STATE AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE,
LAKE CITY, FLA. .
j KOST, M D., LL. D. Di-rctor.
,JACKSONVILLE, FL X.:
TIMES-UlNION BOOK ANTD JOB OFFICE.
The Director of this Station is not without a deep sense that his
work is, in a great degree, a peculiar one, owing to the latitudinal
and climatic characteristics of Florida. Other stations have helps
from correspondent and analagous surroundings that afford mutual
advantages in station work. But the Florida Station, located on a
peninsula between ocean and sea, alone, must largely work out its own
materials. Already various letters of earnest solicitude have come in,
asking of us not to fail making the most of our "pecouliar position."
Hence the consciousness of responsibility is all the greater.
If, as is evident, this Station is expected to determine the possibili-
ties of the culture, in Florida, of tropical plants, and test the accli-
mation of species of opposite climates, as also the careful examination
of the Florida soils and products, which in various respects are pecu-
liar, then surely the work here is an important one.
Since the station work contemplates alike the conditions of scc.,ss
and the causes of f/il7ro in the culture of plants and rearing of animals.
the analyses of soils, researches in vegetable and animal physiology,
as also the study of the most approved methods of husbandry and
appliances, as also the availments of the applied sciences, in what
these mean in handling the soil and its products, then most evidently
this station work is a great one. But we are fully resolved to do our
part to prove the wisdom of those far seeing men in Congress who se-
cured the means to effect this great national enterprise. The Ameri-
can people must ever be known as in the fiont rank in those great
national movements that promote the highest civilization and chief
good of humanity.
The introduction of articles in these bulletins will not be in sys-
tematic order: this the very nature of the work must preclude; but in
handling the materials every availment of science and the improved
arts will be placed in contribution. While kindliness in criticisms is
hoped for, and a lack of assurance is acknowledged at the outset, our
resolutions are strong for winning a grand success.
Bayard Taylor once stated that the lawn is the chief part of a
home. Whether this be so or not, it is certain that the pastoral life
was the most primitive, and it would be a most interesting study to
know how surely all animate beings are dependent upon the vegetable
world. Grasses, though most humble, are yet most important of all
'riMOTh Y. ( PhIle-u Pr' tei...)
The chief object of experimentation with timothy in this Station is
to ascertain the conditions of its successful culture in the South.
All know the importance of timothy among the grazing and forage
producing grasses in the North, and its facility of cultivation. But
it is otherwise here. Timothy is not seen in meadows here. One
coming South from Ohio fails not to see how constantly the appear-
ance of the country changes as he proceeds southward. Timothy
clover and bluegrass are seen all along through Kentucky and some
way on in Tennessee, but thenceforward meadows occur only in nar-
row strips along streamss. Georgia, even in the northern part, pre-
sents no extensive pasture fields. When Florida is reached no pas-
ture fields except fallows or wastes are to be observed. One going
along feels strange, and begins to ask instinctively why is this strange-
ness of appearance' The solution is easy-timothy grows not here.
But why not? Well, this is one of the questions whose solution is
sought in the work of this Station,
Is the climate too hot for timothy? No, this is not a sufficient rea-
son, since just as great a heat in summer occurs in Ohio, where timo-
thy prospers. Is the season too long? This doubtless is one reason,
but the timothy often dies here before the summer is half over. Is it
owing to drouth? Perhaps in part, but drouths are exceptional
largely. ( Is it because the lands are too sandy? Perhaps in part, but
we have clay lands in Florida, and many that are loamy. Is it be-
cause we do not yet know the conditions in culture necessary in Flor-
ida for successful growing of timothy? This may be the chief fact,
and faithful endeavor, with perseverance in trials, may secure a suc-
cess, and these Southern lands may yet become thronged with herds
of all sorts in the fields, even as now in the forests, but with better
Here in the extreme South of our land, and in this Station, is per-
haps the best place to work out this problem, and we will endeavor
to do justice to the matter.
On October 27, 1887, a plat of ground on the College campus was
sown with timothy seed brought from Michigan. It was sown in
drills, eastward and westward, on exhausted sandy soil. The object
of the drills was for easy weeding. It came up well in ten days,
though there had been but little rain. In four weeks the drills looked
beautiful and of a delicate grass-green color. In six weeks the growth
had not proved satisfactory, there having been a dry spell. Then a
portion was fertilized with the Sopchoppy phosphates, and another
with the Armour fertilizer (blood and bone), while still another was
treated with air-slacked lime, properly applied. In the first two cases
the improvement was very marked. The timothy presented a luxu-
riant appearance of deep green color. That treated with the lime
was also benefited, but in less degree. The portion of the plat not
fertilized has its grass much less advanced, and, as appears, the stand
is less good. The blades are slender, pale and yellowish in appear-
About three weeks ago the fertilized grass was cropped off, when
about six inches high. It stooled somewhat, and now, April 6, the
drills fertilized by the Sopchoppy and Armour fertilizers look rank
and thrifty. The drills with the lime treatment are fair in appear-
ance, while those left to the resources of nature simply are unpromis-
ing in looks. Still these present no appearance of decay.
Future bulletins will afford records of the continued experiments
with timothy, and these with additional tests.
It should be remarked that the timothy plat was left to the mercy
of the season, on a rather dry soil, while there was lack of rain fir
several weeks, during which the growth was only arrested, but no de-
KENTUCKY BLUEGRASS. (Po( (o0mpnress8.)
A plat of ground on the College campus, which had been put to
use of the Experiment Station, was sown with Kentucky bluegrass, in
drills. The seed was from Michigan, and the question of naturaliza-
tion from so distant a Northern locality is thus tested as well. The
ground is the same as that sown to timothy, just treated of, and the
same treatment was given as in that. In this the appearance of the
growing grass is obscured by the result of an accident, of impurity of
seed. Timothy and redtop seed were in the mixture. Still we have
here a test of the mixed grasses, and so in this have somewhat of com-
pensation for the mischief of the fouling of the seed. These grasses
appear fine in the fertilized drills, just as in the case of timothy alone;
but in the unfertilized drills the grasses are dwarfed.
The seed was sown at the same time as the other (timothy), and so
had the same experience as to rain and weather. The timothy here
mingled among the bluegrass is more luxuriant than the latter, and
has put forward a greater development of both root and stalk.
The matter of interest in experimenting with bluegrass in Florida
is to prove concerning its perennial character. Even in the North it
comes up delicately from the seed. and the stalk dies down early in
the season. Our test thereof thu. is not completed, this being the
first year of its growth. But so far it certainly looks well. It has
the same deep green color and slenderness of blades here as in the
North, and thus its characteristics are maintained.
TEXAS ILtE<(;RasS. I 'ou A ,'1eh1Ifea.)
The experiment work of this Station has not been confined to the
College grounds. Eligible neighboring localities are being utilized,
great as are our home advantages. One instance of this extra work
is here reported in a brief given by Mr. J. C. McFarlane, whose place
lies close to the College grounds, and who was in charge of this grass
experiment. His report is here given:
"I procured the sets of the Texas bluegrass from W. P. Horn, of
McClenny, Fla., and planted them in rows eighteen inches apart, and
settings eight to twelve inci:es distant. In one year the whole plat
was densely covered. The planting was done in the latter part of
November, and in the last of the following March I cut the first seed
that ripened. After saving the seed I let the grass take its chances
with the native grasses. The crabgrass prevailed and covered the
bluegrass. In the last of June I cut the grass for hay. The blue-
grass was thick in the bottom, and together the product was one and
a half tons to the acre. The crabgrass again prevailed and I cut a
second crop of one ton to the acre. As soon as the cool weather
came on the bluegrass again stod well and afforded a good lot of
seed. I pastured it severely then, and the horses, in particular
seemed to be excessively fond of it. They appeared disposed to take
it up by the roots. But on resting again it recovered, and now
(March 30) looks well again, and will soon produce a crop of seed.
"The ground is not shaded, is newly cleared, lies level, and was re-
covered from pine and oak woods. It is very sandy. The soil had a
light dressing with stable manure the year before putting in the grass,
when cabbages had been raised upon it. Otherwise no fertilizer was
employed. I am certain that the Texas bluegrass will do well in
Florida in any reasonably good soil, and will afford our best winter
The following is from J. N. Whitner, Professor of Agriculture and
Superintendent of the College farm, and speaks in still stronger terms
for this Texas grass:
FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE FARM,
March 29, 188.
TEXAS BLUEGRASS. (Poa Arichnifera.)
The widespread interest which this grass has awakened among far
mers and stockmen, the favorable reports from those in this State
who have to some extent been experimenting with it, and the proba-
bility of its coming into general use for winter pastures, make it de-
sirable to learn something of its early history, name, etc.
In the report of the Botanist of the United States Department of
Agriculture, of 1881 and '82, appears this statement: "The Pou
Arichnifera, locally called Texas bluegrass, has been known for many
years as one of the native grasses of Texas, and during the past six
years has been made the subject of some extended experiments,
chiefly by Mr. Geo. H. Hogan, of Ellis county, Texas. The species
was first described by Dr. John Torry, in the report of Captain
Marcy's exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, as having been
Ibund on the headwaters of the Trinity, and named Poa Arichnifera,"
from the profuse webby hairs produced about the flowers, although
this is found to be a variable character, probably depending upon the
amount of shade and exposure to which the grass is subject."
"Several years ago," continues the Botanist, "Mr. Hogan sent speci-
mens of the grass to this Department, .which were examined and de-
termined by the Botan;st, and as it was shown to be a relative of the
Kentucky bluegrass, Poa Pratensis, Mr. Hogan adopted for his species
the name of Texas bluegrass."
Mr. Hogan's estimate of his grass, after trying it for five years, ap-
pears in the following extract of a letter to the Department, contained
in. the same report:
"I call it Texas bluegrass, and if it were possible to patent it I
would not give it for all the mineral wealth of Texas. 1 "I
claim for it all, and more in Texas, than is awarded to the Poa Pra-
From the Greek words arachnion, a spider's web, and fero, to bear, to produce.
t-ensis in Kentucky. It blooms here the last of March, and ripens its
seed by the 15th of April. Stock of all kinds and even poultry seem
to prefer it to wheat, rye or anything else grown in the winter. It
seems to have all the characteristics of the Poa Praieoins, only it is
larger and therefore atobrds more grazing. I have known it to grow
ten inches in ten days. The coldest winters do not even nip it, and
although it dies down during the summer, it springs up as soon as the
first rains fall in September, and grows all winter. I have known it
for five years, and have never been able to find a fault in it. I have
never cut it for hay. Why should a man want hay when he can have
green grass to feed on?"
It was deemed highly important to subject the Texas bluegrass to
full experimental tests, for the following reasons:
First, Because it is a winter grass, of which we are in gread need.
Second, It had been srcce,,qully grown in Sumter county, Georgia,
on similar sandy land to ours, since 18S5.
Third, Its power of resisting the damaging effects of severe drouths,
due to its habit of rooting deep.
And last, Because as a perennial it would rank the small grains,
rye, oats, etc., which require annual sowings.
Learning that sets-much to be preferred to seeds-could be ob-
tained of Captain Carlos Reese, of Marion, Ala., cheaper than else-
where, and being personally acquainted with customers of his who
had dealt with him to their entire satisfaction, I remitted the money
for 2,000 sets for the College farm, and received from the old gentle-
man, on the l1th day of November, 3,800 fine, vigorous plants, in ex
cellent condition. The I,800 extra sets were thrown in as a sort of
tribute to friendship and for "good measure,"
The plot of ground selected for the experiment was a piece of nearly
level, thin sandy land, on the western slope of a hill, with southern
and eastern exposure. Subsoil a kind of pipe clay.
The sets were planted on the 1ith of November, in rows two feet
apart, and eight inches in the row. The ground was exceedingly dry,
and had been so the whole fall; no rain of consequence had fallen for
months. This was why the planting had not taken place six weeks
before-waiting for rain. But it had to he dispensed with at last, or
abandon the experiment altogether for the season. It became neces-
sary, therefore, to use water very freely from a well near by. Before
doing so, however, cotton seed meal at the rate of 450 lbs. to the acre,
with double that quantity of gypsum, previously mixed, had been dis-
tributed along the drill, and well incorporated with the soil, by
passing the garden plow several times along the rows. The sets were
then planted by line, and only moderately watered, on account of the
exhaustion of the well's supply. About the third or fourth day from
the planting, the drouth continuing, an effort was made to water.the
sets by carrying the water quite a distance from a brook. But this
did not amount to much, and it is therefore worthy of special note
that during the interval of over two weeks from this insufficient wa-
tering to the first shower, the plants maintained their green foliage
without even wilting, which certainly favors the drouth resisting
claim. There was no progress in growth observed during this trying
period. Very soon after the rain the plants made a very perceptible
start, and other showers succeeding, although sometimes followed by
weather cold enough for ice, they have continued to grow with in-
creasing vigor up to the present time.
The plot received two plowing with a garden (hand) plow, on De-
cember the Sth and again January the 10th. The rapid development
of stolen or shoots prevented further work. These stolons multiply
very fast; the shoots are popping up all over the space between the
rows, and it cannot be long before the grass secures solid possession of
the entire area. The flowers began to appear the first week in March,
and the indications are that the seeds will probably mature by the
10th of April, perhaps a little earlier.
The experiment so far is. most promising and encouraging. The
grass at this writing (March 29) is about fifteen inches high, of a
dark blue color, erect and uniform in size, and presents on the whole
an appearance of rural loveliness that charms every beholder.
If this grass should succeed, and becomes distributed throughout
the State, as is most likely, we will be sure of green pastures all the
year round. With the Bermuda for summer, and the bluegrass for
winter use, what more can we wish?
Another season 1 propose by experiment to test the relative domainn
,strength' of the Bermuda and Texas bluegrass, by planting sets of
each in alternate rows. If, after the fight, they shall make an amica-
ble arrangement by which each in his turn ,shall rule six months at a
time, we can then have a pasture which we may with propriety
designate "ALL THE YEAR F OUND.'
J,. N. WHITNER,
Prof. of Agriculture and Superintendent of the College Farm.
V ETTTOP. (Ali'nst;l llql'U,)
This common grass of the Northern meadows and pastures is some-
what less esteemed for excellence of quality than for its persistency of
growth. It is a xta'nd-by grass. But whatever its inferiority may be
among the best of Northern grasses, it will be a welcome resident of
Florida it it shall prove to be disposed to stay with us. Trial of this
is to be made in this Station. Seed bought at a Michigan seed store
was sown on a small plot on the College ground. It was sown in
drills, as was the timothy and other grasses put to experiment, on old
exhausted ground, with intention of after treatment with fertilizers,
in part, and some left to the exhausted soil, thus to prove its life
force, and its capability of making a reliable pasture and forage
grass on the poorer Florida lands. Some of it was treated with the
same fertilizers and in the same manner as was done for the timothy
having been sown at the same time, and on the same quality of soil
This grass has proved equally hardy in growth during the dry spell,
It is progressing finely now (April i), and will be cared for properly,
so that future Iluletins may record the results.
RED CLOVER. ( Tr;ifliudi Priense.)
Here now again the object is to ascertain whether the anlost uni-
versal sentiment, that the standard pasture and forage plants of the
Northern States will not do well in Florida, is true or not. It would
seem to be true, if we were to note the fact simply that we do not see
these grasses grown here to any extent. Is the difficulty-if there be
a difficulty-that the clover is naturally a biennial plant, and being
sown here, where-the season is so long of high temperature, it is dis-
posed to take on the habit of the annuals-mature its seed and die?
This question must have attention.
Some declare that the summers in Florida are too hot for clover.
But, then, the question arises as to why equally hot days do not kill
the clover during hot seasons in the North?
Others assert that it is the prevalence of sand in our soils that is
detrimental to clover raising. But, then, we do not see the clover on
our Florida clay lands, of which we have considerable. Others,
again, say that the absence of lime in the soil is the cause of our fail-
ure. But in this it may again be answered that we have much lime-
stone land in Florida also, and yet we do not see the clover on these
The obvious truth is that the secret of the successful raising of
clover in this country is yet unknown, and hence experiment stations,
properly conducted, will, for purposes of solutions of such questions,
be of immense service to the State. We will see, on full trial, what
can be done for clover culture here. The plant is now growing on
our Station grounds, and so far the proceedings in the treatment of
the clover have been varied and have been conducted with care.
Several plots have been sown with seed from Michigan, which was
pronounced to be good seed. It was sown in drills, on exhausted soil,
on the 28th of October, 1887, and came up moderately well. It was
sown thin in drills, and the stand was not regular. Still the appear-
ance of the young clover was satisfactory, although there was not suf-
ficient rain for some weeks to wet the soil through. in the latter part
of December fertilizers of the Sopchoppy phosphates, Armour fertil-
izer, vegetable compost and air-slacked lime were applied to different
drills of the clover. The results were obvious. The phosphates pro-
duced quite the best result, and the lime came in next. The bone and
blood fertilizer and the plant compost were less beneficial. But after
all, the experiment was hardly a fair one, for during the dry spell the
sand was drifted over most of the clover, and in its removal perhaps
an equal care was not afforded. Nevertheless, all the clover is living
except what the ground moles destroyed, and most of it is doing rea-
sonably well. A good rain had fallen in the early part of March,
and the clover all became revived in a most notable manner. Soon
after it was cropped off. Then it stooled out somewhat and seemed to
rise more vigorously.
No doubt but we will have opportunity to test clover pretty well
on our grounds, and it shall have proper attention and be reported on
in future bulletins.
WHIITE CLOVER. ( VTrifoluolto Repens.)
The experiments with this variety were exactly like those of the
red, and the results were much the same, except that in this the sand
drift did more damage, owing, perhaps, to its more procumbent
growth. Its setting is less even, and its growth is slightly less. The
lime treatment seemed also to do equally more for this clover than
the other fertilizers except the phosphate, which was still better.
vYErow cLOV:ER. (Trifblirlu ProFicu-bens.)
Only a small patch was sown with seed of this clover, owing to lack
of seed. Some settings were put in, and these have done well. The
seed did not come up well, which seems odd, because it is so vigorous
in the North, where it becomes such a nuisance. The sand drift
almost ruined the stand from the seed; yet we have sufficient to test
the persistency of this species. Still it probably will not do much
except for close pasturing, since even in the North it never rises high,
while as a creeper it is prodigious.
The clovers will certainly be a great, boon for Florida if their suc-
cessful culture can be attained. Especially is this true of the red
clover as a pasture and forage plant. The white clover would be a
great desideratum for Florida bee industry. Even now bees do well,
and this clover resource for honey would very greatly enhance the
product, while doubtless the quality of the honey would be greatly
But when clover is estimated for its value for stock only one-half of
its full importance is cited. As a fertilizer and source of plant food
for other productions it has no equal now known. It has a great
quantity of nitrogen in its stalk and leaf, while the heads are still
more rich in this important element in plant food. The roots of the
clover also run deep, and in decaying they let the air and carbonic
gas into the soil abundantly. The turning under of a heavy stand of
red clover when in tull bloom is, in the North, regarded equal to a
most liberal dressing with stable manure. What would this do for
our Florida pine lands?
CRIMSON CLOVER. (Trifuli'ti corata'u.)
This variety of clover, resembling the common red clover in all ex-
cept its head, is a very excellent variety, hardy and prolific. We
have a patch of it in our Station which is remarkable for the luxu-
riance of its growth. It is a native of Italy, and has long been culti-
vated in France and Southern Europe. By some it is called German
clover, and this so because in that country it is so conspicuous.
This variety, so closely resembling the red clover in all except its
elongated blossom or head, is by some regarded quite the equal of
that as a pasture and forage plant. Should further experience prove
this it will be a great thing for Florida, if-what now appears in our
Station-its superior adaptation to sandy dry soil is maintained.
Right by the side of other plants regarded hardy, this clover grows
in great luxuriance, while round about it others suffered from drouth.
The Japan clover, which is said to "grow with great luxuriance in the
poorest soils, and retaining vitality in its roots in the severest
drouths," has dwarfed right along side of this in a dry spell, while
this has maintained its full vigor.
We have high hopes from this plant as a Florida pasture and hay
JAPAN (LOVER. (Le.Spede
This plant, which in appearance does not fill the description of it
as given in the American Farmer, has failed also to prove persistency
(if growth. At least the stand of it, in our experimentation, is not
satisfactory. Some stalks of it, however, are rank, and have grown
taller and ranker than as described in the Farmer. Its flowers are
axilary but pedunculous and in racemes. Its tripliate leaf is clover
like, and in taste resembles the common white clover.
PERMIIDA (.RASS. ((,/joidon DI)cl/clo..)
It, is quite unnecessary that the Bermuda grass should be tested in
any experiment station, since it, has already established for itself so
good a reputation as a reliable summer grass, even in the dryest sea-
sons. Where nothing else seems able to grow, there this good friend
to the cattle kind is often found. Nor yet only for those, since all
grass-eating animals will eat it with relish. Hogs thrive on it, and
fowls eat it. [f experimentation were of service it would seem to be
needed to test the question as to where it will not grow if only the
climate be mihl. It will not endure freezing. Its seed is not required
for propagation. Every joint of its stem is equal to a seed, and will
grow even sometimes when lef, on the surface of the ground, for the
first rain will sufficiently bury the joints to allow it to take root and
We have a fine lawn of the Bermuda grass on the college campus.
It was put in a year ago, from settings made of the chopped steins of
old grass, and has now evenly spread, and is dressed by use of the
RUSSIAN VETCH-RUISSIAN SHEEP FODDER. (Vilea velosa.)
The vetches are standard pasture plants in Northern Europe, where
cattle, and particularly sheep, are fed largely upon it. But what it
will do in Florida is yet problematical. We have some in experi-
mentation. Some drills of it were seeded down on the 23d of Feb-
ruary. It came up unevenly, but that which does stand looks well.
In appearance it is like parsley or young carrots. We will take good
care of it, and ascertain what it will do in acclimation here. Should
it prove a success, it will come in good with the Bermuda grass-this
latter as a summer grass and the other as a winter pasture.
Much has been stated about trials made with this forage plant in
Florida, and it aflbrds one of the many instances when reports differ
so widely as to be even almost the contrary. The question, however,
is thus only as to its successful cultivation here. All admit it as a
good article of food for cattle. We have made two trials. In the one
we put it on poor old soil. Here it failed. In the other in rich soil,
where it now grows pretty well. In another bulletin we may be able
to report more concerning it.
The gardening portion of this Station has not yet been brought to
an extent that affords much of interest. A few tests have been made,
however. Some in view of determining questions of exemptions of
delicate plants from frosts in varied localities exposed in open field.
Other trials were made to test the effect of frost in same locality with
varied c.rpo.nres and varied qualities of soil, while, as will appear.
below, some experiments were made for other objects still.
POTATOES. (Solanmol tuberosa.)
A few varieties of potatoes were planted on the 6ith of January.
Among these were the Early Rose, Snow Flake, Beauty of Hcllron
and Chili Red. On the night of February 27th two patches in which
were planted some of each of these varieties, one was nipped, and
the other patch escaped--each planted with same varieties, and both
patches in the same field. On the night of the 28th of February the
plants of the patch nipped before were cut down to the ground,
although the cold was no greater. The other patch escaped. The
damaged portion had a southern exposure and the other a western.
The soil in each was of a sandy loam. The damaged patch had a
subsoil of clay; the other, of red and white sand. The first had a
thin stratum of shaly sand rock overlying the clay; the other was all
sand. The patches were only tour rods apart, in the same field.
No potatoes planted here after the 28th of February, and such also
as were planted before but still not put out above ground, were free
from all damage, though a few slight frosts did occur thereafter.
The Early Rose plants had at the time of frost new tubers as large
as hen's eggs.
President Holladay had potatoes planted alongside of the Station
on the 28th of January, on new ground, on which he found tubers of
equal size to those here cited, on the 6th of April, having grown thus
to this size in thirty-eight days from planting.
ASPARAGUS. (A.paragyus :!i;/. 'i.)
A good sized bed of asparagus was planted from the seed, by Dr.
Appell, on grounds adjoining the Floral section. The planting was
in 1886. On the 20th of February, of this season, the plants of this
bed were in good condition, and furnished good sized shoots for the
table. At this time, 10th of April, the bed is thickly set with shoots
of very vigorous growth. This and other trials prove that asparagus
will do well in Florida.
CELERY. (ApioinI graveolev t.)
Our Station attests, with other trials, that celery does well here.
Some of the most excellent celery that is seen anywhere is grown
here. It has been furnished for the table ever since the 20th of Feb-
ruary. The management of the plant was in no particulars different
from what is practiced generally in its production.
CA tLIF'LOWER. ( Brwu'i, ole.r.ea.)
This plant is also successfully raised here. and, like its kindred,
cabbage, needs only a good, moist soil and proper culture to afford
The pie-plant has an uncertain history in Florida. The rhubarb
family belongs to a colder latitude than Florida, and it has been
doubted whether it can be successfully raised here. Dr. Appell,
working in the Floral section, has experimented with settings of roots
of rhubarb. HIe reports that he planted with care some twenty roots
in different situations, as to moisture of the soil. Those that he planted
in dry soil died the first year. Others planted in wet soil died out
the same year after planting, also. But Mr. J. M. Earnest, who also
works under inspection of this Station, though more distant, succeeded
well with the culture of the plant. He, it is found, had set his rhu-
harb in clayey ground, and Dr. Appell had put his in a soil free of
More experimentation is still required for determining the adapta-
tion of rhubarb to our climate. Popular reports are not reliable.
These generally do not afford any knowledge of the conditions under
which trials are made.
WHEAT. ( Tritieum vulgore.)
There were only two varieties of wheat sown in this Station this
year-the Mediterranean and the Martin Amber. Both of these
varieties were sown early in November, on old ground, on an elevated
spot, with southern exposure, overlooking Alligator Lake, a body of
water a mile or more across. The ground was fertilized by cotton-
seed meal and gypsum, and the wheat grew most luxuriantly until
ready to shoot, about the 10th of March, when both kinds were struck
with rust, alike bad. The attack was so sudden that within three
days the lower half of the blades were all of a deep orange color. In
six days longer, when the heads appeared, the stems also were rough
with rust, and the further development of the plants was arrested
almost completely. Only a small proportion of the heads are in
No microscopic examination was made at the time to determine the
variety of the rust, owing to other cares that at that time intervened.
It should be stated that, although this wheat was sown on elevated
ground or hill-top, yet the ground was flat at the spot, and during a
rain that fell at the time, the ground w-?s continuously wet for a week,
which drainage did not prevent. In the midst of this wet spell, when
alternate sunshine appeared, the fiugus was generated.
But this failure is set off by various other successful trials of wheat.
Mr. J. M. Earnest, who works under inspection of this Station, has
raised good crops of wheat for several years in Leon county. The
Red Bearded variety has done well; also the Scotch Fife variety.
Both kinds filled pretty well, and the berry was plump and heavy.
But, after all, it would be unreasonable to suppose that Florida, or
any of the Gulf States, are ever to be wheat-growing States. This
cereal belongs naturally to colder latitudes. Then, it is to be remem-
bered, that Florida lands are too important for other uses than to be
brought into competition with the vast wheat-raising countries.
vYYf. ( Secule c.reale.)
Rye is a product raised in Florida with facility. It is generally
sown for forage purposes and for turning under as a fertilizer; but
the grain fills well here. We have been experimenting with rye to
ascertain what it will do on recently recovered soil from swampy
localities. It has proved in this one case amazingly fine. The stand
is compact; average height, five feet ten; heads, six to seven inches
long, and they are now filling nicely. It was sown in November.
Last season two acres had been sown on the college grounds, on
exhausted soil, and without any fertilizer. The rye came up thin;
that, is, only a single stalk mostly came from a seed. It grew to the
height of three to four feet, and headed out moderately well. The
product of grain was not estimated. It was intended as a fodder ex-
periment by those who had it in charge.
OATS. ( Avena sativa. )
All varieties of oats seem to do well here. Experimentation with
this grain has not been extensive, but it has proven that the soil and
climate do well for oats.
coRN. (Zea mays.)
The great maize family may be said to have its natural habitat
in Florida and the West Indies. While yet experience has proven
that many of its varieties are readily acclimated to greatly varied
climates. Experimentation has been conducted as yet with only a
few sorts of corn and maize. All know the facility with which cross-
ings, or hybrids, are formed. All know how difficult it is to maintain
permanent varieties. Some fifteen varieties of maize are now in hand
at this station, and it is expected that something of interest will follow
in future bulletins. The natural enemies to corn and its kindred will
be properly studied.
Kaffir corn and several other varieties of fodder corn are receiving
attention. Sorghum, sugar cane, broom corn and sweet corn are grow-
ing well in this Station.
BU( K WHEAT. (Fayi.op!rlm esculen.ont.)
Buckwheat has been supposed to be unadapted to our climate, but
we have a plot of it now beautifully in bloom. It was sown on ex-
hausted soil on the 1st of March, and has a good stand. It affords
abundant promise of a good yield.
Nut many varieties of fruit trees have yet been subjected to treat-
ment in this Station, as our work is yet in its incipiency. Still it is
expected that future bulletins thi. year may nevertheless prove of
<)RAN(4E TRI EE S. ( C'l ii,"uiitel~H/.)
Forty orange trees, of divers sorts, are in cultivation in this Station
Several trees of the cit'ru i fr(toi,ot, now three years old, have
bloomed,, and are setting with fruit now. This variety is a hardy
one, and doubtless would be suited tor hedges. Its fruit is small, lut
the tree .is quite interesting for its appearance.
The diseases of the citrus family will be carefully studied at this
Station, and results reported. No opportunity has yet been had to
do much for the great industry of orange growing ; but this mus
receive special attention ; particularly must care he antbrded in the
study of the noxious insects that injure the citrus fanilv.
APPLE TREES. ( P!'0i8.s i l" u. .)
Florida is reported to be no place for producing apples, and this
would seem to be true, if we take appearances for judgment. Not
many apple orchards are to be found in Florida. A few homes have
one or more trees, the object of them being more for curiosity than
Of late years some success has been achieved by budding upon the
stalk of the pear. This would show that the roots of the trees deter-
mine the conditions of success in growing the trees. But exceptions
certainly obtain, if a rule is to be recognized, that the apple does not
do ell in Florida. In Wakulla county Mr. Ashore has a number
of apple trees in his orchard that look thrifty, and have borne well
for a number of years.
The following is from a letter to the Director from Mr. J. M. Earn-
est, of Chaires, Leon County: "For a number of years I tried to
raise apples on their own stalks, but had no success. In 188` I bud-
ded the red Astrachan apple on the Le(onte pear stalk. In 1884 J
got some fine fruit from these, which gave me encouragement, and I
went extensively into the apple business. I now have thirty varieties
of apple trees growing on the LeConte stalk, all of which are doing
well. By these means we can raise as good apples in Florida as there
can be grown in Virginia or Pennsylvania."
The apple trees growing on their own roots appear here'like those
trees in the "apple belt" that are neglected. They become bushy,
rough and stunted. The outer bark is loose and shaggy, and is cov-
ered by lichen and moss. The twigs and branches are slender, and
inclined to grow vertical, like the Lombardy poplar. No doubt
much of this appearance of the trees is caused by neglect. Our Sta-
tion has not been in operation long enough to afford opportunity for
any considerable attention to apple culture.
PHAIRS. ( Pyr ux tOiwin tiis.)
What has been stated of lack of time for operations in this new
Station, when treating of oranges and apples, is applicable also con.
cerning pears, and, indeed, most varieties of trees and shrubs. We
have not yet had time for the work. Still we have some pear trees
under care.. The LeConte does well, and so do divers other varieties.
This may be said: that pears naturally do much better in Florida than
apples. Yet occasionally blight among pear trees is to be seen. The
Director visited a grove of LeConte pears at Ocala, that were planted
on a limestone ridge where the soil was not over a foot in depth over
the rock, that was blighted very badly. Seldom a tree of this grove
was exempt from the disease. This matter must be investigated. The
trees in this case had been set six years before, and had grown beauti-
hilly up to the present year, and had borne some fruit. This year
they are all dying.
i'lU. M. (PT-eons.)
This is a grand State for raising plums. The forests are full ot
wild plums, and buds and grafts from cultured trees set upon stalks
of native plums do exceedingly well. So do peach grafts and buds.
The Kelsey plum in particular does finely on the native plum stalk.
We have such in experiment. President Holladay, of the Agricul-
tural College, has a dozen or more native stalks grafted with the
Kelsey that have shoots thirty inches in length, produced in seven
weeks from time of grafting! Other examples in the Station afford
similar results. The fruit produced is very fine and luscious. The
color thereof is yellow, with reddish tint.
P.'ACHE-S. (A.mnygdndi. Perr'ica.
No country perhaps is better adapted to peach culture than Florida.
The tree is a native of the coasts of the Persian Gulf, from whence
came, directly or indirectly, all in Europe and America. The coast
of the Mexican Gulf affords a similarity of conditions and climate, and
although the peach and its kindred are now naturalized in most coun-
tries, yet it is questionable whether the fruit is equal anywhere to
what it is in Persia and Florida. Certain it is that earlier varieties
grow here than what are found elsewhere in America. At this time
(April 11th) color is coming on the fruits in several varieties that
have attained full size, and are now ripening. These are the Peen-To
and the Honey peach. Our Station affords good specimens of these.
One drawback with the Peen-To is that the trees bloom too early
here in Northern Florida to be certain not to be affected occasionally
by late frosts. But we have reasonable hope to remedy this by modi-
fication in treatment.
('HESTN TS. ( C'i.'lli tc.)
Several varieties of chestnut trees have been experimented with
here. The Japan chestnut tree thrives with great luxuriance. One
tree, raised from the seed, in four years has borne fruit. This is of
unusually large size. The tree itself appears very elegant, and makes
an ornamental tree much to be desired. The Italian or Spanish
chestnut trees have done less well with us.
(AMPH(O TVt:EE. iLoro P 'r.O? rtl)honr.)
We have several small camphor trees in the Station that are doing
well. They seem not to be affected by the degree of frosts that we
Experimenting with the cabbage palmetto has been practiced to
determine the measure of success in forcing them out of their habitat.
The first planting, which was done in the spring last year, when four
trees, with stems five feet high, were taken from the banks of St.
Marks River, and set in front of the college campus. Three of the
four. died. One is still living. This spring eight more have been
taken from the same locality, and were planted on the college cam-
pus and adjacent grounds. This time care was taken to set trees on
dry, sandy soil that were taken from the most elevated and dryest
localities found where obtained, and then in setting them care was
taken to insure moisture sufficient by placing a basin-bed of clay
at the bottom of the pit where set. Those trees so treated are living
now, though they seem not yet disposed to grow.
Other trees, taken from low and wet places, were set in similar situ-
ations on grounds near the Station. These do finely.
The blue palmetto grows well with us after transplanting. But the
saw-palnetto does not do so well. Still this variety proves capable of
Cape myrtles and wax myrtles bear transplanting. A dozen trees
are doing finely on the Station grounds.
The wild yellow jessamine (.yolsenmin~ m semnpervivumo), taken from
the woods and set about arbors on our grounds, are doing finely.
They were taken up during blooming, and they continued to bloom
Young cedars, taken from the forests, have been set on the Station
grounds, and about one-half of them did well. Pines set at the same
time did less well. Arbor vites do well.
Two species of Yucca-the "bear-yr'o.2" and "/'/... ;1:/ .,.,.;"-
have been transplanted, and do well on the campus.
Several dozen trees, large and small, have been set on our grounds.
They were taken from the forests. About one-half of them have done
well, of the small-three to four feet high-and about one in four or
five, of large trees-four to five inches in diameter-have lived.
Wild holly trees from the thrests, set upon our grounds, have done
Live oaks and water oaks have been transplanted from the forests
to our campus. The trees are of good size--four inches in diameter-
and all have lived and grown well.
Pecan trees from the nursery, and also from the forests, set upon
our grounds, do well.
Experimentation with flowers has also been provided for in our
Station, and we have many thousands of flowering plants from all
sections of the world now in successful cultivation. Most of these arc
hardy enough for out-door cultivation. But an extensive conserva-
tory and propagating house has been provided. With these provi-
sions an opportunity is afforded to test the hardiness of plants by
exposures, while always their duplicates are kept under protection.
The following synopsis must answer for the present bulletin to in-
dicate the results of experimentation. Dr. Appell has charge of this
Several hundred varieties, from seeds and cuttings, are doing well.
This climate brings to perfection many varieties that do less well in
colder climates. Some of the most delicate Chinese and Japanese
roses are now blooming finely. During the time of the frosts of Feb-
ruary the blooming was arrested, but the plants did not suffer mate-
A great variety of the Japonica species, from the deepest crimson
to pure white, endure all the cold occurring here, without detriment.
Many varieties of cactus are exposed here to cold and beat, drouth
and wet, to prove their power of endurance. It is remarkable what
life persistency these plants have. Some varieties have lain out for
days in the sun heat, out of the ground, and seemed disposed to
accommodate themselves to the exposure. Numerous species of cactus
grow wild here, and their flowers are exquisite.
Improvements in the lilies and amaryllis are being attempted. A
.great variety are treated in this loral section.
There is a large variety of tobacco, of Spanish or Cuba kind-, as
also other important ones, now plantltd on the ground-s of this Station
that will be attended to with discriminating care, and will be reported
on in subsequent bulletins.
The analysis of the grounds of this Station, as also the analysis of
other materials, has unavoidably failed of report in this bulletin, and
will appear in the next.