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 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 The plant life of Florida
 Florida wild flowers
 Wild crops for America
 Americanizing tropical fruits
 Plant immigrants make good in Florida's...














Group Title: Supplementary Bulletin. New series
Title: Native plant life and plant immigrants of Florida
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00002947/00001
 Material Information
Title: Native plant life and plant immigrants of Florida
Series Title: Supplementary Bulletin. New series
Physical Description: 28 p. : ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Simpson, Charles Torrey, 1846-1932
Florida -- Dept. of Agriculture
Publisher: State of Florida, Dept. of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallahassee Fla
Publication Date: 1929
 Subjects
Subject: Plant introduction -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Botany -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Acclimatization (Plants)   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: Charles Torrey Simpson, et. al.
General Note: Cover title.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00002947
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA3335
ltuf - AKD9431
oclc - 29053629
alephbibnum - 001962754
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
    Table of Contents
        Page 2
    The plant life of Florida
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Florida wild flowers
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Wild crops for America
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Americanizing tropical fruits
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Plant immigrants make good in Florida's warm climate; wilderness now wonderland
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
Full Text
------- .------------------- ---------- ........----


Native Plant Life

AND

Plant Immigrants

of Florida


SUPPLEMENTARY BULLETIN
(New Series No. 16)
ISSUED BY
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
ST'A'I'I OF FLORIDA






NATHAN MAYO
COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE
TALLAHASSEE. FLORIDA
1929


4
4


4


____1-- -- - -- ---- -- -- ----




















CONTENTS

Page
The Plant Life of Florida ...................................... 3
Florida W ild Flow ers.... .................................... 7
W orld Crops for A m erica...................................... ..... 10
Americanizing Tropical Fruits........... ............. 14
Plant Immigrants Make Good in Florida's Warm
Climate; Wilderness Now Wonderland............. ..... 20








THE PLANT LIFE OF FLORIDA


CHARLES TORREY SIMPSON
The State of Florida covers a great range from north
to south and from east to west, reaching from latitude
31 on the north to a little below 24.,- on the south, a
distance of some 460 miles and to within less than a
degree of the Tropic of Cancer. From the Perdido River
on the western end of the City of Palm Beach at its
eastern edge it covers about the same amount of longi-
tude. It is the only state in the Union that has any terri-
tory that is essentially tropical.
Its flora is a mixture consisting of four quite distinct
elements: plants which have their metropolis in the
north and are therefore really temperate; tropical plants
which largely inhabit the lower part of the State and
have their headquarters in the West Indies or the Spanish
Main; warm temperate forms which probably have had
their origin in the southeastern states, and fourthly, a
considerable number of species belonging in other coun-
tries which are naturalized within our borders. We
probably have well over 3.000 species of plants growing
wild and of these there are more than 75 species of ferns
and the higher cryptogams, 800 endogens and consid-
erably over 2,000 exogens.
In some of the forests of the northern part of the State
the casual observer might well suppose he was in Indiana
or Ohio. for he would be surrounded with black, red.
white and bur oaks. black walnut, wild cherry, two or
more northern hickories, sycamore, witch hazel, honey
locust, beech, box elder, maple and a number of trees,
shrubs and herbaceous plants such as he would see in the
woods north of the fortieth parallel of latitude.
If he proceeded southward he would find an increas-
ing number of warm temperate things. The Georgia or
long-leaf pine which covers by far the greater part of
Florida would stretch far to the southward; he would
find several species of Nyssa or tupelo and the liquid-
ambar or sweet gum, the cypresses and a variety of ever-
green shrubs and small trees in the swamps; there would
be still the magnolias, the wax myrtle and a variety of
hollies and the temperate vegetation would begin to drop
out. Before he was half way down the peninsula and







especially if he traveled near the Atlantic seashore the
observer would begin to encounter a good many tropical
plants, the marlberries, a couple of members of the
Eugenia or stopper family, a Psychotria, one of the coffee
berries and perhaps a coral tree or Erythrina with a num-
ber of others. The live oaks, the cabbage and saw pal-
mettos which are abundant all over the northern part of
Florida would still be with him and would be found to
the lower end of the mainland. The Georgia pine would
begin to be replaced by another of somewhat similar
appearance, but a native of Cuba. Quite a number of
warm temperate plants would be found down almost to
the southern edge of Dade and Monroe counties which
form the extremity of the State. But when one crosses
over to the chain of the Florida Keys he is. so far as
vegetation is concerned, in the tropics. The flora of the
Upper Keys is comparatively poor because the coral
islands are very recent, but that of the Lower Keys which
are much older is quite rich in species. On the lower
islands especially one would suppose he was in Cuba, in
fact an expert botanist could only say that he was not
there because of the presence of a few Bahaman plants
that do not grow in the great island. There is a bewilder-
ing variety of trees and they are jumbled together with-
out any order just as they are in a tropical forest. The
south shore of the mainland, the Cape Sable region and
a considerable area of the southwest mainland have a
rather poor but quite strictly tropical flora, it having been
derived from the Upper Keys by way of a former land
bridge which joined these islands to the south shore of
the State.
During the Glacial Epoch a great ice cap covered the
northern states down to somewhere in the neighborhood
of the Ohio River and this greatly chilled the climate of
the southeastern states until it is probable that little if
any tropical vegetation that formerly inhabited the penin-
sula survived. An immense number of temperate region
plants were driven south before the glacier and it is very
probable that middle and north Florida had, at that time,
flora similar to what the states lying north of the fortieth
parallel now have. When the ice melted and warm
weather came back most of the present northern plants
retreated to where we find them now, but a number
which were capable of living in a warm climate remained
and today they form a considerable element in the flora
of the State, a few of them extending their range to the
southern extremity of the peninsula. Some of them







which remained were slightly changed by the warm
climate and other influences and so we have a large num-
ber of forms which are very close to northern species but
differ just enough to be separated by the botanists. Our
common thistle, a Gerardia, an Amorpha and a Ruellia
may be mentioned as belonging to this class.
The flora of Texas differs decidedly from that of Flor-
ida, but it is probable that within comparatively recent
times some of our plants have migrated to the Lone Star
State around the land along the north shore of the Gulf
and that some of the Texan forms have reached us in a
similar way. Some may have crossed back and forth by
means of seeds carried in the currents of this great body
of water.
The Gulf Stream has been the great foster mother
that has tenderly brought in the seeds of hundreds of
species of plants from the tropics and during the time
of hurricanes or tidal waves has landed them high and
dry on our southeastern shores. A few, as I have stated,
came across in a similar way from the Bahamas during
severe storms among floating material in the form of
seeds, but doubtless most of them came from western
Cuba. Such seeds were washed down from that island
during the time of excessive rains and were caught up
by the current and borne to the eastward and northeast-
ward. The prevailing wind in the region of the Florida
Strait is from the southeast and under favorable circum-
stances seeds could be carried in this way from the great
island and landed on our shores in forty-eight hours. I
have seen acres of such seeds freshly landed on the Lower
Keys by a hurricane and some of them were sprouting.
Florida is a new state, geologically speaking, none of
its surface being older than the Eocene and a consider-
able part either Pleistocene or recent and these are the
very last of the earth's formations. The greater part
of it is composed of silicious sand and on most of this
there sprung up a forest of long leaf pine. No sooner
had it developed than lightning began to strike dead
trees, thus setting the woods on fire. These forest fires
destroyed all the ground vegetation save certain species
which by one cunning device or another were able in
some way to protect themselves from the fire. Almost
every bit of dead wood, the leaves and all rubbish was
destroyed and only a little residue of ashes was left.
This process was kept up by the action of nature and
then primeval man came and greatly increased the dam-
age done by fire, and now since civilized man has come






the destruction is far more complete. For this reason
the soils of Florida are generally poor, the exception
being those formed in swamps or low land and the ham-
mocks. Wherever in the pine woods a space was pro-
tected by natural means from the forest fires there at
once sprung up a variety of broad-leaved trees and
shrubs and as soon as these were established they gen-
erally prevented fire from running over the land. Their
seeds were planted largely by birds which in carrying
them in their beaks dropped them or passed them
through, and without a doubt a rain of such seeds has
been falling over most of the state for thousands of
years.
All the leaves, limbs and trunks of dying trees that
fell in the forest was gradually changed to leaf mold and
its soil soon became very fertile and this made condi-
tions still more favorable for plant growth. A variety
of epiphytal orchids, ferns and wild pines established
themselves on the trees of these hammocks, making the
forest bewilderingly beautiful. I have never seen such
enchanting scenes as may be found in many of our ham-
mocks; they scarcely seem to be of the earth earthy.
A great area of the lower part of the state is very wet
prairie, the Everglades caused by the overflow of the
great lake Okeechobee. This is covered with a wonder-
ful growth of herbaceous vegetation, some of it bearing
beautiful flowers, while a number of forms are remark-
able for their extraordinary size. There is a wild millet
or foxtail grass which reaches a height of twelve feet
or more with groat heads a couple of roet long, a bulrush
nearly as tall with stems an inch in diameter, and an
Acnida or water hemp which springs up from seed and
in the course of a few months attains a height of over
twenty feet with a stem often as large as a man's body.
This remarkable growth very closely resembles a forest
when seen from a little distance.
The long leaf pine furnishes millions of feet of the
finest timber and several other of our forest trees are
valuable for this purpose. A naturalized plant, Natal
grass, which has overrun the state within a few years,
makes fine hay and pasture besides being decidedly orna-
mental. Much of the wild flora is very ornamental and
is well worthy of cultivation, such as the tulip tree, the
maples, the magnolia, water and live oaks, the coral tree
and the Geiger tree (Cordia) of the Keys with its great
heads of orange blossoms. A number of our native
orchids are superb, the fringed orchids or Blephariglottis,






Bletia, the Calopogons or grass pinks, the Oncidiums and
Cyrtopodiums. There are a number of splendid Hibiscus,
the wild Amaryllis, the lovely Crinum nid the spider
lilies. Thousands of acres are covered with Iris, sun-
flowers and other brilliant flowered plants.
In this happy land where winter is but a shadow,
where warm southern winds are laden with the breath
of the tropics, whoro the sun shines nearly every day
throughout the livelong year and the generous rainfall
is distributed with wonderful evenness, vegetation grows
with remarkable vigor notwithstanding the poverty of
the soil. The woods, the swamps and meadows are for-
ever green, flowers bloom in all the months and the
songs of birds and the gaudy colors of butterflies con-
stantly add charm and happiness to the lives of those
who are fortunate enough to be numbered among the
residents of Florida.




FLORIDA WILD FLOWERS


BESSIE B. STONES. Daytona Beach
It seems impossible that one should ever have to be on
the defensive concerning Florida wild flowers, but I have
often hoard some one say, "0 you haven't any wild
flowers in Florida like ours in the north," and then I feel
that it is my mission in life to be an apostle of our native
wild flowers.
In delicate tints and frailty corresponding with the
Hepatica or the northern hills are the purple, white and
yellow Butterworts that are early spring visitors with us.
Our violets are just as lovely and numerous as their
northern sisters, though differing in varieties.
Our exquisite Atamosco lilies can certainly compare
favorably with the Erythronium, and our Silvery Lupine
is even bluer and more luxuriant than that which grows
on northern slopes.
The pinewood Phlox is precisely the same variety as
we find clinging to rocks on the hills and in pine woods
farther north.
Speaking of Phlox, there are often gay carpets of the
Phlox Drummondi, a supposedly staid garden flower,






growing in the high pine woods and grassy valleys far
from any house or grove. Now did they join hands and
run away down the path to adventure on some white
night of magic moonlight, or did some kindly spirited
Johnny Appleseed scatter them broadcast over the coun-
tryside to add a bit of poetry to this work-a-day world?
Our swamps and river banks are filled with Fetter-
bush, Clothra, pink lRhodora and Panicled Dogwood, and
in many parts of our state we have the misty amethyst
of the Judas tree. and the snow of the Cornus Florida.
Even our sandy beaches yield some of the most charm-
ing wild flowers imaginable. I know one bank of white
sand that blossoms anew each spring with myriads of
low spikes of purple Milkwort, while the wild Verbena
makes a lovely carpet of violet along every little beach
roadside, and Spanish Bayonets raise their creamy scep-
ters above the scrub Palmettos side by side with the vivid
scarlet spikes of the Cherokee Bean.
In July and August whole acres of beach sand blaze
with the coral red of Standing Cypress and the Scrub
Oaks are festooned with the glossy green leaves and
fragrant white and saffron flowers of the Chiococca race-
mosa, which, at Thanksgiving time, change into waxy
white clusetors of borrios.
One of our most fairy-like orchids, the Epidendrum
Tampense, clings in many-clustered beauty to the twisted
cedars and scrub oaks that have withstood the Atlantic
gales for many long years.
The purple and white Beach Morning Glories tumble
over banks, wreathe themselves above old wrecks, and
dare the sea itself to dislodge them.
Autumn brings to us the same gorgeous panoply of
purple and gold and azure in the Ironworts, Goldenrod
and Asters,
It would take one i very long time to follow Nature's
pageant of wild flowers throughout our entire year. or
to explain how certain capricious plants bloom only after
fire has swept over the country, or why a new road built
through the state will cause hundreds of prickly poppies
to spring to life like the dragon's teeth of Cadmus whore
no one saw them bloom before. But it is a pleasant
thing to know that there are certain haunts where the
same flowers bloom year after year.
Almost every one in Volusia County will remember
the golden highway that leads every autumn to the St.
Johns River at Osteen. and how we look down the river
from the bridge to see golden lowlands beside the river's







edge, and golden islands as far as the eye can reach-
all produced by the masses of wild sunflowers growing
there.
If ever May comes to Florida and I fail to find the Rose
Pogonia growing in delicate, fragrant masses in a grassy
and fern-bedecked nook that only the birds and I know
of, then I shall be desolate, for May has always brought
them to that same spot.
June always ushers in the Marsh Pinks, and they too
bloom year after year in the same swamps and low pine
lands. Sometimes nature likes to tease us into thinking
we have discovered a new variety by making one that
is ordinarily a deep rose color, clear white. Of course
there are white varieties of Sabbatia, but the Sabbatia
dodecandra of which I speak, is usually characterized
by magenta rose.
A nature picture that I recall with much pleasure was
thrown on the canvas one December soon after Christ-
mas. We had driven many miles from civilization
through Florida pine woods, skirting cypress swamps,
now dull gray in their winter attire, climbing slopes
canopied by the bright, dark green of Spruce, rolling
over bits of prairie land, or bumping over a corduroy
road leading through a low thicket of Myrtle, until at
the very end of the short December day we hastily
pitched our tent on the edge of a thick hammock just
as darkness closed down upon us. That is why one of
the prettiest bits of scenery I have ever enjoyed came
upon me with the light of the morning as if just created
with the new day.
Overhead a few blood-red leaves still clung to the tall.
silvery Maples. and many of the Sweet Gum trees held
dark crimson mantles about them. A magnificently
flaming woodbine hung in festoons over the leaning trunk
of a tree, while a fantastically twisted Holly bore lavish
clusters of scarlet berries among the shining leaves.
The ground was one soft green carpet of moss, and
springing from its depths were hundreds of little button
sized mushrooms in the most ravishing shades of pink,
rose, scarlet, white, pale yellow and saffron. Some of
them had turned up their edges so that their exquisite
underfluting was displayed. as a coquettish girl displays
the silken lining of her coat, others made themselves
into almost perfect balls, so that they seemed to have
no stems, yet others had grown such long, slender, trans-
parent stems, and such oddly shaped tops, that they bore
the appearance of rare orchids.






Through this fairyland a miniature stream, bordered
with ferns and lance-leaved white violets, wound its way
through many a bond and waterfall till it reached the
large stream of a creek below. I held my breath in
delight, looking to see Titania step forth into this. her
kingdom. It was not granted to a mere mortal to gaze
upon her elfin loveliness, but stooping to listen, I caught
the fairy, Nllken whilsper of h1r' garmonts Ia she pnHHsod.



WORLD CROPS FOR AMERICA


How Modern Science Combs the World for New Things
to Eat, Picking and Choosing for the Menu of
the Future


Hy R. P. CRAWFORD, in Scientific American
What shall we eat a hundred years from now? Will
it still be the conventional beefsteak and potatoes or shall
we have entirely different appetites? What will our
farms grow? Will it be corn and wheat or shall we be
planting new crops of which America knows nothing
today?
The civilized world did not always eat potatoes and
many people only a few years ago regarded tomatoes--
"love-apples," they called them-as poisonous. We are
continually changing and developing our appetites and
what we regard iaH i weed today we may out tomorrow.
It must also be remembered that certain areas of our
country are amazingly similar to areas in far-off lands.
What grows successfully in other countries may be grown
successfully in America under the same conditions. One
Ipnrt o on1iir country nimy be u lndvolopod because ii )1pr-
ently nothing can be grown there profitably, but in a
remote corner of the globe may be people living under
exactly the same conditions.
There is today in the United States one organization
whose sole work co(mistH in finding new foods for Anl r-
ica. It is the Office of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduc-
tion of the United States Department of Agriculture.







Although it has had little recognition and few people
know of its existence, its influence, its correspondence
and its explorers touch the far-off corners of the globe
where white men seldom tread. It is one of the most
romantic of government bureaus. Its explorers, whose
sole duty is to discover new plants for America, travel
from the heart of Africa to the innermost recesses of
China. Its record of achievement is written in deeds
quite as full of interest and as thrilling as more openly
dangerous exploits.
Consider the date palm as an example of one of its
accomplishments. Dates are now being grown success-
fully in California and the southwest, and the nucleus
of a successful American industry is being formed. There
are now about a million date palms around Indio, Cali-
fornia. Experimental date orchards were established at
Mecca and Indio, California, more than 15 years ago,
and a large number of the best Old-World varieties of
dates have been tried out.
There is long-staple cotton, which has become such a
success in Arizona and neighboring states. This was
imported from Egypt. "There is nothing comparable to
the development of the long-staple cotton industry unless
it be the achievement of these East Indian magicians,
and behold, a tree grows before one's eyes," is the way
one expert put it. The first plantings were made around
Phoenix in 1900. For 12 months or so the experiments
with this Egyptian cotton were carried on until it was
felt that it could be grown on a commercial basis. The
first year about 400 acres of commercial cotton were
planted. A few years later the cotton crop of the Salt
River Valley for one year would have paid the cost of
two reclamation systems such as now supply it. Long-
staple cotton is used in making automobile tires, mer-
cerized goods, and some of the liner knit goods.
The Department of Agriculture spent $200,000 intro-
ducing a rice and establishing an industry in California
worth in one year $20,000,000. Then there is durum
wheat introduced from Russia. Land in the northwest
that formerly would not grow crops now produces from
20 to 45 million bushels of wheat. The Department of
Agriculture introduced the naval orange from Brazil and
a single year's output in California mounted to 13,000,000
boxes.
In the southwest and many parts of the plains states
corn can not be grown. The world was searched for
suitable crops and the result was that the grain and







forage sorghums were introduced. Sudan grass, intro-
duced from Africa only back in 1909, has now become a
very popular crop in the southern states, and is growing
in favor throughout the Middle West. Peruvian alfalfa
was introduced from Peru in 1899. It has been espe-
cially popular and suited to the southwestern and west-
ern coast of the United States. It starts growth earlier
in the spring and continues later in the fall, with con-
sequently more cuttings per season.
These instances are perhaps enough to convince one
of some of the things that have been accomplished for
American agriculture by matching conditions in the
United States with conditions in other countries where
certain crops are being raised successfully. Of course
not all of these crops were developed entirely through
the office of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction. be-
cause they are matters requiring the cooperation of differ-
ent lines of agriculture and of individual farmers.
Before any new plant immigrants are permitted to
enter the United States they must go through Ellis Island.
Not. however, the Ellis Island of the Russian and Polish
immigrant, for the plant importations have their own
Ellis Island. These feld workshops and laboratories of
the office of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction are
located in Washington, D. C.; Miami and Brooksville,
Florida; Bell (near Glendale). Maryland: Bellingham.
Washington; Savannah. Georgia. and Chico. California.
As soon as the new plant immigrant arrives in this country
it must go to one of these stations to be officially in-
spected to see if it is a desirable citizen. Some of the
plants. like people. have diseases which if they ever
gained a foothold in this country would prove disastrous.
If they pass the examination, the seeds or cuttings are
next planted at one of the stations. In a short time seeds
or plants are ready for distribution to lfarners and nur-
serymen who it is known are in a position to care for
them. As the seeds and new plants become more plen-
tiful from year to year the distribution is made on a wider
scale. and finally practically anyone who desires some of
the new plants is givon a few. Those receiving the plants
or seeds are expected to make reports as to their progress.
The station at Brooksville. Florida. was established
to match the conditions in the moister but not tropical
portions of (hina and Japan. The Chico station in (ali-
fornia, because of its abundance of irrigation water, its
high sumnme temperature. long growing season and mild
winters. makes possible the trying out of widely varying






13

crops. The Bellingham, Washington, station has to do
especially with experiments with flowering bulbs. The
station in Washington, D. C., is where most of the disease
inspection work is carried on, as well as many laboratory
experiments of a miscellaneous character.
There are few things more romantic than the work of
an agricultural explorer. Most explorers deal more or
less with the evident things in a country. The agricul-
tural explorer deals with things that to an ordinary per-
son would be almost invisible. He must travel to the out-
of-the-way places and study individual plants. The ordi-
nary explorer would give them only passing notice. To
be a successful explorer one should also have a wide
knowledge of agricultural conditions at home so as to be
able to know a "find" when he sees it.
Probably few have done as much for agricultural ex-
ploration as has Barbour Lathrop, who was awarded
some time ago the first of the Meyer Memorial Medals.
Mr. Lathrop is a private citizen who has conducted
numerous expeditions in search of rare plants the world
over at his own expense. Often he has taken represen-
tatives of the Department of Agriculture on these excur-
sions and paid all the cost of the journey. Mr. Lathrop
first took David Fairchild, now the head of the Office
of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction, with him. On
this trip he and Mr. Fairchild concluded that the work
should be done in a big way. A plan was suggested to
Secretary James Wilson of the Department of Agricul-
ture, and he ordered it put into effect.
Mr. Lathrop and Mr. Fairchild made a three-year
agricultural exploration, visiting every continent and one-
half of the countries of the world; and Mr. Lathrop still
continues his journeys, taking experts with him at various
times. Some time ago he purchased a private bamboo
grove near Savannah, Georgia, and presented it to the
Department of Agriculture on a 99-year lease.
One of the famous explorers of the Department of
Agriculture was Frank N. Meyer, who at his death a few
years ago left the money establishing the Meyer Memo-
rial Medal to be awarded to agricultural explorers. Mr.
Meyer specialized in China; he had walked 10,000 miles
through the heart of that country, Manchuria, Korea, and
parts of Tibet and Russian Turkestan, looking for plants
that might be of value in America. As David Fairchild
once so aptly said of him:
"His hardy yellow rose peers in upon me through my
study window, and up in the border his scarlet lily is in







bud. while the perfume of his lilac has barely passed
away. His white-barked pine is dusting its pollen into
the air, his Euonymous and his hardy bamboo are growing
at the corners of the house, and his dry-land elm with its
delicate branches shades the entrance. So much of China
has he successfully transplanted to this country."




AMERICANIZING TROPICAL FRUITS


By IAMILTON M. WRIGHT. in "An-erica's Leading Food
Magazine"


Imagine your first taste of a new tropical fruit whose
flavor is at once so delicious and so elusive that you can-
not tell whether it resembles nicely ripe bananas, fra-
grant fresh strawberries, or pineapples, whether it is a
combination of all of them, or whether it is a distinct
attribute of its own. Such is the fruit of a vine-like plant
scientifically known as Monistera deliciosa, a native of
Trinidad. which enjoys the rather unique distinction of
being described as "delicious" even in its botanical classi-
fication. A four-year-old specimen of this plant, now
growing near Miami, Florida, is the marvel of visitors,
and its fruits bring one dollar each. The plant itself has
a blossom that suggests a large calla lily. and the fruit
requires about eighteen months to mature. But it is well
worth waiting for, for when it ripens it suggests nothing
so much as a glorified ear of corn, whose groat plump
kernels are so sweet and juicy that children prefer them
to candy. They are arranged about a central inedible core
much as kernels are arranged on the cob of an ear of
corn.
The Monistera deliciosa is only one of scores of deli-
cious new fruits, many of which are totally unknown to
northern housewives and chefs. and introduced from the
tropical Orient. South Africa. and tropical America. have
been successfully fruited in the southern part of Florida.
Many of them have been introduced by the U. S. Plant
Introduction Garden. There are also root crops, grasses,
as well as soil enriching legumes and shrubs and trees






that are the sources of valuable medicines. Some very
fine plant immigrants have been introduced by the Agri-
cultural Department of the State of Floritda.
Much progress has been made in southern Florida in
the cultivation of the mango. This is the famous and
evergreen shade tree of which a specimen was presented
to Buddha that he might find relief in its shade. Some
of the oldest mango trees in the vicinity of Miami have
been cut down to make way for the real estate boom, but
the tree is cultivated as far south as the Redlands dis-
trict on the east coast. The mango is a native of South
Asia and the Malay Archipelago. Some of the best speci-
ments of the fruit raised in Florida have brought as high
as a dollar and a half each in the northern hotels, al-
though almost all of the product is consumed locally. The
choice budded varieties, with their rich. spicy flavors.
tempting fragrance, and beautiful coloring, make one of
the most attractive desserts that can be imagined.
Three varieties of mango are now being planted in
commercial orchards in the region of Homestead, south
of Miami. They are the Mulgoba. the Haden and the
D'Or. The quantity of these fine fruits has been so
limited that they have been sold at fancy prices, but it
is hoped in the near future to produce them on a com-
mercial scale. Growers are eliminating degenerate and
jungle varieties containing much fibre which have in-
jured the reputation of the mango. The government
experts by selective breeding have improved many of
these stocks, reducing the fibre and improving the quality
generally. A large variety of mangoes has been intro-
duced and fruited.
The mango can be cooked and preserved in many
attractive ways. Green mango pie. ripe mango pie. fried
mangoes, mango dumplings, canned mangoes, mango
marmalade (which is one of the most delicious of mar-
malades), mango jelly, mango sweet pickle, and its use
in chutneys are among the popular recipes recommended
in Miami.
A very delicious and quite nourishing fruit is the star
apple. It has been introduced from Jamaica, Cuba, and
other nearby regions of tropical America. The tree
grows in Florida as far north as Palm Beach to a height
of about thirty feet, but. unfortunately, its range seems
limited by its tropical requirements. No tree of this
species, so far as is known, has ever grown to fruiting
size in California. Ordinarily the star apple fruit is
round, but it is sometimes oblate, ranging from two to







four inches in diameter, like a small to medium-sized
northern apple. In some varieties the somewhat glossy,
smooth surface is of dull purple hue, while others are
light green. The flesh is sweet, melting, and pleasantly
flavored, and is formed in eight translucent, whitish seg-
ments in which the seeds are embedded. When cut in
two, the segments present a star-like appearance, whence
the name. It is eaten fresh, but makes wonderful pre-
serves.
One of the Caribbean fruits that has spread all over
the tropical world, where it is now one of the most com-
mon in tropical countries, is the paw paw, or papaya
(Carica papaya, L.), which, however, must not be con-
fused with the northern paw paw. I have eaten it in
Hawaii. and it also furnishes one of the most popular
desserts in Brazil, and in many tropical countries is used
as a breakfast fruit in much the same manner as a musk-
melon or cantaloupe is used in the United States. When
sliced and served with sugar and whipped cream, it is
delicious. It contains a milky juice in which an active
principle known as papain is present. This enzyme
greatly resembles animal pepsin and has become an
article of commerce, being a valuable remedy in dys-
pepsia. The papaya can be grown in great numbers
wherever the climatic conditions are favorable. It springs
up everywhere in the Florida Keys. growing in the ham-
mock land and sandy soil in Florida as freely as apple
trees in the north. Its rate of growth is extremely rapid.
Dr. Fairchild of the U. S. Department of Agriculture,
who has spent considerable time in Miami, found that
seeds of the papaya, when planted in a green house in
February, produced young seedlings large enough to
graft some time in March. Indeed, papaya trees in
Florida have been known to spring from seed to blossom
in less than twelve months. The fruit oftentimes grows
in such heavy bunches that it kills the tree. Fifteen or
twenty papayas are not uncommon in a single bunch.
While entirely successful in the southern part of
Florida, the papaya can also be grown in protected situ-
ations where light frosts are experienced. Because of
its high productivity, rapid growth, and appetizing
quality, it is predicted that this fruit will some day be
much better known in the United States.
From South America comes the carissa or Natal plum,
which has become fairly common in southern Florida
and has also been found to succeed in southern Califor-






nia. The fruit is used for jellies and preserves, and the
plant itself is frequently used for ornamental purposes.
The sugar apple and rose apple must not be confused
with the star apple already mentioned. There is also a
fourth fruit called apple, the custard or alligator apple,
which grows in the Everglades and also in West Africa
and other countries. The custard apple, however, has
no value as a fruit, though it can be used as a stock for
grafting the sugar apple. The latter, Annona Squamosa,
is yellowish-green in color, two or three inches in
diameter, has a tender white pulp, and is sweet and
slightly acidulous in flavor. The sugar apple is a dessert
fruit and in Florida ripens six months of the year. The
rose apple is an ornamental member of the myrtle family,
bearing a small apricot-colored fruit one or two inches
long. The fruit exhales a delicious fragrance like that of
the rose. Therefore, its name. The fruit is crisp, juicy,
and sweet when preserved, crystallized or otherwise
cooked.
The white sapote. Casimiroa edulis, has been fruited
at the U. S. Plant Introduction Garden at Miami, but has
not been extensively cultivated yet. The fruit is de-
scribed as most delicious, of soft melting texture, and
sweet or slightly bitter flavor. The flesh is yellowish and
there are five large oval elliptical seeds.
The canistel is a rich, very sweet fruit of muskmelon
fragrance and the cashew, a relative of the mango. The
canistel is not as important as the cashew, which has the
distinction of furnishing both a fruit and also a nut which
is an important article of commerce.
The canistel has a yellow skin and bright orange flesh
which is soft and mealy in texture. The fruit is round
and oval in form and grows from two to four inches in
length. The tree grows as f'ar north as Palm Beach.
The more important cashew is the source of a much
prized wine which is manufactured on a commercial scale
in Brazil. The fleshy part of the fruit is called the
cashew apple to distinguish it from the true fruit or
cashew nut. The apple reaches three and one-half inches
in length, and its skin, which is very thin and easily
broken. is commonly brilliant yellow or flame scarlet in
color, while the flesh is very juicy and light yellow. The
nut, which also has a commercial value, is about an inch
long. It must be roasted before the shell can be bitten
into, as the shell of the fresh cut contains acids which
burn the mouth and lips.






Almost of greater interest even than the introduction
of tropical fruits is the propagation of tropical medicinal
plants, shrubs and trees. Among the most interesting
seedlings are those now being propagated from the
chaulmoogra oil tree, whose seeds were obtained by the
agricultural explorer, Joseph Rock, from the jungles of
Burma. Chaulmoogra oil for centuries has been used
as a palliative for leprosy by the natives who took it in-
ternally and applied it externally. It was found, how-
ever, that when certain derivatives of the oil were ad-
ministered to leprous patients in the earlier stages by
intramuscular injections, the best results were obtained.
Leprous patients in Hawaii who had been thus treated
were released under parole as being no longer a menace
to the community. The oil is obtained from the seeds of
the adult tree, which are contained in a nut or pod. It
will be some years, therefore, before it can be learned
whether the young trees now being propagated at the
Plant Introduction Station will bear. It is hoped that
plantations of the tree, which is known scientifically as
Taraktogenos kurzii, can be established. It is possible
that some of the medicinal value of the seeds is lost by
the native treatment, and if the trees can be artificially
propagated this wonderful remedy for the dread leprosy
can be obtained under the best circumstances.
The chaulmoogra oil specific is more efficacious at the
Kalihi receiving station, for its greatest effect is obtained
in the early stages of the scourge, and the leper colony
at Kalaupapa on the isle of Molokai receives only rela-
tively advanced cases. So highly does John D. McVeigh,
recently retired as Superintendent of the Molokai colony,
regard the treatment, that he is reported to have pre-
dicted the close of the Molokai colony within twenty
years if diseased persons would surrender themselves and
receive treatments in time.
The avocado, pronounced by some notable dietitians
to be "the perfect food," is now being grown success-
fully in Florida and exported to an increasing extent to
the north. It is finding so much favor with growers
there, and the effort to popularize it has so advanced,
that an "Avocado Day" was officially declared by His
Honor, the Mayor of Miami, about two years ago.
Many varieties of the fruit are grown-some of them
of large size, reaching two and three pounds. The avo-
cado is a real food. There is nothing in the definition
of the word fruit which prevents it also being regarded
as a food, except the fact that many fruits are limited






in the nutrition they supply. This is not the case of the
avocado. The U. S. Department of Agriculture provides
the following analysis and comparison between milk and
eggs and the avocado:
Avocado Egg Milk
Water 72.8 73.7 87.0
Protein 2.2 1.48 3.3
Carbohydrates ........... .. 4.14 5.0
Fats 17.3 10.5 4.0
Crude Fiber 1.4
Ash 1.9 1.0 .7
Further comparison is furnished in the following state-
ment from the same department:
"Eggs contain a combination of substances intended
by nature, with the action of heat and moisture, to re-
vert into life and activity; milk contains the natural sub-
stances in the most correct proportions to build, sustain
and repair friction from action in animal life, especially
in its infantile stages; the avocado contains the elements
of food intended by nature to build, sustain and repair
animal life in its advanced stages, when friction is
greatest by the activities of life."
Natives of tropical countries think that avocado takes
the place of meat. The protein content is greater than
that of any other fresh fruit. While avocado growing on a
large commercial scale is in its infancy in Florida, the
tree flourishes in the Redlands district south of Miami.
The most desirable varieties bring from six to thirty
dollars, and even more, per crate of thirty-six to forty
fruit. Seventy trees can be grown on an acre, yielding
from one to three crates at six years, and while data on
actual profits in avocado growing are not readily avail-
able, many individual trees have returned thousands of
dollars to their owners.








PLANT IMMIGRANTS MAKE GOOD IN FLORIDA'S
WARM CLIMATE; WILDERNESS NOW
WONDERLAND


Romance of Introduction of Crops from Far Quarters of
the Globe Is Related-Food Piled on Back Porch
and Sliced Off with Handsaw


By DR. BEVERLY T. GALLOWAY
Plant Pathologist, United States Department of Agriculture, in
Christian Science Monitor
A representative of The Christian Science Monitor
called upon me the other day and said he was going to
Florida. "Nothing strange about that," I replied. "Every-
body seems to be going there these days."
And then he asked me about fruits and other crops of
Florida, and I told him of the "plant immigrants" we
had sent and were still sending into the land of Ponce
de Leon in the hope that they might find a home there.
Plant immigrants sounded new and a little thrilling, so
he asked me to enlarge on the subject; hence this story.
I hesitate to say what would happen to Florida if all
the plant immigrants that have gone into the State and
made good should be taken away. There would be no
oranges or grapefruit, mangoes or avocados, pineapples
or bananas, and a long list of other fruits, vegetables,
farm crops, and what not. Florida would revert to its
original wilderness and would have little but climate on
which to fall back.

WORLD SEARCH FOR NEW CROPS
As a background for our story of plant immigrants
that have made good in Florida, we should like to put
down a few words about the way our government has
searched the world for new plants and used them in
helping to build up great crop industries here. This
work has been going on for a long time, but it has only
been within the last 25 years that it has been organized
and systematized. There have been romance, tragedy,







and some comedy associated with it. Even before the
government took a hand there were intrepid pioneers
with wide vision who saw the possibilities of plant in-
troduction.
Dr. Henry E. Perrine was one of these early workers
and the first, we believe, to introduce tropical plants into
Florida. Dr. Perrine was a plant lover and had faith in
his country and especially Florida. lie was sent to
Yucatan as American Consul more than 100 years ago,
and his letters to this government show that his whole
thought was for making a tropical garden out of Florida.
He finally received a big grant of land near where our
present Plant Introduction Garden is located at Chapman
Field, a few miles south of Miami, and he immediately
began introducing new crops. He was just getting
started in this work when he was slain by Indians
August 7, 1840. For many years thereafter Florida was
considered practically hopeless as a crop-producing
actuality.
With what wonder would the good doctor view today
the incomparable gardens around Miami, the like of
which, for variety and beauty, are found nowhere else
in the world.
MR. COLLINS' EI'FIORTS
Coming to a more recent period, I recall a few years
ago standing in the shadow of one of the magnificent
palaces at Miami Beach, called a hotel, and talking with
a plantsman and pioneer who had vision. I remarked on
the beauty of the scene, the blue sea, the wonderful
tropical vegetation, buildings that reminded one of
Arabian Nights stories, and over all an atmosphere of
quiet and peace. The pioneer, with whom I talked,
landed on this practically unknown coast less than three
decades ago, and what do you suppose he did? Planted
cocoanuts-thousands of them.
The nuts often had to be floated ashore, as there was
no other way to land them. This intrepid man, with a
partner, traveled up and down the coast for 40 miles
planting cocoanuts. Later he began planting large groves
of other tropical fruits, such as avocados, mangoes, and
many tropical palms, and then came the great rush and
Miami Beach blossomed into a tropical wonderland, sur-
passing anything the Old World can show. The pioneer,
J. S. Collins, has lived to see all this come to pass.
But to come back to what the government, through
the Department of Agriculture, has done in systemati-







cally organizing plant introduction work, it may be said
that the first steps in this enterprise were taken some-
thing over 25 years ago when James Wilson of Iowa was
Secretary of Agriculture. James Wilson, a man of broad
vision, saw the possibilities of this wonderful field and
put one of his young men. David Fairchild, at work on
the job. Agricultural explorers were appointed and sent
into the byways and highways of China, India, Japan,
Africa, South and Central America, and the islands of
the seas, in search of new crops. David Fairchild was
one of these explorers; in fact, he spent a good many
years at it, came back, and devoted the best part of his
life to making it a success. Even now, he is again in the
field bound for some of the little-known countries of the
South Seas where he expects to find many things for his
adopted state-Florida.
In addition to the agricultural explorers the govern-
ment sends out, there has been built up a corps of cor-
respondents and collaborators in all parts of the world.
This corps of valuable aids is made up of American
consuls, missionaries, army officers of many nations,
travelers, soldiers of fortune, and all and sundry who
may be made useful. They are all working for Uncle
Sam and the story of a few things some of these good
people have accomplished would make a volume. Of
course, the benefits are not all one way. for in exchange
for what the countries they are in give us we try to give
value received in the shape of seeds or plants of our own
development.
Thus has been built up an office ol' Foreign Seed and
Plant Introduction. an office that has introduced nearly
70.000 numbered new and promising plant immigrants
in the last 25 years. And, in doing this work. we be-
lieve we have gone ahead of our colleagues who have
looked after the human immigrants that have come to
our shores, for we have a record of every one of the
70.000 different lots that have come in. know how they
have behaved, and whether they have made good. The
record, known as Plant Inventories, containing descrip-
tions alone of our plant immigrants, consists of 74
volumes, each aggregating 50 to 75 pages. Every one
of these plant immigrants, upon arrival, is submitted to
rigid inspection and fumigation. We take no chance of
introducing new crop pests along with the crop itself.
When our plant immigrant gets into the country, we
are not through with it by any means. We have gardens,
sort of plant Ellis Islands, where our new friends are






placed on probation, as it were. so that we can keep an
eye on them for a time. For more than 20 years we
have maintintned one of these pl)ant I ntroduction gardens
in southern Florida, most of the time in or near Miami.
and more recently at Chapman Field. The story of this
little garden alone would make an interesting one. Here.
even Inow, can lbe found some of the old trees of avocados
and mangoes, (Carissas, Surinam ichcrries, and other
plants that constitute tete parents of thousands that have
been distributed in many parts of the state. We must
pa.s byv the -tory of the garden. however. and what it
has done and speak more particularly of crops that have
been introduced and what has happened to them,
PI.\NT IMM1(;I.CANTS IN HI'RIDA
We shall pa,- over :on-. of the big money-making
crops. like the orange. gralpefruit. and pineapple. These
are all established and are bringing to the State a good
many millions of dollars annually. The federal and
state governments have done much to foster these big
industries. but they are now on their feet and can take
care of themselves. We want to speak particularly of
some of the more important of what may be called our
struggling plannt immigrants. That is, the plant immi-
grants that still have to make a place for themselves in
the sun or the land. whichever may sound best. And
may ,we paue, for just a moment to say that it often
takes a long time and many ups and downs for a plant
immigrant to make good. Witness the tomato, long re-
garded as a mere curiosity, a "love apple." not suited for
food. and even sometimes poisonous. The potato, too.
had a long struggle before it was accepted as food in
good standing.
The mango is a good fruit to start with betatuse it is
a very old one, whose pritises have,(, been suting by men
of many kinds and many climes for hundreds of years.
The people of India were growing and singing the praises
of the mango long before the Christian Era. It was Dr.
Perrine. to whom we have already referred, who prob-
ably brought the first manlgoes to Florida. 'Thly were
lost. and then about the beginning of tile Civil War an-
other shipment came in. Along in the early 90s the
Department of Agriculture took a hand and introduced
some choice fruits.
Now, before going any farther, let us see what a mango
is iand how it grows. It grows on a tree and the tree
is a beautiful evergreen with long. narrow. glossy leaves.







The tree in Florida is 15 to 25 feet high, has a rounded
symmetrical form, and even as a shade tree is well worth
while. The fruits vary according to variety, the best
ones, like the Mulgoba, Haden, and Amini, often weigh-
ing 9 or 10 ounces to more than 20 ounces each. The
best mangoes have a flavor and piquancy all their own.
They have sweet yellow flesh and a thick, tough, greenish
and sometimes beautifully colored skin. There is one
large seed in the center of the fruit. The fruits are borne
on long pendulous stems and a tree loaded with them is a
beautiful sight. The Department of Agriculture has in-
troduced a large and varied assortment of mango varie-
ties from all parts of the world where the tree thrives.
From the little garden on Brickell avenue, Miami, it has
sent our many hundreds of plants.
EASY FRUIT TO HANDLE
Nurserymen and private individuals have not been idle
and have done much to popularize the fruit and bring
its good qualities to public notice. Since our people have
assumed responsibilities in the tropics, travel more, and
see more of the out-of-the-way places of the world, a
greater demand for such things as the mango has
developed. Mangoes from Florida are now shipped to
many of our northern markets where they sell as high
as 50 cents apiece. It is an easy fruit to handle, to ship,
and to market, but a rather messy one to eat. Some one
has said that the way to enjoy a mango is to eat it in a
bathtub. Florida has a monopoly on the production, for
the southern part of the state is the only region in the
United States proper where it has been grown in market-
able quantities. The mango, no doubt, has a future and
is another one of our immigrants of which we may well
be proud.
It is fitting, in closing this little story of the mango,
that we should say a word about one of the children of
the mango immigrants. The Haden mango is believed
to be a child of the Mulgoba. The Mulgoba came from
India. More than 40 years ago there was a professor
of military science at the University of Missouri, where
I attended school. Captain Haden had been assigned
to this duty by the War Department at Washington.
Captain Haden later moved to Florida and took up his
residence in the wilderness where Coconut Grove is now
located. The Captain and Mrs. Haden were ardent plant
lovers and soon had a pioneer plant garden growing.







The Haden mango originated from a seed of the Mul-
4oba planted by the captain. It was a good seed, for
mangoes, like apples. peaches, pears. and plums, do not
.ome true except where propagated by buds. cuttings.
.cions. orotlher \ .gettati e parts. ()ni might plant 10.040
mango seeds and then get nothing but Iearers of worth-
less fruit. Captain Hladen planted one seed and the
IIaden is the result. Perhaps not everybody will agree.
hut this native child of Florida appeal to me as about the
best all-around n:;tringo in the, State

STI)RY (il TilE AV( .\AIH
The Department of Agriculture at Washington has
conducted a nunlb r iof exploration, in search of new
and prommising, t\ pt.- of" a\ ;(iados In 1916 and part of
1917 Wilson 'opl-noe. an agricultural explorer for the
department, spent 18 months in (;Gntemala searching
for and sending home one of the largest collections of
avocados ever brought together. Mr. lPopenio traveled
the mountains and valleys of (;uattmnala on foot and on
mule back locating desirable types and sending back bud
wood for propagation. The avocado, like the mango,
does not come true from seed, hence twigs or branches
containing living buds had to be sent many hundreds of
miles to Washington. where. in special greenhouses.
thousands of a\torado :eedling rs \wre growing ready to
receive the buds.
After making sure that every Ibud was absolutely
free from insects. etc.. a single bud was made to grow
on each seedling. The bud thus transplanted has all the
characters of the tree from which it was taken. The
seedling root and stem merely scr-e as the nourishing
mother. Between five and six thousand of these baby
avocado immigrants, representing nearly 30 different
kinds of avocados. were distributed and a number of them
have already made good in Florida. Numerous other
introductions have been made and se veral new\ types have
originated within the state, so the avocado is well ,on its
way to recognition as an important food crop.
The avocado tree is not so handsome as the mango and
usually has a somewhat bedraggled applearanct in winter
time. It is an evergreen, blooms in March and April.
and fruits from' July to January. depending on the
variety. Late fruiting varieties are much in demand. The
avocados vary greatly in size. shape, color, and quality.
Varieties like the Pollock may weigh as much as 50







ounces; Trapp, a native of the State of Florida and one
of the best, runs from 18 to 28 ounces in weight. The
Trapp, which may be taken as a typical rourid avocado,
is like a big green croquet ball. The skin is about one-
sixteenth of an inch thick, very firm and tough.
A cross-section reveals the firm yellow flesh making
up over one-half of the weight of the entire fruit. In
the center is one large seed which easily slips out, leaving
just the right kind of receptacle for salad dressing, vine-
gar, salt, or both. Our favorite way of eating the avocado
is to take it right out of the shell, using just a little salt
to bring out the fine flavors.
There are three distinct races of the avocado-West
Indian, Guatemalan, and Mexican. The first is tropical
and will stand but little frost. The second is more hardy
and, as a rule, gives fruit of the best quality. The third,
or Mexican, is the hardiest of all but the fruits are usually
thin skinned, small, and more suitable for local use. Then
there are some hybrids or "crosses." The thick, round-
shelled avocados are good shippers and are found in
many of our northern markets. The avocado has a great
future in Florida and now that the state is filling up so
fast with people there ought to be a big local demand for
the product. As an article of diut it is to be commended,
for it can be made to take the place of some of the
heavier meat fats. providing energy in a very desirable
form.
Now let us turn for a little while from things that
grow on trees above ground to things that grow on very
different plants underground. Dasheens and tropical
yams are the things we want to talk about. The names
are suggestive of pirates, pieces of eight, etc. What the
potato is to millions of folks in the temperate regions,
dasheens and yams are to great masses of humanity in
the tropics. The dasheen is an underground corm or
tuber in which the plant stores up quantities of starch.
The leaves of the dasheen are like those of our common
garden plant, the elephant's ear.
Dasheens are planted much like potatoes, only small
corms or cormlets are put in the ground and not cut into
pieces like the potato. In the fall the dasheens are (lug.
cleaned, and stored in a cool dry place. The tubers are
cooked and eaten like potatoes. They may be baked
whole, boiled, mashed, diced, or shredded, made into
chips, and served in other ways. They have a nutty,
delicate flavor and are drier than a potato, also more
nutritious. They yield heavily on good soil. often pro-







during 300 to 400 bushels of tubers to the acre. The
dasheen is rapidly making a place for itself in Florida
and some other southern states, and is beginning to find
its sway to our northern markets.
The tropical yams are no relation to our common sweet
potato, sometimes erroneously called yams. I was stay-
ing with a friend and noticed what I thought was a rough
stick of wood on the back porch. Later I observed my
friend take a handsaw and cut off a piece of the supposed
stick, and then I discovered that my stick of wood was a
yam. weighing 60 or 70 pounds. The piece cut off was
boiled, diced, and beaten with milk to make a delicious
dish, drier and more nutty than our potato. The idea of
piling one's potatoes on the back porch like cordwood and
cutting off slices with a handsaw always appealed to me.
No one should go hungry in Florida when food can be
produced as easily and cheaply as yams.
CIIAYOTE A CMIMHER
Now. another comparatively new plant immigrant that
goes splendidly with yams is the chayote. not coyote of
western fame and mournful voice. The chayote is also
a climber and hails from Mexico. The Department of
Agriculture has been making a modest drive with the
chayote for the last 10 years. The plant looks like a
cucumber vine. but the chayote itself is more or less pear-
shaped with green or whitish skin. There is one big seed
in each chayote. Two or three of these vegetables make
a dish for an average size family.
The chayotes are cut crosswise. peeled, sliced or diced.
and served in many ways. They may be creamed, sliced
in butter, sliced and fried, baked with cheese, made into
fritters, salads and pickles. A delicious sauce can be
made by boiling and mashing them, and then adding
lemon juice and sugar, or the juice of the flowers of a
hollyhock-like plant, known as roselle. The roselle colors
the sauce red. and when sugar is added a sprightly and
healthful dessert is produced. The chayote is of special
interest because it furnishes an excellent vegetable at a
time when vegetables are scarce in Florida. When once
planted it continues to grow year after year. and that
adds to its value.
So far we have been speaking of things to eat; we now
want to enter a little different field of plant immigrants.
Paint, varnish, linoleum an1d oilcloth manuI'acturers an-
nually import large quantities of an oil from (hina. known
as China wood oil. This oil is extracted from a nut which







grown on a tree 10 to 30 feet in height. The nuts are
about the size of walnuts and each nut contains several
seeds. The oil is extracted from the seed kernels. It is
highly prized by the manufacturers of high-grade water-
proof varnishes, high-grade linoleums and high-grade
oilcloths. We import 75,000,000 to 80,000,000 pounds
of this oil a your, and as it brings around 15 cents a pound
this in a snug little industry.
OTHER "IMMIGRANTS"
The department has been interested in the introduction
of China wood oil or tung oil trues for more than ten
years. Many thousands of trees have been grown and
distributed, with the result that an important industry is
starting in the central portion of the state. This effort
bids fair to be a commercial success, another illustration
of how plant immigrants are utilized.
Now, we must condense into a paragraph Home refer-
cn ce to other promising new and little-known immigrants.
uch as the papaya. or melon fruit, which grows on an
*tiu tal non-branching tree. Papaya trees have been
known to produce 2,000 or 3,000 fruits. The flesh is
like a rich cantaloupo, but has a tante peculatir to itself.
As ,a breakfast fruit it is highly prized. especially as the
fle-h is rich in pepsin. (arissa from Natal. S. Af.. is a
beautiful scarlet-fruited shrub. The fruits of the carissa
may be utilized like cranberries. The Surinam cherry,
a prolific, sprightly fruit that makes good pies and fine
jelly. Guavas of many kinds may be grown almost any-
where and constitute one of the best of the jelly and
home domestic fruits. Pomegranates of Biblical fame
are also grown. Bananas, suitable for garden and back-
yard culture. Strychnos, or the Natal orange, a fruit
with a hard shell a an an aromatic juicy pullp Figs of
many kinds. The lychee. noted all over South China for
its delicious fruits, which have translucent flesh and a
very sprightly taste, resembling well-made limeade.
So for one who loves nature and wants to enjoy to the
full one's own handiwork, there Is an endlonn field in
Florida. A bit of land. two or three choice mango trees,
a like number of avocados, a clump of bananas, a square
rod of tropical yams. a half dozen papayas and a like
number of chayotes. an orange tree or two, and a couple
of grapefruit traces certainly sound like home sweet home.




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