|Table of Contents|
Letter of transmittal
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
A tribute to the late Holger P. Johansen
General statement and reference to objectives
Aid to plant explorations and introductions and physical equipment and lay-out
Tropical waterlilies, Nymphaea species and varieties
Other noteworthy trees and plants
List of seeds and plants presented by Mr. W. R. Lindsay
Annual report of the Canal Zone experiment gardens for the fiscal year 1936
For the Fiscal Years
1935 and 1936
THE PANAMA CANAL PRESS
MOUNT HOPE, C. Z.
For additional copies of this publication address The Panama Canal, Washington, D. C., or
Balboa Heights, Canal Zone.
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
CANAL ZONE EXPERIMENT GARDENS,
Summit, Canal Zone, Jul' ,10, 1935.
SIR: Herewith is transmitted the Annual Report of the Canal Zone
Experiment Gardens, for the year ending June 30, 1935. Publication
is recommended when funds become available.*
J. EDGAR HIGGINS,
Mr. Roy R. WATSON,
Balboa Heights, Canal Zone.
Through Mr. J. H. K. HUMPHREY,
assistantt Chief Quartermaster.
Publication suspended during depression period. Publication authorized
February 19, 1938.
A tribute to the late HOLGER P. JOHANSEN-_ ----------------------------------6
General statement and reference to objectives-------------------------------7
Aid to Plant Explorations and Introductions--------------------------------8
Physical equipment and lay-out-----------------------------------------8
Insecticide plants ---------------------------------------------------12
Tropical waterlilies, Nymphaea species and varieties-------------------------13
Other noteworthy trees and plants--------------------------------------21
Extension activities -------------------------------------------------26
Financial situation --------------------------------------------------32
List of seeds and plants presented by Mr. W. R. LINDSAY---------------------32
Plate I Figure i. Hevea brasiliensis seedling.
Figure 2. Garcinia mangostana (Mangosteen).
Plate II Figure i. Seedlings of Hevea brasiliensis in a well-prepared seed bed.
Figure 2. Seedlings of Hevea brasiliensis in a seed bed, which had very little
Plate III The Graham Mango, in section.
Plate IV Figure i. Bentinckia nicobarica. The Nicobar Palm.
Figure 2. Couroupita guianensis. The Cannon Ball Tree.
Plate V Warscewiczia coccinea. A tree indigenous to Panama.
Mr. HOLGER P. JOHANSEN
It seems fitting in this report that we yield to our desire to pay sincere
tribute to the memory of the late Holger P. Johansen, the pioneer in the
work of these Gradens. Mr. Johansen came to the Isthmus in 1923 as
Agronomist of The Panama Canal, and at that time laid the foundations
of the institution now known as the Canal Zone Experiment Gardens.
From 1923 to the early part of 1927 he continued in this capacity until
he yielded to very strong inducements to enter upon scientific investi-
gational work for large commercial agricultural interests. Through
his tireless energy, his long experience in tropical agriculture, his famili-
arity with a wide range of tropical plants, and the fortunate availability
of funds, he brought together and planted at Summit a collection of
species and varieties which for so brief a period, was truly remarkable.
After service in several foreign countries, he returned to the Canal for a
brief vacation visit and looked forward to viewing again the develop-
ment of his earlier labors at Summit. He was suddenly stricken almost
immediately after his arrival in Balboa, and died at Gorgas Hospital
March II, 1935.
While we express, as best we can, for the Canal community and for all
who visit here, the gratitude and regard that is due to Mr. Johansen,
many of the grandest trees in the Gardens will bear, throughout the years
to come, more effective silent testimony to the sterling and lasting
quality of his character and work.
Canal Zone Experiment Gardens
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1935
J. EDGAR HIGGINS, Director
The aims and objectives of the Canal Zone Experiment Gardens,
under its present management, were rather fully set forth in the Annual
Report for the Fiscal Year 1928. These objectives, briefly stated,
include the introduction of plants, whether of economic or ornamental
value, the testing of the same, their dissemination, and the study of any
plant problems that may bear upon the life of this community or the
commerce of the Canal. The latter, it will be seen, leads out into a very
large sphere, for the life of the Canal touches that of the entire Nation,
with its industry and commerce. These same purposes have constantly
been held in view and have been carried out during the past year as fully
as has been possible with the funds that have been available. It is
regrettable that plant introduction, which is the foundation of all the
rest, has suffered very great curtailment because of the shrinkage in
available funds. Fortunately, the system which has been adopted for
the dissemination of plants has made this branch of the work self-
supporting. But new introductions are necessary to the continued life
and normal functioning of the organization. Fortunately also, it has been
possible to acquire, through exchanges, a considerable number of new
species, notably palms.
Mr. Walter R. Lindsay, Supervisor of Cultures, while on vacation in
Hawaii, was active in the collection of seeds and plants for the Gardens
and brought back with him propagating material of a very considerable
list of species and varieties, most of which are new in the Canal Zone
or are represented only by plants that are yet too young to permit
propagation. Among these, special mention should be made of seeds
of the Traveler's Tree, Ravenala mad scarensis. This tree, although
greatly admired by all residents and visitors to Panama, is rare,
because none of the local specimens have yet produced seeds and the
offsets are very few. The seedlings from Mr. Lindsay's introductions
are now ready for planting out. The complete list of plant species and
varieties which Mr. Lindsay acquired for the Gardens is presented at
the end of this report.
AID TO PLANT EXPLORATIONS AND INTRODUCTIONS
One of the services being performed by the Experiment Gardens as an
aid to the introduction and testing of economic plants, is in acting as an
intermediate station where plants, which might perish if taken immedi-
ately to their ultimate destination, can be cared for and maintained for a
short or longer period, while at the same time further knowledge of their
requirements and their adaptabilities are being acquired.
In January 1935, an independent plant explorer of long experience,
and representing commercial interests in the United States, arrived at
the Canal with a shipment of over six hundred medicinal plants. Some
of these were already dead and it was important that the living cuttings
should be cared for promptly. The Gardens were requested to take over
this propagating material and to care for any resulting plants until
such time as they may be called for by the owners. The Gardens
received the shipment, had the cuttings planted under the immediate
supervision of the explorer, and agreed to provide care and attention in
accordance with instructions, but assumed no responsibility for the
success of the plants. A good proportion of the cuttings struck root.
Some of the plants are on a rather steep hill, while others are on low,
moist land at the foot of the slope. Part are shaded and part exposed
to direct sunlight. A monthly report of their condition is submitted.
The Gardens have been requested to receive and care for further ship-
ments of other kinds of economic plants, which are expected to arrive
during the latter part of 1935.
This aid, through functioning as an itermediate station for plant
introduction, is a service that might be still further extended to scientific
THE PHYSICAL EQUIPMENT AND LAYOUT
The boundaries of the Gardens, and their equipment in buildings,
have been somewhat increased during the year by the transfer to this
office of the buildings of the Cattle Industry at Summit, and also a
considerable area of surrounding pasture lands. The buildings include
the large stable and laborers' mess, and also the structure formerly used
for office and storage. With these also were taken over some miscel-
laneous equipment. The large building has been used as a mess room
and sleeping quarters for the Student Laborer group. The other building
continues in use for storage. A part of one of the pastures was converted
into the Hevea rubber tree nursery referred to elsewhere in this report.
The others are used as pasturage for the Gardens' work animals.
Some improvements have been made in the approach to the Gardens
along the south side of the road, leading from the highway to the railway
station and to the Gardens. This road also adjoins the Hevea rubber
tree nursery. The improvement consisted in the removal of wild jungle
growth and some little grading, which makes possible the use of a mow-
ing machine to keep down the grass immediately adjoining the road.
A rather unsightly fence, which seemed to be no longer needed, was
removed. The row of African Fountain trees (Spathodea species and
hybrids) bordering this road has also been extended along the highway
as far as the end of area cultivated in rubber tree seedlings.
The roads throughout the Gardens are much in need of repairs. The
concrete road is broken down in many places, and the macadam road
completing the main circuit through the Gardens, needs patching and
resurfacing. The reduction in service from the convict gang to one week
in six has made it impossible to perform these very necessary repairs.
New roads and well-constructed footpaths are needed to lead through
parts of the Gardens where many interesting plants are developing, but
are practically inaccessible to most visitors.
The Gardens are surrounded by areas that are burned over every dry
season, which involves a considerable fire hazard. This necessitates the
cutting of a wide trocha just outside the boundary fences and backfiring
early in the dry season when the fires will consume most of the inflam-
mable material near the boundaries, but will not spread to the surround-
ing hills. This practice was repeated as usual in January.
AN OFFICE AND LABORATORY BUILDING NEEDED
In discussing the physical equipment of the Gardens, attention should
be invited to the need of a suitable fireproof office and laboratory building
for the safe-keeping of the records, the herbarium, and the library, and
to provide suitable space and equipment for laboratory work. The
present wooden structure is unsafe, quite inadequate, and can be con-
sidered only as a temporary provision for these needs until funds can be
made available for more suitable equipment.
The work which the Experiment Gardens have been carryi ng on
directly and in cooperation with the United States Department of Agri-
culture for a decade or more has, in a sense, come to fruition in the year
just closed. Although many have believed that the commercial pro-
duction of rubber on this continent would not be practicable, the testing
of rubber-producing plants, especially Hevea brasiliensis, has been con-
tinued in order that some experimental data, and also a supply of seed,
might be available and ready for any development in the world rubber
situation, which might point towards the desirability of establishing
rubber plantations in this region. During the year just closed repre-
sentatives of one of the largest rubber-producing and manufacturing
interests in the United States arrived on the Isthmus to investigate the
adaptability of this country for Hevea rubber production, and also to
look into the possibilities of establishing a plantation in Panama.
At the Experiment Gardens these experts found small plantings of
Hevea brasiliensis which they declared compare favorably with growths
of simular age in the best plantations of the Orient. It is believed that
these demonstrations of the behavior of the trees in this country had
considerable weight in determining a decision to establish a plantation
of several thousand acres in the Republic, in the vicinity of the Gatun
Lake. The Gardens were also able to supply a considerable quantity of
seed and entered into an arrangement with the company whereby a
nursery was established at the Gardens, thus saving at least a year in
getting the project underway. It is of great importance in any Hevea-
planting project to have a supply of seed reasonably near at hand, as
these seeds so rapidly lose their viability.
It is difficult to foresee what may be the outcome of any rubber
planting project in this country, or its significance to commerce and to the
agricultural prosperity of Panama. It is easy, however, to see that if
rubber production is made economically successful in this country, such
would open an entirely new field of wealth to the Republic and would
add greatly to the commerce of the Canal.
It has been stated above that an arrangement was entered into with the
rubber company for the establishing of a nursery of Hevea trees. This
arrangement was on a similar basis to that which has been followed in
caring for plantings of other outside interests to further agricultural or
botanical investigations, the company paying a fair rate for the services
performed. The rubber company also agrees to leave with the Gardens,
specimen trees grafted to the highest-yielding clones being introduced
from their selection plantings in the Philippines. The Hevea nursery
comprises upwards of 30,000 seedling trees, now ranging from three feet
to over six feet in height.
kI F I / II,- a baiIInsi, Se-dling Ihout 7 months old in
nurIry The hand is it the six-ot mark.
IGI R 2, ;Garcinia mangostaa ( MangOStefn) in fruit. Most of the
fruit is hidden in the shade of t he foliage.
In performing this work some data was acquired and observations
made which would be of value in any similar future project. The
work could have been performed at much lower costs if the arrange-
ments cold have been perfected before the close of the preceding rainy
season, so that clearing and plowing could have been done while the land
was still moist at the beginning of the dry season. This, with repeated
tillage during the dry season, would have put the land in good condition,
and would have saved much hand labor incident to clearing and prepar-
ing, while the soil was saturated with water in the months of heaviest
rainfall. It also would have reduced the weed and grass growth fol-
lowing planting and would have lessened the cost of the care of the
In the planting of the seed, several methods were tried. In some
trials the seed was planted in the nursery rows a quarter of an inch or
more in the mud, for all the soil was mud during most of the planting.
Other seeds were placed shallow. Still others were put very close
together in carefully prepared seed beds to await germination. Some
of these were moved to the nursery row as soon as the first evidence of
germination appeared. Some seeds were merely scattered on the top
of the soil, which had been shaved with a machete, after which they
were covered light with grass to give shade and retain uniformity of
moisture between showers.
It would appear that the best and most economical results may be
obtained by placing the seed in its nursery position and pressing it
slightly into the soil, but avoiding complete covering. If the rains are
not continuous and the sunshine appears it is desirable to cover the
nursery bed very lightly with dead grass that has been cut before seeding.
Part of the nursery was planted on a rather steep hillside, and another
portion in the low and very wet lands. Parts of this was completely
inundated several times. Although ample overhead irrigation was ap-
plied to all parts of the nursery during the dry season beginning in
December and continuing as necessary until May, the strongest growth
of plants at the time of this writing (July 1935) is on the low wet land.
It will be instructive to observe what may be the effect of further
inundations which may occur during the present rainy season when the
plants may be six to ten feet high.
The young seedling Hevea trees reveal quite wide variations in foliage
characteristics, as well as in growth, and it would doubtless be easy to
segregate several distinct types which, in turn, may be closely related to
productivity and to disease resistance.
Plate 1, figure i, shows a close view of a seven-months-old seedling of
Hevea braziliensis. Note the rapidity of growth which is nearly one
foot per month from the date of planting the seed. Plate II, figure I,
shows the seedlings of the same species growing in a well-prepared seed-
bed. Figure 2 shows seedlings in a seed-bed which had no preparation
except the shaving of the soil with a machete. There is but little
difference in growth.
In the introduction of tropical plants, probably no class of these
plants has been receiving more attention in recent years than those that
promise usefulness in the manufacture of insecticides. The demand is
increasing for insecticides that are highly effective in insect control, but
comparatively harmless to man and the domestic animals. This de-
mand comes in part from the need of protecting fruits from insects by
the use of adhesive sprays. If these are arsenical or otherwise poisonous
to man, they must be removed for safety and to comply with marketing
regulations. This adds considerably to the expense of marketing and
always involves the hazard that the residue may exceed in arsenical
content the minimum allowed under the law. A substance known as
rotenone, which is found in sont plants, is a very deadly poison to
insects, but comparatively innocuous to man and domestic animals,
at least in any ordinary quantities that might be needed in an insecti-
cide. Rotenone sprays and dusts are rapidly increasing in popularity
in insect control.
A considerable number of rotenone-yielding plants have been found
and active explorations to discover others are now in progress. The
United States Department of Agriculture is especially active in this
The Experiment Gardens introduced seed of Derris elliptica in Decem-
ber 1930 from our correspondent, the Botanic Gardens in Buitenzorg,
Java. This species is one of the most important. The plants produced
from this seed have made very good growth and cuttings have been sent
to several of our exchange correspondents. They strike root quite
readily and are not difficult to transport. Dr. Otis W. Barrett, formerly
engaged in horticultural work for The Panama Canal, has recently passed
this way en route to the Island of Dominica, where he will receive and
care for a large number of rotenone-yielding plants of various kinds
from the United States Department of Agriculture. The Experiment
Gardens were able to provide Dr. Barrett's experiments with a consider-
able number of cuttings of Derris elliptica.
As Dr. Barrett has recently been making a special study of the rote-
none situation and the market for the same, he was invited to present a
FIGURE 1.-Seedlings of Hevea brasiliensi. Fight months alter planting on a wel -prepared seed bed.
The hand on the measuring rod is six feet from the ground.
FIGI RE 2. Sc dIng oi Ieveaj bja1siins, in seetted Ihh Ir li tI IhII,- pr ,IfI 1k
p: 11 .,
statement which might be incorporated in this section of the Annual
Report of these Gardens, and kindly consented to do so. This statement
is as follows:
In view of the recent renewed interest in rotenone-yielding crops, it is very gratifying
to find at the Canal Zone Experiment Gardens a sizable collection of these insecticidal
Lonchocarpus nicou, one of the principal "Cubcs" of Brazil, represented by but one plant
in the collection, is probably worth its weight in gold (since Brazil has now prohibited the
"removal" (sic) of any seeds or live plant material of any of her "Cubes").
The six plants, or, rather, "hills" of the oriental "Tuba," Derris eliptica, are growing
off well, and should soon flower.
Derris dahlbergioides (one specimen) is already a small tree.
While this Summit collection is much better than might be expected, it seems advis-
able not only to expand the plots as rapidly as possible but to add all the available species
of these new crops which may be adaptable to this altitude (and climate). If the price
of rotenone continues to advance as now seems probable, a source of propagating material
of these crop plants will be of incalculable value.
Furthermore, it is respectfully suggested that, as promptly as may be, tests be made of
individual plant yields, and that the high yielding specimens be used solely for expanding
the "pedigreed clones" as is now being done in the case of Hevea rubber.
Various cultural methods should, obviously, be tried out; for example, the ridge-trench
method will probably prove superior to any of the present field practices for Derris.
The penchant of the leading importing firms in New York City appears to be in favor
of the South American "Cubes" instead of the heretofore more popular "Tuba" from
British and Dutch Malaya: this, in face of the "richer" root of Tuba, seems strange, but
it should be remembered that the recently discovered alkaloids (besides rotenone) in
"Cube" roots appear to be just as potent insect poisons as rotenone (C22 H23 06);
moreover, the 12 days' shipping time between Para and New York compares well with the
6 to 8 weeks' time from Singapore.
Finally, any insecticide material which is eagerly bought up, at 25 to 35 cents per pound,"
while "Pyrethrum powder" "goes begging" at io or 12 cents simply speaks for itself; and
it now looks as if the fruit and vegetable growers and the farmers have a very effective
spray and dust insecticide, nonpoisonous to humans, which strikes a heavy blow to our
old arsenical and lead poisons which have been getting a pretty bad name everywhere.
(Signed) Ors W. BARRETT.
Dr. Barrett's suggestions concerning further propagation of the
different kinds of rotenone-yielding plants, and further experiments with
various methods of culture, are well taken, and it is regrettable that
funds have been insufficient to undertake such experimentation.
TROPICAL WATERLILIES (Nymphaea species and J'arieties)
All visitors at the Canal Zone Experiment Gardens have been im-
pressed with the magnificence of the tropical waterlilies which thrive
here in several varieties. The white variety, Nymphaea Lotus var. dentata,
which blooms at night and remains open until about ten o'clock in the
morning, has always been a favorite with visitors because of its large
size and its pure white petals. Another variety is the Panama Pacific,
a very deep purple in color. It opens in the morning and remains open
until the close of the day. Another variety, which blooms in the day-
light hours, is a very delicate blue, and is known as Mrs. Edwards
Whitaker. One of the most gorgeous of all is the Omarana, a pink,
night-blooming flower, equal in size to the white variety mentioned above.
The Canal Zone is indebted to its exchange correspondent, the
Missouri Botanic Gardens of St. Louis, for most of the established
varieties of tropical Nymphaeas or waterlilies in our collection; and
through the generosity of the Director, Dr. George T. Moore, tubers of
eight varieties, new to the Canal Zone collection, have recently been
received. Mr. George H. Pring, of the Missouri Botanic Gardens,
has specialized in hybriding Nymphaea species, and has produced a
remarkable collection. The Experiment Gardens recently have also
acquired by purchase from various sources, tubers of eight varieties.
Before going further, let us attempt to clear up some of the difficulties
concerning the common names that are in current use for these tropical
Nymphaeas. The question is often asked whether it is correct to apply
the name "Lotus" to any of these plants. Strictly speaking, according
to the American Joint Committee on Horticultural Nomenclature, in
"Standarized Plant Names," the correct common name of Nymphaea
lotus is White Egyptian Lotus. The term "Egyptian Lotus," however,
is more commonly, though erroneously, applied in horticultural usage to
an entirely different plant, Nelumbo nucifera, a native of Southeastern
Asia, which was introduced into Egypt during or before the Roman
period, and was probably cultivated for food as well as for its flowers.
But to make confusion worse confounded, the name "Lotus" has been
applied to several other widely different plants, including that made
famous by Tennyson's poem "Lotus Eaters." A very simple means of
avoiding confusion in common usage is to apply to any of these beautiful
aquatic plants now growing at Experiment Gardens, the simple name
"tropical Nymphaea" (pronounced Nim-fe-a) or, if you prefer, call them
tropical waterlilies. It is to be remembered that most of the horticul-
tural varieties of Nymphaea, such as those mentioned above,"Whitaker,"
"Panama Pacific," etc., are hybrids, having been produced by artificial
THE OPENING AND THE CLOSING OF THE FLOWERS
As indicated above, some of these tropical waterlilies are night-
blooming. They open for two or more nights in succession, closing at
about IO a. m., and remaining closed until shortly after nightfall. These
varieties being used for evening decorations, it is very important to be
able to distinguish those that will open, and remain open making good
decorations, from those that will fail to open because of immaturity or
If the flowers are gathered as buds, towards evening, it is less difficult
to distinguish those that will make good flowers, but if they are to be
transported some distance, and to be arranged for early evening use,
it is not always practicable to postpone so long the collecting. If
collected before 9:3o a. m. there are certain distinguishing characteristics
which indicate degrees of maturity.
To determine what these indicators of maturity are, observations have
been made on several different occasions on the large white variety
(Nymphaea lotus var. dentata). The flowers were collected before
9:30 a. m. They were separated into groups of classes on the basis of
maturity characteristics as follows:
Class i. Unopened buds. These are the buds that have not been
mature enought to open on the preceding night. The problem
here was whether there were any characters to determine
whether these buds would open in the evening of the day when
they were gathered.
Class 2. Opened buds, but with stamens obscured from a lateral
view by the surrounding petals, which on these flowers at this
hour, have begun to close. The stamens, at the hour of
examination, were visible only by looking downwards into the
flower. These stamens were held closely to the inner surfaces
of the petals, leaving the center of the flower open.
Class 3. Opened buds, with stamens hidden from view as in Class 2,
but in this group the stamens were not all held close to the
petals. Some had moved inwards towards the center of the
flower, partly closing the cavity and thus differing from the
flowers of Class 2. In this class there was, in some cases,
a very slight discoloration of the stamens.
Class 4. Opened buds, with stamens exposed to view by the com-
plete opening of the inner petals. The stamens were beginning
to close the cavity or central portion of the flower and showed
more discoloration than in Class 3. These flowers, however,
were of good appearance and showed no drooping.
Class S. Opened buds, but having the cavity quite closed by sta-
mens, which were much discolored.
As soon as the flowers and buds were brought in, the stems were
placed in water to a depth of five to six inches or more, )ut no special
notations were made as to the exact depth.
The results of the observations on the flowers of the different classes
are shown in the tabulation below. In some instances observations were
continued on the same flowers for two or more successive days:
TABLE I.-Maturity Observations and Tests (Nymphaea lotus var. dentata)
Ist Exami- 2d Exami- 3d Exami-
Date Number nation Results nation Resnilts nation Results
collected Hour Class collected
Date Hour Good Bad Date Hour Good Bad Date Hour Good Bad
2-14-35 9:30 1 3 2-14 11 pm 11 2 2-15 10pm 12 1 2-16 3 pm 3
2-14-35 9:30 2 8 2-14 11pm 8 2-15 10 pm 4 4 2-16 3 pm .... 8
2-14-35 9:30 3 8 2-14 11 pm 8......2-15 10 pm .....8.....................
2-14-35 9:30 4 8 2-14 11pm 2 6 2-15 10 pm..... 8 .....................
2-14-35 9:30 5 1 2-14 11pm ...... 1 2-15 10pmro......1.................
2-15-35 9:30 1 4 2-15 10pm 1 3 2-16 10pm 1 3 .......... .........
2-15-35 9:30 2 5 2-15 10pm 5 5.....2-16 10 pm 3 2...................
2-15-35 9:30 3 9 2-15 10 pm 9...... 2-16 10 pm .....9........... ..........
2-15-35 9:30 4 2 2-15 10 pm ......2 2-16 10 pm .....2.....................
2-20-35 9:30 1 3 2-20 6:50 12 1 2-20 10 pm 13 ..... ..... ...... .............
2-20-35 9:30 2 5 2-20 6:50 5......2-20 10pm 5.......................
2-20-35 9:30 3 10 2-20 6:50 8 2 2-20 10 pm 8 2 ...................
2-20-35 9:30 4 5 2-20 6:50 1 4 2-20 10 pm 1 4 ....
I Flowers small.
In the tabulation of "Results" the figure in the column marked
"good" represents the number of good flowers found at the hour of
examination, while the figure in the "bad" column indicates the number
of buds which failed to produce satisfactory flowers. In Class i, these
failures were due to immaturity, but in the other classes the failures were
due to overmaturity.
It will be observed that in Class i there were many failures at the first
examination. Out of a total of ten buds, only four opened on the first
evening after gathering. Even those that opened did not make flowers
of large size. No means was discovered by which to select, at that hour
of the day, buds which would certainly open in the evening. Also,
it would appear that unopened buds, in the morning, have not become
fully developed, and even though some of them will open, they will not
make large flowers. If the same buds could be gathered towards night
they would have developed more fully and doubtless the large buds
would open and present fine flowers.
The results, as tabulated, show that specimens of Class 2, which were
gathered as open flowers at or about 9:3o a. m., and had certain definite
characters as described to indicate the degree of maturity, all opened
again on the first evening after collecting, and about half of them
opened for the third time on the second evening after being collected.
Likewise, nearly all of those in Class 3 opened satisfactorily on the
first evening after collection, and were in good condition when examined
at io p. m. However, two out of the twenty-seven of these more mature
flowers, after closing, failed to open again satisfactorily in the evening of
the first day after being collected, and nineteen out of twenty-five of them
failed on the second evening.
In Cla s4, which were still more mature, only three out of fifteen
reopened as satisfactory flowers on the first evening.
Flowers of Class S were considered only in the tests made on February
14, as it became evident at once that flowers showing the characteristics
of this group were too far advanced to be of use in decoration.
The conclusions reached from these observations were first; that
flowers carefully selected before 9:30 a. m., with the characteristics of
Class 2, are quite reliable for decorations for the first evening after
gathering; that Class 3 can be depended upon to give many fine flowers on
the first evening, but a few will fail, and thus mar any decoration which
has been made up before the opening of the flowers at nightfall. Only
a few of the flowers more mature than those of Class 3 will reopen and,
therefore, those flowers that have the stamens fully exposed to view at the
time of collecting, slightly discolored, and closing completely the central
cavity of the flower, should be discarded as overmature. Specimens
gathered in the morning as unopened buds, as already stated, were
immature and, although some would open, even these would not make
The fact just stated concerning the immaturity of buds in the early
morning, would suggest the postponing of the gathering until late
afternoon, when they would be more fully matured. Unless this can
be done, the flowers should be gathered before 9:30 a. m.
DEPTH OF WATER IN CONTAINER
In the observations recorded above, no record was made of the depth
of water in the containers in which the flowers were held, nor of the
depth of the containers themselves. In a very shallow container,
a greater strain would be placed upon the flower stem and greater
rigidity would be required to avoid breaking. Also, it is natural to
suppose that these flowers, which grow in the water, would require
considerable submersion of their stems after gathering in order that the
water-holding structures of the stem may remain sufficiently supplied
to maintain rigidity. In order to determine what depth of water may
be required, some further observations were made. In these tests,
flowers of Class 2 and Class 3 only were used, as it had been determined
that older blooms were unreliable.
On March 26, fourteen flowers of Class 2, and nine flowers of Class 3,
were collected between 8 a. m. and 9. a. m. The stems were about 12 to
14 inches in length. Of those in Class 2, four were placed in only one
inch of water, three in two inches, three in four inches, and four in six
inches. Of the more mature flowers of Class 3, two were placed in one
inch of water, three in two inches, two in four inches, and two in six
inches. Examination of the flowers was made on the following morning
to determine which specimens had remained open and in good condition
throughout the night. The results are shown in the tabulation below
TABLE II.-Tests of Required Depth of Water
Date Hour Water Number Eaiao eut
collected depth inches of flowersEa to urReod lts
A. M. A. M.
3-26 8:30 1 4 3-27 8:15 none 4
3-26 8:30 2 3 3-27 8:15 2 1
3-26 8:30 4 3 3-27 8:15 1 2
3-26 8:30 6 4 3-27 8:15 4 ...........
Attention is invited first to the flowers of Class 2 in the above tabu-
lation (Table II), because these younger flowers had been found to be
reliable and to open satisfactorily if placed in deep water. It will be
noted that in one inch of water all the buds failed to open. Of the
flowers in two inches of water, two had opened satisfactorily, and one
had failed to do so. In four inches of water, one had opened and two
had failed. In six inches of depth, all flowers had opened.
Among the flowers of Class 3, in only one inch of water, both speci-
mens failed, while of those in two inches of depth, one failed and two
opened satisfactorily. Those in four inches, and in six inches of water,
The same experiments, relating to the requisite depth of water, were
repeated with flowers of Class 2 and Class 3, gathered on March 28,
and examined at 9 o'clock in the evening, and again on the following
day at 8:30 a. m. The results of these tests are shown in Table III.
TABLE 111-Further Test of Required Depth of Water
19t Exami- 2d Exami-
Date Water No. of nation ReWlts nation Results
jfet Hour inches flowers
Date Hour Good Bad Date Hour Good Bad
A.M. .. A. M.
3-28 7:30 1 3 3-28 9 pm 1 2 3-29 8:30 ..... 23
3-28 7:30 2 3 3-28 9 pm .... 3-29 8:30 3 .......
3-28 7:30 4 2 3-28 9 pm 2 ... 3-29 8:30 2
3-28 7:30 6 4 3-28 9 pm 4_ .. 3-29 8:30 4 .
3-28 7:30 1 23-28 9pm 1 3 1 3-29 8:30..2
3-28 7:30 2 2 3-28 9 pm 2... 3-29 8:30 2
3-28 7:30 4 2 3-281 9pm 2.......3-29 8:30 2
3-28 7:30 6 3 3-28 9 pm 2 41 3-29 8:30 1 32
I Not well opened. 2 Two wilted; one closed. 3Wilted. 4 Stem rigid but petals wilted.
Again giving attention first to the flowers of Class 2, it will be seen
that two out of three of the flowers in only one inch of water failed to
open satisfactorily the first evening, and on the following morning all
three were failures. There were no failures of flowers in two inches of
water or more. In Class 3, one out of two in one inch of water failed
the first evening, and both were wilted on the second examination. One
of the flowers in six inches of water had wilted and failed to open at the
first examination, but the stem was rigid. This failure cannot be attrib-
uted to the depth of water, but to the advanced maturity of the flower,
as the first experiments showed that some of the flowers of Class 3 are
likely to fail the first evening. The flowers of Class 3 in two inches,
and those in four inches of water, were satisfactory for the entire night.
The results, as recorded, appear to indicate clearly that the depth of
water in which stems are partly submerged, has an important influence
upon the preservation and the opening of the flowers. One inch of
water is evidently not enough, and the figures suggest that two inches
or even four inches of depth of water may at times be insufficient, since
there were failures at these depths, even among flowers of Class 2, on
the first evening. In six inches of water there were no failures on the
first evening, except in the case of one flower, which wilted from over-
maturity, although its stem remained rigid.
To determine whether a very bright light above the flowers might have
any wilting effect, or cause an early closing of the flowers, eleven speci-
mens considered as Class 2, and four of Class 3, were gathered at about
8 a. m. on March 29 and were placed in water of varying depths from
one inch to six inches, and they were kept in ordinary subdued light in
the office building. Observations were made at I 1:5o p. m. of the same
day and a record of the condition of each flower was made. At 12
o'clock midnight, a 2o-watt electric light was turned on immediately
over the flowers and within about two feet from the nearest. This light
continued until 7 a. m. At 8:i5 a. m. a second examination was made
and recorded. The results were as shown in Table IV:
TABLE IV-Effect of Depth of Water and of Intense Light
In darkness from nightfall to 11:50 p. m. Under 200-watt light midnight to 7 a. m.
Ist Exami- 2d Exami-
Date Water No. of nation Results nation Results
collected Hour inches flowers
Date Hour Good Bad Date Hour Good Bad
P. M. A. M.
3-29 8:00 1 3 3-29 11:50 ... 3-30 8:153
3-29 8:00 13 3-29 11:50 1 13 3-30 8:15 1 1
3-29 8:00 4 3 3-29 11:50 1 2 3-30 8:15 1 2
3-29 8:00 6 3 3-29 11:50 2 1 3-30 8:15 2 1
3-29 8:00 1 1 3-29 11:50.1 3-30 8:15 1
3-29 8:00 2 1 3-29 11:50 1 3-30 8:15 1
3-29 8:00 4 1 3-29 11:50 1........ 3-30 8:15 1 ......
3-29 8:00 6 1 3-29 11:50 ........1 3-30 8:15......
The results of the first examinations tabulated above (Table IV) are
confirmatory of the conclusions reached concerning the necessity for
considerable depth of water for the preservation of the flowers. It is
also worthy of record although not shown in the tabulation, that most
of the wilting occurred before 4 P. m. of the day on which the flowers
The very bright light appeared to have no effect in hastening the
closing of the flowers. The condition of the flowers were the same in the
morning as at the time of turning on the light.
A further experiment was made to determine whether placing the
flowers in complete darkness at 3 p. m. would cause earlier opening so
that the failing buds could be eliminated at an hour before evening
decorations would be required. The flowers placed in the dark room at
3 P. m. did not open any earlier than those that were in the daylight, as
long as it lasted.
CLEANING AND DEEPENING OF PONDS
Ponds numbers I and 2 were drained, cleaned and deepened during the
PLANTING OF NYMPHAEA IN LAKES ALONG RAILWAY
The Experiment Gardens supplied about 395 plants of the white
variety of Nymphaea, referred to above (Nymphaea lotus var. dentata)
for planting in many of the small lakes and ponds in or adjoining the
Panama Railroad right-of-way. The Railroad cooperated fully in this
project, supplying transportation and part of the necessary labor. The
plantings were effected on April 23, 1935, under the immediate super-
vision of Mr. Walter R. Lindsay, Supervisor of Cultures at the Gardens.
For this purpose large plants were used and were carried on a light track
speeder and trailer, which could be stopped at any suitable place for
planting and be removed from the rails for as much time as might be
necessary to do the planting.
Several years ago a few plants of the same variety, then available,
were planted by the writer along the railroad and some of these are
reported by Mr. Lindsay to have become well established between
towers I8-II and 18-12.
If these magnificent tropical waterlilies become thoroughly established
in the lakes along the line, the morning trips by rail between Colon and
Panama City, in either direction, will become one of the most magnificent
sights to be witnessed in Isthmian travel.
OTHER NOTEWORTHY TREES AND PLANTS
Several kinds of trees or plants are worthy of special mention,because
of the attention that they have attracted by fruiting or flowering for the
first time, or by their unusual progress, or other interesting features.
Among these, the first that will be mentioned is the mangosteen
(Garcinia mangostana) (Plate I, Fig. 2). Although this remarkable and
delicious fruit has received attention in earlier reports, its progress has
been such as to confirm our conviction that its introduction and estab-
lishment is one of the outstanding achievements of the Gardens, the
far-reaching importance of which is not likely to be fully recognized for
many years. No trees in the entire collection have given greater
evidence of suitability to local conditions than this rare species whose
fruit is regarded by many as the most delectable product of tropical
gardens. Because it is so highly prized, and because it is so well adapted
to shipping, we believe it will become, in future years, a commercial
fruit of large importance in many parts of tropical America. The crop
in July and August of 1934, from the little orchard at the Experiment
Gardens amounted to about i,5oo fruits, some of which were sent to the
United States Department of Agriculture for scientific study and for
seed supply. Other portions of the crop were used in local demonstration
and such seed as were available were planted at the Gardens or sent out
to exchange correspondents. The crop on the trees at the date of t his
writing is estimated to be considerably greater than that of last season.
Every known cultivated plant species has it pests or diseases. Only
two such pests have been found on the mangosteen in this country.
One of these is the small, black, stingless bee (Trigona sp.) which dis-
figures the fruit but apparently does it no injury except to its appearance.
This difficulty can be overcome by the destruction of the nests of the
bees in the vicinity of the plantation.
The other injury is due to causes that are not understood and should
receive careful investigation. Certain fruits which are perfect in exter-
nal appearance are, when opened, found to have yellowish growths of
unpleasant appearance and flavor penetrating some of the segments.
There is no evidence of any insect and the injury is not believed to be
of insect origin. It is possible that it is entirely physiological and may
be related to fertilization. It should receive careful study.
THE GRAHAM MANGO
This is a very choice variety of mango that was introduced from Trini-
dad, and now has come into fruiting at the Gardens. The fruit is of
large size, the specimen used in description weighing 16 ounces and
measuring 4 inches in length and 33 inches in diameter. The shape is
oblong, slightly oblique, with shallow stem cavity, obtuse apex, and
rather inconspicuous beak and nak. It is decidedly flattened. Where
exposed to sunlight the skin takes on a yellow color with traces of red,
but in the shade and in cloudy weather, the skin may be quite green in
color when the fruit is ripe. The flesh is yellow-orange in color, of
almost perfect texture, without fiber, abundantly supplied with juice,
and of delicious flavor. In appearance, texture, and flavor, the fruit
closely resembles the variety "Julie," which also was introduced from
Trinidad. The tree, however, appears to be quite unlike that of "Julie,"
the latter being distinctly dwarf. These are said to be regarded as the
best of the Trinidad mangoes. Both appear to be closely related to the
Indian mangoes. Both of these varieties have been observed to flower
in the Canal Zone earlier in the season than most of the introduced
varieties. This may be a distinct advantage if they do not flower before
the rains have ceased. The "Graham" is regarded as a valuable
acquisition to the many varieties of mangoes that have been introduced
into the Canal Zone and are being disseminated in the Zone, in Panama,
and in the neighboring republics. Unfortunately, it is not immune to
anthracnose, which results in the fruits being spotted in wet weather,
but up to the present time, in this country, no breaking of the skin and
consequent destruction of the flesh has been observed.
Plate III shows the "Graham" variety of mango with one side cut
off ready for serving. The fibers are so few and fine that the flesh can
be easily managed with a teaspoon.
PLATE I I I
The Graham Mango. In section showing thickness of flesh and i-doiim from fiher.
p., 22 .t.
TEAK (Tectona grandis)
The promising growth of the teak trees has been mentioned in earlier
reports. One of the trees was cut down and taken to the Mechanical
Division where it was sawed into planks which are now seasoning. No
report has yet been made upon this lumber, but it appears to be of good
quality. Another tree was killed by girdling and allowed to stand for
seasoning, as is customary in Burma, the home of the teak forests.
It is unfortunate that funds are not available for the planting of a small
experimental forest of this highly valuable timber tree, which gives so
much promise of success in this country.
JABOTICABA (Myrciaria cauliflora)
This is a Brazilian fruit, first brought to the Gardens from the United
States Department of Agriculture. Dr. Wilson Popenoe, formerly
Explorer for the Department of Agriculture, describes the tree and the
fruit in considerable detail, and speaks of it as a fruit of much importance
in the markets of Brazil. There are several specimen trees or large
shrubs at the Experiment Gardens, and some of these fruited quite freely
in the past dry season. The fruits, which are borne abundantly, are
attached directly to the large branches, and thus give a rather unusal
appearance. These fruits are about one inch in diameter, round in
form, of a dark reddish-brown color, and a rather pleasant flavor. At
first the small trees did not appear to prosper here, but since it has been
possible to give them water during the dry season, they have greatly
A species of Eugenia hitherto unidentified, has fruited for several years
past and yields globose, purplish fruits of very good flavor. The trees are
small, rounded, and compact. They do not give promise of becoming
large trees, but are worthy of some attention for their rather unusual
The very handsome tree of Lecythis Iuyrana, which has produced a few
fruits for several years past in the gardens at the Governor's residence,
has made possible the propagation of this species, and several young
seedling are now being cared for at Summit. The Governor has kindly
made these seeds available for propagation. The only other mature
specimen in the Canal Zone stands at the foot of Administration Hill,
and has recently been in flower. The tree, which is native to Panama
and was first described by Dr. Pittier, is of large size, with dense, ever-
green foliage, and gives promise of being well adapted to roadside plant-
ing. The nuts are edible and very good.
Another species of Lecythis (L. sapucaya), which produces the very
highly-prized sapucaya nuts of Brazil, is represented by several good-
sized and flourishing trees at the Experiment Gardens. None has yet
Another species, L. elliptica, has been in fruit at the Gardens for several
years. The tree of this species is apparently not inclined to be of large
size, but yields nuts of excellent flavor.
Still another tree of the same family (Lecythidaceae) is known as the
Cannon Ball tree, Couroupita guianensis (Plate IV, Fig. 2). It is native
to Guiana and other parts of tropical South America and has been rather
widely disseminated in the Caribbean region. Although the seeds are
not good to eat, the tree is of unusual interest because of its magnificent
flowers, which are produced in clusters emanating directly from the tree
trunk. Mature specimens produce enormous clusters of these interest-
ing and peculiar flowers. The tree also attracts much attention by the
large, spherical, brown fruits borne in clusters hanging from the tree
trunk, like large cannon balls, and thus giving rise to the common name
of this species. Several specimens of these trees have begun fruiting at
This ginger-like plant, related to those that yield the cardamons of
commerce, flowered at the Gardens for the first time during the past year.
Its large, wax-like, pink flowers, borne on a strong stem three or four
feet high, are of striking magnificence, and have attracted most enthusi-
astic comment. Because of their waxy appearance, and their relation to
the Torch Ginger (J. hemisphericum), the common name "Wax Ginger"
has been suggested for this species. The plants grow to a height of ten
to twelve feet, and in habit of growth and general appearance, are much
like the Torch Ginger, except that they do not have a brownish or
bronze-colored under surface to the leaf. The flowers are entirely
different, and are incomparably more beautiful than 4mmomum mag-
NATIVE ORNAMENTAL PLANTS
Among the plants that are indigenous to Panama there are many of
high ornamental value, which have not been very generally brought
into cultivation here, nor introduced widely into other countries. Some
of these are being domesticated at the Gardens, and have been the sub-
jects of much enthusiastic comment.
I'll" Iwknimnpkia nicobaria. The Nicolbar Pahni. in fruit and
just opening a new flower cluster.
FIGURE 2. -Couroupila guianensis. The Cannon Ball Tree, in fruit.
Note also the flower stems growing out of the tree trunk.
One of the outstanding plants in this category is Warscewiczia coccinea,
a small tree occasionally found in the forests of the Zone and of Panama,
but one which has escaped the attention of most residents. Plate V
shows the flowers of these trees with their bracts, but their glory is
chiefly in their brilliant color. They have long clusters of flowers in
each of which one calyx lobe is expanded into a bright red, leaflike blade
or bract. The general effect of the cluster is similar to that of Poinsettia,
which has given rise to the suggestion that the common name "Panama
Poinsettia" might be adopted for this plant, which appears to be much
in need of a name for common use that can be easily remembered,
because the generic name is rather difficult for the laity. It must be
remembered, however, that the Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulche)rima,
family Euphorbiaceae) is not closely related to Warscewiczia, which
belongs to the family Rubiaceae, with coffee, Ixora or "fire-cracker
bush" and other familiar trees and shrubs in Panama. l7-arscewiczia
coccinea is quite as beautiful as Poinsettia, but they are not rivals as
the season for Poinsettia is November to March, or April, while this
Panama tree makes its greatest display in the wet season, from about
July to November. Some specimens, however, continue flowering in
the dry season.
Another small tree or shrub, indigenous in Panama, that has been
greatly admired in the Experiment Gardens, is Brownea macro phylla,
which is found in swampy areas on the Atlantic side of the Isthmus,
but appears to do quite well at Summit. The flowers are produced in
great, hemispherical clusters of flame color, attached directly to the
main branches of the tree as though they had magically burst forth from
the bark. If, as soon as the flowers have opened, they are removed and
placed in a bowl of suitable size, the cluster makes a brilliant decoration
that will remain in good condition for several days. The flowers appear
chiefly in the dry season, but some may be found as late as June.
Several species of Heliconia, native in the Canal Zone and Panama,
are frequently gathered from the jungles and used for decoration, but
little seems to have been done to bring under cultivation these plants of
unusual beauty. Several species have been planted in the Experiment
Gardens, and are very effective in landscapes. One of these is the
iplatanillo" or "macaw" (11. latispatha), which abounds in pasture areas
and along roadsides. The Bihai (H. bihai), is perhaps the most spectac-
ular representative of the genus in this country, with its erect flower
cluster and brilliant red and yellow bracts. The rather less frequent
H. platystachys, for landscape effect is among the best. Its long,
pendent spikes hang most gracefully among the green foliage. The
beefsteak Heliconia (H. mariae) has also been planted in the Gardens
and, although interesting, is not so beautiful as the other species men-
Activities outside of the Gardens, but related to their work, have
received considerable attention. First among these, although not
occupying a major portion of time, may be mentioned the aid to school
AID TO SCHOOL GARDENING
At the request of the Superintendent of Schools some attention has
been given to the problems of the School Gardens, which are conducted
at schools for the children of employees on the Silver pay roll. A lecture
was delivered by the Director of the Experiment Gardens to the agri-
cultural teachers of the Zone, in which general instructions were given
and the possible crops were divided into groups based upon the conditions
requisite to their success, in relation to the wet and dry seasons.
The crops grown at the school gardens are chiefly vegetables. Certain
of these are best adapted to dry-season conditions, combined with irri-
gation, and some cannot be successfully cultivated in the wet season.
For example, tomatoes of the best varieties are an impossibility during
the wet weather because of their susceptibility to fungus diseases under
such conditions. In the dry season, with irrigation, tomatoes of the
most excellent quality can be produced, and some of the school gardens
have made a great success of these. The principal school garden crops
that are best adapted to dry season, with irrigation, have been desig-
nated as Group A, and are as follows:
Group A: Irrigated crops for dry season-
Tomato Cabbage Watermelon
Bush bean Swiss chard Peanuts
A second group of school garden crops embrace those that can persist
through the dry season, if planted early enough in the wet season to
permit of their becoming well established before the rains cease. Some
of these are perennials, and may rest more or less during the dry weather
and spring into rapid growth when abundant moisture returns to the soil.
They are well adapted to those gardens or parts of gardens where it is
impracticable to apply irrigation. All will be benefited by irrigation
where it is available. This group embraces chiefly the crops mentioned
Group B: Crops that can persist through dry season if planted early in the wet season-
Pigeon pea Yucca Tanier
There are other crops suitable for school gardens, that are well
adapted to culture during the rainy season. Some of these have rather
special seasons. Roselle, for example, which may be considered a small
fruit rather than a vegetable, must be planted at the earliest date possible
after Feruary in order to achieve large growth before the fruiting
season arrives, otherwise the yield will be small. If, on account of
insufficient moisture, the planting of roselle seed cannot be made until
late in May, as is sometimes the case on the south side of the Isthmus,
the plants cannot develop to large size before their flowering season.
Under these conditions, although the fruit will be satisfactory, the
yields will be small. It is best, in such cases, to plant the seed in boxes a
month or two before the rains are expected and apply water, thus having
well established plants to set out at the beginning of the rains. Other
crops are less exacting as to season.
The principal crops for school gardens that may be grown in wet
season have been designated as Group C, and are as follows:
Group C: Crops that can be raised during the rainy season-
Egg plant Okra Celery Parsley
Corn Radish Lettuce Mint
Roselle Green mustard Cucumber Pepper
Cow pea Spinach Squash Pole bean (Nancy
Sweet potato Tanier Rice Davis variety)
Mr. Walter R. Lindsay, Supervisor of Cultures at the Canal Zone
Experiment Gardens, has prepared notes on all of the crops of the groups
mentioned, for the guidance of school gardens' teachers in the Zone.
These notes are based in part upon vegetable production tests conducted
at the Experiment Gardens with the group of student laborers from the
Department of Agriculture of the Republic of Panama. These notes
are presented herewith for record, and for the use of any gardeners, even
though not connected with school gardens.
NOTES ON SCHOOL GARDEN CROPS
By WVALTER R. LINDSAY
GRoUP A--rigated Crops for Dry Season.
i. Tomatoes: Plant in seed bed or flats early in December and trans-
plant into permanent location when plants are about 3 or 4 inches
high, and when the danger of heavy rains is over. Plants should be kept
dwarfted and stocky by pinching off the terminal buds when plants are
about io inches high. Recommended varieties: Marglobe, Pritchard,
Stone, Dwarf Champion, Break O'Day, Ponderosa.
2. Bush beans: Plant seeds during December in rows 2 to 2 feet apart,
dropping the beans 4 inches apart in the row, cover about 2 inches
deep. A rich, sandy soil is recommended. Recommended varieties:
Bountiful, Refugee, Stringless Wax.
3. Squash: Sow seeds in well-manured hills during December. Hills
for bush varieties should be about 4 feet apart each way, the running
sorts io to 12 feet each way. To repel the squash-vine borer, throw a
handful of tobacco dust close around the plants. For yellow-striped
beetle and blight, spray early and repeatedly with Bordeaux-Arsenate of
Lead Mixture. Recommended varieties: Early White Bush, Golden
Summer Crookneck, Golden Delicious.
4. Cabbage: Sow seeds in flats or seed beds during the latter part
of November. When plants are about 3 inches high, transplant into
rows 2 feet apart with plants about 2 feet apart in the row. Cultivate
freely and water regularly. Recommended varieties: All Head Early,
All-Season Selected Copenhagen Market, Early Summer.
5. Swiss Chard: Sow in rows i foot apart about the middle to latter
part of December. Thin the young plants to stand 6 inches apart in the
row. Make successive sowings 2 weeks apart. Recommended varieties:
Lucullus, Lyons, Large Ribbed.
6. Muskemelons: Melons thrive best in a light, rich soil, and sunshine
is essential for increasing the sugar content of the fruit. Sow seeds in
hills 5 to 6 feet each way during the latter part of December. The vines
are ravenous feeders, and for best results a few shovelsful of well-rotted
manure should be incorporated in each hill. Scatter 12 to 15 seeds on
top of each hill and cover about one-fourth inch deep. After all danger
of insect attack on the seedling is over, thin out to 3 or 4 strongest
plants per hill. Early and repeated spraying with Bordeaux-Arsenate of
Lead Mixture is always advisable for these crops. Recommended
varieties: Hales' Best, Rocky Ford, Delicious Cold-Lined, Pearly Pink.
7. Watermelons: Treat the same as muskmelons. Recommended
varieties: Tom Watson, Alabama Sweet, Thrumond Gray, Florida
8. Peanuts: A light sandy soil is essential. Sow seeds in rows that
are about 2 feet apart, the seeds being io inches apart in the row.
Cultivate freely and hill the soil around the roots and lower branches
after the plants start flowering.
GROUP B-Crops that can persist through Dry Season if planted early
in the [Wet Season.
i. Pigeon Peas: Sow the seed in its permanent position early in the
rainy season. The plants will then persist through the dry season
without irrigation, but if water can be applied every ten days or two
weeks, better results in growth and production may be expected.
2. Sugarcane: Cuttings should be planted early in the rainy season.
Plant cuttings, which are about 12 to 14 inches long and contain about
3 nodes, in rows 5 feet apart, the cuttings being 4 or 5 inches apart in the
row. Cover with + inches of soil.
3. Yucca or Cassava: Does best in light, but rich sandy soil. It is
propagated by cuttings 4 to 6 inches long, which are planted early in the
rainy season, about 4 feet apart each way.
4. Yams: Plant cuttings or sprouted portions of tuber, in hills which
are about 5 or 6 feet apart each way. Supply stakes for the vines to
climb over as they mature. Yams, like other tubers, thrive best in
light, but rich sandy soil.
S. Taniers: Plant tubers early, in rows 2' to 3 feet apart, the "sets"
being 12 to 14 inches apart in the rows. Keeping the ground clear of
weeds and grass is about all the care necessary in wet season.
GROUP C-Crops that can be raised during the Rainy Season.
i. Egg Plant: Sow seeds in flats or beds and when the young plants
are about 3 to 4 inches high, plant them out, allowing 3 feet space between
rows and 2 feet space between the plants in the row. The soil can hardly
be made too rich. Recommended varieties: Early Long Purple, Early
Black Beauty, New York Improved Large Purple.
2. Corn: During May or June so- seeds in rows 3 feet apart and thin
out plants to stand 12 inches apart in rows. We have never found a
Sweet or Sugar variety that would produce well here. Seed of the native
variety, or some of the field varieties grown in the United States, have
proved successful. If desired for green corn, they can be used quite
satisfactorily if gathered before they become too hard.
3. Roselle: Seeds may be sown in flats or seed beds in April and trans-
planted into their permanent location as soon as the rains begin, or the
seed may be planted directly out in the open during May. By sowing
the seeds early, a larger crop is insured as plants have a chance to mature
properly before setting fruit in )ecember.
4. Cow Peas: Sow seeds in rows 4 feet apart and train plants to
poles. Plants are subject to attack by Aphids or "'plant lice," which are
easily controlled by spraying infected areas with Nicotine Sulphate or" a
well-prepared oil spray.
S. Sweet Potatoes: Any well drained soil will do, but sandy or loamy
soils are preferable. Cuttings may be planted about July or August for
maturing in the early part of the dry season. For a crop to be irrigated
during dry season, planting may be done later. l)ecember planting
gives good results for a dry-season crop with irrigation. Set plants I2to
14 inches apart in rows 3 feet apart. Variety "Key West" does well on
6. Okra: Sow seeds in flats or seed beds and transplant seedlings into
rows 3 feet apart each way. Black, stingless bees (Trigona sp.) often
attack the flowers and young okra fruit as well as other garden crops.
These bees can best be controlled by destroying all nests found within a
radius of one-fourth mile of the garden. Recommended variety: Dwarf
Stalked Green Pod.
7. Radish: In soil rich in humus, some of the small varieties mature
in from 3 to 4 weeks. Sow seeds in rich soil and cover to a depth of one-
half inch. For best results, all radishes should be thinned out to stand
2 or 3 inches apart in the row. For a continuous supply, sow seeds
every two weeks. Recommended varieties: Cardinal Globe, Crimson
Giant, and Early Scarlet Globe.
8. Green Mustard: Sow seeds in flats or seed beds and transplant into
rows when seedlings are about 2 inches high. Plants should be about
i foot apart in the rows. Very rich soil is essential for satisfactory
results. To have a succession, the sowings should be made every two
or three weeks. Recommended varieties: Ostrich Plume, Giant
Southern Curled, Mustard Spinach.
9. Spinach: The true spinach (Spinasia oleracea) has not proved
successful here. The plant (Basella alba), commonly grown about the
Zone as "spinach," is not a true spinach, and is absolutely distinct in
form, color, and habit. Sow seeds of this in flats or seed beds and trans--
plant into well-manured beds. Plants should be about 14 inches apart
and require plenty of water. May be propagated by cuttings. "New
Zealand spinach" (Tetragonia expansa), which also is not related to the
true spinach, does very well here and should be more widely grown. It is
quite similar in habit of growth and general appearance to the above-
mentioned variety, and requires the same treatment. This variety,
when prepared for the table, so closely resembles spinach in appearance
and flavor that most people are not aware of the difference.
io. Taniers: See group B above.
Ii. Celery: Sow seeds in flats or seed beds and when plants are a few
inches high, set out in rows 3 feet apart, plants being io to 12 inches
apart in the row.
12. Lettuce: Sow seeds in flats or seed beds and transplant into per-
manent location when plants are about 2 inches high. Plants should
be kept growing by liberal applications of fertilizer, stable manure being-
preferable, applied as a mulch. Sow seeds every 3 of 4 weeks so as to
have a continual supply of seedlings ready for planting out. Recom-
mended varieties: New York Green, Iceberg, Wayahead, Big Boston.
13. Cucumber: Sow seeds in flats or seed beds. When plants are
3 of 4 inches high, transplant into well-manured hills. Seeds may
also be planted directly into well-manured hills or rows. The hills
should be about 5 feet apart. Cucumbers are subject to the same
insect attack as squash plants are, and should be treated similarly.
Recommended varieties: Early Fortune, Longfellow, Long Green Im-
14. Summer Squash: See suggestions for squash.
15. Rice: Plant seeds in rows 2' feet apart, the plants being 2 or 3
inches apart in the rows. Recommended variety: Fortuna.
i6. Parsley: Sow seeds in flats, and when plants are about 2 inches
high, remove to permanent beds which have been enriched with a
quantity of well-rotted manure. Recommended varieties: Champion
Moss Curled, Fine Curled or Double.
17. Mint: Plant cuttings about 1,2 inches apart in a bed thoroughly
enriched with well-rotted stable manure. Mint needs an abundance of
water and manure for best development.
18. Peppers: Sow seeds in flats or seed beds and transplant the seed-
lings when they are 2 or 3 inches tall, into rows 3 feet apart, the plants
being 2 feet apart in the row. Fertilize freely. Recommended var-
ieties: California Wonder, Ruby King, Ruby Giant, Harris Early Giant.
i9. Pole Beans: Two or three seeds should be planted in each hill,
with hills 15 to 18 inches apart, and rows 3 to 4 feet apart. As soon as
the second pair of leaves appear, the plants are ready for staking.
Fertilize freely. The only recommended variety for growing during the
rainy season is Nancy Davis. Golden Cluster Wax, Kentucky Wonder,
Kentucky Wonder Wax, and Tennesee Wonder have given fair results
at one time or another, but are not as dependable as Nancy Davis.
The service to public areas has required a larger amount of attention
than at any time in recent years. This has been occasioned chiefly by
alterations in buildings, and by street widening, requiring changes in
planting arrangement, as well as by the construction of new buildings.
The raising of houses in Balboa on the entire length of Plank Street and
on the major portion of Morgan Avenue, and the construction of base-
ments and garages, has necessitated complete changes in planting plans.
Also, some kinds of street trees in the older plantings have not proved
entirely satisfactory for one reason or another. The widening of
streets and plans for future widening have also brought about the neces-
sity of some changes in street trees. Barnaby Street and portions of
Balboa Road have been, in part, replanted. Some changes in planting
design have been made in the vicinity of the building recently occupied
as the Ancon Clubhouse, and also on the rear of the Ancon Commissary.
Inspections of trees and plants throughout the Zone, with reference to
their care or in response to requests for removal, are regular routine duties
of the Director of the Gardens, and the number of such calls is increasing.
The Engineer of Maintenance directed attention to the need of placing
labels on some of the trees or other plants on the Madden Road, which
frequently are the subjects of inquiry by residents of the Isthmus and by
visitors. Labels of rather large size have been prepared and placed
upon or near by about So such specimens. The labels are in black letters
with a yellow background painted upon sheet zinc. Since the common
name is the one in which most observers are chiefly interested, this has
been made the most prominent in position and in size of lettering, but
the scientific name has been made large enough so that it can be easily
read by any one who is sufficiently interested to stop and examine it,
without the necessity of leaving the road.
Some service of a nature similar to that given to public areas has also
been rendered to United States Army posts, and to the i sth Naval
The shrinkage of revenues from Land Rentals, upon which the Gardens
have depended chiefly for support, has necessitated serious curtailment in
activities. At least $24,000 per year is needed for the support of the
normal activities of the Gardens. Available funds from Land Rentals
have diminished to about $9,500 for the year just closed. This, with
$5,ooo from the Congressional appropriation, makes a total of about
$14,5oo, or nearly $io,ooo less than the normal requirements. As there
is sure to be further diminishing of funds from Land Rentals, it becomes
very important to seek other sources of revenue for the support of the
work. This matter is now under consideration.
SEEDS AND PLANTS PRESENTED
By Mr. WALTER R. LINDSAY*
Received from the Foster Gardens in Honolulu through Dr. Lyon and Mr. Potter
Adhatoda sp.-An Acanthaceous shrub
tubular, two-lipped flowers in
Euphorbia pulcherrima.-A beautiful,
variety is even more double
with opposite, entire leaves, and
double, red poinsettia. This
and beautiful than any earlier
*See page 7.
Rondeletia sp.-An ornamental shrub four to five feet high, which looks
something like the Ixora. The orange-red flowers with yellow
throats grow in clusters.
Pentas c nea.-A very handsome shrub, two to three feet high, with
large heads of white, pink, or pale purple flowers, which are
excellent for cut flowers.
Pedilanthus variegata.-A succulent shrub with showy flowers and leaves
bordered with white. A good house plant.
Jacobina coccinea.-Showy shrubs with opposite, entire leaves, and red,
orange, or yellow flowers.
Schizocasia portei.-A very large, handsome plant closely related to the
Beloperone guttata.--Ornamental herbs with opposite, entire leaves.
The white flowers, spotted with purple, are borne in spikes.
Polyseias nodosa.-A handsome trees of the aralia family, with extremely
long, decorative leaves, which resemble branches.
Cycas revoluta.-The sago palm is a small, slow-growing cycad, which
sometimes attains a height of ten feet. The leaves are much
used ornamentally at funerals. Because of the sago-like
starch obtained from its trunk, the plant is called "sago palm."
But it is not a palm; that name belongs rightfully to a sago-
producing palm from southeastern Asia.
Zephyranthes sulphurea.-A dainty little lily with grass-like leaves, and
white, pink, or yellow flowers.
Zingiber D'arcy.-A ginger with bright green leaves having creamy-
white or pink margins. The flowers are a deep red.
Ravenella madagascariensis.-The much talked of and admired Travelers
Tree. This handsome tree grows well on the Isthmus, and
should be more generally planted. Seeds were introduced,
as no trees in the Canal Zone have fruited.
Brassaia antinophy/la.-A small, soft-wooded, sparsely-branched tree,
with large, handsome, radially-divided leaves. The remark-
able terminal inflorescence consists of several radiating spikes,
two to three feet long, which are deep crimson in color.
Marica sp.-A very handsome plant of the iris family. The flowers
are two to three inches in diameter and are very showy.
Tristellateia australis.-An elegant and free-blooming vine of the
malpighia family, with yellow flowers in erect racemes.
Capsicum frutescens (var. cerasifor ne) .--This is a very ornamental
pepper, often seen in florists' windows at Christmas time.
Nelumbium spectosumn.-The "Egyptian" or more profusely Indian
lotus is one of the few plants cultivated since ancient times for
its flowers. The large, rounded, long-stemmed leaves rise a
foot or two above the surface of the water, and higher than the
leaves rise the large, fragrant, rose-colored flowers, which
resemble the waterlily. Both the seeds and tubers are edible.
Polyalthia longifolia.-A moderate sized, evergreen, symmetrical, upright
tree with narrow, wavy leaves, much planted as an avenue
tree in India. It is drough-resistant and suited to poor or
Dictiosperma album.-This attractive palm is grown in many tropical
countries. It has a tall, slender, smooth trunk, and long, flat,
drooping leaves composed of many leaflets which, when young,
have red veins and margins.
Aireca cathechu.-The Betel nut palm is a tall, slender, erect palm,
native of Malaya, and is cultivated extensively for its brown,
conical seeds, which are commonly used thrughout the eastern
tropics as a masticatory.
PLANTS FRoM BOWER'S NURSERY, HONOLULU
Ipomea horsfalliae.-The Kuhio vine makes an excellent covering for
trellises. It is tall and branching with showy, crimson, bell-
shaped flowers, which add a brilliant mass of color to gardens in
November and December.
Ixora macrothyrsa.-A large, erect shrub with deep-red flowers, which
grow in round heads on the ends of branches. The flower clusters
are often eight inches in diameter, and may be found on plants
during most of the year.
AInthurium sp.-Very handsome, large-leafed plants with attractive
white, cream, pink or red flowers, which last for several weeks.
They make excellent cut flowers.
Strelitzia reginae.-The bird-of-paradise plant is famous for its elegant
and strange-looking flowers. The floral stem rises higher than
the leaves and bears a sheath half a foot long, divided into about
six parts, and spreading nearly horizontally. While the sheath
is purplish at the base, the somewhat bird-shaped flowers are
orange and blue-purple. The plants grow three feet high, are
nearly stemless, and resemble young plants of travelers' tree
FROM DR. E. YOSHIMURA, HILO, HAWAII
Silver-sword seeds.-This rare plant is found only in the extinct crator
of Haleakala on Maui, T. H. It is a very handsome plant with
silvery, sword-shaped leaves, which are about a foot long.
On rare occasions the plants have been observed while they are in
bloom. The numerous pink or mauve flowers are produced on a
tall, upright stalk. The plants bloom just once before they die.
FROM Miss ELLEN WILLIAMS, HONOLULU
Heleanthus sp.-A very handsome flowering perennial, with yellow
flowers resembling small sunflowers. These are borne almost
continuously throughout the year.
PLANTS FROM THE HAWAII EXPERIMENT STATION
Carica papaya.-The Hawaii Experiment Station has experimented with
papayas for many years and developed some excellent fruits.
The seeds we received were from two of their best long varieties,
one round variety, and some mixed choice varieties. It is
expected that all should do well here.
Diospyros discolor.-The mabolo is a medium-sized tree of South India,
and the Philippines, with beautiful, dull-pink, velvety, round
fruit the size of an apple. The white flesh around the large seeds
Aberia caffra.-A small, thorny tree which produces yellow fruit which
looks like small apples. The fruit is very acid and is used for
making jams and preserves.
Fagraea berteriana.-A handsome, upright, small-leaved tree of Malaya,
having excellent qualities for an avenue tree.
PLANTS AND SEEDS FROM MR. JAMES LINDSAY ON MAUI
Agave regida.-Sisal introduced and grown in Haiku at one time for rope
4maryllis sp.-Large, ornamental amaryllis in various shades.
Cibotium chamissoi.-The large tree fern of Hawaii. The trunks are
used to make baskets and pots to hold orchids and other plants.
Avverhea carambola.-Sweet variety of Carambola. The fruit is
greenish-yellow, deeply five-angled, and a thin fragrant skin
covers a watery, pleasant-tasting pulp. The acid variety is
best eaten when preserved. The other is sweet and good when
Eugenia jambolana.-The Java plum comes from the East Indies. It
lives at elevations up to 5,ooo feet, especially in dry regions.
The evergreen, oval leaves have a pleasant, aromatic odor, and
their small, white, fragrant flowers are fringe and appear in
clusters. FIollowing the flowers, dark-purple, cherry-Ilike fruits
are borne in bunches. These consist of edible pulp surrounding
a large oblong seed.
Aglaonema sp.-A very handsome house plant closely allied to the
Dumb-cane. They are grown for their attractive, variegated
foliage and bright red fruits.
Grevillea robusta.-A handsome forest tree of Australia, which produces
one of the most attractive woods for cabinet making.
Eucalyptus robusta.-A variety of eucalyptus that thrives in the wetter
parts of Hawaii.
Schinus sp.-Hawaiian holly or Christmas berry. The berries are a
bright red color, and are used in wreaths at Christmas.
Carica papaya.-A cylindrical type of papaya, which has proved most
successful in Haiku during the last thirty years.
Datura sp. (Double).-A handsome flowering shrub with large, double,
Psidium sp.-Yellow strawberry guava. This fruit is considered by
some to be superior to the red strawberry guava.
Tecomaria capensis.-A low bush with glossy leaves and showy, scarlet
flowers, borne in clusters at the ends of the branches.
Schinus molle.-The ornamental pepper tree planted commonly in
California as a street tree. The tree is smooth, graceful, ever-
green, of small or medium height, and has slender, swaying
Carica papaya var. Solo.-The Solo papaya is one of the choicest papayas
grown. The fruits are small, firm, and of excellent flavor.
Warscewiczia cocinca. A tree indigenous to Panama. The common name "Panama Poincettia" has been proposed.
p. 36 a.
Annual Report of the
Canal Zone Experiment Gardens
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
CANAL ZONE EXPERIMENT GARDENS,
Summit, Canal Zone, 7uly io, 1936.
SIR: I present herewith and recommend for publication a condensed
Report of the Canal Zone Experiment Gardens for the fiscal year ending
June 30, 1936. *
WALTER R. LINDSAY,
Mr. Roy R. WATSON
Balboa Heights, Canal Zone.
Through Mr. J. H. K. HUMPHREY,
First Assistant Chief .uartermaster.
Publication suspended during depression period. Publication authorized February
Introduction ------------------------------------------------------------ 41
Personnel --------------------------------------------------------------- 42
Increase in Sale of Nursery Stock ------------------------------------------ 42
Experimental Planting of Teak -----------------------------------------42
Possibilities of Teak Production ------------------------------------
(A Joint Report by Mr. J. E. Higgins and Mr. T. W. Braddy)
Experiments with Plant Hormone ------------------------------------------ 49
Rubber ----------------------------------------------------------------- 50
Bamboo ---------------------------------------------------------- 5
Dwarf Coconuts --------------------------------------------------------- 52
Noteworthy Plant Introductions:
Sandalwood ---- ------------------------------------------------52
Hylocereus tricostatus ------------------------------------------------ 53
Pothos aureus ------------------------------------------------------- 54
Other Introductions ---------------------------------------------- 54
Noteworthy Plants of the Year:
Carabao Mango -------------------------------------------------54
Golden shower ------------------------------------------------------ 54
Flacourtia inermis --------------------------------------------------- 55
Philodendron warscewiczii -------------------------------------------- 55
Ptychoraphis augusta and Chrysalidocarpus madagascariensis ------------- 55
Mangosteens -------------------------------------------------------- 55
Rangpur "Lime" --------------------------------------------------- 57
In secticide P lan ts ---------------------------------------------------- ---- 58
R epairs to R oads --------------------------------------------------- ------ 50
E x te n sio n A c tiv itie s ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . --- - 5 8
Canal Zone Orchid Society ---------------------------------------- 59
P anam a's F irst Flow er Show .. ............ ... ..... .................-.-- 59
PLATE I Bambusa polymorpha. One of the most handsome bamboos.
PLATE II Figure i. Year and half old Teak trees in a seed bed.
Figure 2. Close-up view of Teak trees shown in Figure i.
PLATE III General view of a clump of Guadua angustifolia.
PLATE IV Close view of culms and culm sheath of Guadua angustifolia.
PLATE V Figure i. Dwarf coconut variety "Nawasi."
Figure 2. Close-up view of the "Nawasi" coconut.
PLATE VI Figure i. Stonewall at the entrance to the Gardens, recently planted with
Figure 2. Philodendron Warscewiczii growing at base of Spathodea tree.
Pothos aureus above.
PLATE VII Figure i. Ptychoraphis augusta.
Figure 2. Chrysalidocarpus madagascariensis.
IBambusd a pidymo rphj. ()Ill. I !he lihidszie ,Ijinls,
p 40 a,
CANAL ZONE EXPERIMENT GARDENS FOR 1936
WALTER R. LINDSAY, Acting Director
The Canal Zone Experiment Gardens are becoming more and more
widely known and each year a larger number of visitors are attracted
to them from all parts of the world.
Mr. William S. Wiedorn, Landscape Architect, with headquarters
in New Orleans, was so impressed with the Gardens when he visited
them last August, that he suggested that the steamship companies and
tourist bureaus might well list the Experiment Gardens as one of the
main points of interest on the Pacific side of the Canal Zone. Others
have expressed the same thought but it is not to tourists alone that the
Gardens appeal. Each year more people from Panama, Colombia,
Venezuela, El Salvador and other bordering countries are taking
advantage of the opportunity to secure valuable plants which have been
established and tested at the Experiment Gardens.
Although experimental work at the Gardens has been curtailed some-
what during the last few years, due to the depression, exchanges of seeds
and plants with botanic gardens, agricultural departments, experiment
stations, and individuals, in many parts of the tropics and subtropics,
have been maintained. Over three hundred species of plants, new to
the Isthmus, have been introduced during this last fiscal year alone.
A few of the important ones will be mentioned elsewhere in this report.
Plants of the Fairchild Mango were sent to Dr. David Fairchild, via
the Bureau of Plant Industry, Washington, D. C., for his private col-
lection in Florida. This variety, described in the Annual Report for
T929, was given the name Fairchild in honor of the distinguished
explorer who covered the world seeking plants.
Seeds of the dwarf coconuts, "King" and "Nawasi," were also sent
to Washington to be transshipped to their Coconut Grove Experiment
Station in Florida. Here again credit is due Dr. Fairchild for first
introducing these varieties of coconut into the Experiment Gardens in
1926. The trees are prospering here and first commenced fruiting at
the age of five and a half years. Their dwarf habit of growth, shown in
Plate I, early maturity and excellent quality, make these varieties
worthy of extensive trials.
At his request, Mr. J. E. Higgins has been relieved of the duties of the
Directorship of the Canal Zone Experiment Gardens, effective June I,
1936. Mr. Higgins has been in charge of this work for the past nine
years. He desires to devote his attention to special plant problems
at the Gardens and will continue with the Panama Canal as Consultant
in Plant Introduction and Utilization. He will continue to advise in
matters concerning the Gardens, town plantings and landscapes. As
formerly, his headquarters will be at the Experiment Gardens at Summit
with an office also at the Administration Building at Balboa Heights.
The writer has been associated with the Gardens since December 1930
and was made Acting Director of the Gardens, effective June 1, 1936.
INCREASE IN SALE OF NURSERY STOCK
Each year a greater number of people are taking advantage of the
opportunity to secure grafted trees and other plants from the Gardens.
A total of 1,371 grafted and budded /trees were disseminated during
May and June of 1936. Out of this number 307 went to El Salvador;
8o to Venezuela; 12 to Colombia; 6 to Washington, D. C., and 966 to
residents of the Republic of Panama and the Canal Zone.
One of the aims of the Experiment Gardens is to disseminate valuable
plants for little more than the cost of production, nevertheless the gross
income from the sale of plants, fruits, etc., for the fiscal year 1936
amounted to approximately $5,000.
The demand for plants in Panama and other Spanish speaking
countries is growing so rapidly that the need for a Spanish edition of
the price list of the plants to be had at the Experiment Gardens, has
long been felt necessary.
EXPERIMENTAL PLANTING OF TEAK
A small experimental planting of 2,013 teak trees has just been set
out (middle of June 1936). The year and a half old seedlings seen in
Plate II, Figs. I and 2, were planted in rows six feet apart each way.
FIGURE 1.---Year and a half old Teak trees in a seed bed
R 1-: 2. (IChat up view Tek rtees shwn ii gnre i
p 42 a.
This is much too close for permanent plantings but it is expected that
the trees will so completely shade the ground within a year that grass
and other undergrowth will cease to grow. The trees will also be forced
to grow straight and tall, in order to get sunlight, and lateral branches
will be discouraged. In two or three years every other tree will be
cut out thus leaving the trees spaced twelve feet apart each way. At
this distance the trees are expected to grow normally, for six or eight
years, and to increase considerably in diameter.
A second culling or thinning of the trees should be done when the trees
are eight or ten years old. If every other tree is cut out at this time,
leaving the trees standing twenty-four feet apart each way, normal forest
conditions will result and the trees should need no further attention
until harvesting time several years hence.
The trees felled at the second period of thinning could be used for
lumber and would thus pay for their own destruction.
The only expense involved in reforesting unused pasture land on the
Isthmus with teak trees, would be: (I) Initial cost of cleaning the land
before planting; (2) cost of planting; (3) Cost of cleaning the area once
during the first year; (4) Cost of providing fire protection for the first
five years; and (5) Cost of thinning out the trees the first time (second
or third year).
It would seem highly advantageous to set out, over a period of years,
several thousand acres of these valuable trees as a source of lumber for
Few trees have made as rapid growth at the Experiment Gardens as
that of the teak tree, Tectona grandis. These trees have been closely
observed within the last few years, and A Joint Report by Mr. J. E.
Higgins, Director of the Experiment Gardens and by Mr. T. W. Braddy,
Lumber Inspector for The Panama Canal, on the "Possibilities of Teak
Production," is herewith presented:
POSSIBILITIES OF TEAK PRODUCTION, JOINT REPORT
By J. E. HIGGINS AND T. W. BRADDY
Among the many plant introductions that have been made by the
Canal Zone Experiment Gardens for the purpose of testing and estab-
lishing trees or other plants of economic importance, one of the most
outstanding at the present time in its promise of usefulness in the Ameri-
can tropics and the islands of the Caribbean, is the teak tree, Tectona
grandis. Everyone has heard of teak lumber, and teak-wood furniture
and ships' decking are widely known and highly prized. The lumber,
as grown in the native forests of Burma and Siam, has several character-
istics which give it superiority and maintain its high price. Perhaps the
chief of these are its general durability, its resistance to fungi and insect
attack and to the effects of water whether salt or fresh. There are
records of the timber enduring for centuries in excellent preservation
with exposure to the elements. Because of these and other character-
istics of the wood and because of its limited production and consistently
high price, it was considered especially worthy of trial at the Experiment
A small packet of seed of this species was received at the Gardens
April 8, 1926 from Dr. David Fairchild and Mr. P. H. Dorsett then
traveling in Ceylon for plant explorations. Thirty-nine teak trees now
growing in various parts of the Gardens are the product of this first
CUTTING AND TESTING
One of these trees was cut down for a timber test on February 21,
1934. It was the second tree in the row west of the propagating house
and counting from the south end of the row. When the trees were
later marked with permanent numbers, this stump was inadvertently
omitted from the series and hence has been designated as tree No. i-A.
The tree marked No. 3, was girdled in accordance with the Burma
method of harvesting and was allowed to stand until dead and partly
The measurements of the tree that was cut down (Tree No. i-A)
under the supervision of Mr. T. W. Braddy, timber expert for The
Panama Canal, and the Gardens' staff were as follows:
Height-54 feet, 7 inches.
Diameter-i foot above ground (where cut) 13", 14", I5",
Diameter of heart at same point-I I ", ii", I4", Mean I2l".
It cut one 13-foot bole of 14" diameter at base and io diameter at top.
It was quite unexpected that so large a part of the trunk of this very
young tree was found to be "heart wood."
The 13-foot log was delivered at the Mechanical Division of The
Panama Canal, on Friday, February 23, for seasoning, for observation
and for sawing. The remaining portion of the tree trunk and main
branches are being kept at the Gardens where they are exposed to
weather and to termites for future observations.
Rings.-It is interesting to note that the bole of this tree showed
rings corresponding to the annual rings of temperate-zone trees and that
the number of distinct rings appears to be nine, or one more than the
number of years that the tree has been growing.
Remaining trees.-The height of all of these trees in the row referred
to is approximately uniform. The circumference of 16 of the trees i8"
above the ground surface on July ii, 1934 were as follows:
MEASUREMENTS OF TEAK TREES Nos. i to 16
18.4 inches, diameter.
The above trees have all received considerable water in dry season
during recent years due to their proximity to nurseries from which they
doubtless appropriated also some fertilizing elements. It will be inter-
esting to compare the above measurements of circumference with those
of other trees of the same introduction but located in other parts of the
Gardens where conditions were different.
Trees numbered 17 to 34 inclusive are located in comparatively dry
places and where irrigation water is not usually applied. It is possible
that they may have received some irrigation in dry season during their
first year or two but there are no records of such. The measurements
of these trees are shown in tabulation below:
MEASUREMENTS OF TEAK TREES Nos. 17 to 34 INCLUSIVE
44.61 inches 14-19 inches, diameter.
Trees numbered 35 to 39 inclusive are located in soil that is naturally
moister and in rainy season is inclined to be wet and not well drained.
The measurements of these trees are here tabulated:
MEASUREMENTS OF TEAK TREES Nos. 35 tO 39
51.6 inches 6.42 inches, diameter.
General view of a clump of Guadua angustifolia.
The dimensions expressed as diameters in all cases are calculations
derived from circumference measurement and do not allow for fluting.
It will be noted that the log which had a maximum diameter of 15' inches
showed a mean diameter of 14 inches. Hence the calculated diameters
should be taken to represent maximum diameters and not the mean
diameters of the logs that might be cut from these trees. To summarize,
it will be noted that the sixteen trees which, in the last few years, have
had access to more or less water and fertilizer applied to adjacent
nurseries, show a mean circumference of 57.9 inches which represents a
mean maximum diameter of over I8 inches. The group of I8 trees in
the dryer location without irrigation or fertilizers, presents a mean
circumference measurement of 44.6 inches or 13.3 inches less than those
of the first group. The mean maximum diameter as calculated would
be over 14.19 inches. The group of five trees in a moister location,
without irrigation or fertilizers has a mean circumference of 51.6 inches
or only 6.3 inches less than the favored group. This represents a mean
maximum diameter of 16.42 inches. It would appear therefore that
even on the dry hillsides a very satisfactory growth has been made,
while in the moister places the growth has been quite remarkable.
RESULTS OF OBSERVATIONS
When the log referred to above was submitted to the Mechanical
Division of The Panama Canal for sawing and for the joint observation
of the departments and divisions concerned, the top of the main trunk
and also the larger branches were left at the Gardens exposed to weather
and to termites. Although termites have destroyed other lumber in the
same vicinity they have made no attack to this date, March 14, 1936,
upon the teak except in the bark.
Tree No. 3 was girdled at the same time that Tree No. i-A was felled.
After standing for a period of nearly two years this girdled tree also was
sent to the mill for sawing and for observation. Following is a report of
the sawing and later observations.
GENERAL OBSERVATION ON TIMBER
The timber form of these trees at the present time is what in lumber
parlance would be called "very poor" because of the irregularities in
trunk growth, the rather wide margin of sap wood and the many branches
comparatively near to the ground which result in knots in the lumber.
The defects, however, are such as are to be expected in young trees and
thos grown at wide spacing. In forest plantings trees are set very
close together so as to prevent low branching and to provide timber by
thinning out. The thinning process in planted teak forests does not
ordinarily begin until the trees are from IO to is years old and continues
at intervals until the trees have attained their mature growth. The
final harvesting of the best lumber is not expected until the trees are
upwards of eighty years old. The trees at Summit may be considered
as mere babies and the remarkable fact is that they show so much
growth at their present age. Therefore, although the logs harvested at
Summit could not be classed as other than "very poor," no other classi-
fication could be expected at the present age.
BEHAVIOR OF LUMBER SAWN FROM GREEN TREES
The green tree yielded 69 board feet of lumber, which was placed on
sticks on a level surface under cover. The pieces were spaced (I") in
order that vents might be left for free air passage and remained in this
condition for approximately two years. A close inspection of this lumber
on February 8, 1936 indicated no deterioration. The lumber shows no
warp, cup or serious check. Except for an occasional spot worm which
was in the the tree while it was yet green and growing, there is no sign
of insect attack. There is apparently a dearth of oil in the wood,
which is probably due to lack of maturity. The hardness and firmness
of the wood are all that could be expected for trees less than ten years
of age. An odd development in this lumber while seasoning is to be
found in the reaction to air drying of the knots which appears in practi-
cally every knot, as a well defined check across its entire surface. This
action is in reverse of weather influence upon knots in almost all other
REACTIONS OF GIRDLED TREE
This tree on account of its heavy ring of sap wood proved difficult
to kill and at the same time leave enough wood to keep the tree standing.
When finally accomplished, however, an insect attacked it avidly and
continued its inroads as long as there remained a vestige of life in the
sap wood. When this tree was logged in January 1936 and made into
lumber the borers had disappeared but the sap wood of the entire lot
of lumber produced was literally worked into a sieve. The tree yielded
what in the absence of borers would have amounted to seventy-one
board feet of lumber. The heart wood, except for an occasional spot
worm, appeared in perfect condition.
It is not to be expected that any final conclusion could be drawn from
these very limited experiments and observations which must continue
for many years and be greatly broadened in scope before real con-
clusions would be justifiable. The limited experience, however, does
point toward results of great value and offers suggestions for further
investigations. Some are as follows:
(a) That the phenomenal growth of the few teak trees under experi-
mental growth on the Isthmus gives much promise of the possibility
of teak production in this region.
(b) That the conditions prevailing in the extensive abandoned pasture
lands near Summit and elsewhere in the Canal Zone offer the opportunity
for experimental teak forest production on a sufficiently large scale to
determine some of the possibilities of the production of this most highly
prized timber on a commercial basis.
(c) The heavy insect attacks, although affecting only the sap wood,
suggest that the Burmese method of girdling two or three years in
advance of felling the trees would probably not be desirable here. Also
in a planted forest with a solid stand of teak the reasons which have
given rise to that practice in the natural forests of Burma where only a
few teak trees stand among other growth, would not exist as a justifi-
cation for the practice here.
(d) That teak lumber locally produced is susceptible of thorough
curing and preparation for the builders' use under Isthmian conditions,
knots and the unusual reaction they show to air drying being the chief
if not the only obstacle to successful lumber preparation.
(e) In a region such as this where the destruction caused by termites
to nearly all kinds of lumber is so great, the importance of a timber
almost immune to the attacks of these insects is great even from the
standpoint of local use only. From the broader viewpoint of a supply
of teak for naval and marine construction in the Western Hemisphere
and for innumerable other uses, the importance of further investigations
into the possibilities of production can hardly be overestimated.
(f) It is not the purpose of this report to suggest commercial plantings
of teak as an investment for capital, as experimental work has not yet
proceeded far enough to justify such recommendations.
J. E. HIGiNs
T. W. BRADDY.
EXPERIMENTS WITH PLAN- HORMONE
Considerable interest has been aroused of late over Indolyl Acetic
Acid, a substance which may be considered for all practical purposes
as the equivalent of the growth hormones (auxins) occurring in and
isolated from plant life.
The Merck Chemical Company supplied the Experiment Gardens
with a few ounces of this hormone which was to be mixed with various
amounts of lanum, so as to make concentrations of i to i,000, I to 1,500,
1 to 2,000, and I to 3,000. Experiments were to be carried on to deter-
mine the effect of these different concentrations upon different plants.
Mr. Walter C. Cope, who has long been interested in agricultural
research work, volunteered to carry on the experiments. A report of
this work, to date, follows:
During the months of April and May cuttings of Mangosteen, Mango, Hevea rubber,
Bougainvillea, Ficus Waringiana, Ficus nitida, Ficus pumila and Thuja orientalis were
treated with a root-forming hormone under the following conditions:
i. In open boxes with a sandy soil mixture.
2. In outdoor flats with ordinary soil.
3. Some mangosteen cuttings were placed in a tight, glass-covered box with
bottom heat and moisture.
The cuttings in condition No. 3 were both terminal and secondary growths and were
placed so that the lower ends just touched a layer of wet spagnum moss. Parts of leaves
were left on and a constant temperature of about 85' was provided.
Appropriate shade was provided in all cases. The bark was scraped slightly on one side
of each cutting treated and the hormone applied in varying strengths to the scraped
It is now too early to report on the results of the experiments, except in the case of the
Hevea cuttings, as all of these died. It is thought that the reason for the total failure
in this case may have been that the trees were in rapid growth at the time the cuttings were
taken and that in the late dry deason when the wood is harder, different results might be
Some cuttings of the other trees have died, as was to be expected, and many have put
out new leaves. No roots have been observed to date.
The experiment is being continued and the results will be published in next year's report.
W. C. COPE.
It was reported in last year's report that the Experiment Gardens had
established a nursery of Hevea (Brazilian Rubber) trees for a large
rubber company in the United States. The care of this nursery was on
a similar basis to that which had been followed in caring for plantings of
other outside interests to further agricultural or botanical investigations,
the company paying a fair rate for the services performed.
In August approximately fifty thousand seedling Hevea trees were
turned over to the company to be planted out on their experimental
estate in the Republic of Panama in the vicinity of the Gatun Lake.
The company left with the Gardens several hundred specimen trees
grafted to the highest yielding clones which they had introduced from
their selection plantings in the Philippines.
(~Iusr vir~~' ol culitis *i;id culin '~tu~ti us n Guadua anxu
Some of the cones left with the Gardens are G-x, which produces about
2,700 pounds of dry rubber per acre; G-3 which yielded over i,ooo
pounds of rubber per acre when the trees were five years old; G-5 yields
over 2, pounds per acre and is a very reliable yielder. G-6 and G-7
are consistent high yielders producing about 2,5oo pounds of dry rubber
These figures may mean more to the layman when he learns that
450 pounds of dry rubber per acre is the average yield of the rubber
estates in Sumatra.
A conscientious effort was made during the last year to secure the
proper identity of all of the different varieties of bamboo growing at the
Experiment Gardens. Mr. R. A. Young, Associate Horticulturist in
the Division of Plant Exploration and Introduction, Washington, D. C.
has given us invaluable assistance in this work. Practically all of the
tangles in nomenclature have been straightened out and many new
species have been added to the collection already growing here.
Guadua angustifolia (Plates III and IV) was introduced into the
Gardens from Ecuador, in 1929, by Mr. Holger Johansen, then Agrono-
mist in charge of the Gardens. It came under the name "Giant Bamboo
from Ecuador" and has grown as such until its identity was recently
determined by Mr. Young. It is the only bamboo that has flowered at
the Gardens, having flowered in i934 and again in 1936.
This is the largest bamboo growing at the Experiment Gardens, the
poles being 8- to 90 feet high and some of the larger ones are over six
inches in diameter. The poles, produced each year, are larger than
those produced in former years, thus proving that the plants have not
yet reached their maximum growth.
Bamboo has long been used for construction purposes in the Orient
and this species might well be used for that purpose here.
Bambusa polymoipha (Plate I) is the most beautiful species of bamboo
grown on the Isthmus. Its graceful manner of growth and beautiful
foliage make it extremely valuable for covering up unsightly views of
landscape or buildings. The poles are tall and straight and could well be
used for construction purposes. Their main use however may possibly
be in the manufacture of paper pulp.
Bambusa arundinacea and Bambusa balcooa are two species that are
unsurpassed for wind break planting. The close branching habit
extends right to the ground. Impenetrable fences maIl be made of these
Bambusa multiplex variety Disticha is a very beautiful dwarf bamboo
which grows remarkably well here and should be more widely distributed.
Its compact manner of growth suggests its value for screen planting.
A few of the other outstanding varieties of bamboo already establish-
ed at the Experiment Gardens are: Bambusa pallescens, B. vulgaris,
Dendrocalamus giganteus, D. latiflorus, and D. membranaceous.
A list of the recently introduced species of bamboo is given elsewhere
in this report.
Plate V, figures I and 2 show the dawrf coconut of the "Nawasi"
variety which was introduced into the Experiment Gardens on May 7,
1926 from Ceylon, by Dr. David Fairchild and Mr. P. H. Dorsett, who
were then Agricultural Explorers of the Bureau of Plant Industry,
Washington, D. C., on an Allison V. Armour Expedition.
The "Nawasi," says Dr. Fairchild, "though not beautiful, is a
curiosity. The base of the husk is edible, refreshing and sweet, and in
texture reminding me of a turnip. It is one of the most valuable
varieties grown here (Ceylon), although it is not good for copra pro-
duction, but for drinking and household purposes. When the milk is
at its maximum the fruit is still green in color."
The "King" coconut is another dwarf variety which was introduced
from Ceylon at the same time as the Nawasi. Of this variety Dr. Fair-
child writes, "The King coconut is the handsomest of the coconuts,
having nuts of a golden yellow color and smooth texture at the stage
when they are cut for drinking purposes. The tree and fruits are smaller
than those of the ordinary varieties, but as a landscape tree it is by far
the prettiest. It is one of the most valuable varieties grown here
(Ceylon), not good for copra production, but for drinking and household
Dr. Fairchild's remarks on the dwarf coconuts differ from those of
Mr. R. W. Munro and Mr. L. C. Brown in their book entitled "A
Practical Guide to Coconut Planting." A quotation from this book
follows: "Proportionally there is no doubt that the copra from the
dwarf coconut is heavier than that obtained from the ordinary nut and
is generally considered to be richer in oil."
NOTEWORTHY PLANT INTRODUCTIONS
Sandalwood.-The most outstanding seed introduction into the
Experiment Gardens during the last year was that of the Sandalwood
(Santelum album). One hundred seed of this valuable tree were sent to
the Gardens by Mr. Charles S. Judd, Territorial Forester, Board of
Commissioners of Agriculture and Forestry of the Territory of Hawaii.
F );tPI 2. ( oe tit) view of t hie Nawai CoCOIlI.
};II [ | Dw ri l (rveVy Nawi' ]
Sandalwood first attracted the attention of Pacific Ocean traders to
Hawaii in 1791 when Captain Kendrick made known its existence there
by landing three men from his Boston brig on Kauai to contract for
several cargoes. A brisk trade in this commodity was soon set up. The
wood was shipped to Canton where it was sold for incense and the
manufacture of fancy articles. Although the sandalwood trade was at
its height from i8io to 1825, no sandalwood was exported after 1840
and by 1856 the remaining trees were reported to be very scarce.
The trees were felled in the woods, cut into logs from three to four
feet long, the sapwood hacked off and the remaining heartwood packed
down the mountains on the backs of natives to the loading places or
storehouse on the beach. In one year alone Hawaii realized $400,000
from the sale of sandalwood.
Many people have been led to believe that the spirited pursuit of the
trade in sandalwood resulted in the extermination of the trees in Hawaii,
but this is not so. Sandalwood trees occur in many parts of Hawaii and
botanists have described at least seven different species which are wide-
spread in the terriory from a bush found near the sea to a wide-leaf type
which grows at 8,ooo feet elevation on the fog-drenched slopes of
Haleakala. The largest trees found today on Oahu are 35 feet high and
20 inches in diameter.
Sandalwood trees are of a very slow growth and it takes at least
50 years for the heartwood of some species to reach marketable size.
This heartwood, which is yellowish brown with a very close grained,
hard, even texture, is the only portion of the tree carrying the delightful
odor. The present uses for it are carving and distillation of fragrant
oil for perfumes and medicine. The largest market for sandalwood is
New York where the heartwood brings as much a $500 a ton. Taking
pound for pound it is, therefore, the most valuable wood in the world.
Attempts to reforest Hawaii with sandalwood trees, have until recently
been very unsuccessful. Young seedlings ceased to grow after one year
and died in the nurseries after reaching a height of six inches. Studies
of the root system of the sandalwood confirmed the common knowledge
that it was a root parasite and experiments have led to the use of
Australian pine (Casuarina) and different species of Acacias as host
plants. Excellent results have been obtained and large areas are now
being reforested with this valuable tree and its hosts.
Hyloceeus ricosltus.-This is the noted high-climbing cactus or
night-blooming cereus grown extensively on stone walls and trees in
Hawaii. The white flowers with numerous fellow stamens are about
one foot long and from six to seven inches in diameter. Cuttings of
this beautiful cactus have been planted on the stone walls (Plate VI,
Fig. i) which have been built recently on either side of the road, just
inside of the main gate at the Experiment Gardens. They should be an
added attraction to the Gardens in a year or two when they become
established and commence flowering.
Pothos aureus.-This is a very handsome climbing aroid from the
Solomon Islands. The large cordate-ovate-acute leaves are blotched
and mottled with yellowish-white, the body color being bright green.
Plate VI, Fig. 2, shows a plant of Pothos aureus growing with a native
aroid, Philodendron warscewiczii, on a Tulip tree (Spathodea campanu-
lata) near the office of the Experiment Gardens.
Other Introductions.-Some of the other introductions include Io
species of dwarf cactus from California; seed of "Rhodesian Teak"
(Baikiaea plurijuga); 25 different species of palms; 8 varieties of
Croton; a yellow Ixora of unusual beauty; 9 varieties of Day Lilies
(Hemerocallis); 2 species of Buddleia; 27 species of orchids from Siam and
the Philippines; Canarium ovatum (Peli nut from the Philippines);
6 species of bamboo including the square variety Phyllostachys angu-
laris; and 4 varieties of Thuja orientalis, the oriental arborvitae.
NOTEWORTHY PLANTS OF THE YEAR
Carabao Mango.-The Carabao Mango (Synonyms, Philippine,
Manila) is fruiting this year for the first time. This is one of the most
famous mangoes of the world and is the one most esteemed and generally
planted in the Philippines. The fruits that have ripened here to date
have been rather disappointing and are certainly inferior in flavor to
some of the other established varieties. The Carabao is very closely
related to the Cambodiana variety, which was introduced into the Canal
Zone many years ago and is considered to be one of the best mangoes
grown here. The thin, but tough, leathery skin of the Carabao mango
makes it particularly resistant to the attack of fruit flies and other pests.
Golden Shower.-The few established Golden Shower trees (Cassia
fistula) on the Canal Zone are things of beauty each year at the beginning
of the rainy season when they commence blooming. This last May some
of these trees commenced blooming, for the first time, along Almond
Street in the Gavilan area. These attracted vistors from all over the
Isthmus, as well as visitors from ships stopping here. To date no
viable seeds have been obtained from trees on the Isthmus, but a good
supply of seed was introduced from Hawaii where the tree is commonly
used in street plantings. Many trees from these seed are being planted
in the new townsites of Gatun and Gamboa.
Seeds of Cassia fistula, hybridized with Cassia nodosa, the Pink and
White Shower, were also introduced and young seedlings will be ready
for dissemination in the near future. It is expected that some of these
FIGURE 1. Stonewall at the entrance of the Gardens. recently planted with ttylcreu triostatus.
FI oltKi 2. PhiddPndron war ar icis i growing aot b- : at .I Sathmdc k tr't IuuI
p 54 -
seedlings will grow into trees with flowers even more beautiful than those
of the Golden Shower. If this does happen new trees will be readily
obtainable from these by budding or grafting. Hybrid Cassia fistula
trees do not produce seed.
Flacourtia inermis.-The Lovi-lovi (Flacourtia inermis) first introduced
into the Gardens in 1930 from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya,
Ceylon is another tree that has come into bearing recently. It is an
ornamental, thornless tree from the Malay region and bears, in great
profusion, bright red, cherry-like berries. These are very attractive
looking but are deceptive, being exceedingly sour. They make good
jelly or preserves, but require much sugar.
Philodendron kf/arscewiczii.-This is one of the most handsome native
Philodendrons (Plate VI, Fig. 2.) and is deserving of being more exten-
sively planted in the Canal Zone. It is a large epiphyte (a plant which
grows on other plants, but not parasitically) with triangular-sagittate
leaves which are lobed almost to the midrib. The long aerial roots
which adhere to supporting trees do not do the trees any harm as they
stretch considerably, as the trees grow, and are finally broken by the
tree when they become too tight.
Ptychoraphis augusta and Chrysalidocarpus madagascariensis, shown
in Plate VII, Figures i and 2, are two beautiful palms which are worthy
of more general planting. The few trees growing at the Gardens have
attracted much attention of late and young plants are greatly in demand.
Young plants of the Ptychoraphis make very handsome house plants
for a number of years and later make attractive trees for outdoors.
The clusters of pink fruits, about the size of olives, are particularly
Very young plants of Chrysalidocarpus madagascariensis are not
particularly ornamental for indoor use but grow rapidly when planted
outside and make attractive trees in a very short time. Many of these
palms have been planted in the different townsites and along the
Gaillard Highway between Diablo and San Mig"el Crossings.
Mangosteens.--The mangosteen (Garcin ia ma nostana) has been
mentioned in earlier reports but is again wNorthy of note in this report.
Some of the trees in the Gardens started bearing actively in the fall of
1931 and since that time these trees, as well as the others of fruiting age,
have flowered during March and April and matured their fruits during
July, August, and September. This year the trees started flowering in
the middle of February and a few flowers have appeared each month
since then. Some fruits were harvested in May and at this time
(June 1 ) it is possible to find flowers and fruits, in all stages of develop-
ment, on the same tree.
Dr. Wilson Popenoe, in his "Manual of Tropical and Sub-tropical
Fruits" states that, "In Ceylon the trees are said to bloom twice a year,
once in August and again in January. The fruit from the first crop
of flowers ripens in January and that from the second in July and August.
In Trinidad the fruiting seasons are said to be July and October. The
January crop in Ceylon is a light one, not over ioo fruits to a tree, while
in the August crop Soo or 6oo fruits a tree may be expected." We have
been unable to find reports of trees having flowered over such a long
period and it will be interesting to see if the trees will continue fruiting
in this manner each year.
It was reported in last year's Annual Report that there are only two
pests or diseases known to attack the mangosteen in this country.
One of these is the small black, stingless bee, Trigona sp., which dis-
figures the fruit but apparently does no injury except to its appearance.
This difficulty can be overcome by the destruction of the nests of the
bees in the vicinity of the orchard.
The other injury is due to causes that are not fully understood but
which are being investigated. Certain fruits which are perfect in
external appearance are, when opened, found to have yellowish growths
of unpleasant flavor penetrating some or all of the segments. There is
no evidence of insect injury and it is believed that it is due either to
exposure of the fruit to the direct sun or that it is purely physiological
Pathologists with the United States Department of Agriculture in
Washington, D. C., failed to find any organisms present, in the damaged
fruits, that might account for the abnormality. Mr. Walter Bangham,
Botanist with the Goodyear Rubber Co., Sumatra, reported that
mangosteen fruits were usually harvested and consumed, in the Malay
region and the Southern Philippines, before the skin became purple in
color. He stated that a very large percent of the fruits would be spoiled
if they were allowed to ripen as much as we allow ours to ripen. The
yellow substance in the fruits seems to be a common injury of the mango-
steen in the Malay region and according to Mr. Bangham is more
prevalent in some seasons than in others. Considerable variation is
also noted in the number of affected fruits harvested from week to week
in the same crop. Experiments carried on here during the past year
would tend to indicate that fruits exposed to the direct rays of the sun
are more likely to be affected than those fruits which are shaded. It
may be noted that a large percentage of the fruits are hidden from the
sun by the large leaves which are leathery in texture. Further obser-
vation will be made this year.
FIGURE 2.--Chrssalidocarpus madagascariensis.
FIGURE 1.-Ptychoraphis augusta.
Several fruits gathered this past season had hard spots in the rind.
These spots were traced directly to the effect of the sun on fruits that
had fallen and had been allowed to remain in the sun for several hours.
Fruits thus exposed spoiled very quickly.
Valuable information was obtained this last year through irrigation
experiments on citrus. A large percent of the orange crop, of the
Valencia and Lui Gim Gong varieties, was kept from maturing until
late in the dry season and then kept fresh and juicy on the trees during
the remainder of the dry season by irrigating each tree once a week.
Trees receiving no irrigation matured their crop very early in the year
and fruits not harvested by the end of April were dry and pithy.
A number of varieties of oranges, such as Lui Gim Gong, Valencia, and
Ruby, not only carried their crop through the dry season in good
condition, when irrigated, but they also produced flowers and a second
crop of fruits. This information should be particularly valuable to
commercial orange growers in the Republic of Panama who are now
flooding the market with oranges for a few months each year. It would
pay many of them to install irrigation systems in their orchards whereby
they could water trees during the dry season and hold their fruits until
market prices became more favorable.
Rangpur Lime.-The Rangpur "Lime" (Syns., Red Lime, Satsuma
Lime) is not a genuine lime, but belongs to a nondescript group of
Indian citrus. It was introduced into this part of the world many years
ago and is now promising to be the leading acid fruit for this region.
It is the size of a small lemon, round or oblate, orange-red in color,
with deep orange-colored flesh which is of high quality and excellent
flavor. It is very hardy and is not exacting in its soil requirements.
It grows and seems to flourish on poor, heavy clay soil. It also produces
considerable quantities of fruits even when it is neglected and left
unfertilized and uncultivated. An outstanding point in its favor is its
ability to withstand drought. The fruit will hang on the trees all
through the dry season and still have an abundance of juice. The
juice becomes more concentrated as the season progresses but retains
When the rains begin in April or May the Rangpur trees freshen, send
out new growth and commence flowering immediately. They thus
fruit throughout the year.
As has been pointed out in former reports, one of the services which
the Experiment Gardens is performing as an aid to introduction and
testing of economic plants, is in acting as an intermediate station where
plants, which might perish if taken immediately to their ultimate
destination, can be cared for. At the same time further knowledge of
their reqirements and their adaptabilities is being acquired.
Cuttings of two valuable Rotenone producing plants were received
on October 4, 1935, from an independent plant explorer who had left
plants here in 1934, under similar circumstance. These cuttings were
planted immediately and, although some were already dead upon
arrival, a fair percentage of the cuttings are growing and are ready to be
moved to their permanent locations.
REPAIRS TO ROADS
No new roads have been built during the fiscal year but considerable
repairs have been made on the old roads. The main concrete road was
repaired in many places and all cracks in this road were filled with a
special pitch-like road-surfacing mixture. The chief macadamized road
was partly resurfaced and was oiled.
As usual, activities outside of the Gardens, but related to their work,
have received considerable attention. The raising of the houses on
Morgan Avenue, Plank Street and elsewhere in Balboa necessitated
complete relandscaping of these areas.
Planting plans have been completed and approved for the following
planting projects: Gaillard Highway, between Diablo and San Miguel
Crossings; Balboa Junior College; Empire Street where mahogany and
palm trees are to replace the mangoes when the street is widened;
Roosevelt Avenue where a third row of Chinese banyan trees (Ficus
nitida) are to be planted; Pedro Miguel School grounds; complete land-
scaping of Cristobal Elementary School grounds; and replanting areas
at Cristobal High School.
The most extensive planting job undertaken this year was the land-
scaping of the new townsite of Gatun. Plans have been made for all of
the houses completed thus far. The entire job calls for the landscaping
of 74 houses, some of which will not be completed until the latter part
of the year, and planting of the areas surrounding these buildings will
not be undertaken until next rainy season.
Mr. Paul Keenan very ably assisted the Director in making the plant-
ing plans for these area and is supervising all landscape work for the
District Quartermasters. A noticeable difference may be noted in the
general appearance of the grounds in the different townsites within
the last four years, due to the expert pruning and training of the trees
and shrubs under Mr. Keenan's direction. Gavalan Area is an out-
standing example and is now one of the tourist attractions of Balboa.
CANAL ZONE ORCHID SOCIETY
Brief mention may be made here of the founding of the Canal Zone
Orchid Society. A group of orchid enthusiasts met in September i935
and formed the nucleus for the organization. The aims of this Society
are: To study orchids; to protect them as much as possible in their
native state; and to establish exchanges of plants among collectors
in various parts of the world. The far-reaching importance of this
organization is not likely to be fully recognized for many years. Within
recent years thousands of specimens have been barbarously destroyed
and some species are now exceedingly rare. It is in foreign countries
that the best cultures of some of our native orchids are to be found
Mrs. L. K. Purdom, first president of the Orchid Society, has been
interested in orchids for many years and has made over three hundred
paintings of local and introduced orchids which have flowered here.
These accurate, life-sized paintings will remain to tell the story of orchids
once found here, long after the varieties themselves have become extinct
in the wild growth of Panama.
PANAMA'S FIRST FLOWER SHOW
On May 31, Panama held her first flower show at the Normal School.
There were disappointingly few exhibits but some very nice flowers were
displayed. A show of this kind each year, properly planned and
advertised, would do much to foster enthusiasm in flowers in Panama
and the Canal Zone and should be encouraged and supported in every
MR 62582-Panama Canal -3-10-39-1,500
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 0907 7159