering as well for their foothold as for the sap to exude 
from. Were the base of the tree alone tapped, the yield would be 
very insignificant, especially in trees that have been frequently 
tapped before. And as the trees occur very sparsely, and long 
distances have to be gone over to meet them, it becomes an object 
to get as muqh off at each cutting as possible. The trees must be 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


twice climbed, once to cut it, and a second time, after the gum has 
dried (which takes a day or two) to gather it. This is done by 
pulling ofif the tear which gathers below the wound, which brings 
away with it all the gum that has exuded, and these tears have 
only to be moulded together to agglutinate into a ball. The 
quantity that can thus be collected at one cutting does not exceed 
8 to 10 lbs. Of course no mercy is shown to the trees, all of which 
suffer severely ; and many are killed outright. The damage they 
sustain is apparent in the large cankers, and buttresses rotted off, 
owing to the bark being unable to heal over the frequent wounds 
they have received all round. The foliage is wanting in luxuriance 
and dried branches and roots lying about testify to the injury in 
health that the tree has sustained. 

Mr. Mann specially insists on the following points being ob- 
served : — 

"(l) Fresh cuts to be made only in February, March and 
April,and the trees to have rest for two years between 
each tapping. 
"(2) The cuts to be at least l8 inches apart, to penetrate into 
the the bark only, not into the wood, and to be made 
with an instrument more suitable than the ones at 
present used. Mr. Mann prefers the German timber 
scoring knife. 
"(3) As far as possible, the milk to be collected in a fluid 
state in narrow-mouthed rattan baskets, and to be 
brought to central manufactories. 
"(4) Endeavours to be made to convert the milk into a solid 
state by a process of slow drying similar to that prac- 
tised in Para. 
"(5) Those varieties of caoutchouc which dry naturally on 
the tree to be collected with care, and to be picked so as 
to get rid of all impurities. 
Planting — In his report for 1884, Mr. Mann gives the following 
particulars : — " The present area under cultivation is fully stocked 
containing 12,511 trees; they have been planted at 25 feet apart 
in the lines, which latter are 100 feet apart; this is double the 
number of trees that was planted on an acre at the commencement. 
The oldest trees are about 30 to 40 feet in height, and a few from 
45 to 50 feet, but this cannot be put down as the average growth 
of Ficus elastica in ten years, since half this time and longer, these 
plantations were entirely experimental, and everything had to be 
learned, as, for instance, the first trees were all raised from cuttings, 
which mode of propagation has been given up, since the trees 
raised from seed have proved much hardier and faster growing, 
and as to the planting of rubber seedlings high up in the forks 
of other trees, this also has almost entirely been given up, because 
such trees in most instances, did not make more than a few leaves 
in the year, and it would, as a matter of course, be out of the 
question to plant rubber trees where they would take a century to 
become large enough for tapping, when such trees can be grown 
in a different way in one-fourth of the time. On the other hand, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


it has been found that trees planted on small mounds of earth, 3 to 
4 feet in height grow very much better than if they are planted on 
ordinary level ground, and this plan has therefore also been 
adopted, although it adds considerably to the cost of making 
these plantations, but the faster growth of the trees amply com- 
pensates for the higher expenditure. The method of planting 
adopted from the beginning has been to clear lines from east to 
west through the forest for the young trees a hundred feet apart ; 
the width of the lines is 40 feet, so that a broad strip of forest 60 
feet wide is left standing between these lines to ensure the utmost 
amount of moisture in the atmosphere for the young rubber trees. 
At first the lines were only cleared 20 feet broad, but it was found 
after a few years that these closed up very soon and thus retarded 
the growth of the young trees by shutting out the requisite amount 
of light. However, the widening of the lines also brought about 
the faster growth of the scrub in them, besides that of the rubber 
trees, and more money, time, and attention has in consequence to 
be spent, especially in the rainy season, on those plantations, than 
had at first been anticipated, but the greatest and most costly 
difficulty that had to be overcome was the effectual protection of 
rubber trees against deer, which during the first few years, con- 
stantly bit off the young plants, and, where they were not entirely 
ruined by this, they were so much injured and retarded in growth 
that a considerable increase in expenditure on these plantations 
had to be incurred on fencing to prevent it. But for the future this 
expenditure will not be necessary, since it has been found that 
saplings 10 feet and more in height can be transplanted without 
difficulty and with perfect success, and if such saplings are tied 
firmly to stakes, the deer can do little or no damage to them." 

Assam Rubber in Jamaica — There are a number of these trees in 
various parts of Jamaica. Mr. W. M. Douet has extracted good 
rubber from a tree at Sweet River, near Sav.-la-Mar, by making 
V-shaped incisions with others leading into the lowest point. He 
says: — "By making several incisions in the roots, branches, and 
lower parts of the trunks I have extracted 2 lbs. from a tree at one 
time. The juice runs very slowly and hardens on the tree ; I strip 
it ofif and roll it into balls. The trees are large, 12 to 15 feet in 
circumference and 50 to 60 feet high. They appear to be very 
old. The late Mr. H. O. Vickers made some experiments in ex- 
tracting the rubber from these trees, and found that he obtained 
a greater flow at full moon, also during rainy weather .... The 
average annual rainfall for the last ten years is 64 inches 17 

Mr. M. S. Strickland also extracted good rubber from one of 
these trees at Great Valley, Flint River. He wrote, " The manner 
in which the rubber is taken is a rough one ; the trunk and 
branches are cut with a machete, a small lump of clay is taken to 
catch the milk as it drops, and formed into a ball. But the milk 
can be taken by cutting the tree and allowing it to drop into a 
calabash. . . . The tree here would not do for cocoa shade, as it 
branches out 5 feet from the ground, and the branches are large 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


and low. The roots run a long distance, and are also very large- 
The measurements are : girth of trunk, 1 6 feet ; girth of nearest 
branch to ground, 8 feet. I estimate the height of the tree to be 
65 feet." 

Mr. W. Harris made some experiments on three trees at Pleasant 
Hill just below the Hill Garden. Incisions were made in the 
bark of the trunks, branches and one large root, but nearly the 
whole of the rubber was obtained from the trunk of the oldest tree. 
When any part of the bark was punctured, the milk appeared 
immediately, but the flow quickly ceased, though it could be pro- 
longed by removing the milk as it flowed from the incision. Only 
about one-fifth of a pint of milk was obtained each day for three 
days from the three trees, making in all three-fifths of a pint. 
The following method was adopted in preparing the rubber; the 
milk was kept in the tins in which it had been collected until the 
following day in each case. Through evaporation of the water, it 
had become thick, but in order to hasten coagulation, boiling 
water was added. The milk readily mixed with the water and 
was easily removed from the tins. The whole was poured into 
saucers and placed on the top of a cooking stove. The rubber 
soon coagulated, was removed and pressed out into flat pieces. 
This is a sufficient mdication of the plan that might be adopted 
on a large scale. The total amount of rubber thus obtained 
amounted to 4 ounces, which shows that this rubber tree would 
not be profitable at an elevation of 3,500 feet. 

Preparation of the rubber in Assam — Collins states that the prepara- 
tion on a commercial scale is to pour the milk into large wooden 
bins, 6 feet square, and partly filled with water, the caoutchouc 
after a time floating on the top. The caoutchouc (being still 
fluid) is then taken out and boiled over a slow fire in iron 
pans, 4 to 6 feet in diameter, and 2 to 2 J feet deep, 2 parts of 
water being added to the caoutchouc, and the whole stirred 
constantly. As soon as the caoutchouc coagulated into a mass it 
was taken out with iron forks and pressed, and again boiled and 
pressed, and then dried in the sun, and finally washed over with 

Information on Assam rubber may be found in the Bulletin of 
the Botanical Department, Jamaica, as follows : — 1894, pp. 105-109; 
1895, pp. 55-56; 1901, pp. 139-141. 

(Landolphia spp.) 

African rubber is furnished by several species of the genus 
Landolphia, which are woody climbers, with stems 4 to 6 inches 
in diameter. The best quality from the Zanzibar coast is derived 
from Landolphia Kirkii ; two other species, viz., L. florida (the chief 
source of Mozambique rubber), and L. Petersiana are also sources 
of the East African supply. 

On the West Coast L, owariensis, which has a very wide distri- 
bution, is the principal species furnishing Congo and Sierra Leone 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

rubbers. L, florida, which occurs on the East coast, and L, Mannii 
also afford part of the West African supply. (Kew Bulletin, 1892, 
p. 68.) 

Landolphia Heudelotii, which produces a good quality of rubber, 
is being largely planted in the French African possessions. Owing 
to the climbing habit of the Landolphias it is not practicable to 
cultivate them in regular plantations as they require the support 
of trees, and when once tapped several years must elapse before 
they will yield another crop, but it is well to remember that from 
these, and similar plants, a very important rubber industry was 
started at the Gold Coast in 1882; and although previous to that 
year no rubber whatever was exported from that colony, it had 
attained in 1893 to the annual value of £200,000. 

I would suggest that plants of these climbers be established in 
the forest lands belonging to the Crown, e.g., the Cockpit Country, 
and in course of time they would probably become naturalized and 
add to the value of such lands. 

Information on Landolphias may be found in the Bulletin of 
^he Botanical Department, Jamaica, No. lO, p. 4. 

(Forsteronia florihunda,) 

This rubber is not yet known in commerce although attention 
has been called to it in the Annual Reports, and in the Bulletin of 
the Botanical Department. 

Source— 1\. is obtained from the stems of a climber known locally 
as " Milk Withe" or " Rubber Withe" which are generally as thick 
as a man's wrist, but I have seen great lianas in the Cockpit 
Country in St. James with stems six inches or more in diameter for 
a distance of 20 to 30 feet from the ground, then branching into 
several stems and growing to the tops of trees over lOO feet in 
height. Such stems on being slightly cut with a machete exuded 
latex in the greatest profusion. The plant also grows over the 
rocks fully exposed to the sun, or climbs over bushes. 

Locality — The '* Milk Withe" grows plentifully in the limestone 
districts of the central and western parishes where the surface is 
exceedingly rough and difficult to traverse on account of the sharp 
and jagged edges of the hard crystalline limestone. The soil is 
lodged in hollows of varying extent and depth between the pro- 
jecting rocks. 

Collection of Milk — When a cut is made through the bark of the 
Milk Withe a milky juice flows out for about two minutes, but a 
number of incisions are necessary before sufficient fluid is collected 
to fill a four-ounce bottle. Care should be taken not to cut into 
the bark deeper than is necessary so that the wound may soon be 
healed by the formation of new bark. 

Yield — Messrs. Silver, of Silvertown India Rubber Company, 
reported on samples sent to them in 1 888, that one quart of juice 
yielded one pound of dry and washed caoutchouc, or about 22 
ounces of ordinary crude caoutchouc, but the sample sent in 1890 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


yielded only at the rate of two ounces per quart. Probably the 
difference was due to collection in the former case during the dry 
months and in the latter during the wet season. The value of the 
rubber in 1890, was stated by Messrs. Silver to be 3/2d. per pound. 

Preparation of the Rubber—The rubber coagulates simply on ex- 
posure to a dry atmosphere, but from experiments made, it is pro- 
bable that the method described under Assam Rubber as the one 
used on a large scale would prove the most succesful. 

Propagation — This plant may be propagated by seed or by cut- 

Information on Jamaica Milk Withe may be found in the Bulletin 
of the Botanical Department, Jamaica, as follows : — No. lO, pp. 
2-3 ; No. 21. pp. 3-4 ; 1894, pp. IO9-IIO. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 





African Rubber 


in India 


Assam Rubber: 


in Nicaragua 




in the German colonies 


distance in planting 




effect of soil, &c., on yield 


number of trees per acre 


in Algiers 




in Jamaica 












preparation of the rubber 






Colombian Scrap Rubber 




Congo Rubber 




Ficus elastica 




Forsteronia floribunda 


when to tap 


Funtumia elastica 




Hevea brasiliensis 


-Castilloa elastica 




Castilloa Rubber : 


Jamaica Rubber : 


age at which trees may be 

collection of milk 


be tapped 




as a shade for cocoa 


preparation of the rubber 


best districts in Jamaica 




climate and situation 




coagulating the latex 




cost of collecting rubber 






Lagos Silk Rubber : 


Darien Castilloa 


age at which seed is pro- 





decrease of milk with in- 

age at which tree may be 

crease of altitude 




distance in planting 


as shade for cocoa 


flow of sap in dry regions 


attacked by caterpillars 




best districts in Jamaica 


" hule bianco" 


coagulating the milk 


" hule Colorado" 


collecting and preparing 

"hule negro" 


the rubber 


" hule tunu" 


destruction of Ir^ forests 


in Ceylon 


elevation for 


in the Darien forests 




in Tobago 


in the Cameroons 


in Venezuela 


in the Congo Free State 

on the Isthmus of Panama 


in Lagos 




in Trinidad 


shade for Castilloa 


in Western Africa 






washing the latex 


situation for 






Castilloa Tunu 




Ceara Rubber : 


Landolphia florida 


age at which trees may 

Landolphia Heudelotii 


be tapped 


Landolphia Kirkii 


analysis of rubber 


Landolphia Mannii 


best districts in Jamaica 


Landolphia owariensis 




Landolphia Petersiana 


collecting the rubber 


Manitoba Rubber 


cost of collecting 


Manihot Glaziovii 


distance in planting 


Milk Withe 


in Brazil 


Mozambique Rubber 


in Ceylon 


* Murupite' 


in Hawaii 


Digitized by VjOO' 





Para Rubber : 




acreage in rubber 


smoking and coagulation 


analysis of banana soil in 

soil, analysis of 






analysis of rubber soil in 

age to tap 

248, 250 



frequency of tapping 


as a mixed crop 


season to tap 




size for tapping 


climate in Ceylon 


time to tap 


climate in Federated 

Yields in Ceylon 


Malay States 






Rubber at the Gold Coast 




Rubber of a species of 

fruit disease 


Sapium used for adulte- 

root disease 


rating Para Rubber 


stem disease 


Rubber Withe 


distance in planting 




draining land 


* Seringa-Rana' 


habitat of 


Sierra Leone Rubber 




' Taparu* 


localities for in Jamaica 


Virgen Rubber: 




age at which crops may be 





planted with cocoa 


elevations for in Colombia 


planting operations 


elevations for in Jamaica 






pruning young trees 


value of 


Digitized by 




The usual Monthly Meeting of the Board of Agriculture was 
held at Headquarter House on Wednesday, 17th October, 1 906, 
at 2 p.m. : Present : — The Hon. T. L. Roxburgh, Acting Colonial 
Secretary, Acting Chairman, the Director of Public Gardens, the 
Acting Island Chemist, His Grace the Archbishop, Messrs. C. A. 
T. Fursdon, J. W. Middleton and the Secretary. 

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed. 

Rubber — Mr. Fawcett handed in the manuscript of the article on 
rubber which Mr. Harris was asked to prepare. It was agreed 
that this should be published as a Bulletin and that the Secretary 
should write Mr. Harris thanking him for the trouble he had taken 
in getting up the matter. 

Mr. Cradwick — The Secretary read letter from Jamaica Agricul- 
tural Society stating that they agreed to the recommedations of 
the Board of Agriculture that Mr. Cradwick should remain in the 
western district till the end of the financial year and carry through 
his engagements till that date, but from 1st April it was expected 
that he should take up his work in his new district ; that as His 
Excellency had not approved of the recommendation of the Joint 
Conference with regard to the control of the Instructors the Board 
of Management took it that the control of the work remained as 

Longville Cassava Plantation — The Secretary reported that as 
directed by the Board, Mr. Cradwick had visited Longville Cassava 
Plantation and had made a report to the Amalgamated Products 
Co. ; his expenses amounting to £2 2s. 3d. had been paid by the 

Swift's Arsenate of Lead — The Secretary read letter from the 
Colonial Secretary's Office stating that with the advice and consent 
of the Privy Council the Governor had, under Section 8 of the 
Tariff Law of 1899, agreed to admit Swift's Arsenate of Lead free. 

Mr. Fawcett asked for a copy of the report that had been made 
on the subject and the Secretary was directed to send him this. 

Tobacco — The Secretary read letter referred from the Colonial 
Secretary's Office from Granda Bros. & Co., Montreal, stating that 
they were desirous of becoming better acquainted with the tobacco 
grown here with the object of perhaps using same, and asking 
that a few sample hands of tobacco suitable for wrappers be sent 
to them by mail. 

The Secretary was directed to publish this letter in the news- 
papers and send a copy to Col. Kitchener. 

The Director of Public Gardens stated that when he was in 
London, he had met Mr. Chalmers, the Tobacco expert, who 
stated that the blend of Jamaica and Virginia Tobacco which had 
been used experimentally in the Navy would probably be found 
suitable, and when the experiment was completed, they would 
probably want as much as 500 quintals of the third quality at a 
cheap rate. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The Secretary submitted letter from the Director of Public 
Gardens asking whether the experiment of growing Sumatra 
Tobacco under shade should be continued this year, and if so, a 
special warrant for £25 to cover the expenditure would be required. 

It was agreed not to continue the experiment. 

Mr. Cradwick and Montpelier Show — ^The Secretary read letter 
from Montpelier Show Committee urging that Mr. Cradwick be 
allowed to remain in that part of the Island until the end of the 
financial year so that he could carry through matters in connection 
with the Show. 

The Secretary was directed to reply that it had already been 
decided that Mr. Cradwick should carry through all his engage- 
ments in that district up to the 31st March. 

Free Postage — The Secretary read letter fiom Central Cornwall 
Agricultural Society pointing out the inconvenience correspon- 
dents with the Travelling Instructor had in having to prepay 
postage to him. 

The Secretary was directed to say that this same matter had 
already been brought before the Governor when it was decided 
that letters to all the Instructors as well as to the Agricultural 
Society could not be granted free postage, but that letters to the 
Director of Public Gardens and to the Secretary of the Board of 
Agriculture were free. 

Reports — The following reports from the Director of Public 
Gardens were submitted : — 

1. Hope Experiment Station. 

2. Instructors. 

These were directed to be circulated. 

The following papers which had been circulated were now 
submitted for final consideration : — 

I. Report Hope Experinlent Station. 
2 Mr. Crad wick's Report for August. 

3. Mr. Briscoe's Report and Itinerary. 

There were no remarks on these reports and they were accord- 
ingly passed. 

Mr. Middleton brought up the matter of the report that had been 
made by the Committee on the post of Assistant Superintendent 
at Hope Gardens, and asked whether a reply was expected. 

The Chairman said that he had no doubt that a reply would yet 
be received. 

School Gardens — The Archbishop said that he had received a 
communication from Mr. Murray, Superintendent of Field Experi- 
ments, with regard to school gardens which he thought contained 
suggestions worthy of consideration and perhaps adoption ; he 
asked that a Committee be appointed to consider these suggestions. 
The following Committee was appointed : — Mr. Fawcett, Mr. 
Capper, Mr. Middleton and the Archbishop. 

The meeting then adjourned till Wednesday 14th Nov. at 2 p.m. 

[Issued 16th Nov., 1906.] 
Priixted at the Oovt. Printing Office^ Kingsttray Jam. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 





Vol. IV. 

DECEMBEK, 1906. 

Part 12. 







Introductory — 

Harvesting — 


... 285 

Cutting the stems 

... 290 


... 2S6 


... 291 

Introduction into Jamaica 

... 286 


... 292 


Future Prospects 

... 292 


... 286 

Extracts from lecture at 


... 287 

Society of Arts 

... 296 

Preparation of ground 

... 287 

Machinery for decorti- 

Propagation and Planting 

... 2^7 


... 304 

Notes on Planting Ramie 

... 288 


... 289 

About 13 years ago much interest was taken in the subject of 
Ramie, and notes were published in the Bulletin* for the guidance 
of planters; now again some inquiries are being made, and as the 
above-mentioned Bulletin is out of print, some of the notes are 
here republished with the addition of the latest information in the 
form of a lecture and discussion at the Society of Arts last March. 
Later still Mr. Hubert J. Boeken has published a pamphlet dis- 
cribing a new machine for decorticating Ramie stems, manufactured 
by Boeken & Co., of Duren, Germany and offered for sale at the 
moderate price of £60. 

Description — This plant belongs to the Nettle Family (Urticace(e\ 
It grows to a height of from 4 to 8 feet. The leaves are alternate, 
toothed, 3-nerved, broadly ovate, rough above, snow-white on the 
under surface in one variety, greenish in another. The flowers 

♦ Bulletin of the Botanical Department, Jamaica, March and April, 1894. 

Digitized by 



are very small in clusters along a branched stalk, and both male 
and female flowers occur on the same plant. 

Varieties — Ramie is the Malay name for the variety native in 
the Malay Archipelago, which is greenish on both sides of the 
leaf. It has been cultivated in Assam for long periods, and is 
there known as Rhea. This variety is distinguished by the name 
tenacissima. The variety with the whitish under-side of the leaves 
(nivea) is a native of China and has been conveniently designated 
the Chinese White Nettle. The fibre prepared from it, and 
imported into England, is known under the inappropriate name of 
China Grass. 

China grass fibre generally obtains double the price in London 
of Rhea. Some writers state that the variety tenacissima produces 
the strongest fibre. 

Introduction into Jamaica — The white-leaved variety was intro- 
duced into Jamaica in the year 1854 by Mr. Nathaniel Wilson, 
Island Botanist, and was grown with great success in the Botanic 
Garden at Bath. Plants were distributed from that centre as early 
as the year 1855. In 1884, Sir D. Morris, at that time Director of 
Public Gardens and Plantations, issued Instructions on the Cultiva- 
tion of Ramie, and also discussed the subject in a Public Lecture at 
the Jamaica Institute on " Native and other Fibre Plants." Shortly 
after the delivery of this lecture, the late Hon. Dr. Phillippo deliver- 
ed another Institute Lecture specially devoted to the subject of 
Ramie, giving results of his own experiments as well as general 
nformation on the whole subject. Dr. Phillippo had already in 
1881 introduced the green-leaved variety into the Island from 
Haiti. At this time and for 3 or 4 years subsequently, it was 
confidently expected that the Favier-Fremy process had solved 
the difficulty of preparation of the fibre. 


Climate — The Malayan Ramie is essentially a native of an 
equatorial insular climate, with an equable temperature all the year 
round, and abundance of moisture. It has not succeeded well in 
India, except in the south, where a company is growing it, because 
in summer it is subjected to long-continued droughts and in winter 
to cold weather. In Jamaica there are no great extremes of 
temperature, and therefore wherever there is a sufficiency of fresh 
water for the roots. Ramie will flourish. Even in localities where 
the annual rainfall does not exceed 50 inches, it would succeed 
with irrigation. 

The Chinese White Nettle is a continental plant, and apparently 
more accommodating as regards moisture and drought than the 
Malayan variety. It has grown luxuriantly in Jamaica from sea 
level up to 5,000 feet, and there is no reason to suppose that there 
would be any difficulty in cultivating it at the highest elevations. 
In America, it is said that the Chinese variety is the more success- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Soil — This plant will grow in Jamaica in almost any soil except 
.«tiflf clay. It grows best in a rich sandy loam, which is 12 to 
15 inches deep, with a free subsoil. It is important to have perfect 
drainage, for it is intolerant of stagnant water. 

Preparation of Ground — ^The more thoroughly the ground is tilled 
before planting, the quicker will the roots penetrate the soil, and 
the more satisfactory will be the result. 

Propagation and Planting — Ramie is propagated with some diffi- 
culty from seed, but easily by cuttings from the stem, and very 
readily and quickly by division of the roots. The difficulties in the 
way of obtaining a yield of seed, and afterwards in growing the 
seedlings, as compared with the ease with which cuttings strike, 
make it unnecessary to discuss propagation by seed. 

To propagate by stem-cuttings, let the stembecome ripe, indicated 
by its turning brown ; cut it into pieces, each containing 3 eyes 
or buds, close below the lowest eye, and close above the topmost ; 
then plant so that the middle eye is just at the surface. It is not 
advisable to put these cuttings out at once into the open field, as 
they require a moist soil and shading from the sun for 10 days, 
t will be found better to grow them for some time in a nursery 
ntil they have well-developed roots, then plant them out at 
distances of I i to 2 feet apart, in straight rows. 

To propagate by division of roots is the best plan. It is better 
done in showery weather. The roots should be cut so that there 
are 5 or 6 eyes to each portion. Plant out in straight rows at 
distances of li to 2 feet apart. Some have recommended 4 feet 
as a proper distance, but this plan necessitates extra expense in 
weeding ; and besides the fibre will be of better quality with close 
planting which prevents branching. At distances of I J feet there 
is room for hoeing the weeds, until the plants are strong. If 
the ground is shaded, as some recommend, then it is not so 
important to plant close. 

After some time every alternate row each way may be taken up 
altogether, and transplanted in new ground so as to extend the 

A Chinese Treatise on Agriculture, says of this plant : " When 
the tufts are strong enough, the earth round is dug, and new stocks 
are detached and transplanted elsewhere. The principal stock 
then grows more vigorously. At the end of 4 or 5 years, the old 
stocks becoming excessively strong, they are divided and replanted 
in other beds." 

15 Col. Hannay, in speaking of the cultivation of Rhea in Assam, 
says : — "Between the cuttings, all that seems necessary is a fresh 
opening up of the ground around the roots, which in a regular 
plantation is best done by hoeing between the rows with a spade- 
shaped hoe set in a long handle : the person, as he performs this, 
going backwards, so as not to step over his work ; in fact nothing 
can be more simple than the cultivation of this plant, all that is 
required being a loose rich soil, and protection to the crop by a 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


good strong fence. The roots throw up at least twelve shoots 
when in full bearing ; should they increase, and the crops get 
too thick, the roots require to be separated ; and by this means 
the cultivation can be carried to any extent." 

To put in roots at l^ feet apart requires nearly 20,000 roots per 
acre. At 2 feet apart there are 10,890 plants to the acre. 

Notes on Planting Ramie* — The plants as sent from the Gardens 
are ready for planting without further preparation. 

If the land is such that ploughs and cultivators can be used, 
thoroughly plough up the whole of the land, then form beds five 
feet wide, with walks between the beds eighteen inches wide, the 
beds can be any reasonable length but intervals should be leift for 
the passage of carts, &c. ; raise the beds by taking soil from the 
space left for walks and throwing it on the beds. This will in- 
crease the depth of soil for the plants to grow in, and by lower- 
ing the walks make them serve as drains, the depth of which would 
be regulated by the rainfall of the district. If manual labour has 
to be utilised, simply fork up the space to be used as the bed, leave 
the walks hard, but the top soil can be shovelled off and put on 
the beds in the same way, to form the walks and drains ; it must 
be borne in mind that this is the best of the soil and will enrich 
the beds. 

The soil must be thoroughly pulverised, the plants can then be 
planted by opening a hole with the hand just deep enough to cover 
the plant about half-an-inch, not deeper ; cover the plants lightly 
with the hand but do not press the soil or only very slightly, if the 
weather is dry ; do not plant nearer the edge of the beds than six 
inches, put the plants in nine inches apart, or if on very rich soil 
a toot apart. 

Keep the young plants quite free from weeds by hand weeding. 
The plants put out at Hope treated as above, were weeded three 
times the first year, and then the Ramie kept down the weeds itself 
except on the paths. 

Our reasons for planting in beds, clearing paths and intervals 
is to obviate the necessity of walking between the plants, and so 
trampling the soil round the roots, and making it hard andcakey, 
which from experience has been found to be very detrimental to 
the growth of the plant. In the beds planted at Hope the soil was 
almost as loose and friable a year later as it was on the day the 
beds were planted ; and if the crop were taken off then the only 
thing requiring to be done is to hoe the paths, and perhaps pull 
out a few climbing weeds which no plants can keep down without 

By planting as close as above described the plants shoot up 
very rapidly with little or no tendency to branch. 

The above may seem rather troublesome, but if the plants are 
treated in this way the growth will be more than satisfactory and 

♦ W. Cradwick in Bulletin, June, 1S%. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


it will be many years before the plant requires replanting, but if 
carelessly dealt with, allowed to get weedy when young, trampled 
on or between, the plant will soon become enfeebled and the 
whole trouble of replanting will have to ht gone through again in 
a short time. 

Manure* — " The exhaustive nature of the plant is shown by the 
following analysis of dry ramie stems. The ramie stems were 
found by Dr. T. K. Hornidge to contain, in 100 parts : — 
Carbon ... 47*28 

Hydrogen ... 6*26 

Nitrogen ... 009 

Oxygen ... 42 '23 

Ash ... 4* 14 

100 00 

" The ash consists of : — 


32 • 37 per cent. \ 48 " 76 per cent 



'* J of alkalies. 





Peroxide of iron . . . 


Chloride of sodium 


Phosphoric acid ... 


Sulphuric acid ... 


Carbonic acid 


Silicic acid (with ] 

a little charcoal J- 

6 60 


and sand) J 

99 90 

" It will be noticed that the alkalies contribute almost one-half, 
and the phosphoric acid about one-tenth of the ash. If the weight 
of dry stems obtained at one crop be taken at only 1,000 lbs. per 
acre, this gives, with three crops in the year, a yield of about 
3,000 lbs. of dry stems per acre per annum. The quantity of ash 
in that quantity will amount, according to the foregoing analysis 
to 124 lbs., and the quantity of alkalies subtracted from one acre 
in the course of the year will be about 60 lbs., and of phosphoric 
acid about 12 lbs. In England a crop of wheat is usually assumed 
to subtract from the soil about 30 lbs. of alkalies, and 28 lbs. of 
phosphoric acid ; and a crop of flax about 50 lbs. of alkalies, 
and 24 lbs. of phosphoric acid. In comparison with these numbers 
it seems that ramie requires a very large amount of alkalies, 
especially of potash, more than either flax or wheat, whilst the 
quantity of phosphoric acid is only one-half of that contained in a 
crop of flax, owing to the large quantities of phosphoric acid con- 
tained in the linseed. 

• Porbee Watson. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


" The large quantity of mineral matters contained in the ramie 
stems explains the importance attached by the Chinese to the 
careful manuring of the plant. This is a point which ought not 
to be neglected ; and even if it should be difficult to provide suffi- 
cient quantities of manure, the dry sticks after the separation of 
the fibre, and all the refuse during its preparation, should be care- 
fully collected, burnt, and the ashes returned to the soil. If this 
is systematically done, there need be no fear that ramie as a crop 
should prove very exhaustive to the soil, as the proportion of 
valuable materal constituents taken away in the fibre itself is quite 


Cutting the Stems, — The stems should be cut before they turn 
brown, and before they flower. Dr. Forbes Watson states in a 
lecture before the Society of Arts : — 

" One of my objects, in the experiments which I carried out in 
Paris was to determine, as far as I could, the height to which th^ 
plants should be grown in order to give the largest yield of fibre. 
Some people say that the plant should be grown to the height of 
6 feet ; some say they should not be more than 3 feet ; but the 
results of my experiments, point to the fact that 3 J to 4 feet is 
about the right height to grow them. If the length is not more 
than 2 feet, the fibre is very fine, but the chances are you get 
waste, and not such a good per centage of fibre. In the long stems 
the fibre is not so fine as in the medium ones ; in short, the medium 
stems from 3 ft. to 4 ft. are about the right length to cut. This 
has an important bearing upon the question of the number of 
crops which can be obtained. It is clear that if you allow the 
plant to grow 6 or 8 ft. high, you cannot expect to get as many 
crops as when only 4 ft. Moreover, there is this characteristic ; 
all these stalks which you see here are from the same plant, 
that is to say, the shoots have come from the same root. Having 
determined the proper length, the stems should be gathered 
accordingly, only those being cut which have attained the right 
height ; in this way a continuous crop may possibly be secured. 

" We find that with China grass there is a great variety in 
quality. These variations in quality give rise to the complaints 
which are frequently made. If you grow it, however, a certain 
standard length, it will be likely to produce it of a definite quality 
and that is what is wanted for commercial purposes." 

The following paragraphs are taken from a Report on Formosa 
by Mr. Alex. Hosie, acting Consul at Tamsui, submitted in March, 

1893 :— 

"The workman seizes each stem 9 inches above ground between 
the thumb and fingers of the right hand, snaps it over to the right 
causing a fracture, lays hold of the stem below the fracture with 
his left hand, pushes down and sideways the upper part of the 
stem on the fracture to complete the division of the wood, inserts 
the forefinger of the right hand in the fracture, which is now com- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


pound, and draws it up between the peel on the left and the wood 
and adhering peel on the right, removing on its way branchlets,. 
leaves, and tip. He then draws down the peel on the left with 
his left hand to the root, where it is readily detached. In like 
manner the peel and wood on the right are removed at the root, and 
the wood, being but loosely attached, can be readily separated 
from the peel. The whole operation is simplicity itself, and can 
be conducted with the greatest rapidity. The result of repeated 
timing is that 100 stems can be peeled without haste in fifteen 
minutes, that is, at the rate of 400 an hour. The peeled stems and 
the discarded leaves, &c., remain on the field as manure. . . . 

" The next process is the removal of the cuticle and the bleach- 
ing of the fibre. The ribbons are made up into loosely tied bundles 
which are placed in a tub of cold water. When the workman is 
about to remove the green cuticle from the fibre, he places on the 
thumb of his right hand a wide copper ring, on which a small flat 
piece of bamboo has been fixed, the piece of bamboo resting 
against the face of the thumb. In the same hand he holds an iron 
instrument like a shoe-horn, in such a position that he can grasp 
anything between the piece of bamboo and the blunt inner edge of 
the hand instrument. A bundle of the ribbons is then taken from 
the tub and unfolded. Taking ribbon by ribbon from the bundle 
with his left hand he grasps it about 6 inches from the wide or 
butt end, — the cuticle or outside of the ribbon against the piece of 
bamboo, — and scrapes it to the tip. After a couple of scrapings 
the whole of the cuticle, with the exception of the 6 inches or sa 
at the butt, is removed, and when ten or a dozen ribbons have been 
treated in this manner, the workman reverses them, and removes 
the cuticle at the butt ends. The fibres, which remain in his left 
hand, are hung out over bamboos in the sun to dry and bleach for 
six hours, when they are white and ready to be packed into 
bundles for market. One man can extract some 81bs. weight of 
fibre in a day of ten hours, and an English acre of land yields 
about Qoolbs. of fibre.** 

Retting: — Mr. W. J. HoUier, who addressed the Jamaica public 
in 1894 on the merits of a Ramie Decorticating machine invented 
by S. B. Allison, recommended retting before passing through the 
machine. This could be done simply by soaking in water, but the 
process he stated, could be improved and hastened by using chemi- 
cals. Retting is a process involving but a nominal outlay, no 
technical knowledge, and but little care. It could be carried out 
by each settler for himself. 

If chemicals are used the following is the process : — A tank 
or trough is required of six cubic yard capacity (i.e., about nine 
feet long, six feet wide and three feet deep) lined with cement, or 
made of pine-board, with a clay backing. This tank will hold 
about 3,000 lbs. of green stems with the leaves on. Enough water 
should be added to immerse the stems. To every 1,000 lbs of stems 
should be added 5 lbs. of flour of sulphur, 5 lbs. caustic potash and 
5 lbs. of good charcoal ; but if ashes from a furnace be added,. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


half the quantity of potash will suffice. The process of retting is 
completed in from 4 to 8 days. The bundles when partially 
opened and dried in stacks can be stored, and will keep for a 
considerable time. The sun would be available for drying in the 
greater part of Jamaica. The liquid which is over, mixed with 
cattle, sheep or horse (not hog) manure, makes a most suitable 
manure, and the leaves would make good paper stock. The cost 
of chemicals is nominal. 

Yield, — It is estimated that each cutting gives 20,000 lbs. of 
green stems with leaves, or 5,000 lbs. of dry stalks, as the yield per 
acre, and the minimum product from the dry stalks is 15 per cent, 
that is 750 lbs. of raw merchantable fibre, or not quite 4 per cent, 
of the living stem and leaves. In good soil and plenty of moisture, 
five crops may be expected annually. The caution, however, must 
be given that until the end of the first year at any rate when the 
roots have at length penetrated the soil, a full crop can scarcely 
be expected. 


" Ramie possesses qualities which will always make it a com- 
paratively high-priced fibre, standing as it does between the vege- 
table fibres, hemp and flax, ranging from £30 to £70 per ton, and 
the usually much higher priced animal fibres, wool and silk, ranging 
from £130 per ton upwards. It is only in competition with these 
latter that ramie will have to rely on its cheapness; since, as regards 
the other vegetable fibres, it has already been noticed that, at equal 
or even superior prices it may yet in many cases be used with ad- 
vantage instead of hemp and flax. The details supplied prove 
however, that the prices of the raw material have in reality been 
hitherto prohibitive. On any greater demand for it, the prices of 
the raw fibre rose at once to £70 or £80 per ton, which corresponds 
to £l00 or £120 per ton of available fibre, exclusive of cost of 
preparation. Prepared or combed fibre was usually sold at 2s. 6d., 
sometimes 3s. 6d. per lb., or £280 to £392 per ton, prices such as, 
with the exception of the best kind of Sea Island cotton and of 
some superfine kinds of flax, which may almost be called fancy 
varieties, no vegetable fibre commands. The combing wastes or 
noils of ramie even now, find a ready sale at from £80 to £l00 per 
ton, a price which, with the present prices of rough China grass, 
might make it remunerative to convert its whole quantity into 
combing waste, if so be that this could be practically carried out. 
Uuder such conditions, it is a striking acknowledgment of its value 
that it should ever have been considered as having any chance at 
all, and have come so near to actual success as it has done. 

" In considering what range of prices would be sufficient to secure 
a large demand for this material in the present state of the market, 
several circumstances must be taken into account. 

" It is important to bear in mind that, like all other fibres, ramie 
exhibits remarkable diff'erences of quality. In China, where alone 
it is used for any fine purposes, a diff'erence is even remarked 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


between the various layers of fibre on the same stem, the outside 
layer close to the bark being stronger and rougher, whilst the inner 
layer is glossier and finer, and more suitable for high-class fabrics. 
It is also highly probable that, as in flax, the fibre at the base of the 
stem is rougher than at the top. Well-marked diff'erences arise 
from the season of cultivation and the time of cutting. The first 
crop of the plant is usually shorter and more woody and branched, 
and yields inferior fibre to the second or third crop, which, in turn, 
appear to diff'er from each other. It seems also certain that, like 
jute, the early-cut stems yield a finer fibre, but in proportionably 
small quantities, whilst in the perfectly ripe stems the fibre increases 
in weight and strength, but diminishes in fineness and lustre. If 
the ramie stems be worked up in their fresh state, and if the time 
of cutting should have extended over four or six weeks, this in 
itself would be sufficient to produce fibre of different qualities, 
even from the same plantation. 

"A difference in the soil or mode of cultivation is as sure to pro- 
duce remarkable diff'erences in the qualities of the fibre as it does 
in the case of flax or jute. In the ramie stems obtained from 
France, there was a proportion of strong branched knotty sticks, 
more than half an inch in diameter at the bottom, whilst there was 
also a considerable proportion of thin shoots, hardly a quarter of 
an inch thick, and straight and smooth, although as high as the 
former, and containing a much finer fibre. The diff'erence arose 
obviously from the former growing as central stems with a number 
of lateral branches, while the latter grew as parallel shoots thrown 
out from the same root — a diff'erence which the mode of planting 
and cultivation would produce. 

" On the part of several correspondents who have long given their 
attention to this fibre, it has been suggested that, for very fine 
purposes, this plant should not be grown to a greater height than 
three or four feet, the superior value of the fibre compensating for 
the diminished out-turn per acre, although even the out-turn might 
be increased or at least remain unchanged, if the smaller height 
to which the plant is grown should allow of planting it closer to- 
gether, or of obtaining more crops per annum than when the plant 
is grown to its usual height of six or eight feet. The fibre from 
the smaller stems is likely not only to be finer, but it is also likely 
to suffer less loss in combing. Although the bark peeled off the 
six to seven foot stems may be of the same length as the stems, 
yet the fibres do not run the whole length. At each joint a certain 
proportion of the fibres stops, so that along with the full length 
fibre there is always a certain proportion of short length, which, 
in scutching and combing, mostly run to tow. With stems of less 
height, this difficulty is likely to be lessened. 

" All these are differences in the natural properties of the fibre 
itself, and independent of variations produced by a different mode 
of preparation. The latter, which will be superadded to those in- 
herent in the fibre as grown, will be hardly less considerable. 
There is the difference between the fibre obtained from the green 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


stems and that from the dry stems. The subsequent chemical 
treatment may result in a greater or less disaggregation of the 
original fibre, and materially influence its character. On all these 
grounds it appears that the ramie brought into the market will, 
under any circumstances, even with the most perfect methods of 
cultivation and preparation, manifest considerable differences in 
its quality and property — differences greater than is the case with 
other fibres. As before explained, it is quite likely, that even from 
the same plantation, some of the produce may be remarkable for 
strength, but deficient in fineness and gloss ; another portion, fine 
and glossy, but less strong ; another, by its roughness and hairiness, 
approaching wool in its character. 

"Ultimately, this very range in the quality may prove an ad- 
vantage ; but first, in the experimental stage, it is a decided dis- 
advantage ; and it can be easily shown that this is, in itself, a 
sufficient reason why it is impossible to expect that ramie should, 
from the first command such high prices as its good qualities are 
likely to ensure to it, after its cultivation and preparation have 
become more developed. A high price of necessity restricts the 
application of the fibre to the very finest purposes. Now, it is the 
invariable characteristic of high-class manufacture to require perfect 
uniformity in the quality of the material used in it. Not only must 
each bale of fibre used for fine purposes be as nearly as possible 
uniform in its quality, but it is likewise necessary to ensure the 
steady supply of other bales as uniform, and of the very same 
quality. It is an established fact, that in the case of any inequality 
in the material, the whole quantity will sink almost to the value of 
the lowest quality contained in the mixture, and that no high-class 
expensive machinery will ever be established, unless there are 
grounds for expecting that the quality of the raw material will be 
uniformly maintained. In any other case, the fibre can only be 
used for rougher purposes, and worked on simpler machinery, in 
which such variations in quality are of no moment. 

" As before explained, there will be in the case of ramie even 
greater difficulties than in the case of other fibres, in ensuring this 
perfect equality in condition, as a considerable amount of variation 
in the character of the fibre is unavoidably connected with 
the very nature of the growth of the plant. It will require a perfect 
knowledge of the nature of the plant, and of the fibre and its 
working, and a perfect mutual understanding between the agri- 
culturist growing it, the machinist cleaning it, and the manufacturer 
spinning it. This can only be the slow result of time, and will only 
have been attained when cultivation being more extended, the 
trade conducted on a larger scale, it will be possible to carry out 
a complete sub-division of the crop according to its various qualities, 
and when the best practical uses of each quality will have been 
ascertained. Moreover, in any case, even with the agricultural and 
mechanical treatment, it is likely that only a certain part of the 
crop will be suitable for fine uses, whilst a considerable proportion 
will only be available for rougher purposes. So that, unless the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


method of preparation allows of utilising this rougher portion of 
the crop also, the remaining portion suitable for fine purposes will 
always be disproportionately dear. 

"It is clear, therefore, that a rapid development of the ramie trade 
cannot be expected, until the bulk of the raw fibre can be supplied 
at a price much below that which it will eventually attain when its 
higher qualities have been more fully developed, and below that 
which the finer portion of the crop is likely to command even now. 
It may finally come to be applied to the manufacture of damask, 
cambric, and lace, but for some years to come, even if its use for 
such purposes should prove successful, it will have to be worked 
up by manufacturers only gradually discovering its properties, and 
on machinery with processes imitated from those used with other 
fibres, and therefore not specially adapted to ramie. The con- 
sumption of the fibre for fine purposes during that experimental 
stage will be necessarily small, and restricted only to the best 
qualities. No real outlet, therefore, will have been obtained for 
ramie unless it be applied for purposes for which, in the opinion 
of some of its sanguine advocates, it is far too good, such as for 
cordage, as also for canvas, mixture with rough wools, lower kinds 
of carpets, hangings, linings, certain kinds of linen, &c. It is also 
to be remembered that only by becoming suitable for the manufac- 
ture of comparatively cheap articles produced in large quantity, is 
there any hope of its becoming a great staple. It it were able to 
compete with only the Courtrai flax, and no cheaper fibres, how- 
ever successful it might be in this respect, it would never develop 
into a large trade. 

" It will appear clearly from this discussion, that in all probability 
the standard price of £50 per ton for machine-prepared ramie in 
the London market, which was considered sufficiently low in 1870 
to ensure its extensive introduction, is in the present condition of 
the market too high to eff'ect this object. Such a price of raw 
material for fibre available for spinning would correspond, as 
already calculated, to a price per ton of £75, with the addition of 
the cost of chemicals, a price which would amount to rather more 
than that of the finest variety of flax, which enter extensively into 
the commerce of the country. If ramie with all the disadvantages 
attending the introduction of a new staple, is to compete success- 
fully with the fibres which already have possession of the market, 
there must be some likelihood of obtaining steady supplies of the 
rough fibre at prices which correspond more nearly with the prices 
of the other vegetable fibres, such as flax and hemp, that is, at an 
average price of (at the outside) from £30 to £40 per ton for the 
better and from £20 to £25 per ton for the lower, qualities. 
Even with such prices, the fibre freed from gum, and in a condition 
similar to that of undressed flax, could not be prepared at less 
than from £35 to £60 per ton, plus cost of chemicals. Considering 
its superior qualities, however such a price would seem sufficiently 
low to bring ramie into competition with flax and hemp, even 
if the latter were somewhat cheapen It has also to be considered 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


that the limits of prices for ramie will, of course, always depend 
on the state of the market with regard to fibres generally, and 
that, at present, the values of all the fibres are much lower than 
they were some years ago. With a recovery in the value of other 
fibres, the limits of prices here indicated for ramie would have 
to be proportionately increased." 

"With regard to what is known in commerce as 'China grass,' 
this is hand-cleaned fibre shipped usually from Chinese ports. It 
arrives in this country in small parcels, the yearly importation 
being only about 100 tons. It is nearly all taken up by continen- 
tal buyers. Rhea is the term applied to machi>ne-cleaned fibre, 
generally in the form of ribbons or half cleaned stuff. The price 
is much less than China grass, and in case of large shipments 
would probably not exceed about £7 or £8 per ton. It is important 
therefore for Ramie planters to aim at the production of ribbons 
at cost not exceeding about £4 or £5 at the port of shipment. 
Important elements in such production would be to plant Ramie 
only in places where the soil and climate will allow of three or 
four crops to be reaped per annum ; where labour is very cheap 
and abundant, and where good facilities exist for transport and 
shipment." {Kew Bulletin, November, 1889.) 

In Ide & Christie's Monthly Circular, dated 15th November, 1906, 
China Grass is quoted at 32s. to 35s. per cwt. ; and Rhea " none 

Extracts from Lecture* at Society of Arts. 

By Mrs. Ernest Hart. 

Fifteen, twenty years ago, numerous companies were formed 
with large capitals, pledged to make ramie one of the great staple 
textiles of the world, — the mills of all of which are now silent, 
and in most cases dismantled and turned to other uses. 

The causes of this remarkable and almost universal failure in 
Great Britain, are stated to have been want of raw material, im- 
perfect methods of degumming which rotted the fibre, the diffi- 
culties of manipulating the fibre in machines not specially con- 
structed to deal with it, and the intractable behaviour of ramie 
yarns in the loom. It should also be added that in many cases 
the companies were promoted in a purely speculative spirit, and 
the management was in the hands of those who did not aim by 
patient investigation at overcoming the difficulties of ramie mani- 
pulation in the factory, but were unfortunately too much interested 
in the more exciting game of manipulating shares on the Stock 

Promises of immense profits were made in the prospectuses, 
charming samples of fabrics were produced, quotations of shares 
rose by leaps and bounds to high figures, but when orders were 
placed the samples could not be reproduced in pieces, shares fell 

♦ Journal of the Society of Arts, No. 2,785. Vul. LIV. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


as rapidly as they had risen, and a spirit of despair settled down 
on the ramie world of England and her dependencies. Factories 
were closed, companies liquidated, plantations in India and else- 
where were rooted up, and the whole subject was quietly disposed 
of by manufacturers, in the statement " We have tried ramie and 
nothing can be done with it." The loss of money, however, 
rankled, and ramie became the bete noire, the skeleton in the cup- 
board of British commerce. 

But while British manufacturers simply gave up ramie, or a few 
small spinning factories were carried on on an unprofitable basis 
for a few years longer, steady progress was being made on the 
Continent in the effort to overcome, by scientific methods, the 
difficulties of degumming without injury to the fibre, and to ascer- 
tain the correct principles and processes of spinning. A new use 
was discovered for the fibre, which gave a great impetus to ramie 
spinning : this was the use of ramie in the manufacture of gas 
mantles. What was required was an absorbent netting which 
would absorb the mineral salts and be afterwards burnt away, 
leaving the least amount of a perfectly white ash behind. Egyptian 
cotton had been used for this purpose, but gas mantle manu- 
facturers found, in a webbing made of ramie yarns, a material 
which suited their requirements exactly. This discovery led to 
a great development of the existing ramie spinning mills of 
Germany and France, and to the perfecting of their processes and 

The German mills then took up the manufacture of ramie 
stockingette for underwear, of hosiery, and of knitted goods in 
which the yarn used is mixed more or less with wool. In France 
and in Switzerland the weaving of coarse linens for restaurants 
has been carried on in a moderate degree, though the representa- 
tive of Messieurs Favier in Paris told me that owing to the extra- 
ordinary durability of these linens, made at one time by themselves, 
they were boycotted by the buyers of the great French retail 
houses, so that they consequently gave up weaving them, and con- 
fined themselves to spinning. The making of plushes from ramie 
has been also accomplished at Chemnitz; in Japan the blending 
of ramie with silk has been successfully carried out ; in Holland 
fishing nets are manufactured of ramie yarns, and both in Sweden 
and in the United States stockingette for underwear is made on 
frames, of imported yarns : in Germany and France ramie yarns 
are used in a limited degree as weft on woollen or cotton yarns 
to give brilliancy to fabrics ; and sail cloth for yachts has also 
been made on a small scale. 

I think I have mentioned what had been done in the use of ramie 
in various textiles till I started with the avowed intention of 
manufacturing pure ramie fabrics warp and weft ; the known diffi- 
culty being to weave with a pure ramie warp, for though the fibre 
is of surprising strength, the strongest yarn breaks at the knot 
with the greatest facility, and it does not stand well the shock of 
the loom at the opening of the shed. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


As I am frequently asked what induced me to take up the 
question of ramie weaving, and as my audience will expect an 
answer to this enquiry, I will give a brief account of my own 
work in weaving ramie. 

As is well known, I was engaged for many years (and am still) 
in encouraging Irish village industries by founding various in- 
dustries and training workers. The weaving of hand-made linens 
of beautiful colours in cottages was one of these. Looking round 
always for new ideas, I noticed in the Colonial Exhibition of 1885 
a case of ramie in which the fibre was shown in the raw state, 
degummed, as silver, and as dyed yarns. I sought out the man in 
charge of this exhibit, and asked if yarns could be supplied of this 
brilliant, silky fibre, but I was told that the exhibit was only of 
scientific interest, and that to make weaving yarns was not yet 

A few years later I read a notice in the papers that the difficulties 
of ramie spinning had been overcome. I immediately wrote to 
the factory mentioned, and obtained white yarns, which I used as 
weft on linen warps, and one of the first things woven on our 
looms was a piece of cloth for a waistcoat, which has figured in 
many letters to the press, and which I know is still in wear. On 
the closing down of this factory we bought up stocks of ramie 
yarn, and continued weaving it in conjunction with unbleached 
linen and exporting the cloth to India, where it obtained a high 
reputation for its wearing qualities, and its stubborn resistance to 
dhobie washing. 

Stimulated by the assertion that it could not be done, I 
determined in the summer of 1902 to attempt the weaving of pure 
ramie fabrics, warp and weft. I put up a small Swedish hand-loom 
in a shed in my garden at Totteridge, and engaged an expert 
hand-loom weaver — a Finn girl — to come and work as a sample 
weaver. On this simple loom we got out our first samples, and 
boldly submitted them to one of the first dress goods houses in 
London. They were approved, and I was encouraged to go on. 
A witch loom and a Domestic loom, with power-loom action 
worked by the feet, were added to the plant, and while I designed 
or copied patterns and pegged them on the witch, the weaver wove 
them, and together we proved the point that ramie could be woven 
in piece lengths, warp and weft. 

The looms were then transferred to a weaving shed in a village 
in Yorkshire, the number of hand looms was brought up to sixteen, 
and they were placed under the direction of a manager, who 
added to the most intimate knowledge of looms and weaving, a 
rare sense of colour. Orders began to come in from good houses, 
but they soon necessitated the use of broad-width power looms. 
Another small mill was rented and fitted with ten power-looms, 
gas engine and winding, beaming, and twisting machinery. Then 
began the true difficulties of the undertaking, for we had to meet 
and overcome the difficulties of weaving, in this inelastic fibre, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


fine dress fabrics on broad-power looms, difficulties which in 
England had vanquished those who had attempted the same before. 
One by one, however, they were steadily overcome, and there is 
now scarcely anything that we cannot weave in pure ramie, warp 
and weft, from the lightest gossamer to cloth that has a brenking 
of nearly 500 lbs. to the inch, from heavy tapestries to light dress 
goods, from fancy upholstery repps to muslins. All the fabrics 
here shown, are of pure ramie, warp and weft, and were woven at 
our mills under my personal direction. 

Again and again we were fairly beaten, the workers would not 
stay to be so worried, the looms broke down under the strain put 
on them, the winding of the yarns drove everybody silly ; but we 
always began again, determined to succeed, and would not accept 


Not the least of our difficulties were created by the yarn spinners. 
To get weaving yarns spun for me I applied to the spinners of gas 
mantle yarns, or of ramie thread, to worsted spinners, flax spinners, 
and jute spinners. Numerous and costly experiments were made 
in England, but none of the yarns were satisfactory, as the 
spinners had not the proper plant on which to spin ramie yarns, 
and were unwilling to put up the same, and they soon tired of 
making experiments to reach the perfection of manufacture I 
required. I then went to France ; but the yarns though beautiful 
in appearance, were too brittle. I then went to Germany, and at 
last found spinners willing to take any amount of trouble to do 
what I required. " We do not care what trouble Mrs. Hart gives" 
they wrote, " so long as we please her in the end." In England 
the spirit of the replies to my requests, used to be in those early 
days. "Well — it is the best we can do, and if you do not like it, you 
must lump it." It is the scientific spirit of painstaking industry 
which gives Germany her increasing commerce, in spite of 
hampering tariff's ; it is the conservative spirit of anti-scientific 
ignorance which loses Great Britain her commercial supremacy, in 
spite of the benefits of free trade. In nothing is this more visible 
than in the ramie industry ; once almost solely in the hands of 
Great Britain, whose colonies could supply her with indefinite 
supplies of raw material, and lost through over-reaching specula- 
tion and lack of science, this industry passed to Germany, who 
applied to the elucidation of its secrets and the perfection of its 
methods, the science and patience lacking in this country. 

To return to the story of our own work. Having now overcome 
the technical difficulties, my next care was to place the goods on 
the market, but though orders were placed by the best dress and 
upholstery houses our plant, was then too small, our possible out- 
put too limited, and our capital too narrow to do ourselves justice. 
I had borne all the expense of the great experiment, and rot being 
a capitalist, this was only done at the cost of great personal 
sacrifice. I was assured by business friends, and by willing pro- 
moters, that it would be easy to find capital to enable me to 
increase the plant, take advantage of the trade offered, and create 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


a sound"industrial enterprise ; but English capital was shy ; it had 
been hit too heavily in the past by ramie to believe in the genuine- 
ness of a new ramie industrial undertaking : incredulity as to 
ultimate success was expressed on all sides in such terms as " It is 
absurd to think that Mrs. Hart can succeed where Lister failed." 
" Oh, yes, Mrs. Hart will make samples as they all did, but she 
will never make pieces," and so on, and the enormous sums of 
money lost by the speaker or by his friends, were instanced as 
proofs of the disastrous character of ramie undertakings. 

But help came from another, a more confident and bolder 
country than old England, namely, from America, and it was with 
American capital that " A. M. Hart, Limited," was formed and the 
enterprise was lifted from the experimental stage to that of a sound 
commercial industry. English capitalists have since joined us, 
but at a critical time it was due to the action and initiative of my 
American co-director that the enterprise was firmly established on 
a commercial basis. From that date we have gone forward with 
no uncertain steps ; we have rented a large mill, have put up a 
considerable amount of machinery, and are engaged in executing 
orders and Government contracts, which are only an earnest of 
what we expect and which we are prepared to carry out. 

Everywhere I have tried to allay one bogey which has always 
frightened the intended planter, namely, that it is necessary to 
have a costly machine for decorticating the fibre in order to make 
it marketable. So long as there are millions of people in this 
world willing to work for 6d. a day or less, ramie is better, in such 
countries, stripped and decorticated by hand than by any machine 
that has been or will be invented. In India as in China, in West 
Africa, in East Africa where native labour is abundant, and in the 
West Indies, no decorticating machines are necessary; but in 
Mexico, in the Straits Settlements, in the Southern States of 
America, where labour is scarce and dear, and on the great rubber 
lands where ramie would be a valuable catch-crop, decorticating 
by machinery is essential. 

A great many machines have been invented for this purpose 
since the Indian Government in 1869 offered two prizes, one for 
£5,000, and another for £2,000, for machinery or processes by 
which the fibre could be prepared at such a cost per ton as would 
render it easily marketable. This offer of prizes was renewed in 
1877, for sums of £5,000 and £l,000. Various competitive trials 
were made, and though small prizes were awarded, no machine 
was found equal to the requirements of the Government, so some 
years ago the chief of the Economic Department advised the 
Indian Government to withdraw the competition. 

This offer of the Indian Government to give prizes for decorti- 
cating machines was unfortunate, as it led those who were 
interested in ramie on a wrong tack : for it was more important to 
ascertain the correct scientific principles of treating the fibre in 
order to prepare it for manufacture, than to decorticate it by 
machinery on the fields, particularly in India, where, owing to the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


abundance of cheap labour, ramie can be better decorticated by 
hand than by any machine. China does not ask for decorticating 
machines, and the hand-stripped China grass — which is only ramie 
stripped and debarked on the fields with Chinese care and labori- 
ousness — will always command a higher price in the market than 
any machine-decorticated fibre. Various machines claiming to do 
all that is required are now on the market, and I have reason to 
believe that a machine, the invention of a foreigner, which will be 
introduced in the autumn of 1906* will give quite the best returns, 
both in the matter of perfectly cleansing the fibre of the outside 
brown pellicle and in the output it can produce per diem. 

The difficulty of the whole proceeding will be understood by 
those who are not ramie experts if I briefly describe the process. 
Ramie stems, when grown to the height of about 8 or 9 feet, are, 
when matured, cut down, and the outer bark is at once stripped 
off*. This outer bark, which can be easily stripped off, much in 
the same way as a willow cane is whittled, is found to consist of 
two layers, namely, a thin outer, closely adherent, brown pellicle, 
and an inner, thicker, white, bast layer. It is this bast layer which 
is composed of ramie fibre. When it is stripped from the woody 
stem in the green state it is full of a sticky gum. The object is 
now to free the bast layer as much as possible of its soluble gums 
and of its outer brown pellicle. 

This the Chinaman does by sitting in or near running water 
while he rubs off the outer brown pellicle with a blunt bamboo 
knife, and strips off the bast layer, washing away the soluble 
gums at the same time. The long strips of fibre are then dried, 
baled and exported, and obtain a price per ton in Europe out of all 
proportion to the cost of cultivation and manipulation. In the 
case where the ramie stems are decorticated by machinery, they 
are sent, within three days of being gathered, to a central decorti- 
cating station ; or in large plantations to the mill on the estate. 
The canes are first passed through corrugated iron rollers, which 
break up the woody stem and pith, leaving long strips of the bark 
more or less free from wood : these are then passed into a machine, 
the principle of which is approximately, the same in all which have 
been invented, namely that revolving steel blades pare off the outer 
brown bark of the ribbons, very much in the same way as the 
surface of a cloth is cut by a revolving cutting machine, and they 
are finally brushed clean of all adhering particles of pellicle. 

The disadvantages of machine decorticating are — the initial 
expense of the machine ; the delay in bringing the stems down 
from the plantations, so that some of the gums undergo fermenta- 
tive changes ; the smallness of the output of most of the machines 
in use, and the fact that after ail the fibre is not so completely 
cleaned of its brown pellicle as in the case of hand stripping, nor 
are the fibres left in such a perfectly parallel condition, which is 
essential to avoid waste in the subsequent processes of spinning. 
I do not deny but that machines for decorticating are absolutely 

*8ee paragraph below on Machinery, page 3\»4. Editor. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


necessary in some cases, particularly where ramie will be grown 
on large plantations, and where labour is scarce and dear, but it 
has been unwisely put forward by the Indian and other Govern- 
ments, as an absolute necessity before the cultivation of ramie 
had been entered upon on anything like a large scale. 

I make bold, however, to say that though hand-stripped China 
grass will always command the best price for the finest ramie 
goods, yet for a large number of purposes it is not necessary to 
deprive the ramie of its outer brown pellicle. The whole bark, 
pellicle and bast layer, can be easily stripped off in long ribbons 
by hand, or the process may be aided by passing the canes through 
corrugated iron rollers to break up the wood and pith of the stems. 

These ribbons, which are known in the trade as brown ramie or 
rhea ribbons, must be thoroughly dried, and are then baled, and 
exported : and by those who hold the secrets, these brown ramie 
ribbons can be debarked and degummed at the same time, pro- 
ducing a very useful filasse. 

This statement, made by me in many letters to growers in remote 
parts of the world, has given great hope and a considerable 
stimulus to ramie growers, as they were holding back, unwilling 
to plant on a large scale, waiting for the introduction of the long- 
promised, perfect decorticating machine. 

The next process in manufacture is to free the fibre from its 
gum and to turn it into what is called filasse. The gums and 
pectines which bind the ramie fibres together in the bast layer are 
among the most irreducible and complicated in nature. Some of 
them are easily soluble in water, others can be reduced by alkalies, 
but some of them are more intractible, and the object of the investi- 
gators and chemists who have studied the subject of degumming 
ramie for the last 50 years has always been to recover* the natural 
white fibre, free of its gums, without injuring its strength or dis- 
troying its brilliancy. To obtain this result numerous patents 
have been taken out, and still more numerous processes are kept 
secret. Some of the processes which were in use some years ago 
resulted in rendering the fibre so fragile that the yards dissolved 
in powder after the cloth is woven. Some of the processes still 
in vogue, render the yarns brittle in the extreme ; but I may, never- 
theless, say with confidence that the difficulty of degumming has 
now been solved, and that there are those among us who can 
teach, if they would, how to degum ramie without destroying its 
strength or diminishing its brilliancy. 

One of the great arts of the process is to keep the long fibres of 
ramie intact and parallel so that very little tow is produced in 
spinning. It is often stated that it would be well to degum the 
fibre on the fields at the time of gathering and decorticating. 
This assertion I always contravert as degumming is essentially a 
scientific process, which must be watched over and directed by 
scientific experts ; indeed every bale of ramie, and the product of 
every single crop, must be carefully examined and specially 
treated on its merits. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


If ramie is to become, as we anticipate, one of the great textiles 
of the world, it will be grown, like cotton or sugar or rice, in 
plantations often widely separated, and frequently small in extent, 
and the great thing is to teach the planter how to prepare the fibre 
for export so that it may arrive at the mills in a sound condition, 
and there is nothing that protects the fibre in the course of transit 
as well as to be embedded in its own gum. 

After degumming, the fibre is then subjected to various manu- 
facturing processes to turn it into sliver, and from sliver it is spun 
into yarn. 

It is a strong commentary on the apathy of British manufacturers 
that, whereas there is only one spinning mill in Great Britain at 
present at work which treats ramie from the ungummed fibre to the 
yarn, there are several of large extent in Germany, France, and 
Japan ; yet it is in England where the best ramie machinery is 
made, and these foreign mills come to England for their ramie- 
spinning machinery. I have reason to believe that this 
reproach to English industrial enterprise will be removed before 
long ; and, inasmuch as I and my friends are doing our utmost to 
stimulate the cultivation of ramie in British dependencies and 
colonies, we are also aiming at, and are taking practical steps for, 
making ramie-spinning a British industry. 

In the discussion which followed Mr. Thomas Barraclough said 
he thoroughly agreed with the bulk of what Mrs. Hart had said. 
He somewhat differed from Mrs. Hart in her remarks with regard 
to decorticating by hand labour. It was necessary that the fibre 
should be degummed as much alike as possible. It was very in- 
convenient to get a bale of ramie, one-half of which had been 
properly decorticated by good hand labour, and the other only 
half decorticated, owning to the fact probably that the work had 
been done by children, as was the case in China. If the ramie had 
a good deal of the outer pellicle left on it, it must be treated 
specially before it was degummed, whereas good decorticated 
ramie could be degummed straight away without any preliminary 
treatment. It was very necessary, therefore, that ramie should be 
decorticated equally. Hand labour was very good when it was 
good, but it was irregular, and machines must, sooner or later, 
take the place of hand labour. The Chinese decorticating was the 
best in the world, due to the fact it was the custom all over 
China, where ramie was grown, for the payment for decorticating to 
be the perquisite of the wife and the children with which they 
bought their clothes. Hence the diligence with which they worked. 
There were two or three difficulties connected with the brown or 
black ribbons which were sent to this country. A great mass of 
stuff was sent over, on which freight had to be paid, which might 
just as well be left in the fields where ramie was grown. As a 
consequence the material had to undergo special treatment, and 
even though he had known it to be bought for £13 a ton, it was 
dear at the price. Mrs. Hart had said that the plants would last fo 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


twenty years. In his opinion the outside limit to the age of a ramie 
plai.t was fourteen years, and probably twelve was nearer the 
average. If the roots were too old the fibre was deteriorated, and 
was worth considerably less for spinning purposes. But as Mrs. 
Hai I had said, the plants themselves provide so m4ny means for 
obt:uning new plants that it was not a serious consideration if the 
twenty years were reduced to twelve. The industry had now been 
put on a commercial basis. There was an immense demand for 
ramie yarn, in fact, so great was the demand that the largest mill 
in Germany was said not to be able to accept further orders for a 
considerable time. Consequently, if there was an ever-growing 
demand for the yarns in England and they could not be obtained 
except by going to Germany and France, it seemed to him that 
the English would be a very benighted people if they did not put 
up some spinning mills and spin the yarn they required. He hoped 
the excellent paper which Mrs. Hart had read would have a powerful 
influence in that direction. 


Mr. Hubert J. Boeken states in a pamphlet just lately published 
that he has for many years been engaged with machinery for all 
kinds of textile fibres, and that in his last voyage to the West 
Indies he succeeded in finding a machine which had been wanted 
for so long, — one which could easily and economically decorticate 
ramie. Mr. Jose Garcia Hernandez of Havana had been occupied 
for 18 years with indefatigable perseverance in the construction of 
a decorticator. Mr. Boeken saw the little model machine of Mr. 
Garcia, and at once recognised the possibilities of utilising the 
principle of this machine. He constructed a larger machine on 
this principle with the improvements suggested by his experience, 
and named it the " Aquiles.*' This machine is now manufactured 
by H. Boeken & Co., Duren, Germany. The advantages which it 
possesses over other inventions of the same kind according to Mr. 
Boeken are the following : — 

1. Simplicity of mechanical construction, as there are neither 

scutching drum, nor knives, nor feeding chains. 

2. Very feeble expenditure of motive power necessary ; a 

child can put the machine in motion. 

3. Continuous feeding of the machine. 

4. Output considerable : 10,000 stalks an hour giving about 

40 lbs. of Chinagrass an hour. 

5. Facility of transport. The machine is not more difficult to 

move than an ordinary sewing machine. 

6. Moderate price which puts it within the reach of every 

planter : £60. 

7. Total weight 990 lbs. 


Among the articles exhibited by the Jamaica Society of Arts in 
Kingston on the 17th and 19th of February 1 85 5, and subsequently 
sent to the Paris Exhibition were fibres from the Jerusalem dagger, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Yucca aloifoUay and from the plantain, Musa paradisiaca, prepared 
by a machine invented by a Mr. Clarke who was employed at the 
General Penitentiary. 

They were handed into the Society by the Rev. James Watson. 

Information about this machine is desired by a correspondent. 

By W. Harris, F.L.S., Superintendent of Hope Gardens. 
In the Bulletin for October will be found some Notes on Vege- 
tables. A correspondent has now asked for information showing 
the time required by each crop to arrive at maturity. This will 
depend largely on soil, situation and the care bestowed on culti- 
vation, but, speaking generally, the time required by each of the 
crops named below is approximately as follows : — 





Garden Eggs 

Kidney Beans 

Kohl Rabi 


Musk Melons 

Mustard and Cress 




Peas (English) 







Sweet corn 



Water Melons . . . 

Three months 

Three to four months 

Three to four months 

Two to three months 

About five months 

Six to eight weeks 

Two to three months 

Two months 

Three months 

Two to three weeks 

Three months 

Six to seven months 

Three months 

Three to four months, according 

to variety grown 
Two to three months 
Three to four months 
Three months 
Six weeks 
Two months 
Two to three months 
Three months 
Three months 
Two to three months 
Three months. 


The usual monthly meeting of the Board of Agriculture was 
held at Headquarter House on Wednesday 14th November, 1906, 
at 2 p.m. ; present : Hon. H. Clarence Bourne, Chairman, the 
Director of Public Gardens, the Island Chemist, the Superintending 
Inspector of Schools, His Grace the Archbishop, Messrs. C. E, 
deMercado, J. W. Middleton and the Secretary John Barclay. 

Digitized by 



Rubber — ^The Secretary read letter from Mr. Harris acknowledg- 
ing receipt of the vote of thanks from the Board for preparing the 
manuscript on the subject of rubber. 

Tobacco — ^The Secretary reported with regard to the samples of 
leaf tobacco asked for by Messrs. Granda Bros. & Co., Montreal, 
that he had received samples from Mr. Crowden of leaf grown at 
Suttons, Clarendon, and had sent them on ; he understood also that 
Col. Kitchener had sent samples. 

School Gardens Committee — The Secretary read the report of the 
Committee on School Gardens. 

The Chairman asked if this was intended to supersede the in- 
spection of Schools Gardens by the Inspector of Schools. 

After discussion it was resolved, to alter the words " Inspector 
or Superintendent" and insert "Instructor for School Gardens" as 
the description and add a paragraph to the effect that this arrange- 
ment was an additional effort and was not intended to interfere 
with the inspection of School Gardens by Inspectors of Schools. 

The Secretary was instructed to send the report to the Colonial 

Book on School Gardens. — The Chemist asked whether arrange- 
ments were made for the publication of Mr. Williams* book on 
School Gardens in Jamaica. 

The Secretary was instructed to write the Colonial Secretary 
drawing his attention to the fact that a book on School Gardens is 
being written by Mr. Williams at the request of the Board of 
Agriculture and recommending that provision should be made on 
the estimates for 1907-8 of the Printing Office for publication. 

The Secretary submitted the following letter from the Colonial 
Secretary's Office : 

Agricultural Conference — I. Enclosing a copy of letter written 
to the Director of Public Gardens, stating that the " Port 
Kingston" would visit Barbados both on her outward and 
homeward voyage in January next, without transgressing 
contract time, in order that the members of the conference 
might travel in her both ways and requesting him to send 
in as soon as possible the programme of the Agricultural 
Conference proceedings also requesting him to make 
proper arrangements for the accommodation of the con- 

In this connexion a letter was read from the Director of Public 
Gardens asking for the approval of the re-appointment of the same 
committee which had been appointed last year in connexion with 
the Conference. This was approved. 

It was reported that the Governme it had arranged for free 
Railway passes for the members of the Conference. 

Assistant Chemist — 2. Intimating that the Secretary of State 
for the Colonies had selected Mr. Robert Simmons, for 
appointment on an engagement for not more ihaii Uir: e 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


years from the date of his arrival, as Assistant Chemist, 
in this Island, with salary at the rate of £200 a year 
rising by annual increments of £lO to £220 a year. 

Arrowroot — 3. Stating for the information of the Board that 
about 4,650 pounds of arrowroot were annually consumed 
at the General Penitentiary, District Prison and Reforma- 
tory, and about 12,000 pounds at the Lunatic Asylum, 
Lepers Home and the several Public Hospitals. 

The Secretary stated that he had the matter in hand trying to 
get a native supply. 

Instructors — 4. Referring letter from the Upper Trelawny 
Agricultural Society to the Chairman, expressing its 
appreciation for Mr. Arnett's appointment as Agricultural 
Instructor for the parish, but suggesting that instead of one 
local Instructor to serve the parishes of St. Ann, Tre- 
lawny, Eastern St. James and North Clarendon, it would 
prove more workable, ensure more visits, secure greater 
interest and more effective teaching to have, say three 
Instructors at £lOO per annum, or four at £80 per annum. 
The Secretary was instructed to reply that the Board did not 
consider it expedient to make any alteration. 

r(9&^d:^— Forwarding copy of the Director of Public Gardens 
on Tobacco, stating that he had seen Mr. Chalmers 
several times in London and had gone to see Mr. Murray, 
the Director of Victualling at the Admiralty, and also Mr. 
Olivier at the Colonial Office with reference to using 
Colonial Tobacco in the Navy, that it was probable that 
the Admiralty would undertake to import and prepare 
its own tobacco for the use of the sailors ; that the to- 
bacco from Havana seed required blending with leaf of 
the character of Virginian tobacco and that it was Mr. 
Chalmers' opinion that the latter could be grown in the 
West Indies, and that it was his intention to try it at 
Hope Gardens this season. 

6. Submitting correspondence with Mr. Ashby regarding his 
appointment as Fermentation Chemist. 

It was directed to be circulated, but was first to be returned to 
the Colonial Secretary's Office to be sent to the Chemist for his 

The Chemist submitted the following reports : — 

1. Report visit to the United Kingdom and Germany to 

investigate the commercial aspect of Jamaica Rum. 

2. Estimates for Government Laboratory, 1 907-8. 

3. Estimates for Sugar Experiment Station for 1907-8. 

4. Proposed experiments for forcing early Oranges. 

5. Report on Distillers' course. 

As regards the estimates for the Government Laboratory for 
1907-8 these asked the approval of the Board for alterations in 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


the items of the estimates, the proposals not involving any in- 
crease in the total appropriation for the Government Laboratory. 

As regards the estimates for Sugar Experiment Station for 1 907-8 
these recommended that the estimates should remain unchanged 
except for a slight re-arrangement under the heading " Personal 

These were agreed to. 

The following reports from the Director of Public Gardens were 
submitted : — 

1. Hope Experiment Station. 

2. Instructors. 

These were directed to be circulated. 

The following papers which had been circulated were now 
submitted for final consideration : — 

1. Report Hope Experiment Station. 

2. Report Mr. Cradwick. 

3. Report Mr. Briscoe. 

[Issued 17th Dec, 1906.] 
Friiited at thf Oovt. Printii^g Ojfiop, Kingatm^, Jam. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


Digitized by 


Digitized by VjOOQIC