Bulletin No. 45
By B. V. CHRISTENSEN, Ph.D.
Professor of Pharmacognosy and Pharmacology
and Director of Medicinal Plant Garden,
College of Pharmacy, University of Florida.
STATE OF FLORIDA
Department of Agriculture
NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner Tallahassee
Prepared and Published in Co-operation with the College of
Pharmacy, University of Florida, Gainesville
T.J. APLEYARO. I-,. TALLAASE, FLORIDA
FLORIDA EXPERIMENT STATION 0AINESVILLE, P!_0 41C)
Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 11 are reproductions from Milispaugh-American Medicinal Plants and used by permission of the publishers, Boericke & Tafel, Philadelphia. Figures, 10, 12 and 16 are from photographs taken by E. T. Stuhr, form 'erly half-time graduate instructor in this College. Figures 13 and 14 are from photographs taken by L. D. Hiner and figure 17 from a photograph by 11. W. Werner, staff members of the Faculty of the College of Pharmacy. Figure 5 is used thru the courtesy of Parke, Davis & Co., Detroit, Michigan. To these I -wish to hereby express my sincere thanks.
The large number of letters received by the College of Pharn
macy, University of Florida, requesting information regarding native medicinal plants, how to identify them, methods of collecting and preparing for market and dealers in crude drugs, have indicated the need for a bulletin of this type.
This bulletin is not intended to be a scientific treatise on drugs. Technical language is avoided as far as possible and the terms used are such that the average individual interested should be able to understand. The methods for collecting afid curing drugs herein suggested have been found by experience to be practical but other methods which may be time-saving and produce equally good results may be developed by the ingenious collector: This bulletin is designed to give the average layman enough information to enable him to collect and place on the market a good quality of crude drug.
Some of the crude drugs herein mentioned are now being collected in this and other states, some are being imported from abroad, and in turn some are also exported to other countries and thus form important items of commerce. The prices paid to collectors for many crude drugs are not great and probably would not tempt many to take up this line of work as a business. However, the collection of crude drugs is a means of earning some extra cash and may furnish an important source of income if given deserved attention. This work can be done by farmers during spare time and much of it can be done by women and children. There are some instances where families in this state have tided over crucial financial situations by collecting plant drugs for market.
General Cons iterations
T HE collector should first be sure that he is collecting the
right plant; hence, brief descriptions and figures are included to aid in making proper identification.
The collector should next observe the proper season for collection. The constituents of plants as well as the percentages of various constituents vary somewhat according to the season and hence, if collected at the wrong time, crude drugs may be inferior in quality and of poor appearance. Shrinkage in weight during the drying process may also be greater if collected out of season.
All crude drugs, such as herbs, roots, leaves, barks, flowers and seeds, should be carefully and thoroly dried, otherwise they may mold or decay and thus be rejected by the dealer. They should also be clean and free from foreign material, such as stones or other plants or plant parts, that is, stems should not be mixed with leaves, etc. Adulteration, whether intentional or not, detracts from the quality of the crude drug and may result in rejection or reduction in price.
Color is an important consideration with most crude dru-s and a bright, clean, natural color is particularly desirable in leaves, herbs and flowers and adds to the salability and price. Hence, such drugs should be carefully dried in the shade and exposure to dew or rain carefully avoided.
Crude drugs are sometimes attacked by insects. This may be prevented and insects may be destroyed by packing drugs in closed bins or in clean, tight barrels and adding a few drops of chloroform.
Most of the drugs herein mentioned are packed in clean, strong burlap. Small quantities may be packed in cardboard cartons and roots are frequently packed in clean barrels. In handling dried leaves and herbs care should be taken to prevent loss from breaking, crumbling and powdering.
An attic over the kitchen is a very good place in which to dry crude drugs, especially if the kitchen below is heated with a stove. A circulation of air may be provided by open windows and the heat from the sun on the roof and from the kitchen below will keep the air well warmed and dry. Drying racks or shelves, as described later, may be constructed or the drugs may be spread on the floor or suspended from the rafters. In the attic, drugs will also be protected from direct sunlight and from rain and dew.
It is important to give some attention to drying temperatures. It has been found that when fresh crude drugs are subjected
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
to a temperature of about 75' F. at the beginning of the drying process and this temperature gradually raised to about 120' F. that a very good product is obtained. This is difficult to control without a controlled heating and ventilating system but can be regulated to some extent by opening or closing ventilators and windows when the drying is done indoors. For instance, in an attic, windows may be opened during the first few days of the drying process and then gradually closed to retain heat as the drying process continues. In the case of flowers and drugs containing constituents affected by heat the temperature should not exceed 95' P. and a temperature around 801 F. is much better.
After drugs have been dried sufficiently they may be arranged in thicker layers or bunched to provide room for a fresh supply. When thoroly dried they should be packed in bags, bales or cartons and stored in a dry, cool place.
COLLECTION AND CURING
Roots.-Roots of perennials should be collected in this state during the fall, winter and early spring before growth begins. (Roots of annuals are collected just before the plant flowers and of biennials in the fall of the second year. None of either are listed in this bulletin.)
All roots should be carefully washed in clean water. It pays to do this for the dealer -will usually pay a better price for clean roots of good color. They are then carefully dried by spreading thinly upon trays, racks, shelves or clean floors and turned occasionally to permit uniform drying. After they have been partially dried they may be spread in thicker layers to make room for more. Drying trays are recommended. These may be made by making a frame, about 2 x 3 ft., from 4-inch strips and then tacking a piece of wire screen an the bottom. The screen permits a free circulation of air around the drug and these trays are easily handled. They may be placed on wires or boards attached in tiers to the rafters in the attic and thus provide a large amount of drying space. These trays may also be used out of doors.
It is not advisable to dry roots in direct sunlight although this is sometimes done. The sun hardens the outer layer and thus slows the movement of the moisture from the inner part of the root and also takes out the color in some cases. They may be placed in the sun to complete thoro drying. If dried out of doors, they should be protected from dew and rain.
Large roots are usually broken into pieces or sliced before drying. Where this is advisable it is mentioned in the discussion of the drug. The drying process usually requires from
MEDICINAL PLANTS IN FLORIDA
three to six weeks and when thoroly dry the roots will readily snap when bent.
Leaves.-Leaves are usually collected when the plant is in full bloom. This may be done by cutting or pulling up the plant and then stripping the leaves off or by stripping the leaves from the standing plant. Frequently the plant is cut and suspended head downward by hooking a branch or leaf stalk over a wire and the leaves stripped off when dry. The method used depends on the preference and facilities of the collector. If they are stripped off green they are dried by spreading thinly on trays, shelves or floors and occasionally turned, day by day, until fairly well dried. After fairly well dried they may be rearranged in thicker layers or bunched to make room for fresh leaves. Leaves should always be dried in the shade as it is essential that they retain their green color when cured.
Leaves are sometimes tied in small bundles, similar to tobacco leaves, and suspended to dry. If it is desired to follow this method, the collector should first experiment with a few bundles in order to learn about how large a bundle can be safely made. Large bundles do not permit free circulation of air and hence, the leaves will turn black and make an undesirable product for the market. If leaves are placed in bunches on trays they will also turn black, hence, they should always be spread out thin and turned frequently. Avoid dew and rain.
If it is necessary to wash leaves, this should be done while they are f resh and green. In such case it is advisable to cut I the whole plant and rinse in clean water, then shake the free iv-ater off and suspend top downward to dry. Leaves should not be washed unless it is absolutely essential. Usually sand and dirt may be shaken off or brushed off when dry, or dirty leaves may be rejected.
Herbs.-The term "herb" is used here to indicate the aboveground parts of a plant, i. e.,, leaves, stems and flowers. Herbs are collected when the plant is in full bloom. The plant is cut or pulled up and then suspended top downward in a well aired, shady place to dry. They may be spread out in thin layers on trays, shelves or floors and turned frequently during the drying process.
It is advisable to reject the large and coarse stems and retain the smaller stems, the leaves and flowering tops. The coarse stems may be trimmed off when fresh or after drying, according to the convenience of the collector. Herbs should always be dried in shade as it is essential that the green color be retained just as in leaves. Protect carefully from dew and rain.
8 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Herbs should not be washed unless necessary and in such case, follow the directions for washing leaves.
Baxks.-Barks should be collected in the fall, during the winter or early spring before growth takes place. This is the period when barks contain the greatest amount of active medicinal constituents.
In the collection of barks, the destruction of the tree should be avoided as far as possible. Barks of stems may be collected in alternate strips from the standing tree and a continuous and future supply thus assured. When barks of roots are collected it may be necessary to grub out the tree, but in many cases some of the roots may be cut close to the base of the tree and pulled out and some of the roots left to feed the tree and give it an opportunity to grow new roots. In the case of rhizomes, it is always advisable to leave a few in the ground to allow for the growth of new plants. A careful observance of these suggestions will insure collectors a regular and continuous supply and in the course of a few years will prove much more profitable than the complete destruction of plants in the first collection.
There are various methods of collecting barks. The first, suggested above, is to collect from the standing tree. To. do this, cross incisions an inch or more wide are made a couple of feet, or more, apart and then the bark peeled off. Then, leaving a strip, cut out another in the same manner. Usually the tree will grow a new bark over the exposed strip and then the strips left the first time may be peeled off. Hence, in a few years new bark may be ready so that the process may be repeated. If the whole plant is -rubbed out it would be advisable to plant another to replace it.
The barks of branches and roots are usually collected by making long, lengthwise incisions and then slipping the bark off. Pounding with a mallet may help to loosen the bark and perrait easier peeling. The outer bark of some stems is rough, irregular and corky and of no value medicinally. This is shaved off before the bark is peeled.
After collection the bark is dried by placing on trays, shelves or floors or strung on wires. Barks may be dried in direct sunlight but should be protected from dew and rain.
Barks are usually cut or broken into quills or chips. This may be done while fresh or after drying, depending on the kind and character of the bark. Directions for cutting or breaking are given in. the discussion for each bark drug.
rlowers.-Flowers are gathered when freshly opened or in full bloom. A natural color and odor are very essential in flowers and hence, it is inadvisable to include old or faded
MEDICINAL PLANTS IN FLORIDA 9
flowers. In most cases the flower head only is desired and hence, stems and other plant parts should be rejected.
They are usually collected by cutting off the flowering branch and then stripping or clipping off the individual flowers or flower heads and dropping in a basket. They are then placed on trays, shelves or floors to dry according to the directions given for leaves. Flowers should always be dried in the shade and protected from moisture. Excessive heat should be avoided as this will drive off the aroma and thus reduce the value and quality.
MARKETING CRUDE DRUGS
When crude drugs are ready for market, the collector should prepare fair samples of each kind on hand and send it to two or three dealers for quotation of prices. The collector should also state the quantity of each drug on hand, ask for exact shipping directions and enclose postage for reply. He should be careful to mark each sample plaiVly with his name and address and the name of the drug. The size of the sample depends on the drug but as a rule, 5 or 6 ounces should be sent. A fair sample should be submitted for dealers always inspect shipments when received even tho samples have been previously examined.
Collectors should never send an entire lot of drugs to dealers without previous correspondence. Freight is an important item, hence, it is usually advisable to correspond with the nearest dealers. However, this is a matter where the collector must exercise his judgment. Where small lots only have been collected several collectors may ship together and thus reduce packing and shipping expenses.
It is always advisable to ask for prices F. 0. B. shipping point. The collector will thus know exactly hov much he can get f or his drugs.
The prices paid f or crude drugs fluctuate according to demand and supply just as prices for other products. Hence, the prices given in this bulletin may have changed by the time it is printed. The prices are mentioned, however, for the purpose of giving an idea as to what may be expected for these drugs.
CRUDE DRUG DEALERS
It would be impossible as well as unnecessary to give here a complete list of all crude drug dealers in the United States or even in the South. The list given is considered sufficient to enable collectors to find a regularand reliable market. There
10 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
may be local dealers to-whom crude drugs may be disposed of to good advantage but since we have no means of determining
-where all such dealers are located we cannot list such buyers. However, if the name and address of local dealers are made known to us, we shall be glad to refer collectors to them in the future.
The dealers listed herewith are classified as to the kinds of drugs they handle.
All Crude Drugs
Peninsular Crude Drug Co., Box 537, Jacksonville, Florida.
S. B. Penick & Co., Drug Collection Depot, Asheville, N. Carolina.
The "Lahomach" Seed Co., 120 St. George St., St. Augustine, Florida.
Deer Tongue Leaves
M. F. Neal & Co., Richmond, Virginia.
E. K. Victor Company, P. 0. Box 555, Richmond, Virginia.
The Meht & Daniel Corporation, 99 John St., New York.
Saw Pahnetto Berries
R. C. Burns, Cana veral, Florida.
Sweet Gum Balsam
M. F. Neal & Co., Richmond, Virginia.
Chas. W. Jacobs & Allison, 162 Water Street, New York.
MEDICINAL PLANT LITERATURE
It is suggested that collectors subscribe for a current journal such as, Drug Markets, 25 Spruce St., New York, price $2.00 per year, which will give information on prices and price tendencies and also articles dealing with methods of collecting and preparing crude drugs for market.
The U. S. Bureau of Planf Industry, Washington, D. C., has issued several bulletins on Medicinal Plants. A list of these and directions for obtaining them may be secured upon request.
MEDICINAL PLANTS IN FLORIDA 11
Asclepias Tuberosa L.
Pleurisy Root, Orange Milk Weed Root.
RANGE AND HABITAT.-Pleurisy root is found in Northeastern and Southern Florida extending from Tallahassee east and south. It grows in sandy fields, along roadsides and in sandy waste areas similar to other milkweeds.
DESCRIPTIO.-Asclepias is a perennial herb growing from 2 to 3 feet high. It is very hairy, very leafy and branched at the top. The leaves are arranged irregularly on the stem and have no leaf stalk, i. e. the broad base of the leaf is attached directly to the stem. They are linear to oblong-lanceolate in shape and undulately wrinkled along the margin. This plant has beautiful, bright, orange-colored flowers arranged in umbels or flattopped cymes. Orange Milk Weed Root differs f r o m other milk weeds in not giving off a milky juice when (Fig. 1) Asclepias tuberosa L. cut or bruised.
COLLECTION.-The root of this plant is used for medicinal purposes. It grows deep in the soil, is shaped very much like a carrot and is occasionally branched. It is collected in the fall or early spring and cut lengthwise to facilitate drying. After it is thoroly dried it is packed in bags for shipment.
The price ranges from 20 to 28c per lb. wholesale and varies around 10c per lb. to collectors.
Baptisia Tinctoria (Linne), R. Brown.
RANGE AND HABITAT.-Wild Indigo is common in Citrus, Lake, Marion and Sumter Counties, particularly in the area between Ocala and Inverness. It is usually found growing in dry, sandy soils along roadsides, in the open fields and in dry woods but it may be found in other situations.
12 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
DESCRIPTION.-Wild Indigo is a smooth, slender perennial herb, with stems and leaves somewhat waxy and with many bushy branches. It grows to a height of from 1 to 3 feet and gives off a disagreeable odor when bruised and is repellant to insects. The leaves are palmately three-foliate, somewhat like
(Fig. 2) Baptisia Tinctoria R. B.
MEDICINAL PLANTS IN FLORIDA
the leaf of red clover, and are attached closely to the stems and branches. They are dark bluish-green in color with a light green stripe on the midrib. The flowers are a bright canaryyellow and about as long as the leaflets. It flowers from May to July.
COLLECTION.-The root of this plant is used for medicinal purposes and also for the preparation of a dye, as the name indicates. It is gathered in the fall, cut into small pieces and dried. It is usually packed in bags for shipment.
The price varies around 13 to 15e per lb. wholesale and around 5c per lb. to collectors.
Diosoorea Villosa. L.
Wild Yam Root. RANGE AND HAmlTAT.-Dioscorea is very common thronout Northern Florida and is found growing in moist thickets and well shaded areas. Its habitat, soil and, moisture requirements are quite similar to those of the native species of Smilax and hence, it is frequently found growing in the same localities.
DESCRIPTION.-It is a perennial herb with slender stems whieh twine over bushes for support. T h e le aves a re heart-shaped, hairy beneath, 9 to 11 ribbed and variously arranged on the stem but the upper ones are alternate. The flowers arc small and greenish-yellow and the seed is borne in a three-winged capsule.
C OLLECTION.-The rhizonme (underground stem) is used in medicine. These should be dug in autumn or during the season when the plant is not growing. The small roots are removed and the rhizome cut into pieces of varying
-lengths, usually 2 or 3 inches, (Fi. 3 DiscreaVilosaL. carefully washed and thoroly (P~. 3 DiscrcaVilosaL. dried. This may be done by spreading out thinly on trays, racks, shelves or floors which arc light and well-aired but not in direct sunlight. When thoroly dried, pack in bags or cleani barrels for s ipment.
14 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Eryngium Aquaticum L. (E. Yuccaefolium, Michx)
RANGE AND HABITT.-This plant is found in commercial quantities in the lower half of peninsular Florida from Hillsborough, Polk and Osceola Counties south. It inhabits low, wet, marshy areas, damp or dry prairies and pine barrens and blossoms from June to September.
DESCRIPTION. - B u t t o n Snakeroot is a sedge-like perennial which grows to a height of from I to 6 feet. The stem is smooth, erect and grooved and emanates from a cluster of leaves at the base. The leaves are linear, parallel-veined, sharply pointed at the tips and have a thin bristly fringe along the margin. They vary from 6 inches to 2 feet in length and when young are rigid and erect. The flowering stems are arranged in the form of an umbel (umbrella) and the flowers are grouped in a head. The flowers are small and white in color.
COLLECTION.-The buttonlike root is used in medicine. It is gathered after the seeds (Fig. 4) Erynglum Yuccaefollum are ripe, cleaned and dried Michx.
in the usual manner.
Gelsemium Sempervirens L.
RANGE AND HABITAT.-Gels~mium is very common in all parts of Florida. It is found in thickets, in well-shaded woods, along fences and occasionally in open spaces. It grows well in different types of soil and under varying conditions of moisture and temperature. This plant is very popular as an ornamental.
MEDICINAL PLANTS IN FLORIDA 15
DESCRIPTION.- This plant is a perennial woody climber with a purplish slender stem. The leaves are arranged opposite, have very short stalks and are lance-shaped. The flower is yellow and funnelshaped and in this State appears in late February or early March.
S COLLECTION.-The rhizome and roots are used f or medit ~ , cinal purposes. They are
dug up in the autumn, washed, dried and broken or cut into pieces from 2 to 12 inches in length. The usual drying and packing methods Sfor roots should be observed.
The wholesale price varies around 6 to 12c per lb. and (Fig. 5) Gelsemiumn sempervirens L. around 3 to 5c per lb. to collectors.
Iris Versicolor L.
RANGE AND HABITAT.-Iris rj
is found generally thruout Florida and grows in wet soil, marshy areas, around lakes and along the banks of streams. It will grow on well-drained soils and is cul- l t
tivated largely as a garden ornamental.
DESCIPTrION. - Iris is a perennial herb with an underground stem system<
i. e., the underground stems grow parallel to the surf ace of the earth. The herb, from 2 to 3 feet high, consists of smooth, sword-shaped leaves (Fg6)Ii esclrL
a n d showy, purplish-blue (i )Ii esclrL
flowers variegated with white, yellow and green markings.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
COLLECTION.-The rhizome (underground stem) is used for medicinal purposes. It is dug in the autumn and the roots and leaf bases removed. It is then thoroly cleaned, sliced lengthwise and thoroly dried according to the usual method for roots.
The price usually varies around 15 to 21c per lb. wholesale and 6 to 10c per lb. to collectors.
Phytolacca Americana L. (P. decandra)
RANGE AND HABITAT.-Pokeweed is common along roadsides, margins of fields, in the open woods, and in waste places thruout the whole state. In rich, moist soil, such as in the Everglades, i grows to an enormous size. It adapts itself readily to cultivation and is regarded as an ornamental garden plant in some localities.
DEscRIPTION.-Pokeweed is a perennial herb and grows to a height, usually, from 3 to 9 feet. The stem is erect, much branched, and reddish purple in color. The leaves are alternate, ovate in shape, about 5 inches long, 2 or 3 inches wide and have smooth margins. This plant usually flowers from June to September. The flowers are small and whitish in color and are arranged in long clusters. The flowers arc followed by green berries which become a dark purple upon ripening. The clusters of berries are from 3 to 6 inches in length and the berries are globular but flattened slightly at the top and bottom, smooth and shiny and when crushed give off a rich dark-red juice.
COLLECTION.-The root and A
berries of pokeweed are used for medicinal purposes. Both are collected when the berries are ripe, usually, August to November. The root is usually large, conical in shape, fleshy and much branched and the sliced ends show many concentric rings. It is dug in the fall, carefully washed, cut into transverse slices and thoroly dried. Pokeroot is usually packed in 200 lb. bales for the market. (Fig. 7) Phytolacca Americana L.
MEDICINAL PLANTS IN FLORIDA 17
The berries are collected when ripe and carefully dried in the shade. The whole cluster is usually collected and the berries stripped 'off and the stems removed when dry. They are poisonous and hence should not be eaten. They may be dried according to the method outlined for roots and are packed in bags for the market.
The price of berries varies around 18c anid of the root around Sc per lb. wholesale.
Stillingia sylvatica L.
RANGE AND HABITAT.-Queen 's root grows commonly in open areas and thinly wooded sections of the light sandy regions of this state. It is particularly plentiful in Alachua, Marion and adjoining counties and in the region of the upper Indian River.
DESCIPTION.-This is an herbaceous perennial and grows from 1 to 3 feet high. The stems are clustered, smooth and branched and when bruised emit a milky juice. The leaves are alternate and vary somewhat in shape from ovate and obovate to oblong and laneolate. They are thick and fleshy w ith a saw-toothed margin. The flowers are very small and yellow in color and the seed is produced in a round, three-celled' capsule, with one seed in each cell. The root is cylindrical and tapering, occasionally branched and from S to 16 inches long. The taste is bitter, acrid and pungent.
COLLECION.-The root is ~ used in medicine and should
*9, 4~ be collected during the
period after the tops have 4 died down in the fall and before the plant begins to grow (Fig. 8) Stiltingia sylvatica L. in the spring, usually from October to March. The roots may be dug up with a spade and should be thoroly washed in clean water, cut in pieces from 1 to 2 inches long and then thoroly dried. The dried roots should be "packed in bags or clean barrels for shipment.
The price varies around S or 10c per lb. wholesale and 3 to 5c per lb. to collectors.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Datura stramonivm L.
RANGE AND HABIT.-JiMSOn weed, aitho native in the tropics, is widely distributed thruout the subtropics and temperate zones. In Florida it grows commonly in dooryards, in fields, along f ences and in waste places and is common in both open and shaded areas. It grows well in sandy soil and thrives in rich loamy soils. This plant readily adapts itself to cultivation. It is an annual plant and must be propagated by seed.
DESCRIPTION.-This plant is herbaceous and grows from 2 to 6 feet in height depending on soil conditions. The le a ve s, especially when crushed, give off a disagreeable odor, similar to that of the Irish potato vine and, as a matter of fact, it belongs to the same family (Solanaoeae). The stems are yellowish-green, cylindrical, flattened, longitudinally wrinkled, stout and much branched. The leaves are large, 2 to 12 inches long, 1 / to 6 inches broad, irregularly waved and toothed, pointed at the apex and narrowed at the base. The veins are very prominent and the color is dark green on the upper sur- (Fig. 9) Datura stramonlum L. face and paler green beneath. The flowers are large, funnel-shaped and -white in color. This plant usually flowers continuously from May to September and the odor of the flower is heavy and depressing. The seed is produced in an oval, prickly capsule which, when ripe and dry, bursts open and allows the seeds to drop out. The seeds are very numerous, kidney-shaped and black in color.
COLLECTJoN.-Both the leaves and the seeds are used for medicinal purposes. The leaves may be collected in August, usually, or when the lower leaves of the plant begin to turn yellow. They may be stripped from the plants or the whole
MEDICINAL PLANTS IN FLORIDA
plant may be cut and strung on wires and dried in the shade Lad the leaves then stripped off. In either case, they must be dried in the shade and protected from rain and dew to preserve the green color. * After being thoroly dried they should be carefully packed in bales, bags or cartons and stored in a dry place, if not immediately delivered to the market. (In handling dried leaves it is advisable to avoid placing the fingers in the mouth or eyes.)
The seeds should be collected when ripe, that is, when black. This may be done by cutting off the still green capsules and allowing to dry for a few days when they will burst open and the seeds can then be shaken out. The seeds should then be carefully dried and packed in bags, ready for delivery to t1fe market.
The price of the leaves ranges from 16 to 20c per lb. and the seeds from 5 to 8c per lb. wholesale. The price to collectors is usually about one-half of the wholesale price.
TRILISA ODORATISSIMA (WALT), CASS
RANGE AND HABITAT.-Deer-tongue grows in commercial quantities in Alachua, Lake, Marion, Orange, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia Counties. It is particularly abundant in the region of Sanford and 'has been collected to some extent in that area. It inhabits low, damp, sandy or loam prairies or moist, open woods and pine barrens.
DESCRIPTION.-The stems are smooth, from 2 to 4 feet high and grow from the center of a cluster of leaves at the base. The leaves are oblong, from 3 to 10 inches long, pale green in color and give off a vanilla odor when crushed or upon withering. The flowers are purple and are grouped in many heads arranged in a flat topped panicle. Deer-tongue blooms usually from July to September.
COLLECTION.-The leaves of this plant contain coumarin which is used for flavoring purposes. The leaves are collected when full grown, which is about the time of flowering. The leaves may be stripped from the plant or the plant cut and the leaves then stripped and tied in small bundles and suspended under shelter to dry, i. e. the methods used for collecting and curing tobacco are followed. Then, usually, the properly dried leaves are delivered by the collector to a buyer who has facilities to pack them in machine pressed bales ranging from 200 to 400
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
lbs. in weight. Strong burlap is used and the bales are further reinforced by three or four wires strapped around them.
The demand for deer-tongue leaves is steady and buyers are anxious to make eonneetions with regular sources of supply. One firm alone states that they eould easily handle from 40 to 50 tons per year. This firm states also that they prefer Florida Deer-tongue leaves as they are of a finer aroma and a better leaf and of a better color than those obtained from some other states.
The priee varies from 8 to 12e per lb. wholesale, and from 4 to 7c to collectors.
Eupatoriiun Perfolicttum L.
RANGE AND HAnITAT.-Boneset grows in low and marshy places such as on the borders of lakes, ponds or streams and in low, moist fields. It is common in North Central Florida in the area from Leon County east and including Baker, Bradford, Alachua and Marion Counties.
DFSCRIuTION.-Boneset is a familiar American herb and probably has been used more as a home remedy than any other plant. It is still commonly found suspended in the attic of many f armhouses ready for use as a remedy for colds and fevers and as a .spring tonic.
This is a perennial plant and grows to a height of from 2 to 4 f eet. The stem is stout and round with a cluster of closely arranged and nearly erect branches at the top. The leaves are connate perfoliate, that is, they are united so that the stem passes thn at the center. The midrib is prominent and the leaves are studded with resinous dots beneath. The flowers are white and arranged in fiat-topped clusters at the top of the stem. It usually flowers from May to July.
The taste is strong and bitter.
COLLEcTIoN.-The leaves and flowering tops of Boneset are used in medicine. The plant is cut down when in full bloom and the leaves and flowering tops are stripped off and carefully dried in the shade or the plant may be cut down and suspended in the shade to dry and the leaves and the flowering tops then stripped off. They are then packed in bales or cartons for delivery to the market.
The price varies around 10 to 12c per lb. wholesale, and about one-half as much to collectors.
MEDICINAL PLANTS IN FLORIDA
(Fig. 10) Eupatorum Perfoliatum L.
2 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Curnus Florida L.
Dogwood Bark. RANGE AND IIABiTAT.-Dogwood is common in the deep woods of Northern and Northeastern Florida.
DESCIPTION.-This small flowering tree is so well known that a detailed description is unnecessary. It grows to a height of from 10 to 30 f eet and it is usually somewhat bent, scraggy and _f
loosely branched. The bark
of the trunk is greyish and somewhat rough, that of the branches is red and smooth. It flowers in March and April. The flower is large and consists of 4 petals, indented at the broad end and studded with red dots. The specific name "florida" refers to the large showy flowers.
COLLECTION.-The bark of
the root is legally specified (Fig. 11) Cornus Florida L.
for medical use, altho the bark of the stem and larger branches is also sometimes used. Before gathering the bark of stem and branches, collectors should determine whether or not it is marketable. The bark is collected by grubbing out the tree and stripping or chipping the bark from the roots, stem and larger branches. It is usually cut into quills or chips and may vary from 1/25 of an inch to about 1/6 of an incli in thickness. Dogwood bark should be carefully dried and packed in bales for market.
The price varies around 61/2c per lb. wholesale.
Myricct Cerif era L.
Bayberry Bark, Wax Myrtle Bark.
RANGE AND HABITAT.-Bayberry is common thruout this state and is found growing in low marshy areas, in sandy soil on the border of ponds, on the borders of canals and around lagoons near the Gulf. It is also very common in thickets near swamps and marshes of the sand-belts of the Atlantic.
MEDICINAL PLANTS IN FLORIDA
DESCRIPTION.-This is an evergreen shrub or tree varying from 3 to 35 feet in height. The trunk is usually irregular and crooked and branches numerous, especially at the top. The young branches arc frequently reddish-brown and covered with yellowish or reddish dots. The leaves are sword-shaped, smooth
(Fig. 12) Myrica Cerifera L.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
and waxy on the surface and with resinous dots on both sides, The berries are arranged in scattered groups along the branches, are bluish-white in color and covered with a thin layer of wax.
COLLECTION.-The bark of the root is used for medicinal purposes and the -wax is used in making candles and for perfuming soaps.
The roots are gathered late in the fall, thoroly cleaned and the bark then stripped off and carefully dried. It is usually cut or broken into pieces or quills from 1 to 8 inches long and from 1/2 to 1 inch wide and packed in bales for market.
Both wax and root bark may be obtained from the same shrub and both should be collected to prevent unnecessary waste and also for greater profit. It is claimed that a very fertile shrub will yield about six pounds of wax. The shrub should not be cut down to collect the wax alone as this destroys the source, of future supply. Large trees may be cut down to collect the berries for the wax. About 5 lbs. of berries will yield about 1 lb. of -wax.
To collect the wax the berries are thrown into a kettle and enough water poured over them to cover to a depth of about 6 inches. This is then boiled and stirred and the berries pressed against the sides of the kettle to loosen the wax. During the process of boiling the wax comes to the top and should be skimmed off with a spoon and strained tbru a coarse cloth. When no more wax appears at the surface of the water, the berries are taken out with a skimmer and more thrown into the same water. However, the water should be entirely changed for the third time as impurities may discolor the wax. Boiling water should also be added to replace that evaporated. When several pounds of wax have been obtained, it is placed in a cloth and suspended to drain off the water. It is then melted again by placing it in a pan which is placed in hot water (double boiler) and poured into kegs or barrels for shipment. The wax may first appear yellow but should later become a greenish color.
The price of the root bark varies around 10 to 12c per 1b. and of the -%vax around 29 to 32c per lb. wholesale. Collectors usually receive about one-half of the wholesale price for the root bark and about 20c per lb. for the wax.
Xanthozylum Clava-Herculis L.
Southern Prickly Ash; Toothache Bark.
RANGE AND HABITAT.-Southern Prickly Ash is found in Northeastern and Southern Florida from Leon County east and south to the Keys. It grows in high or well-drained sandy or loamy soil in thin or open woods and along streams.
MEDICINAL PLANTS IN FLORIDA
DESCRPTION.-This is a small tree sometimes reaching a height of 35 feet. The bark is purple-gray, aromatic and pungent and covered with corky warts with a sharp thorn at the point. The leaves are alternate and arranged in groups of 7 to 17 on the stem (in pairs with one at the end).
(Fig. 13) Xanthoxylum Clava-Herculis L.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
COLLECTION.-The dried bark is used in medicine. The bark is frequently chewed for relief of toothache, hence, the common name "toothache-bark." The bark is usually collected from the smaller trees and may be peeled in strips from the standing tree or the tree cut down and the bark then peeled f rom the trunk and branches. This is usually done in late summer or fall. The bark is then cut or broken into small pieces or quills varying from 1/25 to 1/6 of an inch in thickness when dry. The bark is carefully dried and marketed in bales.
Prickly Ash berries are also used for medicinal purposes. They are collected when full grown and dried similar to poke berries.
The price of the bark varies from 10 to 14c and of the berries from 20 to 24c per lb. wholesale.
Liquidambar Styraciflua L.
Sweet Gum; American Storax.
RANGE AND HABITAT.-Sweet Gum is very common thruout Florida and is found growing in moist woods in loamy or muck soil.
DESCRIPTION.-This is a large tree commonly reaching a height of from 45 to 100 feet. The leaves are 5 to 7 lobed resembling crudely the palin of the hand with fingers spread apart and extended. They are smooth on the upper surface and have small tufts of reddish-brown hairs in the axils. of the principal veins on the lower surface. This tree somewhat resembles the northern maple in general appearance.
COLLECTION.-The secretion (balsam) of the sapwood caused by wounding the tree is used for medicinal purposes and for industrial purposes also. The following directions for tapping trees and collecting gum are offered thru the courtesy of M. F. Neal & Co., Richmond, Virginia.
" TAPPING TREEs.-With turpentine hack, or hatchet or puller, or other similar tool that will do the work, cut one upright streak 24 inches long, three-quarters of an inch wide, at workable height on sunny side of tree. Cut through bark and about one-quarter of an inch into sapwood. Then cut 4 streaks same width and depth 6 to 8 inches Iong, depending on diameter of tree, across the upright streak, at even distances from each other, with downward peak in the middle where they meet the upright streak. The upright should run through the centers of the cross streaks. The drawing on page 28 will make it plain. Tap trees early in spring before sap rises. Gum will begin to form soon after sap is in trees. When gum starts to form the streaks should be scraped every two weeks with a dull case-knife, or
MEDICINAL PLANTS IN FLORIDA 27
some tool like it; to collect gum FRESH. This scraping from time to time makes more gum. If gum is collected regularly in this way, there should be no need for an apron such as used on the pi 'ne to collect rosin, because the gum is slower in forming. Different local conditions cause trees to produce different
(Fig. 14) Liquidambar Styraciflua L.
28 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
amounts of gum. A large tree ought to produce a pound or more. Tap your trees now. Remember early tapping produces more gum in a season.
COLLECTING THE Gum.The gum as collected will have some trash in it and bits of bark, and it must be cleaned before shipping. To do this heat gum in a double boiler, with water between, and bring water to boiling point and keep it there until gum runs easily. Then filter through cheesecloth into some vessel that will keep the gum in good condition until shipped. A good container is a tin can with double friction top, or a molasses can.
When gum *is ready for
shipment, it ought to be (Fig. 15) Tapped Tree.
clear, light brown, rather solid and sticky. If 20 tbs. and over ship the gum by express if less than 20 lbs.,send by parcels post, insured, and we will include the postage -when we remit for the gum."
AT. F. Neal & Co. are offering at present, $1.50 per pound F. 0. B. shipping point for any quantity, from 5 tbs. up. They state they will be glad to buy it from year to year and will pay transportation charges.
Serenoa serridata (Mich.) Hooker filius.
Saw Palmetto Berries. RANGE AND HABITAT.-Saw Palmetto is common thruout most of the state. It grows in sandy soil in open spaces, thin woods and thickets. Very plentiful along the Atlantic Coast.
DESCRIPTION.-This plant is a perennial shrub with slender leaf stalks, somewhat flattened and with sharp spines along the edges. The leaves are fan-shaped, nearly circular, and with deep clefts extending nearly to the point of the leaf stalk, form,ing feather-like divisions. They are light green to yellowish green in color. The fruit somewhat resembles a small plum, varying in size from 1/2 to 7/8 inch in length and black when ripe.
MEDICINAL PLANTS IN FLORIDA
COLLECTION.-The partially dried ripe fruit is used in medicine. It is collected from August until January. The method of collection depends on the ingenuity of the collector but a common practice is to shake the fruit into a basket or pail. It is then partially dried to the consistency of a prune by placing cn trays in the sun or by artificial heat. It is claimed that the berries collected within four or five miles of the sea-coast and
(Fig. 16) Serenoa serrulata (Mich) Hooker filius.
those dried by artificial heat are of a better quality than those collected farther -inland or dried in the sun. The demand for Saw Palmetto Berries is limited to about 200,000 lbs. annually and the price depends on the relative amount available for market.
The price varies around 8 to 12c per lb. wholesale, and from
4 to 7c to collectors.
Carica, Papaya L.
RANGE AND HABITAT.-The papaya is a strictly tropical plant and is found only below the frost line. It is found in Florida south of the line extending from Palm Beach west to Fort Myers and then extending northward to Bradenton. The wild papaya
30 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
is found in moist loamy or humus soil around marshes and on hammocks in open woods.
DESCRIPTON.-The wild papaya is a shrub or small tree varying from 8 to 15 feet in height. The leaves have long stalks and are palmately 7-lobed and each lobe divided into smaller lobes.
(Fig. 17) Carica Papaya L. Showing incised fruit.
MEDICINAL PLANTS IN FLORIDA 31
The papaya bears fruit when very young. The fruit is arranged along the stem principally below the leaves, is melon-like in appearance and edible when ripe. (For cultivated papaya see Bulletin No. 4-New Series-October, 1928, Department of Agriculture, Tallahassee.)
COLLECTION.-Nearly all parts of this plant are used for medicinal purposes by the natives of the tropics. However, the dried juice (papain) of the full-grown but unripe fruit is the most important medicinal product. It is obtained by scratching or incising the rind with a bone or wooden knife. The milky juice that first exudes is quite fluid and this should be collected in a glass. After a few minutes the juice thickens and the flow stops. This curd is then scraped off with a bone or wooden knife and added to the juice first collected in the glass. Metal knives or dishes should not be used as they cause the papain to become dark or black. The tapping may be repeated every three or four days until the fruit begins to ripen. After collection the milky juice is allowed to stand for a short time to coagulate and form a curd. This is then dried by spreading it in a thin layer on a sheet of glass placed in the sun. (Protect from dew and rain.) It should become thoroly dried in 11/ to 2 days and is then placed in well dried bottles, tightly corked and stored in a dark, dry place and marketed as soon as possible. Glycerin is sometimes added as a preservative.
When papain is produced on a large scale artificial dryers such as fruit evaporators or specially constructed drying stoves are advisable.
The price of crude papain varies around $3.00 to $3.50 per lb. wholesale.
Sambuceus Canadensis L.
RANGE AND HABITAT.-This plant is common thruout Florida and grows in moist soil along streams, on the border of marshes or swamps.
DSCIuPnION.-Sambucus is a perennial shrub growing to a height of about 12 to 15 feet. The stem is grayish-brown in color and when the outer skin is peeled off a bright green layer is exposed. The inner part of the stem consists of a white pith. The leaves are compound with the leaflets arranged in 2 to 5 pairs and one at the end. The flowers are creamy-white and arranged in flat-topped, umbrella-like clusters at the end of the
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
flower stalk. The berries are purplish-black in color and are edible (non-poisonous).
COLLECTION.-The flowers are used in medicine and are collected when in full bloom, each separate flower clipped from its stalk and quickly dried. They should have a clean, yellowish color when dry; brownish or black will not be accepted by dealers. The berries and the inner bark of the stem are also sometimes used in medicine.
The price of the flowers varies around 45 to 50c per lb. wholesale and to collectors 35 to 40c per lb.