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ON

ATAL BOTANIC GARDENS

FOR THE

YEAR 1895, BY

J: MEDLEY WOOD, A.L.S.,

Corresponding Member of the Pharmaceutical Society / of Great Britain.

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3 ; DURBAN:

BENNETT & DAVIS, PRINTERS, 345, WEST STREET.

1896.

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ON

NATAL BOTANIC GARDENS,

FOR THE

Wer ACR 1.3 9:5, BY

J. MEDLEY WOOD, A.L.S.,

5. Corresponding Member of the Pharmaceutical Society

4

a of Great Britatn.

Che Ee AL TE @r Ee.

DURBAN: BENNETT & DAVIS, PRINTERS, 345, WEST STREET.

1896.

Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2012 with funding from Field Museum of Natural History Library

http://archive.org/details/reportonnatalbot1895wood

+ urban + Zotanic+ Society. +

COMMITTEE FOR 1895.

President : DV ORE ENACKE. sq: NEL AG

Bou. Ser.: Bon, Creasurer: vie. J. DW. BALLANCE. Mr. M. S. EVANS.

HON. R. JAMESON M.L.C. Mr. G. RUTHERFORD, C.M.G.

Mr. C. A. HOLWELL.

G@uveriunient embers: MRS Joo STEEL. Mr. F. BUTTON.

Curator: J. MEDLEY Woop, A.L.S.

+ ae i Saal PLS tds mat es

nee) ot.

he oe . me * . ree ae i +

REPORT.

———————

Botanic GARDENS, Berea, January, 1896.

To THE PRESIDENT AND COMMITTEE, - Dursan Botanic Society.

GENTLEMEN,

I have much pleasure in presenting this my Fourteenth Annual Report on the Botanic Gardens, and the work connected therewith. As will be seen by the Abstract of Meteorological Observations, taken at the Observatory in the upper portion of the Garden ground, and kindly supplied, as usual, by the Government Astronomer, it will be seen that from May to September, inclusive, only 4°30 inches of rain was registered, while during the same period in 1894, no less than 14°28 inches fell. In November, again, the fall was below the average, but the fall in December was very welcome, bringing the total for the year to 51°50 inches, against 37:27 for 1894, and which is above the average for the last twenty years by 6°74 inches. I am glad to be able to say that we have suffered no damage of any consequence from either drought, flood, wind storms, or locusts.

The hands have been so fully employed during the year, that time could not be spared for any further extention of the ground in cultivation, except that a piece of land, about an acre in extent, has been cleared of bush and added to the Nursery, which was not only too small for our present requirements, but also required manuring and a rest. A small portion of the Nursery ground had been set apart for roses, being about the only portion of our ground which is nearly free from white ants, but the ground lies very low, and during the very wet weather of last year, the soil became so saturated with water, that almost the whole of the roses were killed. I think it likely that the stoppage of the pumping operations at Currie’s Fountain, consequent upon the new water supply from Umbilo and Umlaas, has been the principal cause of this

saturation of the ground in the vicinity, especially after heavy falls of rain. }

ee

6

During the heavy rainfall on December 14th, one of the dwarf walls of the Fernery fell in, but without doing much damage. It was erected again by our own staff, and this time the wall has been built 9 inehes thick instead of 43 inches as before, the whole, with the exception of one wall, being now 9 inches thick.

As you are aware, the erection of the new Conservatory has not yet been commenced, for various reasons, but the plan, kindly drawn by Mr. W. EH. Robarts, is now in the hands of the Hon. Secretary, and I hope that the work will soon be commenced, especially as considerable repairs are urgently needed to the existing house, which cannot well be undertaken until the new house is ready to receive the plants. I would also point out that the roof and outside wood work of the Curator’s residence requires another coat of paint. the material used in coating the roof having evidently been of inferior quality, as is proved by the fact that the roof of the Gardener’s office and store, which was painted by our own staff, still remains in perfect condition. Some part of the exposed wood work of the Curator’s residence, not having been properly painted, is beginning to decay, and will have to be renewed.

The enamelled plant labels, alluded to in my last report, have so far been found quite satisfactory ; they are very conspicuous, neat and clean, and of considerable use to visitors as well as to ourselves, and I would suggest that further supplies be obtained year by year until all the trees and shrubs in the Gardens are furnished with them.

In my Report for 1893, it was stated that the heavy gale of September 28th, in that year had damaged or destroyed several trees in the Garden, but I am now pleased to be able to say that the most valuable ‘of them have now quite recovered. Cocos plumosa, which lost its crown of leaves, is now looking as well as ever, also Lowostylis alata, the only tree we have of the species, and Tectona grandis, the ‘‘ Teak” tree, in consequence of the removal of the large Acacia which quite overshadowed it, now looks better than ever, but will, I fear, never make a good tree, as our climate does not appear to be suited toit, still we are glad to have preserved the only specimen we have of the species.

Amongst the plants reported as having been put out in the Garden during 1894, were a, number of Acacias, chiefly Australian species, reared from seed obtained from that country in response to my request. I regret now to have to report that a large number of them have been destroyed by white ants, and I fear that before long but few of them will be left. It seems, therefore, quite useless to plant either gums or acacias on ground so infested by white ants as the present site of the

ys

Gardens. The only plants put out in the same year which have since died, are Aptos tuberosu, Benthamia fragifera, and Dacrydium cupressinum. In the early part of the year I have been accustomed to make a collecting trip into some suitable district of the Colony, but in the year just concluded I did not feel well enough to undertake the journey. Mr. Wylie, the head gardener, therefore, with the consent of the Committee, went in mys stead, and, in addition to collecting a large number: of specimens for the ‘Célonial: Herbarium, some of which proved to be new, he obtained numerous plants and-~seeds for distribution, and exchange with other institutions, some of which have alr eady been sent away, and a large number are still on hand.

No change has been made in the Huropean staff, and Mr. Wylie, the head gardener, with his assistants, Mr. J. Harmon and Mr. H. Rutter, continue to give complete satisfaction. I may say that Mr. Wylie and Mr. Harmon have completed 13 years’ service, and Mr. Rutter nearly six years.

The following free grants of plants have been made during the year :—

. Nyy Sen Ce

Sydenham Police Station ete oe LOS pn) NG. Railways Aaovige-Lonn ey 0) Adam’s Mission Station em lO LO Bellair Cemetery ate Ber ie. Bile Ra) Berea College as ea On ate 0 Hadi 19) 0

Plants, fruit, flowers, etc., have been sold, sent away in exchange, and granted free to public institutions to the amount of a little more than £1,240.

Packets of seeds were received during the year as under :—

PACKETS. Royal Gardens, Kew Bs ee) ae way gfe i Jamaica ..: a Liye Imperial Botanic Gardens, St. Petersburg Hise oe Botanic Gardens, Bangalore ee ae. Le fe = Grenada a; ae ee A. 2) Ks Madras ... set Jee det aS Me - Najpur ... fe $a ea 2 : Brisbane hi wat ay, Ot i ‘f Hone Kones) 4). ds 6 Melbourne Sate ae fone M. Max Cornu, Paris ae ait Ee 6 Messrs. Reasoner Bros., Florida ... nes I lee

_Damman & Co., Naples... Bae . 299

99

PACKETS,

Agricultural Bureau, South Australia ... ws 14 M. Buysman, Middleburg ... ac Aik a ES University Qf California... sis see, 09 Acclimatisation Society, California S50 ww. 2d Baron F. v. Mueller, Melbourne ... oes es gO Mr. J. C. Harvey, California ar she osu) ee Mr. Veith, Madagascar , see ses

General Lowther, England

Director, Museum, Sydney sa

M. Max Mevehonen Baden-Baden ... Messrs. Sander & Co., St. Albans

Mr. J. O’Brien, Harrow 3 sits

Mr. A. White, Central Africa bee His Excellency S. W. Hely-Hutchinson ... Mr. W. Bull, London : : Rev. A. S. McPhee, Berea

Mr. R. W. Adlam, Transvaal

Mr. A. Wilkinson, Ottawa

Mr. J. Geikie, Karkloof

R. Jameson, Durban

Warwick, Maritzburg ...

W. T. Woods, Estcourt

HW. J. Turner

H. Duboisee Picquetbourg, ‘Umhlanga Mrs. G. E. Robinson

O. R. Harvey, Duff's Road

K. E. Galpin, Queenstown

T. G. Colenbrander,. New Guelderland

—~

DEH HOHE DEKE OR WN EN DWH he

2

Total mee bee DEER

(=) =o)

The following plants were received ;—

Royal Gardens, Kew _... ... 36 plants of 31 species Imperial Botanic Gardens, St.

Petersburg ... ne Ci ROS 36 Agri-Horticultural Society of

India .. sa aS 5 14 Messrs. Sander & Gon St. Albans 136 ‘3 66 %9 Messrs. Damman & Co., Naples 1 1 Baron F. v. Mueller, Melbourne 1 3 it Messrs. Reasoner Bros., Florida 3 Fe 3 var Mrs. M. S. Evans, Durban fet wed a 2 Mr. R. Jameson, Durban eda) AD Fs 6

Also the following :—

Messrs. Sander & Co., St. Albans H. Strauss, Germany Royal Botanic Gardens, Mauritius

66 varieties of Roses. . 150 Caladiums A large case of Palm seeds

During 1894 we received 148 plants and 669 packets of seeds, with the following results :— PLANTS. Dead on arrival ra oe Died afterwards from effects of voyage uo 2 8 Planted in Gardens ... en Bele seeps to) In pots ... boc soo oe seit OF Already in stock sid Bate soit dae od 148 SEEDS. Failed to germinate ... ade pel 10 Germinated but died afterwards... nO) Distributed... vas si di wz 113 In stock - Boo) ls 3 Still in pots or » planted ; in Gardens. son 07 Annuals and weeds ... Sear hetins ih ay 0 Total ar sho (TAS)

We sent away during the year packages of plants as follows :—

Royal Gardens, Kew 2 boxes posted

a fe Mauritius 1 Wardian case is ¥ BS 1 closed case : Calcutta 1 Wardian case Agri- Horticultural Society __,, 1 . Imperial Botanic Gardens, Russia 1 closed case Sander & Co, St. Albans Bet: G

H. Strauss, Germany

W. Bull, London ws Damman & Co., Naples Dr. Thompson, Gazaland A. White, Zomba

J. O’Brien, Harrow + H. H. Arderne, Capetown Gen. Lowther, England ...

boxes posted

9

me eet DO PD

?

10

Packets of seeds have been sent away as under :—

Royal Gardens, Kew NY Beer Lata Bene 740) Hong Kong ae we 53a yoo

h Ceylon... ie a as, Jamaica... uae pas as Gy

Caleuttay. i ae see telg

My Singapore ... jee ae meope st. Mauritus .... ea) tds \ pepaeeon Botanic Gar dens, British Guiana ... ie ios alae i ae on aS apni,

fs Grenada.. fp ei sen RANE

i Zurich ... te at Seer al)

Madras ... Ae ne eae

ys Triniaad ie aN ene ae

i Melbourne Bef ae we AD (i Port Darwin _... en eer eaiecs 9) =

se Bangalore S45 aa ear ae

4 Hobart ... aes aa meee 0)

ie Adelaide an “he Taner:

e Sydney ... Big a See pe Brisbane bes sf eee Ke

Imperial Botanic Gardens, Russia vas wi 40 Acclimatisation Society, California ee eal) 0 University Gardens, si ww. 40 Agri-Horticultural Society of India ave ose) ee) M. Max Cornu, Paris oa Bevis 0) Mr. J. C. Harvey, California Me a . 06 Messrs. Reasoner Bros, Florida... ae a Oe Mrs. R. D. Hoyt, ap as: hee

Mr. Max Leichtlin, Baden Baden a We Fray, Yh Mr. A. Whyte, Zomba an ae ay oe

Mr. Buysman, Middelburg A! Se due saul Messrs, Damman & Co., Naples ... S00 bie uliis Messrs, Sander & Co., St. Albans... a ee at To 12 Correspondents in the Colony _... ei OO Total Bie ay 1,136 The following publications have been received :— Kew Bulletin ... ... trom Director Bulletin, Royal Gardene Jamaica ... mY Hp af Trinidad ... ut - Singapore cf » Botanic ‘Gardens, Grenada os Report, Royal Gardens, Ceylon by e 35 % Singapore ... > Pi i TMrinidadses 45

Calcutta ws. Ms

II Report, Botanic Gardens, Bangalore from Director Saharunpur a Graaf-Reinet Superintendent *) gh Tap. Botanic Gardens, Berlin Director

9

» secretary for Nova Scotia

» Botanical and Afforestation

Dept., Hong

Agriculture,

Sec. for Agri.

iKongvGe.. Director

Transactions Queensland Acclimatisa-

tion Society

Journal Agri- Horticultural Society of

>)

India

99 ,, Madras Secretary

Pharmaceutical Society... Agricultur al Journal of the Leeward C. A. Barber

Islands;

Catalogue Botanic Gardens, Sydney Amount of salt in alkaline soils

Mayflower

F.L.S. Director .. U. States Govt. Editor

PURCHASED.

Natal Farmers’ Magazine Tropical Agriculturist.

The undermentioned plants have flowered tor the first

time in the Gardens during the year :—

Name.

Acacia cavenia ...

» cornigera

» holosericea

» leucantha

» pentadenia :

» podalyriafolia ...

strombolifera

Allamanda magnifica ...

ne: Williamsi... Anigosanthus flavida. ... Aster indicus Bauhinia preta.. Bougainvillea glabra Sanderina Brownea coccinea Clerodendron inerme

speciosum

Prelogyne Dayana Cratoxylon carneus Cross indra undulaefolia Denrobium phalcenopsis Var ... Dermatobotrys Saundersii

From whom received. Damman & Co.

Bot. Gardens, Adelaide. Damman & Co.

Royal Gardens, Kew. Bot. Gardens, Brisbane. Damman & Co.

Sander & Co.

Bot. Gardens, Melbourne. M. Buysman.

Royal Bot. Garden, Jamaica. Sander & Co.

Royal Bot. Gardens Mauritius.

Bot. Gardens, Saharunpur. Sander & Co.

Royal Bot. Gardens, Calcutta.

Sander & Co.

@ullecrad :

Dolichos lignosus Hryngium serra Eucharis Stevensi Hulophia andamanica Gladiolus oppositrflorus

» sp. (Swaziland) Homeria collina i... se Hippeastrum equestre major dis Izora “‘ Prince of Orange”’ Ipomea, gussypiordes ...

a umperialis

» polyanthus ...

53 setifera

‘9 sp. ads Ixia conica ae ka ied

Lagerstremia regina Lathyrus laetiflorus

5 splendens

e violaceus Leea coccinea Lupinus propinquus Manthot palmata Nerium rubrum plenum Pancratium guianense ... Pistachia lentiscus Prosopis spicigera Raphiolepis indica ve Richardia Elliotiana ... Ehynchosia diversifolva Satyrium corwufolium ... Spigelia splendens Sisyrynchium bellum ... sei Stenospermatium multiovulatum Swainsonia galegifolia Var Tecoma Smitha Vicia serratifolia Watsonia aletroides

12

Damman & Co.

Sander & Co.

Royal Bot. Gardens, Calcutta. H. G. Flanagan.

Staines.

J. Pardy.

Sander & Co.

Agri-Horti. Society, India. Damman w& Co.

Reasoner Bros. Damman & Co. J. C. Harvey. J. Pardy. Bot. Gardens, Saharunpur. University of California.

9 99 Sander & Co. University of California.

Damman & Co. Sander & Co.

9

Royal Bot. Gardens, Jamaica. Bot. Gardens, Saharunpur. M.S. Evans. Damman & Co.

J. Pardy.

W. Bull.

University of California.

Sander & Co.

Bot. Gardens, Melbourne. Sander & Co.

Imperial Grdns, St. Petersburg J. Pardy.

The following plants have been put out during the year :—

Name

Achillea sericea ‘Aegilops ovata ... si Agati grandiflora coccinea Alcea sidefolia ... Aloysia lyciosdes ~ 4, ~~ wrtecoides Aralia digitata...

as maculata be

Native of Europe. India.

?

N. America. Brazil. India.

Pius

Argyreia sp. sf Aristolochia elegans...

An TUdCula ee. Aster indicus... ste Atriplex leptocarpum Boehmerwa japonica... Bosea Yervamora

Bougainvillza glabra Sanderiana

Oallicarpa japonica Chorizema diversifolium

Clerodendron siphonanthus

Convolvulus floridus Crinum sp, ae ha Dahlia imperialis Var... Deeringia celosioides ... ~ Delphinium cardinale ... puniceus ... Dolichos lignosus ig Diplarrhena latifolia ... Hryngium serra oe Hrysimum cunescens ... Genista tanctorra x Gladiolus oppositiflorus Gloriosa superba Gouania domingensis ...

Hibiscus Boryanus See Hypericum assyrion ? ... ip tetrapterwm

Inula heleniwm...— ate Ipomea crassipes es . gossypuordes ... » imperrvalis et

» polyanthus setiferd... vise

en tis tanctoria . eg Lsoplexis Aaa mieniess a, Ixora Diviana

5, tllustris

» parviflora Me 3) 6picturata... Ny mL rince of Orange

me roseM Bas Ss ULMUUSEO ano. cob

Jasione Jankee ... at. Lathyrus letiflorus ... +f splendens =e violaceus Lavatera assurgentiflora

ens;

? Brazil.

India. Australia. Japan. Canaries. Hort. Japan. Australia. Malaya. Teneriffe.

9 Mexico. Asia & Trop Australia. N. America. Hurope. Tropics. Tasmania

Brazil.

Cancasus.

Cape Colony. India. W. Indies. Bourbon.

2 Hurope.

Natal. Paraguay. ?

K. Indies. Guiana. Hur ‘ope. Canaries. India. Hort. India. Hort.

bP)

India. Hort. Europe.

?

P

? California

14

Lespedeza bicolor China Lettsomia sp. y Lophospermum er ubescens Mexico Lupinus propinquus ? Lycium chinensis hi China Melia azederach (continuous flowering) ? Melianthus n. sp. J. M. Wood 4376 Natal Mitraria coccinea Chili Nandina domestica alba China Negundo californica California Neriwm rubrum plenum ? Orthosiphon sp.... Natal Passiflora manicata Peru Pavetta sp. iy Physostegia virginica alba N. America Poterium sp... Europe Pierostyraa corymbosum Japan Pueraria Thunbergu se Rhamnus californicus ... California Rhynchosia diversifolia Paraguay . lineata Brazil

Ribes glutinosum

Rubus nutkanus

Rumex Berlandiert Sisyrynchium bellum ... Sphondyliwm lanatum...

N. America

Chili N. America

99 Spirea Lindleyana Himalayas Stevia odorata ... Strobtlanthes sp. : Nilgiris Swainsonia yalegifolia alba Australia Trifolium rossidum ? Uropappus leucocarpus iy Vicia grandiflora HKurope

» serratifolia a

Vitis Corgnetia... Japan

Amongst the plants enumerated in the foregoing lists, there are but few that seem to require further notice; the following remarks, however, may be useful :—

Atriplex leptocarpwm.—This is one of the “Salt bushes of EK. Australia, and Baron F. v. Mueller says of it, “It will bear a great amount of drought, and if not too closely fed down, produces seed in. abundance.” Different species of Atriplex are‘found useful in Australia as sheep fodder, but as they require an alkaline soil for their successful cultivation, I fear that their success in Natal will be confined to very limited areas. All attempts to rear to maturity plants of Atriplex in these Gardens have, so far, been conspicuous failures.

15

Cola acuminata.—The receipt of seeds of this tree was mentioned in my Report for 1894, and I am now pleased to be able to say that the plants have, so far, done very well. Some have been sent away for trial, and we have still a few on hand. It is perhaps scarcely necessary for me to say that it is the tree which yields the ‘“‘ Cola” nuts of commerce, which have lately come so much into use in the form of chocolate and other ways.

Dipteryx odoratu.—A large tree yielding the ‘‘ Tonquin or “Tonga”? bean of commerce, which is used for scenting snuff, and also in perfumery. Four plants were received from Kew, and, so far, are doing well.

Gouania domingensis, “Chew Stick.’—The twigs of this plant are used by the negroes in the West Indies for chewing, and they may frequently be seen with a piece projecting from their lips like a cigar. It is presumably used as a bitter, or for preservation of the teeth.

Tsatis tinctorva, ‘‘ Dyers’ woad.”—A tall herb, lasting for two years only. A blue dye is obtained from the fermented leaves, but the plant is scarcely likely to succeed in Natal, nor is it of much commercial value, though small quantities of the fermented and dried leaves are said to be used by dyers for mixing with indigo.

Lagerstremia regina.—A large timber tree, yielding a blood-red coloured wood, which is used in India for many purposes, and is said to be very durable under water. Its native name is ‘‘ Jarool,’’ and the root, bark and leaves are used medicinally. The flowers are much larger than those of the other species of the genus in cultivation, and known in Natal as ‘“‘ Pride of India,’ and are very ornamental.

Poterium sanguisorba, Burnet.”—Seed of this plant was given to us by Mr. W. T. Woods, of Estcourt, who advocates it very strongly as a forage plant. Itis as yet too early to say how it will succeed in the coast districts. It is known at home as a useful fodder plant, and is also used in salads by the French people. The generic name, Poterium, is said to have been given in consequence of some of the species having been used as an ingredient in ‘‘cool tankards.”

Theobroma cacao.—Twice during the past year we have received seeds of this plant, the first time, by the kindness of A. Whyte, Esq., of Zomba, Central Africa, who brought them from England, in the cool chamber of the steamer; the second time, by favour of His Excellency Sir Hely-Hutchinson, who obtained them from West Indies. In both cases the seeds were well and carefully packed, but I regret to say that not a single seed germinated, though every care was taken of them. I shall therefore make an effort to obtain plants from Mauritius, and hope to meet with better success, so that the plant may have a fair trial in the Colony.

16

Rheum officinale, “Turkey Rhubarb.”—Seed of this plant

was obtained in 1893, and a portion sent to Botanic Gardens, “Maritzburg. Here, the plants did not succeed, and are now all dead, but the Curator of the Maritzbur eg Gardens informs me that plants reared from the seed sent by us to them for trial are doing fairly well, and have made good leaves and stems. It is quite possible that at a still higher altitude, say Howick to Notting- ham Road, the plant might be found to succeed still better.

Carya oliviformis, Peccan Nut.’’—Seeds of this tree were received from Mr. A. Wilkinson, of Ottawa, and some of them have germinated, and it is to be hoped the plant will succeed here. The wood is valuable, and the nuts are said to be excellent, and are exported in quantity from Texas.

Sweet l’otato—Roots of three varieties of this plant were received from Florida, and are said to be of very good quality. We have been fortunate in rearing plants of all three varieties, and a few cuttings will shortly be available for distribution. One of these varieties is an upright one, that is, the vines do not run along the ground. I have since been informed that we have already an upright variety in Natal, and cuttings of it were kindly sent to me by Mr. W. Cato, of Bellair. We shall, therefore, be enabled to compare them with each other during the present season.

In my Report for 1890, I gave a list of plants of economic value, which had been tried at the Gardens during the previous five years, and it was my intention to have given in the present Report a similar list of those tried during the five years that have elapsed since that time, but in consequence partly of the press of other work, and partly also because the plants imported during the past year cannot safely be reported on at present, I have decided to defer it until next year. During the past five years we have imported 3,473 packets of seeds, and 1,058 species of plants, but of this large number many are annuals, duplicates, or plants of ornamental value only, and these I do not propose to notice, since space would not admit of it, nor would their enumeration be of any real value. I~ shall therefore report only upon plants of some economic value, timber trees, &c., &c. .

The following have been noted in previous reports :—

Polygonum sacchalinense, ‘“Sacaline.’—I have nothing further to report of this plant beyond the fact that it has been found to grow quite well here, and plants have been distributed to applicants. Its value as a fodder plant in Natal has yet to be proved.

Rumex hymenosepalus, ‘‘Canaigre.’—In my Report for 1894, it was stated that this plant was under trial here, and I am now pleased to say that the trial has fully proved the

17

suitability of the plant to the coast soil and climate. In February last, 72 plants were put out, chiefly cuttings from apex of last year’s roots, but with a few seedlings also. in consequence of want of room they were planted much too closely. They grew vigorously, and in September and October produced seed in abundance, which has been distributed to applicants. In November, the leaves having died down, the roots were dug, and found to weigh 57lb., the largest being Alb., and several others 2lb. to 3lb. in weight, the remainder, being small, the roots lust about 12lb. in drying. The eyes were then removed for replanting, and the remainder, about AOlb. weight, has been sent to the Natal Tannery, the manager having promised to report on them as well as he can from so small a quantity. Further experiments will be made here, and reported in due course In the meantime, I take over the ereater part of an article which appeared in the ‘“ American Journal of Pharmacy,” of August, 1889, and also another article from Bulletin of Agricultural Hxperiment Station, Berkeley, California, October, 1894, and hope they will be found useful.

CANAIGRE. *

By Henry TRIMBLE.

The following account of a tanning material, which had several times in the past few years been mentioned as new, or as a possibility for the tanner, is undertaken with a view of relating what has been done toward developing this source, and at the same time calling attention to the fact that if we encourage home production, we have in Canaigre a material which gives promise of superseding the uncertain and much- adulterated Gambier.

Canaigre is found in large quantity in the sandy soil on both sides of the Rio Grande and northwards over a large portion of Western Texas and New Mexico. Its history is briefly as follows :—It is said to have been used in tanning by the Mexicans for over two centuries. Our first information, however, dated from July 9th, 1868, when a package of these roots was forwarded for Mr. John James, of San Antonia, Texas, to the Agricultural Department, at Washington, together with a letter stating that Mr. F. Kalteyer, chemist in San Antonia, had found them to contain 32 per cent. of tannin. This sample mislaid or was overlooked until 1878, when it was ‘eported on by thechemist. It was then found to yield 23°45 per cent. of tannin. A fresh sample was also procured, and the tannin estimated in the fresh root with almost identical results, after making due still

* From the ‘‘ American Journal of Pharmacy,’ August, 1889.

18

allowance for difference of moisture. The other constituents reported at that time need not claim our attention at present, further than to notice a considerable amount of starch— 18 per cent.

Previous to this publication by the Government, Mr. Rudolph Volcker, of Galveston, published an analysis of roots gathered in July, 1874. He found 23°16 per cent, tannin, and proved the presence of crysophanic acid and aporetin. He was not aware of the botanical origin of the plant, but supposed it to belong to the natural order Polygonacee.

In 1879, Mr. William Saunders, in his report on Canaigre, stated it was the Rumex hymenosepalum of Torrey, and furnished a lithographic plate of the plant in bloom.

At the New Orleans Exposition, 1885-6, in one corner of the section devoted to products from New Mexico were some of these roots, above which was the inscription, ‘A new tanning material.” As will be shown later, this exhibit, insignificent as it appeared, attracted the attention of at least one person.

In 1886, a sample of a root sent to me from San Antonia, Texas, under the name of Indian Root,” was analysed, and the results published under the title of ‘‘ Yerba del Indio,” from the impression that it was the Aristolochia feetida of the Mexican Pharmacopoia. This impression, however, was cor- rected by Professor J. M. Maisch, in the same issue, page 115.* He suggested, and it has since been found to be correct, that this “‘ Rauz del Indio”’ was the Canaigre root. That analysis fixed the amount of tannin at 11:66 per cent., vut it was found that the root, which was not analysed as soon as reccived, had commenced to decay, and, later, it was completely riddled by insects. In this respect my experience differed from that of the Government chemist, who found no change after ten years. Soon after the New Orleans Hxposition, samples of two ior three hundred pounds were sent to Chicago for experiments in a number of tanneries there. Mr. HE. C. Denig, of that city, has devoted much time since then to studying this material, from its source in Texas and New Mexico to its application in the fanning of hides.

Canaigre consists of heavy globular and fusiform pieces from two to six inches long and one to three inches in diameter. Externally it is of a dark-reddish colour, becoming, by age, almost black; internally it is from a bright to a brownish- yellow, according to age and amount of exposure to atmosphere, When collected, “the roots consist of clusters resembling sweet potatos. They are found near the surface, or sometimes on top of the ground, are rapidly dried, and, at a certain age, cut into small pieces. If allowed to vet very dry, they become

* American Journal of Pharmaey,’’ 1886.

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so hard as to resist any ordinary method of cutting. From samples of the whole and clipped roots, kindly furnished me by Mr. Denig, I have found 17°33 per cent. of tannin. This figure is rather lower than that obtained by other investigators, but the deficiency may be explained by my sample containing more moisture. Dr. H. Sturcke has found a total of 28°57 per cent. of tannin.

The ground root is at present used in a number of tanneries, and has been found to more closely resemble Gambier in its action than any other tanning material. An extract has also been prepared and used which contains from 40 to 60 per cent. tannin, and it is thought that in this form it will probably replace Gambier. Should the hopes and efforts of those who are engaged in the development of this material be realised, we shall have a source of tannin which is said to be inexhaustible, aud which will be the meaus of either bringing a better Gambier into this market, or of driving it entirely out of use here. It is said that the dried and ground root can be delivered in any part of the United States at a price not exceding 3 cents per pound.

Thus after a delay of 20 years this root has reached that stage of practical application when a useful future may be predicted for it, and the persistent efforts of the pase four ene have every prospect of being rewarded.” * ~ *

The Director of the Royal Gardens, Kew, having obtained a specimen of the roots from the United States National Mnseum, submitted it to Mr. W. N. Evans F.C. 8. for analysis, and his report is as follows :—

Mr. W.N. Evans, F.C.S. to Royal Gardens, Kew.

Dear Sir,

Your favour of the 12th came duly to hand, with sample of Canaigre roots, and Iam glad to be able to enclose analysis of the same, which shows that the roots will be a valu- able addition to our list of tanning products. It is very curious to notice the different results of previous analyses, but it is useless attempting to test any product until it is sufficiently dry to grind or pulverise.

I presume from its growing in Texas, that it will flourish in suitable soil in any temperate climate, and may be grown to any extent with but little attention. | trust it may be a great blessing to the trade, as just now our principal materials, such as Valonia and Gambier, are scarce and dear.

Of course it has yet to be tried in the tannery but there appears to be nothing, so far as we can see, that should prevent its full value being realised.

IT remain &e. : (Signed) W. N. EVANS. D. Morris, Hsa.

20 (Enclosure).

Tanver’s Laboratory, 66, Stackpole Road, Bristol, March 17th 1893.

Copy of Analysis of Ceapiene root received from the Royal Gardens, Kew.

Tannin bes Be .. 3748 Organic matter... ef Hae20 Water ae, mi sh RLZIOM Ash ... see Ue wine RORZO Woody fibre . oa dt Oo.00

100.00

Remarks. Original moisture very considerable, as much as 55.85 per cent. Had to be dried to grind. The above analysis taken iu this condition yet shows 12.07 per cent of water. » |

The following extracts are taken from Bulletin No. 105 University of California Agricultural Experiment Station, and are by Mr. E. W. Hilgard Director and Chemist:

“The Canaigre is indigenous to southern California as far north as the Kern Valley, so far as known; it is more parti- cularly at home, however, south of the Tehachipi mountains, in the sandy lands of the San Fernando and San Bernardino plains : also on the Gorgonio pass and on the border of the Colorado desert generally; also no doubt in the valleys of San Diego. Outside of California it is apparently most abundant in Arizona, and southern New Mexico, and in north western Texas; it reaches to Utah and the Indian Territory. Its abundant occurrence in New Mexico led tothe establishment of a factory for preparing the tanning extract for shipment instead of the root, and similar establishments were proposed for Arizona. But it has quickly become apparent that the supply of the wild plant would soon become exhausted, and that in order to place the industry upon a permanent basis it would be necessary to grow it as a regular crop. Now that the value of the root for the tanning of fine leathers has been fully established, and a market is assured, the only remaining question is that of the best conditions for its cultivation, as to soil, climate, and mode of culture to ensure profitable returns.

As regards climate, it should be understood that in California the plant starts its growth from the root with the first rains, in October or November, reaches bloom about the end of January, or first part of February, perfects its seed about April, and dies down to the ground in May; varying according to the winter temperature, and the advent of spring warmth. It is not therefore to be expected that it will make a normal growth where the ground freezes in winter, although like some

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other culture plants it may be able to adapt itself to a different régime so long as the root is not frosted. We have not as yet any definite data as to what amount of winter cold will kill the

root

As to soil, the presumption is that, like other root crops, it will do best in light soils, which it seems to occupy naturally by ‘preference. Yet it has made a good normal growth in the black heavy adobe of the Economic Garden at this station, which how- ever has, of course, been kept well tilled. It appears therefore to be quite adaptable to a variety of soils; the New Mexico station reports “adobe soil” as its preferred ground, but the term is evidently used in a different sense, as designating the loams of the character actually used for building adobe houses ; a use for which the average adobe of California would be

inapplicable.

Propagation. The easiest way to obtain a stand of the canaigre is to plant the smaller roots obtained in harvesting the crop. These develop rapidly, and according to the observations made at the New Mexico station will, when irrigated, quadruple their weight in one season ; they will also in that case produce seedabundantly. One marked peculiarity of the roots, remarked upon by all reports, is that when cut, the upper portion (the one having the root crown) will reconstruct its lower part by new growth which differs markedly from the older by its smoothness. Propagation by seed seems to occur quite rarely in Arizona and New Mexico, as well as in California south of the Tehachipi range. But with more abundant moisture as in the “Weed patch”’ of the Kern valley (an ancient channel still receiving some seepage) and at this station when early rains occur, the fallen seeds sprout abundantly; and we will the coming season be enabled to ascertain what advantage there may be in propagating by seed instead of devoting a portion of the root crop to replanting. The seed must be sown quite shallow and lightly covered, when the ground is moist.

When irrigated the roots will stand close planting, say nine or ten inches apart in rows thirty inches apart, as in the case of sugar beets, since the roots are on the average somewhat smaller than sugar beets; the average crops willl be somewhat less in weight

Canaigre roots will sometimes remain in the ground during several successive dry years without injury, growing as soon as the needful moisture comes. This indicates the mode of keep- ing the roots for seed, viz: in dry sand or loam, in a dry place. When kept in piles for any length of time the canaigre root heats and spoils even quicker than the sweet potato.

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Cultivation will, it must be presumed. not differ materially from that of the sugar beet, except that there will be no thin- ning needed ; and as in the cxse of the latter, only a few culti- vations will be required to subdue the weeds, and to maintain good tilth in the rainless suramer climates in which it is at home. The Arizona station prescribes that “to secure the “largest yield planting should be done before the first of October (in that climate) and the soil moistened and plowed ; “then the roots dropped and covered with a potato planter “adjusted to suit the case. The crops should be irrigated from “four to six times and some implement of the two horse culti- ‘“‘vator style run through the rows after each irrigation.”

The amount of irrigation that should be given will of course vary according to the kind of soil and the natural moisture. As it seems that too much water depresses the tannin percentage, while increasiug the weight of the crop, there is evidently a certain measure that cannot be profitably xceeded, but which must be established by experiment. At his station, with an average rainfall of 23 inches during the winter, irrigation‘is certainly not called for.

Harvesting can be done as in the case of beets, by means of a “digger” such as is used for potatoes and (in a modified form) for the sugar beet. A crop of ten tons per acre from roots planted as indicated above and properly cultivated for one season is probably a fair average expectation.

But it is not necessary to harvest the root at any particular time, since 16 not only does not deteriorate by remaining in the ground but actually increases its tannin-percentage about the time the buds for the season years growth begin to move; as has been shown at the Arizona station. In fact the tannin appears tu increase to a maximum at the end of the second season, after which it seems to remain constant ; at least we have never found a higher percentage in roots older than two years, than in the two year-old. As the roots do not die or decay, it is optional fwhen to dig them. At this station, when a clump that had grown from a single