VOLUME 33 NUMBER 3
Other Things of Interest
FLORIDA QUARTERLY BULLETIN
OF THE DEPARTMENT
JULY 1, 1923
W. A. McRAE
Commissioner of Agriculture
Ente january 81, 1908, at Tallnhassee, Florida, as second-class matter
under Act of Congress of June, 1900. "Acceptance for mailing at special
rate of postage provided for in Section 1103, Act of October 3, 1917,
authorized September 11, 1018."
Si T. S. ArPLEYARD, PRINITER, TALLAHASCE, FLORIgA
Florida has many rare products. Others are being intro-
duced. Still others can and will be introduced, according
to agricultural and botanical explorers who have made the
subject a study.
This compilation does not exhaust the subject by any
means, but is intended to introduce it and call attention to
some of the future possibilities of Florida, many of which
belong to no other State of the Union.
PLACES AND THINGS OF INTEREST
Escambia County: Pensacola is the finest port south of
Newport News. Ft. Pickens, the only fort in the Southern
States not captured by the Confederate States during the
Civil Warfl Ft. San Carlos, built by the Spanish under
Don Andre in 1699. Forts McRee and Pickins. Aviation
Franklin County: Greatest oyster fisheries on the Gulf.
Walton, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa Counties have the
largest national forest reserve south of the Alleghany
Mountains, 270,000 acres.
Liberty County: Forest of Tumnom Taxifolium-
"Gophur Wood "-very few of them in the world.
Washington County: Falling water; a cataract 75 feet
high; a freak of nature in an unusual geological formation.
Splendid camping sites nearby.
Calhoun County: The Dead Lakes; largest apiary in
the world. Immense shade tobacco plantations.
Leon County: State Capitol, Florida State College for
Women, Agricultural College for Colored. Home and
grave of Prince Murat, nephew of Napoleon the Great.
Estate of Marquis de Lafayette. Natural Bridge-State.
Park and monument on Battlefield. Meridian stone from
which all surveys are reckoned.
Wakulla County: Wakulla Springs, Panicea Springs
Levy County: The Devil's Punch Bowl.
Baker County: Battlefield and Monument-Olustee.
Duval County: Metropolis of Florida. The St. Johns
River, longest in the United States running north; affected
by tides from ocean for fifty miles.
Calhoun County: State Constitutional Memorial Park
at Port St. Joe.
St. Johns County: St. Augustine, first permanent white
settlement in United States. House there over three hun-
dred years old. Streets like those in Spanish towns may
yet be seen. Fort San Marco, with its dungeon fashioned
after those in prisons of the Dark Ages.
Volusia County: Ormond, the home of John D. Rocke-
feller. Daytona, with the most beautiful beach in the
world. The John D. Stetson University.
Palm Beach County: The Royal Poinciana Hotel-
largest in the world.
Dade County: Miami, the Magic City, the Biscayne
Causeway, motion picture city, Royal Palm State Park.
Monroe County: The Over Sea Railway; coral islands.
Everglades: Four hundred million acres-two hundred
million now being drained; largest drainage project in the
Lake Okeechobee: Largest fresh water lake in United
Sumter County: State Memorial Park-Dade massacre.
Lee County: Scenic land along the Caloosahatchee
River. Estero, home of the Korishans, strange religion,
strange government, strange science.
Polk County: Largest phosphate mine in the world.
Orange groves far as the eye can see.
Hillsborough County: Tampa, queen city of the western
shore. The city of factories without smake, but turning
out things to smoke.
Pinellas County: Greatest sponge fishery in continent.
Marion County: Bird Island, controlled by the National
Audubon Society. Silver Springs, which sends out 22,-
134,780 gallons of water per hour. Head waters of the
Ocklawaha River, the crookedest navigable river in the
world-leads to the St. Johns River.
Florida has had much history. Perhaps it is impossible
to find such a variety in any other State of our Union. It
has had four periods of history under Spain, one under
France, one under England, one under the Confederate
States, and three under the Stars and Stripes. The dates
run about as follows for what we know as Florida:
Spain had it from 1559 to 1718.
France had it from 1718 to 1723.
Spain again had it from 1723 to 1763.
Great Britain had it from 1763 to 1781.
Spain again had it from 1781 to 1818.
United States had it from 1818 to 1819.
Spain again had it from 1819 to 1821.
United States had it from 1821 to 1861.
Southern Confederacy had it from 1861 to 1865.
United States had it wrom 1865 up to the present time.
Florida makes 400,000,000 cigars, and 8,000,000 cigar-
Florida has a flourishing automobile factory at Jackson-
ville-The Armerican Motors Export Corporation.
The Oldsmobile Company has a tractor factory at Olds-
mar, just west of Tampa.
The only factory, making paper from saw grass in the
world is in Leesburg.
The only factory making "crankless engines" is in
The only factory making furniture from palmetto is in
The only factory in America making brushes from pal-
metto is in Tampa.
There is a tannery at Fort Myers for utilizing the skins
of sharks and porpoises.
Oldsmar has a factory for making smudges for heating
Manufacturing in Florida amounts to $150,000,000 an-
ONLY ONE OF ITS KIND IN THE WORLD
Florida has the only genuine ever-bearing orange trees
in the world in Highlands County.
Florida has the only grapefruit in the world bearing a
Near Palatka is the only camphor tree grove in America.
Florida has the only ordu (Brazilian) grass stock
farm in the United State, m 1keechobee County.
Pinellas County has the following cities, towns and vil-
lages created Bird Sanctuaries by municipal, club or own-
ership action: St. Petersburg, Pass-a-Grille, Gulfport,
Largo, Clearwater, Anona, Dunedin, Ozona, Oldsmar,
Safety Harbor Wall Springs, Tarpon Springs, Treasure
Island, J34 ^V-A
Ex-Mayor C. S. Washington, Safety Harbor, has made
many acres of a private sanctuary and has called in "The
Adorable Siesta Bird Sanctuary."
C. F. Jaeger, near Clearwater, has given an island in a
creek to the Audubon Society for the birds.
Mr. Roy S. Hanna, St. Petersburg, a pioneer bird pro-
tector, has given the use of Hanna Key, opposite Pass-a-
Grille, to the Audubon Society.
Polk County comes next with the following sanctuary
towns: Camp Miller, Haines City, Lake Alfred, Auburn-
dale, Bartow, Lake Wales, Highland Park and Mountain
Mrs. Frank Stranahan, Chairman Bird Protection, F. F.
W. C., reports the following: Fort Lauderdale, Stuart,
High Springs, Anthony, and Panama City, in the Process.
FEDERAL BIRD RESERVATIONS IN FLORIDA
We have at present eleven Federal Reservations in the
State of Florida, as follows: Dry Tortugas, Pine Island,
Key West, Pelican Island, Island Bay, Mosquito Inlet,
Pasage Key, Matlacha Pass, Palma Sola Key, Indian Bird
Key, Caloosahatchee, and an Audubon Reservation at Or-
Value of all crops for 1919 ............. $141,000,000.00
Value of all crops for 1920, at same prices. $150,000,000.00
Value of all crops for 1922 ............. $160,000,000.00
With only 2,297,271 acres in cultivation, from an area of
35,000,000 acres, according to 1920 Government census.
Total production of pork in 1919 was 47,396,722 pounds.
Total production of beef in 1919 was 82,102,357 pounds.
The northwest part of the State is adapted to general
farming and produces most of the feedstuffs. The largest
acreage planted in any one crop is corn. We have four
grain elevators and two packing houses in the State.
We have produced 17,000,000 bushels of corn, 5,000,000
bushels of peanuts, 2,000,000 bushels of velvet beans, and
4,000,000 pounds of tobacco in a year.
The citrus crop in 1922 returned $27,000,000, nearly five
and one-half times the cost of the State when the United
States bought it from Spain in 1819 for $5,000,000.
Florida ships annually 80,000 ears of vegetables, fruits,
field crops and livestock. It exports and imports $150,-
000,000 worth of food, feed, farm supplies, garden, grove
and livestock products.
We ship an average of six cars of fruit and vegetables
every hour of the year.
Honey is shipped in carlots.
Ferns are sold to the value of $200,000 annually.
Chicory to the value of $77,000.
Dairying is one of the coming industries of the State.
Finest flavored citrus fruits in the world are grown in
Seven thousand five hundred cars of watermelons and
300,000 crates of cantaloupes have been shipped out in a
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES IN 1922.
Oranges .......................... 13,246 22,777
Grapefruit ........................ 3,913 15,018
W atermelons ..................... 6,895 11,056
Tomatoes .............. ......... 3,771 11,123
Irish potatoes ..................... 1,964 5,684
Lettuce .......................... 1,562 2,585
Celery ......................... 1,201 4,573
Cabbage ......................... 968 3,011
Peppers ......................... 629 1,038
Cucumbers ........................ 908 2,052
Strawberries ..................... 35 720
Beans .......................... 1,920 1,293
Cantaloupes ..................... 801 162
Miscellaneous fruits and vegetables
not otherwise classified .......... 2,811 3,401
We have 6,250 miles of railroad and 5,000 miles of good
roads in the State.
The vast Everglades, partially drained, has an inconsid-
erable portion under cultivation, and already thousands of
people inhabit this newly-occupied territory-the largest
drainage project in America.
GROWTH IN OUR CONSUMPTION OF TROPICAL
TROPICAL FOODS CONTINUE TO GAIN IN POPULARITY WITH
THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES-COCOA, COFFEE,
TEA, FRUITS, NUTS, VEGETABLE OILS AND SUGAR
ALL SHOW MUCH LARGER IMPORTS IN THE
YEAR JUST CLOSED THAN THOSE PRE-
CEDING THE WAR.
Cocoa imports in 1922, says the Trade Record of The
National City Bank of New York, totaled 350,000,000
pounds against 156,000,000 in 1913, having thus more than
doubled in quantity in the period in question. Coffee im-
ported in 1922 aggregated 1,250,000.000 pounds against
852,000,000 in 1913, having thus increased 50%, while
cocoa was increasing more than 100%. Tea imports of
1922 totaled approximately 100.000.000 pounds against
89,000,000 in 1913, while the value of the tea imports in
1922 were 50% higher than those in 1913, the total for
1922 standing at $24,000,000 against $16.000.000 in 1913.
The.fruits and nuts which we import are chiefly tropical
or sub-tropical, and totaled in 1922 $75,000,000 against
$49,000,000 in 1913. Vegetable oils. largely tropical and
sub-tropical, totaled nearly $60,000,000 in 1922 as against
$27,000,000 in 1913. Sugar imports from foreign coun-
tries aggregated nearly 10,000.000.000 pounds in 1922
against less than 5,000,000,000 in 1913. while the quantity
brought from our own islands of Hawaii and Porto Rico
show a corresponding gain. Spices aggregating prac-
tically 100,000,000 pounds in 1922 as against 58,000,000 in
Curiously, says the Trade Record. discussing this big
growth in our use of tropical foodstuffs, a very large pro-
portion of the articles showing this big growth are the
product of our neighbors at the immediate south, Mexico,
Central and South America, and the Caribbean Islands,
especially Cuba. Practically all of the cane sugar entering
the country comes from Cuba, Porto Rico, Haiti and San
Domingo, plus that from our islands in the Pacific, though
the grand total of 10,000,000,000 pounds above accredited
to the year 1922 does not include sugar from Hawaii or
Porto Rico, since the merchandise coming from those
islands, which are territories of the United States, is not
included in the general import figures. The fact, however,
that the governmental figures now put the total consump-
tion of sugar in the United States at over 100 pounds per
capital as against 85 pounds in 1913 and 72 pounds in 1900,
indicates a very large growth in the total quantity entering
the United States whether from foreign countries or our
own islands. Of fruits, a very large proportion of the im-
ports originate in the Latin Americas; four-fifths of the
coffee imported is of South American origin, the only im-
portant groups of tropical foodstuffs originating outside of
America being tea and spices.
This growing consumption by the people of the United
States of food products of our Latin American friends at
the south is doubtless one of the principal reasons for the
fact that our exports to Latin America totaled $525,000,000
in 1922 against $320,000.000 in 1913.
RUNNING THROUGII THE LIST OF FLORIDA'S MAN NOVEL
By IVILLIArM tARPER DEAN, i. Country Gentleman
It would be hard to say which fruit is looked upon with
more enthusiasm in Florida-the avocado or the mango.
Certain it is that growers and shippers are wont to speak
of both in the same breath. And so I have chosen the
mango to lead off this sketch of some of Florida's tropical
and subtropical fruits which are rapidly becoming fixtures
in that State's scheme of horticulture.
You have educated people up to the avocado-it doesn't
fill the eye with beauty as it satisfies the taste. But the
mango will sell on its looks; afterwards it will register re-
peat orders by virtue of its delicious flavor. The better
budded varieties of mangoes will weigh up to two pounds
or more, while the common varieties are about the size of a
hen's egg, sometimes a little larger. The budded variety
can be compared with a peach in general shape, but of a
color no peach has yet achieved-a symphony of yellow,
pink, red and purple with white pinhead specks. The flesh
is a rich golden yellow, with a flavor of rare sweet spices.
It can be eaten out of hand or halved and eaten with a
By and large, two varieties of improved budded mangoes
represent Florida's present output of the better sorts-the
Haden and the Mulgoba. The former bears the name of its
originator, the late Capt. J. A. Haden, of Coconut Grove,
Florida, who planted the original seedling; the latter was
imported from Italy by the United States Department of
Agriculture. Today the department's plant and seed in-
troduction gardens, near Miami, both the East Indian and
Chinese Types of mangoes are being cross-bred and other-
wise experimented with in further efforts to furnish new
and worthwhile varieties of this fruit.
In my ranmbles about the East Coast I found some mag-
nificent trees of this fruit, large trees with long, waxy
leaves. An interesting feature of the mango's fruiting
habit is to set its fruit almost entirely on the outside of
the tree, making harvesting comparatively an easy opera-
tion. The drier the locality the better seems to thrive the
mango. The fruit season is of only about two months'
Like certain types of the avocado, the mango is shipped
on ice. The price at which it sells fully justifies these
charges. Often enough it brings two to three dollars a
dozen wholesale. These, of course, are the fancy grades
of the improved budded varieties.
I met in Florida a shipper of mangoes who told me that
he had made money on mangoes which he bought at two
dollars a dozen and then shipped as far as California.
"But," he added, "I lost money on mangoes of poorer
color which I bought at sixty cents a dozen." He went
on to say that some of his very best trade was in Califor-
nia, among the Chinese. This shipper's fruit has sold as
high as a dollar apiece to Chinese in the San Francisco
markets. But Florida has a wide variety of common
mangoes; the present problem is to create a stable market
The mango begins to bear at five to seven years old.
Like the avocado, the tree requires even less pruning than
citrus. At this writing Dade County seems to have pretty
nearly a monopoly on the production of this fruit, but this
does not mean that one will be able to make the same state-
ment a few years hence.
Next we come to the tangelo. The delicious flavor of this
cross between the grapefruit and the tangerine wins it
immediate popularity. Though of the general shape of the
grapefruit and possessing the grapefruit's characteristic
color, the tangelo is smaller. There is a noteworthy ab-
sence of fiber or "rag" in the cross, which further adds
to its desirability. It is essentially a breakfast fruit.
"Tangelo growing is a more highly specialized game
than the growing of avocados," said W. J. Krome, who
produces extra fancy grades of this fruit on his lands near
Homestead. "The tangelo has a tendency to dryness, so
that for the best trade we must carefully hand grade all
our fruit. Of course this increases the cost of putting up a
box-it costs very much more than to pack a box of ma-
chine graded oranges or grapefruit.
"During the past several years the prices of all grades
of tangelos have been very high. Last year when fancy
Indian River oranges were selling at $2.75 a box, f.o.b., I
was shipping out tangelos as $10.50 to $12.00 a box-this
year at $11.00 and $11.50."
In more or less the same way employed to introduce the
avocado, Mr. Krome has built up a splendid direct trade
for the five grades of tangelos produced from his fifteen-
acre grove of that fruit. Sometimes he has made pros-
pective customers presents of a few avocados; thereafter
they ordered regularly for themselves and their friends.
He put tangelos in several of Florida's most famous tourist
hotels and had his fruit listed on the menus. In this way
it has come about that two weeks ahead of the shipping
season he had booked orders for his entire output of fancy
and select grades. In fact, this direct express trade has
reached the point where orders exceed his output.
"I consign no fancy or select tangelos,"' said Mr. Krome;
"I have private orders for all of these. In fact, T consign
very little of this fruit. All I do not ship to my individual
customers is taken by standing orders from wholesale gro-
cers and fruit men. Speaking of close hand grading, one
year I consigned 35 per cent of my tangelos to the cull
heap. This year I have been able to cut down that per-
centage to about ten."
Though the Pineapple is considered the finest early or-
ange and the Valencia the finest late one, there is an
orange grown in Florida which outranks either. This is
the King. And rightly named. The simplest description
of the King orange would be this: An orange of about the
size of a medium grapefruit, with a skin of the color and
looseness of the tangerine. And under this skin is flesh
that fairly melts in your mouth.
You rarely see this regal fruit in Northern markets, for
it is hard to ship. It is almost impossible to freight it; the
only way is to pack it in fancy boxes and let it go under
refrigeration, even in winter. It is a late orange, the best
season being February and March. Furthermore, the trees
themselves are highly susceptible to injury by cold. Also
they require higher fertilization and care than standard
oranges. On the whole, they are irregular bearers; on the
other hand, they frequently bear so heavily that the trees
are broken under their load of fruit. All of these charac-
ters of tree and fruit make for an expensive product. At
present the King orange caters almost exclusively to a
highly discriminating class of buyers.
Though at one time Florida produced pineapples in
heavy tonnages, that day has passed. Many causes have
contributed to this happening. One of the foremost is the
inability of growers to compete with Cuba and Portot Rico
in shipping rates. Another cause has been the ravages of
a nematode worm which attacks the roots. But while I
was in Florida I heard quite a bit of talk about the pine-
apple coming back.
This fruit is grown under partial shade-a lattice cov-
ering much like that used for the propagation of avocado
nursery stock. It requires considerable fertilization and
well-drained soil from which all rocks have been removed.
The production of pineapples is not accomplished without
considerable expense. But the introduction of slips from
Cuba, which, I was told, promises to give relief from
nematode damage, and the use of Natal grass in the pine-
apple lands for restoring depleted humus seem to have in-
jected new enthusiasm into the growers. And though un-
til relief is forthcoming in the form of better transporta-
tion facilities and cheaper rates pineapple growers in Flor-
ida can hardly hope to compete with the Porto Rican and
Cuban fruit, yet there is every prospect of the industry
being revived to take care of local consumption demands.
WHAT LIES UNDER THE SKIN
One of the most distressing situations I found in the
State's work with truly de luxe fruits was the. public's es-
tablished preference for fruits of orthodox size, regardless
of their quality. As the oversize grapefruit are going to
waste simply because because people won't buy oversize
grapefruit, so the Isle of Pines grapefruit is known to com-
paratively few simply because it is too small for the early
markets. Later in the season, when it might be acceptable,
it becomes too dry. But the Isle of Pines grapefruit is
sweet, juicy, delicious. It is not bitter. Once eaten, the
taste will not be forgotten. Truly Florida needs to build
up a stronger appreciation of the fact that it is what lies
under the skin of the fruit that really matters.
At least one shipper of Florida fruit is going ahead with
such an educational campaign. C. I. Brooks, of Miami,
makes it a point to give away Isle of Pines grapefruit, in
order to convince people that it is a real product, regard-
less of size.
From Central and South America has come the sapodilla
to Florida. This is a small, semioval fruit growing on a
large tree that makes a splendid ornamental. The fruit
itself is light brown inside and when ripe possesses a flavor
which I can only describe as a cross between that of a pine-
apple and a banana-a truly delicious fruit which is easily
grown on poor soil, requires little fertilizer and bears very
SOME SUBTROPICAL SIDELINES
Sapodillas brought to Florida from Nassau sell on the
markets at $1.00 to $1.50 a hundred, but the ones I ate I
picked from trees on the estate of Charles Deering, south
of Miami. This fruit can be picked and shipped imma-
ture, without refrigeration, to ripen later. They have been
shipped successfully from Miami to Detroit, Boston and
Chicago. Cheaply and easily raised, the sapodilla promises
some day to make a valuable adjunct to the plantings in
Florida where subtropical and tropical fruits are being
In the same breath I would mention the Maumee apple,
larger than the sapodilla, but with the same gray-colored
skin. It grows on a tree and has a flavor 411 its own. Again
I must resort to crude simile: To me the Maumee apple
tastes like a combination of pineapple and cantaloupe. The
tree itself has a foliage comparable with that of the mag-
nolia. Though it can be eaten out of hand, the Maumee is
particularly fine for making marmalades. It has not yet
come into general prominence in Florida.
By parcel post the sugar apple has been sent as a novelty
fruit to Boston, Chicago and Detroit markets, though or-
dinarily it should be iced. This fruit is somewhat apple-
shaped, the outer covering resembling a modified pine cone.
The pulp or custard is very sweet and makes a lasting
impression on whoever is fortunate enough to eat one. A
fruit shipper told me that he pays five cents apiece for
these apples on the tree and sells them at fifteen cents
apiece. Like the sapodilla and the Maumee apple, the
sugar apple promises in time to become a worthwhile side-
line fruit in subtropical Florida.
When the Division of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduc-
tion of the Department of Agriculture brought from East
Africa the Natal plum and introduced this to the sub-
tropical climate of Florida, it brought a plum-shaped fruit
with flesh the color of the strawberry and juice the color
of cream. It is doubtful if this fruit will ship successfully,
but I was told that there are good possibilities in it for the
making of jam, jelly and marmalade.
It is a strange sight to see a half dozen or more papayas
-more frequently called pawpaws-growing on a tree not
more than three feet high and each fruit weighing two to
five pounds. This on a tree without branches, the fruit
stems attached directly to the trunk. This fruit has meat
resembling that of a cantaloupe in both texture and flavor.
It is rich in vegetable pepsin; so, in addition to its deli-
cious flavor, it is recognized as a most healthful fruit.
One of the most typically exotic fruits which I found in
subtropical Florida was the Monstera deliciosa, which has
been brought in from the ultra tropics and grown here and
there in an experimental way.
The chayote also has been introduced in this country by
the Government. It is a perennial ornamental vine, a pro-
lific producer of richly flavored fruit which is said to have
many more uses than the cucumber.
There are many other introductions which you will find
in Florida and which are beginning to demonstrate their
future possibilities. Even now there are men looking into
the commercial possibilities of yerba mate, South African
tea, which grows splendidly on the East Coast and else-
where. Then there is the Chinese jujube, with a food value
equal to that of the date; the rose apple for eating raw or
preserving, and which, when eaten raw, gives the eater the
impression that he is masticating a fruit steeped in atta of
It is hardly necessary to dwell at length on the kumquat,
which grows well in this section, and which, when cut in
cross sections and the seeds removed, loses all its bitterness
and is the source of a highly prized preserve.
Loquats, closely related to kumquats, have not set well
on the trees heretofore, I was told. But Mr. Krome has
developed varieties which bear well every year.
From all the above it will be deducted that, though Flor-
ida constantly is listing new fruits and vegetables among
her production possibilities, a great deal remains to be
worked out by careful experimentation. The plant-intro-
duction gardens near Beuna Vista and south of Miami
have contributed heavily to the State's fund of knowledge
of herself; so has the work of her individual growers and
plant breeders. But more remains to be done; the surface
has merely been scratched.
The cocoanut palm is well adapted to the coast from
Saint Lucie inlet around to the Caloosahatchee River on
the West Coast. Heretofore the nuts have been used en
tirely for food, planting or souvenirs, but now the Palm
Beach Post announces the purchase of a tract of muck and
marl land near Delray by Mr. C. A. B. Zook, President of
the Pennsylvania Soap Company, of Lancaster, Pa., to be
planted to 120,000 cocoanuts. This grove is to supply oil
for soap making.
The Cherimoya stands with the eight (8) tropical fruits
which may be of commercial value in Florida. It ranks
with the choicest fruit in the world in quality, and its
home is in the American tropics, near the equator, but at
a great altitude where the climate is cool. Brought down
to sea level in Florida it seldom produces any fruit at all,
and never more than one or two in a season, even when
trees are quite old and well grown. The custard-apple
which makes such forests around Lake Okeechobee is as
closely related to it as the orange is to the grapefruit. So
is the sugar apple, which is so productive along the sandy
and rocky lands of the coast. In order to get a fruit which
will combine the qualities of the Cherimoya and the pro-
ductive habit of the sugar apple, Mr. Simmond, and before
him Mr. Wester, have been hybridizing the two, back and
forth, and hope in time to get something valuable.
The Mangosteen has been said by many travelers to be
the finest fruit in the world (and the same has been said
of the Cherimoya, for that matter). At the Miami Experi-
mental Station there are rows of trees of this family
(Garcinia) thriving well, and perhaps some day the prob-
lem of producing a Mangosteen in Florida may be solved.
At the present it is considered impossible to fruit it at any
great distance from Malay peninsula. Trees planted in
Florida have taken ten (10) years to make ten (10) leaves.
Something must be done to infuse vigor, and adapt it to
Florida conditions. The British have tried to fruit it in
Jamaica and many of their tropical American possessions,
but have failed. Our experience with the Chinese Lichi
has been little more encouraging, although it has been
fruited at Oneco.
SUCCEEDING WITH THE CAVENDISH BANANA
By C. L. STOKLEY
In The Florida Grower
Florida today holds out to the earnest seeker of a home
and a competence, inducements that cannot be matched by
any other section of the country, or any other clime. This
state's comparative freedom from the many serious ills of
overproduction, unbridled speculation, individual and busi-
ness extravagance, that has been sweeping over the coun-
try during and since the world war, is largely accounted for
by the state's sub-tropical climate, with its galaxy of citrus
and other fruits indigenous to the climate.
In addition to its practical monopoly of a large share of
the country's appetizing and wholesome sub-tropical fruits,
Florida's salubrious climate is responsible for another of
the state's producing monopolies, viz., winter vegetables
and berries. This ability to produce and market whole-
some fruits and staple vegetables when all the rest of the
country stands idly by is one of Florida's most valuable
No wonder then, that Florida is prosperous and con-
tented, with such an appealing and balmy climate, exclu-
sive production and exclusive market at her command, at
a season when people everywhere want what she produces
and are willing to pay good prices for it.
The automobile and good roads are today proving domi-
nant factors in the remarkable growth of Florida's trinity
of assets, viz., tourist travel, citrus growing and winter
vegetables, all of which are forging ahead by leaps and
bounds throughout all sections of the State.
Good roads invite travel, and since the advent of the
automobile, expansion of, and travel over, the country's
highways has been one of the present day wonders. Ex-
pansion of the automobile industry and development of
good roads go hand in hand. and both-in turn-are des-
tined in the very near future to become the leading factors
in increase of Florida's tourist travel and population with
increased crop production almost undreamed of at this
Ten years ago there were but few imaginative and
optimistic enough to foresee the present development of
these two lusty growing giants. Mighty few today can
prophesy their advancement ten years from now.
The more good roads that are built up and down and
all around Florida, the more tens of thousands of auto-
mobiles there will be to run over them; tile hundreds of
thousands of tourists and home seekers there will be to see
and be impressed by the state's marvelous climate.
Therefore, give aid and encouragement to the building of
good roads in the state's every community, for, like "the
bread cast upon the waters" it will return manyfold, in
people coming to see, to spend and to settle.
Of all the products indigenous to, or successfully adapted
to Florida's sub-tropical climate, none hold out more
promising returns for the attention and outlay bestowed
upon them than does the banana, interest in the production
of which is rapidly awakening throughout the State.
Compared with Florida's production of citrus and other
sub-tropical fruit, which rank first in importance and value,
banana growing, as yet makes a very small showing,
especially on a commercial scale.
This is largely accounted for by the industry not being
carried on in a systematic and business like manner, and
not at all on a commercial scale. The fruit produced, as
well, has not compared in size, quality and appearance with
that shipped into the country.
However, with suitable soil and cultural conditions and
improved varieties of fruit, the Florida-grown banana will
hold its own, yes, surpass that imported into the country
by ship load after ship load, year after year. Banana grow-
ing, in all its phases, is unique among fruit growing in
Florida. No other Florida fruit is in the same class with
the banana for economical investment and upkeep, profit-
able and continuous returns, every month of the year.
Unlike other Florida fruits, the banana is self-reproduc-
ing and practically self sustaining, and turns out fruit
practically every month of the year; which is marketed just
as its comes from the plant, without expensive picking,
packing, etc., as is required of all other fruits and vege-
tables. For small initial investment, little attention and
care, and short period to attain full production from plant-
ing, the banana is in a class by itself.
The root or bulb, costing but a small sum, is stuck in most
any kind of moist soil, anywhere in the state. In about
thirteen months you gather from the parent stalk, if of the
Cavendish variety, a full bunch of delicious bananas that
can be sold with great profit locally in every community.
Their delicious quality, large size and attractive appear-
ance causes them to be preferred by the consumer. While
the original stalk is producing one bunch of bananas several
new shoots or growths are coming up alongside the main
plant which start producing fruit as soon as the parent
stalk matures its fruit and then decays.
This new growth not only replenishes the matured and
decaying plant, but provides bulbs for new settings. Here-
in lies the self reproducing and self sustaining features of
banana culture. The banana plant just grows and grows;
bears and bears.
To recapitulate: What other Florida fruit compares
with the banana for easy, sure, quick production? None.
The banana attains full production from initial setting in
twelve months. Other valuable fruit requires years to do
this, with each one full of attention and expense.
The banana produces fruit in twelve months, thereafter
continuously turning off matured and marketable fruit
every few months. There are no off or idle periods in
banana production. Practically all other fruit is marketed
but once a year.
The banana, while sensitive to cold, withstands the
usual Florida cold snaps about as well as citrus and other
tender fruit. Even if touched up by frost, or cut down by
unusually severe cold, the root or bulb is never killed, and
when so injured again renews its full productive state in
twelve months. Compare this short setback possible with
the banana with the disastrous effects of a severe cold with
citrus and other fruit.
So you see, from whatever angle you approach the sub-
ject of banana culture, it is in a class by itself for eco-
nomical and quick growth, for continuous bearing with
little attention or expense, for easy picking, economical
marketing, and for highly profitable returns upon its in-
Of all the sub-tropical and tropical fruit marketed in
this country, the banana is the best known, has the most
food value and is the most widely consumed. It is the one
imported fruit that is appreciated and favored by the great
mass of common people everywhere. Its flavor is distinc-
tive, it is easy to handle and eat, it is reasonable in price,
it keeps well. These are the features of the banana that
give it a nation wide market distribution, and everyday con-
sumption, in every hamlet, village, town and city in the
country. Unlike other fruit shipped from Florida the
taste for the banana does not have to be sold; its merits are
known by everyone.
The consumption of the banana in this country far ex-
ceeds that of all other fruit shipped from this section, mak-
ing it rank alongside the many staple food products of the
north, such as apples, peaches, etc.
Coming down to our home markets, which are great
enough to absorb vastly more bananas than will probably
be produced in Florida for many years to come, we have
this already developed consumer demand right at our door,
wherever we may be located. Literally hundreds of cars of
bananas are shipped into and consumed in Florida every
year, taking hundreds of thousands of dollars out of the
state that should and can be kept at home with Florida
grown bananas. For remember, Florida can grow and is
iow growing bananas that for size of bunch, size of banana,
quality of fruit and attractive appearance cannot be ex-
celled by the imported kind.
In face of all these favorable qualities of the Florida
article, surely no one has reason to hesitate in engaging
in banana culture, with every factor of its production,
consumer demand, competitive marketing and profitable
returns all in his favor.
In a word, banana culture comes about as near being a
perpetual motion production, as you will ever come across,
and you can 'cash in" on it every step of the way.
Briefly, I give you the results of'my experience, cover-
ing several years, in growing bananas in Florida for profit
exclusively, and from this experience I have come to the
conclusion that the improved Cavendish is the most suit-
able to our climate, as most profitable, to raise in Florida.
I am finding a ready, yes eager, market in nearby towns for
all the Cavendish bananas I can raise, and for which I
receive an average price of $3 per bunch wholesale.
There is no doubt that the most suitable soil for these
bananas is a pure muck that is from one foot to eighteen
inches above the highest water level. Water standing for a
day or two does no preceptible damage; if it stands for a
week or two, while it may not kill the plants, it is very in-
jurious to them. The next best soil is the heavy black sand
found around our lakes provided it is not more than a foot
cr eighteen inches above the highest level of the lake.
Bananas can also be successfully raised on our high sand
hills if the land is well provided with humus and plenty of
irrigation. If cow peas or velvet beans are plowed under
the first year it will materially help the growth of the
Bananas should be planted 10x10 feet apart. Never allow
more than four stalks to grow in a hill, and as soon as a
stalk has a bunch of bananas ready to cut, cut the stalk also
close to the ground, as this furnishes humus and improves
the condition of soil for future banana growth. The four
stalks should not be all one size; there should be one large
stalk almost ready to bloom when you cut your bunch, then
one half grown, one quarter growth and a shoot coming;
all other shoots should be removed and set out or sold. One
great advantage of banana growing is, they have no enemies
as yet in the insect world in Florida.
The soil should be cultivated several times a year. If
grass grows too thick, it should be flat weeded, or the
bananas can be plowed at any time, as they are not surface
feeders, and the plow will not cut any roots. This is about
all the care bananas require. Most of the bananas growing
in Florida receive no attention whatever and do very well,
but like all other plants they respond to care. On rich muck
land and the borders of lakes with soils as previously men-
tioned they do fairly well without fertilizer and I have
heard people say bananas did not need fertilizer at all.
I have been farming quite a number of years and I never
have seen the crop, plant, shrub or tree even on our richest
land, that did not respond liberally to the proper appli-
cation of commercial fertilizer that had the right combina-
tion, and bananas are no exception to the rule. So I advise
the liberal application of organic fertilizers, both ammonia
and phosphoric acid with not over two or three per cent of
potash. Have also had splendid results from wood ashes
and cotton seed meal. I believe with the proper application
of fertilizer even on poor ground providing ample water is
provided, bunches weighing seventy-five to one hundred
pounds can be produced.
One acre of bananas planted 10x10 feet apart should give
at a conservative estimate four hundred bunches of bananas
a year and our home market will take care of all we can
produce for a long time to come at $3 per bunch, if the
bunches are good sized and well developed. At this rate one
acre will give an income of $1,200. This is probably the
most profitable crop our state can produce, and with less
work, less worry, less cost than anything produced in the
As this is a new industry and hardly, as yet, even in its
infancy, there is a big field for the pioneer and if it is prop-
erly developed and a concerted effort made by earnest
growers much can be learned on how to improve the size of
the banana and the size of the bunch.
The flavor of the Cavendish banana is all that can be de-
sired. This banana combines two very good qualities that
recommend it to every grower and to the consumer. Its
flavor appeals to everyone and its early maturing strongly
appeals to the grower.
Plants set out in March or even April will produce a
bunch of bananas the following fall; this requires all con-
ditions to the plant growing being favorable, especially rc-
ferring to a constant supply of moisture.
My advice to everyone in South Florida is to plant
bananas, if not for commercial use then for home use, as the
food value is very high and they can be served in a number
of ways that are nutritious and appetizing.
FLORIDA SHRUBS AS ORNAMENTALS
By MARY FRANCIS BAKER
In Florida Grower
Catalogues of Florida nurserymen are so attractive, with
their offerings of beautiful exotics from many countries,
that we are inclined to pass by without notice our fine na-
tive shrubs, and many other flowering plants, a number of
which, as it happens, have been carefully cultivated and
their beauty is much admired.
The perfect adaptation of our native plants to our soil
and climate makes them especially desirable for our use.
for they will thrive in house grounds with only a fraction
of the care and fertilizer that many exotics require, and,
besides this decided advantage, one has a special pride in
pointing out a fine dooryard specimen as a "Florida
Due attention must be paid, of course, when moving na-
tive plants, to place them in locations not too different from
their usual habitat, although some, like the pretty Virginia
willow, or Washington plume, as it is called in South Flor-
ida, which is found in damp places by lakes and streams,
seems able to adapt itself to different soils, and one of the
stately Thalias, usually found in shallow water, may be
grown in dooryards with the ordinary care given to cannas.
Our great magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), which has
justly been called ''one of the grandest of all broad-leaved
evergreen trees," should be moved just before or just as
the new growth starts, and every leaf should be cut off.
Given ample space, on lawn, in park, or by roadside, this
magnolia with its large shining leaves, rusty on the lower
surface, is strikingly ornamental at any time of year, and
doubly so when ornamented with its immense creamy flow-
ers of intoxicating fragrance. The seeds grow readily if
planted when fresh. A close relative of the great mag-
nolia, the sweet bay or small magnolia (Magnolia glauca),
with attractive foliage, grayish on the lower surface, and
beautiful creamy white fragrant flowers two to three
inches across, is almost equally worthy of cultivation.
Another handsome native tree, the loblolly bay (Gordo-
nia lashianthus), closely related to the camellia, grows well
beautiful creamy white, fragrant flowers two to three
In dry places one may plant the brilliant red Cherokee
bean, the French mulberry, which has ornamental clusters
of shining violet or purple berrylike fruits; the thread-
leaved yucca; the native redroots, low, bushy plants with
myriads of tiny white flowers, closely related to the New
Jersey tea, and all these will grow and bloom with prac-
tically no care at all.
The beautiful southern yellowish jessamine, which by
the way, is not a jessamine at all, will grow in almost any
soil, covering fences, trellises, or even banks of earth when
there it nothing for it to climb on, blooming in profusion
in late winter and spring, and adding its delicate fragrance
to the soft southern air. Among other native climbing
plants are species of clematis, whose fragrant nodding
flowers are followed by feathery gray clusters of seeds, a
wild bigonia, and a showy trumpet-creeper.
Rare plants of strange form and beauty are found in
the extreme south of the Florida peninsula, .epiphytic
ferns and orchids, and an abundance of air plants (Bro-
meliads), worth traveling far to see. There are a number
of these which, if fastened tightly by -vire, or wire netting,
to dooryard trees will attach themselves to the bark and
grow, adding extraordinary interest and beauty to any
collection of plants. The famous Boston fern grows luxu-
riantly on trees in extreme South Florida, where leaves of
this fern twenty-seven feet long have been measured by
the noted botanist, Dr. J. K. Small.
And throughout the length and breadth of the State
there are plants passed by every day that will repay cul-
tivation in house grounds. Our native ornamental grasses,
such as plume grass, giant foxtail, and others are useful
in landscape gardening; and the beautiful white crinum of
swamps and river borders will grow in ordinary dooryard
Among the many native plants desirable for planting in
shrubby borders and by lake-fronts, may be mentioned the
Virginia willow, which has finger-like racenes of white
flowers in late winter and spring; the fetterish with waxy
pink and white flowers and glossy leaves; false indigo with
pretty pinnate leaves and narrow racenes of dark purple
flowers dotted with orange-colored anthers; a native azalia
known as swamp honeysuckle; the button-bush, or Spanish
pincushion as it is known in Florida, the Dahoon holly, a
handsome small tree with pale bark, dark green leaves, and
many bright red berries, and the groundsel tree, a shrub of
the Composite Family, which covers itself with a glorious
mass of glistening white during late fall when the seeds
Besides the cabbage palmetto, another native palm of
unusual beauty, the needle palm or blue palmetto, is
hardy throughout Florida, and is easily transplanted. The
very dark green leaves of elegant form are somewhat
silvery underneath, and the short trunk is most peculiarly
armed with many needle-lake dark spines, eight to twelve
inches long, which makes this palm a rare curiosity as well
as a beautiful lawn plant.
The list of Florida plants that are admirable for orna-
menting our grounds may be almost indefinitely extended,
for Florida has a vastly wider and more interesting range
of plant life than any other State in the Union, and in the
native plants right at hand we have a wonderful field for
All our cultivated flowers were, once upon a time,
"wild flowers," many of our most showy ones having been
developed from smaller and far less attractive forms, and
today when we bring any admired wild flowers into our
grounds and carefully cultivate it there is always the inter-
esting possibility that it may reward the grower by pro-
ducing larger and more beautiful specimens of its kind
than have ever been seen before..
Commissioner of Agriculture,
State of Florida,
Your letter of July 26 to the Bureau of Plant Industry
has been referred to this office. It is assumed that that
Bureau gave you what information they had available in
regard to the introduction of balsa trees in this country.
The balsa (Ochroma lagopus Sw.), in its native habitat
in tropical America, grows best on rich land but thrives
also on average soils except in swamps. The trees are re-
ported to grow to a height of 20 feet in two years, and in
five or six years acquire a diameter of ten inches. The
wood from these young and vigorous trees is more suitable
for commercial use than that from older specimens.
The seeds grow in pods attached to a fluffy, cotton-like
fiber. There are about 22,000 to the pound, and their fer-
tility may be tested by dropping them in water, when the
good seed will sink and the bad will float.
On a farm owned by the United Fruit Company in Costa
Rica, there is a 200-acre plantation of this species where
the trees are planted 12 x 12 feet. The cost of planting,
including cleaning and preparation of the land and set-
ting out small plants was a little over $10.00 per acre be-
fore the war.
We do not have any records of the introduction of the
species in the United States. Judging from a comparison
of the climatic factors, it could probably be introduced
successfully in the southern part of Florida.
It is unlikely, owing to the many urgent demands for
studies of forest problems connected with the native tim-
ber in the South, that the Forest Service will be able to
take an active part in an experiment with the introduction
of balsa in Florida.
Very truly yours,
H. S. BETTS,
Acting. Assistant Forester.
By W. D. BRUSH.
Balso (Ochroma lagopus), called goano in Porto Rico
and lanera in Cuba, is a common tree, particularly along
the seashores, in the West Indies, and Central America. It
is said to be called moho in British Honduras, lanilla in
Guatemala, and guano in Spanish Honduras. The tree is
rarely more than forty or fifty feet in height and the trunk
is sometimes from four to five feet in diameter. Balsa is
found in commercial quantities in Cuba, parts of Porto
Rico, Jamaica, Trinidad and along the east coast of Cen-
tral America, where it is confined very largely to the man-
grove swamps and to other inaccessible swampy places, and
exploiters often experience the greatest difficulty in get-
ting the logs out of these swamps.
The wood of balsa is nearly white or sometimes tinted
with red, showing practically no distinction between heart-
wood and sapwood. It has a silky texture, is rather coarse
but straight-grained, and is the lightest of all woods, even
lighter than true cork. A sample of balsa from Trinidad
exhibited at Philadelphia in 1876 had a specific gravity
of .120, or about 71/2 pounds per cubic foot. The Bulletin
of the Missouri Botanical Garden (August, 1915), gives a
specific gravity of .117 for thoroughly dried balsa wood,
or a weight of 7.3 pounds per cubic foot as compared to
13.7 for cork. On account of the moisture contained in
commercial balsa wood, its usual weight is placed at from
6 to 13 pounds per cubic foot.
The reason for this extreme lightness is to be looked for
in connection with its loose structure and the softness of
its tissue, which is easily compressible under the thumb
nail. Tests made at the Massachusetts Institute for Tech-
nology indicate that the crushing strength and modulus of
rupture of balsa are approximately one-half that of spruce.
Balsa is employed as a substitute for cork, both for stop-
ping bottles and for floats of fishing nets. It has served
only to a very limited extent for such purposes, however,
since the high elasticity, impermeability, and resistance to
decay, so characteristic of true cork, are not possessed by
this wood. The very buoyant rafts or balsas of the tropics
are made of this wood. It was at one time considered very
desirable for making pontoons for dry docks. The wood
has been experimented with for life preservers and life
boats, but was found of little value in its natural state
because it absorbed moisture to a high degree and soon
rotted; it also warped and checked in working. These dis-
advantages have been largely overcome, however, by treat-
ing the wood with a paraffine bath. The treated balsa
wood is used extensively by the Welin Marine Equipment
Company in the manufacture of life preservers, fenders
and lifeboats, and for the structures requiring insulation
from heat, as in the refrigerating compartments of vessels
and in ice boxes, for which it is said to be well adapted.
Balsa is imported into the United States from Cuba,
Porto Rico and Trinidad. It is claimed by some dealers
that the bulk of balsa wood at present comes from Ecuador
and Peru in the form of logs from 16 to 30 inches in diam-
eter and from 10 to 20 feet in length. The wood is sold
at prices ranging from 40 to 60 cents per cubic foot. The
species from Ecuador and Peru is not the same as that
grown in the West Indies. It is believed that the bulk of
the wood from the west coast of South America is Ochroma
pincateria, but this can not now be definitely determined.
While the term "balsa" was applied originally to the
wood of Ochroma lagopus, it is now a comprehensive trade
name for the soft, light wood of no less than ten distinct
species of tropical American trees all different in their
structural and mechanical properties. An East Indian
wood (Bombax malabaricum) is shipped into this country
and sold as corkwood or balsa. It resembles the well-
known ceiba (Bombax ceiba) and purple down tree (Rom-
bax villosum) of the West Indies. A closely allied species
(Bombax septanatom) found in southern Mexico and
southward and the barrigon (Pachira barrigon) are occa-
sionally cut and shipped into the American markets. Bar-
riguda (Chorisia crispiflora) and the imbirasea (Bombax
tomentosa) are two important Brazilian trees which yield
a wood that may sooner or later be substituted for balsa.
Perhaps the most inferior substitute is the benge (Cava-
nillesia platanifolia) of Panama. The bulk of the so-called
balsa that comes from Panama is said to be benge and not
Ochroma piscatoria from Ecuador and Peru.
The following firms are large users of the balsa wood:
American Balsa Corporation, 50 East 42d Street, New
Welin Marine Equipment Co., 50 East 42d Street, New
An article entitled "Properties of Balsa Wood" ap-
peared in the Proceedings of the American Society of Civil
Engineers for May, 1916. Some additional discussion is
given in the Proceedings for August and September.
COTSA RICAN BALSA
(Report by STEWART E. MCMILLIN, American Consul at
Port Limon, Costa Rica)
June 15, 1918.
Balsa, the lightest wood so far known, is now much in
demand where lightness in construction is of importance,
ond as it is very porus it acts as a good insulator and is
also used in insulation against heat and cold. Another
valued characteristic of this wood is that it offers the mini-
mum amount of air resistance. The value of this wood in
aeroplane construction is therefore apparent.
1 Though the Balsa tree grows best in rich ground, it will
thrive on almost any ground in the tropics except swamp,
but it is a second growth tree, being found only where the
ground has once been cleared. The trunks of the tree are
smooth, and mottled white and gray. No parasites appear
to grow on them as one sees the boles perfectly free of vege-
tation. The leaves are thin and very large, especially those
of the young ones of two to three years old, which are often
twelve to fourteen inches across and grow on long stems of
eighteen inches or more.
In the Balsa one finds the male, known locally as "Bur-
rillo," and the femole, known as Balst Real, growing
separately. Only the female is now marketable. In nearly
every grove both sexes are to be found, and as they appear
very similar, except at flowering time, each lot of logs must
be carefully inspected to see that no Burillo goes forward;
it contains too much wood fibre. Around Turrialba the
trees of both sexes are said to contain too much wood fibre
for market purposes.
At the age of about three years they begin to blossom,
usually about July. From long, green pods of six inches or
more standing upright like candles, emerge blossoms of a
light pink. Later the pods shrink to about one inch in
diameter, or half their former thickness, and some two
months after the appearance of the blossom break open and
reveal quantities of golden brown cotton that the natives
like to use for pillows and mattresses, often cutting down
trees at seed time for that purpose. The pod breaks into
some six sections, and hitherto erect it bends and bursts
open in a fluffy mass. The seeds cling to the cotton in long
rows along the sections, about four hundred seeds to the
pod. These seed are about the size of a pin head and some
22,500 are required to make a pound. The fertility of the
seeds may be tested by dropping them into water; the good
will sink and the bad will float.
Small vines are the worst enemy of young Balsa. The
young trees are soft and very sensitive. When the trees are
about three inches out of the ground all weeds should be
cleared away. In one year the trees sometimes grow to ten
feet in height and four inches in diameter, and to a height
of twenty feet in two years. Until more than three or four
inches in diameter the tree contains too much vegetable
matter to be fit for use. A diameter of ten inches is ac-
quired in five or six years. A five-year old tree should pro-
duce at least 200 board feet, worth about $8 at current
price on board. Dimensions of logs for market are now 8
inches to 30 inches in diameter and from 8 to 16 feet long.
There is a white Balsa and a red Balsa, or Balsa Colo-
rado, as it is called. The white, Balsa Blanca, and the red
are alike as to flowering season and in general appearance.
In standing timber the difference can hardly be told, ex-
cept in flowering season. The only difference is in the
wood and the bark; the bark of the Balsa Colorado has a
deep red tinge when freshly cut that the white has not. It
requires twice as long to dry and is still twice as heavy
as Balsa Blanca, having more sap and wore wood fiber.
Some Balsa wood contains a dark, reddish heart. This con-
tains enough sap or moisture to cause decomposition and
render it worthless. Logs cut from the lower part of the
tree next to the root system contain a great deal more water
than the upper part, but when thoroughly dry are almost
as light and should be just as useful if not more so. When
the white ages it reddens, coloring from the bottom upward,
and at the same time the bark roughens. A tree eight or ten
years old frequently gets too heavy for market. Balsa logs
deteriorate very quickly after felling, if exposed to the
weather, and borers attack it if it becomes dry; the logs
cannot be cut more than a week of ten days in advance of
The United Fruit Company, shipping Balsa from
Costa Rica, gives the following specifications for logs to be
marketed: Minimum length eight feet, maximum sixteen
feet, preferably logs not running over twenty inches in
diameter, but none more than thirty; bark to remain on
logs; logs to be free of knots and neatly trimmed, but not
pointed; to be cut only on notice; payment made in gold
per M feet, logs to be delivered at a point where they can
be conveniently loaded on flat cars. The logs are put into
the ships' bunkers, not more than four hundred logs to a
It is a very difficult matter to get some of the timber to
tracks where it can be loaded, in fact almost impossible. So
long as there is a supply to be had along the railway the
question of transportation is a simple one and the business
lucrative, but where the logs have to be dragged for long
distances with oxen, the margin of profit goes down and
close figuring becomes necessary. At present, the average
cost of Balsa delivered to the United Fruit Co. steamers is
$37.50 per M. board feet. It varies up to forty. The average
content per log in board feet is fifty to sixty. If not too
far back from the railroad 12 yoke of oxen can get out
about 200 logs per week, say a distance of two miles. One
can not ship short logs at a cheaper rate per thousand feet
than the regular size logs, for the reason that the work of
handling is increased, that is, three 16-ft. logs can be
dragged out to the tracks at about the same cost as three
4-ft. logs; the same applies in handling logs from wharf to
In all there are probably not more than eight thousand
Balsa logs available to the railroad in Costa Rica at this
time, but if the Fruit Company's policy of shipping only
some four hundred logs per week is pursued, shipments
could be continued indefinitely. In certain sections inac-
cessible to the railroads of Costa Rica there is much of this
wood, but being so situated, and as the rivers are mostly
rocky, rapid, and shallow after the character of most moun-
tain streams, the question of getting it out is a difficult one.
There is one big lot of timber that might be gotten out.
Along the "San Carlos" and "Sarapiqui" rivers, on old
abondaned farms in that section, there is a big stand of
timber available that could be contracted for delivery
alongside the steamers in shipload lots of one-half million
feet or more. The timber from these rivers could be floated
down the San Juan to Colorado Bar, above Limon, where
it i s possible, in favorable weather, to cross without much
risk, providing suitable equipment were at hand in the form
of barges for loading the logs, and sufficient towing power.
The timber would have to be loaded on barges in the fresh
water lagoons and then towed to sea for transfer to the
ship; or from the bar direct to Limon for reshipment at
this point. Salt water, however, is said to have certain
deteriorating effects on the wood.
The future of the Balsa trade in Costa Rica depends
very largely on whether or not it can be successfully grown
by plantings on land prepared for the purpose. Indica-
tions are that it can. The United Fruit Company in Costa
Rica have two hundred acres planted on what is known
as "'Guacima Farm," which appears to be doing well. It is
about two years old. Their planting is done 12ft.x12ft. and
if later found to be too thick, the weaker plants are pulled
up. Planted thus thickly, it takes considerably longer for
the tree to reach marketable size, but the tree is much taller
and free of branches for a fine height, to say nothing of the
increased number of logs. The rainfall is sufficient for so
thick a planting. Planted like this it will take about eight
years for the trees to reach marketable size. They will then
yield logs about 12-in.x14-in. in diameter and 28-30 feet of
log. The Guacimo trace should then yield 100 trees per
acre with 200 feet of good log, or 20,000 board feet per acre.
The cost of straight planting, including cleaning and pre-
paring the land, lining, circling, and planting (using small
plants set out to a stake), and three windrowings to com-
plete cultivation for first year should not cost more than
$10 per acre, as follows:
1 cleaning and preparing land ..........$ 3.00
1 circling, lining, and planting .......... 2.00
3 circlings and winrowing .............. 3.00
10% supplying at $0.01 ................ .10
Overhead and miscellaneous.............. 1.90
Cost per acree ......................$10.00
There should be no expense beyond a period of fourteen
months from period of planting.
The cheapest method of planting Balsa is to clean and
burn the land and scatter seeds where necessary. The work
can best be done from January to March; during the bal-
ance of the year it is difficult to burn owing to the con-
stant rains. By this method a grove should be established
for a maximum expenditure of $4 per acree. After a year
no further work is required.
THE PAPAYA A FRUIT OF PROMISE
By DR. J. PETERSEN. M Fomi, Florida
Four years ago my daughter. Kathe-then eleven years
old-set out a little papaya grove of her own. covering a
space of 100x100 feet. One day she made the following
entry in her diary:
"I have planted 160 papayas: there are 150 female and
10 male trees: they are crowded with fruit; each tree bears
about 125 pounds of fruit which I can sell at eight cents
a pound, making ten dollars per tree. or a total of $1,500.
The fruit will be ripe in January or February. When I
have sold it I will buy mother a new sewing machine and
daddy a self-starter for his flivver, then he need not blame
his poor, innocent little Ford any more, and we will always
be on time for school."
-And then, one morning in January. 1917. when my little
Kathe rubbed her eyes sleepily and looked at the papaya
grove from her bedroom window, she noticed that all the
leaves were drooping just like the wings of a lame bird,
and that the fruit was covered with papain.
That evening she wrote in her diary: "'No sewing ma-
chine or self-starter this year. My papayas are all gone,
Jack Frost got away with them."
But our little horticulturist did not get discouraged;
she has learned since from experience that all dreams can-
not come true. Today she has fifty papaya trees in the
back yard, loaded with fruit, to be harvested before Jack
Frost can have a chance, and she is confident that her
papaya crop will pay for her first year at college.
PAPAYA CULTURE IS INTERESTING AND REMUNERATIVE
The home of the papaya is supposed to be in the wild
forests of South America. Apparently it was one of the
first tropical fruits to attract the explorer, for soon after
the discovery of that continent papaya seeds were taken
to the Orient, where the fruit today is highly valued. In
Hawaii and other tropical countries the papaya is consid-
ered the most delicious breakfast fruit and ranked in im-
portance next to the banana.
Although the papaya has been known for four hundred
years, but little literature is available containing data re-
garding its propagation and culture.
While this subject has received considerable attention
recently, a great many problems still remain unsolved.
The most important of these is the selection and breeding
of better varieties of uniform size and flavor, and without
the undesirable characteristics of their jungle ancestors.
Other problems are gratifying, protection against enemies,
Papaya culture is indeed very attractive. Either singly
or in a group the tree always draws attention, while in a
well arranged grove is a picture of beauty.
Most fruit trees require a long lapse of time before they
yield returns; not so the papaya. Quick production and'
immense yields are among its decided advantages. Fur-
thermore, it bears practically every month of the year and
supplies the table when other fruit is scarce.
So far as the writer knows, only two attempts have been
made in Florida to plant papayas on a commercial scale.
Mr. Sam Fisher planted at Little River, Dade County, five
acres of papayas, from which he obtained considerable
quantities of fruit and papain. Unfortunately, the ex-
ceptional frost of 1917 ended his experiments.
Another plantation, started on an even larger scale and
under very favorable conditions, resulted in total failure,
due to gross mismanagement.
If scientific methods are applied to growing papayas, it
will prove a very remunerative occupation. At any rate,
the papaya merits more extensive cultivation than it has
been given up to date in Florida.
Strictly tropical in its requirements, the Papaya can
only be grown safely in comparatively frostless regions.
This limits papaya culture on the United States mainland
to South Florida and southern California.
According to various horticultural writers, the papayas
produced in California are of inferior quality, their insipid
flavor being caused, it is supposed, by the prevailing low
It was observed after the 1917 freeze in South Florida
that papayas growing even in especially protected places
were of inferior flavor and unfit to be used for cooking
USEFUL AND DELICIOUS
Papayas may be used in numerous ways. If served for
breakfast or after dinner they are cut lengthwise and eaten
with a spoon, after the seeds and the thin gelatinous aril
have been removed. According to taste, salt, pepper or
lemon juice may be added.
If eaten raw, papayas somewhat resemble the northern
cantaloupe. However, eating cantaloupes is like betting on
horses-deliriously uncertain. Eating papayas is like a
continued honeymoon, like Hashish has it in the Arabian
Sliced and served with whipped cream, papayas make a
delicious dessert, and in combination with lettuce or sliced
cucumbers, a wholesome and nourishing salad.
Papaya marmalade and jelly are greatly relished, es-
pecially if prepared with lime or lemon juice. Then there
are numerous other ways to utilize the ripe papaya-for
pies, short-cake, sherberts and pickles.
Unripe papayas can be boiled or stewed and served as a
vegetable, like squash or kohlrabi. The green fruit also
makes a delicious sauce resembling that made from apples.
Crystallized papaya cubes, if prepared carefully, make
some of the best candies that can be made from tropical
The papaya plant in its different organs-trunk, leaves,
blossoms and fruit-contains a milky juice, the active prin-
ciple of which is called papain, and used successfully as a
remedy for a number of ailments, such as dyspepsia. Since
the digestive properties of papain became better under-
stood, it has attracted an ever-increasing demand. Before
the outbreak of the war most of the papain used for med-
ical purposes was imported from India, and when the price
went up to $20.00 per pound, complaints became numerous
that it was adulterated.
The digestive properties of the papain are well recog-
nized by the natives of India, who wrap papaya leaves
around a piece of meat in order to make it tender.
Especially the unripe fruit contains an abundance of
papain juice, which flows freely and is collected at the sur-
face when the skin of the fruit is lightly scored with a
The scoring may be done several times before the fruit
is picked, and does not seem to interfere with the eating
qualities of the fruit, although the scores appearing on the
surface as a result of the bleeding makes the fruit un-
sightly and therefore harder to sell.
The total sugar content of the ripe papaya differs ac-
cording to variety and season. Usually it exceeds ten per
cent and is principally found in the form of invert sugar.
The papaya is adapted to a wide range of soil types,
from heavy clay to light sand. It grows most luxuriantly
in hammock and muck soils. In preparing the soil it must
be remembered that the papaya is a gross feeder, whose
native home is in the jungle where organic matter is plen-
tiful and continually renewed.
Thorough drainage and aeration of the soil are essential
to successful papaya culture. A soil that is water-logged
and into which the air cannot enter does not offer suitable
conditions for the growth of friendly soil bacteria that
change the complex compounds of the soil into such forms
as can be assimilated by the plants.
The papaya is very susceptible to soil acidity, hence, if
the soil is acid it should be limed.
The open, porous pineland soils of the lower east coast
are well suited to growing the papaya, if reinforced with
humus and commercial fertilizers. Superabundance of
plant food and a fair supply of moisture force it to grow
rapidly, and the quicker the tree grows the more delicate is
The papaya tree has a proportionately large root system
:and is a heavy feeder. Naturally it responds to good treat-
ment as do other plants, but it responds much more quickly
than most of them. In order to be able to grow rapidly it
must find in the soil a constant supply of available plant
Shortly after the plants are set out, ammonia should
predominate in the fertilizer, such organic sources as blood,
tankage, guano and castor pomace being best.
Later applications of commercial fertilizer should con-
tain a relatively high percentage of potash, which con-
stituent exerts a very beneficial effect on the flavor of the
fruit. It is preferable to use sulphate of potash. Chlorine-
containing sources of potash, such as kainit, muriate or
manure salt, should be avoided unless plenty of water is
provided for the trees. If there is not sufficient moisture,
the chlorine accumulates in the soil and may have a depres-
sing effect on certain nitrifying bacteria that aid in the
decay of organic matter and make it available for the
Stable and chicken manure not only furnish excellent
nutriment to the Papayas, but they also induce favorable
bacterial activity and raise the moisture holding capacity
of the soil.
PROBLEMS OF PROPAGATION
Papayas are propagated by cutting and by seed. A cut-
ting reproduces the character of the plant from which it
was taken, while the seed does not always do so.
It is a decided disadvantage of the papaya that it does
not come true to seed, and one might be inclined to believe
that the law commonly observed in nature, that like pro-
duces like, does not apply in this case. During experiments
which I conducted in order to breed better varieties, I took
care that transference of pollen from one flower to another
was done in strict accordance with the teachings of the sci-
ence of plant breeding, yet I was more than once surprised
to find that a great number of varieties, differing in size
from a cantaloupe to a watermelon, were produced from
seed of the same fruit.
In South Florida papaya seed may be sown at any time
during the year, while in the central part of the State they
should be sown early in January in order to have some of
the fruit mature before the following winter.
Prepare the seed bed thoroughly by incorporating a
goodly quantity of humus, and keep the soil in friable mel-
low condition. Flat boxes may be used containing about
four inches of soil underlaid with some charcoal.
Plant the seed in rows four inches apart and leave the
same distance between the single seeds in the rows. Cover
the seed with porous soil not more than one-half inch deep.
Keep the seed bed moist but not wet, and protect it dur-
ing the night against possible frost.
In about a week the seed begins to sprout. Three weeks
later the young plants will have attained a height of about
four inches, and are ready to be transplanted to flower
pots or other suitable containers. Tin cans, such as those
sold with evaporated milk, are excellently adapted for this
Remove the top and bottom of the cans by placing them
in a open fire. After they have remained there for a few
minutes, touch them lightly and the top and botton will
come off readily. Then place the remaining cylinders on
the ground, fill them with good soil and put into them the
young plants removed from the nursery.
Tin cans from which only the top has been removed are
not suitable since they would not afford sufficient drainage,
and would create acid conditions of the soil. Care should
be taken that the roots of the young plants are not dis-
When the young Papayas are about ten inches high,
transplant them to the open field. If tin cans are used it is
not necessary to remove them; the roots will easily pene-
trate through the walls and the oxide of iron seems to be
If planting on sandy soil, make holes two feet in
diameter and one foot deep. Fill these with well rotted
compost and allow to settle for several days.
Plant the Papayas eight feet apart. Do not set the
young plants deeper in the soil than they stood in the seed
bed. They are very susceptible to standing water and rot
off at the base if water collects around the trunk.
After the plants are removed to the open field, they
should be protected against the rays of the hot sun, for
which purpose old bean hampers may be used.
While it is advisable to replant the young seedlings be-
fore they are more than one foot high, even large trees-
from five to six feet high-may be transplanted if they are
taken up with a large ball of earth, and if all large leaves
After transplanting, the young trees should be watered
frequently until they have become well established. With-
out an adequate supply of moisture, the plants will wilt and
drop their leaves and will fruit prematurely.
While the plants are young, a mulch should be kept
around them, consisting of leaf mold and litter. This will
not only check evaporation, but also create conditions
favorable for nitrification. Later ,when the leaves afford
sufficient shade the mulch may be disposed of and the
remnants incorporated into the soil.
After the Papayas have rooted well, few difficulties will
be encountered, and the growth will be so rapid that one
will be able to note its progress almost daily.
In frost-protected locations the Papaya seed is some-
times dropped direct in the places where the trees are de-
sired to grow. If three or four seeds are planted in the
hill, the weaker plants and males may be eliminated later.
IN THE PAPAYA ORCHARD
The first blossoms appear about two months after plant-
ing, and flowering and fruiting go on almost continually.
If properly cared for, the Papaya will yield considerable
fruit during the first year.. The size of the fruit varies ac-
cording to the variety. Usually a tree produces fruit of the
same form, its size shrinking gradually as the tree gets
older. Some fruits are not much larger than a pear, while
others reach even a length of three feet and a weight of
thirty pounds. They vary in shape from spherical to cylin-
The papaya fruit has a thin skin. The flesh of which
before maturity is white, later turning to a deep orange
color, is from one to three inches in thickness. Inside of
this is a cavity, which attached to its walls, contains numer-
ous grayish-black wrinkled seeds, the size of a small pea.
The papaya tree characteristically consists of a single
trunk, bearing dark green, deeply-lobed leaves, sometimes
two feet across and fastened on hollow peticles several
feet long. The leaves are so arranged that they appear like
an umbrella shading the fruit which is closely clustered
near the top.
The leaves, as they grow older, turn yellow and drop to
the ground, leaving conspicuous scars on the trunk. If de-
veloped undisturbed the trunk has no lateral branches.
When a tree has grown so tall that it becomes inconvenient
to gather the fruit, the trunk may be cut a few feet above
the ground and this will soon grow a number of sprouts
that will later bear fruit like the mother plant.
Sometimes a tree will bear too many fruits, which all re-
main small. Thinning the fruit is then advisable, and
should be done early as possible.
A slight frost will usually kill the papaya down to the
root. If the lower part of the trunk is banked with soil, and
the upper end cut off in time to prevent decay, the root may
develop several sprouts.
Frost causes the Papin to collect on the surface of the
fruit. Frosted fruit is not palatable, being tasteless and
As a rule the tree is at its best at its second year from
The papaya is dioecious in character, i. e., staminate and
pistillate, or male and female flowers are produced on
The female flower is usually solitary or in few-flowered
corymbs, while the male flowers, which have a very frag-
rant odor, are produced on pendent racenes, several feet
In order to produce perfect fruit, the female flowers
must be pollenized with pollen from the male flowers. This
cross-pollination is accomplished by insects who carry the
pollen from the male to the female flower.
A few male plants-say five per cent out of the total
number in the orchard-are sufficient to perfect pollina-
tion. Unfortunately there are usually more male than
female plants, but the sex cannot be decided until the blos-
some appear, which is some time after the papayas are
From the standpoint of the grower, the male plants must
be considered drones, but he can make them pay rent for
the place they occupy by grafting into them female scions
in the following manner:
Behead a female tree. In a few weeks it will send out
several sprouts, which when they are a few inches long
should be cut out and sharpened at their lower ends into
the form of a wedge. Now behead your male papaya trees
and split their trunks vertically with a sharp knife. Insert
into the resulting clefts the female scions and tie firmly
with a piece of twine. Remove all but the heart leaves from
the scions and shade the grafted plants until the union of
the scion and the stock has been perfected; then remove the
Although preferable, it is not necessary that the stock
and the scion be of the same size, but the scion should not
be larger than the stock.
PESTS AND DISEASES
There are two pests that threaten the papaya, i. e., the
papaya fruit fly and the papaya leaf blight or leaf-spot, a
disease of fungous origin.
The female of the papaya fruit fly inserts her eggs into
the young immature fruits by means of a long evipositor.
The young larvae first feed on the seeds, but later on work
into the flesh, causing the dropping of the fruit or making
it unfit for human consumption. It is therefore, advisable
to only propagate varieties having very thin flesh, so that
the egg cannot be deposited on the seed cavity; as the
young larvae cannot live in the flesh they die, and the
wounds heal over. The writer has had excellent results by
covering the young fruits with bags made of cheese-cloth,
until they have grown and are thick-fleshed enough to be
immune from the fly.
The papaya leaf blight or leaf spot, although previously
observed in the West Indies, has only recently been report-
ed as existent in Florida. This fungous disease attacks the
foliage, forming on the under-surface of the infected leaf,
black pustular spots which are slightly raised, above the leaf
tissue. The infested areas appear on the upper side of the
leaves as brown, distinctly outlined spots. In the black
masses on the'under-surface of the leaf are found the spores
of the fungus, which, carried by wind or insects, spread the
disease. A severe attack may cause complete defoliation
and the death of the tree.
If discovered in time, the disease may be controlled by
thoroughly spraying with 3-3-50 Bordeaux Mixture. Both
upper and under side of the leaves should be thoroughly
covered with the spray in order to kill all spores produced,
and protect new leaves against infection. It will be neces-
sary to repeat the spraying three or four times at intervals
of about ten days. It is also advisable to remove and de-
stroy all severely infected leaves and spray the remaining
foliage at weekly intervals until the disease has dis-
appeared. In case of a severe attack on young trees it will
be more economical to remove them and plant new ones.
There are few scale insects found on papayas that are
troublesome to the orchardist.
YIELD AND MARKET
Papayas respond very quickly to good treatment. Dur-
ing the first two years a healthy tree will yield a hundred
fruits or more, having a total weight of about three hun-
At present the demand for this wholesome, delicate, de-
licious fruit is much greater than the supply and the retail
price is from ten to fifteen cents per pound.
Most varieties turn golden yellow during ripening, while
others remain green.
If it is desired to ship them, they should be picked before
fully ripe, and packed carefully in excelsior.
The commercial possibilities of papaya culture are some-
what limited because it is not safe to ship the fruit a great
distance without icing it properly. However, on several oc-
casions I have shipped papayas as far north as New York,
the shipments arrivipr in good condition and selling at a
very handsome price.
The ripe papaya endures cold storage exceptionally well.
Even after two months in cold storage the characteristic
flavor will have been retained almost perfectly.
It is not supposed that papayas will be an economic fac-
tor of prime importance, yet, with improved transporta-
tion and with a wider familiarity with the merits of this
delicious fruit, the northern markets should offer good
opportunities. At least every home garden in South Flor-
ida should possess a few papaya trees, picturesque as well
A friend of mine called Creamer, or some such name,
who I believe is some sort of prohibition enforcement com-
missioner with headquarters somewhere around the na-
tional capitol, has advised me of the splendid beverage that
can be manufactured from the papaya. Far be it from me,
however, to experiment along such lines. My only reason
for mentioning the matter is to caution my friends and the
general public against attempting to make this delightful
drink because it has very intoxicating effects. I must re-
quest my readers to refrain from asking me for the proper
recipe, and to be satisfied with using the papaya as a fruit
or for marmalade, pickling and candy purposes.
BRAZILIAN FRUITS AND THE CENTENNIAL.
By P. H. ROLFS, Rirector
Escola Nuperior de Agricidtura e Veterinaria.
The total area of Brazil capable of producing tropical
fruits is so extensive that it would be possible to grow
enough to supply the entire world (unless they were as
great fruit eaters as the Rolfs family). Various factors
that need not be enumerated here have militated against
the opening of the interior of Brazil, with its magnificent
climate and productive soil, to the fruit trade of the world.
It is my opinion that Florida need fear little from Brazil-
ian competition. Being on the opposite side of the Equator
the fruit matures at the opposite dates in the calendar. It
is rather disconcerting to a Floridian to have Christmas
come in mid-summer and to have the Fourth of July occur
in mid-winter. At first the plants from the northern hem-
isphere have some difficulty in adjusting themselves to the
situation. We brought with us some of Meade's magnifi-
cent hybrid amaryllis and they rewarded us by blooming
twice in the first year.
In the State of Minas Geraes climate is measured rather
by altitude than by latitude. Vicosa, the site of the Agri-
cultural College, is located on a beautiful plateau more
than two thousand feet high. The average temperature
for the year is about the same as for Miami, the thermom-
eter never going as low or as high as at Miami, making a
really ideal climatic condition. The annual rainfall is
about the same as that of Gainesville. The seasons are
strictly marked off into dry and the wet. During the dry
season the herbs and smaller growths take on a dry, hard
appearance. Then about the latter part of October, when
the rains begin, everything springs into life as if by magic.
From then on the landscape is brilliant with flowers. A
surprising character of the forests is the large number of
trees which produce grand and magnificent flowers.
Minas Geraes presents a strange medley of native and
exotic fruits. There are hundreds of native varieties that
are not yet known in cultivation. The cashew, for exam-
ple, varies in the native state from fruits the size of a
small plum to the size of an apple and in color from nearly
white to yellow and dark red. Wilson Popenoe, in his
"Manual of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits," has laid a
good foundation for Brazil, but it will take years of study
to complete the work.
This indigenous fruit is scarcely known outside of Bra-
zil. It is most delicious and refreshing, being somewhat
more juicy than a Scuppernong, of approximately the
same consistency as a good Niagra grape, but of dark color,
sometimes almost black. A great many seedling trees have
been planted, consequently the number of variations is al-
most unlimited. It belongs to the same family, (Myr-
tacaae) as the guava, but the two fruits are so different
tha one would scarcely suspect their relationship.
Every effort ought to be made to give this fruit a thor-
ough tryout in the part of Florida where the South Amer-
ican avocados grow without protection. North of that
region it is quite probable that it would be lost during
some cool winter. Quite a number of these trees have been
introduced by the Department of Agriculture, and it is
barely possible that some of the nurserymen may have trees
for sale. The difficulty of transporting seed and having
them arrive in a germinable condition is so great that very
little distribution has occurred outside of Brazil.
In Minas Geraes the principal season for the ripening of
the fruit is November and December, which corresponds
to May and June in Florida. The fruit is most accommo-
dating in that it grows directly on the trunk and larger
branches. Young trees will have practically all of their
fruit below a height of seven feet. Birds as well as other
domestic animals are very fond of the jaboticaba.
A variation of this tree bears fruit known asjabotu-
catiba ("uba" in the Guarany language means "big")
that are more than an inch in diameter. These always sell
at a fancy price on the local and in the Rio market.
Those who have not eaten fresh litchis just from the
trees cannot imagine my surprise and pleasure when about
a year ago some specimens were brought to me by Mrs.
Rolfs. She had obtained these from the Baptist Mission-
ary school at Bello Horizonte. There they were going un-
def the popular name of "Olho de Pomba" (dove's eye).
The Baptist Mission bought a well established chacara
(small fruit farm) in which they are holding their school
and educating a considerable number of Brazilian children.
The older folks had seen that the youngsters were rather
fond of a certain fruit, but had paid little attention to
really testing it out themselves. Of course it did not take
me long to follow up the clew and find the tree, from
which the major portion of the fruit had been eaten. When
I was collecting some of the fruits for photographing and to
get seed to plant, the little daughter exclaimed in dismay,
"Oh, Papa, is he going to take it all?" You would have
made a similar exclamation under similar circumstances. I
have heard a number of well authenticated rumors that this
fruit matures in other parts of Minas Geraes, but so far
have been unable to trace the stories to the trees. How-
ever, the fact that three different plantings occur in Bello
Horizonte makes it quite certain that other plantings occur.
The climatic conditions of Bello Horizonte are quite sum-
ilar to those of South Florida, excepting that the dry sea-
son is quite a little more severe, and during the rainy sea-
son the wetness is a little more persistent.
As very few members of the Horticultural Society in
Florida have had the pleasure of eating ripe litchis fresh
from the tree there has been only a very minor demand for
plants of this species. You cannot appreciate the China-
man's conclusion that it was not so bad to be banished
from his native province as long as he could have all of
the litchis he could eat. Florida should be producing a
fine lot of them in the near future, especially in view of
the fact that so large an amount of the muck lands are
being subdued and brought into an arable condition. The
litchi tree seems to thrive best in well drained peaty soil. I
shall not say any more about the litchis, otherwise there
may be no trees left for distribution when I get back to
After seeing three crops of mangos mature in Brazil I
am inclined to believe that this country has nothing of
commercial value to contribute to the mango flora of the
United States. The mango "Rosa," which seems to be a
type quite different from anything that was formerly
grown in Florida, appears to be the superlative expression
of mango in Brazil. This fruit is certainly decorative be-
yond anything that we have, but in eating quality it varies
all the way from excellent to poor. The variation is largely-
due to the fact that to a large extent the mango "Rosa"'
in Brazil is a seedling race rather than a budded variety..
There are of course a great many inarched specimens from'
the best trees of the "Rosa," but the thrifty Brazilian
plants the seed, and if the resulting product looks some-
thing like the "Rosa," he proceeds to call it "Rosa." The
result is about the same as it was with the No. 11 mango
in Florida. The best "Rosa" I have found eaten is not
equal to a good Mulgoba. It is, however, an excellent fruit
and on the Rio market the finest specimens bring prices
comparable to. or higher than, the Mulgoba brings in New
York. The "Rosa" at its best would make a hit and sell
even above the Mulgoba because it is superior in decorative
The great bulk of the Brazilian mangos ripen either
green or dull yellow, some few ripen with more or less of
a reddish blush, and now and then one finds a variety that
is quite highly colored. But even the Cecil, which in
Florida produces a very highly colored fruit, fails to ma-
ture here with the bright yellow color characteristic of the
parent tree at Miami. It is barely possible that the Cecil,
which is fruiting here may not be a direct descendant from
the tree which Mr. Hixon named Cecil. The tree which I
saw was brought to Brazil by way of Jamaica. Excepting
for the lack of coloring and for being more fibrous it is
quite true to type. The Mulgobas that I have met with in
Brazil were also received by way of Jamaica and are very
inferior to the Mulgobas as we knew them in Florida, ma-
turing with rather dull color and with more fibre in the
meat. The aroma so pronounced in the Florida Mulgoba
is also quite weak in the Brazilian ripened specimen. It is
barely possible that these are bud descendants from the
Mulgoba tree introduced into Jamaica about twenty years
before our Government introduced them into Florida.
One contribution that Brazil can make to the mango
flora of the United States and which should prove to be of
great interest and considerable value is the dwarf mango.
The Itamarca family, which contains a number of splendid
varieties, has been introduced by our Government and'
ought to make a very great hit with the person who wishes
to have a number of small trees which bear heavily near
his residence. This is not a family that would lend itself
'especially to commercial purposes during the mango sea-
:son. The fruit of all of the members of the family that I
know is delicious. In shape it should be called the "Peen-
to." The younger horticulturalists will hardly know to
what I have referred but the older members will know that
I am referring to the "Peen-to" peach. This peach ripened
on the tree and under perfect conditions is about the last
word in peach lusciousness and beauty, but the green, crate
ripened product was so inferior that one dose of it was
enough, hence, exit "Peento."
The Itamaraca is said to have its finest development on
the island of that name, and from which the parent variety
derives its name. It is a small fruit, weighing probably
from four to eight ounces, very much flattened longitud-
inally. The meat cuts about like custard, having less fibre
than the Mulgoba. The color is somewhat against the fruit,
but what it lacks in this respect is made up in that of
Another member of the Itamaraca family is the Carlotta.
This, according to my present information, should be con-
sidered the finest expression of the family. The fruit is
somewhat higher colored than the Itamaraca and exceeds it
as well in size, eating quality and aroma. A half dozen of
these fruits give off a most delightful and pleasing odor,
sufficient to perfume a room. Curiously enough when one
eats the fruit very little of the perfume is noticeable. But
one knows that he is eating a mango.
The Augusta is another member of this group. It origi-
nated as a seedling from the Itamaraca. In color and size
i tis superior to the Caroltta but in aroma not its equal. In
eating quality it is about on a par with the Ttamaraca.
Some of the trees of the Augusta are remarkable scientific
specimens in that the same trees may bear either flattened
or elongated fruits. In other words, the budded tree in
some instances seems to have produced a good many bud
sprouts. It is a very interesting characteristic and might be
followed up with a good deal of advantage. This is quite a
remarkable instance where a bud variety does not seem to
be fixed. It is one of the cases for which the scientific horti-
culturist is constantly searching.
This family of dwarf mangoes has been introduced by
the United States Department of Agriculture and doubt-
less quite a number of them have been disseminated. Where!
one plants them out in the usual commercial orchard he is.
likely to be disappointed, but if planted out and treated as:
they should be, one is pretty sure to be greatly pleased with
the results. Another place for this family is in the tropical
green houses. Certainly no tropical green house would be-
complete without having a number of these mango trees in.
it. They are one of the novelties that has been much sought
in the past by green house propagators of tropical fruits. I
hope that only a few members of the Horticultural Society
will make application for these varieties as I shall want
about half a dozen of them for my private plantings. And
if all of you apply for them there would be an awful long
wait before my turn would come.
This fruit is known throughout the greater portion of
South Brazil as well as in North Brazil. This of course in-
cludes the State of Minas Geraes. Nowhere do we find the
fruit as well developed as it is in Florida. As a matter of
fact, Brazil could with very great advantage import a lot
of the varieties that are now common commercial sorts in
the southern part of our State. Practically all of the fruit-
ing trees are seedlings. No one has thought enough of it
to consider it worth the while to be introduced into culti-
vation upon a large scale.
This tree produces the largest fruit in the world. In ad-
dition, its large leaves and dense shade make it very decora-
tive. In this respect it is far ahead of many trees that are
now being grown for this purpose. It is splendidly adaptive
to different soil and climatic conditions, growing well on the
low regions at sea level and also at altitudes of two thou-
sand to twenty-five hundred feet. It is so striking and
distinctive that nearly every traveller in the tropics re-
At one time a tree grew and produced a fruit in Snapper
Creek Hammock but a woods fire put an end to its existence.
I was privileged to see only the charred stump. As a
novelty an an ornamental this is well worth trying. I do
rot appreciate the fruit with the extravagance expressed
by many of the earlier writers.
THE CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION
This year Brazil is celebrating the hundredth year of her
independence. Of course a long time after Brazil was an
independent nation it continued as an Empire. It has been
a Republic only thirty-four years. However, the govern-
ment under the Emperor was so liberal that the transition
from the Empire to a Republic made no serious economic
break. The Exposition, as you know, was opened Septem-
ber 7, 1922. Brazil has proceeded with its usual leisurely
way but nevertheless the gates were opened on Independ-
ence Day and appropriate ceremonies held.
The avenue on which the buildings are located and the
buildings themselves are superbly beautiful. One might
almost say that the buildings were lavishly beautiful. We
certainly have to admire the taste and the absolute cleanli-
ness of the Brazilian. It was intended that the Exposition
should close before mid-summer, that is January 1st, but
many of the foreign nations (including the United States)
were so tardy in getting their exhibits into place that it
was decided to continue until the first of July or midwinter.
Florida, I believe, is one of the very few States that has not
had an official representative at the Exposition. I heard
of two that were appointed but so far as I know these have
failed to attend.
The thing at the Exposition that interested my family
most was the fine fruit and superb flower show. This lasted
for only nine days and coming the first part of February
(the latter part of the summer) there were only a few
oranges on exhibition.
One of the striking features of the fruit exhibit was the
great quantity and excellent quality of the grapes entered
in competition for prizes. Most of these came from the
southern states though some came from as far north as
Minas Geraes. The mangos held an easy second place to
the grapes. They were present from every state that was
competing. The most common variety was the Espada. This
seems to me to belong to the Sundersha family but it ripens
grass green. It is a fruit of only moderate excellence. One
can compare it favorably with the best of the Number
Elevens. Some Sapatinhos were also present. These be-
long to the Camodiana family and are found quite generally
throughout Brazil. One novelty from Bahia was the Man-
guita or Chupa Mel, (Honey Drop). This fruit is small,
most deliciously sweet, but has, I think, no chance of ever
receiving commercial favor, being only about the size of a
large plum. Apples and pears were exhibited from nearly
all of the states that were competing. Owing to the large
variation in altitude it is possible for even the northern
parts of Minas Geras to produce some apples.
The flower show was superbly beautiful although not so
extensive as many other exhibits we have seen. I doubt
whether one would be able to find anywhere as large and
as elaborate use of orchids or could see anywhere a more
beautiful and harmonious blending of colors than that
found at the flower show.
We wish that each of you might have visited the Cen-
tennial Exposition with us and enjoyed the fruit and flower
show. We speak often of the Society and have you in mind
during the meetings. We know that the 1923 meeting will
be the most successful ever.
Now, in the language of one of the farewells of this beau-
tiful country, we will say, "Adeos ate voltaremos,"
(" Goodbye until we shall return"').
By ROBERT O'NEAL
In The Florida Grower
The hydrology of Florida is diversified for quantity and
quality both having their recognized standards of ad-
vantages, each playing its part according to requirements.
As previously stated, Florida has a seacoast of 1100 miles
and a daily range of tide of two feet which in quality and
saltwater is good for ships to maneuver on the world's
highway in the pursuit of commerce, while the numerous
rivers are arteries that contribute from the interior in the
way of drainage and commerce.
Florida rivers are not torrential streams, the country not
being mountainous they do not come down like the waters
of "Lenoire" but with just a gentle soothing flow and
flood tides cause the waters to reciprocate for several miles
up from the outlet which is usually a bay or inlet. There
is the St. Johns River, 300 miles long, that flows north,
emptying into the Atlantic Ocean above Jacksonville. The
Indian River of the East Coast, 120 miles long, is in fact
a series of connecting lagoons in tandem which serves as an
inside pass. The Suwannee River you sing about has its
source up in Georgia and flows through Florida emptying
into the Gulf of Mexico. The Apalachicola River drains the
western part of the state and connects with the Gulf at a
town by the same name and there is where the good oysters
grow. The Kissimmee River (accent on the sim not me)
runs between Kissimmee Lake and Okeechobee, draining
a large area of country. The Manatee River is a long bay
for several miles inland, narrowing to a rivulet further on,
the Manatee Valley being. very fertile and is one of the
best sections in the state. The Colaasahatchee River has its
source at Lake Okeechobee and winds its way through a
primitive section of the state and is as crooked as a bunco
These waterways are fresh, of course, receiving their
contributions from springs and drainage from the land
and are brackish near the outlet where the fresh and salt
waters commune and the tide at times causes the blend to
extend up to a level with the fall. Besides the numerous
lakes, Florida has some noted springs well worth mention-
ing, the principal of which is twelve miles from Tallahassee
(the capitol) with a depth of more than 1500 feet and con-
tributing to a beautiful lake. De Funiak Springs, east of
Pensacola, is large enough to be called a lake, around which
a town is built and is a resort. Sulphur Springs near
Tampa is converted into a swimming pool where high div-
ing is prevalent and the overflow is utilized for water coast-
ing. Tarpon Springs, on the Gulf Coast 30 miles above
Tampa, is a leak in a bay just off the Anclote River and
up eight miles from its mouth, where the Town of Tarpon
Springs is located. The spring was formerly a rendezvous
for the tarpon fish but civilization caused them to frolic
elsewhere. Tarpon Springs, remember, boasts of having the
largest Sponge Exchange in the world, the sponge being
gathered off shore in the Gulf by Greek divers. Their fleet
of boats make a unique flotilla as they come and go. Diving
armour is used in sponge fishing and occasionally a Greek
goes down for his last time. Then the so-called Fountain
of Youth of Ponce de Leon fame at St. Augustine is there
yet, but, drink as you may, Father Time has not been in-
formed of its merits. The spring at the head of Old Tampa
Bay, where DeSoto lost his hat, is spoken of in medicinal
terms, but it won't cure everything like a patent medicine
or Christian Science.
The "Sink" in Alachua County is a large depression
and is claimed to be the source of a subterranean water
course that secretly wends its way to the sea. So much
for the acquatie provisions of nature but the individual
supply of water must be distributed as it is not convenient
for everyone to live close to the springs.
In the northern states cisterns are dug in the ground and
walled up and supplied by rains from the roofs, but in
Florida a cistern is a tank made of cypress lumber of gal-
vanized iron and placed above the ground because, if a hole
is dug a few feet deep, surface water will seap in, which
is only good far washing. In the northern part of the state
they have what is called "drove wells" a pipe with per-
forated point driven 16 or 20 feet down and good water is
obtained. In the southern part it is often necessary to go
down to a depth of 75 to 180 feet before good water is
reached. There are numerous artesian wells that show
traces of sulphur, which is not an objection, but beneficial
as claimed by some and it solves the problem of irrigation.
A trip along some of these rivers remind one of moun-
tain streams because they are so different; the boats make
time, too-you sail along a broad channel for a while then
dart in what at first looks like a forest and you hold your
breath and caution the pilot to be careful but he heeds you
not and hits the right opening every time and emerges into
another lake, then steers for the woods again. Sometimes
the connecting passage is dark and shady and on a curve,
but the boat may rub the high bank, but you go on and
never slacken speed. Finally you decide that you might as
well let him alone-then you breathe easier. But, should
he penetrate the wrong inlet, the overhanging trees would
sweep the deck and you with it.
A voyage along some of these rivers is one not to be for-
gotten and is like a trip through fairy land with its shores
lined with dense vegetation and large trees festooned with
long gray moss waving greetings by the breeze to your ad-
vent-plumed birds awakened from their siesta take wing
and seem to lead the way on to further entrancement.
The peninsula of Florida is the consequence of accretion
caused by the confluence of the Atlantic current and the
Gulf stream. Beginning on the south side of Georgia ages
ago, seashells, sand and coral gradually began to assemble
and form a cape, laying a foundation and paving the way
for vegetation to follow. All of which is today the state of
Florida and the process still continues.
The secrets of nature have by chemical action produced
certain underlying layers of various substances and, in
some localities, we find coquina rock, pebble and rock phos-
phate and, further down, stratum of flint and hard rock,
below this a kind of gravel. This phosphate is a substance
containing phosphoric acid which is valuable as a fertilizer
and worth from four to nine dollars per ton. Upwards of a
million tons are mined annually and much of it is shipped
to foreign countries and Florida claims to be the greatest
phosphate producer in the world.
Another product is fuller's earth that is mined in Mana-
tee and Gadsden counties and is a sort of clay which is
ground up and used principally in refining crude oil and
for which John D. pays twenty-five dollars per ton, and
there is plenty of it.
But the surface in general is sand and vegetable soil in-
termixed with shell but no iron.
The state is practically perfected as far south as the 27th
degree of latitude which centers Lake Okeechobee, and be-
low that we find the work of nature still building and ex-
tending the state. But along the east coast there is a fertile
ridge thrown up by bombardment of the waves from the
Atlantic Ocean which extends for thirty miles below the
City of Miami.
South of Lake Okeechobee lies the Everglades, which in
the Indian venacular means 'swamp grass," a vast expanse
of low lying country embracing open praries, cypress
swamps and islands of fine soil and tropical verdure sur-
rounded by water.
Here we find a process of creation by evolution some-
what different from the volcanic-for instead of the pri-
mary eruption caused by subterranean gasses followed by
the fern growth transmitting nitrate from the air to the
ground-the process of which can be seen today on the
Island of Hawaii-we see in Florida a process of assembling
that which has been created and nature by evolution is com-
pleting the task by chemical action. An interesting study if
we will only contribute a little time and thought to the
works of nature so graciously bestowed by the Creator in-
stead of coasting down the incline plane of pride, vanity
and hyprocosy as it is flashed on the snow white screen at
some picture show.
It is this incomplete portion that has been advanced by
some as a symbol of the entire state of Florida without an
eulogy on her beauty and her virtues.
But it has been discovered that much of this incompleted
section can be drained and the rich vegetable.soil is produc-
tive beyond belief.
Cane is being raised on this reclaimed land and a large
sugar mill is grinding out sweets where desolation reigned.
The sawgrass that clothes the naked praries is being con-
verted into paper by a million dollar outlay and the ma-
chinery is at work.
Thus we find that even the supposed ragged end of Flor-
ida, by man's ingenuity will not only sweeten your coffee
and furnish Christmas candy but will make the box to put
it in, the paper to carry the news and letters of merit pro-
claiming her defense for charges erroneously preferred, by
defaming constituents who didn't know. The town of Moore
Haven on the west shore of Lake Okeechobee is on the brink
of this reclaimed section and a railroad connects the town
with the main lines of the steel roads that extend through
the entire combined states and this branch line is built be-
low the town for a distance of thirty miles to Immokalee
penetrating the undeveloped country for aggressive man
cannot wait for nature to complete her structure. Lake
Okeechobee is a reservoir for the surrounding country and
is supplied from the Kissimmee river which drains the lakes
above as well as other contributing streams depositing the
overflow in the Everglades below.
In order to reclaim a portion of this country, a number
of drainage canals have been dug to lower the water in the
lake and they connect with the Atlantic on the east.
The lake being thirty miles wide and six feet deep is
really a shallow basin with no definite shore lines and heavy
rains that fill the lake a few inches, cause the water to en-
croach on the shores for a long ways; hence by lowering
the water by canals, thousands of acres of fertile land is be-
ing reclaimed. When the town of Moore Haven was be-
gun, it was on the edge of the lake, but since the canals have
been constructed the water has receeded until the town now
is six miles inland.
Boats ply these waterways from the Kissimmee river
across the lake to Moore Haven and to Palm Beach along
the canal. To complete the continuation of navigation and
maintain traffic, it was necessary to dredge channels across
the lake to insure sufficient depth of water when lowered by
drainage. The fish industry on the lake has been carried on
to quite an extent and you are informed that catfish for a
long time has been bought, sold and eaten when you thought
it was cod-but "what you don't know won't hurt you"--
they say. This reclaimed land is really peat, for, when
dried, it will burn, but wet it, and it will grow almost any-
thing you plant on it-a garden in your wood pile-but
Florida is peculiar.
Should you visit the state and want to see Florida, the
following route is suggested. Take the boat at Jackson-
ville and go up the St. Johns river to Palatka, then down
the East Coast train to Palm Beach; from West Palm
Beach take auto-bus to the canal, then boat up the canal
and across Lake Okeechobee to Moore Haven; then auto-bus
to Ft. Myers and from Ft. Myers to Tampa by train, where
more cigars are made than at any other place in the world.
Then, and not till then, will you have seen Florida."
WHY PHILIPPINES AND NOT FLORIDA?
The automobile and rubber industries have been asked
by Secretary of Commerce Hoover to name a committee to
work with Government representatives in investigating the
possibilities of rubber growing in the Philippines "and
elsewhere." An appropriation of $500,000 has just been
made by Congress in furtherance of the investigation by
which it is hoped to make the American rubber industry
eventually independent of the British rubber producers,
who control 80 per cent of the output of crude rubber.
Arguments for a ship subsidy bill included a representa-
tion that enactment of the bill would aid in freeing the
American automobile industry from the British rubber
monopoly, and one of the automobile tire manufacturers
who made the plea and argument is a close friend of Presi-
Why should not the "and elsewhere" include Florida as
a region for investigation as to its capability of providing
crude rubber in commercial quantity ? Tourists in Florida
see rubber trees on every hand and the question is fre-
quently asked, "Why do you not put these trees to use?"
We confess an impatience that legislators and captains
of industry now look so much to foreign countries for sup-
plies of raw material and markets for products.
Every year finds the United States Department of Agri-
culture bringing into this country a stream of new plants
for field, forest, garden, and dooryard. The work is car-
ried on through agricultural explorers of the Bureau of
Plant Industry, and through volunteer correspondents of
this and other nations. Records show that nearly 50,000
separate importations of seeds and plants have been made
since this work was undertaken. Many of the plants thus
brought in prove to be worthless, but some of them are
very valuable. A number of sections in the United States
owe their present prosperity to this work which has pro-
duced one or more plants that are suited to the very condi-
tions prevailing at the various places. Among others, this
is true of the durum-wheat areas of the Great Plains region,
the kaffir and Sudan grass fields of the West, the rice fields
of California and Texas, the dasheen patches of the South,
and the date and currant oases and vineyards of Arizona
RUBBER IN FLORIDA
By GORDON NYE
Every industry must have a beginning, and it is pleasing
to see a general reaction to the initial agitation suggesting
that experiments be made in Florida for the commercial
production of rubber.
Frequently the original projectors of industrial thought
are lost in the subsequent shuffle or someone who does not
deserve the chaplet plucks it from the deserving brow,
hence there need be no quarrel about who first suggested
the idea. The strange thing is that rubber as a commer-
cial product of Florida should not now hold a commanding
place in the markets.
There is just one factor looming up at this time of un-
certain knowledge as likely to cause failure-the cost of
labor. It will be long before the story of slavery in the
Congo is obliterated from the minds of men-perhaps
never. Yet there is a factor of offset in nearness to market,
for it is claimed that America consumes seventy per cent
of the rubber produced.
It may be interesting to recall experiments made in the
growing of sisal. Senator Fletcher was interested in the
sisal venture, and it has fallen to his lot to take a hand in
the experiments to be made in rubber. Let us hope that
the rubber adventure will be more successful than that in
sisal, though from certain practical angles the sisal experi-
ments were successful.
It must appear that the most certain methods of making
experiments successful, or of giving them the acid test is
to engage the services of those who have other than a mere
academic interest. Professional interest does not dig
deeply enough. Some years ago a professional investigator
announced that citrus fruits could not be successfully
canned, and he gave a number of seemingly good reasons
why this conclusion was well founded. But practical men
have made a success of the business, and now there are
numerous plants engaged successfully in the business
which the scientific highbrow proclaimed to be impractical.
THE CANDLE NUT TREE
By CHARLES TORREY SIMPSON,
There are three or four species of trees belonging to the
genus Aleurites, the one cultivated in lower Florida prob-
ably being A. moluccana, one of the candle nuts. Ours is
a medium-sized tree with variable leaves and heads of
small white flowers which may be produced two or more
times a year, and they are followed by flattened fruits a
couple of inches in diameter which may contain one, two or
sometimes three nuts, a little larger than a hickory nut and
somewhat resembling it. The kernel, however, is not di-
vided, but solid, and it sometimes partly adheres to the
shell after the manner of a Brazil nut. The shell here is
moderately thin and the kernel has a fine flavor. Although
it has been considered poisonous, it is eaten in many parts
of the world, and I have never known a case of any evil
effects from it here.
The large leaves have more or less scurf on their surfaces
and at the time of blossoming those nearest to the heads
of flowers become so covered with this powdery matter that
they are white and add not a little to the beauty of the
Aside from the cocoanut this is, so far, the only tree we
have which seems to give much promise as a nut bearer.
While the Macadamia or Queensland nut occasionally
bears here, its nuts are often small and it does not do well
generally in lower Florida. The candlenut bears well and
is at home on our ordinary pine land and doubtless would
do well in hammock. I do not know that it has been tried
in low, wet land, but it probably would not flourish in too
wet situations. The principal drawback to successful cul-
tivation of this tree here is that it is rather tender and it
would probably freeze out if grown in the Everglades.
The Bureau of Plant Introduction is making experi-
ments with this tree, growing it in considerable quantity
and attempting to form a race which is comparatively
hardy, which bears large nuts with thin shell to which the
kernel does not adhere.
At any rate, this tree is well worth growing for its
beauty and valuable nuts. It is possible but not very
probable that it might later be grown in the coastal region
of lower Florida on a large scale for its nuts and for the
clear, valuable oil which they yield. In the case of an un-
usually hardy tree which bears extra fine nuts it could be
easily propagated by cutting off and planting small
branches in a shady place, taking care to water them if the
weather is too dry. Such rooted cuttings would be abso-
lutely true to the original stock and never vary as plants
would do that were raised from seed.
Mr. D. H. West, 84 N. E. 29th Street, Miami, has sev-
eral hundred of these trees about a year old which he is
offering for sale.
MATE OR PARAGUAY TEA CAN BE GROWN IN
Mate trees have been successfully grown in the southern
part of Florida by the United States Department of Agri-
culture from seeds imported for experimentation. There
is now a small supply of Florida-grown seed available for
testing in that section.
"Yerba mate," as it is called in South America, is na-
tive to Paraguay and adjacent countries. The leaves were
cured and used as a sort of tea by the native Indians be-
fore the arrival of the Spanish settlers. Special ceremonial
customs grew up around its use, as when the brewed mate
was put in a gourd from which each participant drank his
share through a "bambilla" or reedlike tube.
Mate is the most important beverage in Chile and Ar-
gentina, where at least 15,000,000 people drink it. The
production of mate consequently has developed into a
large commercial industry in those countries. A small
amount is now exported to the United States, where it can
be purchased in many places from those who specialize in
unusual foods. It is believed by the Department of Agri-
culture that the American public should acquaint itself
with this South American tealike beverage, which has
many points to recommend it for general use.
Not the least important of these is the fact, now fully
demonstrated, that mate can be grown from seeds in this
country, contrary to the long-prevalent theory that the
seeds of the "Yerba mate" could not be grown until they
had passed through the body of a bird. Private individu-
als in Florida who received plants from the Department of
Agriculture to try out have been curing and using the mate
leaves from the trees in their own gardens and are recom-
mending the beverage to their friends.
Mate contains the same alkaloidal or stimulating prop-
erties as tea, but develops less tannin. The flavor is simi-
lar, but, owing to the process of curing, it has a slight sug-
gestion of smokiness, which is enjoyed by those accustomed
to it. The importance of mate as a beverage in competition
with tea is worthy of consideration, as all the leaves of the
tree can be used and as the curing process is far less ex-
psnsive than the proper manufacture of tea.
The experiments tried by settlers in South Florida, while
they demonstrate that the mate tree will grow there, have
not gone far enough to indicate that any attempt to grow
mate commercially will be successful there. It is, however,
an interesting fact that certain of these settlers have dried
the leaves in their ovens and brewed a mate which they de-
clare is a very palatable drink.
NORDUKE, A NEW VARIETY OF WILT-RESISTANT
In the course of work on the selection of tomatoes that
will resist the wilt disease, which causes a large annual loss
in the tomato-canning states, the United States Depart-
ment of Agricuture has developed a variely called Nor-
duke, similar to Stone, but highly resistant to wilt. Four
other wilt-resistant varieties have already been produced,
known as the Marvel, which is a medium early tomato se-
lected from Merville des Marches, bearing a heavy crop
of smooth red fruit; the Norton, selected from Stone, pro-
ducing a heavy yield of large, smooth, solid red fruit,
which ripens slowly, and therefore ships well; and Colum-
bia and Arlington, medium late varieties, selected from
The Marvel is an excellent variety for forcing, for me-
dium early trucking, and for home gardening. The Co-
lumbia, like the Arlington, which has been temporarily
withdrawn for purification, because of mixtures found in
the seed in 1920, is better for canning than for the table,
because of its somewhat flat shape, which does not permit
slicing as successfully as some of the rounded tomatoes.
The Norton and the newer variety, the Norduke, are late
tomatoes, excellent for canning, for home gardening, and
late trucking. The Norduke shows the highest resistance
to wilt of any tomato, and also some resistance to the leaf-
Wilt resistance strains of tomatoes are developed by
selecting from a variety which possesses moderate resist-
ance, which show individual higher resistance. This resist-
ance can be combined with other desirable qualities in
other varieties by crossing. Seeds from resistant strains
have been distributed through State Experiment Stations
to canners and others for testing, and some of the varieties
are now being carried in the catalogue lists of seed houses.
PINEAPPLE PEAR IS BLIGHT PROOF
As Leon County is one of the finest sections of the coun-
try for the growth of pears, the following should be of
There is a pear which is being grown in and around
Ludowici, Georgia, which has a great future. This is the
Pineapple Pear, so-called, because when ripe it has a very
distinctive pineapple odor. Its chief claim being that it is
absolutely blight proof. The fruit is very attractive, being
a creamy yellow, with conspicuous small brown specks.
It is a splendid eating pear out of hand, and the canneries
say that it cannot be beat for a canning pear.
The original parent trees of this variety, three in num-
ber, are now more than forty years old, and have stood for
all these years in less than one hundred feet of several old
Keiffer and LeConte trees, and while blight for years and
years, the three old Pineapple trees are today in a flour-
ishing condition, bearing heavy crops of fruit every year,
and have never shown the least indication of blight.
There are other small orchards of the Pineapple Pear
near Ludowici growing in close proximity to Keiffers and
other kinds, all of the latter varieties badly blighted, but
not one single Pineapple tree has ever shown a speck of
blight, notwithstanding the fact that no preventive meas-
ures have ever been used, such as spraying, etc., while in
order to give them a severe test the Altamaha Nurseries
of Ludowici, Ga., who are propagating this Pineapple
Pear, have budded and grafted blightwood from other va-
rieties into the Pineapple trees, while the State Experiment
Station has innoculated them with pearblight cultures,
but the Pineapple trees came through unscathed. Mr. W.
V. Reed, the State Entomologist, says the Pineapple Pear
is blightproof without a doubt. Prof. H. P. Stuckey, di-
dector of the State Experiment Statiton, also says it is im-
mune to blight. The young trees grow very fast and are
unusually prolific, coming into bearing when well cared for
at three years of age.
A single tree near Ludowici, last season produced sixty-
six measured bushels. It blooms about three weeks ahead
of most commercial'varieties, and fruit commences to ripen
in July. It is an extremely fine shipper, keeping perfect
condition for a long time after being gathered from the
trees.. Several authorities have stated that within the
next ten years the Pineapple Pear industry will bring
more money into Georgia than all the rest combined. The
nurseries at Ludowici say that about all of their nursery
stock of this pear for this season has been sold and that
they are booking some large contracts to be grown the com-
ing season to be delivered winter 1923-24.
NUTS AND DATES AND THEIR BY-PRODUCTS
Franks American Food Reporter
If the "Cow is the Mother of India," as the natives
claim it to be, the cocoanut palm must also be awarded a
near relationship, as it supplies many of the needs of the
people. Undoubtedly it is the most important nut of all.
It is the fruit of the Cocos Nucifera, a very beautiful tree
growing to a height of from 60 to 100 feet, with a cylinder
shaped stem which frequently attains to a thickness of two
feet. The tree terminates in a crown of graceful waving
pinnate leaves, a leaf of which frequently measures 20
feet in length; and in form resembles a gigantic feather.
The fruit, which is oblong, consists of a thick, external
husk, within which is the nut. Inside the shell, which is
extremely hard, is the kernel, which is hollow and full of
milky fluid. The palm is found in all parts of the East
Indies and tropical islands of the Pacific and West Indies,
and is everywhere carefully cultivated. In Seylon, where
there are over twenty million trees, the wealth of the na-
tives is estimated by the number of trees they own.
The nuts form a considerable part of their diet, and sup-
ply them with the oil they need for various purposes. The
milk is pleasant and refreshing, and from it a fermented
drink "Toddy" can be made, or a spirit called "Arrack."
The trunk forms the "porcupine wood" which is used
for making ornamental furniture, and the leaves are used
for thatching roofs, making fans, etc. From the husk of
the outer covering of the shell, the c6ir fiber is obtained
from which matting, ropes, brushes, etc., are made.
The cocoanut oil is a most important article of export.
The kernels are broken into small pieces and then dried in
the sun, when they are known as Copra. Under pressure
the oil is extracted for which there are many uses. Soap
can be made from it which forms a lather in salt water. A
goodly number of the fresh nuts are imported from the
West Indies to this country, which are eaten or made into
candy. Altogether this palm is one of the most useful gifts
This is one of the commonest species of nuts found in all
the markets of the world, and from its shape and looks has
bben vulgarly named "nigger toe." They are the seeds
of a gigantic tree found throughout tropical America.
Each fruit contains some eighteen to twenty-five nuts.
More than fifty million are annually exported from Para,
in addition to which large quantities are shipped from
other Brazilian ports. They are universally relished either
plain or made into candy. The oil made from them is used
in cooking, and on account of its fineness is in demand by
watchmakers and artists.
This appears to be a native of Asia, but it has been ex-
tensively spread all over the temperate regions of the Old
World. It is most ancient, and constant references to it
appear in the Bible. It also has a religious significance
with the Jews, who still use its branches on their festival
days. There are two varieties: the bitter and the sweet
almond. Of both of these there are numerous commercial
varieties, the most esteemed being the Jordan almond,
which comes from Malaga and the Valencia.
It is a most delicious nut, but should be used with cau-
tion, as it possesses poisonous qualities, and even in small
quantities has been harmful to health.
The verbal chestnut appears to be quite common in this
country, and many very well known men in Congress and
social circles have been accused of keeping a large stock of
these on hand, and palming them off on their friends or the
The chestnut in which we are interested is the Spanish
or sweet chestnut, and it seems strange that more attention
has not been given to the cultivation of this fruit. The
tree is a native of countries bordering the Mediterranean.
It is stately, magnificent and ornamental, and its wood was
at one time esteemeed only second to oak, which it much
resembles. It is found in sheltered positions as far north
Large quantities of the nuts are imported into Great
Britain, where they are regarded as a delicacy. There is a
large sale for them in London and other big cities in win-
ter time by the street vendors who roast them and sell
them hot from their stands. The ones obtainable in this
country are small, poor and flavorless.
In Spain, Switzerland and Italy they are used exten-
sively as food, and in some parts of the Continent they are
ground into meal and used for bread making and for thick-
They are very difficult to keep, as the shell, which is
hardly thicker than paper, affords but slight protection to
the fruit. They rapidly decay and become a prey to
The Chinese water-chestnut, "Feng-ling," deserves men-
tion, not from any merit of its own, but because of its
oddity. They are hard shelled, shaped like unto a buffalo's
head. They are grown in all streams and canals in the
Chehkiang Province. They are boiled and eaten and pos-
sess the flavor of the Jerusalem artichoke. They have no
especial food value and much labor is needed.
These are among the most popular of all nuts, and were
even more so two or three generations ago. They were al-
ways served as adjuncts to the wines at the end of the
There are some seven or eight varieties of trees. They
are natives of the temperate regions, but are also found in
Mexico and the West Indies.
The wood is highly prized because of the beauty of its
markings as well as for its strength and elasticity. It is
principally used for cabinet work and gun stocks.
Its leaves, and husk are resinous and astringent and
are employed medicinally and for dyeing purposes, and in
France a very fine oil is extracted from them.
A large percentage of walnuts become unfit for food
through rot and worms inside the shells. An advertisement
appeared in one of the papers lately by a large California
Company which is proud of its walnuts. It ships them in
100-pound bags, and was desirous of finding some way
in which each separate nut could be marked with their
trade mark at a reasonable cost. It seems hardly probable
that this can be accomplished, but it was suggested to them
that a much better way would be to have the nuts shelled
and frankerized and packed into jars ready to hand to
customers. As walnuts play an important part in the
manufacture of cakes and candies, confectioners would be
glad to have them in this convenient way.
The hickory nut belongs to the same family, but it is in
every way inferior.
The peanut or goober is too well known to need much of
a description. It is the nut of the multitude. Wherever
there is a large gathering, there surely is the peanut vendor
making hay while the sun shines.
From a small industry it has grown to enormous propor-
tions. It is largely cultivated in the South and in other
parts of this country as in the West Indies and Oriental
countries. It is used for making a substitute for butter,
for which it is well adapted, as it contains a great deal of
oil. It is therefore liable to become rancid, and without
Frankerization it is impossible to keep it long.
THE PISTACHIO NUT
This is a native of Italy, but is largely grown in India
and other parts of the East. It is highly esteemed and is
used for all sorts of cooking, but in western countries prin-
cipally for cakes and candies.
The inside of the nut is of a bright green color.
There are many other kinds of nuts which fill a useful
purpose other than that of food. The Betel nut, Sassafras
nut, Soap nut, etc., which are used for medicinal and other
Before closing this article it might be of interest to our
readers to say a word about the nuts found in China.
It is a peculiar thing that the Chinese who are fond of
this kind of fruit, and who are in addition first-class gar-
deners, have never found it worth their while'to cultivate
their own nuts. Many of the various nuts sold in China
are obtained from trees and shrubs in a wild or semi-wild
state. The walnut thrives well in northern China, and in
some sections there are regular orchards, but they are gen-
erally found scattered all over the place. There are vari-
ous kinds, some having thin shells with a good flavor, while
others have a very thick shell and poor quality.
The ordinary chestnut grows wild in various parts, and
there is great variation in the size and quality of the nuts.
There is also the dwarf chestnut tree which is only a few
feet high, whose nuts although small are sweet and of a
good flavor. Hazelnuts thrive wild and are sold in all the
markets. They are inferior in quality to the Filberts but
are hardier. The so-called Chinese almonds are nothing but
the kernels of a particular kind of apricot which is a
small red fruit with large medium soft stones containing
There is an ever increasing demand for nuts for food as
well as for other purposes. The horse-chestnut which grows
so plentifully in England and in Europe generally, is an
exception to the rule, as no use up to now has been found
In the fiscal year 1914 the United States imported Al-
monds to the amount of 13,308,000 lbs. shelled and 5,731,-
000 pounds not shelled, with an aggregate value of $4,678,-
000 and Walnuts to the amount of 8,928,000 lbs. shelled
and 28,268,000 lbs not shelled valued at $4,492,000. The
value of Ciso nuts and Capa imported amounted to 3,292,-
000 and of all nuts imported $19,782,924 against $5,471,166
in 1914.' The exports of nuts (Domestic) amounted to
$398,312 year 1914.
The most important nuts grown in the United States are
the Persian Walnuts, Almonds, Pecans and Chestnuts. The
culture of the first two is confined almost to California. The
Persian Walnut crop amounts to 22,000,000 lbs. per year.
The Almond crop amounts to 5,000,000 lbs. per year. Pecan
orchards are confined to the Southern and Southwestern
States, but the bulk of the crop is obtained from Louisiana
and Texas 10,000,000 lbs. a year.
From 50 to 65% of all nuts are shell. All these nuts con-
tain little water, the percentage of protein is fairly high,
but fat constitutes the largest part of the edible portion,
and carbohydrates which are usually important constitu-
ents of vegetable food are generally present in small
amounts. Chestnuts, however, contain nearly 40% car-
bohydrates; the percentage in cocoanuts, almonds and
lichee nuts is also fairly high.
The meat of the nuts, excepting these last mentioned,
contains nearly fifty times as much carbohydrates as wheat
and the other cereals and has double the fuel value, i. e.-
energy and producing power. A pound of unshelled nuts
will furnish about half as much protein and the same
amount of energy as a pound of flour.
Owing to their high fuel value and low protein content,
nuts would not make a well balanced food when taken by
themselves. This is no reason, however, why nuts should
not fill an increasingly large place in dietaries. Very few
single foods supply the needed nutrients in the proper pro
portion to form a well-balanced ration. Foods rich in fuel
constituents need to be combined with other foods of rela-
tively high protein content.
COMPOSITION OF NUTS
Kind of Nut .
Almonds ....... 64.8 4.8 21.0 54.9 17.3 2.0 3,0301 35.2
Brazil Nuts ..... 49.6 5.3 17. 66.8 7.0 3.9 3,329 50.4
Filberts ........ 52.1 3.7 15.6 65.3 13.0 2.4 3,432 47.9
Hickory Nuts ... 62.21 3.7 15.4 67.4 11.4 2.1 3,495! 37.8
Pecans ......... 53.2 3.0 11.0 71.2 13.3 1.5 3,6331 46.8
English Walnuts. 58.0 2.8 16.7 64.4 14.8 1.3 3,3051 42.0
Chestnuts, Fresh. 16.0 45.0 6.2 5.4 42.1 1.3 1,12k 84.0
Chestnuts, Dried. 24.0 5.9 10.7 7.074.2 2.2 1,875 76.0
Acorns ......... 35.6 4.1 8.1 37.4 48.0 2.4 2,718 64.4
Beachnuts ...... 40.8 4.0 21.9 57.4 13.2 3.5 3,263 59.2
Butternuts ..... 86.4 4.5 27.9 61.2 3.4 3.0 3,3711 13.6
Walnuts ........ 74.1 2.5 27.6 56.3 11.7 1.9 3,105. 25.9
Cocoanuts ...... 48.8 14.1 5.7 50.6 27.9 1.7 2,986 51.2
Shredded ..... 3.5 6.3 57.3 31.6 1.3 3,125 100.00
Pistachio Kernels 4.2 22.6 54.5 15.6 3.1 3,010 100.00
Pine Nut ....... 40.6 3.4 14.6 69.1 17.3 2.8 3,364 59.4
Peanut, Raw .... 24.5 9.2 25.8 38.6 24.41 2.012,560 75.5
Peanut, Roasted.. 32.6 1.6 30.5 49.2 16.2 2.5 3,177 67.4
Lichee Nuts .... 41.6 17.9 2.9 .2 77.5 1.5 1,453 58.4
According to experiments with a diet of fruit and nuts,
75 to 827% of the fats were digested,-the value of protein
alone being somewhat higher per nut. The digestibility of
nut carbohydrates is apparently the same as that of car-
bohydrates in other foods. The belief that nuts are indi-
gestible, i. e., digest with difficulty, causing more or less
pain or distress, seems to be widespread, and perhaps has
some basis in fact. It is quite probable that if the nuts
were properly prepared and eaten at proper times much of
this prejudice would disappear. There is also a general be-
lief that salt eaten with them aids in their digestion. The
present practice of munching them at odd hours, or as a
dessert, when sufficient food has been taken to meet the re-
quirements of the body, overtaxes the digestive organs and
places the nut under a reproach that is at least in part un-
While most nut meats are generally eaten without any
previous preparation they may be used in a variety of
ways. Chopped nut meats are much relished for sand-
wiches and nut salads are not uncommon, while nuts, most
commonly chestnuts, are often used as a stuffing for roast
fowl. The use of nuts in cakes, confectionery, cream, etc.,
Large quantities of pecans are used by confectioners for
making salted pecans and bonbons of various sorts and in
some European countries where the chestnut is abundant,
bread is made from the ground kernels. The chestnut is
also used in the making of cakes and puddings, etc. Many
attempts have been made to prepare nut foods and to ex-
tend their use in various ways. Oils used for salad and
other culinary purposes are derived from Beechnuts, Wal-
nuts, and very likely from others. In the Tropics especial-
ly large quantities of Cocoanut Oil are used for this pur-
pose. Most nut oils have various commercial uses also.
THE DATE PALM
The dates of commerce are the fruit of a species of palm,
Phoenix Dactylifera, which is found from the Canary
Islands throughout Northern Africa and Southeastern
Asia to India. From the remotest antiquity it has been a
godsend to the inhabitants of the lands where it grows.
Especially in Arabia it is the chief source of national
wealth, and its fruit forms the staple article of food. The
tree has been introduced along the Mediterranean shores of
Europe, but that is too far north for the fruit to ripen.
The date palm is a striking and beautiful tree, growing
to a height of from 60 to 80 feet, terminating in a crown of
graceful shining pinnate leaves. The leaves are used for
decorative purposes at the Christian Festival of Palm Sun-
day, and at the Jew's Passover Feast. The fruit is oblong-
shaped and varies much in color, size and quality.
The well-known author and traveller Mr. W. G. Palgrave
says regarding it: "Those who, like most Europeans at
home, only know the date from the dried specimens of that
fruit shown beneath a label in the shop-windows, can hardly
imagine how delicious it is when eaten fresh in Central
Arabia. Nor does its richness, however great, bring saiety;
in short it is an article of food pleasant and healthy."
In the Sahara and other parts of Northern Africa, dates
are pressed into cakes which is food for man and beast
and is eaten by horses and camels and even by dogs. The
dried fruit used for dessert in European countries contains
wore than half its weight of sugar, about 6 per cent of al-
bumen, and 12 per cent of gummy matter.
However with its valuable food qualities it also has its
defects. Many of the constant eaters of this fruit get the
(late boil. This is worse than those with which the long-
suffering Job was afflicted. It is not only very painful and
difficult to heal, but leaves an ugly and permanent scar.
Large quantities of dates are grown in all the places in
the vicinity of the Persian Gulf, and a very large trade is
carried on from Busreh. The writer has frequently seen
the gathering and packing of this fruit. They are placed
in large vats of hardened earth in the ground and pressed
out by foot and then removed and sewn up in matting. The
juice somewhat resembles molasses, but has a distinct flavor
of its own. It is frequently boiled down into sugar, or fer-
mented and distilled into arrack.
Like most Palms every portion of it is utilized.
The first appearance of the date in the United States was
somewhere about the eighteenth century. It was planted
in California by Franciscan and Jesuit Friars, the seeds
having probably been obtained from Mexico. Later on
early American settlers planted seeds of dates they had pro-
cured from the Persian Gulf, and splendid palms have
grown from these in Arizona and California. Off-shoots of
the Egyptian varieties were sent by General C. P. Stone of
the lKhedivial Army. These were neglected and died.
Others were imported from Algiers and the Sahara desert.
The best dates while grown in the hottest and dryest cli-
mates still need considerable irrigation. Trees have been
known to bear fruit four years after the seed has been
planted in Arizona.
There is good ground for believing that enough dates
may be produced within our boundaries to supply all our
markets, and thus retain the large amount of money we
now pay for the imported fruit. With modern methods
and careful packing the date industry ought to become im-
mensely profitable. There is no doubt also that when the
fruit becomes better known to the public that it will be-
come an article of diet as well as a general favorite on the
rich as well as the poor man's table.
DIRECTIONS FOR BLUEBERRY CULTURE, 1921*
By FREDERICK V. COVILLE, Botanist.
Bulletin 974 U. S. Dept. Agr.
EARLY EXPERIMENTS WITH BLUEBERRIES.
The experiments which have led to the present publica-
tion were begun in 1906. The work of the first four year
resulted in a publication entitled "Experiments in Blue-
berry Culture," issued in 1910.** This work was widely
distributed, and a copy came into the hands of Miss Eliza-
beth C. White, New Lisbon, N. J. Miss White at once per-
ceived the significance of the experiments and the impor-
tance of testing their application to the waste lands sur-
rounding her father's cranberry bogs. An informal agree-
ment of co-operation resulted. In 1913 this was replaced
by a formal contract, the object of which was to provide
suitable conditions for a field test of the blueberry hybrids
produced in the course of the experiments at Washington.
D. C. The location of the testing plantation is at Whites-
bog, four miles east of Browns Mills, N. J., in the sandy,
peaty, acid soil of the pine barrens. Up to the present
time sixteen acres have been planted with 27,000 different
hybrid seedlings. Thus far, about 18,000 of these hybrids
have been fruited and four of them have been selected and
approved as worthy of introduction into agriculture.
Propagation material from these four hybrids has been
placed in the hands of nurserymen for commercial propa-
Miss White has also brought together at Whitesbog a
very remarkable collection of selected wild mulberry
plants. Several of these have been used as breeding stocks
in the blueberry development work carried on by the de-
In the present bulletin are included such results of the
experiments and experience at Washington, Whitesbog,
and other points as constitute a brief practical guide for
persons desiring to take up blueberry culture.
*Revised by the writer from "Directions for Blueberry Culture, 1916,"
which was published as United States Department of Agriculture Bulletin
**The publication mentioned, issued as Bulletin No. 193 of the Bureau
of Plant Industry, gave a detailed account of the principles of blueberry
culture, including the soil requirements and peculiarities of nutrition of
the blueberry plant and the details of the growing of seedings. It
contained 100 pages pf text, with 18 plates and 31 text figures. It was
reissued in 1911. Both editions are now out of print.
Success in blueberry culture rests especially on the rec-
ognition of two peculiarities in the nutrition of these
plants: (1) Their requirement of an acid soil; (2) their
possession of a root fungus that appears to have the bene-
ficial function of supplying them with nitrogen.
If blueberries are planted in a soil with an alkaline or
neutral reaction, such as the ordinary rich garden or fertile
field, it is useless to expect their successful growth. In
such a situation they become feeble and finally die. Blue-
berries require an acid soil, and they thrive best in that
particular type of acid soil which consists of a mixture of
sand and peat.t
Good aeration of the soil is another essential. It is com-
monly but erroneously supposed that the highbush or
swamp blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), the species
chiefly desirable for cultivation, grows best in a perma-
nently wet soil. It is to be observed, however, that the
wild plants of the swamps occupy situations which, though
perhaps submerged in winter and spring, are exposed to
the air during the root-forming period of summer and au-
tumn; or, when growing in permanently submerged
places, they stand on a hammock or in a cushion of moss
which rises above the summer water level and within which
the feeding roots of the bush are closely interlaced. In
actual culture, moreover, it has been found that the swamp
blueberry does not thrive in a permanently wet or soggy
Although some species of Vaccinium, such as the com-
mon lowbush blueberry of the northeastern United States,
Vaccinium angustifolium (called V. pennsylvanicum by
some authors), grow and fruit abundantly in sandy up-
lands that are not subject to drought, the swamp blueberry
grows best in soils naturally or artificially supplied with
These, then, are the three fundamental requirements of
successful blueberry culture: (1) An acid soil, especially
tThe degree of soil acidity best suited to blueberries is about specific
acidity 100, corresponding to a hydrogen ion concentration, PH=5. See
a paper by Edgar T. Wherry, "Soil Acidity and a Field Method for Its
Measurement," published in the technical journal Ecology, vol. 1, pp. 160
to 173, July, 1920, with a colored plate. The same subject is treated
more fully by Dr. Wherry in the general appeendix to the Smithsonian
Report for 1920, also with a colored plate, under the title "Soil Acidity-
Its Nature, Measurement, and Relation of Plant Distribution."
one composed of peat and sand; (2) good drainage and
thorough aeration of the surface soil; and (3) permanent
but moderate soil moisture. Under such conditions the
beneficial root fungus which is believed to be essential
to the nutrition of the plant need give the cultivator no
concern, for even if the necessary fungus were wholly lack-
ing in the soil of the new plantation each healthy bush set
out in it would bring its own supply of soil-inoculation
Next in importance to soil conditions is a convenient
location with reference to a good market. The berries
should reach their destination without delay, preferably
early in the morning following the day of picking. To
secure the best prices they should also reach the market
before the height of the main wild blueberry season. A
situation to the south of the great areas of wild blueber-
ries in northern New England, Canada, and northern Mich-
igan is therefore desirable. One of the most promising dis-
tricts for blueberry culture is the cranberry region of New
Jersey. for there an ideal soil occurs in conjunction with
an early maturing season and excellent shipping facilities
to the markets of Philadelphia and New York.
Situations liable to late spring freezes, such as the bot-
toms of valleys, should be avoided, for although the blue-
berry plant itself is seldom permanently injured by such
a freeze, its crop of fruit may be destroyed.
It has been observed that in or around bodies of water,
such as cranberry reservoirs or cranberry bogs temporarily
flooded to prevent frost or insect injury, the wild bushes
often produce normal crops of blueberries in season in
which the wild crop of upland blueberries has been de-
stroyed by late spring freezes. Proximity to such bodies
of water is evidently advantageous.
In regions subject to very low temperatures a blanket
of snow sufficiently deep to cover the bushes often protects
them completely, when twigs not covered by the snow are
winterkilled. In the very cold February of 1918 the fruit-
ing twigs of lowbush hybrids at Whitesbog, N. J., unpro-
tected by snow, were killed by temperatures of about 12
below zero F. Both parents of these hybrids were unin-
jured at Greenfield, N. H., where the temperature went
down to 30 below zero, but the plants there were covered
with deep snow. Another observation made in the same
season on Crotched Mountain, N. H., merits attention in
this connection. Wild blueberry bushes 6 to 7 feet high,
the tops of which projected through the snow, bore no
fruit on the exposed tops in the following summer, while
the sides and bases of the same bushes, which had been
covered with snow, yielding the usual abundance of ber-
ries. The dead fruit buds still remained on the winter-
killed twig tips at the exposed tops of the bushes.
IMPORTANCE OF SUPERIOR VARIETIES
In the southern United States and in the Middle West
blueberries are not ordinarily distinguished from huckle-
berries, but in New England the distinction is very clearly
drawn. The name huckleberry is there restricted to plants
of the genus Gaylussacia, the berries of which contain ten
large seeds with bony coverings like minute peach pits,
which crackle between the teeth. The name blueberry is
applied in New England to the various species of the
genus Vaccinium, in which the seeds, though numerous,
are so small that they are barely noticeable when the ber-
ries are eaten. It is probable that the comparatively low
estimation in which this fruit is held in the South is largely
due to the lack of a distinctive popular name and the con-
sequent confusion of the delicious small-seeded southern
Vacciniums with the coarse large-seeded Gaylussacias. It
is the culture of the small-seeded blueberries only, as dis-
tinguished from the large-seeded huckleberries, that is here
From the market standpoint the features of superiority
in a blueberry are sweetness and excellence of flavor; large
size; light-blue color, due to the presence of a dense blooni
over the dark-purple or almost black skin; "dryness." or
freedom from superficial moisture, especially the ferment-
ing juice of broken berries; and plumpness-that is, free-
dom from the withered or wrinkled appearance that the
berries begin to acquire several days after picking.
Although blueberry plantations may be formed by the
transplanting of unselected wild bushes or by the growing
of chance seedlings, neither of these courses is advocated,
because neither would result in the production of fruit of
an especially superior quality. Seedling plants, even from
the largest berried wild plants, produce small berries as
often as large ones. The cultivator should begin with the
purchase of a few plants of selected hybrid varieties or by
the transplanting of the best wild bushes, selected when in
fruit for the size, color, flavor, and earliness of the berry
and the vigor of productiveness of the bush. These he
should propagate by layering, by division, and by cuttings.
Through a combination of these methods, a valuable old
plant can often be multiplied by several hundred at one
propagation, the fruit of the progeny retaining all the
characteristics of the parent.
In making selections among wild bushes it is an excel-
lent plan to preserve for future reference about a dozen of
the largest berries in a tightly stoppered wide-mouthed
bottle containing a mixture of 1 part of formalin, or 40
per cent formaldehyde, to 15 parts of water. Each bottle
should contain berries from only a single bush or, in the
case of a plant that spreads by the root, from a single
patch. Care should be taken not to rub the delicate
"bloom" from the berries. A small twig bearing two or
three leaves, from the same plant from which the berries
were taken, should also be placed in the bottle. The De-
partment of Agriculture would be glad to receive such
samples and identify them for the sender. Some of the
bushes thus located might prove to be of value in the blue-
berry breeding work of the department.
Great interest has developed recently in Florida on the
subject of blueberry culture. Extravagant and misleadinig
statements have been published and thousands of ordinary
wild bushes have been sold at high prices, the purchasers
being led to believe that the plants were of specially se-
lected or adapted varieties. One company, located near
Tampa, published as the frontispiece of a blueberry ad-
vertising pamphlet a natural-size illustration of a quart
box of one of the United States Department of Agricul-
ture selected hybrids, without designating it as such. The
reader of the pamphlet would naturally believe that the
bushes the firm was selling would produce such berries as
were shown in the illustration. The real success of a
single blueberry plantation near Crestview, in northwest-
ern Florida, set with selected plants from the near-by
woods, is chiefly responsible for the present wave of blue-
berry exploitation in that State. The best advice that can
be given at present to those desiring to experiment with
the blueberry culture in Florida is to make certain that
any plants they buy are as represented by the seller, to be
sure that alleged improved varieties are not in reality or-
dinary wild blueberries, perhaps inferior to wild bushes
that the purchaser might find in his own neighborhood by
careful search. The selected hybrids described in this
bulletin are of northern parentage and probably will not
thrive in Florida because Florida winters are not suffi-
ciently cold to give these plants the chilling they require
in winter. t The United States Department of Agricul-
ture has already begun the breeding of improved blueber-
ries from species native in Florida, but it greatly desires
better southern breeding stock than it now possesses. Those
interested in the advancement of blueberry culture in
Florida are especially urged to make selections among
their wild blueberries in accordance with the general di-
rections given in the two preceding paragraphs.
While grafting or budding is almost indispensable in
experimental work with blueberries, bushes propagated by
these methods are not suitable for permanent commercial
plantations, because such bushes are continually sending
up new and undesirable shoots for the stock. Budding,
however, is the best known means of producing a large
quantity of cutting wood from a valuable selected blue-
berry hybrid. It is useful also in testing the quality of a
new variety, for a budded blueberry when properly han-
dled comes into bearing two years from the time of bud-
ding and doubtless will continue to yield for several years,
until the budded stem becomes old and decrepit.
The best season for budding the blueberry is from the
middle of July to the middle of August. The ordinary
method of shield budding, with a T-shaped cut and dry
and unwaxed raffia wrapping, has proved the most suc-
cessful of all the methods tried. In selecting budwood,
attention should be paid to the following points: A
bud forms at the base of each leaf; at first the scales
ttFor an account of the experiments that led to this conclusion, see
"The Influence of Cold in Stimulating the Growth of Plants," published
in the Journal of Agricultural Research for October 15, 1920, vol. 20, pp.
151 to 160, with 16 plates.
8This and other methods of budding are described in Farmers' Bulletin
157, "The Propagation of Plants," by L. C. Corbett.
covering the bud are green;. when they are a little older
they become straw colored, and later brown. When the
buds have reached this brown stage they are of the proper
age for use. All three stages may occur at the same time
on a single branch, and in such a case the upper part of
the branch should be discarded. A bud is more easily
handled if the tiny leafstalk is left attached to it. Pro-
vision for this is easily made by cutting off the blades, but
not the stalks, of the leaves when the branches that are to
be used for budwood are removed from the parent bush.
Care should be taken to discard the large fat flowering
buds that occur toward the ends of the branches. In most
blueberry plants, however, these flowering buds do not
develop until after the budding season.
When blueberry buds are to be inserted the same day
on which the budwood is cut, the sticks require no other
treatment than to be kept in the shade of the folds of a
moist, clean towel. The budwood is easily ruined, however,
by continued subjection to the high temperatures preva-
lent at the midsummer budding season. Any budwood
that has been cut should therefore be kept on ice at night
or at any other time when it is not in actual use.
In carrying blueberry budwood long distances, excellent
results have been secured by the use of a thermos bottle.
The bottle, opened, and the budwood, in clean moist wrap-
pings and with additional moist packing material, should
be kept on ice for several hours until thoroughly chilled.
Just before the journey is to begin the chilled budwood and
packing material is placed in the bottle and the bottle
closed. Immediately on arrival at its destination the bottle
should be opened and the contents kept chilled in an ice
box until used. By this method blue berry budwood has
been kept in perfect condition for more than a week, and
probably that period can be much prolonged.
The best wood on which to bud is the lower portion of
vigorous basal shoots of the season, especially those from
plants that were cut to the stump in the preceding winter
or early spring. On such shoots the bark can be lifted with
ease much later in the season than on older stems. In tak-
ing the bud from the stick of budwood the cut is made just
deep enough to leave a thin layer of wood attached to the
middle of the bud slice. The raffia should be tied rather
tightly, so that the juice almost begins to be squeezed from
the soft bark. Special care should be taken that the raffia
wrapping does not become wet and fermentation ensue be-
tween the raw surfaces of bud and stock. Plants budded in
a greenhouse should therefore be watered on the surface of
the ground, not on the foliage. In the case of outdoor
plants liable to be wet by the rain the bud wrappings can
be effectually protected by the use of a piece of strong
paraffined paper about 6 inches square made into a little
cone about the stem just above the bud wrappings and
securely tied there with raffia, the lower part of the cone
banging down around the stem like a little skirt, keeping
the rain away from the bud and its wrappings.
Union of the bud with the stock should take place in two
to three weeks. As soon as the budded stem has increased
in diameter sufficiently to cause pronounced choking by
the raffia, all the wrappings should be removed. Otherwise
the choked stem may be broken off by the wind. If chok-
ing does not occur the wrapping may be allowed to remain
Before growth begins in the following spring the stem is
cut off above the inserted bud, which is still dormant. Only
the inserted bud should be allowed to grow, all other growth
from the stock being promptly rubbed off as soon as it
starts. Under this treatment the shoot from the inserted
bud is very succulent and heavy, and a wind easily breaks
it from the stock. To prevent this, the growing shoot, be-
ginning at a length of 6 to 8 inches, should be tied at in-
tervals to a strong stake.
In green house experiments a growth of more than 8 feet
has been obtained in the first season from an inserted bud
on a vigorous plant, and when the shoot has been made to
branches repeatedly by removing the growing tips as
many as 70 cuttings have been produced the first year from
a single valuable bud. In field practice at Whitesbog about
10 cuttings on the average are produced the first year from
a single inserted bud, and in individual cases as many as
30 have been produced.
The easiest way to propagate the swamp blueberry is by
a special process of layering called "stumping." The di-
rections are as follows:
(1) In late fall, winter, or spring, preferably in early
.spring before the buds have begun to push, cut off at the
surface of the ground either the whole of the plant or as
many of the stems as it is desired to devote to this method
of propagation. The stems that are cut off are discarded,
or they may be used for cuttings, as described under
"Tubering" or "winter cuttings."
(2) Cover the stumps to the depth of 2 to 3 inches
with a mixture of clean sand and sifted peat, two to four
parts of sand to one of peat by bulk. A rough box or frame
may be built on the ground to keep the sand bed in place.
(3) Care must be taken that the sand bed be not
allowed to become dry except at the surface during the
(4) The new growth from the stumps, which without
the sand would consist of stems merely, is transformed in
working its way though the sand bed into scaly, erect or
nearly erect rootstocks which'on reaching the surface of the
sand continue their development into leafy shoots.
Although roots are formed only sparingly on the
covered bases of stems, they develop abundantly during
spring and early summer on these artificially produced
rootstocks, and by the end of autumn all the shoots should
be well rooted at the base. They should remain in place in
the sand bed till winter or early spring, undisturbed and
exposed to outdoor freezing temperatures; but the sand
should be mulched with leaves, preferably those of red oaks,
to prevent heaving in freezing weather and to maintain an
acid condition of the soil.
(5) Early in the following spring, before the buds have
begun to push, open the bed and sever each well-rooted
shoot carefully from the stump. Discard the upper portion
of the shoot, making the cut at such a point as to leave on
the basal portion about three buds above the former level of
the sand bed. If the cut at the basal end of the rooted shoot
is not smooth or the wood is cracked, recut the surface with
a sharp thin-bladed knife. The discarded upper portion of
the shoot may be used for winter cuttings.
(6) Set the rooted shoots in a coldframe or a cool green-
house in a soil mixture consisting of two parts, by bulk, of
rotted upland peat and one part of clean sand. The plants
may be set in individual pots if the propagator prefers, the
pots being bedded to the rim in the sand.
(7) Cover the. frame with muslin or other white shade
suspended above the glass, giving the plants plenty of light
but little or no direct sunlight, and for the first two or
three months keep the temperature at not to exceed 650 F.
if practicable. When subjected to high temperatures the
newly cut shoots are liable to die and rot from the base
(8) Watering should be as infrequent as practicable,
only sufficient to keep the soil moist but well areated, not
(9) The frame should receive ventilation, but not
enough to cause the new twigs to droop. These are most
susceptible to overventilation and to overheating when they
have nearly completed their growth.
(10) After the new twigs have stopped growing and
their wood becomes hard new root growth takes place.
Then secondary twig growth follows, either from the apex
of the new twigs or from another bud lower down on the
old wood of the original rooted shoot. Until this secondary
twig growth takes place the life of the plant is not assured.
SOIL MIXTURES FOR BLUEBERRIES
A very successful potting mixture or nursery-bed mix-
ture for blueberry plants consists of one part, by measure,
of clean or washed sand, nine parts of rotted upland peat,
either chopped or rubbed through a seive, and three parts
of clean, broken crocks-that is, pieces of ordinary un-
glazed, porous, earthenware flower pots. No loam, and
especially no lime, should be used. Manure is not neces-
sary, and in the present state of our knowledge may be
regarded as dangerous, although in small quantities it
serves to stimulate the plants, at least temporarily. The
danger from manure apparently lies in its tendency to
injure the beneficial root fungus of the blueberry plant.
The use of broken crocks in the potting mixture is based
on the fact that the rootlets seek them and form around
them the same kind of mats that they form at the wall of
the pot, thus increasing the effective root surface and the
vigor of growth. If crocks are not available, the soil mix-
ture should consist of two to four parts of peat to one
part of sand.
The peat most successfully used for potting blueberry
plants is an upland peat procured in kalmia, or laurel,
thickets. In a sandy soil in which the leaves of these
bushes and of the oak trees with which they usually grow
have accumulated and rotted for many years, untouched
by fire, a mass of rich leaf peat is formed, interlaced by the
superficial rootlets of the oak and laurel into tough mats
or turfs, commonly two'to four inches in thickness. The
turfs, ripped from the ground and rotted from two to six
months in a moist but well-aerated stack, make an ideal
blueberry peat. A good substitute is found in similar
turfs formed in sandy oak woods having an underbrush of
ericaceous plants other than laurel. The tufts of lowbush
blueberries serve the same purpose admirably. Oak leaves
raked, stacked and rotted for about eighteen months with-
out lime or manure are also good. The leaves of some
trees, such as maples, rot so rapidly that within a year
they may have passed from the acid condition necessary
for the formation of good peat to the alkaline stage of de-
composition, which is fatal to blueberry plants. Even oak
leaves rotted for several years become alkaline if they are
protected from the addition of new leaves bearing fresh
charges of acidity. The much decomposed peat in the
submerged lower layers of deep bogs, such as is used for
fuel in Europe, is not suitable for blueberry-soil mixtures.
By ordinary methods cuttings of the swamp blueberry
could at first be rooted only in occasional instances. Suc-
cessful special methods, however, were afterwards devised
for these plants. The most novel of the methods devised,
but the one easiest of operation, is that of tubering. This
method involves the same principle as that employed in
stumping, namely, the forcing of new shoots in such a
manner that their basal portions are morphologically scaly
rootstocks. with a strong rooting tendency. The directions
for tubering as applied to the swamp blueberry are as
(1) Make stem settings from outdoor plants between
midwinter and early spring, before the buds have begun to
make their spring growth, and preferably on a warm day
when the twigs are not frozen. A still better plan is to
aF'or a fll ler discussion of I le conditions under which leaves dlecolm-
pose into leaf pent as distinguished from leaf mold. and the fundamentally
different effect of the two on the growth of plants, consult "Tlhe
Formation of Leafmold." Smithsonian Report for n113, pp. 333 to 343
(also separately printed).
make the cuttings in autumn after the leaves have fallen
and store them for about two months in moist sphagnum
moss or clean basswood sawdust on ice at a temperature
just above freezing*
(2) The cuttings are to be made from vigorous plants
grown in well-lighted situations and with stems therefore
well stored with starch. Use unbranched portions of the
old and hardened branches and stems, about a quarter of
an inch to an inch, or even more, in diameter. From 3 to
4 inches is a suitable and convenient length. Make the
cuts with pruning shears or a fine-toothed saw and remove
the bruised wood at the cut ends with a sharp knife. Be
careful not to injure the bark or split or strain the wood.
(3) Lay the cuttings horizontally in a box about eight
inches deep in a bed of pure clean sand and cover them to
the depth of about three-quarters of an inch with a mix-
ture of sifted rotted peat (two parts) and clean sand (one
part). Or the wholebed may be composed of sand mixture
with about an equal bulk of peat. Or the bed may consist
of a mixture of basswood sawdust and peat, described un-
der "Winter Cuttings." Moisten the bed well with rain
water, bog water, or other pure water (free from lime)
from a sprinkling pot and see that the bed is closely and
firmly packed about the cuttings. Cover the box or cut-
ting bed with a pane or panes of glass, the top of the box
being flat, so that the glass fits it rather snugly. The box
should be so prepared that any surplus water will drain
away beneath through holes in the bottom covered with
clean broken crocks and sphagnum moss.
(4) Keep the box at a temperature of 55 to 65 F. or
as near those limits as practicable. A temperature of 700
or above is likely to ruin the cuttings.
(5 To avoid excessive temperatures, do not allow direct
sunlight upon the glass, either keeping the box by north
light or keeping it shaded, as by a white cloth or paper
cover suspended several inches above the glass, or in a
(6) Keep the air over the bed saturated with moisture.
This condition will be evidenced by the condensation of the
moisture on the under side of the glass during the cooler
part of the day or whenever a cold wind blows against the
(7) Watering should be as frequent as practicable,
only sufficient to keep the cutting bed moist but well
aerated and the atmosphere above it saturated. If the
glass fits tightly, a second watering may not be needed for
(8) Within a few weeks new growth will begin to
appear above the soil. When the shoots have reached a
length proportionate to their vigor, commonly 1 to 3 inches,
their further growth is self-terminated by the death of the
tip. After the leaves have reached their full size and
acquired the dark green color of maturity the time has
come for the development of roots.
(9) The new growth, which if it had originated above
the bed would be like an ordinary shoot, was transformed
in working its way through the soil and become a scaly,
erect rootstock, which on reaching the surface of the bed
continued its development into a leafy shoot. During the
spring and early summer roots form in abundance on the
lower or rootstock portion of these shoots.
(10) After a shoot is well rooted it commonly, though
not invariably, makes secondary twig growth the same sea-
son, usually from a bud in the axil of the uppermost leaf.
If the rooting of the shoot has not already been ascertained
by direct examination, the making of such secondary
growth is good evidence that rooting has actually taken
(11) When a shoot is well rooted, with 1 to 2 inches in
length( it is ready to be potted. If the shoot has not al-
ready disconnected itself from the dead cutting it should
be carefully severed with a sharp knife. In the process of
tubering the behavior of the cuttings is essentially identical
with that of real tubers, like those of the potato. The origi-
nal cutting dies, but the sprouts that arose from it root at
the base and form independent plants.
(12) The rooted shoots should be potted in clean 2-inch
earthenware pots in the standard blueberry-soil mixture
(13) The pots should be bedded in moist sand up to
the rim in a glass-covered frame or box, well lighted but
protected from direct sunlight and slightly ventilated but
with a saturated or nearly saturated atmosphere.
(14) To obtain rapid growth, gradually accustom the
rooted plants to a well-ventilated atmosphere and then to
half sunlight, this adjustment extending over a period of
about three or four weeks.
(15) If preferred, the rooted shoots may remain in the
original cutting bed until the following spring, the cutting
bed being exposed during the winter to freezing tempera-
tures, but mulched with oak leaves, and the plants may then
be transferred, with their whole root mat intact, to a peat
and sand nursery bed at a spacing of about a foot each
Where propagating is to be done on a sufficiently large
scale, outdoor coldframes may be used instead of cutting
boxes. At Whitesbog the process of tubering has been
carried on with great success in muslin-shaded coldframes,
and the handling of the cuttings, both before and after
rooting, has been much simplified. The cuttings are made
in the fall, packed in boxes in loose, moist, clean sphagnum
moss or basswood sawdust, and stored during the winter in
a cool cranberry house at a temperature of about 40' F
As soon as the frost is out of the ground beds of clean sanr!
are laid down in the coldframes, and the cuttings are
pressed into the sand until the upper side is level with the
surface. The whole is then covered with an inch layer oi'
sifted peat (about two parts) and sand (one part). At first
the frames were completely shaded by clean white mueiiu
on a framework about 7 feet above the ground. They are
given a small amount of ventilation.
In 1919 and 1920 an experiment was tried at Whitesbog.
on the recommendation of Mr. V. A. Vanicek. an expei t
plant propagator of Newport R. I., in the use of lath in-
stead of muslin shades. The shades are so constructed that
the lath is about 4 inches above the sash of the coldframe,
and the distance between the laths is the thickness of a lath,
about a quarter of an inch. This construction allows each
cutting to receive direct sunlight, but for only a few min-
utes at a time. The proportion of cuttings that rooted
under these lath shades was a little better than that under
the muslin shades. It is to be hoped that further experi-
ence with lath shades will established their apparent su-
periority over muslin shades, for they are less expensive
and more easily handled.
The shades and sash are removed in early October, and
in late autumn, after most of their leaves have fallen, the
rooted plants are taken out of the frames, so that these can
be made ready for a new lot of cuttings very early the
next spring. The strongest of the rooted plants taken out
of the frames are sometimes set at once in their permanent
places in the field plantation. The others are placed in
nursry beds at a spacing of about 10 inches each way,
where they remain during the winter and the following
The cutting bed should be watered often enough to keep
it from drying at the surface.
The rooting of leafy cuttings of the blueberry in summer
is difficult, because in a temperature above 700 F. the cut-
tings usually blacken and die. With the aid of a shaded
greenhouse, winter cuttings can be started early enough to
make roots before warm weather comes on. Similar re-
sults can be obtained in coldframes so located, sheltered,
and manipulated as to prolong their low temperature as
late as possible in the season.
The essentials of a successful coldframe for blueberry
propagation are as follows: (1) It should be located on
the cool, shaded north side of a building or in some other
situation where it will not receive reflected heat from
neighboring structures. (2) The cuttings should receive
an abundance of light but little or no direct sunlight, a
condition best obtained in the cast of isolated frames by the
use of muslin or slat shades. Frames on the north side of a
building will also require shade in early morning and late
afternoon from March to September. On sunless days all
shade should be removed so that the cuttings will receive as
much light as possible. (3) There should be ample space
for the circulation of cool air between the frames and the
shade. (4) The frames should be kept closed or nearly
closed, with a little ventilation at night to refill the frame
with cool air, until the cuttings are rooted. The closing
not only keeps the air saturated with moisture and prevents
the drying of the cuttings, but it also tends to maintain
a cool ground temperature within the frame.
The use of a greenhouse in which to start the cuttings,
followed by the transfer of the cutting boxes to cold-
frames at the beginning of warm weather, permits an even
more prolonged protection of the cuttings than can be
obtained in either greenhouse or coldframes alone and in-
creases the percentage of rooted plants. The directions for
rooting winter cuttings of the blueberry by this method
are as follows:
(1) Make the cuttings in late autumn, removing any
leaves that have not already fallen.
(2) Make the cuttings from wood of the preceding
summer's growth, rejecting such portions as bear the
large fat flowering buds. The cuttings are to be made
from well-matured unbranched twigs or shoots grown in
well-lighted situations and therefore well stored with
(3) About four inches is a suitable length for finished
cuttings. A sharp thin-bladed knife should be used. In
the finished cutting, the upper end of the diagonal cut at
the base of the cutting should come just below a sound
bud, and the cut at the upper end of the cutting should
be about an eighth of an inch above a sound bud. If the
cuts are first made with pruning shears, remove with the
knife the bruised wood at the cut ends. The digaonal
knife cuts should be as short as is practicable without
bruising the bark or splitting or straining the wood. To
avoid infection of the cuttings, the knife must be kept
clean. This may be done conveniently by dipping the
blade in alcohol and wiping it on a clean towel. The cut-
cings must not be allowed to become dry. This is easily
prevented by laying them in the fold of a clean moist
(4) The cutting box should be made of sound clean
wood, about eight inches deep inside and of any convenient
size, with drainage holes in the bottom. The cutting bed
should be laid down over a groundwork of clean broken
crocks, gravel, or other material that will provide good
drainage. On this place about 31/2 inches of rather coarse
basswood sawdust mixed with about one-fourth of its bulk
of peat, the whole bed, including the drainage material,
being four inches or a little more in thickness. Wet the
bed thoroughly with clean rain water of other pure water
(free from lime) from a sprinkling pot.
(5) With a newly whittled stick or other clean imple-
ment punch holes about three inches deep in the cutting
bed at a spacing of two to three inches each way, according
to the thickness of the cuttings. In setting the cutting in
the hole be sure to press it down far enough and firmly
enough to make sure that the cut surface at the base is in
contact with the sawdust, but be careful not to injure the
delicate new tissue at the base of the cutting by pushing it
forcibly into the cutting bed. With the stick tamp the
sawdust firmly about the cutting. Cover the box with a
pane or panes of glass.
(6) To prevent injury of the cuttings by overheating,
allow little or no direct sunlight on the boxes. Shade them
with muslin or paper or slats so hung as to permit ample
circulation of cool air between the shade and the glass.
(7) Keep the air inside the box saturated or nearly
saturated with moisture. This condition will be shown by
the condensation of the moisture on the under side of the
glass at night or at ather cool portions of the day.
(8) Watering should be as infrequent as practicable,
only sufficient to keep the cutting bed moist but well
aerated and the atmosphere in the box saturated. If the
glass fits tightly, the period between necessary watetrings
may extend over several weeks.
(9) Place the box for a month in a temperature of 550
to 600 or 650F., in either darkness or indirect sunlight.
At the end of a month the new healing-over growth, called
a callus, should have been formed at the base of each cut-
(10) After the cuttings are callused the temperature
in the cutting house should be allowed to run down each
night to a temperature of .350 F. or as near that point as
the weather permits, but the cuttings should not be al-
lowed to freeze. The day temperature should approach
but not exceed 60'. Shade the boxes from direct sunlight,
but give them all the indirect light practicable.
(11) After two months of this alternate chilling and
moderate warming the buds on many of the cuttings should
have begun to push. It is then time to raise the night tem-
perature to 550, keeping the day temperature at about
(12) After new twigs have developed from the upper
buds and their growth has been terminated by the brown-
ing and shedding of the tips, and the new leaves have
reached their full size and acquired the dark-green color
of maturity, the formation of roots is about to begin.
(13) When all or most of the cuttings in the frame
have begun to root, ventilation of the box should be begun.
The best superficial evidence that a cutting has rooted is
the development of secondary twig growth, either from the
apex of one of the first set of new twigs or from another
bud lower down on the old wood of the cutting. If sec-
ondary growth does not take place, the development of a
plump but dormant bud at the apex of one of the leafy
twigs is also good evidence that cutting has begun to root.
Cuttings that are healthy but not yet rooted at the time
ventilation begins usually die from excessive transpira-
(14) Ventilation should be only slight at first and
should be increased very gradually, the transition to full
ventilation extending over a period of several weeks. If
any of the sensitive secondary growth begins to wilt, re-
duce the ventilation immediately until the wilting ceases.
Be especially careful not to give too much ventilation on
windy days. By the time the tips of the secondary shoots
are browned and shed and their leaves are mature in size
and color, the cuttings have developed sufficient root
growth to warrant full ventilation.
(15) All cuttings that are dying should be removed
from the bed at once. Those injured by high temperature
usually turn brown at the base first, the dead area extend-
ing upward until the new growth collapses. Those other-
wise sound but suffering from excessive ventilation before
they are rooted usually indicate their bad condition by the
marginal yellowing of their leaves before they drop and
the stems become withered.
(16) The plants are best left in the cutting bed all
winter, either indoors at a temperature slightly above
freezing, or outdoors mulched with leaves, preferably oak
leaves. In early spring, before the buds have begun to
push, they should be very carefully lifted and moved, with
the whole root mat and adhering soil intact, to a peat and
sand nursery bed at a spacing of about a foot each way or
potted in the standard blueberry-soil mixture.
The early experiments with root cuttings gave such a
small percentage of rooted plants that further experiments
in the greenhouse were abandoned. At Whitesbog, N. J.,
however, in order that the underground parts as well as
the tops of selected wild plants might be utilized, cuttings
of these parts were made, about three to four inches long
and of all sizes down to a little less than an eighth of an
inch in diameter. These were given the same treatment
as tubered cuttings in coldframes. A good percentage of
unusually vigorous rooted sprouts resulted. It was found
later, however, that most of the pieces that rooted were not
true root cuttings, but were from underground portions of
stems, properly stem-base cuttings.
Wild blueberry plants, and hybrids also, vary greatly in
their response to the different methods of propagation here
described. Cuttings of the common lowbush blueberry
(Vaccinium angustifolium) usually do not yield a large
percentage of rooted plants. The same is true of hybrids
between this species and the swamp blueberry. For these
plants the old-fashioned method of mound layering has
been found satisfactory. The procedure is simply to cover
up the bases of the stems to the depth of two to four inches
with peat and sand soil in which the plants are growing.
If this is done in spring, soon after flowering, the stems
are usually well rooted by the end of the season, and each
one is ready to be taken off as a separate plant.
TREATMENT OF YOUNG PLANTS
When blueberry plants, either large or small, are grown
in porous pots, the surface of the pot should never be al-
lowed to become dry, for the rootlets which grow through
the soil to the wall of the pot for air are extremely fine and
easily killed by drying, to the great injury of the plant.
This danger may be eliminated by bedding the pots to the
rim in a well-drained bed of sand or by setting the pot
in another pot of two to four inches greater diameter, with
a packing of moist sphagnum moss between and broken
crocks at the bottom.
A burning of the young leaves and growing tips of twigs
is often produced by the hot sun from the middle of June
to the middle of September. Plants in pots or nursery
beds are easily protected from such injury and forced to
their maximum growth by a half-shade covering of slats,
the slats and the spaces between being of the same width.
On cloudy days the shade should be removed. It should
not be used in the fall or spring.
During the winter blueberry plants should be kept out-
doors, exposed to freezing temperatures, their soil mulched
with leaves, preferably oak leaves. When kept in a .warm
greenhouse during the winter they make no growth before
spring. Even then their growth is late, abnormal, often
feeble, sometimes deferred for even a whole year.
Plants from cuttings or rooted shoots are ready for per-
manent field planting when they are 1 or 2 years old and
6 to 18 inches high.
It is a curious fact that these plants send out no new
roots in spring until they are in full leaf, when their flow-
ering is nearly or quite finished and their principal twig
growth has ceased. It is important, therefore, in taking
up either a wild or cultivated plant from the open ground
that as much as possible of the old root mat be carefully
lifted with the plant, for upon these old roots the plants
depend for moisture until their new rootlets are formed,
about two months after the first signs of growth in spring.
In the case of mature wild bushes with very large root
suytems, when it is practicable to secure but a fration of
the root mat, say a disk only 3 or 4 feet in diameter, it is
the best procedure to cut all the stemps at the time of trans-
planting to stumps 1 to 2 inches high. The bush will then
produce a new and symmetrical top of a size suited to the
capacity of the roots. The wood that is removed may be
used for cuttings if the plant is sufficiently valuable.
The stemps that make up a bush usually develop fibrous
roots on their basal portions beneath the surface of the soil
and above the root crown, at which the several stems unite.
Such plants can be divided into several when taken up for
transplanting. As many as 30 plants, each cut to a stump
and with its own small but sufficient portion of the root
mat, have been obtained in this way from a large wild
plant. By utilizing the various methods of propagation
described in this bulletin, as many as 600 cuttings of
roots, teams, and twigs have been made from a single very
large wild bush.
In resetting plants from which the tops have been re-
moved, the stumps should be made to project about an inch
above the surface of the ground. New shoots are formed
in spring from such exposed stumps much earlier than
from stumps covered with soil and not receiving the
warmth of the sun's direct rays. If the plant when reset is
made to occupy a moderate depression in the ground, the
old stump and the bases of the new stems can afterward
be covered with soil, and a new root system will finally
develop from the new wood.
When blueberry plants are set out in early spring, before
the buds have begun to push, they usually make excellent
growth, and for all plants that are pruned to the stump
early spring is the best season for transplanting.
Conditions with unpruned plants, however are different.
Since blueberry plants make no new root growth until
late spring it often happens that a period of hot days in-
tervenes between planting and rooting, and many plants
are injured by an excessive loss of water before they have
had time to make connection with the water supply of the
surrounding soil through the development of new roots.
The danger of such injury is greatest in the case of plants
transplanted from pots. The old root ball sends up most of
its water to the leaves, and in consequence, being at first
as a rule in imperfect capillary contact with the new out-
side soil, the root ball commonly contracts slightly. The
contraction is often sufficient to put the roots at the sides
and bottom of the root ball permanent out of contact with
the surrounding soil, and the plant may continue to suffer
severely from drought, although the soil outside the root
ball contains plenty of moisture.
An early autumn field planting has furnished a remark-
ably successful means of avoiding this trouble with potted
plants. At this season the excessive heat of summer is
over, the plants are full and vigorous leaf, and, being
taken from pots, carry their whole root system with them.
The formation of new roots begins at once and proceeds
with great activity until the leaves are shed, at the ap-
proach of winter. In the spring, when new leaf growth
begins, the plants are already well rooted in the soil. They
pass through the early hot period without injury and de-
velop remarkable size and vigor by autumn.
In preparing for a' field plantation one precaution of
special importance must not be overlooked. For the pro-
duction of a crop of fruit under field conditions, insects
are required to carry pollen from one flower to another.
The honeybee works little on blueberry flowers. Her
tongue is so short that she can not easily reach the
nectar. The flowers are pollinated chiefly by bumblebees,
whose tongues are long, and by some of the solitary wild
bees that are small enough to crawl through the narrow
opening of the corolla. When blue berry flowers are pol-
linated with pollen from their own bush the berries are
fewer, smaller, and later in maturing than when the pollen
comes from another bush. Some bushes are almost com-
pletely sterile to their own pollen. The pollen of a plant
grown from a cutting is likewise unsatisfactory for the
pollination of the parent plant or of other plants grown
from its cuttings. It is important, therefore, that a planta-
tion should not be made up wholly from cutting from one
bush. Two stocks should be used, a row of plants from
one stock being followed by a row from the other.
In the permanent field plantation bushes of the wild
swamp blueberry or its hybrids should be spaced 8 feet
apart each way. When they reach mature size they will
nearly or quite cover the intervening spaces. When first
planted, however, the bushes are preferably set 4 feet apart
in the row, with the rows 8 feet apart. This spacing per-
mits machine cultivation in one direction. When the
bushes begin to crowd each other, every second plant in the
row will need to be removed. If the plants are set originally
at 4 by 4 feet machine cultivation will be impracticable
after the first year or two, and the branches of the bushes
are likely to begin to interlock after five or six years.
For lowbush hybrids its seems probable, from the ex-
perience at Whitesbog, that a spacing of 6 by 3 feet will
give the bushes adequate room for many years. If the
bushes ultimately begin to interlace in the rows the re-
moval of every second bush would then leave them at in-
tels of 6 by 6 feet.
This removal of filler bushes will furnish a large quan-
tity of propagation material, which can be rooted by the
various methods described in this bulletin and used by the
extension of the plantation.
When blueberry culture is to be tried in a sandy or
gravelly soil deficient in peat or peatlike matter, the plants
should be set in separate holes or trenches about 12 inches
deep in a mixture of two to four parts of peat or half-
rotted oak leaves to one part of clean sand. The excava-
tions should be wide enough to provide ample space for
new growth of the roots, not less than a foot each way from
the old root ball. In small plantings, if the materials for
the mixture are easily available in quantity, an 8-inch bed
of it may be laid down over the whole surface of the
ground, and if a planting is to be tried on a soil wholly
unsuited to the blueberry, especially a rich garden soil or
a heavy soil affording poor drainage, the area may first
be covered with a 2-inch layer of soft-coal cinders, to keep
earthworms from bringing up the underlying soil, next
a 6-inch layer of sand, for drainage, and finally the 8-inch
bed of peat and sand mixture. Wherever used, the peat
and sand mixture should be thoroughly manipulated, so as
to give it a uniform texture, before the plants are set out
in it, for in a soil in which layers of peat alternate with
layers of sand the capillary connection of the two is
usually imperfect, and a plant rooted in the peat may
suffer severely from drought, although the neighboring
sand still has water to spare. For a similar reason it is
important that when the plant is first set out the peat and
sand mixture shall be very tightly pressed and packed
about all sides of the old root ball.
To insure full vigor of growth the ground between the
bushes must be kept free from all other vegetation. On
rocky uplands or in situations deficient in peat a con-
tinuous mulch of oak leaves, when it is practicable to pro-
cure them, will help toward this end, as well as keep the
soil in the necessary acid condition. It is more economical,
however, to choose such a location for the plantation as
will permit the use of horse-drawn machinery and will
make mulching unnecessary.
The most favorable location for blueberry culture is a
moist area with a peat covering and sand subsoil, the peat
preferably of such a thickness that deep plowing will turn
up some of the underlying sand.
The land should be so ditched or tiled that the water
level can be kept at least a foot below the surface of the
ground during the growing season.
The ground should be plowed to the depth of 8 to 10
inches and repeatedly harrowed or otherwise tilled during
the season preceding the planting, in order to kill the wild
vegetation. The best time for such plowing is in late spring,
after the principal vegetation has used up its winter store
of starch in completing its early growth and before the
leaves have matured and the roots have begun the new
storage of starch by means of which they could send up new
The tillage of the plantation after the young bushes have
been set out should be sufficiently thorough to keep down
all competing vegetation. This is best done by horse culti-
ovation with a disk harrow, supplemented by careful hoe-
ing and hand weeding close about the plants. As the bushes
grow older and their roots extend into the spaces between
the rows, they develop over these root mats close beneath
the surface of the soil. The tillage over these root mats
should be very shallow, not more than 2 or 3 inches. This
is probably best accomplished by the use of a small, light
springtooth cultivator with the teeth set closer together
In case of drought, the drainage ditches may be used to
bring the water for subirrigation. But unless the surface
of the ground is very level, subirrigation is likely to result
in the injury of plants in the lower spots by excess of
water. In uneven areas, therefore, surface or overhead irri-
gation, if accompanied by good drainage, is preferable to
subirrigation and should be used if practicable.
Fertilizer experiments have shown that the application
of lime or of wood ashes is positively injurious to blue-
berry plants and that stable manure, while producing a
temporary stimulation of vegetative growth, is likely to
cause serious injury later.
In greenhouse experiments at Washington it has been
found that blueberry plants are greatly stimulated by the
application of small quantities of soy-bean meal, either
mixed with the soil or applied as a mulch. This material
is acid, it has a high nitrogen content, and its nitrogen is in
organic form. Blueberry plants to which it is applied in
spring, as compared with plants not fertilized, make more
stocky growth and lay down many more fruit buds for the
On an area at Whitesbog in which the proportion of peat
to sand was too small to bring about the most vigorous
growth of the bushes, an experiment was made in the appli-
cation, at the rate of 600 pounds per acre, or one-eighth of
a pound per square yard, of a special fertilizer which is in
successful use in cranberry culture as the result of a series
of experiments by the New Jersey State Agricultural Ex-
periment Station. Important characteristics of this fer-
tilizer are its acidity and its comparative freedom from
residues of sulphur. The blueberry bushes to which this
fertilizer was applied made conspicuously better growth
than those that were not fertilized, but they neither grew
better nor fruited better than bushes mulched with 1 to 2
inches of rotted peat.
In 1919 and 1920 Mr. Charles S. Beckwith, of the New
Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, conducted a
series of fertilizer experiments with blueberries at Whites-
bog. The most successful results were obtained with a fer-
tilizer applied in the spring of 1919, made up as follows:
Nitrate of soda ........................ 170
D ried blood ..............................230
Steamed bone ............................340
Phosphate rock ...........................340
P otash ................................. 170
The yield in 1920 from bushes thus fertilized was more
than three times as great as from unfertilized bushes in
the same very sandy soil. On the basis of this experiment
Mr. Beckwith has recommended the application of this
fertilizer at the rate of 600 pounds per acre, or an eighth
of a pound per square yard.0
As a result of these preliminary fertilizer experiments
and in view of the fact that the swamp blueberry fruits
abundantly and continuously in soils containing the proper
proportion and quality of peat and sand, the use of manure
or any chemical fertilizer in such plantations is not at
present advocated. But if the proportion of peat to sand
is so low that the bushes appear to be suffering for nourish-
ment a mulch of rotted surface peat or half-rotted oak
leaves should be applied, or a chemical fertilizer similar in
character to the one described above, or some organic nitro-
genous substance, such as soy-bean meal or cottonseed
The swamp blueberry does not require a yearly pruning.
When one of the stems of a bush becomes unproductive
from injury or old age it should, of course, be cut out. If a
large part of a bush needs removal it is better to cut all the
stems to the ground and let the plant send up new shoots,
all of the same age, to form a wholly new and systematical
top. With lowbush hybrids it has been found desirable at
Whitesbog to remove each year, in late July or early
August, immediately after the picking season, all the stems
more than 1 year old which have not made vigorous new
twig growth during the season. Under such treatment the
For the details of this experiment, see "The Effect of Fertilizers on
Blueberries," published in Soil Science, v. 10, pp. 309 to 312, with plate
bushes yield a good crop of berries every year. Farther
north, where the growing season is shorter, such pruning
should be done in late autumn or very early spring. -
It has long been known that the occasional burning of
lowbush blueberry areas increases the yield of fruit. In
the blueberry canning district of Maine this has led to the
development of a system of burning the blueberry barrens
once in three years. In the summer following the burning
the plants do not fruit, but they send up from the ground
an enormous number of vigorous unbranches big-leaved
stems. Late in the season fruit buds are formed in abun-
dance on the upper part of these stems, and in the second
summer after the burning the plants fruit heavily. They
are likely also to yield fairly well the third summer, but
after that they usually become unproductive. The burning
should be done in the dormant season when the plants have
dropped their leaves and the roots are fully stored with
starch and other reserve foods. From these stored ma-
terials are formed the vigorous sprouts of the following
spring. If an area is burned in late spring or in summer,
after the stored food materials have been used up and be-
fore the storage for the following year has taken place,
the plants will be seriously weakened. The best time for
burning is in early spring, before the buds have begun to
push. A day should be selected when the upper layers of
dead leaves are dry enough to carry a fire and the under-
lying turf of upland peat is still wet. For if the fire burns
so deeply as to consume the layer of peat, from which the
plants derive the principal part of their nourishment, their
later growth and their fruiting vigor will be seriously im-
paired. The beneficial effect of burning a blueberry area
has lead to the idea that wood ashes are a good fertilizer
for blueberries. Experiments have shown, however, that
one of the most effective ways to kill a blueberry plant
is to give the soil an application of wood ashes sufficient
to neutralize its acidity. When a blueberry area is pro-
perly burned the layer of ashes is very thin, quite insuf-
ficient to neutralize the acidity of the underlying peat turf,
and therefore harmless, probably indeed under these con-
ditions beneficial. The chief benefits from burning are
two, both quite distinct, however, from the fertilizing ef-
fect. Burning tends to keep down tree growth and other
competing vegetation, and it prunes the blueberry bushes.
Burning is by far the least expensive and most effective
method known for pruning lowbush blueberries. The pro-
cedure is especially adapted to the management of' wild
uncultivated areas of the two common lowbush species of
the northern United States, Vaccinium angustifolium and
V. canadense. Since the highbush blueberry, Cacciniiu
corymbosum, however, requires drastic pruning only at in-
tervals of many years, and even then at different times for
different bushes, burning is not a good method of pruning
this species. This is especially true of cultivated planta-
tions, where competing vegetation is kept down by other
By proper manipulation in the greenhouse, seedling blue-
berry plants can often be made to ripen a few berries
when they are 1 year old, but they do not come into com-
mercial bearing in field plantations until they are about
4 years old, when the plants are 1 to 3 feet high. They
then increase slowly to full size and full bearing. Wild
bushes of the swamp blueberry live to great age, often 50
to 100 years, still bearing heavily, and they often attain
a height of 6 to 8 feet when growing in full sunlight; still
more when shaded. Individual stems may remain produc-
live from 10 to 25 years. When dead they are replaced
by new and vigorous shoots from the root.
The great promise of blueberry growing as an agricul-
tural industry, in just the right soil and under good busi-
ness management, is indicated by the yields from the oldest
of the hybrid plantings at Whitesbog. This planting con-
sists of about a third of an acre, the plants 7 years old in
1919. They yielded in that year at the rate of 96 bushels
per acre. The berries sold at a little over $10 a bushel, in
addition to express charges and commissions, the receipts
being at the rate of $966 per acre. In 1920 this planting
yielded at the rate of 117 bushel per acre, with receipts
at the rate of $1,280 per acre. These plants were set at
3 by 5 feet and consequently yielded about twice as much
per acre at this age as they would if they had been spaced
as now advocated, at 4 by 8 feet.
The yields from this planting, from the beginning, are
shown in Table I.
TABLE I.-Yield and receipts from a planting of hybrid
blueberries at Whitesbog, N. J., 1915 to 1920, inclusive.
TABLE 1.-Yield anl receipts from a planting of hybrid blueberries at
Whitesbog, N. J., 1915 to 1920, inclusive.
Com- Approxi- Value of Com- Approxi- Value of
Year. puted mate crop per Year. opted mate crop per
yield pel price pel acre. yield pel price pe acre.
acre. quart. acre. quart.
Bushels. Cents. Bushels. Cents.
1915 ..... 6.6 18 $37 1918... t 46.9 30 $449
1916..... 29.7 22 209 191.)... 95.8 32 966
1917..... 58.3 24 448 1920... 117.3 34 1,280
tYield reduced by late spring frosts.
With beginners in blueberry culture every graduation in
accomplishment may be expected, from the great success
indicated above to complete failure because of wrong soil,
bad location, or poor management.
The heaviest charge against the industry is the cost of
producing rooted plants of selected varieties. At the pres-
ent time plants of the best varieties can not be purchased
in acre quantities. The grower must do his own propagat-
ing from a few plants. The propagation is sufficiently dif-
ficult to demand unusual skill, and it requires constant and
If the land to be used bears timber and brush the clear-
ing is expensive.
After a plantation is established its maintenance is rela-
tively inexpensive. The cost of cultivation is rather less
than that of the staple cultivated crops. The principal
charge is for the picking of the berries. At Whitesbog 6
cents a quart has been paid for the last few years. A good
picker in an ordinary day picks about a bushel. An excep-
tionally skillful picker, with unusually favorable bushes,
has picked 100 quarts, or more than 3 bushels, in a day.
For shipment to the market in crates cultivated blueberries
should be picked by hand, never with a "rake" or "scoop,"'
such as is used when blueberries are carted direct to com-
Blueberry breeding has now been carried on for 10 years,
with the result that instead of berries the size of peas, like
the ordinary wild blueberry, we now have hybrids pro-
during berries the size of Concord grapes. A few plants out
of the 18,000 hybrids that have been fruited at Whitesbog
are three-fourths of an inch in diameter. A very few have
borne berries even larger, a little more than four-fifths of an
inch in diameter, and in the greenhouse a diameter of
seven-eighths of an inch has been reached. In the great ma-
jority of the hybrids, however, the berries are intermediate
in size between ordinary wild ones and the se!ekted hybrids.
All such small and intermediate hybrids are rejected. Pro-
pagation material placed in the hands of nurserymen for
commercial propagation is taken from the selected hybrids
The unselected hybrid berries vary in color from light
blue to dark blue and sometimes shining black, and an
occasional bush bears red berries, or even white ones.
The variation of the blueberry hybrids in other respects
is also very marked, the plants offering an almost endless
opportunity for selection with reference to acidity, sweet-
ness, flavor, juiciness, firmness, productivity, hardiness,
season of ripening, resistance to fungous diseases, and many
other less important characteristics. In making the selec-
tions, special consideration has been given to the form of
the bush and its possession of a foliage surface adequate
to the nourishment of a large crop of berries.
The introduction of the blueberry into agriculture has a
much more profound significance than the mere addition
of one more agricultural industry to those already in exist-
ence. Blueberries thrive best in soils so acid as to be con-
sidered worthless for ordinary agricultural purposes. Blue-
berry cultivation, therefore, not only promises to add to the
general welfare through the utilization of land almost
valueless otherwise, but it offers a profitable industry to
individual landowners in certain districts in which general
agricultural conditions are especially hard and unpromis-
ing, and it suggests the possibility of the further utilization
of such lands by means of other crops adapted to acid
"For a discussion of the principles of acid-soil agriculture in districts
In which the cost of lime is prohibitory, consult "The Agricultural Utili-
zation of Acid Lands by Means of Acid-Tolerant Crops," United States
Department of Agriculture Bulletin No.. 6, 1913.