Skip to main content

Full text of "Louisiana Conservation Review"

See other formats

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 

i-«u«ana State University 


jQuisianeu « 




Vuhlhhed Quarterly 4v (/le 


Louisiana Wild Flowers of 
Ali vviAL Soils 

Louisiana Nature 

^^tF^"^'"' / 


-*-... — ..-'^ 


M^fl i 'iaim buij Uuivfe T?tTt- 



American Creosote Works, Inc. 









Capacity 100,000,000 Bd. Ft. Annually 

New Orleans, La. 

Louisville, Mi 

Plants at: 

Winnfield, La. 
and Jackson, Tenn. 


Alabasrine, Bondex, Sealerine, Acme 

Quality Paints, Koverfloor, Varnishes, 

Lacquer, Brushes, Removers, 

Stain-Ox, Valspar, Plastex 

"Everything in the Paint and Glass Line" 

David Bernhardt Paint Co. 

317-319-321-323 Camp Street 

New Orleans, Louisiana 

RAymond 5279 RAymond 5270 

"We Have No Branches" 


a properly designed burner to yield reasonable monthly 
operating costs. 

ASK for descriptive matter on 

Operate on any gas pressure from 4 in. to 85 lb. 
Dititrihutcd and Chuarantped by 


1216 Royal St., New Orleans, La. 

Burners for Space Heating, for Steam and Water Boilers, 

for Bake Ovens, Etc. Write us. 


1 Everybody Shops 



Natural Gas- — 


INDEED fortunate is the com- 
munity where an abundant sup- 
ply of Natural Gas — the Modern 
Fuel — is available for home and 

Not only does this 24-hour-a-day 
servant lighten the burden of daily 
household duties — cooking, water- 

heating and house-heating — but it 
serves to attract new residents and 
new enterprises to the favored sec- 

The growth and prosperity of this 
area is of vital concern to us, and we 
are constantly planning and working 
to keep a pace ahead of every fuel 


A Unit of the United Gas System 



ROB'T S. MAESTRI, Commissioner 

JAMES P. GUILLOT, Secretary 

Dk. J, a. Shaw 

Director, Division of Mine 

and Minerals 


Director, Division of Fur 
and Wild Life 

James X. McConnell 

Director, Division of Oi/sters 

and Water Bottoms 


James P. Guillot 

Acting Director, 

Bureau of Scientific Research 

and Statistics 

James N. Gowanloch 

Chief Biologist, 

Bureau of Scientific Research 

and Statistics 

James F. Gcillot 

Acting Director, 

Bureau of Education 

Mrs. Estelle Cottuan 

Assistant Director, Bureau 

of Education 



No. 7 

Death Takes No Holiday 

T JNDER this striking title the Hon- 
^-^ orable Ernest Lundeen of Minne- 
sota delivered in the House of Repre- 
sentatives, May 17, 1935, an address 
concerning the tragic record of auto- 
mobile accidents in the United States. 

Since conservation of human life is 
obviously conservation of the most 
valuable kind, it is desired to bring 
to the attention of the readers of the 
Louisiana Conservation Review some 
passages of this discussion. 

Enjoyment of the out-of-doors and 
the pleasures which so many of our 
natural resources afford us is today 
so much bound up with the use of 
motor transportation that here again 
the subject comes close to those in- 
terested in all conservation. 

The figures are appalling. The 
speaker states: 

"Attention has again been concen- 
trated on the terrible toll of deaths 
and injuries in traffic accidents in 
this country. Few realize how this 
toll has been growing. In the last 
10 years the number of deaths on our 
highways has about doubled, reaching 
the all-time high of nearly 26,000 
deaths in 1934. For every 7 persons 
killed in 1933 in automobile acci- 
dents, 8 were killed in 1934. Every 
15 minutes someone is killed, and 
every 30 seconds some person is in- 
jured in a traffic accident. It has 
been estimated that if the present 
trend of traffic accidents continues, 
out of each 100 persons born today, 
14 will be killed or seriously injured 
in traffic accidents and 80 will sus- 
tain minor injuries. This informa- 
tion comes to me from the director 
of safety and traffic engineering of 
the American Automobile Associa- 

"In the 18 months of the United 
States' participation in the World 
War. 50.510 American soldiers were 
killed. In the same number of 
months, from July 1, 1930, through 
December 31, 1931, 53,650 Ameri- 
cans were killed by motor vehicle 
accidents. The toll" for the last 18 
months is still higher. The six major 

Published quarterly b.v the Department 
of Conservation in the interest of protec- 
tion and proper utilization of Louisiana's 
natural resources. 



X. E. SIMOXEADX Assoc. Editor 


Captain Victor Sandras, 
Veteran of the Bayous 



Light Tackle in Salt Water 2 

The Historic Indian Tribes of Lou- 
isiana 5 

Report on the Black Widow Spider 13 

Some Wild Flowers of Louisiana, 
Part III ___..._ 22 

Geological Survey 29 

Louisiana Nature Guardians 30 

wars in which the United States has 
participated since its birth as a nation 
cost less than 300,000 American lives. 
During 15 years of peace time 1,300,- 
000 — over four times as many Amer- 
ican people — were killed by accidents, 
and millions more have been disabled 
for life. 

"One million more people killed on 
American roadways in 15 years of 
peace than in all major wars of our 
history! This and a great deal of 
additional information has been com- 
piled by Ernest Greenwood in his re- 
cent book, 'Who Pays?' . . . 

"By far the largest number of ac- 
cidents are caused bv motor vehicles. 
Of the 99,000 accidental deaths oc- 
curring in 1934, 35,500 were caused 
by motor vehicles; 33,000 accidental 
deaths were caused in the home; 17,- 

(^APTAIN Victor Sandras last 
^-^ month completed his thirty-first 
year of service with the Division of 
Oysters and Water Bottoms of the 
Louisiana Department of Conserva- 
tion. This genial, admired and re- 
spected officer is known to all who 
dwell along the bayous. 

Captain Sandras himself supervised 
the construction of the Motorlaunch 
"Louisiana," the oyster boat of the 
Department of Conservation, and 
throughout her existence has safely 
navigated her in all varieties of clear 
and stormy weather. Indeed, al- 
though it is difficult to induce Cap- 
tain Sandras to discuss such matters, 
he has rescued many ships and saved 
many lives along the coasts during 
storms. Only those members of the 
Louisiana Department of Conserva- 
tion whose work has involved a voy- 
age with Captain Sandras can know 
his true worth and learn the unusual 
pleasure of his company. 

Thirty-one years of devotion to ser- 
vice for the public good is a proud 

500 were caused by accidents of a 
public character, not including motor 
vehicle accidents; 15,500 were caused 
by occupational injuries — Prelimin- 
ary 1935 Edition of Accident Facts, 
National Safety Council. 

"Recurring sensational headlines 
flaring forth the toll of lives lost in 
every airplane accident mislead the 
public, and cause many of our good 
citizens to shrink from travel by air. 
As a matter of fact, a report of the 
Federal Coordinator of Transporta- 
tion on Passenger Traffic (H. Doc. 
No. 80) indicates that airway car- 
riers fly 24,700,000 passenger miles 
for each fatality, whereas private 
automobiles drive only 11,300,000 
miles. There are more than twice as 
many private automobile fatalities 
per number of miles traveled as there 
are deaths on airway carriers. . . . 
(Continued on Page 21) 


July, 1935 

ht Tackle in Salt Water 


A SOLID steel, four and a half or five foot 
rod, as large a capacity fresh water reel 
as you can get and as much pole wrap- 
ping linen thread as you can comfortably get on 
the reel will provide an amazing amount of real 

Lose some fish? Oh yes, you will probably lose 
quite a few for some time until you get enough 
patience to let the larger fish play themselves 
out, but after that you need catch very few less 
than the "derrick and windlass" man, except 
when they are biting unusually fast, as, for in- 
stance, when you run into a school of trout. Then 
it will probably take you as long to land one fish 
as your companion takes to haul in three or four, 
if they are running fair size, but what of it? 

Isn't your primary object in fishing the sport 
and excitement of catching the fish? On almost 
any fishing ground a casual check will show that 
the majority of the tackle used for croakers, 
trout, sheepshead and red-fish is so heavy that 
it would be barred from a Tarpon Rodeo. 

If you are fishing for the harder fighting va- 
rieties such as large Reds and Jacks it is much 
better to have the regular salt water light tackle, 
which differs principally in having a reel capable 
of holding several times the amount of line that 
the ordinary fresh water reel can handle. 

A couple years ago I was out on Lake Catherine 
with a friend when we saw some Jacks feeding. 
Morrell had a light casting outfit with a silk 

line. He hung on an artificial minnow and we 
ran the Jacks down. On the first cast or two 
nothing happened, but about the third, something 
most decidedly did happen. The line went 
through the water as though it were attached to 
a double-charged Whitehead torpedo. Thumbing 
first with one hand and then with the other, there 
wasn't the least indication of turning that Jack 
and in much less time than it takes to tell it, the 
reel was stripped until the snap of the line in- 
terrupted the pitch of its steadily rising scream. 

Net results of that cast : one lost minnow with 
a few feet of line, two enormous water blisters, 
one on each thumb, the knowledge that fifty yards 
of silk line was emphatically not enough for a 
fish with such a disposition and a terrific kick 
for each of us. In fact, of all the fish we hooked 
that summer, none made nearly so lasting an 
impression as those few seconds of hopeless fight. 

This brings us to an auxiliary bit of equip- 
ment that should be added to your kit for this 
type of sport, the thumb stall. There are both 
leather and knitted ones on the market and many 
fishermen say that the knitted are the cooler and 
more satisfactory. In any event, if you expect 
to run into really fast fish, be sure to have at 
least one along. 

Another item not all hea\'y tackle fisher- 
men carry is either a gaff or a landing net. 

Of course, most of the fish may be landed by 
hand, but one of the danger spots with light tackle 



, ■■.,». i.a-^aaiaaMa aaAa--^^'^ \^^ %'»?! 

nebulosus (Cuvier and Valeuci 
jteemed for its game qualities 


Caranx hippos (Linnaeus). 
One of the Iiard fighting game fishes of Louisiana salt ■ 

is the period of lunging wlien the fish is brought 
close to the boat. There is no such thing as snub- 
bing a fish of any size and the tendency of the 
average fisherman to try just this is often the 
cause of the greatest loss. A properly handled 
landing net will reduce the loss greatly. 

There seems to be a fear among so many fish- 
ermen for their tackle when playing large fish. 
A moment's reflections, however, and it is evi- 
dent that no greater strain can be put on the 
tackle than the line itself can stand, and with a 
line of from ten to sixteen pounds test it requires 
careless or thoughtless handling to harm a rod 
or reel in proper condition. The hazards of line 
breakage are dependent upon the size and type 
of fish and the strain you put on it. In other 
words, no matter how large or fast the fish, as 
long as the reel is running free and no back-lash 
permitted, there will never be sufficient strain 
to break the line, but, unfortunately, a free run- 
ning reel seldom lands any fish, so you put the 
strain on both the fish and the tackle with your 
thumb pressure, either directly on the reel when 
you are allowing the fish to run, or on the han- 
dle when you are retrieving. 

With a bit of experience you soon become fa- 
miliar with the amount of pressure that it is safe 
to apply. 

Here is probably as g®od a place as any to put 
in a special warning about keeping light 
tackle in condition when it is being used 
in salt water. Any line should be washed 
in fresh water and thoroughly dried af- 
ter using and the fore end should be tested 
and broken as far back as it is weak be- 
fore tying on lures or hooks. This weak- 
ness is as much and often more, the re- 
sult of wear and fraying, than rotting, so 
no matter how carefully the line is cared 
for, it should be tested each time before 
starting fishing and if much casting is 
done it should be done several times dur- 
ing the day. 

A good reel and one properly taken care 
of often mean all the difference between 
a pleasant and an exasperating trip. 
Wiping the water out and oiling it at 
lunch time will often preserve a lot of 
profanity during the afternoon for other 

The capacity of the reel should be as 
great as can be had without its overbal- 
ancing the rod. At least a hundred yards 
of line will be necessary and this amount 
should go on easily so that swelling or 
piling-up of the line will not bind the reel 
when playing a fish. 
I have mentioned before a preference for the 
solid steel rod, though the split bamboo and tu- 
bular steel are used satisfactorily by many. With 
these more attention must be given to their care, 
and even so I've had several of the hollow steel 
ones rust so much from the inside that they broke 
under no more than ordinary strain. 

As to the line, a braided line is essential if any 
amount of casting is to be done. Customarily 
fifty yards of braided line is attached to a light 
linen filler and by the time it has worn to about 
thirty-five yards it is replaced with another. For 
live bait use, the lightest linen line is sufficient. 
Of course, in salt water fishing it is more or less 
necessary to have a wire leader and for this pur- 
pose I always carry a coil of light spring brass 
with a small pair of pliers to make them up as 

Differences of opinion as to the relative merits 
of the various artificial baits are limited only by 
the number of people who use them and every 
sporting magazine is so crammed with "Bests" 
that any empirical statement simply leads to ar- 

The Japanese use a sort of buck-tail ar- 
rangement made of 'air; some of the South 
Sea Islanders use feathers skipped over the 
water with small kites and everything in be- 
tween these and the proverbial clothespin have 



Sciaenops ocellata (Linnaeus). 
ibably the most popular of all salt water game fishes in 


July, 1935 

been used in salt water with varying degrees of 

Most of the fresh water varieties made for use 
on black bass or Muskallunge are very good, 
especially where white or speckled trout are run- 
ning, though many will swear by nothing but a 
spoon, or pork-rind. 

A few words may be said reasonably safely 
about the use of the different types : sinkers (that 
is, minnows which will not float) will probably 
prove more generally effective than the floating 
variety, but if used in shallow water by a be- 
ginner, have the aggravating habit of settling 
and hanging up on some obstruction while he is 
untangling the inevitable back-lash, whereas the 
floater lays safely on the surface until he starts 
to retrieve ; the sinker, because of its greater den- 
sity will bore better into the wind and give some- 
what longer casts; in addition it can be made to 
reach considerable depth by retrieving slowly, or 
allowing it to settle before starting reeling. Do 
not reel a minnow in at a steady gait, rather whip 
it in in a series of dashes, using both rod and 
reel for this change of pace, and you will be sur- 
prised how often the strike occurs at the time 
that the minnow is still rather than while it is 
moving. Remember that the fish will find out as 
quickly as he strikes that he has been duped and 
will almost immediately try to turn the minnow 
loose so as soon as you feel the fish hit it is neces- 
sary to strike back sharply to set the hooks and 
from then on any slack line usually means a lost 

These last two points should be kept in mind 
while working the bait so that the rod will not 
be brought so far back that there will not be suf- 
ficient lee-way for a good sharp strike when the 
fish takes the bait. 

As to the size fish that can be handled with 
this equipment — ^well, fish stories are fish stories, 
so we'll leave out the ones that have been caught — 
but only on three occasions have I had, or seen, 
fish take out the full hundred j^ards and break 
the line before turning. No attempts were made 
on tarpon with this tackle, and the only identified 
Jack was the one mentioned above. Whether a 
Jack would run out a hundred yard line or not, 
I do not know, since there was only fifty yards 
on the reel in this case, but I strongly suspect 
that he would strip off at least a hundred yards, 
so more line would probably be needed to handle 
one. For this fishing the standard light salt wa- 
ter tackle is recommended rather than fresh wa- 
ter equipment. The reels will then have ample 
capacity to care for the harder fighting fish. 

Until you have experienced it a number of 
times you will be amazed at the small amount of 
steadily applied pressure necessary to turn a large 
fish. In reality you use your hook as a horseman 
uses his spurs : to goad the fish into wearing him- 
self out by constant dashes which are not heavily 
resisted but just sufficient pressure used to cause 
him to veer around and keep him from resting. 

Sometimes a fish is particularly obs-tinate, but 
it is extremely rare that it is necessary to apply 
so much pressure as to break the line in order to 
get him to move, especially if patience is exer- 
cised during these sulking spells. With a fish 
that tends to sulk, the periods are generally more 
frequent and more prolonged at the beginning of 
the fight, whereas after he begins to tire, about 
the time that he really needs rest, he usually gets 
more frantic and rapidly wears himself down. 

Keeping a tight line throughout the 'fight is 
usually quite as necessary as in fi-esh water fish- 
ing. When the fish runs directly towards the 
boat, or at such an angle as to reduce the amount 
of hne in play, full use of both reel and rod should 
be used to keep the line from losing tension, but 
be careful of the time the slack is taken up and 
be ready to switch from handle to brake, since the 
jolt at this time is often very sharp and if the 
line is not broken, the reel may be pulled out of 
your hands and before you have time to thumb 
the reel it will have back-lashed and locked so 
that the fish can break the line with little effort. 

In the event of a tangled line, or all of the Hne 
being stripped off the reel, so that a break is in- 
evitable, straighten the rod in the direction of the 
pull and the only damage will be the broken line, 
whereas if you try to hold longer just with the 
tension of the pole and a line that cannot give 
you have a fair chance of breaking your rod and 
if he is a large fish, only the providential accident 
of his turning at that exact moment can save him 
so it isn't worth the chance. 

One problem that the light tackle fisherman 
faces in deep water is that when there is consid- 
erable tide or current the large sinkers used by 
the more heavily equipped are awkward to handle 
on a light rod. To reduce this nuisance more care 
should be given to the selection of the shape of 
sinkers and one, or more, of those shapes which 
give the best anchorage for the particular bottom 
should be used, such as the pyramid, mushroom, 
flat, etc. 

A good kink with sinkers, no matter what 

tackle is used, is to fasten the sinker to the line 

with a medium weight rubber band. If the sinker 

becomes fastened to some obstruction, straighten 

(Continued on Page 32) 


The Historic Indian Tribes of Louisiana 


Professor of Anthropology and Geography 
Louisiana State Uniyersity 


OUR first picture of the historic Indian 
tribes of Louisiana must be gleaned from 
the accounts of the Spanish and French 
explorers of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eigh- 
teenth centuries : DeSota, LaSalle, Iberville, and 
others. Excellent as some of these accounts may 
be, they leave the picture uncertain in many de- 
tails, and far from complete. Subsequent ac- 
counts and compilations of documents and reports 
carry down to the present day. Within the last 
fifty years or so professional ethnologists have 
entered the field, but unfortunately the survivors 
of the Louisiana tribes are few, and they have 
retained but little of their ancient customs. The 
major contribution of these later workers has 
been their critical evaluations and syntheses of 
the older accounts. 

In this paper the attempt is made to reconstruct 
the Louisiana scene about the time the Indians 
were making their first contacts with Europeans, 
around the year 1700. Free use has been made 
of secondary sources, in particular the bulletins 
of Dr. John R. Swanton, of the Bureau of Ameri- 
can Ethnology. A list of the principal references 
is appended. 

The Cultural Scene. 

Culturally, the tribes of Louisiana belong to the 
Eastern Maize Area, that portion of the eastern 
United States where agriculture takes its place 
with hunting, fishing, and the gathering of wild 
fruits as a source of subsistence. The tribes of 
this area may be classed as a semi-sedentary peo- 
ple, dwelling in villages along waterways, raising 
crops in extensive fields, and making use of the 
W'ild foods offered in considerable abundance. 

The familiar tipi or cone-shaped dwelling was 
missing in Louisiana. Instead there were a num- 
ber of kinds of semi-permanent houses. In the 
southern part of the State was the palmetto house, 
a thatching of leaves over a framework of poles, 
w'ith a single entrance and a smoke hole through 
the roof. In the north were still more pretentious 
houses, with framewoi-k of posts and poles, both 
round and square at the base, with domed roofs, 
plastered over with mud, and covered with pal- 
metto leaves or grass, and finally with mats. 

With a fire inside, a single entrance and no 
smoke hole, these houses afforded excellent pro- 

tection against mosquitoes and other insects. It 
seems probable that in the Red River region was 
found the grass house, a well-made, dome-shaped 
framework of poles, cleverly thatched with bun- 
dles of grass. 

At least during the winter months the fire was 
built inside the house, in the center. Around the 
walls were arranged the beds : four forked posts 
set in the ground, with a frame of canes covered 
with a cane mat. During the good weather of 
summer the cooking fire was built outside the 

Apparently a common feature of the domestic 
establishment was the granary: ". . . near their 
cabins, made like dovecotes, built on 4 large posts, 
15 or 16 feet high, well put together and well pol- 
ished, so that the mice can not climb up, and in 
this way they protect their corn and squashes".' 
Another type was dome-shaped, made of canes, 
and raised but a few feet off the ground. 

Of cultivated crops we find mentioned several 
varieties of maize, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, 
melons, squashes, and tobacco. There is frequent 
mention of beans, but no definite assurance that 
they were domesticated. Fields were prepared 
in a manner taken over by the Europeans. The 
undergrowth and vines were cut and piled on the 
ground. Then the trees were barked for a dis- 
tance of two feet above the ground. After drying 
for a couple of weeks a fire served to consume 
most of the refuse and to remove the foliage from 
the trees. A tool which served the functions of 
both mattock and hoe was made of a bent flattened 
stick. There were probably other hoes made of 
the shoulder blades of the buffalo. The planting 
stick was a straight shaft, pointed at one end, by 
means of which the ground could be opened to 
receive the seed. 

Of great importance was the gathering of vege- 
table foods that grew wild. There were seeds of 
the palmetto and pond lily, wild potatoes, fungi, 
a wild bean, persimmons, a great variety of ber- 
ries and nuts. Salt for flavoring was derived in 
the southern part of the State from sea water and 
from the near-surface deposits of the Five Islands, 
while in the northern part of the State it came 
from the "salines'" that are to be found there. 

Animal food varied somewhat through the 
State, though common to nearly all sections were 

lAs quoted in Swanton, BulL 43, p. 315, from Gravier. 


July, 1935 

the rabbit, deer, waterfowl, squirrel, and bear. 
Sufficiently abundant in the north to be an im- 
portant source of food and skins was the buffalo. 
Of corresponding importance in the southern part 
of the State were fish and shellfish. Great mid- 
dens composed of the shell of the common clam, 
Rangia cuneata, attest to its importance in the 
coastal sections. 

Important domestic utensils were mortars, bas- 
kets, and pottery. Mortars, so important to a 
corn-using people, were made of a short section 
of log, partially hollowed by burning, and stood 
on end. Pestles were likewise of wood : poles 
about four feet in length, made slender in the mid- 
dle for grasping. A variety of shapes and sizes 
characterized the basketry. There were tray-like 
winnowing baskets and sieves of different mesh. 
There were deep carrying baskets and shallow 

baskets with covers. The material used was split 
cane; the process was generally a simple weave. 
Of all the Louisiana tribes the Chitimacha of lower 
Bayou Teche were the most skilled. They still 
make baskets in the old patterns, with a technique 
more involved than that of most of the neighbor- 
ing people, and with an excellence of workman- 
ship that immediately distinquishes their product. 
The strands are dyed red, black, and yellow with 
native dyes, and skilfully interwoven to produce 
various designs. Pottery was made in a variety 
of shapes and sizes, to serve the same simple do- 
mestic uses as do our own pottery and metallic 
vessels. There were pots for cooking and storage, 
long-necked water bottles, and those that must 
have been largely decorative and ceremonial. At 
least some of the pots were decorated in a manner 
peculiar to the people making them. In large 





A Vilh^ whose locatton is fair/t^ certstn 
^ yz/la^ whose location is uncertain 

'CADDO I Lm^uiatiC groups snJ boundAriei 

O Frinkim Modern totvn 

The map shows the major linguistic divisions, tribes, and village sites. With regard to the latter the map is far from 
complete, but it does indicate the parallelism between ancient and modem trends of settlement. 


measure these distinguishing designs were incised 
on the clay pots before firing. Painted pottery- 
was definitely limited in distribution, and hardly 
to be considered characteristic. 

Of particular importance to the men were the 
weapons used in fighting and hunting. The bow 
was the most important. Acacia (possibly Aca- 
ciella) seems to have been the favorite wood, 
though at present they are frequently made of 
hickory. Arrows, particularly those for small 
game, were frequently not tipped, but the ends 
of the shafts were hardened in fire. The familiar 
stone point was used throughout Louisiana, the 
most common material being the cherty gravels 
that are found in the central and northern parts 
of the State, Those living in the stoneless, allu- 
vial lands of the coastal and prairie regions found 
it necessary to trade with friendly tribes to the 
north for the desired points. A rough-flaked, 
hand-shaped blank was the form, into which this 
material was worked for transportation. Other 
materials often served as projectile points : antler 
tines for hunting ; double-pointed pieces of bone 
for fishing arrows; great splinters of the same 
material for bear and buffalo points ; and scales of 
the gar fish to tip was arrows. Splints of dried 
cane were sometimes used on war arrows. These 
were especially troublesome to the Europeans, for 
the points would shatter, and, searching out the 
joints of plate and chain armor, would inflict 
painful wounds. 

For hunting small game the Louisiana natives 
used an unusual weapon, the blowgun. Modern 
specimens seem to be quite similar to the ones 
anciently in use. They are made of pieces of cane, 
about an inch in diameter and seven feet in length, 
which the carefully hollowed and straightened. 
Darts are made of cane splints from eight to 
twelve inches in length, feathered with thistle 
down at one end, and sometimes with a slight 
twist at the other. In practiced hands the weapon 
is surprisingly effective at short ranges. 

Fishing was significant, and with it went a 
variety of equipment. We find hooks made of two 
pieces of bone, lashed securely in the appropriate 
form. Fish were shot with bone-tipped arrows to 
which floats were attached, so that weapon and 
game might be rescued. There was the almost 
universal fish ti-ap with funnel-shaped entrance. 
Nets woven of cedar bast were quite common. The 
dugout canoes were apparently quite similar to 
our modern pirogues except that they were broad 
and blunt nosed at either end. Cypress was most 
commonly used, hollowed with fire, the latter di- 
rected with blowpipes and restricted with wet 
clay. DuPratz- describes a native boat forty feet 

in length by three in width. Canoes were always 
propelled with paddles, the oar being unknown. 
Swanton^ mentions a canoe made of elm bark, but 
offers no details regarding its construction. A 
craft used for ferrying was constructed of bundles 
of cane, a bottom tier in one direction, a second 
laid at right angles. 

These are some of the more significant elements 
of which the aboriginal cultural scene was com- 
posed. In their separate enumeration they con- 
jure no pictui'es; we may gather them into one 
composition and attempt to visualize an ancient 
Indian village along one of the bayous of south 

Irregularly placed on the high ground of the 
bayou bank are a dozen palmetto houses, each 
marked by the slow drift of smoke from the smoke 
hole up through the moss-festooned live oaks. 
Near each house is a granary, raised several feet 
above the ground on four posts. One of the 
houses is somewhat larger than the others; it is 
the chief's dwelling. Down the back slope toward 
the swamp is a deadening, with its barren skele- 
tons of girdled trees, and beneath them a heavy 
growth of tall corn. Pulled up on the bank along 
the bayou are a number of blunt-nosed dugout 
boats. Stretched over a pole is a drying fish net, 
while along the bank sits a scantily-clad man mak- 
ing a fish trap. A barefoot woman, whose single 
garment is a little skirt, emerges from one of the 
houses carrying an earthen jar, which she fills 
from the bayou. Another woman stands before a 
wooden mortar; the motion of the pestle is ac- 
companied by the chunck of wood against corn. 
An old woman sits under an oak, before her a pile 
of cane which she takes piece by piece and splits 
with her teeth. On the morrow she will make 
baskets. A few dogs wander from house to house ; 
there is no other domestic animal. A pirogue 
loaded with clams edges against the bank ; an ex- 
tensive pile of discarded shells and broken pottery 
indicates that the village is an old one. 

In the northern part of the State the scene 
would differ somewhat in detail. There the houses 
might be mat-covered or thatched with grass, and 
in place of the pile of shells would be green buf- 
falo hides stretched and pegged on the ground. 
But, in most essential respects, one would recog- 
nize that the two villages belong to the same gen- 
eral region. 

The Tribes and Their Areas 

The Indian tribes of 1700 residing within the 
bounds of present-day Louisiana may be divided 
into three linguistic families: Caddoan, Muskho- 

:As quoted in Swanton, Bull. 43, p. 67. 
sBull. 43, p. 347. 


July, 1935 

The two baskets at the ends are of modern Chilimacha make while the two in the center were made by the Choctaw of 
Bayou Lacomhe, St. Tammany Parish. The jug in the upper row is of European manufacture, but was found accompanying Indian 
pottery in a historic burial on the Angola penal farm. At the lower right is an iron implement or weapon of European origin 
found in an Indian burial on the Angola farm. 

This is the type of house that was in general use in the southern part of the State, and is quite similar to houses still 
Mr. James Ford, the artist, has in part drawn from an illustration in Bull. 30, B. A. E. 


gean, and Tunican.* Differences between lin- 
guistic families are so great that there is no in- 
dication that they are related in origin. French 
and German are of the same linguistic family, 
but of different family from Chinese. Within lin- 
guistic families are languages so different as not 
to be mutually intelligible, although demonstrably 
of common origin. Such was not the case in 
Louisiana, where the three linguistic families 
need division into smaller groups : 













Tunican proper 












Muskhogean proper 


Taensa (Tensas) 


The term tribe should properly refer to a poli- 
tical group. It is obvious that within a linguistic 
family or division there may be a number of 
tribes or political groups who have little in com- 
mon or may be actually antagonistic. The Lou- 
isiana tribes, with their linguistic affiliations, 
are indicated on the map. Figure 1, and in the 
following table: 








This list includes only the principal tribes. 
Numerous other tribal names are encountered in 

iSee Swanton in Bull. 43 and (with Gatscliet) Bull. 108. 

built by the Caddoan tribes. Other details include 
niddle right, supporting the remains of a deceased p 

the skin pegged 



July, 1935 

the literature and many local names are not even 
recorded. Small bands or villages were frequent- 
ly named by the white people for a prominent 
chief or a geographic feature, such as a lake or 
stream. The above-mentioned tribes represent 
those most clearly and presistently distinguish- 
able in early literature, though it is recognized 
that a number of them were composed of several 
distinct groups, as will be brought out later in 
the paper. 

For the purpose of fixing the ancient inhabi- 
tants of Louisiana more closely with the areas 
they inhabited we may profitably examine the 
geographical situations of the several tribal 
groups about the year 1700, before the extensive 
movements, initiated by the white influx, began. 
It is convenient to divide the State into six lin- 
guistic divisions: Atakapa, Chitimacha, Caddo, 
Tunica, Natchez, and Muskhogean, for, in addi- 
tion to linguistic unity, these divisions represent 
geographical unity, and, in a measure, cultural 

The Atakapa 

A glance at the map shows the Atakapa occupy- 
ing the prairies of southwestern Louisiana, from 
Bayou Teche to the Sabine, and from Opelousas 
to the coastal marshes. The country is well wa- 
tered, and provided an abundance of game, 
though the buffalo, strangely enough, is never 
mentioned for the area. Land fitted for agricul- 
ture is plentiful; the region possesses special re- 
sources with its prodigal supply of fish, shell fish, 
and water-fowl. 

While it is true that the Atakapa occupied a 
cultural level lower than that of their neighbors, 
they are undeserving of their ancient reputation 
as wandering cannibals. They were at least a 
semi-settled, partially agricultural people, occupy- 
ing a number of favorable sites along the water- 
ways of their country. 

At least four nuclear sites or groups of sites 
are recognizable for the Atakapa : along the low- 
er course of the Calcasieu and around the shore 
of Calcasieu Lake; along the lower Mermentau, 
from Nezpique Prairie to Grand Lake, and to the 
east along Bayou Plaquemine Brule; along the 
Vermilion, near the present site of Abbeville ; and 
a fourth, possibly divergent group, the Opelousa, 
near the present site of Opelousas. The probable 
locations of the villages are shown on the map. 

Swanton= estimates a combined Atakapa and 
Opelousa population of 2,455 for the time under 
consideration, 1700. 

The Chitimacha 

The tribes of Chitimachan stock were orientat- 
ed about lower Bayou Teche and Grand Lake, and 
at several points along Bayou Lafourche. The 
Chitimacha proper, who were possibly united by 
a single chief, occupied two groups of villages, 
those on the lower Teche and about Grand Lake, 
and along upper Bayou Lafourche. The Washa 
and Chawasha, two apparently independent 
Chitimacha-speaking tribes, originally had their 
villages on lower Bayou Lafourche, in the vicinity 
of modern Thibodaux. 

The section occupied by the Chitimacha is no- 
table for its complex network of waterways and 
its abundant provision of fish and shellfish. Ex- 
tensive accumulations of clam shells indicate an 
important source of food to supplement maize and 
other products of agriculture. 

Swanton*^ estimates an aboriginal population of 
2,625 for the Chitimacha proper, and 465 may be 
allowed for the combined Washa and Chawasha, 
that is, a total of 3,090 for all the Chitimachan 

Muskhogean Tribes 

Those tribes speaking Muskhogean languages, 
six in number, lived in the southeastern section 
of Louisiana. The Houma were found on the 
east bank of the Mississippi, in the vicinity of 
the Louisiana-Mississippi line. The village of the 
Okelousa is indefinitely located to the west of 
Point Coupee. In the vicinity of Pearl River were 
the six villages of the Acolapissa, while on both 
sides of Lake Pontchartrain were the Tangipahoa. 
The main village of the Bayougoula seems to have 
been in the vicinity of the modern town of the 
same name, a few miles south of Plaquemine, on 
the west bank of the Mississippi. Downstream 
from the Bayougoula on the same side of the 
Mississippi was the sixth tribe, the Quinipissa. 

It is notable that in no case were these villages 
far from a major stream or lake. If our infor- 
mation is correct the pine hills of the Florida 
Parishes were inhospitable to the primitive pop- 
ulation. Hunting, fishing, and agriculture were 
all better in the lowlands adjacent to the major 
water bodies. 

For these six tribes Swanton' estimates a pop- 

lin Mooney, Aborigh 
Mexico, page 10. 
"Mooney, page 10. 
^Mooney, page 10. 

al Population of America North of 



Illation of 3,385, without specifying the Tangipa- 
hoa, evidently including them with the Acolapisa. 

Natchezan Tribes 

In Louisiana there were two representatives of 
this linguistic group, the Avoyel and the Taensa 
(Tensas). The main Avoyel village was near the 
rapids of the Red, a short distance above modern 
Alexandria. Swanton locates an Avoyel village 
near modern Marksville. The Taensa were situ- 
ated in seven or eight villages near Lake St. Jo- 
seph, on the west bank of the Mississippi. 

Should the above-enumerated be the sum of vil- 
lages in the area assigned to Natchezan peoples 
in Louisiana, a large section between the Red 
and the Mississippi was virtually uninhabited. 
Archaeologic evidence indicates that such was not 
always the case, though it is entirely possible that 
for the period around 1700 the situation was as 
here indicated. Even in modern times the area 
abounds in fish and game, and there is abaundant 
alluvial soil for agriculture. 

For these two peoples Swanton allows a popu- 
lation of 1,155. 

TuNicAN Tribes 

The only certain representative of this linguis- 
tic group in Louisiana in 1700 seems to be the 
Koroa, whose village lay at some indefinite dis- 
tance to the west of the Taensa villages. There 
are suggestions that the Tunica proper had set- 
tlements on the west side of the Mississippi, while 
Swanton locates another Koroa group on the west 
bank of the Mississippi, in the vicinity of modern 
Fort Adams. ^ 

Again, for this section, archaeologic evidence 
would indicate a once abundant population. We 
must always recognize that shifts of groups were 
likely to take place, and did take place frequently, 
for various reasons. Though the country as- 
signed to the Tunican stock would appear to be 
a favorable one, the situation described was 
probably correct. 

Swanton makes no estimate for the Louisiana 
Tunican population, as distinguished from its 
more numerous representatives in Mississippi. A 
figure of 500 is ventured, and certainly it should 
be conservative. 

The Caddoan Tribes 

Apparently somewhat distinct culturally, as 
well as linguistically, were the Caddoan tribes of 
Louisiana. Their contacts seem to have pointed 
away from, rather than toward, the other Lou- 
isiana tribes. 

Though the Louisiana Caddo were at least a 
semi-agricultural people, their country offered 
buffalo in significant numbers. Very quickly the 


Though this mortar and pestle were made by a white 

man they are almost identical with those used hy the Indians. 

The same is true of the winnowing basket leaning against the 

Caddo took over the horse and other cultural 
traits that went with it, so they are generally 
counted a marginal Plains people rather than be- 
ing classed with members of the Southeastern 
woodland group. 

With one exception the Louisiana Caddoan 
tribes were situated along the course of Red 
River, from Alexandria northward. The excep- 
tion is the Washita, a Caddo people linguistically, 
who seem to have been located at some point on 
the Ouachita River. 

The Red River tribes were members of the 
Caddo Confederacy, an organization including 
member tribes in Louisiana, Texas, and Ar- 
kansas. The Louisiana tribes that were members 
of the confederation were : Kakohadacho, Natchi- 
toches, Yatasi, Adai, Doustionis, and Nanatsoho.'-' 

In his population estimate Mooney"' does not 
separate the Louisiana Caddoan peoples from 
those resident in other states. An estimate of 
2,500 seems not exhorbitant. 

sBuIl. 43, p. 327. 

sTlie first four are listed by Mooney in the 14th Rep. B. 
A. E., 1896, while Miss Fletcher adds the latter two, B. A. E., 
Bull. 30, pt. 1, 181. 

i"Aboriginal Population, p. 13. 



July, 1935 


This is a very brief picture of the aboriginal 
scene in Louisiana as it must have been about 
1700. In its essential outlines it must be correct ; 
it fails in detail. If we accept the general frame- 
work as correct, there are possible a number of 
generalizations. Along the vv'aterways were the 
villages, and there were conditions most favor- 
able for a people engaged in agriculture, hunting, 
and fishing. The streams were the main lines 
of travel, though foot travel was not uncommon, 
particularly when necessary to cut across drain- 
age lines. Streams did not form boundaries be- 
tween different tribes, but rather they were the 
roads between the settlements. 

The pine hills that today are among the less 
favored portions of the State were sparsely in- 
habited in 1700. The swampy lands between the 
Red and the Mississippi appear likewise to have 
been largely uninhabited, though evidence indi- 
cates that such was not always the case. 

With a total population of 13,000, aboriginal 
Louisiana had an average density of considerably 
less than one person to a squai'e mile, as com- 
pared with the more than 40 of today. True, 
the difference is very great, but it becomes less 
impressive when we consider that the difference 
is one of degree rather than of kind. A detailed 
density map for 1700 would show a marked paral- 
lelism to the one for 1935. The greater density 
along the streams, the sparse population of pine 
hills, swamp, and marsh would appear on both 
maps. It is a clear example of the persistence 
of site value through two widely divergent cul- 

The Remnants 

From the 13,000 aboriginal inhabitants of the 
Louisiana of 1700 but a handful of descendants 
remain in the State today. The census of 1930 
gives Louisiana an Indian population of 1,536, 
certainly of very much mixed blood, and includ- 
ing the descendants of tribes whose homes were 
originally in other states. 

The most considerable group is the 936 listed 
for Terrebonne Parish, and who may be seen in 
their little settlements along the bayous south 
of Houma. These people represent the mixed de- 
scendants of the Houma and refugees of other 
tribes. The six Indians given for Calcasieu Par- 
ish represent most of the Atakapa remaining in 
the State, while the 59 enumerated for St. Mary 
Parish include the bulk of the Chitimacha. These 
represent all the groups of the State thought to 
be descended from the Louisiana Indians of 1700. 

The 130 Coushattas (Koasati) living in Allen 
Parish came originally from Alabama, while 
there are groups of migrant Choctaw in St. Tam- 
many and LaSalle parishes. 


The picture presented here is very sketchy. It 
is not intended to be complete, nor could it be 
for want of detailed knowledge. It is hoped that 
it has served to convey a brief picture of the ab- 
original inhabitants of Louisiana at the time 
when they were making their first European con- 
tacts — a fleeting glimpse of a scene long extin- 
guished. It may serve as a base or key to the 
understanding of future studies, restricted in 
scope and detailed in treatment, that will follow 
intensive field work, now underway. 

A Selected Bibliography 

American State Papers. Public Lands. 1832- 
61. Indian Affairs. 1832-34. 

Gatschet, A. S. A Migration Legend of the 
Creek Indians. In Brinton's Aboriginal Amer- 
ican Literature. 1884. 

and Swanton, J. R. A Dictionary 

of the Atakapa Language, Bureau of Ameri- 
can Ethnology, Bull. 108. 1932. 

Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. 
ed. F. W. Hodge. Bureau of American Eth- 
nology, Bull. 30, pt. 1, 1906; pt. 2, 1910. 

Mooney, James. The Aboriginal Popidation of 
America North of Mexico, Smithsonian Miscel- 
laneous Collections, Vol. 80, No. 7, 1928. 

Read, W. A. Louisiana Place Names of Indian 
Origin, University Bulletin, Louisiana State 
University, Vol. XIX N. S., No. 2, 1927. 

Swanton, John R. Indian Tribes of the Loiver 
Mississippi Valley and Adjacent Coast J?f the 
Gidf of Mexico, Bureau of American Ethnology, 
Bull, 43, 1911. 

A Structural and Lexical Com- 
parison of the Tunica, Chitimacha, and Ata- 
kapa Languages, Bureau of American Eth- 
nology, Bull. 68, 1919. 

Eariy History of the Creek In- 
dians and Their Neighbors, Bureau of Ameri- 
can Ethnology, Bull. 73, 1922. 

Fifteenth Census of the United States: 1930. 
Population Bulletin, second series. Louisiana, 
Composition and Characteristics of the Popu- 
lation. Bureau of the Census, 1931. 



Report on the Black Widow 



Chief Biologist, Deoartment of Conservation 



Special Assistant 


NUMEROUS inquiries relating to the Black 
Widow received by the Department of Con- 
servation, together with the occurrence of 
instances of bite by this spider led James P. Guil- 
lot, Secretary of the Department of Conservation 
and Acting Director of the Bureau of Research 
to recommend the conduct of certain field studies 
and experiments which are herein reported. These 
studies were greatly aided by the excellent cooper- 
ation of various commercial houses manufactur- 
ing and distributing insecticides, both local and 
national companies. The aid contributed by each 
of these cannot be individually enumerated. 

There is no reason for hysterical alarm be- 
cause of the presence of this spider, nor is there 
any reason for curtailing in any way the recrea- 
tional use of areas wherein these spiders occur. It 
is simply desirable that the public recognize this 
spider, learn the possible serious results of its bite, 
and take necessary individual precautions to avoid 
undue exposure. In much frequented public areas 
simple available measures would be valuable in 
reducing the hazards of this species. Such logical 
action has already been suggested by the news- 
papers of New Orleans. 

The presence of poisonous snakes in Louisiana 
is generally known and appropriate precautions 
are observed. The presence of this poisonous 
spider should also be generally known, but knowl- 
edge of its existence, far from causing needless 
alarm to any sensible person, should simply en- 
courage reasonable care to avoid unnecessary in- 
jury. Dr. Emil Bogen, eminent medical authority 
on Black Widow bite, aptly remarks : "Poisonous 
spider bites could be, to a great extent, avoided 
if the general population were taught that these 
small and innocuous looking creatures are really 
dangerous and should not be tolerated in the vicin- 
ity of human beings." 

— -''^Black Widow 
The Black Widow is a poisonous spider, capable 
of causing by its bite serious injury and even 
death to adult human beings. There is no longer 

any controversy about the medical importance of 
this species. It is without doubt the most poison- 
ous North American spider. Bogen has summar- 
ized in two monographic papers the medical as- 
pects of this and related species, and it is signifi- 
cant of the medical interest aroused by the Black 
Widow that in his first paper Bogen lists no less 
than 462 bibliographic references, and in his sec- 
ond paper, 170 additional bibliographic citations. 
( Arachnidism, Spider Poisoning — Emil Bogen, 
M. D., Archives of Internal Medicine, 1926, Vol. 
38, pp. 623-632. Poisonous Spider Bites— Newer 
developments in our knowledge of Arachnidism 
— Emil Bogen, M. D., Annals of Internal Medicine, 
1932, Vol. 6. pp. 375-388) . Two further brief in- 
structive papers are : The Black Widow, Shoebut- 
ton or Hourglass Spider, hy W\ A. Hayward, -M. 
D., circulaj- B-659,. Bureau of Pub]ic Heaith Ser- 
vice, Washington, D. C, and the Black Widow 
Spider, circular E;345, the Bureau of Entomology 
and Plant Quarantine, Washington, D. C. The 
latter contains excellent illustrations which are 
herewith reproduced. Both may be secured by 
application to the Bureaus publishing them. 

Dr. A. W. Blair, in two papers recently pub- 
lished, contributes a comprehensive summary of 
our knowledge of the Black Widow. Blair con- 
tributes much valuable original data. These pa- 
pers are : Spider Poisoning, Exi>erimental Study 
of the Effects of the Bite of the Female Latrodec- 
tus Mactans in Man. Archives of Internal Aledi- 
cine, A. W. Blair, M. D., December, 1934, Vol. 54, 
pp. 831-843, 4 figures, and Life History of Latro- 
dectus Mactans, A. W. Blair, M. D., Archives of 
Internal Medicine, December, 1934, Vol. 54, pp 
844-850, 2 colored plates. 

The medical importance of the Black Widow 
was formerly far from clear since, as will be in- 
dicated below, the diagnosis of serious symptoms 
following the bite of this species was often faulty. 

The Black Widow although previously believed 
to be confined to the South is now known to occur 



July, 1935 

throughout most of the United States. In Louisi- 
iana it is of general occurrence in suitable habi- 
tats, and the writers have received and identified 
specimens from many parts of the State extending 
from the northern to the southern boundaries of 
Louisiana. The species is common in many parts 
of New Orleans including certain residential dis- 
tricts. There is every reason to believe that the 
Black Widow has occurred in New Orleans 
throughout historic times. Indeed, the first rec- 
ord of poisonous spider bite in the United States, 
as stated by Bogen, was published two hundred 
and nine years ago in the Philosophical Transac- 
tions of the Royal Society of London, by T. Robie 
(London, 1726, vol. 6). Many lines of evidence 
indicate that in parts of the country, at least, the 
species has increased in numbers during the past 
two years. Proper evaluation of such increase is 
difficult since only recently has the medical im- 
portance of the species become generally known 
with, as a result, increased observation and record 
of its occurrence. The species, however, is evi- 
dently more plentiful in the South. The hypothe- 
sis has been advanced by some investigators that 
the numbers of this species have mcreased due to 
general changes in water table. Dangerous illness 
and even death from the bite of a closely related 2^/ 
species (Latrodectus tredecimguttatus) have been Q^ 
repeatedly described from Spain, France, Italy ^'/j 
and Corsica. '1/ // 


The Black Widow {Latrodectus mactans) is a 
member of the so-called Cobweb Spiders, the 
Theridiiae. The Black Widow is closely related to 
the completely harmless common House Spider 
(Theridion tepidariorum) , and also to the harm- 
less False Black Widow, {Steatoda borealis) . 

The Black Widow gains its name from the fe- 
male's habit of killing and eating the male after 
mating. This peculiar behavior is shared by many 
other spider species. Other popular names are 
Shoe Button Spider, Hourglass Spider, Po-ko-moo 
(an Indian name) and Poison Spider. 

Black Widow females are the dangerous indivi- 
duals, since the males, possibly because of smaller 
size and weaker mouth parts, have not been known 
to harm man. 

The adult female Black Widow is unmistakable 
in appearance. Shiny black, with a highly globu- 
lar and relatively large abdomen, she has rather 
long, slender black legs. The color pattern, al- 
though somewhat variable, is highly diagnostic. 
Typically there is present on the under surface of 
the abdomen a conspicuous bright scarlet hour- 
glass, together with one of more circular scarlet 
spots in the neighborhood of the spinnerets. A 

variation frequently observed by the writers is 
the presence of a longitudinal row of three or four 
circular scarlet dots along the dorsal mid-line of 
the abdomen. Baerg reports the occurrence of 
completely black adult females lacking any trace 
of scarlet marking. The adult female Black 
Widow measures about half an inch from the tip 
of mouth parts to the tip of abdomen, but may, in 
normal standing posture, show a spread from 
front feet to hind feet of two to three inches. 

The male Black Widow is about half the size of 
the female, and displays a much different colora- 
tion. Considerable variation occurs. A typical 
pattern shows three pairs of lateral, oblique yellow 
to golden bands on the upper surface of the abdo- 
men, together with additional straw colored mark- 
ings. The ventral scarlet hourglass is present. 
The legs are marked with alternate yellow and 

The young female undergoes a series of transi- 
tional changes from a pattern resembling that of 
the male to the characteristic adult female design. 

Unlike certain spiders, the Black Widow does 
not jump, but has relatively long legs and can run 
quite rapidly. 

Preliminary field work has suggested that this 
animal is much more active at night than in the 
day. This conclusion has been borne out by the 
medical record which shows that the majority of 
bites have occurred at night or in early morning. 
This is of particular significance to those fre- 
quenting infested bathing beaches or picnic 
grounds in the late evening or night. 

Blair believes the usual life span of the female 
to be one year ; of the male, less. 


The web of the Black Widow is distinctive and 
useful as an index of the presence of the species. 
Loose woven and irregular so that scarcely two of 
the coarse strands lie in the same plane, the web 
is unusually strong. A simple test to distinguish 
between the web of the House Spider and that of 
the Black Widow is to stroke a straw through the 
structure. The web, in the case of the House 
Spider, will break without bending the straw, but 
in the case of the Black Widow the straw will 
bend or break before the web gives way. While 
usually rather small and in a sheltered place, their 
webs may often extend as much as six to seven 
feet, and may be entirely in the open. 

The Black Widow captures in its tough web the 
wide variety of insects and other animal life upon 
which it feeds. 

Egg Cocoon. 
The Black Widow deposits three to six hun- 
dred eggs, each about one twenty-fifth of an inch 



in diameter in a spherical or pyriform paper-like 
egg cocoon, whose external opaque silk surface 
may vary from white to buff in color. The egg 
cocoons of most related spiders have no such 
opaque covering, and can be distinguished at a 
glance because the eggs themselves can be seen. 
The young emerge from this egg cocoon through a 
small aperture after an incubation period that has 
been given as three to four weeks. This period 
varies with temperatures. Pale in color at first, 
these young are highly active, their strongest re- 
sponse being to climb against the influence of 
gravity. They also to some extent may avoid 
light. These factors lead to their dispersion. The 
young are recorded as highly cannibalistic and 
their numbers, because of this habit, are corres- 
pondingly reduced. Investigators have found 
that these eggs are exceedingly toxic, and care 
should be exercised in handling the egg sacs, since 
if one were mashed against an abraded portion 
of the skin, possible serious results may ensue. 
Another source of danger is that the spiders in- 
side of the egg sac may already be hatched. At 
this stage they are exceedingly active, and it may 
be quite difficult to catch and kill all of them if 
they get loose while tearing the sac. 


The Black Widow haunts relatively dry situa- 
tions. She is characteristically sQlitary, that is, 
one occupying each web. Webs may, however, be 
closely adjacent. If two adult female Black 
Widows are introduced into the same container, 
one will almost invariably kill and eat the other. 
The writers, however, found many instances in 
which the Black Widow was living closely adja- 
cent to other spider species. 

Typical occurrence around New Orleans is in 
cypress stumps, accumulations of trash, piles of 
stones and paving blocks, under steps, fence cor- 
ners, culverts, and in the burrows of animals. The 
Black Widow will also enter out-buildings, gar- 
ages, the housings of service meters, sleeping 
porches, and even occupied homes. Numerous 
specimens from all such situations have been re- 
ceived by the writers. 

Biting Mechanism. 

The poison apparatus of the Black Widow con- 
sists of a pair of poison glands which, in contrast 
with those of other spider species, are relatively 
large, although compared with the poison glands 
of snakes, they are surprisingly small. These 
glands which are located in the spider's head lead 
into small curved, hollow structures which move 
in a lateral horizontal plane and serve as an ef- 
ficient double hypodermic needle. 

As Blair has pointed out: "Strictly speaking 
this spider does not 'bite' at any time. It pierces 
the integument of its victim by means of a pair 
of extremely sharp, chitinous claws articulating 
on the basal segments of the chelicerae. The 
chelicerae are considered as modified anten- 
nae and constitute the first pair of appendages. 
They lie in front of and are attached--a?)ove the 
mouth parts. Near the tip of each claw is a small 
orifice through which the venom from the poison 
gland is discharged in the wound. The mouth 
parts are used only in pressing and sucking the 
fluid contents of the victim." 


The Black Widow is described as avoiding 
strong light, although the writers have observed 
specimens apparently at ease although fully ex- 
posed to noonday sunlight. The Black Widow 
fortunately is not aggressive, although under cer- 
tain circumstances if soniething vibrates her web 
she may rush excitedly tathe object and bite vio- 
lently at it. Experimentally controlled Black 
Widows ai-e sometimes only with difficulty in- 
duced to bite material offered to them. Most in- 
stances of human bite are due to the spider being 
caught in clothing and irritated by pressure, to 
the presence of these spiders in beds, or to the dis- 
turbance of these spiders in out-door toilets. The 
last category has been the cause of most reported 
cases of human injury. 

Black Widow Bite. 
The pain caused by the initial bite may be so 
slight that it may pass unnoticed. Usually, it is 
but the equivalent of two slight pin pricks. The 
colorless venom, which is a powerful neurotoxin, 
is extremely poisonous since in spite of its small 
quantity it may cause such serious results. It is 
evidently disseminated with considerable speed. 
The clinical evidence indicates a slower elimina- 
tion of the venom than in the case of snake venom. 
The symptoms may develop within from ten min- 
utes to several hours following the bite, and vary 
profoundly. The actual site of the bite usually 
reveals a small wheal, which is red or sometimes 
white and hard. Some itching and burning may 
be noted at the time. A frequent general symptom 

Lacoste Fur Co., Inc. 

Raw Furs and Alligator Skins 

316-320 Gravier St. 300-306 Tchoupitoula* St. 




July, 1935 

£'''/m/7?ofure /e/jya/e 

D-ZYecriy of /d'/7?a'/e 
C/r-o/7/- i/iew) 




Through ° 


of the ba. 

E. Immature fem 
k together with th 
r scarlet spots. 

THE BLACK WIDOW, Lalrodectus mactans Fabr. 
female dorsal and ventral views, the latter displaying the typical scarl 
spending upon the condition of the abdomen, and may consist of a t 
er of which rises an inverted triangle. 
Note the pair of genital bulbs in front of the head. 

f head of adult female. Note the sharp claws articulating on the basal segments of the chelicerae. 
injected into the wound. Note the appearance of the eight eyes. 

The pattern differs strikingly from the adult female since a scarlet band occurs along the mid-line 
pairs of lateral golden bars. As the female grows, this mid-line scarlet stripe breaks up into a row 
( After Circular E 345, U. S. Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine I 



is the development of sharp pain sometimes radi- 
ating from the site of the wound and often spread- 
ing over the entire body. The pain may be so 
severe that the body of the patient becomes con- 
torted because of its excruciating character. Such 
pain may be accompanied or followed by nausea, 
vomiting, difficult breathing, unsteady speech, 
profuse perspiration, with often a marked retard- 
ing of the heart action. Severe abdominal pain, 
accompanied by a board-like rigidity of the ab- 
dominal wall (with or without tenderness) may 
strongly suggest some acute condition such as 
appendicitis. This abdominal condition develops 
even though patient is bitten in an extremity. The 
development of a rash covering the body, accom- 

— Photographs by Benjamin F. Lecper. 

Two photographs of the same adult female Black Widow guard- 
ing her CBS sac. Left - viewed from below. Right — viewed from 
the side. The slender legs and typically high standing posture 
are clearly shown. (Approximately life size.) 

panied by intense itching, increased blood pres- 
sure and rise in white blood cell count to over 
twenty thousand are often symptoms. 

Contrasting the effects of a Black Widow bite 
with that of other spider species, Bogen in his 
later paper states : "Moreover, the astounding 
symptoms which develop after the bite of this 
spider are so striking and unique that there seems 
to be little danger of confusing it with any other 
form." Mysterious cases which have come under 
the writers' observation and which have been as- 
cribed to the bites of unknown flies are undoubt- 
edly Black Widow injuries, since such cases accord 
in their syndrome with the Black Widow clinical 
picture, and since further no species of insect 
capable of producing such violent symptoms is 
known to occur in Louisiana. 

Fever is usually low, seldom reaching 102. The 
average cases of Black Widow bite exhibit an 

abatement of these symptoms within a few hours, 
and the patient can usually be discharged within 
two or three days. Cei-tain cases of Black Widow 
bite which have come directly to the attention of 
the writers have had a more delayed recovei-y. 
One, the case of a physician, involved hospitaliza- 
tion for almost two months, and severe effects 
were still present after a lapse of five months. 
Bogen in an analysis of 380 cases of poisonous 
spider bite scattered through eighteen different 
states records a total of seventeen deaths. 

Blair's Description of Symptoms 

The three stages which progressively developed 
following a Black Widow bite are thus described 
by Blair, who, like Baerg, deliberately permitted 
himself to be bitten : 

"A study of the clinical picture in this case 
indicates three well defined stages in its develop- 
ment. Lymphatic absorption of the injected 
venom, as evidenced by the proximal progress of 
pain along the lines of lymphatic drainage, con- 
stitutes the first stage. It is characterized by 
pains in the bitten finger and in the arm and 
by the absence of general systemic effects. 

"Passing through the axillary lymph glands, 
the venom reaches the blood stream via the effer- 
ent axillary lymph channels, the subclavian lym- 
phatic trunk and the subclavian vein. This 
ushers in, secondly, the stage of vascular dissem- 
ination which is characterized, clinically, by the 
explosive onset of widespread agonizing muscular 
pains and a condition of profound shock. This 
was, in this case, the most painful and critical 
stage, and yet no mention of a period of shock 
in this condition has so far been encountered in 
the literature. Two possibilities may account for 
this discrepancy. 1. All persons bitten may not 

Mirandona Bros. 

311-13 S. Peters St. 

Raw Fvirs and Alligator Skins 

Phone MAin 2056 New Orlean., La. 

Bernstein Bros. 

Wholesale Raw Fur Dealers 

209 Decatur St. 


Cable Address 



226 West 26th St. 

Cable Address 




July, 1935 

receive a quantity of venom sufficient to induce 
the degree of shock obtained in this case. 2. The 
patient may have recovered from the condition 
of shock before coming under medical observa- 

"The third stage, that of ehmination of the 
venom or its toxic products, commences with the 
rapid recovery from shock. It is characterized, 
clinically, by hypertension, diaphoresis, gradually 
diminished muscular pain, a slight rise of tem- 
perature, polymorphonuclear leukocytosis and 
urinary evidence of renal damage. This clinical 
picture, coupled -with the slight headache and 
edema of the face and ankles, is very suggestive 
of the development at this stage of an acute 
(toxic) nephritis. The damage to the kidneys 
probably results from the attempted elimination 
of the venom or its toxic products by that route. 

"The development in man during convalescence 
of any degree of immunity to the venom of this 
spider remains unproved. I was presented with 
the opportunity of deciding this point, but lacked 
the courage to submit myself to a possible repeti- 
tion of the first experience. Degrees of immu- 
nity to the bite of this spider can be developed 
in animals and, on the assumption that man re- 
acts likewise, convalescent serum has been used 
therapeutically. The results so far obtained are, 
however, inconclusive. 

"Lacking the history of a spider bite, or an 
acquaintance with the clinical picture which it 
may produce, one might well be excused for mis- 
taking the symptoms for one of several acute 
conditions. Thus a perforated peptic ulcer, acute 
pancreatitis, ruptured ectopic pregnancy, tabetic 
crisis, ruptured appendix with generalized peri- 
tonitis and renal or biliary colic may be consid- 
ered in arriving at a diagnosis. Similarity be- 
tween the clinical picture presented in poisoning 
by this spider and perforated peptic ulcer, par- 
ticularly, has subjected the patient, on more than 
one occasion, to the added risk of surgical inter- 

Emergency Treatment 
Emergency treatment of Black Widow bite dif- 
fers considerably from that of snake bite. Cut- 


rar ihe Same Price [e 



ting and suction of the wound appear to be of 
little value since the venom spreads speedily, and, 
furthermore, cutting often results in serious sec- 
ondary infections. Sterilization of the site of the 
wound with iodine solution is recommended by 
medical authorities. Applications of cloths soaked 
in a hot fifty percent aqueous solution of ordinary 
epsom salts afford local relief. The patient should 
be kept quiet, and as in the case of snake bite noth- 
ing whatever alcoholic should be given. Seda- 
tives to relieve the pain may be administered, al- 
though they are often surprisingly ineffective. 

Medical Treatment. 

Baerg in his valuable study of the effects of 
the venom, a study accomplished by deliberately 
permitting the spider to bite him, found that hot 
baths considerably prolonged and repeated several 
times a day gave decided relief from the pain. The 
hot water not only stopped the pain for the dura- 
tion of the bath, but appreciably lessened the 
pain that returned later. Application of dry heat 
alone failed to aid. (Some Poisonous Arthropods 
of North and Central America, W. J. Baerg. 
Fourth International Congress of Entomology. 
1928. Vol. 11 (1929), pp. 418-438.) 

Hayward states that the abdominal pain can of- 
ten be relieved if the patient is placed in a prone 
position and pressure applied over the lumbosac- 
ral region. 

Since the time of Bogen's monograph, Drs. 
Becker and D'Amour of the University of Denver, 
have worked out a specific antivenin for the bite 
of the Black Widow, which is reported to have 
been recently used with success for the first time 
in human cases during the last several months. 
(Francis Becker and Fred D'Amour. Society 

Make the 


Your Home When in Lake Cheirles, La. 
You Will Be Pleased with the Service 

CRescent 1101 

CRescent 1102 

n/ Sncfruders 





Press and Marais St». New Orleans, La. 



for Experimental Biology and Medicine, 1934, 
Vol. 32, pp. 166-167.) 

It is clear in any event that where serious symp- 
toms follow the Black Widow bite, the treatment 
should be at the hands of a physician. 

Blair, in his excellent paper, presents a com- 
pact summary of treatment: 

"Rational therapeutic measures in combating 
the effects of the venom injected by the bite of 
Latrodectus mactans should recognize the follow- 
ing points : 1. The reaction is due to the instan- 
taneous injection, through a very minute skin 
puncture, of small quantities of venom, followed 
by rapid lymphatic absorption. 2. The subse- 
quent vascular dissemination of the venom 
throughout the body may result in the develop- 
ment of a condition of shock. 3. Recovery in- 
volves the neutralization or elimination of the in- 
jected venom. 4. The development of an acute 
nephritis in the later stages is indicated. 

"The minute skin punctures, the rapid absorp- 
tion and the small amount of venom capable of 
producing such a severe reaction in man make 
it unlikely that local applications can exert any 
appreciable neutralizing effect on the injected 
venom. A sharp 'X' incision through the site of 
the bite, if made in the first few minutes after 
the accident, probably offers the best possibility 
for an early elimination of the venom. 

"Treatment of the shock as seen in the second 
stage of this condition involves the use of the 
accepted means for counteraction. Thus, the 
adoption of measures tending to a restoration of 
capillary tone and blood volume are indicated, 
while the use of cardiac stimulants is contrain- 
dicated. The use of large doses of alcohol for 
the relief of pain is to be condemned, in view of 
its tendency to accentuate and prolong the much 

Phone MAin 3579 


Manufacturing Stationers 


234-238 Chartres Street 

New Orleans 

more serious condition of shock. For the 
same reason, morphine, in the notoriously high 
dosages found necessary for relief of the asso- 
ciated agonizing muscular pains, should, at this 
stage, be used with caution. In my case immer- 
sion in a hot bath gave immediate and marked 
relief from pain. It may be merely a happy coin- 
cidence that it also marked the termination of 
the period of shock and the initiation of a pro- 
gressive general improvement. Baerg also re- 
marked on the relief given by frequent hot baths, 
and it is said that in Russia baths are used ex- 
tensively in the treatment of the bite of the closely 
allied species, the 'Karakurt,' found in that coun- 

"In view of the clinical indications of the de- 
velopment of an acute nephritis, treatment dur- 
ing the third stage should be directed to giving 
rest to the kidneys. On the assumption that the 
damage to the kidney arises during the elimina- 
tion of the venom or its toxic products, the adop- 
tion of measures tending to aid in their possible 
elimination by other routes is indicated. The pa- 
tient should be placed in a warm, well ventilated 
room, between woolen blankets and surrounded 
by hot water bottles. Frequent hot baths should 
be given. An intake of fluid sufficient to satisfy 
the patient's thirst should be encouraged, but in 
view of the damage to the kidneys fluids should 
not be forced. For the relief of pain and to se- 
cure rest, morphine may, at this stage, be used 
even in fairly high dosage. Spinal puncture is 
said to give considerable relief in many cases. 

"The use of specific antivenins and convales- 
cent serum in this condition must await the col- 
lection of further clinical and experimental data 
before the therapeutic value of these agents can 
be safely estimated." 

Control Measures. 

The writers have examined many areas in and 
around New Orleans for the occurrence of Black 
Widows during the past three weeks, and both in 
the laboratory and in the field have conducted an 
extensive series of experiments concerning the 
effects of various types of sprays on this spider. 

It is desirable to point out again that New Or- 

American Bank & Trust Co. 

200 Carondelet Street 

New Orleans, La. 


Licensed by Authority of the U. S. Government 

Member Federal Reserve System 



Jtdy, 1935 

leans has long been a notable center for research 
and progress in pest control, and that many com- 
mercial manufacturers of insecticides, have 
worked out, after much investigation, sprays ef- 
fective in killing the Black Widow. In fact, of 
the forty or more such substances tested out by 
the writers, only some three or four proved in- 
effective. The writers, however, wish to warn 
against the handling of Black Widows following 
spraying, since a frequent result of the applica- 
tion of a spray is that the spider, after appearing 
dead for a period, recovers, and becomes tempor- 
arily capable of inflicting a serious bite. 

Spiders are not insects and have a different 
breathing mechanism from insects. Probably for 
this reason few insecticides work rapidly but 
rather require minutes or even hours to kill when 
used under normal, exposed conditions. Often 
during the interval between the time the spider is 
sprayed and its death the animal will, due to the 
irritation, become agitated, leave its web and bite 
viciously at anything with which it comes in con- 
tact. Consequently, in spraying, one should be 
on the look-out and crush them as soon as they 
emerge from hiding. 

The writers also found that in nearly all in- 
stances direct application of the spray on the 
spider is necessary. 

Control measures for the Black Widow are 
simple, available, and highly desirable. It is the 
opinion of the writers that they should consist of 
periodic inspection of premises to determine the 
presence of this spider. Three means of noting 
its presence are available : first, the distinctive 
color and appearance of the adult female ; second, 
the distinct irregularity and unusual strength of 
the web; third, the paper-like opaque ovoid egg 
cocoon. When the presence of the spider is es- 
tablished, it should be searched for and destroyed, 
its egg sac located and burned. 

Control measures, as far as private property 
is concerned, must reduce themselves to the sim- 
ple practice of "each man looking after his own 
backyard." The destruction of the spider itself 
inside houses must be accomplished by the use of 
commercial insecticides, of which, as already 
stated, very many are both available and effici- 
ent. Periodic cleaning out of accumulated trash 

Battery and Electrical SpecieJist 

EXIDE Batteries 

BOSCH Magnetos 

CHAMPION Spark Plugs 

and rubbish, whitewashing with kerosene and lime 
in sheds and out-buildings will serve to reduce 
them. For use in yards, garages, out-buildings 
and out-door toilets, a spray of pure creosote has 
been recommended by the Bureau of Public Health 
Service in Washington, D. C. This substance, the 
writers found, did not possess the expected rapid- 
ity in killing the adult spiders, but it did prove to 
be highly repellent. Creosote kills vegetation, 
damages paint and is irritating to human skin. 

For use about old stumps, fences, concrete walls 
and similar situations where destruction of paint 
or plant life is not involved, the writers found a 
suspension of powdered unslaked lime and kero- 
sene oil to be extremely effective. In use the lime 
should be kept agitated and the mixture can be ap- 
plied with an ordinary hand spray gun. A mixture 
of roughly fifteen percent lime proved easy to 
use, and was found to kill adult spiders in less 
than thirty seconds. The substance must strike 
the spiders, since no effective fumes are produced 
by it. The use of lime-kerosene was made by the 
writers at the suggestion of Dr. W. L. Tower, who 
was familiar with its use in spider control in 
Tropical America. 

It is the opinion of the writers that it would be 
desirable for the appropriate agencies to take 
some measures to reduce the numbers of Black 
Widows in much frequented public places. Cer- 
tain public agencies have already volunteered 
assistance in carrying out such work. It is not 
the province of the Department of Conservation 
to supervise such activities, but it is the opinion 
of the writers that the proper authorities could 
accomplish effective results by conducting some 
such work at proper intervals. Such work need 
neither be expensive in labor nor time, and would 
accomplish the desirable end of reducing the haz- 


Quong Sun Co., Inc. 

Dried Shrimp and Fish Packers 

525-27 St. Louis St. New Orleans, La., U. S. A. 


Lake Charles' Newest Fire Proof, 

175 Rooms, All Baths, Running 

Ice Water, and Ceiling Fans 

857 Carondelet St. 

Phone RA. 1035 






ards from this spider in places whei'e the public, 
during recreation, might otherwise possibly be 

Children should be taught the appearance of 
the Black Spider so that they will avoid this spe- 
cies whose attractive color might arouse their 

In any region a considerable untouched area 
of possible natural habitat will exist, and will 
continue to serve as a reservoir for the species. 
Correspondingly, clearing up operations such as 
destumping and cutting of undergrowth must take 
into account the possible migration and dissemin- 
ation of the individuals of this species. 

In conclusion, the writers wish to suggest the 
desirability of the following four points : 

1. The periodic examination of private 
premises and the exercise of control 
measures therein. 

2. Some measures to reduce to a mini- 
mum the numbers of these spiders in 
much frequented public places. 

3. The extreme desirability that children 
be taught to know and avoid this 
spider. Teachers can secure on ap- 
plication to the Bureau of Entomology 
and Plant Quarantine, Washington, D. 

C, a circular, the illustrations of 
which (also reproduced herewith) 
will serve as an adequate chart. 

4. It seems possibly desirable that some 
appropriate agency list the persons 
who have been bitten by the Black 
Widow so that the convalescent serum 
found useful in treatment might be 

The writers wish again to emphasize that there 
is no need to become hysterically alarmed about 
the presence of this spider, but that there is every 
need to exercise reasonable precautions in reduc- 
ing to a minimum the dangers of being bitten. 

The newspapers of New Orleans have accom- 
plished an excellent service in bringing to general 
public attention the character and occurrence of 
this spider. 

There is nothing controversial about the Black 
Widow, its presence here is clear, the possible 



Manufacturers of 

Southern Yellow Pine and Hardwood 
Lumber and Timber, Veneer, Oak 
Flooring and Box and Crate Shocks. 

serious effects of its bite are firmly established 
by careful studies available in medical literature, 
and the sole purpose of the Department of Con- 
servation's interest has been to bring the atten- 
tion of the public to this matter with which the 
concern of the Department of Conservation now 
terminates in this report. 

Death Takes No Holiday 

(Continued from Page 1) 

"The most dangerous hour is from 5 to 6 in the after- 
noon, judging from the percentage of accidents which 
occurred during that hour. However, the fatality rate 
was higher for other hours. It is significant that from 
6 a. m. to 6 p. m., the normal daylight hours, there were 
459,510 automobile accidents, in which 15,050 persons 
were killed; from 6 p. m. to 6 a. m., the normal hours of 
darkness, when the volume of traffic is one-fifth as great 
as in the daytime, 422.490 accidents occurred, in which 
30,950 persons were killed. The rate of death per acci- 
dent was 51.4 percent worse during the hours of darkness 
than during the hours of daylight. This means that the 
hours of darkness are several hundred percent more dan- 
gerous than the hours of daylight, although it is customary 
to drive just as fast at night as in the aaytime. . . ." 

Representative Lundeen, in his outline of a program 
to reduce this grim price that the United States pays for 
the privilege of automobile transportation, states that: 
"Education, generally considered the keystone of the 
arch, is the most needed of all activities to reduce acci- 
dents." He commends the accomplishment of school 
safety patrols sponsored largely by the American Auto- 
mobile Association who are now also sponsoring a course 
in high schools to teach and train youngsters to become a 
generation of better automobile drivers. 

Adult education, which is the most needed, is the most 

Legislation, good highways and other contributions of 
traffic engineering, together with enforcement of traffic 
regulations, though they conti-ibute so immensely to safe 
transportation, are nevertheless powerless to eliminate 
this tragic toll of travel without the intelligent individual 
cooperation of the man behind the wheel. 



Part Two of the discussion of the Gulls, Terns 
and Skimmers of Louisiana will appear in the 
next number of the Louisiana Conservation Re- 




and Lo 

rline Str 

Auto Repairs — Generators — Ignition Work 

Cars Washed, Stored and Greased 
Crank Cases Drained and Refilled 

Manager WAlnut 2992 

Lake Charles Bank & 
Trust Co. 

Lake Charles, La. 

Thoroughly Equipped to Handle All 
Business Pertaining to Banking 



July, 1935 

Wild Flowers of Louisiana 

Part III 


Assistant Professor of Botany, Louisiana State University 

THE alluvial soils consist of sediments de- 
posited by streams and bayous over a long 
period of time. The Louisiana alluvium 
lies roughly between the Mississippi and the At- 
chafalaya River systems. To the east of the 
Mississippi River it extends from below the bluffs 
at Baton Rouge southeastward to Lake Pontchar- 
train. West of the Atchafalaya River it extends 
to the bluffs in the vicinity of Lafayette and to 
the prairies of southwest Louisiana. Southward 
it extends to the Gulf of Mexico. Near the Gulf, 
the timbered swamps are replaced by extensive 
fresh water marshes which are fringed on the 
southern edge by the salt water marshes. Each 
has a characteristic vegetation consisting chiefly 
of grasses, sedges, and rushes; plants which do 
not produce conspicuous or attractive flowers. 

Although Cypress swamps once covered large 
areas and hardwood swamps are still extensive, 
better than half of this region is arable land. 
Much of the cultivated land lies along the water- 
ways where, as the result of natural levees, the 
land is the highest. The ground slopes away from 
the streams into the permanent swamps. 

The alluvial areas of lower Louisiana are spot- 
ted with an ever changing succession of floral 
colors from March until frost. 

The Spider Lily (Hymenocallis occidentalis) on 
account of the delicate, intricate structure of its 
fragil'e flower is worthy of considerable atten- 
tion. Its fragrance wafted about by the gentle 
breezes is pleasing, but its allure is lost to many 
when the heavy odor is confined. It is extremely 
abundant in swampy places and seeing hundreds 
of these beautiful, white flowers in full bloom 
leaves an impression similar to that of a green- 
house full of stately Easter Lilies. 

The Swamp Lily (Crinmn americanum) is a 
close relative of the Spider Lily, differing from 
it mainly by the presence of reflexed perianth 
segments and the absence of a membranaceous 
crown. It is particularly abundant around the 
shores of Lake Pontchartrain. 

The Water Hyacinth {Piaropus crassipes) on 
account of its abundance and very .striking ap- 
pearance is perhaps more widely known than any 

other plant in the bayou regions. It covers acres 
and acres of bayou surface with its beautiful 
bluish to lavender blossoms, set above a carpet 
of glossy green. One cannot but marvel at the 
peculiar structure of the plant which enables it 
to float on the surface of the water. The petiole 
of the leaf is swollen and contains large cells and 
large intercellular air spaces. The entire plant 
is more or less spongy and the texture is rather 
coarse. It is remarkable how such a soft, spongy 
plant can clog the propellors of boats, as well as 
retard the passage of the lone pirogue. 

Violets are common in Louisiana and many of 
them grow in the alluvial section. Just how many 
species occur in the state is not definitely known, 
but more than twenty species have been reported. 
A place, blue violet ( Viola Langloisii) , which is 
common around Baton Rouge and elsewhere in 
the state, was named for Father A. B. Langlois, 
who published a catalogue of plants of lower Lou- 
isiana in 1887, after spending many years of his 
life in the neighborhood of Point-a-la-Hache and 
St. Martinville. A white violet, the Primrose- 
leaved Violet (Viola primulifolia) which occurs 
along the streams and in moist places has pale 
green, glabrous leaves, elliptic to ovate in shape, 
and long, white stolons which extend underground 
from plant to plant. The flowers are white, and 
bloom normally from February to April, although 
a few often open as early as in January. The 
Bird's-foot Violet (Viola pedata) which has the 
largest and most conspicuous flower of our na- 
tive violets is so-named because of the leaves be- 
ing deeply cleft. It occurs most frequently in the 
Longleaf pine hills, especially in the parishes of 
Tangipahoa, Washington, Rapides, Beauregard, 
Natchitoches, and Winn. Viola rosacea has beau- 
tiful rose-purple blossoms and is apparently the 
most common species in south Louisiana. The 
Lance-leaved Violet, (Viola vittata) , a white 
flowered species, is at home in the moist flat 
woods between Hammond and Abita Springs. 
Walter's Violet ( Viola Walteri) is a creeping vio- 
let of the pine woods which has bluish flowers 
and differs from the others by its creeping stem, 
and by its small, heart-shaped leaves. Lovell's 



Violet {Viola Lovelliana) , named lor Mrs. Phoebe 
Lovell of Crowley, Louisiana, has leaves which 
may be entire or variously cut on the same plant. 
Its flowers are blue. 

The wild Verbenas grow in Louisiana in great 
abundance. There are many species, some of 
which occur almost everywhere. It is probable 
that several of these could be used for ornamental 
purposes. As a matter of fact, certain species 
are now being used in California. One of our 
species best adapted to cultivation is the perennial 
Verbena rigida which occurs in dense patches. 


Hymenocallis occidentalis (LeConte) Kunth. 

Amaryllis Family Amaryllidaceae 

The spider-lily is a fragile flower and cannot stand the buf- 
feting of the wind or the beating of rain. It is quite desirable as a 
cut flower because the buds continue to open for two weeks after 
it has been cut. It has a fragrance which, if confined in a room, 
is too heavy for many people. It is readily transplanted and thrives 
if given a sunny spot with plenty of moisture. 

The long, fleshy, green leaves come from an underground 
bulb several weeks before the flower stalk is produced. The flower 
stalk towers above the leaves and bears a cluster of white flowers. 
The long, narrow, white perianth segments spread outward as the 
flower opens and inside is a white membranaceous crown to which 
the stamens are attached. The seeds resemble green plums, being 
large, fleshy, and green, and start to grow soon after they drop 



It blooms from March to April. 

Wide. spread in southern Loui: 
frequent in the northern 
swampy places. 

Elxplanation of plate. Figure one-half n 

luisiana in swampy plac 
f the state, along strea 

The brilliant crimsom to lavender blossoms are 
very attractive to the eye. It is very abundant 
along the roadsides. V. littoralis, V. Bonariensis, 
V. xutha, V. bracteosa, V. urticaefolia, and V. 
Halei are some of the common species. Many of 
them besides being decorative are important nec- 
tar-producing plants. In fact, V. littoralis is com- 
monly called the New Orleans Vervain by bee- 
keepers who regard it as an important honey 
plant. It was so named because of its abundance 
in the beekeeping section in the vicinity of New 
Orleans. It is, however, widely distributed in 
south Louisiana and is prevalent on most alluvial 

The Jack-in-the-pulpit recalls to mind the de- 
lightful nature poem by Clara Smith. The struc- 
ture of this plant is quite different from what 
most people suppose. The flowers are placed on 
the lower half of the spadi.x. This in turn is en- 
closed by the striped spathe which terminates in 
a canopy over the spadix. What one commonly 
considers the flower is in reality an attractive ac- 
cessory, for the tiny flowers are hidden on the 
inside. By summer, a bright red cluster of ber- 
ries on a semi-decaying stem is all that is left 
above ground to mark the splendor of the Jack- 
in-the-pulpit. The name, Indian Turnip, which 
has been given to the underground stem of this 
plant has led many an unsuspecting victim to 
sample the fiery corm, urged on by those previ- 
ously initiated. Certain crystals called raphides 
which are found in the cells of the corm have the 
power of penetrating the tissues of the mouth and 
feel like thousands of red hot needles. It is said 
that the Indians dried or cooked these corms to 
render them edible. In Louisiana we have two 
species, Arisaeiyia triphylliim and A. quinatum. 
The former has two trifoliate leaves which shade 
the flower cluster whereas the latter has two 
leaves with five divisions to each leaf. The Gi-een 
Dragon (Muricanda Dracontium) is a close rela- 
tive of the Jack-in-the-pulpit from which it dif- 
fers by the long, narrow, twisted spadix closely 
covered by the green, curled spathe, and by the 
much divided, solitary leaf. 

The Evening Primrose {Oenothera speciosa) 
is better known in lower Louisiana at "Butter- 
cup". Nature blends the pink and the white blos- 
soms of this plant into delightful combinations 
with other species along the roadsides, levees, and 
canal banks. It is widely distributed in lower 
Louisiana and one can find literally miles of it 
along the Old Spanish Trail. It is especially 
abundant from Morgan City to New Iberia. 

Butter Weed or Yellow Top {Senecio glabellus) 
brightens many an acre with its golden blossoms. 
It adds color to the fallow fields from the middle 



July, 1935 

of February into April. The flowers of the Blue 
Toadflax {Linaria canadensis) which dance and 
flutter in the March winds lend a pastel blue to 
the fields in early spring. 

The Large-seeded Forget-me-not (Myosotis 
macrosperma) is not as attractive as some of its 
close relatives which are so commonly seen along 
the streams in the northern states or are culti- 
vated in our gardens. The small, white flowers 

which barely peep out of the enlarged calyces are 
scattered on the stiff branches. It is called "ma- 
crosperma" because its seeds are larger than 
those in most other species. 

Blue Stars or Blue Dogbanes {Amsonia salici- 
folia and A. rigida) are common in lower Lou- 
isiana whereas the "Creole Phlox" (A. ludo- 
viclana) is apparently quite rare. All of these 
plants produce from one to several erect, leafy 


Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Gricsb. 

Amaranth Family Amaranthaceae 

This plant with its smooth, shiny, green, succulent leaves and 
stems with button-like clusters of white flowers makes an attrac- 
tive border for the margins of ditches, bayous, and lakes. It has 
a tendency to spread, until it completely covers the surface of the 
water. Its long tangled stems, and the rapidity with which it 
grows, makes it a strong rival of the water hyancinth for the clog- 
ging of the waterways. It also grows in drier habitats such as 
lawns, and cultivated fields. It is a serious pest in the straw- 
berry fields of the Florida parishes. The soft juicy stems are rel- 
ished by cattle for food. 

The shiny, green, succulent stems with opposite leaves, and 
button-like clusters of white flowers which arise in the axils of 
the leaves readily distinguish this plant. 

It blooms from spring until frost. 

There are several closely related species in Louisiana; A. repens 
(L. ) Kuntze, A. Polygonoides, L. are procumbent plants with 
sessile clusters of white flowers: A. ramosissima Mart is a plant 
similar to A. philoxeroides, but differs in that the leaves are obo- 
vate. and the flowers are borne on peduncles longer than the 


Iris Fulva Ker. 

Iris Family Iridac 

Louisiana can justly be called the "Iris State" bet 
native species are known to occur in Louisiana than in 
state. Irises are of various colors, and the combinations 



It is V 
ditches, wa 

widely distributed 
ste places and c 

in southern Louisiar 

a. along streams, 

each cavitv. This species 
species by the lack of a d 


of Plate. 


1. One-half nat 

jral size. 


2. Four and on 

e-half times natural 


blooming usually in April. 

or can be secured by hybridization are almost unlimited- 
include reds, purples, blues, and whites with a multitude of inter- 
mediate hues. The variety of colors found in native species sur- 
passes those of the cultivated forms and consequently the wild 
iris is highly prized by gardeners. 

Iris plants are easy to transplant and they will grow under a 
wide range of moisture conditions, in both swampy and well 
drained soils. 

The Copper-colored Iris was first discovered in 1611 in the 
vicinity of New Orleans. It is a perennial plant with stout root- 
stalks, basal leaves, and a reedy, erect flower stalk with leaf-like 
bracts. The flowers vary from red to copper-red, orange-red, sal- 
mon colored and occasionallv yellow. The arched, spreading sepals 
(Falls) are larger than the droooing pe.als (Standards). The style 
branches arch over the sepals and under each style is a stamen. 
The fruit is a six-angled capsule with usually two rows of seeds in 
adily distinguished from all other 
:t crest to the sepals and by the 



stems, one to four feet tall from a perennial root- 
stalk. The top third of the stem is crowned with 
a pyramidal cluster of bluish flowers. A. salici- 
folia is abundant in the moist woods of Iberia 
Parish and scattered elsewhere. A. salicifolia 
and A. liidoviciana are pubescent on the outside 
of the corolla, whereas A. rigida is glabrous. A. 
ludovickma can be distinguished from A. salici- 
folia by the white, tomentose undersurface to its 
leaves. Texas Star (A. Tabeiiiaemontaym) has 
been collected near Hammond, Louisiana. These 


Amaryllis Family 


A traveler through the swampy sections of Louisnana cannot 
help but see the conspicuous blossoms of the Swamp-lily peeping 
out of the dense jungles along the roadsides. This inhabitant of 
the swamps should be cultivated in our gardens; its showy blos- 
soms rival many of the cultivated lilies as to shape of flower and 
in length of the blooming season. The bulb is buried from ten to 
eighteen inches in the rich, black muck. It will survive trans- 
planting to dried soils. 

It can be readily recognized by its broad, strap-shaped, gioasv, 
green leaves which are one and a half to two feet long, and broader 
and thicker than those of the spider-Iilv. At the top of the flower 
stalk four to twelve slightly fragrant flowers are produced, which, 
because of the drooping white and pink petals, appear like big 
rounded poms. The fruit is a nearly spherical capsule, irregularly 
Icbed and about two inches in diameter. The seeds germinate 
readily, but two or three years are necessary to produce flowers 


It blooms 

n mid-sum 

Tier for two to 


Widely dis 

ributed bu 

not abundant 


plants have distinct ornamental possibilities, and 
a few people are now growing them in their wild- 
flower gardens. They are often difficult to trans- 
plant because of their deep root systems. 

Our Spiny Thistle (Circium spinosissimuyn) is 
one of the largest of thistles. Early in February 
its rosettes of leaves on the rich bottom soils are 
often three feet in diameter, and by March it 
sometimes attains the unbelievable height of 8 
to 12 feet, although normally it is from two to 
five feet tall. It is aptly named "spinosissimiim" 
because it is covered with an abundance of needle- 
sharp spines. While this plant is sometimes trou- 
blesome in pastures, it will never become a seri- 
ous pest like one of its close relatives, the Canada 
Thistle, as it can be eradicated rather easily. 

True Buttercups or Crowfoots, members of the 
genus Ranuncidiis, are common in Louisiana. 
Ranunculus pusUlus, which inhabits ditches and 
other moist places, is a low herb with small, in- 
conspicuous flowers. R. muricatus produces a 
large cluster of fruits from each flower, each of 
which is spiny. The Celery-leaved Crowfoot (i2. 
sceleraius) is at home in pools, along moist 
ditches, or on the drier bluff soils. In the pools 
the lower leaves terminate in long, flexuous 
petioles and float upon the surface of the water 
but in drier sites, the petioles are shorter, stiff, 
and hold the blade erect. The Early Crowfoot 
{R. fascicularis) is common on both the bluff and 
the alluvial soils and is by far the most conspicu- 
ous species in Louisiana. It has flowers three- 
fourths of an inch across, and the petals are a 
bright golden yellow. 

April is the Iris month and Louisiana should be 
proud of the multitude of species and varieties 
of Iris that inhabit the swamps and fields of the 
lower coast section of the state. Our common 
Copper-colored Iris or Red Iris {Iris fidva) was 
first collected on the banks of the Mississippi 
River in the vicinity of New Orleans in 1811. Our 
native species of Iris, however, received but little 
attention until 1925. About that time the dean 
of our southern plant explorers, Dr. J. K. Small 
of the New York Botanical Garden, became in- 
terested in them as the colors were different from 
any of the wild species of his acquaintance. He 
has spent many hours in the field collecting plants 
for study and has described in all 86 new species 
of Iris for Louisiana. His enthusiasm for these 
rainbow-hued plants was contagious and in south 
Louisiana soon aroused the nature lovers to an 
appreciation of the beautiful plants which had 
been so long neglected. He called attention to 
the destruction of the habitats of several species 
by the march of progress, that is, by the filling 
of parts of Bayou Sauvage and the clearing and 



July, 1935 

draining of other Iris fields. As a result, the 
New Orleans Iris Preservation Society was 
formed. This organization established a memo- 
rial garden in Audubon Park where these beauti- 
ful plants can be preserved. Not only are all of 
the standard colors represented in the native Iris 
species but dozens of variations in hue are so 
common that one needs a color guide book to de- 
scribe the brilliant array of colors. 

An early botanist left a painting of what was 
unmistakably Iris fulva but the illustration was 

colored canary yellow. Inasmuch as no Iris with 
such a color was known it was generally believed 
that the artist had erred in his selection of colors. 
However, a yellow variety of this species does 
occur. The late Mr. George Thomas of the New 
Orleans Parkway Commission had a yellow col- 
ored form of Iris fulva in his garden. This form 
is so rare that when Dr. Small discovered the 
third collection in 1928, he remarked to the 
writer, "This pays the expenses of the trip." This 
yellow form is considered an albino of Iris fulva. 








' V 


Oenothera speciosa Nutt. 

[Hartmannia speciosa (Nutt.) Small] 

Evening Primrose Family Onagraceae 

The name "Buttercup", as used in south Louisiana, is applied 
to this pink and white, conspicuously flowered plant, although it 
does not belong to the true Buttercup family. 

The ensemble of pink, and white blossoms produced by this 
plant is so attractive that it is surprising that so few people 
have used it for its decorative effect. It can be used very effec- 
tively as a border plant to blend the taller plants with the lawn. 



s a leafy herb from 8 to 20 inches high. The leaves are 
triable in shape. The nodding buds open into flowers that 
e white, pink, or white with pink veins. The blossom 
) 4 inches in diameler. This variation is 
th the water supply. As the soil moisture 


he new bl 
\s from April until July with occasional blooms late 

r Louisiana along roadsides, ditch 

Elxplanation of Plate. Figure one-half natural size. 


Composite family 

Yellow Top 

i. Here and 
ts glory when 

ng plant 
reaches i 
Most peopli 

very conspicuous membe: 
ind there we may see c 
icres of it i 
; it by with little 
a weed. It is important to the beekeepe: 
it furnishes large quantities of pollen and some nectar to the bees 
before most other plants are in bloom. 

It is a soft, succulent annual which grows from one to three 
feet high. A single, leafy stem may arise from the rosette of 
leaves or several stems may be produced. The compound leaves 
are deeply cut and each leaflet is coarsely toothed. Dense clusters 
of flower heads are produced at the top of the stem and often 
"of the lower leaves. Each flower cluster has many 

yellow ray flowe 

yellow disk flow 
It blooms fr 
Very abundant i 

pecially common in £ 

Explanation of Plate: 

Figure I. Infloresenc 
Figure 2. Compound 



rginal row, the 

January to April. 

in the swampy sections of Louisiana 

alluvial soils and in cultivated fields. 



Varieties with white flowers also occur in many 
of the blue species of Iris. 

Iris giganticaendea is well named as it pro- 
duces a very large blossom and the plant is large 
in stature. It is particularly abundant in the re- 
gion from New Orleans to Morgan City, and along 
the road to Lafitte. Dr. Small identified Iris 
vinicolor (wine-colored), Iris atrocyanea (dark 
violet-blue), Iris violipurpurea (violet-purple), 
Iris chrysophoenicia (purple with a gold stripe) 
for the writer along the Gentilly road and else- 
where in the vicinity of New Orleans. Some of 





>densis (L.) D 


Figwort Family 




The flov 
mering pale 
spring. Thi 
a place in 

fers of the Bl 
blue haze w 
s plant, with 
3ur gardens. 

Je Toad-flax 
hich is often 
its spike of 
It is a clos 

are responsible for the shim- 
visible over fields in the 
attractive flowers, deserves 
e relative of the cultivated 

It is an annual herb 
from a rosette of small 
often attain a height of 
about an inch long and 
top of each stem is tipp 
The flower is irregular in 
distinct spur on the lowe 

with one to 
two to three 

scattered or 
ed with a cl 

shape, and 
r part of the 





il slender stems a 
branches. The 
The linear leav 
flowering stem, 
of pale-bluish fl 
gly two-lipped, v 



rith a 

The flo 

wers are abu 


t In Ma 




early part of 

It is widely distributed ir 
soils, especially abundant in c 
Explanation of Plate: 


na on th 
fields a 

e blu 
3d w 

ff and a 
aste plac 


Figure t 

ne-half natur 

al SI 


these locations have since been destroyed. Iris 
virginica, lavender-colored with conspicuous vein- 
ing, is very abundant around Lake Pontchartrain, 
from Frenier Beach to Ponchatoula, and scattered 
clumps occur northward in the pine flats area. 
Iris mississippiensis (ordinarily blue, but includ- 
ing a pure white form) differs from these in that 
its flowers are produced on a zigzag stem below 
the level of the leaves. These are just a few of 
the rainbow-hued flowers and one must see the 
Memorial Garden collection at Audubon Park, in 
New Orleans to appreciate the diversity of color 
and the similarity of species. 

Wild Iris plants are easy to grow and for the 
most part, have few serious diseases. Although 
their native habitat may be in marshes, in wet 
woods, margins of swamps or roadside ditches, 
they will thrive if planted in drier soils. For 
the best results the main rhizome should not be 
planted over the depth of the rhizome itself. 
These plants seem to adapt themselves to a wide 
variety of soil types. They apparently do not 
make satisfactory growth when fertilized with 
stable manure. The best time to transplant them 
is after the blooming season. If this is done, they 
will have a chance to become thoroughly estab- 
lished and will bloom the following season. Many 
have also had success in moving the plants during 
or before the blooming season. Iris should be 
lifted and divided every two or three years. This 
also helps to keep down the weeds among them. 
A word of caution should be added in regard to 
introducing the Alligator Weed {Alternanthera 
philoxeroides) . This plant has proved to be a 
severe pest in lawns and is quite troublesome in 
strawberry fields in the southern part of Tan- 
gipahoa Parish. It grows in association with Iris 
and is frequently introduced when dirt is brought 
in with the rhizomes. After it has become firmly 
established, it is very difficult to eradicate as its 
perennial stems often grow to a depth of four 

Mrs. Dan DeBaillion of Lafayette, a nature 
lover whose garden contains many native plants, 
has discovered a far easier method of securing 
a large number of different species of Iris than 
by digging the big rhizomes. Small plants ap- 
pear on the side of the main rhizome. These can 
be detached easily and, when planted in a mulch 
of peatmoss and loam, with a proper moisture 
supply, will develop into good sized plants and 
frequently bloom the same year. This method is 
much easier than attempting to move large quan- 
tities of the rhizomes. 

Iris can be grown from seed. These germinate 
sporadically but the germination can be accele- 
rated if the corky, waterproof coat is removed be- 



July, 1935 

fore planting. Many of the beautiful cultivated 
varieties have been produced by crossing dif- 
ferent species and planting the seed. For in- 
stance, the Dorothea K. Williamson Iris is a cross 
between our common copper-colored Iris (/. 
fulva) and a cultivated species. Pollination of 
Iris is fairly simple. The stamens should be 
removed when the flower first opens. The emas- 
culated flower should then be bagged with a cello- 
phane bag to prevent accidental pollination. The 
stamens can be removed and placed in a properly 
labeled paper envelope or small glass vial until 
needed. The pollen will usually remain viable 
for a week, and the length of the blooming pe- 
riod for individual flowers is from three to six 
days. The pollen is applied to the stigmas with 
a camel hair brush when the upper part of the 
petal-like style drops down, and exposes the stig- 
matic surface. After pollination the flowers 
should be rebagged and tagged. Accurate records 
are necessary if one expects to create new forms 
for commercial growing and are especially neces- 
sary from a scientific point of view. Very often 
several attempts to cross pollinate Iris will have 
to be made before one learns just the proper time 
to apply the pollen in order to secure seed. 

In South Louisiana, there are a number of spe- 
cies of Hibiscus, close relatives to the cotton plant. 
Hairy-fruited Rose-mallow (Hibiscus lasiocar- 
pus) has a large bell-shaped white flower with a 
dark purple eyespot in the base of the corolla. 
The ovate leaves are coated with a dense velvety 
pubescence. It is common along the streams and 
in the bottom lands. Swamp Rose-mallow (Hi- 
biscus Moscheutos L.) with its pink blossoms is 
common along the marshes from Slidell to Lake 
Charles. It blooms in the latter part of August 
into September. The Halbred-leaved Mallow (H. 
militaris) is readily distinguished by its glabrous, 
hastately 3-5 lobed leaves. H. aculeatus, an in- 
habitant of the pine flatwoods, is easily recog- 
nized by its angular 3-5 lobed leaves, covered with 
a rough pubescence. 

Lion's Ear (Leoyiotis nepetaefolia) an immi- 
grant from South Africa, is now widely distribut- 
ed in southern Louisiana. It can be recognized 
by the large, globular flower clusters scattered 
along the tall square stems. The flower has a 
two-lipped corolla and is a bright orange in color. 
The calyx teeth are tipped with rigid biistles. 

The Sensitive Plant or Shame Plant (Mimosa 
strigillosa) produces a globose cluster of minute 
pink flowers. The leaves close up and droop 
when disturbed and this behavior accounts for its 
common name. It is widely distributed on the 
alluvial soils and also on the sandy soils of the 
pine hills in northern Louisiana. 

The Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) which 
is so common in the pine flatwoods, has its coun- 
terpart in the alluvial soils in the Niggerhead 
(Rudbeckia ample xicatdis) [Di'acopis amplexi- 
caidis'\ . The Niggerhead grows from one to three 
feet tall, has pale green, ovate to ovate-lanceolate 
leaves clasping the stem. The flower cluster is 
larger than in the Black-eyed Susan. The ray 
flowers are yellow, sometimes with a dark purple 
(Continued on Page 29) 

Piaropus crassipcs (Mart.) Britton 
[Eichhornia crassipies Solms] 
Pickerel-weed Family Pontedi 

This plant is better known ii 
"Lilie" of the Louisiana-French ( 
Water Hyacinth. 

To see acres of this plant in bloom with the clusters of bluish- 
purple to lavender flowers above the deep green foliage is a sight 
never to be forgotten. It is a pity that this plant is such a pest. 
It carpets the bayous and streams, and often forms floating mats 
which drift about in the winds. This dense growth in navigable 


able ba 



pirogue it forms an almost impene 

The water hyacinth is a desirable plant for garden pools where 
its spread can be controlled. The blossoms are too fragile to carry 
any distance, but budded plants will bloom in the house. 

It is an aquatic herb, free floating or occasionally rooting in 
the mud and quite variable in size. The petioles of the leaves are 
inflated, and on smaller plants, more conspicuous than the blades. 
The flowers are bluish-purple to lavender with a yellow eye spot 
on the top petal. 

It blooms from spring until frost. 

Widely distributed in Louisiana in shallow lakes, streams, and 
bayous and more abundant in the southern part of the state where 
the temperature is higher. 
Explanation of Plate: 

Figure one-half natural size. 




Dr. H. V. Howe, Director, 

School of Geology of Louisiana State University 

and Director. Research Division, Louisiana 

Geological Survey 

C. K. MORESI, State Geologist, 
Louisiana Geological Survey, 
Department of Conservation 

Field Investigations of St. Bernard and 
Plaquemines Parishes 

Fieldwork will be undertaken this summer for 
a geological bulletin on St. Bernard and Plaque- 
mines parishes. A party composed of Dr. R. J. 
Russell, Dr. F. B. Kniffen. and Mr. C. F. Dohm 
will leave New Orleans by boat, in the early part 
of June to study the rapidly submerging island 
tract of eastern St. Bernard Parish. In addition 
to geological findings it is expected that Indian 
mounds and camp sites will be' discovered and 
that they will shed light on the problem of dating 
various stages in the growth of the Mississippi 
Delta. It is also hoped that collections of pottery 
and other evidences of Indian habitations will 
prove a connecting link between the newly de- 
veloped Mississippi Valley chronology and the 
history of the coastal shell-mound builders. 

From the geological standpoint the St. Ber- 
nard-Plaquemines bulletin will not only form an 
interesting study in the contrasts between yester- 
day's and today's Mississippi Delta but should 
be significant from the standpoint of fundamen- 
tal conditions making possible the vast petroleum 
accumulation of the Louisiana Gulf Coast. 

Cheniers of Southwestern Louisiana 
A paper on the Chinese of Southwestern Lou- 
isiana by R. J. Russell and H. V. Howe will ap- 
pear in an early issue of the Geographical Re- 
view, the official publication of the American 
Geographical Society. 

Tertiary Ostracods 
Dr. H. V. Howe, Director of the Research Divi- 
sion of the Louisiana Geological Survey, will 
spend the latter part of June in Washington, D. 
C, studying the collections of Teritary ostracods 
in the collections of the United States National 
Museum. The rapid development of oil fields in 
South Louisiana whose production is coming from 
Miocene sands has made it imperative that the 
Miocene ostracods of the Gulf Coast be described 
as an aid in the recognition of these producing 
horizons in wells. Dr. Howe expects to have a 
paper describing the Upper Miocene ostracods 
ready for publication by early fall. 

Geology of Cameron and Vermilion Parishes 
During July and August Dr. H. V. Howe and 
James McGuirt, Assistant State Geologist, plan 
to complete the field work for Geological Bulletin 
No. 5, which will be entitled, "Geology of Cam- 
eron and Vermilion Parishes."' 


(Continued from Page 28) 
blotch at the base. The dark colored disk flowers 
ai'e boi'ne on a conical receptacle which is much 
longer than the receptacle of the Black-eyed 

Water Lilies are common in the shallow lakes 
and sluggish bayous. The Yellow Spatterdock or 
Mulefoot Lily {Nymphaea advena) has large 
ovate to oval leaves which either float on the water 
or are thrust above the surface. The flowers are 
a clear yellow and do not unfold like the White 
Water Lily, and hence are not as attractive. The 
White Water Lily {Castalia odorata) produces a 
beautiful fragrant flower and is much sought 
after. It, with many cultigens, is being used in 
the aquatic gardens so popular today. 

The American Lotus (Nelumbo lutea) is known 
in Louisiana as Yonkapin, Water Chinquapin and 
"Graines a Volee." This plant sends leaves to 
the surface of the water from a lai-ge, tuberous 
root.^talk which is securely anchored to the bot- 
tom. The tissue in the flexions petioles of these 
leaves hardens and the peltate leaves are held 
above the surface of the water. The flower stalks 
are rigid and produce solitary large yellow flowers 
overtopping the leaves. The seeds and the root- 
stalks formed a part of the diet of the Indians. 
This plant spreads rapidly and will quickly take 
over small pools and ponds. It is common in the 
ponds and bayous of lower Louisiana and present 
in isolated localities elsewhere. It ranges north- 
ward into i\Iinnesota, ilichigan. and New York. 



July, 1935 

Louisiana Nature Guardians 

"Upon my honor, as a Louisiana Nature Guardian, I promise to take care of all our 
natural friends, to guard and protect them to the best of my ability, and as far as possible 
influence others to do the same." 


Consult your teacher. 

Ask that the purpose and plans of the Nature Guardian 
Club be explained to you and the class. 

Ask for an application card. 

Get a responsible person to indorse it, after proving 
that you fully understand the duties of a Nature Guar- 

Sign the application and mail the card postpaid, or 
give to your teacher, to send with cards from all the 


We send the application card. 

We send you a handsome badge, a certificate of mem- 
bership, Nature Guardian pamphlets, and other litera- 

This is all free, and is carried on with the purpose of 
instilling in the children's minds a knowledge of Louisi- 
ana's wild life and a thorough understanding of its 
economic value to the State. 

It also aims to develop individual humanitarianism. 
Even within this short time an amazing improvement 
has been made in the mental attitude of our young folks 
toward the conservation and protection of Louisiana's 
natural resources. 

Dear Guardians: 

Recently we had the pleasure of listening to 
a splendid lecture by Dr. H. C. Oberholser, Senior 
Biologist of Biological Survey, of the U. S. Dept. 
of Agriculture, who in no uncertain terms pre- 
dicted the extinction of many species of water 
fowl within the next few years if something dras- 
tic is not done immediately to prevent such a 

Many factors have combined to bring about 
this state of affairs in regard to our game birds 
and other wild life creatures. 

Animals, fish, forests and wild flowers have all 
suffered within the last decade. 

Song and insectivorous birds have had their 
nesting ranges greatly restricted by the destruc- 
tion of brush and natural cover due to land cul- 

Our game animals and our fur-bearers have 
been enormously reduced in numbers by drainage 
and deforestation. Fish life has been extermi- 
nated in certain sections by the pollution of 
streams by poisonous waste matter from factories 
and industrial plants. 

Normal precipitation has been interfered with 
by the cutting of our forests and the drainage of 
reclaimed lands. Our wild flowers have suffered 
depredations by thoughtless and ignorant persons 
who tear, rend and uproot. Our forests have suf- 
fered from fires and destructive logging methods. 

Now, what can YOU do about these mistaken 
practices. Guardians ? Here are a few things that 
you CAN and SHOULD do: 

Use your influence to spread the gospel of 
Conservation among your friends and families. 

Encourage them to take an active part in any 
project affecting the conservation of game and 
song birds, forests and wild flowers. 

Replace dead trees or shrubs in parks, school 
grounds or in the home yard with live ones. 

Give a Five-Minute talk at school during the 
morning exercise period on such subjects as re- 
forestation, erosion control, stream pollution, and 
the care and protection of song birds. 

In the regular monthly Nature Guardian meet- 
ings have a program devoted to any of the fol- 
lowing subjects: 

Wild Flowers of Louisiana and their Protec- 

Reasons underlying the Formulation of Lou- 
isiana's Trapping Laws. 

Forest Fires and their Prevention. 

Forest Fires As Destroyers of Wild Life. 

The Recreational Value of Louisiana's Wild 
Life and Forests. 

The Economic Value of Louisiana's Wild Life. 

The Aesthetic Value of Louisiana's Wild Life. 

It might prove of conservational value to post 
a list of magazines, bulletins, and leaflets pertain- 
ing to the care and conservation of wild life. This 
might become the nucleus of a nature library. 

The conservation of Louisiana's natural re- 
sources is the civic duty of every citizen of the 



State, but it is a SACRED duty of each Louisiana 
Nature Guardian. 

With my love to all of the Guardians, 

The Editor. 

poetry and more letters for our next issue. How 
are the Pen-Friends getting along? 

Here is an interesting letter from the fourth 
and fifth grades Nature Guardian Clubs of the 
Broussard High School. They have started a 
fine museum and have every reason to be proud 
of their work. They say: 

Broussard High School, 
Broussard, Louisiana. 
March 18, 1934. 
Dear Editor : 

I want to tell you about our fourth and fifth 
grade Nature Guardian Club. 

We have 42 members. We have a nice museum 
with a collection of snakes, spiders, frogs, frog 
eggs, feathers, lizards, insects, opposum pelts, 
leaves, turtles and butterflies. 

We placed the small specimens in clean paste 
bottles and put akohol on them. The color of 
our museum is brownish red. It is very large 
and is on the south side of our room. 

We have programs and invite our mothers so 
they will know what we learn about Nature. 
Your friends, ^ 

The Fourth and Fifth Grades, 
Per Margaret S. Landry, 


We are very glad to have so many new mem- 
bers this month. This increased enrollment 
shows that more people than ever before are in- 
terested in Louisiana's natural resources and are 
anxious to help in their protection. 

We hope that our members will send us more 

By Ambrose Daigre, ' ' i'^[ 

Department Taxidermist •'• ' i 

During a recent sojourn in Grand Isle, for the 
purpose of gathering a collection of migratory 
birds, I collected a specimen of considerable rarity 
and interest, the Groove-billed Ani, technical- 
ly termed Crotoplmga sulcirostris sidcirostris 

The range of the particular species, according 
to the A. 0. U. Checklist, Fourth Edition, is that 
it breeds from the lower Rio Grande Valley, 
Texas, south to Peru and British Guiana. Casual 
in Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, and Florida. The 
above being the fifth official record taken in 
Louisiana makes it considerably interesting. 

The Ani is a member of the Cuckoo family, but 
in general appearance resembles the Boat-tailed 
Crackle of the coastal marsh regions; although 
one trained in the observation of birds afield will 
readily detect the parrotlike beak. 

The plumage is jet black with the exception 
that irridescent purples or greens stands out on 
the back and wings in certain lights. 

In flight the Ani gives the appearance of be- 
ing loosely jointed, flopping about in the air 
seemingly to have no accurate control of its aerial 

The Cuckoo family is peculiar in its domestic 
habits. The American Cuckoos build their own 
nests and rear their own young, but the English 
Cuckoo is parasitic, depositing its eggs in the 
nests of other birds and thus its young are reared 

Landry Memorial High School 

Day and Boarding School for Boys 

Directed by The Christian Brothers 

New Orleans Stamp & 
Stencil Company, Inc. 

Rubber Stamps, Stencils, Marking Devices 
RAymond 2960 330 Camp St. 

Madison Lumber 




721 S. Claiborne 


"The Department Store 

of Building 

Myles Sak Co.,. Ltd. 

"A Grade For Every Need" 

(Subsidiary Myles Salt Co., Ltd.) 


1007 Camp Street New Orleans, La. 



July, 1935 

by foster parents. In this way the English 
Cuckoo resembles our own cowbird. 

The Anis are still more peculiar, since they 
nest in colonies and join together to build a single 
large nest in which all of the females of the colony 
lay their eggs. As many as twenty eggs have 
been observed in one such nest, these eggs being 
laid in layers separated by dry leaves. 

The calls of the Ani are said to resemble the 
wailing of a young kitten. 

Thei'e is another species of Ani, Crotophaga, 
ani Linnaeus, rarely occurring in Louisiana, hav- 
ing a smooth beak. This statement is hoped to 
assist in the avoidance of any misclassification of 
the species. 

The particular specimen taken at Grand Isle 
interested me greatly. I learned from persons 
native to the Island that the Ani had resided in 
those parts for approximately the past two years. 
During the course of this time the bird met with 
a catastrophe which, no doubt, had serious bear- 
ing upon its pride. Some mischievous boy pulled 
its tail out. 

After such a close call, you can be sure that 
Mr. Ani was very wary. It would sneak around 
to Madam Besson's yard, each day, to snatch a 
morsel of food and flip flop back to its secluded 
haunts. Upon collecting the specimen I observed 
that the tail contained a number of pin-feathers, 
giving symptoms of the bird's disaster. 

I had often read of Anis feeding among cattle 
and horses and sometimes on the backs of these 
animals in quest of the animal flies thereon, but 
not until this time was I rewarded with having 
observed it myself. 

I had an occasion to observe the Ani boldly 
feeding on the back of a horse belonging to a 
Mr. Verdon of Grand Isle. Upon killing the spec- 
imen, I was confronted with Mr. Verdon relative 

to the fact that the bird was his. After explain- 
ing the rarity of the bird, and, Mr. Verdon being 
a man of kind nature, he chose to let matters 
stand as were, with no obligation on my part. 

An analysis of the stomach proved that the 
principal diet of the bird is various species of ani- 
mal flies. This makes the bird worthy and bene- 
ficial among cattle and horses. 

The specimen now carefully preserved is on ex- 
hibition at our Royal Street Museum. 

(Continued from Page 4) 
the rod in the direction of the line, pull some ten- 
sion in the rubber band by hand and release it 
suddenly. Often the recoil will dislodge the 
sinker, and if it does not, the rubber band will 
break before the line and only the sinker will be 
lost, while the leader and hook are saved. 

The next time you go out take along a fresh 
water casting outfit and give it a fair try, keep- 
ing in mind that you must use a certain amount 
of skill and some patience in handling the fish, 
then determine for yourself whether the increased 
thrill and pleasure of landing both large and 
small fish does not more than make up for the 
few that you may lose. After you have success- 
fully handled a large trout or redfish, I feel cer- 
tain that you will become a confirmed member of 
the light tackle tribe for life. 
■1' ~ * 

RAymond 3255 j 



Mathieson Plant at Lake Charles. Louisiana 


A New Source of Alkali 

AT Lake Charles, Louisiana, the Southwest now has its own 
-^ alkali supply. Effective February first, Mathieson's new 
Lake Charles Plant started regular sbipments of alkali to cou- 
sumers in this growing industrial area. 

As a dependable source of supjily, the Lake Charles Plant is 
unique in many respects. The plant itself is of advanced design, 
including a number of engineering features embodied in such 
a plant for the first time. Its location is particularly favorable 
both from the standpoint of ample supplies of raw materials 
and of distribution facilities for the finished products. 

We shall be glad to discuss with consumers the advantages 
of Lake Charles as a source of supply of alkali — in carloads, 
trainloads or shiploads. 


60 East 42nd Street New York, N. Y. 




. 4 


General Contractor 




Steinberg & Company 



MAin 1395 

527-529 Decatur Street 


I Cable Addresses: Interfur - New Orleans 
! Bentley's Code 







Main Office: 303 7th Avenue, New York 













I 435 Camp Street Phones: RA 4286-4287 

Thos. J. Moran's Sons, 234-238 Chai'tres St., New Orleans, La. 

IhU book d.««.t arc.