Annual Report of the Canal Zone Experiment Gardens, for the fiscal year...


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Annual Report of the Canal Zone Experiment Gardens, for the fiscal year...
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Canal Zone -- Experiment Gardens
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Full Text







For the Fiscal Year


For additional copies of this publication address The Panama Canal, Washington, D. C., or
Balboa Heights, Canal Zone.


Summit, Canal Zone, 7uly 9, 19o.

SIR: I present herewith and recommend for publication a condensed
report of the Canal Zone Experiment Gardens for the fiscal year ending
June 30, 1940.
Mr. Roy R. WATSON,
Chief Quartermaster,
Balboa Heights, Canal Zone.

Through Mr. J. H. K. HuMPHREY,
First Assistant Chief Quartermaster.


Introduction -----------------------------...................... 7

Nursery Operations------------------------------------------------------ 8

Army Project....---------------------------------------------------------- 12
Landscape Work------------------------------------------------------- 17

Balboa Orchid Garden--------------------------------------------------- 9

Sugar Cane------------------------------------------------------------22

Cinchona....------------------------------------------------------------- 23
Swinglea glutinosa as a Citrus Root Stock------------------------------------24

Puerto Rico Sweet Corn-------------------------------------------------25

Paper on Mangosteen Cultivation------------------------------------------25

South American Leaf Spot Disease of Hevea---------------------------------28

Report of a Trip to Boquete and El Volcan----------------------------------29

New Equipment-------------------------------------------------------31

Roads and Paths-------------------------------------------------------32


Benches....-------------------------------------------------------------- 32

Lily Pond....------------------------------------------------------------- 33

Gamboa Flower Show---------------------------------------------------33

Financial Statement. ...----------------------------------------------------33


PLATE I. Chalcas exotica-specimen planting.
PLATE II. ,lcalypha and Lagerstroemia indica-Nursery rows being grown at the
Canal Zone Experiment Gardens for the U. S. Army Landscape
Program, October 194o.
PLATE III. New barn under construction.
PLATE IV. Citrus budded on Swinglea glutinosa root-stock.
PLATE V. Tractor plowing newly cleared areas.
PLATE VI. Figure i. New barn, front view.
Figure 2. New barn, end view.

PLATE VII. Two views of Lily Pond showing concrete walls.
PLATE VIII. Two views of Lily Pond No. 2.

Annual Report


This fiscal year has seen great activity in the Experiment Gardens
as well as in other divisions of The Panama Canal. Besides carrying
on the normal operation of the Gardens with the regular experimental
work and improvement projects, the Gardens were given the task of
propagating a vast quantity of trees, shrubs, and grass for the new
Army, Navy, and Canal Zone townsites. As the old nursery areas were
inadequate to supply enough plants for even the normal planting in
Panama and the Canal Zone, it was necessary to open up an additional
40 acres of land for nursery purposes. It has been a real thrill to see
areas which were covered with tropical jungles six months ago turned
into nice, friable, plowed land. This is the first time that any extensive
plowing has ever been done in the Canal Zone with a tractor and heavy
plow, and the results obtained were very gratifying. Approximately
a mile and a quarter of gravel roads were made into the new areas, and
plans for an extensive overhead irrigation system are being prepared.
The revival of the old Landscape Unit to do the landscape work in
the new Canal Zone townsites, together with the increased nursery
activity at the Gardens proper, necessitated the hiring of three new men
on the gold roll, and 18o men on the silver roll.


On July 1, 1939, Mr. Edward T. Stanwood severed his connections
with the Experiment Gardens to take charge of the Hyacinth Control
work of the Dredging Division.
Mr. Paul H. Allen was transferred from the Health Department on
September 21, 1939, to fill the position of Supervisor of Culture, which
had been vacant for three years. Mr. Allen is responsible for the general
care of the Gardens, including the care of grounds, nurseries, and
the Balboa Orchid Gardens. Besides being a trained botanist, Mr.
Allen received valuable experience and a thorough knowledge of plants
while working for the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis, and
managing their station in Balboa.

Mr. Norman R. Kearns was employed on February 12, I940 as fore-
man of the new project for raising plants for the new Army development
program. Mr. Kearns' past experience in general farming and green-
house management in the United States, is valuable in his present
On May I, 1940, Mr. Stanley J. Tureski was transferred to the
Gardens from the rolls of the Balboa District Quartermaster when all
new landscape work was delegated to the Gardens forces. Mr. Tureski
is foreman in charge of the execution of the new plantings in the different
districts on the Pacific side of the Isthmus. This work fits in well
with his former training and experience while studying forestry at
Purdue University. He worked on the Purdue campus after graduation,
and for two years previous to this he spent all of his spare time working
in the University Nursery. While attending high school and during
his first two years at the University, he worked on a golf course, and did
landscape work.
Mr. Robert E. Thompson was employed on a temporary basis on
June 22, 1940, to supervise the landscape work on the Atlantic side of
the Isthmus.
Mr. Gilbert Smith was engaged temporarily to assist in carrying on
the nursery work at the Gardens during the absence, on leave, of Mr.
The Gardens silver force was increased from 30 men on July I, 1939,
to 200 men on June 30, 1940; the increase being made necessary due
to the large nursery expansion program and added landscape work in
the new townsites.
The normal function of the nursery unit has been the production of
plants for the renewal of such plantings about the Zone as had become
obsolete or unsightly, the growing of seed and plant accessions for
experimental purposes, and the dissemination of plants into private
hands. The present expansion program of The Panama Canal, embody-
ing the construction of entire new townsites, will naturally affect
vitally the routine work of our nurseries. On the expectation of supply-
ing planting material for the landscaping of these townsites, the present
nursery areas have already been expanded about 40 percent. It is
expected that it will be necessary to increase these plantings to at least
double those of normal times.
In the propagation of the plants to be used, every effort is being made
to cooperate with the landscape unit in the production of plant material

of the highest type, with the continued view of making the Canal Zone
a demonstration area of the most desirable kinds of tropical horticul-
tural material. Although the average employee takes little account
of the landscape material used about his quarters, the minimum expecta-
tion is green grass and shade, as has been amply demonstrated by the
discontent among new employees put hurriedly into quarters in dusty
and treeless areas. It is our belief that the average person unconsciously
absorbs a great deal of his content or dislike of a location from the
surrounding landscape plantings. With this in view, as well as the
hope of making the Canal Zone one of the tropic garden spots of the
world, the present work is carried on.
The Canal Zone Experiment Gardens are unusually fortunate in
being able to select from the many accessions of plant material received
for experimental plantings, many things of ornamental nature suited
for landscape work. The following is a list of plant accessions received
within the fiscal year, showing the countries or origin:


Arien tin a ---------------------------------------------
A u stralia - ----- ---------- ----- -----------------
Belgian Congo. ..----------------------------------
B ra z il - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C olom bia ...........................
C u b a - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E q u ad o r ------ ---- ------------- ----- ------------------
G uatem ala ......................................
H aw aii -- - -- -- -- - --- --- - -- -- --- -- - -- -- - - - - - -
In d ia --- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M exico ----- -- -- ---- -- ---- ---- -------- -------- -- -- ---
N ew C aledonia ----------------------------------------
P uerto R ico -------------------------------------------
Singapore, Straits Settlements ..................
Tahiti, Society Islands --------------------------
Tanganyika Territory, British East Africa ................
U nited States -----------------------------------------
V enezuela ---------------------------------------------
L ocalSources .------------------------------ ..........

Packets of

i 8o




1 ,398


Probably the finest single shipment of plant material received during
the year was that sent by Mr. Harrison W. Smith of Papeete, Tahiti,
Society Islands. Included in the shipment were new and outstanding
species of Bamboo suitable for Zone planting, various ornamentals,
and most particularly, 44 plants of the famous "Durian," I)urio zibe-
thimus. This Malayan fruit has acquired an almost fabulous aura of
legend about the very name, but is extremely rare outside of the East
Indies. Alfred Russell Wallace, in his "Malay Archipelago," thus
describes the tree: "The Durian grows on a large and lofty forest tree,

somewhat resembling an elm in general character, but with a more
smooth and scaly bark. The fruit is round or slightly oval, about the
size of a large coconut, of a green color, and covered all over with short,
stout, spines, the bases of which touch each other, and are consequently
somewhat hexagonal, while the points are very strong and sharp. It
is so completely armed that if the stalk is broken off it is a difficult
matter to lift one from the ground. The outer rind is so thick and
tough, that from whatever height it may fall it is never broken. From
the base to the apex five very faint lines may be traced, over which the
spines arch a little; these being the sutures of the carpels and show where
the fruit may be divided with a sharp knife and a strong hand. The
five cells are satiny-white within, and are filled with an oval mass of
cream-colored pulp, imbedded in which are two or three seeds about
the size of chestnuts. This pulp is the eatable part, and its consistence
and flavor are indescribable. A rich butter-like custard highly flavored
with almonds gives the best general idea of it, but intermingled with it
come wafts of flavor that call to mind cream cheese, onion sauce, brown
sherry, and other incongruities. Then there is a rich glutinous smooth-
ness in the pulp which nothing else possesses, but which adds to its
delicacy. It is neither acid, nor sweet, nor juicy, yet one feels the want
of none of these qualities, for it is perfect as it is. In fact to eat Durians
is a new sensation, worth a voyage to the East to experience."
Wallace continues at some length to describe the fly in the ointment of
all this perfection, which is the perfectly overpowering smell which the
fruit possesses when fully ripe. It has been described as being like a
dog three days drowned, or more delicately, as a mixture of rich cheeses
and onions. In any event, if the prospective consumer can overcome
his qualms to the extent of taking the first bite, seemingly all else is
forgotten, and Dutch planters in Sumatra forego home leave rather than
miss the Durian season. Whether this fruit ever becomes popular in
the Zone is a rather moot question, but it has already shown that it is
entirely at home in our climate. It has been demonstrated in the
East Indies that it is capable of being budded, and that there are varieties
having all of the delicious flavor, and less of the smell than the average.
It is hoped that some of our present stock of trees prove to be of this
relatively scentless variety.
Included in the same shipment were several plants of Clerodenrdron
paniculatum, two of which survived, and are at the present time in full
flower in the grounds. This plant has the attractive quality of being
constantly in flower, bearing 24-inch scarlet pagodas of bloom atop
stout, shrubby, canes. Fortunately, it has proven quite easy of propa-


Chalcas exotica- Specimen planting

p.10 a.

gation, and is at the present time being grown on in some quantity for
further plantings.
Of local accessions, one of the finest has been the acquisition of a lot
of seed of the native tree called "Indio" by the Panamanians. This
tree sms to be Schyzolobium parahybum, native also to Costa Rica,
and is one of the finest and showiest of the native Panama trees. It
lasts well in bloom, and has the added attractiveness of being handsome,
both as a mature tree, and as a juvenile specimen. Young trees greatly
resemble tree ferns, with very graceful pinnate foliage.
Until the beginning of the past fiscal year, all of the nursery stock
had been grown either in metal cans, or in the usual nursery beds. An
experimental plot of about a quarter of an acre was thoroughly plowed,
and planted in rows to specimen plants of Chalcas exotica, and various
species of palms. (See Plate I.) This plot has grown almost uni-
formly well, and seems to indicate that on lighter types of soil there
may be possibilities in the way of growing large-sized specimen plants.
Another area of slightly more than an acre is at present being planted
in the same way for further test.
Nursery stock distributed during the past year has been as follows:

Local Sales

Fruit trees-------------------------------I647
Ornamental plants-------------------------7,315
Propagating material; soil, fruit, etc------------7,924
Rubber seeds. ..---------------------------524,290
Java grass----------------------------2,720 bags
Mangosteen fruits-------------------------- i ,762

Plants used in the different Canal Zone Townsites

Palms. ....------------------------------------39o
Shrubs-.... 3,103
Trees- .....-------------------------------------124
Ferns, border plants, etc ------------------ I ,196

Foreign Sales

Fruit Orna-
trees mental Cuttings Seed
plants packets
Colombia-----------------------------1,876 193 75 x
Curacao----------------------------- 49 44 ....................
Puerto Rico9--------------------------- 3 49-6
Venezuela----------------------------- 78 37 I
Costa Rica-------------------------------------- ---8
California----------------------------------------32 12
Cuba -------------------------------------------34 6
Florida---------------------------------------------------18 32
Brazil------------------------------- ------------------------------ 6
British Guiana----------------------------------------- --------I
Australia---------------------------- -------------------------------- 2
Straits Settlements----------------------------------------------5
Java -------------------------------- ------------------------------
Tanganyika----------------------------------------------------------- 2
New YorkI---------------------------------------------------------
Russia----------------------------------------------------------- i


The present expansion program being carried out in all branches of the
Government service on the Canal Zone has oftentimes had unexpected
and sometimes startling repercussions in distant and entirely unrelated
branches of the organization. In our own case, this has been true in
the seemingly far-distant field of the development of the new units
by the United States Army, for the defense of the Canal. Flying
fields, hospitals, and gun emplacements would seemingly be far from
the realm of horticulture, but when it is considered that the living quar-
ters for both officers and men must have at least the minimum require-
ments in the way of shade trees, screening shrubbery, grass for public
areas, and parade grounds, as well as vines and tropical foliage suited
to the concealment of objects of military importance, it is seen that a
horticultural problem of major proportions is indicated.
In January of the present year, plans were drawn up with the Con-
struction Quartermaster, Panama Canal Department, U. S. A., for the
production, by the Gardens, of all landscape material to be used on the
Isthmus; for the planting of new Army projects, as outlined. So vast



Acalypha and Lagerstroemia indica-Nursery rows being grown at the Canal Zone Experiment Gardens for the
United States Army Landscape Program, October 1940.

were the developments that it became evident immediately that normal
nursery areas used by the Gardens would be entirely inadequate. For
this reason, as well as to avoid confusion with nursery areas used for the
landscaping of areas housing personnel employed by the departments
of The Panama Canal, it was thought best to attempt the production
of the required amount of material on grounds to be developed specifi-
cally for that purpose. (See Plate II.)
In February 1940, an order was placed by the Army with the office of
the Chief Quartermaster, providing funds for the development of
approximately 40 acres of newly cleared land, and the production of
more than 450,000 plants, of all types, for the completion of the land-
scape program.
Land immediately adjacent to our present grounds was selected and
the heavy timber and guinea grass was cleared by gangs of machete and
axe men. As is customary in Central America, most of this cut-over
area was burned when properly dry, and the remaining stumps and logs
removed with the aid of a tractor. Considerable discussion is heard
pro and con as to the practicability of plowing in the tropics, especially
on heavy clay land. Since an ideal opportunity was presented by the
dryness of the season (April being the height of the dry season in Pana-
ma), plowing with a tractor and disk plow was attempted and found
entirely successful over the whole area, thus saving an incalculable
amount of hand labor.
New roads, totaling slightly more than 1i- miles, were surveyed, with
the view of making all parts of the new development easily accessible
by truck. The construction of these roads was greatly complicated
by our inability (caused by unusually heavy work programs in other
departments of the Canal organization) to have truck service during
daylight hours. It was found necessary to attempt the entire road
building program at night, that being absolutely the only time that the
trucks needed for hauling gravel could be had. Fortunately, nearly
all of the work of lining out the roadbeds, and grading, could be done
during daylight hours, necessitating only the actual dumping of the
gravel after dark.
Adjoining the jungle area cleared, land formerly occupied by the
Canal Zone Poultry Farm, was taken over. In this area were the old
foundations of chicken sheds, most of which, while overgrown, were in
reasonably good condition, and partially equipped with water systems.
The platforms formed by these foundations have been used as seed
propagating plots, and for the setting out of plants potted in metal
containers. Several sheds and out-buildings, although badly damaged

by termites, were still standing and have been used for storage of potting
soil, metal plant containers, and machinery. The largest building on
the grounds, formerly used as a barn, was in an unusually dilapidated
condition, and has been demolished. Another building of more practical
design for our present purposes has been reconstructed by the office of
the Building Division, on the same site. (See Plate III.) This new
structure has storage space for the tractor, plant containers, an office
for the foreman in charge of the development, and a potting room.
Since the propagation of so much plant material came as a complete
surprise, the Gardens were taxed to the utmost to provide propagating
material to meet such heavy .demands. The Gardens' collection of
plants is, fortunately, a large and comprehensive one, providing most of
the novelties for planting as specimens, as well as the major portion
of rooting material. In spite of our large collections, shortages were
encountered in certain species. A cash fund has been established for the
purchase of propagating material from local sources, as well as containers
for the potting of plants.
One of the major problems presented by the new program has been in
the production of grass suitable for parade grounds, and for the lawns
of living quarters and barracks. This seemingly is in direct contra-
diction to the fact that "Grass," as such, is usually only too easy to grow
and too painfully laborious to get rid of under tropical conditions.
The only species of grass which seems to answer all requirements of ease
of propagation in large quantities, and desirability for the types of areas
outlined, is the "Java" grass, Polytrias praemorsa. This grass is of
the stoloniferous type, such as are also the "Bermuda," and the "Wash-
ington Bent" grasses, used in other parts of the world. The practice,
until the present growing season, had been to plant stolons of the grass
and, after adequate coverage had been attained by the liberal use of
fertilizer, to cut further stolons with a machete, a practice disastrous
to any further cropping of that area for that season, since almost all
of the roots would be removed, leaving relatively weak whisps to
reestablish the area. Under that method of cropping, an enormous
territory would have been necessary for the establishment of sufficient
grass to fill the needs of the Army program. A new method of cutting
grass is at present being tried out. The system is the cutting of the
stolons by a machine of the sickel-bar mower type, the result being that
all the grass roots are left to reestablish the plant. This growth has been
astonishingly rapid, and it has been found that, instead of one or two
cuttings per year from a given area, grass may be cut as often as every
ten days, under favorable circumstances, producing very nearly as
much grass per cutting as under the former method.


New barn unter construtlionl

1) 14 A

The following table shows the estimated number of plants which will
be required for the two-year program of landscaping the new Army proj-
ects, together with an inventory as of July I, 1940, showing the plants
already established in our new nurseries:

No. propa-
Species No. required gated to
July 1, 1940

Acacia auriculaeformis
A calypha w ilkesiana -.... --------------------............
Acanthorhiza warscewiczii ------------------------------
A chras sapo ta .------------------------------ ..........
Actinophleous macarthurii ------------------------------
Actinophleous sanderiana. ..............................
Actinorhytis calapparia --------------------- _-..........
Adenanthera pavonina ----------------------------------
A d h a to d a sp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Adonidia merrilli---
Allamanda cathartica__
A lbizzia lebbek ----------------------------- --.........
Alocasia sp.
Amom um hem isphericum ...............................
Amomum m agnificum ----------------------------------
Anacardium excelsum ----------------------------------
A ndira inerm is ----------------------------------------
A ntigonon leptopus ------------------------------------
A ntidesm a bunius ......................................
A rd isia hu m ilis .--------------------------- ............
A reca alicae -------------------------------------------
rAeca catechu a----------------------------------------
B arle ria involucrata ------------------------------------
B entinckia nicobarica ................. ..................
Bougainvillea glabra ------------------------------------
B rownea m ac phylla m..................................
Ca alpinia pulcherrim a ------------------r-------------
Caladium bicolor vass ---------------------------------
Calocarpum m am osum .................................
Calophyllum calaba----------------------------------
Calycophyllum candidissimum ..-........................
Canangium odoratum.. .. ..---------------------------
Canarium commune
C ary o ta m itis . ............ ...... ....................
Casuarina equisetifolia---------------------------------
Cassia fistula... . .. . . . . . ..----------------------
C assia grandis ..---------------------------- ..........
C assia m oschata --------------------------------------..
C assia m u ltijuga -............................... .......
C assia nod osa ... -------------------... ...... .... ..
C estrum diurnum -------------------------------------
Cestrum nocturnum
C halcas exo tica ..... .... .... .... ..... .... ............
Chamadorea wendlandiana --------------------------
Chrysalidocarpus lutescens
Chrysalidocarpus madagascariensis
Citrus aurantifolia
Citrus limonia--
Citrus paradise
Citrus sinensis
Cocos nucifera.--
Cocos plumosus---

6, o0
6, 12o

1 50
2. 630

1 .25

5, 177









T1, 840

5-- -


Cocoloba uvifera
Codiaeum sp.
Congea tomentosa_
Crinum longiflorum_
Cryptostegia madagascariensis-.....
Cycas circinalis__
Delonix regia------------
Dieffenbachia picta_
Duranta plumerei
Elaeis guineensis___
Enterelobium cyclocarpum___
Eranthemum sp-....
Erenoglythis major-.....
Eugenia dombeyii
Eugenia m alaccensis ------------------------------------
Euphorbia pulcherrima_
Ficus retusa
Ficus waringiana_
Flacourtia ramontchii_
Galphemia glauca
Garcinia mangostana
Garcinia tinctores_
Gardenia jasminoides_
Harpulia cupanoides-
Hedychium coronarium___
Hibiscus hybrids-----------------------------
Hippeastrum equestre_
Holmskioldia sanguinea_
Honckenia ficifolia_
Hymenocallis littoralis
Isertia haenkeana_-_
Ixora coccinea-....
Jacobinia coccinea
Jasminum pubescens_
Jasminum sp.
Kigelia pinnata_
Lagerstroemia flos-regina_
Lagerstroemia indica_
Licuala grandis_
Licuala spinosa_
Livistona chinensis
Livistona hoogendorphii --------------------------------
Mangifera indica. ..---------------------------------
Mimusops elengi_
M yriciaria cauliflora ------------------------------------
N ephrolepis exaltata vars ...............................
Nerium oleander_
Oenocarpus panam ensis ---------------------------------
O rm osia coccinea --------------------------------------
P achira aquatica ---------------------------------------
Pandanus tectorius -------------------------------------
Persea am ericana --------------------------------------
Petrea volubilis--------------------------------------
Phoenix roebelinii-------------------------------------
Plum eria hybrids --------------------------------------
Pogonopus speciosus ------------------------------------
Posoqueria latifolia ------------------------------------
Ptychoraphis augusta -----------------------------------
Q uisqualis indica .......................................

No. required

1 ,000
I ,6oo
21 ,000
I ,500
I ,000
I ,500
I ,040
1 ,000
I ,210

No. propa-
gated to
July I, 1940






I 984
I 500








No. propa-
Species No. required gated to
July 1, 1940
Roystonea oleracea .....e ...o ..e........ -------------- 2,0ooo
Sabal sp. --------------------------------------------- 390 300
Samanea saman --------------------------------------- 490
Sansev'eria zeylanica --------------------------------- 1
Scheelea zonsis ----------------------------------------- -------200
Schinus terebinthifolius ---------------------------------- 200
Schizolobium parahybum ------------------------------- 1000
Seaforthia elegans -------------------------------- 440 -
Spathodea campanulata --------------------------------- 530 1,607
Styloma pacifica ----------------------------------- 385 500
Swietenia macrophylla ---------------------------------- 81o 170
Tabebuia guayacan ------------------------------------ 250 ------------
Tabebuia pentaphylla ---------------------------------- 250 225
Tabernaemontana coronaria ----------------------------- 5,230 ....
Tecoma stans ----------------------------------------- 580 375
Tectona grandis -------------------------------------- 200 -----------
Terminalia catappa ------------------------ ------------- 210 56
Terminalia edulis -------------------------------------- 300 324
Terminalia myriocarpa --------------------------------- 250
Thevetia nerifolia -------------------------------------- 390 ------------
Thumbergia erecta ------------------------------------- i, 18o ------------
Thumbergia fragrans ---------------------------------. I,0o 912
Thumbergia grandiflora --------------------------------- I,000 ------
Triplaris americana --------------------- ------------- 550 ------ ----
Vinca rosa ------------------------------------------- 8,830 -............
Warscewiczia coccinea ---------------------------------- 450 ------------
W ormia burbidgei-- 110 ------------

A considerably greater portion of the plants than those shown by this
list have actually been propagated, but are too small to be planted in
the field, or potted, and have not been included in this list. Since it is
not definitely known at this time if propagating material will be avail-
able of all species listed, it has been thought advisable to accumulate
some surplus of other species to offset this possibility.

During the past fiscal year the activities of all Departments and
Divisions of The Panama Canal have increased to a point unparalleled
since the construction of the Canal. These increased activities naturally
mean a corresponding increase in the personnel and housing facilities.
Today a large building construction program is under way, involving
expansion in each of the present Zone townsites, as well as the con-
struction of new ones. The regular quarters replacement program has
continued with the construction of new quarters on )oth sides of the
Isthmus. In accordance with the landscape policy of The Panama
Canal, the landscape planning has continued apace with the construction

MR 78323 -2 17


In addition to The Panama Canal work, the United States Army has
inaugurated a large construction program involving the expansion of
most of the existing Army posts, as well as the establishment of new
ones. In connection with this Army building program, the Experiment
Gardens has been authorized to develop landscape plans and to super-
vise the actual planting work.
During the past planting season from July i to October 30, 1939,
the actual planting work executed was relatively small in comparison
with previous years. Most of this work was confined to a replanting
program in Balboa and Cristobal, and the completion of new work started
before July 1, 1939. The landscape work completed during this period
is as follows:
i. The completion of the planting of the Balboa Prado.
2. The landscape planting of four type 201 quarters, Frangipani
Street, Ancon.
3. The planting of the Silver Bachelor Quarters, La Boca.
4. Palm tree planting along 6th, 7th, and 8th Streets, New Cris-
tobal. The labor for this work was furnished by the District
Quartermasters in the districts involved.
Aside from the landscape. plantings described above, the landscape
efforts for a major portion of the year were confined to the preparation
of landscape plans and the coordination of plans for the handling of the
landscape program which began during the later portion of the fiscal
year. Estimates were submitted for the landscape work on the various
projects. Plant estimates were also derived so that the Nursery Unit
of the Gardens would be able to furnish ample well-established plants,
as they are needed for each job.
The actual work on The Panama Canal landscape program was
started early in March. This work was carried on by a special land-
scape gang in the forces of the District Quartermaster at Balboa Heights,
under the supervision of Mr. Stanley J. Tureski, landscape foreman,
who was hired for this purpose. The early stages of this work were
confined to the finish grading and top dressing of the new Diablo
Effective May I, 1940, the Chief Quartermaster approved the reestab-
lishment of the Landscape unit to take over all landscape work in
connection with the new construction program. Through this author-
ization, the special landscape gang was transferred from the District
Quartermaster at Balboa Heights to the Experiment Gardens. This
change should greatly increase the efficiency of the handling of the
landscape work, as by this arrangement the working forces and the
supervision are in one unit. The planning of the work is also greatly

simplified inasmuch as no other organization must be considered in the
compiling of these plans.
The Assistant Director-Landscape Architect continued to work with
the various District Quartermasters on the numerous landscape prob-
lems, rendering assistance as these problems presented themselves.
One hunted and twenty-three tree removal inspections were made in
the various Quartermaster districts during the fiscal year. Recom-
mendations concerning them were forwarded to the First Asisistant
Chief Quartermaster.
Landscape advice and assistance was rendered to a number of individ-
ual5 and organizations outside of The Panama Canal. The Navy
Submarine Base at Coco Solo was assisted in the arrangement of a land-
scape planting program for their new expansion. The Army Aircraft
Defense units also requested assistance in arranging plantings around
their anti-aircraft batteries, listening posts, and searchlight units, for
the purpose of camouflage. This work was exceptionally interesting
as this was an entirely different and new landscape planting approach
for this organization.
The Landscape Unit of the Gardens is willing and ready to advise
whenever called upon. We feel that such extension work is an impor-
tant phase of our activities. Through this work we hope to be able to
establish a congruent type.of planting practice, as well as to disseminate
throughout this region the many attractive plants which have been
imported from other parts of the tropical world.

Activities at the Balboa Orchid Garden have been confined to routine
maintenance work, and some emergency construction. Under the
former heading comes the eternal and unremitting fight against grass,
the potting of orchids, sweeping of leaves and trash, anti such usual
matters necessary for the tidy appearance of the grounds.
At the head of the list of construction work may be listed the final
completion of the pergola, briefly described, in the process ot cow-
struction, on page 14 of the 1939 Annual Report. On the suesti n
of the Director, the original plan of the pergola floor as changcUi
allowing quarter-round corner beds for the cultivatiaton of sha lo ing
plants. Chief among these have been a dozen native tree ferns o)tainled
in the interior of Panama during August of 19. These plants have
become well established, and are supplemented by various ""cis'" u
decorative foliaged J eroids, Pi/ca, .l/pina, 5Iila, Tl ,s, a tia,

etc., which have completed the picture of tropical luxuriance now
existing. A concrete floor of flag stones, cast to resemble cut stone, was
completed, covering the entire pergola floor not occupied by the plant
beds and the central pool. Two concrete benches of pleasing design,
suitable to the location, were cast, and have been greatly appreciated
by visitors to the grounds.
The only approach to the pergola has been by a narrow, and often-
times muddy path crossing a small stone bridge. The path on the far
side of the bridge connecting with the pergola has been completed with
concrete flag stones during the fiscal year, as well as the addition of a
flight of stone stairs leading to a terraced path much used by visitors.
This path and earthen stairs previously existing were often in a slippery
and potentially dangerous condition, and it is felt that the present
improvements will be of considerable aid to visitors. The central walk
through the grounds has been extended through the area back of house
890 Morgan Avenue, to a point directly opposite the Balboa High School
building. The Orchid Garden grounds have in the past been in an
unfortunately secluded position, offering considerable difficulties of
encounter to persons unfamiliar with their location. It is hoped that
the extension of the walk, supplemented by suitable landscaping, will
entirely remedy this situation.
During December 1939, considerable increase was made in the exist-
ing water system in adding lateral lines totaling over a thousand feet.
The object of these extensions was the establishment of standpipes from
which permanent sprinkler heads could operate and supply water to
newly planted areas. In spite of the greatly curtailed water supply
during the past dry season, plantings at the Orchid Garden suffered
little, due to the new connections being close at hand for watering of
the smaller and rarer specimens.
A small wooden potting shed fell into such a dangerous state of dis-
repair, due to termite damage, that it was thought best to remove it in
the interest of public safety. Since it comprised one of the necessary
units of the grounds, it has been reconstructed in a new and more
suitable location, as a lean-to shed fronting an existing storage house.
The construction has been of field stone, plastered, with screened
windows, and a galvanized iron roof. Two work benches and a tool
cabinet have been added, which have been a great convenience. The
present arrangement makes a much more compact unit for necessary
repair and potting work, removing such structures from the garden
grounds usually seen by visitors.
Numbers of undesirable native species of trees have been removed,
and their places taken with plantings of ornamental species of palms.

Over fifty species new to the grounds, some of them unique in Isthmian
horticulture, have been established within the past year. Of the col-
lection, probably the most notable is the "Talipot," Corypha umbra-
culifera, which comes from the island of Ceylon, and the south of India.
This noble palm has been associated with mankind from earliest
history, the giant folded fronds being carried before tribal chiefs in
Ceylon as a mark of rank. The earliest manuscripts of the Vedas were
written with a metal stylus on the narrow strips between the leaf ribs,
making long, narrow "books." The aspect of the plant is in every
sense noble, well-warranting the title of "Princes of the Vegetable
Kingdom," applied to all palms by Linneas. In Jamaica, where our
plants were obtained, the plant is commonly known as the Century
Palm, since it blooms but once, at the close of a long lifetime. This
period may actually vary from thirty-five to perhaps eighty years,
depending in growing conditions. The flowering clusters, when pro-
duced amid the crown of giant leaves, assume monster proportions,
topping the shafted trunk with a thirty-foot plume of thousands of
flowers. Once the seed is matured, the entire plant dies. In its
flowering or fruiting stage, it is probably one of the most impressive
sights to be met with in the tropics. It is hoped that the plants estab-
lished on the grounds will thrive, to provide interest to a future gener-
ation of Canal Zone residents.
One new bench (constructed with concrete ends, renewable wooden
seat and back) for the convenience of the public, was installed near the
Garden entrance.
New flowering and foliage plants of especial interest are Strobilanihus
dyerianus, a shade-loving shrub of small stature, having attractively
marked grey and purple leaves; 7acobinia coccinia, a small shrub bearing
showy inflorescences of scarlet flowers; and an especially fine new Ixora
(Ixora incarnata), with bright pink heads of flowers eight inches in
diameter. A single tree of the exceedingly rare Amhrstia nobilis was
planted, and is thriving, although it has not as yet flowered. It is hoped
that propagating material may be taken from all of the above within the
coming year, as permanent additions to Canal Zone landscape plantings.
As usual, numerous showings of flowering plants of various kinds were
publicized, all of which were well-attended 1oth by people from the
Canal Zone, and Panama. Of especial interest were the usual yearly
shows of the Orchid hedge, made up of species of the Genus Sobralia
(Sobralia panamensis, and Sobralia leucoxantha). These orchids bloom
several times during the months of September, October, and November,
opening, on each occasion, well over a thousand blooms. Also during
September are to be seen hundreds of plants in full flower of the native

Cattleya (Cattleya deckeri), bearing from six to eighteen flowers on each
flowering stem. A similar species, Cattleya skinneri, native of Costa
Rica, blooms in like quantity in March, providing a very impressive
showing. Most of these plants, when in bloom this year, were carried
to the Gamboa Flower Show, making a beautiful picture.
Of other new and interesting orchids, the Philippine Moth Orchids
(Phalaenopsis) deserve especial mention. A very fair collection of these
rare plants has been built up bit by bit, and have been in flower a great
deal of the time during the entire year. Phalaenopsis amabilis and
Phalaenopsis rosea have flowered almost constantly, and have been
supplemented by Phalaenopsis sanderiana, Phalaenopsis stuartiana, and
numerous hybrids. Although of great rarity, these plants, when once
established, thrive wonderfully well in the Canal Zone climate, and offer
some of the most delicately beautiful blooms to be found in the entire
Several showings were had of the Night Blooming Cereus, which have
been established near the foot of the stairs leading to the Administration
Building. These plants have thrived wonderfully, with frequent applica-
tions of manure, and the installation of an automatic watering system.
The largest showing of blooms displayed well over two thousand flowers,
and attracted crowds.
The Canal Zone Experiment Gardens has played an important part in
reestablishing the sugar cane industry of Panama. "Mosaic" disease
was rapidly destroying the sugar plantations, which were chiefly
planted to the variety "Caria Blanca'." The Gardens introduced a
great many varieties of cane from the United States Department of
Agriculture, as well as from Hawaii and Puerto Rico. These varieties
were propagated and disseminated as rapidly as possible, with the result
that many of the sugar plantations in Panama are now growing nothing
but disease-resistant varieties of cane.
As our project of introducing, multiplying, and disseminating disease-
resistant varieties of cane is practically complete, we have reduced our
collection to the following five varieties: P. 0. J. 2714, 2727, and 2878;
Mayaguez 42 and 63. These varieties are practically immune to
"Mosaic" disease, are high in sugar content, and grow luxuriantly in
this region.
By destroying all but the disease-resistant varieties of cane, we are
endeavoring to protect the large collection of sugar cane varieties which
are being grown and tested at the Canal Zone Experiment Gardens by
the United States Department of Agriculture. Many of the varieties

in their collection are susceptible to "Mosaic" disease, but due to other
desirable characteristics, are valuable for breeding work, and must be
protected, if possible.
The outstanding introduction of the year was that of 200,0oo Cinchona
ledgeriana seeds from Merck and Company, Rahwav, New Jersey.
At the present time, Java produces 95 percent of the world's supply of
quinine. By regulating the output of bark, the Dutch are able to
maintain a relatively high price for quinine sulphate in foreign markets.
The first attempts at cultivating Cinchona in Java were made in
1852, but these were not a commercial success because the species grown
gave such a low yield of alkaloides. In I865, however, this industry was
established on a firm basis following the introduction of a variety of
Cinchona (Cinchona ledgeriana) very rich in quinine, which was secured
in South America.
The phenomenal success of the Cinchona industry in Java is due
chiefly to:
(a) Excellent agricultural methods.
(b) Suitable soil, elevation, temperature, and rainfall.
(c) A plentiful supply of cheap labor.
(d) Careful selection and propagation of desirable strains of
Cinchona, more particularly those of Cinchona ledgeriana.
(e) The regulation in recent years of market prices for the bark
by agreement between growers and manufacturers.
(f) The valuable experimental and other work, ex'tending over
many years, of the Government Cinchona plantations.
Due to unrest in the world today, it is even more desirable that we
should have a source of supply of quinine nearer home. For this reason,
attempts have been made within recent years, to establish experimental
planting of Cinchona in Central and South America, Porto Rico, and
Cuba. South America is the home of Cinchona, thus it seems logical
to suppose that quinine could be produced in commercial quantities
in this hemisphere, providing that high-yielding varieties are grown to
offset the higher cost of labor.
As the effect of elevation on the percentage of quinine in the bark of
Cinchona trees is perceptible below 3,2o feet, and above 7,o, and is
negligible between 3,000 and 6,ooo feet, where other conditions are
equal, most of the seeds which we received this year were distributed
among growers in the Boquete and Volcan regions of Chiriqui Province
of Panama, at elevations ranging from '3,50o to (,2- 'et. A f
thousand seeds were retained for trial in El Valle, at elevations ranging

from 2,000 to 3,000 feet, as the trees are reported to grow and fruit more
rapidly at low elevations, and we are desirous of getting more propa-
gating material as soon as possible. It will also be possible for, us to
inspect the trees more often at El Valle than those in the more remote
Province of Chiriqui.

The citrus relative Swinglea glutinosa has been reported to be a
superior stock upon which to bud or graft citrus. The tree is extremely
luxuriant in growth, and citrus trees on Swinglea root stock are reported
to outlive those grown on the standard sour orange stock.
Experiments carried on at the Canal Zone Experiment Gardens
during the past three years would indicate that certain species and
varieties of citrus will do better on Swinglea stock than others will.
The following tables give the varieties and the number of trees that
became established on a corresponding number of Swinglea and sour
orange seedlings:
Number Number Percent-
Variety of trees g age of
budded growing takes
Tahiti Lime -------------------------------------20 155
Rangpur Lime- 25 1 44
Eureka Lemono-----------------------------------0 4 40
Temple Orange_... ...---------------------------- 25 12 48

Number Number Percent-
Variety of trees g age of
budded growing takes
T ahiti Lim e .................. -----------------.16 14 872
R angpur Lim e ---------------------------------- 18 15 832
Uureka Lemon.. .. ...--------------------------- I 8 80
Temple Orange-----------------------------------20 18 9o

Although a fair percentage of some of the varities of citrus grew,
the average plants were not as large and robust at the end of the second
year as the same varieties of citrus grown on the standard sour orange
stock. There would thus be no advantage in using Swinglea glutinosa as
a citrus root stock, unless the life of the trees was extended, or it proved
to be more resistant than the sour orange stock to certain citrus root


Citrus budded on Swinglea glutinosa root-stock

. 25--a,

One of the chief drawbacks to -the Swinglea stock is the thick bark,
which rapidly heals over the inserted bud. (See Plate IV.) This
may be overcome by using cions instead of buds. Another poor feature
about the Swinglea stock is that it suckers too freely. When the
plants are cut back to force strength into growing buds, many suckers
immediately appear below the union of the bud.

A sample package of tropical Sweet Corn produced by the United
States Department of Agriculture Experimental Station at Mayaguez
was received by the Gardens in August 1939. Shortly after the seeds
were planted we had six weeks of almost continuously cloudy and rainy
weather. The seeds germinated one hundred percent, but the growth
of the young plants was severely checked by a combination of aphis
and too much rain. The aphis had already done their damage before
it was dry enough to spray effectively for them. The whole crop was
The Canal Zone Experiment Gardens were highly honored at being
asked to send a representative to present a paper on Mangosteen
cultivation to the Eighth American Scientific Congress, which was held
in Washington, D. C. on April ioth to 18th, 1940. Although it was
not possible to send a representative to the Congress, the following paper
was presented and read on April I6th:

The Mangosteen Garcinia mangostana, native of the Malay region,
is the chief plant of the Guttiferae or Garcinia family grown for its
edible fruit. As this tree and fruit is little known to the Western
hemisphere, it may be of interest to this Congress to depart slightly
from the subject of this paper, and establish a background by giving a
short description of the tree and fruit, together with a etw remarks
relative to its establishment in the Western hemisphere.
The mangosteen is a small tree, rarely over thirty feet high, with
deep green foliage which resembles that of the so-ca1led rubber tree
(Ficus elastica). The leaves are elliptic-oblong in form, acuminate at
the tip, thick and leathery in texture, and six to ten inches long. The
hermaphrodite flowers are two inches broad and are borne at the tips
of the young branches.

I quote Dr. David Fairchild's description of the fruit:
"This delicious fruit is about the size of a mandarin orange, round
and slightly flattened at each end, with a smooth, thick rind, rich red-
purple in color, with here and there a bright, hardened drop of the
yellow juice which marks some injury to the rind when it was young.
As these mangosteens are sold in the Dutch East Indies, heaped up in
fruit baskets, or made into long regular bundles with thin strips of
braided bamboo, they are as strikingly handsome as anything of the
kind could well be, but it is only when the fruit is opened that its real
beauty is seen. The rind is thick and tough, and in order to get at the
pulp inside, it requires a circular cut with a sharp knife to lift the top
half like a cap, exposing the white segments, five, six, or seven in number,
lying loose in the cup. The cut surface of the rind is of a moist delicate
pink color and is studded with small yellow points formed by the drops
of exuding juice. As one lifts out of this cup, one by one, the delicate
segments, which are the size and shape of those of a mandarin orange,
the light pink shades of the cup and the veins of white and yellow
embedded in it are visible. The separate segments are between snow
white and ivory in color, and are covered with a delicate network of
fibers, and the side of each segment where it presses against its neighbor
is translucent and slightly tinged with pale green. The texture of the
mangosteen pulp much resembles that of a well-ripened plum, only it is so
delicate that it melts in the mouth like a bit of ice cream. The flavor
is quite indescribably delicious. There is nothing to mar the perfection
of this fruit, unless it be that the juice from the rind forms an indelible
stain on a white napkin. Even the seeds are partly or wholly lacking,
and when present are very thin and small."
The mangosteen will thrive in many parts of the American tropics
providing that consideration is given to its soil and moisture require-
ments. The earliest recorded introduction of the Mangosteen in tropical
America took place in Trinidad between i85o and I86o from the green-
houses of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, England. Since then
successful introductions have been made into other parts of the West
Indies as well as Central and South America. Probably the chief
reasons for the extremely limited distribution of mangosteen trees lay
first in the difficulty of transporting seeds long distances and secondly
to the fact that young seedling are extremely difficult to grow.
Dr. David Fairchild was successful, during his travel in the Asiatic
tropics in 1925-i926, in working out a method of packing mangosteen
seeds which was superior to any method previously tried. The seeds were
packed in very slightly dampened peat or coconut fiber and placed in

air-tight containers. We have recently been successful in getting good
germination from seeds after three months storage in this manner.
Young mangosteen plants are exceptionally hard to raise. Good
seeds germinate readily but a large percentage of the seedling refuse to
grow after they are two or three months old and many of them die off
during the first year. The difficulty has been attributed to an inherently
weak root system. To eliminate this, grafting on a more vigorous
species of Garcinia has been recommended, but in so far as I am aware,
no satisfactory root stock has been found. Successful unions have been
obtained between the Mangosteen and various other Garcinias but there
seems to be a decided incongruity between the mangosteen and the root
stocks we have tried. The growth of the buds or cions has been very
slow and in all of our trials with Garcinia tinctoria and Garcinia benthami
the plants died in less than two years after the stock was cut back and
the mangosteen foliage was required to manufacture food for itself and
the stock. Mangosteens grafted or budded on mangosteen stock grow
very well but our experiments have not progressed far enough to tell at
what age such trees .may be expected to fruit. Naturally the only
reasons for using mangosteen stock would be to hasten the time of
fruiting or to propagate choice varieties.
In 1931, when our trees first fruited, at the age of six years from setting
them out in the orchard (we have no record of how old the trees were
when we received them), our chief 'desire was to work out a suitable
method of propagating such seeds as we had available. Fortunately
Dr. Wilson Popenoe visited our Gardens just as the seeds were beginning
to germinate in seed flats, and suggested that we plant some of them
out in well-fertilized nursery rows. Half of the seedlings were thus
planted out in this manner just as the second pair of leaves were
forming. Shade was supplied this nursery for the first year, at which
time the seedlings averaged twelve inches in height, as compared with
two and a half inches for the other half of the plants which were potted
in quart cans. The loss of plants in the nursery row was also negligible
and was certainly not any more than would be expected from setting
out citrus seedlings.
In transplanting the seedlings to their permanent location in the
orchard during the second year, it was noted that their root systems
were formed deeply underground. We believe that the failure of the
plants which were grown in pots was due to their inabilitV to send down,
roots to the zone they normally would occupy.
Seedlings started in the nursery row and planted to their permanent
places in the orchard when they were about two years old produced
their first fruits when they were six years old. The secret of mangosteen

growing is to keep the plants growing vigorously from the time the seeds
start germinating. The climate and soil are not as important as was
formerly thought. If moisture is lacking it can be supplied by irrigation.
Commercial fertilizers can likewise be furnished to make up any nutrient
When possible, however, it would seem desirable to plant on land
which has plenty of subsoil moisture, as there is no doubt that the trees
want an abundance of moisture, but they also want perfect drainage.
Under our conditions in the Canal Zone few plants grow more luxuri-
ently and seem to be more at home than the mangosteen. No insect
pest or plant disease here is known to menace seriously the trees or
their fruits and thus there should be no difficulty in shipping them from
one country to another. Last year we disseminated over 15,000 seeds
to various parts of the American tropics and it is hoped that some day
this "Queen of Fruits" will be as well known in the American-tropics
as apples and oranges in the temperate zone.

The South American Leaf Spot disease (Dothidella Ulei P. Henn) of
Para rubber, Hevea brasiliensis was unknown in Panama prior to the
time that the Goodyear Rubber Company started planting rubber in
the vicinity of Gatun Lake in 1935. Although all of their planting
material either came direct from their estates in the Philippines, where
they do not have the South American Leaf Spot disease, or from nur-
series at the Canal Zone Experiment Gardens, where no diseased trees
were found up to 1939, the disease spread rapidly on the Goodyear
All-Weather Estate on Gatun Lake and considerable time and energy
has been expended trying to locate the source of infection,
In so far as is known the disease is not carried on seeds and does not
attack any other trees than Hevea brasiliensis. None of these trees
are found in a native state in Panama. The logical thing then would be
to suppose that the disease had reached the Isthmus on introduced
trees. This could easily have been the case as many trees have been
introduced and planted in Panama as well as in the Zone townsites
and at the Experiment Gardens. However, repeated inspection of these
trees has failed to disclose any sign of the disease.
In 1931, Mr. F. C. Baker, representing the United States Department
of Agriculture, brought several thousand seeds from Haiti and planted
them in nursery beds at the old Las Cascadas Plantation near Summit.
Some of these trees are now badly infected with the disease, although
is was not present in this isolated plot when the trees were thoroughly
examined in 1938.

In 1937 we transplanted a number of budded trees from nursery rows
into their permanent location in a newly cleared area of the Gardens.
These trees were free from disease when they were transplanted and
when they were inspected in 1938, but a few of them were found to be
infected in 1939-
Evidence would tend to indicate that the South American Leaf Spot
disease is common in the forests of Panama and is not confined to the
genus Hevea alone, as was formerly thought to be the case. The
Spurge Family (Euphorbiaceae) is one of the largest families of tropical
plants and is represented by at least twenty-five genera and numerous
species in the Canal Zone alone. Until each of these species is thorough-
ly studied, we feel that they may be looked upon with suspicion as
possible hosts for the South American Leaf Spot disease, Dothidella ulei.


Under authority issued by the Governor of The Panama Canal, in
accordance with the recommendation of the Chief Quartermaster, the
Director left Balboa by car on April 8, for an eighteen-day official trip
to the Volcan and Boquete regions of Panama.
The main reasons for the trip were (i) to disseminate Cinchona
ledgeriana seeds to reliable parties interested in experiment work; (2) to
inspect former plants which had been sent to the Volcan and Boquete
regions for trial; (3) to secure such propagating material as there was
available which might be grown at the Experiment Gardens or be used
to advantage in the new Army project; and (4) to assist or advise the
farmers in any way possible with their many problems.
Packages of Cinchona seeds were left with six reliable finca owners in
the Volcan region, and five in the Boquete region, at elevations ranging
from approximately 3,Soo feet to 6,ooo feet. A copy of an extract
from a report on the "'Cinchona (Quinine) Industry in Java," by \V. N.
Sands, was given each person who received a package of seeds.
Not one of the 380 Cinchona trees which were received on December 2,
I938 from the United States Department of Agriculture and distributed
among planters in Boquete and the Volcan regions of Panama, are in
existence. Few of the little plants even withstood the first dry seaSon.
It is sincerely hoped that better results may be obtained from the
I50,000 seeds which have just been distributed.
Mr. W.. J. Wright has two beautiful Macadamia nut trees macadamiaa
ternifolia) growing in his gardens in Boquete. These trees were sent
to Mr. Wright several \,ears ago from the Canal Zone Experiment
Gardens. One of the trees was producing its first crop of nuts at the

time of this inspection, and besides having over two dozen nuts, which
were three-fourths grown, the tree was flowering luxuriantly. As this
is one of the most delicious of all nuts it is likely that it will be more
extensively grown in the Boquete region. The one tree which was given
to Mr. T. B. Monniche in 1934 has grown even better than the trees
at Mr. Wright's, but it has not borne fruit yet. This is to be expected
however, as Mr. Monniche's finca is over iooo feet above Boquete.
Much credit is due Mr. and Mrs. R. G. Lewis for the important
scientific information they are securing. They are located on the bank
of the Chiriqui Viejo River at approximately 6,oo feet elevation.
Besides keeping accurate temperature and rainfall records, they are
experimenting with fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, and forest trees.
Among many other subtropical plants, they are growing several varieties
of apples, pears, peaches, figs, and plums.
Mr. T. Howard, a former member of the Staff of the United States
Department of Agriculture, lives with the Lewises and is very active
in assisting them.
The work being done in the Volcan by the Lewises and Mr. Howard
is very gratifying, and is especially welcome at this time, as practically
all of the beautiful timber trees, oak, cedar, bambito, and other hardwood
trees along the banks of the Chiriqui Viejo River, between Bambito and
Cerra Punta, have been felled in an attempt to secure small plots of land
upon which to plant white potatoes. The result is pathetic. Thousands
of dollars worth of hardwood timber trees have been destroyed in order
to grow a few hundred pounds of small white potatoes, which ordinarily
would not even be harvested in real potato-growing regions. Much of
the land is so steep that even "machete planting" is hazardous, and the
good topsoil for which the Volcan was once noted, has been washed
away, exposing course, sandy, infertile volcanic ash. Huge logs, which
jam the river, are dislodged during storms to aid the already hastened
erosion action of the river. A conservative estimate of the erosion
damage done to this one valley during the past three years would be the
equivalent of that which took place during the preceding century.
Practically all of the coffee fincas in the Volcan region have been
abandoned, due to the. devastating effect of the "Coffee Leaf Spot"
disease, variously known under the scientific names of Stilbum flavidurn,
Stilbella flavida, Spacrostible flavida, and Omphalia flavida. This coffee
disease was dealt with extensively by Mr. Higgins in the T934 Annual
Report of the Canal Zone Experiment Gardens, and thus it is not deemed
necessary to make further mention of it.
The finca worked by Mr. Frank Mathews seems to be the only large
coffee finca remaining in the whole Volcan region. The disease is not as


Tractor plowing newly cleared areas

..... ...... . . .. . .. . .... .. . .. . ..... ....... . .. ..........

severe in the Boquete region, and there is no evidence of fincas having
been abandoned. In fact, this was an exceptionally good year for
coffee growers as crops were good and the prices high.
The average farmer in Boquete seems to be more progressive and
prosperous than his Volcan neighbors. Although coffee is the main
crop ofthis region, potatoes, oranges, carrots, cabbages, onions and
other vegetables are grown in quantities for export.
Boquete oranges, although rather insipid in flavor when fully ripe,
are unexcelled in quality. Some fine orange orchards have been set out,
and it should not be long before a noticeable number of Bahia or Wash-
ington Navel oranges from Boquete appear in the markets of Panama
City. Excellent white potatoes, onions, carrots, cabbages and other
vegetables are often grown to good advantage between the rows of
oranges. As ample commercial fertilizer is used, the soil is enriched
rather than exhausted by this practice. Water is plentiful in Boquete
and it is used lavishly in the gardens during the dry season.
The cut-flower business is also worthy of note as many- of the flowers
sold by florists in Panama City are brought in from Boquete by plane.
The Ruiz Flower Gardens have a Shaw Du-All tractor and equipment.
This is probably the only one of its kind in Panama. Besides their
flower gardens, which occupy several acres, they plow and cultivate a
large plot for potatoes and onions and maintain a small citrus nursery.
All this is accomplished, if not made entirely possible, with the aid of
the small walking tractor.
Propagating material of twenty species of plants was brought down
from the Chiriqui Province for trial on the Isthmus. These included
seeds of native species of Avocados, which may be of value as root-stock
for choicer varieties of Avocados; three species of ornamental palms;
six species of orchids; two ferns; three species of Philodendronis; and
plants of violets, figs, and geraniums. Seeds of lIristolochia gremljora
were also secured.


On July i9, i939 we received a new 2o-horsepower ()liver tractor
and a Chase two-disc plow and harrow. This new equip meant has
already more than paid for itself in service rendered and has made it
possible to clear and plow over forty acres of jungle land. It
previously considered impracticable by some to plow land in Panama
and the Canal Zone, but we have proved conclusively that it is practi-
cable and highly advantageous'to work the soil thoroughly. See
Plate V.)

The job of grading the new roads was greatly facilitated by the use
of the new Fresno tractor scraper. The soil was softened with the
tractor drawn plow, and uneven areas were leveled off with the scraper
attached to the tractor.
The new Kemp soil shredder was proved to be equal to the demands
made upon it. Rough compost and soil run through the machine are
thoroughly mixed and pulverized in one operation.
Our old Roovers embossing machine, which was used for embossing
plant names on zinc ribbon, was replaced with a new machine of the
same make.
Approximately a mile and a quarter of new gravel roads were con-
structed in the newly developed nursery area during the fiscal year just
ended. It is expected that eventually these roads will be macadamized,
and thus made more permanent. In the meantime, however, they will
serve as a means of getting into any portion of the new nurseries, even in
the worst weather.
All of the paths and macadamized roads in the Gardens were oiled.
The main concrete road leading through the Gardens was widened
four feet, thus allowing room for cars to pass. There is also ample
room for cars to park near the lily ponds without obstructing traffic
in these areas.
The rebuilding of the large barn No. 36 on the portion of land formerly
leased by Mr. Hele, was started by the Constructing Quartermaster's
force on June ioth. The building is 50 x 75 feet, and will be used for a
potting shed, storage space for cans and shipping crates, as well as a
shelter for the tractor and other farm machinery. (See Plate VI.)
The Gardens' forces are undertaking the rebuilding of an old storage
shed and stable which had become so thoroughly rotted that it was no
longer serviceable.
Minor repairs were made to the wooden benches in the greenhouses.

The Gardens in the past have lacked benches and picnic areas where
visitors could stop to eat their lunches, or sit and rest as they wandered
over the grounds. The picnic problem was pretty well taken care of last
year with the establishment of four areas with tables, benches, and fire-
places. This year, twelve trial benches were placed in shady locations
near walks or drives, and if these arouse anywhere near the favorable

PLATE VI- New Barn

i~i I ~r~nt ~~v 1i.IU 11 I ll( ViCW


Two views of lily pond showing concrete walls

...... ..

comment that the picnic areas have, then additional benches will be
The benches have concrete ends and wooden seats and backs. Besides
being comfortable and attractive, the benches will be relatively easy
to keep free of termites and will be economical to maintain.


One of the many attractions for visitors is the lily ponds with their
brightly colored tropical water lilies. Gorgeous green and blue dragon-
flies with large red eyes, fly to and fro over the ponds, and alert Jacanas
(Jacana nigra) walk jerkily from ily pad to lily pad feeding on small
fishes and water lily seeds.
One of the ponds, which is flanked with Mangosteen trees (Garcinia
mango siana) on one side, and graceful palms and Chinese Litchi trees
(Litchi chinensis) on the other side, was reworked this year. Concrete
walls and bottom were added, and a collection Of 15 varieties of water
lilies were planted in' well-fertilized soil in barrels. Two benches have
been convenientlyplaced in a shady nook near the pond, so that visitors
may sit and admire the lilies, as well as find a cool retreat among pleasant
surroundings. Plans for making other similar retreats are contemplated.
(See Plates V11 and VIII.)


The second Gamboa Flower Show, sponsored byr the Gamboa Woman's
Club, was held on March 13th in the Gamboa Gymnasium. M.\anN,
outstanding exhibits of potted plants were on display. These were all
grown by local amateurs. Competition was also keen in the diffrrnt
classes of amateur floral arrangements, although the commnJercial
exhibits were noton a par with those in last year's show.
The Gardens staff assisted in arranging an exhibit of palms and house
plants, as well as acting on the judging committee.


During the past fiscal year, the activities of the ExAper1iment Gardecns
have greatly increased. In order to present a nimrc understandable1
picture of the financial conditions of the Gardens,it is 1vrSed to diwter
the statement into two correlated parts, namelGardens Actiitices, and
Nursery Activities. The financial statenent for the pIo d of Jl iio,
1939 to June 30, 1940, f s:

Gardens Activities Nursery Activities
Revenues Expenses Revenues Expenses
Agricultural licenses (net)-------0*$6, ooo.oo
Appropriations5---------------5 0. ------
Gardens services--------------41,575.00------.......
Nursery sales--------------------------------------*$9, 00000
Total revenues------------62,575.00--------------9,000.00
Total gardens expenses-------------------*$57,325.00-----------------------
Total nursery expenses-----------------------------------------*$11,96o.00

Total expenses------------------------57,325.006----------- ii,96o.oo
Total surplus or deficit---------4,150.00- ------------------------(2,96o.oo)

Gardens activities surplus-------------------------------$4,150.00
Nursery activities deficit--------------------------------- ,96o.oo
Total gardens surplus------------------------------1,190.00

NOTE.-As a complete return on revenues and expenses for the month of June 194o,
have not been received at the time of the writing of this report, these statements indicated
by (*) have been estimated.

As shown in the above statement, the Nursery revenues derived from
plant sales is considerably below the expenses incurred. There are
two reasons for this deficit. First, the past fiscal year has been a
comparatively poor sales year, due materially to the small landscape
planting program, and second, the Nursery unit was forced to expand
its nursery areas in order to have room to grow planting material for
the new landscape program. This expansion naturally incurred con-
siderable expense, for which no returns can be expected until next fiscal

MR 78323-Panama Canal-4-24-41-1,500


Tw) vies o lily pond No. 2


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