Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations

Group Title: From Eden to Sahara: Florida's tragedy
Title: From Eden to Sahara Florida's tragedy
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055168/00001
 Material Information
Title: From Eden to Sahara Florida's tragedy
Alternate Title: Florida's tragedy
Physical Description: 123 p. : 22 pl. ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Small, John Kunkel, 1869-1938
Publisher: Science Press Printing Company
Place of Publication: Lancaster Pa
Publication Date: 1929
Subject: Botany -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Statement of Responsibility: by John Kunkel Small.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055168
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000397113
oclc - 01497224
notis - ACE2449
lccn - agr31000517

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    List of Illustrations
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
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Full Text

From 3



Florida's Tragedy



Florida's Tragedy


Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Copyrighted 1929 by
aT SmCIo e Pnss

Kitchen-middens of the Upper Eastern Coast 13
Kitchen-middens of the Upper Western Coast 30
Some Hammocks of the Everglade Keys ......... 46
A Prehistoric Canal at Cape Sable .......................... 54
Aboriginal Activities at Cape Romano ............... 56
A Detour across the Peninsula ............................... 78
A Cruise among the Florida Keys ...................... 85
Aboriginal Ruins on Bay Biscayne ...................... 94
Mounds and Floristics of Cape Sable ............. 99
Observations along the Eastern Coast ........... 106
P rophecies ..................................... .. ........................ 110

Plates 1 and 2. Views of Castle Mound along the
Halifax River.
Plates 3 and 4. Views in pinewoods near the
western Coast.
Plates 5 and 6. Views of Everglade hammocks
south of the Everglade Keys.
Plates 7 and 8. Views in Royal Palm Hammock,
Dade County.
Plates 9 and 10. Views in hammock on eastern
shore of Lake Okeechobee.
Plates 11 and 12. Views near the southern shore
Sof Lake Okeechobee.
Plates 13 and 14. Views in Royal Palm Ham-
mock, Dade County.
Plates 15 and 16. Views on western shore of Bay
Plates 17 and 18. Views on eastern shore of Bay
Plates 19 and 20. Views on Indian mound along
Indian Creek, Dade County.
Plates 21 and 22. Views in hammock at Cape

The following pages contain a continuous nar-
rative of botanical exploration of several thou-
sand miles in the Florida peninsula and on the
Florida Reef or Continental Shelf, from the mid-
dle of April to the middle of May, 1922. The
observations, facts, and fancies are recorded in
chronological order.
The wholesale devastation of the plant cover-
ing, through carelessness, thoughtlessness, and
vandalism in the Peninsular State, prehistoric
and historic, was everywhere apparent. Fre-
quent references to it are made in the narrative
and special examples are mentioned in detail.
A series of pictures is inserted through the text
with which they are directly or indirectly con-
nected. They show, in each case, localities as
adorned by nature and as "improved" by man.
It may be said, however, that the plant covering
has had to contend with destruction and changes
for ages, and would reassert itself in one form or
another in time. For example, local hammocks
and pinelands might restore themselves in com-
paratively short periods, but the Lake Okeechobee
region might take a million years.


On the other hand, the Florida aborigines are
extinct and the ruins of their civilization will soon
be gone, too. These peoples will never reassert
themselves. The remains of their blood is in
some of the inhabitants of Cuba and of southern
Mexico, to which countries the Spanish invaders
removed a few of them as slaves.
We have good evidence that man occupied
Florida as early as the Pleistocene age. How
many distinct prehistoric occupations may have
occurred we do not know; nor do we know whence
came the prehistoric-historic aborigines referred
to in the following narrative. The ranks of these
peoples were greatly reduced four centuries ago.
About two centuries later the remnants disap-
peared from the Florida peninsula.
The destruction of aboriginal village-sites,
kitchen-middens, burial mounds, and ceremonial
structures is progressing without any attempt at
a scientific study and interpretation, not to men-
tion preservation. Many such structures have
been demolished merely for the sake of getting
trinkets and curiosities.
The present population of Florida is wholly of
recent alien stock or immigrant. The Seminole
Indians-Creeks from Georgia and Alabama-
moved into the peninsula following the disappear-


ance of the Apalachee from northern Florida and
other aborigines from the peninsula, and the rest
of the population has been gathered together from
every corner of the earth, mainly within the past
fifty years.
To recapitulate: A country unique in its
geologic structure, its geographic position, and
its plant covering, is not merely interesting, but
a close study of it is extremely fascinating. Its
surface has had three epochs with which we are
more directly concerned, that is, the period since
man appeared on the scene. The first is mostly
prehistoric, extending from the Pleistocene age
down to about two centuries ago, when the
aboriginal human inhabitants were exterminated.
Through this epoch nature constructed and man
was comparatively inactive. The second epoch
may be termed neutral, for the peninsula for
about a century had a rest from man's activities
and nature was largely in a condition of status
The third epoch is eminently historic. Its
record shows a reckless, furious, even a mad de-
sire to destroy everything natural. This epoch
began about a century ago when the red man and
the white man pushed into the peninsula and con-
tended through several bloody wars for the oc-


cupancy of the land. The red man was sub-
merged. The white man has become increasingly
active in transforming the surface of the penin-
sula. The question is, what will be the fourth
J. K. S.


The past of the Peninsular State is partly re-
vealed both by its geology and by the monuments
left there by the aborigines. The present is evi-
dent. The future may confidently be predicted, in
part, by the aims and the actions of the white man
-he who began, and has consistently persevered
in, a course of devastation almost unequaled else-
where. Beginning in the earliest post-Columbian
times, this reckless, even wanton, devastation has
now gained such headway that the future of North
America's most prolific paradise seems to spell
DESERT. The pecuniary greed of the native-
born and the immigrant is so great that few ap-
pear to be able or willing to see the handwriting
on the-map (with apologies to the Prophet Dan-
iel). Not only are Fauna and Flora threatened
with extermination, but in many places the very
soil which is necessary to their production and
maintenance is being drained and burned and re-
burned until nothing but inert mineral matter
is left.
In some ways man has progressed in ideas and
in methods within the past few centuries. In


other ways he is still typically a "savage." Cer-
tain methods of life of the savage-uncivilized red
man and the savage-civilized white man are iden-
tical. The following quotation written four cen-
turies ago about the aboriginal red man applies
just as well to his pale-faced successor of today:
"Those from further inland have another rem-
edy, just as bad and even worse, which is to go
about with a firebrand, setting fire to the plains
and timber so as to drive off the mosquitoes, and
also to get lizards and similar things which they
eat to come out of the soil. In the same manner
they kill deer, encircling them with fires, and they
do it also to deprive the animals of pasture, com-
pelling them to go for food where the Indians
want. For never they build their abodes except
where there are wood and water, and sometimes
load themselves with the requisites and go in quest
of deer, which are found mostly where there is
neither water nor wood.'"
SWe started south from New York after a pro-
longed, though not a severe winter. The land-
scape generally was not strikingly green as a
whole. Many native trees, however, had begun
to unfold their leaf-buds, and such cultivated trees
1 Journey of Alvar Nuflez Cabeza de Vaea. Translation by Ad.
F. Bandelier. 1905.


and shrubs as the peach, pear, apple, magnolia,
yellow-bells, and maples had opened their flower-
The natural plant covering was brown or gray-
brown, except in the swamps and marshes, which
were often rendered green by the numerous tufts
of sedges (Carex) and rushes (Juncus). Flower-
ing herbs were scarce; those more conspicuously
occupying the high and low lands, respectively,
were the dandelion (Leontodon) and the skunk-
cabbage (Spathyema).
The habits and habitats of the individual pin-
oak (Quercus rubra) in the north reminded us of
the still greater live-oak (Q. virginiana) in the
south. The variation of the leaves and the branch-
ing and its adaptation to both wet and dry situa-
tions are common to both.
The contrast of the precocity and the tardiness
of the leafing of trees was interesting; the former
was represented by the birches and the maples,
the latter by some of the oaks and the honey-
locusts. In some places the wild or semi-wild
cherry trees showed an abundance of blossoms
suggestive of- the elegant cultivated Japanese
cherries. Toward southern Pennsylvania the
landscape became gradually greener. However,
the more striking trees were the dead ones, skele-


tons of conifers, mostly the Norway-sprice
(Picea Abies) which was so much in vogue on
country estates several generations ago.
The most unusual sight, however, was an old-
fashioned canal-boat drawn indirectly by the en-
ergy furnished by living vegetation (mule-power)
in great contrast to the usual methods of modern
motive power whose energy is furnished by fos-
sil plants (coal).
The budding trees emphasized the various
kinds of branching and the consequent shapes.
For example, the maples were bush-like, the elms
plume-like, the hickories cylindric, the walnuts
globular, and the red-cedars conic.
In Delaware and Maryland the dogwood
(Cynoxylon) and the wild-plum (Prunus) were
in flower, and about the latitude of Baltimore and
Washington, the leaves were grown enough to
make a half screen, and lilacs were in bloom about
houses. Although few shrubs were in flower the
arrangement of the unfolding leaves often simu-
lated flowers, especially when viewed from a dis-
Colonies of half-grown may-apple (Podophyl-
lum) plants appeared on the hillsides conspicuous
on account of the parasol-like leaves. However,
the pinewoods still had their nearly uniform


brown carpet. Finally a flowering shrub appeared,
the lambkill (Neopieris mariana) with its tiered
clusters of pinkish-white nodding flowers on wand-
like stems. A more unusual shrub, witch-alder
(Fothergilla), moreover, grew here and there in
small colonies. It has subterranean stems and
clustered greenish-yellow flowers, prominent on
account of the numerous relatively long stamens.
Its leaves resemble those of the witch-hazel
(Hamamelis) to which plant it is really closely
related. The decided color in the landscape, how-
ever, was furnished by the birds-foot violet (Viola
pedata), large patches of which, with its bright-
colored flowers, burst into view many times.
In the Carolinas the leaves of shrubs and trees
nearly or quite full-grown, formed complete
screens particularly brilliant on account of their
still virgin green. Finally, the white festoons of
the fringe-tree and other flowers were more in
evidence. Bright-colored salvias decorated the
high-land woods, while flags and pitcher plants
colonized in the marshes and swamps. Black-
berry bushes formed tangles in the thickets.
Masses of roots from the nearby woody plants
lined the streams in hammocks, and standing
water was covered with water-lilies and bladder-
worts. The earliest bloomer of the swamps was


in evidence by its almost gigantic leaves-the
golden-club (Orontium). This plant, curiously
enough, is common from the Ten Thousand Islands
of southern Florida nearly up to the latitude of
the Thousand Islands of Canada. Here and there
violets (Viola), arrowheads (Sagittaria), rock-
roses (Crocanthemum), ragworts (Senecio), and
the very brilliant phlox (Phlox amoena) appeared.
Two plants--were particularly attractive--4he
curious but striking false-indigo (Baptisia alba)
with its tiered clusters of bright-white flowers and
the swamp wisteria (Bradleya frutesceris), which
decorated the shrubs and trees of swamps in a
gorgeous manner.
South of the Altamaha River, the hammock
growth was changed in character. The loblolly-
bay (Gordonia Lasianthus) and the sweet-bay
(Magnolia virginiana), both with white fragrant
flowers, were often the most prominent trees.
Our course in the southern states lay wholly
in the Coastal Plain. This is an interesting region
I from many standpoints. Geologically, it is the
youngest and newest part of North America. It
abuts on the oldest part of the continent-the
Piedmont Plateau. Much of the Coastal Plain is
still in the making, or is it unmaking Is the
land rising or sinking? Vast areas, at any rate,

In Royal Palm State Park, Dade County, Florida. A dense jungle
in the prince of all the Everglade hammocks. The plant covering
comprised about two hundred different kinds of flowering plants;
many of them herbaceous, also ferns, mosses, liverworts, and lichens.
Air-plants-wild-pines and orchids-often dominated. The two
young royal-palms are some of the progeny of a nearby palm which
stood over one hundred feet high. Although a prodigious quantity
of fruit was produced, very few new palms were apparent, most of
the seeds being destroyed by rodents.

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can scarcely be called wet or dry. They are both.
The average water-table is just about the level of
the surface of the soil, hence such vast regions are
both uninhabited and uncultivated. From the
Piedmont, the Coastal Plain received the greater
part of its flora, the ancestors of the plants now
to be found there. Of course, other elements have
come in from the north and from the West Indies,
through the agency of migratory birds, winds,
and ocean currents. All except two of our south-
eastern States comprise several geologic ages.
South of the Saint Mary's River, or in Florida,
there is only one formation represented-the
Coastal Plain. The following matter is con-
cerned with Florida, but in passing it may be of
interest to note that Mississippi also lies wholly
within the Coastal Plain.
One of the major objects of our excursion was
the exploration of the surface of aboriginal In-
dian village sites, kitchen-middens, and burial
grounds and their relative positions.

We passed by the mounds at the mouth of the
Saint John's River for the present and proceeded
from Jacksonville to the scene of the greatest


aboriginal "shell-fish industry" in Florida, the
Daytona-New Smyrna region, or as the aborig-
ines would have had it, the Tomoka region-a
better term, for the two modern geographic desig-
nations are both meaningless and inappropriate.
A seven months' drought had rendered flo-
riferous vegetation backward or puny, especially
in the earlier part of our course. A few herbs and
shrubs were flowering along the way. Among
them were blue-flags (Iris), a pitcher-plant (Sar-
racenia), sensitive-brier (Leptoglottis), yellow
bachelor's-button (Polygala), St. Peter's-wort
(Ascyrum), sage (Salvia), dwarf-pawpaw (Asi-
mina), a sand-blackberry (Rubus), gopher-apple
(Geobalanus), prickly-pear (Opuntia), fetter-
bush (Leucotho))-mostly plants of the lower
The hammocks2 showed brilliant greens on ac-
count of the fresh foliage, and although no showy
flowers were open, the leaves of the sweet-bay
(Magnolia) upturned by the breezes appeared as
numerous large white flowers in the distance.
2 The hammock-the word probably of Indian origin-is a dense
growth of mostly broad-leaved trees and shrubs. Sometimes ham-
mock growth occupies a whole geologic formation, at other times it
exists as islands, so to speak, in pinewoods or on prairies, or sur-
rounded by other plant associations. They occur only in regions
protected from fire, or in fire-ravaged regions they represent areas
that fire has not yet run through. It cannot be correlated with
altitude or with soil, for beneath the humus, resulting from the


Wet meadows appeared floriferous by the new
mottled leaves of the small pitcher-plant (Sar-
racenia minor). Two terrestrial orchids were not
uncommon, the one white and rather inconspicu-
ous (Ibidium laciniatum), the other colored and
showy, the grass-pink (Limodorum). In one low
place the resemblance between the inflorescence of
two unrelated plants was striking. The white
spikes of the devil's-bit (Chamaelirium), a mono-
cotyledon, and those of the lizard's-tail (Sauru-
rus) were quite similar in habit.
In the damp meadows patches of two members
of the bunch-flower family were frequent. They
were fly-poisons (Chrosperma and Tracyanthus).
The dry lands were sometimes conspicuous on
account of two composites-a hawkweed (Hier-
acium) and a false-aster (Doellingeria). In damp
pinewoods' there was often a patch of the atamas-

decaying vegetable matter, may be sand, clay, mart, or rock. The
use of the word is confined mostly to Florida and adjacent States.
a The pinewoods or pinelands of Florida are nearly level areas
of greater or less extent; the high pinelands are dry and often
somewhat rolling; the low pinelands where the water-table is
always near the surface are often called "flatwoods" because of
the flatness of the land. They are composed, according to locality
or region, of one or another of the several long-leaved pines. The
undergrowth consists of saw-palmetto, shrubs (particularly scrub-
oaks), and annual and perennial herbs. They are often fire-swept,
and consequently the soil, sand or rock floor, is nearly or quite
devoid of humus. As a result of frequent fire and an impoverished
soil, there is no tall growth aside from the pine trees which do
not require humus as do broad-leaved trees.


lily (Atamosco), while in the palmetto-land plants
of Tracyanthus commonly raised their white
plumes above the saw-palmetto leaves, on slender
or nearly invisible stalks.
We soon reached the land of monumental
aboriginal activities-the coastal dunes and the
adjacent mainland of the Halifax River region.
The woody vegetation of the dunes is very exten-
sive and diverse. In addition to the native herbs,
some of which, such as the scarlet-sage and spider-
wort, are plentiful and showy, several exotics have
become widely naturalized and thoroughly at
home. Prominent among these are: phlox
(Phlox Drummondii), blanket-weed (Gaillardia
Drummondii), tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata),
and golden crownbeard (Ximenesia encelioides).
The lagoon, in this case the so-called Halifax
River, was the main reason for the aboriginal ac-
tivities, for there was an inexhaustible supply of
oysters in its waters. The ocean, too, furnished a
greater variety of "shell-fish", but in lesser
abundance. The dunes from Ocean City down
to the toll chain of the inland water-way show
scarcely any remains of aboriginal occupation.
The absence of aboriginal activities is indicated
by the absence of hammocks on these sands.
Viewed from an elevated point the vegetation of


these dunes gives the impression of a vast undu-
lating evenly mowed lawn of as many shades of
green as there are different kinds of shrubs. The
shrubs are low and intricately branched with the
branchlets often woven into a coarse fabric. The
whole growth might be considered a pygmy ham-
mock. The stunted growth is doubtless caused
by both the lack of food and lack of moisture in
the sand. The intricate branching may result in
the shielding and protection of their roots from
the sun. The pruning is done by the continuous
sweeping winds and wind-blown sand, for it is
most thoroughly done on the windward side.
Closely examined, the elements of the dune
vegetation are scrub-oak (Quercus), red-bays
(Tamala), cassena (Ilex), wax-myrtle (Cero-
thamnus), toothache-tree (Zanthoxylum), and
saw-palmetto (Serenoa), and toward the lagoon
or away from the ocean some cabbage-trees
(Sabal) frequently rise above the general plant
cover. The green and white clumps of saw-palm-
etto often arise from the vast beds of brilliant
green scrub-oaks. Herbs are scarce at all times.
The ones of prominence were the dune-verbena
(Verbena maritima) and the scarlet-sage (Salvia
coccinea). But to come to the kitchen-middens.
These will be mentioned here in some detail be-


cause they are fast disappearing, as are all the
natural and aboriginal monuments of Florida,
through one of the universally evident negative
characteristics of the white man. Our interest
in these monuments has been increased of late, and
their exact position has been located through the
activities in the field and the exact observations
of Ethel Anson S. Peckham during the winter of
1922. By recording the exact position of each
shell midden in that region, their one-time loca-
tion can be determined in the future, when the
shells will have been converted into highways
which in turn will some day be constructed of ma-
terial foreign to that region or even to the State.
A large midden borders the north side of
Tomoko Creek at the head of the Halifax River.
Starting southward at the Iron Bridge over the
inland waterway, we find at 0.6 of a mile an oval
midden. Extending from 1.3-1.4 miles is a larger
midden composed mostly of oyster-shells and
clam-shells. At 1.5-1.7 miles the midden com-
prises besides shells of the oyster, the clam, and
the conch, those of several smaller kinds of bi-
valves. At 2.1 miles the midden is mostly dug
away, and that at 2.3 miles is in the same condi-
tion. At 2.7 miles the midden consists of oyster-
shells and conch-shells, together with those of sev-


eral less common kinds of shells, and between 3.3
and 3.4 miles a midden comprising the same kind
of shells exists. Between 4.5 and 4.7 miles the
midden, in addition to oyster-shells and clam-
shells, showed those of the conch and donax. At
5.7 miles there is a small midden. At 6.3 is another
midden from which the shells have been removed.
Between 6.5 and 6.7 miles a midden rich in ham-
mock growth is conspicuous. Its arboreous cov-
ering comprises large trees of hickory (Hicoria),
red-bay (Tamala), live-oak (Quercus), red-cedar
(Sabina), slash-pine (Pinus), and cabbage-trees
(Sabal). At about 9.6 miles there is a burial
mound made up of humus and shells mixed with
sand. The bones of the skeletons are much de-
cayed principally as a result of the acids from the
humus. Pieces of pottery were not rare in the
mound which is built up on a shell midden and now
supports large trees of slash-pine and saw-palm-
etto. There were masses or clusters of small
shells in the mound, perhaps placed there to be
used by the spirits of the dead on their way to the
happy hunting grounds.
In passing it may be of interest to note that
although these shell mounds may be destroyed to
the extent of the removal of most of the shells and
the consequent obliteration of elevation, their


location will be evident for generations to come
by the native vegetation of each site. The soil
under kitchen-middens is usually very rich and
supports a vegetation differing from that there-
The presence of a kitchen-midden is indicated
by the plant growth. These dunes are naturally
covered with a scrubby growth of shrubs and
small trees, but wherever there is a shell-midden,
we find a dense hammock, usually so dense that
herbaceous and shrubby growth is sparse. The
most interesting phenomena connected with the
vegetation are the tropical elements there repre-
sented. The wild-coffee (Psychotria undata) and
the snowberry (Chiococca alba) are there. The in-
terest is not confined to terrestrial plants, how-
ever, for in these midden hammocks the range of
tropical tree-orchid (Encyclia tampensis) over-
laps that of the temperate tree-orchid (Amphi-
glottis conopsia).
The southern part of the Halifax River is, and
was, more productive of oysters than the northern,
hence the more striking monumental aboriginal
mounds. Their location on the coastal dunes is
as follows: starting at the eastern end of the
"stone bridge" at Daytona Beach and going to-
ward the Mosquito Inlet light-house, we find what

In a reservation on Bay Biscayne in Dade County, Florida. This
grove was planted and used as a home by a pioneer more than three
quarters of a century ago. The palms back of the two royal-palms
represented the most magnificent grove of coconut trees north of
the tropics. It was the scene of several battles between outlaws
and early settlers with considerable loss of life. The man who
planted the palms is buried thereabouts, but his grave is unknown.




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has been termed the Two House Mound" at 4.2
miles south. It is composed mostly of oyster-
shells and clam-shells. The shell-middens south
of Daytona Beach are higher than those to the
north. The water-table is, naturally, far below
the surface and the vegetation is much more
stunted, yet it is prolific, and its tropical character
is evident. The woody growth is mainly wild-cof-
fee (Psychotria undata), snow-berry (Chiococca
alba), stopper (Eugenia axillaris), marlberry
(Icacorea paniculata), and spice-tree (Anamomis
Simpsonii). At 5.4 miles are the remains of an im-
mense midden composed of oyster-shells and clam-
shells, with a mixture also of conch-shells and
those of several smaller kinds. Much shell ma-
terial has been removed for building roads. The
remains are about thirty feet high, and a concreted
mass of shells indicating the spot where continual
fires were maintained, surmounts it. This fire-
place is cubic, and like a castle perched on top
of a hill. Hence the name Castle Mound has been
applied to this midden. It measures about eight
by ten feet and the top stands about six feet above
the top of the loose shells. It was formerly larger,
but it is gradually wearing away, and at no dis-
4 This and the following high mounds have been named by Mrs.
Peckham from evident characters associated with each mound.


tant day the county road-makers will demolish it.'
Vegetation has invaded this crown-eight kinds
in all: spice-tree (Anamomis Simpsonii), bay-
berry (Cerothamnus ceriferus), sisal (Agave
rigida), gum-elastic (Bumelia tenax), shrubby-
verbena (Lantana ovaltifolia), and the papaya
(Carica Papaya). It was of interest to observe
the peculiar shade of green of the spice-tree on
these middens as compared with its associates.
Several shrubs and trees of the myrtle family
have a striking, a very unusual shade of green in
their leaves. It sets them off from all their asso-
ciates, even from members of their own family.
The myrtle-of-the-river (Calyptranthes Zuzygium)
of the hammocks of the Everglade keys in south-
ern peninsular Florida has the same characteristic.
Small middens occur at 6.2 miles and 6.5 miles.
At 7 miles there is a large mound. At 8 miles there
is a very large midden, locally called "Green-
Mound," and at 10 miles lies another. An ex-
cavation at Green-Mound gave a perpendicular
section of about twelve feet. The contents were
mostly oyster-shells, clam-shells and conch-shells
with large layers or clusters of small shells placed
here and there. There is little extraneous matter
SThis kitchen-midden has been completely destroyed.


in the midden-only some layers of humus and
charcoal, indicating successive occupations, and
bones of animal and rarely a human skeleton.
Especially interesting were the large epiphysial
plates from the spinal-column of a whale which
was evidently stranded on the beach near there
centuries ago and doubtless feasted on by the
aborigines. These bony structures resemble
gigantic lima-beans and when removed from the
surrounding shells, promptly crumbled.
Continuing our journey southward we crossed
the lagoon to the mainland to investigate another
series of middens. There is little or nothing in
the way of shell mounds between Daytona and
Port Orange on the mainland, although judging
from the character of the vegetation the region
was a favorite one for village sites. But, starting
southward at the end of the Port Orange bridge,
we find a midden at 1.2 miles. At 2 miles there is
a midden on a sand bar near the shore. Begin-
ning at 2.2 miles there is an immense midden .a
great deal of which has been removed for road-
building material. Smaller mounds occur at 3.5
miles, 3.6 miles, and 4.2 miles. Another very
large one is located at 4.7 miles. At 5.5 miles
shell heaps reappear, and a large one is located
at 6.7 miles. The last one of this series is located
at 7 miles.


These middens maintain a growth of shrubs
and trees similar to that on the coastal dunes, and
also other kinds representing more temperate
types. Some of them have a remarkable covering
of the wild-pepper plant (Peperomia cumulicola)
and the little spiderwort (Tradescantella flori-
dana), both of which thrive best in a soil in which
humus predominates over mineral matter. Curi-
ously enough, this wild-pepper plant has not been
found except on aboriginal ruins; the spiderwort
is more often seen on such habitats than else-
Having crossed the marshes inside of Mosquito
Inlet and reached New Smyrna, we crossed over
to the coastal dunes at Coronado. At 2.6 miles
south of Coronado there are some large mounds
composed of oyster-shells, clam-shells, conch-
shells, and those of donax. One of these mounds
represents the northern geographic limit of the
prickly-apple (Harrisia fragrans) first found on
the dunes south of Fort Pierce, but since collected
at several points along the lower eastern coast
where it is endemic. This is a "night-blooming
cereus" of which there are many kinds in the
tropics. There are three kinds of Harrisia in
Florida; besides the one above mentioned, one
on the western coast of the peninsula and one in


the Cape Sable region and on the Florida Keys.
In- spring the plants bear an abundance of large
white trumpet-shaped flowers that open almost
uniformly at ten o'clock in the evening; these are
followed by round red or yellow apple-like fruits,
whence the popular name. The plants thrive in
Two of the commoner trees appeared of especial
interest in regard to their bark, particularly the
reason for the differences as they grow under the
same conditions. In other words, why should the
live-oak have such a thick and rugged bark, while
its associate the spice-tree has a thin, conspicu-
ously smooth barkt The question has not been
answered. The conspicuous herbaceous plant in
bloom was the may-pop (Passiflora incarnata).
This is one of the few plants that range all the
way from the southern low country up into the
mountains! Its common name refers to the ex-
plosive sound given off by the fruits when stepped
on in May when they are nearly or quite ripe.
Having finished our studies on the kitchen-mid-
dens of the Halifax River region, we set out for
the opposite side of the peninsula. From Daytona
to the Saint John's River, after leaving the coastal
hammocks, we crossed a succession of pineland,


scrub," low hammocks, cypress swamps, and
prairies. Greenery was plentiful in spite of the
drought, for the country is low, but flowers were
rare, except where yellow woody sand-weed (Hy-
pericum fasciculatum) and ragwort (Senecio lo-
batus) were massed; while the saw-palmetto
(Serenoa repens) and the gallberry (Ilex glabra),
often everbloomers and lemon-drops (Sitilias caro-
liniana), so called from their lemon-yellow flower-
heads, lined the roadsides. On the hills east of
the Saint John's river two deeply rooted peren-
nials with subterranean food reservoirs bloomed
profusely. They were the green-eye (Berlandiera
humilis) and pine-pink (Lygodesmia aphylla).
On descending to the swamps of the Saint John's
two plants were more striking than their associ-
ates-the one woody, cypress (Taxodium dis-
tichum), the other herbaceous, the South Ameri-
can water-milfoil (Myriophyllum proserpina-
coides), which carpeted the cypress swamps with
a brilliant green and which was associated here
and there with darker green patches of the
aromatic basil (Clinopodium glabrum).
The scrub is a plant association typified by a growth of spruce
pine (Pinws ldaa), evergreen scrub-oaks, Florida-rosemary, and
a number of endemic shrubs and herbs. These areas of white sand
varying from a few square yards to many acres in extent, range
from northern Florida southward on the western coast to Marco
Island and on the eastern coast to Miami.


Crossing-from a more or less untamed country
on the eastern side of the river, we entered a
highly cultivated land in the vicinity of Sanford.
The western old flood plain of the Saint John's
has been transformed into a vast vegetable garden
where "weeds" vie with "truck" for the su-
premacy. The ragweed (Ambrosia artemisifolia)
was as high as one's head, and fields of celery,
peppers, cabbage, lettuce, and other vegetables
often stretched in the distance as far as the eye
could see.
Continuing westward black-jack ridges ap-
peared as we reached the heart of the lake region.'
The black-jack or turkey-oak (Quercus Catesbaei)
had put on its very bright-green new leaves which
in the fall were to become, as described in a
former article,8 a brilliant red. In crossing these
ridges we were struck with the character of the
bark of the oaks and the pines. The oaks (Quer-
cus cinerea) are very rough, deeply furrowed,
and ridged. They, too, are like the pines with
which they are associated, of striking gray color.
Why? These questions also came to mind, why
7 The black-jack ridges comprise large areas in Florida. They
are irregular in shape and placement or in parallel ranges. They
are dry and rather barren. Oaks, black-jack (Quesur Catesbaei)
and upland willow-oak (Q. olaerea), often called black-jack, are
the most conspicuous broad-leaved trees.
8 Journal of The New York Botanical Garden 24: 11. 1923.


are pinelands? Why are black-jack ridges Why
is scrub
On the hills in the lake region9 a few kinds of
plants had put forth flowers showing some variety
in color-among them the delicate spiderwort
(Cuthbertia), queen's-root (Stillingia), golden-
saucers (Piriquita), tread-softly (Cnidoscolus),
calophanes (Dyschoriste), umbrella-plant (Erio-
gonum). It is of interest to note that all these
plants have drought-resisting roots or subter-
ranean food-reservoirs. About the lakes there
were vast stretches of. the colorless fire-weed
(Erechtites) or the highly colored pickerel-weed
or wampee (Pontederia). The low hammocks
were conspicuous with borders of white-flowered
elder trees (Sambucus) or the yellow-flowered
evening-primrose (Jussiaea), both of which bloom
nearly or quite the year round. These plants are
widely distributed, for their fruits are adapted
to easy dispersal. Those of the former are fleshy
and eaten by birds; those of the latter burst and
scatter the dust-like seeds which are carried far
by the winds. A favorite garden plant in the
The lake region comprises a large area on the backbone of the
State. The surface is very hilly. Some of the hills are steep and
some rise to over two hundred feet above the sea. Between them
are thousands of small round lakes or large irregular lakes. The
soil is sand which is often snow-white and frequently supports large
areas of vegetation called "scrub."




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towns was the Florida century-plant (Agave
neglecta). This elegant succulent was discovered
in the Tomoka region nearly two centuries ago by
the Bartrams, but it was without a correct botani-
cal name until the beginning of this century.
From the lake region we passed into the lime-
sink"1 region-now an agricultural district. Here
a favorite flower-garden plant was the spineless
cactus (Opuntia Ficus-Indica), which was often
seen in full bloom.
Old farming country had two marks of identi-
fication: The one the avenues of old oaks planted
by the pioneers along the roads many years ago;
the other, the presence of "weeds"-Natal-grass
(Tricholaena) of recent introduction, but now
thoroughly naturalized, and the old-fashioned
Jamestown-weed or Jimson-weed (Datura Stra-
monium). Abandoned fields were prolific nur-
series for the clotbur (Xanthium) making millions
of seeds to scatter and infest other localities.
About sundown we crossed from the lime-sink
region into the wild and more sparsely settled
10 The lime-sink region, extending as an irregular area somewhat
diagonally from Hernando County up into southern Georgia, is
largely rolling sandy pine woods with many depressions or sinks.
There are few streams. The depressions are mostly dry in the
northern parts. Further south they often contain water. Springs
are frequent along the few rivers.


Gulf Hammock" region, and after dark continued
our journey until we reached Crystal River.

Many evidences of aboriginal activity now con-
fronted us, as they already had on the eastern
coast-a region of shell-middens and consequently
a more than ordinarily interesting flora. Crystal
River, like the lagoons along the eastern coast,
was an ideal place for both the oyster and the red-
man, and, in addition, the latter had the great
Gulf Hammock to draw on for various other
meats in addition to the fish and oyster of the
waters. The settlement of Crystal River is situ-
ated at the head of the river of the same name,
which arises abruptly as a spring and flows
through a wet plain a dozen miles westward to the
Gulf. In the morning we procured a motor-boat
and started down the river. We stopped at
Spanish Mound, which is situated less than half
way down the stream. Its floristics were referred
to it in a former article.12 Out of curiosity we
n The Gulf Hammock region extends along the coast from
Tarpon Springs to Saint Marks. Inland it covers from fifteen to
twenty miles and has little altitude. It contains many low ham-
mocks, some of which, especially the great Gulf Hammock, are
large in extent and comprise a considerable number of different
kinds of broad-leaved trees.
12 Journal of The New York Botanical Garden 25: 62, 63. 1924.


measured the mound. It extends about sixty feet
east and west, about one hundred and six feet
north and south, and is thirty-two feet high. The
evident shells which comprise it are oyster, the
clam (Venus), and the conch. There are several
smaller mounds near the large one and a village
site adjoining it. The mound itself and its envi-
rons are. clothed with hammock. More than a
dozen kinds of trees were common: among them
were the magnolia (Magnolia foetida), sweet-bay
(Magnolia virginiana), swamp-bay (Tamala
pubescens), linden (Tilia heterophylla), hickory
(Hicoria glabra), live-oak (Quercus virginiana),
choke-cherry (Padus virginiana), ash (Fraxinus
lanceolata), soapberry (Sapindus marginatus),
persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), water-oak
(Quercus nigra). Vines and recliners were plen-
tiful-such as the grape (Vitis aestivalis), spiny-
buckthorn (Sageretia minutiflora), and the snow-
berry (Chiococca alba). Of particular interest
were the big trees of the hickory and sweet-bay,
which were often over three feet in diameter.
The mulberry (Morus rubra) was much in evi-
dence, as it is also on and about nearly every
aboriginal settlement. The Indians doubtless
used the fruits as food, and it is a matter of


record that they employed the inner bark for
clothing, such as they used.
We landed, for a short time, at the large shell-
midden at the mouth of the river. This structure
and its plants have been described in detail in a
former article.'" The two more conspicuous plants
at this season were the Spanish-bayonet (Yucca
aloifolia) and cool-and-easy (Zanthoxylum Clava-
Herculis). Both of these were formerly much
used by the pioneer. The leaves of the Spanish-
bayonet contain an exceedingly strong fiber which
was used in cases where a strong string or rope
was needed. The cool-and-easy or toothache-tree
was used as a toothache remedy-giving to the
mouth, as the name implies, a refreshing, astrin-
gent feeling. Citrus trees-lemon and orange-
were there also, perhaps the descendants of
plants introduced when the Spaniards were active
in that region.
Large-' rooted" plants are a feature of this
midden. Of course, the so-called "root" of the
coontie (Zamia) is the stem of the plant. The
largest underground structure of the midden,
however, is a real root which produces numerous
herbaceous vines .(Ipomoea). The usual sym-
metry of these bulky underground structures is
13 Journal of The New York Botanical Garden 25: 63. 1924.


quite remarkable when we consider the great and
uneven pressure required to make places for
themselves in the firmly packed masses of shells.
These great ipomoea roots, some large enough to
fill a bushel basket, were sending out new tender
branches, while some had the old stems attached
which bore the remains of morning-glory pods
from which we even secured a few seeds. Per-
haps this root was one of the economic plants of
the aborigines, for it is found only on or about
the kitchen-middens. The largest root collected
weighed fifty-two and a half pounds several
months after it was out of the shell-heap. The most
abundant shrub was the snowberry (Chiococca),
which almost completely covered the shells with a
thick green carpet of matted stems and leaves,
over which were frequently scattered clusters of
white flowers and ivory-like fruits. Toward the
water, where visitors are accustomed to land,
weeds had crept into the native plant association.
We noticed the wild-carrot (Daucus pusillus),
sow-thistle (Sonchus oleraceus), beggar's-ticks
(Bidens leucantha), pepper-grass (Lepidium vir-
ginicum), goose-foot (Chenopodium album).
The sight of the delta of the Withlacoochee six
or seven miles up the coast from the mouth of the
Crystal River was too enticing to resist, so we


headed our boat northward for Port Inglis. Ex-
cept for an army surgeon, Dr. G. W. Hulse, during
the Seminole wars, botanists had not visited that
locality. Dr. Hulse collected specimens of Zamia
there and wrote about them, as recorded in a for-
mer article." From this part the Florida phos-
phate rock was formerly shipped to Germany. The
place is now almost deserted. We were greeted
by a pack of some eighteen hungry dogs, however,
who gave us a noisy, but, fortunately, not a touch-
ing welcome. We soon located the Zamia we
sought. It grew luxuriantly in the shells of the
kitchen-midden and in shell soil. Although Zamia
represents a group which may be considered a
remnant, as it were, of a former geologic era, its
present representatives are not easy to extermi-
nate, else the natural supply in Florida would be
nearer the verge of extinction than it is today."
This delta, inhabited by the aborigines for ages,
has also been settled by the white man for many
years. Some of the old red-cedars (Sabina sili-
cicola) looked as if they might have been there at
the end of the red-man's occupation. The white
14 Journal of The New York Botanical Garden 22: 121-137.
is The aborigines, the Creeks (Seminoles), and the white man
have all drawn on the natural supply of plants for starch or flour.
Today a certain cracker of one of our large biscuit companies is
made from flour derived from the wild zamias of Florida.


man has left his mark by leveling off the top of
shell-mounds for buildings and gardens, and by
such exotic and now naturalized plants as sweet-
alyssum (Koniga maritima), peach (Amygdalus
persica), and fig (Ficus Carica). The water-
hyacinth, too, was floating about in the labyrinth
of channels.
A high tide enabled us to run back to the Crys-
tal River rather close to the Gulf shore. The
palmetto-clad shore and atoll-like islands continu-
ally invited an inspection of their sandy or wood-
clad shore. Then, too, there are two small shell-
middens on the shore in Boggy Bay and one built
up on an island two miles off shore. Our in-
tended trip up Salt River necessitated haste in
that direction. A number of interesting shell-
mounds exist in its upper reaches."1 However, the
day was so far spent that we could devote a short
time to only one mound before Salt River was
reached. There we found the skeleton of a large
whale that had been blown ashore during a storm
three or four years before. The skeleton was of
ie There are several dozen very interesting shell-mounds in the
upper (southern) reaches of Salt River and over in Homosassa
River and Saint Martin's River. Some mounds are built up on
the shores of the streams and lagoons; others on rock reefs in the
waters. The latter showing banks of weathered white or gray
shells capped by the greenery of various shrubs and trees are ex-
ceedingly picturesque objects rising from the green or blue water.


particular interest to us because it solved the
problem of the strange bones, the epiphysial
plates mentioned on a preceding page, we found
in the shell-midden south of Daytona. We found
our way back into Crystal River, where the hori-
zontal rays of the sun silhouetted the cabbage-
trees (Sabal Palmetto), with their pale trunks and
bright green crowns against the more somber
green of the deep hammocks. While going up
the river, the air about sundown was laden with
the fragrance of the big-magnolia (Magnolia
foetida), the sweet-bay (Magnolia virginiana),
and the grape (Vitis), blended in varying degrees.
The preceding pages refer much to Florida's
yesterday through the kitchen-middens. Ap-
proaching the head of the river the view of the
large pencil factory at Crystal River brought to
mind the evolution of Florida's today and re-
minded us of the fast approaching extermination
of native floral life in Florida. The red-cedar is
being used up for lead-pencils-or should we say,
has been; the pine for fruit-crates, the hickory
for wheel-spokes and tool-handles. The animals,
even in the deepest hammocks, are likewise being
exterminated-for "sport"; and the ground it-
self is being drained and burned until it is unpro-
ductive. What is to be Florida's tomorrow?



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Early the following morning we set out for the
Pinellas Peninsula. We had to go inland to
Inverness, crossing ridges of barren country until
we got back into the agricultural belt. Turning
southward at Inverness, we visited the celebrated
fern grottoes." Even with the dense shade,
which, however, was somewhat reduced by recent
storms, the grottoes showed the effects of the
drought. Many of the flowering plants and ferns
were wilted. Four tropical shrubs, however,
maintained their freshness, and were in both
flower and fruit-bird-pepper (Capsicum bac-
catum), snowberry (Chiococca alba), and wild-
coffee (Psychotria undata, P. Sulzneri). All
these are favorite bird-foods. In this connec-
tion, it may be stated that an interesting condition
of camouflage was noticed in the case of the rocks
and trees. The trees grow on the exposed lime-
stone rock. The large roots of the oaks, the
maples, the cypress, and, other trees match the
weathered limestone rock so closely that it is often
difficult to tell, even when only a short distance
away, where the roots and the rock meet. Is this
a case of protective coloration, or just the har-
mony so often observed in Nature?
1 Journal of The New York Botanical Garden 21: 34-38. 1920.


These fern-grottoes are unique. They consist
of massive rocks, cliffs, boulders, caions, wells,
and caves, all heavily wooded with cypress trees in
the low parts along the Withlacoochee and oaks,
maples, hickories and a dozen other kinds of
broad-leaved trees. There are sixteen different
kinds of ferns flourishing there in profusion. So
copious is the growth and intermixed the species
that one may frequently grasp the leaves of a half
dozen different kinds of ferns in one hand. There
are erect ferns, drooping ferns, and creeping
ferns on the rocks. The beauty of the fern-growth
is augmented by two stemless palms, the needle-
palm and the dwarf-palmetto or blue-stem, both
of which, contrary to their normal low-land habi-
tat, grow there on the relatively dry rocks. And,
all this is in the process of destruction. A large
quarry has already defaced one side and further
devastation will continue, destroying this unique
natural monument.
Traveling from Floral City to Brooksville we
were again impressed with the brilliant green of
the new leaves of the black-jack (Quercus Cates-
baei), especially when they were contrasted
against a background of the live-oak (Quercus
virginiana) or a screen of pine-trees where they
were present. From Brooksville to the Gulf of


Mexico scarcely any plants were in bloom, and the
effects of the drought had even caused the hardy
saw-palmetto (Serenoa repens) to turn a decided
yellow-green. In the vicinity of Weekiwachee
Springs we made two good discoveries, the one
the white-leaved gopher-apple (Geobalanus in-
canus), a low shrub with underground stems and
mostly confined to the southern part of the penin-
sula; the other our most showy basil (Clino-
podium coccineum), a shrub of the mint family
with many small leaves and long scarlet flowers
nearly or quite two inches in length.
The western Gulf coast from Aripeka to the
Pinellas Peninsula had largely recovered from
the effect of the hurricane of the preceding fall,
but now the drought had it in its grip. Very few
plants were in bloom. The almost ubiquitous
beggar's-ticks (Coreopsis Leavenworthii) showed
itself here and, there, and the native zamia was a
conspicuous plant in gardens along the Gulf.
We reached Saint Petersburg after dusk and
in the morning we went to the west point of
Clam Bayou, where we met our four native man-
groves-the red, the white, the black, and the
button. Among other southern shrubs and trees
we found sea-grape (Coccolobis uvifera), saffron-
plum (Bumelia angustifolia), and shrub-lobelia


(Scaevola Plumieri). The most interesting
shrub, however, was the large varnish-leaf
(Dodonaea viscosa), one of our rarest plants. It
was found once before in this region and once
along Bay Biscayne at Cutler. Two other
species of Dodonaea occur in Florida, both with
smaller leaves and smaller fruits, the one known
to occur also in the West Indies, the other endemic
on Big Pine Key. One normally subterranean
object-here exposed to view by a heavy surf-
was of special interest. It was the root and root-
stock system of the Spanish-bayonet (Yucca
aloifolia). This was almost like the correspond-
ing parts of some of the bamboos or greenbriers
-species of Smilax-from; which the aborigi-
nes made a red flour.
Another element that reminded us of more
tropical regions was the woody coin-vine (Dal-
bergia Ecastophyllum). Herbaceous plants were
wanting. The shores of Lake Maggiore, however,
furnished some herbaceous plants of more north-
ern relationships, such as milkweed (Asclepias
lanceolata), ladies' tresses (Ibidium cernuum),
and snake-mouth (Pogonia ophioglossoides). Yet
those two typically southern trees one finds
wherever southern birds go, the marlberry


(Icacorea) and myrsine (Rapanea), were present
in the hammock.
We next visited Maximo Point where there is
a serpentine aboriginal mound running east and
west for about a quarter of a mile. Lack of time
prevented our investigating this mound. Many
stone implements, all imported, of course, by the
local aborigines from more northern regions, have
been found there.
One of our objects of search was on Long Key.
A curiously branching palm, "different from any
other found in Florida," had been reported as
growing there. Hence we hastened across the
bay. Our suspicions had been aroused as to a
possible less interesting palm than had been re-
ported, for about Lake Maggiore we had noticed
considerable branching among the saw-palmetto
plants. The palms on Long Key opposite Gulfport
turned out to be the same as those mentioned
above. The flora of Long Key as we saw it in
December has been described in a former paper."
Of course, other plants were noticed at this season
than those met with in December. One in particu-
lar was a peculiar plant, thewhisp-fern (Psilotum
nudum). This is primarily a hammock inhabi-
tant, but, curiously enough, it occasionally may be
is Journal of The New York Botanical Garden 25: 66, 67. 1924.


found out on exposed sand-dunes growing on the
trunks of saw-palmettos and at the bases of other
The next section of the itinerary was a route to
the eastern coast. Ponds about Saint Petersburg
and Tampa were filled with our largest spatter-
dock, described some years ago by the writer as
Nymphaea macrophylla. The leathery leaves
sometimes became nearly three feet long and give
a pond a rather unusual aspect. The Pinellas
Peninsula is of much later development, economi-
cally, than the Tampa region, for in the former
we find citrus groves and otherwise wild lands; in
the latter we find citrus groves and farm-land.
As we entered the lake region, the lowlands
showed some flowers on the withe-rod (Vibur-
num), false-asters (Doellingeria), beggar's-ticks
(Coreopsis), pimpernel (Ilysanthes), and lobelias.
On the sandhills we came upon several places
where three dry soil plants were flourishing, and,
curiously enough, all three were wand-like plants
with the specific name floridana, namely, Erio-
gonum, Froelichia, and Chapmannia. A coastal
plant, the railroad-vine (Ipomoea Pes-Capri), was
not uncommon in pinelands. East of Kissimmee
we passed out of the lake region into the flat-
woods. The lower flats, sparsely populated with


pine trees, gave an example of how particular
certain plants are as to habitat. Although there
was no condition visible to the eye, an area here
would be populated with Saint John's-wort
(Hyperictm), another by pitcher-plant (Sarra-
cenia), and a contiguous area by a yellow milk-
wort (Polygala). As a result of seed dispersal
there is no reason why the plants should not mix,
but the conditions hidden in the soil evidently
prevent them from doing so.
From the pinelands we passed into the prairie-
lagoon of the upper Saint John's River, which
stretches from east to west for a distance of about
nine miles. The last time we crossed it was a cold
December night. This warm spring afternoon
was quite a contrast. In spite of the general
drought the vast drainage basin supplied the low
parts and ditches with water enough to keep the
aquatic plants in healthy condition and these en
masse were wonderful rendezvous for the various
water birds. There were colonies of upright
aquatics such as cat-tail (Typha), wampee (Pon-
tederia), arrowhead (Sagittaria), violet-flags
(Iris), with flowers over half a foot wide, and
colonies of floating aquatics, such as water-lettuce
(Pistia), water-hyacinth (Piaropus), water-lily
(Castalia), and spatterdocks (Nymphaea). The


two latter plants often had leaves that suggested
the celebrated "victoria-regia." Water birds of
various kinds were standing on or running over
the floating colonies of water-plants. The more
unusual birds were the Florida.gallinule and the
The high pineland eastward, simulating a long
ridge viewed from out on the prairie, was soon
achieved. The long-leaf pines and the short-leaf
ones in the scrub had developed their season's
stout twigs just far enough to give the trees the
aspect of having been decorated with numer-
ous candles.
As we started down the eastern coast from
Melbourne at dusk, the moon-flowers began to
burst open all along the way. Later in the even-
ing our spotlight shining several hundred feet
ahead brought out the moon-flowers sharply
against their dark green backgrounds, and in
passing through a hammock we seemed to be pass-
ing through an avenue lined with these large,
rather unusual, snow-white flowers. After a
night at Fort Pierce we pushed on southward.
The tropical hammocks along Saint Lucie Sound
exhibited fresh anomalies. The more interesting
one at this time was the growth of the wild-pepper
(Peperomia humilis). Here it occupies the high-




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est and driest part of the sand-ridge far from
standing water. The rain that does fall rapidly
drains into the deep loose sand. In contrast to
this phenomenon the habitat of the same species
at Cape Sable is semiaquatic--a good part of
the year the plants are partly submerged. How-
ever, the growth at the two localities is identical
in habit and in luxurianceI
The pinelands were usually almost flowerless.
Here and there a yellow flower of the big
partridge-pea (Chamaecrista brachiata) and of
a golden-rod (Solidago) would appear. The
scrub was more interesting, although more
desert-like than we had previously seen it. In the
virgin scrub the dry weather seemed to bring out
the fragrance of the spruce-pine (Pinus clausa),
which frequently filled the air with a truly spruce-
like odor. This fact furnishes a second reason for
the popular name of the pine typical of the scrub.
The other reason is because the pine in young
foliage does resemble a spruce tree when viewed
in the landscape.
The result of two methods of destroying
scrub were noticed. Where the growth has
been removed by clearing the land without burn-
ing, the shrubs and pine trees quickly reassert
themselves and the scrub tends to be restored.


However, when the land has been burned, per-
haps repeatedly, the area becomes a sandy waste
with few herbaceous plants, and scattered shrubs
of a few kinds that spring up from fruits brought
in by animals.
Evening found us at Miami with our collecting
headquarters established in the laboratory build-
ing of the Plant Introduction Garden of the United
States Department of Agriculture and at the
Charles Deering reservations as well.

The time between major excursions was spent
in studies particularly in the Deering cactus plan-
tation at Buena Vista, in the Deering hammock
at Cutler, and, incidentally, in several of the ham-
mocks of Everglade Keys.'1
Our first discovery at Cutler was the little West
Indian fern, Sphenomeris clavata in lime-sinks
19 The Everglade Keys or the Miami Limestone Region, an area
of exposed oolitic limestone, consists of a chain of islands enclosed
by the southern portion of the Everglades, except where some of
the islands come in contact with the upper half of Bay Bisoayne.
The chain stretches, in crescent form, from somewhat north of the
Miami River southwestward toward Cape Sable for a distance of
about fifty-five miles. The islands, apparently, in ancient times
formed a part of the Antillee. This was when the subterranean
mountain whose summit makes the present peninsula of Florida
was less elevated. The native vegetation of the islands is essen-
tially of a tropical character, with strong relationships to the flora
of Cuba and of the Bahamas. As far as the native fora is con-
cerned the Everglade Keys represent a small tropical area isolated
on the mainland of the United States. There are two main
divisions, the Biscayne Pineland and the Long-Pine Key Pineland.


where the pineland formerly met the lowland
alongiBay Biscayne. About a score of years ago
it was discovered this side of the Gulf Stream in
a limestone sink a few miles east of the one-time
Camp Jackson, then in a sink near the old Silver
Palm settlement in the "homestead region," then
on a pine island east of Naranja, and finally near
the eastern end of Long Pine Key. It was scarce
at these localities except the third mentioned one.
As soon as we found the-fern at Cutler we motored
to the big island east of Naranja to see if the fern
still grew there. When we first happened on this
virgin island, which is fully three miles long and
averages a mile in width, it was unspoiled as yet
by the white man. Then the rocky floor was liter-
ally carpeted with this fern. It grew so luxuri-
antly that deer would lie in the dense beds and
several times they arose from their ferny beds
only a few feet in front of us as we approached.
This year we found houses nearly everywhere, but
not a leaf of the fern This island had been
burned over many times and very likely the fern
was thus exterminated. It doubtless met the same
fate as in the other localities where it once grew
only sparingly, for they lay in the areas of fre-
quent fires.


The prairies about the island had been fire-
swept so often that very little nourishment re-
mained in the marl. The colic-root (Aletris),
ladies'-tresses (Ibidium), grass-pink (Limo-
dorum), yellow-flax (Cathartolinum), and marsh-
pink (Sabbatia) were decorating the prairies with
their flowers, but the stunted plants were mostly
only about a half foot tall or scarcely a quarter
the height their predecessors were wont to be sev-
eral years before. Once more, it was impressed
upon us that tragic truth: Florida is being drained
and burned to such an extent that it will soon be-
come a desert No herbaceous plants had ap-
peared to attract our eye in the high pinelands,
but several woody plants had felt the advent of
spring-locust-berry (Byrsonima lucida), long-
stalked stopper (Anamomis longipes), coco-plum
(Chrysobalanus pellocarpus), poison-wood (Meto-
pium Metopium), darling-plum (Reynosia septen-
trionalis), and myrsine (Rapanea guianensis).
These, however, were not trees as they should
have been, but shrubs, with what structures they
had developed to correspond to trunks merely
gnarled woody masses buried in the erosion holes
in the rock. The branches either spread on the
surface of the rock or stood up to a height of two
or three feet. The moist lime-sinks alone showed


color, being often lined with the mist-flower (Cono-
clinium) bearing myriads of diminutive blue
brush-like flower heads.
The Hattie Bauer hammock"0 has a number of
unique features, and formerly had more. At one
time it possessed the finest growth of the West
Indian holly (Ilex Krugiana) this side of the Gulf
Stream, and this grove when in flower filled the
air with violet-like fragrance far and wide. It ex-
celled all the other hammocks in the number of
these trees and also in their size. It is the only
locality outside of the West Indies for the rare
wild-pepper (Peperomia spathulifolia). This
plant is represented by a copious and luxuriant
growth. It has no close relations in Florida, and
is known from only two islands on the other side
of the Gulf Stream. The Bauer hammock, too,
is the only station for the vine-fern (Phymatodes
exigua) on the Florida mainland. This little fern,
contrary to the usual habit of epiphytes, selects
smooth-barked trees for its host or arbor instead
of rough-barked ones. The slender stems are
so This hammock, and more than a score similar to it, are asso-
ciations of tropical shrubs and trees in the pinelands of the Ever,
glade Keys. The trees are mostly those widely distributed in the
West Indies. However, there are several rarities, for b ample, one
--Misatea triandra-of Cuba and Jamaica and another--Talsia
pecdioarl -which is otherwise not known this side of British
Guiana. There are two woody tropical plant-associations in
Florida, the one just referred to and the maritime one consisting
of the mangroves and associated trees and shrubs.


flattened in the same plane as the host and are
held closely appressed to the bark by numerous
rootlets. The young leaves are small, short and
broad, and are also appressed to the host. The
subsequent leaves, the sporophylls, are long and
narrow, and more laxly disposed. This hammock
is the home of another noteworthy fern-a fan-
shaped filmy one (Trichomanes punctata). The
sides of some of the large lime-sinks are lined
with mats of this little fern-the smallest fern in
North America. Its leaves are iridescent and
show beautiful shades of green in the half-light of
the sinks. The growth of ages clothing the per-
pendicular honey-combed rock walls, with the
leaves overlapping after the manner of a thatch
of shingles, may be pulled off in mats, which com-
prise thousands of leaves. Although the shrubs
and trees were quite dilapidated as a result of the
protracted drought, the wild-peppers and the
ferns just referred to were thriving luxuriantly.
Many kinds of ferns occupy appropriate habitats
in the Bauer hammock, both terrestrial and
epiphytic. Four kinds of halberd-fern (Tectaria)
occur there. In fact, it is the only hammock where
all four species grow, and two of them are
endemic. The interesting phenomenon in this
connection was some plants of the small halberd-

FLomDaA's TRAGimy

fern (Tectaria minima) "sporting," i.e., the leaf-
blades were irregularly cut beyond the normal
incisions, after the manner of some forms of the
Boston-fern (Nephrolepis).
The Nixon-Lewis hammock likewise is a rich
botanical repository. Another kind of filmy-fern
(Trichomanes Krausii) has its home there-a
feather-shaped filmy fern unlike the one referred
to above. This kind inhabits tree-trunks and pros-
trate logs, instead of rocks. More showy than the
fern is one of the many kinds of epiphytic orchids.
This is the large spider-orchid (Brassia caudata),
and the long strings of spider-like, mottled flow-
ers hung in clusters from the limbs of trees. This
is the only hammock in the Biscayne pineland
where Brassia grows.
The air was fragrant with the odors of various
blooming shrubs that grew about the margins of
the hammocks. The bustic or cassada (Dipholis
salicifolia) gave off an odor resembling cherry
blossoms or sometimes trailing arbutus, while the
fragrance of the rough velvet-seed (Guettarda
scabra) resembled that of the Japanese honey-
suckle (Nintooa japonica).
From Miami we went on to Cape Sable." Three
1 Cape Sable, Florida, comprising three capee-East, Middle
and Northwest-is a crescent-ehaped plateau built up of marl and
sand. It is slightly elevated above high tide. Vast prairies which


days were devoted to the region of the Cape with
instructive results and where much of interest
still remains to be disclosed. There were two
outstanding phenomena observed en route in the
Biscayne Pineland. The one the occurrence of the
cypress (Taxodium) in the hammocks on the
southern side of Snapper Creek prairie. This is
the only locality one finds for the cypress south of
the Miami River until the Royal Palm hammock
is reached. The cypress was formerly well repre-
sented in the hammocks where the prairie and the
Everglades met. These were favorite temporary
camping places for the Indians. The growth
culminates in the Deering Snapper Creek ham-
mock, where it is plentiful, and nearly reaches the
coastal salt marshes. The other phenomenon is
the growth of poison-wood trees (Metopium) in
the pinewoods west of Big Hammock prairie.
These trees represent the sole arboreous growth
in the pinewoods other than pine trees and form
striking objects with their pale-gray bark and
deep green leaves.
As a result of the long drought the water-table
of the Everglades was very low. The ditches
dominate support scattered hammocks of tropical trees and shrubs.
It is bounded on the east by mangrove swamps and on the north
by White Water Bay and the Ten Thousand Islands. The East
Cape is the most southern point on the mainland of the United
States. Key West lies about sixty miles to the southwest.

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along the highway about Royal Palm hammock
were dry-a condition heretofore not often
observed. As we proceeded southward beyond
Royal Palm hammock, water began to appear in
the ditch along the roadway and for many miles
it increased in depth in proportion as the land
decreased in altitude, until the region of the in-
fluence of the tide was reached. There, of course,
the depth of the water depended upon the state
of the tide of the Bay of Florida. Various ponds
on the Lossman's River limestone, which were
ordinarily filled with water, and were now dry or
only partly filled, depended on the state of the
tide. The soft mud of these ponds was marked
with the tracks of heavy saurians, evidently of
two kinds, perhaps those of alligators, and of
crocodiles. For some distance southwest of Royal
Palm hammock a tropical flea-bane (Pluchea
odorata) had taken possession of the side of the
highway. This plant was known to grow on Key
West for many years before it spread elsewhere
in Florida. With the advent of the railroad on
the Keys, the fruits were carried eastward to
other Keys. The prevailing wind then evidently
carried the fruits, which are constructed for wind
transportation, northeastward. Several years
ago the plant was discovered on the prairies east


of Homestead, and now they appeared below
Royal Palm hammock. The new verdure of early
spring was evident everywhere. The fresh leaves
of the hundreds of hammocks clothing the little
rock reefs on the Miami oblite not only showed
different tints according to the species, but also
according to the elevation of the sun and the con-
sequent angles of its rays. The cypress trees
both within the heads and on the prairies showed
a vivid green of leaves, instead of the ghastly
white of the bark of a few months previous. Many
of the marshes of the Lossman's River limestone
were covered with a dense growth of a dark-green
or brownish rush (Juncus Roemerianus), or a
sedge (Mariscus jamaicensis), light-green when
young or simulating a field of fire when its tall
flowering panicles were pushed up above the

We drove to the crossing of the old Flamingo-
Coot Bay trail, then proceeded afoot westward
on the embankment of marl thrown up by the
dredge in excavating the canal. Canals dug by
man are not new to that part of the country.
There was one dug there through the marl ages
ago by the aborigines. It is true that the channel


is mostly filled in, but in periods of the greatest
drought the former ditch is always wet. Thus its
vegetation differs from that in the region
through which it runs. The natural growth is less
dense and ferns do not grow there, as the soil is
too continuously wet. There seems no doubt as
to the aboriginal origin of this water-way, for all
the natural canals of the region, for example
those connecting the various lakes, remain open
and their banks are devoid of aboriginal activi-
ties. The canal that is now filled in has small
kitchen-middens on its banks. These consist
mostly of the shells of the oyster, clam, and conch.
The position of the old canal can be seen where
the embankment of the Ingraham Highway
crosses it running westward, and where the
Roberts Highway" crosses it running southward
to the settlement of Flamingo. The embankment
of the highways continues to settle after that on
either side has become firm, and the water by
capillary attraction rises to the surface and
makes the roadway boggy.
By means of this artificial channel, the aborigi-
nes could pass in a few miles from the Whitewater
Bay region through Coot Bay into Mud Lake, by
22 This is a branch highway running three miles to the settle-
ment of Flamingo on Florida Bay. It is named for Stephen J.
Roberta, long a resident of Flamingo.


a natural channel, and thence to the Bay of
Florida, thus saving a distance of fifty miles,
moreior less, and, perhaps, a rough trip around
Cape Sable, where by a combined action of winds
and tides very rough water may result. This
gave them a short cut and a protected water
passage to the Florida Keys, where some of their
people had settlements, as described in this
narrative under the excursion to Big Pine Key.
The successors of the aborigines also made a
short cut across the Cape Sable region. In calm
weather they rounded the Cape in going from the
Ten Thousand Islands to the Florida Keys. But
in stormy weather they took their canoes into
Whitewater Bay as far as the most southern
shore, and then carried or dragged them over a
trail for a distance of about five miles to the
shores of Florida Bay, about midway between the
present settlement of Flamingo and the East

A week was devoted to one of our major excur-
sions, the ultimate objective being Cape Romano.
The necessary course was still a long detour
around the head of Lake Okeechobee. The dis-
tance of our objective made haste desirable, and


consequently little collecting was done along the
eastern coastal region. However, in driving
northward along the beach, the various shades of
green were impressed upon us. With the back-
ground of the indigo Gulf Stream and the paler-
blue cloudless sky above the sharply defined
horizon, the silver-green of the saw-palmetto
(Serenoa repens), the gray-green of the beach-
heliotrope (Tournefortia gnaphaloides), the yel-
low-green of the bay-cedar (Suriana maritima)
were all strongly emphasized. Inland the color
of flowers, varying with the season and rainfall,
was impressed on us by the yellow-heliotrope
(Heliotropium Leavenworthi), which was more
golden than we had noticed it previously. West of
the Jupiter River and its tributaries the usually
subaqueous Hungry Land"2 was nearly dry. Even
the robust Peruvian evening-primrose (Jussiaea
peruviana) was unable to produce flowers more
than an inch in diameter, which is less than half
the usual size.
There was little to attract the eye in the way of
color and, curiously enough, the color of flowers
that were present was uniformly yellow. Former
a2 Hungry Land; so called, it is said, because a herd of stolen
cattle were there penned up and allowed to starve, when the fright-
ened thieves fled. It is a desolate and uninhabited region lying
between Jupiter and the Allapattah Flats. It is characterized by
cypress swamps and flat-woods.


ponds were turned into pygmy forests, the tiny
trees being the sand-weed (Hypericum fascicu-
latum). They were suggestive of miniature
cypress trees. Grassy places supported a trinity
of yellow milkworts (Polygala cymosa, P.
ramosa, P. lutea). The yellow bladderwort
(Stomoisia juncea) grew along with the white-
top (Dichromena latifolia) which over-topped it
with its clustered inflorescence.
The desert-like areas of sand pumped from
the Saint Lucie slough" seemed dry as dust, yet
they supported some vegetation, consisting mainly
of such hardy herbs as wormwood (Chenopodium
ambrosioides), switch-grass (Spartina Bakeri),
Bermuda-grass (Capriola Dactylon), and beg-
gar's-ticks (Bidens leucantha). The shores of the
Saint Lucie canal had lately become lined with
the Peruvian evening primrose (Jussiaea peru-
viana), and so luxuriant is the growth in some
places that the plants have assumed the habit of
small trees.
On the western side of the canal we met a motor
car with the engine almost burning. When asked
in what condition the thirty odd miles of trail
24 The Saint Lucie Slough is a stretch of low country between
Lake Okeechobee and the headwaters of the Saint Lucie River.
The fifth water-highway leading out of Lake Okeechobee to the
Saint Lucie Biver near the eastern coast has been dredged through
that region.


to Lake Okeechobee were, the (driver replied:
"The trail is pretty good if you can get over it."
With this information we set out.
Near the Saint Lucie slough the swamp-
bracken (Blechnum serrulatum) was at its best
and formed vast areas of light green. Farther
on, along the borders where the pinelands end
and the prairies meet, the ground was a mass of
fluffy gray as a result of the numerous fruiting
heads of the pine-hyacinth (Viorna Baldwinii)
and the pine-thistle (Cirsium Smallii). We ran
out to the lake about sixteen miles south of its
head and drove up the present shore which a few
years ago was the bottom of the lake. Lines of
guava shrubs or groundsel bush indicated the
former stages of the water. The seeds of the
guava from which these bushes spring were
washed down from the hammock-ridge and
sprouted in lines where lodged; the fruits of the
groundsel-bush were blown into the lake and
washed ashore in lines where they, too, took root.
The old natural shore-line was indicated by the
ragged fringed hammock, often only marked by a
solitary cabbage-tree of a group, for these plants
are more immune to fire than any of the other
elements of the vegetation. The height of the
water of the lake during recent westerly storms


was indicated by the dead plants of the water-
hyacinth (Piaropus crassipes) heaped up in lines
on the sand.
Early the following morning we continued our
journey, starting out from Okeechobee City. This
time we forsook the old trail to the Cabbage Bluff
and the Caloosahatchee, and decided on a more
fascinating route, namely, that over the recently
exposed bottom of the western side of Lake Okee-
chobee. As we started down the lake bottom
south of Okeechobee City we drove through acres
of poke-weed (Phytolacca rigida), false-nettle
(Boehmeria cylindrica), and vervain (Verbena
polystachya), each of which had taken possession
of the land often in almost pure growths. We were
soon in Eagle Bay, as indicated by the extensive
marshes in which we promptly bogged. About an
hour was consumed in digging the car out of the
mud, after which we crossed a stretch of water,
which fortunately had a hard sand bottom just
about where we had anchored with a forty-five
foot cruiser nearly ten years before. The marshes
of Eagle Bay were vast fields of water-hyacinth
(Piaropus crassipes) and giant arrow-head (Sag-
ittaria lancifolia), whose constantly decaying
parts, together with the remains of the vegetation




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that preceded them, formed a deep layer of black
humus over the sandy or flat rock foundation.
Between Eagle Bay and the mouth of the Kis-
simmee River the very gently sloping lake bottom
was barren of vegetation, except clumps of very
tall pickerel-weed (Pontederia cordata), which,
on a small scale, resembled the hammock islands
of the Everglade-prairie near the Bay of Florida.
Further on, vegetation became more abundant
and such pioneer herbs as smart-weed (Persi-
caria), false-nettle (Boehmeria), fire-weed
(Erechtites), and dog-fennel (Eupatorium) mon-
opolized nearly all the land the lake had recently
given up. Upon limited areas even woody plants
had invaded; thus we noticed willow (Salix),
groundsel-bush (Baccharis), and even saw-pal-
metto (Serenoa) and cypress (Taxodium). The
growth of baccharis was often so dense and lux-
uriant that it formed an almost impassable bar-
rier. In dry sloughs the water-hyacinth had
given way to the amphibious smart-weed (Persi-
caria). Thence for several miles the prairie-
like like-bottom gradually rose to more elevated
While hunting for the trail which we tempora-
rily lost several miles east and south of the mouth
of Fisheating Creek, we were surprised to find


three Indian mounds of sand which, when the
waters of the lake stood at normal height, were
perhaps several miles off shore. The mounds
were of different sizes and their vegetation was
limited in variety and different from the vegeta-
tion of the nearest former shores. The herb
present was poor-man's patches (Mentselia).
There were three kinds of trees present: the
Dahoon or Yaupon (Ilex Cassine), the wax-
myrtle (Cerothamnus ceriferus), and the sugar-
berry (Celtis mississippiensis). The latter were
big trees, descendants, of course, of those that
were there during the aboriginal occupation.
However, the aborigines have been absent only
between one and two centuries, and it may be that
the sugar-berry is not there by accident. For, it
being a deciduous-leaved tree of rather rapid
growth, the red man who occupied these sites.
could have had the benefit of the cool shade in
summer and the warmth of the sun in winter. A
little further on we came upon another very large
mound, located at a township stake, 41 south, and
range 32 east. Most of the arboreous growth of
this mound had been destroyed by fire. A few
cypress trees and ash trees remained. The
castor-bean (Ricinus communis), however, had
taken possession of a large area and grew lux-

Fzoum&a's TRaGoDY

uriantly. The plants were in both flower and
fruit, and while we were on the mound the car
was continually pelted with the seeds thrown in
all directions from the explosive capsules. We
soon found the trail, and further on found the ad-
Vance guard of civilization constructing a canal
and a road leading to the local metropolis of
Moorehaven. On a previous page we remarked
about how the aborigines piled up vast quantities
of shells, unknowingly, of course, ready for the
white man to turn into roads. Here nature had
prepared for the same step in civilization. The
superficial geological structure here is a layer of
humus on top of about six feet of sand, and then
a deep layer of shells. To make the canal is
merely to excavate. The hard road is a result of
the excavation, i.e., the geological strata are re-
versed; the sand is thrown up on the prairie-
lately the lake bottom-to make an embankment,
and the shells from the layer beneath are placed
on top of the sand to make a hard surfaced road.
Our approach to modern civilization was also
indicated by the sight of vast areas of sandy
prairies with a thin coating of red dust, which
was the only remains of the thick layer of humus
that had been slowly laid down by nature through
the ages, and only recently been burned off.


Our visit to this region, about six years ago,
was described in two papers printed in 1918.2
The remarkable fertility of the humus where it
remained was still evident, but the widespread
destruction continued and was shown by the vast
desert of white sand where formerly a jungle was
supported on a deep humus-deposit. Where this
deposit remained either cultivated crops abounded
or the original hammocks and the forests of elder
(Sambucus Simpsonii) were emphasized in the
Native and exotic grasses grow with remarkable
luxuriance in the humus: the switch-grass (Spar-
tina Bakeri), the panic-grass (Panicum bartow-
ense), the Bermuda-grass (Capriola Dactylon),
the Rhodes-grass (Chloris Gayana), and the
finger-grass (Eustachys glauca) all grew to
nearly twice their usual size.
The remarkable vitality of the arrowhead
(Sagittaria lancifolia) was illustrated by a growth
of that plant, whose habitat is in water or about
on the water-table, on dry sand banks thrown up
six to ten feet above the natural surface of the
prairie. With it grew, naturalized, the dasheen
(Colocasia antiquorum), with its tubers buried
25 Journal of The New York Botanical Garden 19: 279-290.
1918. Journal of the American Museum of Natural History 18:
685-700. 1918.


deep in the sand. Another naturalized plant of
the region is a bushy potato (Solanum torvum),
which is thoroughly established in several widely
separated places. The only conspicuous native
plant then in bloom was the thistle (Cirsium
Smallii), which acted somewhat as a fire-weed,
often giving the distant burned or partly burned
areas a rose-purple tint with its myriad flower-
Traveling westward from Moorehaven, the
boundary of the prairie appeared as a continuous
blue line on the horizon. Our approach to the
edge of the prairie was indicated by the appear-
ance of saw-palmetto (Serenoa repens) and gall-
berry (Ilex glabra). There the saw-palmetto
was in bloom and the flowers gave off the odor
of coumerin. After traveling for fourteen or
fifteen miles, the blue line of the horizon, men-
tioned above, broke up into patches of pineland,
hammock, and cabbage-tree clusters, all indica-
tive of the water-shed of the Caloosahatchee.
There the flora changed. The drought had, evi-
dently, so much reduced the pasturage that cattle
had taken to eating the leaves of the saw-pal-
metto, just as they are accustomed to browse on
the dwarf-palmetto (Sabal minor) when it is


available. The flora was not showy. A beggar's-
ticks (Coreopsis Leavenworthii) was the most
conspicuous plant and a queen's-delight (Still-
ingia spatulata) grew with it. Of more interest
were two of our small and inconspicuous plants-
a water-starwort (Callitriche Nuttallii), whose
foliage gives off the fragrance of sweet-vernal
grass in drying, and an equally small plant, the
chaffweed (Centunculus pentandrus). These are
carpet-plants. They delight in the margins of
ponds, and as the water dries up they follow it as
it recedes, covering the muck with often a com-
plete green surface.
The long drought had been broken on the west-
ern coast by heavy showers a few days previous
to our advent. Consequently, the belated vegeta-
tion awoke with a rush. At least two dozen kinds
of flowers, representing nearly as many natural
plant families, grew along the way from Fort
Myers to Naples.
Recently fire-swept pinelands, bare otherwise,
were here and there embellished with patches of
pine-hyacinth (Viorna Baldwinii) and pine-lily
(Atamosco Simpsonii), whose subterranean food-
reservoirs seem to be stimulated to activity by fire
sweeping over them. There again, far from any
habitation, we found the guava growing natur-


ally. Before crossing to Marco Island we drove
into the Royal Palm hammocks" in spite of forest
fires which swept across the trail in several
places, and threatening thunder storms which
would have made the prairie impassable, had they
deluged the land with their rains. After passing
the palm hammock strand, consisting of cypress
(Taxodium), cabbage-trees (Sabal), maple
(Acer), and sweet-bay (Magnolia), the tops of
numerous royal-palms appeared both to the east
and to the west. On the trunks of these palms the
rare Cuban orchid-Polyrrhiza Lindeni-was first
found this side of the Gulf Stream. It is a curi-
ous plant, consisting mainly of cord-like roots, as
the generic name indicates, from which a short
almost leafless stem arises, which in turn bears
a large white, butterfly-like flower and then a long
fruit somewhat resembling a small "vanilla-
Vegetation in these hammocks is exceedingly
vigorous. For example, the gamma-grass (Trips-
acum) and the plume-grass (Erianthus) grew
twice as high as one's head. The Blodgett-potato
s6 Royal-Palm hammocks back of Marco Island consist of two
separated groups of palm trees. Originally there were numerous
palms in each colony, but the wholesale removal of trees for orna-
mental plantings at distant points and the cutting down of many
individuals for securing seeds for planting has greatly depleted the
original growth.


(Solanum Blodgettii), which usually is under
three feet in height, also grew up to twelve feet
high. In the open places there were fields of
dye-plant (Flaveria) and great clumps of ger-
mander (Teucrium) and its relative the obedient-
plant (Dracocephalum). The greatest surprise,
however, was the finding of the Australian-pine
(Casuarina) which had sprung up in the jungle,
perhaps, from seeds blown all the way across the
peninsula, by stages, of course, from the numer-
ous trees on the opposite eastern coast.
The general destruction referred to on previous
and succeeding pages was emphasized by increas-
ing forest fires in various directions. The smoke
and flame, together with the clouds of local
thunder storms, gave the outlook a lurid tinge.
Fortunately, we got back to the sandy trail just
as a storm burst and made the marl prairie so
slippery that a Imotor car could not have trav-
ersed it. A drive to Marco Pass, a ferry cross
it, and a drive across Marco Island, brought us to
our destination, namely, Caxambas.27
Although there were no signs of ancient Indian
occupation in the Royal-Palm hammocks, the
aboriginal red man doubtless derived part of his
sustenance from the copious fruits of the palms.
27 See Journal of The New York Botanical Garden 23: 142-144.
1922; 24: 227-229. 1923.



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On the other hand, Marco Island and Caxambas
Island furnish ample evidence of their activities,
and furthermore these Royal-Palm hammocks
were easily reached by water in former times,
just as they are now. There is a large kitchen-
midden at the northern end of Marco Island
where the modern town of Marco has sprung up,
while a very large midden-over several hundred
acres in extent-occupies a kind of broad swale
between the sandhills at the southern end of
Caxambas Island. Here is the settlement of
Caxambas. It is interesting to note how the
white man has so often unconsciously selected the
old village-sites of the red man for his modern
towns and cities. The Marco midden produced
little of interest, except a ground cover of Dr.
Garber's potato (Boerhaavia coccinea) with myri-
ads of little purple flowers and wild-cotton (Gos-
sypium punctatum) with large flowers, white in
the morning and pink in the afternoon.
The southerly tip of Romano Island is
Cape Romano, our ultimate goal. The object
of our search was the thatch-palm (Thrinax
parviflora), which has been reported as growing
there, having been discovered in that region in
1876.28 Our search was not rewarded by success;
2 Journal of The New York Botanical Garden 25: 237-244.


in fact, some of the older residents of the region,
who have been acquainted with the palms of the
Florida Keys and of Cape Sable, claim that this
palm had never been found on Cape Romano to
the best of their knowledge.
However, even if this thatch-palm did not grow
on Cape Romano, it evidently occurred and may
still exist in that region. In addition to the Chap-
man record, which merely reads, "Coast and Keys
of South Florida," specimens are extant said to
have been collected on "Caximbas Island, Flor-
ida, April 26, 1892, by J. H. Simpson." Since
writing the above, the following information was
received in a letter from Captain John F. Horr,
who is the best informed man on the history of
the region under consideration. Referring to both
the name Caxambas and the palm in question, he
"I always understood the word means wells, or
springs. Cuban fishing smacks often filled their
casks with fresh water there. If I understand
the palm problem, the Thrinax is the little palm,
of which there were a few on Cape Romano in
1875. I think the turtlers of Key West who used
to come there for green-turtle used them to make
their crawls, to confine the turtle until ready to


go back to Key West. I know of no palms of
that kind near the cape now."
Cape Romano and the island it is on is an iso-
lated place-well out in the Gulf of Mexico. Most
of the island is low, but an elevated barrier ridge
extends along the western, southern, and eastern
sides. Much of this ridge consists of small shells
piled up by the surf, similar to the dunes on the
islands off the Pinellas Peninsula-all suggest-
ing, in connection with the very prolific flowering
and fruiting of many plants, the prodigious waste-
fulness of nature. Mangroves, the four different
kinds, occupied the low land of the cape. The
sand and shell ridges supported a high hammock
growth. A dozen kinds of shrubs and trees of a
tropical character were common. Among them
were sea-grape (Coccolobis), bay-cedar (Suri-
ana), stopper (Eugenia), Jamaica-dogwood (Ich-
thyomethia), cat's-claw (Pithecolobium), snow-
berry (Chiococca). Herbs were scarce, a condi-
tion doubtless due to the frequent flooding of the
ridge during storms. The railroad-vine (Ipomoea
Pes-Capri), dew-flower (Commelina angustifolia)
and sea-rocket (Cakile lanceolata) were the only
common kinds of herbaceous plants in evidence.
Although the palm we sought was not forth-
coming, the palm family was copiously repre-


sented by the cabbage-tree (Sabal) and the saw-
palmetto (Serenoa). The cabbage-tree harbored
the sole representative of the fern family, the
epiphytic serpent-fern (Phlebodium).
The advent of new foliage was on and the
shades of green were numerous. In addition to
green, the developing leaves of the often quite
symmetrical wind-pruned gumbo-limbo (Elaph-
rium) and the irregular cat's-claw (Pithecolo-
bium) and sea-grape (Coccolobis) showed vari-
ous shades of red.
The beach-ridge, not conducive to the growth
of tender plants, was evidently suited to the more
rugged cacti. Prickly-pears (Opuntiae) were
plentiful and of as many shades of green as there
were species, and, in addition, the dildoe (Acantho-
cereus floridanus), sprawled over the shrubbery.
The striped-spined prickly-pear (Opuntia ze-
brina), not before known north of Cape Sable,
was, perhaps, the dominant species. The tropical
Opuntia Dillenii was represented and also a rela-
tive with much longer and relatively more slender
straight spines--Opuntia ochrocentra which also
grows on Big Pine Key. The kinds so far men-
tioned are erect plants. More interesting, how-
ever, was a smaller prostrate kind, with a pale-
green hue and short clustered white spines. Its


flower is small, with triangular sepals and few
narrow petals. The young fruits, too, indicate
something different from that of our other known
species of Opuntia." Another striking succulent
on the sand-ridges was the century-plant (Agave
decipiens) which simulated the Spanish-bayonet
(Yucca) in habit. The leafy stems stood often
higher than one's head.
Romano Island was not in favor with the abori-
gines as a place of residence. At least, there are
no evidences of its having been occupied in any
permanent way. However, the island between
that and Marco Island, Horr's Island, named for
Captain Horr mentioned above, tells a quite
different history. There the sand-dunes are
higher and the still higher kitchen-middens indi-
cate much former aboriginal activity. Sand-
dunes alone occupy the western part of the island;
on the eastern part and facing the north, is a
series of high shell-mounds which fall off abruptly
into Caxambas Bay. At the eastern end there
is said to be a burial mound. While collecting on
the westernmost shell-mound, we came upon the
old fire-place where the aborigines evidently
cooked such foods as they did not eat raw. The
9 This plant has been described as Opuntia eburispina Small,
Britton and Rose, The Cactaceae 4: 260. 1924. The specific
name refers to the ivory white spines.


flora of the middens is mainly woody and much
more interesting than that of the nearby Cape
Romano. In addition to the woody plants, men-
tioned in connection with the cape, we found on
the shell-mound such tropical shrubs and trees
as: chaparral-shrub (Momisia), strangling-fig
(Ficus), devil's-claws (Pisonia), caper-tree
(Capparis), coin-vine (Dalbergia), coco-plum
(Chrysobalanus), soapberry (Sapindus), marl-
berry (Icacorea), myrsine (Rapanea), heliotrope-
vine (Tournefortia), hog-plum (Ximenia), wild-
coffee (Psychotria), fire-bush (Hamelia)-all
interesting in being bearers of bird-carried fruits.
The lime (Citrus spinosissima) was also there,
perhaps a relic of aboriginal occupation after the
advent of the Spaniards.
The coconut (Cocos nucifera) is hardy on
Horr's Island. There are many good specimens
on the island planted by Captain Horr in 1884.
The shell-middens at Caxambas, opposite
Horr's Island, are somewhat peculiar in that they
consist largely of conch shells. They support a
very forbidding plant covering-century plants
(Agave decipiens), prickly-pears (Opuntiae),
dildoes (Acanthocereus floridanus), and armed
rigid shrubs, as the hog-plum (Ximenia ameri-
cana), the cat's-claw (Pithecolobium Unguis-Cati),

FLORIDA's Tpaomy

wild-lime (Zanthoxylum Fagara), and sprawling
vines, as the devil's-claws (Pisonia aculeata),
gray-nicker (Guilandina Crista).
The middens are very interesting, both as to
their contents and their floristics. It must have
been the scene of wonderful activities in ancient
times. The accumulation of conch shells is pro-
digious, and each one was punctured in the same
way for the purpose of removing the animal for
eating. In the perpendicular sections made by
digging away the shells for making roads, layers
or strata of different kinds of shells may be seen.
These indicate the remains of the eating during
different seasons or of different occupations.
Also, marking off different strata are layers of
charcoal and bones of animals which indicate
where the animals were cooked and eaten. In
addition to the large midden, there is a small one
in the mangroves. This, as in the case of the
village-site and burial mound in the mangroves
along Bay Biscayne, referred to on a subsequent
page, may once have been on higher ground. It
may furnish another bit of evidence that the
Coastal Plain is slowly sinking. Various stone
Implements have been found in these middens,
imported, of course, from further north. For
example, recently found among the shells was a


circular millstone about a foot and a half in
diameter with an eccentric hole, evidently for a
handle. It was doubtless used for grinding palm
seeds and perhaps maize. Two beautifully fin-
ished ceremonial ax-heads of granite or syenite
have been unearthed. The woody and succulent
vegetation on the midden and sandhills was flour-
ishing, but the long drought had rendered them
a desert as far as herbaceous vegetation was
The lime of the disintegrating shells, the humus
from past vegetation, the slowly decomposing
bones, and the charcoal furnish an ideal food for
many plants, for the surface of the midden is
copiously clothed with vegetation. Many giant
live-oaks and other trees lay prostrate as a result
of the digging away of the shell-mass. One tree
among those fallen and those still standing was
the coral-bean (Erythrina arborea). This woody
plant grows as a vine, a shrub, and a tree. On
these shell-middens it occurred as a tree and
a shrub combined. It grew just as the Jamaica-
dogwood (Ichthyomethia) does on the southern
front of Big Pine Key, as described on a subse-
quent page. Several stems or trunks, six to ten
together, arose from the ground. The bark, too,
was smooth and green, just as in the dogwood.


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The sand dunes near the kitchen-middens are
of especial botanical interest. The prickly-pear
(Opuntia polycarpa), so abundant at Atlantic
Beach east of Jacksonville, is repeated here both
in kind and in abundance. The existence of these
two cactus fields at diagonally opposite ends of
the Florida peninsula gives some grounds for
considering the present cactus flora of the State
a remnant of a former wider and more abundant
growth of these succulents. There we found the
giant-rooted morning-glory (Ipomoea macro-
rhiza), previously seen on the shell-middens along
Crystal River, also, with roots large enough to fill
a bushel-basket. A very slender spurge (Chamae-
syce) was plentiful on the bare sands, but usually
almost invisible on account of the color of the
stems and leaves which closely match that of the
sand. Upon examination some plants showed as
many as two dozen stems radiating from one
root. The sisal (Agave rigida) has been natural-
ized on these dunes for a long time and grew in
close association with the native A. decipiens.
Where the normal plant-covering of the dunes
had been burned off, a rampant growth of vines
covered the ground-green-brier (Smilax), milk-
pea (Galactia), and muscadine-grape (Musca-


dinia) were intertwined over large areas, often
acres in extent.

While returning through Fort Myers we visited
a specimen of the cannon-ball tree (Couroupita
guianensis), said to be the only specimen in con-
tinental North America. This is a large widely
branching tree, but the flowers and fruits are
borne along the main trunk. The showy flowers
have a very irregular stamen development, and
the globose woody-shelled fruits, about six inches
in diameter, hang down along the trunk until they
fall to the ground, where they burst with a loud
report, and give off the unpleasant odor char-
acteristic of the skunk.
From Fort Myers we set out towards the
eastern coast by way of the head of Lake Okee-
chobee. After crossing the Caloosahatchee at La
Belle we headed over the prairies for the settle-
ment of Palmdale. Heavy thunderstorms sur-
rounded us on all sides and we pushed on rapidly.
It was interesting to notice how, as we advanced
on the prairie, leaving the Caloosahatchee valley,
the saw-palmettos (Serenoa) gradually lost
stature and vigor, until we reached the influence
of Fisheating Creek-where they gradually


increased in size and were often accompanied by
colonies of a tall bear-grass (Yucca fdamentosa).
As the night was dark and stormy, we decided
to stop at Palmdale instead of pushing on over
.the roadless prairie to Okeechobee City." The
prairie is not trackless, for there are trails and
innumerable branch trails, nearly all of which
looked alike, especially at night, and in a stormy
night one is almost sure to get on a wrong trail.
The weather conditions had changed after the
thunder storms of the evening. In the morning
a heavy fog was spread over the prairie and
remained dense until eight o'clock. We groped
our way over the forking trails north of Palmdale
until we found the one leading to the Kissimmee
River ford at Cabbage Bluff. Little vegetation
was in bloom on the prairie and what there was
seemed more stunted than usual. The plants,
often in large patches, of pine-hyacinth (Viorna),
so The southern half of peninsular Florida has several large
prairies, besides the Everglades which comprise some three hundred
thousand acres. The Everglades including Lake Okeechobee are
wet prairies, essentially a lake in the rainy season (summer), and
partly dry in the dry season (winter). To the west of the Ever-
glades south of the Caloosahatchee is the Big Cypress swamp with
extensive prairies and north of the Caloosahatehee lies the Indian
prairie. North of the Everglades are the Lake Istokpaga prairies,
the Kissimmee prairies, and the Okeechobee prairies. The ele-
vation of the land or average water-table is evidently responsi-
ble for the nearly treeless condition, for trees are found on small
areas which are just a little higher than the vast expanse of the
prairies. A few inches or a few feet elevation make a great
diference in the vegetation.

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