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by the same editor: 

ANN ALES BRYOLOGICI, 12 vols. & 4 suppl. vols., 1928-1939 
CIIRONICA BOTANICA, Vol. 1 (1935), seq. 

INDEX BOTANICORUM, in preparation, cf. Chron. Bot. 8:425 (1944) 

Musci SELECTI ET CRITICI, 1-7 (1934/40) 

MANUAL OF BRYOLOGY, the Hague, 1932 



(with P. Honig), in press 

DE FRULLANIACEIS, I (1928), seq. 



edited by FRANS VfiRDOORN 

in cooperation with J. ACUNA, R. H. ALLEE, J. ASHTON, H. D. BARKER, M. BATES, J. S. P. BEARD, H. H. 



With 18 plates and 45 illustrations in the text 


^ ' i^*A Kv the Chrorr 

First published MGMXLV 

By the Chronics Botanica Company 

of Waltham, Mass., U. S. A. 

All rights reserved | 

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- * *w.w m the V S. A. 


edited by trims Vtrdoorn 

Volume XVI 




For a number of reasons^ more fully developed in the following essay 
(p. xv, seq.), the &diwrs*df Chronica Botanica felt that an account con- 
cerning the vegetation and natural resources, as ivell as the present status 
and future of a number of branches of the plant sciences in Latin America, 
would be the most appropriate contribution they could make at present to 
the improvement of international relations and cooperation in the plant sci- 
ences, a field which presents in Latin America many problems of a great, 
often truly international, importance. 

The aim of this collection of articles which we started in 1941 in Chronica 
Botanica was to give the agronomist, botanist, forester and phy to pathologist 
(whether he be located in the Americas or in Europe} information which he 
may need when starting work on the wild or cultivated plants of Latin 
America. It was hoped that it might be still more useful for those who plan 
to go to Latin America to collect or to conduct research. The collection en- 
deavoitrcd to give some information concerning the present status of and the 
future possibilities and needs for research in the chief branches of the pure and 
applied plant sciences. In addition to data in his own field, the specialist will 
find much useful and stimulating information on vegetational and agronomic 
problems in general, on the organization of research, lists of books that he 
may consult, addresses of institution's and societies in the territory in which 
he is interested and which he may profitably contact, etc. 

We succeeded in obtaining so much material for our collection of articles 
that we soon had much more than could find a place in Chronica Botanica. 
At the suggestion of several correspondents we then- decided to bring together 
all articles on this subject, those published in Chronica Botanica, those not 
yet published, and many additional ones, in one volume, which we are pre- 
senting herewith. 

PART 1 (pp. 1-260) consists primarily of articles not previously pub- 
lished. Only a few of the articles in this part have already appeared in 
the Chronica (but these have been revised by the authors in the meantime) . 

PART 2 (pp. 261-349) consists, unth a few exceptions, of reprints 
(mostly somewhat revised) of articles already published in the columns of 
Chronica Botanica. 

Like most volumes prepared under war-time conditions, this book is not 
complete and its various chapters are often somewhat unequal in concept. 
Some contain remarks, general considerations, and historical and bibliogra- 
phical information which are missing in other chapters. One should re- 
member that most of the chapters of this volume were originally planned as 
short articles for a periodical, rather than as chapters of a cooperative man- 
ual. Many of the authors who kindly contributed are engaged in special war 
projects, often in the field and far from library resources. The authors of 
certain chapters, shorter and less documented than others, should not be 
held in any way responsible for this relative conciseness. Had they not 
helped us, our volume -would be much less complete and still less informa- 
tive. In several cases I have not been able to obtain cooperation until I had 
elaborated in some detail along the lines of NECKER'S ivords: "II nc faut pas 
que la crainte d'un- dcfaut d'exactitude inevitable empeche de presenter un 
travail qui pent d'ailleurs etre utile." 

For a few chapters only I have not been able to obtain suitable help at 
all. I must confess ivith regret that I have not been successful injtrranging 

Foreword viii 

jor an authoritative chapter on the historical development of the flora of 
the Western Hemisphere. 

I do not flatter myself with the hope that my choice of plates and certain 
other details of typography will meet with universal approval. Being daily 
engaged in historical work, one tends to live partly in the past and finds there 
without doubt much which may seem strange to some of those whose mental 
activities are more centered in the present. Quite a little material of this 
kind was found in the Arnold Arboretum Library, a most resourceful place 
which, with SCHIFFNER'S office at the Rennweg and the Mountain Gardens 
and Forest above Tjibodas, I consider to be among the most inspiring spots 
where I have been privileged to work. 

I should like to say a few words about Dr. LANJOUW'S List (pp. 225-235). Among 
the jew useful things I have been able to do as secretary of the Botanical Section of the 
International Union of Biological Sciences, I think most fondly of the initiating of the 
Index Herbariorum. Started by the late Dr. A. S. HITCHCOCK, the material for this 
project was turned over to the Union. At my request and suggestion, Dr. J. LANJOUW, 
Curator of the Herbarium of Utrecht University, assumed the post of secretary of the 
Committee for Urgent Taxonomic Needs of the Union and Congress in 1935. In the 
following years he obtained worldwide cooperation (cf. Chron. 5: 142-150). I am glad 
to state that Dr. LANJOUW has been able to continue to work on this project in spite 
of the war years and I look forward with great expectancy to the day we may launch 
the first volume. There are, it appears, still quite a few institutions which have not 
prepared the necessary data for Dr. LANJOUW'S Committee. In most cases, without 
doubt, this was due to the fact that the directors did not understand the scope of the 
Index Herbariorum too well. To show what Dr. LANJOUW is preparing we decided to 
publish some kind of sample. As explained in detail on p. 224, we realise only too well 
that this list is not complete. On purpose we have not made much effort to complete 
Dr. LANJOUW'S list, as we wanted to show only what kind of Index he is preparing for 
us. I also felt that those institutions which had failed to take part in this international 
project should as a rule not be included in the list. I may add that we realise that our 
Index Herbariorum will never be complete if we have to rely only on the data submit- 
ted by herbaria. We ivill use supplementary ways and means to obtain additional data in 
due time, but we feel that the basic information can be obtained best from the curators 
of the herbaria of the world. 

The attention of all readers is drawn to the detailed table of contents on 
p. 350 seq. As it was not feasible to prepare a subject index for our polyglot 
volume, it is important that every reader examine this table of contents unth 
some care! It contains in Part 1 cross-references to Part 2 and vice versa. 

Grateful acknowledgment should be made of the generous assistance of the Direc- 
tors of the United Fruit Co. of Boston, Mass., and of a subsidy of the International 
Union of Biological Sciences to cover certain special editorial and production expenses. 

In addition to the authors of the chapters of this volume (full information about 
their states will be found on p. 350 seq.) , I should still like to thank Dr. J. P. CARABIA, 
Dr. L. CROIZAT, Dr. G. DAWSON, Dr. R. E. SCHULTES, Dr. A. C SMITH, and J. G. VER- 
DOORN, phil. not. dra. for their never-failing help and assistance with the proofs, and 
Dr. R. H. ALLEE, Dr. W. A. ARCHER, Dr. R. M. FIELD, Dr. L. HANKE, Dr. A. E. JEN- 
Dr. K. A. RYERSON jor their stimulation and advice. 

The endpapers have been designed by Dr. ERWIN RAISZ of the Institute of Geo- 
graphical Exploration of Harvard University. Several of the text illustrations were 
prepared by Mr. G. W. DILLON of the Botanical Museum of Harvard University. 
A number of maps from JAMES' "Latin America" {New York 1942) have been re- 
produced by kind permission of the copyright holders, the Odyssey Press, Inc., of 
New York City. 

SPRING, 1945 

The Editor 


For detailed table of contents see p. 350 seq. 

Foreword vii 

Summary of Contents ix 

A la Memoria de von Martius xi 

Andres Bello : Silva, a la Agricultura de la Zona Torrida xiii 

Introductory Essay (VERDOORN) : 

The Plant Scientist in the World's Turmoils xv 

A Selected List of Travel Books of a Botanical Interest xxiii 

Miscellaneous Supplementary References of a Botanical Interest . . . xxix 
Recent Publications of the Office of Foreign Agricultural Relations 

of the U. S. Department of Agriculture xxxvi 

Pars I {for detailed table of contents see p. 350) : 

Introductory Chapters 1 

Problems of Tropical Agriculture (POPENOE) 1 

Phytogeographic Sketch (SMITH & JOHNSTON) 11 

Economic Plants (FOSBERG) 18 

Historical Sketch (PENNELL) 35 

Regional Descriptions 48 

Chapters of a General Interest 153 

Special Supplement (KRUG) 243 

Pars II (for detailed table of contents see p. 368} : 

Regional Descriptions 261 

Chapters of a General Interest 318 

Special Supplement (Plant Science Institutions and Societies') . . . 337 

Detailed Table of Contents 350 

Index of Personal Names 375 

List of Plates 382 

List of Illustrations in the Text 383 

The Ckronica Botanica Co., International Plant Science Publishers 

A New Series of Plant Science Books: 

1, MAcDoucAL: Tree Growth (out of print) 10, WULFF: Historical Plant Geography (pp. 

2, GRANT: Wood Pulp (out of print) 223, $4.75) 

3, DARRAH: Principles of Paleobotany (out H, SCHOPFER-NOECKER : Plants and Vita- 

of print) mins (pp. 300, $4.75) 

4, PKEIFFER: Experimented Cytologie (out U E ^AN: Pollen Analysis (pp. 239, 

5, Ed!l^t\f Print, sec sub 13 for ed. 2 13 > BAWDEN : Plant Viruses and Virus Dis- 

6, GUILLIERMOND-ATKINSON : The Cytoplasm a^ t Second tottrely revued edttum (pp. 

of the Plant Cell (pp. 247, $475) H HO^ND:' Inorganic Plant Nutrition 

7, REED: Short History of the Plant Sciences / pp 2 26 $400) 

(pp. 323, $5.00) 15 WQDBHOUSE: ' Hayfcver Plants (pp. 245, 

8, BALDWIN: Forest Tree Seed (pp. 240, $4.75) 

$4-75) 16, VERDOORN (cd.) : Plants and Plant Science 

9, LLOYD : Carnivorous Plants (pp. 352, $6.00) in Latin America (pp. xl + 384, $6.00) 

Volumes in press or in preparation include: WILDE, Forest Soils and Forest Vegetation; ZoBELL, Marine 
Microbiology; JOHANSEN, Plant Embryology; DACHNOWSKI-STOKES, Peat; CROCKER and BARTON, Seed Physi- 
ology; CONDIT. The Fig; etc. 

CHRONIC A BOTANICA, an international collection of studies in the method and 
history of biology and agriculture, founded and edited by FRANS VERDOORN, is published bi- 
monthly. It aims at the promotion of (1) international relations in the plant sciences, (2) 
studies in the history, method, and philosophy of biology, (3) a better understanding between 
specialists in various branches and their relations with the outside world. It contains about 600 
pages of memoirs, directories and census of current activities, articles and discussions, annotated 
reprints of important and rare classical papers, reviews and notices, etc. a year, at $7.50 to 
regular subscribers (post free, foreign and domestic). Back volumes are available at $7.50 
(paper) or $8.75 (buckram), postage extra. Binding cases may be obtained for recent volumes 
at $0.75, prepaid (post free, foreign and domestic). 

The follouring recent and forthcoming issues of CHRONICA BOTANICA are available to non-subscribers: BROWNE, 
A Source Book of Agricultural Chemistry (pp. 290, $5 00). RAFINFSQUE, A Life of Travels (pp. 72, $2.50). 

BROWNE, Thomas Jefferson and the Scientific Trends of hU Time (pp. 64, $1.25). JACK, Biological Field 
Stations of the World (pp. 80, $2.50). CANNON & FIELD, Int. Relations in Science (free).-- ST. HILAIRE, 
Esquisse dcs Voyages . . . (pp 80. $2 SO). -- HOWARD, Luther Burbank, A Factual Study (ca. $3.75, in press). 

COOPER, Arboreta, their Aims and Scope (ca. $2.50). STEHLE, Histoire de la Botanique et de I'Agronomie 
aux Antilles Franchises (ca. $3.75). E. D. MERRILL, Merrilleana Selected General Writings (ca. $3 75). 
ARBER, GOETHE'S Metamorphosis of Plants (ca. $2.50). 

Annales Cryptogamici et Phytopathologici, our new serial, consists of memoirs (each forming a 
separate volume), devoted to general and systematic cryptogamy and phytopathology. It con- 
tinues ANNALES BRYOLOT.ICI. Vol. 1, GARRETT, Root Disease Fungi (pp. 177, $4.50) has 
recently been issued. The following vols. are in press : 2, HORSFALL'S Fungicides (ca. $5.00) ; 
3, FULFORD'S The Genus Bazzania in C. and S. America (ca. $5.00) ; 4, CHESTER'S The Nature 
and Prevention of Cereal Rusts (ca. $5.00) ; 5, COPELAND'S Genera Filicum (ca. $5.00). 

Annales Bryologici, a journal devoted to the study of mosses and hepatics, of which we published (in the be- 
ginning in cooperation with Messrs. Nijhoff) 12 volumes and 4 supplementary volumes between 1927 and 1939, 
is now being continued by the Annales Cryptogamici ct Phytopathologici (see above). Complete sets and 
single vols. of ANNALES BRYOLOGICI are still available at $4.00 a volume. The bryological exsiccati formerly 
issued by Dr. FRANS VERDOORN: Bryophyta Arduennae Rxsiccata (dec. 1-5, 1927/29), Hepaticae Selectae et 
Criticae (11 series, 1930/39) and Muaci Selecti et Critic! (7 series, 1934/40), have all been sold out. 

Orders may be sent directly to the Chromca Botanica Co., to any bookseller or their authorised agents: New 
York City: G. E. STECHKRT & Co., 31 East 10th St. San Francisco: J. W. STACKY, INC., 244 Flood Bldg. 
Toronto, Ont.: WM. DAWSON, 70, King St , East. - Ottawa, Ont.: THORBURN and ABBOTT, 115, Sparks St. 
Mexico, D. F.: LIBRERIA CERVANTES, Calle de 57 No. 1, Despacho 3. --Bogota and Medellin: LIBRERIA 
CAPERAN. Rio de Janeiro: LIVRARTA KOSMOS, Rua do Rosario, 135. --Sao Paulo: LIVRARIA KobMos, Rua 
Marconi 91. Buenos Aires: ACME AGENCY, Soc. DE RESP. LTDA., Bartolome Mitre 552. London, W. 1.: 
WK. DAWSON & SONS, 43, Weymouth St. London, W. C. 1: H. K. LEWIS & Co., 136, Gower St. 
Groninfen: N. V. ERVEN P. NOORDHOKF. Paris: LIBRAIRIE H. LE SOUDIER, 174 Blvd. St. Germain. 
Torino: ROSENBERG & SELLIER, Via Andrea Doria 14. Moicow: MEZHDUNARODNAJA KNIGA, Kusnetzki 
Most 18. Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras: MACMILLAN & Co., LTD. Johannesburg, S. A.: CENTRAL NEWS 
AGENCY, LTD., P. O. Box 1033. Sydney: ANGUS & ROBERTSON, 89, Castlereagh St. Melbourne: N. H. 
SEWARD, 457, Bourke St. 

The Chronica Botanica Co., Waltham, Massachusetts, US. A. 

Established in Leiden, Zuid Holland, in 1933 Cables: Flora, Waltham, Mass., U.S.A. 


Salve, feeunda tona, 

Qut al sot enamorado circ 

m vago curso, y cuanto ser te aninta 

En cada vario clima, 

Acaridada de su /MS. concibtsl 

Tu tejet al vtrano su guimaUa 

De granadas espigas; tu la uva 

Das a la hervientt cube: 

No de purpurea fruta, 6 rofa 6 gualda, 

A tus florestas bellas 

Falta matin alguno; y bebe en eltas 

Aromas mil el viento; 

Y greyes van sin cucnto 

Paciendo tu verdura. desde el llano 

Que tiene par lindero el horitonte, 

Uasta el erguido monte, 

De inaccesible nieve siempre cano. 

Tu das la cana hermosa, 

De do la mid se acendra, 

Par quien desdena el mundo los panales: 

Tu en urnas de coral cuajas la almendra 

Que en la espumante jicara rebosa: 

Exile carmin viviente en ius nopales, 

Que afrenta fuera al murice de Tiro; 

Y de tu anil la tinta generosa 

f.mula es de la lumbre del tafiro; 

El vino es tttyo que la herida agave 

Para los hi Jos vierte 

Del Andkuac felit; y la hoja es tuya 

Que cuando de stave 

Hnmo en espiras vagorasas huya, 

Solaeara el fasHdio al ocio inerte. 

Tu mites de jasmines 

El arbusto sabeo 

Y el perfume le das que en los festines 

La fiebre insana templard a Lieo. 

Para tus hijos la procera palma 

Su vario feudo cria, 

Y el anands satona su ambrosia: 

Su bianco pan la yuca, 

Sus rubias pomas la patata educa, 

Y el algod6n despliega al aura leve 

Las rosas de oro y el vellon de nieve. 

Tendida para tl la fresca parcha 

En enramadas de verdor loeano, 

Cuelga de sus sarmientos trepadores 

Nectareos globos y franjadas fores; 

Y para tl el malt, jefe altanero 

De la espigada tribu, kinehe su grano; 

Y para ti el banano 

Desmaya al peso de su dulce carga, 

El banana, primero 

De cuantos concedU bellos presentes 

Providencia A las gentes 

Del ecuador felit con mono larga. 

No ya de humanas artes obligado 

El premio nnde opimo: 

No es a la podadera, no al arado 

Deudor de su racimo; 

Escasa industria bastale, cual puede 

Hurtar a sus fatigas mono esc lava; 

Crete velos, y cuando exhausto acaba, 

Adulta prole en torno le sucede . . . 

I Ok jivenes nactones, que cenida 
Alsdis sobre al atdnito Occident* 
De tempranos laureles la cabetal 
Honrad el campo, hanrad la simple vida 
Del labrador, y su frugal llaneta. 
Asl tendrdn en vos perpetuamente 
La libertad morada 
Y freno la ambiMn. y la ley templo. 
Las gentes a la senda 
De la tnmortaltdad, ardua y fragosa, 
Se animardn, citando vuestro ejemplo. 
Lo emulard celosa 

Vucstra poster \dad, y nuevos nombres 
AHadiendo la fama, 
A los que ahora aclama, 
{Hijos son estos, hijos 
(Pregonara a los hombres) 
De los quf vencedores superaron 
De los Andes la cima: 
De los que en Boyacd, los que en la arena 
De Maipo y en Junin, y en la campana 
Gloriosa de Apunma, 
Postrar supierm al Ie6n Espana*. 

(ca. 1810) 

Introductory Essay 

The Plant Scientist in the World's Turmoils * 

It is unnatural to be without 
a special love of the country of 
one s birth, just as a man has 
more affection for his family than 
for other families. But let our 
allegiance extend to the whole 
globe on which we travel through 
the universe, and let us try to 
serve mankind rather than our 
country right or wrong. (I,UM- 
HOLTZ, Unknown Mexico 2:483). 

I should like to preface this volume with a 
discussion of certain aspects of the plant scien- 
tist's role and place in the world. In doing so 
I will have to deal with matters of a controver- 
sial nature; to deal fairly with them I will en- 
deavour to take solely the point of view of the 
student of international relations. 

During the last months of the First World 
War, a period which from many points of 
view may be compared with the present, the 
plant scientists and zoologists of the world were 
less involved in the war effort than they are 
today. Nevertheless, as such addresses and 
papers as LYMAN'S "Contributions of American 
Botanists for More Active Prosecution of War 
Work" (1918) and STEVENS'S "American Bota- 
nists and the War" (1918) show, some of the 
foremost plant scientists of the United States 
were prevailing upon their colleagues to engage 
in activities which might help the war effort. 
At the time much consideration was given 
to the war from a biological point of view, as 
such publications as NICOLAI'S "Biology of War" 
(1919) and PEARL'S "Biology and War" (1918) 
testify. Just before the end of the war many in- 
teresting papers on the role of botany and biol- 
ogy in the post-war world were published. 
These included "Botany as a National Asset" 
(COULTER, 1917) and "Botany after the War" 
(DAVIS, 1918), and were followed by an unusual 
number of inspired discussions by men, most of 
whom are no longer with us, like LYMAN, 
PEIRCE, and GAGER. Though far be it from me 
to deny that during those years a number of 
biologists did accomplish useful things in such 
fields as pioneering in dehydration, raising the 
agricultural output, and discovering substitutes 
of vegetable origin, the foremost trend of 
thought, especially in the Allied countries, was 
concerned with biology in the post-war world, 
in human relations as well as in agriculture. 

i Parts of this introduction have been published in 
Nature (Vol. 154:595-599, 1944: "Future of Biology in 
World's Affairs"), and the essentials have been read 
at a symposium on "Biologists and Rehabilitation", held 
by the Botanical Society of America and the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science. Cleveland, 
Ohio, Sept. 13, 1944. 

The Germans of that time were, comparatively, 
much more concerned with problems directly 
relating to the war effort than were their col- 
leagues in the Allied countries. DIBLS wrote an 
entire volume on botanical substitutes; HABER 
and other chemists revolutionized the gunpowder 
and fertilizer situation .... 

In the discussions in Allied countries the edu- 
cational and humanizing value of biology was 
stressed much more than it is today. Many be- 
lieved that a better knowledge of, and better 
training in, biology might well revolutionize the 
citizen's attitude towards essential problems of 
life and human relationships. This hope has not 
materialized and that, without doubt, is a 
reason for the sceptical and negative attitude 
of many of us today. 

In one field, however, enthusiasm, understand- 
ing, and leadership on the part of the biologists 
of the Allied countries were hardly progressive. 
That in those Wilsonian years little was said 
in either British or American discussions about 
international work and relations in biology, and 
the re-establishment of international relations 
seems very strange to the historian. There was 
a much more patriotic (though not a soundly 
patriotic) tone in the discussions then than there 
is today, when it looks as though groups of men 
of science (not necessarily natural scientists) in 
Great Britain and the United States are at least 
as much interested in post-war international re- 
lations as are the large political groups. It was 
in 1919 that LOTSY'S generous offer to combine 
the "Botanisches Centralblatt" (at that time 
in spite of its name a purely international 
journal and the official organ of the now defunct 
International Association of Botanists) with 
the planned "Botanical Abstracts" was turned 
down. This rejection killed that association and 
much that it stood for, and postponed for years 
a resumption of international relations work in 
botany, so enthusiastically started before the 
First World War by men like SCOTT, GOEBEL, 
others. Before 1914 great and busy scientists in 
our field felt that they could afford to spend a 
few hours, from time* to time, to international 
relations work. 

When the Second World War broke out in 
1939, scientific international relations had not 
yet fully recovered ; in fact, they had by no means 
reached even their status of 1914 this in spite 
of the many congresses, meetings and commis- 
sions in our field about which I have reported in 
great detail, in an effort to stimulate interest in 
them, in special sections of CHRONICA BOTANICA, 
Volumes 1-5. Reading those reports of the 

VEKDOORN: The Plant Sciential in the World'. Turmoili 


years before the present War and comparing 
them with those from 1912-1914 creates the con- 
viction that an unsound impetus was given dur- 
ing the years just before the Second World 
War by motives only slightly differing from 
national propaganda. 

In this War the biologist has played a much 
larger part than in any previous war. Botanists, 
agronomists, zoologists, entomologists, psychol- 
ogists, and bacteriologists have contributed to 
the war effort in larger numbers and in more 
intensive ways than ever before. When we 
listen to accounts of these activities, we gather 
that, both as a group and as individuals, they 
feel inordinately proud. I think that this atti- 
tude which is, of course, fully justified in 
men in active service and those sacrificing their 
health or a career is most incorrect for the 
majority of scientists engaged in so-called war 
work. Men of science form one of the few groups 
in society which know that the concepts and ideas 
by which politicians and the accepted organizers 
of human relations are guided are mostly wrong, 
based on misconceptions, old superstitions, and 
false intuitions. Yet the man of science has left 
not only the administration, but also most of the 
study of the administration, of human life and 
world affairs in the hands of people who know 
little, and who have been trained so poorly that 
they care still less, about what a century of 
progress in the science of life 2 has achieved. 
Therefore, I cannot help feeling that we scien- 
tists are at least as much responsible for the 
chaos of today as is any other part of society. 8 

The resources, strength and endurance of the 
United States, Great Britain, the U. S. S. R., and 
their allies are bringing this war to an end, an 
end which will place the scientist once again in 
a very favourable position, as he will remain free 
in the post-war world, not in all but in much 
more than half of the Allied territory. How will 
he use this freedom of thought and action?* 

2 Also surprising, amon? many professional biologists, 
is the lack of knowledge of and interest in the psy- 
chological aspects of human progress, civilization, and 
especially the conflict betveen technology and society. 
While we do not necessari y have to agree with all the 
conclusions of this or that school of psychology and 
psychoanalysis, nevertheless a consideration of these 
conclusions will often show us a given problem in a 
new light. ("He was not dazzled by the illusion of the 
progress of civilization tovard a goal of universal 
felicity. His Civilisation and Its Discontent reveals 
unmercifully how everything that starts on the way to 
progress must sooner or later end in a vicious circle: 
the constant drain on the erotic drives and the deflec- 
tion of the aggressive tendencies, both necessary to 
maintain and enlarge the domain of civilization, cause 
a growing discontent with it and its final breakdown. 
Civilization, present within ourselves in the guise of the 
superego, threatens to eat its own children", SACHS, H., 
1944: FREUD, Master and Frier d, p. 140). 

3 For a more detailed and illuminating discussion of 
this subject see WELLS, H. G., 1942: Phoenix, A Sum- 
mary of the Inescapable Condtions of World Reor- 
ganization, pp. 192 (London). 

* There are men, even among scientists, who consider 
the planning for peace in times of war something pre- 
mature. Others do not fed that there is a difference 
between planning for peace and for war, both being 
forms of human politics and applied philosophy. Well 

One of the resolutions of the United Nations 
Conference on Food and Agriculture states: 
"The natural sciences are a particularly fruitful 
field for international cooperation because they 
are themselves international; basic physical and 
biological laws are the same anywhere and uni- 
versally accepted." This is true, but it is also 
true that cooperation demands an attitude which 
is not typical of the average biologist. Con- 
sidering the matter psychologically, I am not far 
wrong in stating that most of the better workers 
in botany and zoology turned to this pursuit 
because early frustrating experiences resulted not 
in the normal, human response of aggression, 
but in a desire for isolation. It is perhaps a bit 
hard to demand now that these men become en- 
thusiastic cooperators. We will, however, have 
to assume that at least some of them "have 
learned that we cannot live alone" and that even 
in nature research it is true that "united we 
stand, divided we fall." 

Sometimes I speak of plant scientists, some- 
times of biologists, sometimes of botanists. This 
inconsistency is not due to carelessness, but to 
a tragic fact, to the greatest professional problem 
we have : there are no longer biologists or even 
animal scientists and plant scientists. 

There was a discussion some months ago in 
the columns of Science about whether there 
still exists today such a subject as biology. 
Some of the writers stated that it was a fraud to 
speak of biology any longer, as we always mean 
something else. There is, of course, such a 
subject as pure biology when considered from 
a purely scientific or philosophical point of view, 
hut there are no longer professional biologists. 
There are only specialists in the various branches 
of the pure and applied plant and animal sciences. 
What makes it bad is that these specialists 
neither keep together nor think and plan together 
with reference to their professional interests as 
medical and chemical workers do. Though very 
large in number (22% of the scientists included 
in "American Men of Science" (ed. 7) are 
"Biologists" sensu antiq.), and not too poor in 
brains, our position both as a group and as in- 
dividuals is extremely weak. As wage earners 
we are in many cases not able to give our fami- 
lies the comforts and education which we re- 
ceived in our youth or which the families of our 
friends in college receive; as scientists we have 
either to teach or to work in applied biology, 
with the result that many branches, especially of 

may we say with HKNRY WALLACE: "I believe the 
sensible and constructive course to take is this: Do 

everything we can to speed our drive for victory 

At the same time, think hard and often about the future 
peace, because unless we and the other democracies 
have confidence in that peace our resistance to our 
enemies may not be strong enough to beat them. 

"Thinking of the future peace, in other words, is not 
searching for an escape from the stern realities of the 
present, not taking refuge in airy castles of our minds. 
From the practical standpoint of putting first things 
first, at a time when there are not enough hours in a 
day and every minute counts, planning for the future 
peace must of necessity be a part of our all-out war 


VERDOORN : The Plant Scientist in the World's Turmo 

descriptive biology, are in an anachronistic 
status ; as a group we cannot reach the Govern- 
ment, still less exercise an influence commen- 
surate with our knowledge. 

Mutatis mutandis, this situation is the same 
all over the world. Therefore, it appears that the 
situation is the result of internal factors and that 
it cannot be changed easily, for example, by 
establishing professional biological societies, 
unions, etc., especially not as long as another 
curse of biology its great scientists continue 
as a rule to refuse to give professional guidance. 

With every generation an increase in speciali- 
zation seems to become necessary. This may be 
really essential, but the result is that many work- 
ers spend their enthusiasm and greatest mental 
output in their youth, and end with years of not- 
too-inspired routine research. Great as the 
literature and body of facts of any branch of 
biology may be, I do not agree that all this 
specialization is necessary. The organization of 
most of our institutions is such that it forces the 
so-called free worker into a steady and dull 

We all, but the administrators of research espe- 
cially, should distinguish between deep and 
permanent specialization. But even if we feel 
that permanent and thorough specialization is 
necessary, can we not educate our pupils with the 
feeling that they are in the first place biologists, 
whatever they do, and specialists in some branch 
of the pure or applied plant or animal sciences 
in the second place? No improvement of the 
status of biologists is possible if we do not 
recognize and learn the very close interdepend- 
ence between pure biology and applied biology 
on one hand, and between biology and world 
economy and government on the other hand. 
Also all biology, in contrast to physics, mathe- 
matics, etc., continues to have close ties with the 
humanities. 7 We cannot fulfil our mission if 

8 We must recognize a third great curse of biology: 
the fact that the proportion of research workers in pure 
biology to those engaged in routine or highly applied 
research work is less favorable than in many other fields 
of science. For a number of reasons, the routine 
workers (i.e. teachers, most of the experiment station 
workers, professional organizers of various sorts, and 
also the amateurs) seem to produce less research work 
with each generation (.cf. POST HUM us, O., 1937: De 
Natuurwetenschappelijke InstellinRen, hun tekort en hoe 
dit te verhelpen? Pp. 7, Soerabaja & Bussum). 
For a spiiited general discussion of the problem, cf. 
SICERIST, H. E., 1944: The University at the Cross- 
roads (Bull. Hist. Med. 15:233-245). 

I do not intend to deny for a moment that the only 
way to make important progress is by having all 
thoughts concentrated on one central interest, but I 
do deny that anyone will profit by continuing to 
concentrate thus for decennia without extensive excur- 
sions into other fields. 

i Cf. FERDINAND CORN'S immortal words: "Ich kann 
wohl die Anerkennung fur mich in anspruch nehmen, 
dass ich die Botanik, in deren Pflege und Lehre ich 
meinen Lebensberuf gefunden babe, niemals also ein in 
sich abgeschlossenes, isolirtes Fach, sondern im Zusam- 
menhang mit der gesammten Naturwissenschaft, gleich- 
zeitig aber auch in engster Beziehung zu den Geisteswis- 
senschaften aufgefasst habe. Wenn die Botanik gemein- 
sam mit der Zoologie die Probleme des Lebens erforscht, 
stutzt sie sich auf Physik und Chemie als ihre Grand- 

these facts are disregarded; we cannot rais 
satisfactory crop of young biologists if we 
they are not governed by this knowledge. 

Speaking of agriculture in the post-war w 
Dr. AUCHTER, of the U.S. Department of / 
culture, in a recent address emphasized (r 
proved nutrition for human beings, (2) me 
of breeding and the use of substances that 
late growth, (3) world exploration to obta 
maintain material for breeding purposes, ( 
changed fertilizer situation, (5) utiliza 
waste and by-products and (<5) problem' 
sect and disease control. To them I she 
to add research in a field about which v 
more at the end of the last war than we ( 

In spite of the lack of emphasis on inte 
relations at that time, there were in t 
of our colleagues, a generation ago, IT 
about or rather a feeling for the n 
closer relations between science an 
ment (not necessarily human polit 
might call this borderland biopolitics 
plea for it today. Is it because wr 
paired of ever establishing such rej 
is it a reaction against the close I 
tween biology and politics in the 
which biology has occasionally bee 
serfdom? If that is so, a word of 
be expressed. To do so I just v 
biopolitics which will recall a r< 
research, geopolitics, developed by 
in the Axis countries, but not 
account, as shown by the ways 
developed along purely scientii 
American scholars. Biopolitics 
may well be the ways along 
will find it possible to reach th< 
they hitherto failed to influenc 

It is not true that the two 
simply conflicts between ha 
nations; yet the conflicts b 
groups are more responsible 
century chaos than are an: 
The practical politician wi 
mently ; the scientist knows I 
in 1940, in "The New Worl- 
it one of the most impor 
The scientist, the only i 
natural resources 8 and the 
development, may well cor 
to the establishment of 
also knows that a durabli 
plastic, a consideration v 
tician again considers al 

pfeiler, tritt sie mit der f 
den Wanderungen und dei 
Verbindung, greift jie in 
hinein in das Gcbiet der : 
ist sie aber auch vcrknup 
Cultur, die in der Geschicl 
thren Ausdruck findet. 
ausstrahlenden Beziehung 
Pflanzen haben mich von 
mit den Vertretern der 
7weige .... (COHN, T 

8 Cf. also MATHER, 
Spare .... pp. 186 (f 

RDOORN : The Plant Scientist in the World's Turmoils 


low let us consider the aims of international 

Deration in science: 9 

') The exchange of information (scientific, 
:ssional, and practical) in such a way that 
11 be available to anyone who can profit 

The attainment of objectives which in- 

als or scientists of a single institution or 

cannot accomplish. These may be either in 

applied scientific research, or they may 

erativc scientific or practical publications. 

The forming of an esprit de corps which 

least at some time and at some place, 

ct the evils of human international 

and contribute to the establishment 

nonvvealth of nations. 10 ' n 

in we best accomplish these aims? 

the oldest and most important form : 

ation of original research, in which 

ntist takes part, uninterrupted even 

ery time he has an article or a book 

bstracting journals, international as 


ternational congresses and meetings. 

if V S. organizations interested in inter- 
see SAVORD, R, 1942: American Agcn- 
n International Affairs, pp. 200 (New 

ago I formulated the aims in a more 

i of Congresses : Occasions for the 

ns, making of new contacts, etc. Too 

^iven at these meetings to lectures and 

sia, informal round table discussions 

cctmRs of small groups of specialists. 

jf scientific and technical cooperation 

/orkers in different countries, both 

rs in the same field and between 

rent fields (borderland research). 

uniformity in various respects: 
, form of publications, etc., etc. 
"cognition, and consolidation of the 

th other leading scientific organi- 
ons of general interest (e.a. the 
cientific publications) and to in- 
mat ters of human welfare. 

cent discussion on the general 
see KANDEL. I. L.. 1944- Intel- 
ional and International, pp. 78 

iews from the biologist's point 
, 1942 (etc.): On Living in 
.ondon), also CAKLSON, A. J.. 
logy and the Future of Man 

assumption that scientific 
or knowledge, are the most 
all know that the number of 
nore rapidly than our real 
with which I am familiar 
lent, bryology and history, 
last forty years have pre- 
11 need revision, checking, 
efore does not really add 
A single monograph or 
ok could have been pre- 
/ wasted on many little 
ny of us, the question no 
ibute best to the advance- 
t many of us can con- 
\ whole by various forms 
) often forgotten), but 

(4) By international societies or commissions 
responsible for the organization of international 
cooperative research. In biology most research 
is individual, or at most institutional; whereas 
in other fields of science, e.g. astronomy and 
gcodetics, research has developed markedly along 
lines of direct cooperation, national and inter- 

Though it is clear that most research in biol- 
ogy will remain quite individual (this should be 
recognized as the cause of the comparative lack 
of interest of many foremost biologists in inter- 
national relations work), there are many scien- 
tific and especially applied scientific problems 
which could be more easily and better solved 
by some form of international cooperation. In 
taxonomy, for example, the terrible status of 
exotic cryptogamic taxonomy 18 cries for some 
kind of concentrated attack ; in plant pathology, 
a study, on an international basis, of the methods 
of disease control is greatly desired; in horti- 
culture, an international centralization and fur- 
ther experimentation on the results obtained 
by the use of hormones in propagation has been 
asked for by the Permanent Committee of the 
International Horticultural Congresses. 

(5) By international societies or commissions 
responsible for the organization of practical 
international activities. In botanical and zoo- 
logical nomenclature the need for such coopera- 
tion was felt at so early a time that much has 
already been accomplished in this field. There 
are, however, many other things which could and 
should be done in the same way : the unification 
of botanical terminology, colour codification, etc. 

13 The status of many institutions of systematic botany 
in the U.S.A. and elsewhere (especially in cryptogamic 
botany) is still such that their curators and supporters 
could, with few changes, make use of an old editorial: 

"The impression that University is exceedingly 

well endowed may be true enough in general, but it is 
very far from being true of the Herbarium. We have 
the somewhat anomalous case of the most famous 

herbarium in for many years under the direct 

care of the most distinguished botanist in , and 

in the possession of the oldest and nearly the wealthiest 

unversity of , living, last year, on a beggarly 

income of out of which the curator is paid, 

the collection increased and kept in order, and the 
library kept up with the times! The final touch to this 

showing is that of this amount was derived 

from the gifts of Dr himself To an 

outsider it looks as if the university was making a rare 

bargain in devoting of its own income to the 

maintenance of so famous an establishment as the 

herbarium and library. Many a college in this 

country would be willing to give ten times that amount 
annually for the support of an institution which wields 
such an influence over ... . botany . . . botanists 

have no sympathy with University in this 

matter, but they do have a lasting pride in the great 
collection of plants it possesses, and a still stronger love 
for the memory of him who made it what it is. For 
this reason they should tie ready to me their influence 
towards securing a proper endowment. If endowment 
for botanical research is a desirable thing, the endow- 
ment of the Herbarium will secure the largest 

amount of botanical work for the least outlay of money. 
It requires a vast amount of money to found such an 
establishment, even were such a thing possible, but it 
does not require very much to make such an establish- 
ment productive when it is already founded " 

(Bot. Gazette 15:99, 1890). 


VERDOORN : The Plant Scientist in the World's Turmoils 

Such work as has been initiated by RECORD'S In- 
ternational Association of Wood Anatomists 
could usefully be done in many other fields. A 
special war-time problem and an immense one 
is the reconstruction of herbaria and botanic 
gardens destroyed by the war ; this is an inter- 
national, not a national task. 

(6") By publications not reporting the results 
of scientific research (either in original form or 
in abstracts), but bringing together various 
kinds of information and intelligence. In some 
cases these may be only stimulating; in other 
cases, of direct use for the research worker. 
Publications of this type have played a great part 
in biology; and I have always been especially 
interested in them. 14 We may distinguish : 

(a) Address-bnoks, either the old-fashioned 
lists of research workers or the more modern 
combination of such lists with a census of cur- 
rent research. 

(fe) Indices of various kinds; e.g. the Index 
Hcrbariorum, started by Dr. HITCHCOCK and 
now actively continued by Dr. LANJOUW. 

(c) Such journals as the early Botanische 
Zeitung, early Botanical Gazette, Dorfleria, the 
Chronica Rotanica when it was published as an 
"International News-magazine." Such journals, 
which bring together various kinds of informa- 
tion and intelligence, discussions, 19 notes, news, 
etc., have in the past always been published 
by individuals who after some time could not 
continue to give them the necessary time and 
money. They should, of course, be the official 
professional organ of an international society. 

(d) A very great need exists also for a new 
and complete Guide to the Literature of the 
Plant Sciences. This also will be possible only 
with international cooperation. 

(e) Then there are many publications semi- 
scientific, semi-practical, like the "Index Kewen- 
sis" and "Index Londincnsis" and my planned 
"Index Botanicorum", which were formerly com- 
piled on an institutional or national basis, but 

i* In this century of wars (in which even today, 
toward the end of the Second World War, little is being 
done to solve the basic causes of the current world 
conflicts, when we already clearly perceive the spectacle 
of nations striving for self-sufficiency, i.e. economic 
chaos, i. World War III seq.), publications are for 
several obvious reasons the most attractive and suc- 
cessful form of international relations work. 

13 Interest in discussions (except in the field of nomen- 
clature) of general and professional subjects is not 
great among plant scientists. Some fifty years ago 
COULTER wrote: "Botanists are a peaceable folk, so 
peacahle, we are almost inclined to add, as to be 
apathetic. They seem so averse to anything that has 
even the semblance of discussion that they will not 
even express an opinion lest it lead to controversy. If 
induction is worth anything, we can substantiate this by 
adducing a hosts of facts on which it is based. One 
has only to look back over the file of the Gazette to find 
that in the past five years there has been suggested 
numerous questions and movements, some of them of 
great interest to botanists. These the Gazette has pre- 
sented, sometimes editorially, sometimes through its 
'Open Letters', and regarding some it has invited and 
even urged discussion for the guidance of those having 
the matters in charge. We cannot at this writing recall 

a single response to these invitations t " (Bot. 

Gaz. 17:128, 1892). 

which, in the future, will probably ask for at 
international effort. 

None of these things in itself is very impor- 
tant, but together they make a complex mass of 
activities both inspiring and helpful, and wel 
worth the effort, even if we realize that to d 
this work well some of those who will do it wi 
have to give up projects in pure research de; 
to their heart. 

Just as a commonwealth of nations, the gr 
of almost all thinking men, is not yet in sig 
it is clear that the time for some of the activi 
just enumerated is not yet here. The tendc 
of human development, in any field whatcvei 
however, toward greater unity. Before t 
can be anything like a world-embracing 
monwcalth of nations, regional commonw* 
may be more immediately feasible. Pan-F 
as planned by BRIAND and Cou DEN HOVE K 
is one of them ; a united Western Hemispl 
planned by SIMON BOLIVAR and HENRY 
and to some degree established by S 
WELLES, is another. One does not ha\ 
very familiar with international politics 
lations to realize that a united Western 
phere is one of the greatest conceivaf 
antces of a durable peace. Unfortut 
have learned during the past years tr 
ences in race, temperament, and eco 
terests make a united Western Hen 
which, at no time, seemed too Utopia 
easy to accomplish. 

And here the biologist meets o 
such as he has seldom, if ever, 
Agriculture, biology, and medicine 
which Inter- American cooperation 1 
tunity to do things so great that 
question their usefulness and nee 
they are things which have a ver: 
ing upon Inter-American economi 
relations. 10 Though many of us i 
of the Western Hemisphere rcali 
facts and this dramatic opporti 
our lap, not too many of us s 
spite of the support of the Gov 
large foundations (and you km 
foundations never bet but on 
Is it due to the scientist's ir 
to get mixed up in Governmen 
help him, that he may see h 
duty, for never before has 
position to influence with 
little, if any, sacrifice the cot 
of the Western Hemisphci 
world at large indirectly. 

w For a short interesting a 
sources of tropical America an 
for the general reader, see Coo 
of Agriculture to Tropical 
Board of Regents of Smith; 
D.C., pp. 491-501). 

Among biologists all ove- 
ing that relations with gover 
specific political group) sh> 
possible. This may be a so 
of view of pure research 
view it is a mistake. It re 

VERDOORN : The Plant Scientist in the World's Turmoils 

trro Colorado 

Vc Chlriqoi 
l. d Aotoa 

la Ooloa 

U tatog* 

rcfflMM fairly mil olltd 
ration* oiBMrhat eoliMtcd 


as been written during the past years 

form, aims, and scope of inter-Ameri- 

ation 18 in the pure and applied plant 

sciences. I will restrict myself to a 

s and desiderata : 

erative studies of the flora and fauna 
America are necessary and more 
t be found for this work, even if it 

cs. Who should know better than the 

<th the development of organisms their 

more and more intricate? 

of human society has become so com- 

n no longer function well without regu- 

it a political creed; it is a fact which 

1 over the world. Whatever the dan- 

are, the government to use a simple 

there to stay, and we biologists had 

opportunity what we can. 

tion mention may be made of the 

Council, established at a meeting of 

Caribbean Commission held in Bar- 

< 21-30, 1944. Dr. ERICH ENGLUND, 

weign Relations. U.S. Department 

serve as Chairman of the Council. 

'IIAKDON, Director of the Institute 

jre of Puerto Rico, serving as 

ction on Agriculture, Nutrition, 

. Dr. Emc WILLIAMS, native of 

om Oxford, and Professor at 

Secretary to the Council. Dr. 

r D. D. PATEKSON, of the Ira- 

al Agriculture in Trinidad, are 

ly and joint report of the agri- 

within the Caribbean area on 

th a view of securing a more 

search projects and more per- 

-ibbean Commission, with Mr. 
airman of the American Sec- 
CXDALX as Chairman of the 

the Caribbean. Representa- 
ve also been attending the 

means some discontinuance of research of the 
Old World tropics. 19 ' *> 

meetings. The offices of the Commission are in 810-18th 
Street, N.W , Washington, D.C. 

For more information on Anglo-American collabora- 
tion in the Caribbean region cf. Nature 153:320 (1944). 

l In 1907 L. M. UNDERWOOD wrote: "The writer is 
neither a prophet, nor the son of a prophet, but perhaps 
the present is as good a time as any for prophesying, 
and this is his prophecy: Before another generation 
of botanists shall have come to the front, American 
botany will have fully entered into its proper heritage, 
the flora of pan-America and this future flora of 
1937 will include in it the one remaining botanical dark 
continent of all the world South America and the 
geographic limits of this flora will be Behring Strait 
and the Strait of Magellan". (The progress of our 
knowledge of the flora of North America, Popular Scien- 
tine Monthly 70 518, June 1907). 

Today one would hardly dare to prophesy how many 
generations will have to pass before the flora of South 
America will be "adequately" known. How much field 
work remains still to be done may be gathered from the 
accompanying map showing the regions of Panama 
"which have and have not been collected" (courtesy of 
R. W. SCHEKY, 1942). In cryptogamic botany this 
will certainly take several generations! 

It is the opinion of the writer that the study of the 
flora of tropical America could be greatly stimulated 
by a number of generic floras (for flowering plants as 
well as for the major groups of cryptogamic plants). 

20 Experience has unfortunately shown that hemi- 
spheric scientific societies are difficult to establish and 
still more difficult to develop. At one time we had a 
hemispheric microbiological society, later a hemispheric 
soil science society (Agric. in the Ams. 2, 9. 1942), 
not to speak of the hemispheric agricultural society. The 
fact that these three societies all remained in an em- 
bryonic state should not be misinterpreted as an ill omen 
for other societies. None of them organized a journal, 
and experience has shown that it is always difficult to 
keep a society going when its membership does not 
receive a periodical publication of interest to it. 


VERDOORN : The Plant Scientist in the World's Turmoils 

(2) Students must be exchanged on a larger 
scale. 21 - 

21 A number of colleges have in recent years estab- 
lished "Divisions of Latin-American Relations". It 
seems regrettable that these divisions are in nearly 
all cases restricted to politics, the humaniora, etc. But 
in this case again, workers in the natural sciences are 
most to blame; they lacked vision. 

Mention should be made of the Escuela Agricola 
Panamericana, energetically organized by Dr. WILSON 
POPENOE. This institution, situated twenty-five miles 
from Tegucigalpa, capital of the Republic of Honduras, 
opened its doors on September 1, 1943, with seventy-four 
students representing seven countries Mexico, Guate- 
mala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica 
and Panama. Its establishment was made possible by 
a gift of $500.000 from the United Fruit Company of 
Boston. It is governed by a board of directors com- 
posed of SAMUEL ZBMURRAY, president; W. LATIMER 
GRAY, secretary -treasurer; THOMAS BARBOUR, THOMAS 
carried out through a board of regents, of which the 

All students enjoy full scholarships, including board, 
lodging, clothing, laundry service, medical attention and 
tuition. Equipment includes 3,500 acres of land, lying 
between 2,500 and 5,000 feet in elevation; a main building 
known as "Zenmrray Hall"; dormitories, a dining hall, 
residences for the staff, a modern dairy and cold storage 
plant and various minor structures. 

In founding the Escuela Agricola Panamericana it 
was the purpose of the United Fruit Company to co- 
operate in a practical manner toward the further de- 
velopment of agriculture in the Latin American coun- 
tries. To this end the school not only furnishes in- 
struction to a considerable number of Latin American 
(chiefly Central American) youths, hut also conducts 
experiments, especially with a view toward the intro- 
duction of new crop plants and improved varieties of 
those already cultivated, the diversification of tropical 
American agriculture and the improvement of the 
tropical dietary. 

In choosing the teaching staff, especial care has been 
taken to select men with long practical experience in 
tropical agriculture. All students do classroom work 
only in the afternoons, the mornings being spent in field 
practice. The full course requires three years, following 
which an opportunity for special i7ation is given those 
who have demonstrated unusual ability. 

22 The Union of American Biological Societies has 
published very recently a most useful booklet in Spanish 
and Portuguese ("Organizacion de los Estudios Supe- 
riores de Biologia en los Estados Unidos" and "Altos 
Estudos e Pesquisas no Domfnio das Ciencias Biologicas 
nos Estados Unidos"). This deals not only with the 
general organization of graduate work in biology in 
colleges and universities of the United States, but also 
with such subjects as biological field stations, agricul- 
tural experiment stations, biological societies and their 
meetings, biological publications, and the opportunities 
for securing financial aid through fellowships and 
scholarships. It is hoped that the booklet will be of 
service not only to young Latin American biological 
students who contemplate coming to the United States 
for advanced study and research, but also to Latin 
American professors who wish to spend a short sojourn 
in the United States at a biological field station or in 
attendance at biological meetings. 

The booklet has been prepared by a Committee of 
American Biologists, with E. G. BUTLER of Princeton 
University serving as Chairman. Publication and dis- 
tribution of the booklet is being carried out directly by 
the "Union of American Biological Societies." 

With reference to the chapter on Biological Stations 
(Ed. hisp., p. 17), I may draw the attention to HOMER 
A. JACK'S forthcoming "Biological Field Stations of 
the World" (Chron. Bot. 9, No. 1, in press). 

In the chapter on Biological Publications (Ed. hisp., 
p. 24) mention is made in some detail of Biological 
Abstracts. Not a word is said of the new monumental 
Bibliography of Agriculture, issued by the Library of 

(3) The problem of a common language 2 * 
must be solved in some way. Very probably it 
will find its solution best if the Latin American 
scientists make an increased use of English in 
their scientific publications and correspondence 
abroad. Their North American neighbour, how- 
ever, must be able to read Spanish, both to un- 
derstand the publications of his Hispanic col- 
leagues and to appreciate their culture, which 
differs considerably more from the North 
American than e.g. the British or Scandinavian. 

(4) An inter- American professional biological 
journal, with articles and notes in the four 
languages, if possible backed by an inter- 
American biological society, seems desperately 
needed to establish a common meeting ground. 

(5) An inter-American biological station of 
the Woods Hole type, somewhere in Latin 
America, could do much good, especially if or- 
ganized by biologists and agronomists on a truly 
inter-American basis. It is very sad that the 
Inter -American Institute of Agriculture has not 
been organized by representative scientists. 
With the same means and effort something 
better could have resulted. But the biologists 
of the Americas are also at fault for having 
watched (or not having watched at all) the 
development of this institute with such an utter 
detachment. 25 - 26 

the U.S. Dcpt of Apiculture (order from the Supenn^ 
tcndent of Documents, Washington 25, D C., annual 
subscription price for two volumes $3.75), which, from 
certain points of view, is not less, if not more, useful to 
the biologist. 

With reference to the chapter on Fellowships (Ed. 
hisp , p. 27) attention may be drawn to certain informa- 
tion presented by Dr. K. A. RYERSON in his chapter on 
pp. 236-237 of this volume. 

23 I have found among many North American students 
an assumption that, to do any kind of useful work 
relating to Central and South America, it is necessary 
to start with a trip through a number of the Latin 
American Republics. This attitude is ridiculous. There 
are many cases in which such a trip may be useful, 
especially after some years of study; in many other cases 
it is most certainly not a necessity. Our libraries and 
museums have material for generations of students of 
Latin America, without the slightest necessity for a 
visit south of the border. A good basic education 
seems more desirable than a hurried trip south. I 
may recall, to illustrate, the case of one of the greatest 
students of Mohammedanism, VAN VOLLENHOVEN, who 
never left his quiet study near the University of 

24 It is regrettable that there is not a good Spanish- 
English and English- Spanish dictionary of botanical 
terms. There are, however, several god Spanish text- 
books, with indices and glossaries. A large cooperative 
Diccionario de Botdnica is being prepared at present 
in Spain. A number of well-known continental text- 
books (VON WETTSTEIN, STRASBURGRR, etc.) have very 
recently been published in Spain in careful translations 
which will be invaluable for those looking for correct 
Spanish equivalents of English terms. 

20 Many botanists of today do not know of the early 
efforts to found an American Tropical Laboratory (cf. 
Bot. Gaz. 22:415 and 494, 1896, etc.), culminating in 
the establishment of a tropical biological station (in 
1903) at Cinchona, Jamaica (cf. MAXON, W. R., 1922. 
Smiths. Rept. for 1920, p. 529; HARSHBERGER, J. W., 
1902, Plant World 5:41, etc.). 

Still much less is known today of the grandiose plans 
of LUIGI BUSCAGLIONI, who planned a second "hortus 
bogoriensis" on the Amazon (ca. 1900), traveling widely 
to obtain sympathy and support (for a pathetic account 

VERDOORN: The Plant Scientist in the World's Turmoils 


I have devoted much space in my CHRONICA 
BOTANICA for the past few years to the promo- 
tion of inter-American relations and have under- 
taken the editorship of this volume with the hope 
that it may exercise some useful influence along 
these lines. A single individual, however, can- 
not do very much. Needed are an inter-Ameri- 
can biological society, an inter-American bio- 
logical journal, and an inter-American biological 
station; the latter will assure us of more satis- 
faction than merely a pleasant scientific holiday. 

The biologists of the United Nations are, or 
will soon find themselves, in a truly unique posi- 

of his efforts cf. Nuovo Giorn. Bot. Ital. 9-1-32. 1902). 

For the account of another international project, 
which failed to materialize, cf. J. F*LIX 1908: Projet 
d'un Institut International de Biologie generate et de 
Plasmogenie universelle (Mem. y Rev. Sec. Cient. "An- 
tonio Abate" 26-297-304). 

A plan to establish a British tropical research station 
at Jamaica has recently been developed by V. J. CHAP- 
MAN (Nature 152:47. 1943). 

28 Discussing the principles and basic philosophy of 
inter-American cooperation in the field of agricultural 
research and extension, Ross E. Moon of the U.S. 
Office of Foreign Agricultural Relations recently stated: 
"I feel very strongly that the entire program of tropical 
experiment stations should have its roots firmly fixed 
in the actual needs of tropical agriculture. In this con- 
nection , it becomes immediately obvious that nationals 
of th<, countries in which these stations are to be located 
must have active participation at every stage in the 
f 01 mutation of plans and in their execution. Whatever be the good intentions of those of us from the 
United States who desire to collaborate with our col- 
leagUes from the other American republics, it is ira- 
portAit to remember that none can appreciate the needs 
of a given locality better than those who have been 
identi ed all their lives with that locality. 

"A srcond important consideration is that experi- 
ment -lions should be planned as integral parts of 
larger stems for the betterment of the economies of 
those c ntries which they are meant to benefit. For 
instance it is absolutely essential that adequate roads 
be built i order that the experiment stations may not 
find then lves in the position of developing the cultiva- 
tion of p ducts for which there is no means of trans- 
portation other regions in the Americas where these 
products n y be needed. When I speak of roads I refer 
not only main trunk roads connecting important 
centers of country, but also to the smaller feeder 
roads whicl are just as essential in providing an ade- 
quate netwf of transportation. 

"A third ctor which affects the entire situation and 
without whii there could hardly be any sensible dis- 
cussion of di eloping tropical agriculture is that of the 
human elemci The scarcity of population precisely in 
those regions vhich hold forth great possibilities for 
development i too well known to you all to require 
further explan ion. This situation, naturally, brings 
with it three it nrtant problems. The first is the need 
for importing tfcore people to the regions where it is 
desired to undertake agricultural development. The 

Some of them will have the opportunity of 
assuming leadership in the conduct of inter- 
national relations work, with its profound im- 

A group of them can be instrumental in assist- 
ing in making the Western Hemisphere strong 
and influential, one of the least Utopian guar- 
antees of a durable peace. 

And they all will be in a position to assist with 
the creation, not of a planned supreme State, 
but a government of free responsible men, which 
will guide human relations and world affairs 
according to the laws of living Nature, as dis- 
covered and set forth by biologists. 

F. V. 

second, no less important, is the training and guidance 
of these people. The third is that of sanitation and 
public health facilities. These are tasks in which both 
the countries affected and the countries which have had 
more extensive experience in solving similar problems 
can effectively collaborate. 

"A fourth problem and one which underlies most of 
the others, is the need for planning agricultural de- 
velopment of the Americas on a long-time, permanent 
basis rather than for short periods which simply reflect 
a temporary emergency. Since agriculture is so inex- 
tricably bound up with other factors of social develop- 
ment, it cannot be planned on a basis which would 
endanger the existence of community life built up in 
the various countries on the basis of present needs. 

"A fifth problem is that of providing for subsistence 
crops and animals for ordinary family requirements 
which will take care of the people whom it is expected 
to engage in the development of complementary crops 
(which take a long time to come into production), while 
they are waiting for this to happen. There are a num- 
ber of regions in which the growth of these comple- 
mentary crops is envisaged at a considerable distance 
from present centers of population and it is therefore ab- 
solutely essential to the welfare of the people who are to 
participate in these undertakings that they be adequately 
supplied with the means of sustaining life during the 
developmental period. 

"It is obvious that extension and investigation work 
must go on hand in hand simultaneously with coloniza- 
tion and cultivation. No one of these can be said to 
be independent of the others. The progress of each will 
be definitely affected by the success of the others. 

"The most logical procedure would seem to call, in 
its initial stages, for the building of roads from seaports 
already in existence or other shipping points to be set 
up, penetrating into the forests from which settlers 
could take out the rubber and other raw products which 
now exist there. 

"In this development, the experimental station is 
basic. Such a station, properly organized and manned, 
can scientifically guide the growth of an entire region 
on the basis of facts which are already known, or which 
it can unearth in the region by experimentation. 

"Among the problems to which such a station could 
address itself are: cultural practices, the selection and 
testing of varieties, animal feeding, fertilization, erosion 
control, the best times for planting, crop rotation, and 
farm management " 

"Reiscn (lurch Sudamenka". 

Introductory Bibliographical Notes, 1: A 
Selected List of Travel Rooks of Botanical 
Interest: The fact that most young bota- 
nists preparing to go to Central or South 
America spend so little time reading the expe- 
riences of outstanding colleagues of the past has 
often surprised me. It is, of course, more im- 
portant to get certain other kinds of information 
first, and the time of preparation for many 
travelers is not long. Yet, I cannot help feeling 
that stimulation and profit may be derived for all 
interested in Latin American affairs from the 
classic accounts of botanical and agricultural 
exploiation in Central and South America. 
Many of these books are not difficult to obtain 
and hardly expensive. In the hope that it may 
be of some assistance to those interested, I have 
drawn up the following concise list of Latin 
American travel books books of a direct inter- 
est from a botanical explorer's point of view. This 
was not too difficult, as I have been collecting 
data for a bibliography of botanical travel books 
for years (many of them contain valuable his- 
torical data, often overlooked). The Arnold 
Arboretum Library, that fine and resourceful 
legacy of CHARLES SPRAOUE SARGENT, where one 
may spend hours and hours discovering treasure 
after treasure, has an unusual collection. In 
the course of the years I personally have also 
gathered quite some material. The following 
bibliography is based chiefly on these two col- 
lections. I have listed about one-third of the 
books one might list in a more or less complete 
bibliography, eliminating the titles which are 
difficult to obtain, of only little interest, or which 
may, for our purpose, be supposed to have been 
superseded by books more readily available. A 
very few classic regional descriptions, based on 
personal experiences, have been included. With 
certain exceptions only books, no articles or 
periodicals or short pamphlets, have been listed. 


AGASSIZ, J. L. R. and J. E. CABOT, 1868, etc. : 
A Journey in Brazil, pp. 540 (Boston, etc.). 
A very readable account of a general, not merely 
zoological, interest! 

ANDR, ED., 1883: L'Amerique quinoxiale. 
There may exist more than one edition of this 
extremely readable narrative. An illustrated 
edition was published in "Le Tour du Monde", 
a French geographical magazine (vol. 34, liv. 
861 seq.). This has drawings by Riou, BAYARD, 
and others, which make it one of the most 
unique travel accounts ever published in our 
field (cf. plates 1, 14 and 33 and the vignette on 
p. xxviii (also CITRON. 8, 4:425, 1944). ANDRE 
published also a more formal report which gives 
more accurate data about his collections, route, 
etc. (Rapport sur une mission scientifique dans 
1'Amerique du Sud, pp. 38, Paris: Imp. Nat, 

APPUN, C. F , 1871 : Unter den Tropen , 

2 vols., pp. 559 + 598 (Jena). Travels in 
Venezuela, British Guiana, and Northern Brazil 

BACKEBERG, C, 1930: Kakteenjagd zwischen 
Texas und Patagonien, pp. 127 (Berlin). A 
well-illustrated account by one of the most suc- 
cessful, professional cactus collectors. The same 
author wrote "Durch die unbekannte Kordillere" 
(nv.). There exist several other books of this 
type, and many shorter narratives will be found 
in the journals and annuals of the various cactus 
and succulent societies. 

BATES, H. W., 1863 (etc.) : The Naturalist on 
the River Amazons, 2 vols., pp. 3M -f 417 (Lon- 
don). This "Record of Adventures, Habits of 
Animals, Sketches of Brazilian and Indian Life, 
and Aspects of Nature under the Equator, dur- 
ing eleven years of Travel" is chiefly zoological, 
yet extremely readable and of a broad, general 

Travel Books of Botanical Interest 

interest. It has, without doubt, been read in the 
past by more naturalists than any other account 
of Amazonian exploration. 

BELT, T., 1874 (etc.) : The Naturalist in 
Nicaragua: A Narrative of a Residence at the 
Gold Mines of Chontales; Journeys in the 
Savannahs and Forests, pp. 403 (London, etc.). 

One of the most famous Central American 

BODDAM-WHETHAM, J. W., 1879: Roraima 
and British Guiana, pp. 363 (London). Many 
botanical notes. The same author's "Across 
Central America", pp. 353 (London 1877) has 
fewer natural history notes. 

BOUILLENNE, R., 1930 : Un Voyage Botanique 
dans les Bas-Amazones, pp. 185 (Arch. Inst. Bot. 
Liege 8, nr. 3). Illustrated account of a Bel- 
gian expedition (J. MASSART, P. BRIEN, P. LE- 

BROUSSEAU, G., 1901: Les Richesses de la 
Guyane Franchise, et de 1'ancien conteste franco- 
bresilien. Onze ans d'exploration, pp. 248 
(Paris). Not primarily botanical, but one of 
the few books of interest from our point of 
view on French Guiana. Rare. 

BURGER, O., 1923 : Reisen eines Naturforschers 
im Tropischen Amerika, 2 vols. in one, ed. 3, pp. 
224 + 222 (Leipzig). I, Zum westindischen 
Mittelmeer, auf dem Magdalena, Streifziige in 
den Kordilleren; II, Durch die Llanos, auf Meta 
und Orinoco, Trinidad und die Grenadinen. 
This is, for the botanist, the most interesting of 
the author's numerous books. 

BURMEISTER, H., 1861 : Reise durch die La 
Plata-Staaten, mit besonderer Riicksicht auf die 
physische Beschaffenheit und den Culturzustand 
der Argentinischen Republik, 2 vols., pp. 504 + 
540. Somewhat lengthy. The author was a 
zoologist from Halle who also collected plants. 

CALVERT, A. S. and P. P., 1917: A Year of 
Costa Rican Natural History, pp. 577 (New 
York). An extensive volume of zoological, 
botanical and general impressions and notes. 

CAPPELLE, H. VAN, 1906 : Au Travers des Fo- 
rets Vierges de la Guyane Hollandaise, pp. 198 
(Baarn et Paris). Many photographs. 

CHAMPLAIN, S. [1859] : Narrative of a Voy- 
age to the West Indies and Mexico in the years 
1599-1603 . . . , translated from the original and 
unpublished manuscript, with a biographical 
notice and notes by ALICE WILMERE, edited by 
NORTON SHAW, pp. 48 (London: Hakluyt Soc.). 

Interesting account of an expedition made 
about 1601, "exhibiting the state of some of the 
West Indies Islands nearly 350 years ago, many 
of them being then uninhabited by Europeans". 

CHAPMAN, F. M., 1938: Life in an Air Castle, 
pp. 250 (New York). Deals chiefly with the 
Barro Colorado Biological Station in Gatun 
Lake, Canal Zone. 

DARWIN, C. R., 1839 (etc.) : Journal and Re- 
marks in Narrative of the Surveying Voyages 
of ... Adventure and Beagle between . . . 1826 
and 1836, Vol. 3.- Later editions have other 
titles, e.g. 1872 (etc.) : Journal of Researches 
into the Natural History and Geology of the 
Countries visited during the Voyage of H.M.S. 
Beagle round the World . . . , pp. 519 (New 
York, etc.) . About half of this classic reports on 

travels and exploration in South America, the 
Galapagos, etc. Most of the facts related con- 
cern zoology and geology rather than botany*. 

DETMER, W., 1897: Botanische Wanderungen 
in Brasilien, pp. 188 (Leipzig). Travel im- 
pressions of a famous German plant physiologist 
("Nun habe ich die wundersame Tropenwelt 
gesehen, und darf die Bereicherung, welche 
meine Anschauungen sowie Kenntnisse durch 
die Reise erfahren haben, als nicht unerheblich 

DOFLEIN, F. f 1900: Von den Antillen zum 
fernen Westen. Reiseskizzen eines Natur- 
forschers, pp. 180 (Jena). Pp. 3-87 deal with 
the West Indies. The author was a well-known 
zoologist, but the book is of a very general in- 

DOMIN, K., 1927/29: Travels in the West 
Indies, 2 vols., in Czech (Prague). 

FOSTER, M. and R., 1945: Air Gardens of 
Brazil, in press (Lancaster, Pa.). Excursions 
to collect bromeliads, orchids, etc. Will contain 
much of a botanical and horticultural interest. 

GADOVV, H., 1908: Through Southern Mexico 
. . . , pp. 527 ( London) . An extremely read- 
able account, based upon two journeys through 
S. Mexico during the months of June and 
September of the years 1902 and 1904. 

GARDNER, G., 1846: Travels in the Interior 
of Brazil, pp. 562 (London). Botanical travels 
in the Northern provinces and the gold and 
diamond districts (1836/41). "The climate 
agreed better with my health than that of Eng- 
land ; and the country is beautiful, and richer than 
any other in the world . . . ." 

GATES, R. R., 1927 : A Botanist in the Amazon 
Valley, pp. 203 (London). A recent, very fine 
botanical travelogue, also zoological and gcnet- 
ical observations. 

GILL, R. C., 1940: White Water and Black 
Magic, pp. 369 (New York). A verbal cotil- 
lon, chiefly concerned with trips searching for 
data about curare in Ecuador. 

GOODSPEED, T. H., 1941 : Plant Hunters in the 
Andes, pp. 429. Amongst the best of modern 
travel accounts, informative, readable without 
being too popular ; very fine photographs. Deals 
chiefly with Peru and Chile. 

GRIEVE, S., 1906: Notes upon the Island of 
Dominica . . . , pp. 126 (London). Account 
of an expedition to study the flora and fauna 
of the island of Dominica, also much general 

GUENTHER, K., 1931 : A Naturalist in Brazil, 
The Record of a Year's Observation of her 
Flora, her Fauna, and her People, pp. 400 (Bos- 
ton). Translated from the German by B. 
MIALL (the German ed. is not often met with). 
One of the best general biological, modern travel 

GUSSKELD, P., 1888: Reise in den Andes von 
Chile und Argentinien . . . , pp. 480 (Berlin). 
Plants identified by ASCHERSON. 

HAGEN, V. W. VON, 1940: Jungle in the 
Clouds, pp. 260 (New York). Expedition to 

* The original diary of DARWIN'S voyage on the 
Beagle, edited by his granddaughter, NO*A BAKLOW, 
was published a few years ago (New York, 1934). 

Travel Books of Botanical Interest 

the rain forests of Honduras. The same author 
wrote several other travel books, which contain 
material of a botanical interest ("Ecuador the 
Unknown", 1939, etc.). Of interest are also his 
accounts of native paper industry. A popular 
book on the development of natural history in 
Latin America by him is in press ("South 
America called them", N.Y.: Knopf). 

HENDERSON, J. B., 1916: The Cruise of the 
Tomas Barren . . ., pp. 320 (New York). 
Narrative of a scientific expedition to Western 
Cuba and the Colorado reefs with observations 
on geology, fauna and flora. 

HERZOG, TH., reported in 2 volumes on his 
explorations in South America: Bergfahrten in 
SQdamerika, pp. 212 (Stuttgart, 1925) and Vom 
Urwald zu den Gletschern der Kordillere, ed. 2, 
pp. 240 (Stuttgart, 1923). 

HIGGINS, H. H., 1887: Notes by a Field- 
Naturalist in the Western Tropics . . ., pp. 205 
(Liverpool). Journal kept on board the Royal 
Mersey Steam Yacht "Argo". 

KINGSTON, R. W. G., 1932 : Naturalist in the 
Guiana Forest (London). Account of an Ox- 
ford University Expedition. Much entomology. 

HUDSON, W. H., a British ornithologist and 
naturalist, who spent most of his life in Argen- 
tina, wrote many popular accounts of his rambles 
of which his The Naturalist in La Plata (Lon- 
don, 1892, etc.) and Idle Days in Patagonia 
(London, 1893, etc.) are the best known. Too 
popular for most of us. 

HUMBOLDT, A. VON. Personal Narrative of 
Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of America, 
during the years 1799-1804 by ALEXANDER VON 
classic there exist numerous editions in many 
languages. THOMASINA Ross' edition (London 
1900, 3 vols.) is very handy and has a good index. 
VON HUMBOLDT'S original and extensive Voyage 
. . . was issued in Paris in the years 1805-1834 
in 23 volumes. Sections of these have been re- 
printed at various times and in several lan- 
guages. There exist many biographies of HUM- 
BOLDT. Most useful is perhaps K. BRUHNS' Life 
of Humboldt (Boston, 1873, 2 vols.). This is of 
course no longer up-to-date. There is really a 
need for a modern critical biography of VON 
HUMBOLDT. There exist several biographies in 
Spanish which are of interest in some way or 
another (e.g. VITO ALESSIO ROBLES 1940 : ALE- 
Mexico) . 

JONES, R. W., 1943: A Journey to the First 
International Orchid Congress and Orchid Col- 
lecting in Mexico, I-IV (Am. Orchid Soc. Bull., 
June 1, 1943, seq.). A recent account of special 
interest to North American collectors planning 
to visit Mexico. For a somewhat similiar 
account on Costa Rica, see W. KUPPER 1939, 
Austral. Orchid Rev. 4:12 seq. (1939). 

KELLER, P., 1874 (etc.) : The Amazon and 
Madeira Rivers, pp. 177 (New York, etc.). 
A travel of exploration, made around 1868, with 
many botanical and agricultural notes ; beautiful 
woodcuts (plates 25 and 26). 

LA CONDAMINE, C. M. DE, 1745 (etc.) : 
Relation abregle d'un voyage fait dans 1'in- 
tlrieur de 1'Amirique Meridional*, depuis la 

Cote de la Mer du Sud, jusq'aux Cotes du Bresil 
& de la Guyane, en descendant la riviere des 
Amazones . . ., pp. 379 (Paris, etc.). A fas- 
cinating early account. 

LOEFLJNG, P., 1766: Reise nach den spanischen 
Landern in Europa und America in den Jahren 
1751-1756 (Berlin). A simple, posthumous 
account by one of LINNE'S best students ("LOEF- 
LING opferte sich auf fur Floren und deren 
Liebhaber die Ihn vermissen"), translated from 
the Swedish. 

LUMIIOLTZ, C., 1902: Unknown Mexico, A 
Record of Five Years' Exploration among the 
Tribes of the Western Sierra Madre: in the 
Tierra Caliente of Tepic and Jalisco; and among 
the Tarascos of Michoacan, 2 vols., pp. 530 + 
4%. Many books chiefly dealing with archae- 
ology and anthropology are not too interesting 
for most biologists. Every biologist, however, 
will enjoy this fine, beautifully illustrated work. 
Like most of LUMHOLTZ' writings, it has much of 
a general and plant science interest. 

LUMHOLTZ, C, 1912: New Trails in Mexico; 
an account of one year's exploration in North- 
western Sonora, Mexico, and South-western 
Arizona, 1909-1910, pp. 411 (London). 

MACDONALD, N., 1940: The Orchid Hunters 
. . ., pp. 282 (London, etc.). The best of 
several modern books of this type, though less 
interesting than MILLICAN'S "Travels". 

MARIE- VICTORIN, le Frere et le Frere LEON 
1942 & 1944: Itineraires Botaniques dans Tile 
de Cuba, 2 vols., pp. 496 + 410 (Montreal: 
Contrib. Inst. Bot. Univ., No. 41 & 50). With 
a large number of excellent photographs. 
Brother MARIE- VICTORIN was killed in an auto- 
mobile accident in July, 1944. For a complete 
biography of this great and interesting figure see 
L. P. AUDET 1942, Le Frere Marie- Victor in, pp. 
283 (Quebec: Les Editions de 1'firable). ' 

(etc.) : Reise nach Brasilien, 2 vols., pp. 380 + 
345 -f- atlas. A classical travel account with 
beautiful illustrations, cf. plates 9or and 120. 

MEXIA, Y., 1929: Botanical Trails M Old 
Mexico; the lure of the unknown (Madrono 1: 
227-238). This active collector wrotefceveral 
short interesting reports, cf. CHRONM 5:115 
(1939). w 

MEYER, H., 1907: In den Hochanden von 
Ecuador . . ., pp. 551 + atlas (Berlin) . A most 
desirable work, beautiful plates. For a shorter 
account see the same author's (1925) "Hoch- 
touren im tropischen Amerika" (Leipzig: Brock- 
haus : Reisen und Abenteuer, Vol. 32) . 

MILLICAN, A., 1891 : Travels and Adventures 
of an Orchid Hunter, pp. 222 (London). A 
classical account of an orchid collector's odyssey, 
in the Northern Andes. There exist numerous 
books of this type, several of them with erro- 
neous and exaggerated statements, which make 
them of little interest from our point of view. 
MILLICAN'S account is reliable and has numerous 
nice illustrations. 

MOLINA, J. I., 1782 (etc.) : Saggio sulla 
Storia Naturale del Chili, pp. 368 (Bologna). 
A most important work, of which there exist 
several editions and translations. Cf. LOOSER 
1941, CHRON. 6:250. 

Travel Books of Botanical Interest 

Mutis, J. C.: 

VEZGA, FLORENTINO, 1936 : La Expedici6n Bo- 
tanica, pp. 212 (Bogota: Editorial Minerva) 
(P. 15 seq., chiefly on MUTIS' explorations and 
work; pp. 166-192, "La Botanica desde 1816 
hasta 1859"). For a more detailed account of 
MUTIS' work cf. DIEGO MENDOZA 1909: Expedi- 
cion Botanica de JOSE CELESTINO MUTIS al 
Nuevo Reino de Granada y Memorias Ineditas 
de FRANCISCO JOSE DE CALDAS, pp. 297 (Madrid) 
and GREDILLA, A. F., 1911: Biografia de JOSE 
C . . . MUTIS con la Relacion de su viaje y 
estudios practicados en el Nuevo Reino de Gra- 
nada reunidos y anotados . . ., pp. 713 Madrid) 
(Most critical and extensive). 

0RSTED, A. S., 1857: Jamaica, En Naturskil- 
dring (Copenhagen; a collection of reprints 
from "Tidsskrift for pop. Fremstillinger").- 
0RSTED visited Jamaica in 1846. His account 
in simple Danish, is very interesting, also on 
account of the illustrations and the two early 
vegetation maps (our plate 3 has been reproduced 
from this booklet). 

PIIILIPPI, R. A., 1860: Reisc durch die Wueste 
Atacama, pp. 192 + 62 (Halle). R. A. 
PHILIPPI traveled widely over a long period in 
Chile, and wrote many interesting travel ac- 
counts (most of them short), in Dot. Zeitung, 
etc.: cf. his bibliography in Leopoldina 42:59- 
66 (1906). 

PIM, B. and B. SEEMANN, 1869: Dotting on 
the Roadside in Panama, Nicaragua and Mos- 
quito, pp. 468 (London). Of SEEMANN'S writ- 
ngs on Central America this is of the most gen- 
ial interest. 

POEPPIG, E, 1835 (etc.) : Reise in Chile, 
Peru und auf dem Amazonenstrom wahrend der 
Jahre 1827-1832, 2 vols., pp. 466 + 464 + atlas. 
A very readable account by the well-known 
ana active collector. Of POEPPIG'S first volume 
the. ; exists a nice edition in one volume, pre- 
pared by W. DRASCHER ("Im Schatten der 
Corojllera", Stuttgart 1927), with good repro- 
ductions of several of POEPPIG'S plates. 

PGV'L, J. E., 1832/37: Reise im Innern von 
Brasilien, 2 vols., pp. 448 + 641 + atlas. 
A classic, somewhat extensive account with 
many ^otcs on the natural history. POIIL col- 
lected extensively in Brazil. 

PREUSS, P., 1901: Nach Zentral- und Sud- 
amerika, pp. 452 (Berlin). Extremely inter- 
esting account by a most intelligent observer; 
deals in an unusual way both with agriculture 
and botany. 

PRICHARD, H. H., 1902: Through the Heart 
of Patagonia, pp. 346 (London: Heinemann). 
Well illustrated. Several natural history notes. 
P. 336-339, List of Plants (by JAMES BRITTEN). 

PROVANCRER, 1'Abbe L., 1890: Une Excursion 
aux Climats Tropicaux, Voyage aux Iles-du- 
Vent . . ., pp. 359 (Quebec). "Vingt fois en 
lisant des voyages de naturalistes, tcls que ceux 
de DARWIN, de HUMBOLT, d'AGASSiz et d'autres, 
j'avaix en imagination savour6 leurs jouissances, 
et, aux details de leurs narrations, reve de voir 
de mes yeux les phenomenes et les spectacles 
dont la seule description me captivait si forte- 
ment . . .". 

RITTER, K, 1836 : Naturhistorisehe Reise nach 
der westindischen Insel Hayti . . ., pp. 206 

(Stuttgart). Account of a trip made in 1820 
by the famous author of "Allgemeine Erdkunde" 
('multa insunt ad historiam et geographiam 
plant, cult, spectantia', PRITZEL) . 

ROBESON, G. M., 1874: Reports of Explora- 
tions and Surveys for the Location of a Ship- 
Canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, 
through Nicaragua, 1872-73 (Washington). 

RODWAY, J., 1894: In the Guiana Forest, pp. 

242 (London). With a very strong emphasis 
on problems of evolution ("Studies of Nature 
in relation to the struggle for Life" ; introduc- 
tion by GRANT ALLEN). 

Ruiz and Pavon's Expedition (cf. p. 39) : 
HiPdLiTO Ruiz* account of his expedition, dis- 
covered some years ago in Spain, was published 
in Spanish, with extensive notes, by Father 
AcusTfN JESUS BARREIRO in 1931. Of this there 
exists a careful translation (easily available) 
by D. E. DAIILGREN (Botan. Series, Field Mu- 
seum of N. H., Vol. 21, Publ. 467, pp. 372). 

RUSBY, H. H., 1933: Jungle Memories, pp. 
388 (New York). Travels of a former pro- 
fessor of pharmacognosy of Columbia Univer- 
city, a most active collector. 

SACHS, CARL, 1879: Aus den Llanos; Schil- 
derung einer naturwissenschaftlichen Reise nach 
Venezuela, pp. 369 (Leipzig). Chiefly zoo- 

SACK, Baron ALBERT VON, 1821 : Beschrei- 
bung einer Reise nach Surinam und des Aufent- 
haltes daselbst in den Jahren 1805, 1806, 1808 . . ., 

2 vols, pp. 240 + 185 (Berlin). 

Saint-Hilaire, A. F. C. Prouvencal de: 

widely in Brazil, wrote several travel accounts, 
of some of which there exist different editions. 
The principal ones are his Voyages dans 1'In- 
terieurdu Bresil, I-IV: 

1830 (etc.) : Voyage dans les Provinces de 
Rio de Janeiro et de Minas Geraes, 2 vols, pp. 
458 + 478 (Paris). 

1833 (etc.) : Voyage dans le District des 
Diamans et sur le Littoral du Bresil . . ., 2 vols, 
pp.403 + 456 (Paris). 

1847/48 (etc.) : Voyage aux Sources du Rio 
de S. Francisco et dans la Province de Goyaz. 

1851 (etc.) : Voyage dans les Provinces de 
Saint-Paul et de Sainte-Catherine, 2 vols, pp. 
404 + 423 (Paris). 

After the author's death R. DE DREUZY edited 
his Voyage a Rio Grande do Sul, pp. 644 (Or- 

A more concise edition of the above five works 
will be found in the author's "Voyage dans 1'In- 
terieur du Bresil", 2 small vols, pp. 212 + 
208 (1850). From a purely botanical point of 
view the short resume which DE SAINT-HILAIRE 
published in 1824 in his "Histoire des Plantes 
les plus remarquablcs du Br6sil et du Paraguay" 
under the title of "Esquisse des Voyages de 
1'Auteur, consideres principalement sous le rap- 
port de la Botanique" is useful. This is being 
reprinted at present and will be published, with 
a foreword and biographical sketch by Dr. A. E. 
JENKINS, route map, etc, in Chronica Botanica, 
vol. 9 (1945). Single copies will be available 
at $2.50. 

Travel Books of Botanical Interest 

The following cheap Brazilian translations in 
the serial 'Brasiliana' Serie 5a, Bibl. Pedag. 
Brasil., should also be mentioned: 5, Segunda 
viagem do Rio dc Janeiro a Minas Geraes . . . ; 
58, Viagem a Provincia de Santa Catharina 
(1820) . . .; 68 & 78, Viagem 4s Nascentes 
do Rio Sao Francisco . . . (with notes by 
C. RIBEIRO DE LESSA) ; 72, Segunda Viagem ao 
Interior do Brasil . . . ; 126 8: 126a, Viagem pelas 
Provincias de Rio de Janeiro e Minas Geraes 
(with notes by C. RIBEIRO DE LESSA) . 

SANDEMAN, C., 1939: A Forgotten River, pp. 
299 (London, etc.). Diary of a botanical trip 
in Peru by a British collector. One of the most 
typical botanical diaries known to me. 

SANDERSON, I. T., 1939: Caribbean Treasure, 
pp. 292 (New York) . Chiefly zoological, but 
of considerable general interest and very well 
written. Accounts of explorations in Trinidad, 
Haiti, Surinam. 

SAPPER, K., 1902 : Mittelamerikanische Reisen 
und Studien aus den Jahren 1888 bis 1900, pp. 

419 (Braunschweig). Botanical, agricultural 
and general impressions of travels through An- 
tigua, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, etc. 

The Schomburgks: 

The brothers M. R. and R. H. SCHOMBURGK* 
(cf. p. 44/45) traveled and collected extensively 
in British Guiana. They left three major ac- 
counts of their explorations : 

SCIIOMBURGK, M. R., 1847/48: Reisen in 
Britisch-Guiana 1840/44, 3 vols. (Leipzig). 

Most of this is descriptive zoology and 

SCIIOMBURGK, M. R., 1876: Botanical Remi- 
niscences in British Guiana, pp. 90 (Adelaide). 

Very nice, concise. 

MANN SCHOMBUROK'S Reisen in Guiana und am 
Orinoko wahrend der Jahre 1835-1839 nach 
seiner Berichten und Mittheilungen an die Geo- 
graphische Gesellschaft in London . . . mit eincni 
Vorwort von ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT . . ., 
pp. 510 (Leipzig). Coloured plates. 

SHUFELDT, R. W., 1872: Report of Explora- 
tions and Surveys, to ascertain the Practicability 
of a Ship-Canal between Atlantic and Pacific 
Oceans, by Way of Isthmus of Tehuantepec 
(Washington). Report on geology, natural 
history, etc. by JOHN C. SPEARS. 

SKOTTSBERG, C., 1911 : The Wilds of Patagonia, 
pp. 336 (London). This narrative of the 
Swedish expedition to Patagonia, Tierra del 
Fuego and the Falkland Islands (1907/09) is of 
the relatively few purely botanical travelogues 
one of the very best and most inspiring. 

1823/31 : Reise in Brasilien ... in ... 1817 bis 
1820 gemacht und beschrieben, 3 vols. + atlas. 

The account of the travels of the editor of 
the Flora Brasiliensis (cf. p. 301/302). A con- 
cise English translation by H. E. LLOYD was 
issued in 2 vols. in London in 1824. This has a 
few illustrations (not the folio atlas). An ex- 
cerpt in Brazilian was recently published in Vol. 
118 of the Bibl. Pcdag. Brasil., with notes by 

Sir R. H. SCHOMBURGK also edited Sir W. 
RALEIGH'S "Discovery of ... Guiana in 1595" for the 
Hakluyt Society, Vol. 3, 1848. 

SPRUCE, R., 1908 : Notes of a Botanist on the 
Amazon and Andes . . ., 2 vols., pp. 518 + 542. 
The diary and notes of one of the most active 
and energetic collectors of all times. With a 
biographical sketch and portrait of the author. 

STEDMAN, J. G., 1796 (etc.) : Narrative of a 
Five Years' Expedition ... of Surinam in 
Guiana, 2 vols. (London). One of the few 
good natural history and travel accounts written 
by a visitor of military rank. There exist sev- 
eral editions (also translated into Dutch and 
French) . 

THERESE, Prinzessin VON BAYERN, 1908: 
Reisestudien aus dem Westlichen Siidamerika, 2 
vols. (Berlin). Well illustrated, much on the 
vegetation, fauna, Indians, etc. This energetic 
and intelligent Princess collected very actively. 
Earlier she wrote (under the pseudonym TH. 
VON BAYERN) : "Meine Reise in den Brasilian- 
ischen Tropen" (n.v.). 

TSCHIFFELY, A. F., 1940: The Account of a 
Journey through Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, 
pp. 354 (London). Interesting account of an 
automobile trip through Patagonia and Tierra 
del Fuego. Not botanical. 

VASQUEZ DE ESPINOSA, A. [1942] : Compen- 
dium and Description of the West Indies. We 
list this early 17th century geographical and 
historical account, which has recently been made 
available in a careful translation by C. V. CLARK 
(Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 
102), as (1) it is based chiefly on personal in- 
spection and often reads as a travelogue, (2) it 
includes many references to plants (see the in- 
dex, pp. 793 scq.), and (3) it is easily available 
for a very small amount. A copy of it should be 
present in any collection of I^atin American 
travel literature. 

WAFER, L., 1699, etc.: A New Voyage and 
Description of the Isthmus of America . . . 
(London; also published in KNOX' New Collec- 
tion, etc.). A rare, interesting volume, dealing 
with natural history, Indians, buccaneers, etc. 

WALLACE, A. R., 1853 (etc.) : A Narrative 
of Travels on the Amazon and Rio Negro . . . 
(London, etc.). One of the most desirable 
accounts of travel and biology in the Amazon 
valley. The author's "Palm Trees of the Amazon 
and their Uses", pp. 129 (1853) may be con- 
sidered as a botanical supplement. 

WARDLAW, C. W., 1935: Green Havoc in the 
Lands of the Caribbean, pp. 318 (Edinburgh and 
London). Interesting travel accounts of the 
author of "Diseases of the Banana and Manila 
Hemp Plants". The book, however, "is not all 

WATERTON, C., 1825, etc.: Wanderings in 
South America (London, etc.). With HUD- 
SON'S writings, amongst the most popular and 
well-known of South American travelogues. 
Includes notes on the Antilles, etc. 

WEDDF.LL, H. A., 1851 : Voyage dans' le Sud 
de la Bolivie . . ., pp. 432 (Paris: Tome 6 d'- 
"Histoire du Voyage" du Comte DE CASTELNAU, 
Expedition dans les parties centrales de 1'Ame- 
rique du Sud . . .). 

WEDDF.LL, H. A., 1853 : Voyage dans le Nord 
de la Bolivie et dans les Parties Voisines du 
Perou . . ., pp. 571 (Paris). A very readable 
account by the author of Chloris Andina. 

Travel Books of Botanical Interest 


WERDERMANN, E., 1933: Brasilien und seine 
Siulenkakteen . . ., pp. 122 (Neudamm: Neu- 

WHYMPER, E., 1892 (etc.) : Travels amongst 
the Great Andes of the Equator, pp. 456 (New 
York, etc.). Chiefly on the ascent of a number 
of high mountains, with many more biological 
notes than usual in books of this type. A supple- 
mentary, chiefly zoological, appendix of 147 
pages was issued in 1891. 

WILLIAMS, LL., 1942: Exploraciones Bo- 
tanicas en la Guayana Venezolana; I, El Medio 
y Bajo Caura, pp. 468 (Caracas: Servicio 
Botanico). Most of this volume consists of 
pure taxonomy. There is an interesting introduc- 
tion describing the author's route in a botanically 
little known territory. 

ZAHL, P. A., 1939: To the Lost World, pp. 
268 (New York). Account of an ant collector 
in British Guiana, who visited Mt. Roraima. 


TSCHUDI'S "Reiscn durch Sudamcrika". 

Introductory fiibliographical Notes, 2' Se- 
lected references, supplementing various bibli- 
ographies and articles in this volume: This is a 
most heterogeneous list, consisting of a number 
of references of entirely different scope, non- 
botanical travel and guide books, various bibli- 
ographies, all kinds of non-botanical literature 
of a broad general interest, and then a number 
of additions (especially very recent publications) 
to the bibliographies and articles in this volume, 
etc. : 

ANON 1938- Forestry in Argentine (Chron. Bot 4 

ANON. 1939: Cooperative Agricultural Research be- 
tween Brazil and the U S.A. (Chron. Bot. 5 -246). 

ANON 1941 Guide to the Literature on Rubber, pp. 
34 (Washington, D C : U.S. Dept. of Commerce, 
National Bureau of Standards). 

ANON. 1942: Catilogo de Produtoi do Araazonas, 
pp. 52 (Manaos Associate Comercial do Amazonas). 

ANON. 1942- Institute de Botinica, Sao Paulo (Chron. 
Bot 7274-6). Extensive description of one of the 
most active botanical gardens and herbaria in S America. 

ANON. 1943- Inttituto Biol6gico de Sao Paulo (Chron. 
Bot 7-431-3) Especially on recent reorganization. 

ANON. 1943- A Preliminary LUt of Latin American 
Periodic.^ and Serials, pp. 195 (U S. Dept Agric Libr. 
List 5) 

ACCORSI, W. R, 1940: Instrucoes Prdticas sobre a 
Colheita e Prepare da* Plantas para o Herbario, especial- 
mente os Fanerdgamos (Re vista Agr , Piracicaba 15- 

ADAMIC, L, 1937 The House in Antigua, PP 300 
(Niw York) On the famous "Popenoe House." 

ADAMS, F. U. 1914- Conquest of the Tropics; the 
story of the creative enterprises conducted by the United 
Fruit Company, pp 368 (New York- Romance of Biff 
Business, vol. I) 

ADLKR, BETTY, 1940- Latin America; books for North 
American readers (The Booklist of the Am Library 
Assoc. 37-49-61) Supplements were published in The 
Booklist 37-329-330 & 552-553. 

AUERN, G. P. and NEWTON, H. K, 1928. A Bibli- 
ography on Woods of the World, exclusive of the temperate 
region of North America and with emphasis on tropical 
woods, pp 77 (New York Am. Soc. of Mechanical 

AtiFN, HENRY J., 1940. Venezuela, pp. 289 (New 
York).- History, travel and general information 

Eighth American Scientific Congress, held in Wash- 
ington, May 10-18, 1940, Proceedings, 1943 -Vol. I 
Organization, Activities, Resolutions, and Delegations, 
pp. 539; Vol. III. Biological Sciences, pp. 530; Vol. VI: 

Public Health and Medicine, pp. 496, Vol. VIII Statis- 
tics, pp. 365 (Dept. of State Washington, D C ) 

Anglo-American Caribbean Commission to the Govern- 
ments of the United States and Great Britain for the 
Years 1942-1943, Report, 1943, pp. 94 (Washington, 

The Arctic, Desert and Tropic Information Center 
of the U.S. Army Air Forces has issued several valuable 
booklets which may be ordered from the Liaison Officer, 
Room 2B725, Pentagon Bldg , Washington, D C., 
e g. 

Living off the American Tropics (1944, pp. 62). 

Care of Personnel in the Wet Tropics (1944). 

Poisoning by Snakes, Plants, Fish, and Treatment 

AREINIECAI, G., 1944: The Green Continent, pp 553 
(New York). Latin America interpreted through some 
of her writers. 

ARIAS, A C, 1942. Estudios CHmatologicos : areas 
geograficas de dispersion, Parthcmvm argentatvm, Hevea 
hrasiltcntts, Castilloa elastica, pp 112 (Mexico Sec 
Agr y Fomento) 

ASPINALL, A E , 1940: The Pocket Guide to the West 
Indies, pp. 525 (London) May be ordered from the 
Chemical Publishing Co, New York 

AVERY, G. S , JR , 1941 Journals for Latin American 
Countries: a Challenge to Scientific Societies (Science 
93567-8). On the distribution of North American 
scientific journals in Latin America 

BARROSO, L J, 1942 Chaves para a Determinacao de 
Generos Brasileiros e Ex6ticos das Dicotyledoneas mais 
Cultivadas no Brasil (Bol Soc Brasil. Agron 5.173 
seq ) - - Being published in installments. 

BKALS, C. 1940 The Coming Struggle for Latin 
America (New York) On totalitarian activities in 
Latin America. 

BEATS, C., 1940- Pan America, a Program for the 
Western Hemisphere. PP 545 (Boston). 

BEETLE, A A , 1943 Phytogeography of Patagonia 
(Bot Rev. 9 667-679) 

BELL. P. L. and MACKENZIE, H. B., 1923- Mexican 
West Coast and Loner California (U.S. Dept. Com- 
merce, Special Agent Series, No 220). 

BEMIS, S. F , 1943 The Latin American Policy of the 
United States; an historical interpretation, pp. 470 
(New York) 

BENOIST. R, 1924 & 1925: La Vegetation de la 
Guyane franchise (Bull SoC Bot. France 71 1169-1177; 
72 1066-1078) 

BERLINER, J J . 'f a! , 1941 Bibliography of Latin 
America . . . 1935/40. 2 vols. (New York. Latin Am. 
List and Information Service) 

BIESANZ, J. and M , 1944 Costa Rican Life, pp 282 
(New York) Experiences and views of an exchange 

Selected Supplementary References 

BLAKE, A. V. A. DO SACRAMENTO, 1883/1902: Die- 
cionario Bibliogra'neo Brasileiro, 7 vols. (Rio de Janeiro) 

BLAKB, S. F. and ATWOOD, A. C., 1942: Geographical 
Guide to Floras of the World: An annotated li.t with 
special reference to useful plants and common plant 
names. Pt. 1, Africa, Australia, North America, 
South America, and Islands of the Atlantic, Pacific, and 
Indian Oceans, pp. 336 (U.S. Dept. Agric., Misc. Pub. 

BLAKESLEE, ALB. F., 1927: A Paradise for Plant 
Lovers . . . (Sci. Monthly, p. 5-18). On the Biological 
Station at Alto da Serra in Brazil. 

BOERGER, A., 1940: Uruguayan Research on Forage 
Problems (Herbage Rev., Aberystwyth, 8:143-166). 

BOERGER, A., 1943: Investigaciones Agron6micas, tomo 
I: Fundamentos de la Produccion Vegetal; tomo II: 
Genetica. Fitotecnia Rioplatense; tomo III: La Produc- 
cion y el Hombre, pp. 2250 (Montevideo). 

BOWMAN. I , 1916: The Andes of Southern Peru 
(New York). 

BRADLEY, ANITA, 1942: Trans-Pacific Relations of 
Latin America; an introductory essay and a selected 
bibliography, pp. 120 (New York: Institute of Pacific 
Relations, American Council). 

BRADY, A. M., 1941: Pan American Spanish, pp. 472 
(New York). 

BRANDES, E. W., 1943: The Outlook for Plantation 
Rubber in Tropical America (Chron. Bot. 7-320-3). 

BRESSMAN, E. N., 1942: Projects in Inter-American 
Agricultural Cooperation (Bull. Pan Amer. Union 76: 

BRESSMAN, E. N., 1943: Activities of the Agricultural 
Division of the Office of the Coordinator of Inter- 
American Affairs towards the War Program (Chron. Bot. 
7:333-6). - With a preliminary account of the new 
Inter-American Institute of Agriculture in Turrialba, 
Costa Rica. 

BRESSMAN, E. N, 1943: New Crops for the Americas 
(Mex.-Amer. Rev. 11:17, 98, 100). On the special 
crop production programs under way in Latin America. 

BROGGI, J. A, 1934 fro): Geologia, Botanies y 
Zoologia del Peru, 1929-1933 (Bol. Soc. Geol. Peru 

BROUWSR, II. A. (Ed.) 1925/29: Practical Hints to 
Scientific Travellers, 6 vols. (The Hague; copies are 
also available from the Am. Geogr. Soc. at $2 00 a 
volume). There is an extensive account on travel 
in Mexico in Vol. 3 (by J. A. A. MEKEL) and shorter 
articles in the various vols. on Venezuela (short), Haiti, 
Ecuador (good), Argentina (good). 

BROWN, A. D., 1943: Puerto Rico; a selected list of 
recent references, pp. 44 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Lib. 
of Congress, Div. of Bibliog.). 

BROWN. C. R. and B., 1939: The South American 
Cook Book; including Central America, Mexico and the 
West Indies, pp. 368 (Garden City, N.Y.). 

BROWN, J. G. ( 1942: Diseases and your Vegetable 
Garden, Spanish ed., pp. 19 (Arizona Sta. Mimeog. Cir. 
51). Spanish ed. of a U.S. Experiment Station 

CALDENIUS, C. C. VON, 1931: Fran en Trearig Gco- 
kronologisk Forskningsresa i Patagonien (Ymer, Tidskr. 
Svenska Sallskapet Antropol. och Geogr. 1931:1-24). 
An interesting study on the quaternary in Argentine. 

C ALDER ON BuENDfA, CARLOS, 1943: Productos que 
Podemos Exportar del Amazonas (Vida Rural, Bogota, 
4(47) :28). 

CALOGERAS, J. P., 1939: History of Brazil, transl. and 
ed. by J. P. MARTIN, pp. 374 (Univ. of N. C. Press). 

CARDENAS, M., 1941: Contribuciones a la Flora 
Econ6mica de Bolivia, pp. 36 (Cochabamha). 

CARVAJAL, CASPAR DE [1934]: The Discovery of the 
Amazon according to the Account of Friar Caspar de 
Carvajol, introd. by J. TORIBIO M., transl. by B. T. 
LEE, ed. by H. C. HEATON, pp. 483 (Am. Geog. Soc.). 
ORELLANA'S voyage of discovery down the Amazon in 
1541/42, an epic in the history of exploration ($5.00). 

Contribucion a la Bibliografia Botanica Argentina, I 
(Lilloa 6:5-161; 7:5-496). 

CASTRO G. H., ALFONSO (transl.) , 1943: Alimentos 
y Alimentacidn, pp. 2.000 (Corporacion de Fomento de 
la Produccidn de Chile). A first translation into 
Spanish of "Feeds and Feeding" by the late W. A. 
HENRY (160 pesos or ca $5.00). 

CHANDLER, R. F., 1942: Some Observations of Soils 
and Vegetation in .... Mexico (Chron. Bot. 7:271-2). 

CHAPMAN, C. E., 1938: Colonial Hispanic America 
(and) Republican Hispanic America, 2 vols. in 1, pp. 
405 and 463 (New York). Authoritative. 

CHARTER, C. F., 1941 : A Reconnaissance Survey of the 
Soils of British Honduras, with special reference to their 
utilization in agriculture, pp. 31 (Port of Spain, Trini- 

CHASE, AGNES, 1941: An Agrostological Visit to Vene- 
zuela (Chron. Bot. 6-257-8). 

CiiOUSSY, F., 1942: El Posible Implantamiento del 
Cultivo de la Rosella en El Salvador, pp. 95 (El Sal- 

CLARK. A. H., 1940: Eighth American Scientific Con- 
gress (Chron. Bot. 6:111-2). 

CLARK, S. A., 1936: Cuban Tapestry, pp. 289 (New 
York). One of the "fifty dollars series" guides. 

CLARK. S. A., 1941: The West Coast of South America 
. . .; how to get the most out of your trip to Colombia, 
Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina 
(New York). 

Comision Nacional de Irrigacicn 1943: Instrucciones 
Provisionales sobre la Forma de Como Hacer un Levan- 
tamicnto de Conservacion del Suelo, pp. 36 (Mexico, 
DF./Depto. Gmservaciun del Sueln). 

CONOVER, HELEN F. (comf ) 1942: A List of Ref- 
erences on Western Hemisphere Defense, rev. ed , pp. 
3<J (Library of Congress, Div. of Bibliography) 

COOK, O. F, 1932: The Debt of Agriculture to 
Tropical America (Smithsonian Report for 1931: 491- 

COOKE, M. L, 1944: Brazil on the March; a study 
in international cooperation; reflections on the report 
of the American Technical Mission to Brazil, pp. 293 
(New York). 

GROWTH ER, S., 1929: The Romance and Rise of the 
American Tropics, pp. 390 (New York). 

CUNDALL, F, 1909: Bibliography of the West Indies 

DAHLGREN, B. E. and STANDI.EY. P. C., 1944: Edible 
and Poisonous Plants of the Caribbean Region, pp. 102 
(Washington, D.C. : Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, 
Navy Dept.). A handy pocket guide, prepared pri- 
marily for service men ($0.20). 

DARDET. V., 1939- Etude sur ('Economic Agricole 
des Antilles Franchises, pp. 270 (Thesis, Univ. of 

DAVIES, HOWELL (Ed.). 1944, etc.: The South Ameri- 
can Handbook; a yearbook and guide to the countries 
and resources of Latin America, inclusive of South and 
Central America, Mexico and Cuba, pp. 833. A very 
handy British guide, issued annually. Older from 
H. W. Wilson, New York City ($1.25). 

DAVIES, WM., 1940: The Grasslands of the Argentine 
and Patagonia, pp. 48 (Aberystwyth: Imp. Bureau of 
Pastures and Forage Crops: Bull. 30). 

DAVIS, W. M.. 1926: The Lesser Antilles, pp. 207 
(Am. Geog. Soc ). - - Physiography, etc. ($3.00). 

DEWEY, L. H., 1943: Fiber Production in the West- 
ern Hemisphere (U.S.D.A. Misc. Publ. 518:1-95). 
A Spanish ed. has been published by the Pan American 

DIAZ DEL CASTILLO, B., 1939: True History of the 
Conquest of Mexico, transl. by M. KF.ATINGK, pp. 562 
(New York). One of the best accounts of CORTEZ' 

Diccionario EncicIopSdico Hispano-Americano de 
Literatura, Ciencias y Artcs, 23 vols. in 24, 5 suppl. 
vols, 1887-1910 (Barcelona). 

DIOGO, J. C., 1926: Pflanzengeographische Karte von 
Brasilien (Sao Paulo). 

DUCKE. A., 1943: The Most Important Woods of the 
Amazon Valley (Trop. Woods no. 74:1-15). 

DUGGAN, S. P. H., 1934: Two Americas: an inter- 
pretation, pp. 277 (Scribner, $1.75). Condensed in 
Latin America (World Affairs Books, no. 15), 1936, pp. 
65 (World Peace Found, paper $0.35). 

DURAN-REYNALS, F., 1940: The Inter-American So- 
ciety of Microbiology (Chron. Bot. 6:134-5). 

Economic Plants of Interest to the Americas (n.d. 
recent) (Washington, D.C.: Office of Foreign Agri- 
cultural Relations). S. F. BLAKE on Cassia and 
cinnamon; F. J. HERMANN on leguminous shrubs 
and trees used as shade and cover crops in tropical and 


Selected Supplementary References 

subtropical countries; F. J. HERMANN on Rotenone; 
F. J. HERMANN on Wattle bark; R. McVAUGH on 
Oiticica and chia oils; J. R. Sw ALLEN on Grasses pro- 
ducing essential oils; and P. G. RUSSELL'S list, men- 
tioned below. 

EDWARDS, A., 1923: Una Nueva Carta de Geojrafia 
Botanica Chilena (Rev. Chil. Hist. Nat. 25:124-127). 

ENGLER, A., 1908- Die Vegetationsformationen tropi- 
scher und subtropischer Lander (Bot. Jahrb. 41:367-372, 
with a cold, table). 

ESCOBAR, ROMULO, 1940 (ca.): Enciclopedia Agricola 
y de Conocimientos Afinet, tomo I, II, III, pp. 1259 + 
947 + 1006 (Ciudad Juarez, Chih., Mexico). 

EVANS, G, 1942: West Indian Agriculture (Nature 

FENGER, F. A., 1917: Alone in the Caribbean, pp. 353 
(New York). A lone cruise in a sailing canoe. 

FIEBRIG, K., 1910: Ein Bcitrag zur Pflanzcngeographie 
Boliviens. Pflanzcngeographische Skizze auf Grund einer 
Forschungsreise im andinen Silden Boliviens (Bot. Jahrb. 

A Field Collector's Manual in Natural History, 1944, 
pp. 118 (Washington. D.C.: Smithsonian Tnst.). 

FORSLING, C. L., 1940: Conservation of the Forest 
Resources of the Americas (Chron. Bot. 6:77). 

FOSTER, H. L., 1937: If you go to South America, 
rev. ed , pp. 443 (New York). Concise guide book, 
with much practical information 

FOSTER, H. L, 1939- The Caribbean Cruise, rev. ed., 
pp. 350 (New York). Chiefly concerned with the 
usual cruise stops. 

FRANCK, H. A. and LANKS, IT. C. t 1940: The Pan 
American Highway, from the Rio Grande to the Canal 
Zone, pp. 259 (New York). 

FRANCKK, A., 1941: Beitrage zur Kenntnis des Wald- 
baucs in den Tropenlandern; em Ue her Mick iibcr Wald, 
Waldwirtschaft und Waldbau im tropischen Amerika 
(Kolonialforstl. Mitt. 3:349-424). 

Galapagos Archipelago: Chron. Bot. 2:114, 1936; 
3 97, 1937; 4:167, 1938. Of special interest are VON 
HAGEN'S Ecuador the Unknown (New York, 1939) and 
H. MELVILLE'S Las Encantadas (Burlingame, Cal., 
1939). Also scr KROFBFR. A L 

GALDAMES. L, 1941: A History of Chile, transl. and 
ed. by I. J. Cox, pp. 565 (Chapel Hill, N. C.: Univ. of 
N. C. Press). 

Genera et Species Plantarum Argentinarum, tomo I, 
1943, pp. 300, 149 lam. litogr. (Tucuman, Arg.: Funda- 
cion Lillo). 

GILL, TOM, 1931: Tropical Forests of the Caribbean, 
pp. 318 (Washington, D.C.: Trop. Plant Research 
Found in coop. Charles Lathrop Pack Forestry Trust). 

GODSHALL, A. B., 1942: Edible, Poisonous and Medic- 
inal Fruits of Central America, pp. 47 (The Panama 
Canal).-- A nice, useful, processed booklet, good illus- 
trations, primarily prepared for servicemen. 

GONGGRIJP, L., 1925: Boschexploratie in Suriname 
(Dcpt. Landbouw, Nijverheid en Handel, Suriname, 
Bull. 48:1-102). 

GRANIER, J A., 1942: Latin American Belles Lettres 
in English Translation (Hisp. Found. Bibl. Series, 
No. 1). 

GREEN, P. L., 1941: Our Latin American Neighbors, 
pp. 182 (New York). An analysis of the forces which 
shaped Latin American life. 

GRIFFIN, C. C. (Ed.), 1940: Concerning Latin Ameri- 
can Culture, pp. 234 (Columbia U.P.). Chiefly from 
the literary and artistic point of view. 

GROSSE, F., en. 1899: Die Verbreitung der Vegeta- 
tionsformationcn Amerikas im Zusammenhang mit den 
Klimatischen Vcrhaltnissen, pp. 26 (Berlin). 

GRUENING, E., 1928: Mexico and its Heritage, pp. 
728 (New York). 

GuSMAo, CLOVIS DE, 1943: Gloria e Tragedia da 
Borracha (O Observador Econ. e Financ. 8:67-75). A 
History of Rubber Production in the Amazon Valley. 

HAGUE, E., 1934: Latin American Music, Past and 
Present, pp. 98 (New York). 

HALLE. L. J., Jr., 1936: Transcaribbean, pp. 311 
(New York). Chiefly travel information, combined 
with historical and other notes, on Guatemala, El Sal- 
vador, and British Honduras. 

Handbook of Latin American Studies (Harvard U. P.). 
Annual bibliography, first issued in 1936, of material 

published on anthropology, archaeology, economics, ge- 
ography, history, law, literature, and library science 
($4.00 a volume). 

HANKE, LEWIS, 1942: The Latin American Biblio- 
graphical Activities of the Library of Congress, with 
hints for future developments in this field (College 
and Research Libraries 3:235-240). 

HANSON, E. P., 1941: Chile, Land of Progress, pp. 
201 (New York). 

HANSON, E. P. (Ed.), 1943: The New World Guides 
to the Latin American Republics, vol. 1: Mexico and 
Central America, ca. pp. 450 (New York). Outstand- 
ing, a "must" for every traveller. 

HANSON, E. P. (Ed.), 1943: The New World Guides 
to the Latin American Republics, vol. 2: South America, 
ca. pp. 400 (New York). Outstanding, a "must" for 
every traveller. 

HARINO, C. H., 1941: Argentina and the United 
States, pp. 77 (Boston: World Peace Found.). 

HARRIS, S. E. (Ed.), 1944: Economic Problems of 
Latin America, pp. 479 (New York). 

HARSHBEKGER, J. W., 1911: Phytogeographic Survey of 
North America, pp. 790 (Leipzig: Die Veget. der Erde, 
Vol. 13). Much useful information on Central America 
and the West Indies. Extensive bibliographies. Still 
always a valuable book. 

HAUMAN, L., 1923: Para la Protection de la Natu- 
raleza en la Republica Argentina (Physis 6:283-300). 

HKIM, F., 1909: Etudes sur la flore economique et les 
produits vegetaux de la Guyane francaise (Trav. Mission 
sc. Guyane frang. Minist. Col. (Jard. col.) pp. 49-69). 

Problema Forestal en Chile ( Litogr afia Concepcion, 

HERNDON, W. L. and GIBBON, L., 1854: Exploration 
of the Valley of the Amazon, 2 vols., pp. 417 + 339 
(Washington, D.C.). Expedition of the U.S. Navy 

HERRARTE, M. P., 1939: Agriculture in Guatemala, 
pp. 43 (Pan Amer. Union, Div. Agr. Coop.). 

HERTER, G., 1940: Flora Ilustrada del Uruguay, 
II, Dryopteridaceae IT Bambusareae I (plates only) 
(Montevideo y Berlin). -- Cf. also der BioloRe 1941, 
p. 369. 

Hints to Travellers, ed. 11, vol. 2 (1938): Organiza- 
tion and Equipment, Scientific Observation, Health, 
Sickness and Injury, pp. 472 (Royal Geogr. Society). 
The best British guide of this type. 

Hispanic Foundation (at the Library of Congress, 
Washington, D.C.):--The Hispanic Foundation has 
now in press Latin American periodicals currently re- 
ceived in the Library of Congress and in the Library 
of the Department of Agriculture, which lists more than 
1500 periodicals of all kinds, including a number of 
scientific publications. This bibliography will supersede 
WISE'S Bibliography of 1941. It may be ordered from 
the Superintendent of Documents. 

HODGE, W. H., 1941: The Natural Resources of the 
Lesser Antilles (Chron. Bot. 6:448-9). 

HODGE, W. IT., 1943: The Vegetation of Dominica 
(Geog. Rev. 33:349-375). 

HOEHNE, F. C., 1930: As Plantas Ornamentaes da 
Flora Brasilica c seu Papel como Factores da Salu- 
bridadc Publica, da Esthltica Urbana e Artes Decora- 
tivaa Nacionaes (Bol. Agric. Sao Paulo 31a -390-412). 

HOEHNE, F. C., 1941: O Jardim Botanico de Sao 
Paulo, preccdido de prologo historico e notas bio-biblio- 
graficas de naturalistas botanicos que trabalharam para 
o progresso do conhccimento da flora do Brasil, especial- 
mente no Estado de Sao Paulo; e catalogo das espcies 
ali eultivadas, cm colaboracao com M. KUHLMANN e 
O. HANDRO. pp. 656 (Sao Paulo: Depto. de Bot. do 
Est., Seer, da Agric, Ind. c. Com.). A beautiful 

HOPPKR, F.LI7ABETH G. (comp.) 1943: A Preliminary 
List of Latin American Periodicals and Serials, pp. 195 
(US.D.A. Library, Library List 5). 

Inter-American Bibliographical Review, quarterly 
publication of the Inter-American Bibliographical and 
Library Association (Washington, D.C. : Educational 
Research Bureau). Established in 1941. 

Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences: 
Annual Report for the Fiscal Year 1942-43, pp. 63 
(Washington, D.C.). 

Selected Supplementary References 


IPPISCH, F. 1943: La Contribuci6n de Guatemala en la 
Nueva Fate de Col.bomcion Agricola-Econ6mica de las 
Americas (to be cont.), I. Resumen General, II. Hule 
(rubber), III. Cinchona (Rev. Agr., Guatemala, 20: 
8-11, 34, 53). 

JAMES, PRESTON E., 1942: Latin America, pp. 908 
(New York). This is very probably the best general 
geographic account of C. and S. America, at least from 
the plant scientist's point of view. A special feature 
are the maps of which there are a great many. In most 
cases the author gives four maps for a region, a map 
showing the surface configuration, one showing the 
natural vegetation, one the land use and one the popula- 
tion distribution. 

JENKINS, ANNA E., 1941: On the History of Phyto- 
pathology in Brazil (Chron. Bot. 6:224-6). 

JOBIM, JOSE, 1943: Brazil in the Making, pp. 318 
(New York). 

JOERNS. A., 1944: The Commercial Timbers of Mexico, 
pp. 21 (The Author, 333 N. Mich. Ave , Chicago, 111.; 
or, Despacho 101, Gante 15, Mexico, D.F.). Not 
very reliable. 

JOHNSTON, I. M., 1941: Preparacion de Ejemplares 
Botanicos para Herbario, pp. 49 + 5 pi. (Tucuman. 
Inst. Miguel Lillo). 

JONES, C. F., 1928: Commerce of South America, pp. 
584 (Boston). 

JONES, C. F., 1923, 1929, 1930: Agricultural Regions 
of South America (Economic Geography 4:1-30, 159- 
186, 267-294; 5:109-140, 277-307, 390-421; 6:1-36). 
Authoritative and in most cases still quite up-to-date. 

JONES, C. F., 1930: Sooth America, pp. 798 (New 
York). Especially concerned with the interrelation- 
ships between history and geography. 

JONES, C. K., 1942: A Bibliography of Latin American 
Bibliographies, ed. 2, rev. by the author and J. A. 
GRANIER, pp. 311 (Washington, DC.). 

JONES, C. L., 1935: Costa Rica and Civilization in the 
Caribbean, pp. 172 (Univ. of Wisconsin Studies in 
Social Sciences and History, no. 23). 

JONES. C. L., 1936: The Caribbean since 1900, pp. 
511 (New York). A standard work, economic and 
political, for each of the countries of the Caribbean. 

JONES, C. L., 1940- Guatemala, Past and Present (Ox- 
ford U.P.). 

KAN DEL. I. L., 1942: La Edueaci6n en los Paises de la 
America Latina (Columbia U.P.). There is also an 
English ed. 

KEITH, R. W., 1943: The Institute of Tropical Agri- 
culture at Turrialba (Science 98-16-17). 

KELSEY, V. and OSBORNE, L. DE J., 1939: Four Keys 
to Guatemala, pp. 332 (New York). An excellent 
guide, with much general information. 

KIRKPATRICK, F. A., 1931: A History of the Argen- 
tine Republic (Cambridge U.P.). 

KIRSTEIN, L., 1943: The Latin American Collection 
of the Museum of Modern Art, pp. 112 (New York). - 
A well illustrated and annotated guide. 

KNOCHE, W., 1932: Charakterisiernng des Klimaa 
von Mittel-Chile durch FrQchte und Blumen (Meteorol. 
Ztschr. 1932, H. 5). 

KOEBEL, W. H., 1911: Uruguay, pp. 350 (London). 

KOGEL, L., 1914: Das Urwaldphinomen Amazoniens, 
pp. 103 (Munchen). 

KOVALEVSKI, G. V., 1937: Les Zonea Verticales de 
Culture des Plantes en Ameiique Tropicale (Sovietskaia 
Bot. 1937, no. 6:125-133). 

KROEBER, A. L., 1916: Floral Relations among the 
Galapagos Islands (Univ. Calif. PubL in Bot. 6:199- 
220, March 10, 1916). 

Latin America as a Source of Strategie and other 
Essential Materials, 1941, pp. 397 (Report no. 144, 2nd 
series, U.S. Tariff Commission, Washington, D.C.). 
A report on strategic and other essential materials, and 
their production and trade, with special reference to the 
Latin American countries and to the United States. 

LA VARRE, W.. 1940: Southward Hot, pp. 301 (New 
York). Some have more adventures on a single trip 
than others in a life time. 

LEGRAND, D.. 1943: Herbarios del Uruguay (Chron. 
Bot. 7:435-6). 

La6N (Frere), 1931: Apports de la Botanique a la 
Geographic Specialement dans les Grandes Antilles 
(Rev. Soc. Geogr. Cuba 1931:1-11). 

LE6N, NICOLAS, 1895: Biblioteea Botanico-Mexicana 
. . ., pp. 372 (Mexico). Contains biographical and 
other notes. Numerous printing errors. 

LEVENC, R., 1937- History of Argentina, transl. and 
ed. by W. S. ROBERTSON, pp. 565 (Univ. of N. C. Press). 

LEVY, B., 1941: Present Day Spanish, rev. ed., pp. 
376 (New York). 

LOOSER, G., 1927- Bibliografia Botanica Chilena (Rev. 
de Bibl. Chilena, trim. 3:212-230, 364-390). An 
amplification of REICHE'S bibliography. 

LUTZELBURG, PH. v., 1939: Die Pflanzengeographi- 
schen Vcrhaltnisse im Amazonasgebiet (Ber. D. Bot. 
Ges. 57:247-262). 

McBRinE, G. M., 1930: The Agrarian Problem in 
Chile (Geogr. Rev. Oct. 1930). 

Me BRIDE, G. M., 1936: Chile: Land and Society, pp. 
408 (Amer. Geog. Soc.). 

McCLiNTOCK, J. C., 1943: Battle of the Amazon 
(Foreign Commerce Weekly. July 3. 1943, p. 3 seq.). 

MADARIAGA, S. DE, 1939: Christopher Columbus 

Maps: It will be best to consult the "Catalogue of 
Maps of Hispanic America", 4 vols , 1068 pp., 15 maps, 
published by the Am Geog. Society of New York 
City. This society also issued a map of Hispanic 
America in 102 sheets ($2.00 a sheet, $15000 the set) 
at a scale of 15.78 miles to 1 inch, which will in most 
cases be very helpful for botanical and agricultural 
mapping. The society published recently a three-sheet 
topographical political map of all of Latin America 
(1:5,000,000). Attention should also be called to a map 
series edited by Dr. HERBERT E. BOLTON of the Uni- 
versity of California and Dr. JAMES F. KING of North- 
western University and published by the Denoyer-Gep- 
pert Company. It comprises sixteen sheets suitable for 
wall banging, each of which contains maps showing 
outstanding factors in the history of the Latin-American 
republics, distribution of population, natural resources, 
trade, international relations, and the like. 

MARBUT, C. F., 1925: The Soils of the Amazon Basin 
in Relation to Agricultural Possibilities (Geogr. Rev. 
16, 3). 

MARTIN, P. A. (E<f.). 1940: Who's Who in Latin 
America, ed. 2, pp. 558 (Stanford U P.). --This second 
edition includes only a few workers in science. A third 
edition is in preparation. 

MARTINEZ, M., 1944: Las Plantas Medicinales de 
Mexico, ed. 3. pp. 630 (Mexico, DF.). 

MEANS, P. A, 1931: Ancient Civilizations of the 
Andes, pp. 586 (New York). -On the Peruvian Incas. 

MEKLER, A., 1943: El Costo de la Vida Obrera en 
America, pp. 139 (Pan Amer. Union, Washington, 
D.C.). Living cost indices, etc 

MERRIMAN, R. B., 1918/34: The Rise of the Spanish 
Empire in the Old World and in the New, 4 vols. (New 
York). A most inspiring and scholarly study. 

MEYER, H. A., 1942: Forestry and Forest Resources 
in Mexico (Caribbean Forester 4:1-8). 

MILLER, H. G., 1929: The Isthmian Highway; a re- 
view of the problems of the Caribbean, pp. 327 (New 

MILLER, L. B. (comp.), 1943: Preliminary Checklist 
of Reports Received by the Office of Foreign Agricul- 
tural Relations, Dept. of Agriculture, pp. 52 (The Na- 
tional Archives, June 1943). 

MORTIMER. W. G., 1901: Peru History of Coca, "the 
Divine Plant" of the Incas, pp. 576 (New York). 

Mt'NOZ, J. and WARD, A. R , 1940: Guatemala, Ancient 
and Modern, pp. 308 (New York). 

MURPHY, L. S., 1916- Forests of Porto Rico; Past, 
Present, and Future and their Physical and Economic 
Environment (Bull. 354, U.S. Dept. Agnc., Oct. 20, 

MURRAY, M. A. and MUNNS, E. N. 1943: Pos- 
sibilities of Cork Oak in the Americas (Chron. Bot. 

National Recreation Association, 1941: Our Neighbors 
to the South: A bibliography listing references including 
dances, music, plays, pageants, festivals, customs, games, 
party plans, and other sources of program material from 
Central and South America. 

NAVEZ, A., 1925: La Foret Equatorial* Bresilienne 
(Bull. Soc. R. Bot. Belgique 57:7-17). 

NEIVA, A., 1929: Esboco Hiitorico sohre a Botanica 
a Zoologia no Brasil (1587-1922), pp. 143 (Sao Paulo). 

Selected Supplementary References 

NELSON, E. W., 1922: Lower California and it* 
Natural Resource! (Mem. Nat. Acad. Sci. 16:1-171). 

NKMIROVSKY. L., 1933: Bstructura Economics y Orien- 
tacion Politics de la Agriculture en la Republics Argen- 
tina, pp. 241 (Huenos Aires). 

NORMANO. J. F., 1935: Brazil, a Study of Economic 
Types (Oxford U.P.). 

Nutrition, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, 1943, 
pp. 24 (Report 4th Meeting of the A nglo- American 
Caribbean Commission at Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, 
Virgin Islands of the U S., AUR. 17-21, 1943). 

OAKi.fcY. A, 1941: Behold the West Indies, pp. 540 
(New York) - - Useful suggestions for traveller*. 

Ol.IVhIRA, A. I. DE 8t LEONARDOS, O H, 1943' 

Geologia do Brasil, pp. 813 (Rio de Janeiro Mimsterio 
da Agric ). 

OLSSON-SFFI-RR, P., 1910- Agricultural Possibilities in 
Tropical Mexico (Am. Rev. Trop. ART. 1 165-172). 

ORI-I/, A. A , 1941. Climas Basicos de Funcion Feno- 
ecologies en la Republica Argentina (Jor. Agron. y Vet. 
1941-465-470). -With application* to crop production. 

OTEKO, J. G , 1906. Guia Bihlioftrafica ... la Agri- 
cultura y la Ganaderia Nacionales, |>p 99 (Lima). 

CVrtRo, J. I. and COOK, M. T., 1937: A Bibliography 
of Mycology and Phytopathology of Central and South 
America, Mexico and the West Indies (Journ. Agr. Univ. 
Puerto Kico 21 249-48<>). 

O\FKMF,K, A O, 19J5 Living High; a home in the 
far Andes, pp 382 (New York). --Impressions of a 
geologist's wife 

PA( HFCO HFRRARTE, M . 1944 Agriculture in Gua- 
temala, pp. 36 (Washington, D.C. . Div. Agric. Coop., 
Pan Amer Union). 

PA;>. J. L, 1930 The Climate of Mexico (Mon. 
Weather Rev , Suppl No 33) 

Pan America, Network of Nations. A special num- 
ber of Land Policy Review (Vol. 6, No. 2. Summer 

Pan American Union- American City Series (Wash- 
mKtim. DC Pan Am Union) - A series of booklets 
with information of all kinds about the principal cities 
of Latin America Revised at intervals 

Pan American Union 1 American Nation Scries (Wa-h- 
ins-ton, DC.. Pan Am. Union) -A series of booklets 
with information about the countries of C and S. 
America. Revised at mteivah. 

Pan American Union: The Basic Principles of the 
Inter-American System, pp. 40 (Washington. DC.. Pan 
Am. Union: Executive Committee on Post- War Prob- 

Pan American Union. Bulletin of the Pan American 
Union, vol 1, no 1, 1893 (Washington, DC: Pan 
Am Union).- $1 50 a year Should be in the hands 
of all concct tied with Iitin American affairs 

Pan American Union Pan American Book Shelf. - 
A \eiy useful mimeographed monthly repot t of new 
publications, in all fields, in Central and South America, 
issued by the Library of the Pan American I'nion, 
Washington. I) (*., at '$1 00 a year 

Pan American Union, 1911: Mexico; a general sketch 
compiled by the Pan American Union, pp. 389 (Wash- 
ington. DC). An extensive and thorough manual, 
now of course out of date. 

Pan Ameiiean Union, 1940 Bibliography on Labor 
and Social Welfare in Latin America (Washington, D.C : 
Pan American Union, Div. of Labor and Social In- 

Pan American Union. 1941: Films and Slides on 
Latin America (Washington. D C. Pan American 
Union. Div. of Intellectual Cooperation) 

Pan American Union, 1941- Latin American Litera- 
ture, References to Material in English, with annotations 
(Washington, D C : Pan American Union. Div. of In- 
tellectual Cooperation). 

Pan American Union, 1941- References on Latin 
American Music, the Theatre and the Dance (Washing- 
ton. D.C.: Pan American Union, Div. of Intellectual 

Pan American Union, 1942: Selected List of Books 
(in English) on Latin America, cd. 6, pp. 69 (Washing- 
ton, D.C. Pan American Union, Columbus Memorial 
Library, Pan Am. Union Bihl. Series 4). 

Pan American Union, 1944: Latin American Univer- 
sity Journals and Serial Publications, pp. 74 (mimeo- 

graphed) (Washington, D.C.: Pan American Union, 
Division of Intellectual Cooperation). A tentative 

PARKES, H. B. f 1938: A History of Mexico, pp. 432 
(Boston).- -An accurate, readable history from earliest 
times to 1938. 

PHELPS, D. M., 1936- Migration of Industry to South 
America, pp. 355 (New York). 

PHELPS, . (Ed.), 1941: Statistical Activities of the 
American Nations, pp 842 (Washington, DC.. Inter- 
Amer. Statistical Inst.) 

Pit Firs, V. L., 1938: The International Economic 
Position of Argentina (Oxford UP.). 

PHILLIPS, P. L., 1901: A List of Books, Magazine 
Articles and Maps, relating to Brazil, 1800-1900, pp 145 
(Washington, DC). 

PHILIIPS, P L, 1902- A List of Books, Magazine 
Articles and Maps, relating to Central America, pp 
109 (Washington, D C.). 

PHILLIPS, P. L. 1903: A List of Books, Magazine 
Articles and Maps, relating to Chile, pp. 110 (Wash- 
ington. D.C.). 

PLATT, R. S, et al . 194J- The European Possessions 
in the Caribbean Area, a compilation of facts concerning 
their population, physical geography, resources, indus- 
tries, trade, government, and strategic importance, pp. 
112 (Am. Geograph Society). 

PLATT, R S, 1943- Latin America, Countrysides 
and United Regions, pp 564 (New York) --Records 
fundamental details which characterize regions. 

PLENN. ABEL (comp ), 1941: List of Latin American 
Serials; a survey of exchanges available in U. S. 
libraries, 70 pp (Amer. Lib. Assoc. Committee on 
Library Coop, with Latin America, Studies no. 1). 

POI-KSOE, W., 1942 The Second Intcramerican Con- 
ference on Agriculture (Chron. Hot. 7*221) 

PORTER, C. K, 1933 Notas Bibliograficat; los estu- 
dios sobre ciencias naturales relatives a pafses extran- 
jeros publicados en Chile, Fasc. 1, Trabajos en la Rev. 
Chilena de Hist. Nat., pp. 79 (rcpr from Anales de la 
Umv dc Chile). 

PouML, J. S. 1942: Agriculture in Mexico (Pan 
Amer. Union Agric Ser. 1 1-24). 

POWELL. J. S, 1943- Agriculture in the Dominican 
Republic (Pan Amer. Union Agric Ser. 2 1-25). 

PRFSCOTT. W H.' History of the Conquest of Mexico 
(1843, etc); and, History of the Conquest of Peru 
(1847, etc ), pp. 12KS (New York). These classics are 
available in the "Modern Librar>" ed. at onlv $1 45 and 
in "Ever\ man's Lib.", 3 vols , at 2 ; 6 a volume. 

Puerto Rico. 1940. pp. 409 (American Guide Series: 
Umv Society, Inc ). 

PCI GAR VIDAL, J, 1941- Las Ocho Regiones del 
Peru (Bol Mu Hist. Nat. "Javier Prado" 5.145-160). 

RADIN. P, 1942: Indians of South America, pp. 324 
(New York). 

RASMUSSEN, W. D. (comp.). 1941- Some General 
Histories of Latin America, pp. 7 (U.S. Bureau of 
Agnr Kconomics. Agr Hist Series 1). 

RA\\ITSCHER, F. K, 1942. Problemas de Fitoecologia 
com Considcracoes especiais sobre o Brasil meridional 
(Sao Paulo Univ., Fac. Filosofia, Bol. 28. Botanica 
3 3-1 lie 41 4 9-153) 

RECK, I)., 1939- Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, 
PP 21 (New York & Toionto). 

RFCORD. S. J , 1923 Bibliography of the Uooda of the 
World (exclusive of the temperate regions of North 
America), with emphasis on tropical woods, 2nd ed.. 
piocisd, pp 40 (New Haven, Conn.) 

RFCORD, S J and HESS. R. W.. 1943: Timbers of 
the New World, pp 640 (Yale UP.) - A standard 

REED, W. W.. 192S- Climatological Data for North- 
ern and Western Tropical South America (Mon. Weather 
Rev., Suppl. No. 31). 

REED. W. W , 1929: Ciimatological Data for Southern 
South America (Mon Weather Rev , Suppl 32). 

REE\ES, E. A , W5- Hints to Traxellers, ed. 11, vol 
1: Survey and Field Astronomy, pp. 448 (Ro>al Gengr. 
Society). --Excellent British guide. 

REID, D. W., 1939: Fiction in English with a His- 
panic-American Locale (Hispania 22:409-429) 

REKO. V. A, 1929: Tropische Landwirtschaft in 
Mexico (Nachr. uber Schadlingsbckampfung 4.126- 

Selected Supplementary References 

RICH, J. L., 1942: The Face of South America: an 
aerial traverse, pp. 299, 325 photographs (New York). 
RIFFY, J. F., 19.16: Historical Evolution of Hispanic 
America, pp. 580 (New York). 

RIVERA, R. O. ( 1941: Books about Latin America for 
ColleKe Libraries (Bull. Assoc, Am. Colleges 27:328- 
346). A list of 300 books in English. 

ROBINSON. H. M., 1931: Stout Cortex; a biography 
of the Spanish conquest, pp. 347 (New York). 

RODRIGUEZ L., A., 1942: La Clasificaci6n de loa 
Sueloa desde el Punto de Vista de la Irrigaci6n, 
pp. 20 (Mexico: Depto. Inform. Tecnica de la Com. 
Nac. de Irrigation). 

RODRIGUEZ, J. M, 1942: Estado Actual de la Farma- 
coflnosia en la Argentina (Chron. Bot. 7:268-9). 

ROSENBKRGER, K., 1942: Biologieunterricht in Brasi- 
lien (Der Biologe 1942:97). 

ROWE, L. S. and ALBA, P. DE, 1938: Agriculture in 
Peru, pp. 30 (Pan Amer. Union, Div. Agr. Coop.). 

ROWE, L. S. y ALBA, P. DE, 1943: Convention y 
documentacion sobre la protection de la flora, de la 
fauna y de la bellezas escenicas naturales de los paises 
de America (Rev. Argentina de Agron. 10:67-76). 

Royal Inst. of Internat. Affairs, 1937: Republics of 
South America, pp. 374 (Oxford UP.). A coopera- 
tive, scholarly British publication, dealing with many 

RUSSELL, PAUL G., 1943: Economic Plants of Interest 
to the Americas Names of Crop Plants Used in the 
Americas (Plantas Economicas Importances de las Ameri- 
cas Nombres Hispano-Americanos de Plantas General - 
mente Cultivadas), pp. 29 (Office of Foreign Agricultural 
Relations. U.S.D.A.). 

SAMPAIO, A. J. DE, 1914: Apontamcntos para a Biblio- 
graphia Botanies referente a Flora brasileira e is Plantas 
cultivadas no Brasil, I (Rio de Janeiro). 

SAMPAIO. A. J. DE, 1924: Bibliographia Botanies Re- 
lativa a Flora Brasileira, MI, pp. 32 (Rio de Janeiro: 
Bol. Mus. Nac ). 

SAMPAIO, A. J. PP., 1926: O Problema Foresta! no 
Brasil em 1926. Relatorio succinto, visando a Phyto- 
technia e a Phytogeographia, aprcsentado ao Congresso 
Internacional de Silviculture de Roma, Abril-Maio 1926, 
pp. 120 (Rio de Janeiro). 

SAPPER, K, 1936: Geographic und Geschichte der 
indianischen Landwirtschaft (Herhn) 

SCRIBNER, F. L., 1938: The Botanical Garden at Rio 
de Janeiro (Sci. Monthly 46:5-15). 

SELL, L. L, 1941: Pan-American Dictionary and 
Travel Guide, ed. 2, pp. 694 (New York). Spanish 
terms for tourists and other travellers. 

SIEVERS, A. F. and HIGBEE. E C, 1942- Medicinal 
Plants of Tropical and Subtropical Regions, pp. 47 
(Foreign Agriculture Report no. 6, Office of Foreign 
Agnc. Relations, U.S.D.A.). Excellent. 

SKOTTSBERG, C, 1911: Uebersicht fiber die wichtig- 
sten Pflanzenformationen Siidamenkas s. von 41, ihrc 
geographische Verbreitung und Beziehungen zum Klima 
(Kgl. svenska Vet -Ak. Handl. 46, 3:1-28, 1 cold. map). 
SLONIMSKY, N., 1945: Music of Latin America (New 
York). To be published in June 1945. 

SMITH, A. C., 1942: Vegetational Zones of Northern 
South America (Amer. Jour. Bot. 29(10) :17s) 

SOBRINHO, VASCONCELOS, 1941: As Regiaos Naturals 
de Pernambuco (Inst. de Pesquisas Agron. Agr. 3: 

SOXJLE, GEORGE, et al., 1945: Latin America in the 
Future World, pp. 385 (Washington, D.C.). Deals 
with agricultural problems, among others. Issued under 
the auspices of the National Planning Association. 

SPINDEN, H. J., 1928: Ancient Civilizations of Mexico 
and Central America, ed. 3, pp. 271 (Amer. Museum 
Nat. Hist). 

STEVENS, F. L., 1932: Tropical Plant Pathology and 
Mycology (Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 59:1-6). 

STOCKDALE, F., 1943: Development and Welfare in 
the West Indies 1940-1942, pp. 93 (London). 

STORNI, JULIO S., 1942: Bromatologia Indigena, solu- 
eiin precolombiana del problema alimenticio, pp. 413 
(Tucuraan, Arg.). 

STRODE, H., 1934: The Pageant of Cuba, pp. 357 
(New York). 

STUART, GRAHAM H., 1943: Latin America and the 
United States, ed. 4, pp. 509 (New York). 

SULLIVAN, H. B., 1922: A Catalogue of Geological 
Maps of South America, pp. 105 (Am. Geog. Sue.). 
Titles of some 200 maps showing areal geology ($2.00). 

TAMAYO, J. L., 1942: Geografia Agrfcola del Peru 
(Rev. Geogr., Inst. Panamer. Gcogr. Hist. II (4 a 6): 

TERRY, T. P., 1938: Terry's Guide to Mexico . . . 
with chapters on the railways, automobile roads and 
ocean routes . . ., rev. and enl. ed., pp. 960 (The Author, 
Hingham, Mass.). A true Baedeker, the most useful 
book of its kind for Mexico. 

THOMPSON, J. E.. 1932: The Civilization of the 
Mayas, ed. 2, pp. 104 (Chicago Nat. Hist. Museum) 

THOMPSON, R. W., 1936: Land of Tomorrow; Chaco 
Area Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay, pp. 459 (New 
York: Applcton; London: Duckworth). 

TORO. JOSEFINA DEL, 1938: A Bibliography of the 
Collective Biography of Spanish America, pp. 140 (Univ. 
of Puerto Rico Bull , series IX, no. 1). 

TURRILL, W. B., 1920: Botanical Exploration in Chile 
and Argentina (Kcw Bull. 1920-57-66). 

U.S. Office of the Coordinator of Inter-Arm rican 
Affairs, 1942: The Inter-American Movement, an Out- 
line, pp. 14 (Washington, DC.). 

U.S. Office of the Coordinator of Inter-Aim-ncan 
Affairs. 1943: Guide to the Inter-American Cultural 
Programs of the Nun-Government Agencies in the United 
States, pp. 181 (Washington. D ('.). 

U.S. Vegetable Oil Mission to Brazil, March 9 to 
April 28, 1942, Report 1942, pp. 117, miraeo. (Wash- 
ington, D.C.). 

VAN CI.KEF, EUGENE. 1921: Rainfall Maps of Latin 
America (Mon. Weather Rev . Oct. 1921). 

VERDOORN, F. (Ed.), 1935 '43 Chronica Botanica, 
vols. 1-7 (Leyden, Neth. and Waltham, Mass ). Con- 
tains many news items on the scientific institutions and 
nature reserves of Central and South America, person- 
alia, etc In vols 1-3 this material is arranged under 
the countries, which are given in alphabetical order. 
In vols. 4-7 the material is scattered; it is best to consult 
the indices of place ami personal names which occur at 
the end of each volume From vol 8 onwards Chronica 
Botanica is chiefly devoted to studies and nnmoirs in 
the history and method of biology and agriculture. A 
certain amount of news continues to be published at the 
end of each volume 

VERDOORN, F., 1940: Inter-American Cooperation in 
Plant Taxonomy (Chron. Bot. 6- 121-3)'. 

VERDOORN, F. and J G , 1942- A List of Plant Scien- 
tists in Central and South America (Chron. Bot. 7.97- 
133). About 2000 names, addresses, and notes on 
scientific activities and interests. Extra copies of the 
list are unfortunately no longer available. 

WEBSTER, HUTTON. 1941- History of Latin America, 
ed. 3, revised and augmented by R. D. HUSSEY, pp. 326 
(Boston). - - A useful short histoiy. 

WENT, F. A. F C. 1902. Rapport omtrent den 
Toestand van Land- en Tuinbouw op de Nederlandsche 
Antillen, pp. 63 (The Hague: Landsdrukkerij). 
Thorough analysis by one of the foremost authorities of 
his time 

West India Royal Commission, 1938/39: Recom- 
mendations 1940, pp 30 (London). 

West India Royal Commission, 1942: Agriculture in 
the West Indies, compiled from documents supplied to 
the West India Royal Commission, 1938-1939, and 
other sources, pp. 280 (London). 

The West Indies Year Book, including also the Ber- 
mudas, The Bahamas, British Guiana and British Hon- 
duras (London). Annual, British, very useful. Order 
from Messrs. Thomas Skinner, New York. 

WHITAKER, A. P. (Ed.), 1944: Inter-American Affairs 
1943, annual survey no. 3, pp. 277 (Columbia U.P.). 
Chapters on politics, labor, industry, transportation, 
"cultural" relations, etc. Though not concerned with 
the natural sciences this volume contains many data and 
information of value to biologists interested in inter* 
american relations and their promotion. Published an- 
nually since 1942. 

WHITBECK, R. H., et al, 1940: Economic Geogra- 
phy of South America, ed. 3, pp. 480 (New York). 
New edition of a well-known, reliable text. 


Selected Supplementary References 

WHYTE, R. O., 1941: The Grasslands of Latin 
America (Chron. Bot. 6:443-6). 

WILGUS, A. C., 1932: Index of Articles relating to 
Hispanic America in the National Geographic Magazine, 
vols. I-LXI inclusive (1888-1932) (Hispanic American 
Historical Review 12:493-502). 

WILGUS, A. C., 1934: List of Articles relating to 
Hispanic America published in the Periodicals of the 
American Geograph. Society 1852-1933, inclusive (His- 
panic American Historical Review 14.114-130). 

WILGUS, A. C. (Ed.), 1936: The Caribbean Area, 
pp. 604 (George Washington U.P.: Studies in Hispanic 
American Affairs, vol. 2). Reports of a number of 

WILGUS, A. C., 1936: Some Recent Novels in English 
dealing wifh Hispanic America (Hispanic American 
Historical Review 14-419-424). 

WILGUS, A. C. and D'EgA, RAUL, 1941: Outline- 
History of Latin America . . ., with a special foreword 
by JAMES A. ROBERTSON, rev. ed. t pp. 410 (New York). 

WILGUS. A. C, 1941: The Development of Hispanic 
America, pp. 941 (New York). A recent scholarly 
history, much useful information for scientists inter- 
ested in the history of Latin American culture and 
related aspects. 

WII.GUS, A. C, 1941: Latin America in Fiction . . . 
(Bibl. Scries 26, Pan Am Union). 

WILGUS. A. C, 1942: Bibliography on Latin America; 
articles published in Economic Geography, March 1925- 
April 1941 (Economic Geography 18-106-107). 

WILGUS, A. C., 1942: Bibliography of Articles Re- 
lating to Latin America published in the Journal of 
Geography, \ul. 1-40, 1902-1941 (Journal of Gcog. 41: 

WILGUS, A. C, 1942: Histories and Historians of 
Hispanic America, ed. 2, pp. 156 (New York). 

WILI.IJS, A. C. 1943. Latin America in Maps, His- 
toric, Geographic, Economic, pp. 330 (New York). 

WILLIAMS. M. \V., 1937: Dom Pedro the Magnani- 
mous, Second Emperor of Brazil, pp. 414 (Univ. of 
N.C Press). - - An interesting account of Brazil, some 
Rent-rations ago. reporting about a period of interest and 
importance to the scientist 

WILLIAMS, M. W., 1938: People and Politics of Latin 
America, new ed., pp. 888 (Boston). -- Extensive and 

WILSON, C. M. (Ed.), 1943: Books about Middle 
America, pp. 23 (New York: Middle Am. Inform. 
Bureau). Selective bibliography. 

WILSON, C. M , 1945: New Crops for the New World, 
in press (New York: Macmillan Co.) From the 
contents: Maire in the New World (E. ANDERSON), 
Progress in Ground Crops and Tropical Grasses (V. L. 
DUNLAP), Silk from South America (G. E. ADAMES), 
Drug Crops for the Western Hemisphere (A. LEE and 
E. C HIGBEE), Natural Rubber for the American Tropics 
(W. N. BANGHAM), Palm Crops for Oil and Wax (M. L. 
BOM HARD), Biological Control of Insects (C. P. CLAU- 
SEN), Peppers for the Hemisphere (A. T. ERWIN), Bam- 
boos in the New World (A LEE), Fashioning Livestock 
Breeds for the Americas (A. O. RHOAD). Cane Sugar: 
An International Crop (P. HONIG), Quinine for the 
Americas (W. POPKNOK). Tropical Fruits for the 
Americas (W. POPENOE), Woods of the American Tropics 
(A. BEVA.V), Plant Exploration for the Americas (B. Y. 

WISE. MURRAY M, ft al , 1941: Latin American 
Periodicals Current in the Library of Congress, pre- 
liminary ed , pp. 137 (U.S. Library of Congress, Div. 
of Manuscripts, Hispanic Foundation). 

WODEHOUSE, R. P, 1942: Hayfever in Latin America 
(Chron. Bot. 7-274). 

WOLF, II. and R , 1936 Rubber, A Story of Glory 
and Greed (Xew W,rk). 

Young Readers: Several bihiographit s have recently 
been issued of Looks on Latin America for children and 
young people. The Div. of Intellectual Cooperation of 
the Pan American Union issued "Books on Latin 
America for Young Readers". The- American Library 
Association devoted part of their "Booklist" of April 1, 

1941 to surh a list (with a supplement in the May 15, 

1942 issue) Of further interest are "Latin American 
Backgrounds" (Research Div of the Nat Education 
Association. Oct. 1940) and "A List of Books for the 
Children of the three Americas" (Univ. of Michigan 
Library Extension Service) The list prepared by 
NORA E BEUST of the Library Service Div. of the U.S 
Office of Education ("Our Neighbor Republics . . .", 
Feb. 1942) is in process of revision. 

ZwEits. S., 1938. Magellan, Conqueror of the Seas 
(New York). 

From TSCHUDI'S "Reisen durch Sudamenka". 

Introductory Bibliographical Notes, 3' Re- 
cent Publications of the Office of Foreign Agri- 
cultural Relations of the U. S. Department of 
Agriculture, relating to Latin America : The 
able staff of the Office of Foreign Agricultural 
Relations has done more than any other agency 
to promote understanding of Latin American 
agriculture and related problems. Although 
some of the following articles have been listed 
elsewhere in this volume, it seems useful to bring 
together a complete list of the recent publica- 
tions of the Office. Some of the publications 
listed have been prepared for the general reader 
rather than for the specialist, and are necessarily 
somewhat popular 

Regional Studies, Afertco 

The Land Probkm in Mexico (FA*-Mar 1939) 
Cotton Production in Mexico (FS no 65 Fob 1940) 
Mexican Vanilla Production and Trade (FA-Nov 1941) 
Agricultural Relations with Mexico (FA-Nov 1942) 
Agricultural Education in Mexico (AA-Oct. 1943) 
Mexico to Develop Guano Industry (AA-Nov 1943) 
The Fruit Industry of Mexico (FAR no 9-Apr 1944) 

Regional Studies. Costa Rica 
The New Inter- American Institute (AA-Dec 1942) 
Costa Rican Dairyland (AA-Nov 1943) 
Copey Oak in Costa Rica (AA-July 1944) 

Regional Studies, El Salvador - - 

San Andres Agricultural Experiment Station (AA- 
Aug. 1943) 

Regional Studies, Guatemala- 
Agricultural Production in Guatemala (FA-Sept. 1943) 

Ret/tonal Studies, Honduras' 
Escuela Agricola Panamericana (AA-Sept 1944) 

Regional Studies, Nicaragua: 

Nicaraguan Agriculture Looks Ahead (AA-Oct. 1943) 
Dairying in Nicaragua (AA-Feb. 1944) 
The Agriculture of Nicaragua (FA-Sept. 1944) 

* Abbreviations. 

AA = Agriculture in the Americas 

FA = Foreign Aanculture 

FAB = Forcitjn Aaricultural Bulletin 

FAR Foreign Agricultural Reports 

FS Forciyn Service Report 

Regional Studies, Panama 

Rural Society in Panama (AA-Apr 1943) 
Recent Agricultural Policy Developments in Panama 
(FA-Nov 1943) 

Rcgimial Studies, Cuba 

The Cuban Winter Vegetable Industry (FA-Scpt 1937) 
Cuban Agriculture (FA-Feb 1942) 
The Agriculture of Cuba (FAB no 2-l)ec 1942) 
Henequcn from Cuba (AA-Apr 1914) 

Regional Studies, Haiti - 
Agnculturc in Haiti (FA-Dec. 1939) 
Haiti Makes Rubber History (AA-Jiily 1941) 
Haiti's New lioiizons (AA-Feb 1943) 

Rcawnal Studies, Jamaica - - 
The Agncultuie of Jamaica (FA-Apr 1942) 
Runonal Studies, Argentina - 

The Argentine Corn Industry (FA-Atiff 1937) 

Argentine Agncultural Policy (FA Feb 193S) 

The Argentine Wheat Industry (FA-JuK 1938) 

The Argentine Pe,ir Industry (FA-Jan. 1939) 

The Argentine Pasture & Livestock Industry (FA-Jan. 


Argentine Corn (AA-Aug 1941) 

Agriculture m the Argentine Trade Agreement (FA- 
Nov. 1941) 

The Fruit Industry of Argentina (FAR no. 1-Jan 1942) 
Argentine Grapes and Wine Control Program (FA-Dec. 


Regional Studies, Bolivia 
An Economic Study of Agriculture in Bolivia (SR-Aug 

Bolivian Progress in Agricultural Expansion (FA-Dcc. 


Regional Studies, Brazil 
Cotton Production in the State of Sao Paulo (FA-Jan 

The Brazilian Coffee Defense Experiment (FA-Dec. 


Brazilian Agricultural Policy (FA-Feb 1938) 
Cotton Production in Southern Brazil (FS no. 63-Sept. 

Cotton Production in Northeast Brazil (FS no. 64-Dec. 


Production of Oitictca Oil in Brazil (FA-Oct 1940) 
Agriculture in the Sao Paulo Northern Parana Region 

(FA-July 1941) 

Research in Tropical Brazil (AA-Dec. 1941) 
The Fruit Industry of Brazil (FAR no 2- Jan. 1942) 

Publications of the U. S. Office of For. Agric. Relations 

The Amazon Basin Brazil Nut Industry (FAR no. 4- 

Jan. 1942) 

The Prodigeous Braril Nut (AA-Apr. 1942) 
Tapioca from a Brazilian Root (AA-May 1943) 
Scientific Agricultural Education in Brazil (AA-Sept. 

Grasses of Brazil and Venezuela (AA-July 1944) 

Regional Studies. Chile: 

The Fruit Industry in Chile (FAR no. 3-Jan. 1942) 
The New Chilean Nitrate Industry (A A- June 1943) 

Regional Studies, Colombia: 
The Agriculture of Colombia (FAB no. 1-Oct. 1942) 

Regional Studies, Ecuador 
Ecuador's Balsa Goes to War (AA-Nov. 1943) 

Regional Studies, Paraguay - 
Paraguay Improves its Agriculture (AA-April 1944) 

Regional Studies, Peru. 
Agriculture in Peru (FA- June 1938) 
U.S-Peruvian Trade Agreement (FA-July 1942) 
Tingo Maria (Agricultural Experiment Station) (AA- 

June 1943) 

Wheat in Peru (AA-Dcc. J943) 
Extension Work at Tm K o Maria (AA-Feb. 1944) 
Agricultural Museum in Peru (AA-Feh. 1944) 
The New Flax Industry of Peru (FA-Mar. 1944) 
Lagunas Babasco Capital of the World (AA-May 

Regional Studies, Venezuela 

Agriculture in thr Venezuelan Trade Agreement (FA- 

Dec. 1939) 

Venezuela's Agricultural Problem (FA-June 1942) 
Grasses of Brazil and Venezuela (AA-July 1944) 

Other Latin American Studies. 

Production of Cotton in Latin America (FA-Sept. 1939) 
Tobacco Trade with Latin America (FS no. 82-June 


Report on the World Cotton Situation and the Possibili- 
ties of Inter- American Collaboration (SR-Jan 1941) 
World Cacao Production and Trade (FA Fcb 1941) 
Speaking of Rubber (AA-Fch. 1941) 
Rubber Grows Up (AA-Mar. 1941) 
The Tnter-American Coffee Agreement (FA-Apr. 1941) 
Kubher on the Rebound, East to West (AA-Apr. 1941) 
Rubber is Coming Home (AA-May 1941) 
Meet the Tonka Bean (AA-June 1941) 
American Amhiosia (Certain Fruits of Latin America) 

(AA-July 1941) 

Plant* America Gave the World (AA-Scpt. 1941) 
The Coffee Hemisphere (A A- Oct. 1941) 
Fighting the Pink Invader: Bollworm (AA-Jan. 1942) 
Mate: The South American Tea (AA-Jan. 1942) 
War Speeds the Rubber Project (AA-Fcb. 1942) 
The Story of Vanilla (AA-Feb. 1942) 
Small Farm Rubber Production (AA-Mar. 1942) 
Quinine from the "Fever Tree" (AA-Mar. 1942) 
Accent on Sugar (AA-Apr. 1942) 
Oils of Arahy (AA-Apr. 1942) 
America's Drug Plants (AA-May 1942) 
Plant Fibers in Wartime (AA-June 1942) 
Latin America's Orchards (AA-June 1942) 
The Banana Circles the Globe (AA-July 1942) 
Rubber from the Russian Dandelion (AA-July 1942) 
Ycrba Mate (FA-Aug. 1942) 

Cotton Becomes a Hemisphere Problem (AA-Oct. 1942) 
Erosion in the Americas (AA-Oct. 1942) 
Sponges from a Vine (AA-Nov. 1942) 
Indian Farming in South America (AA-Dec. 1942) 
The Technique of Plant Exchange (AA-Jan. 1943) 
More Rubber from Castilla (AA-Jan. 1943) 
The Future of the Forests (AA-Jan. 1943) 
Quebracho Makes Shoes (AA-Apr. 1943) 
Tapioca from a Brazilian Root (AA-May 1943) 
Soil Conservation in South America (AA-July 1943) 
Quinine from Seed (AA-July 1943) 
Papaine: To Make Meat Tender (AA-July 1943) 

Divi-Divi Offers Tannin (AA-Aug. 1943) 

The Americas Look to their Rice Fields (AA-Sept. 1943) 

Consider the Forests of Tropical America (AA-Oct. 


Babassu A Hard Nut to Crack (AA-Oct. 1943) 
Pest Control Challenges the Americas (AA-Nov. 1943) 
America Home of the Bean (AA-Dec. 1943) 
Agriculture Across the Andes (AA-Jan. 1944) 
Abacu A New Crop for Latin America (AA-Jan. 


Wildlife Management in the Americas (AA-Jan. 1944) 
Soft Fiber from Roselle (AA-Feb 1944) 
Pearl Harbor Sent Quinine Home (AA-Mar. 1944) 
Hacienda Pichihnguc in Ecuador (AA-Mar. 1944) 
Flowers that Fight Malaria (AA-Apr. 1944) 
Naranjillas Golden Fruit of the Andes (AA-June 


Latin America Produces More Rice (AA-Aug 1944) 
Canal Zone Experiment Gardens (AA-Aug. 1944) 
Science's Fight for Healthy Hevea (AA-Aug. 1944) 
The River Basins of Latin Ameiica (AA-Sept. 1944) 

Agricultural Lducation. - 

New Education in Tropical America (AA-Nov. 1942) 
Agricultural Extension in the Americas (AA-Fcb. 1943) 
Education in Haiti (AA-Aug. 1943) 
Scientific Agricultural Education in Brazil (AA-Scpt. 


Agricultural Education in Mexico (AA-Oct. 1943) 
Toward Practical Cooperation (AA-June 1944) 
Escuela Agricola Panamencana (AA-Scpt. 1944) 

"Gifts to the Americas". 

The Potato (AA-May 1943) 
Chewing Gum (AA-June 1943) 
Maize (AA-July 1943) 
Kalsa Wood (AA-Aug. 1943) 
The Chinchilla (AA-Sept. 1943) 
The Peanut (AA-Oct. 1943) 
Tobacco (AA-Nov. 1943) 
Tomato (AA-Dcc 1943) 
The Pineapple (AA-Fch. 1944) 
Kapok (AA-Mar. 1944) 
The Cashew (AA-Apr 1944) 
Ipecac (AA-July 1944) 
Mahogany (AA-Aug. 1944) 

Economic Plants of Interest to the America* 

Names of Crop Plant* Used in the Americas (SR-June 


Cassia and Cinnamon (SR-July 1943) 
Wattle Bark (SR-Aug. 1943) 
Rotenone (SR-Aug 1943) 
Leguminous Shrubs and Trees Used as Shade (SR-Aug. 


Oiticica and Chia Oils (SR-Aug. 1943) 
Kenaf as a Fiber Crop (SR-Oct. 1943) 
Roselle as a Fiber Crop (SR-Dec. 1943) 
Grasses Producing Essential Oils (SR-Apr. 1944) 

Experiment Stations: - 

The New Inter-American Institute (AA-Dec. 1942) 
San Andres Experiment Stations (El Salvador) (AA- 
Aug. 1943) 

Hacienda Pichihnguc (Ecuador) (AA-Mar. 1944) 
Tingo Maria (Peru) (AA-June 1943) 
The Canal Zone Experiment Gardens (AA-Aug. 1944) 

International Collaboration 

Inter-American Agricultural Cooperation (FA-May 

World War, Hemisphere Trade and the American 

Farmer (FA-Jan. 1941) 

Can the Americas Live Alone (AA-Feb. 1941) 
Agriculture's Role in Hemisphere Defense (FA-Mar. 


Foods the Americas Buy and Sell (AA-Aug. 1941) 
Resolutions of Second Inter-American Conference of 

Agriculture (SR-July 1942) 
A Land Policy for the Americas (AA-Mar. 1943) 
What Shall the Americas Grow (AA-May 1943) 





a complete and detailed table of contents, and index oj names see 
pp. 350, seq. 

ruTE 4. "PLANTS AND BUDS OF Sum NAM. "-Composition by a wlf-taught mulatto (ca 1811), from 
SACK'S "Reise nach Surinam" (1821, cf. p. xviu-xix). - Catateiy Arnold Arboretm of Hamrd University. 

WILSON POPENOE: Some Problems of Tropi- 
cal American Agriculture: Tropical agricul- 
ture presents some striking contrasts to that 
of temperate regions. The lack of freezing 
temperatures (except at high altitudes) means 
that there may be an almost unbroken cycle of 
activity in the soil, as well as opportunity for 
many insect pests and plant diseases to multiply 
without ceasing from one year's end to another. 
It also means the absence of winter chilling, 
necessary to complete the rest period of many 
crop plants native to the temperate zone. Rel- 
ative uniformity in length of day reduces the 
effects of long days and short days which are 
a feature of temperate zone agriculture. Exces- 
sive rainfall, including downpours which some- 
times involve a precipitation of 24 inches in 24 
hours, has far-reaching results upon the soil. 
One can go badly astray in judging the fertility 
of tropical soils under luxuriant forest cover 
soils which, when denuded of forest and planted 
to annual crops, soon require abundant use of 
fertilizers. In this connection, the primitive 
practice of clearing the land, taking off a single 
crop of corn, then allowing second-growth forest 
to develop, with a view to shading out grass and 
restoring the physical condition of the soil, is of 
great interest and significance. 

In considering these and other features of 
tropical American agriculture it is essential to 
remember that we do not have, in many instances, 
the extensive background of investigation and 
experimentation upon which have been built the 
great agricultural industries of the United States, 
of Europe, and of the temperate parts of South 
America. Nor do we have the background 
possessed by many of the agricultural industries 
of the Asiatic tropics. With regard to the tech- 
nical aspects of crop production in general, it 
must be admitted that the American tropics 
are today where Europe and the United States 
were fifty years ago. 

The development of tropical American agri- 
culture, in its broader aspects, must necessarily 
be a slow process, beginning with the simpler 
things and working gradually toward the re- 
finements. This seems sometimes to be over- 
looked by highly-trained technical workers from 
the temperate zone, with the result that there 
has been and probably will continue to be 
much disappointment and wasted effort. The 
average agriculturist of tropical America is not 
prepared to put into effect, over night as it were, 
even those techniques of other regions which 
obviously could be applied to his conditions with- 
out previous experimentation. 

Until we attain a better understanding of 

tropical problems it is necessary to bear in mind 
that we must learn to walk before we can 
run. To cite an example: it is useless to at- 
tempt, in any given region, the development of 
a sound agriculture until we know in a general 
way the soils of that region and their adaptabil- 
ity to the crops we desire to grow. Later can, 
and must, come more intensive investigation 
of the soil and its special local problems. 

Likewise, it is useless to attempt the refine- 
ments of fruit culture so long as vegetative 
propagation is the exception rather than the 
rule. Even the citrus fruits are propagated more 
frequently in the tropics by seed than by graft- 

CLIMATOLOGY: Particularly in the trop- 
ics it seems desirable to have some convenient 
method of expressing differences in altitude, 
wherever these are sufficiently great to result 
in significant differences in maximum and mini- 
mum temperatures. In Spanish-speaking coun- 
tries it has long been the custom to distinguish 
between the relatively hot lowlands (tierra 
caliente) ; the regions of moderate elevation 
where citrus fruits thrive but the coconut palm 
disappears (tierra templada) ; and the highlands 
(tierra fria) where frosts occur and where many 
products of the temperate zone can be culti- 
vated wheat, barley, apples and pears, for 

As recently pointed out by the erudite HENRI 
PITTIER, it is a mistake to refer to these as 
zones, since the term zone is properly applied only 
to geographic or latitudinal divisions. He rec- 
ommends the use of the word belt instead of 
cone; but the Spanish terminology seems ade- 
quate from the agricultural standpoint and has 
in its favor widespread usage throughout the 
intertropical regions of America. 

It is in any case highly desirable to avoid the 
confusion which arises when climates of regions 
within the tropics are referred to as tropical, 
subtropical, and temperate: these are definitely 
latitudinal concepts from which the climates of 
tropical regions differ because (1) they have 
much narrower ranges of temperature, both diur- 
nal and annual, and (2) they have narrower 
ranges in length of day, due to latitude. 

While the altitudinal limits of tierra caliente, 
tierra templada and tierra fria vary with lati- 
tude, with prevailing winds, with the presence of 
mountain barriers, and with other factors, in 
general the range is about the following: 

Tierra caliente sea level to 3000 feet 
Tierra templada 3000 to 6000 feet 
Tierra fria 6000 feet to the upper limit of 


POPENOE: Problems of Tropical American Agriculture 

In countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, and 
the Andean republics, agriculture is practiced 
from sea level to elevations of more than 10,000 
feet. Abundance of mountain barriers, the 
presence of isolated valleys at varying eleva- 
tions, and other features result in abrupt changes 
of climate, literally from mile to mile. On the 
Pacific coast of Guatemala, for example, rain- 
fall a few miles from the surf may be no more 
than 30 inches per annum. Fifteen miles inland, 
still practically at sea level, it may be 60 inches. 
Ten miles farther toward the mountains, at 1,000 
feet elevation, it may be 80 inches. And then, 
as one begins to ascend the volcanic range, it 
may increase in four or five horizontal miles to 
as much as 150 inches, only to fall off once more 
above elevations of 5,000 or 6,000 feet. 

Meteorological data are essential to the devel. 
opment of a sound agriculture. These are the 
tools with which technical meteorologists must 
work. Every effort should be made to encour- 
age the accumulation of these data in all regions ; 
and in so doing, it is well to keep in mind the 
practical objectives above all else. Where deli- 
cate instruments are installed, they must be in 
the hands of trained observers. Much money 
has been wasted by placing elaborate meteorolog- 
ical equipment in the hands of tropical workers 
not prepared to keep accurate records nor to 
care for the instruments. At the start, it 
would be better in most cases to use whatever 
monies are available to buy a large number of 
rain gauges and maximum-minimum ther- 
mometers, rather than a small number of elab- 
orate outfits. 

Only those who have worked in tropical 
America can fully appreciate what it means, in 
undertaking the agricultural development of a 
new region especially if the region be one in 
which irrigation is to be practiced to be 
faced with a complete lack of rainfall records. 
The subject assumes even greater importance 
when we reflect that enormously increased use 
of irrigation seems to be immediately ahead 
of us in many parts of the area we are con- 
sidering. It is one of the next big steps for- 

SOILS: Few advances have been made in 
tropical American agriculture during the past 
quarter of a century which have had such far- 
reaching effects, such tremendous practical value, 
as the use of soil surveys. One has only to cite, 
as the classic example, BENNETT and ALLISON'S 
"Soils of Cuba," a work used not only by techni- 
cal men throughout the island, but by practical 
agriculturists as well. 

There is need for a vast amount of similar 
work. It is, unfortunately, a task which involves 
a large amount of drudgery and which, to some 
investigators, does not have the appeal of 
laboratory research. But, as has already been 
stated, soil surveys and land classification are 
an essential preliminary to intelligent agricultural 
development of the tropics. 

Cuba and Puerto Rico have received much 
attention from this angle. In the British West 
Indies, F. HARDY and his associates have done 
notable work. In Central America, Colombia, 
Ecuador and a few other regions, OSCAR 
others have soil-mapped extensive areas for the 
United Fruit Company. 

In recent years a keen interest in this field 
has developed among Latin-American workers, 
who are receiving active cooperation and assist- 
ance from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, 
the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture, 
the Florida Soil Science Society, and numerous 
agencies in their own countries. 

The keynote to profitable work of this sort 
is simplicity. The use of simple criteria ap- 
plicable in the field is the practical procedure. 
These, coupled with observations regarding crop 
behavior, will give the agriculturist a highly use- 
ful basis on which to plan his program, as has 
been amply demonstrated in the banana indus- 

Little additional effort is required to supple- 
ment field classifications with />H values, deter- 
mined roughly on the ground by means of Soiltex 
or other simple equipment; and it is obvious 
that this adds greatly to the value of the work. 

SOIL MANAGEMENT: Great confusion 
still exists, in the minds of agriculturists gen- 
erally, with regard to the place of tillage in the 
tropical program. This is not true everywhere : 
for example in Jamaica, fifty years' experience 
on the south (dry) side of the island has con- 
vinced banana growers that frequent cultiva- 
tion with disk harrows and an occasional plow- 
ing are essential to good production. But when 
the same program was tried experimentally in 
the moist Central American lowlands, it was 
abandoned after a few years as undesirable * 

The use of planted cover crops, widely prac- 
ticed in the Asiatic tropics, has not yet become 
general in tropical America. Grass, the great 
enemy of tropical cultivations, is sometimes con- 
trolled by shade, as in Central American banana 
farms, sometimes by abandoning the land tem- 
porarily and letting the work be done err ad - 
ually through the development of "bush" or 
second growth. 

Lacking an abundance of animal manures, the 
use of chemical manures or fertilizers is becom- 
ing more and more important. The sugar 
industry, especially in Puerto Rico, has employed 
these extensively for some time. During the 
past fifteen years they have become an im- 
portant factor in banana growing. Coffee 
planters in certain regions are coming to rely 
upon them. 

The question has been, and still is: What kind 
and how much? In most cases this can only 
be answered through carefully planned field 
trials continued over a period of years. Fer- 
tilizer manufacturers have in some instances 
taken advantage of the situation to recommend 
and sell "complete" fertilizers, which were 
certain to get results because they contained 
most of the elements any crop might need on 
almost any soil ; but the farmer has often paid 
for nitrogen, phosphorous and potash when he 
needed only nitrogen. Unfortunately the farmer 
cannot get the answer he wants by sending a 

* The following comment has been offered by ROBERT 
L. PENDLBTON. who has kindly reviewed the MS of 
this paper: "The change which has been coming over 
tropical agriculture in the Orient may well forecast a 
change to be expected in this hemisphere. This is the 
increasing realization of the importance of forestry or 
silvicultural methods as normal in the humid tropics, 
instead of the clean culture, horticultural or orchard 
methods on which we were raised in California. These 
latter were the pattern, more or less, on which Euro- 
pean planters in the Far East started out to raise 
tea, rubber, and other crops." 

POPENOE: Problems of Tropical American Agriculture 

soil sample to the laboratory and asking the 
question : "What fertilizer should I use to grow 
tomatoes on my land ?" 

MAJOR CROPS: Sugar Cane. Partly 
because of its great importance to many coun- 
tries ; partly because its very existence has been 
threatened at times by such things as mosaic 
disease and difficult economic situations; and 
partly because it has been largely in the hands 
of companies with the intelligence and the fore- 
sight to insist upon and support the necessary 
investigational work, the sugar industry stands 
out as the brightest example of the application 
of well-organized and continuous research to 
agriculture in the American tropics. 

The early efforts of the British in the West 
Indies; of F. S. EARLE and his associates in 
Puerto Rico; of the Tropical Plant Research 
Foundation under W. A. ORTON and D. L. VAN- 
DINE in Cuba; and the more recent labors of 
E. W. BRANDES and his associates under the 
aegis of the U. S. Department of Agriculture 
these and many other activities are notable. The 
intensive agricultural practices careful exam- 
ination of soils before planting, selection of 
varieties, intelligent irrigation, suitable tillage, 
and fertilization such as are now current in 
Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and elsewhere, point the 
way toward sound agricultural progress with 
many other tropical crops. 

Maize (corn). Throughout large areas this 
is the most important item in the dietary of the 
common people. An investigation made some 
years ago in Yucatan, for example, showed that 
in parts of that peninsula Zca mays provides no 
less than 85% of the food consumed. 

Investigators have stressed the low yields ob- 
tained in many regions, especially those where 
the soils have become "tired" through continued 
cropping during many centuries. In places such 
as the highlands of Guatemala and Mexico, 
where Indian population is dense, improvement 
of the soil through addition of organic matter 
presents many difficulties ; but it is the expressed 
opinion of J. H. KEMPTON that an increased 
yield of as much as 30% might be obtained 
through the application of simple methods of 
seed selection. 

The significant and hopeful feature of the 
situation is this: corn is the most important 
food-crop of a large portion of the American 
tropics, yet it has received practically no atten- 
tion, to date, at the hands of scientific agri- 
culturists. The Indians themselves have done 
an outstanding job perhaps the most notable 
achievement in the history of American agri- 
culture in the development of varieties adapted 
to a wide range of climatic conditions. It now 
remains to increase production per unit area, 
not only through simple selection (and eventually 
more elaborate techniques of plant breeding) but 
also, where feasible, through better methods 
of soil management. 

Coffee. This, the leading export crop of 
several countries, has a history almost unique 
in agriculture. Where else can we find an 
important crop which has been cultivated for 
more than a centurv, the verv existence of 
which has never been threatened by disease or 
insect pests? Sugar cane has had its mosaic; 
cacao production has been more than halved 
in several countries by Marasmius and Monilia; 

and the entire banana industry had to be reor- 
ganized a few years ago because of the intro- 
duction of Sigatoka disease into the American 

This is not saying that the coffee plant has 
no enemies. But it is true that coffee growers 
in tropical America have been able to proceed 
from year to year, from decade to decade, with- 
out devoting major attention to pest control. 
Perhaps it has been good luck more than any- 
thing else; and the day may come when the 
industry will be faced by a crisis such as those 
which overtook the others just mentioned. Let 
us hope that the day may be far distant.* 

In the meantime, coffee culture, if it is to 
develop into a sound agricultural industry in 
which the intelligent, industrious grower receives 
a premium for his effort, must receive the same 
sort of intensive improvement which has char- 
acterised the sugar industry and the banana busi- 
ness. It seems likely that the biggest step for- 
ward will be in the field of vegetative propaga- 
tion. We have little or no information regarding 
the superiority of one seedling over another, 
with respect to growth, fruitfulness, and other 
characteristics. If an investigation such as that 
which has been carried out in the cacao planta- 
tions of Trinidad should demonstrate that vegeta- 
tive propagation of superior individuals results 
in greater profits to the grower the gradual 
rebuilding of the industry on that basis can be 
only a matter of time. 

If vegetative propagation becomes a reality, 
there will be increased need for more intensive 
agricultural practices to take full advantage of 
superior and more expensive planting material. 
The pruning of the coffee plant, for example, 
is still ignored completely in some regions. In 
others, there are definite techniques. Further 
study, and widespread application of sound 
principles adapted to local conditions, are 

In several countries, there is a recently-devel- 
oped interest in the control of erosion on hill- 
side plantings, and in the use of commercial 
fertilizers. Such interests are by no means uni- 
versal, but these practices, even though still 
limited in extent, are straws which show the 
way the wind is blowing, and which augur well 
for the future of the coffee industry. 

Cacao. During four hundred years following 
the Discovery, tropical America, where the 
tree is indigenous, was the source of the 
world's chocolate. Then the development of 
cacao production in Africa and the ravages of 
disease in tropical America, changed materially 
the picture. Ecuador, for example, which 
exported more than a million hundredweight 
of cacao beans in 1916, could only ship one- 
fourth this amount in 1940 due largely to 
the spread of two diseases, Witches' Broom 
(Morasmius perniciofus) and Monilia pod 

For more than fifteen years, E. E. CHEESMAN, 
F. J. POUND and their associates in the British 
West Indies have studied the problems of cacao 
cultivation in tropical America. Their work 
which will remain one of the highlights in the 
history of tropical agriculture has been aimed 
toward the vegetative propagation of strains 
resistant to disease, and at the same time pro- 
ductive of good-quality cacao in reasonable 

C/. A. A. BITANCOURT, CHRON. 7, 7:319 (194J). 

POPENOE: Problems of Tropical American Agriculture 

quantity. The problems have been complex, 
owing largely to the mixed genetic constitution 
of desirable varieties in general, as well as 
because the cacao tree is somewhat difficult to 
propagate vegetatively. 

The prospects for Ecuador at one time 
the world's greatest producer of cacao are 
summarised by Professor CHESSMAN as follows : 
"At best it seems unlikely that the industry can 
ever regain all its former prosperity, but, 
fortunately, there are reasons for hoping that 
it can be partially rehabilitated through the 
application of modern methods of selection 
coupled with more intensive methods of agricul- 

Bananas. From the standpoint of this dis- 
cussion, the banana is of particular interest as 
illustrating the development of a tropical crop 
from the most primitive stage of agriculture to 
that of modern, intensive, scientific farming. 
It is all the more striking because this trans- 
formation has taken place within a period of 
less than twenty-five years. 

Since the early years of this century, the 
banana industry has formed one of the chief 
sources of revenue for several of the Caribbean 
republics. Honduras has exported as many 
as thirty million bunches in a single year. Sev- 
eral British colonies notably Jamaica have 
played an important part in the industry, as 
have Mexico, and to a lesser degree, Ecuador. 

Jamaica was perhaps the first region in which 
agricultural skill began to be applied to banana 
culture. Around the Caribbean, the methods 
used to 1920 or 1925 were crude. Little atten- 
tion was devoted to the selection of soils; 
the only cultivation given was an occasional 
removal of weeds and "bush" with the machete, 
together with the cutting out of superfluous 
growth from the banana "mat" or stool. 

The modernization of banana agriculture 
began at the logical point the use of intensive 
soil surveys and the development of good 
drainage techniques; for in most of the regions 
where bananas are commercially grown, intensive 
drainage is a prime essential. Then came atten- 
tion to the best types of planting material, fol- 
lowed by adjustment of plant populations to 
climatic and soil factors, so that every acre 
would carry the optimum number of plants. 
Production was greatly increased through wide- 
spread use of commercial fertilizers, chiefly those 
carrying nitrogen the element most commonly 
lacking in tropical soils which have been farmed 
for a number of years. 

Then in 1935, the industry was threatened by 
a leaf disease, Cercospora musae (commonly 
known as Sigatoka), which ^appears to have 
reached the American tropics in some unknown 
manner from the Far East. This was investi- 
gated by O. A. REINKING and V. C. DUNLAP, 
who found that it could be controlled by spray- 
ing with copper compounds (Bordeaux mixture 
is t the material most commonly used) but at a 
price which necessitated its limitation to farms 
which were capable of producing large quan- 
tities of superior fruit. This involved the 
abandonment of many second-class soils, since 
the cost of spraying was practically as high as 
on the best lands and the yield not sufficiently 
great to justify the expense. 

Concurrently with the installation of stationary 
spraying equipment and the laying of pipe 

through the farms for the convenient applica- 
tion of Bordeaux mixture came the development 
of overhead irrigation, the most efficient and 
economical means of applying water which 
has yet been used in the tropics. 

Coconuts and other crops yielding edible 
fats. The coconut has long been of importance 
as an export crop in the West Indies and in 
several other parts of tropical America. Its 
value as a cash crop has often tended to over- 
shadow the fact that there has been a deficiency 
of edible fats for local consumption in many 
tropical countries, a deficiency which it is highly 
important to correct. 

Coconut production has decreased in several 
regions, due to the ravages of insects and dis- 
ease, and it seems doubtful that this trend will 
change. There is at present an active interest 
in the cultivation of other oil-yielding plants. 
The production of peanuts and the manufacture 
of peanut oil are assuming importance in Cuba ; 
while sesame is attracting attention in Venezuela, 
Colombia, Nicaragua and elsewhere. There 
seems also to be a possibility that the African 
oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) may become a com- 
mercial crop in tropical America. 

Fibers. In recent years there has been 
marked increase of interest in cotton cultivation 
throughout this part of the world. Several 
programs, such as the one successfully carried 
out by CARLOS CHARDQN in Venezuela, have had 
as their objective the supplying of cotton for local 
markets. The control of insect pests has been 
a problem in most instances. Economic factors 
enter into this whole situation and it remains 
to be seen whether countries such as Venezuela 
and Colombia will find it more satisfactory to 
grow cotton for their own needs, or whether they 
will import it from regions which can produce 
more cheaply, and on their part, grow export 
crops for which their own conditions of soil, 
climate, or labor seem better adapted. 

The production of hard fibers such as the 
Agaves (henequen, sisal and their relatives) is 
on the increase in several countries, and has 
been given a great impetus by the scarcity of 
jute bags incident to the war. 

problems of tropical pomology may perhaps be 
considered most profitably by separating them 
into two groups, (1) the propagation, culture, 
and improvement of such species as the avocado, 
the mango, and 'the various kinds of Citrus; and 
(2) the cultivation in tropical America of such 
non-tropical fruits as the apple, the peach, the 
grape, the olive, and the date. 

The first step in the improvement of most 
fruits is the vegetative propagation of superior 
individuals which have occurred as chance 
seedlings. With regard to many of the so-called 
"minor" tropical fruits this step has not been 
taken ; or, where it has been taken, people in gen- 
eral have not yet availed themselves of superior 
planting material. Thus, throughout tropical 
America, it is far more common to find seedling 
mangos and avocados than grafted varieties, 
despite the fact that the latter are available. 
They are not readily available in many places, 
however, and they are expensive, which effec- 
tively discourages widespread planting. 

Citrus fruits. Commercial cultivation, along 
modern lines, has been undertaken in many 

POPENOE: Problem* of Tropical American Agriculture 

regions. Oranges, grapefruit, and limes have 
been the principal species concerned, the varieties 
of the first two being, with occasional excep- 
tions, those which have originated in California 
and Florida. There seem to be no problems 
which are not common to citrus culture generally. 
Sour orange is generally preferred as a root- 
stock; other species have been tried and will 
continue to be tried, in the hope that something 
may be found which is superior in resistance to 
gummosis and foot-rot. In this connection the 
practice of budding high about two feet from 
the ground which has been adopted at the 
Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture in 
Trinidad is of considerable interest. 

Commercial planting of oranges and grape- 
fruit for northern markets has not met with 
unqualified success in most regions, due more 
to economic than other factors. Perhaps the 
best hope for the future lies in increased 
quantity and variety of citrus fruits for local 
consumption. The orange is one of the most 
popular fruits in most tropical countries. The 
quality of the seedling fruits usually grown is 
sufficiently good: never-the-less, through the 
introduction of budded varieties, and the vegeta- 
tive propagation of superior chance seedlings 
(which are of frequent occurrence), it will be 
possible to extend the season and to produce 
fruit with fewer seeds. It may be mentioned 
that the Bahia or Washington Navel orange 
does not develop high color or flavor when 
grown at low elevations in the tropics : it is more 
satisfactory when planted in the tierra templada 
at four or five thousand feet. 

Pineapples. The competition of canned pine- 
apples from the Hawaiian Islands has greatly 
curtailed the demand in northern markets for 
fresh pineapple's from tropical America. Nor 
has it been possible, so far, to develop a canning 
industry in this part of the world which could 
offer serious competition to Hawaii. 

Mangos. Because of its abundance and use- 
fulness in many regions, the mango has been 
termed "the apple of the tropics." Though not 
native to tropical America, it is nearly ubiquitous 
in the tierra calicnte, chiefly in the form of seed- 
lings which produce fruits of excellent flavor 
but with so much fiber through the flesh that 
their attractiveness is greatly impaired. In 
recent years many choice varieties from India 
have been introduced and arc beginning to be 
seen in tropical American orchards. These 
must be propagated by grafting, whereas mangos 
of the Philippine or Cambodiana group are fiber- 
less even when grown from seed. These have 
been grown for many years in Mexico and 
Cuba, where they are highly esteemed. 

Most of the grafted Asiatic varieties produce 
freely only when grown in climates which are 
relatively dry during a considerable part of the 
year. This is due (1) to the fact that these 
varieties require a check to vegetative growth, 
provided by dry weather, and (2) to a fungous 
disease (CoUetotrichmtt) which destroys the 
flowers and is favored by moist weather. 

Varieties differ in their ability to withstand 
unfavorable conditions. Widespread experi- 
mental planting is bringing to light the best ; but 
there is another problem which must be solved 
before mango production can be wholly satis- 
factory. W. T. POPE in Hawaii, and H. P. 
TRAUB, C. O. CARRERO, and L. C. McALEsrra 

in Puerto Rico, have investigated this : the resist- 
ance of varieties to fruitfly attack. They have 
shown that it may be possible to grow varieties 
which are relatively resistant and at the same 
time satisfactory from the standpoint of quality 
and productiveness. 

Avocados. Few tropical fruits are of greater 
value, and more widely appreciated, than the 
avocado. Since pre-Columbian times avocados 
have been cultivated extensively in tropical 
America though they did not reach the West 
Indies until carried there by the Spaniards. In 
recent years avocado growing has assumed com- 
mercial importance in California and Florida, 
where many valuable sorts have originated. 

Most of the avocados seen in tropical America 
are seedlings, but grafted varieties both those 
of local origin and many introduced from the 
United States are beginning to be planted. 
The fact that there are three horticultural races, 
differing in their climatic adaptations, makes it 
possible to grow avocados in the tierra caliente 
as well as the tierra tetnplada; while the devel- 
opment of crosses between the different races ex- 
tends the period during which avocados can be 
available in any given locality. 

In Cuba, in Puerto Rico, and elsewhere 
avocado culture is limited to certain areas. 
Whether this is altogether a matter of soil 
(avocados will not thrive on heavy lands which 
can not be given perfect drainage) or whether 
it is partly due to root diseases regarding which 
we know but little, remains to be determined. 

Temperate zone and subtropical fruits. - 
Many a tropical horticulturist yearns to culti- 
vate the highly improved and delicious fruits 
of the temperate zone, in addition to those better 
adapted by nature to his environment. This 
yearning goes back to the time of the Con- 
quistadores, who broueht with them from Europe 
the fruits and cereals with which they were 

Little success attends such efforts in the 
tierra calicnte, but at elevations of 5,000 to 
10,000 feet it has been found possible to culti- 
vate, with a limited degree of success, the apple, 
the pear, and the plum. Two and perhaps 
more factors militate against these fruits: 
first, the lack of winter chilling necessary to 
complete the rest period, and second, the lack 
of high temperatures to ripen the fruits properly. 
The last-named is not important in all cases, 
for apples of fair quality are often produced 
in the tropics, while plums are sometimes excel- 

Peaches are not so difficult, especially if one 
plants varieties containing blood of the South 
China races. Unfortunately the first peaches 
brought to tropical America were of European 
origin. These require more winter chilling 
than the South Chinese types. Never-the-less, 
seedlings are to be found in abundance through- 
out the tropical American uplands, and peaches 
are commonly seen in many markets. It would 
be worth while to select the best of these and 
propagate them by grafting; but the future 
of peach growing in the tropics undoubtedly 
lies mainly in the wider use of varieties contain- 
ing a good proportion of South Chinese blood. 

The possibilities of grape culture have never 
been adequately tested because plantings have 
been limited almost wholly to varieties of the 
^'inijera species. These were first brought to 

POPENOE: Problems of Tropical American Agriculture 

America by the Spaniards, who strove for 
centuries to produce wine such as that with 
which they were familiar in the homeland. They 
were fully successful only in subtropical regions 
California and Mexico on the north, Peru, 
Chile and Argentina on the south. Throughout 
the equatorial zone, even at high elevations, 
European or vinifera grapes have never been 
grown with complete success on a commercial 
scale, though they are cultivated in many 

The reason probably lies in the diseases to 
which this race is subject diseases which 
cannot readily be controlled in the tropics. 
Strangely enough, some of the native American 
grapes, which come from climates even less 
tropical than the viniferas, will thrive in the 
tropical lowlands. The variety Isabella, be- 
lieved to be a hybrid between vinifera and 
one of the American grapes, has for many 
years been grown commercially in central 
Brazil, and more recently in the Cauca valley of 
Colombia. J. L. FENNELL is now working on the 
production of hybrids combining the desirable 
qualities of the best European grapes with 
the disease-resistance of the American species. 
This is the proper line of attack and complete 
success seems within reach. 

The olive is another fruit brought by the 
Spaniards and planted by them from California 
to Chile. In the equatorial regions it has never 
proved fully successful, though there are bearing 
trees in the highlands of Ecuador, and more 
notably, in the valley of Leiva, north of Bogota, 
in Colombia, where specimens still exist which 
were planted in early times. These are prow- 
ing at an altitude of 7,000 feet. Whether the lack 
of winter chilling is responsible for poor produc- 
tion, or whether other factors are involved, is 
difficult to say. 

Because the date palm requires high tem- 
peratures to ripen its fruit it has often been 
assumed that it should be successful in the 
tropics. But the situation here is a very special 
one: not only does it require high temperatures, 
it requires much higher ones than those common- 
ly experienced, together with humidity consider- 
ably lower than that of most regions in tropical 
America. Date palms are to be seen in gardens 
throughout this part of the world, but they do 
not ripen their fruit satisfactorily. In the hot dry 
valleys of southern Peru dates have been grown 
commercially on a small scale, and the region 
of Soata in Colombia has a reputation for pro- 
ducing dates. But an investigation of this latter 
showed the elevation to be 6,000 feet ; the climate 
not hot (as judged by the r^nuirements of the 
date palm) ; and the fruit which is marketed in 
Bogota never ripens properly, but is harvested 
when green and crystallized in syrup. The 
climatic requirements of the date have been 
thoroughly investigated by W. T. SWINGLE and 
others, and it is highly improbable that date 
cultivation will ever become of importance 
in the strictly tropical regions of America. 

CROPS: History is full of incidents which 
stress the importance and the romance of plant 
introduction. On one (probably more than 
one) of his voyages, COLUMBUS brought seeds 
and plants from the Canaries to the newly-dis- 
covered Hispaniola. In one of his first letters 
to the King, HERNAN CORTES asked that no vessel 
be permitted to set sail for New Spain without 

including in its cargo cereals and other seeds 
which would be useful to the colonists. BERNAL 
DIAZ DEL CASTILLO tells how he planted the first 
oranges near Coatzacoalcos, in the Isthmus of 
Tehuantepec. GARCILASO DE LA VEGA describes 
the joy of the Spaniards when the first grapes 
from Spain bore fruit at Cuzco. And so on. 

Three centuries later, the recently-well-pub- 
licised voyage of Captain BLIGH was undertaken 
at the behest of the British government, to bring 
the breadfruit tree from Tahiti to the West 
Indies. In succeeding years, the Royal Botanic 
Gardens at Kew acted as a medium of exchange 
for plant materials between the tropics of the 
Old World and the New. In 1900, DAVID FAIR- 
CHILD organised the Office of Foreign Seed 
and Plant Introduction in the U. S. Dept. of 
Agriculture. In our own times this institution, 
which FAIRCHILD directed personally for a 
quarter of a century and which is now headed 
by B. Y. MORRISON, has been one of the most 
active agencies connected with the exchange 
of economic plants between tropical American 
countries and other parts of the world. 

It is not to be expected that the smaller 
republics can in many instances set up such 
elaborate machinery for the work of plant intro- 
duction as that which has been developed at 
Washington ; never-the-lcss much has been done 
by experiment stations, by agricultural compa- 
nies, and by individuals. Even so, the field is 
scarcely touched as yet and it is highly probable 
that some of the greatest achievements of tropi- 
cal American agriculture during the next quarter 
of a century will be in connection with the intro- 
duction and establishment of new crops, or 
superior varieties of those already cultivated. 

The technique developed by the U. S. Dept. 
of Agriculture includes the dispatch of agri- 
cultural explorers to interesting regions, as well 
as the conducting of an exchange by correspond- 
ence with government experiment stations, 
botanic gardens, horticulturists, travelers, and 
others. When plant materials arrive at Wash- 
ington, they are carefully examined for the 
presence of dangerous insect and fungous pests, 
catalogued, and sent to one of the various 
plant introduction gardens for preliminary trial 
and propagation. T,ater, promising items are 
distributed to experiment stations, plant breed- 
ers, and amateurs interested in testing them under 
different conditions of soil and climate. Con- 
siderably more than a hundred thousand intro- 
ductions have been made in the past forty 

During the earlier years of this work, efforts 
were aimed primarily toward introducing crops 
new to the United States, such as the date 
palm and the tung oil tree, though attention 
was also devoted to securing new and desirable 
varieties of standard crons. sttch as the durum 
or macaroni wheats. Recently, as the possi- 
bilities of introducing crops altogether new to 
the country became more limbed, the work has 
tended to center around securing material to be 
used by plant breeders : often wild plants which, 
when crossed with cultivated forms, might im- 
part disease-resistance, hardiness, and the like. 
In fact, it may be permissible to divide the work 
of plant introduction into two well-defined stages 
on this basis. 

Though selection of superior local strains and 
plant breeding have become accepted policies in 
several of the tropical republics, the work of 

POPENOE: Problems of Tropical American Agriculture 

plant introduction is still largely in the first 
stage that of introducing new crops, or 
superior varieties of those already cultivated. 
There are many opportunities in this field, 
though it must be admitted that it is not easy to 
introduce completely new crops which will fulfill 
the aspirations of agriculturists who desire some- 
thing which can be cultivated extensively and 
profitably for export. 

At the moment, the situation is somewhat dif- 
ferent, due to the war. A number of agricultural 
products, for which the New 'World was formerly 
largely dependent on the Asiatic tropics, are now 
being planted commercially: three of these will 
be considered below in some detail. 

In the long run, the greatest value of plant 
introduction in tropical America may lie in filling 
the lacunae which exist today in the national 
economies of the various republics. History will 
decide. But there are many and urgent needs 
along this line. For example, the introduction 
of a superior forage plant for the paramos or 
high, cold plains of the Andes would have im- 
mense importance, as would the introduction of 
satisfactory forage crops for many other spe- 
cialised conditions. The introduction and estab- 
lishment of a wider variety of vegetables for 
improving local dietaries is also much to be 
desired.* And there are attractive possibilities 
in the field of fruit culture. Some of these have 
been pointed out above. 

The Chinese lychee and the kaki or Japanese 
persimmon are two fruits which can be grown 
widely in tropical America, but which at pres- 
ent are seen in only a very few countries. Both 
would meet with popular favor. The mangosteen, 
one of the finest fruits of Malaya, is so rare in 
the American tropics that the places where it is 
grown can practically be counted upon the fingers 
of one's hands. 

The Asiatic bamboos constitute another group 
of plants which have received little attention in 
tropical America, and which eventually should 
assume an important place in the economy of 
these regions, as they have done long since in 
the Orient. Timber trees for specialised uses; 
drug plants and plants yielding insecticides such 
as rotenone : oil-yielding plants all these and 
many others might be added. 

To pursue this work effectively, organization 
and equipment are required. The human element 
is the most important good plantsmen to 
receive the seeds and plants which arrive, and 
nurse them through the early stages of their 
growth. Progress along these lines has been 
made in several regions. It is only necessary 
to mention the splendid work of the botanic 
gardens maintained by the British government 
in the West Indies; the Harvard Botanic Gar- 
den at Soledad, near Cienfuegos, Cuba; the 
agricultural experiment stations in Puerto Rico ; 
the Estacion Experimental Agronomica at 
Santiago de las Vegas, Cuba; and the recent 
activities of the Venezuelan, Colombian, and 

* DR. PENDLETON comments: "Occidentals, because 
they are used to annual vegetables, grown close to the 
ground and needing daily watering and care, have ex- 
pended much effort to get Orientals to produce and cat 
the same sorts. The Siamese and Malays are more 
practical, in that they use many kinds of flowers and 
young leaves and shoots from shrubs and trees which 
need no protection from pigs, chickens, and cattle, and 
which grow through the dry season without watering. 
In Siam, Sesbania flowers are very popular for salads: 
the young shoots and young pods of Leucacna gtauca 
are commonly used as vegetables." 

Ecuadorian governments, to prove that this sub- 
ject is receiving serious attention. 

As excellent examples of what should be done 
and how it is to be achieved, we may cite the 
history of three strategic crops now subjects 
of major effort on the part of tropical American 
agriculturists. These are Hevea or Para rubber ; 
Abaca or Manila hemp ; and Cinchona, the tree 
which produces the important drug quinine. 

Hevea. Years before the outbreak of the 
present war, the seriousness of our dependence 
upon the Far East for our supplies of rubber 
was recognized, and steps were taken to cor- 
rect the situation. In the 1920s, O. F. COOK of 
the U. S. Dept. of Agriculture organised a pro- 
gram of investigation and experimentation, while 
surveys of the possibilities in many parts of 
tropical America were carried out under the 
aegis of the U. S. Dept. of Commerce. Small 
experimental plantings were made by the United 
Fruit Co. in Costa Rica and Honduras. Other 
small plantings had been made earlier in Mexico, 
in Haiti, in Nicaragua, in Ecuador, and else- 

Somewhat later, the Goodyear company, bring- 
ing grafted material of superior clones from its 
plantations in the Orient, commenced experi- 
mentation in Costa Rica under the direction of 
work has been, and is, an outstanding example 
of plant introduction intelligently conducted 
along modern lines. The Ford Company in 
Brazil has also done notable work ; while the 
U. S. D. A., in collaboration with various 
tropical governments, is now conducting what 
is probably the most extensive program of plant 
introduction e\cr undertaken in the Americas. 
HAMUS and their associates have devoted much 
attention to exploring the possibilities of wild 
rubber trees on the Amazon ; to the develop- 
ment of superior techniques in propagation; to 
the control of disease; and to other problems 
connected with the successful production of 
Hevea rubber in tropical America on an exten- 
sive commercial scale. 

Abaca or Manila hemp. In the 1920s the 
U. S. D. A. recognized the necessity of having 
a supply of this important fiber available in the 
western hemisphere and sent H. T. EDWARDS 
to the Philippines to secure planting material. 
"Heads" (pseudobulbs) of the five leading com- 
mercial varieties were brought to Panama. 
Previously abaca had been represented in this 
hemisphere only by inferior stock grown from 
seed, unsuitable for the production of com- 
mercial fiber. 

The EDWARDS introductions were propagated 
principally at Almirante, by the United Fruit 
Co. The low prices realised by abaca fiber in 
New York during the early 1930s, together with 
the great differential in the cost of decortication 
between the Philippines, with its relatively cheap 
labor, and Panama, discouraged commercial 
exploitation for the moment; but small plant- 
ings were maintained with the object of expan- 
sion when the time arrived. With the advent 
of the war in 1941, abaca immediately assumed 
great importance as a strategic crop and thou- 
sands of acres have been planted, and thousands 

C/. CKKON. 6:199 (1941). 

t Cf. CHRON. 7, 7 320 (1943) and this volume, p. 1S3 
and p. 199. 

POPENOE: Problems of Tropical American Agriculture 


more are now being planted, in Panama, in Costa 
Rica, in Honduras, and in Guatemala. 

Cinchona. Originally obtained from wild 
trees in the Andes, quinine became an important 
product of the eastern tropics toward the end 
of the last century, and at the outbreak of the 
present war Java was supplying 95% of the 
world's needs. Along with rubber and abaca, 
quinine was placed on the list of strategic crops 
after World War I, and in the early 1930s 
organised efforts to expand quinine production in 
tropical America were set on foot. 

The problems connected with Cinchona pro- 
duction are mainly, whereas in the 
case of abaca they have been chiefly of an 
economic nature. Abaca, a close relative of the 
banana, is slightly more exacting than the latter 
with regard to soil and climate, but in general it 
can be said that abaca will grow on most first- 
class banana lands, and its culture presents few 
difficulties. Cinchona, on the other hand, is 
highly exacting with regard to soil and climate ; 
and in addition, Cinchona as a genus is extremely 
variable, there being many forms in cultiva- 
tion as well as natural hybrids. 

Guatemala was chosen as the base for experi- 
mental work. Here were assembled by Experi- 
mental Plantations, Inc. (a subsidiary of Merck 
and Co.) in cooperation with the U. S. D. A. and 
the Guatemalan government, varieties from many 
parts of the world. Their propagation and their 
cultural requirements were studied ; small plant- 
ings were made on different soils at different 
elevations; and advantage was taken of the ex- 
perience gained in earlier years, when efforts had 
been made to establish this crop in Guatemala. 

It requires six years or more for a Cinchona 
tree to attain suitable size for exploitation of its 
quinine. The work has therefore been slow. But 
much has been learned, and the ultimate pros- 
pects seem good. The situation is a complex 
one, and a number of questions must be answered. 
Will synthetic quinine or products such as atabrin 
eventually replace natural quinine ? To what ex- 
tent? Should the objective be the production of 
quinine, or will totaquina (a product consisting 
only of quinine, but of other alkaloids con- 
tained in Cinchona bark) assume commercial im- 
portance and perhaps replace quinine? If quin- 
ine is the objective then it will be necessary 
to grow varieties of Cinchona which yield rela- 
tively high percentages of this drug; while on 
the other hand, if totaquina is to be used, 
stronger-growing forms with less exacting re- 
quirements of soil and climate can be employed. 

Throughout the American tropics much atten- 
tion is being devoted to agricultural education. 
It therefore seems worth while to review the 
subject and its problems; though it must be 
admitted at the outset that opinions differ on 
many points. For convenience, the field may 
be divided into (1) vocational training, and 
(2) the preparation of teachers, investigators, 
and extension workers. 

Vocational schools, frequently called "gran j as," 
are to be found in many republics. Cuba has one 
in each province ; Guatemala has one, called the 
Escuela Nacional de Agricultura, giving a five- 
year course; Venezuela has one at Maracay; 
Colombia has several ; Ecuador has its long- 
established Quinta Normal de Agricultura at 

Ambato. The United Fruit Co. has recently 
donated $500,000 to establish one in Honduras, 
known as the Escuela Agricola Panamericana. 
And there are others. 

These institutions may perhaps be compared 
to agricultural high schools of the United States. 
Training is practical as well as theoretical. 
Many of them give their graduates the title 
of "Perito Agricola" or "Perito Agr6nomo." 

Farmers sometimes criticise these schools on 
the ground that they attempt to teach too much, 
and that there is insufficient stress upon the 
relationship between theory and practice. If 
such criticism is justified, it may be due in part 
to the curriculum, but is probably more largely 
due to the dearth of well-trained teachers and 
an almost complete lack of texts adapted to 
local conditions. 

This lack of adequate texts in the language 
of the country has come in for much attention 
recently and seems in a fair way to be remedied. 
Brief, elementary, modern texts in Spanish are 
greatly needed. These should stress the rela- 
tionship between theory and practice, and must 
cover most of the natural and physical sciences. 
They must be based on tropical conditions but 
many of them could probably be sufficiently 
general in character to meet the needs of 
Nicaragua as well as Venezuela. 

Other texts are required to meet definitely 
local situations with respect to such matters 
as soils, crop production, insect pests and plant 
diseases. It may be a long time before a suffi- 
cient number of these are available; but in the 
meantime the problem would be solved in large 
part through the provision of the series first 

Technical training, leading usually to the 
degree of "Ingeniero Agr6nomo" (the term 
ingemcro," engineer, does not have the same 
connotation in Spanish as in English) is pro- 
vided by many agricultural colleges, some of 
which are units of national universities in the 
tropical republics. Mexico has a modern and 
well-equipped one at Chapingo, where men are 
trained entirely at the expense of the national 
government. Costa Rica has one, now part of 
the recently-incorporated Universidad de Costa 
Rica. Colombia has one at Medellin and another 
at Cali, the former supported by the national gov- 
ernment, the latter by the Departamento del 
Valle. Venezuela has one near Caracas. Cuba has 
a well-equipped unit of the University of Hahana 
Puerto Rico has its long-established College of 
Agriculture at Mayagiiez. And so on. 

In a class by itself is the Imperial College 
of Tropical Agriculture at Trinidad, supported 
by the British government, which aims pri- 
marily at post-graduate training and research, 
but also provides a three-year undergraduate 
course leading to a Diploma. 

As in the case of the vocational schools, many 
of these colleges of agriculture are seriously 
handicapped by lack of satisfactory texts and 
the difficulty encountered in securing the services 
of teachers who have both theoretical and prac- 
tical training in the subjects they handle. 

In fact, the provision of good teachers has 
been one of the most difficult problems which 
has had to be faced by these schools. Many 
attempts have been made to solve it by bringing 
well-trained teachers from abroad. With occa- 
sional notable exceptions, this method of ap- 

POPENOE: Problems of Tropical American Agriculture 

proach has not worked out satisfactorily. 
Glancing over the field, it is difficult to name a 
handful of foreign teachers now at their posts 
who have been there continuously for several 
years. The tendency has been for men to come 
and go (not always the fault of the teachers), 
with consequent dissatisfaction on the part of 
those responsible for the management of the 
schools, and disruption of the work. 

The ideal solution would seem to be the 
sound preparation of native teachers. This 
means, in many instances, that they may have 
to go abroad for study; and it most certainly 
means that they should have full-time employ- 
ment on the teaching staff. In one tropical 
institution with about 125 students there are 
some thirty-five teachers, only a few of whom 
devote all their time to teaching. The remainder 
are business and professional men who come 
to the school periodically to deliver lectures and 
supervise classroom work. This system might 
be satisfactory where advanced specialised 
training is the objective; but it does not seem 
altogether satisfactory where undergraduate stu- 
dents are concerned. It has been forced upon 
the schools by financial handicaps and the lack 
of well-trained technical men willing to make a 
career of teaching. 

If the difficulties encountered in the training 
of teachers are great, they are still more so 
with respect to the preparation of men for 
research and investigational work. And this is 
a field in which the needs are urgent and have 
long been recognized. Here again, a solution 
has oftentimes been sought through the em- 
ployment of foreign specialists to work on defi- 
nite problems or to supervise agricultural re- 
search in general. As with the employment 
of foreign teachers, this system has occasionally 
proved satisfactory ; more often it has not. And 
it has the overwhelming objection that it does 
not assist, to the desirable extent, in the develop- 
ment of a body of technical men, native to the 
countries in which they work and devoted to 
its ideals and its future. 

There are involved no undesirable features 
of nationalism. Quite the contrary. One can 
only be sympathetic with the statement of a 
group of graduates in Colombia, who posed the 
problem as follows : 

"Our agricultural needs can only be met 
through the application of more scientific knowl- 
edge than we possess today. For example, we 
need to know more about our soils ; we need to 
know more about rice culture; we need to 
improve our technique in the selection and 
propagation of cacao varieties. How are we 
going to bring good ability, training, and expe- 
rience to bear on such matters? 

"If we bring men from abroad to help us, 
we have to pay them large salaries. During the 
first year or two, they must devote most of their 
time to becoming familiar with conditions in 
our country. Often they are handicapped by 
not knowing Spanish, which means that they 
are not wholly effective in passing on to our 
agriculturists the information thrv have brought 
with them or acquire here. And then and 
this is the most serious feature of all they 
usually go home just about the time they com- 
mence to be useful to us. 

"Recognizing that there have been exceptions ; 
recognizing that in some instances we should 
still employ foreign specialists, we feel that our 

case is a strong one. Instead of bringing men 
from abroad, why not use the same money to 
send us to Trinidad, to Mexico, to Chile, to the 
United States, or wherever are to be found the 
best men in any given field of specialization? 
We believe we have the ability to become 
proficient, given the opportunity to study under 
real experts. And when we come back home, 
we are here to stay. We belong to the country, 
we speak the language, and we understand the 
psychology of the people." 

Such a policy is now meeting with wide- 
spread recognition. National governments in 
the tropics are providing more and more schol- 
arships for advanced students, while the U. S. 
government and many institutions in the United 
States are doing the same. In the long run, it 
is believed these scholarships will do more 
toward the solution of the general problem of 
providing efficient teachers, research men, and 
extension workers, than anything else which 
can be done. 

At the same time, there is much hope in the 
program now being placed on foot by the Office 
of Foreign Agricultural Relations of the U. S. 
D. A. This involves the establishment of 
cooperative experiment stations in a number of 
tropical countries, staffed in part by North 
Americans whose salaries are paid by U. S. 
government thus avoiding the criticism that 
monies are being spent on foreign experts which 
should go into advanced training of tropical 
nationals. And it is planned in each case to train 
Latin- Americans to take over the jobs as rapidly 
as they become prepared to do so. 

A somewhat similar program is being carried 
out by the Office of the Coordinator for Inter- 
American Affairs at Washington, which has sent 
numerous commissions to tropical American 
countries, where they are providing technical 
assistance along practical lines. Assuming that 
many of these men will not remain permanently 
in the tropics, their value is great from two 
angles: they will train tropical nationals for 
technical work, and some of them, when they 
return to the United States, will be teaching 
in schools where students from the tropics will 
get the genefit of their Latin-American expe- 

ginnings of experiment station work in tropical 
America go back to the establishment of botanic 
gardens in the British Colonies. Though these 
institutions served primarily as centers for the 
introduction and testing of economic plants, 
several of them eventually became, and have 
remained, experiment stations in the modern 
sense of the term. 

In the tropical republics, experiment station 
work is of more recent inception, and its history 
has commonly been marred by one serious defect : 
lack of continuity. If one factor is more to 
blame for this than others, that factor is prob- 
ably politics ; but fairness demands that much 
of the responsibility be placed upon inability to 
shoulder the financial burdens involved. 

Nothing is to be gained by reviewing the 
failures the stations which have been estab- 
lished, only to languish for lack of funds and 
capable personnel, or to fall by the wayside 
before they had been in operation sufficiently 
long to achieve worthwhile results. On the credit 

Cf. CHRON. 7, 2.49 (1942) and this volume, p. 337. 

Po PENCE: Problems of Tropical American Agriculture 


side of the ledger there are some notable items, 
and the prospects now seem brighter than ever 

Forty years ago, F. S. EARLE, C. F. BAKER, 
W. T. HORNE and their associates established 
the Estacion Experimental Agronomica at 
Santiago de las Vegas, just outside the city of 
Habana, Cuba. The enthusiasm and energy of 
this group accomplished much. Such names 
are connected with the history of this station in 
more recent years ; and it is to be remarked that 
it is one of the institutions which has never ceased 
to function, though not always upon the scale 
originally planned. 

Mexico has its stations; Guatemala has none 
as yet, though several small units, more in the 
nature of plant introduction gardens than any- 
thing else, were established by the Servicio 
Tecnico de Cooperation Agricola in the late 1920s 
and are still carried on by private enterprise. 
Salvador has a station operated by the Asociacion 
Cafetalera and is shortly to have a more am- 
bitious one, established by the government in 
cooperation with the Office of Foreign Agri- 
cultural Relations of the U. S. D. A. Honduras 
has Lancetilla Experiment Station at Tela, estab- 
lished in 1925 by the Tela Railroad Co. (sub- 
sidiary of the United Fruit Co.), where extensive 
work of plant introduction has been carried out, 
as well as much research on cultural problems. 
At present this station is also serving as one 
of the tropical bases for rubber investigations 
of the U. S. D. A. more particularly for work 
in the propagation and dissemination of superior 
types of Hevea rubber. 

Nicaragua has a small station at Masatepe, 
and is now organising a cooperative station on 
the Atlantic side, similar to the one in Salvador. 
Costa Rica has a small station in conjunction 
with the agricultural college at San Jose, in 
addition to the extensive experimental work on 
rubber which the Goodyear company is carry- 
ing out near Cairo, and the rubber investiga- 
tions of the U. S. D. A. based at Turrialba. 

The Republic of Panama has recently estab- 
lished a modern experiment station near Divisa. 
The Canal Zone has its Experiment Gardens 
at Summit, where valuable work in plant intro- 
duction has been done by HOLGER JOHANSEN, 
J. E. HIGGINS, and more recently by WALTER 
LINDSAY and his associates. 

The Colombian government has in recent 
years established a number of small stations, 
strategically placed to investigate the problems 
connected with particular crops: thus there is 
one for wheat and another for potatoes on the 
sabana of Bogota; one for temperate zone 
fruits at Duitama; one for cacao in the Cauca 
valley; and so on. More general in its inter- 
ests, and with a longer history, is the modern 
experiment station at Palmira, in the Cauca 
valley, directed by RAUL VARELA MARTINEZ. 
Ecuador has a small station in conjunction with 
the Quinta Normal de Agricultura at Ambato, in 
addition to several other small ones recently 
established in the highlands; and the projected 
station near Guayaquil, in cooperation with the 
Office of Foreign Agricultural Relations at 
Washington. A similar station has been estab- 
lished at Tingo Maria, on the Amazonian side 
of the Peruvian Andes, under direction of B. J. 

Venezuela has a modern station at Sosa, near 
Caracas, in addition to several smaller ones. 
Puerto Rico has been the scene of continuous 
and well-organised experimentation since the 
early years of this century. In recent times, 
notable work has been done at the Federal 
experiment station in Mayagiiez, under the direc- 
tion of ATHERTON LEE; at the Insular station in 
Rio Piedras, under J. A. B. NOLLA; and at the 
Tropical Forest Experiment Sation, under 

This by no means exhausts the list: nothing 
has been said of work done in northern Brazil, 
in Haiti, and in Santo Uomingo. Nor has men- 
tion been made of the various activities of the 
British and French in their respective colonies, 
nor the notable achievements of G. STAHEL and 
his associates in the Dutch colony of Surinam. 
The extensive and important investigational 
work carried on during the past fifteen years at 
the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture 
in Trinidad is unique in the history of tropical 
American agriculture. 

Despite this impressive list of institutions, it 
must be admitted that many others have been 
started as has already been mentioned only 
to terminate their activities before any good had 
been accomplished : and it must be pointed out 
that many of the stations in existence today are 
inadequately staffed. The opportunity is there, 
the machinery is actually available ; but the men 
to run it do not have, in some instances, suffi- 
cient training to get efficient work out of it 
As has been mentioned above, the Office of For- 
eign Agricultural Relations of the U. S. D. A. 
is making a well-organised and extensive en- 
deavor to assist in remedying this situation, 
through supplying personnel for stations operated 
in collaboration with the governments of several 

This is the place to mention the Instituto 
Interamericano de Ciencias Agricolas which is 
being established at Turrialba, Costa Rica (r/. 
CHRON. 7, 7:333, 1943). Its objectives are 
partly educational, partly research. It is a 
cooperative project fathered by HENRY A. 
WALLACE, Vice- President of the United States, 
and directed by EARL N. BRESSMAN. While not 
solely tropical in its interests, it will devote 
much attention to the investigation of problems 
connected with tropical agriculture. Because 
of its ail-American scope, and the support of 
various American governments, this promises 
to become one of the most useful and important 
institutions of its sort which has been established 
in the western hemisphere. 

EXTENSION: -One may perhaps be per- 
mitted to visualise the agricultural development 
of the American tropics in some such terms 
as the following: First, plant introduction; 
second, investigation and experimentation; and 
third, extension. Some of the tropical republics 
are in the first stage or entering the second for 
these two go hand-in-hand to a large degree. 
Others are beginning to enter the third. Puerto 
Rico has been in this stage for some time. 
Extension work is a recognized policy and has 
been carried out on a large scale. Cuba and 
Colombia are commencing to undertake extension 
activities: the former has an extension worker 
in every municipality, the latter has a group 
of "agronomos regionales" whose functions are 
somewhat comparable to those of county agents 


SMITH AND JOHNSTON : Phytogeographic Sketch 

in the United States. Haiti has done much 
work along these lines; and extension is being 
attempted elsewhere. 

The difficulty lies, frequently, in the scarcity 
of well-trained personnel, and in keeping the 
work out of politics or to put it more 
accurately, keeping politics out of the work. It 
takes time to train good extension workers. The 
danger lies today in sending out too many 
young graduates of local agricultural schools, 
men who have had theoretical training but insuf- 
ficient practical experience to meet the farmer 
on his own ground. In all countries, farmers 
are innately conservative, and at the start sus- 
picious of anyone who does not talk on the 
basis of long practical experience. The diffi- 
culties of the extension worker are greater if 
the farmer thinks political aspects are involved. 

Notwithstanding these features, the future 
of extension work seems bright, for it is char- 
acteristic of the small farmer in Latin America 
that he is less suspicious of science when backed 
by practical experience than is his North 
American colleague. If the extension worker 
really knows his business, it takes but a small 
time for him to gain the confidence of the men 
he attempts to influence. 

IN CONCLUSION: It is obviously im- 
possible to cover thoroughly the entire field of 
tropical American agriculture in a discussion of 
this length. Hence the title of this paper 
"Some Problems of Tropical American Agricul- 
ture." And it must be remembered that there 
may be other opinions of equal or greater merit, 
especially when based upon extensive field expe- 

Finally, it may be pointed out that the major 
problems of tropical American agriculture are 
perhaps those of the Amazon and the Orinoco, 
of the Carribean littoral of Central America, 
and of the lowlands of southern Mexico that 
is to say, the great undeveloped rain-forest areas 
which have so far proved difficult of development 
and in the last analysis may be best suited for the 
specialised cultivation of export crops. In the 
relatively dry uplands subsistence agriculture is 
simple, and man finds the climate more to his 
liking. These regions have long been populated 
with agriculturists many of them since pre- 
historic times. 

It will take the enthusiasm of men like 
FELISBKRTO CAMARGO, plus much hard and often 
discouraging work, to realise the possibilities of 
regions such as the Amazon basin ; and here as 
elsewhere it should always be remembered that 
the simple things come first. We must build 
from the bottom upward : we must learn to iwlk 
bejore we can run, 



geographic Sketch of Latin America: The 

papers discussing in more or less detail the 
phytogeography of the various political units 
comprising Latin America, making up a part 
of the present volume, represent the opinions 
of numerous specialists who have, in turn, based 
their conclusions upon the innumerable pub- 
lished works bearing on the problem, as well as 
upon the results of their personal investigations. 
The purpose of this introductory chapter and 
the accompanying generalized map is to present 
a summary of the entire subject in brief form. 

The authors have freely called upon the detailed 
papers for data and have attempted to sum- 
marize the problem, reconciling the terminology 
to a certain extent, and combining the various 
detailed maps as far as this could be done within 
the limitations of such a large-scale map as the 
one here offered. 

The accompanying map is intended only as 
the most preliminary statement of vegetational 
zones in Latin America. The authors are fully 
aware of its shortcomings, some of which are 
due to the difficulties of suggesting, in publish- 
able form on a small map, the enormously in- 
tricate regional zonation of the area under con- 
sideration, and others of which are due to lack 
of personal experience and lack of adequate pub- 
lished treatments of certain extensive areas. 
Even in those areas which have been described 
in detail by various writers, there is often such 
a lack of agreement among students that the 
present writers could attempt only to strike a 
balance among the conflicting treatments. 

It should be emphatically pointed out that a 
map of this sort, by its nature, utilizes definite 
inter-zonal boundary lines, but that such definite 
lines seldom or never exist in nature is obvious 
to all botanists and travelers. In drawing such 
lines, we by no means guarantee their accuracy ; 
for the most part they are highly arbitrary 
and should be so construed. Many of the lines 
on our map could be moved one way or the 
other a hundred miles or more and still remain 
as reliable as we have drawn them. Each 
inter-zonal line represents not a sharp break, 
but a transition ; many of the zones themselves 
are so completely transitional as to be prac- 
tically undefinable. 

Another difficulty which besets the path of 
botanists rash enough to draw phytogeographic 
maps is terminology. Some of the available 
detailed maps utilize local terminology for their 
concepts, while others are so detailed that the 
broad lines are difficult to comprehend and still 
harder to transfer to a large-scale map. Our 
terminology, therefore, like our inter-zonal lines, 
is largely a matter of compromise. 

In attempting to correlate phytogeographic 
zones under larger concepts, we find it conven- 
ient to classify them under three headings: 
(I) forests or wooded areas, (II) grasslands 
and savannas, and (III) deserts or semi-desert 
regions. In addition, we propose a fourth major 
heading, designated as a (IV) montane zone, 
in which all the highlands of the Andes and 
the Central American mountains are combined. 
Because of the great diversity of these high- 
lands and the comparatively narrow limits of 
their component zones, we are unable to show 
them in more detail on our map. A fifth major 
heading, not shown at all on the map, is the 
narrow (V) maritime or littoral zone. Follow- 
ing is the general scheme of classification 
utilized : 


1. Tropical and subtropical rain-forest. 

2. Tropical deciduous forest. 

3. South Brazilian forest and savanna zone. 

4. Palm forest. 

5. Subantarctic beech forest. 

6. Thorn forest. 


1. Savanna regions. 

a. True savannas. 

b. Uruguayan savannas. 

c. Campo. 

2. Pampean grassland. 

SMITH AND JOHNSTON : Phytofteof raphic Sketch 



1. Coastal deserts of Pacific South America. 

2. Patagonian-Fuegian steppe. 

3. Desert scrub. 

4. Transitional vegetation of central Chile. 

5. California chaparral. 

1. Mexico, Central America, and the larger West 

2. Northern Andes. 

3. Southern Andes. 



1. Tropical and subtropical rain-forest. The 
Amazonian rain-forest is the most extensive con- 
tinuous rain-forest in the world, occupying an 
immense area in the Amazon drainage-basin ; in 
its greatest east-west extent this forest ap- 
proaches 2200 miles, and in a north-south direc- 
tion across the Rio Negro-Rio Madeira basins 
it exceeds 1200 miles. The vegetation of this 
area is influenced by a high even temperature, 
heavy rainfall, and alluvial soil. The dense 
forest is divisible into three general types the 
upland forest above flood-level, the "varzea" or 
flood-plain forest, and the "igap6" or nearly 
continuously inundated forest. In addition, there 
are innumerable local associations, and toward 
its southern borders the rain-forest merges with 
the "campo" of Matto Grosso in an ill-defined 
junction. In addition to Amazonian Brazil, a 
tropical rain-forest covers most of the Guianas, 
southern and eastern Venezuela, and the portions 
of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia drained 
by tributaries of the main river. North of the 
Amazon the forest is broken by extensive patches 
of savanna, some of which (e.g. those of the 
Rio Branco-Rupununi region) are immense cat- 
tle-raising districts. A strip of mountainous 
territory along the Venezuelan boundary sup- 
ports a flora of such spectacular endemism that 
it should perhaps be separated as a distinct veg- 
etational zone, but on such a large-scale map as 
ours this detail is lost in the vast forested area 

Along its western borders, the rain-forest as- 
cends the Andes and merges with the temperate 
forest. The intermediate zone, perhaps best 
considered a subtropical rain-forest, is not sep- 
arated from the lowland forest on our map. In 
Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, this sub- 
tropical forest occupies roughly the wet Andean 
slopes between 1000 and 2500 meters. A tongue 
of its extends south from the "Yungas" region 
of Bolivia into northern Argentina; this is the 
so-called "Tucuman-Bolivian forest" (HAUMAN 
in Bull. Soc. Bot. Belg. 64: 51. 1931). 

A forest very similar to that of the Amazon, 
and acted upon by an essentially similar climate, 
is the coastal rain-forest of Brazil. Like the 
Amazonian forest, this coastal forest shows a 
great diversity of species and supports a mass of 
lianas and epiphytic vegetation. 

To the north, a forest essentially similar to 
the great Amazonian rain-forest is found in 
Venezuela south of Lake Maracaibo, in Colom- 
bia along the Magdalena and its tributaries, on 
the western slopes of the Andes in Colombia and 
northern Ecuador (a region of extremely high 
rainfall), in the eastern portions of the Central 
American countries north into Mexico, and to 
a more limited extent on the larger West Indian 
islands (PL. 7). 

It is not to be assumed that the rain-forests 
thus outlined, and shown on our map to a greater 

or lesser extent from Mexico to Argentina and 
southern Brazil, are uniform in constitution. 
On the contrary, they disclose a high degree 
of local differentiation, being grouped together 
only because of a superficial resemblance and 
because they are acted upon by more or less 
similar climatic forces. 

2. Tropical deciduous forest. Forests of 
which the components generally lose their foliage 
during an extended dry season are found widely 
dispersed through northern South America. 
This formation attains its climax in areas where 
there are two well-defined seasons, and the ap- 
pearance of the vegetation undergoes striking 
changes during the year. An extensive develop- 
ment of such a tropical deciduous forest occurs 
in the Orinoco basin and adjacent Colombia, 
flanking the "llanos" to both north and south, 
occurring in extensive patches in the savanna 
itself, and merging with tropical rain-forest to 
the south and coastal xerophilous vegetation 
to the north. The trees of this deciduous forest 
are of moderate height and often have straight 
columnar trunks; doubtless similar types of 
vegetation occur to the east in Guiana, so mixed 
with savanna and rain-forest as to be insignifi- 
cant on a large-scale map. The terms "monsoon 
forest" and "sub-xerophilous forest" have been 
proposed for this general type of vegetation in 
Venezuela and Colombia. 

In northern Colombia, in the lower Magdalena 
region, there are extensive sub-xerophilous for- 
ests or thickets, often dominated by Mimosa- 
ceac, which we also classify as tropical deciduous 
forest. Extensive areas of a somewhat similar 
vegetation, but in local pockets even more in- 
clined to resemble a semi-desert type, occur in 
the upper Magdalena and Cauca valleys. 

Along the Pacific coast of Central America 
from Panama north to Mexico and in portions 
of Yucatan a similar tropical deciduous forest 
occurs, in a region which similarly has a marked 
dry season. In certain regions this forest is 
lower than that of Venezuela and Colombia and 
perhaps gives way to xerophytic thickets. 
Toward the north it may take on the aspect 
of a semi-desert or thorn-scrub and may scarcely 
merit classification as a forest. The larger 
West Indian islands also support considerable 
areas of tropical deciduous forest, which is often 
scarcely to be distinguished from thorn-forest. 

Under the general heading of tropical deci- 
duous forest may be placed two large regions 
of eastern and central South America, the 
"caatinga" of northeastern Brazil and the 
"chaco" of Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina. 

Caatinga. The arid northeastern portion of 
Brazil, locally known as the "caatinga," is basic- 
ally an open scrub forest composed largely of 
deciduous trees. This is an area with a marked 
dry season and fairly impervious soil, which 
retains no moisture for the long period of 
drought. Here and there in the "caatinga," es- 
pecially toward its eastern and southern borders, 
are true forests and intrusions of "campos." 
Much of the heavier forest of the "caatinga" 
has been cut, but the fundamental character of 
the region appears not to be due to interference 
by man. There are many species of cactus in 
the "caatinga," which in some parts bears a 
superficial resemblance to the dry portions of 
the "chaco" (PL. 8). 

Chaco. The vast "chaco" of northern Argen- 
tina, southeastern Bolivia, and western Paraguay 


SMITH AND JOHNSTON : Phytogeographic Sketch 

has been discussed at length by many writers 
but is still only vaguely delimited. The bound- 
aries of the "chaco" have been variously inter- 
preted, and as placed on our map they are 
somewhat arbitrary. Primarily, the region is 
an immense plain scarcely exceeding 200 m. in 
elevation. The vegetation is essentially a mix- 
ture of xerophilous forest and savanna, with 
many halophytic and swampy associations; 
toward its eastern border hygrophilous forests 
follow the often-flooded river-banks. Most of the 
trees of the "chaco" lose their leaves in winter. 
The undergrowth often consists of spiny aca- 
cias and other members of the Leguminosae, 
Zygophyllaceae, Cactaceae, etc. The savannas 
of the "chaco" are marked by an abundance of 
tall palms and by isolated trees of Acacia, Pro- 
sopis, Schinus, etc. (PL. 9b, 10). 

3. South Brasilian forest and savanna sone. 
One of the most difficult South American zones 
to interpret is that which occupies a major por- 
tion of the States of Parana and Santa Catha- 
rina, the northern part of Rio Grande do Sul, 
the Argentinian Territory of Misipnes, and ad- 
jacent eastern Paraguay. In considering this a 
transitional zone and in terming it the South 
Brazilian forest and savanna zone we follow the 
suggestion of HAUMAN (Esquisse phytogeogra- 
phique de 1'Argentine subtropicale ... In Bull. 
Soc. Bot. Belg. 64: 20-64. 1931). The well- 
known hygrophilous forests of Misiones and the 
adjacent regions are essentially tropical rain- 
forests, differing from those of the Amazon and 
the Brazilian coast only in degree. Toward the 
south, this forest merges with the extensive 
savannas which occupy the southern part of 
Rio Grande do Sul, Uruguay, and adjacent Ar- 
gentina. In the Brazilian States which we 
refer to the South Brasilian forest and savanna 
sone there are extensive patches of more or less 
open land suggestive of the "campos" of central 
Brazil. Also in this region of Brazil are large 
stands of forest dominated by the Parana pine 
(Araucaria angustifolia) , which is so charac- 
teristic that many students refer to the whole 
region as the "Parana pine zone;" in general 
these forests are very dense, but sometimes they 
are park-like and with scattered savannas. The 
Parana pine zone is probably best considered 
as a rather specialized local aspect of a larger 
transitional South Brasilian forest and savanna 
sone (PL. 11, 12&). 

4. Palm forest. The north-central part of 
the Brazilian plateau, chiefly .that part occupying 
the States of Maranhao and Piauhy, is occu- 
pied by a very specialized vegetation which is 
best separated as a zone of palm forests. This 
region, the "cocaes" of the Brazilians, supports 
extensive forests of palms of the genera Coper- 
nicia, Mauritia, and Euterpe, in addition to 
nearly pure stands of Orbignya Martiana. This 
zone has six fairly rainy months and its soil is 
porous. Toward the west a border of brushy 
lowlands forms a transition to the Amazonian 
rain-forest, while to the south there are exten- 
sive intrusions of "campos" and to the east large 
stands of the arid forests of the "caatinga" (PL 

5. Subantarctic beech forest. Luxuriant tem- 
perate rain-forests (comparable to those of the 
coast of Oregon, Washington, and British Co- 
lumbia), with high precipitation during all 
months of the year, and characterized by Nptho- 
fagus, occupy most parts of southern Chile at 

low and middle elevations. The eastern border 
of this zone, adjacent to the Patagonian steppe, 
is drier and is characterized by deciduous ar- 
borescent species. 

6. Thorn forest. Open growth or dense 
thickets of small trees or arborescent shrubs, 
usually containing Prosopis, Acacia, Mimosa, 
and other thorny deciduous shrubs, develops 
at the dry edge of the tropical forest, commonly 
as a transition to desert scrub. The formation 
is xerophytic, developing at low altitudes in warm 
regions where there are alternating dry and 
moderately wet seasons. It is well developed in 
eastern Tamaulipas, north of the wet tropical 
forests of Vera Cruz. On the Pacific coast of 
Mexico the formation is well developed in west- 
ern Sinaloa, and patches of it may be found 
on the coastal plain as far south as Oaxaca, 
Chiapas, and in Central America to Costa Rica. 
It is also present, between the wet tropical forest 
and the Pacific coastal desert, in southwestern 
Ecuador and adjacent Peru. Probably also to 
be referred here are the xerophytic thickets of 
northeastern Colombia and coastal Venezuela, 
various coastal areas of West Indian islands, 
and portions of Yucatan. 

1. Savanna regions. The term savanna has 
been very loosely used in phytogeographic dis- 
cussions. Apparently it was first used by OVTEDO 
in 1535, in reference to the Venezuelan "llanos," 
and, if one were to insist upon priority for phyto- 
geographic terms, savanna might well be used 
only for those grasslands of the northern part 
of South America which are definitely climatic 
rather than edaphic in origin. Interesting dis- 
cussions of the savanna are given by MYERS 
(Notes on the vegetation of the Venezuelan 
llanos. Jour. Ecol. 21 : 335-349. 1933 ; Savan- 
nah and forest vegetation of the interior Guiana 
plateau. Op. cit. 24: 162-184. 1936) and LAN- 
jouw (Studies of the vegetation of the Suriname 
savannahs and swamps. Meded. Bot. Mus. 
Herb. Rijks Univ. Utrecht 33: 823-851. 1936). 
LANJOUW proposes the following definition of 
the term: "Savannahs are plains in the West 
Indian Islands and Northern South America 
covered with more or less xeromorph herbs and 
small shrubs and with few trees or larger 

By other students the term sai>anna is extended 
to include such zones as the Brazilian "campo" 
and the "parque mesopotamico" of northern 
Argentina and Uruguay. On our map three 
general areas are similarly marked as savanna: 
the true savannas of Venezuela, northern Brazil, 
etc., the Uruguayan savannas, and the campo. 

a. True savannas. It is perhaps arbitrary to 
designate the northern savannas as "true," but 
historically this is correct, the term having been 
originated to designate the "llanos" of the Ori- 
noco basin. These "llanos" extend along the 
Orinoco above its delta and well into adjacent 
Colombia in the drainage of the Meta and par- 
allel rivers. A large part of the Rio Branco- 
Rupununi region is covered with a similar for- 
mation. The "llanos" are not open prairies or 
"pampas" similar to those of the United States 
or the Argentine, although in places there are 
vast areas devoid of trees. The predominant 
vegetation is made up of bunch-grasses (Andro- 
Pogon, Cymbopogon, Trathypogon, etc.) and 
sedges, while the most ubiquitous woody plants 

SMITH AND JOHNSTON : Phytofeofrphie Sketch 


are Curatetta-americana, Bowdichia vtrgiKotdes, 
and species of Byrsonima, with stands of Mauri- 
tia flexuosa in damper spots (PL. 14). 

The most striking climatic feature of this re- 
gion is the long dry season of five months or 
more entirely without rain; during the short wet 
season, however, rains are heavy and much of the 
area is flooded, the soil often being more or less 
impervious. Thus the savannas of this region 
appear to be true climatic savannas. It is prob- 
able that many of the other regions marked as 
savanna on our map, scattered throughout in- 
terior Guiana and northern Brazil, Panama, and 
Costa Rica, are similarly true climatic savannas. 

On the other hand, the savannas of northern 
Surinam, French Guiana, Trinidad, and possibly 
those of coastal and lower Amazonian Brazil 
appear to be edaphic in origin, there being no 
long dry season in these regions. LANJOUW 
suggests that the Surinam savannas have orig- 
inated from tropical rain-forest (which sur- 
rounds them) in which the soil has become bar- 
ren through continuous leaching, and that fire is 
an important factor in maintaining the savanna. 
It seems likely that the so-called savannas of 
many Wiest Indian islands are similarly edaphic 
in origin. Our map shows extensive savannas 
in Cuba and Hispaniola, but actually great ex- 
tents in Cuba so marked are covered with semi- 
deciduous forest, while the "savanna" itself is 
mixed with palm-forest, thorn-bush, etc., to a 
degree impossible to indicate on a large-scale 

b. Uruguayan savannas. Uruguay, the south- 
ern part of Rio Grande do Sul, and the adjacent 
portion of Argentina east of the Parana River 
make up a phytogeographic province which is 
more or less intermediate between the pampean 
grassland and the subtropical forest-savanna re- 
gion to the north. In this region the terrain is 
flat and mostly grass-covered, but woody plants 
are often present in abundance, and the rainfall 
is considerably heavier than in the prairie-like 
region west of the Parana and La Plata Rivers. 
Toward their northern border, these savannas 
bear an extraordinary diversity of species of 
numerous families, notably of the Compositae, 
Leguminosae, Malvaceae, Stereuliaceae, Boragi- 
nactae, etc. The boundary between the Uru- 
guayan savannas and the forest-savanna region 
to the north can be fixed only arbitrarily, the 
transition being very gradual. 

c. Campo. Probably no part of South Amer- 
ica has been the subject of more phytogeogra- 
phic disagreement than the interior region cover- 
ing a large part of Matto Grosso and the Brazil- 
ian states to the east. According to some writers 
this region is a "prairie," while others term it 
"savanna" and still others indicate that it is 
primarily occupied by xerophilous forest. Ac- 
tually, it is very diverse and includes a host of 
associations, ranging from hygrophilous forest 
to grassland or semi-desert. Thus, its boundar- 
ies and its definition can be only arbitrary. The 
greater part of the campo is probably a scrub- 
covered or park-like grassland, with extensive 
tracts of nearly treeless savannas. The region 
has a marked dry season. Tree- and shrub- 
growth is probably better developed, on the 
whole, than in the Uruguayan-South Brazilian 
savannas to the south or in the Venezuelan-North 
Brazilian savannas to the north (PL. 15). 

2. Pampean grassland. The vast grasslands 
of eastern Argentina, bordered on the south and 

west by the "raonte," on the north by the "chaco," 
and on the northeast by the savanna-like "paroue 
mesopotamico," form an entirely flat region, 
without trees. The northern parts of this prairie- 
like region are the "pampas," which term is 
sometimes used for the entire phytogeographic 
province ; other writers use the expression "plana 
bonariense" for the zone we designate as pom- 
peon grassland (PL. 16). 


1. Coastal deserts of Pacific South America. 
In this desert zone is included a belt of 
country 50-100 miles wide extending from north- 
ern Peru to the south of Coquimbo, Chile, and 
from the sea up the west flank of the Andean 
highlands. Favored hills near the ocean are 
moistened by sea-fogs which bathe them during 
the winter and spring and which permit the de- 
velopment of the remarkable mesophytic "lorna 
formation" in this otherwise prevailingly desert 
area. In the region are two of the most barren 
deserts in America, those of northwestern Peru 
and northern Chile, containing tracts which in 
normal years are practically rainless and devoid 
of higher plants. Much of the South American 
coastal deserts bears a very open and sparse 
scrub vegetation and scattered vernal herbs. 
Only a few native trees are known from the 
whole area, and these are confined to water- 
courses. The northern deserts have high sum- 
mer temperatures. The Chilean deserts are 
cooler but are characterized by lower atmos- 
pheric humidity and more marked variation in 
daily temperature (PL. 17). 

2. Patagonian-Fuegian steppe. This exten- 
sive region of southern Argentina and the Fue- 
gian portion of Chile is characterized by a tem- 
perate or cold climate, windy and very dry. The 
vegetation is essentially without trees and is 
dominated by rosette- and cushion-plants. On 
the west this region is bordered by the sub- 
antarctic forests of southern Chile, while to the 
north and northeast it is bounded by the so-called 
"monte" or desert scrub. 

3. Desert scrub. The interior portion of 
central and northern Argentina, locally known 
as the "monte," is an area with a climate as dry 
as that of the Patagonian steppe, but somewhat 
warmer and essentially without a winter seasoa 
The vegetation of this desert region is extremely 
xerophilous, often with low trees. Extending 
from the Atlantic in the southeast and the Pata- 
gonian steppe in the south and southwest, the 
"monte" extends northward to the "chaco" re- 
gion, being flanked on the east by extensive 
grasslands. Toward the west and northwest, 
the desert scrub ascends lateral chains of the 
Andes to a considerable altitude, sometimes to 
3000 meters, in which region it gives way to the 
Andean flora. 

The desert scrub of northern Mexico and ad- 
joining U. S. A. is not only similar in appear- 
ance to the "monte" of Argentina, but also 
shares with it a characteristic shrub, Larrea 
divaricata. Larrea is found in the parts of 
Mexico with minimum rainfall and is a familiar 
plant in western Sonora, much of Baja Califor- 
nia, and in the intermontane plateau south into 
San Luis Potosi. Bordering the desert scrub 
containing Larrea on the intermontane plateau, 
particularly on the west and south, dry grass- 
lands become a conspicuous feature, especially 
ki broad valleys. The rough limestone country 

PLATE 6. Tropical rain forest - - PI 3 of BELI.ERMAN'J> "Tropenbildern," Berlin, 1894 
("Laubwald aus der Quebrada de las mmas bei Cumanacoa, 300'. Vorn em grosser Stamm von 
Ficus gigantea, ctwas zuruck einige Stamme von Ocotca turbairnsis. Beide sind btrankt mit 
Bignonien, Cissus und Philodcudron, Sciadophyllum und Rhipsahs-Artcn, und bewachsen; ersterer 
mit Acrosticha. Pleurothallidccn und Anthunen, letzterer am Grunde mit eincr Bromclie, Pitcairnia. 
Im Vordergrunde links eine Myrsinee"). 

PLATE 8. Caatmga. M \mosaceae with epiphytic Tillandsiat-. , ,i 7 
near CalderSo, Baia. From E. ULE, Nordost Brasihen, Vcget. i \ I. 

aKo fVn-j l 

PLATE 9a. - - Tropic at rain-forest. A group of Camacans in the Brazilian ram-forest (conventionalized). 
- From "Reise des Prmzen von Neuwied in Brasilien". 



PIATK 9/>. -Ckaco Falkland l?t,nn PMJOPI'S "AiRtntin. I 1 | 

,W<nt,m lM,,t,,M kn,,wn .s the ( 1, ,o,, ,, ......ol h% m.xc.l x,,,i,t,,m h, , . tlu s t uu.,,1 t, 

allMinl. with (..Ms .,,,,,.,1 I.N |I.I|..K,,.IIS ,,l m |s .IIII..IIK which L-HSMS i.u,l,.niiinti I In ti 
in this Mttiini .in Hi. Kcil Uml'i.uli" {.Si/iiii../-!!* Ralanmf ami V / >r, n/ni J. \l.ttu.l,,, , /' 
i/ro, etc.). the duayacan U ac\alfima mclanocarpa) , etc. Jb* -ucne presents a path crossin 
To the left i the typical Palo borracho (Choruta) and to the riifht an Algarrobo (Prosopis aliia' 

PLATF 1 20. Tropical rain-forest Cutting a way along a tributary of the Rio Doce. - -From "Reise 
des Prin/cn vun Neuwied in Brasilien". 

PIAIK \2h - South Hrasiltan forest and savanna t<-. 
Gerais, Brazil) - -Prom RUUENDA'S "Reise in Bra&ihen" (L~L,. 

in the Serra-Ouro-Branco (Mmas 




"5 % 





PLATE 16 Pamfiean grassland. C.auchn ("the cc>wl.ov") m thr umipos in the Kiu (Jrande do Sul 
territory (Southeastern Brazil and Uruguay).- Courtesy Kn> Bra\. (,cogr. 






i) +: 

PLATE 20,. - - 1'dram.n of the northern Andes Paiamo de 1<>s Cmujnii (Venezuela), showing a stand of 
Esfclctia - Courtesy Senor A. SPINETTI DIM. 

l'<Air ..<; --t'unu vegetation of the southern Andc* Hiulilamls ot Oiuio. Cactuses and white llama 
in foreground. Courtesy Pan American Union. 


SMITH AND JOHNSTON : Phytogeographio Sketch 

south of the range of Larrea, where rainfall is 
slightly more abundant but the soil excessively 
well drained, has desert scrub vegetation contain- 
ing some of the species found with Larrea far- 
ther north but in the main made up of species and 
even genera more characteristic of the margins 
of the central plateau. The dry grasslands tend 
to be on volcanic terrains or valley alluvium, 
and the scrub south of the range of Larrea tends 
to be confined to dry limestone (PL. 18). 

Perhaps to be included in the Mexican desert 
scrub are some of the formations on the south 
margin of the central plateau in adjoining parts 
of Puebla and Oaxaca, such as the Tehuacan 
area. Most of the arid depression south of the 
central plateau, largely composed of the basin of 
the Rio Balsas, seems to consist of transitional 
phases between thorn forest and tropical decid- 
uous forest. 

4. Transitional vegetation of central Chile. 
The area so designated is a region with a Medi- 
terranean type of climate, with cool moderately 
rainy winters and dry warm summers, and with 
a rich herbaceous spring flora and many sclero- 
phyllous evergreen shrubs. In climate and flora 
this region is transitional between the wet sub- 
antarctic forests and the desert areas of northern 
Chile. Presumably this results from the exten- 
sion northward during the winter months of the 
rain-bringing Westerlies. The southern boun- 
dary of this zone, between Concepcion on the 
coast and the Cordillera de Chilian, is moder- 
atejy well defined; its northern limit is vague 
but is usually accepted as cutting across the 
southern portions of the Province of Coquimbo. 
The area contains the most populated parts of 

5. California chaparral. On the Pacific 
slopes of northwestern Baja California, the very 
distinctive plant formation known as California 
chaparral extends across the Mexican boun- 
dary and reaches its southern limit. The forma- 
tion consists of dense growths of microphyllous 
and sclerophyllous evergreen shrubs, commonly 
forming almost impenetrable thickets on slopes. 
Various shrubby members of Quercus, Ceano- 
thus, and Arctostaphylos are characteristic ele- 
ments in this flora. As with the flora of central 
Chile, it has developed in a region of hot dry 
summers and mild moderately rainy winters. 


The regions thus indicated on our map are 
occupied by a diversity of associations, but each 
vegetational type occupies such a narrow or 
otherwise limited area that further division 
would be possible only on a series of small-scale 
maps. In these montane regions, of course, alti- 
tude is the most obvious factor governing vege- 
tational zonation; of nearly equal importance 
are rainfall, soil conditions, local topography, 
etc. In addition, the origins of the floras of 
various montane regions are to be considered; 
in Central America a large part of the flora 
shows boreal relationships, in the southern Andes 
there are large austral elements, while in the 
northern Andes we find a high percentage of the 
flora to have been probably derived from migra- 
ting lowland elements of adjacent regions. 
Throughout the American Cordillera we observe 
a mixture of boreal and austral elements in the 
vegetation, this chain having been one of the 
"trans-tropical highland bridges" permitting a 
mixing of temperate elements of the northern 

and southern hemispheres. Consequently, transi- 
tions between adjacent areas are gradual and 
divisions must be arbitrary. For convenience, 
we discuss the highland regions under three 
headings: (1) Mexico, Central America, and 
the larger West Indies, (2) the northern Andes, 
of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and northern 
Peru, and (3) the southern Andes, of southern 
Peru, Bolivia, and northern Chile and Argen- 

One is not entirely justified in excluding all 
the non-Andean mountainous parts of South 
America from a montane zone, but for conve- 
nience we group under this heading only those 
areas where the vegetation is more or less tem- 
perate in appearance and to a certain degree in 
origin. The Pacaraima Mountains of the Vene- 
zuela-Brazil boundary rise out of the rain-forest 
to altitudes exceeding 2500 meters, and the flora 
of their summits is distinctly temperate in as- 
pect if not in origin of floral elements. How- 
ever, the area covered by these mountains is 
small and the region is scarcely known botanic- 
ally; for the purpose of a generalized map the 
region is best excluded from a montane gone. 
Similarly, the mountains of southeastern Brazil 
are floristically to be considered with the coastal 
rain-forest and the adjacent "campo." 

1. Mexico, Central America, and the larger 
West Indies. The temperate areas of Mexico 
include the fine coniferous forests of the eastern 
and western Sierra Madre and those of central 
and southern Mexico, and also the zone of vege- 
tation next below the coniferous forests, in which 
a variety of arborescent and shrubby oaks are 
characteristic elements. It is conventional to 
include the dry valleys of central Mexico in 
temperate areas. These valleys, the most densely 
populated in Mexico, are rich in grass and other 
herbaceous plants and their lower slopes bear 
various xerophytes. They have the characteris- 
tics of the transition between desert and oak 
belts to be observed along the desert borders 
in northern Mexico (PL. 19). 

Well developed temperate forests, character- 
ized by oak and pine, are found in the central 
highlands of Guatemala and Honduras and 
south to northern Nicaragua. Many elements 
in the temperate flora of southern Mexico and 
Central America appear to have migrated from 
northern centers. South of Nicaragua the tem- 
perate flora appears to have more affinity with 
that of the northern Andes in South America. 

Considerable areas in which species of pine 
are dominant occur in Cuba and Hispaniola; 
these highland regions should perhaps be placed 
in our montane zone. 

2. Northern Andes. The vegetation of the 
northern Andes may be discussed under the 
temperate zone and the paramo. 

The temperate zone extends from the upper 
limit of the subtropical forest, usually 1800-2500 
m., up to the timber line, of which the altitude 
is variable in different localities but in general 
varies from 3200 to 3800 m. On the Amazonian 
slopes the temperate zone (sometimes known as 
the "ceja de la montana") is forest-covered and 
receives a heavy rainfall. Epiphytic vegetation 
is often thick and in many places the trees are 
covered with orchids, bromeliads, and bryo- 
phytes. The trees become reduced in stature 
and gnarled toward the upper limits. They are 
often of the same genera as trees of the sub- 
tropical forest. In addition there are boreal etc- 

FOSBERG: Principal Economic Plants 


meats, such as Quercus (in Colombia), which 
one often sees in a strange oak-palm consocia- 
tion. It is a region of tree-ferns, epiphytic 
filmy-ferns, dense and varied underbrush, and 
bright-flowered ericaceous and gesneriaceous 

On the Pacific and Caribbean Andean slopes 
of Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador, essentially 
the same conditions and types of vegetation 
occur as described above. In Peru, however, the 
Pacific Andean slopes are much drier than the 
Amazonian slopes and support no such rich 
forest. The transition from the desert coastal 
regions to the higher montane vegetation is often 
marked by grass steppes, which are green only 
in the rainy season, or by a shrub-herb zone 
which presents a brightly colored aspect during 
the few wet months. 

The areas above timber line, in the northern 
Andes known as pdramos, usually have a very 
wet climate, being subject to rains and heavy 
fogs throughout the year. These wet alpine 
meadows extend south to northern Peru, where 
they are known as "jalcas." Farther south this 
zone is replaced by the drier puna. The charac- 
teristic paramo vegetation consists of herba- 
ceous plants with thick roots and coriaceous 
leaves. Extensive moors, dominated by grasses 
and such cushion plants as species of Distichia, 
Erigeron, and Wemeria, alternate with mea- 
dows of bright-flowered species of Hypericum, 
Geranium, Gentiana, Lupinus, etc. In northern 
Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela, the pdramos 
are characterized by many species of the en- 
demic composite genus Espeletia (PL. 20a). 

The pdramos cover vast expanses of the rolling 
plateau country of the northern Andes. Their up- 
per limit in places lies just below the line of per- 
petual snow. The higher pdramos are often bleak 
and rocky barrens, but a few species, usually 
grasses or sedges, ascend essentially to the 
snow line. These high north Andean slopes 
have much in common with the southern puna. 
Throughout the pdramo region, of course, pro- 
jections of bare rock and other topographic fea- 
tures preclude the development of vegetation. 

A transitional zone between pdramo and tem- 
perate forest is locally known as the "para- 
millo." This supports a mixture of alpine 
herbs and shrubs with dwarf trees of the lower 
elevations. Occasionally typical pdramo plants, 
such as Espeletia neriifolia in Venezuela, may 
descend to as low an elevation as 1500 m. 

The highlands of Costa Rica and western 
Panama are somewhat similar to those above 
described, while floristically they appear to have 
much in common with the highlands of Colom- 

3. Southern Andes. Southward from the 
equator along the Andean highlands, the mois- 
ture received on the higher slopes decreases 
and becomes seasonal, and there is an accom- 
panying change in the vegetation. The high 
intermontane valleys of central and southern 
Peru support dry grasslands and in many places 
sub-xerophilous shrubs and trees, many of them 
deciduous during the winter. These sub-xero- 
philous formations are replaced by the so-called 
"ceja de la montafia" as the valleys descend to- 
ward the east and by the puna flora as altitudes 
increase. They represent a dry temperate vege- 
tation which may be traced along the margins 
of the forests surrounding the Amazon basin 
as far south as the eastern margin of the 
Bolivian plateau (PL. 20ft). 

The high altitudes of central and southern 
Peru have a remarkable alpine vegetation. This 
puna flora also dominates large areas on the 
tableland in western and southern Bolivia, north- 
ern Chile, and northwestern Argentina. It 
consists of a great variety of remarkable cush- 
ion-, rosette-, and caespitose herbs and shrubs. 
South of Peru the puna becomes very dry. The 
precipitation is scanty, mostly in the form of 
a few winter snowfalls, the atmosphere very dry, 
temperature changes extreme, and the soil fre- 
quently charged with a great variety of mineral 
salts. In Bolivia and adjacent Chile most of 
the vegetation and practically all of the upright 
bushes are found along watercourses, in val- 
leys about saline lakes, or elsewhere where some 
soil moisture accumulates. Elements of the 
puna flora extend southward as the high mon- 
tane flora along the Chile-Argentina Andes to 
about Aconcagua. South of this point its ele- 
ments diminish and mingle with northern ele- 
ments of the flora of the Patagonian steppe 
which occupy Andean crests from Chilian south- 

Below the puna and above the coastal deserts 
on the western slope of the Andes from south- 
ern Peru south along the margins of the Bolivian 
plateau, there is a well marked belt in which 
thickets of small shrubs, many of them resinous 
and evergreen, and plains with scattered bunch- 
grass make up a distinctive formation. This 
so-called "tola" belt can be classed either as 
desert or as marginal to the dry puna. Because 
of its floristic composition it seems best asso- 
ciated with the puna. 


In preparing the accompanying map, we have 
made no attempt to indicate the narrow mari- 
time zone, which is not appreciable in size on a 
large-scale map, although it is of wide geo- 
graphic distribution and of considerable local 
importance. This zone occupies essentially the 
entire coast-line of tropical American countries 
in wet regions. The outer part of the maritime 
zone consists of lower plants and a few vas- 
cular plants such as Ruppia, Najas, etc. The 
inner part consists in the main of mangrove 
swamps made up of species of Rhizophora, 
Avicennia, Conocarpus, Buctda, etc. Where 
open beaches occur they are often occupied by 
species of Ipomoea and various grasses, while 
mud-banks are sometimes extensive and support 
a cover of Acrostichum aureum and Eleocharis 
and other sedges. The mangrove formation and 
the characteristic beach flora of the American 
tropics are found in the West Indies and on the 
Caribbean coasts, and on the Atlantic coast 
south to southern Brazil. On the Pacific coast 
this type of littoral vegetation occurs from 
southern Baja California and well up the Gulf 
of California south to southern Ecuador. 


F. R. FOSBERG: Principal Economic Plants of 
Tropical America: An adequate understand- 
ing of the economic structure of Latin America 
and its relation to that of all other countries 
must be based on the realization that plants are 
fundamentally important in the lives and ac- 
tivities of most of the people of Latin America. 
This is, of course, true of most other regions 


FOSBERG: Principal Economic Plants 

Agriculture and related occupations, includ- 
ing forestry and the utilization of forests arc, 
and certainly in the near future will continue 
to be, the mainstays of the economy of this 
part of the world. Mining is, of course, locally 
very important, but occupies only a small pro- 
portion of the population. Manufacturing, if it 
ever becomes widely important, is a thing of the 
more distant future. 

Several things tend to favor this. In addition 
to the agricultural background of the people 
and the advantage of a long growing season over 
most of the region, another factor is of great 
consequence. Despite the long history of agri- 
cultural activity and land misuse in large 
portions of Latin America, the soils in many 
parts have not been depleted to nearly the extent 
that they have generally in North America, 
Africa, and Asia. This may well be due to the 
fortunate sparscness of the population in most 
places. In Europe and the United States 
the tremendous importance of proper treatment 
of the soil is now being realized, and efficient 
methods of soil conservation are being worked 
out. If the agriculturists of Latin America can 
be shown the vital necessity of using these 
practices, there is no reason why this area 
should not continue for all time as one of the 
greatest agricultural regions of the earth. This 
seems true in spite of the fact that in some 
localities where frequent burning is practiced 
or where steep slopes are farmed irreparable 
damage has already been done. 

Still another factor is the great number of 
useful plants which have had their develop- 
ment in Latin America, together with the num- 
ber growing there which have potential eco- 
nomic importance. 

To understand a region whose basic resources 
are plants it is obviously necessary to know the 
plants. This does not imply simply a passing 
familiarity or tourist's knowledge, but a thor- 
ough and organized fund of information about 
all of the plants and all aspects of them. Again, 
this does not mean only the so-called useful 
plants, those which are economically important 
at present, but all of the plants, both native and 
introduced. Species that were, a hundred years 
ago, unknown or merely botanical curiosities, 
for example the various rubber-yielding species, 
are now of such consequence as to determine 
the course of international politics and even 

Only a beginning has been made in the direc- 
tion of a knowledge of the scores of thousands 
of species present in Latin America. There are 
not even floras available covering most parts 
of this area. Much, however, has been written 
about a few of the more important economic 
species. An attempt is made below to give a few 
general remarks about these species, with refer- 
ences to some of the more important literature 
on them. It should be understood that by no 
means all of the known economic species are 
mentioned, and that the probability is that plant 
resources now considered unimportant or which 
are still undiscovered will ultimately prove to be 
of more significance than all of the present com- 
mercial species combined. 

Because of the similarity of the problems and 
the identity of most of the plants concerned with 
those well known in Europe and temperate 
North America, those portions of Argentina and 
Chile which lie south of the subtropical belt are 

not included in the following discussion. Visi- 
tors to these countries from the North Tem- 
perate Zone should find themselves quite at home 
if they are familiar with agriculture in their own 
parts of the world. 

The purpose of this article being, in part, 
to direct visiting students to literature that 
will help them understand what they see in 
Latin America, only those species which the 
visitor is likely to come in contact with, or to 
which his attention should be drawn, are men- 
tioned. Every observant traveller will soon 
realize the wealth of plants which are at pres- 
ent of only local importance on which little or no 
scientific literature is available. 

The bibliographic material in this article is, 
of course, not intended to be complete, but only 
suggestive, and to serve as a starting point. Most 
of the books and articles cited contain bib- 
liographies which will enable the reader to get 
a more comprehensive view of the literature 
on any of the subjects treated. I have not care- 
fully examined all of the publications cited. 
Some may contain little of value. 

A few general and bibliographic works are the fol- 
lowing: AMES, O., The Economic Annuals, 1-153, Cam- 
bridge, 1939. BARRETT, O. W., The Tropical Crops. 
1-445, New York, 1928. BROCADKT, A. P., Plantes 
Utiles du Brcsil, 1-144, Paris, 1921. CAPUS, G., Lc 
Produits Coloniaux d'Origine Vegetate, 1-499, Paris, 

1930. CHEESMAN, E. E., Trop. Agr. Trin. 16:101- 
107, 1939. COOK, O. F., and COLLINS, G. N., Contr. 
U. S. Nat. Herb. 8:57-269, 1903. DECKER. J. S.. 
Aspectos Biologicos da Flora Brasileira. 1-640, Sao 
Leopoldo. 1936. FREEMAN. W. G., and WILLIAMS, 
R. O., The Useful and Ornamental Plants of Trinidad 
and Tobago, 1-198, Port-of-Spain, 1927. GILL, T., 
Tropical Forests of the Caribbean, 1-317, Washington, 

1931. HILL, A. F., Economic Botany, 1-592, New 
YORK, 1937. HOEHNE, F. C, A Flora do Brasil, in 
Recens. do Bras. 1920, 1:99-230, 1922. HUNTINGTON, 
E., Bull. Geogr. Soc. Pbila. 17:83-97. 1919. Intern. 
Inst. Agr., Bibliography of Tropical Agriculture, 1931- 
1939. Rome, 1932-1940. KXISCHE, P., Ernahr. Pflanze 
32 (22), map, 1936. KUNTZE, H. U., Mitt. Biol. 
Reichs, Land- u. Forstwirtsch. 56:1-32, 1938 (a selected 
bibliography). LE COINTE, P., Amazonia Brasileira 
3:1-486, 1934. MAC MILLAN, H. F., Tropical Garden- 
ing and Planting, ed. 4. 1-560, London, 1935. PEREZ 
ARBELAEZ, E., Plantas Utiles de Colombia I, 1-172. Bo- 
gota, 1936. PITTIER, H. F., Plantas Usuales de 
Venezuela, 1-458, Caracas, 1926; suppl. 1-129. Caracas, 
1939; Ensayo sobre los plantas usuales de Costa Rica, 
1-176, Washington, 1908. SPRECHER VON BERNECC, 
A., Tropische und Subtroptsche Weltwirtschaftspflanren, 
etc., 1:1-438; 2:1-339; 3(1):1>264; 3(2):l-286; 3(3) :1- 
432, Stuttgart, 1929-1936. VERRILL, A. H., Foods 
America Gave the World, 1-289, Boston, 1937. WIL- 
cox, E. V., Tropical Agriculture, 1-373, New York, 
1916. ZON, R., and SPARRAWK, W. N., Forest Re- 
sources of the World, II: 495-808, New York, 1923. 
JONES, C. F., Econ. Geogr. 4:1-30, 159-186; 6:1-36, 1930. 

I am greatly indebted, for many valuable sugges- 
tions, to WILSON POPENOE, of the United Fruit Com- 
pany, and to J. H. KEMPTON, B. Y. MORRISON. C. O. 
ERLANSON, W. A. ARCHER, and R. H. ALLBE and his 
staff, of the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Without 
the unique botanical catalog of the U. S. Department 
of Agriculture Library, the bibliographic portions of 
this article would have been impossible. 

time of the conquest of the Americas by Euro- 
peans, the Inca, Maya, Aztec, and other well 
developed American cultures possessed a sur- 
prising number of domesticated food plants, 
some of which, maize, peanuts, potatoes, squashes 
and pumpkins, etc., have since spread over the 
earth and assumed a major position in the 
world's food supply. Some of these had been 

FOSBERG: Principal Economic Plants 


cultivated for so long, and modified so much, 
that their wild ancestors are now unknown, either 
because of extinction or the profound modifica- 
tion of their cultivated descendants. In some 
of them, even the modern horticulturists have 
failed to produce any significant improvement 
over the major varieties grown by the Indians. 
Others, apparently just as desirable, have for 
no obvious reason remained of only local im- 

Maize, or Indian corn (Zea mays) , has become 
one of the world's most important agricultural 
plants. Although shelves of literature have been 
written about the subject, its origin is still a 
mystery. Certainly its home is somewhere in 
tropical America. It has been, and is today, 
one of the mainstays of life in many parts of the 
American Tropics, although at present its com- 
mercial production centers in temperate North 
America. From the standpoint of the Temper- 
ate Zone corn breeder, South American varieties 
are of some importance as sources of certain 
desirable characters, such as the cold tolerance 
of the high Andean forms. ( WEATHERWAX, P., 
The Story of the Maize Plant, Chicago, 1923; 
Univ. N. Mex. Bull. 296: 11-18, 1936. COLLINS, 
G. N., Ann. Kept. Amer. Hist. Assoc. (1919), 
1: 409-429, 1923; Bull. Torr. Club 57: 199-210, 
1930. KEMPTON, J. H., Jour. Hered. 17: 32- 
51, 1926; Old and New Plant Lore 11: 319-349, 
1931; Univ. N. Mex. Bull. 296: 19-28, 1936. 
Origin of Indian Corn and its Relatives. Tex. 
Agr. Exp. Sta. Bull. 574: 1-315, 1939. WAL- 
LACE, H. A. and BRESSMAN, . N., Corn and 
Corn Growing, ed. 4, 1-436, New York, 1937). 

Beans (various species of Phaseolus) are 
second only to maize in the domestic food econ- 
omy of Latin America. Again, their culture has 
spread to temperate countries where they have 
become an important article of commerce. As 
with corn, those interested in the improvement 
of bean varieties look to tropical American 
varieties for desirable traits to be added to the 
northern forms. In Latin America, production 
is largely by small scale methods very widely 
practiced. Beans also were apparently very 
important in the food supply of the aborigines 
in pre-European days. (DENAIFFE, C., Les 
Haricots, 1-493, Paris, 1906. GUARDIOLA, J., 
EfCultivo del Frijol, 1-131, Mexico, 1921. 
VIERRA SOUTO, P., Cultura dos Feijoes, etc., ed. 
3, 1-29, Rio de Janeiro, 1918). Three of the 
major bean species of the world are of American 
origin and are important in America, the kid- 
ney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) (&BAULT, G., 
Jour. Soc. Nat. Hist, de France 18: 658-673, 
1896), the various forms of lima beans (Phaseo- 
lus lunatus) (BAILEY, L. H., Gentes Herb. 4: 
336-341, 1940), and the less well-known tepary 
bean (Phaseolus acutifolius var. latifolius) of 
the Southwestern Indians (FREEMAN, G. F., Bot. 
Gaz. 56:395-417, 1913). 

Two unusual cereals, quinoa (Chenopodium 
quinoa), and quihuicha or Inca-pachaqui (Ama- 
ranthus caudatus or A. edulis) have been grown 
in the Andean highlands since prehistoric times. 
They have never assumed any real importance 
in other parts of the world. (ALBES, Bull. Pan 
Am. Un. 47: 51-61, 1918. MINTZER, M. J., 
Bol. Mens, Min. Agr. Argent. 34 (1): 59-77, 
1933. __ SAPPORO, W. E., Proc. Int. Congr. 
Americanists 19: 286-297, 1917. HERRERA, 
F. L., Rev. Mus. Nac. Lima 9: 229-239, 1940). 

A similar cereal, huauhtli (Chenopodium nut- 
talliae) was used by the ancient Aztecs and is 
still used in modern Mexico. The plants of this 
are also used as greens. (S AFFORD, W. E., Jour. 
Wash. Acad. 8: 521-527, 1918). 

Cassava (Manihot esculenta), also called yuca 
or mandioca, is one of the widespread native 
food plants. It is used chiefly as a cooked 
starchy vegetable and in the form of cassava 
flour, and is exported to the United Suites 
for use as food in the form of tapioca and 
for paper sizing. Two forms of the plant are 
cultivated, one of which has a poisonous juice 
which must be squeezed out. This juice, boiled 
to rid it of its poisonous qualities and to concen- 
trate it, forms the cafsareep of the Caribbean 
region, widely used as a condiment and the basis 
of some of the meat sauces used in Europe and 
America. The culture of cassava has spread 
to all tropical countries, and commercial pro- 
duction has become very important in the Old 
World Tropics, especially the East Indies. 
(BURKHILL, I. H., Agr. Ledg. 123-148, 1904. 
HUBERT, P., Le Manioc, 1-368, Paris, 1910. 
BRANDAO SOBRINHO, J., Mandioca. 1-164, Sao 
Paulo, 1916. REGNAUDIN, A., Le Manioc, Cul- 
ture, Industrie. 1-103, Paris, 1932). 

The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), consid- 
ered indigenous to the New World, but widely 
distributed in Polynesia in pre-European times, 
is now an important food crop in all warm 
countries. Numerous horticultural varieties 
differing in color, shape, consistency, and culi- 
nary characteristics are found. This is a root 
crop which is widely sold in temperate mar- 
kets, and promises to be used more and more 
both as food and as a source of commercial 
starch. The sweet potato has several insect 
pests which may be serious limiting factors to 
extensive tropical culture unless they can be 
controlled. (GoxH. B. H. A., The Sweet Potato. 
Contr. Bot. Lab. Univ. of Pa. 4: 1-104, 1911. 
BONDAR, G., Bol. Lab. Path. Veg. Baia 10: 1-44, 
1931. HAND, T. E., and COCKERHAM, K. L., 
The Sweet Potato; a Handbook for the Prac- 
tical Grower. 1-261, New York, 1921). 

The potato (Solatium tuberosum) is familiar 
to everyone, and is one of the most widely grown 
crops in temperate climates. Perhaps less 
familiar is the fact that ks culture originated 
with the peoples of the Andes, at altitudes which 
have a temperate or cold climate, even in the 
Tropics. Also less familiar is the fact that in 
the Andes are many types of potatoes under 
domestication which, though very useful as 
food, are totally unknown in markets in other 
parts of the world. Wild species of Solanum 
closely related to the potato are found in the 
Cordilleran and West Coast regions from Ari- 
zona to the southern Andes which in the future 
may be of utmost importance to potato breeders. 
(MclNTOSH, T. P., The Potato, its History, 
Varieties, Culture and Diseases 1-264, 1927. 
STUART, W., The Potato; its Culture, Uses, His- 
tory, and Classification, 1-508, Philadelphia, 1937. 
BUKASOV, S. M., The Potatoes of South 
America and their Breeding Possibilities, 1-192, 
Leningrad, 1933; Physis 18: 41-46, 1939; Rev. 
Arg. Agron. 8: 83-104, 1941. REDDICK, D.. 
Phytopath. 20: 987-991, 1930; Am. Pot. Jour. 14: 
205-210, 1937). 

Other native root crops, mostly of local or 
domestic importance in Tropical America, are 
the yautia (Xanthosoma sagittifolia, etc.), an 


FOSBERG: Principal Economic Plants 

aroid with a delicious edible cprm, which is 
widely used in the Caribbean region, and whose 
culture has spread to other tropical regions. 
(Luco, F. O., Rev. Agr. Puerto Rico 23 : 109- 
112, 1929. ROIG Y MESA, J. T., Est. Exp. 
Agron. Cuba Bull. 21 : 3-12, 1913. SOBRINHO, 
V., Chacaras e Quintaes 51 : 345-349, 1935) ; the 
true yams (several species of Dioscorea), vines 
bearing edible tubers which are widely used as 
food in all tropical countries (D. alata, an Asiatic 
species, is apparently the most usually cultivated, 
though many species are edible) (WILLIAMS, 
R. O., Bull. Dept. Agr. Trin. & Tob. 21 : 1-26, 
1925. NOTER, R. DE, Les Ignames et leur cul- 
ture dans les cinq Parties du Monde, 1-65, Paris, 
1914. _ YOUNG, R. A., Hacienda 19: 181-185, 
1924) ; the leren (Calathea allouia) and the anyu 
or cubio (Tropaeolum tuberosum), two root 
vegetables cultivated in Peru since ancient times 
which, if they could be successfully introduced to 
the Temperate Zone consumer, might possibly 
become articles of commerce; the ullucos or 
papa-lisa ( Ullucus tuberosus) which is grown as 
a garden vegetable at high altitudes in the Andes ; 
and the arracacha (Arracacia xanthorhisa) wide- 
spread in South America and the Caribbean, 
whose root has a combination of the flavors of 
celery, carrots, and parsnips. (Bois, D. G. J. M., 
Bull. Soc. Nat. Accl. France 51: 116-117, 1904. 
CLAES, R, Card. Chron. Ill, 95 : 236, 1934). 

Squashes and pumpkins (Cucurbita maxima, C. 
moschata, C. pepo} are a varied assortment of 
vegetables which were brought under domesti- 
cation by the aborigines of tropical America and 
which in pre-Columbian times had spread almost 
throughout the two continents. Since then they 
have established an important place for them- 
selves in the horticulture and food supply of the 
world. Reasonably constant in their vegetative 
characters, these plants present a bewildering 
array of kinds of fruits. Apparently most of the 
major types were in existence in prehistoric 
times, but there seems no end to the amount of 
minor variation in fruit size, shape, and quality 
in most of these. Cultivation is exceedingly wide- 
spread, but mostly on a very small scale. 
(CASTETTER, E. F., Iowa Agr. Exp. Sta. Bull. 
244: 1-135, 1927. GANDARA, G, Mem. y Rev. 
Soc. Ant. Alzate 53: 209-230, 1934. ZHITE- 
NEVA, N., Trudy Prikl. Bot. Gen. i Selek. 23: 
157-207, 343-356, 1930. DARRAGH. W. H., Agr. 
Gaz. N. S. W. 40: 868-872, 1929. Bois, D., 
Bull. Soc. Bot. France 71 : 91-93, 1924). 

The chayote (Sechium edule) is another 
squash-Jike fruit, but with only one large seed. 
It is widely cultivated in the Tropics, where the 
fruits, as well as the starchy tubers, are im- 
portant sources of food. It promises, eventually, 
to become an important item in the menus of 
peoples in the Temperate Zone, but as yet it 
is mainly a curiosity. ( HOOVER, L. G., U. S. 
D. A. Cir. 286: Ml, 1923. TONTINE, M. G., 
Rev. Hort. 108: 234-239, 1936. YOUNG, R. A, 
Nat. Hort. Mag. 12: 337-342, 1933). 

The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) has, in a 
few generations, come from a position as an 
obscure tropical fruit, distrusted as a poisonous 
nightshade by northern peoples, to be one of the 
most widely used fruits, raw in salads and as a 
canned vegetable. Its original home, and the habi- 
tat of its wild relatives, is the west coast of South 
America. The cherry tomato, the small-fruited, 
presumed wild ancestral type, is now widely 

distributed as a tropical weed. (MULLER, C. H., 
U. S. D. A. Misc. Pub. 382: 1-29, 1940; Nat. 
Hort. Mag. 19: 157-160, 1940. MOORE, J. A., 
Mo. Bot. Gard. Bull. 23: 134-138, 1935). 

The peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is a plant 
native to South America, but which has spread 
to other parts of the world and become so much 
a part of the culture that its actual place of 
origin was a matter of doubt until recently. It 
has now been shown that the native home of the 
genus Arachis is largely in the Parana River 
drainage, in Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina. 
A. hypogaea is considered by AMES to be a 
derivative of some perennial wild species, and 
not known, itself, in the wild state. A number 
of perennial species of Arachis are in local cul- 
tivation in South America, some of which may 
be superior in certain respects to the species 
ordinarily cultivated. (CHEVALIER, A., Rev. Bot. 
Appl. 9: 97-102, 190-197, 1929; Rev. de Bot. 
Appl. Agr. Trop. 13: 1-100, 1933; 14: 1-300, 
1934; 16: 1-200, 1936. BADAMI, V., Journ. 
Mysore Agr. and Exp. Union 15: 141-154, 1935. 
HOEHNE, F. C., Flora Brasilica 25 (2) : 3-20, 

Cashews (Anacardium occidentale) occur both 
cultivated and wild in many parts of tropical 
America. The so-called fruit, the enlarged 
fleshy pedicel, is eaten locally, raw, cooked, 
or made into wine. The seeds are the cashew 
nuts which are imported in large quantities into 
the United States where they are a familiar 
delicacy, eaten roasted or made into confections. 
Recently this supply has come almost entirely 
from plantations in tropical Asia. (GRANATO, 
L., Bol. Agr. Sao Paulo 14: 107-122, 1913. 
LUDOWYK, H., Trop. Agr. 69: 43-46. 1927. 
PIEDRAHITO P., F. A., Rev. Inst. Def. Cafe 
Costa Rica 11: 122-126, 1941). 

Brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa) are a very 
important export from Brazil to the United 
States. They are harvested from wild trees 
in the Amazonian forests, as the tree is not 
cultivated to any extent. The tree grows to a 
great height, and the large woody capsules 
containing the nuts are allowed to fall to the 
ground. The seeds are among the best of the 
commercial nuts, and are a familiar article in 
American markets. ( SCHREIBER, W. R., Agr. in 
the Americasi, 2: 72-74, 1942. i Anon., A 
Exploragao de Castanha do Para. 1-70, Rio de 
Janeiro, 1929. NEVES, C. A. DAS, Revista 
Agr. (Piracicaba) 13: 463-476, 1938. YOUNG, 
W. J., Pomona Coll. Jour. Econ. Bot. 1 : 122-127, 
1911 ; Bot. Gaz. 52: 226-231, 1911). The related 
paradise nuts (Lecythis zabucajo) are beginning 
to be exported from Brazil to the United 
States in experimental quantities. They are 
considered by many to be superior to Brazil 

Cacao or chocolate (Theobromo cacao and 
related species), a highly prized food of the 
ancient American civilizations has become an 
item of great commercial importance. It is a 
strictly tropical tree, so that there has been no 
chance of the spread of its cultivation to 
temperate regions. The commercial product 
has, in the past, largely come from northern 
South America, Brazil, and Central America, 
but recently there has been a tremendous de- 
velopment of the industry in West Africa. 
Lower production costs there would constitute 
a serious threat to the business in tropical 

FOSBERG: Principal Economic Pltnti 


America, were it not for the fact that the prod- 
uct from America has a much better flavor. As 
with coffee, cacaps produced in various lo- 
calities have individual flavors, and are in de- 
mand for blending. By far the greatest portion 
of the American crop is produced in the state 
of Bahia, Brazil. (WRIGHT, H., Theobroma 
cacao, or Cocoa, its Botany, Cultivation, Chem- 
istry and Diseases, 1-249, London, 1907. HALL, 
J. J. VAN, Cocoa, ed. 2, 1-514, London, 1932. 
KNAPP, A. W., The Cocoa and Chocolate In- 
dustry; the Tree, the Bean, the Beverage, 1-147, 
London, 1923. FINCKE, H., Handbuch der 
Kakaoer zeugnisse ; etc., 1-568, Berlin, 1936. 
KEITHAN, E., Econ. Geogr. 15: 195-204, 1939; 
16: 79-86, 1940). 

The avocado (Persea americana) is a native of 
northern South America, where it has long 
been a popular food. There are many culti- 
vated forms, of which three principal groups are 
grown, the West Indian, with smooth, leathery 
skin; the Mexican, with rough, thin skin, and 
anise-scented leaves; and the Guatemalan, with 
a thick, hard, shell-like skin. Although a fruit, 
its lack of sweetness or acidity and its high 
fat content cause it to be used rather as a salad 
vegetable. It is now raised in all tropical 
countries, and in such subtropical ones as 
Southern California and Florida. An intensive 
advertising campaign, combined with exorbitant 
prices, has in the past few years made it a 
familiar item on the tables of the more well-to- 
do classes in the United States. (CARVALHO 
BARBOSA, J., Do Abacateiro e do Abaca te, His- 
toria, Classificacao, Cultura, Uzos Domesticos, 
Propriedades Medicinaes e Aproveimentos In- 
dustriaes, 1-342, Sao Paulo, 1933. CONDIT, I. J., 
A Bibliography on the Avocado (Persea 
americana Miller), 1-293, Riverside, Cal. 1939. 
POPENOE, W., Trop. Agr. Trin. 18: 3-7, 1941; 
U. S. D. A. Bull. 743: 1-69, 1919. RVERSON, 
K. A., et a/., Calif. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bull. 365: 
1-638, 1923; rev. 1-78, 1928. - TRAUB, H. P., 
et al, U. S. D. A. Cir. 1-28, 1941. See also 
the Yearbooks of the California Avocado Asso- 
ciation, 1915 to the present). 

The pineapple (Ananas comosus), whose exact 
native home is not known, but is probably 
in southern Brazil or the upper Parana drain- 
age in Paraguay or northern Argentina, has be- 
come, with the exception of the tomato, the 
best known of all tropical fruits. It was in 
cultivation in pre-European times over a large 
part of South America and in the West Indies. 
The Spaniards scattered it over the Pacific and 
into the Orient. Many cultivated forms exist 
with different fruit characteristics. The center 
of commercial production of canned fruit is 
now the Hawaiian Islands, where the industry 
is on a thoroughly scientific basis, and it is very 
doubtful if it will, in the near future, be developed 
on a basis to compete extensively with this region 
anywhere in tropical America. Certain quantities 
of the fresh fruit are now exported from the 
West Indies and other parts of America. It 
seems likely that a large demand might be 
developed in the United States for fresh pine- 
apples from the West Indies if methods can be 
developed for shipping some of the superior 
varieties that are never seen in northern mar- 
kets. The present widely held opinion that 
canned pineapples are superior to fresh is amply 
justified when only the acid, unpalatable fruits 
now available are considered. At present, 

United States quarantine restrictions are only 
applied to pineapples grown in Jamaica and 
Fiji. The plant is an unusual combination of 
the characteristics of an air plant of the tropi- 
cal rain forest with those of a desert plant. The 
thick spiny leaves with little provision for 
evaporation give the aspect of a desert succulent, 
while the funnel-shaped rosette with its ability 
to catch and hold water, and the axillary roots 
for the absorption of this water must have 
had their origin in the rain forest which is the 
common habitat of the bromeliads. (BAKER, 
K. F., and COLLINS, J. L., Am. Jour. Bot. 26: 
697-702, 1939. JOHNSON, M. O., The Pine- 
apple, 1-306, Honolulu, 1935. PENNOCK, W., 
Revista Agr. Puerto Rico 33: 521-532, 1941). 

The papaya (Carica papaya) is another native 
of tropical America which has spread through- 
out the Tropics of the world as a cultivated 
food plant. It is raised on a small scale prac- 
tically every place where it is not killed by frost, 
but due to its perishable nature, the fruit has 
been only a very limited article of commerce 
with temperate countries. It is possible that 
new methods of handling and the development 
of thick-skinned varieties will make possible 
large-scale exports to northern markets. Re- 
cently an attempt has been made to popularize 
canned papaya juice, and the digestive ferment, 
papain, is being manufactured to some extent 
from the latex of the unripe fruit. The family 
to which this plant belongs is native exclusively 
to tropical America. (CAMPOS GONZALES, J. G., 
Agr. Venez. 5 (55/56) : 17-28, 1940. Revista 
Agr. Habana 1: 573-581, 1936. CARVALLO, 
A. A., Agricultura 1 (8) : 48-60, 1938. DECKER, 
S., Bol. Agr. Sao Paulo 40: 238-269, 1940. 
PEASE, V. A., Papaya and Papain. A List of 
References, 1-9, Washington, 1933. STOREY, 
W. B., etc., Hawaii Agr. Exp. Sta. Bull. 87: 
1-64, 1941; Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 35: 
80-82, 83-85, 1938). 

The guava (Psidium guajava), already wide- 
spread in tropical America before the arrival 
of Europeans, is now one of the most widely 
dispersed of all pan tropic weeds. The fruits 
are eaten fresh locally, but their chief value is 
in the manufacture of jellies and jams. How- 
ever, this value is, in most places, completely 
outweighed by the negative importance of the 
plant as a weed, and as a reservoir for pests 
attacking other fruits. (DAVY, J. B., Rept. 
Calif. Agr. Expt. Sta. 1898-1901, pt. 1 : 86-88, 
1902). Another species, the strawberry guava 
(Psidium littoralc), with a red-fruited and a 
yellow-fruited form, native to Brazil, has become 
familiar throughout the Tropics, as has the 
feijoa or pineapple guava (Feijoa sellovnana). 
Both of these are at present of minor importance 
as edible fruits. (FOSBERG, F. R., Proc. Biol. 
Soc. Wash. 54: 179-180, 1941. MACCAUGHEY, 
V., Am. Bot. 24: 122-125, 1918. POPENOE, 
W., Pomona Coll. Jour. Econ. Bot. 2: 217-241, 

The pulp of the fruit of a number of species 
of palms which are primarily important for oil 
is used as food rather widely by the inhabitants 
of various parts of the Tropics. Some species 
have a very oily pulp, while in others it is merely 
fleshy. The huge terminal bud of many of 
these palms is eaten as a salad or cooked and 
used as a vegetable. This, of course, destroys 
the tree. 

Valuable information on other tropical Amer- 


FOSBERG: Principal Economic Plants 

lean fruits, such as the custard apple, sour sop, 
stveetsop, and other species of Annona, the various 
Sapotaceae such as the sapodilla, the sapotas, 
star apple, etc., various Myrtaceae, and many 
others may be found in the book by W. POPENOE, 
Manual of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits, 1- 
474, New York, 1920, now unfortunately out of 

spite of the tremendous number of native food 
plants already available and in cultivation at 
the time of the Spanish Conquest, a number of 
plants introduced from the Old World have 
assumed positions of major importance in the 
food economy of Tropical America. Of these, 
only sugar cane and the banana are of great 
commercial importance. 

Sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) is, per- 
haps, the most important of all tropical crops 
in world commerce. It is, in many tropical 
countries, the backbone of commercial economy, 
and its culture has been the subject of more 
scientific research than any other branch of 
tropical agriculture. The plant is native to 
tropical Asia, and there is some dispute as to 
whether or not the ancestral wild form is known. 
The so-called wild cane (Saccharum spon- 
taneum) may be simply the seedlings from the 
cultivated canes which are maintained in their 
highly developed forms by vegetative propaga- 
tion. Breeding of cane varieties has been 
carried to tremendous lengths, and one of the 
difficult problems in the industry lies in the 
classification and identification of the innumer- 
able clones in cultivation. The Malaysian region 
is the most important competitor of -tropical 
America in the production of cane sugar. Sugar 
cane is in reality a swamp plant, requiring a 
warm, moist climate for its best development. 
It may be raised in drier regions, but must there 
be irrigated, resulting in higher production costs. 
Except where protected by a tariff, cheap labor 
is the determining factor for a successful sugar 
industry. This is available in the Caribbean 
region, and in combination with adequate sci- 
entific methods and research facilities, should 
enable this region to continue to compete with 
the tropical Far East. All of the tropical 
American countries have at least a domestic 
sugar industry, though some, such as Mexico 
and Honduras, import part of their supply. Cuba, 
where the industry is highly developed, pro- 
duces more sugar than any area of like size in 
the world. (SURFACE, G. T. f The Story of Sugar. 
1-237, New York, 1910. BARDORF, C. F., The 
Story of Sugar, 1-191, Easton, Pa., 1924. 
FAIRRIE, G., Sugar, 1-233, Liverpool, 1925. 
EARLE, F. S., Sugar Cane and its Culture, 1-355, 
New York, 1928. MARTINEAU, G., and EAST- 
WICK, F. C., Sugar, 1-163, London, 1938. 
BURMEISTER, G., Agr. in the Americas 2: 63- 
67, 1942. Anon., Pan Am. Un. Commod. Comm. 
Ser. 13: 1-14, 1941. DEER, N., Cane Sugar: 
etc., 1-644, London, 1921. MARTIN, F., La 
Canne a Sucre, etc. 1-205, Paris, 1935). 

The bananas and plantains (Musa) are com- 
monly considered as natives of the Old World, 
though very early introduced into tropical 
America. They are all giant, tree-like herbs, 
growing from short, thick, underground rhi- 
zomes, the visible part of the plant consisting 
of a trunk-like cylinder of leaf-sheaths sur- 
rounding the slender scape, crowned by a 

spreading palm-like crown of enormous narrowly 
oblong leaf-blades, the scape bearing a spike- 
like inflorescence at the top, which produces 
the bunch of bananas. The term tree, when 
applied to this genus, is used only in the most 
superficial sense. The classification of this 
group is in a very uncertain state, but the 
plants widely introduced into America are 
commonly assigned to three species, between 
which the distinctions are not too sharp. The 
plantains (Musa paradisiaca) are rather un- 
palatable when raw, but are delicious and nour- 
ishing food cooked. The many forms are of 
great local importance in most tropical coun- 
tries, but are scarcely exported. The dwarf, 
or Chinese banana (Musa nana [formerly M. 
cavendishii] possibly only a variety of M. 
sapientum) is one of the most delicious of all 
bananas eaten raw, and is widely cultivated 
throughout the Tropics, but rarely on a large 
commercial scale. The common banana (Musa 
sapientum) is, in its multitudinous forms, an 
important food plant in all tropical countries, 
and one form of it, the gros michel, has become 
the basis of a tremendous fruit industry in the 
Caribbean region. Through scientific handling 
and efficient merchandising the companies inter- 
ested in this industry have succeeded in a com- 
paratively few years in making the banana an 
important item in the diet of the United States. 
The present popularity of bananas and pine- 
apples is an obvious refutation of the current idea 
that the food habits of a people cannot be altered. 
(WILDEMAN, E. DE, Ann. Mus. Colon. Marseille 
20: 286-362, 1912. FAWCETT, W., The Banana, 
etc., ed. 2, 1-299, London, 1921. BASSLER, H., 
Jour. N. Y. Bot. Card. 27: 49-54, 1926. Anon., 
Pan. Am. Un. Commod. Comm. Ser. 2: 1-42, 
1939. BOONE, R. C. P., Le Bananier ; Culture- 
Industrie-Commerce. 1-346, Paris, 1926. 
KERVEGANT, D., Le Bananier et son Exploita- 
tion. 1-578, Paris, 1935. CHEESMAN, E. E., 
Trop. Agr. W. I. 10: 4-5, 218-221, 1933; 11: 
132-137, 176-181, 203-209, 1934. CHEVALIER, 
A., Rev. Bot. Appl. 15: 573-580, 1935. 
POPENOE, W., Trop. Agr. Trin. 18: 8-12, 33-38, 

The mango (Mangifera indica) is a well 
known and much esteemed tropical fruit, native 
to southern Asia. A tremendous number of 
horticultural forms are known, and since the 
plant is readily propagated, naturally and arti- 
ficially, by seed, the quality of fruit varies greatly 
from tree to tree. Some are as good as the 
finest peach, while others are not even fit to 
eat. When a superior tree is found, it may be 
propagated vegetatively, and thus many fine 
clons are established. These will, doubtless, 
eventually find a profitable market in temperate 
countries, if the Mediterranean fruit fly can be 
controlled and the quarantine bars be lifted. 
Perhaps quick-freezing may be an effective solu- 
tion to some of the problems encountered in 
placing mangoes on United States markets. 
(BURNS, W., and PRAYAG, S. H., Bull. Dept. 
Agr. Bombay 103: 1-98, 1931. AGETE, F., 
Rev. Agr. Com. v Trab. Cuba 8 (4) : 3-13, 1927. 
DECKER, S., Bol. Agr. Sao Paulo 38: 554- 
593, 1938. WESTER, P. J., Phil. Is. Bur. Agr. 
Bull. 18: 1-70, 1920; 36: 1-96, 1922). 

The various citrus fruits, oranges (Citrus 
sinensis and C. nobilis), lemons (C. limonia), 
limes (C. aurantifolia) , grapefruits ( C. maxima 
var.), etc., are generally regarded as subtropical, 

FOSBERG: Principal Economic Plants 


because their culture has been developed to a 
tremendous industry in such subtropical regions 
as southern California, Florida, Spain, etc., 
but, throughout the Tropics they are among the 
most important fruits. Their native home is 
southern and eastern Asia, but, economically 
they have reached their greatest importance in 
America. (HUME, H. H., The Cultivation of 
Citrus Fruits, 1-561, New York, 1926. 
NAVARRO DE ANDRADE, E., Manual de Citricul- 
tura, 1: 1-198, 2: 212, 1933. FIBRES, R. B., 
Bol. Frut. y Hort. Min. Agr. Argent 4 (39) : 
1-288, 1939. GUILLAUMIN, A., Rev. Bot. Appl. 
8: 169-176, 1928. TOLKOWSKY, S., Hesperides, 
etc., 1-371, London, 1938. POWELL, H. C, The 
Culture of the Orange and Allied Fruits, 1-555, 
Pretoria, 1930). 
The breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis [formerly 

A. communis or A. incisa]), if properly pre- 
pared, is, to my taste, one of the most delicious 
foods obtainable in the Tropics. It has reached 
its most extensive use in Polynesia, but is oc- 
casionally met with in most tropical countries. 
It has been of some importance in certain of the 
West Indies since its very early introduction 
by the British, but its possibilities have scarcely 
been touched. It will, in the not too far distant 
future, probably become one of the important 
parts of the diet in the Tropics, and then will 
naturally make its appearance on the market in 
temperate lands. Shipping difficulties may 
seriously retard this, however. (WILDER, G. P., 

B. P. Bishop Mus. Bull. 50: 1-88, 1928. 
WESTER, P. J., Phil. Agr. Rev. 13: 223-229, 
1920; 17: 24-39, 1924; Rev. Agr. Puerto Rico 11 
(6): 31-35, 1923; Jour. Hered. 13: 129-135, 
1922. ASPINALL, A., Bull. Dept. Agr. Trin. & 
Tob. 19:224-229, 1922). 

The taro, or dasheen (Colocasia esculenta) is 
an Old World starchy vegetable similar to the 
yautia, capable of supporting a large number of 
people on a given acreage. It is rather widely 
cultivated in the Caribbean, and has been tried 
in the Southern United States, but is nowhere 
of great commercial importance. (BARRETT, 
O. W., and YOUNG, R. A., Bol. Union Panamer. 
127: 1259-1271, 1929. WILLIMOTT, S. G, 
Cyprus Agr. Jour. 31: 94-108, 1936). 

The coconut (Cocos nucifera) is one of the 
world's most important plants, being, through- 
out the lowland Tropics, one of the mainstays 
of human existence. To the primitive peoples 
it furnishes food, water, sugar, milk, wine, 
liquor, oil, cordage, thatch, basket and plaiting 
material, fuel, charcoal, timber, and shade. 
The dried meat of the nuts, called copra, is a 
large item in international trade, being the 
source of oil for food, soap, etc. This oil is 
largely produced in the Old World Tropics, at 
present, and may soon be largely displaced by oil 
from other tropical American and African 
palms. The coconut is not known in a truly 
wild condition, consequently there has been 
much dispute as to where it originated. The 
best evidence seems to indicate an Old World 
origin, but its introduction into the New World 
was certainly very early. It will grow in any 
well drained soil below 2,500 feet altitude, and 
a few places in the subtropics. For maximum 
production, however, a hot, humid climate is 
desirable. (BELFORT, R., and HOYER, A. J., All 
about Coconuts, 1-201, London, 1914. COPE- 
LAND, E. B., The Coconut, ed. 3, 1-233, London, 

1931. PATEL, J. S., The Coconut: a Mono- 
graph. 1-313, Madras, 1938. SOUTH, F. W., 
Coco-nut Cultivation in the West Indies, 1-46, 
Bridgetown, 1911). 

Rice (Oryza sativa) is raised extensively in 
Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil, and to some 
extent locally elsewhere, but not in sufficient 
quantities even to supply the domestic market ; so 
that large amounts must be imported. This cereal 
is an important food in many South American 
countries. It is an Asiatic marsh grass which 
grows best in mud and standing water. Certain 
varieties, the "upland rices," are adapted to dry 
land culture and are raised in some regions in 
tropical America. (COPELAND, E. B., Rice, 1-352, 
London, 1924. GRAN ATO, L., O Arroz, 1-525, 
Sao Paulo, 1914. GUATCHIN, G. G., Riz et 
Rizicult. 12: 61-96, 1938). 

Wheat (Triticum aestivum) also is raised 
locally, especially in the Central American and 
.Colombian highlands, but in insufficient amounts 
in the truly tropical areas to take care of domestic 
consumption. Barley (Hordeuin vulgare) is 
also grown to a slight extent in the Andes. 

The pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) is raised 
domestically for human consumption in Puerto 
Rico and other West Indies. Elsewhere in the 
Tropics it is of importance as a stock feed 
and green manure, and locally as a food. It 
came originally from southern Asia. 

Chick peas (Cicea arietinus), from the 
Mediterranean region, are widely grown for local 
consumption, especially in dry regions. As it is 
an annual, it is well adapted to conditions there. 

FORAGE: Grazing has long been one of 
the important branches of agriculture in most 
Latin American countries. Cattle and sheep 
are, of course, most commonly associated with 
the pampas or temperate grasslands of Argen- 
tina and Uruguay, where meat and hide pro- 
duction is developed to an enormous extent. 
However, the vast forage resources in the 
tropical grasslands of llanos of Venezuela, 
Bolivia, Brazil, and other regions are ' among 
the most valuable in the world. The deep native 
vegetation of many of these regions would sup- 
port a large amount of stock, and indeed does, 
in many parts. Cattle and hogs are the im- 
portant animals here. The main obstacle to 
full utilization of these areas is the lack of 
breeds of cattle which are resistant to heat, ticks 
and other pests, and diseases. Some attempts are 
being made to introduce resistant stock of 
Brahman (or East Indian) origin from Texas, 
but the expense involved makes this a slow 
process. The progeny of these are rapidly 
increasing in tropical Mexico. At higher alti- 
tudes where the climate is more temperate, as 
in parts of Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and 
Bolivia, stock-raising is a thriving business. 
Here, in the more fertile valley areas, cattle 
are pastured, while on the rocky upper slopes 
where the grass is sparse, sheep, and in the cen- 
tral Andes llamas and alpacas, are maintained. 
Goats are widely raised in drier regions, es- 
pecially in Mexico. Wild forage plants are, 
throughout tropical America, the important 
source of stock feed, but attempts are being 
made in various parts to secure and introduce 
others which will stand up better under graz- 
ing conditions, produce more forage, or which 
have other good qualities. Persistent over- 
grazing is, here as elsewhere, one of the great* 


FOSBERG: Principal Economic Plants 

est dangers to the permanence of the forage 
resources. (AGUILAR G., J. I., Ensayos en el 
Estudio do Plantas Forrajeras en Guatemala 

Agi . . . , 

Rev. Arg. Agron. 7 : 95-104, 1940. Informaqoes 
sobre algumas plantas forageiras, ed. 4, 1-201, 
Estas. Exp. Agros. Brasil 1937. A VILA DE 
ARAUJO, A., Bol. Agr. Ind. e Com. Rio Gr. 
do Sul 28: 1-54, 1939; 19 (2nd ed.) : 1-55, 

1940. WHYTE, R. O., CHRON. EOT. 6: 443-446, 

1941, with an extensive bibliography. SHREVE, 
P., Madrono 6: 190-198, 1942). 

SPICES AND FLAVORS: Plant parts con- 
taining aromatic or pungent substances which 
are used in food preparation are known as 
spices. Extracts of the aromatic principles of 
spices and other plants used in imparting an 
odor to foods are known as flavors. Their 
function is to make foods more palatable and 
to stimulate the appetite. In the period when 
they had their greatest development, lack of 
refrigeration gave them a tremendous importance 
in rendering semi-spoiled foods edible at all. 
Some of them doubtless functioned as preserv- 
atives. Though these latter functions are no 
longer necessary, the trade in spices is still a 
large and important one. Most of the com- 
mercial spices are produced in the Old World, 
but a few are of considerable importance, and 
some of the others are raised in small quantities 
here and there, in America. The reason why a 
certain few out of thousands of aromatic plants 
have been selected as spices for human con- 
sumption is likely a matter of historical acci- 
dent. Europe is quite poor in such species, so 
that those discovered in use by native peoples in 
the Tropics were very easily taken over and 
became a part of the commerce and cuisine of 
western culture. A great many other members 
of such families as Myrtaceae, Lauraceae, 
Rutaceae, Umbelliferae, Labiatae, Compositae, 
etc., have pleasant or pungent aromatic odors and 
would seem suitable for use as spices and ex- 
tracts. The chief obstacle is the difficulty or 
impossibility of changing the food habits of any 
considerable number of people. Shortages of 
standard spices due to the war might well give 
sufficient stimulus to effect the establishment 
of new spices if commercial interests have suffi- 
cient imagination to try them when the short- 
ages become acute. 

The two principle native American contribu- 
tions to the spice trade are allspice (Pimenta offi- 
cinalis) produced in the Caribbean region, prin- 
cipally in Jamaica, and Cayenne, red or chili pep- 
per (Capsicum annuum or C. frutescens), many 
varieties of which are raised in all parts of the 
Tropics mostly for local consumption, though 
prepared red pepper is exported from Mexico. 
(BRAVO H., H., Anal. Inst. Biol. Mex. 5: 303- 
321, 1934). Of the Asiatic spices ginger (Zingi- 
ber officinale), black pepper (Piper nigrum), 
cinnamon (Cinnamomum seylanicum) , and cloves 
(Eugenia caryophyllata) are raised to a minor 
extent in the Caribbean and in the Guianas. This 
culture has never been of much importance 
excepting the extensive Jamaica ginger pro- 
duction, but present conditions may well stimu- 
late it. (VANEGAS, F. G., Rev. Agr. Trop. (El 
Salv.) 12: 142-144, 1939. Anon., ibid.. 185- 

Of flavoring materials, vanilla (Vanilla fra- 
grans), native to Mexico, is one of the world's 
most important. The plant is an orchid of which 
the seed capsules, called "vanilla beans/' are sub- 
jected to fermentation to produce the delicious 
odor, then extracted with alcohol. In the New 
World vanilla is produced commercially in 
Mexico, Bolivia, and the West Indies. Sub- 
stitutes, based on synthetic vanillin and on 
coumarin from tonka beans, are very widely 
used but are quite inferior to the natural extract. 
The culture of this plant is usually a small-scale 
proposition, as the plants require much individual 
attention, and in most localities each flower has 
to be pollinated by hand. (LECOMTE, H., Le 
Vanillier, 1-228, Paris, 1902. DILLON, G. W., 
Am. Orch. Soc. Bull. 10: 339-343, 1942.- 
CASTRO CANCIO, J. DE, La Industria Vainillera, 
etc., 1-12, Mexico, 1924. LOPEZ Y PARRA, R., 
La Vainilla, etc., 1-78, Mexico, 1911. VALDIVIA, 
M. A., Hacienda 18: 374-376, 1923). Tonka 
beans (Dipteryx odorata and D. oppositifolia) . 
from northern South America, are a principal 
source of coutnarin, which is an important flavor- 
ing material in its own right but which has 
earned some disrepute as an adulterant or sub- 
stitute for vanilla. The extract is made from 
the dried seeds. (DucKE, A., Trop. Woods 61 : 
1-10, 1940. POUND, F. J., Trop. Agr. Trin. 
15 : 4-9, 28-32, 1938). Sarsaparilla is made from 
the roots and rhizomes of certain species of 
Smilax. Several Caribbean and northern South 
American countries export it to the United 
States, but the exact identity of some of the 
species producing it has not been determined. A 
factory for the manufacture of Citrus oils has 
been established in British Guiana. Lime oil is 
produced in considerable amounts in Jamaica and 
Mexico. (McNAiR, J. B., Field Mus. Pub. Bot. 
6: 1-392, 1926). 

(RIDLEY, H. N., Spices, 1-449, London, 1912. 

GUILLARD, F., Les piments des solan&s, etc., 
1-123, Lons-Le-Saunier, 1901. COCHRAN, H. L., 
Bull. Torr. Bot. Club 67: 710-717, 1940.- JANK, 
J. K., Spices: etc., ed. 4: 1-181, New York, 1924. 

REDGROVE, H. S., Spices and Condiments. 
1-361, London, 1933. MACMILLAN, H. F., 
Trop. Agr. 33: 223-228, 1909. RAMIREZ 
CANTU, D., Foil. Divulg. Cient. Inst. Biol. Mex. 
32: 1-35, 1940. LECLERC, H., Les epices, etc., 
1-134, Paris, 1929). 

PERFUMES: The production of materials 
used in perfumery has been developed only to 
a minor extent in the American Tropics, in 
spite of a vast number of potential sources of 
materials. Certain balsams (mentioned under 
GUMS and RESINS) are exported for use as 
fixatives for certain essential oils. Oil of Bay, 
produced by distillation of the leaves of the 
bay-rum tree (Pimenta racemosa [P. acris]) t 
comes from wild trees in the Virgin Islands. 
( JONES, J., Kew Bull. (1919) : 152-160, 1918. 
POUCHER, W. A., Pharm. Jour. 112 : 186, 1924. 
FISHLOCK, W. C, W. I. Bull. 12: 196-197, 1912. 

Bay Oil and Bay Rum. 1-13, Roseau, Dominica, 
1926. SHAW, E., Econ. Gcogr. 10: 143-146, 
1934). It is 'used in making bay-rum, but in 
recent years the demand for this toilet prepara- 
tion has considerably decreased. Paraguay pro- 
duces most of the world supply of petitgrain oil 
from the leaves of the bitter orange (Citrus 
aurantium L.). (ALBES, Bull. Pan Amer. Un. 

FOSBERG: Principal Economic Plants 


p. 1-3, 1923). Linaloe oil is distilled from the 
wood of several trees. Mexican linaloe comes 
from several species of Bur sera, while Cayenne 
linaloe or bois-de-rose oil comes from Aniba 
rosaeodora of French Guiana, and similar oils 
from other species of Aniba. Several plants 
which are used in perfumery elsewhere, such as 
cassie (Acacia farnesiana), lemon-grass (Cym- 
bopogon citratus), and khuskhus, source of oil of 
vetiver (Vetweria zisanioides) , are either native 
or widely naturalized in tropical America but are 
not or scarcely used. Development of planta- 
tions of citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), lemon- 
grass, and ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata) are 
now being made in Haiti and the Dominican 
Republic. Probably the lack of cheap labor in 
most parts of Latin America prevents these and 
numerous other flower perfumes and aromatic 
wood or leaf oils from being further utilized. 
(HARLAN, W. V., Agr. in the Americas 2: 
68-71, 1942. MAUNIER, E, Les Plantes a Per- 
fums des Colonies Frangaises. 1-134, Marseille, 
1928. McNAiR, J. B., Field Mus. Pub. Bot. 
6: 1-392, 1926. CHOUX, P., Mat. Grass. 15: 
6450-6452, 1923. FREISE, F. W., Perf. & Ess. 
Oil Rec. 22: 370-371, 1931; 23: 80-82, 1932. 
GARCIA DE ARRILLAGA, N., Rev. Agr. Puerto 
Rico 31 : 496-504, 1939. GILDEMEISTER, E. and 
HOFFMANN, F., The Volatile Oils, ed. 2 (transl. 
by E. KREMERS), London, 1: 1-677, 1913; 2: 
1-686, 1922; 3: 1-777, 1922. FINNEMORB, H., 
The Essential Oils, 1-880, London, 1926. 
NAVES, Y. R. and MAZUYER, G., Les Parfums 
Naturels, etc., 1-398, Paris, 1939. PARRY, E. J., 
Parry's Cyclopaedia of Perfumery. 1-840, Lon- 
don, 1925). 

COTICS: These classes are treated together 
since, with the exception of food-beverages, such 
as milk and fruit juices, and the unaccountably 
popular carbonated beverages, all important 
drinks contain a stimulant, either alcohol or 
caffeine or other caffeine-like substance. Some 
of these beverages are major articles of com- 
merce on a world-wide scale. 

Coffee (Coffea arabica and other species) is 
South America's largest export The plant, 
whose roasted and ground seeds are boiled or 
treated with hot water to make this drink, is 
not an American plant, but a native of the Red 
Sea region which has found a congenial home 
in many tropical countries. Brazil dominates 
the coffee industry and would undoubtedly 
monopolize it completely were it not for the 
fact that coffees produced in other regions have 
different flavors, and are in demand for blend- 
ing with the Brazilian product. Some coffee 
is, therefore, produced in most tropical coun- 
tries. The plant demands a moist, warm climate, 
but if the heat is too intense it must be shaded 
by larger trees. (UKI.RS, W. H.. All About 
Coffee, ed. 2, 1-818, New York, 1935. AMARAL, 
A. P. DE Cultura Practica e Racional do Cafeeiro. 
1-607, Sao Paulo, 1925. CAM ARGO, R. DE, Cul- 
tura cafeira, etc., 1-100, Sao Paulo, 1929. MAR- 
TIN, F., Le Cafe*ier; principes techniques et 
e*conomiques de la culture de cette plante, 1-224, 
Paris, 1938. JACOB, H. E., Coffee; the epic of 
a commodity [transl. by E. & C. PAUL], 1-296, 
New York. CHENEY, R. H., Coffee; a mono- 
graph of the economic species of the genus 
Coffea L., 1-244, New York, 1925. REID, 
W. A., Pan Am. Union Commod. Comm. Ser. 

17: 1-39, 1936. CHEVAUER, A., Les Caf&ers du 
Globe, fasc. 1 : 1-196, Paris, 1929). 

Yerba mate, mate" or Paraguay tea (Ilex 
paraguariensis) is a native in the Parana drain- 
age of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, where 
the gathering of leaves from the wild plants is 
an important industry. Some is produced from 
cultivated plants, but this is considered inferior. 
The ground heat-dried leaves are the basis of a 
tea which is the common drink in many parts 
of South America. They contain the same 
stimulating substance, t Heine, as does the Asiatic 
tea. Mate has never become popular in the 
United States or Europe, though attempts are 
now being made to introduce it to the people 
of North America. It is used as an ingredient 
in certain soft drinks in this country, and so is 
imported to some extent. (CABRAL, O., Brazil 
159: 14, 1942. HANNAY, A. M., U.S.D.A. 
Bur. Agr. Econ., Econ. Libr. List 16: 1-9, 1940. 
CLOS, E. C, Agronomia 30: 117-141, 1941. 
REID, W. A., Pan Am. Union, Commod. Comm. 
Ser. 4: 1-23, 1926. JOYCE, T. A., Nature 134: 
727, 724, 760-762, 1934. Anon., Bol. Min. Agr. 
Industr. e Comm. Brasil 18: 439-495, 603-664, 

Guarand (Paullinia cnpana) is used by the 
inhabitants of Amazonia in the form of a power- 
fully stimulating beverage made from the seeds. 
Its caffeine content is several times that of 
coffee. Its use has not spread to any extent 
beyond Brazil. It is cultivated to a certain 
extent. The seeds are ground into a paste 
with cassava flour, moulded and dried in smoke, 
the resulting hard dry product keeping indefi- 
nitely. (AcAN, J., Bull. Pan Am. Un. 51: 
268-275, 1920. HARIDO CARNEIRO, P. E. DE, 
La Guarana et Paullinia cupana H. B. & K. 
1-124, Paris, 1931. DUCKE, A., Rodrig. 3: 155- 
156, 1937. SCHMIDT, F., O Campo 1 (7): 
74-79, 1930). 

Of alcoholic beverages rum is the primary one 
produced and consumed in the Tropics. It is 
made by fermentation of molasses or of sugar 
cane juice and subsequent distillation. It is made 
locally in most tropical countries, especially 
those important as sugar producers, but most 
of that exported comes from the West Indies, 
particularly Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and 
the Virgin Islands. Habanera is a fine rum 
produced in Mexico. (KAYSER, E. f Ann. Sci. 
Agron.34: 159-195, 411-454, 1917. NEWLANDS, 
J.A.R., Sugar, a Handbook for Planters and 
Refiners. 1-876, London, 1909. BALL, J., A 
Practical Treatise on the Culture of Sugar Cane, 
and Distillation of Rum, etc., 1-58, Calcutta, 
1831). Aguardiento is raw sugar-alcohol, sweet- 
ened and flavored with anise or other strong 
flavor, and is a popular poor man's strong drink. 
Guarapo is fermented sugarcane juice or a 
fermented sugar solution, very cheap and widely 
used among the country people. It resembles 

Chicha is a vile-smelling drink made from a 
decoction of corn and molasses, fermented and 
consumed immediately, a soup-like, milky sus- 
pension. Drunk to excess by poorer classes in 
Colombia, it is held responsible for much of their 
poverty and backwardness. 

Pulque is the national drink of Mexico. It 
is the fermented sap from a number of large 
species of maguey or century plants (Agave), 
which is collected in a pit made in the top of 


FOSBERG: Principal Economic Plants 

the plant when it is ready to send up a flower 
stalk. The clear liquid which fills this pit is 
known as aguamiel. After fermentation this 
becomes milky in appearance and frothy, with 
a sour odor. Great quantities are consumed by 
the poorer classes in Mexico, and the prepara- 
tion, delivery and sale of it form an important 
industry. The plants are cultivated in large 
plantations. In recent years, however, the 
Government of Mexico has endeavored to dis- 
courage the production of this drink, it seems, 
with considerable success. (MICHOTTE, F., 
Agaves et Fourcroyas, ed. 3: 284-367, 1931. 
HOUGH, W., Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 33 : 577-592, 
1908. EGELING, B. F. G., Abh. Ber. Ver. 
Naturk. Kassel 40: 1-14, 1894. CRIST, R. E., 
Econ. Geogr. 15: 189-194, 1939). 

Mescal or mescal is a fiery liquor distilled from 
a mash made from roasted stems of a number 
of the smaller species of Agave in Mexico. 
Tequila is a form of this made in the vicinity of 
the city of Tequila, Jalisco, from Agave tequilana. 
( EGELING, 15. F. G., I.e.). A similar liquor 
called sotol is distilled from a mash of sotol 
(Dasylirion, several species). About Comitan, 
in Chiapas, Mexico, is distilled cotniteca, an 
especially fine liquor, from a mixture of an 
Agave mash and fermented sugar cane juice. 
It thus partakes of the qualities of both rum and 
mescal, perfectly blended. 

Grapes are raised for wine to some extent in 
Peru, Brazil, and, of course in Argentina and 
Chile. In Peru and Chile a powerful grape 
spirits called pisco is distilled from wine. 

Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) is the most 
widely used of all mild narcotics. It is an 
American plant which was widely smoked by 
the Indians in prehistoric times. By 1610 its 
use had spread over the entire world. Most of 
the enormous tobacco crop is grown in warm 
temperate regions, but Brazil and the West 
Indies are rather important areas for its pro- 
duction. Colombia has an important domestic to- 
bacco industry. (CAPUS, G., LEULLIOT, F., and 
Fox, E. f Le Tabac, 1-843, 1929. ARENTZ, G., 
Tobacco, Its History, etc., 1: 1-543, 1937; 2: 
1-564, 1938, 3: 1-545, 1941. GARNER, W. W., 
Bibliografia Selecta sobre el Tabaco, 1-25, 1933. 
LEULLIOT, F., Bull. Soc. Nat. Accl. France 

Coca, widely used as a stimulant in South 
America, is mentioned under medicinal plants. 

prehistoric times the lore of medicinal plants 
has been one of the most important phases of 
economic botany. Indeed, the science of botany 
began as one of the main parts of the science of 
medicine. With the advance of medical knowl- 
edge, more and more of the herb remedies 
used in the past have been found to be useless 
or much inferior to modern treatment and 
remedies of other sort. Synthetic chemicals 
have replaced many of the drugs previously ob- 
tained from plants, until, with a few important 
exceptions, plant remedies have been largely 
dropped from standard medical practice. This 
has not led to as much decrease in the produc- 
tion of these drugs as might be expected, though 
some of them have largely disappeared. Local 
and home doctoring still rests much faith in the 
old remedies, and the patent medicine trade, 
much of it based on vegetable drugs, does an 
enormous business. In tropical America a large 

number of aboriginal remedies are still in every- 
day use and there is a thriving local commerce 
in the herbs and other plant products which are 
the important ingredients. Few of these enter 
the drug trade and very little is known as to the 
plant species from which they are derived. 
There is always a possibility that some of them 
may really contain valuable substances. (HIGBEE, 
E. C, Agr. in Amer. 2: 91-93, 1942). 

Of the several tropical American drugs which 
still have a wide importance, quinine and cocaine 
stand preeminent. Both were in use by the 
Peruvian Indians long before the Spanish Con- 
quest. Quinine, obtained from the bark of sev- 
eral species of Cinchona, is still the main specific 
for malaria, and has many other uses in the drug 
trade. Formerly obtained from wild trees on 
the eastern slope of the Andes, as far south as 
Bolivia, various unsuccessful attempts have been 
made to produce the drug commercially in planta- 
tions in the New World. In recent years almost 
the entire trade has been taken over by the 
Dutch planters in the East Indies. Now that 
the Malaysian source has been lost, renewed 
and highly successful efforts are being made to 
develop sources in America. Much is available 
from wild trees which have had a chance to re- 
cover from the effects of exploitation, and some 
from the small, more or less experimental planta- 
tions which have been established in the past and 
usually abandoned. The classification of Cinchona 
is in a state of extreme confusion due to the large 
number of species described, mostly based on 
trifling differences. There are probably not 
more than five or six actual species in the 
genus, but these have a great amount of local 
variation. Some of the variants have a much 
higher quinine content than others. The Dutch 
planters had selected greatly superior strains, 
based on the so-called C. ledgeriana, a form of 
C. officinalis, or of C. calisaya, if the Bolivian 
plants represent a distinct species. 

A new method of utilization, the production 
of tota-quina, a mixture of all the alkaloids of the 
bark, rather than the pure refined quinine, gives 
some promise of success in America. Lower- 
yielding trees, such as the succirubra forms, are 
suitable for tota-quina, and it is possible that the 
use of young trees and seedlings may be success- 
ful. The resulting product, though by no means 
as effective as purified quinine sulfate, is much 
cheaper, as the expensive refining processes are 
dispensed with. Thus the remedy is placed within 
reach of great numbers of people who could 
not afford quinine, though needing it badly. 
(MARANON, J., and BARTLETT, H. H., Nat. Appl. 
Sci. Bull. 8: 111-188, 1941. Anon., Panam. 
Un. Commod. Comm. Ser. 24: 1-14, 1942. Sci. 
Lib. Bibl. Ser. Sci. Mus. (South Kens.) 483: 
1-5, 1939. FOSBERG, F.R., Colombian Cinchona 
Manual, 1-27, Bogota, 1943. GROOTHOFF, A., 
De Kinacultuur, 1-109, Haarlem, 1912. 
HOEHNE, F. C., Caracteres Botanicos, Historia 
e Cultura das Cinchonas. 1-39, Sao Paulo, 1919. 
PERROT, E., Quinquina et Quinine. 1-174, 
Paris, 1926. STOCKDALE, F., East Afr. Agr. 
Jour. 5: 283-286, 1940. KERBOSCH, M. G. J., 
Geneesk. Tijdschr. Nederl. Ind. 71: 317-344, 
1931. POPENOE, W., Trop. Agr. Trin. 18: 70- 
74, 1941. PRETEL VIDAL, A. R., Bol. Agr. 
Ganad. Peru 8: 11-103, 1938; 9: 3-80, 1939. 
SCHULTZ, E. F., Rev. Ind. y Agr. Tucuman 30 : 
197-199, 1940). 

FOSBERG: Principal Economic Plants 


Cocaine obtained from the leaves of the coca 
plant (Erythroxylo* coca), is still widely used 
as a local anaesthetic, as well as being the basis 
of a widespread form of drug addiction. The 
plant, a native of the eastern Andean slopes of 
Peru and Bolivia, was known in prehistoric times 
to the Indians, who chewed the leaves with lime 
or ashes to get a prolonged stimulation which 
enabled them to work or travel incredible periods 
without rest or food. The plant is now culti- 
vated extensively from Peru to Argentina on 
the east slope of the Andes, as well as in the 
Orient, and the dried leaves are exported to 
some extent. However, the amount exported is 
small compared with that of the leaves chewed 
in South America, where the habit is very 
widespread. Export is subject to strict inter- 
national regulation, as addiction to the drug is 
all too common. (REID, W. A., Pan Am. Un. 
Commod. Com. Ser. 20: 1-20, 1936. BUES, C, 
Bol. Agr. y Ganad. Peru 5: 3-72, 1935. 
DOMINGUEZ, J. A., Trab. Inst. Bot. y Farm. 
Buenos Aires 47: 1-16, 1930.) 

Ipecac, an emetic produced from the roots of 
Cephaelis ipecacuanha, is still a standard pharma- 
ceutical item, and is produced in the low- 
lands of Brazil. (BAL, S. N., Ind. Jour. Pharm. 
2 : 9-19, 1940. COSTA, O. DE A., and PECKOLT, 
O. DE L., Rev. Fl. Med. Bras. 2: 197-234, 261- 
297, 333-350, 1936). Jalap, a powerful physic, 
is produced in Mexico from the root of Ipomoea 

Wormseed (Chenopodium ambrosioides var. 
anthelminticum) is cultivated in various parts of 
America as a local remedy for many ailments. 
An oil derived from the plant is widely used as 
a vermifuge. 

Cubebs (Piper cubeba), balsam of Peru (men- 
tioned under GUMS and RESINS), guaiacum (men- 
tioned as lignum vitae under TIMBERS), and 
quassia (Quassia amara and Picraena excelsa) 
are other drugs from tropical America which are 
still articles of commerce. Thevetin is a new 
drug, obtained from the seeds of the common 
American ornamental tree, Thevetia peruviana, 
which is expected to replace Digitalis, at least 
in part, in treating heart ailments. 

The various forms of curare, the deadly arrow 
poison of the Indians of Amazonia and northern 
South America, yield valuable drugs. A num- 
ber of plants enter into their composition, dif- 
ferent in different regions. Active investiga- 
tion is being carried on to learn more about the 
constituents and botanical origin of this class 
of poisons. (KRUKOFF, B. A., and MOLDENKE, 
H. N., Brittonia 3: 1-74, 1938. LIMONGI, J. P., 
Ann. Fac. Med. Univ. S. Paulo 14 : 297-331, 1938. 

VELLARD, J., Compte Rend. Acad. Sci. Paris 
208: 2104-2106, 1939. FOLKERS, K., Arch. Int. 
Pharm. The>. 61: 370-379, 1939; Jour. Am. 
Pharm. Assoc. 27: 689-693, 1938). 

Two other plants should be mentioned here 
that are used by the Amazonian Indians for their 
narcotic effect. Maikoa (Brugmansia arborea) 
and yage or caapi (Banisteriopsis caapi) both 
produce hallucinations and other mental dis- 
orders. (CARDENAS, M., Bolivia 8 (7) : 13, 25- 
26, 1941. COSTA, O. DE A., Rev. Fl. Med. Bras. 
2: 575-624, 1936. DOMINGUEZ, J. A., Trab. 
Inst. Bot. y Farm. Buenos Aires 48: 1-15, 1931. 

GAGNEPAIN, F., Rev. Bot. Appl. 10 : 292-294, 
1930. REKO, V. A., Heil- und Gewurz-Pfl. 
15: 135-141, 1933. RMNBURG, P., Jour. Soc. 

Amer. Paris, n. s. 13: 25-54, 197-216, 1921. 
MORTON, C. V., Jour. Wash. Acad. 21 : 485-488, 

Small quantities of various other drug plants, 
both indigenous and introduced, are grown or 
gathered locally in various countries, for ex- 
ample, Cuba. (For other drug plants see also 

(BATAN, P. P., Dictionnaire des Plantes 
MSdicinales, etc., 1-275, Paris 1935. FONSECA, 
E. T. DA, O Campo 11, 20, 26, 28, 1940. Rev. 
Fl. Med. Bras. 1: 289-296, 691-696, 1935. 
FREISE, F. W., Pharm. Zentralbl. 74: 577-578, 
1933; Tropenpfl. 37: 469-486, 1934; 39: 241- 
253, 380-389, 513, 524, 1936; 41: 60, 1938: 
Perfum. & Ess. Oil Rec. 22: 370-371, 1931. 
SANTA CRUZ, A., Rev. Chil. Hist. Nat. 33 : 279- 
281, 1930; 37: 145-147, 1933; 39: 34-41, 1935.- 
COSTA, O. DE A., Rev. Fl. Med. Bras. 1 : 415-422, 

1935. DIAS DA SILVA, R., Rev. Fl. Med. Bras. 
1: 477-487, 1935; 4: 59-76, 1937. MARTINEZ, 
M., Cron. Med. Mex. 23: 227-230, 1924. 
BACHSTEZ, M., Jour. Am. Pharm. Assoc. 30: 
218-219, 1941). 

INSECTICIDES: Most of the important 
recently developed insecticides of plant origin 
depend upon the chemical rotenone, as their 
active principle. This substance is present in 
greater or lesser quantities in a considerable 
number of plants, many of which are known 
to aboriginal peoples in different parts of the 
world who use them as fish poisons. Their 
usefulness is enhanced by the fact that rotenone, 
though poisonous to cold-blooded animals and 
insects, is harmless to humans and other 
warm-blooded animals. Three of the principal 
rotenone-producing genera are Derris, Loncho- 
carpus, and Tephrosia, all tropical members of 
the Leguminosae. The principal commercial 
source of rotenone in South America is cubt 
or timbo (Lonchocarpus nicou, L. urucu and 
perhaps other species) which are possibly not 
known truly wild, but are widely cultivated by 
the Indians as fish poisons, and persist in the 
forest after cultivation. The plants do not 
produce flowers or fruits under ordinary condi- 
tions, and are propagated by cuttings. In the 
roots the rotenone is highly concentrated. These 
roots are largely produced on plantations in 
Peru and Brazil. Many other plants are used 
as fish poisons in various parts of tropical 
America, but none of them have become com- 
mercially important as insecticides. (GRESHOFF, 
M., Meded. 'sLands Plant. Batavia, no. 10, 
1893; no. 29, 1900; Meded. uitg. Dept. Landb. 
Batavia, no. 17, 1913. KILLIP, E. P., and 
SMITH, A. C., Jour. Wash. Acad. 20: 74-81, 
1930; Rept. Smiths. Inst. 1930: 401-408, 1931; 
Some American Plants Used as Fish Poisons, 
mimeogr. 1-27, Washington, 1935. FERNANDES 
DA SILVA, R., Bol. Agr. Zool. e Vet. Minas- 
Ger. 7: 213-223, 1934. LEGROS, J., Int. Rev. 
Agr. 30: 11T-29T, 51T-61T, 1939. ROARK, 
R. C, Lonchocarpus (Barbasco, Cube, and 
Timbo). A Review of Recent Literature, 1-174, 
Washington, 1938. WILLE, J. E., Bol. Estac. 
Exp. Agr. La Molina 11: 1-117, 1937. 
WILLIAMS, L., Bol. Soc. Venez. Cienc. Nat. 6: 
21-33, 1939. ROARK, R. C., Tephrosia as an 
Insecticide, A Review of the Literature, 1-165, 
Washington, 1937. ALBINANA MARCET, R., 
Rev. Assoc. Cafet. Salv. 6: 341-360, 387-413, 

1936. HOLMAN, H. J., A Survey of Insecticide 


FOSBERG: Principal Economic Plants 

Materials of Vegetable Origin, 1-155, London, 

Pyre thrum (Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium) 
is being raised experimentally in several South 
American countries. In Brazil, pyrethrum 
flowers are being produced in exportable quanti- 
ties. It has long been used as the active prin- 
ciple of many insect powders and sprays. 
(GNADINGER, C. B., Pyrethrum Flowers, ed. 
2, p. 1-380, 1936. ALCIDES O., J., Min. de 
Fomento, Peru, Cir. 67: 1-31, 1940). 

OIL PLANTS: One of the major classes of 
economically important plant products is that 
of vegetable oils and waxes. As foods, lubri- 
cants, and as raw materials in paint- and soap- 
making and various other industrial processes 
these products are consumed on an enormous 
scale at present, and the demand for them is 
bound to increase rather than decrease as 
civilization becomes more complex. The num- 
ber of plants that produce usable oils is enormous, 
including a large number that are abundant in 
tropical America. However, the number that 
may become of commercial importance is deter- 
mined by the quantity of oil that each produces, 
the expense involved in its cultivation, and the 
ease of extraction. Many are trees, which 
adds the factor of waiting for production, also 
the irregular fruiting which characterizes some 
tropical species. Furthermore, the properties 
of the individual oils vary, and some are more 
valuable than others. Certain of the oils 
deteriorate rapidly between harvesting and 
processing. Only a few of the more important 
oil-producing species can be mentioned here. 
(JAMIESON, G. S., Vegetable Fats and Oils, 
1-444, New York, 1932. JUMELLE, H., Les 
Huiles Vegetales, 1-496, Paris, 1921. WILSON, 
O., Pan-Am. Un. Commod. Comm. Ser. 5: 1-29, 
1928. Anon., ibid. 5: 1-30, 1938. MORAES 
CARVALHO, J. B. DE, Notas sobre a Industria de 
Oleos Vegetaes no Brasil, 1-226, Rio de Janeiro, 
1924. ARAUJOS GOES, P., Bol. Min. Agr. Ind. 
e Comm. Bras. 7 (3) : 25-38, 1919. FONSECA, 
E. T. DA, Oleos Vegetaes Brasileiros, 1-130, Rio 
Janeiro, 1922. LE COINTE, P., Rev. Comm. 
Par& 10: 199-203, 238-239, 322-333!, 353-355, 
376-378, 1920. MICIIOTTE, F., Mat. Grass. 15: 
6354-6358, 6415-6418, 6509-6510, 6528-6530, 
6547-6550, 1923; 16: 6709-6712, 1924; 17: 7034- 
7035, 7062-7063, 7308-7311, 7335-7337, 7363-7365, 

Of the plants producing non-drying oils, 
besides the peanut, discussed above, a number 
of palms are the most important in tropical 
America. The coconut has already been discussed. 
The African oil- palm (Elaeis guineensis) has 
very rapidly assumed a place as one of the most 
important of all oil producers. It yields large 
quantities of both a pulp-oil and a kernel-oil. 
At present the plant is only economically im- 
portant in Brazil and only slightly so there, 
but it seems to have a promising future. There 
is some dispute as to whether this species is 
native to West Africa, or whether it was a very 
early introduction there from America, where 
it is occasionally found wild, either native or 
naturalized. It is a basic food plant and an 
import source of commercial oil in Africa 
and is largely cultivated also in Malaysia. 
(Coox, O. F., Nat. Hort. Mag. 20: 10-35, 1940. 

Olpalme, 1-211, Hamburg, 1929. CHEVALIER, 
A., Rev. Bot. Appl. 14: 187-196, 1934. 
GHESQUIERE, J., Rev. Bot. Appl. 14: 340-343, 
1934. HUBERT, P., Le Palmier a Huile, 1-314, 
Paris, 1911. Ross, J. H. H., Tropenpfl. 32: 
99-103, 1929). 

The tucum or cumare (Astracaryum tucuma 
and A. vulgar e), of northern South America and 
Brazil, the muru-muru (Astracaryum muru- 
muru) of Brazil, the ouricury or licuri (Syagrus 
coronatus) of Brazil, and the "Cocos pulposa" 
(Butia capitata var. pulposa) of Uruguay and 
southern Brazil, are palms whose importance in 
the production of oil is well established, though 
the commerce in their seeds is as yet limited. 
Their shells are thin enough to be cracked 
fairly easily, and with present demands for oil, 
their exploitation and future development is 
to be considered a certainty. (SILVA, M., Cera 
e Oleo de Licuri, 1-22, Rio de Janeiro, 1940. 
JAMIESON, G. S. & ROSE, W. G., Oil and Soap 
17: 144, 1940. MC-KINNEY, R. S. & JAMIESON, 
G. S., Oil and Soap, 15: 172-174, 1938). 

The babassu pahns (Orbignya martiana and 
O. olcifera) produce great quantities of nuts 
which are rich in oil. These are natives of 
Brazil, and exist in large stands wild. Babassu 
oil is one of the best oils for soap-making, as the 
resulting soap lathers freely. If it were not 
for the extreme thickness of the hard shell and 
consequent difficulty in extracting the oil, these 
species would doubtless have taken, long since, 
a large part of the market from other vegetable 
oils. Improved methods of extraction may pos- 
sibly soon make these export crops of great 
importance. (FROES ABREU, S., O Coco Babacu 
Rio de Janeiro, 1940. ORLOSKI, J. A., Brazil 
159: 11, 1942. STEVENSON, N. S., Trop. Woods 
30: 3-5, 1932. ELLIOTT, L. E., Pan Amer. 
Mag. 26: 297-304, 1918.). The cohune (Orbignya 
cohune) is a similar palm from Central America. 
It is of little importance because of the expense 
of collecting and cracking the nuts. 

Sesame seed oil (Sesamum indicum), from an 
Old World plant, is produced on an important 
scale in Mexico. It is a valuable edible oil. 

Castor oil, produced by the castor bean 
(Ricinus communis), which is not a bean but 
a spurge relative, is produced for export in Brazil 
and Paraguay, but the plant being a pantropic 
weed and very quickly grown, the supply will 
very easily keep up with the demand. Improved 
varieties with very large seeds, some with small 
seeds and high oil yield, and others of small 
stature to facilitate harvesting, are available. 
The oil, besides being used medicinally, is of 
some importance as a lubricant, and of much 
greater use in various industries, such as paint 
and varnish manufacture. For most uses it is 
altered chemically, so that it is then a different 
substance from the familiar medicinal oil. After 
some such treatments the products are to be 
included with the drying oils. (EBERHARDT, 
P., Le Ricin, ed. 3, 1-135, Paris, 1931). 

Cashew kernel oil (Anacardium occidentals) 
(see also under NATIVE FOOD PLANTS) is a desir- 
able edible oil, while the acrid resinous oil from 
cashew shells is useful in the paint and varnish 

Drying oils, of which there is a much more 
limited supply than of non-drying oils, are not 
produced to a great extent in tropical America. 

FOSBERG: Principal Beonomio Plants 


Sunflower oil (Helianthus annuus), native to 
western United States (Anon., Bull. Imp. Inst. 
14: 88-101, 1916), and oiticica oil (Licania 
rigida), native to Brazil, are produced to some 
extent, the former mostly in Argentina, the 
latter in Brazil. (BELSUNCE, G., Bull. Mat. 
Grass. 23: 197-202, 1939. FERNANDES E SILVA, 
R., Notas Sobra a Cultura da Oiticica, 1-12, Rio 
de Janeiro, 1940. HOLLAND, J. H., Kew Bull. 
(1932) : 406-411, 1932). Experimental planta- 
tions of tung (Aleurites fordii) and ntu (A. 
montana), sources of tung oil and china wood 
oil, are being established here and there in trop- 
ical America under the stimulus of the war in 
the Orient, which has reduced the normal supply 
of these oils from China and Indochina. There 
are large areas in Argentina, Brazil, and South- 
eastern United States suitable for the culture of 
these trees, especially the tung, and some planta- 
tions are already in production. There is a good 
possibility that these oils may become important 
products for export from the warmer parts of 
this hemisphere, since they have assumed a major 
position as raw materials in the paint and 
varnish industry. (LECROS, J., Revue Int. d'Agric. 
28 (3, 4, 5), 60 p., 1935. NEWELL, N., MOWRY, 
H.. and BARNETTE, R. M., Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. 
Bull. 221: 1-63, 1931. PERROT, E., and 
KHOUVTNE, Y., Les Aleurites pfoducteurs 
d'Huiles siccatives dites Hufles de Bois, 1-50, 
Paris, 1926). 

VEGETABLE WAXES, produced by many 
plants are yielded in commercial quantities in 
tropical America by two palms, the carnauba palm 
(Copemicia certferd) of Brazil, which produces 
wax on the surface of the leaves, used in making 
phonograph records, and the ouricury mentioned 
above as an oil source. Ceroxylon andicola of the 
northern Andes, which produces wax on the 
trunk, has as yet no commercial importance. 

Candelilla wax, produced on the stems of two 
Mexican shrubs, Euphorbia antisyphilitica and 
Pedilanthus pavonis, is imported in some quanti- 
ties into the United States. Myrica pubescent 
wax is used locally for candles in Colombia. Sev- 
eral other plants such as Myrica jalapensis and 
M. policarpa are possible sources of wax, as is 
also sugarcane. (ALV*ARADO, A., Rev. Cienc. 2: 
259-267, 1939. BALCH, R. T, Sugar Jour. 4 
(6): 24-29, 1914. HOWES. F. N., Kcw Bull. 
(1936) : 503-526, 1936; (1940) : 155-158, 1940. 
OLSSON-SEFFER, P. H., Trop. Life 6: 36-37, 1910. 

BOM HARD, M, L., Ann. Rept. Smiths. Inst. 
(1936): 303-324, 1937. WHITE, R. B., Kew 
Bull. (1899): 203-204, 1899. PIRES DE LIMA 
REBELLO, J., A Carnahubeira e sua Cera, 1-31, 
Paranahyba, 1912. WALMSLEY, W. N., Jr., 
Bull. Pan Amer. Un. 73: 31-42, 1939. STRAIN, 
W., Jour. Geogr. 41: 121-129, 1942). 

hard endosperm of the ivory nut, the fruit of the 
tagua palm (Phytelephas macrocarpa) which 
grows wild in northern South Ameria, par- 
ticularly Ecuador. It is exported in large 
quantities to the United States, as it formerly 
was to Europe, for the manufacture of buttons 
and other articles. It is a good substitute for 
true ivory for small articles. (REID, W. A., Pan 
Am. Un. Commod. Comm. Ser. 21 : 1-15, 1936. 

CLAES, F., Agr. Colon. 13: 291-294, 1925. 

Anon., Mo. Bot. Card. Bull. 11 : 137-139, 1923. 

COOK, O. F., Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 13: 

133-141, 1910; Jour. Wash. Acad. Sci. 3: 138- 
143, 1913; 17: 218-230, 1927). 

CORK is a substance produced naturally in 
the bark of trees. Only a few trees yield it in 
sufficient quantities or pure enough form to be 
used commercially. Chief among these is the 
cork oak of the Mediterranean. Since the supply 
of this has been cut off, interest has grown in 
the Brazilian pau catnpo, or corticeira do campo 
(Kielmeyera coriacea) whose bark is used domes- 
tically in Brazil when ground cork is required. 

FIBER PLANTS: Fibers, the cell-walls of 
elongate, thick-walled cells, are among the most 
important of plant materials; indeed, they are 
among the basic raw materials of all cultures, 
civilized and primitive. They form the basis of 
a class of commercial commodities which ranks 
near the two greatest, foods and metals. Tropical 
America is potentially one of the world's im- 
portant fiber-producing regions. Its fiber plants 
probably number in the hundreds, of which the 
following are only a few of the most important. 
Many plants are the bases of native industries 
as yet only of local significance. (BULL, S. L., 
Foreign Commerce Weekly 6 (6) : 6-7, 1942. 
OAKLEY, F. L, Long Vegetable Fibres, 1-176, 
London, 1928. DEWEY, L. H., Bibliografia 
selecta sobre plantas fibrosas, 1-10, Washington, 
1933; Fibras Vegetales etc., 1-101, Washing- 
ton, 1941. GIROLA, C. D., Pub. Mus. Agr. Soc. 
Rur. Argent. 51: 1-73, 1928. AGAN, J. 
Bull. Pan Am. Union 50: 394-404, 1920.- 
TOBLER, F., Faserforsch. 3: 265-776, 1923; 12: 
231-232, 1937. HUERTA, L., An. Esc. Nac. 
Cienc. Biol. 1: 139-144, 1938. Anon., Rev. 
Chim. Ind. 10 (105): 10-13, 1941. KIRK WOOD, 
J. E., Plant World 12: 25-34, 1909). 

Surface Fibers: The long hairs on the sur- 
face of certain seeds make up this type. They 
are composed of cellulose, and, depending on 
their tensile strength, they are used for cordage 
and textiles or as stuffing or filling, or for insula- 
tion. The most important are, of course, the 
cottons. Two of these, upland cotton (Gossypium 
hirsutum) and Sea Island cotton (G. barbadense) 
are of great commercial importance in Latin 
America. Cotton is produced in exportable 
quantities in Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, 
Mexico, Nicaragua, and Haiti. Unfortunately, 
cotton is one of the items of which a surplus 
is produced in the world, so that there is diffi- 
culty in finding a market for the crop. Various 
cottons, including the ancestors of Sea Island, 
are natives of the New World and have been 
in use since prehistoric times. (SEN AY, P., Le 
Coton, sa Production et sa Distribution dans la 
Monde 1: 1-220, 1937; 2: 1-261, 1939; Le 
Havre, 1937. BROWN, H. B., Cotton, etc., ed. 
2: 1-592, New York, 1938. BOONE, R. C P., 
Le Cotonnier, 3 vol. 1-995, 1932. WATT, G., 
The Wild and Cultivated Cotton Plants of the 
World, etc., 1-406, 1907). Kapok (Ceiba 
pentandra) is widely grown for use as insulat- 
ing or padding material. Other species of Ceiba 
and related genera native to tropical America 
produce a similar fiber on the seeds, and would 
likely prove useful if a larger demand should 
develop for this type of fiber, or if any of them 
should be found to possess special useful prop- 
erties different from kapok. Just at present, due 
to conditions in the Orient, the outlook for fibers 
of the kapok type in tropical America is very 
bright. Ecuador is now the chief American 


FOSBERG: Principal Economic Plants 

exporter of such fibers. (CHEVALIER, A., Rev. 
Dot. Appl. 4: 838-840, 1924. BANDA, C. F., 
Rev. Cam. Agr. Seg. Zona Ecuador 1 (12) : 
28-31, 1938. DEWEY, L. H., Hacienda 23: 
26-27, 1928. GRUNOW, W., Der Kapok in der 
Weltwirtschaft, 1-129, Berlin, 1928. WARDLAW, 
C. W., Kapok, 1-40, Batavia, 1933. MICHOTTE, 
F., Les Kapotiers et Succedans, 1-82, Paris, 
1927. NAUBERT, H., Faserforsch. 10: 227-261, 
1933. ZAND, T. J., Kapok, etc, 1-119, New 
York, 1941). 

Stem fibers, commonly called soft or bast 
fibers, have not been produced to any great 
extent in Latin America. Flax (Linum usitatis- 
simum) is grown for fiber in Peru. (GAZZANI 
CISNEROS, L. F., Cartilla No. 37 Min. de Fom. 
Fir. Agr. y Ganad. Peru 1-20, 1940. Anon., 
Deutsche Lein.-Ind. p. 48, Feb. 27, 1941). Jute 
(Corchorus capsularis and C. olitorius) is raised 
on slightly more than an experimental scale. 
(EVANS, I. B., So. Afr. Jour. Ind. 1 : 198-208, 
1917. Anon., Per. Agr. Can. y Med. Vet. 10 
(12) : 59-66, 1935. FINLOW, R. S., Trop. Agr. 
Trin. S: 104-106, 1928. Anon., Kew Bull. 
(1891): 204-206, 1921. CHANDBURY, N. C., 
Jute and Substitutes, ed. 3, 1-249, Calcutta, 
1933) and aramina or yuaxima (Urena lohata) 
(AMARG6s, J. L., Agronomia II. 1: 213-219, 
1941. _ POUND, F. J., Proc. Agr. Soc. Trin. 40: 
303-321, 1940. CHEVALIER, A., Rev. Bot. Appl. 
4: 216-219, 1924) and Cuba jute (Sida rhombi- 
jolia) (BAUDON, A, Rev. Bot. Appl. 2: 167-169, 
1922) are produced on a small scale for sack- 
ing. Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) produces a 
usable fiber, but is more important in tropical 
America for the edible jelly made from the 
buds. Hemp or cafiamo (Cannabis sativa) is 
produced to some extent in Chile, Argentina, and 
Uruguay. (OPAZO, R., La Chacra 3 (36) : 30-32, 
41, 45, 1933). Ambari hemp, or Papoula dc Sao 
Francisco (Hibiscus cannabinus) furnishes a 
domestic fiber in Brazil. (BARKER, S., Jour. 
Text. Inst. 30: P275-P304, 1939. MONTEIRO 
FILHO, H. DA C., Bol. Min. Agr. Bras. 23: 
61-64, 1934. MICHOTTE, F., Les Hibiscus 
(Katmie) Culture et Exploitation, 1-100, Paris, 

Leaf or hard fibers are obtained from the 
large, usually succulent leaves of certain 
monocotyledonous plants. Those of import- 
ance in America are mostly produced by large 
succulent arid-land plants. They are used for 
rope, cordage, and the coarsest fabrics. Sisal 
(Agave sisalana) is raised commercially in 
Haiti and was to some extent formerly in the 
Bahamas. Recent production has been largely 
in East Africa and Java. Hencquen (Agave 
jourcroydes) is an important export product 
from Mexico, and to some extent from Cuba, 
while ixtle (several other species of Agave and 
Yucca), similar to sisal, is produced in Mexico. 
(Door, J. E. A. DEN, Cord Age Mag. 34 (2) : 
28, 30, 1940. TOBLER, F., Sisal und andere 
Agavefasern, 1-104, Berlin-Charlottenburg, 1931. 
-NODON, A., Rev. Bot. Appl. 10: 376-380, 1930. 
SMITH, H. H., Sisal, etc., 1-384, London, 
1929. ESCALENTE, R. B., Agr. Venez. 5 (50) : 
11-18, 1940. MICHOTTE, F., Agaves et Four- 
croyas, ed. 3, 1-407, Paris, 1931. WAGENAAR 
HUMMELINCK, P., Rec. Trav. Bot. Neerl. 33: 
223-249, 1936). Several species of Fourcraea f 
such as Mauritius hemp (F. gigantea), Cuban 
hemp (F. hexapetala), cabuya or fique (F. 
andina, F. macrophylla) (ESPINO, R. B., Phil. 

Agr. Rev. 16: 108-119, 1923, MEJIA, E. G. ( 
Bol. Agr. Soc. Ant. Agr. Colomb. 227: 919-921, 
1937. LOPEZ, L. t Cultivo de la Cfabuyo o 
Fique, 1-29, Bogota, 1937), and certain brome- 
liads, such as pineapple (Ananas comosus), 
infuscata (Ananas erectifolius) ; caroa (Neo- 
glaziovia variegata), and pita (Aechmea magda- 
lenae) (SCHULTES, R. E., Bot. Mus. Leafl. 9: 
117-122, 1941. TOBLER, F., Faserforsch. 3 : 228- 
233, 1923. HENRIQUES, J., O Caroa, 1-35, Rio 
de Janeiro, 1938. CAMARGO, F. C., Revista Agr. 
[Piracicaba] 14: 321-338, 1939) are raised lo- 
cally for their fibers. Bowstring hemp (several 
species of Sansevieria) is also grown here and 
there in tropical America, though on a small scale. 
Agence Gen. Col. France 19: 380-391, 1926. 
BARRETT, O. W., Sansevieria, 1-4, Mayaguez, 
1903. MICHOTTE, F., Les Sansevieries, Culture 
et Exploitation, 1-72, Paris, 1915). 

Experimental plantations of abacd or Manila 
hemp (Musa textilis), closely related to the 
banana, are coming into production in Panama. 
Labor costs are the principal obstacle to large 
scale production. Banana fiber, from the cul- 
tivated banana (Musa sapientum), is of local 
importance on the plantations as a padding 
material, and may find wider use if a great 
enough shortage develops. (Abaca number, 
Phil. Agr. 12 (3-4), 1923. MICIIOTTE, F., Les 
Bananiers Textiles, Culture et Exploitation, 1- 
104, Paris, 1931. HEIM DE BALSAC, F., 
ROEHRICH, 0., and PONTILLON, C., Bull. Agence 
Gen. Col. France 20: 796-802, 1927. - TOBLER, 
F., Faserforsch. 14: 28-33, 1939). 

Of brush fibers only a few are of much im- 
portance in our region. Brazil produces Bahia 
piassava (Attalea funifera) (BONDAR, G., A 
Exploragao de Piassava no Estudo da Bahia, 
1-16, Bahia, 1926. Loz, J., Bull. Soc. Nat. 
Accl. France 37: 1060-1062, 1890. Anon., Kew 
Bull. (1899) : 237-242, 1889), and Para piassava 
(Leopoldinia piassaba) (BURRET, M., Notizbl. 
10: 1027-1028, 1930), the former from the bases 
of the leaf sheaths and the latter from the edges 
of the petioles of two palms. They are used 
as bristles for brooms and street-cleaner brushes 
and for very coarse and rough cordage. The 
broomroot, or sacaton (Epicampes macroura), 
a grass used in brushes, is produced for export 
in Mexico, where it is native. (HUERTA, L., 
and ANCONA, H., An. Esc. Nac. Cienc. Biol. 1 : 
1939-144, 1938. Anon., Kew Bull. 8: 113-116, 
1920). The husk-fiber of the babassu palm is 
locally used in Brazil for brushes. Tampico 
fiber or ixtle comes to the United States as a 
brush fiber from Mexico. 

Other fibers are used for weaving hats and 
matting. The Panama hat plant or iraca (Carlu- 
dovica palmata) looks like a stemless palm but is 
not, being a member of the Cyclanthaceae. It is 
native to tropical America and is cultivated in 
Colombia and Ecuador. Its young leaves furnish 
the strips which are woven into Panama hats. 
(Anon., Mo. Bot. Card. Bull. 8: 113-116, 1920. 
Anon., Geogr. Ex. Peru 307-310, Lima, 1939). 
The hat palm (Sabal causiarum) is similarly 
used to make Puerto Rican hats. (GREGORY, 
L. E., Carib. For. 1 (4): 13-16, 1940). Hats 
are made for local use in Peru from rushes 
(Juncus sp.). A species of Pandanus has been 
introduced into Dutch Guiana and its leaves 
are used in weaving matting and for thatch by 
Javanese laborers in that country. In Peru 

FOSBERG: Principal Economic Plants 


matting is plaited from the leaves of Mora or 
cattail (Typha angustifolia). Strips of the inner 
bark of Cuba bast (Hibiscus elatus) are used as 
a tying fiber. The inner bark of the Jamaican 
lace bark tree (Lagetta lintearia), when properly 
prepared and stretched makes a natural lace- 
like fabric which has some uses. (Anon., Bull. 
Bot. Dept. Jam. 9: 105, 1902). 

The vegetable sponge (Luff a, several species) 
is known in many tropical countries. It is 
largely used in oil filters for various machines 
and as insulation and padding. The produc- 
tion has been mainly a Japanese and Indian 
enterprise, but now may become established in 
America, where the plants have long been grown 
locally, for sponges and for the edible young 
squash-like fruits. The "sponge" is the decorti- 
cated vascular skeleton of the fruit (MEYNERS 
D'ESTREY, H., Bull. Soc. Nat. Accl. France 37: 
448-450, 1890. REKO, V. A., Faserforsch. 13 : 
14-21, 1937. YMupr, M. DE, Nuevas Instruc- 
ciones para el Cultivo Cientifico de Luffa, etc., 
1-32, Mexico, 1938. HOWES, F. N., Kew Bull. 
(1931) : 266-270, 1931). 

Wood-pulp, for paper making, is not exported 
from tropical America to any extent as yet, but 
with depletion of northern forests, this may 
become of great importance. Much research 
remains to be done, however, before the adapt- 
ability of tropical trees of various kinds to 
this purpose will become well known. Experi- 
ments are being made in this direction on sev- 
eral species of Eucalyptus introduced into Brazil. 
Some wood-pulp is made for domestic use in 

TIMBERS: In a naturally forested region 
such as a large part of tropical America, woods 
of various sorts are bound to be among the most 
important of all plant products. Local uses 
are, of course, the most vital, taken in the 
aggregate. Everywhere wood is one of the 
primary building materials and the most im- 
portant fuel (see under FUELS). In some parts 
of South America, for example Argentina, the 
charcoal industry is a flourishing one. Wood is 
burned even in the railroad locomotives. Cer- 
tain railroad companies, as the Paulista Com- 
pany of Sao Paulo, have undertaken large 
forestry projects with the aim of assuring a 
supply of wood. Eucalyptus, introduced from 
Australia, is becoming important in this connec- 
tion. (NAVARRO DE ANDRADE, E., O Eucalipto, 
1-12, Sao Paulo, 1939). A considerable number 
of woods are exported from the American tropics. 
A few of these, such as the coniferous woods, 
pine (Pinus) from Mexico and Nicaragua, 
cypress (Taxodium mucronatum) from Mexico, 
cypress (Cupressus benthamii) from Mexico and 
Guatemala, and Parana pine (Araucaria angusti- 
folia) from southern Brazil and northern 
Argentina, are for general use. Most of those 
exported, however, are used for special pur- 
poses because of specific properties and qualities. 
Striking among these is balsa (0 chroma pyrami- 
dale) from the Caribbean region, which is the 
lightest of all commercial woods, yet has con- 
siderable tensile strength. Its uses are becom- 
ing more and more varied. Spanish cedar 
(Cedrela odorata) and other species has a strong 
persistent odor which has been thought to repel 
insects. This property, however, has been much 
exaggerated. It is used for cigar boxes and as a 
substitute for mahogany, which it resembles in 

appearance, though it is much softer and less 
valuable. (PEARSON, C. H., Cuba Rev. 15: 
12-15, 1916). Lignum vitae (Guaiacum offi- 
cinale and G. sanctum) from the Caribbean 
region is one of the heaviest, hardest, and 
densest of the commercial woods. It is used 
for pulleys, bowling balls, and many other small 
manufactured articles. (See also under PHAR- 
MACEUTICAL PLANTS). Mahogany (Swietenia 
mahafjoni and S. macrophylla) from Mexico and 
the West Indies to the Amazon Basin, is the 
best known of all the tropical hardwoods. It is 
much prized for furniture and trimmings and 
has become a sort of symbol of luxury. Con- 
sequently there have been a great many cheaper 
imitations of it and substitutes for it placed on 
the market Among the many other tropical 
hardwoods of commercial importance are rose- 
wood (Dalbergia nigra and other species) prin- 
cipally from Brazil, majaaua (Hibiscus elatus) 
from Cuba and other West Indies, cocobolo 
(Dalbergia retusa) from Mexico and Central 
America. American ebony, or cocus wood 
(Brya ebenus) from all around the Caribbean, 
and greenheart (Ocotea rodiaei) from the 
Guianas. As the timber supply in temperate 
regions becomes more and more depleted, trop- 
ical woods will inevitably increase in importance. 
More species will be used and larger quantities 
will be exported. Those countries which now 
protect their forests will certainly reap large 
dividends in the future for their efforts and 

The principal difficulty in the way of large 
scale timber production is the mixed character 
of most tropical forests, with their multitude 
of different tree species. This makes it diffi- 
cult to get large quantities of any one timber 
and increases the cost of operations. 

(RECORD, S. J. and HESS, R. W., Timbers of 
the New World, 1-640, New Haven, 1943. 
RECORD, S. J., and MELL, C. D. f Timber Trees 
of Tropical America, 1-610, New Haven, 
1924. GILL, T., Tropical Forests of the 
Caribbean, 1-317, Washington, 1931. Trop- 
ical Woods, a periodical edited by S. J. RECORD 
and issued by the Yale School of Forestry. 
Anon., Kew Bull. (1904) : 9-11, 1904. NAVAR- 
RO DE ANDRADE, E., Les Bois Indigenes de Sao 
Paulo, 1-376, Sao Paulo, 1916. HOWARD, A. L. f 
A Manual of the Timbers of the World, rev. 
ed., 1-672, London, 1934). 

FUELS: Outside of petroleum and a small 
amount of low-grade coal, all domestically pro- 
duced fuel in tropical America comes from 
plants. Wood of many sorts is used very widely, 
even in railroad locomotives for which pur- 
poses large plantations of Eucalyptus and 
Parana pine (Araucaria angustifolia) are main- 
tained (see under TIMBERS). Wood is also 
used extensively in making charcoal, the prin- 
cipal cooking fuel of Latin American countries. 
In Brazil babassu nuts, and especially their 
husks and shells are used as fuel. Recently 
there has been some experimentation which sug- 
gests that babassu oil may have possibilities as 
a motor fuel. (ORLOSKI, J. A., Brazil 159: 11, 
1942). Alcohol, from sugar or molasses may 
have possibilities for this purpose, but must 
overcome heavy competition from petroleum. 
In Brazil crude castor oil is used on a small 
scale as a fuel. 

Perhaps the most interesting and unusual 


FOSBERG: Principal Economic Plants 

fuel plant is yareta or llareta (Asorella sp.) 
of the high Andes of northeastern Chile. This 
is a resinous compact cushion-plant, "moss-like" 
in appearance, forming large mounds which are 
pried out of fissures in the rocks, broken up and 
used as fuel. It was burned by the Indians 
before the arrival of the Spaniards, and is the 
primary fuel in the furnaces of the sulphur 
mines in the region today. ( RUSHY, H. H., Jour. 
N. Y. Bot. Card. 33: 54-57, 1932). A similar 
fuel is produced in Peru by the champa (Disti- 
chia miiscoides), another high altitude cushion 
plant. It is the main domestic fuel of the 
inhabitants at high altitudes. 

extensive development of aniline dyes the plants 
producing vegetable dyes have ceased to have 
much importance, even in South America. 
(WISE, L. E., Am. For. and For. Life 30: 235- 
238, 1924). Small quantities are still used 
where certain permanent or non-poisonous colors 
are needed, or for special purposes such as 
biological staining. Logwood (Hactnatoxylon 
campcchianum) is still exported in considerable 
quantities from the Caribbean region. An extract 
from this wood yields either a purplish-red or an 
intense and lasting black dye. It is also used 
in inks and especially in the biological stain, 
haematoxylin. Fustic (Chlorophora tinctoria), 
the heartwood of which yields yellow, brown, 
and olive dyes, is obtained in the tropical forests 
of tropical America, and is still of some im- 
portance. (MELL, C. D., Sci. Amer. Suppl. 84: 
366-389, 1917). The name Brazil originated in 
bracihi'ood (Cacsalpinia brasilitnsis) which was 
found there by early explorers. It is the source of 
a red dye. (HOLLAND, J. H, Kew Bull. 1916: 
209-225; 1920: 79-90). Indigo (several species 
of Indigofera) is no longer produced commer- 
cially in the New World, though its culture could 
be revived very easily if the price were suffi- 
cient. The plants which, upon steeping in 
water, produce this deep blue dye are weedy 
legumes now found in most tropical countries, 
and could be very easily grown. A certain amount 
of this dye is still used where permanency is 
important. (ATKINS, W. R. G., Sci. Progr. 16: 
56-70, 1921. OLSSON-SEFFKR, R., Hacienda 12: 
338-340, 1917). Anatto or aclwtc (Bixa orellana) 
is imported in some quantities for use in coloring 
foods, as it is tasteless and non-poisonous. The 
red aril of ^ the seeds yields the bright yel- 
low dye. This is most familiar as the color- 
ing matter furnished with margerine or 
other butter substitutes. (BUNTING, B., Malay. 
Agr. Jour. 8: 336-338, 1925. HAGEN, V. W. 
VON, Jour. N. Y. Bot. Card. 41: 81-86, 1940. 
AMARGOS, J. L., Rev. Agr. Rep. Dom. 33 : 6-10, 

(KARR, A. E., Textile Colorist 64 : 1-6, 1942. 
CLAUDE, J., Rev. Chil. Hist. Nat. 33: 364-374, 
1930. NORIEGA, J. M., Las Plantas Mexicanas 
y Algunas Exoticas Productoras de Materias 
Colorantes, etc., 1-38, Mexico, 1919). 

plants produce tannin, many of them in usable 
quantities. The principal ones of importance 
in tropical America are as follows: Mangrove 
(Rhizophora wangle) bark contains a high per- 
centage of tannin. The bark is exported from 
Central America and great forests of the tree 
are present on. most low tropical coasts. It is 
one of the principal components of the vegeta- 

tion of the coastal swamps and mudflats. 
(CHEVALIER, A., Rev. Bot. Appl. 4: 340-344, 
1924) . Quebracho (Schinopsis lorentsii) is per- 
haps the most important of all sources of 
tannin. There are extensive forests of this 
species in Paraguay and northern Argentina, 
where large quantities of a concentrated extract 
of the tannin are prepared by steaming chips of 
the heartwood. (RAGONESE, A. E., and COVAS, 
G., Rev. Arg. Agron. 7: 176-186, 1940). Three 
species of Caesalpinia produce important quanti- 
ties of tannin in their pods. They are diiridivi 
(C. coriaria), tara (C. spinosa), and algaro- 
billa (C. brevifolia), of which the first is ex- 
ported from Colombia and Venezuela and the 
second from Peru. (SPRAGUE, T. A., Kew Bull. 
1931: 91-96. CHEVALIER, A., Rev. Bot. Appl. 
9: 298-302, 1929). Encino or Encinillo bark 
(Wfinmannia various species) is the important 
tanning material of the higher parts of Colombia. 
(FRIESE, F. W., Tropenpfl. 35: 70-74, 1932. 
FROES ABREU, S., Contribucoes para o Estudo 
das Materias Tannantes do Estado da Bahia, 
1-30, Rio de Janeiro, 1927. HEIM DE BALSAC, 
F., Bull. Agence Gen. Col. France 22: 36-48, 
119-142, 340-368, 1929. STOCKBERGER, W. W., 
Jour. Amer. Leath. Chem. Assoc. 7: 185-192, 
1912; 8: 33-40, 1917. WILSON, O., Pan Amer. 
Un. Commod. Comm. Ser. 6: 1-23. 1928. 
MELL, C. D. & BRUSH, W. D., U.S.D.A. For. 
Serv. Cir. 202:1-12, 1912). 

number of plants produce the type of milky saps 
collectively termed latex. In different species 
this substance differs tremendously in compo- 
sition, and the uses and properties of the dif- 
ferent sorts are only beginning to be known. 
Latex is produced by members of the Moraceae 
Euphorbiaceac, Caricaceae, Sapotaceae, Apocy- 
naceae, Asclepiadaceae, and Compositae, as well 
as many other families of less importance. 

Of all articles derived from latex, rubber 
is the one used in greatest quantities. Our 
dependence upon supplies of latex for rubber pro- 
duction has been brought rudely and acutely 
to the attention of Americans by the current 
tire shortage. Tropical American rubber pro- 
duction is being given an impetus by the war, 
which should demonstrate conclusively whether 
or not it can compete permanently with nro- 
duction in tropical Asia. In the past cheap 
labor plus scientific agriculture have been two 
of the deciding factors in favor of the Malaysian 
region. It remains to be seen whether intensive 
application of American scientific effort can 
offset the labor factor. Present efforts toward 
stimulation of a small-scale native rubber in- 
dustry, on an individual rather than a planta- 
tion basis, may well materially alter the whole 
rubber situation. (Ann. Pan Am. U. Commod. 
Comm. Ser. 15: 1-22, 1938. DEMMON, E. L., 
Jour. For. 40: 207-210, 1942. HEMSLEY, 
W. B., Kew Bull. 1907: 153-156. POLHAMUS, 
L. G., Agr. in Amer. 2 : 29-31, 1942. MEMMLER, 
K., The Science of Rubber, 1-770, New York, 

Three principal genera furnish rubber in 
tropical America. Para rubber or seringa (Hcrca, 
principally H. brasiliensis) (DucKE, A., Arg. 
Inst. Biol. Veg. 2: 217-346, 1935) has been, for 
some years past, the most important commercial 
rubber. The discovery, by H. N. RIDLEY, of an 
efficient tapping method (EATON, B. J., Gard. 

FOSBERG: Principal Economic Plants 


Bull. S.S. 9: 39-41, 1935), and the development, 
by the Dutch and British agriculturists, of high 
yielding clons and good plantation methods 
has enabled the planters of this species in the 
Malaysian region to dominate the rubber in- 
dustry and to make that region the only im- 
portant producing area, though the plant is a 
Brazilian one. (Anon., Kew Bull. 1914: 162- 
165. In America a leaf disease has seriously 
retarded plantation development of this plant. 
Clons resistant to this malady now promise to 
eliminate this difficulty. Considerable wild re- 
sources of the genus are available in Brazil and 
Colombia, and vast areas in the New World 
Tropics would be suitable for its cultivation. 
Small scale local cultivation by independent fann- 
ers in Latin America promises to reduce the labor 
advantage possessed by the East Indian planters. 
The U. S. Department of Agriculture, in coopera- 
tion with various Latin American governments 
and private interests, is now carrying on intensive 
work on the creation of a Western Hemisphere 
source of this, as well as other types of rub- 
ber. (CooK, O. R, Jour. Hered. 19: 204-215, 
1928. KLIPPERT, W. E,, CHRON. EOT. 6: 199- 
200, 1941. LA RUE, C. D. f U. S. Dept. Aj?r. 
Bull. 1922: 1-70, 1926; Paper Mich. Acad. Sci. 
9: 239-244, 1929. MANN, C. E. T., Ann. Rep. 
Rubber Res. Inst. Mai. (1938) : 59-114, 1939. 
JERRMANN, L., Peterm. Geogr. Mitt. 50: 188- 
199, 1904). 

Ceara and Manicoba rubbers (Manihot, prin- 
cipally M. glasiovii) are found naturally in the 
dry regions of Brazil. Their cultural require- 
ments enable them to be produced in places 
unsuitable for Hevea and production can be 
started in a shorter time. They have seldom been 
planted in recent years, as tapping is difficult 
and they have not been able to compete with 
Hevea, but some wild supplies are available. 
(ZIMMERMANN, A., Der Manihot-Kautschuk ; 
etc., 1-342, Jena, 1913. Anon., Kew Bull. 
(1898): 1-15, 1898; (1910): 204-206, 1910.- 
LABROY, Jour. Agr. Trop. 8 : 65-71, 1908. LOCK, 
R. H., Trop. Agr. 33: 385-386, 1909. LUDWIC, 
H. J., Manihot Glasiovii, etc., 1-21, Mexico, 
1910. UTRA, G. D', Bol. Agr. Sec. Agr. etc., 
Sao Paulo 10: 706-724, 1909). 

Central American or Panama rubber or caucho 
negro (Castillo, principally C. elastica) is native 
in the Cordilleran and Amazonian regions and 
extends from southern Mexico to Peru. Low yield, 
poor quality of the product, and poor manage- 
ment, have prevented successful plantation devel- 
opment of this rubber source. New methods 
have recently been suggested which may pos- 
sibly make raising of this crop more feasible. 
Breeding experiments, with the object of im- 
proving both yield and quality, should certainly 
be undertaken as, at present, the competition 
is between improved highly selected Hevea 
clons and unimproved Casttila. The latter 
might eventually prove to be the most useful of 
the two, at least in certain countries or for 
certain purposes. (Coox, O. F., Science 85 : 406, 
1937; U. S. Dept. Agr. B. P. I. Bull. 49: 1-86, 
1903). In earlier times this was an important 
commercial wild rubber of tropical America, 
but destructive methods of tapping practically 
destroyed the supply. New trees have grown 
since that time to such an extent that a certain 
amount of wild Panama rubber is now being 
obtained for the war emergency. Careful har- 
vesting could maintain this as a valuable resource 

in the countries where it occurs. (Anon., Kew 
Bull. (1899): 68-72, 159-164, 1899. COOK, 
O. F., Science 18: 436-439, 1903. HILL, A. F., 
Bot. Mus. Leafl. 5: 161-163, 1938). 

Guayule (Parthenium argenteunt), a desert 
shrub of northern Mexico, produces a good 
quality of rubber. Although its natural area 
of distribution extends well south of the Tropic 
of Cancer, it is being developed as a temperate 
(or subtropical) crop in the southwestern 
United States. 

Sapium rubber, or Colombian rubber (Sapium 
biglandulosum) once was produced to some 
extent, and even planted, but is apparently no 
longer of any importance. (Anon., Kew Bull. 
1890: 149-158. JUMELLE, H., Rev. Cult. Colon. 
10: 167-172, 1902. WEBER, C. O., Reise nach 
einer Kautschuk-Plantage in Colombien, 1-39, 
Dresden, 1902). 

Balata (from Manilkara bidcntata and per- 
haps other Sapotaceae') is a non-elastic rubber- 
like substance used both as a substitute for gutta 
percha in insulation and in the manufacture of 
machine belting. It has also been used in place 
of chicle in chewing gum. Now that the supply 
of gutta percha from the East Indies is cut off 
the demand for batata will likely increase greatly. 
The supply all comes from wild trees, as the tree 
is not cultivated. (CHATELAIN, G., Agr. Colon. 
24: 80-87, 111-118, 1935. CHEVALIER, A., Rev. 
Bot. Appl. 12: 261-282, 347-358, 1932. HILLIER, 
J. M., Kew Bull. (1911): 198-202, 1911.- 
DUCKE, A., Rev. Bot. Appl. 10: 849-851, 1930). 

Chicle is the gum that forms the basis of 
chewing gum, and is made from the latex of the 
sapodilla (Achras zapota) collected from wild 
trees, chiefly in British Honduras and neigh- 
boring parts of Mexico and Central America. 
Careless tapping has rather depleted the natural 
supply, and some attempts have been made at 
cultivation of the tree for chicle, as it is wide- 
ly grown for its fruit. Plantation chicle has 
not assumed any importance as yet. (TERCERO, 
J., Pan. Am. U. Commod. Comm. Ser. 14: 1-7, 
1936. KARLINC, J. S., Torreya 42: 38-39, 1942; 
Am. Jour. Bot. 22: 580-592, 1935. PITTTEK, 
H. F., Jour. Wash. Acad. 9: 431-438, 1919). 

Papain, a digestive ferment contained in the 
latex of the papaya (Carica papaya), has recently 
become important as a commercial product, being 
used in place of pepsin. It is extracted from the 
latex bled from green fruits of this widespread 
tropical American plant. The supply up to now 
has come entirely from Ceylon, but American 
companies are considering possible sources of 
supply in tropical America. (PEASE, V. A., 
Papaya and Papain, A List of References, 1-9, 
Washington, 1933). 

The cow trees (Brosimum utile, Couma 
guatemalensis, etc.) furnish quantities of a latex 
which contains little or no resin, gum, or rubber, 
and which may be used as a substitute for milk. 
They are at present only a curiosity, but might 
well become very important in the future. 
(GRIFFITH, R. E., Am. Jour. Pharm. 7: 116- 
117, 1835. Anon., Amer. Mo. Mag. & Crit. 
Rev. 4: 309, 1819. JACKSON, J. R., Pharm. 
Jour. Ill, 3: 321-322, 1872. MURRAY, J., A 
Descriptive Account of the Palo de Vaca, etc., 
ed. 2: 1-25, London, 1838). 

(BRANNT, W. T., India Rubber, Gutta-Percha, 
and Balata, etc., 1-328, Philadelphia, 1900. 
GRAFE, V., Grafes Handbuch der Organischen 


PENNELL: Historical Sketch 

Warenkunde 3 (2): 1-22, 1929. GONGGRIJP, 
J. W., Bull. Dep. Landb. Suriname 43: 1-64, 
1921. HARRISON, J. B., and BANCROFT, C. K. f 
Int. Rub. Congr. Rub. Rec., Arhst. 53-58, 1914. 
SCHERESAVSKI, E., t)ber Balata und Chicle, 
1-143, Konigsberg, 1906). 

GUMS and RESINS are viscous substances 
produced, either normally or as a result of in- 
juries, by many trees. They are used in varnish 
manufacture, perfumery, medicine, and in other 
ways. Most of them are imported from the 
Old World, or from temperate regions, but a 
few are produced in significant quantities in 
the American tropics. Perhaps the cutting off 
of the Old World supply will have the effect 
of stimulating a search for other useful ones in 
America. Demerara or Para copal is produced 
in eastern South America from the South Amer- 
ican locust (Hymenaea courbaril), Peru balsam 
in Central America from Myroxylon pereirae 
OUMELLE, H., Mat. Grass. 19: 7722-7724, 7750- 
7751, 1927. MARTINEZ, A., Cafe de el Salvador 
10: 5-72, 1940), tolu balsam in northern and 
western South America from Myroxylon tolui- 
jerum (VANDEN BERCHE, M., Bull. Soc. Nat. 
Accl. France 38: 639-640, 1891), American 
styrax in Central America from Liquidambar 
styracifiua ( SPOKES, R. E., Tour. Am. Pharm. 
Assoc. 9: 1055-1060, 1920. GERRY, E., Jour. 
For. 19: 15-24, 1921), and copaiba balsam in 
Panama, Venezuela and Brazil from several 
species of Copaifera (DucKE, A., Rev. Bot. Appl. 
12 : 433-437, 1932) . Prosopis gum or mezqiticopal, 
from several mfsquites {Prosopis) is produced 
to some extent in Mexico (BELL, W. H., an4 
CASTETTKR, E. F., Univ. N. Mex. Bull. 314: 
1-55, 1937). The cashew tree (Anacardium 
occidcntalc] also produces a useful gum. 

(GRAFE, V., Grafes Handbuch der Organischen 
Warenkunde 2 (2): 691-731, 1928. LECOINTE, 
P., Apontamentos sobre as Sementes Oleagino- 
sas, Balsamos, Resinas, etc., ed. 4, 1-60, Rio de 
Janeiro, 1931. PARRY, E. J., Gums and Resins, 
Their Occurrence, Properties and Uses, 1-106, 
London, 1918). 


F. W. PENNELL: Historical Sketch 1 : Be- 
fore Europeans came to the shores of America 
at the close of the fifteenth century, the natives 
of the Western Hemisphere had acquired much 

l In compiling this record of progress until 1850 or 
beyond I have drawn mainly upon the following sour- 
ces: "A sketch of the history of the botanical explora- 
tion of Mexico and Central America," by W. DOTTING 
HEMSLEY, in GODMAN and SALVIN'S Biologia Central!- 
Americana 4: 117-137, 1887; "Biblioteca Botanico-Mex- 
icana," (especially the appended "Exploraciones botanicas 
en Mexico," p. 297-368), 372 pp., Mexico. 1895, by 
NICOLAS L.E6N; "Notae biographicae peregrinatorum 
Indiae occidentalia botanicorum," by IGNATIUS URBAN, 
Symbolae Antillanae 3: 14-158, 1902; "Die botanischen 
Reisenden und Sammler in Ecuador," by LUDWIG DIELS, 
in Bibliotheca Botanica 116: 43-55, 1937; "Geschichte 
der botanischen Erforscbung Perus," by AUGUST WEBER- 
BAUER, in Die Vegetation der Erde 12: 1-29, 1911; 
"Vitae itineraque collectorum botanicorum," by IGNA- 
TIUS URBAN, in MARTI us' Flora Brasiliensis 1, pt. 1, 
second section: 1-154, 1906: "Geschichte der botanis- 
chen Erforschung Chiles," by KARL REICHE. in Die 
Vegetation der Erde 8: 1-27, 1907; "Evoluci6n de las 
ciencias en la republics Argentina. VII. Los estudios 
botanicos," by CRISTOBAL M. HICKEN, in the papers 
commemorating the Cincuentenario de la Sociedad Cien- 
tinea Argentina 1-167, 1923; and for microscopic life 
"Mikrogeologie" by C. G. EHRENBERG in 1854. 

lore concerning plants. Many peoples were 
already depending mainly or entirely upon plants 
for food. Primitive tribes would seek wild roots 
and fruits, but among more advanced peoples, 
mainly of the Mayan-Aztec and Incan cultures, 
crops were definitely grown. That these had been 
grown from far ancient times and independently 
of what man was achieving in the Old World 
is shown by the food plants of the New World 
being often greatly modified from their wild 
ancestry and by their being all different from 
those of the Eastern Hemisphere. The Spanish 
found an agriculture indigenous to the New 
World and highly diversified. 

Agriculture, as first practiced and as still 
widely pursued, requires the cultivation by any 
people of only a few kinds of plants^ one won- 
ders if the immediate consequence of its adoption 
would not be to curtail man's interest in what 
kinds of plants surrounded him. But other uses 
of plants must have kept his curiosity alive. As 
he came to build habitations or make canoes 
he would use special woods, or for making clothes 
special fibers. But far more exacting in its re- 
quirement for precise botanical knowledge must 
have been the selecting of the right plants for the 
preparation of medicines. Early in social de- 
velopment it was observed that certain plants 
or plant-parts had curative properties, and, al- 
though innumerable false conclusions were 
reached empirically and magical ideas superim- 
posed, man in both hemispheres had by 1500 
A.D. accumulated an amazingly large materia 
medica. Moreover, this knowledge was not 
limited to the learned few, but was the neces- 
sary equipment of the people themselves. In 
western Europe and the United States this stage 
of general information about the plants of a 
district by the local inhabitants has been super- 
seded by the use of manufactured medical prod- 
ucts, but in Latin America it has survived from 
before the days of the Conquistadores to the 
present. In small villages of the Andes there 
is usually someone who is conversant with the 
wild plants, and the knowledge of centuries must 
enter into such a list of remedial plants as is 
given in SANTIAGO CORTES' "Flora de Colom- 
bia." 2 

It is with the discrimination of medicinal plants 
that recorded botanical knowledge of the New 
World commences. Had more of the Mayan 
works survived, we could likely point to some 
record of medicinal plants antecedent to the 
Spanish Conquest. The most we can do, and 
that thanks to a manuscript recently found in the 
Vatican library at Rome, is to show such a 
record within a generation of the conquest of 
Mexico. The liberal policy of the early vice- 
roys of New Spain not only called for the 
Christianizing of the natives but for their educa- 
tion as well; as a result we have in 1552 the 
preparation of a manuscript 3 showing in color 
plants important as Aztec remedies, the native 
MARTIN DE LA CRUZ putting above each its Aztec 
name and his fellow convert JUAN BAOIANO sup- 
plying a Latin name and a brief account. This 
was at the Colegio de Santa Cruz in Mexico 

2"Parte Terapeutica," comprising pages 64 to 170 
of the second edition, undated, but published at Bogota 
about 1919. 

* "The Badianus Manuscript (Codex Barberini, Latin 
241), Vatican Library. An Aztec Herbal of 1552. In- 
troduction, Translation and Annotations by EMILY WAL- 
COTT EM MART." 341 pp., 1940. Original reproduced 
in color. 

PENNELL: Historical Sketch 


The earliest published work of comprehen- 
sive scope to consider the plants of the New 
World dealt especially with those of medical 
importance ; this was NICOLAS MONARDES' "His- 
toria medicinal de las cosas que se traen de 
nuestras Indias occidentals, que se sirven en 
medicina," published at Sevilla, Spain, in 1569. 
This dealt mainly or exclusively with products 
of the West Indies, Mexico, and the shores of 
the Caribbean Sea. The original text was in 
Spanish, but the work was soon translated into 
Latin, Italian, and French, while it was ren- 
dered with more freedom into English by JOHN 
FRAMPTON in 1577 as "Joyfull newes out of the 
new founde worlde, wherein is declared the 
vertues of hearbes, trees, oyles, plantes and 
stones." MONARDES' work must have supplied 
the substance of the medical information in 
JOSE ACOSTA'S "Historia natural y moral de las 
Indias," published at Sevilla in 1590 and even 
more widely translated abroad. 

II of Spain, was commissioned by that monarch 
to prepare an account of the natural history, 
antiquities, and political conditions of New 
Spain, and he was in Mexico from 1571 to 1577. 
He worked diligently both there and on his re- 
port at home, but what should have been a re- 
markable production was allowed to lie in the 
library of the Escorial where with so much irre- 
vocable matter from the early epochs of Spanish 
America it was destroyed in the great fire of 
1671. HERNANDEZ had died in 1578. In 1615 
there appeared in Mexico city a Spanish transla- 
tion of a Latin manuscript of his that had been 
left there, Fr. FRANCISCO XIMENEZ of the con- 
vent of Santo Domingo entitling it "Quatro 
libros de la naturaleza y virtudes de las plantas 
y animates que estan recevidos en el uso de 
medicina en la nueva Espana ..." A better 
known work, published at Rome in 1651, con- 
tains primarily HERNANDEZ' observations, but 
acknowledges the critical work of later hands: 
"Rerum medicarum Novae Hispaniae thesaurus, 
seu plantarum, animalium, mineralium mexi- 
canorum historia ex FRANCISCI HERNANDEZ, noyi 
orbis medici, primarii, relationibus in ipsa mexi- 
cana urbe conscriptis a NARDO ANTONIO RECCHO 
collecta ac in ordinem digesta: a JOANNE TER- 
LYNCEIS notis et additionibus illustrata." I have 
before me this, with its ornate title-page con- 
taining a small map of Mexico, its woodcuts 
and descriptions of plants and animals, each with 
indigenous and Latin names, the whole a vol- 
ume of over 1000 ample pages. 4 " 

Not only New Spain but also Peru was 
yielding treasures, both in food plants and medi- 
cines. From the former came first the maize, 
from the latter the equally indispensable potato. 
From the latter, too, came quinine. It was about 
1630 that the local administrator in Loja (south- 
ern Ecuador) made a satisfactory test of a bark 
used by the natives as a remedy for fevers, and 
on his suggestion the Countess DE CHINCHON, 
wife of the viceroy at Lima, tried it and was 
cured. The knowledge of the Peruvian or Jes- 
uit's bark spread rapidly, until its use became 
general in the malaria-ridden Mediterranean 
countries. The tree was given the Latin name 
of Cinchona, in due respect to the Countess. 

In Contrib. U. S. Nat. Herb. 23, pt. 1 : 10-13, 1920. 
there it a fuller appreciative account of HERNANDEZ by 

With decreasing physical power the Spanish 
policy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centu- 
ries became one of jealous control over Spain's 
empire in the New World. Information con- 
cerning its resources was no longer published, 
but rather guarded as a state secret. So our 
next accounts of plants of Latin America (used 
as applying to all the New World south of the 
southern boundary of the continental United 
States), come from the non-Spanish portions 

Commencing in 1637, the Dutch WILLEM Pi so 
made observations of medicinal plants in the 
easternmost part of South America (from the 
states of Ceara and Rio Grande do Norte to 
Sergipe, Brazil), while with him was associated 
the German GEORG MARCGRAV whose observa- 
tions were of broader scope ; after their return to 
Holland in 1644 and MARCGRAV'S death that same 
year, Piso published at Amsterdam in 1648 
twelve volumes entitled : "GULIELMI PISONIS de 
medicina brasiliensi libri IV, et GEORGII MARC- 
GRAVII historiae rerum naturalium Brasiliae libri 
VIII," with a second edition ten years later. 
The northern portions of Brazil were then occu- 
pied by the Dutch. 

Later in the Seventeenth Century came the 
investigation of the plants of the British West 
Indies by British botanists. For them botanical 
collecting and observation became a goal in it- 
self, and no longer subsidiary to the medical po- 
tentialities the plants might possess. (Our fur- 
ther narrative will concern itself with botanical 
history in the more restricted sense.) First ap- 
pears to have been JAMES HARLOW, who was 
sent to Jamaica in 1670 to gather living plants. 
In 1680 HENRY BARHAM commenced his Jamaica 
residence of nearly half a century, sending to 
SLOANE both plants and animals. But it was 
Sir HANS SLOANE (1660-1753) who made the 
British West Indies, and especially Jamaica, 
known to science. He was in the West Indies 
as a young physician (long before he was 
knighted) only from 1687 to 1689, but his re- 
port, published at London in two volumes in 
1707, is a botanical classic. It is entitled : "A 
voyage to the islands Madera, Barbados, Nieves, 
S. Christophers and JAMAICA, with the Nat- 
ural history of the herbs and trees, four-footed 
beasts, fishes, birds, insects, reptiles, & of the 
last of those islands . . . illustrated with the fig- 
ures of the things describ'd ... in large copper- 
plates as big as the Life." By the time this 
work appeared the young physician had become 
the Secretary of the Royal Society. An exten- 
sive introduction gives many observations, es- 
pecially medical, but the plants are described and 
portrayed as objects of exact scientific informa- 
tion. SLOANE'S collections, which pertained to 
many fields of interest, were bequeathed to the 
British nation, and form a main foundation of 
the British Museum. 

Just as the English by the late Seventeenth 
Century had acquired Jamaica and the Barbadoes 
from Spain, so had France gotten Haiti, with 
Martinique and other Lesser Antilles. To 
these islands came in 1689 two French botanists 
working together, CHARLES PLUMIER (1646- 
1704), a member of the Catholic order of the 
Minimi, and JOSEPH DONAT SURIAN (d. 1691). 
The latter returned to France in 1690 with a 
collection of dried specimens that is still pre- 
served at Paris. PLUMIER did not collect such 
specimens, but instead made drawings and de- 

. f . et *-, 


%^^ a i^r^-^- 



*i ? *ii v : :'**%"- ; "" ,.,;--;.""' "" t ' " ' -""' * ""- 

' " * 

PLATE 21. Frontispiece of GEOKC MARCGRAV'S Htstoria Naturalis Btasiliae, dedicated to Count JOAN 
MAURITZ VAN NASSAU-SIKGKN, Governor of Dutch Powessiona in Brazil (1637-44), under whose auspices MARC- 
GRAV and Pi so made their collections and observations. A Brazilian translation with an extensive, and au- 
thoritative commentary has recently been issued of this monumental work (Sao Paulo: Imprensa Oncial do Es- 
tado, 1942). 

PENNELL: Historical Sketch 


scriptions of the plants he saw and these form 
the basis of a series of works: "Description 
des plantes de 1'Amerique," 1693 ; "Nova planta- 
rum americanarum genera," 1703 ; with two fur- 
ther treatises on ferns in 1703 and 1705. 

Another French member of the Minimi 
traveled much farther afield. Louis FEUILLEE 
kept a journal in which by dated entries he re- 
corded his observations ; his three-volumed work 
published at Paris in 1714 bears the title : "Jour- 
nal des observations physiques, mathematiques et 
botaniques, faites par 1'ordre du Roy sur les 
cotes orientales de l'Am6rique Meridionale. & 
dans les Indes Occidentals, depuis 1'annee 1707 
jusques en 1712." But FEUILLEE'S greatest claim 
to botanical remembrance is his collecting on the 
western coast of South America, and his work 
at seaports of Chile and Peru in 1709 and 1710 
yielded our first knowledge of the vegetation. 
He was longest at Conception, Ilo, and Lima, 
and his journal includes an illustrated "Histoire 
des plantes medicales de Perou et Chile." 

Immediately after FEUILLEE these coasts were 
again visited by a Frenchman, and AMADEE 
FRANCOIS FREZIER tells of them in his "Relation 
du voyage de^ la Mer du Sud aux cotes du 
Chily et du Perou, fait pendant les annees 1712, 
1713 & 1714." He was eight months at Val- 
paraiso and first learned to know central Chile, 
and he was especially interested in economic 
plants, giving the earliest figure of the large- 
fruited Chilean strawberry. 

The art of illustrating made great advance 
over the preceding works in the paintings of the 
English naturalist, MARK CATESBY (ca. 1680- 
1749), who was on the Bahama Islands for at 
least the winter of 1725-26. His sumptuous work, 
based upon his travels, was entitled: "The 
natural history of Carolina, Florida and the 
Bahama Islands : containing the figures of birds, 
beasts, fishes, serpents, insects and plants . . . ," 
and was issued at London from 1731 to 1743. 

The Scotch physician, WILLIAM HOUSTOUN, 
was in 1729 on Cuba, and from then until his 
death in 1733 on Jamaica, except for a visit to 
Vera Cruz and Campeche in 1730-31. He sent 
specimens and seeds to PHILIP MILLER in Eng- 
land, and thus many of HOUSTOUN'S plants were 
first described in the various editions of MILLER'S 
"Gardeners Dictionary." That tropical plants 
should appear in such a work shows the degree 
to which they were being grown in "stoves" 
or greenhouses. The dedication to LINNAEUS'S 
"Hortus Cliff ortianus" of 1737 tells of such 
greenhouses in Holland. 

In 1745 an Irish physician, PATRICK BROWNE 
(ca. 1720-90), came to the British West In- 
dies, where from 1746 to 1755 he gathered data 
toward a comprehensive study of Jamaica. This 
appeared in London in 1756 under the title : "The 
civil and natural history of Jamaica." In 1758 
he sold his extensive herbarium to LINNAEUS, 
so that it is now included in the Linnean Her- 
barium that is under the care of the Linnean 
Society of London. 

BROWNE'S was the last considerable work on 
Latin American plants that used the old poly- 
nomial names for species. LINNAEUS' reform 
of 1753, when in the "Species Plantarum" he 
proposed his binomial system, was quickly 
adopted, and became universal in subsequent 

Now, with the adoption of the binomial sys- 
tem of nomenclature at the middle of the eigh- 

teenth century, let us pause, to see what por- 
tions of the New World were then known and 
what remained wholly unknown botanically. Be- 
cause LINNAEUS intended to include in his book 
all plants then known to science, this becomes 
the most logical time for such a survey. 

In North America, Quebec and Acadia, the 
British colonies along the Atlantic seaboard, and 
southern Mexico; in the West Indies, Jamaica, 
Haiti, the Bahamas, and British and French 
islands in the Lesser Antilles ; in South America, 
eastern Brazil, a few seaports of the Caribbean 
Sea, and the coast of Peru and Chile are some- 
what known, the most detailed attention having 
been given to Virginia and Jamaica. Against 
this the unknown includes the great interior 
valleys of the Mississippi, Orinoco, Amazon, and 
La Plata, with the mountain systems and pla- 
teau areas of both continents. Hardly were the 
Appalachians in their high portions visited as 
yet, nor the mountains of Brazil, let alone the 
western mountain ranges, the Rockies, the 
Sierras, and the Andes. Of the latter the Andes 
were destined to receive botanical study long 
before the corresponding mountains of North 

In fact the northern Andes were already being 
traversed, although the specimens obtained were 
not identified until years later. As early as 
1735 JOSEPH DE JUSSIEU (1709-74) had arrived 
in Ecuador on the La Condamine Expedition 
which had been charged with the exact measur- 
ing of a degree of the meridian. JUSSIEU stud- 
ied plants, giving his attention first to Cinchona, 
but also gathering our earliest known speci- 
mens from the highlands of Ecuador. Later, 
he wandered over the Andean highlands and on 
their moist eastern slopes southward to Potosi 
in the present Bolivia, returning in 1755 to Lima 
where he lived until his return to France in 
1771. Most of his specimens preserved at the 
Museum d'Histoire Naturelle at Paris are from 
Ecuador, although all are labeled simply 

born in Holland but settled in Vienna, was 
from 1755 to 1759 on a mission for the Em- 
peror collecting in the West Indies and at the 
Caribbean ports of South America. His elabo- 
rate folio works, describing and illustrating the 
plants obtained, appeared in Vienna from 1762 
to 1780. 

From about 1755 to 1770 FREDERIQUE ALLA- 
MAND and DANIEL ROLANDER were in Dutch 
Guiana, and their collections formed the basis of 
LINNAEUS' paper of 1775 entitled "Plantae Suri- 

French Guiana received a much more signifi- 
cant study. FUSEE AUBLET (1720-78), French, 
was sent thither officially as apothecary-botanist, 
reaching Cayenne in 1762 and returning to 
France in 1764. During a stay of exactly two 
years he made many drawings and pre- 
served the specimens that together formed the 
basis for his four-volumed "Histoire des plantes 
de la Guiane Franchise," published in 1775. 

Mention must be made of four wide-ranging 
voyages, on which parts of South America were 
casually visited. Two were under the French 
captain, L. A. BOUGAINVILLE. In 1763 he was 
along the southern Atlantic coast, at the Falk- 
land Islands and the Strait of Magellan, and of 
this trip his chaplain PERNETTY wrote a report 
that was published at Paris in 1770. In 1767 


PENNELL: Historical Sketch 

BOUGAINVILLE was again in these seas, when the 
botanist PHILIBERT COMMERSON (1727-73) made 
collections in Uruguay, Argentina, Patagonia, 
at the Strait of Magellan, and on the Falkland 
Islands, collections now preserved at Paris. 
Similarly, the English captain, JAMES COOK, had 
scientific personnel on at least two of his voyages. 
In 1768 Sir JOSEPH BANKS (1743-1820) and 
DANIEL SOLANDER (1733-82), visited Rio de 
Janeiro and Cape Horn, but any collections there 
are but incidental to their more important work 
in New Zealand and at Botany Bay in Australia. 
On a succeeding COOK voyage that lasted from 
1772 to 1775 JOHANN R. FORSTER and ANDERS 
SPARRMANN were on the Falkland Islands and 
for some time on Tierra del Fuego. For both 
voyages detailed scientific reports were pre- 
pared, but only the latter was then published; 
both are so largely beyond our territory as hardly 
to warrant further discussion. 

A lone worker on the flora of the most remote 
part of Latin America was JUAN IGNACIO MO- 
LINA (ca. 1738-1829), a Chilean who started 
zealously gathering materials for a natural his* 
tory of his native territory. From the age of 
sixteen he was in Santiago, where he became a 
Jesuit father; and he was barely thirty when 
in 1768 there came the expulsion of the Jesuits 
by the liberal Spanish monarch, CARLOS III. 
MOLINA fled to Italy, where he lived for 55 
years at Bologna, and there, as GIOVANNI IG- 
NAZTO MOLINA, he published in 1782 his "Saggio 
sulla storia naturale del Chile," as an appendix 
to which appeared a "Flora sclecta regni Chilen- 
sis," a comprehensive though brief summary of 
Chilean plants. 

A momentous change in Spanish colonial pol- 
icy was effected by CARLOS III. It was decided 
to have a survey made of the plant resources 
of the New World, through a series of govern- 
mental scientific exploring expeditions. The re- 
sults were to be published. Such projects were 
planned for Peru and Chile, for New Granada, 
for Mexico, and likewise for the Philippines. 

The "Expedicion Botanica" to Peru and Chile 
was entrusted to HIPOLITO Ruiz (1754-1815), 
who was officially accompanied by JOSE PAVON 
(d. 1844), each of whom had a draughtsman as- 
sistant. Also, the French botanist JOSEPH DOM- 
BEY (1742-94) was permitted to accompany 
them. The diary of Ruiz has fortunately sur- 
vived, and has recently been published. 4 ' It 
shows the day-by-day adventures, the successes 
and disasters, of the explorers from 1778 to 
1788, the time that Ruiz and PAVON were in 
Peru, with a year and a half (1782-83) passed 
in Chile. In Peru they worked along the coast 
near Lima, and repeatedly crossed the Andes to 
collect on the moist eastern slopes as far as 
Huanuco, Tarma, and Huancayo. In Chile they 
worked mostly around Conception, but journeyed 
northward to Santiago and Valparaiso. Much 
that they gathered was lost due to fire and ship- 
wreck, but enough returned to Spain to form 
the basis of a series of imposing reports. But 
DOMBEY had returned in 1784, and much of his 
ten remaining years of life was spent in fretting 
about the restriction laid upon him not to pub- 

4fr "Travels of Ruiz, PAVON, and DOMBEY in Peru and 
Chile (1777-1788)," translated by B. E. DAHLGKBN, in 
Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Bot. Ser. vol. 21, 372 pp., 1940. 
This is from a manuscript preserved in Spain that was 
published at Madrid in 1931 by A. J. BAMEIKO. I have 
also been shown a copy of Ruiz' Journal at the Brit- 
ish Museum. 

lish botanical results of the journey ahead of 
Ruiz and PAVON, a request that seems just 
enough since the expedition was one sent out 
by the Spanish government; nevertheless some 
species were so published at Paris by L'HERITIER 
in his "Stirpes novae vel incognitae" of 1784-85, 
without DOMBEY'S knowledge. * The younger 
men, Ruiz and PAVON, worked more slowly, Ruiz 
publishing first an account of Cinchona under the 
title of "Quinologia, o tratado del arbol de la 
Quina o Cascarilla . . . " ; and then jointly with 
PAVON "Florae peruvianae et chilensis Prodro- 
mus, sive novorum generum plantarum peru- 
yianorum et chilensium descriptiones et icones" 
in 1794, "Systema vegetabilium florae peru- 
vianae et chilensis, ..." in 1798, and "Flora 
peruviana et chilensis, sive descriptiones et 
icones plantarum peruvianarum et chilensium 
. . . ," of which four volumes (the last of plates 
without accompanying descriptions) appeared 
from 1798 to 1802. The last work was the com- 
mencement of a great project that was discon- 
tinued as a result of the Napoleonic invasion of 
Spain. These works all appeared at Madrid, and 
the fullest series of Ruiz and P AVON'S plants arc 
preserved there. 

The "Expedicion botanica a Nueva Granada" 
remains famous in the history of Colombia, al- 
though it resulted in no formal report. Its in- 
tellectual stimulus came to an alert culture, and 
evidently through a remarkable personality, the 
cleric JOSE CELESTINO MUTIS (1732-1808). He 
reached Bogota as early as 1760, and his collec- 
tions sent therefrom to LINNAEUS in Swe- 
den were described in the "Supplementum" to 
his father's works issued by the younger LIN- 
NAEUS in 1781. MUTIS failed to finish his own 
"Flora de Bogota," but his herbarium has sur- 
vived at Madrid. 

Before telling of the Botanical Expedition to 
Mexico chronological accuracy requires our 
consideration of several workers in the West In- 
dies and eastern South America. JULIUS P. B. 
VON ROHR (ca. 1737-93), a Dane, who was liv- 
ing from 1757 to 1791 on the island of St. Croix, 
collected also on Jamaica and Porto Rico, on 
the Lesser Antilles, and along the Caribbean 
coast of South America eastward to the Guianas ; 
he was interested in economic plants and pub- 
lished a book on cotton. Louis C. M. RICHARD 
(1754-1821), French, was sent by his king in 
1781 to Guiana, whence he traveled south to 
Para at the mouth of the Amazon, and north 
to the Lesser Antilles, Porto Rico, and Haiti; 
he returned to France in 1789, but his collections 
seem to have resulted in no special work, even 
though he became one of the most profound 
botanical writers of his time. More important 
in his contributions to our knowledge of the 
West Indian flora is OLOF SWARTZ (1760-1818), 
a Swedish pupil of LINNAEUS, who may be con- 
sidered as the great organizer of Antillean bot- 
any. In 1784 he was in Jamaica and Cuba, in 
early 1785 in Haiti, and then until his return to 
Europe in 1786 he was in Jamaica again. From 
1788 to 1806 he published various books on the 
plants of the West Indies, the most comprehen- 
sive being a three-volumed "Flora Indiae Occi- 
dentalis aucta atque illustrata ..." These ap- 
peared at Stockholm and Erlangen, but his 
collections are considerably scattered. 

* For DOMBEY'S viewpoint see "JOSEPH DOMBEY . . . 
Sa vie, son oeuvre, sa correspondance . . . ," by E. T. 
HAMY, 434 pp., Paris, 1905. His plants are preserved 
at the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle at Paris. 

PENNELL: Historical Sketch 


In Brazil by 1790 the monk JOSE MARIANNO 
DE CONCEICAO VELLOSO (1742-1811) had, with 
the aid of clerical and artistic helpers, com- 
pleted his "Flora Fluminensis," a work that 
was published in 11 large folios in 1827. VEL- 
LOSO was born in Brazil, and his study of the 
flora of the vicinity of Rio de Janeiro seems 
singularly antiquated. A shorter work of his, 
of medical significance, entitled "Quinografia 
pprtugeza, ou de varias memorias sobre 
vinta e duas especies de quinas, tendentes ao seu 
descobrimento nos vastos dominios do Brasil 
. . . ," appeared at Lisbon in 1799. 

The "Expedicion Botanica a Nueva Espana" 
commenced its labors later than those to Peru 
and New Granada. In 1787 MARTIN SESSB (d. 
1809), a Spanish physician and botanist, was 
appointed its director, with four assistants, one 
a draughtsman and another, VICENTE CERVANTES, 
a teacher. On May 1, 1788 a department of 
botany was established at the University of 
Mexico, and CERVANTES became professor of 
this subject until his death in 1829. He also 
had charge of the accompanying botanical gar- 
den. One of his earliest pupils was Jost MAR- 
IANO MOCINO, a young Mexican physician who 
was in 1791 added to the scientific commission. 
SESSE and MOCINO cooperated in exploratory 
collecting until 1804, MOCINO travelling the more 
extensively, from sea-level to mountain heights, 
and from Guatemala on the south to California 
and Vancouver Island on the north. Together, 
SESSE and MOCINO went to Spain with their 
treasures, but, as it was with Ruiz and PAVON 
at the same period, the disrupted state of the 
country prevented publication of the manu- 
scripts that they had prepared. After his col- 
league's death in 1809, MOCINO fell into disfavor 
with the Spanish patriots, who suspected him of 
complicity with the French, so in 1813 he fled 
to Montpellier in France, taking with him his 
Mexican manuscripts. There he lent these 
papers, with their many descriptions and illustra- 
later, receiving permission from the authorities 
of a now independent Spain to return thither, 
he asked DE CANDOLLE at Geneva for the prompt 
return of his papers. DE CANDOLLE has told the 
romantic story of how he succeeded in obtaining 
copies of the drawings : "About 120 persons came 
voluntarily to offer me their time and brushes ; 
most of them were ladies of society; but there 
were also professional artists and a multitude 
of persons who were strangers to me. The 
young people united in the common task. The 
whole city was busy for 10 days, and the dili- 
gence of all those who knew how to use a brush 
or pencil was really affecting." 860 drawings 
were copied completely, and 109 in outline only. 
Many species were published in various parts 
of DE CANDOLLE'S "Prodromus," but the manu- 
scripts themselves were taken by MOCINO to 
Spain and disappeared after his death in 1819. 

But SESSE and MOCINO'S plants were in Spain, 
and now Josfe PAVON, the sole survivor of the 
brilliant group of botanical explorers sent out 
by CARLOS III, evidently had them in charge. 
He distributed many of them, along with dupli- 
cates of his own, to various herbaria, labeled 
only in his own handwriting as "N. E." for 
"Nueva Espana." I have seen such at the 
British Museum and the University of Oxford. 
Bearing P AVON'S hand, it is not surprising that 
they have been attributed to PAVON as collector, 

although he was never in Mexico and these 
plants bear the peculiar names of the two pub- 
lished floras of SESSE and MOCINO. 

These floras, which did not appear until many 
years after the deaths of their authors, are evi- 
dently not the works that they may be presumed 
to have elaborated in Spain. They are from 
manuscripts that remained in Mexico, and seem 
to be floras projected early in their career to- 
gether. One is entitled "Plantae Novae His- 
paniae" and the other "Flora Mexicana," and 
the Sociedad Mexicana de Historia Natural ap- 
pended them to their journal "La Naturaleza" 
for the years 1887-90 and 1891-97, respectively. 
Mr. T. A. SPRAGUE in his critical discussion of 
them (with accompanying record of SESSE and 
MOCINO'S Mexican localities) 5 thinks that the 
"Plantae Novae Hispaniae" must have been 
prepared about 1792 and that the "Flora Mexi- 
cana," a more sketchy work, was not designed 
for the public at all. Their actual publication, 
after the lapse of a century, in their original 
form and unaccompanied by critical interpreta- 
tion or reference to what had been described in 
the interim, has been as much of a botanical ca- 
lamity as their appearance in the 1790s would 
have been a boon. 

Luis NEE, French, and THADDAEUS HAENKE, 
Bohemian, were together on the Malaspina Ex- 
pedition, a world-encircling voyage that lasted 
from 1789 to 1794. NEE started with MALASPINA 
from Cadiz ; HAENKE arrived a day too late, 
but, nothing daunted, set out in pursuit. While 
NEE was collecting in Patagonia, on the Falk- 
land Islands and in southern Chile, HAENKE 
reached Buenos Aires and crossed the southern 
Andes to Valparaiso, where the two botanists met 
in April, 1790. Thence they proceeded north- 
ward, stopping at various ports of Chile, Peru, 
Ecuador, and Mexico until the end of 1791, NEE 
going inland at least to Canta from Lima and 
into Ecuador, while HAENKE visited Quito with 
the high peaks of Ecuador and also Mexico 
city. In January, 1794 HAENKE left the ships 
at Concepcion in Chile, spent that year mostly 
in what is now northern Argentina and eastern 
Bolivia, then, after some time in La Paz, defi- 
nitely settled in 1796 as a physician at Cocha- 
bamba. There he died in 1817, and his her- 
barium, transported to Prague in his native Bo- 
hemia, became the basis of C. B. PRESL'S "Reli- 
quiae Haenkeanae" that appeared from 1825 to 

Most famous of all scientific expeditions to 
tropical America has been that of Baron ALEX- 
ANDER VON HUMBOLDT (1769-1859) and AIME 
BONPLAND (1773-1858), one that was planned 
with definite geographic goals. First, an inves- 
tigation of the river-systems of inland South 
America led this German zoologist with his 
French botanical companion across the present 
Venezuela and up the Rio Orinoco, thence through 
the Rio Casiquiare that flows away from the 
upper Orinoco to join the upper Rio Negro, a 
northern affluent of the Amazon. Returning 
again to the coast, they crossed to Cuba where 
the early months of 1801 were spent. Then, in 
order to study a tropical mountain-system, they 
again crossed the Caribbean Sea to Cartagena 
on the coast of the present Colombia, and there, 
in the course of Book XI, one loses the intimate 

& "SESSE and MbciSo's Plantae Novae Hispaniae and 
Flora Mexicana," in Kew Bull. Misc. Inform. 1926: 


PENNELL: Historical Sketch 

touch of the "Personal Narrative" 6 that HUM- 
BOLDT later published. But, actually, the main 
portion of the travels was just beginning, and 
fortunately it is possible from a published record 
of localities to follow their route up the Rio 
Magdalena, to Bogota on the Eastern Cordillera 
of the Andes, across the Quindio Pass over the 
Central Cordillera to Cartago and up the Cauca 
Valley to Popayan, and thence on southward via 
Pasto to the present Ecuador which they entered 
about the beginning of 1802. The great Ecuador- 
ian peaks were found so fascinating that more 
than half a year was given to visits to Antisana, 
Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Tunguragua, Chimborazo, 
and Assuay, so that it was August before the 
naturalists reached Ayavaca and Huancabamba 
in what is now northern Peru. Then they tra- 
velled more rapidly, and without attempting to 
climb more peaks, by Cajamarca and Trujillo 
to Lima, which they reached in early December. 
Thence, returning northward by boat they were 
in early January, 1803 at Guayaquil, Ecuador, 
from which they made an excursion over the 
lowlands toward Chimborazo, reaching the coast 
again by mid-February. By March 23 they 
were at Acapulco on the Pacific coast of Mex- 
ico, whence in April they travelled to Mexico 
city, making it their base for excursions north- 
ward to the present states of Hidalgo, Queretaro 
and Guanajuato, and westward to Morelia. 
Early in 1804 they went via Perote to Vera 
Cruz, from whence they crossed to Cuba, where 
they were in March and April. From Cuba 
they visited the United States, and finally 
reached France again in August, 1804. 7 

It is surprising what an influence this expedi- 
tion had. In New Granada FRANCISCO Josfe DE 
CALDAS, the patriot-naturalist of Popayan and 
already a follower of MUTTS, was affected by it, 
and members of old families of Popayan still 
speak of the HUM BOLDT visit to that remarkable 
city. Scientifically, this expedition gave us 
our first clear understanding of problems of al- 
titudinal and geographical alignment of vegeta- 
tion, of the amazing wealth of ferns on moist 
tropical mountain-slopes, and many other botan- 
ical matters. HUMBOLDT'S figure remains per- 
manently that of the master of philosophical ob- 
servation. The botanical collections of BON- 
PLAND were numerous, and have been preserved 
both at Paris and Berlin. Even forms of mi- 
croscopic life were gathered. HUMBOLDT and 
BONPLAND published jointly their botanical ob- 
servations and reports. In 1805 appeared an 
"Essai sur la geographic des plantes; accom- 
pagne" d'un tableau physique des regions equi- 
noxiales, fond6 sur des mesures executees de- 
puis le dixieme degre de latitude boreale jusqu'au 
dixieme degre de latitude australe pendant 
les annees 1799-1803." From 1805 to 1818 
was issued a 2-volumed work descriptive of plants 
seen : "Plantae aequinoctiales, per regnum Mex- 
ici, in provinciis Caracarum et Novae Andalu- 
siae, in Peruvianorum, Quitensium, Novae 
Granatae Andibus, ad Oronoci, Fluvii nigri, 
fluminis Amazonum ripas nascentes. In ordinem 
digessit AMATUS BONPLAND." From 1806 to 

6 "Relation historique . . .", Paris, 1814-1825. This 
unfinished journal was translated into English as "Per- 
sonal narrative . . . ." 

7 Mr. T. A. SPIAGUE has published in the Kew Bulle- 
tin of Miscellaneous Information detailed itineraries of 
HUMBOLDT and BONPLAND'S routes as follows: Vene- 
zuela in volume for 1925, p. 295-310; Colombia, for 
1926, p. 23-30; Ecuador and Peru, p. 181-190; and 
Mexico, for 1924, p. 20-27. 

1823 was issued a 2-volumed "Monographia Me- 
lastomacearum" with exactly the same subsidiary 
information. But in 1816 BONPLAND left France 
to became a settler in eastern Argentina far 
from the Andes. So KARL SIGISMUND KUNTH 
was called in to prepare the actual text for the 
7-volumed descriptive work entitled "Nova genera 
et species plantarum quas in peregrinatione ad 
plagam aequinoctialem orbis novi collegerunt, 
descripserunt, partim adumbraverunt AMATUS 
schedis autographis AMATT BONPLAND in ordi- 
nem digessit CAROL. SIGISMUND. KUNTH. Ac- 
cedunt . . . ALEXANDRI DE HUMBOLDT notationes 
ad geographiam plantarum spectantes," issued 
at Paris from 1815 to 1825. 

ANTOINE POITEAU (1766-1854), French, 
worked, especially with P. J. F. TURPIN as ar- 
tist, in Haiti from 1796 to 1800, when he left 
because of the negro insurrection. In 1813 they 
published together a Flora of the environs of 
Paris. From 1819 to 1822 POITEAU was in 
French Guiana. 

The Napoleonic invasion of Spain in 1807 was 
quickly followed by a movement for independ- 
ence throughout Spanish America, and by 1825 
all the continental portions of it were freed. 
But in Portuguese America Brazil became the 
refuge of the court from Lisbon, and during 
these widely turbulent years its history was 
stable and progressive. The capital was moved 
from Bahia to Rio de Janeiro, where a botanical 
garden was established that functioned actively 
in the cultivation and diffusion of economic trop- 
ical plants throughout the country. And for 
several decades there came to Brazil a remark- 
able succession of able botanical explorers. 

1852) , a German who had already been at Santa 
Catharina in 1803 on the Kruscnstern Expedi- 
tion, came in 1813 under Russian auspices, col- 
lecting until 1820 in Rio de Janeiro and Minas 
Geraes ; when again in Brazil from 1824 to 1829 
he travelled farther afield, to Sao Paulo and 
Matto Grosso and down the Rio Tapajoz to 
Para. Another German, FRIEDRICH SELLOW 
(1789-1831), came in 1814 to Rio de Janeiro; 
until 1820 he collected from Bahia on the north 
to Sao Paulo, and then until 1830 worked farther 
south and also inland to Uruguay and Parana, 
eventually dying in Minas Geraes. ADALBERT 
VON CHAMISSO (1781-1838), the poet and natur- 
(1793-1831), a fellow German, was on the Rus- 
sian Romanzoff Expedition under KOTZEBUE that 
touched in 1815 at Santa Catharina, where ac- 
cording to EHRENBERG they gathered the first 
specimens of microscopic life, and presumably of 
Fungi too, known from Brazil ; later, in associa- 
MISSO published in Linnaea botanical results of 
his travels. From 1815 to 1817 yet a fifth Ger- 
collected objects of scientific and other interests 
from Bahia to Rio de Janeiro, the results ap- 
pearing in his 2-volumed "Reise nach Brasilien 
in den Jahren 1815 bis 1817," published at Frank- 
furt in 1820-21. More intensive was the work 
(1779-1853), who from 1816 to 1822 collected 
from Minas Geraes and Espirito Santo on the 
north to Goyaz and Parana on the west, and to 
Uruguay on the south; his collections resulted 
in a series of papers published in Paris, culmi- 

PENNELL: Historical Sketch 


nating in his 3-volumed "Flora Brasiliae meridio- 
nalis" issued from 1825 to 1833. 

But one who was destined to have a far 
greater influence on Brazilian botany than ST. 
HILAIRE followed him to that country the ensu- 
ing year. Supported by the Bavarian court and 
being the sixth German botanist to visit Brazil 
MARTIUS (1794-1868) reached Rio de Janeiro in 
July, 1817 and remained in Brazil till June, 
1820. In three years he worked from Rio de 
Janeiro to Para, and up the Amazon River to 
Alto Amazonas. His collections included all 
groups of flowering and flowerless plants. Re- 
turning to Germany where he continued to re- 
ceive royal patronage, he brought out first 
jointly with the zoologist JOHANN BAPTIST VON 
SPIX their "Reise in Brasilien, auf Befehl Sr. 
Majestat Konigs MAXIMILIAN JOSEPH von Bay- 
em gemacht in den Jahren 1817-1820," issued 
in three volumes from 1824 to 1831 ; then an 
elaborate report on the palms seen, published 
from 1823 to 1845; then a 3-volumed work en- 
titled like KUNTH'S on the HUMBOLDT Expedition 
"Nova genera et species plantarum . . . "; and 
lastly and most comprehensive the monumental 
"Flora Brasiliensis . . . ", that with the aid 
of many contributing authors reviewed all that 
was known of the flora of Brazil. Its first part 
appeared in 1829 but it was not until 1906, many 
years after the death of its founder and with 
a total of 15 folio volumes, each of several in- 
dependently bound parts, that the great task was 

The visits of two Bohemians, on an expedi- 
tion sent by the Emperor of Austria, completes 
the roster of collectors of the Brazilian flora 
during this eventful decade. JOHANN CHRISTIAN 
MIKAN (1769-1844) of the University of Prague 
was at Rio de Janeiro in 1817-1818, and in 1820 
published at Vienna his "Delectus Florae et 
Faunae Brasiliensis." His pupil, JOHANN 
EMANUEL POHL (1782-1834) was in Brazil from 
1817 to 1821, collecting in the central states of 
Minas Geraes and Goyaz ; on his return he pub- 
lished at yienna a 2-volumed work, "Plantarum 
Brasiliae icones et descriptiones hactenus inedi- 
tae," from 1827 to 1831, and also his "Reise im 
Innern von Brasilien" from 1832 to 1837. 

Perhaps 1820, in the midst of the wars of 
independence of Spanish America, is a good 
point at which to review again the progress of 
botanical interest throughout the Americas. The 
seventy years since 1750 have seen an enormous 
extension of the territory that had been at least 
visited. In North America the land from Que- 
bec to Georgia is fairly known, and westward 
expeditions have crossed the Mississippi River 
to ascend the Missouri and Red rivers, and by 
the former one party has passed to the Pacific 
coast Mexico has been more widely traversed, 
and maritime expeditions have visited points on 
the Pacific coast northward to Alaska. The 
West Indies have received further study. In 
South America a reconnaissance view of the 
vegetation of the Andes, both northern and 
southern, has been gained, and a surprisingly 
full knowledge achieved of the vegetation of 
Brazil and Uruguay. But on the southern conti- 
nent the vast forests of the Amazon and 
Orinoco have been scarcely more than touched, 
and, what knowledge of Andean vegetation has 
been acquired is merely a beginning of acquaint- 
anceship with the flora there. The highlands 
of Guiana and Venezuela remain unknown. In 

the northern continent the vast tablelands and 
mountain ranges of the west remain unknown, 
and much still awaits physical as well as biotic 
exploration. On both continents these years have 
seen the beginning of botanical instruction, 
seemingly in the sequence of 1768 at Philadel- 
phia 8 , 1788 at Mexico city, and (presumably 
next) 1802 at Buenos Aires. But information 
of this kind is scattered, and it may be that in- 
struction started equally early in the West In- 
dies. By 1820 a number of botanical gardens 
were also in existence, but their actual histories 
(and whether they really functioned scienti- 
fically) is information not easy to obtain. 

The thirty years remaining until 1850 were 
often turbulent over much of Spanish America, 
although in some countries the local govern- 
ments steadied and strengthened. It might 
seem advisable to pursue from 1820 the separate 
course of botanical progress in each country, 
but so largely was the work accomplished by 
foreigners and so often did these visitors travel 
in more than one country, as to make it prefer- 
able to continue our method of general treatment. 
But Brazil will hold its separate course, and so 
will the Guianas and various West Indian is- 
lands. Through these thirty years there were 
many expeditions, both those sponsored by 
European governments and by private interests, 
and also there were individual resident collectors, 
persons engaged in mining or other interests. 
The more important of these will be mentioned 
in nearly chronological sequence. 

ian, was from 1816 to 1820 on the West Indies 
(Guadeloupe, Porto Rico, and Hispaniola), and 
in 1820-21 in northern Colombia (Santa Marta, 
Barranquilla, and the lower Magdalena valley), 
whence he returned via Jamaica to Europe. In 
1827 he went to Chile, residing in Santiago and 
traversing central Chile from Aconcagua to 
Rancagua 9 until 1830, when for several months 
he visited the Juan Fernandez Islands and then 
Tahiti ; in April, 1831 he started to return to 
Valparaiso, but the ship was lost. A study of 
his Chilean collections was published by LUIGI 
COLLA in the Memoirs of the Turin Academy for 

From 1819 to 1825 JOHN MIERS (1789-1879), 
English, was in Argentina and Chile, and in 
1826 there appeared in London his 2-volumed 
"Travels in Chile and La Plata." From 1826 
he was in Argentina again, and from 1831 to 
1838 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Both trips con- 
tributed to his "Illustrations of South American 
plants," that appeared from 1846 to 1857. 

AUGUSTE PLEE (1787-1825), French, collected 
in 1820 and 1821 on the Lesser Antilles, in 
1822 and 1823 on Porto Rico, in 1824 in coastal 
Venezuela, dying in 1825 on Martinique. As he 
had previously published on the French flora, it 
seems likely that his premature death inter- 
rupted a definite project of West Indian explora- 

French, was pharmacist on three extended voy- 
ages, concerning the first and last of which he 

ADAM KUHN "was appointed professor of materia 
medica and botany in the College of Philadelphia (now 

' ~ ' * ' " y, 1768, and 

May follow- 

_ _ _ "The Botan* 

ists of Philadelphia.'''?. 89, 1899. KUHN had been LIN- 
NAEUS'S only American pupil. 

Publishing some of his novelties in the Chilean 
newspaper, Mercurio Chileno. 

meaica ana ooiany in tne ^ouege 01 rnuaaeipni 
the University of Pennsylvania), in January, 17 
commenced his first course of botany in May 
ing." Quoted from J. W. HARSHBERGBR'S "The 


PENNELL: Historical Sketch 

published botanical reports. From 1817 to 1820 
he sailed on "I'Uranie" under Capt. FREYCINET, 
the course touching at Rio de Janeiro in 1817. 
and again at the Falkland Islands in 1820, 
whence on another ship "La Physicierine" he re- 
turned via Montevideo and Rio de Janeiro ; the 
illustrated report of this expedition, mostly de- 
voted to the islands of the Pacific and Indian 
oceans, appeared at Paris in 1826. GAUDI- 
CHAUD'S second expedition was from 1831 to 
1833 on "I'Herminie," and visited eastern Brazil, 
and Peru and Chile. His third expedition, in 
1836 and 1837 on "La Bonite," again followed 
the South American coast, from Rio de Janeiro 
to Montevideo, around Cape Horn to Chile, Peru 
and Ecuador, and thence across the Pacific and 
Indian oceans; its elaborate report appeared in 
Paris in five volumes from 1844 to 1866. GAUDI- 
CHAUD was also author of extensive works on 
plant physiology and morphology. 

(1780-1855), Hungarian by birth but a Bavar- 
ian land-holder, was from 1821 to 1823 at Rio 
de Janeiro, Brazil. Later he was in Mexico, 
being from 1827 to 1832 in Oaxaca on behalf 
of a German-American society, and from 1840 
to 1843 in Vera Cruz and other states for the 
Russian government. 

WILLIAM JAMESON (1796-1873), Scottish, 
lived at Lima, Peru from 1820 to 1826, and then 
at Quito, Ecuador, until 1870. At Quito he was 
for many years professor of chemistry and bot- 
any in the University. He was the author of a 
2-volumed, but unfinished, "Synopsis plantarum 
Aequatoriensium," published at Quito in 1865. 

Continuing the exploration of Brazil, LUDWIG 
RIEDEL (1790-1861), German, arrived in 1821 
and there spent nearly all the forty remaining 
years of his life. Until 1836 he collected for 
the Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg, 
Russia, working over much of the country from 
Bahia to Sao Paulo, with a trip inland from 
1826 to 1828 that crossed Matto Grosso and 
descended the Madeira and Amazon to Para. 
His later collections, made under a Brazilian 
appointment, were fewer and mostly confined 
to Rio de Janeiro. With C. TAUNAY he pub- 
lished in 1839 a "Manual do agricultor brasil- 

man, saw much of Latin America. From 1822 
to 1824 he was on Cuba; then after a two years' 
visit to Pennsylvania, he was from 1827 to 1829 
in Chile, and thence until 1832 in Peru and on 
the descent of the Amazon across Brazil to 
Para, whence he returned to Europe. He pub- 
lished at Leipzig in 1835-36 his "Reise in Chile, 
Peru, tind auf dem Amazonenstrome wahrend 
der Jahre 1827-32," and with STEPHAN END- 
LJCHER a "Nova genera ac species plantarum 
..." for this same course. POEPPIC/S collections 
included microscopic as well as macroscopic 
plants, as was also true of our next collector. 

RAMON DE LA SACRA (1798-1871), Spanish, 
also came to Cuba in 1822, but remained on the 
island until 1835, when he went to Paris to pre- 
pare his "Historia fisica politica y natural de la 
isla de Cuba" that appeared in parts from 1842 
to 1856. Two years later, in 1824, FRANCISCO 
ADOLFO SAUVALLE (1807-79), of French parent- 
age but born in South Carolina, came to Cuba 
where he lived until his death fifty-five years 
later. SAUVALLE was the author of various 
papers on Cuban plants, and especially of a 

"Flora Cubana" that was published in Havana 
from 1868 to 1873. 

JUAN LEXARZA, a native of Michoacan in 
southern Mexico, with PABLO LA LLAVE, a 
Spanish priest there, published in 1824-25 de- 
scriptions of some new genera of plants; these 
were especially of orchids, a group in which 
LEXARZA was especially interested. 

JAMES MACRAE (d. 1830), evidently Scotch, 
for some time at the botanical garden on St. Vin- 
cent Island in the West Indies, was sent by the 
Horticultural Society of London from 1824 
to 1826 on a collecting trip to Brazil (Rio de 
Janeiro and Santa Catharina), Chile (Valpa- 
raiso, Concepcion, etc.), the Galapagos, and the 
Hawaiian Islands. He died as Superintendent 
of the Botanical Garden in Ceylon. 

The voyage of Captain BEECHEY from 1825 to 
1828 brought back to England the series of 
plants on which was based a report by W. J. 
HOOKER and G. A. W. ARNOTT that appeared in 
1841. The collectors were GEORGE T. LAY who 
went as naturalist and ALEXANDER COLLIE as 
surgeon. The itinerary of the "Blossom" shows 
that it was at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in July 
and August, 1825; Concepci6n and Valparaiso, 
Chile in October, 1825 ; San Bias, Mazatlan, and 
Acapulco, Mexico from December, 1827 to 
April, 1828 (with time spent by the botanists 
at Tepic) ; at Valparaiso and Coquimbo, Chile 
in May, 1828; and again at Rio de Janeiro, 
Brazil in August, 1828. 

1826 to 1828 investigated geologically and botan- 
ically the Titicaca Lake basin of southern Peru 
and Bolivia; and later, from 1836 to 1839, was 
British consul in Bolivia. 

near Santiago, Chile in 1826-27, and from Lima 
inland to Cerro de Pasco, Peru in 1829. 

From 1826 to 1833 ALCIDE D'ORBIGNY (1802- 
57) was making the extensive collections of 
living and fossil plants, both macroscopic and 
microscopic, that resulted in the publication at 
Paris from 1834 to 1847 of his 9-volumed "Voy- 
age dans I'Amerique meridionale." Arriving 
at Rio de Janeiro in September, 1826, he was 
from October, 1826 to January, 1827 in Uru- 
guay; then until late in 1829 in Argentina; 
thence around Cape Horn and until May, 1830 
in Chile; thence inland to the eastern slopes of 
the Andes in Bolivia (with a few months' ex- 
cursion into Matto Grosso, Brazil in 1832) until 
June, 1833; then to coastal Peru until Septem- 
ber, and to Valparaiso, Chile by October, 1833 ; 
and thence home via Cape Horn. 

HUGH CUMING (1791-1865), English, went 
in 1819 to Chile, and from 1826 gave his life 
to amassing collections of animals and plants. 
A sailmaker by trade, he used a yacht and ex- 
plored the coast from Chiloe northward, though 
also going inland to climb the Chilean Andes. 
In 1831 he visited the coasts of Ecuador, Colom- 
bia, Panama, and Jamaica. From 1836 to 1839 
he made an extended voyage through the Pacific 
Islands and East Indies. His vast collections 
were taken to England for study. 

JEAN Luis BERLANDIER (d. 1851), Belgian, 
from 1827 to 1830 travelled extensively over 
northeastern Mexico, and then made his home 
at Matamoras on the southern side of the mouth 
of the Rio Grande. Thence he also explored 
southern Texas. 

CARL AUGUST EHRENBERG (1801-49), a Ger- 
man and brother of the famous microscopist 

PEN NELL : Historical Sketch 


28 on St. Thomas in the West Indies, from 
1828 to 1831 in Haiti, and from 1831 to 1841 in 
Mexico where he worked near the capital and 
at Real del Monte in Hidalgo. His extensive 
collections include both animals and plants, and 
many minute forms were described by his 
brother. CHRISTIAN published two studies that 
summarized the knowledge of American micro- 
biology up to that time: "Verbreitung und 
Einfluss des mikroskopischen Lebens in Siid-und 
Nord-Amerika" 10 in 1843, and "Mikrogeologie" 
at Leipzig in 1854. 

CHRISTOPH WEIGELT, Dutch, was a collector in 
Dutch Guiana, for whom PULLE gives the year 
1828. 11 More extensive collections from Suri- 
nam were made by F. W. HOSTMANN from 1824 
to 1840, whose specimens share with WEIGELT'S 
the distinction of being the earliest that have 
contributed to PULLE'S recent work; HOST- 
MANN'S collections, along with those of A. 
KAPPLER from 1841 to 1846 and in 1861, have 
been distributed by HOHENACKER. 

1836) and FERDINAND DEPPE (d. 1867), both 
German, began working together in southern 
Mexico in 1828. Their collecting was remark- 
ably thorough, but was confined to the state of 
Vera Cruz which they studied from the sea- 
shore to the alpine heights of Orizaba. They 
worked especially near Mir ado r at the foot of 
Orizaba where KARL SARTORIUS, a political ref- 
ugee from Germany, had already settled and 
where he was forming the large herbarium that 
on his death in 1872 was bequeathed to the Smith- 
sonian Institution in Washington. 

From 1828 to 1842 CLAUDE GAY (1800-73), 
French, made a comprehensive study of Chile 
that resulted in the publication at Paris of his 
"Historia fisica y politica de Chile, segun docu- 
mentos adquiridos en esta republica durante doce 
anos de residencia en ella y publicado bajo los 
auspicios del supremo gobierno." The botanical 
report, based largely on collections by the au- 
thor but with the collaboration of various botan- 
ists, appeared in 1845. GAY'S travels ranged 
from Coquimbo on the north to Chiloe on the 
south, with a visit to the Juan Fernandez Is- 
lands. Also, he collected in Peru in 1839-40. 

THOMAS BRIDGES (1807-65) collected many 
American plants for Kew Gardens in his native 
England. From 1828 to 1842 he was in Chile, 
working in the Valparaiso district but with ex- 
cursions south to Valdivia and north to Ata- 
cama; in 1844 he was again in Chile, collecting 
at Antofagasta and thence going inland to Bo- 
livia. Years later he was in California and 
British Columbia. 12 

German, was in Rio de Janeiro from Septem- 
ber to November, 1830; thence he proceeded 
around Cape Horn so as to be in central Chile 
(Valparaiso to Coquimbo and inland) from Jan- 
uary to March, 1831 ; then from Arica in late 

10 In Abhandl. Akad. Wissensch. Berlin 1841: 291- 
446, tab. 1-4, 1843. 

11 As stated in the "Provisional Introduction" to his 
"Flora of Surinam," Amsterdam, 1932. A series of 
WBICXLT'S specimens, credited in SCHWEINITZ' hand to 
CONSTANT-INK HEKING who had brought them to Phila- 
delphia, is at the Academy of Natural Sciences; that 
SCHWXINITZ really understood the situation is shown by 
this entry in the manuscript catalogue of his herbarium: 
"HBRINO Dr. Surinam innumerae WBIGELT collect." 

ia "The botanical activities of THOMAS BRIDGES," by 
IVAN M. JOHNSTON, in Contrib. Gray Herb. 81: 98- 
106. 1928. 

March and April he travelled extensively over 
southern Peru to Islay ; and thence he proceeded 
to Callao and Lima, whence he crossed the 
Pacific Ocean to China, the Philippines, etc. His 
account of this journey was published in Berlin 
in 1834-35 under the title : "Reise um die Erde, 
ausgefiihrt auf dem Kon. Preuss. Seehandlungs- 
schiffe Prinzess Louise, Capt. W. WENDT, in den 
Jahren 1830-32." But the brilliant author did 
not live to report on the plants collected, these 
being treated in a work by G. WALTERS and 
made important contributions to the knowledge 
of plant geography and physiology, his "Grund- 
riss der Pflanzengeographie . . ." appearing in 
1836, his "Neues System der Pflanzenphysio- 
logie" in 3 volumes from 1837 to 1839, and his 
"Pflanzenpathologie" after his death in 1840. 

GEORGE URE SKINNER (1804-67), English, was 
a merchant who from 1831 made repeated visits 
to Guatemala where he assembled large collec- 
tions of living orchids. He introduced many 
species to cultivation. 

JAMES TWEEDIE (1775-1862), Scotch, mi- 
grated to Buenos Aires in 1825, and thence 
(chiefly from 1832 to 1837) collected much in 
central and northern Argentina, Uruguay, and 
southern Brazil. 

ANDREW MATHEWS (d. 1841), an English 
gardener, appears to have first visited Valparaiso, 
Chile, but his important collections were made 
in Peru from 1833 until his death. He worked 
in central and especially in northern Peru, his 
collections often being the first for species en- 
demic to this portion of the Andes. 

KARL MORITZ (1797-1866), German, came in 
1834 to the West Indies, where he collected on 
the Virgin Islands and then in 1835 on Porto 
Rico. But his important work was in Vene- 
zuela from 1835 to 1837, where he was mostly 
in the states of Merida and Trujillo and made 
the first considerable collections from the Vene- 
zuelan Andes. In 1840 he came again to Vene- 
zuela, settling at Colonia Tovar and then until 
his death at La Guayra. 

CHARLES DARWIN (1809-82), the English nat- 
uralist, on the world cruise of the "Beagle," was 
in 1834 in Patagonia and on Tierra del Fuego, 
on the Chonos Archipelago and on Chiloe, then 
in 1835 at Chilean and Peruvian ports, and on 
the Galapagos Islands. After contributing his 
portion to the report of the expedition published 
by the British admiralty in 1839, he issued sep- 
arately his "Voyage of a naturalist around the 
world" and in 1846 his "Geological observations 
on South America." DARWIN'S plant collections, 
which included all forms of life macroscopic or 
microscopic, have contributed especially to our 
knowledge of the Patagonian and Magellan 

In 1836 JOACHIM VELASQUEZ, a Mexican offi- 
cer, took to Italy a small collection of dried 
plants and seeds gathered in Guatemala, and 
these became the basis of a "Florula Guatima- 
lensis" by ANTONIO BERTOLINI that was pub- 
lished in the journal of the Academy of Bologna 
in 1840. 

ROBERT SCHOMBURGK (1804-65), of a German 
merchant family, was in the West Indies (St. 
Thomas, Porto Rico, Tortola, and Anegada) 
from 1829, but his distinguished work for the 
Geographical Society of London commenced in 
1835. From 1835 to 1839 he made a comprehen- 
sive exploration of British Guiana, also crossing 
into northernmost Brazil to the Ri'o Branco and 


PENNELL: Historical Sketch 

even to the Rio Casiquiare in southern Vene- 
zuela. This expedition resulted in "A descrip- 
tion of British Guiana, geographical and statis- 
tical . . .", and in his "Reisen in Guiana und 
am Orinoko wahrend der Jahre 1835-1839 . . .", 
which was published in Leipzig in 1841. On a 
second expedition from 1840 to 1844 he was com- 
missioned to map or survey the boundaries of 
British Guiana, and this took him to the alpine 
heights of Mount Roraima; on this project he 
was accompanied by his brother RICHARD 
SCHOMBURGK (1811-1891) on behalf of the King 
of Prussia, and RICHARD wrote his "Reisen in 
Britisch-Guiana, in den Jahren 1840-1844 . . 
which appeared in two volumes at Leipzig in 
1847 to 1848. The collections obtained on both 
journeys included all forms of life, microscopic 
as well as macroscopic, from the discovery of 
Victoria regia to that of diatoms. For his work 
ROBERT was knighted in England, while RICHARD 
had a long and distinguished career as Director 
of the Botanical Garden at Adelaide in Austra- 

From 1835 to 1840 a group of botanists under 
Belgian auspices were actively investigating the 
flora of southern Mexico; several of them also 
worked in Central and northern South America. 
Foremost was the French HENRI GALEOTTI 
(1814-58), who arrived in 1835 and before return- 
ing to Belgium in 1840 had traversed the terri- 
tory from Vera Cruz to San Luis Potosi, Tepic, 
and Oaxaca, his being historically the most im- 
portant collection from Oaxaca. AUGUST B. 
GHIESBREGHT (1810-1893), Belgian, collected 
with LINDEN and FUNCK, but after 1840 worked 
alone, living in Tabasco and then in Chiapas ; al- 
though repeatedly visiting Europe, GHIESBREGHT 
spent many years in Mexico. JEAN JULES LIN- 
DEN (1817-98), Belgian, collected in many parts 
of Latin America, before he commenced his long 
career as owner of famous nurseries in Ghent. 
From 1835 to 1837 he worked in Brazil from Rio 
de Janeiro to Minas Geraes and Sao Paulo; 
from the end of 1837 to early 1838 in western 
Cuba ; from March, 1838 till early 1841 in eastern 
Mexico (Vera Cruz to Mexico city), Yucatan, 
and northern Guatemala; from the end of 1841 
to 1844 in Venezuela and Colombia (from the 
coast of Venezuela inland to Merida, and of 
Colombia to Bogota and Cartago, as well as on 
the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta) ; after 
March, 1844 in Jamaica and Cuba again, with 
return to Europe late in the year. Finally, 
LINDEN'S artist, NICOLAS FUNCK (1816-96), 
likewise Belgian, after accompanying him on 
most of the course just outlined, collected with 
Louis JOSEPH SCHLIM in 1845 on Guadeloupe 
of the Lesser Antilles, in Venezuela, and in 
northeastern Colombia. 

GEORGE GARDNER (1812-49), Scotch, was in 
Brazil from 1836 to 1841, where he collected 
from Rio de Janeiro northward to Ceara and 
Maranhao. In 1846 appeared his 2-volumed 
"Travels in the interior of Brazil, principally 
through the northern provinces and the Gold 
and Diamond districts, during the years 1836- 
1841." He later had charge of the botanical 
garden at Peradeniya, Ceylon. His Brazilian 
collections, preserved at Kew Gardens, have con- 
tributed much to our knowledge of the drier 
provinces of northeastern Brazil. 

From 1836 to 1842 occurred the voyage of the 
"Sulphur," a British scientific expedition under 
command of Sir EDWARD BELCHER whose "Nar- 
rative" of the voyage appeared in 1843. Botan- 

ical collections were made from 1836 to 1839 on 
the Pacific coast of America in California and 
from Mexico to Ecuador; these were gathered 
both by RICHARD B. HINDS, surgeon, and by 
GEORGE BARCLAY. "The Botany of the Voyage 
of H.M.S. Sulphur," edited by HINDS and with 
descriptions by GEORGE BENTHAM, was pub- 
lished in 1844. 

THEODOR HARTWEG (1812-71), German by 
birth, collected for the Horticultural Society of 
London from 1836 to 1843, and again from 1845 
to 1848. During the first period he visited Mex- 
ico (territory from Vera Cruz to Zacatecas, 
Michoacan, and Oaxaca), Guatemala, Ecuador 
(Guayaquil to Pinchincha and Loja), Colombia 
(at Popayan and Bogota, and on the Rio Mag- 
dalena), and Jamaica. During the second period 
he crossed Mexico from Vera Cruz to Mazatlan 
and proceeded to California. 13 " 

The United States Exploring Expedition, un- 
der command of CHARLES WILKES and having 
as botanical collectors CHARLES PICKERING, WIL- 
slightly into our consideration due to its having 
worked in Patagonia, on Tierra del Fuego, and 
also at Valparaiso and Callao, apparently all in 
1839. 13 * 

More significant was the work accomplished 
by JOSEPH D. HOOKER (1817-1911) on the Ross 
Antarctic Expedition, a British undertaking, 
when from April to December, 1842 he collected 
all forms of plant life on the Falkland Islands, 
with the intermission of nearly two months on 
Hermite Island, Fuegia; the flora of each area 
was reported in Ross' "A Voyage of discovery 
and research in the Southern and Antarctic re- 
gions, during the years 1839-43," published in 

Danish, was in southern Mexico from 1841 to 
1843, working especially from Vera Cruz to 
Tehuantepec and Oaxaca. His large collections, 
on which he was publishing assiduously until his 
early death, are at Copenhagen. 

WILLIAM PURDIE (1817-1857), Scotch, was in 
1843 in Jamaica, thence going in 1844 to Santa 
Marta, Colombia, so as to climb the Sierra 
Nevada de Santa Marta. His still remain our 
most ample collections from this isolated moun- 
tain-system. Thence in 1844-45 he worked in- 
land to Bogota. In 1846 he succeeded DAVID 
LOCK HART as Superintendent of the Botanical 
Garden on Trinidad. In 1851 he collected in the 
interior of Venezuela. 

In 1843 there came to South America the man 
who was to organize for the first time our 
knowledge of the plant-life of the Andes. HUGH 
ALGERNON WEDDELL (1819-77), English by 
birth, was "voyageur-naturaliste" on a scientific 
expedition under FRANCIS DE CASTELNAU, and he 
contributed to the latter's report entitled "Ex- 
pedition dans les parties centrales de 1'AmeYique 
du Sud, de Rio-de-Janeiro a Lima, et de Lima 
au Para, executee par ordre du gouvernement 
francos pendant les annees 1843 a 1847" a botan- 
ical study in two volumes entitled "Chloris An- 
dina, Essai d'une flore de la region alpine des 

i - A report of his collections, by GEORGE BENTHAU. 
entitled "Plantae Hartwcgianae," was issued from 1839 
to 1857. 

""From 1841 to 1874 ANDERS FREDRIK REGNELL 
(1807-84), Swedish, lived as physician in Minas Geraes, 
Brazil, besides his own extensive collections, his legacy 
to the Stockholm Academy of Science has made possible 
the more recent expeditions of C. A. M". LINDMAN and 
G. O. A. MALME. 

PENNELL: Historical Sketch 


Cordilleres de I'Amerique du Sud" that bears 
date of 1857. WEDDELL'S own collections were 
made from 1843 to 1845 in Brazil (Rio de Jan- 
eiro and Minas Geraes to Matto Grosso) ; from 
August, 1845 to January, 1847 in Bolivia; then 
about I^ake Titicaca in either Bolivia or Peru 
until June; then across southern Peru to Islay, 
thence to Lima, and finally home around Cape 
Horn. But under other auspices WEDDELL was 
enabled to return to Bolivia in 1851, entering 
from Arica and returning to Islay on the Peru- 
vian coast. Both expeditions contributed to the 
"Chloris Andina." 

Also there should be mentioned JULIUS VON 
WARSCEWICZ, a Polish collector of humming- 
birds and orchids, who came to Guatemala in 
1846, whence he proceeded through Salvador, 
Nicaragua, and Costa Rica to Panama. 

The most important botanist of Central Amer- 
ica, ANDERS SANDOE OERSTED (1816-72), Dan- 
ish, was in Nicaragua and Costa Rica from May, 
1846 to July, 1848. He was professor in the 
University of Copenhagen, and published a suc- 
cession of papers on Central American plants 
in the Videnskabelige Meddelelser from 1852 to 

The British scientific expedition of the ship 
"Herald" actually began in June, 1845 and had 
followed both coasts of South America when 
its botanical interests met disaster in the acci- 
dental death in Ecuador of the collector, THOMAS 
EDMONSTON ; but the real importance of the ex- 
pedition commenced with the arrival of his suc- 
cessor at Panama in September, 1846. BERTHOLD 
SEEMANN (1825-71), German by birth, collected 
in Panama until the following April, there joining 
the boat's party on its return from a northern 
cruise in January, 1847; he was with the ship 
from May, 1847 to February, 1848 when by 
charting the coast from Callao to Panama it 
brought to completion the British Admiralty's 
survey of South American shores; then he took 
part in an Arctic cruise, next collecting in 
Panama early in 1849 ; and, finally, while a sur- 
vey was being made of the Gulf of California 
from November, 1849 to March, 1850, he made 
an inland journey through the Mexican states 
of Sinaloa, Durango, and Jalisco. From 1852 
to 1857 was published "The Botany of the Voy- 
age of H.M.S. Herald," wholly by SEEMANN; 
this comprised four floras, of which those "of 
the Isthmus of Panama" and "of North-Western 
Mexico" pertain to our present sketch. SEEMANN 
also published both an English and a German 
account of his travels; these appeared in 1853, 
that in English being entitled "Narrative of the 
Voyage of H.M.S. Herald." 

From 1846 to 1848 occurred the war between 
the United States and Mexico, as a consequence 
of which all northern Mexico of that time, 
Texas, New Mexico, and California passed to the 
former country. United States army surgeons 
and others made collections in what has since 
constituted northern Mexico, the most extensive 
botanical report being on the plants collected 
by ADOLPH WISLIZENUS (1810-89) in Chihua- 
hua. This was published officially in 1848 as a 
"Memoir of a tour to northern Mexico, con- 
nected with Col. DONIPHAN'S Expedition, in 1846 
and 1847," and contains a "Botanical Appendix" 
by GEORGE ENGELMANN. After the war a com- 
mission of both governments was appointed to 
survey the new boundary line, and to it the 
United States government attached several plant 
collectors. The work of this survey, with the 

addition of that required by the Gadsden Pur- 
chase of 1853, lasted from 1849 to 1855, and dur- 
ing most or all of this time JOHN M. BIGELOW 
(1804-78), CHARLES C. PARRY (1823-90), AR- 
(1821-90), and CHARLES WRIGHT (1811-85) 
were collecting the specimens on which was 
based JOHN TORREY'S report of 1858 entitled 
"The Botany of the Boundary." While pertain- 
ing mainly to what is now United States' terri- 
tory, this included much from adjacent Mexico. 

Finally, from 1848 to 1852, ALFRED RUSSEL 
WALLACE (1823-1913), English and chiefly 
known as a zoologist, was in the Amazon valley 
of Brazil. In 1853 he published "A narrative 
of travels on the Amazon and Rio Negro . . .", 
and also a book on "Palm trees of the Amazon 
and their uses." 

We have now reached 1850, the year set as 
the limit for this historical sketch. We have 
seen an ever increasing interest in the scientific 
knowledge of the plants of Latin America, a 
development quite like that in other parts of the 
World. For Latin America this had reached 
by 1850 the stage of extensive and fairly sus- 
tained exploration, a stage then passed only in 
western Europe and eastern North America by 
that of the formation of reasonably complete 
"Floras." In 1850 western temperate North 
America was but at the beginning of such ex- 

More than ninety years have passed since 1850, 
and western temperate North America is now 
so well known that there the stage of simple 
exploration has passed into that of the develop- 
ment of adequate "Floras." But over Latin 
America the need of much more exploration 
everywhere persists. The era of prolonged ex- 
peditions ended in the nineteenth century, and 
now there are either shorter ones that from a 
collecting standpoint are more efficient or else 
resident botanists are carrying investigation for- 
ward. But remote parts of the Andes and of 
the Pacaraimas, the vast valleys of the Amazon 
and Orinoco, still need well organized expedi- 
tions for their satisfactory penetration. The total 
flora of South America is far richer in species 
than that of the northern continent. 

There are many other aspects of botanical in- 
vestigation than that of acquainting ourselves 
with the occurrence of species in nature and their 
distribution, and readers may be disappointed 
that I have told so wholly of such exploration. 
But these other manifold kinds of botanical 
study, from morphology to physiology and genet- 
ics, come later, and scarcely were they existent 
in Latin America by 1850. Moreover, there is 
warrant for pressing first the task of explora- 
tion, as upon its completeness other aspects, both 
of pure and applied science, wait. Man's botan- 
ical survey must be completed before he can 
fully know the resources of this globe on which 
he lives. 

The scope of the present volume calls for at least the 
mention of the most outstanding work since 1850. This 
will be given by countries. 

Mexico. The most important exploration of the 
later nineteenth century was done by botanists from the 
United States. Most notable among these were EDWAKD 
PALMER (1831-1911) and CYRUS G. Pxmout (1838- 
1911), who used the railroad in traveling widely over 
Mexico north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Both 
were collectors, who left to others the study of what they 
gathered PR INGLE being the greatest of all collectors 
of the Mexican flora. Such collecting was continued, 
especially in the first decade of this century, by JOSEPH 


PENNELL: Historical Sketch 

N. ROSE (1862-1928)130 and PAUL C. STANDLEY, the 
former being joint author with NATHANIEL L. BRITTON 
of "The Cactaceae" from 1919 to 1923 and the latter 
of "Trees and Shrubs of Mexico," issued from 1920 
to 1926. 

British Honduras. This has been botanically neg- 
lected, until the recent work by botanists of the Field 
Museum of Chicago and of the University of Michigan. 
In 1936 appeared "The forests and flora of British 
Honduras" by PAUL C. STANDLEY and SAMUEL J. 
RECORD, and studies by CYRUS L. LUKDBLL are covering 
this with adjoining territory in Guatemala and Mexico. 

Guatemala. Collections were made in the later 
nineteenth century by and for JOHN DONNELL SMITH 
(1829-1928), who published many descriptions from this 
and other Central American countries, beside issuing 
separately an enumeration of the Guatemalan flora. At 
present P. C. STANDLEY and his associates of the Field 
Museum of Natural History are collecting toward an 
actual Flora. 

Salvador. This was little visited until the work of 
PAUL C. STANDLEY during the last twenty-five years. 
In 1925 he and SALVADOR CALDBR6N published a "Lista 
preliminar de las plantas de El Salvador." 

Honduras. This republic is botanically the most 
neglected portion of the New World. In 1931 P. C. 
STANDLEY published an annotated enumeration of the 
plants of the Lancetilla Valley", but it will be long be- 
fore enough has been collected to warrant an actual 
Flora of the country. 

Nicaragua. Except for species that appear in 
OERSTED'S and J. D. SMITH'S papers, this country has 
remained little known botanically. In 1911 there ap- 
peared at Managua a 2-volumed "Flora Nicaraguensis"i 

Costa Rica. This is the best-known of Central Amer- 
ican republics. Since the time of OERSTED the most 
important collecting has been done by JOHN DONNELL 
SMITH and HENRI PITTIER, both contributing to the 
latter's "Primitiae Florae Costaricensis" an d the lat- 
ter author of an "Ensayo sobre las plantas usuales de 
Costa Rica;" and by PAUL C. STANDLEY, who published 
in 1937 and 1938 a detailed enumeration of the flower- 
ing plants that was entitled "Flora of Costa Rica." 

Panama. Since SEEM ANN'S time little attention has 
been given to the plants of Panama until recent years. 
In 1928 PAUL C. STANDLEY published his "Flora of the 
Panama Canal Zone," and now botanists of the Missouri 
Botanical Garden, especially ROBERT E. WOODSON and 
R. J. SEIBERT, are making collections toward a Flora 
of the whole republic. 

West Indies. From 1856 to 1867 CHARLES WRIGHT 
(1811-85), who had previously been the most active col- 
lector on the United States-Mexican Boundary Survey, 
worked nearly constantly in Cuba, the results of his 
labors being embodied in A. GRISEBACH'S "Catalogus 
plantarum Cubensium exhibens collectionem Wrightia- 
num altasque minores ex insula Cuba missas," published 
at Leipzig in 1866. GRISEBACH had already written 
his "Flora of the British West Indian Islands" that 
appeared at London in parts from 1859 to 1865. He 
was never in the West Indies himself, nor apparently 
was his fellow German, IGNATIUS URBAN, who through 
his great serial "Symbolae Antillanae seu Fundamenta 
Florae Indiae Occidentalis," in 9 volumes from 1898 to 
1928, contributed more than any other to our knowledge 
of the West Indian flora. In coritrast to GRISEBACH and 
1901 on made many collecting trips to the islands; he 
published in 1918 a "Flora of Bermuda," in 1920 with 
CHARLES F. MILLSPAUGH "The Bahama Flora," from 
1923 to 1930 jointly with PERCY WILSON the account of 
Spermatophytes in the "Botany of Porto Rico and the 
Virgin Islands," while for many years he collaborated 

180 For his study of Cactaceae Dr. ROSE visited nearly 
all countries of Latin America, as did also ALBERT S. 
HITCHCOCK (1865-1935) for grasses. 

"As Vol. 10 of Bot. Ser. of Publ. Field Museum 
of Natural History. 

IB Erroneously written "Flora Nicaraguense." 

i By TH. DURAND and H. PITTIER, the first and 
second parts appearing in Bull. Soc. Bot. Belg. for 1891 
and 1892, and the third and fourth at San Jos* in 1898 
and 1907. The last was actually by J. D. SMITH. 

with Frere LE6N of Havana upon a "Flora of Cuba." 
that remains as yet unpublished. Mention should also 
be made of the zealous collecting in Cuba and Haiti of 
ERIK L. EKMAN (1883-1931), whose plants were being 
reported by URBAN until the death in the same year of 
both collector and reporter. Since 1928 R. O. WILLIAMS 
and E. E. CHEESMAN have been issuing in parts a 
"Flora of Trinidad and Tobago," and since 1935 HENRI 
STEHLE a "Flore de la Guadeloupe et Dependances." 

Colombia. JOSE TRIANA (1834-90), a native Colom- 
bian, in association with J. E. PLANCHON, published at 
Paris in 1862 the first volume of a "Prodromus Florae 
Novo-Granatensis," while a second, appearing in parts 
from 1863 to 1867, contained contributions by various 
European botanists on Lichcnes, Bryophyta, and Pteri- 
dophyta; but the work was only the beginning of a great 
project. In the succeeding fifty years little collecting 
or special study was made of Colombian plants, but 
for some thirty years now collections from that country 
have been increasing and ELLSWORTH P. KILLIP, who 
has himself worked in several parts of Colombia, is 
hoping to develop a "Flora of Colombia." Quickened 
interest has resulted from the foundation in 1934 of 
the Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Fisicas 
y Naturales, with a scientific museum at Bogota, and 
with its Revista and the journal Caldasia as mediums 
of publication. ARMANDO DUGAND and Jos 6 CUATRE- 
CASAS are the ablest of the new group of Colombian 

Venezuela. In spite of the physical diversity and 
richness of the country, botanical progress has been 
slight. It has, however, been stimulated by the resi- 
dence there since 1917 of HENRI PITTIER, who, just as 
he had done for Costa Rica, has published for his 
newly adopted land a "Manual de las plantas usuales de 
Venezuela" (1926). A remarkable bit of recent ex- 
ploration was G. H. H. TATE'S ascent of Cerro Duida, 
at the western extremity of the Guiana-Venezuelan 
mountains and close to the upper Orinoco, where from 
October, 1928 to March, 1929 his party collected a 
flora nearly wholly unknown. The "Botanical results 
of the Tyler-Duida Expedition," by HENRY A. GLEASON, 
appeared in 1931 in the Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical 

Guiana. Some collections have of late years been 
assembling from British Guiana, but it is in Dutch 
Guiana that most recent progress has been made. A. 
PULLE, who collected there in 1920, had long been pub- 
lishing upon the flora, and from 1932 has been issuing 
at Amsterdam his detailed "Flora of Surinam." 

Ecuador. Although its high mountains have at- 
tracted geological and other expeditions, there is as yet 
no comprehensive Flora of the country. Luis SODIRO 
(1836-1909), an Ecuadorean Jesuit, collected over many 
years, and published his "Apuntes sobre la Vegetaci6n 
Ecuatoriana" at Quito from 1874 to 1908. LUDWIG 
DIELS, of the Berlin Botanical Garden, visited Ecuador 
in 1933, and in 1937 there appeared his "Beitrage zur 
Kenntnis der Vegetation und Flora von Ecuador," con- 
taining an ecological study, historical accounts of col- 
lectors, and descriptions of new species. 

Peru. After the work of WEDDELL about 1850 came 
the geographical labors of ANTONIO RAIMONDI, who also 
made many collections of plants which have only re- 
cently been receiving adequate study in Germany. In 
1901 AUGUST WEBERBAUER came from Germany to Peru, 
where he has now lived for many years at Lima. He has 
made an intimate study of the Peruvian flora. His 
many collections have mostly gone to Germany, where 
they were reported by various taxonomists in the series 
"Plantae .... Weberbauerianae," while he himself pub- 
lished in 1911 his "Pflanzenwelt der peruanischen An- 
den."" His later collections have gone to the Field 
Museum of Natural History where since 1936 J. 
FRANCIS MACBRIDE has been issuing parts of a compre- 
hensive "Flora of Peru." MACBRIDE has himself col- 
lected in Peru, especially in the territory visited by 
Ruiz and PAVON in the eighteenth century. 

Bolivia. The flora of Bolivia remains little known. 
Since 1880 there have been several visiting botanists: 

if "Plantae novae andinae imprimis Weberbauerianae" 
appeared in the Jahrb. Syst. Bot. from 1906 to 1913; 
"Pflanzenwelt . . ." as vol. 12 of Die Vegetation der Erde. 

P ATI NO: Lv Agriculture y los Recursos Vegetales de Mexico 


HENRY H. RUSBY (1855-1940), North American, in 
1885, who later described from his own and other col- 
lections many Bolivian species; and TH. HERZOG, Ger- 
man, in 1907-08 and again in 1910-11, who in 1923 
published his "Pflanzenwelt der bolivischen Anden und 
ihres ostlichen Vorlandes/'W As with WEBERBAUER, many 
new species have been based on HERZOC'S collections, 
while his own contributions have been devoted chiefly 
to the Bryophyta. 

Brazil. From 1849 to 1855 RICHARD SPRUCE (1817- 
93), English, studied the vegetation of the Amazon 
Valley in Brazil, excepting for an excursion from March, 
1853 til) early 1855 to the middle Rio Orinoco in Vene- 
zuela; from May, 1855 to 1864 he was in Ecuador. Al- 
though his collections were ample and mostly of ar- 
borescent vegetation, his own interest turned to the 
Bryophyta and to the elucidation of these his remaining 
life was devoted. Other collectors in Brazil have been 
numerous, such as JOAO BARBOSA RODRIGUES (1842- 
1909). Brazilian, who from 1868 collected widely over 
Brazil; EUGEWIUS WARMING (1841-1924), Danish, from 
1863 to 1866 in Rio de Janeiro, most famous for his 
writings on ecology; SPENCER L. M. MOORE (1851-1931), 
English, who in 1891-92 went from Argentina through 
Paraguay into Matto Grosso; PER K. H. DUSEN (1855- 
1926), Swedish, who from 1902 to 1904 was in southern 
Brazil; FRITZ MULLER (1822-97), German, who lived 
from 1852 on in the state of Santa Catharina, and 
whose keen observations of flower-pollination 19 are 
famous; and ERNST H. G. ULK (1854-1915), German, 
who from 1883 to 1903 was in the southern provinces 
and then in the Amazon valley. Active today are ADOLFO 
PAIO of Rio de Janeiro, and F. C. HOEHNE of Sao Paulo; 
the last has commenced the preparation of a second great 
Flora of Brazil, to be known as the "Flora Brasilica." 

Paraguay. This was almost unknown botanically 
until the work of EMILE HASSLER (d. 1937), Swiss, 
whose ample collections from 1885 to 1900 were re- 
ported by ROBERT CHODAT in the Bulletin of the Bois- 
sier Herbarium from 1898 to 1905. 

Uruguay. Scientific activity received a great stim- 
ulus from the establishment of the Museo Nacional de 
Montevideo, the first number of the Anales of which 
appeared in 1894. It contained a study of Uruguayan 
grasses by Josfe ARECHAVALETA. and his papers have 
continued to be leading contributions to our knowledge 
of the Uruguayan flora. 

Argentina. The scientific life of Argentina has been 
highly institutionalized. The Museo Nacional de His- 
toria Natural in Buenos Aires was founded in 1823, and 
its Anales have been running from about 1890. About 
1870 there was a great quickening of intellectual inter- 
ests throughout Argentina under the presidency of 
SARMIENTO. It was then that the Academia Nacional 
de Ciencias was founded at C6rdoba, and PAUL GUN- 
THER LORENTZ (1835-1881), a German bryologist, was 
invited to become professor of botany; his extensive 
collections from the provinces of C6rdoba, Santiago, 
Tucuman, and Chaco in central and northern Argentina 
were the bases of GRISEBACB'S "Plantae Lorentzianae" 
(1874) and "Symbolae ad Floram Argentinam" (1879), 
published in Germany. In 1872 the Sociedad Cientifica 
Argentina was founded in Buenos Aires, and its Anales 
have been running since 1876. The Museo de la Plata 
at the city of La Plata commenced with collections 
given to the Universidad in 1877. but by 1890 estab- 
lished its own Revista. The journal Physis, devoted to 
natural history, commenced in 1912. Through all these 
media we have many papers upon the Argentine flora, 
from such comprehensive taxonomic and floristic ones 
as those of LUCIEN HAUMAN to papers by LORENZO R. 
PARODI on grasses and by CARLOS SPSGAZZZNI on Fungi. 
In 1922 CRISTOBAL M. HICKEN added yet another jour- 
nal, Darwiniana, to those published at or near Buenos 
Aires. But other centers have also become active. To 
the northwest the Academia Nacional de Ciencias flour- 
ishes at C6rdoba, while beyond it at Tucuman is the 
Institute Miguel Lillo that sponsors, under the editor- 
ship of the botanist HORACIO R. DESCOLE, the journal 

18 As vol. 15 of Die Vegetation der Erde. 

1 Author of many papers from 1866 to 1895, as well 
as contributor of observations to the comprehensive 
works of his brother, HERMANN M#LLER. 

Lilloa, commenced only in 1937. Strong as are all these 
institutions one notices the absence of definite Floras 
or of an effort to bring out a unified account of the 
plant-life of Argentina. 

Chile. The botanical activity is much less diversi- 
fied than in Argentina, and has been strongly individual- 
istic. In fact, a single figure dominated Chilean botany 
during the second half of the nineteenth century. From 
his arrival in 1851 as a political refugee from Germany 
for some fifty years RUDOLFO AMANDO PHILIPPI (1808- 
1904) described thousands of plant-species from Chile. 
The fact that his types are mostly preserved at the 
Museo Nacional at Santiago makes Chile unique among 
Latin American countries in having the majority of the 
type-specimens of its flora preserved in the country it- 
self. But PHILIPPI did not develop actual taxonomic 
revisions, and it later devolved on CARLOS REICHE in his 
"Flora de Chile," commenced in 1896 and left un- 
finished when its author left the country in 1911, to 
provide comparative presentations of the species with 
keys for their identification. REICHE, like WEBERBAUER 
for Peru and HERZOG for Bolivia, contributed to Die 
Vegetation der Erde a floristic summary, and this he 
entitled "Grundziige der Pflanzenverbreitung in Chile."20 


los Recursos Vegetales de Mexico: La Agri- 
cultura ocupa en Mexico una posicion de la mas 
elevada importancia, desarrollandose fundamen- 
talmente para el sostenimiento de su poblacion. 

El territorio de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos 
esta comprendido entre los paralelos 14, 33' y 
32, 43'. Sus tierras son atravesadas por dos 
alias cordilleras, bifurcation de la gran cordillera 
Andina y continuadas despues por las montanas 
Rocallosas y las Sierras Costaneras de Estados 
Unidos por el Oeste y los Monies Apalaches 
por el Este. Estan unidas ya en el territorio 
Mexicano por numerosos contra fuertes, deter- 
minando una variation muy importante en la 
configuration del territorio que origina una gran 
diversidad de climas. De los 32 tipos de climas 
que se consideran en el mundo, 18 tipos perfec- 
tamente definidos se encuentran en Mexico, aun 
cuando de estos solo siete se hallan representados 
en regiones mayores del 5% de su area total. 

Los terrenes agricolas de Mexico estan por lo 
tanto situados, entre las latitudes ya men- 
cionadas, a muy diferentes altitudes ; destacan- 
dose de manera prominente la Altiplanicie Me- 
xicana que es una serie de mesetas formadas 
entre las dos Sierras Madres, Oriental y Occi- 
dental. Estas Sierras unidas en la region istmica 
de Tehuantepec van abriendose a medida que 
avanzan sensiblemente de Sureste a Noroeste 
primero, y casi de Sur a Norte despues. Esta 
altiplanicie de alturas variables cuya altitud va 
sensiblemente descendiendo hacia el Norte cons- 
tituye una verdadera unidad geografica de 
caracteres precisos. Dentro de una region pro- 
piamente tropical por su latitud, encontramos 
mesetas tan elevadas como los Valles de Me- 
xico y Toluca con altitudes de 2,200 a 2,500 
metres sobre el nivel del mar (7,300 a 8,300 
pies). Las altas Cordilleras van descendiendo 
en multiples serranias y estribaciones hacia los 
dos oceanos que banan el pais, determinando 
esto climas muy variados por la influencia de las 
lluvias y las diferentes altitudes, hasta llegar a 
los terrenos ligeramente pendientes de las costas 
que desaparecen en algunos puntos de los lito- 
rales por acercarse las montanas hasta la costa 
o bien forman pantanos y esteros muy prolon- 

20 As vol. 8, issued In 1907. 


PATINO : La Afrieultura y los Recursos Vegetates de Mexico 

La configuraci6n de territorio determina cuatro 
divisiones fundamentals: la parte Continental 
propiamente dicha, la Zona Istmica de Tehuan- 
tepec, la regi6n Peninsular que incluye las Penin- 
sulas de Yucatan y la Baja California y la 
regi6n Insular que comprende las islas per- 
tenecientes a Mexico en el Oceano Pacifico. 

La configuracidn y topografia del territorio 
determinan condiciones de humedad muy varia- 
das, desde el clima muy humedo de las estri- 
baciones hacia el mar, en el Sureste, en donde 
se tienen lluvias practicamente durante todo el 
ano, hasta las mesetas interiores de la region 
norte de precipitacion escasa y en algunos luga- 
res casi nula. Esto sugiere que habra condi- 
ciones muy diversas para la agricultura y para 
el desarrollo de la vegetacion en general, encon- 
trandose una tendencia favorable a producirse 
climas de acentuada aridez. Apenas si el 2%, 
en superficie, del territorio Mexicano, recibe llu- 
vias normales durante 150 dias ; el resto del pafs 
es fundamentalmente seco. De la superficie total 
de cerca de 2,000,000 de Kmts. 2 apenas si en el 
0.11% Hueve mas de 180 dias, en el 1 a 2% 
llucve de 150 a 180, en el 4 a 6% llueve de 121 
a 150 dias, en el 13% llueve de 91 a 120 dias, 
en el 28% llueve de 60 a 90 dias ; en el 38%, 
la mas fuerte proporcion y que representa 751,- 
000 Kmts. 2 de superficie, apenas si llueve de 31 
a 60 dias durante todo el ano y todavia se tiene 
un 15% que representa 291,000 Kmts. 2 en donde 
llucve menos de 30 dias durante el ano. Las 
regiones de lluvias mas abundantes se encuen- 
tran dispersas en superficies muy pequenas en el 
centre de la Vertiente Oriental y en el Sureste. 
La enorme regi6n seca abarca principalmente 
la altiplanicie que se extiende sin interrupcion 
desde los Valles de Mexico y Toluca hasta las 
fronteras con Estados Unidos. Esta regi6n, en 
la que tiene que desarrollarse la mas grande 
actividad agricola, sostiene su agricultura pcno- 
samente, ya que no se cuenta con humedad 
proporcionada por la lluvia para sostener el 
crecimiento de las plantas de manera eficiente, 
pues aparte de su escasez, los regimenes plu- 
viometricos de Mexico se caracterizan porque 
las lluvias ocurren en un periodo de tiempo muy 
breve; dicho periodo es irregular, su intensidad 
es muy variable y las precipitaciones caen con 
extrema violencia, lo cual determina problemas 
de surna gravedad para la agricultura y coloca 
a Mexico en condiciones de las peores que existen 
en el mundo. Debido a sto gran parte de la 
superficie cultivada, que representa por lo menos 
una tercera parte del total de superficie anual, 
deja de cosecharse porque faltaron las llinnas. 

Las tierras agricolas de Mexico estan casi 
todas situadas en terrenos de fuerte pendiente o 
en valles angostos entre las montanas, lo que 
determina un efecto pavoroso de la erosion y 
consecuentemente el problema de la conserva- 
ci6n del suelo alcanza proporciones que las 
condiciones economicas del pais apenas si permi- 
ten controlar. Las tierras agricolas de Mexi- 
co, erosionadas y lavadas, tienen que producir 
muy bajos rendimientos y traen aparejada la 
lucha constante contra el hambre. Los suelos 
de Mexico son consecuentemente muy variados. 
En la altiplanicie se encuentran suelos de color 
castano (Chestnut), negros (Chernozem), que 
abarcan la mayor parte del centro del pais y 
hacia el Norte hasta Sonora, llegando hacia el 
Sur hasta Oaxaca y la meseta de Chiapas; 
cstos, y los suelos de pradera (Prairie), que 

abarcan tambien una parte de la costa Norte del 
Golfo y la costa Sur del Pacifico constituyen 
los terrenos de cultivo mis importantes y en 
donde la vegetaci6n es prominente. Tambien 
desde la altiplanicie hacia el Norte, incluyendo 
Baja California y parte de la costa de Sonora 
hasta la frontera con Estados Unidos, se en- 
cuentra una amplia provincia de tierras deser- 
ticas (Sierozem) y (Desert), pobladas por Cras- 
sicauletums y Sufruticetums con algunas pe- 
quenas regiones incluidas de Graminoidetums. 
Estas tierras se encuentran tambien en el cen- 
tro y Sur del pais en una Zona de Puebla y 
Oaxaca. Las tierras rojas y amarillas, algunas 
de ellas lateriticas, se encuentran a lo largo de 
la costa del Golfo perteneciente a Veracruz, in- 
cluyendo el Norte de Oaxaca y el Norte de 
Chiapas. Son tierras que se cultivan con buenos 
rendimientos y en las que crece una muy variada 
vegetaci6n tropical que va desde los Graminoide- 
tums en forma de Sabana y los Arboretums de 
especies tropicales que se extienden en la costa 
de Veracruz, Norte de Oaxaca y Chiapas, Ta- 
basco, Campeche y Quintana Roo. Pequenas 
regiones dispersas en el centro y en el Norte 
se pueden considerar como Pods61icas y los 
suelos estudiados se completan con las zonas de 
Rendzinas que se encuentran en una region de la 
costa del Golfo entre Tamaulipas y Veracruz 
y en la region Sur y Oriental de Yucatan, 
Campeche y Quintana Roo, encontrandose tierra 
rpsa (Terra Rossa), en la parte Norte de Yuca- 
tan y Campeche. Finalmente en la region Sur 
de la costa del Golfo de Mexico se considera 
que existen suelos del grupo Gley, en las re- 
giones bajas o inundadas de Tabasco. Natural - 
mente dentro de estas tierras los suelos van 
diferenciandose a medida que se sube en las cor- 
dilleras, deter minando una abundante cantidad 
de tipos y alimentando muy variadas poblaciones 
vegetales que van desde la sabana y el bosque 
o selva tropical, hasta la vegetacion arborea Sub- 
alpina, asi como propiamente Alpina de las 
crestas mas elevadas. 

Con tal variedad de climas Mexico cuenta en 
su flora con una enorme cantidad de especies, 
desde las Xerofitas Cactdceas, Amariliddceas, Eu- 
forbidceas, etc., de las tierras deserticas hasta las 
especies de clima tropical humedo, muchas de las 
cuales son apenas conocidas, a pesar de los es- 
tudios y colecciones formados. 

Para dar una idea de las especies cultivadas 
y de la importancia de los cultivos que se reali- 
zan en Mexico hare a continuacion una resena : 

El maiz se cultiva en casi toda la Republica. 
Donde quiera que hay una pequena aldea, se la 
encontrard siempre rodeada de campos de maiz, 
aun en las condiciones de aridez e infertilidad 
mas extremas. El promedio de superficie sem- 
brada en los ultimos cinco anos es de 3,238,844 
hectareas, con un bajisimo rendimiento medio 
de 560 kilos por hectarea, lo que se explica, 
tanto por las condiciones desfavorables de suelo 
y clima, principalmente por la falta de lluvia en 
el periodo vegetative, como tambien por el es- 
tado de relative atraso de los metodos de cul- 
tivo que se siguen en algunas regiones. Se 
cultivan un gran numero de variedades de maiz 
profusamente distribuidas en todos los climas 
y adaptadas a condiciones de la mas variadas. 
Esta adaptation a tan diversos climas, desde 
el clima muy frio y seco de la alta meseta y 
las estribaciones de las Cordilleras, hasta el muy 
caliente y humedo de las costas del Pacifico y 

FATING : La Agriculture y los Recursos Vegetate* de Mexico 


del Golfo de Mexico, ha sido realizada en su 
totalidad por el cultivo continue a que ban suje- 
tado a esta planta nuestros grupos indigenas, 
mas que por estudios cientificos, pues s61o hasta 
hace tres anos se ban iniciado trabajos series 
para el estudio gene*tico del maiz, de adaptation, 
y de obtencion de variedades. Las seis subespecies 
botanicas Eberta, Indurata, Indentata, Tunicata, 
Amylacea y Amylea-Saccharata se cultivan en di- 
ferentes variedades y tambien se las encuentra en- 
tremezcladas en hibridos espontaneos sobre todo 
entre Eberta e Indurata y entre Indurata y Amy- 
lacea. Las fprmas Eberta tienen el nombre de 
maiz "Palpmita," las formas Indurata no tienen 
denomination especial excepto por los nombres 
de algunas local idades. Las formas de Indentata 
son llamadas maiz "Pepitilla" y las formas de 
Amylacea, cultivadas restringidamente, se de- 
nominan en general maiz "Cacahuazintle." 

Las formas mas ampliamente cultivadas y que 
en su mayor parte se utilizan para la alimenta- 
cidn del pueblo mexicano en forma de tortillas 
y tamales (especie de pan), y atoles (especie de 
pudines), provienen de las especies Zea Inden- 
tata, Indurata y Eberta, aun cuando las formas 
puras de esta ultima se utilizan principalmcnte 
para hacer las palomitas, "Pop Corn." 

El trigo, que sigue al maiz en importancia, 
se siembra en una superficie media de 539,874 
hectareas. con un rendimiento promedio en los 
ultimos cinco anos de 628 kilos por hectarea, que 
es muy bajo. Aun cuando existen regiones en 
las que indudablemente se obtiene un rendi- 
miento mayor, ocupan superficies muy reducidas. 
La mayor parte del trigo que se produce en 
Mexico proviene de las regiones templadas y 
frias del centre del pais y de algunas regiones 
irrigadas o que aprovechan las avenidas de los 
rios en la region Norte, como La Laguna, los 
Valles de los rios "Yaqui" y "Mayo." el Valle 
de Juarez ya en la frontera con Estados Unidos 
del Norte, etc. y en los Estados de Mexico, Pue- 
bla, Hidalgo, Queretaro, Guanajuato, Michoa- 
can y Jalisco. El trigo se cultiva en los cal- 
verps de los bosques en las tierras altas, llegando 
casi a 3,000 metres de altura sobre el nivel del 
mar ; en las vegas angostas de los rios, y en al- 
gunas planicies ligeramente onduladas pertene- 
cientes a la "Mesa Central," irrigadas en su 
mayor parte por medio de obras que ha rea- 
lizado la Comision National de Irrigation y en 
muy pequena proportion la iniciativa privada. 
La mayor proportion de formas cultivadas dc 
trigo en Mexico, pertenecen a la especie Triti- 
cum vulgare y son las que se utilizan principal- 
mente para harina de pan. Tambien se cultivan 
en algunos lugares formas de Triticum durum y 
algunas variedades hibridas interespccificas. 
S61o en las estaciones experimentales para el 
trigo se encuentran en ocasiones poblaciones de 
Triticum turgidum y T. polonicum. Debido al 
intense ataque de las Puccinias que en Mexico 
se denominan comunmente Chahuixtles, la Se- 
cretaria de Agricultura y Fomento, con la cola- 
boracion de especialistas Norteamcricanos, prin- 
cipalmente de la Universidad de Minnesota, ha 
iniciado experimentos tendientes a obtener razas 
de trigo inmunes a esos hongos, con muy hala- 
guefios resultados. 

El frijol se cultiva tambien en todos los climas ; 
pero principalmente en las tierras templadas y 
calientes. El promedio de superficie sembrada 
en el ultimo periodo de cinco anos, es de 616,- 
653 hectareas, con un rendimiento promedio de 

1990 kilos por hectarea. Las especies de frijol 
cultivadas mas generalmente en Mexico perte- 
necen a las tres especies Phaseolus vulgaris, P. 
multiflorus y P. lunatus. Las formas del vul- 
garis son principalmente cultivadas en las re- 
giones frias y templadas y cubren la mayoria de 
la superficie anotada. Sus formas son muy 
variadas y se utilizan tanto las vainas tiernas 
(ejotes), como las semillas secas, que consti- 
tuyen en Mexico entre los campesinos el platillo 
fundamental en la dieta, siendo las tortillas de 
maiz, el pan, y el condimento obligado, el chile 
(Capsicum). La especie multiflorus se cultiva 
de preferencia en las regiones frias dc la "Mesa 
Central" y sus formas blanca y de color rpsado 
se denominan "ayocotes." En las regiones calidas 
se cultivan algunas formas de lunatus, tambien 
usado para la alimentation ; pero de mas dificil 
cocimiento y baja calidad. Entre estos frijoles se 
encuentra a veces el Ph. aconitifolius var. lati- 
folius, al que en el Sureste llaman "escumite" 
y es el Tepary en Norte America. Tambien se le 
cultiva en algunas regiones del Norte (Sonora, 
etc.). Se cultivan en muy reducida escala Vigna 
sinensis y Soya max. En las regiones frias dc la 
alta meseta se cultivan en escala regular el Haba 
(Vicia jaba), asi como el Chicharo (Pisum), y 
en las templadas el Garbanzo (Ciccr). Es tam- 
bien muy importante pbjeto de cultivo el Caca- 
huate o mani (Arachis hypogaea), en todas las 
zonas templadas y calientes. 

En tierra caliente puede encontrarse sub-espon- 
taneo el "Pidgeon pea" (Cajanus indicus), tan 
valioso en la India Inglesa como forraje y ali- 
mento del hombre. En la region tcmplada del 
centre del Pais, en las tierras arcillosas com- 
pactas de riego que se encuentran en la Zona 
denominada "Bajio," se cultiva la lenteja (Lens 
esculenta), en una superficie importante. 

El arroz sigue al frijol en importancia ; se sicm- 
bran alrededor de 47,509 hectareas, con un 
promedio de rendimiento en arroz palay de 1,992 
kilos por hectarea. 

El arroz se cultiva en todas la regiones ca- 
lientes y en algunas regiones templadas del 
Norte del Pais. Los mas altos rendimientos se 
obtienen en donde se cultiva con riego perma- 
nente siguiendo el sistema de trasplante que se 
asemeja al metodo chino y de la Malasia. Estos 
arroces, de la Subesp. utuissima, forma commu- 
nis, que son los de mcjor calidad, se utilizan pre- 
ferentemente para sopas. Morelos y Puebla se 
destacan principalmente en la produccion de 
arroz de riego. En otras regiones de clima 
calido el arroz se cultiva en las lomas, y en te- 
rrenos montanosos de poca altura sin riego, ob- 
teniendpse productos de muy buena calidad, pero 
con bajos rendimientos. Finalmente en las re- 
giones templadas irrigadas del Norte tambien 
se cultiva arroz, principalmente alrededor de 
Cajeme, en el Estado de Sonora: estos arroces 
son generalmente de variedades Americanas, 
como la Edith y la Blue Rose ; algunas pertene- 
cientes a la Subesp. glutinosa, son de inferior 
calidad y se utilizan para budines, reposteria y 
para la fabrication de cervezas. 

Sigue en importancia el algod6n, del que se 
cultivan 285,615 hectareas en promedio de los 
ultimos cinco anos, con un rendimiento medio 
de 248 kilos de algod6n pluma por hecta- 
rea, lo que representa una producci6n anual 
de 307,622 pacas de 230 kilos. Casi no hay re- 
gion templada o caliente en donde no se en- 
cuentre algod6n creciendo cultivado o espon- 


PATINO: La Agriculture y los Recursoi Vegetalei de Mexico 

taneo; sin embargo, las regiones en donde se 
cultiva esta planta estan perfectamente definidas ; 
la region principal se encuentra entre los Es- 
tados dc Coahuila, Nuevo Leon y Durango y 
comprende la regi6n "Lagunera" cuyo centre 
es la ciudad de Torreon; la otra region imnor- 
tante esta localizada en el Golfo de Mexico, 
limitrofe con Estados Unidos, y se extiende al- 
rededor de la ciudad de Matamoros, en el Es- 
tado de Tamaulipas. Por otra parte en el ex- 
treme^ Noroeste de la Peninsula de California, 
tambien en regi6n limitrofe con Estados Unidos, 
se encuentra la Zona de Mexicali en la que se 
produce el algodon de mas alta calidad. Las 
for mas cultivadas en general pertenecen a cs- 
pecies de las regiones tropicales y sub-tropicales 
de este Continente, asi como de las islas de las In- 
dias Occidentales, fundamentalmente Gossypium 
hirsutum, G. barbadense y G. mexicanum o hibri- 
dos entrc estas especies. Como antes se dijo, en las 
regiones del Sureste las gentes cultivan en los 
patios o pequefios terrenos, sobre todo en las 
comunidades indigenas, formas que pudieran 
pertenecer a las especies G. fruticulosum y G. 
lanceolatunt. Aun cuando el algodon es planta 
importantc de cultivo en Mexico y el material 
para trabajos geneticos es abundante y variado 
dentro dc las propias especies Mexicanas, fuera 
de las extensas colecciones hechas por los Amer- 
icanos y por VAVILOV, aun no se estudian en nues- 
tro pais las posibilidades de producir variedades 
y solamente se ban hecho selecciones y estudios 
de adaptacion de variedades cultivadas en Estados 

La cafia de azucar ocupa un lugar importance 
con 96,426 hectareas de promedio, con un rendi- 
miento medio de 48.5 toneladas por hectarea. 

La cana de azucar se cultiva en condiciones 
climatericas muy variadas, pues se le cultiva 
tanto en regiones del Pacifico Norte y del Golfo, 
mas alia del Tropico de Cancer, en el Estado 
de Sinaloa y en el de Tamaulipas, como en el 
Pacifico Sur, en los Estados de Nayarit, Jalisco, 
Colima, Michoacan, Guerrero, Oaxaca y Chia- 
pas. De la misma manera que en el Golfo, al 
Sur del Tr6pico de Cancer, se cultiva en el 
Estado de Veracruz, y en menor proporcion en 
Tabasco y Yucatan. Cultivase tambien en el 
centre del Pais en los Estados de Morelos, 
Puebla, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosi y Guanajuato. 
Los climas varian desde el templado calido, con 
Huvias mas o menos abundantcs durante 4 o 6 
meses y los calidos y humedos, con lluvia abun- 
dante, durante 6 meses o mas. En algunas re- 
giones como las de Morelos y Puebla, la cana 
se cultiva bajo irrigacion. En otros lugares se 
mantiene exclusivamente con la lluvia y las brisas 

Los terrenos en que se cultiva la cana en 
Mexico son nor lo general arcillosos compactos, 
de pradera como los de Morelos, de color negro o 
cafe y de color rojo cafe en las costas. Las cafias 
se cultivan en las regiones del Sureste en ticrras 
mas francas, generalmente migajones limo-areno- 
sos con arenas micaceas. En Tabasco se cultiva 
tambien en terrenos de acarreo, un poco mas ar- 
cillosos y lexiviados. Aun se cultivan en vasta 
proporci6n las viejas cafias criollas: cristalina, 
veteada y morada. Sin embargo, las variedades 
mejoradas de Java, la India y Hawaii, se estan 
destacando definidamente. Las mas cultivadas son : 
P.O.J. 2878. P.OJ. 2725. P.O.J. 36. 
CO. 281. CO. 290. CO. 210. H. 109, etc. 
La Secretaria de Agricultura y Fomento cuenta 

en "Zacatepec" y "El Potrero," con Campos Ex- 
perimentales, en los que se tienen muy buenas 
colecciones, incluyendo las especies salvajes. 

Las plantas forrajeras mas cultivadas en Mexi- 
co son : la cebada y la avena, que se cultivan 
en las tierras frias de la altiplanicie o en las 
relativamente bajas de la region Norte como 
en los Estados de Chihuahua y Coahuila. Ya 
se cultivan tambien variedades de avena utiliza- 
bles para la alimentation humana. La cebada 
fundamentalmente se utiliza para la alimentacion 
del ganado caballar y de los cerdos. Tambien 
se cultivan en las tierras ligeramente templadas 
y calientes difcrentes variedades de Sorgos (An- 
dropogon) ; en las praderas naturales como sub- 
espontaneas y en las artificiales, crecen dife 
rentes graminaceas o zacates, sobre todo en las 
regiones mas calientes en donde se cultivan 
zacate gordura (Melinis minutiflora) , zacatc 
guineo (Panicum maximum), zacate Para (Pa- 
nicum barbinode), zacate Johnson, que en al- 
gunas regiones del Norte del Pais ya constituye 
una verdadcra plaga para la Agricultura. En las 
regiones secas se utilizan como forrajeras para 
el ganado los cladodios de Opuntias sin espinas 
como la especie inermis, de la misma manera 
que las bases de las pencas tiernas de magueyes, 
(especies de Agave). En la Altiplanicie y siem- 
pre bajo irrigacion, se cultiva la alfalfa para 
alimento del ganado y solo como excepcion, 
en algunas regiones pequenas del Valle de 
Oaxaca se desarrolla la alfalfa sin riego gracias 
a que el agua del sub-suelo abastece de humedad 
a las raices por cncontrarse a profundidad con- 
venientc. Los establos de la ciudad de Mexico 
y de las ciudades mas importantes dc la Altipla- 
nicie consumen fundamentalmente alfalfa verde 
o achicalada. Algunas otras leguminosas como 
la Veza (Vicia satizw), el frijol soya, treboles 
de difercntes especies, el chicharo de vaca, etc., 
se usan como forrajeras en las diferentes regiones 
del pais. 

Todas las frutas europeas, casi sin excepcion, 
incluyendo las Powaceas como duraznos, man- 
zanas, peras, ciruelas, cerezas, etc., se cultivan 
en Mexico, a las que se agregan en las tierras 
frias los espontaneos y cultivados capulines (Pnt- 
tws capulli) \ adcmas como espontaneos de Me- 
xico de la tierra fria, los tejocotes (Craiaegus 
Sp.j. En las tierras templadas se encuentran 
cultivadas las uvas. Cuenta Mexico con regiones 
vinicolas bastante determinadas aunque todavia 
no suficientemente desarrolladas. Se cultivan 
tambien en las huertas de clima templado higos, 
plantas citricas entre las que se destaca muy 
cspccialmente la naranja Bahia, sin semilla. En 
la tierra caliente se encuentran diferentes Ano- 
nacfas: chirimoyas, guanabanas, papauses, etc. 
Tanto en las tierras templadas como en las 
calientes se encuentran las diferentes especies 
del genero Per sea (P. gratissima, P. drimt folia, 
etc.), cuyos frutos son los ahuacates y pahuas 
llamados paltas en algunos lugares de Suda- 
merica. Papayos, ciruelos de tierra caliente 
(Spondias lutca, etc.). Los zapotes, nombre 
que se da a frutos de Diospyros Sp. y de Casimi- 
roa, que son magnificas frutas y que respectiva- 
mente, se 1 la man zapote prieto y zapote bianco. 
El mamey, nombre que se da a frutos de los gene- 
ros Luc uma y Calocarpwn, asi como Mammea. 
Una fruta muy caracteristica de Mexico, cuyos 
arboles seme j an al arbol de Baobab (Adansonia), 
es una Caricacea llamada Jacaratia mexicana, 
conocida por Bonete. Las especies mas impor- 

STAKMAK AND HARRAR: Plant Pathology in Mexico 


tantes del genero Musa, los bananos y platanos, 
incluyendo el Roatan, que es el exportado en 
grandes cantidades por Mexico a Estados Uni- 
dos, se cultivan ampliamente en el pais. 

Casi todas las especies de frutas tropicales de 
este Continente se encuentran representadas en- 
tre las cultivadas en Mexico. 

Entre las plantas industrials, aparte del algo- 
don, se tiene el muy importante Henequen (Agave 
sisalana), que se cultiva muy ampliamente en la 
Peninsula de Yucatan. Otras especies de Agave 
y Furcraea, y tambien algunas Bromeli&ceas, 
asi como el Yute, proporcionan fibras para 
las industries y para la exportaci6n. Para 
terminar, dire que en la actualidad todos 
los cultivos se estan intensificando a pasos 
acelerados con el deseo unanime de hacer frente 
a la economia de guerra y de que Mexico cola- 
bore con las demas Naciones en el esfuerzo que 
se esta desarrollando por la libertad. Uno de 
los ejemplos de este esfuerzo es el estableci- 
miento de una Estacion Experimental y Planta- 
ciones de Quinas (Cinchona), por Dependencias 
del Gobierno Federal, asi como la existencia 
de viveros de hule (Hevea) y la iniciacion de 
los cultivos de muy diferentes plantas indus- 
triales y medicinales. 

Numerosas plantas se cultivan en Mexico para 
la produccion de aceites, encontrandose muy 
extendido el cultivo del Ajpnjoli (Stsamum in- 
dicum), la Higuerilla (Ricinus communis), y 
el Cocotero. Con el objeto de hacer frente a 
la escasez de grasas y aceites se estan incremen- 
tando el cultivo del Girasol (Helianthus) y del 
Tung (Aleurites) ; la explotacion intensa del Co- 
quito de aceite o corozo (Especies de Orbigna, 
Attalea, etc.). La palma de aceite (Elaeis gui- 
neensis), constituira en el futuro un objeto de 
cultivo, pues Mexico cuenta con extensas re- 
giones adaptablcs para esa planta. En la Flora 
Mexicana hay especies oleaginosas de porvenir 
que no se ban estudiado debidamente. 

Mexico podra aportar un valioso contingente 
en el futuro a la economia del Continente, al 
utilizar sus variados climas y suelos, para produ- 
cir casi la totalidad de las especies economicas 
de plantas que se cultivan en el mundo. 


ALFONSO GONZALEZ GALLARDO 1941: Introducci6n al 
Estudio de los Suelos (Mexico D.F.). 

EMILIO ALAN is PATINO 1940: Apuntes de Geografia 
Econ6raica (Curso Para la Escuela Nacional de Agri- 
cultura (Mexico, D.F.). 

MAXIMINO MARTINEZ 1939: Catalogo de Plantas Mext* 
eanas (Mexico, D.F.). 

jEstis PATINO NAVARRETE 1939: Los Recursos Vege- 
tales de Mexico (Inedito). 

GoNzALo GONZALEZ H.: Anuarios de Estadistica Agri- 
cola de la Dtrecci6n de Economia Rural, 1941 y 1942. 

E. C. STAKMAN and J. G. HARRAR: Plant 
Pathology in Mexico: Despite its extensive 
resources in minerals and petroleum, Mexico is 
essentially an agricultural country. Because of 
geographic location and topography there are 
extremes of ecologic conditions; and a wide 
variety of plants are grown, ranging from tem- 
perate zone plants to those of the tropics. 

Mexico produces an almost bewildering array 
of economic plants. Corn is king, with more 
than 50 per cent of the crop land devoted to it. 
Wheat, beans, cotton, barley, and sugar cane 

follow in about that order. Other important 
crop plants are rice, potatoes, tomatoes, chili 
peppers, peanuts, citrus fruits, apples, coffee, 
cacao, bananas, papaya, vanilla, castor beans, 
alfalfa, tobacco, henequen and a considerable 
variety of minor crops. 

Not only is there great diversity in kinds of 
crops grown but there often is equally great 
diversity within certain crops themselves. Until 
recently, relatively little has been done to select 
and standardize varieties scientifically; conse- 
quently there sometimes are many varieties and 
mixtures of varieties. There are, for example, 
many types of corn (maize), with many degrees 
of localization in distribution. Likewise, there are 
many varieties of wheat, sometimes a dozen in a 
single field; and it is said that as many as 250 
varieties of beans are grown. This situation 
results partly from natural selection and subse- 
quent conscious selection of those varieties best 
adapted to each of the very varied soil and 
climatic conditions. Insofar as this is true, 
productivity is increased. But it is evident that 
some varieties are grown under unfavorable con- 
ditions ; in either case the complexity of disease 
problems is increased also. 

There can scarcely be anything even approach- 
ing uniformity in the disease problem in many 
of the important crop plants because numerous 
varieties often are grown under so wide a range 
of environmental conditions. Corn is grown 
from the humid subtropics, sometimes inter- 
planted with pineapples or bananas, to the semi- 
arid high plateaus, mountain valleys, and steep 
mountain sides : from near sea level to an eleva- 
tion of almost 9000 feet, with extreme differ- 
ences in soil conditions, rainfall, and tempera- 
ture. Wheat and beans are grown under a 
similarly wide range of conditions. Accordingly, 
time of planting, length of growing period, and 
time of maturity may differ greatly within a 
small area; and the differences in the country 
as a whole are very wide. There is, therefore, 
extreme regional and seasonal variation in 
disease development; hence a detailed descrip- 
tive account of the disease situations would re- 
quire far more particularization than is possible 
at present, both because of lack of space and 
lack of adequate information. For most diseases, 
broad generalizations only are possible. 

Plant diseases in Mexico can conveniently be 
placed in three broad categories: Those that 
are debilitating but not conspicuous ; those that 
cause considerable obvious losses more or less 
regularly ; and those that may cause devastating 

Debilitating but inconspicuous diseases have 
hitherto received relatively little attention in 
Mexico. This is not surprising because the 
etiology of many such diseases is obscure ; conse- 
quently extensive observations and investigations 
are necessary in elucidating their nature. Af- 
fected plants often merely appear unthrifty, and 
predisposing factors easily may be mistaken for 
the direct cause. Nowhere has this class of 
diseases been investigated sufficiently, but in 
many respects there is special need in Mexico, 
because of the tendency toward monoculture in 
some areas, the lack of adequate soil manage- 
ment on many farms, and the fact that crop 
varieties are often grown outside their optimum 
ecologic range. Among such diseases are root 
rots of corn and of small grains ; they occur in 
Mexico and sometimes cause considerable dam- 


STAKMAN AND HARRAR: Plant Pathology in Mexico 

age, but information regarding their prevalence 
and destructiveness is entirely inadequate. From 
experience in the United States and elsewhere, 
it is likely that losses in Mexico can be reduced 
by a combination of seed treatment and appro- 
priate cultural practices designed to promote the 
growth of sturdy plants that either resist the 
causal organisms (Hehninthosporium spp., Al- 
ternaria spp., Fusarium spp., and others) or tol- 
erate their effects. Nevertheless, experimenta- 
tion under the various conditions that prevail in 
Mexico is required before specific recommenda- 
tions for control can be made. 

Diseases of the second category include corn 
smut, corn rust, ear rots of corn, smuts of wheat 
and barley, wilts of tomato and chili peppers, 
potato scab, late blight of potato, certain fruit 
diseases such as scab, bitter rot, and fireblight 
of apples, and numerous leaf-spot diseases of a 
variety of plants. Chemical control measures 
for some of these diseases are well known and 
easily applied ; others require special treatment ; 
and some, such as corn smut and the wilts, must 
be held in check principally by the use of re- 
sistant varieties. Corn smut is so generally eaten 
as human food that it appears to be an asset 
rather than a liability in many native corn fields. 
Loose smut and stinking smut of wheat are 
widespread and sometimes so abundant as to be 
of major importance. This is true also of the 
loose and covered smuts of barley. The modi- 
fied hot water treatment for controlling the 
loose smuts is scarcely used at all, but surface 
disinfection of wheat and barley for the control 
of stinking smut and covered smut, respectively, 
is practiced to some extent, varying with the 
locality and kind of farmer. At some of the 
agricultural schools there are public-service seed- 
treating machines for free treatment of farmers' 
seed. So far, however, relatively few have availed 
themselves of this service. There is rather gen- 
eral appreciation among growers, certainly the 
more advanced ones, of the need for disease-re- 
sistant varieties, and some growers use such 
varieties as are available. In general, however, 
there is a considerable need for more widespread 
use of control measures already available. 

Of the epidemic diseases, chamusco or siga- 
toka (Cercospora musae) of bananas probably 
has been the most spectacular during the past 
few years. It appeared about 1937 and soon 
made commercial production of bananas un- 
profitable in some of the principal banana-grow- 
ing districts and menaced the entire industry. 
The disease is now controlled, however, in the 
best plantations by proper spraying with bor- 
deaux mixture. Many plantations have thus 
been rehabilitated and are again profitable pro- 
ductive enterprises. 

The most typically epidemic diseases of crop 
plants are, however, the rusts of wheat. Orange 
leaf rust (Puccinia rubigo-vera tritici), yellow 
stripe rust (P. glumarum) and stemrust (P. 
graminis) are generally distributed, but the 
destructiveness of each varies greatly with the 
region and the season. Most of the varieties 
commonly grown are susceptible to all three 
rusts; consequently they can propagate and 
spread rapidly under favorable weather condi- 
tions. Moreover, some wheat is grown through- 
out the year. Although most of it is grown as 
a winter crop, some is grown in the summer also. 
Even where there is no summer crop, there are 
likely to be some volunteer plants on irrigated 

land, and the rusts may therefore survive in the 
urcdial stage throughout the year in enough 
places and in sufficient quantity to become locally 
or regionally epidemic whenever weather condi- 
tions favor rust development for sufficient periods 
of time. Nevertheless, avoidance of out-of-sea- 
son sowings of wheat would help measurably in 
reducing rust losses. 

Stem rust is not only the most destructive 
disease of wheat in Mexico but is considered by 
informed Mexican agriculturists as one of the 
important problems in crop production. Not 
only does it sometimes cause devastating epi- 
demics but it also limits the areas in which 
wheat can be grown profitably. As the Mexican 
Government desires an expansion of wheat grow- 
ing, control of stem rust is their most pressing 
plant disease problem. And its importance is 
not limited to Mexico alone. 

Actually, the control of stem rust of wheat in 
Mexico is almost as important to the United 
States and Canada as to Mexico herself. It is 
in reality an international problem. The gen- 
eral features of stem rust development in Mexico 
are known as a result of long-time studies made 
cooperatively by the Mexican and United States 
Departments of Agriculture. It is known that 
there may be a seasonal interchange of rust be- 
tween the two countries : Rust from the United 
States may be blown into northern Mexico in 
the fall and rust from northern Mexico may 
be blown into the United States in the late winter 
and early spring. 

For purposes of understanding rust epide- 
miology, there are three general wheat-growing 
regions in Mexico: The Southern, the Northern, 
and the Northwestern. The Southern region 
lies roughly south of San Luis Potosi; and in- 
cludes discrete areas or localities from the 
states of Puebla and Oaxaca on the east to 
Jalisco on the west. It includes the rich Bahio 
region and the Valley of Mexico. The Northern 
region is principally in the states of Tamulipas, 
Nuevo Leon, and Coahuila, but there is some 
wheat in Durango and Chihuahua also. The 
Northwestern region is principally in the state 
of Sonora. 

Conditions are by no means uniform within 
these general regions. The southern and north- 
ern regions, particularly, comprise areas of 
greater or less extent that are separated from 
each other by mountain ranges or other natural 
barriers; consequently the factors affecting rust 
development may differ greatly in these differ- 
ent areas, even in the same season. Epidemics 
are therefore likely to be more localized than is 
true of the Mississippi Valley of the United 
States. Nevertheless, certain general facts are 
known about each of the larger regions. 

So far as now known, rust conditions in the 
southern wheat-growing region of Mexico are 
peculiar to that region. Studies made by the 
United States Department of Agriculture in 
cooperation with the Mexican Department for 
a number of years indicate that there is rela- 
tively little annual interchange of rust between 
Southern Mexico and Northern Mexico. The 
physiologic races of Puccinia graminis tritici in 
Southern Mexico have been quite uniform for 
at least the past 12 years. Indeed, there is even 
considerable localization in their distribution 
within the region. Only three have been found 
commonly races 19, 38, and 59, of which the 
last two are the most prevalent. There have 

STAKMAN AND HARRAR: Plant Pathology in Mexico 


been indications recently, however, that race 56, 
by far the most prevalent and generally distrib- 
uted race in the United States during most of 
the period from 1934 to the present time, may 
now be establishing itself in Southern Mexico. 
If so, the situation with respect to resistant varie- 
ties will change. Heretofore, Marquis wheat, 
one of the most susceptible in the Mississippi 
Valley of the United States and in certain areas 
of Northern Mexico, has been quite resistant in 
Southern Mexico because of its resistance to 
races 19, 38, and 59, which constituted well over 
90 per cent of the inoculum in that region. It 
appears now that the problem of introducing 
or selecting resistant varieties for Southern 
Mexico should be relatively simple as compared 
with that in Northern and Northwestern Mexico. 

The physiologic races of P. graminis tritici in 
Northern Mexico are essentially the same as 
those in the United States, and there has been 
a tendency for their seasonal prevalence to vary 
together. This is because of the demonstrated 
fact that spores are sometimes blown from the 
United States into Northern Mexico in the fall 
and the rust may thus become established on 
early-sown winter wheat, on which it may then 
overwinter and produce varying amounts of 
rust in the following spring. Some of the 
wheat-growing areas, notably those near Tor- 
reon, Saltillo, and Sabinas Hidalgo, are only 
a short distance from wheat-growing areas in 
the United States, with no natural barriers in- 
tervening. Therefore rust sometimes is blown 
at least from the latter two areas into Texas 
and possibly other states in the late winter or 
early spring. In reality, therefore, Northern or 
Northeastern areas of Mexico are extremely 
important in some seasons in the development of 
rust in the United States. Heavy epidemics 
sometimes develop in certain areas of Northern 
Mexico, losses sometimes amounting to as much 
as 60 per cent of the crop. This is not only a 
calamity for Mexican growers but the large 
amount of inoculum is also a menace to wheat 
in the United States, as it has been shown that 
wind can blow urediospores hundreds of miles 
northward within a day or two. The problem 
of producing resistant varieties for Northern 
Mexico is therefore quite similar to that in the 
United States and is important for both coun- 
tries. In general, the rust-resistant spring wheats 
developed within the past 15 or 20 years in the 
United States are resistant in Northern Mexico 
also. There still remains the problem, however, 
of selecting those best adapted to Mexican con- 

Less is known about factors affecting rust 
development in Northwestern Mexico, where 
destructive epidemics sometimes develop, than 
in the other two general wheat-growing re- 
gions. It is known, however, that there are 
considerable numbers of physiologic races of 
P. graminis tritici in this area and that certain 
varieties have been resistant in that region 
for a number of years, only to become suscep- 
tible, presumably because of changes in the pre- 
valence of physiologic races. 

The Mexican Department of Agriculture, in 
cooperation with the United States Department 
of Agriculture, the Rockefeller Foundation, and 
the Rust Prevention Association of Minneapolis, 
Minnesota, is now making extensive varietal 
tests of wheat in well-selected localities in each 
of the major wheat-growing regions. As a re- 

sult of this work, it seems possible that resist- 
ant varieties can be selected from among those 
already available, even though different varieties 
probably will have to be selected for different 
regions or possibly even for areas within re- 
gions. Prospects are, however, that fairly rapid 
progress can be made. 

The work on stem rust of wheat is merely 
one example of the extensive scale on which 
certain plant-disease problems are now being 
attacked in Mexico. This particular problem 
is essentially one of selecting or breeding resist- 
ant varieties, and the knowledge of the intrica- 
cies of the disease situation is being used as a 
basis for procedures. 

Although attention has been focussed on the 
wheat stem rust problem in Mexico, general 
crop improvement work of the Mexican Depart- 
ment of Agriculture is contributing incidentally 
to the control of other diseases also. As an 
example, a corn improvement program has been 
in progress for several years, and breeding work 
with other crops also has been begun. As the 
primary objective in these breeding programs 
is improvement of yield and quality, those lines 
with a certain amount of disease resistance will 
be selected on the basis of their performance. 
This will alleviate certain disease problems to a 
considerable extent. 

Organisation. Plant Pathological activities 
in Mexico are primarily a function of the Secre- 
tary of Agriculture, which is comparable in or- 
ganization with the United States Department 
of Agriculture. Within the Sccretaria, one of 
the major divisions is the Direccion General de 
Agricultura, corresponding to the Bureau of 
Plant Industry of the United States Department 
of Agriculture. The Direccion is subdivided 
into a number of divisions, one of which, the 
Departamento Fitosanitario, has the responsi- 
bility of organization, research, extension, and 
regulatory work in the fields of plant pathology 
and entomology. The administration of this or- 
ganization is centered at San Jacinto in Mexico, 
D.F., where a number of administrative and 
technical experts are stationed and 'where all 
experimental activities originate. 

Distributed throughout the country are some 
30 Delegaciones Fitosanitarias, which are offices 
in control of the pathological and entomological 
programs of the respective states. Depending 
from the Delegaciones are one or more Jefaturas 
de Zona, with responsibility for the work in 
specified zones. The duties of the Delegaciones 
and Jefaturas include quarantine and other ac- 
tivities connected with the movement of plant 
products, dissemination of information to 
growers and cooperatives (ejidos), collection 
of information for the federal office, and co- 
operation with the experimental farms (campos 

There are 14 experimental farms in the Re- 
public, mostly located strategically with respect 
to one or more important crops in given areas, 
i.e. sugar cane, henequen, corn, wheat and cotton. 
Although the experimental farms are an admin- 
istrative unit of the Direccion General de Agri- 
cultura and are distinct from the Delegaciones 
Fitosanitarias, close cooperation is maintained 
between the two. 

Education. Most of the instruction in phyto- 
pathology is given at the National College of 
Agriculture at Chapingo, near Mexico City. 
This institution is a dependency of the Secre- 


YUNCKER : The Vegetation of Honduras 

taria de Agricultura and maintains close asso- 
ciation with its activities, including those of the 
Direction de Agricultura. Phytopathology is 
included with Entomology in the curriculum, and 
a certain number of students major in this com- 
bination each year. The complete course, includ- 
ing preparatory, requires seven years, and grad- 
uates are almost entirely absorbed by the Secre- 
taria de Agricultura. 

A state agricultural college is located at Sal- 
tillo in the State of Coahuila. This institution 
rather restricts its training to the general field 
of agriculture and the graduates in plant science 
are characteristically agronomists. A similar 
situation exists at the private agricultural college 
in Ciudad Juarez in the State of Chihuahua. 
Graduates of both institutions are eligible for 
employ by the Department of Agriculture. 

The Institute Politecnico, in Mexico City, is 
a dependency of the Secretaria de Educacion and 
offers work at the college level in all fields of 
biological science and recently has begun to 
give some training in the field of applied mycol- 
ogy and soil microbiology. 

The Mexican Department of Agriculture is 
making progress in effecting an organization and 
educating men that will bring about improve- 
ment in plant pest control. In this, as well as 
in other agricultural projects, assistance now is 
being given by the Rockefeller Foundation, which 
established an agricultural project in Mexico 
during the past year. 

T. G. YUNCKER: The Vegetation of Hon- 
duras, a Brief Review: The vegetation of 
Honduras as a whole is very imperfectly known. 
With the exception of a few collections which 
have been made in the Atlantic coastal plain 
region and at scattered inland points, most of 
the country remains wholly unexplored in the 
botanical sense. Enough is known, however, 
to indicate a large flora rich in endemic species. 
About 500 species of trees have been listed for 
the country, a number which will doubtless be 
greatly increased by further exploration es- 
pecially at the higher altitudes. The plants of 
the coastal plain are predominatingly those which 
one finds throughout Central America in similar 
situations from South America north to Mexico, 
and the forests of the interior contain many spe- 
cies common elsewhere in Central America. 

Along the Caribbean and, to a limited extent, 
about the Gulf of Fonseca is a low, sometimes 
marshy, region which varies from a very narrow 
strip where the mountains occasionally reach 
the sea to several miles in width. This coastal 
plain reaches its greatest width in the Mosquitia 
Territory at the east. It also extends inland to 
some extent along the main river courses, es- 
pecially those of the Ulua and the Aguan. Here 
extensive plantations of bananas are to be found 
which have necessitated the elimination of large 
areas of native vegetation. Along the shore, 
around brackish lagoons, and inland for some 
distance along sluggish streams occur man- 
grove swamps composed mostly of Rhisophora 
Af angle. On this low land are also found ex- 
tensive swamps and marshes of shallow water 
and islands of vegetation made up of tall grasses 
and sedges together with various swamp species 
of Sagittaria, Polygonum, Pontederia, Mimosa, 
Pistia, Jussiaea, Hibiscus, Thalia, etc. In aban- 

doned banana plantations and other similar cut- 
over areas a second-growth made up of a large 
variety of herbs, vines, shrubs and small trees 
quickly reclaim the land with a very dense en- 

Except for this low northern coastal plain the 
country is very rough and mountainous. From 
the plain the land may rise gradually in a series 
of foothills and plateau-like plains or the ascent 
may be rapid and abrupt. The highest moun- 
tains are to be found toward the Pacific side 
although a few peaks in the northern coastal 
range rise to about 2500 meters. The Carib- 
bean coastal plain and mountain slopes receive 
an ample rainfall. The vegetation is abundant 
there and the mountain slopes are covered with 
a luxuriant forest. 

Among the more common woody and conspic- 
uous herbaceous genera which are to be seen 
on the plains and adjacent mountain slopes may 
be mentioned: Anthurium, Philodendron, Til- 
landsia, Aechmea, Hcliconia, Costus, Calathea, 
Pleiostachya, Piper, Salix, Trewa, Cecropia, 
Ficus, Myriocarpa, Cissatnpelos, Siparuna, 
Compsoneura, Virola, Nectandra, Licanta, Aca- 
cia, Calliandra, Inga, Mimosa, Pithecolobium, 
Enterolobiunt, Bauhinia, Dialium, Gliricidia. 
Lonchocarpus, Dalbergia, Machaerium, Guiarea, 
Szvietenia, Trichilia, Byrsonima, Stiginaphyllon, 
Vochysia, Acalypha, Sapium, Spondias. Paul- 
linia, Triumfetta, Pavonia, Ochroma, Quarari- 
bea, Conostegia, Cordia, Lantana, Cestrum, Sola- 
tium. Ferns, including tree-like species, are 
abundant and in the forests epiphytic orchids 
and bromeliads are represented by many spe- 
cies. In the middle and upland forests occur 
many species of palms ranging in size from the 
miniature Chamacdorea to the giant Orbigyna 

In the interior many of the mountains are 
densely forested much as are those near the 
coast, especially towards their summits and in 
ravines where numerous species of trees, shrubs, 
ferns, orchids, arums, bromeliads, many woody 
and herbaceous vines, peperomias, etc. grow 
very rank. This is especially true of the moun- 
tain slopes and region about Lake Yojoa where 
the vegetation gives the impression of being 
wholly untouched by the hands of man and un- 
doubtedly contains many interesting and un- 
known species. 

In many parts of the interior the rainfall is 
less, and open park-like regions with pine and 
oak forests are predominant. This type of 
forest is also to be found on the leeward slopes 
of the northern coastal range. Such a region 
is found above Lake Yojoa about the village 
of Siguatepeque which is situated on a plain at 
1100 meters. The plain, which is somewhat 
uneven and has occasional rocky outcroppings, 
is surrounded by mountains which rise to an 
altitude of 2000 meters or more. Rising from 
the plain is a range of more or less rocky foot- 
hills forested with a well-marked, parklike zone 
of Pinus oocarpa and P. pseudostrobus associated 
with broadleaf species, principally oaks. Dur- 
ing the wet season the forest floor is carpeted 
with various species of flowering plants and 
short grasses. Above the pine-oak zone is found 
the more steeply rising ridges and gulches of 
the highest peaks covered for the most part 
with upland deciduous forest of many large and 
often buttressed trees. 

In die Aguan river valley above Olanchito is 
a semi-arid region which ordinarily receives but 
35 to 40 inches of rainfall annually. Character!*- 

KOVAR: La Vejettoion de El Salvador 


tic plants of this region include several species 
of cacti two of which become giant tree forms 
(Opuntia honduretuis and Cereus Yunckeri). 
Associated species in this region are Zamia fur- 
furacea, Smilax mollis, Piper spp., Celtis igua- 
naea, Coccoloba spp., Iresine nigra, Camparis 
spp., Acacia riparia, A. spadicigera, Pithecolo- 
bium dulce, oenthamantha wollis, Erythrina 
hondurensis, Bursera Sintaruba, Acalypha spp., 
Croton flavens, Jatropha wens, Pedilanthus 
tithymaloides, Cupania glabra, Paullinia pinnata, 
Clusia flava, H asset tia floribunda, Eugenia spp,, 
Ardtsia pascalis, Rauwolfia hirsuta, Psychotria 
spp., Eupatorium albicaule. A similar dry area 
is also found about Comayagua in the interior. 
The first attempt of any extent at a study of 
the Honduran flora was made by PAUL C. 
STANDLEV who spent several months during the 
winter of 1927/28 collecting in the Lancetilla 
Valley and the region about Tela on the northern 
coast. Professor S. J. RECORD also visited Hon- 
duras in 1927 and prepared a list of the trees of 
the country to which STANDLEY made additions 
in a second list published in 1930. The writer 
has made three collecting expeditions to the 
country. Several weeks were spent during the 
summer of 1934 collecting in the Lancetilla Val- 
ley region at Potrerillos and about Lake Yojoa 
in the department of Cortes. In 1936, accompa- 
nied by R. F. DAWSON and H. R. YOUSE, collec- 
tions were made in the vicinity of Siguatepeque 
in the department of Comayagua and in 1938, 
NER, several weeks were devoted to collecting 
around La Ceiba on the northern coast and in 
the Aguan River Valley near Coyoles in the 
department of Yoro. 


References: RECORD, S. J., Trees of Honduras, 
Trop. Woods, no. 10, June 1927; STANDLEV, P. A., A 
Second List of the Trees of Honduras, Trop. Woods, 

no. 21, March 1930; STAKDLEV, P. C., Flora of the 
Lancetilla Valley, Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Bot. Ser., 
vol. 10, 1931; YUNCKEK, T. G., A Contribution to the 
Flora of Honduras, Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Bot. Ser., 
17:287, 1938; YUNCKEK, T. G., Flora of the Aguan 
Valley and the Coastal Regions near La Ceiba, Hon- 
duras, Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Bot. Ser., 9:245, 1940. 

P. ANTON KOVAR: Idea General de la Vege- 
tacttn de El Salvador: El Salvador, la mas 
pequefia republica centroamericana (34000 km. 
cuadrados), no es practicamente mas que una 
estrecha faja de terreno, situada en la vertiente 
del Pacifico y comprendida entre Guatemala, 
Honduras y el Golfo de Fonseca. 

Su clima esta caracterizado por dos estaciones, 
una de lluvia, llamada por los naturales Invterno 
(Mayo-Octubre) y otra de sequia, conocida como 
Verano (Noviembre-Abril). La mayor parte de 
las lluvias, cuyo total asciende a unos 2000 mm. 
cae en los meses de lluvia; durante los demas 
meses las lluvias son escasas. Terminada la 
estaci6n lluviosa, en los meses de Noviembre, Di- 
ciembre y Enero, fuertes vientos (llamados 
norte) pronto acaban con la humedad alma- 
cenada en el suelo. 

El pais, aunque muy quebrado, no presenta 
grandes elevaciones en general y en todo caso 
estas ocupan porciones muy limitadas del terri- 
torio. En la frontera con Honduras penetran 
en el pais ramificaciones de lo que algunos llaman 
la Cordillera. Una de 6stas ramificaciones, la 
de los Esesmiles, alcanza la altura maxima de El 
Salvador con unos 2700 m. Mas al sur, en la 

faja central, el pais es recorrido por una cadena 
constituida por unos cuantos, mas o menos ais- 
lados, picos volcanicos, de los cuales el mas alto 
es el de Santa Ana que tiene unos 2360 m. Para- 
lelamente a la costa, a veces muy junto a ella, y a 
veces un poco alejada, corre la llamada Cadena 
Costera, la cual principia en la parte oriental del 
departamento de Sonsonate, cruza los de La 
Libertad y de San Salvador para morir en el de 
La Paz, llegando a su altura maxima en la Cum- 
bre (1100 m.), situada en el Departamento de 
La Libertad. Reaparece despuls en el departa- 
mento de San Miguel con el nombre de Colinas 
de Jucuaran y termina en el Golfo de Fonseca. 

El Salvador aunque muy pequeno, es sin em- 
bargo la mas poblada de las republicas centro- 
amencanas. Su densa poblacipn es prevalente- 
mente agricola y este hecho unido a los sistemas 
agricolas en uso ha conducido a la destruccidn 
casi total de la vegetacion primitiva. 

De lo dicho, facilmente se deduce que la 
flora de este pais no puede compararsc ni en 
riqueza de especies ni en exuberancia con la de 
los demas paises centroamericanos. 

En linea general se puede decir que la vege- 
tacion de El Salvador es la misma de las costas 
occidentales de Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, 
Costa Rica y Panama, predominando marcada- 
mente, como sucede en general en Centro Ame- 
rica a todos los paises situados al norte de la 
depresion de rio de San Juan, la influencia de 
Norteamerica tropical. El Pais casi no posee 
especies endemicas; el numero de las plantas 
conocidas unicamente de El Salvador va dis- 
minuyendo rapidamente con el progreso de los 
estudios botanicos en los paises colindantes. 

La mayor parte de El Salvador esta situada 
en la Zona Tropical Arida Inferior. Esta se 
extiende desde la costa hacia el interior del pais, 
subiendo por las pendientes de los volcanes y de 
las montanas hasta una altura que oscila entre 
800 y 1000 metros. Hay muy poca vegetacion 
original y la poca que queda va desaparcciendo 
con ritmo acelerado. Hasta la altura de unos 
500 m. hay grandes haciendas en las cuales, ade- 
mas del ganado y de los pastos consiguientes, 
hay campos de algod6n, maiz, frijolcs, cana de 
azucar; de los 500 m. para arriba aparecen ya 
los primeros cafetales. 

La vegetacion original cambia segun los dis- 
tintos ambientes. En la costa, en lugares periodi- 
camente invadidos por las aguas del mar se en- 
cuentran los manglares, formados por la aso- 
ciacion en proporciones variables de Rhisophora 
mangle, Avicennia bicofar, A. nit Ida, Conocarpus 
erecta, Laguncularia racemosa, principalmente 
en la Barra de Santiago, Esteros de Jaltepeque 
y de Jiquilisco y algunos puntos de la Bahia de 
Fonseca. En las arenas de las playas, general- 
mente no alcanzadas por las aguas del mar se 
pueden encontrar Ipompea pes-caprae, Hippo- 
mane mancinella, Heliotropium curassavicum, 
Pectis arenaria, Capparis flexuosa, etc. 

Dejadas las playas, principian las selvas deci- 
duas. Su composition es variable y tambi^n el 
tamano de los individuos, alcanzando formas 
gjgantescas en los lugares baios y pantanosos y 
disminuyendo despu6s con fa distancia de la 
costa; sin embargo al llegar al limite superior 
de esta zona, hay cierto regreso, al menos en 
algunas especies, a las formas grandes. Las 
principales especies que aqui se pueden encontrar 
son : Ficus spp., Enterolobium cyclocarpwm, Cas- 
sia grandis, Hymenaea courbaril, Hura polyan- 
dra, Ceiba pentandra, Bomb ax eltipticum, Ster- 


LEWY VAN SEVEREN : Recursoi Naturalei de El Salvador 

culia apetala, Licania, etc. Siendo estas selvas 
bastante espaciadas permiten el desarrollo de 
muchos arboles pequenos, arbustos, tales como 
Coccoloba spp., Chlorophora tinctoria, Cochlo- 
spermum vitifoliwn, Guazuma ulmifolia, Malva- 
viscus, Helicteres, Erythroxylon coutarea, Hame- 
lia patens, Jacquinia, Erythrina berteroana, etc. 
Las trepadoras de esta region son: Paullinia 
spp., Serjania spp., Buettneria, Passiflora, Vitis, 
Cissampelo, etc. En los lugares aridos y despe- 
jados se pueden encontrar Diphysa robinioides, 
Tabebuia chrysantha, Psidium spp., Ipomoea ar- 
borescens, Guasnma ulmifolia, Pereskia autum- 
nalis, Opuntia Salvador ensis. No pequenas ex- 
tensiones de lugares aridos y pedregosos del in- 
terior del pais estan cubiertas por Curatella 
americana, la cual a veces lleva como asociada 
la jicama, Pachyrrhisus. Ciertos llanos con suelo 
harroso y mat drenado durante la epoca de las 
lluvias (p. ej. algunos llanos atravesados por el 
rio Lempa o alrededor de San Miguel) estan 
caracterizados por la presencia de Crescentia 
a/a to, cubierta de epifitas tales como Tillandsia y 
Orquideas principalmente Laelia acuminata. Otra 
planta caracteristica de estos suelos es Blepharo- 
dendron mucronatum. 

Alii donde el terreno es humedo, ademas de las 
especies ya dichas, se encuentran Castilla elastica, 
Pithecohbiutn sainan, Calycophyllum candidissi- 
mum, Pogonopus speciosus, Cecropia mexicana, 
etc. Alii tambien la pequena palmera, Bactris 
subglobosa forma espesuras impenetrates. En 
los llanos alrededor del estero de Jaltepeque se 
da ademas abundante la Brahea salvadorensis. 

En algunos lugares del interior del pais, tales 
como los alrededores pantanosos dc las lagunas 
de Zapotitan y de Olomcga, aunque la altura 
sea distinta reaparece casi la m^sma vegetacion, 
menos la Brahea. En Zapotitan en cambio tene- 
mos abundante la Erythrina glauca, la cual en 
la epoca de floracion presta colpridp al paisaje. 

Al subir las primeras estribaciones de la 
Cadena costera ademas de muchas de las espe- 
cies ya enumeradas aparecen Chaetoptelea me- 
xicana, Brosimum terrabanum, Trophis racemo- 
sa, Ocotea veraguensis, Lieania arborea, Ingo 
spp., Crudia choussyana, Sweertia panametisis, 
Xanthoxylum microcarpum, Cedrela spp., Swie- 
tenia spp., Sloanea auadrivalvis, Calycophyllum 
brasiliense var. rekoi, Terminalia obovata, Ardi- 
sia spp., Styrax argentea, Tabebuia pentaphylla. 
T. donnell-smithit, etc. En la parte de cadena cos- 
tera conocida bajo el nombre de costa del Bal- 
samo, se encuentran bosquecillos de Myroxylon 
balsamum que es alii explotado. Las barrancas 
de los rios y las quebradas estan bordeadas por 
Plutneria acutifolta, Tabernaemontana donnell- 
smithii, Bursera y Spondias spp. 

Los pantanos de agua dulce, ya sea la costa 
como los del interior del pais, presentan la si- 
guiente vegetacion : Rquisetum giganteum, Aero- 
stichum, Echinodorus, Canna, Jussieua spp., 
Ceratopteris, Salyinia, Nay as, Pistia stratiotes, 
Typha angustifolia, Lemna, Eichhornia crassipes, 
Nymphaea ampla etc. 

Son muy escasas las epifitas de la zona tropical 
arida inferior. Pertenecen casi todas a la fami- 
lia de las Bromeliaceas principalmente Tilland- 
sia spp., orquideas como Cattleya skinneri. C. 
aurantiaca, Oncidiutn cartaginense, O. amplia- 
tum, Epidendrum spp. pero tambien hay varias 
Ardceas. En la costa del bilsamo se encuentra, 
aunque no muy f recuente. 

La zona tropical arida inferior termina entre 
los 800 y 1000 m de altura, para dar lugar a la 

zona tropical arida superior en las pendientes de 
las montanas que miran hacia el sur (el Oceano 
Pacinco) y la zona tropical humeda superior en 
las pendientes que miran hacia el norte (el mar 
Caribe). En El Salvador se hace muy dificil 
reconstruir la vegetacion de estas zpnas, porque, 
aunque ya se ha dicho, el Caf6 comienza a culti- 
varse desde unos 500 m. para arriba. Es aqui 
donde las condiciones son mas apropiadas para 
su cultiyo y por consiguiente casi toda la vegeta- 
cion original ha sido removida para dar lugar 
a fincas de cafe, y en los Esesmiles a campos 
de trigo. Pero aun asi se nota una marcada 
diferencia (mas marcada en el occidente del 
pais) entre las pendientes sur y norte de los 
volcanes y montanas. La porcion norte recibe, 
aun en la estacion seca, bastante humedad aca- 
rreada por los vientos que vienen de la costa 
atlantica y por consiguiente presenta una vege- 
tacion mas exuberante que la porcion que mira 
hacia el sur. Muy poco se sabe de la vegetacion 
de estas zonas superiores. 

Ehtre las plantas inferiores tenemos Cibotium 
yuatemalense, Cyathea mexicana, Adiantum an- 
dicola, Hymenophyllum spp., Lycopodium spp. En 
el volcan de San Salvador existian antes, pinares 
(Pinus oocarpa), hoy destruidos. Todavia hay, 
principalmente en el picacho, bosques de Quercus 
de varias especies. Una asociacion de Pinus- 
Quercus se encuentra en las partes mas aridas 
de los Esesmiles. Parece que alii hay otra es- 
pecie de Pinus lo mismo que un Abies. En las 
vertientes sur de los volcanes se encuentran 
Myrica mexicana, Baccharis vaccinioides, Cir- 
sium mexicana, Erigeron bonariensis, etc. En 
el interior del crater del Volcan de San Salvador 
hay Dahlia variabilis. Tanto en este volcan como 
en el de Santa Ana hay bosquecillos de Peryme- 
nium. Varias especies dc Fuchsias se encuentran 
en los Esesmiles, Sierra de Apaneca y en los 
volcanes de Santa Ana y San Salvador, lo mismo 
que Begonias, Rubus, Geranium mexicanum, 
Gaultheria odorata, Monnina xalapensis, etc. De 
las epifitas de estas zonas muy poco se sabe. En 
el volcan de Santa Ana se encuentra la Lycaste 

Como se ve, poco es lo que se sabe sobre la dis- 
tribucion de la flora salvadorena. Si bien es 
cierto que el estudio sistematico de las plantas 
del pais ha comenzado con las visitas del Dr. P. 
STANDLEY en los anos 1921 y 1922, el herbario 
comenzado en aquella ocasi6n ha quedado casi 
completamente destruido. 

Las obras que pueden ser de utilidad para el estudio 
de la flora salvadorefia son las siguientes: STANDLEY, 
P. C. & CALDER6M, S.: Lista prehminar de las plantas 
de El Salvador (San Salvador, 1926). Flora Salva- 
dorefia: Herbario FELIX CHOUSSY (Ministerio de In- 
struccion Publica de El Salvador. 5 vols, 1925). 
STANDLEY, P. C.: Flora of Costa Rica (Field Museum 
Hot. Ser. 18, Vols. 1937, 1938). STANDLEY, P. C.: 
Trees and shrubs of Mexico (Contrib. U. S. Nat. Herb. 
23, 5 vols. 1920-1927). 


rales del Reino Vegetal de BI Salvador: La 
Republica de El Salvador se encuentra situada 
en la costa del Oceano Pacifico en Centro 
America y al oeste de Honduras. El territorio 
esta formado por una angosta faja de costa cuya 
anchura mayor es de 100 km. y su largo maximo 
de 360 km. La atravieza a lo largo una estribaci6n 
de la Sierra Madre, llamada Cadena Costera y la 

LEWY VAN S&VEREN : Recursos Naturales dc El Salvador 


cual alcanza alturas de 2000 m. sobre el nivel 
del mar. 

1 regimen de lluvias de El Salvador, cpmo 
tnuchos otros paises de la costa del Oceano 
Pacifico, es de seis meses, comprendido de mayo 
a noviembre, siendo secos los restantes meses, 
es decir de tnediados de noviembre a mediados 
de mayo. Todas las corrientes de agua dulce 
corresponden a la vertiente del Pacifico y por 
la vecinidad de las montanas a la costa y por 
ser el terreno muy accidentado, sus rios son 
pequenos con excepcion del rio Lempa. 

El Salvador es un pa is bastante poblado, dado 
a su pequeno territorio, llegando su densidad 
de poblacion a 60 habitantes por km. cuadrado, 
lo cual es solamente superado en la America 
Latina por Haiti; de esta poblacion el 60% 
es rural. Por dicha raz6n su territorio esta 
cultivado en su totalidad, con excepcion de 
algunos pequenos bosques que se ban podido 

El producto agricola mas importante es el cafe 
y el cual representa el 80% de la exportation 
total del pais. El cafe fue introducido en El 
Salvador en 1840, siendo cultivado por primera 
vez en el Departamento de San Salvador. Antes 
de la guerra actual se exportaban alrededor de 
1.600,000 quintales (de 46 kilos) de cafe, par- 
ticularmente a Europa. Esta cifra de producci6n 
coloca a El Salvador en el tercer lugar como 
pais exportador de cafe, estando en primer lugar 
Brasil y Colombia. Las zonas cafetaleras de 
El Salvador estan distribuidas en las regiones 
alias del pais, entre los 500 y 2000 m. de alt., 
siendo la mas importante la del volcdn de Santa 
Ana que cuenta ademas con los me j ores y mas 
grandes Beneficios del pais muy particularmente 
la de la hacienda "El Molino" de los senores R. 
ALVARES L. e hijos, que ha sido considerado por 
expertos extranjeros como el mejor del mundo. 
Actualmente solo las tineas grandes pueden 
beneficiar el cafe y los pequenos productores se 
vcn obligados a venderlo a los propietarios de los 
beneficios, algunos de los cuales son propiedad 
de fir mas exportadoras que no tienen cultivos 
propios ; pero en la actualidad se esta estudiando, 
en la Estacion Experimental en Santa Tecla de 
la Asociacion Cafetalera de El Salvador, el 
establecimiento en fincas pequenas, de un tipo de 
maquina de tamano experimental para beneficiar 
30 quintales al dia, habiendose obtenido resultados 

Sigue en importancia el cultivo de la cana de 
azucar, la que se cultiva sobre todo en las 
zonas central y oriental del pais. El cultivo de 
la cana y la elaboration del azucar esta regla- 
mentado por un organismo semi-oficial denomi- 
nado "Comision de Defensa Azucarera" y la 
cual tiene por fin el mantener estables los precios 
y fijar las cuotas que cada productor puede 
elaborar para el consumo interno; el cultivo y 
elaboracion para exportaci6n es libre y se exporta 
alguna azucar para Honduras, Nicaragua y 
America del Sur. Ademas del azucar, se elabora 
mucha cana en forma de "Dulce de Panela"; 
obteniendose por evaporation directa del jugo de 
la cana, producto que se vende en bloques cilin- 
drico-conicos de color pardo mas o menos claro. 
La Panela se utiliza en lugar del azucar entre los 
campesinos y en la confection de golosinas, pero 
en la actualidad su mayor consumo es para ob- 
tencion de aguardiente, licores y alcohol. 

El cultivo del heneque*n ha tornado mucho 
incremento en el Departamento de San Miguel, 

donde se cultiva una especie autoctona Agave 
letonae, heneque"n de gran rendimiento que da 
fibra de muy buena calidad. Actualmente solo 
se se utiliza la fibra desperdiciandose la pulpa 
residual y de la cual podria obtenerse muy bien 
alcohol y papel fino; pero el reglamento de 
alcoholes no permite lo primero y el poco 
mercado interior no dejaria margen para la 
elaboracion de papel en escala comercial. El 
henequen se exporta en cantidades bastantes 
grandes ya manufacturado en forma de cuerdas 
y sacos, productos estos elaborados por los mis- 
mos campesinos que cultivan la planta. Cuerdas 
de mejor calidad y tejidos especiales son hechos 
a maquina en fabricas de mayor capacidad. Los 
principales paises importadores de articulos de 
henequen, tales como sacos, son Chile, Cuba, 
Honduras y Peru. En la actualidad los sacos 
usados en este pais para la exportation del cafe 
son exclusivamente de henequen. 

El Balsamo (Myroxylon balsamum), impro- 
piamente llamado del Peru, es producido unica- 
mente en El Salvador en una estrecha faja costera 
de los Departamentos de Sonsonate y la Liber- 
tad, region conocida por esta razon como "Costa 
del Balsamo." En la epoca en que el precio del 
Balsamo era muy alto, se trato de cultivar estos 
arboles, pero estas labores se ban suspendido 
primero por el lento crecimiento de estos arboles 
cuya producci6n comienza a los 25 anos despues 
de plantados y por la baja de precio de ese pro- 
ducto. La exportation de Balsamo en estos ulti- 
mos anos ha sido muy pequena y su reducida ex- 
plotacion se reduce a la de los arboles silvestrcs. 

Puede tambien contarse entre los productos 
agricolas de exportaci6n el algodon, producto que 
es completamente absorbido por las fabricas dc 
tejidos propias del pais y por los pequenos te- 
lares rurales que hacen tejidos a mano para el 
campesino. El algod6n se exporta por lo tanto 
ya manufacturado en forma de telas, hilos y sacos 
para harina de trigo y azucar, siendo Honduras 
y Nicaragua los principales consumidores de los 
articulos de algodon salvadoreno. A pesar de 
las plagas que siempre afectan el algod6n, el 
cultivo aumenta mas cada aiio ya que cada afio 
aumentan las necesidades del pais y la exporta- 

Otros cultivos de exportaci6n aunque en 
escala menor son : el anil, el cual por motive de 
la guerra ha subido de valor ya que el indigo 
sintetico procedia de Alemania. El cultivo del 
anil fue muy prospero en el Departamento de 
Chalatenango y el cual habia sido casi abandon- 
ado, sembrandose solo el anil como un fertili- 
zante verde. Naturalmente este cultivo volvera 
a florecer mientras dure la guerra, pues los 
productos sinteticos son siempre mas baratos y 
faciles de usar. Sigue en importancia los aceites 
de semilla de algodon y de Ricinus communis 
(castor oil). El producto primero se consume 
en su mayor parte en el pais y aun se exportan 
pequenas cantidades a Honduras y Costa Rica; 
del segundo se exporta mas bien la semilla a 
los Estados Unidos de America, pafs que prefiere 
la materia prima mas que el producto ya elabo- 
rado. Se extraen tambien aceites de cacahuete 
(peanut) y de ajonjoli (sesame) pero estos 
solo para el consumo interno. 

Los cultivos principales para el consumo 
interno son el maiz y el frijol, ambos elementos 
basicos en la alimentacion del campesino. El 
maiz, como en muchos otros paises de la America 
Latina, se usa como sustituto del pan de trigo. 


LEWY VAN S&VEREN : Recursos Naturalei de El Salvador 

Estos dos cultivos ocupan una gran parte de la 
tierra laborable y debido a su importancia se ha 
creado una entidad aut6noma con el nombre 
de "Junta de Defensa Social," la cual compra 
grandes propiedades y las distribuye por lotes 
pequenos a los campesinos, pagando estos con 
cuptas muy bajas y cultiyando en esas fincas 
principalmente maiz y frijoles. A pesar de la 
gran cantidad de maiz cultivada en el pais es 
siempre necesario importar pequenas cantidades 
de Guatemala, ya que este cereal no solo lo 
consume el campesino sino tambien el resto de 
la poblacidn acomodada. En cambio el frijol 
es mas consumido entre la poblacion rural que 
la urbana. 

Las f rutas se cultrvan en esoala cada yez mayor 
y entre ellas principalmente los citricos y las 
bananas entre los cuales se ban seleccionados 
diferentes variedades. Hasta la fecha no se 
hace exportacion alguna de frutas y su cultivo 
es solo para el consume nacional. Nuevos 
cultivos de plantas citricas como naranjas y 
limon permitiran el iniciar la exportacion de 
estos frutos. Las legumbres se cultivan en escala 
pequena y algunas de cllas se debian de intensi- 
ficar su cultivo, tales como : rcpollo, coliflor, apio, 
remolacha y otras, de las cuales las cantidades 
producidas son insuficientes para el consumo 
nacional e importandose estas de Guatemala y 
California. Ultimamente se ha tratado de intensi- 
ficar el cultivo de la yuca (Manihot utilissima) 
debido a los precios del almidon en los Estados 
Unidos de America, pero aun no se pueden pre- 
ver los resultados de esta campana. 

El trigo se cultiva un pocp en las partes 
altas del pais, pero puede decirse que este no 
rcpresenta ni un cuarto del consumo nacional, 
debiendose importar de los Estados Unidos y del 
Canada. De la Argentina se quiso importar 
este grano pero las dificultades de transporte 
impidio continuar dicho comercio. En la actuali- 
dad se esta importando de Guartemala y dadas 
las facilidades obtenidas en un reciente tratado 
de libre comercio entre estos dos paises, la 
importaci6n del trigo aumentara cada vez mas. 

Desde hace algun tiempo se vienen realizando 
ensayos del cultivo de la rosella (Hibiscus sab- 
dariffa var. altissitna) con fines textiles. Hasta 
ahora los ensayos hechos en escala semi-comer- 
cial ban dado resultados altamente satisfactorios 
csperandose intensificar muy pronto el cultivo de 
dicha planta. 

El problema de los bosques es bastante sensible 
pues debido a la densidad de poblaci6n estos van 
dejando lugar a los pastes, maiz y algodon, de 
manera que hoy en dia quedan muy pocos bosques 
y estos son pequenos. La falta de los bosques en 
relacion a la humedad particularmente en las 
regiones altas, no se ha hecho sentir muy 
fuertemente, gracias a que en los cafetales se 
reemplazan los bosques naturales con arboles para 
la sombra que son generalmente leguminosas y 
muy especialmente del genero Inga, lo que resulta 
muy importante en esa region, donde debido a su 
suelo quebrado no se puede obtener agua fuera 
de las lluvias. En estos ultimos cinco anos se 
ha hecho notorio el efecto de la falta de bosques, 
y en muchas zonas se han secado las fuentes de 
abastecimiento de agua y el caudal de los rios 
pequenos ha disminuido. La Iegislaci6n vigente 
prohibe el descuaje de los bosques en las vecin- 
dades de las fuentes de agua y a lo largo de 
cursp de estas pequenas corrientes, medida que 
no siempre ha sido acatada haciendose necesario 

tomar medidas un poco fuertes para hacerlas 
cumplir, muy en particular en la vecindad de las 
fuentes de abastecimiento de agua de las pob- 
laciones, las cuales son propiedad municipal. Con 
dicha disposition no se pueden cortar arboles sin 
un permiso especial y quedando obligado a re- 
plantar inmediatamente nuevos ejemplares, los 
cuales son suministrados por viveros del Minis- 
terio de Agricultura. Estos viveros y los de la 
Junta de Ornato de Carreteras y Paseos Piiblicos 
regala p vende a bajos precios arboles de orna- 
mentaci6n, maderables y frutales al publico y a 
las municipalidades que los soliciten. La munici- 
palidad de la Capital, regala tambien en Mayo 
gran cantidad de arboles de todas clases a los 
agricultores. Todas estas medidas se han tornado 
para intensificar el cultivo de bosques con 
arboles utiles pues ya empieza a hacerse sentir 
la falta de algunos arboles y muy especialmente 
los arboles maderables tan necesarios para las 
construcciones y fabrication de muebles. 

La erosion ha hecho bastante danos, notandose 
muy particularmente en el 1934 a raiz de las 
lluvias de Junio de dicho ano, lo cual se debe a 
lo accidentado del terreno que ha obligado culti- 
var las tierras aun en pendientes muy fuertes. En 
los cafetales del volcan de Santa Ana donde en 
ciertas partes era imposible cultivar nada por los 
deslaves, se ha logrado controlarlos y cultivar 
cafe en ellos, gracias a empalizadas de izote 
(Yucca elephantipes) las cuales se mantienen 
bajas con cortes anuales y sus raices hacen una 
trama tan fuerte que impide por completo la 
erosion. Para evitar esto se ha prphibido el 
cultivo de cereales en terrenos muy inclinados 
y en particular alrededor de los lagos de origen 
volcanico cuyas colinas circundantes son muy 
inclinadas. Estos lagos han subido de nivel a 
causa de la erosi6n y sobre todo de la acaecida 
en 1934 cuando subieron cerca de cinco metres, 
mas por la erosion que por el agua acumulada ; 
con la actual prohibici6n el nivel de las aguas se 
mantiene perfectamente estacionado. El regimen 
de lluvias como he dicho en parrafos anteriores 
es mas o menos constante en cuanto a las 
epocas se refiere. Como el cambio de las 
estaciones no se hace sentir mucho sobre la 
vegetacion, se toma solo en consideracion la 
estacion seca de noviembre a mayo y la de 
lluvias de mayo a noviembre esta con un 
promedio de cincuenta dias de lluvia y aproxi- 
madamente una precipitation anual de 1.800 mm. 
La temperatura es mas bien calida y constante 
con un promedio de 23 C. y una maxima de 
32 C. que se registra generalmente en el mes 
de marzo y una minima de 15 C. que se registra 
en diciembre o enero. En general la temperatura 
es igual en todo el pais y solo la modifica la 

El Salvador cuenta con buenas vi'as de comuni- 
cacion tanto para el interior como con los paises 
limitrofes siendo su red de carreteras transitables 
en todo tiempo y varias de ellas estan asfaltadas. 
Comunica con ferrocarril con Guatemala, via que 
sirve a la vez para comunicar con el atlantico 
por Puerto Barrios. Dos companias de fe- 
rrocarril cruzan el pais en todas las zonas mas 
importantes. Sus puertos son Acajutla, La 
Libertad y La Union (Cutuco), el primero y el 
ultimo conectados por ferrocarril y La Libertad 
esta unida a San Salvador por carretera asfaltada. 
Puerto Barrios de Guatemala, es un lugar de 
salida de mucho cafe para la costa del Atlantico 
de los Estados Unidos de America. El servicio 

ASHTON : Plant Resources end Flora of Nicaragua 


de transporte aeieo se hace al exterior por medio 
de la Pan American Airways Co. y con Centre 
America por medio de la Compania de Trans- 
porte Ae"reos Centroame>icanos (Taca) y la 
cual lleva gran cantidad de mercaderias a Hon- 
duras. El servicio de transposes aereos interi- 
or no existe debido a lo reducido del territorio 

En el Salvador existen dos Estaciones Ex peri - 
mentales ; una en la Ceiba a 6 km. de San Sal- 
vador y la cual pertenece al Ministerio de 
Agricultura y donde se hallan instalados los 
laboratories de Agricultura; la otra Estacion 
Experimental esta situada en la ciudad de Santa 
Tecla y pertenece a la Asociaci6n Cafetalera de 
El Salvador donde se estudia principalmente lo 
relative al cafe, llevandose tambien a cabo inves- 
tigaciones de indole agricola en general, con- 
tando ademas con laboratories especiales para el 
estudio de plagas agricolas. 


BibKoffrafte: CAU>E6, S. y P. C. STANDLBY. Lista 
preliminar de Plantas de El Salvador; San Salvador 
1925 (agotada). CAU>u6N, S. y P. C. STANDLEV. 
Suplemento a la Liata Preliminar de las Plantas de 
El Salvador. San Salvador 1927. CALDER^N, S. 
Praderas y Plantas For raj eras. Revista de Agricultura 
Tropical, Ministerio de Agricultura, 1928 (agotada). 
CALDER6N, S. Nociones sobre Arboriculture. Revista de 
Agricultura Tropical, Ministerio de Agricultura. 1938. 
CALDER6N. J. T. Prontuario Geografico de El Sal- 
vador. San Salvador 1939 (3 edici6n). GUZMAN, 
D. J. Flora Salvadorefia Aplicada a la Medicina y a la 
Industria. San Salvador 1924. CHOUSSY, F. Flora 
Salvadorefia. Ministerio de Instrucci6n Publica (ilus- 
trada) 1926-32. CHOUSSY, F. El Algod6n en El Salva- 
dor. San Salvador 1924 (2a edici6n). CHOUSSY, F. 
El Cafe. Asociacion Cafetalera de El Salvador, 3 
Vol. 1935-41. "Revista de Agricultura Tropical." Min- 
isterio de Agricultura, San Salvador (irregular). "El 
Gate de El Salvador." Asociaci6n Cafetalera de El 
Salvador, San Salvador (revista mensual). "Boletines 
de Estadisticas." Direcci6n General de Estadisticas, 
San Salvador (irregular). 

JOHN ASHTON: On the Plant Resources and 
Flora of Nicaragua : Because of its fertile soils 
and varied topography, its shores bathed by two 
oceans, and lying between 10 degrees 45 min- 
utes and 15 degrees 15 minutes north latitude, 
the republic of Nicaragua is one of the most in- 
teresting countries in the world for the wealth 
and variety of its agriculture and flora in gen- 

Singular to state, this small country it is 
the largest of the Central American countries 
and is about equal in area to the State of New 
York seems to be the least known of all the 
Latin American countries north of the equator, 
but signs and portents point to an expanding 
commerce and a better mutual understanding 
between the two countries in the future. 

Nicaragua is singularly blessed by Nature 
from the fact that two mountain chains traverse 
the country in a general direction of nprthwest- 
southeast, thus making for marked differences 
in the prevailing temperatures of the interior, 
phenomena reflected in the remarkable latitude 
which these divers climates and precipitation 
offer to the plant life of the country. These 
differences, however, are not so extreme as 
one finds in other tropical countries at times, 
because the mountains of Nicaragua, while very 
numerous, are not very high. On the other hand, 

many grassy plateaus at moderate altitudes, on 
soils unsuitable for arable exploitation, nurture 
large herds of cattle under almost ideal condi- 
tions. About seven-eights of the people live on 
the Pacific slope, within about 30 miles of the 
ocean. This region is particularly suitable for 
farming, the rainfall varying between about 
60 or 70 inches, nearly all, of course, coming 
in the wet season between May 15 and No- 
vember 15. In the interior the rainfall is greater 
until, on reaching the Atlantic Coast, areas of 
between 200 to 300 inches precipitation are not 
uncommon, thus precluding ordinary methods 
of arable farming. 

A growing appreciation of the advantages of 
irrigation in favored areas of the tropical Pacific 
Coast will eventually result in an increased 
yield of certain crops proper to the tropics and 
valuable as export money crops. With an enor- 
mous body of fresh water within easy reach 
in the two great lakes of Managua and Nicara- 
gua the latter almost one hundred miles long 
and one of the largest bodies of fresh water in 
the world the time seems not far distant when 
some of this potential wealth will be effectively 

Principal Crops. In normal years Nicaragua 
produces 320,000 quintales (a quintale is equal 
to 100 pounds) of coffee. This forms the chief 
money crop of the country as all of it is ex- 
portable save about 20 to 30 thousand quintales 
consumed at home; most of this domestically 
consumed coffee, however, is made up of quali- 
ties not suitable for exportation. Under present 
conditions the United States takes most of the 
coffee crop, one-third of which is grown on the 
higher lands just south of the capital, Managua, 
and a little more than a third of the coffee is 
produced in the department of Carazo in the 
rich agricultural region known as Los Pueblos 
(Masaya, Jinotepe, San Marcos, Diriamba, Ma- 
satepe, etc.). 

The finest coffee is reputed to be grown in 
the departments of Matagalpa, Jinotega, and 
Nuevo Segovia. All this northern-grown cof- 
fee produced from higher plantations is sold 
as "Matagalpa" coffee and is in particular de- 
mand by American importers of the finer blends. 
It sells normally a little higher than the regular 
export crop. It should be observed, however, 
that all Nicaragua coffee exported is in active 
demand on the part of American coffee blenders 
for its mildness and fine aroma and taste. Dur- 
ing the last few years better harvesting and 
processing methods have improved the Nicaragua 
crop immeasurably. 

Nicaragua stands twelfth among the nations 
of the world in coffee production. It is estimated 
that the number of trees in the republic is fifty 
millions, with an average yearly production of 
one-half to three-quarters of a pound to the 

Bananas. Banana growing which formerly 
held so much promise for Nicaragua is in a 
transition stage owing to the inroads of the 
banana plant disease sigatoka on the Atlantic 
Coast. This disease has also played havoc with 
many plantations on the same coast in Costa 
Rica, and the United Fruit Company there is 
making great efforts to transfer the industry 
to the Pacific Coast. Similarly, certain interests 
have made laudable attempts to establish ba- 
nana plantations on the Pacific side in Nicaragua, 


ASHTON : Plant Resources and Flora of Nicaragua 

but without marked success as yet, due to 
various obstacles, one of which has been the 
dearth of ships plying between the Pacific port 
of Corinto and the U. S. It has been proposed 
to dry bananas for shipment, just as is done in 
the case of figs and dates. 

Certain haciendas which have access to water 
for irrigation purposes adjacent to the Pacific 
coast could produce large quantities of this fruit 
provided adequate transportation facilities to 
market are assured in season. In spite of the 
difficulties banana export comes next to coffee 
in importance. 

Other crops exported are cotton, sugar cane, 
cocoa, rice, sesame, castor oil, tobacco, ipecacuana 
root, balsam of Peru, rubber, hides and skins, 
live turtles, cattle on the hoof (mainly to Peru), 
etc. Some of these products find a foreign mar- 
ket only when market conditions warrant their 

Timber Resources. Nicaragua is rich in 
forest growths and produces considerable quanti- 
ties of hard woods, dyewoods, and timbers suit- 
able for construction purposes. The king of fine 
woods, mahogany, has been exported from the 
country for generations, especially to European 

Many of Nicaragua's mountains and river 
valleys have scarcely been exploited some prob- 
ably have not even been explored and hide in 
their almost inaccessible jungles immense treas- 
ures of fine woods suitable for cabinet-making, 
construction purposes, etc. Prominent among 
these growths are mahogany, cedar, pochote, 
rosewood, quebracho, laurel, guaiacum, and a 
host of other valuable timbers which grow in 
great abundance and luxuriance, in many parts 
of the country, but more especially on the At- 
lantic slope. 

Among the medicinal products of these forests 
may be mentioned sarsaparilla, wild ipecauana, 
gentian, Peruvian bark, vanilla, balsam of Peru, 

Sugar Cane. Nicaragua produces sugar in 
abundance and could, if permitted by the U. S., 
send a great deal to this country in case of 
necessity. As a matter of fact the principal 
sugar mills are obliged to stringently restrict 
their output to domestic needs chiefly. Occa- 
sionally lots of brown sugar 50 to 150,000 quin- 
tales are exported to the U. S. Some white 
sugar is also exported to Pacific coast ports, 
but the U. S. does not allow this to compete 
with our home product and it normally is used 
only for syrup in which to pack California 
fruit for export. 

Other Useful Plants. The flora is immensely 
rich, thanks to its tropical climate and abundant 
rainfall in some regions and also to its varied 
topography and climates to correspond to the al- 

Among its food plants maize (Zea mays) 
comes first. It forms the chief staple of the 
masses and is eaten normally as in Mexico in 
the form of baked tortillas. A great quantity 
is also consumed in beverage form; a large 
percentage of the population drink the national 
tiste, or "pinol," made from toasted maize, 
ground, mixed with sugar and cocoa or choco- 
late, stirred in water. Only the sugar dissolves 
completely, the other ingredients are more or 
less in suspension when swallowed. This mix- 

ture is immensely popular; it is food and drink 
at the same time, wholesome and nourishing. 

Wheat (Triticutn sativunt) is grown only in 
certain favored regions on the higher plateaus 
Jinotega, Esteli, etc. where the temperature is 
low enough to permit it. Wheat production is 
slowly increasing. 

"Yuca" (Manihot dulcis or utilissima) is a 
root plant the consumption of which by the natives 
assumes very large proportions. This plant un- 
doubtedly is one of the most useful in the tropics. 
Never a day passes but one sees heaps of these 
succulent roots offered for sale in the central 
market of the capital at Managua. It is rich in 
starch and used largely in soups or simply boiled.* 
The bitter "yuca" is also grown. 

"Quequisque" or "quiquisque" (Xanthosma 
sayittifolium) , another edible root of immense 
utility to the native population, could be eaten 
with great profit by American residents and 
visitors as the starch in this root is easily di- 
gested. It is, moreover, of agreeable flavor. 
The writer and his wife can vouch for the whole- 
someness of both this root and the "yuca" 
which were eaten regularly in soups based on 
beef stock. The consumption of both these ex- 
cellent root crops is enormous in Nicaragua. The 
"quiquisque" is a yautia. 

"Platano" (Musa paradisiaca) , perhaps next 
to maize or Indian corn, is the most widely 
consumed and popular foodstuff for the work- 
ing classes in towns and the rural population 
generally. This fruit is in great demand and its 
popularity is not diminished by the fact that it 
is perhaps the cheapest of all starchy foods. It 
is eaten boiled or fried usually, either alone or 
with meats or other comestibles, and is on the 
market throughout the year. This plant should 
not be confused with the banana (Musa sapien- 
tum) which is grown mainly for export and is 
consumed raw. 

Pineapple (Ananas sativus) of excellent qual- 
ity is grown in the more tropical areas of the 

"Aguacate" (Persea americana) also grows 
luxuriantly and fruits well in many areas. Both 
the pineapple and the aguacate could be developed 
profitably for export trade here, it would seem. 

"Mango" (Mangijera indica) grows to a large 
size and usually bears twice a year, finding con- 
ditions, in the lower areas, greatly to its liking. 
This fruit is eaten with the greatest avidity by 
the native population, who are not particular 
whether the fruit is ripe or not. When ripe 
the mango is rich in sugar content; it is prob- 
ably rich in vitamins also. It grows to a height 
of 70 feet, and is one of the handsomest of trees. 

"Maranon" (Anacardiutn occidental) is a 
tropical tree which produces the exotic and rel- 
atively rare cashew nut, of exquisite taste when 

The nut is the true fruit and grows on the 
under side of the cashew-apple, which is really 
the swollen peduncle and disk, and is astringent 
but juicy, acid, and finds favor with the natives, 
who normally throw away the nut. Americans 
do not eat the apple but prize the nut which 
must be roasted over charcoal fire to decompose 
the injurious acid substances in the shell which 
burn the lips and mouth of those who attempt 
to bite into the fresh nut. When roasted there 

ASHTON : Plant Resources and Flora of Nicaragua 


is no danger. The kernel is very rich in proteins 
and fats. 

Papaya (Carica papaya) is abundant and 
common everywhere. Unlike the flavor of papa- 
yas commonly grown in the lower Rio Grande 
Valley, the Nicaraguan varieties are delicious 
and have none of the objectionable taste asso- 
ciated with papayas at home. Usually served as 
dessert or a side dish with milk or cream or 
lime juice, the papaya is a favorite with native 
and visitor alike. The fruit grows to an im- 
mense size, and its food value cannot be over- 

"Zapota" (Calocarpum mammoswn) is also 
much in demand as a dessert fruit. The pulp 
is bright reddish or orange, sweet and spicy 
and agreeable in flavor. One large shining 
brownish black seed is embedded in the fruit. 
It is usually eaten out of hand. The seed when 
roasted is also edible and is mixed with cocoa. 
It grows into a large and handsome forest tree. 
Monkeys feast on this fruit in the jungles. 

"Nispero" (Achras sapota) is the most pop- 
ular of the Sapotaceae. The same fruit is known 
as the "sapodilla" in many other countries, but 
invariably called the nispero in Nicaragua. It 
should not be confused, however, with the Eu- 
ropean medlar as some botanists have done. It 
has been called also chico and naseberry, and is 
native to tropical America and was found grow- 
ing by the conquistadores early in the sixteenth 
century. OVIEDO called it the "best of all fruits", 
and a French writer (DESCOURTILZ) has de- 
scribed it as having the "sweet perfumes of 
honey, jasmine, and lily of the valley". It was 
eaten freely as a dessert fruit by the writer dur- 
ing his stay in Nicaragua, who, like most Amer- 
icans, rates the "nispero" higher than the "za- 

Sweet "Granadilla" (Passiflora ligularis) and Purple 
"Granadilla" (Passiflora edulis) are grown chiefly for 
their edible fruits. The latter variety is the most im- 
portant. It is used for flavoring sherbets and in con- 
fectionery and refrescoes with a pinch of bicarbonate of 

Jocote or red "mombin," grows abundantly over a 
large area of different levels and is cherished as a fruit 
to be eaten out of hand by the natives. The "jocote" 
(Spondias mombin). to give it the name by which it is 
known in Nicaragua, has many other names, according 
to the country in which it is grown. The French 
colonists call it prunier d'Espagne, prunier rouge, and 
mombin range. In the English colonies of the tropics it 
is called Spanish-plum. One sees people of all degree 
eating this fruit in trains, in the streets, etc. It is also 
boiled and dried to preserve it, and may be kept this 
way for several months. The yellow "jocote" or 
"mombin" (Spondeas luted) is not so highly prized as 
the red variety. 

Breadfruit (Artocarpus communis). The writer saw 
no more handsome foliage than that of the breadfruit 
during his stay in Nicaragua. It grows into a noble 
tree, 40 to 60 feet in height, and the visitor to the cap- 
ital cannot fail to be struck by its beauty as nearly 
every private garden contains one or more specimens. 
Frequently one sees the mango and the breadfruit grow- 
ing side by side, both particularly handsome, the former 
with lanceolate leaves of a refreshingly light green 
color, and by contrast the breadfruit bears enormous 
leaves of characteristic design and rich dark green in 
color. Whether it is because Nicaraguans are blessed 
with an abundance of sweet and starchy foodstuffs, or 
for some other reason, the writer saw no evidence of 
the breadfruit being much in demand for its fruit, 
rather does it seem to be grown in the urban centers 
for its beauty as an ornamental tree. 

Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is used commonly 
to prepare a cooling drink called grenadine, and in 
other refrescoes. 

"Mamey" (Mammea Americana) is a handsome tree 
of truly tropical aspect with pronounced dark green 
"meaty" leaves of lustrous sheen 4 or 5 inches long. 
Whether one meets the mamey in a secluded jungle 
ravine or in the cultivated garden of a wealthy planter 
he recognizes this handsome tree at once, with its full 
top of foliage on strong branches. 

The fruit finds much favor in season on the part of 
the natives. It is one of the largest tropical fruits, of 
varying size, some of which are as large as a coconut 
and bear some resemblance to it in color. There, how- 
ever, the similarity ends, the pulp being entirely differ- 
ent. Only the country people eat the "mamey" raw, 
as a rule, but many enjoy the fruit when cooked with 
plenty of sugar and spice. Some make it into paste, 
which is, however, not considered so good as the "pasta 
de guayaba." The tree rapidly attains full growth in 
good soil and may attain a height of from 40 to 60 feet. 
One finds it planted freely in the borders of coffee plant- 
ations as a protecting cover for the young coffee plants. 

Orange (Citrus sinensis) trees grow luxuriantly on 
the best soils and are eaten freely throughout the year. 
The sour or bitter orange (Citrus medico), the man- 
darin (Citrus nobtlis), the lime or "limon corriente" 
(Citrus aurantifolia). and the lemon or "limon real" 
(Citrus limmia) are found on the market most of the 
time and are consumed in abundance for making the 
popular refrescoes or cooling drinks. 

Grapefruit or "pomelo" is also popular to a degree, 
especially on the part of American visitors. Certain 
kinds of the fruit from Chinandega are sweet and show 
good quality, but most of the grapefruit is high in "rag" 
content and contains many seeds. A budding program 
on an extensive scale with improved budwood is indi- 
cated. A beginning was made when the writer procured 
from Texas one thousand buds of improved varieties of 
oranges and grapefruit from Texas in May, 1941, for 
Nicaraguan citrus groves. Rivas grows perhaps, with 
Chinandega, the best citrus fruit, and these two de- 
partments arc also noted for quality in other fruits. 

"Anona." Under this name the native Nicaraguan 
eats several varieties of Anonaceae, such as the delicious 
"guanabana" (Anona muricata), "anona blanca" (A. 
diversifoha) , "chirimoya" (A. squatnosa), Guatemala 
"anona" (A. chenmoha), and perhaps others. 

Yams (Dioscorea alata) arc not grown as freely as 
they might be, notwithstanding that Nicaraguan soils 
lend themselves to yam cultivation, as is suggested by 
the fact that the wild yam is found almost everywhere 
(D. bulbifera), and is known vulgarly as the papa (po- 
tato) carib. 

Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is grown extensively 
on the Atlantic coast as a food plant. 

Beans (Phaseolus sp.) do well almost everywhere 
and form an important portion of the inhabitants' food. 
Some of the varieties are similar to brans grown in 
Mexico and the United States, but other sorts are proper 
to the country. One variety seen exposed in markets 
has a pod about a yard long. 

Vegetables in general. Virtually all the common gar- 
den vegetables of the temperate zone are grown in 
Nicaragua. This fact stems from the variety of soils 
and climates due to the diversified topography in the 
interior. One common American fruit seems to be 
absent the apple, which is a great luxury and only 
appears on the market in the cooler months shipped 
from U. S. ports. The peach is almost as scarce. 

Timber Wealth of Nicaragua. One realizes 
what words like "jungle" and "tropical forest 
growth" mean after seeing the wealth of plant 
life growing in Central America, where neither 
frosts nor drouths intervene to prevent the grow- 
ing "impulse" of plant life. The beauty and 
majesty of many forest trees which one sees for 
the first time is beyond adequate description. 
Some of these lack of space precludes more 
detailed mention should be listed for their eco- 
nomic importance. In some cases the trees as- 
sume enormous dimensions of trunk with great 
spreading branches, and as for the size of the 
trunk one can visualize it when told that in in- 
numerable cases one can find native wheel- 


ASHTON: Plant Resources and Flora of Nicaragua 

wrights carving ox-cart wheels (a pair)^-<:ut 
vertically, not horizontally, and side by side 
from say the massive trunk of a giant "guana- 

On the lower rims and reaches of the numer- 
ous mountains and extinct volcanoes and in 
some of the river valleys which slope toward the 
Atlantic coast forest trees of great dimensions 
are seen. Even in some of the well watered val- 
leys on the Pacific slope many noble trees are 
seen shooting up to immense heights from moun- 
tain chasms with nearly all the foliage on the 
summits of the trees. 

The regal and beautiful mahogany (Swietenia 
mahagoni and Swietenia macrophylla) may be 
regarded as the king of the forest in these tropic 
lands. It was formerly exported in ship loads 
to Europe, and is still a popular wood with 
European cabinet makers when they can get 
it. Much of the mahogany trade at present cen- 
ters about the river Coco in northern Nicaragua, 
the logs being floated down the river to the 
Atlantic coast for loading. The same system 
applies to the other fine woods found there. 
Much timber from these forests could be profit- 
ably used by the United States for various de- 
fense purposes. Some of these woods should 
find a place in shipbuilding uses. 

Perhaps one of the most useful of all timbers, par- 
ticularly useful for construction purposes, is the "po- 
chote" (Xanthoxylum microcarpum and Xanthoxylum 
panamenje). Many millions of feet of this very durable 
and non-warping lumber have gone into the reconstruc- 
tion of Managua since the devastating earthquake of 
March, 1931, virtually destroyed that city. 

Among the cedars much in demand for building are 
the Cedrela mcxicana, C. fisstlis, and C. longipcs. 
For river-boat building the "palo de piragua" (Covantl- 
lesia platanifolia) is much in demand. Other con- 
struction woods are the "gatillo" or "balsa" (Ochroma 
lagopus), "talatate" (Gyrocarpus americanus) , "acei- 
tuno" (.Simaruba glauca), "guanquero" or "cedro ma- 
cho" (Guarea guaro), several varieties of pine, such as 
"el ocote" (Finns tenuifolia) which grows freely in the 
higher departments Jinotega, Esteli, etc. "el pino" 
(Pinus caribaea) and other varieties. 

Some emphasis should be made regarding the two 
forest giants which are so useful and so numerous in 
Nicaragua the "genizaro" (Pithecolobium satnan) and 
the "guanacaste" ( Enter olobitim cyclocarpum). Both 
are noble trees which embellish the landscape with their 
massive trunks, great height, wide-spreading branches, 
and rich foliage. Both enter largely into the building 
of carts and wagons, river launches and boats, rural 
buildings of all descriptions. The best wheels that can 
be made for the ox-carts, so numerous in Nicaragua, 
come from the guanacaste tree. 

Among the trees which provide fine woods, besides 
mahogany, are the "guayacan" (Guatacum sanctum), 
"cocobolo" (Amyris balsamifera) , the "nispero" or 
chicle tree (Achras sapota), "madero" (Gliricida jc- 
pium), "granadillo" (Brya nicaragurnse) , "guachi- 
pilin" (D physa robinioides) , "cortez" or "palo de hierro" 
(Tabebuia pentaphyla) , "cortez bianco" (Godmania ats- 
culifolia), "laurel macho" (Cordia g arose ant hus), "el 
ronron" (Astronium graveolcns), and many others. 

Dycwoods. Among the numerous dyewoods growing 
wild in the forests two of much commercial value 
should be listed: "palo de raora" (Chlorophora tinctona), 
and Brazil wood (Hacmatoxylon brasiletto). It is also 
thought that the noted Campcche tree (Hacmatoxylon 
camptchianum) also exists in the hidden jungles of the 
country. Of less importance are the "chocamico" 
(Ximenia amcricana), the "nancite" (Byrsonimo crassi- 
folia), and others. 

Timbers containing Resins and Gums. Numerous 
are the trees which secrete resins and gums of more or 
less commercial value. Among these are various spe- 
cies of rubber trees, more especially those of the genus 
Ficus, the most important being "palo de hule" (Ficus 

elastica); that known as white rubber (Manihot glasi- 
ovii) of the family of Euphorbiaceae, very common, 
and several species of the genus Castillo, such as Cas- 
tillo costaricana, Castillo fallax, and C. panamensis. 
Other trees producing gums of various sorts are the 
"guapinol" (Hymenaea courbaril), the wax tree (Myrica 
mexieana), very common on the northern plateaus, the 
product of which is used for the manufacture of can- 
dles and soaps, on a modest scale. Then there is the 
"jinocuavo" (Elaphrium simaruba). 

From the Pinus tenuifolia is extracted turpentine. 
This could be greatly increased if better transportation 
facilities existed. The "nispero del monte" or chicle 
tree has gained much importance recently for its milky 
latex which, when evaporated is known as chicle, the 
base for chewing gum, virtually all of which is exported 
to the United States. 

A representative of the largest manufacturer of this 
product in the U. S. was staying at the same hotel 
as the writer when in Managua. He made numerous 
visits to the outlying forests on the Atlantic slope in 
periodical surveys for his employers. 

"Cachito de Aromo" (Acacia farnesiana) grows 
abundantly near Managua. This is the same tree from 
which acacia essence on a large scale is extracted in 
France. Vanilla (Vanilla planifolta) grows wild in 
Chontales department. 

Other plants and trees contain toxic principles which 
find a place as curative agents in human medicine 
and as insecticides. Some of these are destined even- 
tually to acquire much importance. 

Palms. Nicaragua is extremely rich in species and 
varieties of palms, some of which possess positive 
industrial value. Among the more important are: 

Coconut palm (Cocos nucifera), great numbers of 
which grow on the Atlantic seaboard and are cultivated 
on a lesser scale throughout the country. Besides its 
export value the coconut is used extensively for its oil, 
utilized in the manufacture of toilet soaps. The natives 
drink a great deal of coconut milk also. 

"El corozo" or "pal ma de vino" (Acrocomia venifera 
or A. mexieana), also produces oil for soap making. 
This tree yields a sugar which, when fermented 
changes to an alcoholic drink said to be much appre- 
ciated by rural people. 

Among the tinctorial plants the "anil" (Indigofera 
suffruttcosa) is still found growing wild in the forests. 
Then there is the "achiote" (Bixa orellana) often seen 
growing in patios. There are many others of less value, 
such as "sacatinta" (Sericographis tinctoria), "pinta 
machete" (Phytolacca octandra). "tina canastas" or 
"llora sangrc" (Bocconia arborea), etc., etc. "Cohune" 
or "coyol" (Attalea sp.) is found abundantly in the 
woods and forests whose seeds yield an oil of high 
quality much in demand on foreign markets. 

"Pijibay" (Guilielma utilis) is a palm which yields 
fruit in bunches about the size of large olives which 
are commonly sold in the markets and on the streets 
of Managua (also in San Jose, Costa Rica). They con- 
tain food properties much in demand and are gen- 
erally boiled before eating. The flavor is much like 
that of boiled chestnuts. 

"La tagua" or vegetable marble (Pkytelephas ma- 
crocarpa) is a tree of much value on account of the pe- 
culiar properties of its nut, the pulp of which hardens 
to form an excellent substitute for marble. It grows 
extensively on the Atlantic coast and, especially, in the 
watershed of the San Juan river. 

"El coquito palmiche" or "corozo Colorado" (Elaeis 
melanococca) grows profusely in swampy land. Its 
fruit is said to be as rich in oil as its congener from 
Africa (Elaeis guineensis). 

"Pal ma de techo" or roofing palm (Astrocaryum) is 
used largely for covering rural homes and cabins, and 
also to make brooms and hats. "Palma de cera" (wax 
palms) are found growing on the banks of the San 
Juan river and have been classed by the erudite Nicara- 
guan naturalist, MIGUEL RAMIREZ GOYEKA, as Coper- 
nicia cerifera and Ceroxylon andicola. Decorative palms 
include the "palma real" (Roystonca regia), one of the 
most handsome of all plants used for bordering roads 
and avenues; the "cola de pezcado" (Caryota obtusa), 
much planted in parks and gardens; the Cuban palm 
(Sabal umbraculifera) and the "sabal taurina." 

STANDLEY : Vegetation of Costa Rica 


Among the plants which produce essential oils and 
perfumes should be listed -"Zacate (grass) de limon" 
(Cymbopogon citratus). This grass is grown in India 
on a large scale for the production of essence. "Ylang- 
Ylang" (Canangiutn odoratvm) is introduced from Japan, 
the flower yields a perfume much in demand, es- 
pecially for the manufacture of Kanaga water. 

It should be understood that this article makes 
no claim to completion. A great number of 
useful trees, including the quick-growing spe- 
cies used for shading coffee trees and for ave- 
nues, etc., are not mentioned. 

Neither has there been space left to tell about 
the various fiber-producing plants like henequen, 
sisal, abaca, etc. 

The latter "abaca" or Manila hemp (which 
is not a hemp at all, but a banana plant, even 
to producing fruit, which is not edible) can be 
successfully grown in Nicaragua as is proved 
by the fine plantation on one of the President's 
farms El Porvenir near San Marcos. Inci- 
dentally, the President of Nicaragua, General 
ANASTASIO SOMOZO, is intensely interested in 
the agricultural and economic uplift of his coun- 
try, and shows a fine example to his people by 
breeding fine livestock on his haciendas and in- 
troducing forage plants, textile plants, and every 
other field crop or tree which is suitable for 
economic and industrial exploitation. He is 
aided in his endeavors by his progressive Min- 
ister of Agriculture, General JOSE M. ZELAYA, 
a one-time student at Cornell, whose interest in 
the experimental farm at Masatepe has borne 
much useful fruit. General ZELAYA has also 
fostered the introduction of fine cattle from the 
United States to build up the Nicaraguan herds. 

Bibliography and Sources: Contrib. a la 
Hist, de Centra America, en dos tomos. Mana- 
gua, Nic., 1939. Guia de NIC. RAUL SAPIA, 
Ed., 1940. Guia Gen. Illust. Managua: Tal- 
leres Graficas Perez, 1940. Pub. Asso. Agric. 
de Nic. Divers pub. and documents of the 
Ministerio de Agr., Managua. Recaudacion 
General de Aduanas, Pub., Managua. BAR- 
RETT, Orrs W., The Tropical Crops, Macmillan, 
1928. POPENOE, WILSON, Manual of Tropical 
and Subtropical Fruits, Macmillan, 1920. MAN- 
UEL DE LA PUENTE, Los Trobajos Geogr&ficos. 
Sevilla : Escuela Tip. y Lib., 1900. VILLACOSTA, 
J. ANTONIO, Mem. de Texpan-Atitlan. Ext. from 
El Popul Buj., Guatemala City, 1936. Per- 
sonal observations, studies and research as U. S. 
Exchange Professor in Nicaragua, under the 
auspices of the Convention for the Promotion 
of Inter-American Cultural Relations, Div. of 
the U. S. State Department, 1940-1941. 

PAUL C. STANDLEY : A Brief Survey of the 
Vegetation of Costa Rica: Costa Rica is one 
of the smallest of American republics, with an 
area of only 18,400 square miles, approximately 
that of the state of West Virginia. Its flora is 
extraordinarily rich, of at least 6,000 species. In 
all the tropics there can be few areas of equal 
extent with so many species. Of orchids alone 
it possesses about 1,000 species. 

Costa Rica is bounded "on one side by the 
Caribbean, on the other by the Pacific Ocean. 
Most of its surface is extremely rugged, and 
even relatively level land is restricted to the 
narrow coastal plains. The greater part of the 

country consists of a chain of volcanoes, rising 
to 3,900 meters and forming part of the cordillera 
that extends like a spinal column along the west- 
ern edge of the American continents. Most of 
the small population of Costa Rica is massed 
in the so-called Meseta Central, a limited irregu- 
lar area of level land at an elevation of 900- 
1,500 meters, devoted largely to coffee produc- 
tion, and bounded on all sides by hills or high 
mountains. The Meseta lies much closer to the 
Pacific than to the Atlantic. On the Pacific 
side are narrow plains utilized for stock rais- 
ing and cultivation of tropical crops; on the 
Atlantic coast are wider plains where bananas 
and cacao are grown. 

The dominant factor in plant distribution in 
Central America is rainfall, which is influenced 
by elevation, placement of the mountain ranges, 
and direction of the winds. On the Atlantic 
coast of Costa Rica moisture conditions are fairly 
uniform throughout the seasons, and rainfall is 
heavy, in some places reaching 180 inches per 
year. There always is sufficient moisture for 
luxuriant plant growth. On the Pacific slope 
the rainfall is less than half as great and periodic. 
During the inviemo, May to October, the whole 
rainfall of the year is received. During the 
warmer verano, coinciding with the winter 
months of the North, there is little rain and for 
most of the season none whatever. For only half 
the year is there moisture enough for normal 
plant growth, and the cultivation of field crops 
is restricted to the invierno. On the Atlantic 
coast maize, beans, and other crops are produced 
throughout the year. 

The vegetation of Costa Rica has been studied 
from a taxonomic standpoint more intensively 
than that of most Latin American countries, by 
a long line of visiting and resident botanists from 
the Danish OERSTED up to the present time. Until 
very recently no other tropical American country 
had received so much attention from resident 
botanists. In spite of the small area involved, 
its irregular topography makes exploration diffi- 
cult, and there are many areas, presumably quite 
as rich as those already explored, that never 
have been visited by a botanist, such as the 
highest peak of Costa Rica, Chirripo. Almost 
every new collection contains species new to the 
country or to science, and new species still can 
be found almost in the suburbs of San Jos, 
the capital. It is safe to assume that in Costa 
Rica there arc no fewer than 7,000 species of 
phanerogams, besides a vast number of ferns 
and lower cryptogams. 

No serious study has been attempted of Costa 
Rican plant ecology, and it will be a compli- 
cated and difficult subject. Except in the broad- 
est generalities, the vegetation superficially docs 
not seem to lend itself readily to detailed classi- 
fication. The plant societies are infinitely com- 
plex and numerous, and consist of what appear 
to be indefinite and casual combinations of con- 
spicuous plants. More general groupings, de- 
pendent upon rainfall and elevation, are rather 
obvious although seldom with well marked 
boundaries. These are discussed briefly below. 

Atlantic tierra caliente. This consists of the 
Caribbean lowlands, between sea level and 800- 
1,000 meters, with a mean annual temperature of 
21-28 degrees. Except where cleared for agri- 
culture bananas, maize, beans, cacao this 
is unbroken rain forest, a rather monotonous 
expanse of tall trees of varied families, with an 


STANDLEY : Vegetation of Costa Rica 

understory of medium-sized trees equally diverse, 
and beneath these a sparse ground cover of low 
shrubs and large or small 'herbs. The only 
variant is the tenuous ribbon of beach and shore 
vegetation bordering the coast, the conventional 
mangrove swamps and the customary strand 
association of Ipomoea Pes-caprae, Canavalia 
maritima, Cakile, Sesuvium, Philoxerus, and the 

Land for a time under cultivation and then 
abandoned soon is overgrown with weedy shrubs 
and trees such as Cecropia, Luehea, Apeiba, 
Triumjetta, Ochroma, Trema, Spondias, and 
many melastomes. Fresh-water, open or wooded 
swamps and marshes, often of considerable ex- 
tent, are dominated by Calathea, Thalia, Canna, 
Cypcrus giganteus, and ubiquitous plants like 
Pistia, Sagittaria, Nymphaea, Pontcdcria, Eich- 
hornia, and Limnanthemum, Typical swamp 
trees are Mora, Pterocarpus, Raphia, Corozo, and 

Upland forest covers most of this Atlantic 
lowland area. Dominant or abundant trees are 
Pcntaclethra, Luehea Seemannii, various Laura- 
ccae of the genera Ocotea, Nectandra, and 
Phoebe; species of Ficus, Coussapoa, Brosimum, 
Ogcodeia, Percbea, Poulsenia, Symphonia, Hip- 
pomane, Minquartia, Virola, Compsoneura, Dia- 
lyanthera, Prioria, Dialium, Dipteryx, Zantho- 
xylum, Protium, Swietenia ntacrophylla, Vo- 
chysia, Terminalia, Manilkara, Jacaranda, Cas- 
tilla, Chrysophyllum, and many others, and such 
endemics as Lecythis costaricensis and Theo- 
broma simiarum. 

In the understory are palms of the genera 
Socratea, Welfia, Astrocaryum, Euterpe, Geo- 
noma, Iriartca, Reinhardtia, and Chamacdorea, 
and trees like Didymopanax, Pourouma, Carica 
dolichaula, Inga and Pithecolobium, Dracaena, 
Ravcnia, Guatteria, Guarea, and Carapa. Beauti- 
ful tree ferns abound in favorable regions. Shrubs 
are numerous, including species of Piper, 
Heisteria, Siparuna, Swartzia, Quassia, Neea, 
Cupania, Psychotria, and many other diverse 
groups. Herbaceous plants are few and of 
limited growth because of the scant light reaching 
the ground. There are a few broad-leafed grasses 
and many coarse Monocotyledoneae, like Heli- 
conia, Calathea, Dieffenbachia, Renealmia, Costus. 
and Xiphidium. Epiphytes are luxuriant, especial- 
ly such plants as Anthurium, Philodendron, 
Monstera, and Carludovica. There are many com- 
mon ferns ; orchids are numerous but usually high 
in the trees. Celebrated among them are the 
guariade Turrialba (Cattleya Dowiana) , Vanilla, 
and Peristeria, the Dove or Holy Ghost orchid. 
Among small herbaceous plants are many 
Acanthaceae, Carludovica and Cyclanthus, Scla- 
ginellas, and Rubiaceae. A caulescent Zamia 
abounds in many parts of the Atlantic lowlands. 

Pacific tierra caliente. In the Pacific low- 
lands with their relatively scant rainfall there is 
little to suggest a conventional tropical vegeta- 
tion, the aspect of the plant covering being some- 
what like that of southern Texas. For half the 
year the plants are more or less dormant, their 
leaves withered or fallen. After the first rains, 
the trees burst into flower and leaf and suggest 
the spring vegetation of the North. Here there 
are giant trees, among the tallest of Central 
America, such as Hura, Enterolobium, and 
Ceiba pentandra, but otherwise most of the trees 
are smaller than those of the Atlantic lowlands. 
There are broad expanses of savanna or grass- 

land, brown and dry during the winter months of 
the North but vivid green after the first rains. 
The savannas afford innumerable grasses and 
sedges and such low herbaceous plants as Cipura, 
Poly gala, Curtia, Melochia, Hyptis, Centrosema, 
Sauvagesia, Crotalaria, Eriosema, Stylosanthes, 
Zprnia, Evolvulus, Buchnera, Ruellia, and Borre- 
ria. There are shallow seasonal pools with 
aquatics of the genera Schultesia, Bacopa, Lim- 
nanthemum, and Nymphaea. 

The larger trees of the Pacific forests include 
Anacardium excelsum, Licania platypus, Stercu- 
lia apetala, Ficus, Platymiscium, Pithecolobium 
Saman, Szveetia, Lauraceae and Sapotaceae, 
Tabebuia pentaphylla, Triplaris, Cordia alliodora, 
Cassia grandis, Bombay and Bombacopsis, 
Terminalia, Cedrela, Gyrocarpus, Calycophyllum, 
Andira inermis, Dalbergias, and a host of others. 
Of smaller trees there are Dipterodendron, 
Byrsonima, Coccoloba, Tabebuia chrysantha, 
Hymenaea, Crataeva, Caesalpinia, Cochlosper- 
inum, Chlorophora, Guasuma, Trophis, Plumeria 
rubra, Sloanea, Annona purpurea, Rollinia, 
Diphysa, Psidium, Simaruba glauca, and Muntin- 

In the Pacific tierra caliente grows the only 
tree cactus of Costa Rica, Cereus Aragoni. The 
palms include Bactris, Acrocomia innifera, Des- 
moncus, Pyrenoglyphis, and Scheelea. 

Temperate region (Tierra templada). The 
temperate region (tierra templada) of Costa 
Rica embraces the mountain slopes and some 
relatively level country between 800 and 1,500 
meters. It includes most of the uplands, and 
excludes only the limited cold regions about the 
mountain summits. Like so many other plant 
belts, it is transitional and seldom sharply 
limited. It includes all the coffee plantations 
and extends somewhat higher. There is consid- 
erable difference between the floras of the Atlan- 
tic and Pacific slopes, due to lesser rainfall on 
the latter, but on the whole the temperate flora 
is rather constant in its general elements and 
aspect although infinitely varied as to species, 
many of which are local or erratic in distribu- 

The most curious aberration is in the mountains 
of the cordillera of Guanacaste, one of the low- 
est parts of the continental backbone. X)n account 
of their insignificant elevation, about 600 meters, 
the mountains of the Tilaran region should fall 
in the tierra caliente, but because of the unique 
distribution of rainfall rain clouds advancing 
from the Caribbean throughout the year and 
discharging their water on their low slopes 
the flora is actually much like that of central 
Costa Rica, at 1,500 meters. 

The tierra templada originally, but perhaps 
only many centuries ago, was wholly covered 
with dense mixed forest, the greater part of 
which has been cleared for cultivation, and the 
clearing still continues. In this forest oaks 
(Quercus) predominate, at least over large areas. 
From bits of it remaining in the central region, 
one can see that the primeval forest possessed 
great beauty, with many huge trees which, 
especially at higher elevations, were often cov- 
ered with epiphytes, particularly orchids and 
ferns. The trees usually are crowded together, 
and on this account the forests composed almost 
wholly of oaks have no resemblance to park- 
like oak forests of the North. Their tops are 
so remote overhead that it is seldom realized one 

STANDLEY : Vegetation of Costa Rica 


is walking under oak trees, unless reminded by 
acorns on the ground. 

Many trees of other groups are associated 
with the oaks, and sometimes in even greater 
numbers. Among the commoner ones are 
Lauraceae of the genera Nectandra, Ocotea, and 
Per sea i Cedrela, Sapium, Chactoptelea, Talau- 
ina, Xanthoxylum, Podocarpus, Engelhardtia, 
the endemic genus Aljaroa (Jnglandaceae) ; 
Ladenbergia, a relative of Cinchona, and only 
here in North America is found, in limited 
stands near San Ramon, a true Cinchona, C. 
pubescent. Among the common genera of small 
trees and shrubs are Croton, Montanoa, Myrcia 
and Eugenia, Hedyosmum, Geonoma and other 
genera of palms, Malvaviscus, Robinsonella, 
Panopsis, Litsea. Arctostaphylos, Conostegia, 
Hauya, Trichilia and Guarea, Roupala, Sym- 
plocos, Cestrwn, and Rondeletia. There are 
many shrubby Compositae and Myrsinaceae, and 
other groups well represented are Gesneriaccac, 
Rubus, Paullinia and Serjania, Palicourea, 
Siparuna, and Mollinedia. Characteristic herba- 
ceous plants are Begonia, Passiflora, Lamourou- 
xia, Salvia, Desmodium, Ipomoea, Geranium, 
vast numbers of ferns including tree ferns and 
many epiphytes, Gynandropsis, Heliconia, Loasa, 
and numerous small melastomes. Interesting 
aquatic plants are the small Podostemonaceac of 
swift streams. 

Exceedingly beautiful are the pasture lands 
and roadsides during the rainy season when 
there are wide displays of varied color, produced 
by low plants that are essentially weedy. Most 
conspicuous of these is the Santa Lucia, Alomia 
microcarpa, similar to garden Ageratum, that 
completely covers hundreds of acres of pasture 
land. Another garden plant that abounds as a 
weed in cornfields, just as sunflowers (Helian- 
thus) do in the United States, is the dahlia, 
Dahlia rose a. 

Cold region (tierra /n'a). The reputation 
of Costa Rica's flora for beauty and variety 
is based largely upon the vegetation of the 
tierra jria, and any account of this is difficult 
because of the complexity of the task and the 
wealth of the material to be considered. A 
botanist with only a short time to spend in Costa 
Rica should devote it to this belt, where he will 
be amazed at the exuberant vegetation. It is 
improbable that any part of the American 
continent except the somewhat similar moun- 
tains of Colombia and Ecuador can compete 
with Costa Rica in the richness of this flora. 

The tierra jria comprises all mountain 
slopes above about 1,500 meters, but this belt 
must be subdivided into a lower one of con- 
siderable extent, and a very small one, the 
tierra fria as limited by PITTIER. The tierra jria 
proper, or cold region, is an area of dense 
saturated forest of medium-sized trees. Their 
tops are drenched every night of the year with 
drizzling rain or heavy downpours, and most 
of the time they are shrouded in fog and 
drifting clouds. Every branch is swathed in a 
dripping-wet covering of mosses, hepatics, and 
other epiphytes. There is no dry soil, and all 
the vegetation is like a saturated sponge. Agri- 
culturally this is the region of potato cultiva- 
tion and dairying. The climate is really cold, 
and there is nothing to remind one of lowland 
tropics. Many of the plants are local in distri- 
bution, some of them known from a single 
ravine. The floras of canyons but a few miles 

apart along the slopes of the high volcanoes often 
differ amazingly, some of the most conspicuous 
plants abundant in one canyon being absent in 
another otherwise similar one only three or 
four miles away. 

Most of the tierra jria, unless modified by man, 
is invested with very dense forest of trees of 
varying size of diverse families and genera. The 
genus best represented by species and individuals 
is Quercus, and oaks are dominant over large 
areas of the upper mountains. Other characteris- 
tic genera or species are Podocarpus, Weinman- 
nia, Blakea, Topobea, Prunus, Morus insignis, 
Magnolia and Talautna, Oreopanax, Hedyos- 
ntum, Eugenia, and Myrcia, Drimys, Phyllo- 
noma, Brunellia, Sambucus, Psychotria, Hy- 
drangea, Ilex, Solandra, Billia, and Clusia, 
Luxuriantly represented are Gesneriaceae, Lobc- 
liaceae, and Ericaceae, many with brilliant flow- 
ers in shades of red. 

The wet forests of the tierra jria are par 
excellence the region of epiphytes, and here are 
found the majority of Costa Rica's many hun- 
dreds of orchids, in unbelievable numbers of 
individuals, with many species associated upon 
a single tree no larger than an apple tree. 
Here abound bromeliads, and the number of 
fern genera and species is fantastic. The upper 
slopes of the Volcan de Turrialba perhaps hold 
a world record for the number of fern species 
growing in a limited area. 

Great parts of the tierra fria have been cleared 
for cattle pastures. After the trees were felled, 
the land was sown with grass seed, usually of 
European origin, and as a result the pasture 
flora is more European than American. The 
forage grasses are European, and with them 
are naturalized European plants like Trifolium 
repens, Lotus, Bellis perennis, Silene qallica, 
Ranunculus, Veronica, Taraxacum, Digitalis, 
and many more. 

A very specialized flora is confined to low 
thickets at timber line on the high volcanoes 
and at the edges of the paramo districts to be 
mentioned later. Shrubs or small trees restricted 
to such places are species of Escallonia, Ribcs, 
Berberis, Mahonia, Hesperomcles, Holdodiscus, 
Myrtus, Pernettia, Buddleia alpina, Arcyto- 
phyllum, and a few Senecios. Giant herbs 'are 
Myrrhidendron and a species of Rumex some- 
times six meters high. 

Perhaps the most interesting and distinctive 
phytogeographic region of Costa Rica consists 
of the very limited paramos or paramillos found 
only in the high mountains toward Panama, and 
best developed upon Chirrip6, Cerro de la 
Muerte, and nearby Cerro de las Vueltas. They 
are the only North American areas whose flora 
is similar to those of the extensive paramos of 
the South America Andes, with the possible 
exception of alpine areas in western Guatemala, 
whose paramo species are almost lost among 
boreal elements. Here in Costa Rica is the 
northern limit of the genera Puya and Greigia, 
and of many species or species groups of such 
genera as Eriocaulon, cycad-like Lomarias, Lyco- 
podium, Alchemilla, Acaena, Hypericum, Gera- 
nium, and Eryngium. There is every indication 
that these isolated islets of plants, now so small, 
will soon be occupied by encroaching forest, 
which reduces them relentlessly to shallow 
sphagnum-filled pools. 

An enumeration of the known phanerogams 
of Costa Rica with more detailed discussion 


LINDSAY : Plant Resource! of the Panamas 

of their general and local distribution is found 
in PAUL C. STANDLEY, Flora of Costa Rica, Bo- 
tanical Series, Field Museum of Natural History, 
volume 18 (1937-38). On page 62 of that 
volume is a brief bibliography of publications 
treating the vegetation of the country. 

The larger or more important families of 
Costa Rican phanerogams include the follow- 
ing : Gramineae, 283 species ; Palmae, 28 genera 
and 92 species ; Bromeliaceae, 153 species ; Orchi- 
daccae, 122 genera, 955 species ; Piperaceae, 537 
species; Legwninosae, 325; Euphorbiaceae, 112; 
Melastomaceae, 213; Ericaceae, 50; Solanaceae, 
129; Gesneriaceae, 99; Rubiaceae, 251; Compo- 
sitae, 300. 


WALTER R. LINDSAY : Plant Resources of the 
Panamas: The Republic of Panama, with the 
Canal Zone, forms the connecting link between 
North and South America. Panama is bounded 
on the north by the Caribbean Sea, on the east 
by Colombia, on the south by the Pacific Ocean 
and on the west by Costa Rica. Its area is 32,- 
380 square miles and its population is about 632,- 
000. Two mountain ranges traverse the whole 
country enclosing a number of valleys and plains 
with excellent pasturage for cattle. There are 
extensive forests on the slopes of the mountains 
and numerous banana plantations along the At- 
lantic coast. 

the most important of which are corbina, sail- 
fish, tarpon, red snapper and mackerel. Several 
rivers in the Chiriqui province have been stocked 
with trout. Wild game is plentiful in the forests ; 
this includes deer, tapir, wild pigs, monkeys, wild 
cats, agouties, ant eaters, rabbits, racoons and 
many others. Alligators abound in the creeks of 
the coast and ducks and other migratory birds 
and pigeons are common in the forests. 

Over fifty species of commercially valuable 
timber trees are found. These include such well 
known woods as mahogany, cocobolo, guayacan, 
nispero, etc. Castilloa rubber trees are common 
in many provinces. 

Large manganese deposits are located in the 
San Bias Gulf, in the Boqueron Valley and in 
the Province of Veraguas. Gold, aluminum, 
iron and asbestos have also been found. 

Cattle raising for beef is undoubtedly the larg- 
est branch of the agriculture of the country and 
is by far the greatest source of revenue. Roughly 
90% of the utilized acreage of the country or 
approximately 5,000,000 acres is used up in pas- 
tures. The stock of cattle with some very few 
exceptions is decidedly poor and the present Gov- 
ernment cattle breeding program will be of in- 
estimable value. Practically all of the meat 
produced is consumed in the country and very 
little is available for the needs of the Canal Zone 
which has to import large quantities of meat 
from the United States, Cuba, Colombia and at 
present, from the Argentine. 

AGRICULTURAL REGIONS OF THE ISTHMUS OF PANAMA (Courtesy of Agriculture in the Americas). 

All of Panama is in the Tropics and the coastal 
interior lowlands are hot and humid. The annual 
average temperature is about 80 F. with little 
seasonal variation ; that high up in the mountains 
is 66 F. The Atlantic coast receives about 140 
inches of rain a year, the Pacific 60, and the in- 
terior 90 inches, most of the fall coming during 
the rainy season from May through December. 

The waters around Panama teem with fish, 

The dairy branch of the livestock industry is 
more efficiently developed but has confined itself 
principally to the production and distribution of 
fresh milk to the cities and towns of the Republic. 
The country still imports over half a million 
dollars worth of dairy products in the form of 
butter, cheese and milk m various forms. 

The second largest agricultural industry in 
Panama is the growing of sugarcane for the 

CARABIA: The Cuban Flora 


manufacture of sugar and alcohol. Six fairly 
large factories manufacture most of the sugar 
and alcohol while the panela* and crude syrup is 
made bv the small farmers. Almost 50% of the 
cane used by the large factories is grown by small 
farmers. The sugar recovery from the cane is 
low partly due to factory inefficiency but primar- 
ily from the low sugar content of the cane which 
is invariably harvested green. Panama has never 
been an exporter of sugar and it is not likely to 
be on account of the high cost of production. 
Were it not for the Government protection and 
the large returns from the sale of alcohol it is 
probable that there would be a sharp decline 
in sugar production. 

Bananas, cacao and coffee are the only crops 
grown for export. The banana industry is best 
organized in the Chiriqui Province where it is in 
the hands of the United Fruit Co. The spread 
of a banana disease, "sigatoka" (Fusarium cu- 
bense) makes it necessary to abandon certain 
areas and to move on to new ones. There are 
considerable areas of banana lands adjacent to 
the present districts of Santo Domingo and Con- 
cepcion which are the smaller farmers' centers 
for banana production. Other areas in Panama 
which are suitable for banana production are 
just outside of the rainfall belt and so could not 
be used successfully without providing irrigation 
during the dry season. The banana production 
in the Bocas del Toro Province is a dying in- 
dustry due to the Panama disease. However, 
the United Fruit Company has been growing 
cacao, and more recently, abaca (Mtisa t ex tills) 
on these abandoned banana areas. The only 
cacao grown for export in Panama comes from 
this region and it may not be long before the 
production of abaca and manilla hemp reaches 
noteworthy proportions. 

Tobacco, rice, corn and many fruits and vege- 
tables are easily grown in various parts of 
Panama and their production is being encour- 

Practically all of the truck gardens are found 
adjacent to the cities of Panama and Col6n and 
are run by most efficient Chinese gardeners. The 
products are either sold in the local markets or 
are peddled from house to house. Small -sized 
tomatoes, a loose-leaf variety of lettuce, okra, 
cucumbers, radishes, small onions, peppers, beans, 
chayotes and a variety of tropical vegetables are 
grown in these little gardens. During the dry 
months the gardens are watered by hand. Some 
vegetables which do not do well in the wet season 
produce fairly well in the dry season. Tomatoes 
and cabbages are classic examples. 

The opportunity for marketing almost any 
crop one would choose to grow in Panama is 
excellent as the population of the Canal Zone, 
including the Army, Navy and civilians, would 
take it all. At the present time practically all 
foods are imported from the United States, Ar- 
gentina, Colombia and Cuba. 

The Department of Agriculture in Panama 
has recently established a demonstration and ex- 
perimental farm at Divisa in the Province oi 
Los Santos. This farm is situated on the rich 
alluvial plateau formed by the Santa Maria River 
and is amply supplied with water from this river. 
The results of this farm should be far reaching. 

In 1923 the Governor of the Canal Zone es- 
tablished an Introduction Gardens (later changed 
to the Experiment Gardens) at Summit, Canal 
Zone, for the purpose of introducing and dis- 

seminating desirable plant material to farmers in 
the Canal Zone. The Gardens have grown until 
they now cover approximately 250 acres and 
have introductions running upwards of 13,000. 
Thousands of improved or selected economic and 
ornamental plants are disseminated from these 
Gardens each year to customers in neighboring 
countries such as Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica, 
1 Salvador and Honduras. 


STANDLF.Y, PAUL C., "Flora of the Panama Canal 
Zone." Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, 

of Tropical America." New Haven, Conn., 1924. 

of the New World." New Haven, Conn. 1943 

BENNETT, HUGH H. ( "The Agricultural Possibilities of 
the Canal Zone." U.S.D.A. Report No. 95, 1912. 

BENNETT, HUGH H., "Soil Reconnaissance of the 
Panama Canal Zone and Contiguous Territory." U.S. 
D.A. Technical Bulletin No. 94, 1929. 

J. P. CARABIA : A Brief Review of the Cuban 
Flora: Cuba, the largest island in the VVest 
Indies, is neither of oceanic nor volcanic origin, 
but is a portion of the ancient northern part of 
the South American continent. For this reason, 
its flora bears a very strong resemblance to those 
of the larger islands of the Caribbean of the 
same origin, as well as to northern South Amer- 
ica. The Cuban vegetation also shows an affin- 
ity to Central American vegetation as well as 
to that of the southeastern United States and 
the Bahama Islands. 

Cuba is the most northern island of all the 
West Indies, with exception of a few Bahnma 
islands, and has quite an agreeable climate. The 
annual temperature oscillates between 60 F. 
and 80 F. There are only two seasons, sum- 
mer and winter. In the first season, the tem- 
perature averages from 75 to 80, and in win- 
ter from 60 to 75. The two seasons men- 
tioned, summer and winter, are known also as 
the wet and dry seasons ; the west season being 
from May to October and the dry from Novem- 
ber to April. The average rainfall is about 
45 to 65 inches a year. 

The flora of Cuba is rich, containing nearly 
8000 known species of vascular plants with a 
very high percentage of endemism. The num- 
ber of species in some of the larger and often 
conspicuous families is as follows: Gramineae 
369, Compositae 325, Rubiaceae 296, Orchida- 
ceae 270, Euphorbiaceae 256, Cyperaceae 210, 
Melastomataceae 156, Papilionaceae 154, Myrta- 
ceae 150, Malvaceae 96, Pahnae 88, Bignoniaceae 
86, Verbenaceae 84, Convolvulaceae 85, Bora- 
ginaceae 82, Solanaceae 75, Apocynaceae 75, 
Urticaceae 74, Caesalpiniaceae 73, Asclepiada- 
ceae 65, Bromeliaceae 60, Acanthaceae 54, Mal- 
pighiaceae 53, Cactaceae 53, Labiatae 52, Ges- 
neriaceae 47, Mimosaceae 45, Piperaceae 42, 
Rutaceae 39, Polygonaceae 39, Amaranthaccae 
37, Sapotaceae 37, Loranthaceae 36, Flacourtia- 
ceae 36, Amaryllidaceae 33, Rhantnaceae 32, 
Sapindaceae 32, Polygalaceae 30, Sterculia- 
ceae 28, Moraceae 27, Myrsinaceae 25, Anona- 
ceae 20, Capparidaceae 19, Theophrastaceae 17, 
Araceae 15, Siinarubaceae 14, Anacardiaceac 
13, Burseraceae 12, Combretaceae 11, Meliaceae 
10, Pinaceae 4, Bombacaceae 4, Cycadaceae 4, 
Rhizophoraceae 1, and Fagaceae 1. 


CARABIA : The Cuban Flora 

The island has six major floristic groups: 1) 
coastal and shore vegetation, 2) savannas, 3) 
tropical forest of Oriente and Santa Clara hills, 
4) blue limestone hills of Pinar del Rio, 5) 
swamp and lagoon vegetation, and 6) the sili- 
ceous savannas of Pinar del Rio and Isle of 

1) Cuba has a very irregular coastline and 
is surrounded by innumerable small islands or 
cays. As a consequence, it has an unusually 
abundant coastal vegetation which may be di- 
vided into three general types : xerophytic, semi- 
xerophytic, and halophytic. The most exten- 
sive type of coastal vegetation is the halophytic, 
in which Rhisophora mangle, Laauncularia race- 
mosa, Conocarpus erecta, and Avicennia nitida 
are predominant. Under those trees, frequently 
we find a group of herbaceous plants such as 
Balis marititna, Philoxerus verniicularis, Trian- 
thema portulacastrum, Stcmodia maritime, and 
Baccharis angustior, and a group of grasses and 
sedges such as Distichlis spicata, Uniola pani- 
culata, Cyperus brunneus, and Fimbristylis glo- 
merata. When the shore is higher, a psam- 
mophilous formation takes the place of the pre- 
ceding group, characterized by Tournefortia 
gnaphalodes, Rhachicallis americana, Suriana 
maritima, Borrichia arboresccns, Strumpfia ma- 
ritinia, and the pantropical Iponwca pes-caprae. 
This last group of plants, in general, is sur- 
rounded by a group of higher plants such as 

Oriente we find the best type of xerophytic 
vegetation in Cuba. Here are frequently seen 
a group of microphyllous shrubs such as Ery- 
throxyhn brevipes, E. minutifolium, Catesbaea 
holacantha, Maytenus buxijolia, and Ehretia 
tinifolia. Among these plants, large colonies of 
Cactaceae are conspicuous, i.e., Cephalocereus 
brooksianus, Lemaireocereus hystrix, Dendro- 
cereus nudiflorus, Opuntia dillenii, 0. macro- 
cantha, Harrisia fernowi, and Leptocereus syi- 

2) Much of Cuba consists of land of low 
relief, and the casual traveler sees little else 
than the cultivated fields of sugar cane and to- 
bacco plantations, which, when abandoned, fall 
prey to an introduced shrub, Dichrostachys nu- 
tans. However a portion of these lowland areas 
has been little disturbed and supports specialized 
types of vegetation, which we will refer to as 
savanna, because the most widespread type is the 
serpentine savanna. Stretching from Havana to 
Oriente, these savannas are covered by different 
associations. On the pure serpentine savanna 
one usually finds a group of plants represented 
by Bclairia mucronata, Brya ebenus, Randia 
spinifcx, Reynosia mucronata, Rheedia aristata. 
Lcucroton flavicans, Guettarda holocarpa, and 
Croton sagracanus. On the better savanna lands, 
these groups of shrubs are replaced by a group 
of grasses and sedges, and the arboreal element 
is represented by large colonies of palms, such 


zoo 3oo 400 

d] Serpentine savanna 
S Siliceous savanna. 
iH Tropical forest. 
HUD Blue -lime stone. 


- Semi-xerophytJc. 


Coccoloba urijcra, Chrysobalanus icaco, and 
Cap parts spp. Another type of coastal vegeta- 
tion is the semi -xerophytic, occurring where 
coral reefs and limestone deposits are exposed. 
Here a great number of shrubs such as Caesal- 
pinia bahamcnsis, C. pauciflora, Pithecolobiwn 
hystrix, Cacsalpinia coriaria, Coccothrinax li- 
toralis, and Plwmeria obtusa are common. 
Among these, various species of Eugenia, Agave, 
Metopium, Croton, and Cpmocladia and the 
poisonous Hippomane mancinclla are frequently 
found. With these plants we may see a group 
of creeping plants like Smilax haranensis, Pi- 
sonia aculeata, and Batocydia ungis, all of which 
form an almost impenetrable thicket. In some 
localities, and especially near Havana, we may 
find on the same rocky shore a group of small 
and succulent plants, under the constant influ- 
ence of the salt water. Among these are 7>i- 
anthema portulacastrwn, Suacda linear is, and 
Philoxerus vennicularis ; also here we find 
creeping forms of Conocarpus erecta and Borri- 
chia arboresccns which do not reach above an 
inch over the rocks. On the south coast of 

as Sabal florida, Copernicia torreana, C. ho spit a, 
C. bailcyana, and Coccothrinax miraguama. 
From this type of savanna we pass to the type 
with the best soil the prados, which, being rich 
in grass, are dedicated to the pasturing of cattle. 
Here grasses of the genera Panicum, Paspalum, 
Arundinella, and Arthrostylidium are common. 
Other grasses cultivated there are Panicum 
maximum and P. purpurasccns. The typical 
trees on these savannas, or prados, are Roy- 
stonea regia, Samanea saman, (iuasuma tomen- 
tosa, Cciba pentandra, Crcscctitia cujete, Chloro- 
phora tinctoria, Cecropia pel fata, Gliricidia 
septum, and Burscra simaruba. In many cases 
the last mentioned group of plants may repre- 
sent the remnants of the lowland forest of 
Cuba, which have been cleared out for pasturing 
or agricultural purposes. 

3) The mountains of Oriente and Santa Clara 
are mainly composed of granite and other 
igneous rocks surrounded by a lower frame of 
limestone, giving rise to various types of soils, 
which enrich the flora. The vegetation of these 
hills is the typical complex flora of the tropics. 

ROIG AND ACUNA : Plant Resources of Cuba 


and on the highest elevation, where the moun- 
tains comb sufficient water out of the trade 
winds, we find the complex montane tropical 
forest. These hills, with less than 1000 m. alti- 
tude, support a large number of woody plants, 
such as Dipholis jubilla, Calophyllum antilla- 
nutn, Oxandra lanceolata, Clusia rosea, Fara- 
mea occidentals, Cecropia peltata, Didymo- 
panax morototoni, Prunus occidentals, Hyper~ 
baena cubensis, Dendropanax arborea, Prockia 
cntcis, Juglans insularis, Celtis trinervia, Cedre- 
la odorata, Ochroma lagopus, Hibiscus tiliacea, 
Exostetnma sanctae-luciae, Mouriria monantha, 
Swietenia mahagoni, Pseudocarpidium wrightii, 
Zanthoxylum spinifex, and Chuncoa chichar- 
ronia. Frequently on the summits of these hills 
large colonies of Pinus cubensis and scattered 
groups of Juniperus barbadensis, J. saxicola, 
Pinus occidentalis, Bactris cubensis, and Podo- 
carpus spp. predominate. Above 1000 m. one 
finds the wet tropical forest, with trees covered 
by a host of mosses, hepatics, and inconspicuous 
orchids. Here also Viburnum cubense, Oxandra 
lanceolata, Carapa guianensis, Hymenaea cour- 
baril, Faramea occidentalis, Garrya fadyenii, 
Schaeffcria frutescens, Myrica cacutninis, Chi- 
marrhis cynwsa, Torralbasia cuneifolia, Cyrilla 
roc emi flora, Homalium racemosa, Euterpe glo- 
bosa, Magnolia cubensis, Fresiera grisebachii, 
Clethra cubensis, Weinmannia pinnata, Elaeagia 
cubensis, and Rubus turguinensis occur, as well 
as several species of Persea, Miconia, and Oco- 
tea. Some species of Cyathea and Alsophila and 
the interesting Equisetum giganteum overtop a 
large number of other pteridophytes. Several 
species of Brotneliaceae, Begoniaceae, and Ara- 
ccae complete the picture. 

4) The Sierra de los Organos of Pinar del 
Rio is formed by blue limestone hills of the 
Lower Cretaceous. These hills, named "mo- 
gotes," are isolated eroded remnants, generally 
with steep, nearly perpendicular side-forming 
cliffs ; they are scenically interesting because of 
their peculiar shape. The flora of the mogotes 
includes a remarkable number of endemic 
species. Among the widespread species on the 
mogotes are Bombax emarginatum, Erythrina 
cubensis, Gaussia princeps, Thrinax punctulata, 
Omphalea hypoleuca, Ekmanianthe actinophylla, 
and Spathelia brittonii. Here also species of 
Anthurium, Agave, Peperomia, Pilea, Tillandsia, 
Hohenbergia, Vriesia, and Catopsis cover the 
perpendicular cliffs. 

5) The swamp type of vegetation is well de- 
veloped in the southern part of Santa Clara, Isle 
of Pines, Pinar del Rio, and Havana. Here we 
find the interesting Saliv occidentalis and the 
quite rare Fraxinus cubensis, also Cephalanthus 
occidentalis and Typha domingensis are common. 
On the water we may see Castalia odorata, Nym- 
phaea advena, Eichhornia crassipes, and Pistia 
stratiotes. Also we should mention the vegeta- 
tion along brooks and rivers. Here two plants 
are most conspicuous, one a palm, Calyptronoma 
dulcis, and the other an introduced plant, 
Eugenia jambos. Many other trees of the neigh- 
boring associations may be found here, such as 
Roystonea regia, Psidium guajaba, Bucida buce- 
ras, Cecropia peltata, and Didymopanax moro- 

6) The last region to be mentioned is the 
siliceous savanna of Pinar del Rio and Isle of 
Pines. Those two areas have a well known and 
most endemic flora. However, some of the 

principal trees are the widespread Pinus 
caribaea, Quercus virginiana, Acoelorhaphe 
wrightii, Cur at el la americana, and Byrsonjma 
crassifolia. Among the endemics are Pinus 
trofiicalis, Vaccinium cubense, Befaria cubensis, 
Rondeletia correifolia, Hypericum styphelioides, 
Kaltniclla aggregata, Tabebuia lepidophylla, 
Pieris cubensis, Xolisma myrtilloides, Coccoloba 
colomensis, and various species of Xyris, Poly- 
gala, Burtnannia, Pingnicula, and Eriocaulaceae. 
Here also we find the rare cycad Microcycas 

Botanical Explorations in Cuba. A very brief men- 
tion of the first plants that COLUMBUS saw in Cuba is 
found in bis diary dated 1492. Years later, in 1535. 
OVIEDO mentions a few plants from Cuba in his "His- 
toria Natural de las Indias." However, no botanical 
exploration was made until W. HOUSTOUN came to Cuba 
in 1729, remaining until 1753. From 1748 to 1752, 
F. W. NASCHKR was collecting in the vicinity of Havana. 
Since that time many botanists have collected in this 
island. Among the most notable we should mention 
N. J. JACQUIN (1758), O. SWARTZ (1784), A. HUMBOLDT 
and A. BONPLAND (1800-1801, 1804), and J. LINDEN 
(1837-1838, 1844). Among: these botanical explorations 
there were some of importance, but C. WRIGHT was the 
first to make a really intensive botanical exploration of 
this island. WRIGHT remained in Cuba from 1856 to 
1867. with a few absences for trips to the United States. 
Another chapter of the botanical exploration in Cuba 
was started in the twentieth century with the explora- 
tions of N. L. BRITTON and a group of assistants- 
J. A. SHAKER, P. WILSON, and Frere Ls6N. The last 
and most important exploration in this century was the 
one made by E. EKMAN, who remained in Cuba from 
1914-1924. By means of his explorations, EKMAN was 
able to make a great contribution to the publication of 
the "Symbolae Antillanae" by I. URBAN. 



GRISEBACH. A. 1866: Catalogus Plantarum Cuben- 
sium. Leipzig, p. 1-296. 

LA SACRA. R. 1850: Historia de la Isla de Cuba 
[Botanical. Madrid. Vol. 10-11. 

MARIE- VICTORI N et Frcre L*6N 1942: Itineraires bo- 
taniques dans 1'Ile de Cuba. Contr. Inst. Bot. Univ. 
Montreal n.41, p. 1-496; 1944: n.50, p. 1-410. 

ROIG, J. T. 1928: Diccionario Botanico. Habana, p. 

SEIFRIZ, W. 1940: The Plant Life of Cuba. Ecol. 
Monogr. 13: 375-426. 

1940: Die Pflanzengeographie von 

Cuba. Bot. Jahrb. 70: 441-462. 

URBAN, I.: Symbolae Antillanae. Leipzig. Vol. 1-9 

_____ 1903: Ueber die botanische Erfor- 

schung Westindiens in den Ictzten Jahrzehnten. Bot. 
Jahrb. 33:28-32. 

sources of Cuba: Cuba is situated between 
the 19th and 23rd degrees N. and between the 
74th and the 84th degrees W. of Greenwich. 
The great importance of its geographical situa- 
tion was recognized from the time of the con- 
quest, when the Island was spoken of as "la 
Have del Golfo Mejicano y Antemural de las 
Indias" (the key to the Gulf of Mexico and the 
Front Wall of the Indies). Due to its long and 
narrow form, Cuba has an essentially maritime 
climate; the breezes from the Atlantic Ocean 
and the Caribbean Sea alternately cool the at- 
mosphere, resulting in one of the mildest climates 
in the world. These favorable conditions, to- 
gether with its nearness to the United States, 
its beautiful landscapes, and its excellent thermal 
baths, make Cuba exceptionally attractive as a 
tourist resort. Increasing rapidly in importance 


ROIG AND ACUNA : Plant Resources of Cuba 

in this regard, the tourist trade already consti- 
tutes an important source of revenue. Situated 
near the Tropic of Cancer, and having soils of 
various types, Cuba can produce all kinds of 
tropical crops, as well as a considerable number 
of those of subtropical origin. Owing to its 
small merchant marine, its economy rests 
mostly on agriculture, on cattle raising, on min- 
ing, and on fishing. Of all these resources, 
agriculture and the derived industries are the 
fountains of the greatest income. From these 
sources only Cuba has been able to put into cir- 
culation about 1000 million dollars a year. 

Among the principal plant products are sugar, 
tobacco, coffee, tropical fruits, vegetables, 
fibers, and forest products. 

Sugar cane. The most important product of 
Cuba is cane sugar, on which the prosperity of 
the country depends almost entirely. In 1925 the 
crop amounted to 5,189,386 long tons of sugar, 
valued at $260,380,830; but the highest prices 
were obtained in 1920, the production being only 
3,785,425 tons, which sold, however, for $999,- 
899,458. The Cuban quota for the present 
year is 2,458,769 tons. The national consump- 
tion is about 250,000 tons, that is, 120 Ib. per 
capita. The Cuban quota for 1944 is 4,836,000 
short tons. 

Sugar cane is extensively cultivated in the six 
Cuban provinces, but the largest plantations and 
the largest sugar mills are in Oriente, Cama- 
griey, and Santa Clara Provinces. The most 
popular cane variety is P.O.J. 2878, which repre- 
sents 60% of the crop. The propagation of 
this variety has greatly contributed to the in- 
crease of yield and to the elimination of the 
mosaic disease. The Cuban Department of 
Agriculture is working on the production of 
immune varieties. Through the Central Experi- 
ment Station at Santiago de las Vegas, an ex- 
periment station for sugar cane alone has also 
been created recently; this will be located at 
Central Limones, in Matanzas Province. In 
1938 the total amount of raw sugar, refined 
sugar, and inverted syrups exported was valued 
at $11,323,441. 

Several large distilleries for the production of 
alcohol and several large rum factories are in 
operation in Cuba; these plants utilize large 
quantities of molasses and syrup. 

Tobacco. The second Cuban plant product 
is tobacco, which has for ages been considered 
as the best of the world. In Havana and other 
cities of the western portion of the Island there 
were in operation many large cigar and cigarette 
factories that gave employment to many thou- 
sands of workers, but for the past 50 years both 
the cultivation and the manufacture of tobacco 
have been decreasing constantly, on account of 
prohibitive taxes and of the falsification of 
Cuban cigars which is being practised in almost 
every country, and also on account of the change 
in the taste of the smokers, who now prefer 
cigarettes of the Egyptian type to pure cigars. 

Formerly tobacco was cultivated only in Pinar 
del Rio and Havana Provinces, but at present 
it is grown in all provinces except Matanzas. 
According to the quality and origin, the Cuban 
tobacco types are classified as follows: Vuelta- 
bajo, the tobacco grown between the Hondo 
and Cuyaguateje Rivers, in Pinar del Rio; 
Semivuelta grown from west of Hondo River 
to the limit of Havana province; Partido, 
grown in Havana Province; Remedios grown 

in Santa Clara Province, and Vueltarriba, 
grown in the two eastern provinces. The Vuel- 
tabajo type is considered the best and it is 
characterized by the fine aroma, elasticity, and 
beautiful colors; that from Remedios is char- 
acterized by its excellent burning qualities and 
white ashes ; and that known as Partido is used 
only for wrappers and is esteemed for the light 
colors and fine texture. During the last 20 
years the value of tobacco exported has de- 
creased rapidly from a maximum of $48,705,- 
259 in 1920 to a minimum of $12,198,722 in 1940. 
The local consumption in 1940 was estimated at 

Coffee and Cocoa. Just after the revolution 
and independence of Haiti the cultivation of 
coffee became the most important crop of 
Cuba ; but later, owing to the low prices, to the 
development of the sugar cane industry, but 
chiefly as a result of the expulsion of the French 
colonists, who had established the best and 
largest coffee plantations, the cultivation of this 
plant was almost totally abandoned, and for 
many years it was necessary to import coffee 
from Puerto Rico and Central America. With 
Government aid the production again increased, 
and now Cuba is able to supply its own market 
and to export considerable amounts of coffee 
to the United States. The crop of greatest 
value exported in recent years was that of 
1934, amounting to 13,936,700 pounds, which 
were sold for $1,205,975. The largest exporta- 
tion, however, was in 1939 with 18,205,400 
pounds, but this amount brought only $856,004. 

The largest crop was also that of 1939, when 
no less than 71,159,600 pounds were produced. 
Coffee is grown in Cuba only in the mountain- 
ous regions of Oriente, Santa Clara, and Pinar 
del Rio Provinces. An experiment station for 
coffee has recently been established at Palma 
Soriano, Oriente Province, to render technical 
assistance to the coffee planters. The Instituto 
Nacional del Cafe controls the production, the 
prices, and the wages of the workers. The 
domestic consumption of coffee is from 40 to 43 
thousand pounds monthly. 

Cocoa is grown in Oriente Province on a small 
scale. In 1939, the exportation was 135,402 kg., 
sold for $30,264. This crop, which has been 
slowly emigrating from America, is being stud- 
ied by the Cuban Government in order to further 
its development. 

Fruits. Many tropical fruits are grown in 
Cuba for local consumption and also for preserv- 
ing. Those exported in considerable amounts are 
pineapples, bananas, avocadoes, and citrus, 
chiefly grapefruit. 

During the last century the exportation of 
bananas from the northern districts of Oriente 
Province was very important, but the plantations 
have been constantly declining, due chiefly to the 
"Sigatoka" disease and to a lesser extent to the 
"Panama" disease. In the 1937-1938 crop eight 
million bunches of bananas were exported, while 
in 1940 the exportation amounted to less than 
4 million. The Central Experiment Station at 
Santiago de las Vegas is now endeavoring to 
breed banana varieties which are immune or 
highly resistant to those diseases. 

Pineapples are extensively cultivated in Ha- 
vana and Pinar del Rio Provinces, and more 
recently in western Camagiiey Province also, but 
to a lesser extent. The exportation of this fruit 
to the United States in 1938 amount to $850,361. 

ROIG AND ACUNA: Plant Resources of Cuba 


Large quantities of preserved pineapples are also 

The avocado is grown throughout the Island, 
there being a number of very fine varieties, but 
the commercial plantations are limited to Havana 
and Pinar del Rio Provinces. The production of 
this fruit has been extended to cover almost the 
whole year, although the regular crop is from 
June to October. The avocadoes shipped to the 
United States in 1938 were valued at $120,250. 
The local consumption is very large, this fruit 
appearing daily on the tables of most Cubans 
during the summer months. 

The cultivation of citrus fruits had a great 
development during the early years of the Re- 
public, when many large orange groves were 
established in Pinar del Rio, Havana, and Cama- 
giiey Provinces. A number of these groves had 
to be abandoned later on account of being sit- 
uated on poor soils, while other plantations were 
seriously attacked by the "black fly." This 
pest was later controlled by the introduction 
from the Far East of the chalcid parasite, Eret- 
tnoserus serins, a project carried out by the 
Cuban Government in cooperation with the U. S. 
Department of Agriculture. 

Oranges can now be obtained in the local 
market throughout the year. The exportation 
of oranges, grapefruits, and mandarin oranges 
in 1938 was valued at $89,000. 

During the last five years the cultivation of 
papaws for home consumption and for export has 
greatly increased. One grower alone exported 
as much as 30,000 pounds weekly. Unfortunately 
the papaya plantations are seriously menaced by 
a virus disease which has not yet been controlled. 
A good many tropical fruits are grown in Cuba 
for local consumption such as : mangoes of sev- 
eral varieties, the red mamey, sapodilla, sour 
sop, sugar apple, sweet sop, yellow mammea, 
star apple, guava, cashew nut, canistel, hicaco, 
and tamarind. These fruits and also papaws and 
pineapples are used in making sorbets, cold bev- 
erages, and also preserves which are prepared 
in several large factories. The total exportation 
of fruits during 1940 was $5,841,442, and that of 
preserved fruits was $606,504 in 1938. 

Vegetables. The cultivation of vegetables 
for export during the winter partially solved the 
problem of unemployment in the western prov- 
inces. During these months large amounts of 
tomatoes, egg plants, cucumbers, beans, and 
okra are shipped to the United States. In 1938 
the vegetable products exported amounted to 

In Cuba all food crops grown only for home 
consumption are called small crops. Corn, rice, 
edible roots or tubers, and some salt meat or 
pork constitute the daily food of the laborers. 
The most important small crops are plantains, 
sweet potatoes, taros, cassava, yams, Irish pota- 
toes, squashes, beans and greens. 

The production of cassava is particularly im- 
portant for the manufacture of starch, cassava 
bread, and tapioca. Many factories for the 
extraction of starch now operate in Cuba, but 
these are primitive and the product is of low 
quality ; some of the plants, however, have been 
remodelled along modern lines and are produc- 
ing tapioca flour of high quality for export to the 
United States, to supply the demand for this 
commodity formerly obtained from the Dutch 
East Indies. During the winter months and 
early spring, Irish potatoes are grown for the 
local market and for export, but at other seasons 

of the year large amounts are imported from 
the United States and Canada. 

Cereals. The only cereals grown are corn, 
rice, and grain sorghum. Cuban corn is very 
nutritious and is grown throughout the Island 
largely for converting into meal, which is one of 
the favorite dishes of poorer people. Two crops 
a year are obtained in Cuba, known as "maiz de 
agua" and "maiz de frio." However, the pro- 
duction is not sufficient to supply the demand and 
it is sometimes necessary to import corn from 
the United States and from Argentina. Rice is 
a regular dish on the table of all Cubans, and 
although the Cuban product is of excellent qual- 
ity, large amounts are still imported from Asia 
and the United States. The Cuban Government 
is encouraging this crop by the distribution of 
selected seeds and of rice mills. Rice is grown 
in the six provinces, although large plantations 
are found only in Havana, Pinar del Rio, and 
Santa Clara Provinces. The crop for 1941 is 
estimated at 100 million pounds, scarcely one- 
fifth of the local consumption, which is over 500 
million pounds a year. 

Grain sorghum is also cultivated on a small 
scale for poultry feeding. 

Oil plants. During the past few years the 
cultivation of peanuts for oil has been developed 
on a large scale. This has partially solved the 
problem of the "tiempp mucrto" (dead season) 
in the sugar cane districts. The Cuban Govern- 
ment has stimulated the cultivation of peanuts 
by the distribution of selected seed and by sup- 
plying technical assistance when needed. There 
are four large plants in Cuba for the extraction 
of peanut oil ; a part of this oil is exported and 
the local consumption is increasing daily. The 
actual production is estimated at 100 million 
pounds and the total yield at 20,000,000 pounds 
of oil. From their crop the growers receive 
about $2,500,000 a year. 

Other oleaginous plants of less importance 
produced in Cuba are castor-oil, sesame, sun- 
flower, and several palms. 

There are over 1,500 acres of castor-oil plants 
in Oriente Province and several small mills ex- 
tract the oil for home consumption. The cultiva- 
tion of coconuts for oil was formerly a very im- 
portant business in the Province of Oriente, but 
it declined greatly as a result of the destruction 
of many coconut groves by the budrot disease. 
While there are some coconut groves scattered 
throughout the Island, these arc small and at 
present the coconuts are chiefly used while green 
for their water, which constitutes a refreshing 
and diuretic drink, although considerable quan- 
tities of dried coconuts are used in the manufac- 
ture of ices, candies, and preserves. 

Formerly sesame and sunflower were also 
cultivated on a commercial scale for their oils, 
but the use of these has been discontinued ; this 
is also true of the oil of two wild native palms, 
the corojo (Acrocomia armentalis), and the 
Royal palm (Roystonea regia). The cultivation 
of the tung-oil tree and of the African oil palm 
(Elaeis guineensis) is being encouraged by the 

Textiles. The only textile plant grown in 
Cuba on a large scale is Henequen or sisal, from 
which the raw material for the large rope fac- 
tory at Matanzas City is obtained. There are 
extensive henequ6n plantations around that 
city; smaller ones and also machines for ex- 
tracting the fiber are located at Mariel, Carde- 
nas, Nuevitas, and Media Luna. The value of 


LARTER : Plant Resources of Jamaica 

the rope exported in 1938 was $1,056,892. The 
recent improvement in the henequen industry of 
Cuba may be a result of the decline of the 
Yucatan plantations during the past few years. 

Two native plants, malva blanca (Urena 
lobata) and Guasimilla (Helicteres guasumac- 
folia), are used on a small scale. About ten 
tons of these fibers are employed in the manu- 
facture of alpargatas, a kind of sandals, an in- 
dustry located at Guanabacoa, near Havana. 

Considerable quantities of cheap ropes are 
made from the fibers of majagua tree (Pariti 
tiliaccum) and from the leaves of the Yuraguana 
(Thrinax miraguana), a native palm. Hats for 
the peasants are made of yarey (Copcrnicia tcx- 
tilis), while from the leaves of corojo (Acro- 
comia armentalis) very fine dusters and very 
strong fishing lines are manufactured. 

The cultivation of Ramie or China grass is 
now being developed and a plant for removing 
the fiber is being constructed at Rancho Veloz, 
Santa Clara Province. This fiber will be used 
in the manufacture of cigarette paper. 

The Cuban Government is encouraging silk- 
worm culture and has established an Estacion 
Sericicola, and several white mulberry planta- 
tions of several varieties have been set out. 

Forage plants. For many years after its 
colonization, Cuba was essentially a cattle coun- 
try. However, the livestock was almost totally 
destroyed during the wars for independence. 
Later, the Republic established, it became neces- 
sary to import cattle from Mexico and other 
countries. Large amounts of butter, cheese, and 
condensed milk were also imported. With offi- 
cial aid, the cattle business again flourished and 
has become the second in importance of the in- 
dustries of Cuba, with more than six million 
heads of cattle. Butter and other milk products 
are now manufactured in Cuba for the domestic 
market, while large amounts of butter and frozen 
meat are exported. Cuba has over 13 million 
acres in pastures to support its livestock; some 
of these are composed of native grasses and 
leguminous plants, but there are also many ar- 
tificial pastures in which Guinea grass and Para 
grass are grown. The following native grasses 
are also used for forage: yerba de cepa (Pas- 
palum plicatulwn), Cambute (Paspalum nota- 
tum), and three introduced Andropogons: Pitilla 
americana (Andropogon annulatus), Camagiie- 
yana (Andropogon pcrtusus), and Jiribilla (An- 
dropoyon caricosus). The tops of sugar cane or 
cogollo are also used for feeding oxen in the 
sugar cane districts. 

Forest products. At the time of its discov- 
ery, Cuba was covered with dense forests with 
many hard woods, suitable for rural construc- 
tions, carpentry, and cabinet work. During the 
past century the principal income of the land- 
owners was derived from their forests, but, ow- 
ing to excessive cutting, which reached a maxi- 
mum just after the central railroad was built 
and later during the period of great prosperity 
in the sugar cane industry, heavy forests remain 
only in the most inaccessible localities of the 
high mountains. 

The area actually occupied by high forests, 
low forests, and mangrove swamps is 4,482,982 
acres, representing only 16% of the total area 
of the Island. 

A number of hard woods are utilized in rural 
construction and for railroad ties, telegraph 
poles, and fence posts. Only a few of these 
woods are exported, as follows: mahogany, 

Spanish or cigar-box cedar, Dagame, lignum 
vitae and sabicu. Spanish cedar and mahogany 
are largely used for furniture and in city houses. 
Notwithstanding the fact that the Cuban forests 
are nearly exhausted, the value of the forest 
products marketed in 1938 was $4,169,734. 

Several laws and decrees have been promul- 
gated for the reforestation of the Island. The 
Cuban Government maintains an elementary 
School of Forestry and several nurseries for the 
free distribution of valuable forest plants and 
seeds. In addition to mahogany, Spanish cedar, 
and other native species, large quantities of teak, 
eucalyptus, and Honduras mahogany seedlings 
are being distributed. 

There are many melliferous plants in the 
Cuban flora, so that bee-keeping is very success- 
ful. The production of honey in 1938 was valued 
at $676,734 and that of wax at $167,986. 

Some Cuban plants produce important drugs, 
such as curbana (Canella alba), Guayacan (Gua- 
iacum officinale), and Cuajani (Prunus occi- 
dentalis), while others are valuable for tinctorial 
purposes or as ornamentals. The nursery busi- 
ness in 1940 amounted to over $500,000 around 
Havana alone. 


L. N. H. LARTER: Plant Resources of 
Jamaica: The Island of Jamaica, approxi- 
mately 140 miles long and 50 miles across at its 
widest part, is situated in the Caribbean Sea, 
some 500 miles south-east of the mouth of the 
Gulf of Mexico, on the latitude 18 North. It 
thus lies in the zone of the north-east Trade 
Wind and enjoys a typical insular climate. Its 
geologic basis is a core of igneous and metamor- 
phic rock outcropping in the Blue Mountains, a 
range running along the long axis (W. N. W. 
E. S. E.) at the east end of the island and rising 
to a height of 5,000 to 7,000 feet. Overlying 
this is an eroded limestone plateau rising to 3,000 
feet, covering the west and central parts and 
occupying over three quarters of the area of the 
island. To the south lies a coastal plain varying 
in width up to 15 miles, and broken at each end 
by subsidiaries of the central mountain ranges. 
The orientation and topography of the country 
have a profound effect on the rainfall distribu- 
tion which is a determining factor in the floristic 
composition of the several ecological areas ; tem- 
perature and soil are of secondary importance 
in this respect. In the north-east section from 
the coast to the crests of the Blue Mountain the 
average annual rainfall varies from 100 to 200 
inches. The Central Plateau has a rainfall of 
70 to 90 inches, rising to 100 inches in restricted 
areas while the Southern Coastal Plain and a 
part of the north-west section have a fall of less 
than 50 inches and as little as 30 inches in places. 
The seasonal variation in rainfall is marked. 
Precipitation is heaviest in May and October 
and, except in the north east section, there is a 
dry season, often a severe drought, in the winter 
months from January to April. 

The whole of the mountainous areas are cut 
by numerous deep river valleys and the surface 
of the slopes have undergone deforestation and 
serious erosion so that even in the wettest areas 
vegetation of the tropical rain forest type is only 
encountered on the remoter and less accessible 
ridges. The higher northern slopes of the Blue 
Mountain region are, however, heavily wooded 

LARTER : Plant Resources of Jamaica 


and support a rich undergrowth but the soil is 
shallow and tall trees are the exception. The 
flora of this area is varied, rich in species but 
containing few dominants. On the ridges Juni- 
pents lucayana and Podocarpus urbanii are com- 
mon ; the orchid, fern and moss flora is rich and 
such shrubs as Hamelia, Boehmeria and Piper 
predominate. Lower down on these slopes Arto- 
carpus integrifolia, Cecropia peltata, Andira, 
Erythrina, Cedrela, and Swietenia are found ex- 
tending to the coast The southern aspect is drier 
and the vegetation more sclerophyllous ; Eugenia, 
Vaccinium, Pteris, Dodonaea, Gleichenia and 
Chusquea are typical genera. 

The Central Plateau carries on its northern 
side and in its higher parts thickly wooded areas 
from which the bulk of the native timber is ob- 
tained. At lower elevations park land and pas- 
turage typify the ecotype. The central and south- 
ern sections of this area are largely given over 
to arable cultivation and pasturage except on 
the steeper slopes and hill tops which are still 

The Southern Coastal Plain is clothed with 
grass land and xeromorphic scrub. Passing from 
the foot hills to the coast some of the principal 
species seen are Pithecolobium savnan, Tamarin- 
dus indicus, Eriodendron anjractuosum, Entero- 
lobiunt cyclocarpum, Cordia alba and C. gera- 
scanthoides, Guaiacum officinale, Haematoxylon 
campechianum, Prosopis juliflora, Cassia emar- 
ginata, Acacia tortuosa, and A. macrantha, Cap- 
paris jerrugineum, C. cyanophyllophora, Bur- 
sera simaruba, Blighia sapida, Cereus spp., 
Optuntia tuna and O. cochinellifera, Bromelia 
pint/uin, and on the coast itself salina and man- 
grove swamp is frequent. The coastal areas of 
the north west have a similar vegetation. With 
the exception of a few pockets in the Central 
Plateau and parts of the northern coast the 
southern plains are the only areas sufficiently 
level for extensive mechanised cultivation on a 
large plantation scale. Arable cultivation is 
largely carried out with the aid of irrigation and 
where water is insufficiently plentiful for this 
purpose, stock rearing is practised. 

Jamaica is an entirely agricultural country 
and until recently its principal crop has been the 
banana which provided over fifty per cent of the 
export trade up to 1938, and occupied some 150,- 
000 acres, approximately sixty per cent of the 
land under arable cultivation. The main banana 
areas were the coastal districts and valleys in the 
north east, the irrigated southern plains and the 
valleys and the lower altitudes of the Central 
Plateau. Panama Disease during the last twenty 
years has eliminated large acreages in the first 
two of these areas where the best banana soils 
are to be found and is driving this crop further 
up the slopes of the mountains. During the past 
five years Leaf Spot (Cercospora musae) has 
further reduced the industry, especially on 
poorer soils. Complete resuscitation can only 
be sought in the substitution of a resistant 
variety for the Gros Michel, the variety on 
which the industry has hitherto been based. 

The sugar cane is now the most important 
crop and most of the diseased banana lands 
which are sufficiently near a factory have been 
planted in cane. This industry is mainly located 
in the Southern Coastal Plain where the cane is 
grown under irrigation, along certain sections 
of the north and north east coast and in depres- 
sions of the Central Plateau. The replacement 

and modernisation of factories and the substitu- 
tion of mosaic resistant seedlings for older 
varieties and more recently the war, have proved 
a valuable stimulus to the progress of this in- 
dustry. In normal times these two crops, cane 
and bananas, provided over seventy per cent of 
the Jamaica Export Trade. 

Citrus is extensively grown especially on the 
Central Plateau and is becoming one of the main 
agricultural industries. Large areas of this 
region are eminently suited to this crop which is 
being actively developed to offset the decline of 
the banana trade. Grapefruit, oranges, and 
limes are the principal types grown and the chief 
outlet at present is for fruit pulps, juices and 
essential oils, rather than whole fruit. 

Pimento (Pimento officinalis) is also largely 
grown in the Central Plateau. This crop has 
been attacked by a rust disease since 1936 which 
has destroyed most of the trees at higher eleva- 
tions. In spite of the reduction of output by 
about fifty per cent, the value of the industry 
has been maintained. Pimento is not planted, 
but it is from the wild trees that the crop is 

Coffee cultivation is next in importance as 
an agricultural industry and as such is of two 
types. The famous Blue Mountain coffee which 
commands the highest prices paid is grown 
exclusively on the southern slopes of the Blue 
Mountains, at an altitude of 3,500 to 5,000 feet. 
Lowland coffee grown in the Central Plateau 
is inferior in quality though it provides the bulk 
of the industry. Improvement in cultivation and 
processing which has long been necessary is now 
being undertaken. In both sections of this in- 
dustry Coffca arabica is the species in use and 
the high quality of the Blue Mountain product 
can only be attributed to the unique environ- 
ment prevailing in that area. Cacao is no 
longer grown on a plantation scale and pro- 
duction is confined to humid pockets in the Cen- 
tral areas of the island and is largely in the 
hands of peasant cultivators. Nevertheless, an ap- 
preciable export trade is maintained and could 
probably be increased in the restricted areas of 
the north east where the climatic conditions are 

Coconuts are extensively cultivated and except 
for some of the less elevated eastern areas in 
the Central Plateau are confined to the coastal 
strip extending along the north and north east 
shores. At the present time the crop is threat- 
ened by a Wilt disease which has already rav- 
aged large acreages in the north west. 

Ginger cultivation is an important minor 
industry, again largely confined to the Central 
Plateau and is mainly in the hands of the 
peasantry. Tobacco is grown in the river-side 
and alluvial areas in the south of the island by 
small contractors to the cigar manufacturers 
who supply a growing export trade. The to- 
bacco grown for export is of the cigar filler 
type, the wrapper leaf being imported. At- 
tempts to produce lighter flue-cured tobacco 
for cigarette manufacture have met with in- 
different success. The export of logwood and 
logwood extracts is still appreciable though de- 
clining owing to competition with synthetic 
dyes. This tree is largely confined to the drier 
coastal areas and is typical of the flora of the 
Southern Coastal Plain. 


LARTER: Plant Resources of Jamaica 

The foregoing include the most important 
cash crops upon which the island export trade 
is based. There are, however, a number of 
other plant products shipped in small quantities 
which include, in order of importance, honey, 
tomatoes, annatto (Bixa orellana), cola nuts 
(Cola acuminata), lignum vitae (Guaiacum 
officinale), quassia chips and bitterwood logs 
(Picraena excelsa), sarsaparilla (Smilax 
utilis), maize, cassava starch, divi-divi (Caesal- 
pinia coriaria), satin wood (Xanthoxylum 
flavum), fustic (Chlorophora tinctoria). In 
addition, sisal plantations supply local factories 
which produce a high proportion of the cordage 
requirements of the island. 

The wide variation in climatic conditions from 
the mountain tops to the coastal plains enables 
Jamaican peasantry to grow a wide range of 
subsistence crops for local markets. In addi- 
tion to the tropical fruits, of which the most 
important are the mango, breadfruit, naseberry 
(Achras sapola), papaw (Carica papaya), pine- 
apple, starapple (Chrysophyllum canito), guava, 
guinep (Afelicocca bijuga), avocado, Eugenia 
spp., Spondias spp., and Anonaceous fruits, and 

hama grass (Cynodon dactylon). The grazing 
is mostly located on the Southern Coastal Plains. 
(Guinea grass) and on the more level areas of 
the Central Plateau (natural grassland). 

In spite of extensive deforestation the timber 
resources are of considerable domestic impor- 
tance. The majority of the timbers are hard and 
heavy and only a few are in demand overseas for 
special purposes. Small quantities of lignum 
vitae (Guaiacum officinale), Mahogany (Swiete- 
nia mahagoni), satin wood and sandal (Amyris 
balsamifera) have been shipped. The majority 
of the forests are of mixed composition and no 
species occur in sufficient quantity to support a 
large export trade. Of 117 species listed as 
being of local economic importance, among the 
most valuable are, from the Blue Mountain area, 
Juniperus lucayana, Podocarpus urbanii, Lapla- 
cea haematoxylon, Prunus occidentalis, Psidium 
montanum. Hibiscus elatus, Calophyllum bras(- 
liense and Erythroxylon areolatum, from the 
Central Plateau, Cedrela odorata, Swietenia ma- 
hagoni, Dipholis spp., Brosimum alicastrum, 
Terminalia latifolia, Pithecolobium alexandri, P. 
arboreum, Nectrandra spp. and Antirrhoa jamai- 
censis, and from the dry coastal plains, Pelto- 

JAMKS'S Latin America, New York 1942) 

the vegetables, sweet potato, ochro, chocho 
(Sechium edule), coco (Xanthosoma spp., Colo- 
casia spp.), arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea) , 
peppers (Capsicum spp.), cowpea (Vigna), 
pigeon peas (Cajanus) and peanuts (Arachis), 
temperate fruits and vegetables are readily 
grown, e.g. peaches, raspberries, strawberries, 
cabbages, grapes, cauliflower, artichoke, aspara- 
gus, carrots, beets, celery, parsnips and onions. 
Pasture plants are an important asset as the 
cattle industry is large and the acreage grazed, 
some 350,000, is equal to the total area under 
arable cultivation. The grass most extensively 
planted for pasturage is the guinea grass (Pani- 
cum maximum), and to a smaller extent Wynne 
or molasses grass (Melinis minuti flora) and para 
grass (Panicum barbinode). Elephant grass 
(Pennisetum purpurewn) and to an increasing 
extent Guatemala grass (Tripsacum laxum) are 
grown for fodder. The greater area of the graz- 
ing land is under rough pasturage comprising 
numerous indigenous species, the composition of 
which calls for botanical analysis. Among the 
more important grasses in these areas are pimento 
grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) and crab 
grass (Axonopus compressus) and in drier areas 
Seymour grass (Andropogon pertusus) and Ba- 

phorum brasiliense, Petitia domingensis, Cordia 
gerascanthoides, Piscidia piscipula, and Catalpa 
longissima, etc. 

It will have been noted that few if any of the 
important economic plants now grown in Jamaica 
are truly indigenous. While related species of 
economic genera are represented in the wild 
flora it is doubtful if further exploitation will 
bring valuable new species to light. Except for 
limited and inaccessible areas the island has been 
thoroughly collected by systematists and new 
species which will be found in the future will 
almost certainly be rare or inconspicuous. Even 
the more thinly populated and inaccessible re- 
gions are visited periodically by a few enterpris- 
ing members of the peasantry who are generally 
well acquainted with the flora in so far as it is 
adaptable to human use. The future of plant 
exploitation in Jamaica must therefore depend 
on introductions or the breeding of improved 
varieties. The present tendencies are directed 
towards replacement of the declining banana 
trade by the extension of other major crops 
such as sugar and citrus and towards a read- 
justment of the balance of peasant food crops 
with a view to increasing the protein-carbohy- 
drate ratio in the diet. Investigations and ex- 

HOLDRIDGE : The Flora of Hispaniola 


perimentation along these lines are now being 
actively pursued by the official bodies concerned. 



Literature: FAWCETT, W. & RENDLE, A. B.: "Flora 
of Jamaica," Volumes I, III. IV, V, VII (Published 
by the British Museum (N.H.), London, 1910/36). 
FAWCETT, W., 1891: An Index to the Economic Prod- 
ucts of the Vegetable Kingdom in Jamaica (Government 
Printer, Jamaica). HARRIS, W., 1913: Notes on Fruits 
and Vegetables in Jamaica (Government Printer, Ja- 
maica). "Jamaica To-day" (published by the Tourist 
Trade Development Board of Jamaica, Government 
Printer, Jamaica, 1940). SWABY, C., 1941: Principal 
Timbers of Jamaica (Bulletin of the Department of 
Agriculture of Jamaica). "Trade Report of the 
Colony of Jamaica" (published by Government Printer, 
Jamaica, 1943). "Agriculture in Jamaica" (Colonial 
Publication No. 182, H. M. Stationery Office, London, 

L. R. HOLDRIDGE : A Brief Sketch of the Flora 
of Hispaniola: Near the middle of the 
northern arc of the West Indian islands and 
closest to the deepest portion of the Atlantic 
Ocean rests the second largest of the Greater 
Antilles, Hispaniola. 

The island provides many interesting notes for 
the history of the New World, leading up to the 
present status of two republics, the Dominican 
Republic of Spanish culture on the eastern end 
and the Republic of Haiti of French culture on 
the smaller western portion. During colonial 
days the island was known as the Pearl of the 
Antilles and its plantations produced tremendous 
quantities of coffee, sugar, tobacco, cacao, indigo 
and precious woods for European markets. The 
change in economic systems of tropical agricul- 
ture has had its effect on the vegetation of the 
island since the swing of emphasis to subsistence 
farming pushed agriculture into the mountains 
and poorer lands where only shifting cultivation 
could maintain the worker. This is markedly 
distinct in the two republics due to the difference 
in population density, Haiti having a dense rural 
population with only scattered remnants of un- 
touched vegetation left and the Dominican Re- 
public with a surprisingly low population and 
vast areas of apparently virgin forest existing 
even in the lowlands. 

As seen on the map, the island is of very irreg- 
ular shape and since the frontier runs roughly 
north and south across the island without follow- 
ing any particular natural barrier the vegetation 
can hardly be treated by separate countries. The 
one natural division of the island is a low plain 
cutting east and west across the island between 
Port au Prince and Barahona. The several 
brackish, below sea-level lakes in this plain sug- 
gest that the sea might once have covered this 
whole stretch between the long range of east 
west mountains in the south and the several 
ranges which course roughly east and west 
through the larger northern portion of the island 
uplands. West of La Vega in the Dominican 
Republic one peak is said to reach over 10,000 
feet in elevation while southeast of Port au 
Prince, Morne la Sclle, which is Haiti's highest 
peak is approximately 8400 feet above sea level. 
Interestingly, Morne la Selle and many of the 
high ranges of the island are of limestone rock. 
The mountains are very important in the distri- 
bution of vegetation due to their lifting the 
moisture laden trade winds which come in from 
the east and northeast. In general, Haiti, being 
west of the mountains is much drier than the 
Dominican Republic. 

Derivation of the flora in the Greater Antilles 

is largely from the North American continent 
to the west, but considerable endemism suggests 
a long time since land connections were broken. 
The eastward migration is further pointed up by 
noting that several notable genera such as Sivie- 
tenia and Pinus did not attain to Puerto Rico to 
the east. Many of the well-known exotics 
brought into the West Indies are common on 
the island but there is far from the superabun- 
dance of introduced species as found in Puerto 

The accompanying type map is intended to 
give a rough idea only of the locations of the 
main vegetation regions of the island. The var- 
ious ranges of mountains in the main body of 
the island cut up the types considerably and 
could only be delineated on a large map. For 
similar reasons the types shown are limited to 
three, although there are additional types of 
limited distribution and some of the major cate- 
gories would readily stand further division. 

One of the smaller but distinct types common 
and similar throughout the West Indies is the 
mangrove swamp. This is best developed in 
Samana Bay, along the north coast between 
Monte Christi and Cape Haitian and in the 
Gonave Bay but likewise occurs at all points 
along the coast where tidal mud flats are formed. 
The four mangroves which make up the type are 
Rhisophora mangle, Laguncularia raccmosa, Avi- 
cennia nitida and Conocarpus erccta. 

The dry forest comprises the vegetational cate- 
gory with the largest area. This will surely be 
broken down into several types in the future as 
more knowledge of the island and tropical Amer- 
ican types are compiled. Some of these comprise 
small total acreage but are quite distinct. On 
raised sandy beach levels, one finds an associa- 
tion of Coccolobis uvijcra, Plumeria, Calophyl- 
lum antillarum and Bucida buceras. Good exam- 
ples of such forest may be found at Sosua, cast 
of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. 
Another such type is probably the most typical 
savanne in the West Indies with Curatella Ameri- 
cana and Byrsonima. Associates of this savanne 
type on the island are Anacardhttn occidentals 
which resembles the Curatella at a distance and 
shrubs of firya buxijolia and Pictetia. This may 
be seen just north of Ciudad Trujillo or at the 
foot of the mountains on the northern coastal 
plain of Haiti. In the latter place the savannas 
may be several miles in length and are surrounded 
also by scattered pine trees which descend here 
to about two hundred feet above sea level. 

Because of their occurrence in the lowlands 
and their many species of cabinet woods, the dry 
forests in the West Indies have been mostly 
culled through or altered by the hand of man, 
but the Dominican Republic still contains large 
areas of virgin forest of this type and offers the 
best location for the ecologist who wishes to 
study this association. Especially is this true of 
the eastern end of the island but good stands 
of easy accessibility may be seen along the 
Ciudad Trujillo-Barahona highway. Some of 
the important timber species are Swietcnia ma- 
hagoni, Guaiacum officinale, G. sanctum, Lysi- 
loma latisiliqiM, Cordia alliodora, Krugioden- 
drum fcrrea, Acacia scleroxyla, Colubrina jer- 
ruginca, Petitia domingensis, and Phyllostylon 
brasiliensis. ( 

With the wide range of drought prevailing on 
the island, there seems to be a logical division 
of what has been mapped as dry forest into two 
divisions which might be designated as dry and 


HOLDRIDGE : The Flora of Hispaniola 

arid types. It is a somewhat difficult segrega- 
tion to make by species but this difficulty is 
largely due to lack of sufficient knowledge. Cas- 
sia spectabilis, Cordia alliodora and Lysiloma 
would seem to typify the dry section with the 
interesting palm, Pseudophoenix vinijera com- 
ing right to the edge of the arid section. The 
arid side seems to be typified by tree cactus 
such as Lemaireocereus hystrix, Cephalocereus, 
Qpuntia moniliformis and Pcireskia, by Caseana 
illicifolia and many other small trees and shrubs. 
On the other hand, there are a great many spe- 
cies such as Ceiba pentandra, Elaphrium sima- 
ruba, Bombax ellipticum, Mctopium broivnci, 
Guaiacum, Phyllostylon, Hacmatoxylon campe- 
chianum, Prosopis juli flora and many Leyttmino- 
sae which traverse the whole area of drought 
and make one realize that setting up types is> 
just as difficult as defining species exactly. In 
some areas the tree cacti stand out as the domi- 
nant vegetation but this is usually due to heavy 
removal of the hardwood species for charcoal. 
Small savanna like openings in the arid section 
are occasionally met with and are probably due 
to heavy alkali concentrations in the soil. 

nus occidentalis, Dendropanax arborea, Sloanca 
illicifolia, Weinmannia pinnata, Maytenus do- 
mingensis, Coccolobis neurophylla, Laplace a al- 
pestris and several trees of the Lauraceae. The 
forests are dense and difficult to enter because 
of the bamboo grasses which run rampant on 
the sunny edges of the thickets. Epiphytic or- 
chids, ferns, mosses, liverworts and lichens are 
abundant on the tree trunks and on exposed 
ridges or peaks the stand is the typical mossy 
or montane forest of the West Indies. 

The last remaining major type on the island 
is that of the one wide spread conifer, Pinus 
occidentalis. The type is more interesting com- 
mercially than botanically since the vegetation is 
much less rich than in the hardwood types. It 
has been the basis for many diverse ecological 
explanations. It is found on different soils 
over widely differing rock formations and the 
range of elevations at which it grows is almost 
as great as that of the island itself. Hardwood 
forests grow around it and in islands within the 
pine forest itself. The only logical explanation 
seems to be that of fire as the pine throughout 
the island maintains itself in pure stands only 



The moist forest type comes down close to 
sea-level in northeastern Hispaniola but in the 
sections of the island which receive less rainfall 
it is forced to a higher elevation to obtain equiv- 
alent humidity conditions. Where it does attain 
to high elevations, other factors of plant distribu- 
tion, such as temperature, come into play and 
result in a different composition of the forest. 
Roughly, this may be divided into different forest 
types although further study may show the need 
for still further subdivision. 

In general, forests at low elevations through 
the Antilles seem to contain more species in 
common than the forests in the higher moun- 
tains. The low moist forest in Hispaniola pro- 
duces as evidence such common trees as Cecropia 
peltata, Manilkara nitida, Tetragastris balsami- 
fera, Didymopanax morototoni, Gnarea trichi- 
loides, Genipa americana, and Inga. The under- 
story is rich in shrubs, vines, ferns, and other 
herbaceous plants. 

The high mountain hardwood forest in the 
southern range of Hispaniola represents the 
other extremity of the moist forest scope. There 
the conspicuous arboreal elements are Didywio- 
panax tremulant. Brunellia coinocladifolia, Pru- 

on those areas which dry out sufficiently to burn 
during the winter dry season. Where fires are 
kept out for several years large quantities of 
hardwood seedlings start coming up in the 
understory as contrasted with repeatedly burned 
areas which show a very sharp demarcation line 
between the two types. 

P. occidentalis is a three to five needled, pitch 
pine and attains to the respectable proportions 
of four feet in diameter and one hundred and 
fifty feet in height. The forest itself with long 
vistas of grass and brake between the trunks, 
the patches of ripening blackberries and the 
scattered dandelions, moth mullein and beds of 
wild strawberries about one are decidedly remi- 
niscent of temperate climes. This is true of the 
high mountain pine forest. At lower elevations 
as in north central Haiti, the pine forest seems 
quite distinct, is decidedly less dense and tends 
more towards a savanna type of forest. 

One other conifer of limited extent which 
grows in nearly pure stands is Juniperus lucay- 
ana. Probably several hundreds of acres in total- 
ity of this type exist scattered through the 
mountains and foothills on the southern side of 
the central mountains in the Dominican Repub- 

BARKER : Plant Resources of Hispaniola 


lie. This attains sizes over three feet in diameter 

and has been exploited to a limited extent as 

pencil wood. 




H. D. BARKER 1 " : Plant Resources of Hispani- 
ola: The Island of Hispaniola is the home 
of two Republics. Haiti occupies the western 
third, and Santo Domingo the eastern two-thirds 
of the Island. It is the second largest of the 
Antilles group, and lies between Cuba and Puerto 
Rico, occupying a position between the 18th and 
20th parallel north. It is, thus, just within 
the tropical zone. Its favorable location, varied 
topography and climate, and fertile soils con- 
tribute to the richness of its plant resources. 

Both Republics are characterized as moun- 
tainous with comparatively narrow coastal-plain 
borders and relatively narrow valleys leading 
into the highlands. There is one rather exten- 
sive central plateau, and a number of smaller 
plateaus or plains. The topography is dom- 
inated by a high mountain mass extending in 
an east- west direction. Trujillo Peak in Santo 
Domingo is about 10,500 feet high, the highest 
elevation in the Antilles. Morne la Selle, slightly 
under 9,000 feet, is the highest mountain in 
Haiti. The mountains are broken into a number 
of spurs and parallel chains. Lake Enriquillo 
lies in the below-sea-level depression near the 
southern border of the two Republics. The 
Island has a number of sizeable rivers that arise 
in the mountains and maintain a good flow the 
year round. In a number of localities irrigation 
is practiced or is feasible. 

The climate is much more varied than might 
be expected in an island of about 30,000 square 
miles. The high mountains and trade winds 
are largely responsible for a varied flora that 
ranges in type from tropical to temperate and 
from desert to jungle rain forest. 

By far the greater part of the Island has soils 
that are formed from limestones, sandstones, 
shales, and conglomerate. There are some rather 
extensive intrusions of granite. The soils of 
Hispaniola have long been noted for their high 
fertility. There is a great multiplicity of soil 

With this brief sketch of the varied topog- 
raphy and generally favorable climate and soils, 
it may be readily realized that there is a diverse 
agriculture and a wealth of plant resources in 
the Island of Hispaniola. The western part is 
more densely populated and intensively culti- 
vated, whereas the eastern part is much richer 
in forest resources and in grazing plants. 

CYCADACEAE. ln the eastern tip of 
Santo Domingo, Zamia integrifolia and Z. media 
occur in sufficient abundance to be annoying in 
grazing land. The underground stem is reput- 
edly rich in starch, but has not been exploited. 

PIN ACE AE. While several species of coni- 
fers have been introduced and thrive as or- 
namentals, and although there are at least two 
native species of Juniperus, the important gym- 
npsperm is Pinus occidentals. Forests that 
yield turpentine and lumber occur usually at 
elevations above 2,500 feet. 

* Formerly of the Department of Agriculture. Re- 
public of Haiti, and later chairman of the committee 
investigating the settlement potentialities in the Domini- 
can Republic under the auspices of the President's Ad- 
visory Committee on Political Refugees. 

POACEAE. This important family has 
many introduced and indigenous species that are 
of great economic value. Zea mays is widely 
cultivated for food and feed throughout the Is- 
land. Guatemala grass, Tripsacum laxum, is 
cultivated to a limited extent. 

Saccharum officinarum, from colonial times to 
the present, is one of the very important sources 
of wealth. The recent introduction of disease- 
resistant and improved varieties of sugar cane 
has greatly increased the profitableness of sugar 
production. Many fields have been in continuous 
crops for several decades and are still productive 
without the addition of commercial fertilizers. 
Although some cane is grown without irriga- 
tion, supplemental irrigation is usually practiced. 
Since intensive cultivation and rail transporta- 
tion are required, the crop is usually grown on 
the level or slightly rolling land of the coastal 
plains or valleys. 

Vetivcria zisanioides and Cymbopogon ttardus 
are cultivated on a small scale for medicine, for 
aromatic tea, or for perfume. 

Sorghum halapense and Sorghum iwlgare are 
important sources of forage, and the latter is 
widely cultivated for food. 

Themeda quadriralvis is the dominant grass 
of the central plateau and is of great value for 
grazing. Many native species of Paspahim, 
Panicum, Setaria, Sporobolus, Chloris, Eragros- 
tis, etc. are of varying importance for grazing. 
Probably the most important "cultivated" pas- 
tures are formed from Cynodon dactylon, Pani- 
cum purpurascens (Para grass), and P. maxi- 

Oryza sativa L. is widely cultivated by inunda- 
tion and also as "upland" rice. 

The grass family could not well be dismissed 
without calling attention to Bambusa vulgaris 
that grows so rapidly and is so useful for con- 
struction and for many other purposes. 

CEAE. The palm family is well represented 
and is of very great importance in the economic 
life of the Island. For making hats, ropes, etc., the 
leaves of Carludovica palmata, and various native 
or cultivated species of Thrinax, Coccothrinax, 
W ashing tonia, Sabal and others are used. The 
widely grown and stately Roystonea regia is used 
for posts and for construction. Lumber is made 
from the trunk; the leaves are used for thatch- 
ing; the "heart" or tender bud is used for 
salad ; and the seeds are used for feeding swine. 
Elaeis guineensis, the African oil palm, is an 
important source of oil in local areas. Cocos 
nucifera is cultivated throughout the lowlands 
and is of immense value for supplying food 
and oil, for piling, thatching, etc. 

ARACEAE. Colocasia esculenta is an im- 
portant and widely grown food plant. 

BROMELIACEAE. Ananas comosus has 
given rise to several varieties of pineapple that 
are grown for local consumption or for export. 
Spanish moss, Dendropogon usneoides and many 
species of Tillandsia are conspicuous in the for- 
ests but are little used. 

LI LI ACE AE. Several species of AUium 
are cultivated for food, as is Asparagus offici- 
nalis, Aloe vera and Sansevieria thyrsiflora are 
common but are not exploited. 

AMARYLLIDACEAE. Several native and 
introduced species of Agave and Furcraea fur- 
nish fiber. Sisal, for several years, has been 
a major export crop. 


BARKER : Plant Resources of Hispaniola 

DIOSCOREACEAE. Several species and 
varieties of Dioscorea are grown for food. 

MUSACEAE. Musa paradisiaca and re- 
lated species provide the Island with a very 
valuable food and export crop. 

ZINGIBERACEAE. Zingiber officinale is 
grown, but little ginger root is exported. 

ORCHIDACEAE. Although many wild 
forms of beautiful orchids occur, there are few 
collections of cultivated types. Vanilla plant- 
folia is occasionally cultivated, but the vanilla 
bean or extract is rarely exported. 

CASUARINACEAE. Casuarina cquiseti- 
folia is cultivated, although little attention has 
been given to the use of the wood or the tannin 
in the bark. 

JUGLANDACEAE. Jwjlans jamaicensis of 
the high mountains has a beautifully grained 

FAGACEAE. Fagus sylvatica and Castanca 
sativa were introduced in colonial times, and do 
well at high elevations. 

ULMACEAE. The family contains impor- 
tant timber resources, particularly Phyllostylon 

camphor a, C. zeylanicum (Cinnamon tree), and 
Persea americana. The Avocado pear is impor- 
tant in commerce and as an agreeable source 
of fats in human nutrition. 

BRASSICACEAE. Several members of 
the family are cultivated in the cooler regions of 
high elevation. 

ROSACEAE. Many of the well known 
fruits and berries of the temperate climate grow 
at high elevations and supplement a number of 
native species of trees, shrubs, or herbs. 

FAB ACEAE. This is an extremely large, 
very valuable family of plants in Hispaniola. 
In addition to the many temperate climate 
species that have been introduced for food or 
feed, there are many somewhat similar intro- 
duced or native tropical forms. Space will not 
permit listing many of the important herbaceous 
plants, or the great number of ornamental and 
useful trees and shrubs. A few of the tropical 
forms of especial interest or importance may be 
cited as examples. Inga vcra is widely planted 
to provide shade for coffee and cacao. Acacia 
lutea, A. scleroxyla, and other species produce 




{From JAMES'S Latin America, New York, 1942) 

brasiliense, and species of Cfltis, Ampclocera, and 

MORACEAE. Chlorophora tinctoria, a 
fine-grained hard wood known in commerce as 
"Fustica," formerly an important source of 
khaki dye; Artocarpus comtnunis, the valuable 
breadfruit tree ; various species of Ficus; and 
Castilla clastic a indicate the importance of this 
family of trees as a source of construction and 
cabinet wood, dye, food, and rubber. 

CHENOPODIACEAE. Beta vulgaris is 
widely cultivated at higher elevations. 

NYCTAGINACEAE. Wert one to ignore 
the several species of trees of Pisonia and Ncca, 
such ornamental plants as Mirabilis jalapa and 
Bougainvillea glabra, B. spectabilis, and B. in- 
termedia could not well be ignored. 

MA GNOLIA CEAE. Magnolia dotningcn- 
sis, Michelia champaca, and Illicium parviflorwn 
are representative of this family on the Island. 

ANONACEAE. This is a very impor- 
tant family of Hispaniolan trees represented by 
the genera Oxandra. Guatteria, Cananga, Rol- 
linta, and Anona. A. cherimola produces what 
many consider one of the world's finest fruits. 

LAURACEAE. The family contains a 
number of valuable trees including Cinnantomum 

valuable construction timber. Prosopis chilensis 
provides much of the charcoal used for cooking. 
The pods of Tamarindus indica are eaten or used 
in making candy. Ilaentatoxylum catnpcchianum 
gives the Logwood of commerce for extracting 
dye. It is an important honey plant. Delonix 
rcgia, or "Flame tree," is famous for its beauty. 
Of the many interesting and valued herbaceous 
plants, it may be interesting to note that Indi- 
& of era tinctoria persists as a reminder of colonial 
indigo culture. Erythrina indica is a beautiful 
ornamental tree that roots so easily that cuttings 
are often used to make living fence posts. Caja- 
nus indicus, "Pigeon pea," makes an important 
contribution to the diet in many tropical coun- 

ZYGOPHYLLACEAE. Guajacum offici- 
nale gives the "Lignum yitae" of commerce. It 
is widely used for bearings, especially under- 
water bearings, and for many other purposes 
where a very dense, hard wood is required. 
The structure of the wood is such that it is 
difficult to work with ordinary woodworking 

RUT AC E A E.~ This family has several 
genera of trees with valuable wood. Many spe- 
cies of Citrus are widely cultivated for domestic 

BARKER: Plant Resources of Hispaniola 

and export market. Some unusual types of 
seedling oranges merit study as to commercial 

Species of Burscra, Simaruba, and related 
genera occur in sufficient abundance to provide 
lumber suitable for packing cases or other pur- 

MELI ACEAE. Tliis family of valuable 
trees is represented by six genera, some of 
which have several species. Mahogany produced 
in Hispaniola from Swietenia mahogani is said 
to be the world's finest cabinet wood. The tree 
thrives on many soil types in regions of moderate 
rainfall, at low to moderate altitudes. Cedrela 
odor at a is also important in commerce for mak- 
ing cigar boxes, chests, etc. The sister genera 
are interesting, especially the magnificent tree, 
Carapa guianensis. 

EUPHORBIACEAE. This large family of 
tropical trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants 
must be treated here too briefly to adequately 
represent their importance in the Island's flora. 
Of the several genera of trees, Hevea brasiliensis 
has of recent years been receiving most attention. 
Several regions where experimental plantings 
have been made appear to be well adapted to 
rubber production. Of the herbaceous plants, 
Manihot utilissima is of great economic impor- 
tance. It is widely grown for food, and one 
or more commercial starch plants are in opera- 
tion. Ricinus communis is prevalent but is little 
exploited for castor oil production. 

ANACARDIACEAE. Mangijcra indica is 
widely cultivated at low elevations for domestic 
consumption and for export. Although propa- 
gation is largely by seedlings, there are several 
distinct varieties of mango. Anacardium occi- 
dentale provides cashew nuts for domestic con- 
sumption and for export. 

S API ND ACE AE. Apart from several gen- 
era of trees, some with fine-grained wood, the 
family is of especial local interest for the "soap 
berry" of Sapindus saponaria and for the edible 
fruits of Melicocca bijuga and Litchi chinensis. 

RH AM N ACEAE. The family contains sev- 
eral species and genera of trees and shrubs, 
mostly with wood of a dense structure, that are 
of local interest. 

MALVACEAE, Of the many genera of her- 
baceous plants, mention here will be limited to 
fiber-producing plants that are used locally or 
for export. There are several species of the 
following genera : Urena, Pavonia, Hibiscus, and 
Gossypium. Cotton is produced for export. 

BOMBACACEAE. Some of the largest 
trees of the Island belong to this family, as 
Adansonia digitata, Cciba pentandra, and spe- 
cies of Bovnbax and Pachira. The wood is us- 
ually soft and very light; Ochroma pyramidalis 
is especially light. Seed floss or fibers from C. 
pentandra, Neobuchia paulinae, and O. pyrami- 
dalis arc used locally for pillows etc. or are ex- 

STERCULI ACEAE.- Although the Island 
has several genera of trees and shrubs belonging 
to this family, Theobroma cacao is of outstand- 
ing importance. Commercial cacoa production 
dating from the colonial epoch extends through- 
out the Island, especially in regions of moderate 
elevation and good rainfall. 

HYPERlCACEAE. Mammea americana is 
cultivated for its edible fruit and as an orna- 
mental tree. Calophyllum calaba and species of 

related genera provide valuable construction 

FLACOURTIACEAE. This family con- 
tains several genera of native trees, few of which 
have received especial attention in evaluating the 
Island's forest resources. 

There are several species of Passiflora, includ- 
ing the cultivated P. quadrangularis, or "Grena- 
dine." Carica papaya is widely cultivated for 
domestic consumption and for export trade. 

CEAE. Rhisophora mangle, Conocarpus erec- 
tus, and Laguncularia racemosa are important 
sources of tannin. Other genera contain valuable 
trees and shrubs. 

MYRTACEAE. This large family of trees 
and shrubs, many of which are aromatic, is 
well represented on the Island. Pimenta acris, 
the Bay-Rum tree, Pimenta officinalis, Allspice 
tree, and species of Eucalyptus are sparingly 
cultivated. Psidiitm guajava, Guava tree, is 
widely cultivated. In addition, there are a great 
number of valuable native trees and shrubs. 

SAPOT ACEAE. This is another large 
family of trees and shrubs that furnishes many 
tropical fruits, the more important of which are 
Achras sapota, Calocarpum mammosum, Ln- 
curna domingensis, and Chrysophyllum cainito. 

APOCYN ACEAE. Many native species of 
Plumeria have showy flowers that seem too per- 
fect to be real. Lochnera rosea and Nerium 
oleander beautify nearly every garden in the Is- 
land, and Funtumia thrives in at least one plant- 

grandiflora was a common ornamental woody 
climber until large-scale cultivation for rubber 
production was recently undertaken. 

CONVOLVULACEAE. Ipomoea batatas, 
or sweet potato, is generally cultivated for food. 

MENTHACEAE. Tte family is repre- 
sented by about twenty genera, including many 
of the temperate-climate cultivated mints and 
ornamental plants. 

SOLAN ACEAE. Many of the important 
cultivated plants of the temperate climate arc 
common in addition to many native species, in- 
cluding several shrubs and trees. 

BIGNONlACEAE. Spathodea campanula 
is a beautiful ornamental tree. Although Ca- 
talpa longissiwa is extensively used as a cabinet 
wood, it might be more profitably exploited. 
More than twenty-five related species and genera 
of trees add to Hispaniola's forest resources. 

RUBl ACEAE. Hispaniola has more than 
fifty genera of trees, shrubs, and herbs in this 
family. Included is Coffea arabica, the principal 
source of the Island's wealth. Since early colo- 
nial times, vast quantities of coffee have been 
exported annually. It is chiefly grown on the 
rolling or mountainous lands where rainfall is 
moderate to heavy. 

CUCURBITACEAE. U&ny of the vege- 
tables and melons common elsewhere have been 
introduced and are valuable crops for domestic 
consumption or for export. Of the less familiar 
types, Momordica charantia, Luffa aegyptiaca 
and L. acutangula are interesting. Sechium 
edule produces a fruit similar to the squash, 
which is cooked in several ways. The leaves 
are also consumed as "greens." 

ASTERACEAE. This large family is abun- 
dantly represented in Hispaniola. In addition to 
the many ornamental plants of the temperate zone, 


HOLDRIDGE: The Puerto Rican Flora 

as Zinnia, Dahlia, etc., and vegetables, as Lac- 
tuca and Cynara scolymus (artichoke), some of 
the temperate-zone weeds have become estab- 
lished at high elevations. The numerous native 
species are largely herbaceous plants of little 
economic value. 

From the above brief sketch, it may be readily 
realized why Hispaniola is sometimes spoken of 
as a "Botanist's Paradise," and that, from an 
economic standpoint, the Island is exceedingly 
rich in plant resources. 


L. R. HOLDRIDGE: A Brief Sketch of the 
Puerto Rican Fjora: The small rectangle 
measuring approximately 100 miles by 30 miles 
known as Puerto Rico rises up from the deep 
blue waters of the Caribbean Sea to a height 
of slightly over 4000 feet, and within this three 
dimensional range bears upon its surface a com- 
plex vegetation comprising a multitude of tropi- 
cal and sub-tropical plants. As if this number of 
plants were not sufficient, the Experiment Sta- 

as mahogany and pine never quite reached 
Puerto Rico in their march eastward from the 
North American continent. Again to the east- 
ward there is a close resemblance down to and 
including Guadeloupe but beyond this point the 
similarity fades as the South American influence 
becomes more marked. 

Of the seven types of the island, the mangrove 
swamps constitute the simplest and most closely 
resemble their counterpart in the adjacent is- 
lands. Laguncularia racemosa and Avicennia 
nitida comprise the majority of the individual 
trees in these swamps with Rhisophora Mangle 
growing alone on the deep water sides. Few 
large trees remain and the Conocarpus crecta 
which frequented the drier parts of the marshes 
and the adjacent dry lands has been largely re- 
moved by man. The sickle-fruited Drepanocar- 
pus lunatus is found occasionally through the 
area as a shrub or small tree and the white 
flowered vine, Rhabdadenia biflora, is common. 
The ribbon buttresses of the Pterocarpus offici- 
nalis allow it to invade edges of the swamps but 
the most aggressive invader is the tall Acrosti- 




tions, the Forest Service and numerous individ- 
ual scientists and plant lovers have imported a 
tremendous number of additional species from 
similar climatic regions of the earth with the net 
result that the island is in one sense just a huge 
botanical garden. 

Due to this heavy plant introduction and the 
fact that the hurricanes have vied with the con- 
centrated population of nearly 500 people per 
square mile for the reputation of knocking down 
the most plant growth, it is a difficult task to 
divide the island into true forest types or plant 
associations, and surely it will take much more 
understanding of tropical types combined with 
study of less disturbed areas in the region be- 
fore this may be determined accurately. 

The accompanying forest type map, worked 
out by the Tropical Forest Experiment Station, 
segregates the vegetative growth of the island 
into seven main types. It is essentially a combina- 
tion of contour, rainfall and rock formation maps 
built up after long observation and study of 
associations in the field. There is considerable 
resemblance between the flora of Puerto Rico 
and of the other Greater Antilles to the west 
but several noteworthy species which are com- 
mon to two or three of the other islands such 

chum aureum. This fern is scattered through 
the swamp and normally held in check by the 
heavy shade, but where heavy cutting of the 
mangroves has been carried out on the land- 
ward side they often consolidate the area into 
an impenetrable mass of fronds. 

There are, of course, minor formations along 
the coast such as on the sand dunes and around 
small land-locked lagoons which are of great 
interest to the ecologist but of little importance 
in a study of the island as a whole. Practically 
all around the coast and usually too narrow 
to be indicated on the type map the drying 
winds give rise to a vegetation nearly identical 
with the extensive dry lowland area in the south- 
ern and southwestern portions which are cut 
off from the rain-bearing northeast trade winds 
by the range of mountains running east and 
west through the center of the island. Since 
most of the flat fertile lands have been cleared 
and irrigated for high production agriculture, 
the remaining natural vegetation consists largely 
of scrubby woodlands on the dry hills. 

Aside from .the extensive fields of sugar cane 
and the widespread pasture lands planted with 
Panicum maximum, woody species characterize 
the type. Many of these are spiny as if to 

HOLDRIDGE : The Puerto Rican Flora 


match with the tree-cactus, Cephalocereus, the 
numerous opuntias and an occasional colony of 
Melocactus communis. A few of the charac- 
teristic trees are Bucida buceras, Ceiba pentan- 
dra, Elaphrium simarouba, Guasuma ulmifolia, 
Pictetia aculeata, Cordia glabra, Guaiacum offi- 
cinalis, Krugiodendron jerreum, Tabebuia hetero- 
phylla, Andira inermis, Sapindus saponaria, 
Colubrina reclinata, C. ferruginea, Lonchocarpus 
domingensis, the beautiful flowered PMebotaenia 
Cou'ellii, Pisonia albida, Torrubia fragrant, 
Elaeodendrwn xylocarputn, Sarcamphahts rcticu- 
latus, Thyana portoricensis. Stahlia wonosperma. 
and several species of Eugenia. Capparis and 
Bourreria. The shrubby Comocladta Dodonaea 
poisons most of those who contact its spiny 
leaves and occasionally extensive colonies of 
Agave add to the troubles of the traveller 
through the woods. Groves of coconut palms 
occur along the coast and Thrinax microcarpa 
forms large colonies on some of the rocky hills. 
A few Phoenix dactylifera are planted here and 
there but one of the most striking palm groups 
is that of Sabal causiarum near Cabo Rojo 
which forms the basis of a local hat industry. A 
description of the type would not be complete 
without mention of the heavy roadside plantings 
of the exotic Delonix regia, although this is 
common too in other types. 

What is indicated as the moist lowland type 
has been completely cleared or altered by the 
hand of man. Here again, sugar cane holds 
the upper hand on the best lands although pine- 
apples, grapefruit plantations and vegetable gar- 
dens cover large areas. Near the larger towns 
considerable land is held by the dairy industry 
with large plantings of Eriochloa polystachya 
and Panicum purpurascens for cut feed. The 
natural cover which the early Spaniards found 
must have consisted of a high luxuriant forest 
with abundant lianas and under story shrubs 
as well as numerous ferns and other herbaceous 
ground cover. Some of the immense trunks 
encountered would surely have been Manilkara 
nitida, Vitex divaricata, Hymenaea Courbaril, 
Ficus sp. and Calophyllum antillanum, the first 
two of which were heavily drawn on for con- 
struction of the early towns and haciendas. 
Cecropia peltata, Byrsonima spicata, Inga vera, 
I. laurina and several Lauraceae, though attain- 
ing smaller sizes would have been common 
elements in the forest. Today umbrageous Hura 
crepitans shade the cattle in the pastures, Bro- 
melia pinguin is common as a living hedge and 
Tabebuia pallida and Psidium Guajava take over 
unattended pastures. An occasional Roystonea 
borinquensis stands like a concrete pillar and 
several species of Cascaria and Oestrum diur- 
num crowd up close to the fences. But along the 
roads and in the towns Delonix regia, Mangifera 
indica, Cassia siamea, Terminalta catappa, Spon- 
dias Mombin, Albiszia Lebbek and many other 
exotics constitute the major part of the tree spe- 

The moist mountain type is essentially a con- 
tinuation of the moist lowland type with the 
addition of more species. However, the com- 
bination of Manilkara nitida with Dacryodes 
excelsa and Sloanea Berteroana gives a clearly 
marked definition for this formation, especially 
in the eastern portion of the island. Agriculture 
has claimed the majority of this land with ex- 
tensive plantings of Inga shaded coffee, a crop 
largely confined to this type, tobacco, some sugar 
cane, food crops, and large amounts of pasture 

land with main dependence on the native grasses. 
There is probably no remaining virgin forest 
of this type but the component species may 
easily be determined even in heavily culled for- 
ests. The dense jungle growth with corres- 
ponding difficulty of passage for the traveller 
is largely the result of the influence of man as 
opening up the stand gives rise to abundant 
bush and vine growth. 

Besides the trees mentioned in the moist low- 
land type, the conspicuous arboreal elements are 
Buchenavia capitata, Tttragastris balsamifera, 
Ormosia Kruyii, Mayepaea domingensis, Chione 
venosa, Didymopanax wicrototoni, Ilex guianen- 
sis, Lonchocarpus latifolius, Casearia arborea, 
Prunus occidentalis, Guarea trichiloides, Hir- 
tella triandra, Sideroxylon portoricensis, Homa- 
lium racemosum, Genipa americana, Ochroma 
lagdfius, Pariti tiliaceum, and numerous species 
of the Lauraceae such as Ocotea leucoxylon, O. 
moschata, 0. portoricensis, 0. cuneata, several 
Nectandra, Persea gratissima and Phoebe elon- 
gata. Among the shrubs are numerous Melas- 
tomaccac, Piper aduncum, P. blattanim and 
several Rubiaccac, of which Psychotria, Pali- 
courea and Hamelia are the most common. Ferns 
are abundant with many mosses and liverworts. 
The plumes of Andropogon virginictu are con- 
spicuous in the pasture lands. Dicranopteris 
bifida and D. pectinata take over road-cuts and 
landslides and the stinging leaved Urera bacci- 
jera is considered an indicator of good coffee 
soils. Dieffenbachia seguine forms small colo- 
nies in wet forest swales and various other 
Araceae climb on the trunks of trees or rock 
ledges. The Roystonea borinquensis occurs oc- 
casionally and Euterpe ylobosa is common but 
not as conspicuous here as in the higher moun- 
tain type because of the taller trees with which 
it contends for space and light. Jambosa Jam- 
bos often takes over abandoned fields or pas- 
tures to form dense copses. 

Climbing above this is found the designated 
wet high mountain type. This is decidedly wet 
but at the same time carries a hint of the 
xerophytic as indicated primarily by the smaller 
leaves and due probably to the strong winds 
and the highly acid condition of the soil. The 
characteristic trees of this type are Magnolia 
splendens, M. portoricensis, Ocotea spathulata, 
3 species of Micropholis, Calycogonium squamu- 
losum, Croton poecilanthus, Matayba domingen- 
sis, Didymopanax Gleasonii, Tabebuia rigida, T. 
Schumanniana, and Cyrilla racemi flora, the latter 
attaining to diameters of six feet. The Myrta- 
ceae are well represented with several species 
of Eugenia and Calyptranthes and Melastoma- 
ceae are abundant. Guarea ramiflora, Daphnop- 
sis Philippiana, Hedyosmum arborea, tree ferns 
and some composite shrubs are common in the 

Euterpe globosa is so common in certain spots 
that it is often accorded type status but appar- 
ently it is a bit of an opportunist and takes full 
advantage of any space created by landslides or 
hurricanes. Lycopodiums hang from the trees 
and Selaginellas form a dense ground cover in 
spots. Sphagnum moss forms an occasional bed 
and numerous mosses may be collected from the 
ground, rocks, and tree-trunks. Travel through 
the forest is very difficult without a machete 
and even then is slow due to the dense cover 
of razor-edged saw-grass, a sedge, bamboo 
grasses and Clusia vines. 

HORN : Plant Resources of Puerto Rico 

On the very highest peaks and ridges, this 
type is much reduced in height by the severe 
growth conditions and there it is often referred 
to as the dwarf or mossy forest. Actually, 
however, the species composing the stand are 
about the same. The adjective mossy is derived 
from the many pendant moss-like lichens on the 
trunks and branches. 

Descending once more to the lower country 
in the northwestern portion of the island brings 
one to the moist limestone type similar to the 
cock-pit country of Jamaica. Near to the 
coast, the spaces between the hills are much 
greater and one often finds the curious haystack 
hills or mogotes rising up from fields of sugar 
cane or other crops. These hills are often cov- 
ered with vegetation similar to that of the dry 
lowlands. Towards the interior, the hills be- 
come more crowded until the condition is re- 
versed with a resulting peneplain of limestone 
pitted with deep sinkholes. Here the forest 
is much more moist. Just how to classify 
this section is difficult but there seems to be 
enough individuality in the wetter portion to 
classify this as a separate formation. 

Some of the characteristic trees are the Monte- 
suma spcciosissitna, Hycroniwa clusioides, Pleo- 
dendron tnacracantha, Coccolobis grandifolia, 
Diospyros cbcnaster, Oxandra lanceolata, Quari- 
baea turbinata, Ceiba pcntandra, Cedrela odo- 
rata, Pithecolobiwn arborca, Maba Sinicnissii, 
Paralabatia portoricensis, Petitia dotningensis, 
Cordia alliodora and Cornutia obovata. Orchids, 
ferns, mosses, vines and other herbaceous plants 
are abundant as the type is very luxuriant, and 
is undoubtedly the formation richest in species 
of the seven. This is true of the palms also 
with the royal and coconut palms, the Thrinax 
microcarpa forming colonies on the cliffs, with 
Bactris acanthophylla at the base and on the 
slopes of the hills, and on the very summits, the 
slender trunks of Quassia attenuata are silhou- 
etted against the sky. 

Running southeastward from near Mayaguez 
on the western coast is a strip of serpentine 
rock which partly traverses the southwestern 
corner of the island. Like the previous lime- 
stone area, this section supports a mixed vegeta- 
tion of dry-sited species mingled with those from 
wetter areas with the addition of certain spe- 
cies peculiar to the formation. Only further 
study will adequately settle the question as to 
whether or not this deserves full type status 
but it is so presented on the map. 

The soft serpentine breaks down into a red 
clay very slippery in the wet season and very 
hard and dry in drought periods. The soil is 
lacking in phosphates and is little used for 
agriculture other than subsistence farming. Ero- 
sion is severe. Although adequate precipitation 
falls, the soil dries out rapidly and there is a 
long extended dry period in the winter months 
so that the type leans towards the drier vegeta- 

Typical tree species of the formation are 
Amotnis grisea, Byrsonima cuneata, May e pea 
dotningensis, Tabebuia haemantha, Clusia rosea, 
Taonabo pachyphylla, Ilex guianensis and an un- 
described tree of the Lauraceae. Much of the 
area has, been cleared by man or the forests 
might have been destroyed by fires which are 
common in this section making it difficult to find 
a true representative area of the formation. 
Brake ferns cover large areas of the cleared 

With the serpentine formation we have com- 
pleted a very brief sketch of the vegetation of the 
island of Puerto Rico, with mention of only a 
few of the many species but enough it is hoped 
to give a rapid glimpse of the conspicuous ele- 
ments of each of the types listed here. The 
adjacent islands of Mona, Vieques, Culebra and 
a few smaller islets all fall within the dry low- 
land type with the largest island, Vieques, ex- 
tensively denuded for agriculture and pasture 
and Culebra in a similar manner largely em- 
ployed for grazing. Much further research will 
be needed before a clear cut ecology of the 
smallest of the Greater Antilles can be definitely 
known and each succeeding year finds the prob- 
lem more difficult as the population of the island 
increases and the hand of man rests correspon- 
dingly heavier on the vegetation of the area. 
S H.A.D A., 

CLAUD L. HORN* : Plant Resources of Puerto 
Rico : Puerto Rico is the smallest and eastern- 
most of the Greater Antilles. The movements 
of the trade winds and the rather constant water 
temperature of the Caribbean Sea to the south 
and of the Atlantic Ocean to the north of the 
Island give a leveling effect to the temperature 
which at equal altitudes is quite uniform at 
various parts of the Island. The older rock 
formations occupy the middle portion of the ob- 
long island having an east-west axis. These 
lands reach a maximum elevation of almost 1,370 
meters above the sea. The newer lands occur 
largely as limestone deposits forming the north 
and south coastal plains. Factors affecting the 
vegetation are mostly attributable to variations 
in elevations, rainfall and soils. An observer 
crossing the Island on one of the excellent high- 
ways readily notices the changes in vegetation 
due to these factors. 

Moisture from the northeastern trade winds 
is precipitated in greatest amount in the National 
Forest of the Luquillo mountains in the north- 
east where the annual rainfall is approximately 
5,080 millimeters. The central highland and the 
north coast have ample rainfall while the south 
coast receives from about 1,270 millimeters in 
the southeastern portion to about 508 millime- 
ters in the southwestern portion of the Island. 
Consequently, the vegetation varies from tropi- 
cal rainforest in the Luquillo mountains to xero- 
phytic in the southwest. 

The soils of Puerto Rico are in general not 
very fertile, and on the steep slopes over most 
of the Island, are thin. In 1939, 4.235,488 dollars 
were spent for fertilizers and manures for the 
total of 414,201 hectares* of cropland, most of 
the fertilizer being applied on sugar cane and 
tobacco land. Much of the coastal plains con- 
sist of alluvial deposited soils which are the 
deepest and most fertile. Sugar cane cultivation 
occupies most of this land. 

Puerto Rico has many kinds of plants which 
are found naturally only there. None of these 
have been extensively developed as crop plants, 
although the endemic Magnolia splendent, M. 
portoricensis and Stahlia monosperma are val- 
uable timber trees; while in certain districts 
Phlebotaenia cowellii with its cloak of violet-col- 
ored flowers seasonally adds to the beauty of 
the landscape. 

1 hectare = 2.471 acres. 

HORN : Plant Resources of Puerto Rico 


Most of the plant resources of Puerto Rico 
lie in those plants cultivated as crops. There- 
fore, the following description of the plant re- 
sources consists largely of data on the cultivated 
crops. Agriculture is by far the principal re- 
source of the Island. For this one resource 
in one of the most densely populated areas of 
the world with only 414,201 hectares of crop- 
land to support 1,869,255 people, it must attain 
a high degree of efficiency. 

Of the total Island area of 887,017 hectares, 
about 84 percent is in a total of 55,519 farms. 
Approximately fifty-six percent of the area of 
these farms, or 414,201 hectares, is cropland. 
Eighty-three percent of the farms were less than 
7.86 hectares each in size, while approximately 
5 percent of them were larger than 39.32 hec- 
tares. Of the 414,201 hectares of cropland, 
32,834 were in crops for future harvest, 290,897 
were harvested ; 23,651 were fallow ; 28,641 were 
in crops which failed; while 38,178 were idle. 

The number of hectares devoted to the princi- 
pal specified fruit trees or plants was as follows 
in 1940: coffee, 71,217; bananas, 18,527; plan- 

grass (Cynodon dactylon) ; and carpet grass 
(Axonopus compressus). Much Guatemala grass 
(Tripsacunt laxum) and Napier grass (Pennise- 
tum purpureum) are used as cut forage. 

The common domestic fuel of the Island is 
charcoal. Much of the coffee shade thinnings 
and woodland are converted into the charcoal 
crop. The mangrove harvest from the govern- 
ment owned and operated coastal swamps is also 
a principal source of charcoal. Approximately 
11,797 hectares are in the forests under the ad- 
ministration of the United States Forest Serv- 
ice, while approximately 19,665 hectares, in- 
cluding the mangrove swamps, are administered 
by the Insular Forest Service. 

Some of the important forest tree species in 
Puerto Rico are: Cedrela odorata, Dacryodes 
excclsa, Xanthoxylum flavum, Guaiacum offi- 
cmale, Magnolia splendens, M. portoricensis, 
Montesuma speciosissima, Bucida buceras, Ma- 
nilkara nitida, Tabebuia pallida, Stahlia mono- 
spertna, Ocotea moschata, Hymenaea courbaril, 
Andira inermis, Eugenia jambos, and Euterpe 



' ^. 





(.From JAMES'S Latin America, New York 1942) 

tains, 6,597; grapefruit, 1,915; pineapples, 752; 
oranges 3,885; coconuts, 5,097. In addition the 
following numbers of fruit-bearing plants were 
cultivated; limes, 2,340; avocados, 287,197; man- 
gos, 90,321; guavas, 39,145; cacao, 13,244; cit- 
rons, 15,090; vanilla, 127,839; breadfruit, 58,563; 
papayas 4,788. 

The number of hectares of the following prin- 
cipal field crops harvested in 1939 were: sugar 
cane, 90,346 on 17.8 percent of all farms; to- 
bacco, 11,240; corn, 23,339; rice, 5,408; cowpeas, 
4,866; pigeon peas, 13,488; dry beans, 19,018; 
cotton, 1,330; sweet potatoes, 19,491; names, 
3,471 ; yautia, 8,683 ; cassava, 2,594. 

The number of hectares of the following prin- 
cipal vegetables harvested for sale in 1939 were : 
eggplant 131 ; squash (Cucurbita moschata), 467; 
onions, 159; green beans, 196; lettuce, 83; cu- 
cumber, 126; peppers, 332; okra, 78; cabbage, 
237; tomatoes, 836. 

In 1939, 60,162 hectares were in woodland 
pasture ; 118,076 were in plowable pasture ; 65,125 
were in all other pastures ; 51,872 were in other 
woodland; 32,158 were in unclassified uses. 

The principal pasture grasses are guinea grass 
(Panicum maximum), Para grass (Panicum 
purpurascens and Eriochloa polystachya) ; mo- 
lasses grass (Melinis minuti flora) ; Bermuda 

The Agricultural Experiment Station and the 
Agricultural Extension Service, with head- 
quarters at Rio Piedras, conduct research to 
develop better crops and crop practices and 
carry these to the farmer on his farm through- 
out the Island. The United States Forest Serv- 
ice Tropical Forest Experiment Station con- 
ducts forestry research at its headquarters at Rio 
Piedras and in the Island forest units. The 
United States Department of Agriculture Ex- 
periment Station at Mayagiiez is the outstanding 
Western Hemisphere tropical agricultural re- 
search station. This station has energetically 
assembled the largest collection of tropical 
plants of economic value in this hemisphere for 
its program of investigations of various tropical 
crop plants and in its search for new crop plants 
for the Hemisphere. 



BARRETT, O. W., The Food Plants of Porto Rico 
(Journ. Dept. Agric., Porto Rico 9:61-208, 1925). 

BRITTON, N. L. and WILSON, PERCY, Botany of Porto 
Rico and the Virgin Islands (Descriptive Flora, Sci. 
Surv. Porto Rico and Virgin Ids. 5: pp. 626; 6* pp. 663, 
1923-1930). Perhaps the plant life of no other area 


STBHLE: L'Archipel des Petites Antilles 

of equal size in the world has been as adequately cov- 
ered as the flora of Puerto Rico has been in this work. 

COOK, O. F. and COLLINS, G. N., Economic Plants 
of Porto Rico (Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 8, 2: 57- 
269, pi. XIII-LX, 1903). 

GLBASON, H. A. and COOK, MEL. T., Plant Ecology 
of Porto Rico (Sci. Surv. Porto Rico and Virgin Ids. 
7: 1-173, 1927). 

United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of 
the Census, 16th Census of the United States 1940. 
Puerto Rico, Agriculture, 1942. Most of the area and 
production data included in this paper have been pro- 
vided by this work. 

HENRI STEHLE: Leg Conditions Ecologiques, 
la Vegetation et les Ressources Agricoles de 
1'Archipel des Petites Antilles : La vegetation 
des Petites Antilles, luxuriante et variee sur un 
territoire restraint, est la consequence de condi- 
tions e"dapho-climatiques les plus diverses et les 
ressources agricoles qu'elle permet sont le re- 
sultat des actions anthropozoiques, depuis les 
populations pre-colombiennes et caraibes jusqu'4 
1'influence de rhomme civilise, intensement mani- 
festee, dans ces iles, depuis plus de 3 siecles. 


Dans les Antilles pu Indes Occidentales, re- 
liant de facpn insulaire I'AmeYique du Nord a 
I'Amerique du Sud, s'&end au Sud une serie de 
petites iles, sur une ligne courbe de 2.000 km. 
de long, affectant la forme generate d'un fer a 
cheval ouvert vers la Mer des Antilles ou Mer 
Carai'be, faisant suite aux Grandes Antilles, de- 
puis Puerto-Rico jusqu'au Venezuela, entre le 
7eme degre et le 19 erne degr6 de latitude Nord. 
Ces Iles, qui paraissent sur les cartes une profu- 
sion de points ou de tirets, sont parfois de petits 
ilpts mais aussi, pour certaines d'entre elles, des 
aires depassant 3.000 km. Carre's, offrant dans 
leur domaine la synthese de vegetations intertro- 
picales variees et dont la proprit6 se partage 
entre trois nations europ6ennes : la France, 1'An- 
gleterre et la Hollande et des possessions Sud- 
Americaines du Venezuela, pour certaines lies 
du Sud. 

La plus au Nord est la petite Anguilla (A)*, 
la plus au Sud, et aussi la plus grande, est 1'Ile 
de Trinidad (A)*, autrefois la Trinite; 1'Ile de 
Barbados (A)* s'avance vers 1'Atlantique alors 
que celle d'Aruba (H)*, pres du continent Sud- 
Ame'ricain, est la plus a 1'Ouest de tout 1'archipel. 
L'on peut meme y distinguer 3 entits geographi- 
ques distinctes: 

Les lies du Vent: d' Anguilla Grenada. 

Les lies Sous-le- Vent : de Margarita 4 Aruba. 

Les lies de Trinidad et Tobago, dtaches de la Cote 

Les lies du Vent. Ces iles, comprenant les 
unes des Antilles franchises comme la Guade- 
loupe et D6pendances et la Martinique, les autres 
de la serie des "British West Indian Islands," se 
divisent topographiquement en Groupe Caraibe 
Nord et Groupe Caraibe Sud ou, d'apres 1'influ- 
ence du vent dominant, en "Leeward" et "Wind- 
ward Islands," ainsi dnommees sur les cartes 
anglaises et les relev6s maritimes. 

Les "Leeward Islands" ou "Groupe Caraibe 
Nord," comportent, du Nord au Sud: Anguilla 
(A)* St-Martin (F&H), St-Barth614my (F)* 
(1'Ouanalao caraibe), Barbados (A), Saba 
(H)*, St-Eustache (H), St-Christophe ou St- 
Kitts (A), Nevis (A), Antigua (A), Montser- 

* A. possession anglais?. F. possession fran<;aise. 
H. possession hollandaise. V. possession vinezui- 

rat (A), Guadeloupe (F), la D&irade (F), les 
Saintes (F), Marie-Galante (F), Petite-Terre 
(F), et la Dominique (A). C'est Tile fran- 
caise de la Guadeloupe, la KarukeVa des Ca- 
raibes, qui, avec la Grande-Terre plate et la 
Basse-Terre tourmentee, est la plus grande de 
ces iles, occupant 1.500 km. carrSs de superficie ; 
la Dominique, possession britannique, est la plus 
elevee, le Morne Diablotin etant le point culmi- 
nant de tout 1'archipel avec 1.650 m. (5.200 feet). 
Les "Windward Islands" ou "Groupe Caraibe 
Sud," comprennent, en succession des prece- 
dentes: la Martinique (F), St-Lucia (A), Bar- 
bados (A), St- Vincent (A), Grenada (A) et les 
Grenadines (A), archipel secondaire forme de 
6 iles: Bequia, Moustique, Cannouan, Union, 
Cariobacou (Carriacou) et la Ronde. C'est la 
Martinique (la Madinina des Caraibes), la plus 

(D'aprts JAMES'S Latin America, New York 1942) 

ample : 987 km. carres et la plus elevee, au Mont- 
Pelee, alt. 1.450 m. (4.380 feet), de triste me- 

Les Iles Sous-Le-Vent. Elles constituent une 
se"rie d'iles relativement plus seches, le long de la 
cote du Venezuela, dans la Mer Caraibe : Mar- 
garita (V)* Tortuga (V), Bonaire (H), Cura- 
cao (H) et Aruba (H), ces 3 dernier es forment 
le groupe des Indes Occidentales Neerlandaises. 

Les Iles de Trinidad & Tobago. De forma- 
tion plus recente et detachers du continent voisin, 
ces lies sont tres rapprochees et la Trinidad, ile 
anglaise ainsi que Tobago, est la plus grande de 
tout 1'archipel des Petites Antilles; elle possede 
la vgtation la plus riche et 1'agriculture la plus 


Les influences climatiques et edaphiques sont 

primordiales sur la vegetation des Iles Caraibes, 

tant sur leur richesse floristique ou les aspects 

physionomiques, constituant les communautes 

STEHLE : L'Archipel des Petites Antilles 


vegetales et les types fprcsticrs, que sur leur 
agronomic et la repartition des differentes res- 
sources tirees des plantes et des arbres. 

Factfurs Clitnatiquts et Geophysiques. La 
pluviometrie est un facteur preponderant tant par 
la hauteur d'eau moyenne recueillie que par la 
repartition mensuelle des pluies tombees. Ce 
qui caracterise 1'archipel des Petites Antilles, a 
ce point de vue, c'est le passage du courant equa- 
torial nord avec des masses enormes d'eau au 
niveau de la Dominique et dont les variations 
sont en liaison etroite avec celles des vents alizs. 
Les moyennes de chute pluviometrique decen- 
nales font ressortir en effet pour les 5 iles princi- 
pales des archipels au Vent et Sous-le-Vent, la 
superiorit6 de la Dominique et le minimum pour 
Barbados, d'apres 1'ensemble complet des obser- 
vations dans chacune des ces lies, conduisant aux 
chiffres: Dominique: 2.290 mm. (86 inches), 
Martinique: 2.269 mm. (85 inches), St-Lucia: 
2.138 mm. (79 inches), Guadeloupe: 1.702 mm. 
(67 inches) et Barbados: 1.536 mm. (57 inches). 

Par ailleurs, des grandes variations locales ct 
annuelles sont a enrcgistrer dans chaque ile ou 
il n'y a pas une concomitance obligatoire entre 
les maxima et les minima observes entre les iles 
voi sines ; il est a noter au contraire que le maxi- 
mum de la Dominique coincide avec le minimum 
de la Martinique et inyersement. Cette der- 
niere ile recevant les brises du Sud de 1'hiver- 
nage, la premiere recueillera I'humiditi de- 
chargee par les vents du Nord. Ainsi, la Domi- 
nique et la Martinique rec.oivent un tiers d'eau 
en plus que Barbados, Cuba et Jamaica et environ 
le double de celle recueillie par les Iles Sous-le- 

En moyenne, les mois de Mars et Avril sont 
les plus sees et ceux de Septembre et Novembre 
les plus humides. La secheresse n'est generale- 
ment pas de longue duree et Ton distingue 4 
saisons plus ou moins tranchees suivant les iles 
et les annees : Tune de Decembre a Mars : seche 
et fraiche, 1'autre d'Avril a Juin : seche et chaude, 
appelee "careme," auxquelles succede 'Thiver- 
nage," qui va de Juillet a Septembre et est humide 
et chaud et enfin une saison fraiche et humide, 
d'Octobre a Decembre. La floraison a lieu toute 
1'annee, mais on observe un printemps vegetal 
de Mars a Juin avec optimum en Mai, appele 
"mois du renouveau." 

La temperature oscille de 18 degres a 35 de- 
gres centigrades (64 degres a 95 degres Fahren- 
heit), elle est en moyenne de 25 C. (77 F.) ; 
elle est toujours plus elevee dans les iles basses 
ou au bord de la mer; dans les ile levees, les 
variations diurnes sont faibles, les plus grandes 
ayant lieu par les journees claires de Mars et 
d'Avril; son action sur la vegetation et les cul- 
tures apparait secondaire. Par contre, I'humidite 
atmospherique joue un role f pndamental ; si elle 
est assez irreguliere en humidite relative moy- 
enne, elle est de variation tres reguliere dans 
1'annee pour chaque ile en humidite absolue ou 
tension de vapeur. L'evaporation est en general 
assez elevee et Fort-de-France par exemple, au 
centre de 1'archipel, se presente parmi les climats 
humides comme un de ceux qui, dans le monde, 
possedent une evaporation des plus elevees. Elle 
est maximum en Avril, minimum en Octobre et, 
en regie apparente, elle decroit re"gulierement en- 
tre ces 2 epoques de 1'annee pour croitre a nou- 
veau jusqu'a la fin de I'ann6e. Dans 1'interieur 
des iles les plus boisees, elle est voisine de la 
saturation totale. 

La pression atmospherique offre dans toutes 
les Iles Caraibes 2 maxima et 2 minima bien 
marques ; si le plus fort maximum varie avec le 
lieu, le plus petit minimum parait se placer 
generalement en novembre. 

L'on peut distinguer dans 1'archipel 1'influence 
de 3 sortes de vents au sol: les alizes, dont la 
direction varie du Nord-Est au Sud- Est, qui 
soufflent de 80 a 90% de fois dans les iles cen- 
trales de 1'arc, une 2eme categoric groupant les 
vents cotiers, comme les brises de terre et les 
brises de mer ou les vents de turbulence causes 
par le relief et parcourant les pcntes de mon- 
tagne, enfin les vents accompagnant les pertur- 
bations cycloniques, qui se manifestent de Juillet 
a Octobre, avec maximum en Septembre; ces 
depressions cycloniques se font sentir avec une 
grande intensite dans les iles de la Mer des 
Antilles et dans le Golfe du Mexique. Leur 
action est nefaste et parfois desastreuse sur la 
vegetation et 1'agriculture ; tel celui du 12 au 
20 Septembre 1928, dont le centre est passe le 12 
sur la Guadeloupe, puis sur Puerto-Rico et a at- 
teint le Sud-Est de la Floride, apres avoir de- 
truit une partie de Pointe-a-Pitre ct fait des 
degats enormes dans les cultures vivrieres et 


A la diversite du climat correspond une diver- 
site des sols, dans leur origine, leur stratigra- 
phie, leur structure et leur desagregation, non 
sculement dans les diverses iles des Petites An- 
tilles, mais encore a 1'interieur d'une mcme ile, 
aussi les types de vegetation, principalement 
soumis a Taction du climat, presentent-ils des 
fades plus particulierement en liaison avec la 
constitution du sol; enfin, pour l'agriculture in- 
sulaire, la fertilite de la terre derivee des dif- 
ferentes roches meres, permettra 1'installation de 
cultures adaptees. 

L'orogenese et 1'histoire geologique de ces iles, 
qui expliquent les conditions edaphiques, sont 
complexes. En resume: le premier arc pluto- 
niquc sous-marin forme emergea au-dessus des 
flots, puis fut denude et, sur ses flancs convexes, 
du cote interieur, un nouvel arc fut elabore, con- 
sistant en une rosette de volcans qui comprend 
1'arc volcanique des Petites Antilles. D'apres 
ALFRED SENN, 1'activite volcanique s'y continua 
depuis 1'Eocene superieur jusqu'a 1'epoque ac- 
tuelle, completant la sedimentation oceanique par 
un apport enorme de cendres, laves, boues et 
nuages denses, qui combla la depression situee 
entre le nouvel arc d'origine ignee et 1'anneau 
plutoniquc ancien. Ainsi, d'enormes epaisseurs 
de tuflfs volcaniques se deposerent dans la mer 
voisine, depuis 1'Eocene jusqu'au milieu de 
I'epoque miocene. La ppussiere volcanique 
la plus fine fut transportee jusqu'a 1'ilc de Bar- 
bados, la plus a TEst dans 1'Atlantique ou elle 
s'intercala aux couches de foraminiferes et radio- 
laires deposees dans une profonde mer. Au 
Miocene-Pliocene, I'orogenese Rhodanienne pa- 
rait avoir cause une nouvelle elevation de 1'arc 
volcanique des Petites Antilles et une reprise 
de 1'activite volcanique, confirmee par la nature 
subaerienne et la stratification des tuffs dans le 
cycle Oligo-Miocene. Des relations entre les 
regions antillaises et mediterraneennes semblent 
avoir exist^ le long de certains fonds geanti- 
clinaux mettant en communication Curacao et 
les Grandes Antilles. L'orogenese Lamarideenne 


STEHL&: L'Archipel de* Petites Antilles 

crea une premiere connexion entre les Grandes 
Antilles et les fonds de Curasao par Tare plu- 
tonique sous-marin des Petites-Antilles et c'est 
1'orogenese Pyreneenne qui causa I'&nergence 
de cet arc ancien en creant, en outre, un npuvel 
arc volcanique sur le bord interne, celui des 
lies Caraibes. Grace a lui, 1'Amerique du Nord 
et celle du Sud furent reliees pendant 1'Eocene 
superieur; les communications anterieures An- 
tillo-Mediterraneennes etant, par centre, rom- 
pues par la revolution Pyreneenne. 

Les analyses de roches ignees des 3 principales 
phases magmatiques des iles les plus diverses de 
1'archipel caraibe sont en accord avec la loi de 
Kossmat, cnonc^e en 1936 et confirment le carac- 
tere homogene de la province magmatique des 
Petites Antilles, observe aussi bien par J. 
GIRAUD, le collaborateur d'A. LACROIX, en 1918, 
qui a reconnu aux roches volcaniques de la Mar- 
tinique, une composition leur donnant un air de 
famille, que par W. VAN TONGEREN, en 1934, pour 
Tile d'Aruba. La premiere phase du cycle oro- 
genique est en effet caracterisee par des intru- 
sions sous-marines de laves basiques du type 
ophiolithique (Cretace de Curasao), la 2eme 
par 1'apport de larges masses de mineraux vol- 
caniques acides, surtout de diorites granitoides 
(Cretace-Eocene de Curagao et les Petites 
Antilles, type Martinique) ; la 3eme par la mise 
en place de roches eruptives le long des fissures 
et provcnant des eruptions de 1'Eocene superieur 
(Curac,ao) et de 1'arc volcanique des Iles Carai- 
bes, depuis 1'Eocene jusqu'a la periode actuelle. 
L'acidite du sol, son vieillissement, sa permea- 
bilite et sa fertilite sont en rapi>ort etroit avec 
cette triple origine. 

Les roches meres sont done d'origine volcani- 
que avec tuffs, basaltcs ou labradorites (Guade- 
loupe et Saintes) ; andesites, dacites et depots 
meublcs (Martinique), augite, andesites hyper- 
sthenes et basaltes noircs recouvertes de breches 
et conglomerats (St-Vincent, Dominique), ci- 
nerites et sediments orogeniques, provenant de 
roches metamprphiqucs a veines quartzeuses et 
de roches ignees (Scotland, au Sud de Barba- 
dos) ; microgranulites (Nord Desirade) ; phyl- 
lites avec intercalations de calcaires cristallises 
(Nord Trinidad), et roches ignees basiques; 
ipidiorites, solerites et gabbros (plus de la 
moitie de Trinidad) ; diabases, porphyrites, tuffs 
et schistes fonces (Curacao et Bonaire) ; avec 
des intercalations epaisses de diabases variecs et 
de calcaires denses, gris fonces (Aruba) et elles 
off rent toutes, dans leur diver site, des parentes 
d'origine et de constitution cxpliquant, en depit 
de leurs differences, le caractere homogene con- 
state dans 1'ensemble des sols des Petites An- 

Les terrains sedimentaires presentent egale- 
ment des affinites de structure bien que leur 
age soit different : ce sont des calcaires de 1'oligo- 
cene moyen et superieur a la Martinique (Anse 
Macabou et Vauclin) et a Antigua, des roches 
aquitaniennes de 1'Oligocene superieur a An- 
guilla et les Grenadines (Carriacou) des cal- 
caires pleistocenes a St-Eustache, Montserrat, 
Barbuda et Barbados et des "roches a ravet" du 
Miocene a la Grande-Terre 4 la Guadeloupe, les 
6/7 de Tile de Barbados sont couverts de roches 
calcaires du Pleistocene, constituant les recifs 
coralliens, homologues des "mornes" du Nord 
de la Guadeloupe et du Sud de la Martinique 
et les conglomeiats de Midden a Curagao, sont 
les correspondants de la formation de Scotland 

de Barbados. Les calcaires a sediments sableux 
ou coquilliers de Trinidad sont d'age cretac6 
superieur, les calcaires a rudistes de Curacao 
sont de meme age ainsi que les couches a con- 
glomerats calciques correspondantes de Bonaire, 
epaisses de 200 m. 

L'erosion, avec une desagregation eolienne, 
marine et fluviale par des rivieres a caractere 
torrentiel, s'est superposee aux eruptions et sedi- 
mentations des depots marins, des alluvions, des 
laves desintegrees et des apports detritiques en 
ont resulte. Les facteurs climatiques et surtout 
la forte pluviometrie ont contribue a la desagre- 
gation intense de ces roches meres, amcnant la 
formation en surface d'hydrargiles et sols lateri- 
toides divers, argileux et rougeatres, qui, par 
rapport a la roche dont ils derivent, sont carac- 
terises par la pauvrete en SiO 2 , K2O et ^Os, la 
disparition de CaO ct MgO et 1'enrichissement 
notable en FejjOa et en A^Oa. Cest le "pays 
de 1'ocre" de la Martinique. La couche arable 
qui en resulte sur sol decouvert est tres diluee 
et a une faible teneur en humophosphates alors 
que les sols sylvatiques sont humiferes grace 
a la protection realisec par la foret dense inter- 
tropicale, couvrant la partie centrale de la plu- 
part des iles de I'archipel. Ces caracteres ex- 
pliquent la valeur moins elevee des sols volca- 
niques, auxquels on attribuait exagerement une 
enorme et inepuisable fertilite. 


Dans 1'archipel des lies Caraibes, 1'action com- 
binee de la topographic locale, des facteurs defi- 
nis du climat ou de la geophysique ct des con- 
ditions orogcnetiques, geologiques ou edaphiques, 
s'est manifestee sur la vegetation pour per- 
mettre la formation de types forestiers primitifs 
constituant le climax, ensuite leur evolution et 
enfin, sous 1'action de Thornine, leur regression, 
leur exploitation et 1'installation de 1'agricul- 
ture par substitution. 

Une etude phyto-sociologique comparee des 
differentes iles, depuis Anguilla jusqu'a Aruba, 
perniet de mettre en evidence des caracteres 
communs incontestables dans 1'aspect physiono- 
mique de la vegetation, primitive ou secondaire 
et dans 1'analogie des communautes et des succes- 
sions. Suivant leur ampleur et leur altitude, 
toutes les lies n'offrent pas obligatoirement tous 
les types forestiers primitifs, mais les plus am- 
ples comme Trinidad et les plus elevees comme 
la Dominique, la Guadeloupe et la Martinique, 
presentent chacune, en une admirable synthese, 
dans leur optimum biologique, les types, sous- 
types et facies de la vegetation caraibe. Chaque 
ile, cepcndant, conserve une certaine entite floris- 
tique et sociologique de par son endemisme, ses 
zonations particulieres et ses associations vege- 

On peut distinguer 5 types forestiers caraibes 
fondamentaux, qui sont : la mangrove, d'origine 
plus specialement edaphique, la foret xerophyti- 
que ou x6ro-heliophile, la foret mesophytique ou 
intermediaire, la foret hygrophytique, dense, 
humide et polystrate et la foret altitudinale ou 
sylve montagnarde culminate, des plus hauts som- 
mets volcaniques. 

Mangrove. Cette foret sur marecages ma- 
rins, plus ou moins salins existe, avec ses carac- 
teres essentiels, dans la plupart des iles des 
Petites Antilles, a 1'exception toutefois de la 
Dominique. Elle presente, suivant la salinit& 
des boues, 1'apport d'eau douce rivulaire, 1'as- 

STEHL& : L'Archipel des Petites Antilles 

pect et la composition floristique, deux facias 
distincts : 

(a) Facias maritime pantropical. C'est 1'as- 
sociation homogene, halophile, a Rhizophora 
Mangle-Avicennia nitida des littoraux has, va- 
seux et semi-liquides de 1'archipel cara'ibe, en 
etat d'lquilibre biologique, elle est 1'homologue 
de la mangrove des estuaires antillais et sud- 
ame'ricains, ainsi que de ceux de la Cote Occiden- 
tale d'Afrique ou du Sud-Asiatique. Elle oc- 
cupe 3,6% de la surface totale de la Guadeloupe, 
8% de la Grande-Terre, 2% de la Basse-Terre, 
1,8% de Marie-Galante et 2,5% de la Mar- 
tinique. Les 2 autres paletuviers caracteristiques 
qui 1'occupent sont, en outre du Rhisophora et 
de YAvicennia, le Conocarpus erecta et le La- 
guncularia racemosa; d'autres electifs sont Dre- 
panocarpus lunatus, Montrichardia arborescens, 
M. aculeata et diverses lianes des marais : Rhab- 
dadenia biflora, Cydista aequinoctialis, Brachy- 
pteris borealis et quelques rares especes herbacees 
lorsque les boues semi-fluides deviennent fermes. 
L'aspect branchu, a type foliaire microphylle des 
vegetaux electifs, leur reproduction particuliere 
par viviparite" (Rhisophora), la presence des 
"pneumatophores" ou racines aeriennes servant 
a la fonction diastasique ou respiratoire (Avi- 
cennia), la rapidite de germination des graines 
dans la vase de ces differents "mangliers" sont 
autant de caracteres particuliers de cette forma- 
tion maritime. 

(6) Facies rivulaire antillais. C'est la foret 
a Pterocarpus officinalis, a grands arbres eleves, 
eperonnes a la base de contreforts puissants, 
installee sur sediments alluvionnaires peu salins, 
le long des rivieres d'eau douce. Son aspect 
rappelle certains fades de la foret interieure. La 
dominance physionomique du Pterocarpus est, 
suivant les iles, de 50 a 95%. Les electives sont 
en outre: Pavonia scabra, Clusia rosea et Dre- 
panocarpus lunatus, comme pour 1'autre fades. 
Des epiphytes couvrent les arbres : Trichomanes 
Hookeri et Cereus trigonus ou des lianes: Mu- 
cuna Sloanei, Montrichardia et Philodendron. 
Elle n'existe pas a la Martinique, mais se trouve 
a la Dominique et a Trinidad. Elle est a type 
foliaire mesophylle, de belle futaie, de 30 a 35 m. 
de haut et la presence de certaines especes rares 
ou endemiques, comme I 1 Hibiscus bifurcatus et 
Ptychomeria Germaini, a la Guadeloupe, dans 
son optimum biologique, lui conferent un carac- 
tere caraiibe special. 

Foret Xerophytique ou Xero-Heliophile. 
Les facteurs du climat agissant intensement sur 
la vegetation littorale, surtout par 1' insolation, 
la s^cheresse et 1'evaporation, constituent 1'am- 
biance favorable, autour de chaque ile des Pe- 
tites Antilles, a une foret x^rophytique qui, sui- 
vant la topographic et la constitution du sol, of- 
fre differents fades. Le caractere de la vegeta- 
tion forestiere qu'elle presente, epineux ou inerme 
et a feuilles caduques, permet la differenciation 
en 2 sous-types distincts : 

(A) Forets A epineux. Lorsque la pluvio- 
mtrie oscille entre Om.60 (22 inches) et lm.50 
(55 inches) en moyenne annuelle et lorsque la lu- 
minosite et 1'evaporation sont accentu^es, la foret 
a 6pineux, a Acacia, dont les especes varient 
dans le genre avec les lies et les secteurs, est la 
plus elective des rivages insulaires. Les legu- 
mineuses arbustives et a folioles microphylles, a 
x^rophilie accentuee : Acacia, Sophora et Cactus 
vane's, y dominent floristiquement et lui impri- 
ment son cachet particulier, depuis Curacao jus- 
qu'a St- Mar tin, aux altitudes les plus basses. 

(B) Forets a caducifolies. Dt 1.500 a 1.800 
mm. d'eau (55 a 65 inches), avec une tempera- 
ture de 25 degrs C. en moyenne, sans variation 
accentuee, les epineux sont remplac6s par une 
foret dont la dominance est constitute par des 
arbres caducifolies, a xero-heliophilie moins ac- 
centuee, mais nettement manifestee par la pro- 
duction dc sues colores et visqucux, de vaisseaux 
laticiferes et de secretions aromatiques diverses 
dans les tissus, par la microphyllie du type 
foliaire, avec limbes couverts de revetements 
pileux abondants, par 1'exfoliation periodique de 
plaques d'ecorce du tronc et des feuilles, ce qui 
reduit 1'evaporation du vegetal pendant les mois 
les plus sees. D'apres la structure, 1'epaisseur 
et la permeabilit^ du sol sur lequel ellcs poussent, 
trois fades comportant des associations di fife- 
rentes peuvent etre distingues: 

(a) Facias psatntnophile sur sables. L'on 
pourrait certainement distinguer la vegetation 
climaxique des sables blancs de decomposition 
de recifs coralliens ou de calcaires sedimentaires, 
des sables noirs a pyroxene, hypersthene ou 
andesite, mais 1'etat physique du substratum 
joue certainement sur la vegetation un role plus 
efficace que la structure chimique. C'est en 
general une foret a "poiriers des Antilles" pu 
"roble," a Tabebuia pallida, a "fromager :" Ceiba 
antillana, ou a mancenilliers : Hippotnane manci- 
nclla et a sabliers : Hura crepitans. On decompte 
de 80 a 100 arbres a 1'ha., a futs elances, a feuilles 
coriaces, vertes et brillantes et a 2 a 3 floraisons 
par an. 

(b) Fades calciphile Jr sediments. Sur 
les sols sedimentaires, a calcaires d'agc yaric, 
s'intercalant souvent avec les tuffs volcaniqucs, 
des communautes vegetales peuvent etre diffe- 
renciees suivant la localisation, mais 1'influence 
edaphique (permeabilite) et la xerophilie du sec- 
teur se traduisent par un facies analogue. C'est 
tantot la foret a Krugiodendron jcrrfum-Fores- 
ticra rhamnifolia (Martinique), celle a Drypetcs 
(de Marie-Galante, homologue de celle d'Haiti), 
a Bucida buccras (des mornes calcaires a "roches 
a ravet" de la Grande-Terre en Guadeloupe, 
equivalente de celle de Puerto-Rico), et tantot 
celle a Amomis caryophyllata et Cornutia pyra- 
midata (a Vieux Fort, en Guadeloupe, sur les 
calcaires lenticulaires), a Pisonia-Rhacoma de 
Marie-Galante, ou celle a Canella Winterana 
(de la Desirade et d'autres petites ilcs seches et 
calcaires). Les arbustes de ce facies sont a 
feuilles tres petites, luisantes et coriaccs, leurs 
fruits drupaces reduits, leur bois dur, leur tige 
abondamment branchue et leur aspect rappellent 
singulierement le paysage mediterran6en de la 
garrigue a arbustes rhamnoides, du Midi de la 
France, du maquis Corse ou du littoral d'Afrique 
du Nord. 

(c) Facies volcanique sur roches ignees. 
Sur les "mornes" littoraux, basaltiques ou labra- 
doritiques, des Saintes, de la Guadeloupe ct de la 
Dominique, sur les collines peu elevees de roches 
dioritiques de la Martinique et dans la plupart 
des autres ilcs de 1'archipel, le facies volcanique 
de la foret xerophytique s'observe avec la domi- 
nance du "gommier rouge:" Elaphrium Sima- 
ruba, avec les genres : Fagara, Myrcia, Eugenia, 
Coccoloba et Cytharexylon, d'especes diff6rentes 
ou semblables dans les diverses iles. Les Pilo- 
carpus racentosus, Colubrina reclinata, Maytenus 
elliptica, Actinostemon concolor var. caribaeum, 
Erythroxylon ovatum, Guettarda parvifolia et G. 
scabra, Amyris elemifera et A. maritima, Croton 
corylifolius, Rochefortia cuncata, Eugenia ligus- 

STEHL : L'Archipel des Petite. Antilles 

trina, Fagara trifoliata et Homalium racemo- 
sum, sont parmi les especes arbustives les plus 
electives de ce facies. 

La xe"rophilie se manifeste par des caracteres 
cpmparables a ceux du fades calcaire: sues re- 
sineux, pigments anthocyaniques et chute des 
feuilles. Elle se traduit meme sur les crypto- 
games qui sont des lichens saxicoles, des mus- 
cinees terricoles a structure xerophile, des hepa- 
tiques plaquees (Riccia), dont 1 'aspect evoque 
celui du paysage bryophytique mediterranean et 
des lies du Cap-Vert 

Foret Mesofihytique ou Interntediaire. La 
pluviometrie s'accentuant en bareme progressif 

(a) Fades calciphile ou argileux. Sur les 
plateaux interieurs des calcaires miocenes de la 
Grande-Terre, en Guadeloupe et sur les forma- 
tions sedimentaires d'origine oceanique de Bar- 
bados, dans le district de Scotland, on observe 
une foret mesophytique assez comparable par 
son aspect a celle qui couvre les sols volcaniques 
de meme altitude en Martinique, Dominique et 
Trinidad, mais en general a especes electives 

Dans Tile de Barbados, elle presente son op- 
timum dans les bois de Turner's Hall ou de 
Forster Wood et, a un degre moindre, sur les 
reliefs calcaires de Highland Gullies of Mount 



p*r q. ATtHUE 

vers I'int^rieur des iles, depuis lm.80 (65 inches') 
a 2m.SO (90 inches) ou 2m.80 (100 inches) de 
hauteur d'eau, des 1'altitude de 120m. jusqu'a 
300m. environ (400 a 1.000 feet), la foret ob- 
serv6e possede un type nettement different des 
facies x6ro-h61iophytiques precedents. Elle pre- 
sente un aspect plus yerdoyant, des arbres plus 
abondants, a la fois a feuilles persistantes et a 
feuilles caduques, 1'apparition des lianes, epi- 
phytes, fougeres et orchidees, enfin la presence 
de plusieurs strates: muscinale, herbacee, suf- 
frutescente, buissonnante et arborescente. Elle 
offre 2 facies distincts, Tun sur depots marins 
sedimentaires, 1'autre sur roches plutoniques: 

Tabor. Le substratum est caracteris6 par des 
conglomeYats gris fences de sables coquilliers 
traverses de bandes verdatres d'argiles denses, 
a nodules ferrugineuses nombreuses, rouges ou 
brunes, provenant de la decalcification. L'humus 
est peu abondant a la surface. Cest une foret 
a Simaruba-Cedrcla avec Schoepfia Schreberi, 
Ardisia htitnilis, Cestrum nocturnunt, Fagara 
caribaea, Aiphanes minima (palmier epineux), 
Piper Maclntoshii Trel. (nov. spec.) et P. Eg- 
gersii et Clusia Pluckenctii, avec une Aroidle 
terrestre: Anthurium Wildenowii, un tapis her- 
bac6 ras, de Salvia occidentals, une graminee 
lianoide a masses filiformes denses, encheve- 

STEHL : L'Archipel des Petitei Antilles 


trees et elevees le long des arbres: Lasiascis 
divaricata, une Hane tres elevee a fleurs en grap- 
pes violettes: Elsota diversifolia, des fougeres 
et bromeliacees Epiphytes: Polypodiutn Phylli- 
tidis, P. piloselloides et Wittmackia ligulata etc. 
Ces reliques, vestiges d'une plus belle foret 
dans Tile tres cultivee de Barbados, sont a 
comparer a ceux de la foret a acajou-blanc de 
la Guadeloupe ou bois-blanc de Martinique a 
Simaruba atnara et a celle a Inga, de plusieurs 
especes differentes suivant les diverses iles an- 
tillaises. La foret a Carapa guianensis de Trini- 
dad appartenant aux "Monsoon forests" parait 
appartenir a ce type. Les bois a Buchenavia capi- 
tata, a Ficus sp. pi. et a certains Clusia, sont a 
ranger dans ce fades. Les especes sont les unes 
caducifoliees, les autres sempervirentes et persis- 
tantes, mais leur type foliaire est nettement me- 
sophylle et plusieurs sont a limbe epais, ferme ou 
charnu. Certains palmiers sont electifs : Roysto- 
nca, Acrocomia aculeata et Cocothrinax martini' 
censis, ainsi que des Piperacees : Piper calciseli- 
gens et P. dilatatum var. calcicolens. 

(fo) Fades volcaniqtie. Sur les labradorites 
des Saintes, sur les andesites pcleennes du Nord 
de la Martinique, surtout entre Ceron et Grand' 
Riviere, au sommet des mornes basaltiques du 
Houelmont et de Deshaies, en Guadeloupe, sur 
les pentes volcaniques de St.-Lucia et de St.- 
Vincent, la foret a angelin-savpnnette : Andira 
inermis et Lonchocarpus latijolius, est l'6quiva- 
lent du fades precedent avec le meme caractere 
mesophytique. Les arbres electifs sont nom- 
breux et variables avec les iles et les secteurs 
dans la meme ile, I'heterogeneite de la commu- 
naute etant assez grande. Les Legumineuses y 
dominent: Lonchocarpus violaceus et L. Ben- 
thamianus, Hymenaea Courbaril accompagnent 
les 2 plus electives avec diverses especes des 
genres Mayepea, Cordia, Exostema, Fagara, etc., 
et, dans le sous-bois, des Piperacees suffrutes- 
centes: Piper Nottirbanum, P. Andersonii, P. 
Dussii et Pothomorphe Dussii. Les memes epi- 
phytes que pour le fades precedent pourraient 
etre citees, avec des mousses leucobryees et d'au- 
tres fougeres: Paltonium lanceolatum, Elapho- 
glossum Dussii et Polytaenium Dussianum, equi- 
valent insulaire de P. brasiliense. 

Foret Hygrophytique ou Hygro-Sciaphile. 
C'est une foret dense, intertropicale, humide, 
umbro-sciaphile, sempervirente et polystrate, 
etablie sur montagne, entre 300m. et 900m. d'alti- 
tude ( 1 .000-3.000 feet) . Elle off re des analogies 
physionomiques marquees entre les diverses iles, 
qui, cependant, en raison des particularites topo- 
graphiques et ecologiques, microclimatiques et 
edaphiques, possedent une personnalite" floristique 
differente et une predominance specifique yariee, 
dans ce type de foret, permettant la distinction 
dissociations nombreuses. 

L'dtude approfondie de cette foret pendant 10 
ans, avec releves floristiques, en liaison avec le 
climat et le sol, en Guadeloupe et en Martinique 
et 1'examen comparatif des descriptions qui en 
ont etc donnees ces dernieres annies dans les 
autres iles principales, nous permettent d'en dis- 
tinguer 2 fades, suivant qu'elle est etablie sur 
sol varie mais toujours recouvert d'humus ou 
qu'elle est en terrain alluvionnaire, gorge d'eau 
et mat draine. Les termes anglais de "rain for- 
est, moist forest, evergreen forest, lower and 
higher montane forest, mesophytic vegetation of 
the mountain interior, protection forest," qui 
lui ont 6te appliques 4 Trinidad, la Dominique 

et St-Lucia, s'appliquent 4 des aspects locaux 
de ces 2 fades de la foret hygrophytique ca- 

Dans certaines iles, comme en Dominique, a 
la Guadeloupe et en Trinidad, elle occupe de 
vastes etendues, dont les parties centrales con- 
stituent un noyau primaire et il en est de meme 
dans d'autres iles insuffisamment explorees en- 
core 6cologiquement, comme St.-Kitts, St-Lucia 
et St.-Vincent, mais elle n'existe pas, en raison 
de 1 'altitude et de la pluviometrie infer ieures, 
dans les autres iles, plus petites ou plus plates, 
meme en Barbados et a Curasao. Elle est 1'ho- 
mologue de la foret de Puerto-Rico, decrite par 
GLEASON et COOK, d'Haiti nommee par CIFERRI 
et de Cuba, etudiee par les Freres MARIE- VICTO- 
RIN et LE6N ; c'est le correspondant insulaire de 
THylea" d'Amerique Centrale ou du Sud, de 
POLAKOWSKY, dont I'ensemble constitue un "udo- 

(a) Facias humifere. Quelle que soit 1'oro- 
genese ou la constitution physico-chimique des 
roches meres a la base des sols forestiers ca- 
raibes, 1'humus que la foret installec a forme 
elle-meme, a la surface, par decomposition or- 
ganique, a perm is une analogie de milieu, ren- 
forcee par 1'hygrometrie elevee et 1'attenuation 
de la lumiere que provoquent les frondaisons, 
branches et tiges, des gros arbres qui la consti- 
tuent. A travers cct humus, le drainage de 
1'eau en exces peut s'effectuer, aussi, les vege- 
taux qu'elle recele sont-ils soutenus par des em- 
patements, mais non par des racines ou bequilles 
aeriennes. Elle est caracterisee par son hetero- 
geneite generique et specifique, en depit d'une 
physionomie homogene a travers 1'archipel et 
d'une communaute generique elevee pour les 
diverses iles, par le grand nombre des hauls 
arbres (jusqu'a 35 a 40 m. de haut, soit 100 a 
125 feet), puissants, espaces (60 a 100 a 1'ha.) 
et empates a leur base, a type foliaire macro- 
phylle; par la superposition des strates avec des 
epiphytes phanerogamiques : Bromeliacees, Pipe- 
racees et Orchidees, ou cryptogamiques : fou- 
geres, mousses et lichens, abondantes et variees. 
Les fougeres arborescentes lui donnent parfois, 
avec les aralies arbustives, un aspect particulier. 
Enfin, les cimes, arrondies ou infundibuli formes, 
des arbres eleves couvrent celles des arbres de 
2eme grandeur, elliptiques ou des arbustes al- 
longes et branchus. Elle est toujours verte et 
a 2 floraisons par an, 1'une intense vers Mai, I'au- 
tre moins abondante en Decembre. 

C'est une foret a Sloanea-Dacryodes domi- 
nants dans 1'ensemble ; phytosociologiquement on 
pourrait la denommer "consociation a Sloanea." 
Ces deux arbres sont a la fois les plus gros et 
les plus nombreux dans 1'Archipel, mais la flore 
insulaire fait apparaitre des dominants differents, 
non seulement avec chaque ile, mais encore a 
1'interieur d'une meme ile, suivant 1' altitude et la 

A la Guadeloupe, ou nous 1'avpns decrite en 
detail sans la designer par les dominants en asso- 
ciation vue son heterogeneite, on pourrait la 
nommer foret a S I oanea-Chy morris, mais les 
essences dominantes sont par classes juxtaposees, 
telles que : Richeria grandis, en Foret de Fum6e ; 
Sloanea caribaea et Dacryodes excelsa, en Foret 
des Bains- Jaunes ; Eugenia octopleura, dans les 
hauteurs Sous-le-Vent, Chymarrhis cytnosa, en 
Foret de Terre-Plate; Podocarpus coriaceus, 
Meliosmo Herbertii, dans le Haut-Matouba, etc., 
qui constituent autant de communautes elemen- 
taires distinctes, avec des electives semblables 


STEHLE : L'Archipel det Petitet Antilles 

mais des dominantes diffcrentes, dans ce tneme 
facias humifere de la foret hygrpphytique. 

Dans les autres lies, une distinction identiqut 
peut etre conduite, apres un examen attentif. 
En Dominique, la foret decrite par DOM IN 
comme a Sloanea-Dacryodes, possede, d'apres 
HODGE, plusieurs associations : Tapura-Dacryo- 
des, Ltcoma-dominant, et palmiers : Enter pe- 

Pour la Martinique, nous 1'avons decrite 
comme Sloanea-Oxythecc, mais en basse alti- 
tude, c'est YOrmosia monosperma qui domine en 
bordure; au centre de la chaine ce sont des 
Sapotacees : Pouteria, Manilkara ou Chryso- 
phyllum; sur les falaiscs inaccessibles, le Dussia 
martinicensis, espece endemique des Antilles 
franchises d'un genre presentant une interessante 
disjonction caribeo-guatemalteque ; le Chymar- 
rhis cymosa et le Picramnia pentandra, domi- 
nent en foret humifere des Deux-Choux ; le 
Symplocos martinicensis, au Morne Larcher 
et a Balata; le Tapura antillana, a Colson; 
enfin le Phoebe elongata, dans les hauteurs 
volcaniques Sous-le-Vent, dans les bois eleves 
du Precheur au Ceron, en Martinique, comme 
sur les monies basaltiques du Houelmont et des 
Monts Caraibes, en Guadeloupe. 

Dans Tile de St-Lucia, elle est, d'apres WALD, 
a Dacryodes hexandra dominant, accompagne 
d'Ocotea, Mimusops, Vitex, etc., comme dans 
les autres petites iles voisines: Grenade et St- 
Vincent, mais il sera it possible aussi d'y dis- 
tinguer des classes diflferentes et des taux de pre- 
sence variables. 

Dans la grande ile de Trinidad, les associa- 
tions a Mora excelsa et surtout a Licania terna- 
tensis, Byrsonima spicata, avec 17% de Legu- 
mineuses seulement, ou a Eschweilera-Tem- 
stroemia, decrites par MARSHALL, puis par J. S. 
BEARD, sont, comme 1'a fait judicieusement re- 
marquer ce dernier auteur, tres affines, physio- 
nomiquement et floristiquement, de celles de la 
Guadeloupe, comme d'ailleurs des autres grandes 
iles de 1'Archipel : Sur 34 especes que nous 
avions citees pour la Guadeloupe, il en a trouve 
9 dans la foret type de Trinidad et presque tous 
les genres sont en commtin. II y a la une preuve 
de 1'unite physionomique et de la similitude floris- 
tique dans 1'Archipel de ce type de foret hygro- 

Le spus-bois, bien que varie, est le plus souvent 
a Rubiacees arbustives dominantes: Psychotria 
et Cephaelis, avec un tapis cryptogamique a 
Selaginella et fougeres abondantes ; les epiphytes 
variees y abondent. 

(b) Facias marecageux. Dans les terrains 
mal draines, d'infiltration d'eau abondante, le 
long des vallees humides, dans les bas-fonds, les 
cuvettes et les thalwegs, aux abords des sources, 
etangs et marecages de 1'interieur des iles, entre 
les memes altitudes que 1'autre facies et dans des 
conditions semblables de climat, sur alluvions 
accumulees, terres gorgees d'eau, boues ou meme 
sols semi-fluides, on observe un facies de foret 
semi-inondee ou les arbres sont munis de ra- 
cines aericnnes, erigees, arquees ou eperpnnees, 
imprimant a cettc foret une physionomie par- 

Elle ne parait pas avoir etc decrite encore et 
elle existe cependant dans la plupart des Iles 
Caraibes, de Trinidad a St-Kitts. Nous 1'avons 
observee a la Guadeloupe, a la Dominique et a la 
Martinique; ses especes electives figurent aussi 
dans les releves de BEARD pour la foret sempervi- 
rente de Trinidad. Elle est constitute par des "pa- 

letuviers ou mangliers de montagne," ainsi denom- 
mes par analogic avec les mangliers de la man- 
grove qu'ils rappellent par leur aspect et le sub- 
stratum. C'est une foret a Guttiferes dominantes : 
Symphonia globulifera ou paletuvier jaune, en 
Guadeloupe, ou il constitue, en peuplement pres- 
que pur (60-90%), les forets inondees de 1'Etang 
Zombi, du Grand Etang, de la Jaille, du Tabanon 
a Petit-Bourg et du Valkanaerts a Gourbeyre, en- 
tre 50 et 850m. (160-2.750 feet) d'altitude et To- 
vomita Plumieri, paletuvier grand bois, en Mar- 
tinique, dans les Vallees du Lorrain, les bas-fonds 
des Deux-Choux et de Colson, entre 450 et 850m. 
(1.450-22750 feet) ; en association a Symphonia- 
Tovomita, a la Dominique, avec d'autres elec- 
tives. Parfois, c'est une foret a dominance 
d'Atnatwa caribaea, paletuvier gris ou paletu- 
vier-carapate, comme au Bassin-Bleu, dans les 
hauteurs Sous-le-Vent, de Pigeon et de Bouil- 
lante et le long de la Vallee St-Louis, a la 
Guadeloupe. Le mapou-baril de Guadeloupe, 
mahot-cochon de Martinique et mahoe de Trini- 
dad, est, dans la plupart des forets de ce facies, 
dans les diver ses iles, une elective tou jours pre- 
sente, c'est le Stcrculia caribaea. 

A Trinidad, un type a Carapa-Palmae, cite par 
BROOKS, sur "swampy flats of mixed rain forest," 
presentant comme arbres dominants: Carapa 
guianensis et Symphonia globulijera, avec plu- 
sieurs especes de palmiers : Manicaria sacctfera 
et Jessenia oligocarpa, est I'^quivalent de ce facies. 
Le Tovomita Eggersii, wild cocoa, est 1'homo- 
logue triniteen du Tovomita Plumieri, de la Mar- 
tinique et de la Dominique, dans ce facies, et les 
autres electives ou cpmpagnes sont des especes 
communes avec la foret humifere decrite, mais les 
plus hygrophytiques et celles qui tolerent le 
mieux les eaux stagnantes au contact de leurs 
racines et du collet, en constituent les carac- 
teristiques et presentent des phenomenes de con- 
vergence apparents. 

Foret Altitudinale ou Sylve Montagnarde Cul- 
minate. Entre 850 et 1.650 m. (2.750-5.200 
feet) d'altitude, aux plus hauts sommets des 
Iles Caraibes, s'etend une foret basse denommee 
par SCHIMPER "Elfin woodlands", a Trinidad, 
Martinique, Dominique, Guadeloupe et St.-Kitts, 
ou le vent violent, la fraicheur, les nuages et les 
pluies d'orage agissent et dans laquelle on peut 
reconnaitre 3 facies distincts : alluvionnaire, vol- 
canique et culminant. La pluviometrie y oscille 
de 6m. a 10m. d'eau par an (220-360 inches), 
en trombes continues, sur 300 a 350 jours de 
pluie annuellement ; les vents y soufflent avec 
une extreme vigueur, la temperature s'y abaisse 
notablement. L'atmosphere y est brassed cons- 
tamment et Ton observe la, comme nous 1'avons 
indique pour la Guadeloupe et la Martinique et 
BEARD pour Trinidad, le rabougrissement des 
arbres et la secheresse physiologique de la vege- 
tation elective. 

Les arbres sont bas, tres branchus, touffus et 
buissonnants, mal definis dans leur forme, a 
feuilles en rosettes aux extremites des branches. 
L'endemisme insulaire y presente un maximum. 

(a) Facies alluvionnaire d paletuviers de 
montagne. C'est un Clusietum g^neriquement 
et physionomiquement, mais a especes domi- 
nantes particulieres. II couvre les bas-fonds 
abrites et les pentes constamment arrpsees, par- 
fois couverts de detritus alluvionnaires et de 
boues accumulees sous les racines a6riennes en 
echasse, en lacis enchevetre et avec un abondant 
chevelu de fixation, ce qui lui imprime un pay- 

STEHLE: L'Arehipel dei Petites Antillet 


sage comparable 4 celui du faci&s pre"ce*dent de 
la foret hygrophytique ou de la mangrove litto- 
rale. Le developpement des epiphytes corticicoles 
y est facilite par I'ombrage et le calme de 1'at- 
mosphe're, mais les epiphylles y sont rares. 

C'est le Clusietum guadeloupense a Clusia 
venosa, avec une dominance de 65 4 90%, avec 
33 autres electives citees en 1936 dans notre 
Ecologie, et non en groupements pratiquement 
purs, comme 1'indique W; H. HODGE par erreur 
(Geographical Review, New York, vol. XXIII, 
n. 3, p. 374, Juillet 1943). Les peuplements purs 
sont 1'exception, les seuls ou la dominance at- 
teint 90%, verifiee a nouveau, sont ceux de la 
Savane a Mulcts, a la base de la Soufriere et 
des Pitons de Bouillante, en certains secteurs 
topographiquement bien abrites. Le Fresiera 
elegans ou bois-savane et divers Cephaelis, 
cafeiers de montagne, dont le C. Swartsii y figu- 
rant. Parmi les plus constantes et abondantes 
sont: le Cyrilla racemiflora, le Myrcia micro- 
carpa, M. Dussii et \Inga coruscans. 

Le meme Clusietum, avec la meme espece, ne 
presenterait en Dominique, d'apr&s HODGE, qu'une 
demi-douzaine d'esp&es pro-e'minentes de petits 
arbres, les memes que celles des autres iles de la 
fpret a mousses des Petites Antilles. Ce "Kak- 
lin" y serait la formation culminale ultime 
(mountain-top), alors qu'en Guadeloupe, il est 
au contraire dans son optimum biologique (90% 
de dominance), dans les thalwegs et les pentes 
abritees, mais non sur les sommets et pics vol- 
caniques balayes par le vent, ou poussent les 
palmiers Euterpe. Le Clusietum dominicense, 
ainsi que nous le designerons, a done, semble-t- 
il, certaines particularites biologiques et physio- 
nomiques distinctes du Clusietum guadeloupense, 
etroitement homologue. 

Les vapeurs sulfureuses ont sur le Clusietum 
une grande influence destructive, observable a 
la Soufriere de la Guadeloupe, a la limite su- 
pe>ieure de leur formation. 

En Martinique, la Montagne Pelee et les 
Pitons du Carbet offrent 1'homologue, par le 
Clusietum martinicense 4 Clusia Pluckenetii, 
aralie z'abricot ou mangle de montagne, domi- 
nant de 60 jusqu'a 100% suivant les cas et qu'on 
retrouve a St-Lucia et, a plus basses altitudes, au 
Turner's Hall, en couronnement superieur des se- 
diments recouverts par la foret me*sophytique. 

A Trinidad, 1'espece principale de ce facies, 
cite"e par BEARD, en Janvier 1942, est la "moun- 
tain-mangrove :" Clusia intertexta, qui domine a 
raison de 90%, dont il precise les electives parti- 
culieres et dont 1'ensemble constitue un Clusie- 
tum trini tense, different floristiquement mais 
trfcs comparable a ceux de"crits pour les Antilles 

Le type foliaire de RAUNKIAER, applique 4 
ces Clusieta, les classe dans les series meso- 

(6) Facies volcanique a foret rabougrie. 
Le long des pentes les plus e"leve*es et des pics 
volcaniques dresses, sur le sol dont les Elements 
utiles ont eti entrain^s par l^rosion dans les 
yallees avoisinantes, sous 1'action d'une aeration 
intense et des vapeurs sulfureuses, les Clusieta 
laissent place a une sylve basse, rabougrie, ou 
le type foliaire me~sophylle des arbrisseaux de la 
mangrove d'altitude du Clusietum est remplace 
par le type microphylle, evoquant certains facies 
volcaniques de la foret xe*rophytique (4 Myrta- 
cees par example ). 

Ce facies de la foret altitudinale, tres musci- 
phile et 6piphytique, trouve son optimum sur les 

plus hauts sommets de St-Kitts, Guadeloupe et 
Martinique. II a e*te* d^crit par Box (in Box et 
ALSTON), sous le nom dissociation 4 Fresiera- 
Weinmannia, qu'HoDGE classe dans le Clusietum, 
mais dont la physionomie, la specificit6 et 1'as- 
pect microphylle du type foliaire, placent incon- 
testablement dans ce facias, decrit en 1936, pour 
la Guadeloupe, sous le nom de Lobelietum guade- 
loupense des hautes altitudes a Lobelia guadelou- 
pensis-Didymopanax attenuatum, et en 1937, pour 
la Martinique, sous celui de Lobelietum martini- 
cense du fade's a Rondeletia martinicensis-Lobc- 
lia conglobata. Le Rondeletia stereocarpa, de la 
Guadeloupe, le R. arborescens de la Dominique, 
en sont les homologues dans les associations in- 
sulaires correspondantes de ce facies martini- 
quais. Le Fresiera cordata, bois d'epice, et le 
Weinmannia pinnata t bois siffleur, figurent tous 
deux parmi les plus electifs, dans nos releves de 
la Guadeloupe (Essai d'Ecologie) et de la Mar- 
tinique (Esquisse des Associations vege tales). 
Didymopanax attenuatum, Ilex montana et /. 
Macfadyenii var. caribaea, Norantea spiciflora et 
Tibouchina strigosa, a la Guadeloupe, Miconia 
martiniccnsis, Charianthus nodosus var. crinitus 
et Tibouchina chamaecistus, a la Martinique, sont 
les plus electifs de ce facies. Le Tibouchina 
chironioides, que le R. P. Duss (Fl. Ph. Ant. 
fr., p. 288) a recolte aux environs de Laudat 
(n. 2.251), non loin des Mornes Microtin et 
Watt, possedant cette foret rabougrie, est le re- 
presentant dominiquais des deux especes prece- 

(c) Facias culminant d palmeraie basse. 
Persistant avec quelques rares caracteristiques 
au-dessus de la strate muscinale sup6rieure ou du 
Sphagnetum, la foret de palmiste bas 4 Euterpe 
qlobosa, a la Martinique, la Dominique et la 
Guadeloupe, forme, comme a Puerto-Rico (palm 
forest) et en Haiti (manacle ou manaclar), 
des palmeraies basses, dont la presence se de"- 
cele par un sifflement caracteristique sous 1'ac- 
tipn du vent. Le sol tres acide, le vent violent, 
{'influence des cyclones et 1'absence d'ombrage 
sont les conditions d'extension de ce facies en 
Guadeloupe, a 1'Echelle et en Martinique aux 
Pitons du Carbet. En Dominique, au Morne 
Diahlotin, alt. 1.400 m. (4.500 feet), il est as- 
socie avec Geonoma dominicana ou yanga et G. 
Hodgeorum sous 7m. 620 (280 inches) de pluvio- 
metrie, d'apres W. H. HODGE. A la Guadeloupe et 
en Martinique, elle est associee a Geonoma Dus- 
siana. Enfin, a Trinidad, ce sont les E. Broad- 
wayana et E. pubigera. 

Des Pitcairnia et Gusmannia, bromeliacees 
terrestres, sont electives de ces palmeraies dans 
les divcrses iles. 


Richesse Floristique. Dans 1'ensemble, 1'ar- 
chipel caraibe n'offre qu'une richesse phanro- 
gamique moyenne, comparable 4 1'une des 
Grandes-Antilles, comme Puerto-Rico, la plus 
petite de celles-ci et la plus proche de nos lies ; 
par centre 1'abondance des genres et especes de 
Cryptogames est relativement eleve"e. On peut 
estimer 4 plus de 4.500 les Phan6rogames et 4 
500 environ les Pt6ridophytes, soit, 4 peu pr^s, 
5.000 veg6taux vasculaires au total. 

Pour les Antilles franchises, plus sp^cialement 
^tudi^es par nos soins, de petites iles, comme 
St-Martin ou St-Barthele'my, ne renferment pas 
plus de 500 especes, alors que la Guadeloupe 
seule possede dans sa flore spontan6e, d'apres 


STEHLE : L'Archipcl des Petites Antilles 

notre decompte le plus recent 2.015 plantes 
vasculaires reparties en 862 genres dont 298 
Pte"ridophytes (55 genres) et 1.717 Phanero- 
games (807 genres) ainsi decompt&s: 2 Gym- 
nospermes (2 genres), 454 Monocotyledones 
(189 genres), Dicotyledones Apetoles: 163 es- 
peces et 58 genres, Dialypetales : 636 especes en 
312 genres et Gamopetales : 462 en 246 genres. 
Ce nombre est elev quand on le rapproche de la 
faible superficie de Tile, couvrant seulement 
1.500 km*. 

Pour la Martinique, le total est de 822 genres 
et 1.798 especes pour les Plantes vasculaires, 
dont 50 genres et 254 especes pour les Pt6ri- 
dophytes; 772 genres et 1.544 especes pour les 
Phane'rogames, dont 2 genres et 2 especes pour 
les Gymnospermes, 173 genres et 392 especes de 
Monocotyledones, 61 genres et 142 especes 
d'Apetales, 304 genres et 590 especes de Dialy- 
petales et 232 genres et 418 especes de Gamo- 

L'archipel des Antilles Franchises recele, sui- 
vant nos recherches et conceptions et, dans 1'etat 
actuel de nos connaissances, 859 genres, 1.965 
especes ct 137 varietes de Phanerogames et 57 
genres, 320 especes et 20 varietes de Crypto- 
games vasculaires, soit un total de plantes vas- 
culaires s'elevant a 916 genres, 2.285 especes et 
157 varietes. Ces valeurs sont proches de celles 
attributes pour Puerto-Rico dans les flores les 
plus recentes, par IGN. URBAN (Symbolae An- 
tillanae) ou BRITTON et WILSON (Botany of 
Porto-Rico) pour les Phanerogames et par WM. 
R. MAXON (Botany of Porto-Rico: Pterido- 
phyta) pour les Cryptogames vasculaires, dont 
285 sont decritcs. 

Pour la Dominique, les etudes de DOMIN, 
completes par celles de HODGE, permettent de 
porter le nombre des fougeres et alliees a. 203 
especes seulement, mais 1'Ile est insuffisamment 
connue botaniquement. Le rapport des Pterido- 
phytes au total des plantes vasculaires est de 1 
pour 7,5 plantes. Cela met en lumiere la ri- 
chesse pteridophytique relative, puisque FEE^ es- 
time que pour les Tropiques et 1'Equateur, zones 
les plus pourvues en Fougeres, elles entrent 
environ pour le neuvieme de la vegetation totale. 

En ce qui concerne les Mousses, notre recente 
e*tude sur la vegetation muscinale des Antilles 
franchises, fait apparaitre pour celles-ci un total 
de 2.900 especes de plantes feuillues, dont 410 
muscinees ; 200 Hepatiques ct 210 Mousses ( str. 
sens.), soit une proportion de 1 mousse pour 7 
vegetaux a feuilles. Les champignons du 
groupe Martinique-Guadeloupe, d'apres les re- 
coltes de Duss et nos observations s'elevent a 
600 especes, y compris les champignons microsco- 

Les families botaniques dans lesquelles se 
rangent les genres et especes des vegetaux vas- 
culaires spontanls les plus abondamment repre- 
sentes aux Antilles franchises, sont respective- 
ment, dans l'6tat actuel : Le'gumineuses : 66 
genres et 167 especes, Graminees: 59 genres et 
150 especes, Composees: 53 genres et 103 es- 
peces, Polypodiace'es : 43 genres et 226 especes, 
Rubiacees : 40 genres et 80 especes, Orchidaces : 
38 genres et 119 especes, Euphorbiacees : 35 
genres et 78 especes et Cype>acees: 18 genres 
et 92 especes. 

Parmi les genres, dans leur concept normal, 
en accord avec les regies internationales de la 
nomenclature et les monographies generiques ou 
revisions les plus recentes, ce sont les genres 
Dryopteris et Peperomia, qui sont les plus re"- 

presentes avec 43 especes pour chacun d'eux, 
puis Poly podium: 37, Eugenia: 26, Epidendrum 
et Piper: 24, Solanum: 23, Elaphoglossum: 22, 
Trichomanes et Panicum: 20, Miconia et Hy- 
menophyllum: 19, Paspalum, Cyperus et Ly co- 
podium: 18, Aspleniutn, Sida et Cassia: 18 es- 

Endtmisnte. L' Archipel des Petites- Antilles, 
tant les lies Sous-le-Vcnt que les lies Caraibes 
du Nord et du Sud, n'offrent pas, en raison de 
leur caractere de transition entre le continent 
Sud-Americain et les Grandes-Antilles, de leur 
age recent, de leur orogenese et des multiples 
phenomenes geologiques, qu'elles ont subi, un 
endemisrne eleve, en depit de leurs caracteres in- 
sulaire et montagnard. Dans le Catalogue des 
Phanerogames des Antilles franchises, H. et M. 
STEHLE et le R. P. L. QUENTIN (1937), estiment 
a 165 le total d'endemiques des vegetaux a fleurs 
sur 1.700 especes examinees, soit un peu moins de 
10%. Sur ces 165 endemiques, la Guadeloupe 
en recele 86, la Martinique 58 et 21 sont com- 
munes aux deux iles. Ce sont les Piperacees, 
les Orchidees, les Myrtacees, les Euphorbiac6es, 
les Composees, les Sapotacees, qui, dans 1'ordre 
d'importance, en recelent le plus. Ils estiment a 
5% (86 sur 1.550) ce taux pour la Guadeloupe 
et 4% (58 sur 1.400) pour la Martinique. 

Ces pourcentages sont tres voisins de la rea- 
lite dans I'etat present de nos connaissances. 
L'endemisme est surtout dcveloppe en foret 
hygrophytique et en sylvc altitudinale. 

L'lle de Trinidad en sans doute un 
taux plus eleve, mais la flore de 1'Jle n'a pas 
fait 1'objet de publication recente complete per- 
mettant d'en enoncer la proportion. 

Souvent, des especes endemiques d'un meme 
genre, tres affines entr'elles, comme Clusia, 
Geonoma, Euterpe, Myrcia, Eugenia, Tabebuia, 
etc., sont distinctes avec chaque ile et sont des 
endemiques insulaires, paraissant deriver de 
phyla ou ancetres communs. 

Affinites Floristico-Geographiques. Les af- 
finites floristiques de 1'Archipel Caraibe con- 
firment son histoire geologique et sont en rapport 
avec la localisation et les conditions edapho- 
climatiques. A propos des Orchidales et des 
Piperales dans les Antilles frangaises, il nous a 
etc donne de discuter ces affinites avec quelques 
details. Elle peuvent etre resumees en une 
liaison floristique avec le Ven6zu61a et la Guyane 
d'une part, avec les Grandes Antilles d'autre 
part, plus etroite qu'avec le Mexique ou le 
Panama et les autres territoires americains, bien 
qu'on ait geographiquement classe 1'Archipel des 
Antilles dans 1'entite "Amerique Centrale." L'lle 
de Puerto-Rico est botaniquement tres affine de 
1'Archipel des Petites-Antilles. 

Entre elles, les iles volcaniques elevees et 
bois^es, presentent plus d'affinite et des endemi- 
ques plus nombreuses que les iles basses, cal- 
caires et peu boise'es. 

Series Vegetales et Associations. En outre 
des types de vegetation primitifs deer its, appar- 
tenant aux climax forestiers, Ton peut classer la 
v6g6tation naturelle de 1' Archipel Caraibe en 
series ecologiques de la maniere suivante; les 
associations prsentant avec chaque ile des en- 
demiques insulaires parfois differentes, mais Tal- 
lure physionomique et 6cologique des series de- 
meure comparable. 

(a) Associations maritimes de la serie halo- 
phile. Elles comprennent des "herbiers" sous- 
marins, dans 1'eau salee, a Thalassia testudinum. 

STEHLE: L'Archipel dec Petite* Antilles 


Cymodocea manatorum, avec les algues ; ensuite 
la vegetation des lagunes a eau saumatre a Ruf>- 
pia maritima, la plus halophile et a Cyperus ele- 
gans, parmi les plus cotiers, puis la mangrove, 
a laquelle succede un stade herbace a grandes 
fougeres aux spores dorees: Acrostichum au- 
reum, enfin la pelouse semi-hydrophile de lagunes 
a eau douce, a ^H voisin de 7, a Fimbristylis 
jcrruginea et autres Cyperacees, et 1'associatioii 
transitoire a Sesmnum portulacastrum-Batis 
maritime, sur sables impregnes d'eau saumatre. 

(6) Associations littorales de la serie psam- 
mophile. L'association des pionniers sur sables, 
en bordure de la Cote, est a Ipotnoea pes-caprae- 
Canavalia maritima dans toutes les iles comme 
dans les ancienncs Antilles Danoises (BOERGESEN 
et PAULSEN, 1898), a Puerto-Rico (GLEASON 
et COOK, 1929), a Hispaniola (CTFERRI, 1936) et 
meme en Amerique du Sud et a Java ou SCHIM- 
PER 1'a decritc. L'association stabilisatrice est 
a Sporobolus indicus-Hetiotropium ternatum var. 
Leonardii Stehle nov. var., comme au Diamant, 
St-Lucia et surtout a Ste-Anne, en Martinique. 
Un fades comparable existe a la Grande-Savane 
de la Dominique ; elle est 1'homologue de 1'asso- 
ciation a Sporobolus pungens du littoral medi- 
terraneen de France. 

L'association de la face marginal e des arenes 
est a Melanthera deltoidea-Lippia nodiflora, avec 
Ernodea Httoralis en Guadeloupe, comme en 

La vegetation buissonnante des cotes com- 
mence avec les taillis a Coccoloba uvifera dans 
tout 1'Archipel. Aux Antilles Danoises pres 
Puerto-Rico, c'etait 1'association a Coccoloba- 
Hippomane, mais aux lies Caraibes, I'Hippo- 
mane mancinella est plus generalement en peuple- 
ments presque purs et non associe a Coccoloba 
uvifera. Le vent imprime a ces sous-arbrisseaux 
un aspect en plan incline caracteristique. 

(c) Colonisations lithophiles. Les falaises 
sont colonisees par des associations d'aspect et 
de composition differents suivant leur constitu- 
tion : Les madrepores et recifs coralliens sont 
couverts par le Strumpfia maritima-Lithophila 
muscotdes, en Guadeloupe et par Lithophila-Por- 
tulaca martinicensis, en Martinique. Les falaises 
calcaires ou de tuffs sont couvertes par 1'as- 
sociation a Suriana maritima-Pectis humifusa. 
Les falaises volcaniques, a blocs labradoritiques 
ou andesitiques, de Guadeloupe, Martinique, 
Saintes, Desirade et St-Lucia, sont colonisees 
par Pitcaimia ramosa, P. latifolia et P. angusti- 
folia, avec des pieds rabpugris de poiriers : Tabe- 
buia pallida, prenant pied sur les falaises a pic 
et constituant les premiers bosquets aupres de la 
mer. Sur les plus hauls sommets des iles les 
plus ^levees: Dominique, Guadeloupe et Mar- 
tinique, une colonisation semblable des falaises 
et des blocs volcaniques jusqu'aux abords des 
crateres s'observe, avec Pitcaimia bracteata et 
Guztnania Plumieri. Les depots meubles et les 
breches de nues ardentes en Martinique sont 
couvertes par le Thunbergia grandiflora, natu- 
ralise (liane de Chine) avec I'Hamelia patens 

(rf) Associations de la serie hydrophile. 
El les sont diverses et comprennent: les lagunes 
coti^res d'eau stagnante acide a Annona glabra- 
Dalbergia ecastophyllum, la savane tourbeuse 
acide 4 Dryopteris gongylodes-Heleocharis mu- 
tata, les plaines lateritiques ou alluvionnaires 
inondees a Fuirena umbellata-Mariscus jamai- 
censis, de Guadeloupe et a Fuirena-Rhyncho- 
spora, en Martinique^ homologue de celle a 

Typha-Mariscus, de Puerto-Rico et Claditun- 
Mariscus, d'Halti. 

La zonation des lagunes d'eau douce et des 
mares met en Evidence plusieurs ceintures: des 
espkes flottantes a Nymphaea, des interme- 
diaires a Heleocharis, des helophytes de vases 
semi-liquides et limons a Pistia, des electives de 
sediments a Polygonunt et des esp^ces marquant 
la zone de balancement hydrostatique a Alter- 
nanthera, Rotala et Aeschynomene. Les canaux 
et fosses a eau stagnante sont a electifs de 
Cuphea, Jussieua, Eclipta et Cyperus, les rivi^- 
res a cpurs lent d'Heleocharis, Digitaria, Tra- 
descantia et Calathea, alors que les sources ont 
des Scrophulariacees dominantes: Bramia Mo- 
nieri, Lindcrnia microcalyx, L. diffusa, et L. 
Crustacea et les ravines et cours d'eau rapides 
en foret possedent sur leurs pierres : Potamo- 
geton fluitans, des Tradescantia et des mousses. 
Les sources sulfureuses sont caracterisees par 
les 2 fougeres Histiopteris incisa et Dryopteris 
reticulata. Les marecages des plus hautes alti- 
tudes constitues entre les couloirs rocheux sont 
colonises par VHcleocharetum maculosae de la 
Montagne Pelee (Martinique), de la Soufriere 
(Guadeloupe), du Morne Watt (Dominique), 
avec Heleocharis maculosa, H. rctroflcxa et 
Isachne rigidijolia. La formation culminale, dans 
les plus hautes iles, est un Sphagnetum hydro- 
phile avec Sphagnum portoricense et Sph. mcri- 
densc, diverses autres muscinees sir. sens, et quel- 
ques phanerogames rares et caracteristiques de 
cette strate musciphile: Gaultheria sphagnicola, 
Peperomia tenella et Relbunium guadalufense, 
avec des Selaginella et Lycopodium. Cette for- 
mation de tourbieres d'altitude existe en Gua- 
deloupe et Dominique mais non en Martinique 
ni a Trinidad. 


L'equilibre biologique des "climax forestiers" 
rompu, une evolution regressive s'observe sous 
1'action de 1'homme ou des cataclysmes violents, 
tels que les cyclones frequents et les eruptions 
volcaniques. Parmi les plus recents on peut citer 
ceux du Lac Bouillant de la Grande-Soufriere du 
Morne Watt a la Dominique, eruption de Janvier 
1880 et tremblement de terre de 1906, eruptions 
de la Soufriere de St-Vincent en 1896, de la 
Montagne Pelee en Mai 1902 et en 1929 a la 
Martinique, le cyclone du 12 Septembre 1928 
en Guadeloupe. Parmi les plus epouvantables 
cataclysmes, sont a citer : le tremblement de 
terre du 11 Janvier 1839 de la Martinique, St- 
Lucia, Guadeloupe et Dominique et ceux de 1843 
et 1844. Du 8 Janvier au ler Juin 1843, la Mar- 
tinique n'a pas ressenti moins de 200 secousses 
de^ tremblement de terre. Le 8 Fevrier de la 
meme annee, la plus grande ville de la Guade- 
loupe, Pointe-a-Pitre, fut detruite entierement 
au cours d'une secousse qui dura 105 secondes, 
ainsi que 1'a expose le remarquable geologue de 
repoque, CH. STE-CLAIRE DEVILLE, et toutes les 
plantations furent detruites dans 1'Ile. II y cut 2000 
morts et 1500 blesses et elle fut ressentie dans 
toutes les Petites Antilles, surtout a Marie-Ga- 
lante, Antigua et jusqu'en Guyane. Du 8 Fe- 
vrier 1843 au 16 Avril 1844, 324 secousses furent 
comptees a la Guadeloupe; celle du 12 Janvier 
1844 fut egalement ressentie a la Martinique. 

De gros arbres des forets int^rieurcs de la 
Guadeloupe, abattus par le cyclone de 1928, 
etaient encore gisants et en voic de de*composi- 
tion en 1934 a notre arrivee et on en observe 


STEHL : L'Archipel des Petites Antilles 

des souches pourrissantes en Foret des Bains- 
Jaunes. Mais, en depit de leur violence, parfois 
inouie, les cataclysmes n'affectent pas la vegeta- 
tion primitive autant que 1'action lente, continue 
et incessamment renouvelee de 1'homme, pour 
1'exploitotion forestiere et la culture. 

La vegetation subit alors une action regres- 
sive qui debute en foret par des trouees ou 1'hu- 
mus est exploite par des especes de croissance ra- 
pide, des essences de lumiere et ou parfois, si 
1'homme ne renouvelle pas ses degats ou si les 
perturbations naturelles ne sont pas r&terees, a 
bref intervalle, des arbres de haute progressi- 
vite de la foret primitive prennent place pour 
reconstituer la formation dans sa physionomie 
native. Mais, si les causes nefastes sont perma- 
nentes, les successions regressives declanchees, 
arborescentes, suffrutescentes et herbacees, se 
poursuivent et, meme, des paratypes de substitu- 
tion ou paraclimax, completement differents des 
formations primitives, apparaissent et enfin, les 
disclimax, dus a 1'activite anthropp-zoogene, de- 
puis 1'epoque caraibe jusqu'a la periode actuelle, 
couvrent le terrain de leur vegetation pantropi- 
cale, tendant vers 1'ubiquite. 

Ei'olution Regressive de la Mangrow. Sur 
les brindilles de mangliers et les dechets consti- 
tuant les sols en formation de la mangrove, apres 
la coupe des paletuviers, a leur lisiere ou dans les 
clairiercs, la luminosite plus grande et le des- 
sechement progrcssif de 1'eau, permettent 1'instal- 
lation d'un stade a Acrostichum aurcitm, ou 
fougere doree, apres laquelle la pelouse semi- 
hygrophile de Cyperacees et Graminees prend 
place, avec des Paspalum-Digitaria et des Cy- 
pcrus-Kyllinya ou Fimbristylis. Plus rarement, 
les paletuviers du Rhisophoretum, par les Cono- 
carpus et Layuncularia, recolonisent les espaces 
les plus halophilcs du peuplement a Acrostichum. 

Ez'olution Kcyressiz'e de la Foret Xerophile. 
Les principals causes de regression de la foret 
xerophile sont : 1'exploitation des bois, les feux 
preculturaux et les incendies pastoraux. Les 
forets littorales ont etc deboisees pour la con- 
struction de cases et la confection de canots ne- 
ccssaircs a la population de pechcurs installee 
sur les bords, depuis Curaqao jusqu'a Anpuilla, 
car toutes les iles possedent cette foret et ses 
paratypes de substitution, singulierement identi- 
ques. L'erosion des pentes, 1'irregularite d'e- 
coulement des eaux, le tarissement des rivieres et 
la diminution de la fertilite du sol, en ont re- 

Les derives frutesccnts qu'elle presente sont: 
le taillis a Chrysobalanus Icaco, sur sables, celui 
a Lantana involucrata ou le hallicr epineux a 
Randia mitis-Lantana inrolucrata, sur les cotes 
seches et arides, sur calcaires intercales de tuffs, 
le taillis a campeches introduits et naturalises, a 
Hematoxylon campechianum et surtput les di- 
vers facies du taillis a Croton, parfois d'origine 
edapho-climatique mais le plus souvent du a 
1'action du feu, dc la coupe reiteree et de I'mflu- 
ence du cabri a son egard ; il presente alors 1'em- 
buissonnement pyrophytique particulier si bien 
decrit par G. KUHNHOLTZ-LORDAT dans la "Terre 
Incendiee" (1939). Les especes qui le ferment 
varient d'une ile a 1'autre, mais les plus abon- 
dants sont: le Croton balsamifer, le C. Dussii 
et le C. Guildingii. Le taillis a Lantana Camara 
var. aculeata, du a 1'action pyrophytique, prend 
une large extension, car il est doue d'un grand 
pouvoir colonisateur et rappelle des colonisations 
recentes analogues de 1'Amerique du Sud, de la 

Nouvelle-Caledonie, et de 1'Afrique. A Mada- 
gascar, il succede a la "savoka." 

Les derives herbaces sont : 1'association hyper- 
xerophile a Bouteloua americana-Sida sp. pi., 
avec Andropogon, Paspalum, le Themeda asia- 
tique et VHyparrhenia africain, tous deux natu- 
ralises et envahissants, sur ces littoraux degrades 
de certaines iles et, enfin, les associations ou- 
vertes, sur terrains nus, a Agaves et Cactacees, 
dont les unes sont communes a plusieurs iles de 
1'Archipel comme Agave caribaecola, Furcraea 
tuber osa, Cactus intortus, Opuntia Dillenii etc. 
C'est a Curagao, ou SURINGAR a fait une excel- 
lente etude descriptive des Cactacees, elargie en- 
suite remarquablement par BRITTON et ROSE 
pour toutes les Antilles, que le developpement des 
formations succulentes sur terrains arides se 
revele le plus pousse. 

Evolution Regressive de la Foret Mesophyti- 
que. Les derives de la foret mesophytique dans 
1'Archipel Caraibe sont de consequence culturale, 
apres destruction forestiere, mais avec emploi 
du feu plus intermittent et plus limite que pour 
la foret xerophile. On y observe des successions 
frutescentes et herbacees. Les derives frutes- 
cents comprennent toujours des taillis a Piper, 
figurant en sous-bois et gagnant rapidement les 
espaces libres, surtout le P. dilatatum, qui est de 
3 a 5m. de haut et de type foliaire mesophylle. 
La brousse a Solanum, de differentes especes 
suivant les iles, existe aussi bien, meme avec des 
endemiques particulieres, a Margarita (JOHN- 
STON), que dans les Antilles neerlandaises (BoL- 
DINGII) et dans les Antilles franchises 
(SxEHLfe), ou il est a S. tristc a la Martinique et 
a S. asperum a la Guadeloupe. Le taillis a Cor- 
dia buissonnants tels que C. inartinicensis, C. 
cylindrostachya et C. ultnifolia ou a Miconia de 
diverses especes : M. guiancnsis, M. prasina, M. 
laevigata, etc., sur laterites ou talus a debris 
humiferes, ont un aspect assez homogene, ob- 
serve dans les iles de la Guadeloupe, la Marti- 
nique, St-Lucia et aussi bien a la Dominique qu'a. 
Barbados ou Trinidad. Les derives herbaces 
sont les savanes hautes, a Pharus latifolius-Olyra 
latifolia, relicts du sous-bois anterieur, avec 
Oplismenus et Ichnanthus, une sayane haute mais 
de substitution, d'especes introduites et naturali- 
sees, a Panicum niaxitnum-P. barbinode et Seta- 
ria, une pelouse basse a Desnwdium supinum-D. 
a.rillare et autres especes du meme genre, avec 
des electives variees suivant les diverses iles. 

Evolution Regressive de la Foret Hygrophy- 
tique. La regression de la foret dense et hu- 
mide a lieu a la suite d'exploitations abusives 
pour le bois, le charbon et les cultures, sans eni- 
ploi de feu courant a 1'origine car la combusti- 
bilite des arbres toujours humides et dans une 
atmosphere presque a saturation totale est tres 
restreinte. Les derives arborescents comprenant 
des peuplements forestiers secondaires a Cecro- 
pia peltata et a Ochroma pyramidale, associes 
ou isoles, avec Hibiscus tulipiflorus, sont les pa- 
ratypes sur humus dans les iles ou la degradation 
a eu lieu sans retours successifs, a periodes rap- 
prochees, entre 750 et 1.000 m. d'altitude (2.400- 
3.200 feet) et ou de 1'humus existe. Us sont a 
type foliaire macrophylle. Les essences de haute 
progressivite, comme les Sloanea, Chymarrhis, 
Sterculia pu Phoebe, peuvent regagner ces peu- 
plements a la foret en une revolution d'environ 
un-demi siecle. Us sont comparables a ceux 
d'AmeYique du Centre ou du Sud a Cecropia 
d'especes diverses et aux Moracees-Arthocar- 
pees africaines, comme le "combo-combo:" 3/u- 

STEHLE : L'Arehipel des Petite* Antilles 


sanga Stnithii de I'0gou6 et les especes de para- 
soliers de croissance rapide ou celles de la "Sa- 
voka" de Madagascar. 

Les fougeres arborescentes a Cyathea arborea 
et Hemitelia grandifolia, avec d'autres especes 
voisines, et les Araliacees arbustives a Oreopa- 
nax et Didymopanax, forment des peuplements 
importants sur laves recentes, le long des pentes 
volcaniques de la Montagne Pelee, en Martini- 
que et des pentes, autrefois denudees par les 
cyclones et les defrichements, au Houelmont, en 
Guadeloupe. Des peuplements substitues, a Bam- 
busa vulgaris, asiatique et a Jambosa vulgaris, 
de I'lnde Orientale, torment de larges colonisa- 
tions dans les etages de la foret humide, hygro- 
phytique ou mesophytique, dans toutes les lies 
de 1'Archipel. 

Les derives frutescents, sur sols acides, a 
complexe argilo-humique faible, mais de forte 
teneur en hydrargile et dont le />H oscille de 5 a 
6,5, comprennent : le taillis a Miconia guianen- 
sis-M. trichotoma, avec diverses especes: Pali- 
courea crocea, Eugenia sp. pi., etc. Le taillis a 
Nectandra-Ocotea, de Lauracees dominantes, 
remplace celui a Melastomataces sous microcli- 
mat moins hygrophile; il est a "cres-cres" (Afi- 
conia) abondants dans la plupart des iles, de la 
Guadeloupe a Trinidad. Le taillis a Byrsonima 
spicata se developpe sous le couvert des taillis 
vieillissants de lauriers et crs-cres et constitue 
des formations analogues aux "chumiscales" a 
Cttratella americana de Panama, decrites par 
HEMSLEY, de 1886 a 1888, a 1'association a Cura- 
tella-Byrsonima-Aficonia du Costa-Rica, decrite 
par TONDUZ, de 1892 a 1896 et aux "parajales" 
a Byrsonima-Curatella-Miconia de CIFERRI, 
1936, pour Cuba, Haiti et St-Domingue. Pour 
la Guadeloupe en 1936 et la Martinique en 1937, 
nous en avons donne la physionomie et la com- 
position. Depuis, nous 1'avons observee a la 
Dominique et a St-Lucia et, dans "la vegetation 
de montagne dans les Antilles," J. S. BEARD a 
indique la composition par ordre de frequence 
de 1'association la plus importante de Trinidad 
a Licania tematensis-Byrsonima spicata (bois 
gris-serrette), dans laquelle figurent de nom- 
breuses Lauracees (Ocotea), Myrtac&s (wild 
guava) et Melastomacees (Miconia dit sardine), 
qui sont, dans la foret hygrophytique, lato-sensu, 
celles des formations primaires degradees et 
secondaires correspondantes aux autres iles des 
Petites Antilles. 

Les d6riv6s herbaces sont constitute par les 
pelouses, moyennes ou basses, 4 1'orSe des taillis 
decrits meso-hygrophiles ou en marge des lam- 
beaux forestiers et comprennent: la savane 4 
Clidemia hirta-Rttbus rosaefolius, avec de nom- 
breuses electives de families yariees, la pelouse 
a Sauvagesia erecta et la prairie a Phenax vul- 
garis et Hyptis atrorubens. 

Dans chacune des grandes lies de 1'Archipel 
Caraibe, Ton peut, comme cela a 6te fait pour 
la Guadeloupe (1936), distinguer dans 1'etage 
moyen de ces iles d'abord, un noyau central de 
foret primaire non degrade", proportionnellement 
tres eleve a la Dominique et 4 la Guadeloupe, assez 
eleve a St-Lucia, Grenada, St-Kitts, moins abon- 
dant a Trinidad et ^ la Martinique, dont les genres 
sont a peu pres les memes et beaucoup d'especes 
sont en commun ; ensuite une foret primaire de- 
grad^e, presentant, en proportions variables, sui- 
vant le degre d'exploitation abusive et devolution 
regressive, un melange plus ou moins abondant 
d'essences de lumiere de la foret dense, un abon- 
dant sous-bois et une brousse d'especes de la 

foret secondaire; enfin un paratype de substitu- 
tion, constituant la foret secondaire, dans laquelle 
les plus hautes especes de la foret primaire ont 
etc eliminees. Les essences de haute prpgres- 
sivite qui subsistent encore dans la foret primaire 
degradee, sont des points d'appui permettant de 
remonter par etapes successives les stades an- 
terieurs, pour recreer 1'atmosphere perdue de la 
sylve umbro-sciaphile. C'est 14 que se place 
1'action intensive de reconstitution de l'homme 
pour aider la Nature a se recreer dans son tat 
primitif et reparer les degradations et les mutila- 
tions qu'il lui a fait subir. 

Evolution Regressive de la Foret Altitudi- 
nale. Les derives de la sylve montagnarde sont 
dus aux eboulements, aux orages frequents et 
violents, aux denudements des a-pics exposes a 
la fois au ruissellement intense et 4 1'insolation, 
ou aussi, a un degr6 moindre, aux coupeurs de 
choux-palmistes. Les inclusions degradees ou 
a croissance secondaire sont assez peu etendues, 
mais on les rencontre sous deux formes com- 
munes a plusieurs iles : les peuplements a Oreo- 
panax Dussii ou autres Araliac6es 4 amples 
feuilles et la brousse, en amas denses, 4 Dicrano- 
pteris bifida, D. Bancroftii et autres fougeres, 
dont les frondes decoupees et allongees, contribu- 
ent 4 donner un aspect dentele aux aires qu'elle 
occupe, dans les ecorchures des parois argileuses 
ou des pentes volcaniques des plus hauts som- 
mets. Des Lycopodes, fougeres, mousses, sphaig- 
nes et Orchidees, terrestres et epiphytes, parent 
les arbres de ces fades de degradation d'un 
chevelu abondant tendant 4 donner au paysage le 
meme aspect que la foret d'ou il derive. 


Culture Primitive Precolombienne. Les peu- 
plades autochtones, precolombiennes et caraibes, 
comme les hommes europeens civilises et les 
groupements allochtones, qui se sont installed 
dans 1'Archipel des Petites Antilles, ont utilise les 
ressources nature! les vege tales, des le debut par 
la cueillette et 1'exploitation directe. Leur action 
s'est naturellement porte sur les formations 
littorales pouvant fournir le bois pour la con- 
struction des "carbets" ou "ajoupas" leur per- 
mettant de s'abriter, pour leurs canots ou "gom- 
miers caraibes" pour la peche et, plus tard, pour 
1'emplacement des cultures : le "yzmtia" ou chou- 
caraibe (Xanthosoma) , le "Kicre" ou manioc 
(Manihot), la "patate" (Ipomoea) etle "roucou" 
(Bixa) que les Caraibes importerent des bords 
de rOrellane. Le "genipalea ou genipa" (Genipa 
americana) servait aux guerriers caraibes a se 
teindre le corps pour le depart en guerre. 

Cultures des Premiers Defricheurs Europtens 
et Introductions. II y a plus de trois siecles, 
lors de la venue des premiers colons, Espagnols, 
Francais, Anglais, Hollandais et Portugais, les 
diverses iles furent exploiters, defrich^es et cul- 
tiv6cs intensivement et le complexe, tant orga- 
nique qu'inorganique, qui etait virtuellement en 
equilibre fut modifi^ complStement. Le feu, re- 
pete ou non, la culture, le paturage, Termination 
de nombreuses plantes indigenes, par ddfriche- 
ment, drainage et terrassements, ont apport6 de 
grandes modifications 4 la vegetation primitive 
et en moins de quatre siecles, 1'immixion de la 
population blanche et noire, a transforme singu- 
lierement le couvert veg6taj des iles caraibes. 

Les colons normands arriverent dans Tile avec 
les defricheurs de P. GOURNAY embarqu6s au 


STBHL: L'Archipel des Petites Antilles 

Havre en 1624 et accentuerent la degradation 
forestiere pour la culture de la plante a pe- 
tun ou plante a JEAN NICOT (Nicotiana taba- 
cum). Le tabac, le coton, 1'indigo pour 1'ex- 
traction de la matiere colorante et le gingem- 
bre comme epice, furent les premieres cul- 
tures real i sees. Dans les anciennes cultures 
de coton abandonnees, a Marie-Galante et en 
Martinique en particulier, Vlndiyofera tinctoria 
et /. suff ruticosa, constituent des postculturales 
et des indicatrices precieuses. Ces cultures de- 
meuraient cependant limitees autour des lies sur 
le littoral ct penetraient peu a 1'intcrieur; clles 
occupaient des sectcurs fertilcs comme les ter- 
rains situes Sous-le-Vent a la Martinique, vers 
Basse-Terre et le Baillif et le Sud de la 
Guadeloupe ou s'installerent ensuite les distille- 
ries et sucreries du "Pre Labat". Aujourd'hui 
ce sont ces secteurs qui, en raison du caractere 
primitif de la culture avec le feu, avec une re- 
constitution insuffisante de la fertilite exploitee 
par de la fumure organique compensatrice ou 
des engrais mineraux, sont les moins fertiles et 
les plus exposes a la sechercsse. 

La culture de la canne-a-sucre, qui devint 
jusqu'a ce jour, tant a Barbados qu'en Grande- 
Terre de la Guadeloupe et a la Martinique, une 
monoculture quasi exclusive, sur de larges sur- 
faces et dans toutes les terres calcaires et 
plates, ne commenga a prendre quelque extension 
dans 1'Archipel qu'a partir de 1670 et contribua 
notablement a la degradation de 1'etage inferieur. 
Le cocotier (Cocos nucifcra) d'originc colom- 
bicnne ou polynesienne ne fut introduit a Puerto- 
Rico qu'en 1525 des lies du Cap Vert et de 
la aux Petites Antilles en 1660 par le Pere 
Dir,o; ses plantations constituent le long des 
plages et a I'interieur des lies de 1'Archipel. 
meme les plus petites, un des paysages les plus 
familiers des Petites Antilles. Les premiers 
manguiers des Antilles (Mangifera indica) dont 
les varietes greffees sont si nombreuses et les 
meilleures bien connues: Julie, Divine, Reine- 
Amelie, Haure, Sabot D'or, Eveche, Sans-Pa- 
reille, etc., furent introduits dans 1'Archipel par 
les Portugais au 18eme siecle du Brsil, d'ou 
ils passercnt a Barbados en 1750 et de la en 
Martinique. L'ananas vint e"galement du Bresil 
d'ou il est natif, importe par les Caraibes eux- 
memes, en 1640. Le Capitaine Anglais BLIGH 
introduisit 1'arbre a pain (Artocarpus commu- 
nis) d'Occanie et de Tahiti aux Petites- Antilles, 
en 1793, oil il est une des plus abondantes cul- 
tures et un des elements les plus importants de 
la nourriture Creole. Les divers citrus, qui firent 
la fortune de la Dominique, cultives pour la 
consommation des fruits et la fabrication des 
citrates et qui demeurent dans cette ile la cul- 
ture principale, furent introduits d'Asie en Eu- 
rope par les Arabes au 13eme siecle et de la 
aux Antilles par les Espagnols, au debut de la 
colonisation. L'avocatier (Per sea americana) 
vint aux Petites-Antilles du Mextque ou du 
Perou, a la fin du 18eme siecle et les papayers 
(Carica Papaya) venus de 1'Inde, puis du Mexi- 
que, arriverent en Martinique, en 1657. Si 1'en- 
vers (Maranta arundinacea) dit de Barbade ou 
de St-Vincent et q^ui est encore la culture princi- 
pale de cette dermere ile volcanique, est, comme 
la vanille (Vanilla), la pomme de terre (Sola- 
num) et le tabac (Nicotiana), une culture que 
1'Amerique tropicale a livre aux Petites-Antilles, 
le gingembre (Zingiber) qui fut une des pre- 
mieres cultures realisees, les ignames (Dios- 
corea) et les pois d'Angole (Cajanus), si impor- 

tants dans la nourriture des paysans antillais, 
nous sont venus de 1'Inde. 

Agriculture Intensive Moderne et Specialisa- 
tion. Les cultures prirent place peu a peu, 
apres les tatonnements du debut et 1'acquisition 
de quelque experience agricole dans les divers 
secteurs, en accord avec leurs exigences edapho- 
climatiques. Le coton (Gossypium) et 1'indigo 
se cantonnerent sur les sables littoraux; la 
canne-a-sucre sur les terres sedimentaires, cal- 
caires ou lateritiques, les defrichements fores- 
tiers ne lui convenant guere et provoquant 1'af- 
folement des plants, 1'arboriculture fruitiere a 
Citrus divers, a cafeiers (Coffea), a cacaoyers 
(Theobroma) ; avec les vanilliers (Vanilla), 
demandant plus d'humidite, penetrerent dans les 
formations mesophytiques ou en foret hygrophy- 

La substitution d'une culture a une autre a 
en general pour cause une adaptation a des con- 
ditions economiques plus avantageuses, tantot 










durables, tantot passageres, mais elle peut etrc 
due a des cataclysmes naturels. Ainsi, a la Mar- 
tinique, il y cut le 7 Novembre 1727 un violent 
tremblement de terre qui, au cours de trois 
jours consecutifs, secoua 1'Ile sans pertes hu- 
maines, mais degrada ou renversa la plupart 
des batiments en pierre et detruisit en majeure 
partie les plantations de cacaoyers alors fort 
prosperes. Celles-ci furent, pour la plupart, 
abandonnees et on fit des plantations cafeieres 
au lieu de renouveler la culture cacaoyere. De- 
puis, le cafeier remplaga le cacaoyer comme cul- 
ture principale. Ce n'est qu'a la suite de 1'atta- 
que des cafeiers par la maladie vermiculaire des 
racines (Anguillula) que ces plantations, qui 
occupaient encore de larges superficies a la fin 
du 19eme siecle, furent abandonnees a leur tour. 
En Guadeloupe, le cyclone de 1928 detruisit, 
entre autres, la presque total ite des cocotiers de 

STEHL : L'Archipel des Petite* Antilles 


La regression des cultures fruitieres et des 
plantes a boisson depuis le debut du vingtieme 
siecle laissa de nombreuses f riches en ceinture 
de la foret dense et le bananier (Musa), dont la 
culture regut une large extension a Trinidad et, 
yers 1928 seulement, en Guadeloupe et en Mar- 
tinique, prit place dans une aire semblable. Les 
cultures mixtes du jar din Creole etablies sur les 
"habituees" et les "concessions," des le debut 
de la colonisation ont regresse devant les grandes 
cultures a cafeiers-cacaoyers autrefois, a ca- 
fiers-bananiers ensuite et enfin a cultures bana- 
nieres pures ou a cultures vivrieres: manioc, 
choux-caraibes, maderes, couches-couches et 
ignames (Manihot, Xanthosoma, Colocasia et 

Une specialisation de 1'Ile a une culture deter- 
minee peut etre mise en evidence : a Barbados, 
la culture principale est la canne-a-sucre, a St- 
Vincent c'est 1'envers ou dictame, a la Dominique 
c'est le citronnier, a la Desirade c'est le coton- 
nier, en Grande-Terre de la Guadeloupe et a 
Marie-Galante, c'est la canne-a-sucre, ainsi que 
dans le Sud de la Martinique, alors qu'en Gua- 
deloupe sir. sens., dans le Nord de la Martinique 
et i Trinidad, la pplyculture mixte ou les cultures 
vivrieres et fruitieres predominent. Les planta- 
tions d'ananas sont local i sees, a la Martinique, sur 
les terrains lateritoides lourds, acides et ferrugi- 
neux du Gros-Morne, Ste-Marie et Trinite. 

L'exploitation forestiere est un complement de 
ressources plutot qu'une richesse fondamentale 
pour les diverses iles dont certaines importent 
des bois de la Guyane voisine. 

Substitution de la Culture Pantropicale a la 
Vegetation Caraibe. La mangrove a permis 
apres coupe et evolution regressive ou asseche- 
ment facilite par les Eucalyptus transitoires 1'in- 
stallation des petites cultures maraich&res, puis 
de cannes-a-sucre, elle a servi a I'exploitation du 
bois pour les usines et les distilleries, a 1'ex- 
traction du tannin dont les paletuviers contien- 
nent dans leur ecorce jusqu'a 22% de la matiere 
seche. Les cultures de cotonniers, de cocotiers, 
du tabac, du manioc, d'arbres frui tiers divers et 
de la canne-a-sucre ont occupe les espaces pris 
sur la foret xerophytique. C'est ensuite la foret 
mesophytique, qui a fait 1'objet de destruction 
pour la culture, en particulier pour les cultures 
vivrieres et fruitieres: choux-caraibes, cafeier, 
cacaoyer, vanillier, rocouyer et bananier, qui ont 
egalement pen6tre en maints endroits dans les 
secteurs secondaires et primaires degrades de la 
foret hygrophytique. Au centre des Iles, la 
topographic favorable permettant la protection 
naturelle de la foret par des difficultes d'acces, 
d'exploitation et d'evacuation des produits, alliee 
a des conditions climatiques exagerment hu- 
mides, ont permis la conservation du noyau cen- 
tral de foret hygro-sciaphile dans son etat primi- 

Aperfu sur les Principal** Ressources Fores- 
tier es de I'Archipel Caraibe et Reforestation. 
Les principals essences forestieres de 1'archipel 
des Petites-Antilles peuvent etre classees d'apres 
leur utilisation en : bois d'ebenisterie fine, comme 
Swietenia macrophylla et S. Mahagoni, maho- 
ganys du Honduras et des Antilles, Calophyllum 
antillanum et C. lucidum, galbas, Cedrela vnexi- 
cana, acajou rouge, Hymenaea Courbaril, cour- 
baril ou locust et Hippomane wancinella; en bois 
de marquetterie comme Talauma Plumieri, ma- 
gnolia et Aniba bracteata, bois jaune; en bois 
d'^benisterie courante ou menuiserie ordinaire 
et de moulure comme Simartiba amara, acajou 

blanc, Chymarrhis cymosa, r^solu ou bois riviere, 
Andira jamaicensis, angelin, Tapura an til [ana et 
T. guianensis, bois cotes, Cassipourea elliptica et 
C. latifolia, bois de Tail, Guarea ramiflora, G. 
Perrottetiana et G. glabra, bois pistolet ou ca- 
rimbo ; en bois de grosse menuiserie : Manilkara 
Riedleana et M . bidentata, balatas, Sloanea Dus- 
sii, S. Massoni, chataigners, 5". trichostica, bois 
noir et 5. trinitensis, cabrebash ; en bois de char- 
pente : Coccoloba diversifolia, bois rouge ; Genipa 
americana, genipa; Pouteria Dussiana: pomme 
pain, P. dominicensis et P. Hartii Stehle, nov. 
comb. (syn. : Lucuma Hartii Hemsly), contre- 
vent, Buchenavia capitata, olivier, Ocotea leuco- 
xylon, laurier-fine; O. Eggersii, laurier-noir, O. 
canaliculata, laurier petites-feuilles et 0. are- 
naeensis, laurier-stincker, Fagara martinicensis, 
Tepine jaune, etc. ; des bois pour travaux hydrau- 
liques tels que: Licania ternatcnsis, bois-gris, 
Mayepea caribaea, bois de fer, Picramnia excelsa, 
bois amer et P. pcntandra, bois moudongue, Da- 
cryodes excelsa bois gommier, bois d'aviation: 
Crescentia Cujete, calebassier, Psidium cjujava, 
goyavier et Tabebuia pallida, poirier, roble; des 
bois de traverses de chemin de fcr, tels que: 
Hacmatoxylon campcchianum, cami^cche, Acacia 
nudiflora, tendre a cailloux et Capparis jamaicen- 
sis, bois noir, en bois de fente et de tonnellerie, 
tels que: Sterculia caribaea, mahoe ou mapou- 
baril; en bois de tour et de sculpture comme le 
magnolia, le bois jaune et les chataigners cites ; 
en bois de contre-plaque comme 1'epine- jaune; 
en bois de chauffage et de charbon, tels que: 
Inga laurina, pois-doux, Eugenia jambos, pom- 
mier rose, Croton balsamifer et sp. pi., ti- 
baumes, etc. enfin en bois de resines, gommes, 
glues, encens, caoutchouc et colles: Acacia, Pi- 
locarpus, Canella, Spondias, Rhccdia, Amyris, 
Sapiwn, Dacryodes, Hura, Idea, Hippomanc, 
Bur sera, Clusia, Tovomita, Symphonia, etc., en 
bois de tannins et matieres colorantes : Byrso- 
nitna, Rhisophora, Sapindus, Psidium, Avicennia, 
Sideroxylon, etc. ; en bois a structure spongieuse, 
a matieres filtrantes et flotteurs, tels que: 
Ochroma pyramidale, balsa ou bois de liege, 
Cecropia peltata, bois trompette, cannon-ball ou 
bois canon, etc. 

Enfin des experimentations recentes d'emploi 
de bois pour toitures et couvertures, en remplace- 
ment de toles d'acier, conduites a Trinidad, ont 
montre 1'interet qu'il y aurait a utiliser certains 
bois de 1'archipel a cet eflfet et en particulier: 
Cedrela mexicana, cedar ou acajou rouge, Oco- 
tea leucoxylon, duckwood ou laurier-fine, Hura 
crepitans, sand-box ou sablier, Hernandia sonora, 
toporite ou mirobolan et Sapium caribaeutn et S. 
aucuparium, milk wood ou bois la glue et bois de 
soie. On fait aussi des essences avec ces bois et le 
bois blanc Simaruba amara, a la Guadeloupe et a 
la Martinique. Cette pratique n'est d'ailleurs pas 
nouvelle et si les circonstances 1'ont fait renaitre 
aux Antilles par necessity au cours de ces der- 
nieres annies, elle fut mise 4 profit par les 
premiers colons francais et anglais, en Haiti, 
a la Martinique, a la Guadeloupe et enfin 4 la 
Jamaique, ile dans laquelle d'apres L. V. BURNS 
(Roofing shingles in Jamaica, Caribb. Forester 
4 :9, 1942), elle remonterait au debut de la coloni- 
sation antillaise, vers 1655. 

Des reboisements en mahoganys du Honduras 
et du pays ont etc entrepris dans ces deux der- 
nieres iles; des peuplements de tecks, Tectona 
grandis, ont et6 realises et exp^rimentes a Trini- 
dad suivant le systeme "taungya" de Burma, sur 
plus de 2.000 acres, depuis 1913. Des essais 
de reforestation en districts sees sont en cours 


STEHL : L'Archipel des Petite* Antilles 

a St-Lucia, avec du Cassia siamea. Dans les 
bas-fonds marlcageux des regions infeVieures et 
en bordure de la mangrove, diverses especes 
d' Eucalyptus, d'Australie et d' Algeria, ont ^te 
introduites aux Antilles francaises en 1936. 

Aperfu sur les Principals Ressources Agri- 
coles. Dans 1'enscmble de 1'Archipel Caraibe, 
on peut distinguer parmi les vegetaux cultives: 
les cultures importantes au premier rang des- 
quelles la canne-a-sucre (Saccharum) dont les 
produits, sucre et rhum surtout, font 1'objet 
d'exportation, bananiers (Musa), cafeiers (Cof- 
fea), cacaoyers (Theobronta), cotonniers (Gos- 
sypium), manioc ou cassava (Manihot), ananas 
(Ananas), et coprah du cocotier (Cocos) ; des 
cultures vivrieres et secondaires: malangas et 
choux-caraibes (Xanthosoma) , maderes (Colo- 
casia), ignames ou yams (Dioscorea), pois savon 
et haricot (Phaseolus), pois bourcoussou (Doli- 
chos), arbre a pain (Artocarpus) , pois de bois 
ou d'Angole (Cajanus), topinambour (Allouya), 
dictame ou envers (Maranta), le vanillier (Va- 
nilla), melongene ou aubergine (Solanum), to- 
mate (Lycopersicon) , qui cntrent dans le jardin 
cr6ole ; les cultures fruitieres arbustives : mom- 
bins et prunes-cafes (Spondias), cocotiers 
(Cocos), sapotilliers (Achras), sapotes (Calo- 
carpum), avocatier (Persea), pommes-cannelles, 
cachimans, cprossoliers et cherimoyes (Anona), 
groseillers (Hibiscus), cerisiers-cotes (Euge- 
nia), barbadines et pommcs-lianes (Passiflora) , 
ccrisiers-pays (Malpighia), constituent le verger 
ou cultives isolement autour dos habitations; les 
plantes d'orncment : rosiers de Cayenne ou hibis- 
cus (Hibiscus), bougainvilliers (Rougainvillea), 
flamboyants (Poinciana), begonias (Begonia), 
crotons (Croton), foulards indiens (Acalypha), 
robes d'eveque (Coleus), de nombreuses Lilia- 
cees, Convolvulacees et Acanthacees, herbacees, 
volubiles ou buissonnantes : des plantes a epices 
ou aromatiques : muscadier (Myristica) , poivrier 
(Piper), cornichons du pays (Averrhoa), cannel- 
lier (Cinnamotnum), vanillier et vanillon (Va- 
nilla}, piments (Capsicum), giroflier (Caryo- 
phyllus), bois d'Inde ou bay-oil (Amomis), gin- 
gembre (Zinc/ibcr) ; les plantes a fibres: Agaves 
(Agave), langues a boeuf (Furcraea), bananier- 
corde ou abaca (Musa text His), bacoua ou va- 
coua (Pandanus utilis et sp. pi.), mahot-piment 
(Daphnopsis caribaea), des Tiliacecs et Malva- 
c6es diverses utilisees comme fibres sous les 
noms de mahots, etc. 

Enfin, de nombreuses plantes medicinales, 
spontances, introduites ou naturalisees sont a 
citer, telles quc le chardon-beni (Eryngiunt), 
Tayapana (Eupatorium) , le sureau (Sambucus), 
le quinquina de Cayenne (Quassia), etc., que le 
Docteur H. CADRE, dans un remarquable ouvrage 
de Phytothe"rapie, homeopathique et allopathique 
(1939), a classees en: abortives (Aristolochia) , 
alexiteres (Dorstenia), am&res ou aperitives 
(Portulaca), antidotes (Bixa). aromatiques 
(Croton, Atnyris), bechiques ou aperitives (Ca- 
praria), anti-blennorrhagiques (Sida, Plutniera), 
anti-dartreuses (Cassia), digestives (Sauvage- 
sia), diuretiques (Phyllanthus), anti-dysenteri- 
ques (Coccoloba), emm6nagogues (Hypo.vis), 
emollientes (Cordia, Pai'onia), 6nivrantes (Ta- 
bebuia, Tephrosia, Ichtyomethia), febrifuges 
(Peperomia, Citrus), hemostatiques (Coccoloba, 
Canella), pectorales (Dianthera et Hyptis), ra- 
fraichissantes (Zisyphus), anti-rhumatismales 
(Boerhaavea) , anti-scorbutiques (Agave et Spi- 
lanthes), anti-spasmodiques (Datura et Lan- 
tana), stimulantes (Eupatorium et Verbesina), 
stomachiques (Mammea et Passiflora), taeni- 

fuges (Areca et Punica), toniques et reconstitu- 
antes (Cola et Chiococca), venineuses (Cliba- 
dium et Spigelia), vermifuges (Chenopodium) 
et vulneraires (Abrus et Furcraea). 

Conclusion. L'Archipel des lies Caraibes of- 
fre, sur une aire restreinte, en une serie de petits 
ilots, une grande richesse de groupements vege- 
taux, de paysages et de fade's, d'arbres et de 
plantes, corrcspondants a des conditions topo- 
graphiques, orogeniques, geologiques, climatiques 
et edaphiques les plus variees. II constitue une 
synthese, intercssante et curieuse, tant au point 
de vue nature! que de 1'action des peuples autoch- 
tones ou civilises, de 1'Ancien et du Nouveau 
Continents, pour lesquels il est un carrefour et 
un trait de liaison. 

Partout, depuis le Curacao hollandais au Sud 
jusqu'a 1'Anguilla britannique au Nord, en pas- 
sant par la Margarita Venezuelienne et les An- 
tilles frangaises, que sont la Guadeloupe, He 
d'emeraude, et la Martinique, denommee le para- 
dis verdoyant, les formations primitives ont 
evolue et la substitution de la culture a la vege- 
tation naturelle s'est effectuee dans des condi- 
tions les mieux adaptees a chaque ile. 

Des ressources abondantes, de cueillette ou 
d'exploitation, de I'agriculture et de la foret, 
tirees des utilisations les plus diverses, existent 
dans ce remarquable Archipel des Petites An- 



BARBOUR, \V. R., 1942: Forest types of tropical 
America (Caribbean Forester 3: 137-150). 

BEARD, J. S., 1942: Montane vegetation in the An- 
tilles (Caribbean Forester 3: 61-74). 

BOERGESEN, F., 1909: Vegetationcm in Dansk Vest- 
indicn (Atlanten p 601-632, F. 277-300). 

BOLDINGH, I., 1909: The flora of the Dutch West 
Indian Islands (Leiden). 

, 1914: The flora of Curasao, Aruba and 

Bonaire (Leiden). 

Bulletin Agncole de la Martinique, 1898-1942: An- 
cienne et nouvelle scries, Service de 1'AgricuIture 
(Samt-Pierre et Fort-de-France). 

CABRK, H., 1940: Notes de phytotherapie allopath!- 

Sue et homeopathique comparees, Flore de la Guade- 
oupe et Dependances. t. Ill, pp. 246 (Basse-Terre). 

CHEVALIER. A., 1938: La vegetation de la Guade- 
loupe, d'aprcs II. STEHL (Annales de Geographic 47: 
297-306, Paris). 

Duss. R. P. A., 1897: Flore Phanerogamique des 
Antilles francaises (Ann. Mus. Col. Marseille, 1896, 
pp. 656. Macon). 

GLEASOH. H. A. and COOK. M. T.. 1927: Plant 
Ecology of Porto Rico (Scient. Surv. of P. R. and 
Virg. Isl. 7: 1-96 et 97-173, New-York). 

GIRAUD, J., 1918: Esquisse geologique de la Mar- 
tinique (Hanoi). 

MARSHALL, 1934: Physiography and vegetation of 
Trinidad and Tobago (Oxford). 

Revue Afincole de la Guadeloupe, 1926-1938- Service 
de 1' Agriculture (Basse-Terre). 

SENN, A., 1940 Paleogene of Barbados and its 
bearing on history and structure of Antillean-Caribbean 
Region (Bull. Amer. Assoc. Petrol. Geolog. (9): 1548- 

STBHLB, H., 1936: Essai d'Ecologie et de Geogra- 
phic botanique, Flore de la Guadeloupe et Dependances, 
t. 1, pp. 286, 52 illustr. (Basse-Terre). 

, 1936: Apercu sur la vegetation de la 

Guadeloupe (Rev. Bot. Appl. et Agr. trop. 184: 969- 
973, Paris). 

, 1937: Esquisse des associations vege- 

tales de la Martinique (Bull. Agr. Mart. No. 6, NOB. 
3-4, 194-264, Fort-de-France). 

1939-1940: Flore Descriptive des An- 
tilles francaises. I: Les Orchidales, pp. 305, 33 illustr., 
1939; II: Les Pifierales, pp. 144, 18 illustr., 1940 (Fort- 

, 1940: Guadeloupe Esmerald of the An- 
tilles (Journ. New York Bot. Card. 41 (482): 36-44). 

, 1941: Conditions eco-sociologiques et evo- 
lution des forets des Antilles francaises (Caribbean 
Forester 2: 154-159). 

, 1941: The Flora of Martinique (Journ. 

New York Bot. Gard. 42 (502): 235-244). 

BEARD : The Vegetation of Trinidad and Tobago 


STKHU, H., STKHI.*, M. et QUENTIN, R. P. L., 1938: 
Catalogue dcs Phanrogames et Fougeres, avec Con- 
tribution a la Flore de la Martinique (Fl. Guad. et 
Dep. t. II, f. 1, pp. 238, Basse-Terre). 

TONGEREN, W. VAN. 1934: Chemical analyses of 
some rucks from Aruba, with some remarks on the 
magmatic province of the Lesser- Antilles (Proc. Kon. 
Ak. v. Wt-tensch. tc Amsterdam 37). 

Tropical Agriculture: Department of Agriculture 
and Sciences (Port-of -Spain). 

URBAN, I.. 1898-1928: Svmbolae antillanae seu 
fundamenta florae Indiae Occidentahs, 9 vol. (Berlin). 

J. S. P. BF.ARD : A Brief Review of the Vegeta- 
tion of Trinidad and Tobago : Trinidad (1754 
sq. miles) lies within sight of the Venezuelan 
mainland and both geologically and floristically 
may be regarded as a detached portion of the 
South American continent, the flora being 
South American rather than Caribbean. Tobago 
(114 sq. miles) some thirty miles to the north- 
east, is essentially similar but includes a number 
of typically Caribbean species which do not 
extend as far as the larger island. 

The flora is rich for the size of the islands, 
comprising approximately 2,200 species of 
Phanerogams. In the absence of a completed 
modern Flora, no very accurate statistics can 
be given, but the families leading in local rep- 
resentation, with the approximate number of 
species of each, are as follows : Gramineae 183, 
Orchidaccae 165, Papilionatae 101, Cyperaceae 
98, Melastomaceae 92, Rubiaceae 90, Compositae 
81, Euphorbiaceae 67, Solanaceae 49, Piperaceae 
47, Ilromcliaceae 45, Convolvulaceae 41, Malva- 
ceae 36, Caesalpiniaceae 36, Mimosaceae 35, 
Myrtaceae 33, Araccae 30, Biynoniaceae 30, 
Malpighiaceae 30. 

The proportion of endemics has been esti- 
mated at 7%. About 46% of the two islands 
remains under natural vegetation at the present 

The plant associations in Tobago have not 
yet been studied in detail. It is only possible 
to say that the littoral types are the same as in 
Trinidad, and that the major inland type ap- 
pears to be evergreen rain forest. 

Fourteen major vegetation types can be distin- 
guished in Trinidad. The most widespread type 
is Evergreen Semi-Monsoon Forest, formed by 
associations of Carapa guianensis and Eschwei- 
lera subglandnlosa, together with Licania bi- 
fflandulosa, Pentadethra macroloba, Clathro- 
tropis brachypetala, Sabal mauritiaeformis, 
Maximiliana elegans, Aniba panurensis, Sterculia 
caribaea, Pachira insignis, Terminalia obovata, 
Buchenavia capitata, Andira inermis, Diospyros 
ierensis, Chrysophyllum sericeum, Brownea lati- 
folia, Riidyea jreemani, Swartzia pinnata, 
Warscewicsia coccinea and Guarea glabra. This 
formation covers the greater part of the low- 
lands of the centre and south, undulating land 
at elevations of only 100-300 feet above sea level, 
rarely more. It is 85% evergreen and three 
storied. In places these forests have been in- 
vaded by Mora excelsa, an aggressive, gregarious 
species which forms almost pure stands. Mora 
forest is taller and more luxuriant than the 
original type. Large stretches of it exist today 
in the north-east and south-east. The range 
of mountains which runs across the north of the 
island carries several distinct vegetation types, 
differentiated by altitude and increased precipita- 
tion. The lowland forests run up to 800 feet 
above which appears Lower Montane Evergreen 
Rain Forest with Licania ternatensis, Sterculia 
caribaea, Byrsonima spicata, Chimarrhis cytnosa, 

Tovomita eggersii, Marila grandiflora, Chryso- 
phyllum sp., Eschweilera sp. ( Sloanea spp., Lu- 
cuma hartii, Ormosia monospenna, Acrodicli- 
dium canella, Aiouea schomburgkii, Guarea 
glabra, Calliandra guildingii, Cassipourea lati* 
folia and Tabebuia stenocalyx. This is a two- 
storied forest, 90 feet high, 100% evergreen. 
Above 2,500 feet the formation changes to Mon- 
tane Rain Forest, evergreen, two-storied, 60 feet 
high, with a poor flora. The tree constituents 
are Eschweilera sp., Ternstrocmia sp. ( ? ) . Oreo- 
panax capitatum and two unknown species. The 
lower stQrey is largely composed of the tree ferns 
Cyathea tcnera, C. caribaea and Pterist multi- 
serialis with the dwarf palms Euterpe pubigera 
and E. broadwayana. Finally, at the summit of 
Aripo, 2,800-3,085 feet, appears the elfin wood- 
land, dense straggling thicket of Clusia inter- 
texta, 20 feet high, festooned with moss. 

Various parts of the island where conditions 
are somewhat dry, due either to excessive soil 
drainage or lowered rainfall, bear a formation 
30% deciduous, which may be named Semi-Ever- 
green Semi-Monsoon Forest. There are six asso- 
ciations whose general constituents are Pelto- 
gyne porphyrocardia, Trichilia oblanceolata, 
Brosimutn alicastrum, Protium insigne and P. 
guianensis, Guarea trichilioides, Ficus tobagensis, 
Inga hartii, Mouriri marshallii, Tabebuia serrati- 
folia, Astronium obliquum, tiura crepitans, Meli- 
cocca bijuga, Cedrela mexicana, Bravaisia flori- 
bunda, Vitex capitata, Chlorophora tinctoria, 
Fagara spp., Coccoloba spp. and Trichilia trini- 
tensis. Myrtaceae form the bulk of the shrub 
layer, and in three of the associations the palm 
Sabal tnauritiatformis forms a large part of the 
lower storey. On the north-west peninsula and 
the islands lying off it conditions are still 
drier being in the lee of the Northern Range. Here 
the forest is a low type over 50% deciduous con- 
taining Lonchocarpus punctatus, Machaerium 
robinifolium, Tabebuia serratifolia, Apeiba ti- 
bourbou, Copaijera officinalis, Pisonia cuspidata, 
Bursera simaruba, Citharexylum spinosum and 
Clusia rosea. Along the shore is a society with 
Pithccolobium unguiscati, Capparis spp., Hippo- 
nianc mancinella and cacti, chiefly Cereus hexa- 

Mangrove swamps of the usual type occur 
round the coast, the composition being Rhiso- 
phora mangle, Azncennia nitida, Laguncularia 
racemosa and Conocarpus erecta. Freshwater 
swamp forests of Pterocarpujf officinalis may 
occur behind the mangroves, or palm swamps 
with Roystonca oleracea, or herbaceous swamps 
of Acrostichum aureum, Cyperus giganteus, 
Cyperaceae spp., Gynerium sagittatum or Montri- 
chardia arborescens. 

Marsh vegetation (where the soil is water- 
logged in the rains, dry in the dry season and not 
permanently under water) is found on areas 
with underlying pan or impermeable subsoil, 
principally on alluvial terraces at the foot of 
the Northern Range. There are three types. 
Marsh grassland of the Aripo savanna type is 
short-grassland with many sedges and a number 
of interesting endemic terrestrial orchids, blad- 
derworts and sundews. The fringing woodland 
features Mauritia setigera, Chrysobalanus icaco 
and Clusia spp. Marsh savanna-woodland is a 
grassland with scattered gnarled shrubs of Cura- 
tella americana and Byrsonima crassifolia. 
Marsh palm-forest is closed forest 70' high 
with an understorey of palms Jessema oligo- 


TIED JENS : Agriculture of Curasao, Aruba and Bonaire 

carpa, Manicaria saccifera, Maxmiliana elegans 
and Euterpe oleracea. The trees are Colo- 
phyllum lucidum, Symphonic, globulifera, Pari- 
tiari campestris, Myristica surinamensis, Podo- 
carpus coriaceus, Carapa guianensis, Ilex ari- 
ntensis, Clusia and Ficus spp., etc. 

Littoral vegetation fringes the windward coast. 
At high water mark begins a thicket of Cocco- 
loba uvifera, Terminalia catappa, T. nyssaefolia, 
Pariti tiliaceum, Thespesia populnea, Conocarpus 
erecta, Clusia rosea, Citharexylum spinosum and 
occasionally Chrysobalanus icaco and Cocos 
nucifera. Further back one may find pure wood- 
land of Manilkara bidentata or Roystonea olera- 

Secondary vegetation commonly contains large 
numbers of Cecropia peltata, Ochroma pyrami- 
dale, Vismia spp., Croton gossypifolius, Guasunut 
ultnifolia, Cordia spp., Acnistus arborescens, 
Alchornea glandulosa and Melastomaceae spp. 
Palms increase very greatly in second growth, 
particularly where there are fires. Frequent burn- 
ing may produce almost pure stands of Maxi- 


miliana elegans, Acrocomia aculcata or Scheclea 

Research and Exploration. GLEASON in his 
survey "the progress of botanical exploration 
in tropical South America" ranks Trinidad as 
one of twelve restricted regions which are con- 
sidered as adequately known. Botanical col- 
lections were begun about 1816 and assembled in 
a government herbarium. This was kept up to 
date and enlarged for many years. In 1921 Dr. 
N. L. BRITTON, after a visit to Trinidad, pro- 
duced a "Check list of the Spermatophyta of 
Trinidad." Based on this the preparation of 
a Flora was begun and the first part published 
by Mr. R. O. WILLIAMS in 1928. Since that 
time other parts have appeared by the same 
author and Professor E. E. CHEESMAN, so that 
about a third of the total flora has now been 
published. In addition there are several special 
papers, see below. In 1928 ecological surveys 
were begun by forest officers. A provisional 
outline of the plant communities was published 
by R. C. MARSHALL in 1934, and a more detailed 
work is now in preparation. 


References; WILLIAMS, R. O. and E. E. CHEESMAN, 
1928/40: The Flora of Trinidad and Tobago, Vols. I & 
II (not yet complete). (Trinidad/Govt. Printer). 
BROOKS, R. L., 1933: Notes on the Trinidad and Tobago 
Species of Lauraccae (Kew Bulletin of Misc. Informa- 
tion No. 5, 1933). BROADWAY, W. E. and L. B. 
SMITH, 1933: The Bromeliaccae of Trinidad and To- 
bago (Contributions from the Gray Herbarium of Har- 
vard University No. CII. Published in Proceedings of 
the Academy of Arts and Sciences, Vol. 68, No. 5). 
MOLDENKE, H. N. f 1939: The Vcrbcnaceae of Trinidad 
(Lilloa 4:283-366). WILLIAMS, R. O., 1924: Notes 
on the plants of Patos (Kew Bulletin No. 7, 1924, 
XXXI). MARSHALL, R. C, 1934: The Physiography 
and Vegetation of Trinidad and Tobago (Oxford Fores- 
try Memoir No. 17). HARDY, F., D W. DUTHIE, 
and G. RODRIGUEZ, 1936: The Cacao and Forest Soils of 
Trinidad, (B) South-Central District (Trinidad/Govt. 
Printer/Studies in West Indian Soils No. X). 

V. A. TIED; ENS: Agriculture on the Islands 
of Curasao, Aruba and Bonaire: The Nether- 
lands West Indies islands of Curacao, Aruba and 
Bonaire are located within 100 miles of the 
Venezuelan coast in the Caribbean. They are in 
the path of the trade winds and although the 
climate is tropical, the distribution of rainfall 
is such that natural vegetation consists pri- 
marily of desert types. The average rainfall on 
the islands is 17 inches, varying from 10 to 34 
inches per year. This rainfall would support 
a wide variety of vegetation if it were distrib- 
uted over the entire 12 months but since it all 
occurs during the months of September, Octo- 
ber, November and December, it is possible only 
to grow economic crops during these months. 
Even then there is no assurance of growing 
high water-requiring crops since much of the 
rainfall is torrential in nature and quickjy 
trickles through the porous coral rock and soil. 

The topography of the islands is rolling with 
some high rocky points. Soil has accumulated 
in the valleys and one finds more natural vege- 
tation there than on the islands in general. 
On Curacao there is more natural vegetation, 
probably due to the fact that the coral rock 
formations superimposed on a diabase substrate 
retain more of the moisture. 

Mangrove grows freely in the lagoons on the 
lee side of the islands. The valleys and lower 
lying areas where water tends to collect during 
the rainy season, support a dense shrub-like 
growth, and coconuts and fig palms are able to 
produce a fair crop of fruit. The vegetation on 
the higher ground which is a mixture of soil 
and coral rock is only a desert type of vegeta- 
tion. The columnar type of cactus (probably 
Myrtillocactus geometrisans, but resembling in 
some cases Carnegiea gigantca) grows freely 
whenever a little soil accumulates. It is used 
for making living cactus fences. The clubs are 
cut and are later set in rows on the boundaries 
of small lots where they take root and make a 
very effective barrier for the flocks of goats 
which roam freely over the countryside. The 
tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica) grows gen- 
erally over the islands, in some cases shrub-like 
and more or less prostrate, in others more or 
less erect but one-sided because of the strong 
northeast winds. The small shrub-like plants 
serve as food for goats. 

Aloes (Agave vera) grows freely over parts 
of Aruba and some on Curacao. This is the 
source of Aloe resin, a dark brown, bitter syrup 
which is exported for use in laxatives. This 
gives a livelihood to many of the natives who 
cut off the leaves, set them upright in troughs, 

PITTIER AND WILLIAMS : A Review of the Flora of Venezuela 


and collect the juice which drains out in the 
hot sun. 

Sea grapes (Coccoloba uvifera) grow abun- 
dantly on the windward sides of the islands and 
serve as ideal material for windbreaks. 

Sisal was introduced into Curacao as an eco- 
nomic crop but weather and economic conditions 
were not suitable for the best development of the 
crop. Volunteer plants are now found growing 
in sections of the island in spots where soil and 
moisture favor the growth of large specimen 
plants. There are a number of species of pros- 
trate-growing scant foliage plants which seem 
to find sufficient water to make a thin carpet 

Maize or Kafir corn as some call it, is grown 
by the natives during the rainy season as a 
source of grain for poultry. There are several 
poultry farms on the islands. 

On the leeward side of the islands, some veg- 
etables are being grown under irrigation and on 
Curacao this is a fairly successful venture but 
on a very small scale. 

Where potable water can be pumped from 
wells many tropical plants are grown in gardens. 
In one garden, I made a note of specimens of 
orange, lemon, lime, fig, date, banana, grape- 
fruit, sapodilla, sour sop, cherimoya, papaya, 
and mango. 

Water is a controlling item in the culture of 
food crops. Water from drilled wells is not 
always potable, some of it containing large 
quantities of salts which makes it unsuitable for 
drinking as well as for irrigation. Geolog- 
ically the islands are young and the rocks con- 
tain large quantities of salts from sea water. 
Following heavy rains many of the wells produce 
fine water but as the dry season advances the 
salts tend to increase particularly if the wells 
are pumped out too frequently. It is the ex- 
perience of many that soil brought in from the 
valleys produces fine vegetables for the first 
crop but produces practically no second crop. 
The fault has been laid to the salt in the water. 

Since food must be imported to the islands, 
considerable thought has been given to find 
means of growing more of the perishable varie- 
ties on the islands. Attempts are being made 
by the government to build up more potential 
water reserves by impounding rainfall in valleys 
with appropriate dams and dikes. This has 
possibilities, but because of the porous nature 
of the soil, it may be several years before it 
would begin to be effective in increasing the 
water supply of the numerous wells. 

To grow vegetable crops in soil with irriga- 
tion requires a special type of mentality among 
the native population who think in terms of 
big wages from the oil refineries in comparison 
with lower wages from agricultural pursuits. 
Thus there is no incentive to grow food ex- 
cept as a backyard garden enterprise for home 
consumption. Thus not only is it necessary 
to make it possible to grow the vegetables, 
but an educational program must be started which 
at the best is a long time project. 

In order to put vegetable culture on a basis 
that will appeal to the investigative type of 
mind, the field of Soilless Culture has been 
given serious consideration and at the present 
time, plans are under way for several installa- 
tions for demonstrational purposes. The De- 
partment of Landbouw, veeteelt, en Visscherij of 
the Government of Curacao under the able 
direction of R. J. BEAUJON, established a demon- 
strational unit in October, 1943 at Willemstad 

and was very successful in growing some ten 
different varieties of perishable vegetables in- 
cluding a fine crop of tomatoes. 

The Shell Oil and Refining Co. on Curacao 
has plans for an extensive study of possibilities 
of Soilless Culture as has also the Lago Oil 
and Transport Co., Ltd., on Aruba. 

If there is one place in this world where Soil- 
less Culture has a future, it is on these islands 
of the Netherlands West Indies. Its possibili- 
ties from the standpoint of water conservation 
and the possibility of using the well water from 
the islands, and the benefits to the health of the 
people by furnishing them a green vegetable 
which can be eaten raw as well as furnishing a 
greater variety of vitamin-rich foods, would 
seem to be of inestimable value to all concerned. 
.From the standpoint of growing conditions, 
there are several factors that must be kept in 
mind. The uniform length of day of approxi- 
mately 12 hours requires that certain varieties 
be grown which will develop under those con- 
ditions. Not all varieties are suitable. The 
constant temperature of 85 F. also will have an 
effect on the selection of varieties. The intense 
bright sunshine and continuously clear weather 
are conducive to rapid plant growth. Wind- 
breaks are necessary in exposed locations. 

There are a few insects which give some 
trouble, chiefly the red spider mite which thrives 
under existing climatic conditions. These mites 
do much damage on egg plant, beans, and cucum- 
bers and measures must be taken to keep them 
off the foliage. 

One species of the small friendly lizards which 
eat foliage will also give some trouble and must 
be guarded against. However, it would seem 
that once the structures are built for the plant- 
growing establishments, it should be a simple 
matter to grow quantities of perishable vege- 
tables which at the present time are not readily 
available to the people residing on the islands. 

The islands of the Netherlands West Indies 
are ideal for the vacationist, once the tourist 
is permitted to travel from island to island. 
On Aruba, there is an American colony of de- 
lightful people which has its counterpart of 
Dutch people on Curacao. Bathing and fishing 
facilities, and absence of flies and mosquitoes 
make these islands a veritable vacationist's para- 
dise. At the present time, there are more 
adequate facilities for tourists on Curasao than 
on Aruba. 


the Flora of Venezuela: Venezuela occupies 
the northernmost part of South America, 
bounded on the north by the Caribbean Sea, to 
the west by Colombia, to the east by British 
Guiana, while southward it extends beyond the 
first degree of northern latitude, where it ad- 
joins Brazil. 

Notwithstanding the many expeditions and 
large plant collections made within the country 
up to that time, the Venezuelan species cata- 
logued in 1917 numbered only about 1,500, and 
it is only during the last 24 years that a sys- 
tematic botanical exploration has been under- 
taken and consistently pursued. Today, the Na- 
tional Herbarium consists of approximately 
25,000 sheets, corresponding to about 12,000 
species, excluding introduced plants. In the 


PITTIER AND WILLIAMS : A Review of the Flora of Venezuela 

more conspicuous families the number of species 
recorded up to date is as follows : Polypodiaceae 
620, Gratnineae 450, Cyperaceae 224, Palntae 159, 
Bromeliaceae 101, Orchidaceae 801, Piperaceae 
184, Leguminosae 525, Malpighiaceae 113, Eu- 
phorbiaceae 204, Melastomaceae 231, Solanaceae 
157, Bignoniaceae 103, Rubiaceae 357, and Com- 
/wjt'/ae' 381. 

Climate. In altitude Venezuela begins at 
sea level and reaches up to 5,000 m. Taking 27 
C. as the mean annual temperature of the 
coastal region and 0.55 as gradient, on the basis 
of a long series of meteorological observations, 
the mean annual temperature of the highest peak 
of the Sierra Nevada de M6rida would be ap- 
proximately -0.27 C. Between these two ex- 
tremes we have all the possible variations, due 
not only to the elevation but also to topograph- 
ical conditions. The north-northeast monsoon is 
the prevailing wind, blowing almost constantly 
with changing intensity, but it seldom attains the 
force of a true hurricane, and this coupled 
with the usual modifications due to valley and 

ern parts of South America, including the 
Andes, are still in a process of emergence and 
have been so since the end of the quaternary 
period. In the beginning the new solid sur- 
faces were covered with luxuriant tropical vege- 
tation, which gradually became modified as it 
adapted itself to the new climatic conditions, 
brought about by the increasing altitude of the 
land. Coincident with the change of the cli- 
mate of the upper elevations, at first temperate 
later becoming colder, there was a slow but 
steady invasion of plants from austral regions, 
and even representatives of the northern 
flora reached the Venezuelan mountains. Antii- 
lean types also penetrated the lower belts, where 
we find still some relics indicating the early con- 
nection of South America with the continent 
of Africa. Thus, after many millions of years, 
the flora of Venezuela is essentially tropical in 
the lower altitudes, and formed mainly of 
austral and boreal elements in the upper reaches. 
The scientific investigation of the soils has 
only recently been started, but we know that in 


mountain breezes. The two annual seasons 
are determined by a period of dry weather, 
verano, from December to May, and a rainy sea- 
son, invierno, during the remaining months. 
Generally speaking, the amount of rain and the 
number of days of precipitation vary from less 
than 800 mm. and 100 rainy days, along the coast 
and in the deforested areas of the interior, to 
an average of 1,800 mm. and up to 150 days 
of rain in the rest of the country. There is, 
however, great diversity between the different 
regions in the pluvial regime as well as in the 
abundance of rainfall. Thus, in the peninsula of 
Paraguand or the island of Margarita years 
may elapse without a drop of rain, whereas in 
the easternmost parts of the Guayana the pre- 
cipitation is almost continuous, at times exceed- 
ing 2.500 mm., with more than 200 rainy days 
Origin of the Flora. Geologically, the east- 

composition they run all the scale between the 
mineralized sands and clays of the eastern 
mesas, and the rich humiferous earth of the 
virgin forests. Their chemical composition, of 
course, depends largely on the geological sub- 
stratum or the alluvial action. Unfortunately, 
large areas have been subjected to intense den- 
udation, caused by surface washing, fire, 
trodding by cattle, etc., consequently such dis- 
tricts are being slowly transformed into semi- 

Study of the Flora. The systematic study 
of the Venezuelan flora began with the arrival in 
1754 of PETER LOEFFLING, a disciple of LIN- 
NAEUS, who undertook the exploration of 
Cumana, Barcelona and lower Caroni. His in- 
vestigations were terminated by his untimely 
death at Murucurvi, in the lower Orinoco, in 
April 1756. After LOEFFLING came NIOOLAUS 

PITTIER AND WILLIAMS : A Review of the Flora of Venezuela 


SPRUCE and many other eminent botanists who 
studied the collections made by themselves as well 
as by numerous other naturalists. As a result most 
of the country has been more or less intensively 
explored, the only marked exceptions being the 
delta of the Orinoco and the adjacent lower 
Cuyuni, the upper Orinoco, the Andes of 
Tachira and the Cordillera de los Motilones. 

Vegetative Zones. Topographically and 
floristically the country may be divided into four 
main natural regions, namely the Coast range, 
the Andes, the Llanos and the Guayana. 

1) THE COAST RANGE consists of parallel 
ranges of variable length, extending along the 
littoral. It is mostly of secondary origin, flanked 
on both sides by somewhat continuous tertiary 
and quaternary deposits. The highest peaks, in 
the central part, are the Silla de Caracas (2,640 
m.) and the Pico de Naiguata (2,765 m.) ; in 
the eastern section the highest elevation is that 
of Turumiquire (2,600 m.) ; while in the west, 
the Pico de Santa Ana (850 m.) elevates itself 
as an isolated mass from the center of the 
peninsula of Paraguana. 

Approaching the coast at La Guaira, for 
example, we find that the vegetation in the 
maritime region is decidedly xerophilous. Along 
the open seashore grow isolated specimens of 
"uverillo de playa" (Coccoloba mrifera), and here 
also we find stands of cocos palms. In this arid 
area the Cactaceae are well represented 
by Cereus, notably C. hexagonus, Nopalia 
cochenilltfera, Opuntia Ficus indica and O. 
caribaca. Intermixed with these succulents are 
thorn forests of Peireskia Guamacho, Caesalpinia 
Coriaria, Prosopis juliflora, Bontia daphnioides, 
Jacquinia spp., and Capparis verrucosa. Farther 
inland, approaching the foot of the slopes, flourish 
Acacia tortuosa and A. glomerosa, Cercidium 
spinosum and several species of Pithecolobium. 
The thorn forests also include several species 
of unarmed trees and shrubs, represented among 
others, by Antyris balsamifera and A. simplici- 
jolia, Escnbeckia alata, Plumtria alba, Zisyphus 
melastomoides, Aspidosperma Vargasii and A. 

A natural continuation of the xerophilous 
formation is the tropophilous or transition for- 
est, extending up to altitudes of 700 or 800 m. 
This formation attains its climax in areas 
where there are two rather well-defined seasons. 
During the dry months most of the trees shed 
their leaves, and the bare branches produce a 
dry appearance suggestive of xerophilous growth. 
However, as soon as the rains begin there is a 
rapid and radical change in the general aspect 
of the forest, which now resembles the hygro- 
philous type. This formation is unusually rich 
in ligneous species, most of the trees being of 
moderate height, with straight, columnar 
trunks, while the fairly open undergrowth is 
composed of shrubs, especially of Melastomaccae 
and Rubiaceae. 

The upper limit of the coastal range is 
covered, at least during the early hours of the 
morning, by a dense blanket of mist. On ac- 
count of this high and perpetual humidity it is 
natural to find that the forest growth in these 
higher elevations is more luxuriant than that 
of the lower altitudes. Many of the trees attain 
large dimensions and one's attention is attracted 
to the great variety of epiphytes, ferns, many 
of them arborescent, and palms, mostly of small 

stature. Typical examples of these cloud forests 
are those of Colonia Tovar, ranging in altitude 
between 1,400 and 2,200 m., and that between 
Ocumare de la Costa and Maracay with a lower 
elevation, from 900 to 1,600 m. In this last-named 
area the dominant tree is "nino" or "cucharon" 
(Gyranthera caribensis). Other trees growing 
in association with this are species of Tovomita, 
Virola, Nectandra, Pseudoltnedia, Quararibea, 
Hirtella and many others no less conspicuous; 
while the ferns are represented mostly by species 
of Alsophila, Asplcmum, Diplasium and Dryo- 

2) THE ANDES occupy the western and south- 
western parts of the country. They present high 
peaks, up to 5,000 m., with intervening deep 
valleys, due mostly to erosion, and consist of a 
crystalline nucleus covered by primary and sec- 
ondary deposits. The forests of the higher eleva- 
tions, where a temperate climate prevails, do not 
attain the dimensions or the density of the cloud 
or rain forests of the low, tropical areas. The 
meso-microthermal belt, extending from 2,800 
to 3,800 m., coincides with the region most suit- 
able for the growing of potatoes and wheat, and 
indicates the upper limit of the high forest. In 
the lower elevations, below 2,800 m., flourishes 
the wax palm (Ceroxylon Klopstockia), while 
certain orchids, particularly the handsome 
Cattleya labiata, are conspicuous by their 
abundance. In the higher reaches of this belt 
the trees become scarcer and of smaller stature, 
as exemplified by Escallonia tortuosa, and the 
vegetation gradually merges into that of the 
paramo. This type attains its optimum in the 
lower part of the microthermal belt (alt. 3,800- 
5,000 m. ) . The vegetation of the paramo consists 
in the main of herbaceous plants with characteris- 
tically thick roots and coriaceous leaves, often 
disposed in basal rosettes. Many of these are 
notable for their large, brilliantly colored flowers, 
so that during the period of blooming the 
paramos present attractive panoramas remi- 
niscent of Alpine meadows. Among the more 
conspicuous of these plants are species of 
Hypericum and Geranium, Potentilla hetcrose- 
pala, Aciachne pulvinata, Malvastrum acaule, 
Hypochaeris acaulis, Micromeria nubigena, 
Gcntiana corymbosa, Lupinus spp., and various 
species of "frailejones," Espeletia. The frigid 
climate of these high altitudes is not conducive 
to the growth of woody plants, at most these 
being represented by only a few dwarfed species 
of Ericaceae and Hesperomeles, usually inhabit- 
ing rocky areas exposed to sunlight. 

3) THE LLANOS are not, as often depicted, an 
immense., open plain, comparable to the prairies 
of the Mississippi basin or the Argentinean 
pampas. On the contrary they exhibit a variable 
relief, as well as vegetation, and can be roughly 
classified into the Llanos occidentals, the west- 
ern plains drained by the Apure river and its 
tributaries flowing from the Andes, and the 
Llanos orientales, the eastern plains embracing 
the Mesa de Guanipa, an old inland sea and 
river bottom dating from the quaternary period, 
with its own fluvial system, and the Monagas 
region, drained by streams having their source 
in the Coast range. It is true that there are 
vast extensions devoid of trees, elsewhere there 
is a combination of forest and savanna, while 
the banks of the numerous rivers and streams are 
often flanked by stretches of gallery forest. As 
a rule the trees constituting this mixed forma- 


GROVES : Plant Resources of British Guiana 

tion are deciduous and attain a medium stature. 
Typical of these are: Cofaifera officinalis, 
Pterocarpus vernalis, Trichilia palmetorum, 
Machaerium guaricense, Jugastrum Christii, 
Vitex orinocensis,Hecatostemon guazumaefolium 
and Licania Pyrifolia. The thorn forests are 
composed of Mimosa Cabrera, Caesalpinia 
Conaria, Pithecolobium tortum and P. guari- 
cense, Haematoxylon Brasiletto, Randia spinosa 
and Calliandra affinis. Of the palms, one of the 
most characteristic of the upper Llanos is the 
"palma redonda" (Copernicia tectorum), while 
the "moriche" (Mauritia flexuosa) forms long 
stands, morichales, in the southeastern Llanos. 
Other palms encountered in these plains are 
species of Bactris, Attalea and Ocnocarpus. The 
intervening spaces between wooded areas are 
occupied by savannas, of which two main types 
may be distinguished, namely, sabanas de 
cstcros, along the margin of bodies of water 
and completely submerged during the wet sea- 
son, and the dry savannas, beyond the reach of 
periodical floods. 

4) THE GUAYANA is that territory bounded 
on the north and west by the Orinoco river. 
Geologically, it is a complex of sandstone, 
conglomerates and products of volcano action, 
resting on a base of igneous rock and deeply 
eroded by numerous rivers. The result is a 
topography of mesas and mesetas, interspersed 
with moderately high ranges, deep valleys and 
canyons. Correspondingly, the vegetation is a 
variation from the savanna type with adjacent 
belts of gallery forests to the high rain forests, 
attaining their optimum in the lower and upper 
reaches of the Orinoco basin. So far only meager 
studies have been made of the forests of the 
delta of the Orinoco, but it is known that 
among the more conspicuous elements are: 
Dimorphandra excelsa, Carapa guianensis, Calo- 
phyllum Calaba, Syntphon-ia globulifera, Ptero- 
carpus officinalis, Campsiandra comosa and 
Bombacopsis pachiroides, while in open areas 
grow palms, especially species of Mauritia, 
Euterpe and Maximiliana. At higher elevations, 
along the wooded slopes of the Imataca range, 
for example, are found species of Manilkara, 
Protium, Piratincra guianensis, Eperua Icu- 
cantha and E, Schomburgkiana, and Cusparia 
trifoliata. The middle Orinoco, as far as the 
rapids of Atures, is the zone of the tonkabean 
(Conmarnuna), represented by several species 
and of which the principal, from an economic 
standpoint, is C. punctata. In this area also 
abound Licaria cymbarum, Macrolobium acaciae- 
folium and M. discolor, Aspidosperma spp., 
Micrandra siphonioides, Couma spp., and the 
Lecythidaceae, represented by species of Etch- 
weilera, Gusiavia, Jugastrum and Lecythis. The 
savannas of Caicara, in the middle Orinoco, are 
characterized by the abundance of the oil- 
yielding "coroba" palm (Scheeled). 

To the southwest is the territory of Ama- 
zonas, extending between the rivers Orinoco and 
Guaviare and as far south as the Brazilian 
frontier. It includes the upper reaches of the 
Rio Negro, also known as Guainia, and may 
be properly called the Casiquiare-Guainia 
region. With the exception of the much- 
traveled routes of the Casiquiare and Pimichin, 
the greater part of this densely forested territory 
still remains to be explored botanically. Of 
economic plants, the "chiquichique" or "piasaba" 
palm (Leopoldinia Piassaba) and species of 

Hevca are known to be abundant in certain 
areas, but we still lack definite data regarding 
the distribution of these as well as of other 
fiber-, oil-, or latex-yielding plants reported 
to exist in the region. 



G. R. GROVES : The Plant Resources of British 
Guiana : British Guiana, the only British 
colony on the South American mainland has an 
area of about 89,480 square miles, and a popula- 
tion of approximately 350,000. 

The colony may be divided broadly into three 
belts, the northern one is a low lying, flat and 
swampy strip of marine alluvium known as the 
coastal region. This rises gradually from the 
seaboard and extends inland for a distance vary- 
ing from 10 to 40 miles. It is succeeded by a 
broader and slightly elevated tract of country 
composed of sandy and clayey soils. This belt 
is chiefly undulating land and is traversed in 
places by sand dunes rising from 50 to 180 feet 
above sea level. The more elevated portion lies 
to the south-ward of the above mentioned re- 
gions. This rises gradually to the south west 
between the river valleys, which are in many 
places swampy, and contains three principal 
mountain ranges, several irregularly distributed 
smaller ranges and in the south east parts many 
isolated hills and mountains. The eastern por- 
tion is almost entirely forest clad but in the 
south western side there is an extensive area 
of flat grass clad savannah elevated about 400 
to 700 feet above sea level. 

The country is traversed by many large rivers, 
which with their numerous tributaries and branch 
streams form a vast net work of waterways. All 
the largest rivers of the colony are impeded 
above the tide-way by numerous rapids, cata- 
racts and falls, which render the navigation of 
the upper reaches difficult. 

The Coast Lands. The flat and compara- 
tively narrow plain or belt which forms the 
coast land is to a considerable extent slightly 
below the level of the ordinary spring tides 
which flood the unprotected parts. Inland it 
may rise to about 10 to 12 feet above high water 
mark and in depth it varies from 10 miles in the 
west to 40 miles along the Berbice and Corentyne 
rivers. Its margin is protected from the sea and 
rivers by a dense growth of Mangrove (Rhizo- 
phora Mangle) and Courida (Avicennia nitida). 
Behind this growth are flat grassy savannahs 
mostly inundated during the rainy season. 

It is along the outer most part of the coast 
lands from the Pomeroon to the Corentyne that 
almost the whole of the population and cultiva- 
tion of the colony are concentrated. Situated 
on this comparatively narrow strip are the two 
towns of the colony nearly all the villages and 
with few exceptions all the sugar estates, roads 
and railways. 

Sugar. The sugar estates are situated on the 
flat plain of marine alluvium along the coast and 
for a short distance up the largest rivers. The 
area under sugar cane cultivation is appproxi- 
mately 70,000 acres. The largest area under 
sugar cane on any one estate is 7,000 acres, the 
majority of the estates, however, have only from 
1,000 to 2,000 acres. A large area of the front 
lands of the estates has been abandoned from 
sugar cultivation and extensions are being made 
further from the coast line. 

GROVES : Plant Resources of British Guiana 


Experiments with Sugar Cane. The Gov- 
ernment's experiments with sugar cane were 
started in 1882, when a collection of the varie- 
ties then under cultivation in various parts of 
the sugar cane world was commenced whilst 
in 1890 experiments were begun in raising canes 
from seed. The standard cane, the Bourbon, 
suffered in the nineties from fungus diseases 
and although the planters made every effort to 
prevent the spread they had to resort to cultiva- 
ting introduced varieties raised from seed. The 
experiments with seedlings varieties have had 
for their object the production of new varieties 
of canes from which after rigorous selection and 
testing on experimental plots, the planters might 
select kinds to suit the special conditions of their 
plantations. This work has been considerably 
extended during the last 15 years. 

Rice. The cultivation of rice in British 
Guiana during recent years has made enormous 
strides. There is something between 70,000 and 
85,000 acres under rice. Some of the abandoned 
front lands of the sugar estates are now used 
for this crop. Rice cultivation is chiefly under- 
taken by small farmers. 

Rice appears to have been first introduced 
from Carolina early in the eighteenth century 
during the occupation by the Dutch, although 
another importation is recorded about 1782 dur- 
ing the French occupation from the French 
colony Louisiana. It was not, however, until 
1865 that any encouragement was given to the 
cultivation of rice, when some sixteen acres 
were cultivated successfully in West Demerara. 
In 1886 over 200 acres were under this crop on 
the lower Essequibo Coast. From this date the 
industry gradually grew until 1898 when the 
area under rice was returned at 6,500 acres. 
Further expansion was made until the present 
acreage has been achieved. 

Considerable work has been done by the De- 
partment of Agriculture on selection and hy- 
bridisation of varieties, with the result that the 
varieties now under cultivation are superior in 
every respect to the former kinds. 

Coconuts. Coconuts thrive well on the 
coastal lands of the colony especially where 
the land is more or less of a sandy nature. The 
coconut cultivations are scattered, being chiefly 
owned by small farmers, but there are a few 
fair sized coconut estates. Reefs of light sandy 
loams exist on the Corentyne Coast, along the 
East Coast Demerara and in the Essequibo dis- 
trict, where coconuts flourish and even on the 
heavier coastal lands they grow quite satisfac- 
torily and bear heavy crops. The area planted 
with coconuts in the whole colony is approxi- 
mately 26,000 acres. 

Coffee and Cacao. Both coffee and cacao are 
grown to a limited extent, chiefly in the Pom- 
croon and North West Districts. The robust 
Liberian coffee is favoured. In recent years, 
however, the cultivation of coffee has been on 
the decline. Over 4,000 acres were under coffee 
cultivation in 1923 but the area cultivated in 
1942 was only 2,925 acres. The area under 
cacao is small. 

Fibres. In the earlier parts of the last cen- 
tury cotton formed an important article of ex- 
port. This cotton was obtained from the varie- 
ties of the perennial tree-cotton, which are able 
to withstand the detrimental effects of the 
meteorological conditions of the coast lands. 
Periods of excessive rainfall frequently followed 
by more or less severe drought, seriously affects 

the yield of the introduced cotton and the quality 
of the product. Trials have been made with 
Sea Island, Egyptian and other varieties with- 
out success, while it has been demonstrated that 
the indigenous hardy tree cottons give com- 
paratively small yield. 

Cowra fibre is prepared from a species of the 
wild pineapple which is cultivated by the Aborig- 
inal Indians for making cordage and hammock 
ropes. Sisal hemp was cultivated on one estate 
on the Mazaruni River and over 200 acres 
planted. Machinery was installed for the extrac- 
tion of the fibre, but unfortunately had to be 
given up owing to a severe outbreak of the 
disease Colletrichium agaves. 

In the North West District the Aboriginal 
Indians obtain from the unopened shoots of the 
Aete Palm Mauritia fiexuosa material known 
locally as "tibiseri," which is used for making 
hand bags and similar articles. This "tibiseri" 
resembles raffia. 

Rubber. The cultivation of Para Rubber 
(Hevea, brasiliensis) has been experimented with 
by many of the sugar estates in different parts 
of the colony. Satisfactory progress was made 
by Para rubber on the Berbice, Demerara, Esse- 
quibo and Pomeroon Rivers and also in the 
North West District. Owing to the over pro- 
duction of rubber in other parts of the world, 
the cultivation of this forest crop did not prove 
a profitable undertaking. Many of the planta- 
tions were left untapped until the present war 
when rubber became an extremely valuable com- 
modity. All the plantations are now being 
tapped and the yields per tree favourably com- 
pare with results obtained in other parts of the 

Other Forest Products. The forests of Brit- 
ish Guiana cover 78,180 square miles or about 
87 per cent of the total area. The forests 
worked for timber are in the easily accessible 
districts, which extend from the coast to the 
rapids and falls in the various rivers. Of the 
many species found in these tropical forests, crab- 
wood, mora, greenheart and wallaba are the 
chief timbers used. The timber industry is an 
extremely important one since practically all the 
buildings in the Colony are made of wood. Tim- 
ber is also exported, greenheart Nectandra sp. 
being in greatest demand. 

Other forest products include gums, oils and 
balata of which a limited amount is exported. 

Fruits. Citrus fruits including limes, grape- 
fruit and oranges grow well in certain areas 
particularly in the North West District. There 
is the tendency to extend the cultivation of 
citrus fruit during recent years. Mangoes grow 
quite successfully on the Coastlands. Pineap- 
ples are also cultivated on the light peaty soils, 
while bananas can also be grown successfully. 
With the possible exception of limes, there is 
no fruit for export, in fact, there is not sufficient 
in most cases for home consumption. 

Ground Provisions. Large areas of provi- 
sion crops are under cultivation. Plantain, cas- 
sava, corn, yams, sweet potatoes, tannias and 
eddoes are principally grown. A considerable 
acreage is also under leguminous crops, such as 
blackeye peas, cow peas and pigeon peas. 

Vegetables such as tomatoes, beetroot, car- 
rot, cabbage, lettuce and other greens can be 
grown with care. These, however, are mainly 
grown in small home gardens. 

Pastoral Industries. There are very large 
areas of coastal lands well adapted to pastoral 


STAHEL: Natural Resources of Surinam 

pursuits. Cattle raising is carried out on pas- 
ture lands in front of the sugar estates and on 
the coastal swamp savannahs. Through lack of 
proper drainage much of the pasture land in the 
Colony becomes swamped in the wet season, 
while not infrequently a drought occasions a 
lack of suitable water, for drinking purposes. 
However, cattle raising is developing and is 
being extensively taken up by sugar estates 
and large syndicates. 

G. STAHEL: The Natural Resources of Suri- 
nam* : Surinam has an area of 160,000 square 

Along the coast live Creoles, Javanese, British 
Indians, and aboriginal Indians (Caraibs, Aro- 
waks, Warraus). There are about 180,000 
people altogether; one-third of them live in the 
capital, Paramaribo. The hilly inland is un- 
occupied with the exception of 15,000 bush-ne- 
groes who live along four rivers and 400 Indians 
near the Brazilian border. The bush-negroes and 
the Indians are not under direct government 

While the interior is covered with an unin- 
terrupted rain-forest, in the coastal region we 
find savannas and extended open marshes. The 
alluvial coastal region consists of two parts: 
the continental alluvium which forms the savanna 
belts and consists largely of white quartz sand ; 
and, the low fluvio-marine alluvium with fertile 
clay land, a part of this, however, is always 
submerged, and the rest is under water for the 
largest part of the year. 

In tli is area lie marine deposits composed of 
sand, shells and old beach formations, these are 
frequently 1-2 m. above the low clay land and 
are never flooded. In early times the Indians 
lived on these deposits which were later occu- 
pied by the colonists. The chief city, Para- 
maribo, is situated on a chain of similar forma- 

Neither the savanna belts nor the distant in- 
terior is fertile. The plantations, therefore, are 
all situated in the clay region. Every planta- 
tion forms its own "polder," which at low water 
can be drained through sluices or drains to the 
river. The first colonists began about 1650 with 
the cultivation of tobacco which was not very 
successful. By 1668, however, twenty-three small 
sugar-plantations were in operation. Since that 
time this agricultural pursuit has been main- 
tained. At present two large sugar-plantations 
arc still active. 

After 1730 the planting of Arabian coffee was 
initiated here and reached its height between 
1775 and 1800. In about 1860, this industry dis- 
appeared in consequence of the abolition of 
slavery. Later, however, after 1870, when 
Asiatic laborers became available, the industry 
was revived, and about 1890 the more robust 
Liberian coffee, which grows particularly well 
on the stiff clay soil, was introduced. This 
enterprise increased rapidly at the time of the 
decline in the cultivation of bananas in 1912. 
After the years 1925-1930, when prices were 
very high, the price of coffee slumped consid- 
erably. The coffee plantations got into great 
difficulties which were still increasing when, 

The author is much indebted to Dr. L. M. PERRY 
for kindly translating this account from Dutch into 

during the Second World War, the export, par- 
ticularly to Norway and Sweden, became largely 
impossible. Several coffee-plantations, therefore, 
were forced to close while others tried to main- 
tain their holdings with limited means until 
the return of better times. 

Here in the dry regions close to the sea, 
cotton-growing was carried on from 1780 to 
1860. This business was liquidated at the 
time slavery was abolished. Efforts made be- 
tween 1920 and 1930 to revive the cultivation 
of this crop were wholly unsuccessful. 

Although cacao was already planted earlier on 
a small scale, subsequent to 1870 its cultivation 
spread rapidly and reached its peak in 1895. 
After 1900, however, the production suddenly 
declined as a result of the outbreak of the 
Witches Broom Disease which occurs in the 
interior on the wild cacao. It revived some- 
what when successful measures were adopted 
to combat the disease. However, because of 
the shallow character of the surface-layer of 
the clay soil, in the two particularly dry years 
1925-26, the cacao plantations were entirely 
ruined, so that to-day cacao beans must be 

Bananas were cultivated here for only a short 
period. The variety Gros Michel was planted 
in 1907 and the United Fruit Company took 
care of the exportation of the fruit. As early as 
1909, the Panama Disease became very destruc- 
tive. The export quickly declined and stopped 
entirely in 1914. Since 1930 experiments with 
the immune Congo banana have been carried on 
under the direction of the Surinam Banana Com- 
pany supported by the Netherlands Government. 
These extensive tests under capable leadership 
have procured valuable data for the possible 
re-establishment of this crop. Unfortunately 
these researches had to be discontinued tem- 
porarily because of the present circumstances. 

When the Panama Disease began to destroy the 
banana plantations, on various holdings plant- 
ings of Para, rubber were made. The trees 
developed satisfactorily. In 1915, however, the 
South American Hevea leaf disease suddenly 
broke out, spreading rapidly from the wild 
Hevea guyanensis to the cultivated plants. 
Within one or two years the young plantings 
were wholly ruined. As the rubber trees were 
satisfactorily grown in Surinam before the out- 
break of this disease, rubber culture may again 
be tried by using the new Ford clones, which 
are resistant. In its native state one finds 
Hevea brasiliensis growing by preference in 
the temporarily inundated forest of the lower 
Amazon territory, and hence on terrain appar- 
ently conforming very much in character to 
the clay land of the plantations. 

Stimulated by the moderately high prices 
which rice brought during the First World War, 
the small land-holders, particularly those of 
Asiatic origin (British Indians and Javanese) 
considerably extended the cultivation of rice 
and continued to do so after the close of the 
war. As the low fertile clay lands lend them- 
selves extremely well to the growing of this 
crop, a further development of the product is 
expected, if low prices do not prevent it. 
Through the providing of pure seed for plant- 
ing on a large scale, the quality of the export 
rice is improved little by little, so that compe- 
tition can be better withstood. 

Since 1928, on light sandy soil, the Javanese 

DOMINGUES : A Agriculture no Brasil 


settlers have planted tobacco in increasing 
quantities for local consumption. Defective cur- 
ing and sorting are largely responsible for the 
limited sale and low prices. 

The planting of oranges and grapefruits has 
grown in the last fifteen years with the idea 
of shipping these fruits to the Netherlands. 
Apparently, as a general rule, these fruits may 
be shipped in good condition in an uncopled 
hold to Europe, and also the shorter the time 
of transportation the better. These trees grow 
well here both in clay and in sand. 

Experiments with the coconut-palm have given 
less encouraging results. 

Food- plants have been grown in sufficient 
quantity for domestic consumption, and cattle- 
raising provides the necessary meat. There is a 
deficit only in oils and fats. However, efforts 
have been made to extract oil from the peanut 
and soy-bean to supplement the limited quanti- 
ties of coconut-oil which are produced here. 

The immense forests of the country furnish 
equally satisfactory timber for houses which here 
are all built of wood. Most of the trees are 
felled by the bush-negroes on the upper parts 
of the rivers, and the logs are floated down to 
the inhabited coastal land over a number of 
cataracts and rapids. Most of the lumber 
companies, in part well equipped, which were 
established here in the course of the last 
fifty years, have again been liquidated after a 
few years. So far, the export of lumber has 
been limited and confined to "Basra Locus" 
(Dicorynia paracnsis), a wood especially useful 
for harbor work because of its resistance to 
marine borers. 

In addition to lumber, the forests also furnish 
balata. This type of rubber was shipped from 
here in 1895. The highest production was 
reached during the years 1910-1914. After 
that the quantity diminished, but some balata 
is still exported. 

For a hundred years, even if somewhat irregu- 
larly, Quassia bitter *wood, the Lignum Quas- 
siae surinamense of the pharmacopoeia, has 
been exported. Very recently, however, it has 
been entirely supplanted by the cheaper Jamaica 
bitter wood. 

Economically by far the most important in- 
dustry of this country is the Bauxite trade. 
The American Alcoa Company operates two 
large mines (Mpengo and Paranam), while the 
Netherlands Biliton Company have another one 
near Onoribo. 

Gold-mining has commonly been done in very 
primitive ways; but, for the last ten years, a 
gold mining company has been working under 
expert leadership and using modern equipment. 

The interest in agriculture has been well man- 
aged by two institutions, the Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station and the Bureau of Agric. Econom- 
ics. A veterinarian, who is director of the abat- 
toir, not only supervises its activities but also pro- 
motes interest in cattle-raising. Recently, a 
bureau of mines has been set up to care for 
the mining interests of the country. 

ALPHEU DOMINGUES : A Agriculture no Brasil : 
O Brasil urn pais reconhecidamente agricola, 
de extraordinarios recursos natural s do ponto de 
vista vegetal e mineral. 

Nesses ultimos anos, a politica do governo 

brasileirp tern se orientado no sentido de trans- 
f ormar industrialmente os prodiitos agricolas do 
Brasil, para evitar que o pais continuasse a ser 
apenas produtor de materias primas, as quais 
passaram a ser industrializadas dentro do pro- 
prio pais. 

A fitogeografia brasileira, estudada pelo 
grande botanico ALBERTO J. DE SAMPAIO, e diver- 
sificada com uma flora heterogenea que se en- 
quadra em oito zonas assim discriminadas : 1. 
Florestas tropicais; 2. Pinhais; 3. Cerrados; 4. 
Campinas; 5. Caatingas; 6. Babaguais; 7. Ve- 
getagao litoranea; 8. Comptexo do pantanal. 

Florestas tropicais. As florestas tropicais 
compreendem tres formag5es: 1. Floresta da 
regiao equatorial; 2. Floresta da encosta atlan- 
tica ; 3. Floresta do vale do rio do Parana. 
Floresta da regiao equatorial: A floresta da re- 
giao equatorial nao se local iza apenas no Brasil. 
Estende-se as Guianas, Venezuela, parte da 
Colombia, Equador, Peru, Boliva, na parte leste 
dos Andes. 

No Brasil ela forma a formidayel mata ama- 
zonica que e chamada tambem Hileia brasileira. 
A f existe a coincidencia de uma regiao prodiga- 
mente servida por cursos dagua, de maneira que a 
sua formagao e de origem hidro-higrofila mega- 
termal. A floresta amazonica e fechada e con- 
tinua. Ha, porem, claros constituidos por man- 
chas campestres, tais como os campos do Alto 
Rio Branco e os da margem esquerda do rio 
Amazonas, no Estado do Para. 

Nas florestas amazonicas se distinguem duas 
formagoes: as matas de varzea e igapo e as 
matas de terra firme. 

Na Hile"ia brasileira encontram-se entre outras 
arvores as seguintes : a seringueira, a castanheira, 
o cacaueiro, o pau rosa, a jarina ou marfim 
vegetal, o acapu, a massaranduba e o guarana. 

As demais florestas tropicais sao representadas 
pelas florestas da encosta atlantica e pelas matas 
do vale do rio do Parana. 

MARTTUS denominou a floresta da encosta at- 
lantica de Dryades. Estende-se desde o Estado 
do Rio Grande do Norte ate a parte setentrional 
do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul. Dai, na dire- 
gao de oeste ela recobre a encosta meridional 
do grande planalto. Logares ha em que ela 
avanga para o interior como acontece no vale do 
rio Doce. As grandes derrubadas de florestas 
que ocorreram no Nordestc, para o estabeleci- 
mento das lavouras de cana de agucar, devas- 
taram a mata da encosta atlantica. Essa devas- 
tagao tambem foi feita no sul do pais principal- 
mente no vale do rio Paraiba do Sul, para estabele- 
cimento da cultura cafeeira. Ainda assim, entre 
o rio S. Francisco e a ribeira do Iguape cxistem 
logares onde essas matas se apresentam com- 
pactas e continuas. Ao norte do Rio Doce, no 
Estado do Espirito Santo, encontram-se agru- 
pamentos florestais predominando o jacaranda, o 
assat, a peroba, o cedro, os ipes, a imbuia, o ja- 
toba, o jequitiba, etc. 

A floresta do vale do rio Parana compreende 
todas as matas que formam os vales dos afluentes 
do rio Parana, pela margem esquerda, desde o 
Tiete ate o Iguagu e continuando pclo vale do 
rio Uruguay ate" seu afluente Ijui. Estas matas 
sao higrofilas. 

Pinhais. Estas florestas ocupam o planalto 
meridional do Brasil sobretudo ps Estados do 
Parana e Santa Catarina e irradiam-se tambem 
no planalto sul-rio-grandense, formadas de Arau- 
caria angustifolia. Ha intercorrencias de outras 


DOMINGUES : A Agriculture no Brasil 

arvores como a imbuia e a hervamate. O clima 
nessa regiao e natureza sub-tropical. 

Ccrrados. A vegetagao do cerrado 6 o tipo 
que predomina no planalto dos Estados de Ma to 
Grosso, Goiaz e parte do Estado de Minas Gerais. 
Encontram-se ai o pau-terra, a lixeira e a manga- 

Campinas. As campinas sao representadas 
pelos campos do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul, 
de esplendidas pastagens naturals, na planicie 
que cobre a parte meridional do Estado. No 
altiplano tambem ocorrem os chamados campos 
gerais, no Estado do Parana, Santa Catarina e 
Rio Grande do Sul. A mesma ocorrencia se en- 
contra no divisor de aguas Tocantins-Sao Fran- 
cisco e tambem no sul do Estado de Mato Grosso. 
Esta zona fitogeografica compreende ainda as 
florestas de beira de rio e os capoes. As primei- 
ras sao chamadas florestas ciliares ou galerias. 
Os capoes sao verdadeiras ilhas dc mata. Estas 
formacoes sao de natureza hidrofila. 

faixa de vegetagao que fica a beira do oceano e 
cado entre os tres maiores produtores de milho 
apresenta os seguintes aspectos: 1. Coqueirais; 
2. Vegetagao das restingas ; 3. Mangues. 

Pan tana I. Situada na baixada do Estado de 
Mato Grosso, entre a borda ocidental do planalto 
e o sulco do rio Paraguai. A vegetagao e topo- 
fila. Ai o clima compreende duas estagoes per- 
feitamente distintas : o verao e o inverno. Ocorre 
uma vegetagao composta de florestas do tipo 
amazonico, matas de encosta, palmeirais, cerra- 
dos, campinas, matas de beira de rio, vegetagao 
dos alagados e vegetagao aquatica. No Estado 
de Mato Grosso o pantanal nao e brejo ou ala- 
gado permanente, como poderia parecer a pri- 
meira vista, 

CEREAIS:Q Brasil cultiva trigo, milho, 
arroz, ceveda, centeio, aveia, etc. 

Trigo. O Governo do Brasil esta empenhado, 
por todos os meios e formas, em desenvolver a 
cultura do Trigo. Em alguns Estados, como Rio 

iAo AofcoLA DO BiASiL (Cortrsia de 'Agriculture in the Americas'). 

Caatingas. Vegetagao formada de cactaceas 
e arvores, geralmente, de pequcno porte. Com- 
preende os Estados nordestinos. Ai e a rcgiao 
onde as secas ocorrem com mais frequencia cau- 
sando calamidades e vexames para as populates 
locals e prcocupando o governo. fi zona de cria- 
gao de gado e lavoura de algodao. Ocorrem ;i 
carnaubeira, a oiticica, o caroa, que fornece uma 
fibra de primeria ordem, e os frutos oleaginosos. 

Babafuais. Predomina a palmeira Babagu, 
chssificada pelo grande botanico BARBOSA ROD- 
RIGUES, de Orbiijnia spcciosa. Abrange os Esta- 
dos do Maranhao, Piaui e Goiaz. No Estado do 
Maranhao, ondc existem as maiores ocorrencias 
de Orbignia spcciosa, estas ocorrencias comegam 
pertp do Turi-Agu, compreendendo o curso 
medio dos rios Pindare, Grajau e Mearim e por 
ultimo quasi todo o Itapicuru. Os babaguais sao 
formagoes hidrofilas. 

Vcgetaqao litoranea. Compreende a estreita 

Grande do Sul, Parana, Santa Catarina, Sao 
Paulo, Minas Gerais e Pernarrtbuco e Paraiba 
as condigoes ecologicas permitem o cultivo dessa 
graminea. Convem nao esqueccr tambem as 
excelentes condigoes do Estado de Goiaz para 
a cultura do trigo. Atualmente ha uma area 
cultivada de trigo aproximadamente de 230, 
210 hectares, com urn rendimento medio de 
700 kilos por hectare. No ano de 1941 o 
Brasil importou 894.905.015 kilos de trigo. Em 
1938 essa importagao atingiu a 

O Ministerio da Agricultura esta instalando 
varies campos de coopcragao da cultura de trigo 
para fomentar a sua produgao. Segundo calculos 
recentes no Brasil ha uma area triticola equi- 
valente a 63.484.000 de hectares. Em 1941 o 
Brasil produziu 180.449.400 kilos de trigo pro- 
veniente das culturas feitas nos Estados de Per- 
nambuco, Baia, Espirito Santo, Parana, Santa 

DOMINGUES : A Agriculture no Brawl 





(Dt JAMES'S Latin America, Nova-York, 1942) 

Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, Mato Grosso, 
Goiaz e Minas Gerais. 

Milho. Este cereal representa 17% do valor 
total da safra agricola do Brasil, que esta colo- 
do mundo. fi artigo de exportacao. Em 1938, 
o Brasil exportou 120 mil toneladas de milho. 
Em 1941, a produgao de milho alcancou um volu- 
me de 84.813.417 kilos. A cultura do milho 
estende-se por todos os Estados brasileiros. 

Arros. O Brasil e o paiz por excelencia 
para a cultura do arroz. Nos Estados do Rio 
Grande do Sul e S. Paulo a plantagao desse cereal 
k feita obedecendo os mais rigorosos preceitos da 
tecnica. No primeiro daqueles estados ha o 
Institute do Arroz, entidade que controla, 
orienta, e dirige a produgao, a industria e o 
comercio dessa grammea. fi artigo de exporta- 
cao. Em 1941, o Brasil produziu 23.043.390 
sacas de 60 kilos de arroz. 

As variedades cultivadas sao conhecidas pclos 
nomes de dourado, matao, japones, Carolina, 
branco, paulista e Honduras. 

O Xfinisterio da Agricultura acha-se empen- 
hado, atualmente, em resolver o problema da 
cultura do arroz no vale do rio Sao Francisco 
e no Estado do Maranhao, onde ex is tern grandes 
tratos de terra propicia ao seu cultivo. 

Cevada. Comquanto ainda seja pequena a 
produgao de cevada no Brasil tem este pai's con- 
digoes favoraveis ao seu desenvolvimento cul- 
tural e industrial sobretudo nos Estados do Rio 
Grande do Sul e Parana. 

Centeio. A produgao do centeio esta concen- 
trada nos Estados do Rio Grande do Sul, Santa 
Catarina, Parana, e Sao Paulo. Em 1941 o Bra- 
sil produziu 15.033.290 kilos de centeio. 

Aveia. A aveia encontra grandes possibili- 
dades de cultura nos Estados meridionals do 
pais. Em 1941, o Brasil produziu 8.344.380 kilos 
de aveia. 

CAF&: O Brasil o maior produtor de 
cafe" do mundo. Os Estados que mais produzem 
esta rubiacea sao os de S. Paulo, Minas Gerais, 

Espirito Santo, Parana e Estado do Rio. Exis- 
tem no Brasil 2.511000.000 cafeeiros cohtindo 
uma area de 3.492000 hectares. Em 1941, os 
Estados Unidps importaram do Brasil 9.930970 
sacas de 60 kilos de cafe em carogo. 

l-'UMO O Brasil possue excelentes terras 
para a cultura do tabaco. O Ministerio da Agri- 
cultura mantem duas estagoes experimentais da 
cultura do fumo, uma no Estado do Para e outra 
no Estado da Baia. Em 1941 a produgao de 
fumo atingiu a 91.431.270 kilos. 

ALGODAO ' O Brasil atualmente e um dos 
maiores produtores de algodao do mundo. 

Em nenhuma outra parte da supcrficie do 
globo medra o afamado algodao chamado Moc6 
(Gossypwm litijolium) que encontra seu habitat 
natural na rcgiao do Nordeste. fi um algodao 
de fibra longa, perene, contrastando com as de- 
mais variedades anuais. 

Algumas veses o algodao chamado Moc6 da 
uma fibra de 40 milimetros de cornprimento. 
Geralmente as sementes desse algodao sao pe- 
quenas c de cor quasi preto, nuas e com a forma 
de uma pera. Sua fibra presta-sc admiravelmcnte 
a fabricagao de tecidos finos. 

No Estado de Sao Paulo, que e hoje o maior 
produtor de algodao no Brasil cultivam-se as 
variedades anuais, taes como o Te\as, o Delfos 
e o Piratininga. 

No Estado da Paraiba do Norte est& sendo fcito 
o cruzamento de varias especies com o fim 
de obter melhorcs e mais longas fibras. Este tra- 
balho est4 a cargo da Estacao Experimental de 
Plantas Texteis, no municipio de Ibiapinopolis. 

No Norte do Brasil cultivam-se ainda as se- 
guintes variedades conhecidas vulgarmentc pelos 
nomes de "Rim dc Boi," "Riqucza" ou "Ver- 
dio," e "Mocozinho." 

O Brasil, pelas suas especiais condig5es de 
solo e clima, o pais fadado a produzir algodao 
dos melhores tipos e qualidades. 


SOUZA: The Brazilian Forests 





(.De JAMES'S Latin America, Nova- York, 1942) 

De ano para ano, vem se dcsenvolvendo essa 
lavoura e colocando-se numa posigao de grande 
destaquc entrc os demais paises produtores dessa 
malvacca. Mercce especial mensao o trabalho 
cientifico a cargo do Institute Agronomico de 
Campinas, no Estado de Sao Paulo, com o fim 
dc fixar variedades permitindo que as culturas 
algodoeiras no Estado sejam feitas debaixo de 
um alto rigor dc tecnica agricola. 

Em 1941, o Brasil produziu 510.000 toneladas 
de algodao. Com a gucrra de 1939, o pais perdeu 
importantes mercados na Europa e no Oriente, 
mas, em compensagao, ganhou outros mercados 
e conseguio colocar dentro do proprio pais grande 
parte de sua produgao. com o desenvolvimento 
que tomou a industria de tecidos. 

FIBRAS TEXTEIS:O Brasil e um vasto 
manancial de fibras texteis, algumas nativas que 
so existem medrando nas terras brasileiras. O 
Caroa, por exemplo, e um dcssas fibras que tern 
por habitat natural a regiao do Nordeste. Trata- 
se de uma bromeliacea, conhecida pelo nome 
cientifico de Neoylasiovia iwiegata. Existe em 
estado nativo nos Estados da Baia, Pernambuco, 
Paraiba, Rio Grande do Norte e Piaui. Esta 
scndo industrializada com extraordinario sucesso 
para a fabricate de fios de vela, fios para sapa- 
tos, cordao, tecidos para roupas, papel para cor- 
respondencia e para copiador. 

Alem do Caroa, o Brasil possue a Macambira, 
o Sisal, os Hibiscus, tacs como a Papoula de Sao 
Francisco, a Juta Paulista etc. 

cida a possibilidade do Brasil como pats rico em 
sementes oleaginosas sobretudo na regiao do 
Amazonas. Entre outros oleos vegetais citam-se o 
de Oiticica, Babassu, Algodao, Batiputa, Amcn- 
doim, Girasol, Gergclim, Macauba, Sapucaia, 
Mamona, Scringueira, Uchi-Pucu, Uman, Mu- 
cuja, Murumuru, Urucuri, Inaj4, Bacaba, Co- 
paiba, Dende, Curua, Fava de Arara, Caju, 
Piquid, Piqui, Cupuaqu, etc. 

CACAU: O Brasil i o segundo produtor 

mundial de Cacau, que e produzido nos Estados 
do Para, Pernambuco, Baia, Espirito Santo, Rio 
de Janeiro, Minas Gerais e Amazonas. A Baia e 
o Estado de maior produgao. O Institute do 
Cacau, em S. Salvador, e o orgao controlador da 
producao, industria e comercio. 

O Brasil produz ainda Cha, Herva-Mate, 
Feijao e Fava, Guarana, Mandioca, Timbp, 
Bananas, Laranjas, Limas, Limoes, Grape-Fruit, 
Uva, Abacaxi, Manga s e uma variedade enorme 
de frutos. 

CAN A DE AfUCAR: A cultura dessa 
graminea e tradicional no Brasil. Atualmente o 
trabalho experimental tern melhorado considera- 
velmente os canaviais brasileiros com a intro- 
dugao de novas variedades resistentcs as molcs- 
tias e de maior rendimento cultural. Em Per- 
nambuco, sobretudo, existem as mais adeantadas 
usinas de fabricagao de agucar e o Ministerio da 
Agricultura mantem duas grandes Estagoes Ex- 
perimentais de Cana de Agucar, no Estado do 
Rio (Campos) e no Estado de Pernambuco 

BORRACHA:O Brasil e, na sua regiao 
Amazonica, o habitat natural da Seringueira que 
produz a Borracha, tao necessaria no es forgo de 
guerra. O Instituto Agronomico do Norte, em 
Belem, Para, esta realizando estudos tecnicos 
concernentes a produgao da Hevea brasiliensis. 



PAULO F. SOUZA: The Brazilian Forests: 
History. It is a well known fact in history 
that the exploration of Brazilian forests began 
immediately after the discovery of Brazil, per- 
haps even before that time, if we are to lend 
credence to BRANDAO'S navigations in 1343 and 
those by Pisz6N in January, 1500, and to geo- 
graphic charts prepared previous to CABRAL'S 
voyage. A true fact is that AMERIOO VESPUCIO. 
in 1501, and GONCALO COELHO, in 1503, carried 
to Portugal, for the Portuguese Crown, large 

SOUZA: The Brazilian Forests 


quantities of "braza" (live-coal) coloured wood 
(Ibira-pitanga red wood in indigenous lan- 
guage) and hence the name "Brazil"; this wood 
immediately became an important article of 
trade, the monopoly of which was awarded by 
the King of Portugal to the adventurer FERNAO 
DE NORONHA who, during the year 1519 only, 
felled 5,000 trunks and shipped them to Portu- 
gal. The monopoly relative to Brazil wood 
("pau brasil") was discontinued only in 1605. 

During a century and a half, the forests of 
Brazil were ravaged, until in 1652 a protest was 
raised against such abuse, which, however, was 
not repressed until 1751, when, by virtue of 
representations to the Crown, the first measures 
were adopted to limit the felling of hardwoods. 

As we are aware, Portugal always protected 
its forests, since the time of D. DENIS (1261- 
1325), founder of the University of Coimbra 
and of the "Pinhal da Leiria" (Leiria pinetum), 
the history of which has been masterly written 
by Forester A. ARALA PINTO, in his book "O 
Pinhal do Rei" (The King's Pine Trees), Al- 
cobaga, Portugal. 

Many countries of Europe, several centuries 
ago, already protected their patrimonial forests. 
Thus Spain in 1184, Germany in 1400, Austria 
in 1512, Italy in 1600, France in 1669. 

Portugal followed the most advanced civili- 
zation of the times, and hence its vast forest 
legislation, applicable in part to Brazil. As proof 
of this, there is the "Corte de Madeiras" (The 
cutting of woods), published on October 19, 
1789, by Desembargador FRANCISCO NUNES DA 
COSTA, "Inspetor dos Reaes Cortes da Capitania 
da Baia," regarding the necessity of acquiring 
appropriate ships to transport woods from dif- 
ferent points to the shipping center, where they 
were stored for subsequent shipping to the King- 

In 1795 the Botanical Garden of Portugal was 
created; Brazil had its Botanical Garden, which 
still exists and in the same place (Fazenda da 
Lagoa), by official permission of March 1, 1811, 
a large arboretum was created for exotic 
plants such as "moscadeiras," "alcanforeiras," 
"craves da India," cinnamon, pepper, and coch- 
ineal cactus, and for the plantation of artificial 
forests of hardwoods, such as "peroba," "tapin- 
hpans," "canelas," "vinhaticos," etc., and finally 
directing and promoting the formation of good 
pastures for the feeding of the cattle of the farm 
and all other articles relative to good agricul- 

Long before this, however, in 1779, the Queen 
of Portugal gave orders to have reserved, as be- 
longing to the Royal Crown, all woods and trees 
on the coast line or bordering navigable rivers, 
of the old uncultivated lands. This measure ex- 
tended to the "Capitanias" of Paraiba, Baia, and 
Rio Grande do Sul. The orders were severe and 
included the demarcation, without loss of time, 
of the woods existing along the coast and navi- 
gable rivers flowing into the sea, and had the 
following objectives in view: 1) the preserva- 
tion of the forests and trees ; 2) economy as re- 
gards cutting and transportation; 3) to facili- 
tate remittances, and 4) the establishing of a 
perfect accounting showing the price of each 
piece taken from said trees and forests. These 
data were to be forwarded together with the 
greatest possible quantity of samples of existing 
woods. The royal letter, addressed to the Cap- 
tain General of the "Capitania" of Baia, in- 
structed that such work should also be done as 

regards the forests of Alagoas and Cairu and 
those of Rio Doce in the Espirito Santo Capi- 
tania, where the felling of some trees should 
take place for the investigation of the principal 
woods which might be felled with profit, taking 
the utmost care, however, to prevent private 
parties from indulging in excess as regards the 
cutting of wood in an attempt to export same. 

In the same year, 1799, the Queen issued the 
Regulation of the Cuttings of the Woods for 
the Pernambuco and Baia Capitanias and limited 
the forests of the Royal Crown by the Comarca 
de Ilheos, Rio Taipe, etc., up to the forests of 
Pau Amarelo and Rio Pitangi Grande, which 
border upon the "caatingas" of the interior of the 
country. From this it is inferred, in a passing 
manner, that the northern "caatingas" (caa 
forests, tinga white) already existed at that 
time (1799) as a result of ecological conditions 
and not as a consequence of devastations or fires 
as one is erroneously led to believe, i.e. that men 
are solely responsible for the careless destruc- 
tion of forests of that region. 

As a complementary measure for the safe- 
guarding of the woods and lumber belonging 
to the Crown, the regulation also covered the 
following : only the wood unfit for construction 
could be taken from the reserved forests; the 
felling of "pau brasil" was absolutely forbid- 
den ; Jequiriga, Baia, and Belmonte de Porto 
Seguro were under the jurisdiction of the Judge 
in charge of preserving the Ilheos Woods ; all 
lumber would carry a letter -R- (Royal) in- 
dicating the place from which it originated, there 
still exist iron stamps for the date and number- 
ing of the logs; fines in money, and imprison- 
ment were imposed upon those guilty of infraction 
of the royal wishes, abide from the loss of the cat- 
tle, vehicles, slaves and hardware found in the 
woods ; the felling could take place only at proper 
times, also the necessary drying chiefly of "sucupi- 
ras," "jatais," "angelins," "paus d'arcos," "vinha- 
ticos," "potumuius," "tapinhoans," "oitis" and 
"cedar" trees ; the work took place daily from 6 
to 12 and from 2 to 6 p.m. 

From that time on until the independence of 
Brazil, in 1822, several steps from royal origin 
were taken such as : the cutting of fuel wood for 
sugar mills; extracting of quinine; planting of 
"amora" trees; contract for the services of the 
botanical expert KANCKE to describe the plants 
of Brazil ; the granting of privileges to those 
who would introduce and cultivate spices from 
India and other exotic plants; granting of spe- 
cial licenses for the cutting of "pau brasil;" 
forbidding cattle from grazing in woods in the 
neighbourhood of farming lands ; regulating the 
felling of "pau brasil" in the Provinces of Rio 
de Janeiro and "Capitania" of Espirito Santo; 
appointment of an inspector for the cutting of 
construction wood in the Island of Santa Cata- 
rina, etc. 

In 1822 Brazil became independent from Por- 
tugal. D. PEDRO I took charge of the govern- 
ment as Emperor, up to 1831. The following 
measures were adopted at that time : Dissemina- 
tion of the plants cultivated at the Botanical 
Garden of "Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas"; the 
installation of plant-gardens in Baia, Para, 
Cuiaba, Sergipe, Olinda, and Sao Luiz do Ma- 
ranhao ; the printing of the "Flora Fluminensis" 
the printing of Frei LEANDRO'S memoirs regard- 
ing the planting, cultivation and preparation of 
tea; regulating the trade in "pau brasil" with 


SOUZA: The Brazilian Forests 

England; the weeding and tree-felling in unoc- 
cupied tracts of land; the cutting of "mangue" 
(mangrove) leaves for tanneries ; regulating the 
cutting of wood in the Province of Alagoas and 
Santa Catarina. 

In 1831 D. PEDRO I left for Portugal and his 
son D. PEDRO II, only 5 years of age, took his 
place. During his extended period of govern- 
ment, including the minority period (1831-1841), 
the following measures relative to forestry were 
adopted : Recommendation relative to the culti- 
vation of mate in the southern provinces of the 
Empire; declaration relative to the extinction 
of the "estanco" of "pau brasil"; issuance of 
instructions for the observance of police regula- 
tions in the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro ; 
granting of privilege to HENRY LEE MORRIS 

to introduce into the Empire a method of immers- 
ing timber in chemical preparations in order 
to make it stronger, incorruptible and lasting; 
establishment of methods for the cutting of 
wood ; preparation of vegetable coal (charcoal) ; 
harvesting of herva mate, etc. 

Geographic Distribution. For a detailed 
study of the Brazilian forests and their geogra- 
phic distribution it is indispensable to have a 
knowledge of the most important works here- 
tofore published. The most valuable is doubt- 
VON MARTTUS, 1794-1868), composed of 40 vol- 
umes, and including 2,253 genera, 22,767 spe- 
cies, and 3,811 pictures. This truly monumental 
work, covering not only Brazil but also some 
neighboring countries, was written during 66 

FOREST ZONES OF BRAZIL. I. Silva Amazonica; A, Palm Forest; B, Caatingas; C, 
Eastern Coast Forest; D, Pine Forest; E, Campo (Prairie); F, Maritime Zone. 

(1853) to manufacture liquid rubber by means 
of a chemical process invented by him; instruc- 
tions for the observance of regulations relative to 
the cutting of woods for naval construction in 
the Province of Para ; granting of privilege for 
10 years to Dr. GUILHERME CAPANEMA to manu- 
facture paper with indigenous vegetable fibres; 
instructions for the planting and preservation 
of Tijuca and Paineiras forests; granting au- 
thorization to "Companhia Florestal Paranaense" 
(Parana Forestry Company) to operate in the 
Country ; approval of the statutes of "Associacao 
Anonima Centro dc Exporta^ao de Herva Mate 
do Rio Grande do Sid" (Anonymous Association- 
Mate Export Center of Rio Grande do Sul) ; 
granting of privilege to Jos MARIA DA PAIXAO 

years by 65 botanical experts, under the suc- 
cessive direction of MARTIUS, ENDUCHER, EICH- 
LER, and URBAN, and under the patronage of the 
Emperor of Brazil, of the King of Bavaria, 
and of the Emperor of Austria. 

MARTIUS classified our forests in five prov- 
inces or sub-kingdoms, according to mythologic 
divinities and which, geographically, are as fol- 

Naiads (regio denique callida humido) embracing 
the Amazonas and Para regions, named from the nymphs 
presiding over rivers and fountains. 

Hamadryads (regio extra tropico et callida sicca) 
comprising Maranhao, Piaui in part, Ceara, Rio Grande 
do Norte. Paraiba, Pernambuco, Baia in part. Sergipe. 
Alagoas, Minas. and Goias in part, named from the 
nymphs whose lives were connected with the trees. 

SOUZA: The Brazilian Forests 


Oreads (re"gio montano-campestri) . comprising: 
Baia's central part, Minas, South of Goias and Mato 
Grosso, and almost the whole of Sao Paulo, named from 
the nymphs who accompanied Diana, the hunting god- 

Dryads (rlgio montano nemorosa) including the 
oriental part of the present States from Sao Francisco 
River in the North down to the city of Iguape in the 
South, named from the nymphs in charge of the woods. 

Napaes (rlgio extra-tropico) comprising the South- 
ern States Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande 
do Sul, named from the nymphs who protected the 
valleys and meadows, as well as the plants existing 

The classification of MAKTIUS embraced two more 
provinces or complemental sub-kingdoms; Brazilian gaps 
and extra-Brazilian gaps, referring to certain plants 
which do not grow spontaneously in several zones of 
the territory and to the plants of adjacent countries 
also found in the center of our territory. 

1836-1896), author of "Elements of General 
and Medical Botany" and BARBOSA RODRIGUES 
(JOAO 1909), author of many works on botany, 
suggested alterations in MARTIUS' system for the 
classification of the Brazilian forests. 

Recently, however, A. ENGLER, in "Syllabus 
der Pflanzenfamilien," 10th edition, 1924, and M. 
RIKLI, in "Geographic der Pflanzen," estab- 
lished an international system, condensing the 
most modern geo-botanical knowledge, including 
that of the Brazilian Flora. 

Works on the classification of the Amazon for- 
ests which should be mentioned are: HUBER, 
"Matas e Madeiras Amazonicas 1909" (Woods 
and Timbers of the Amazon 1909) and "Rubber 
Production in the Amazon Valley" by SCHURZ, 
motion Series No. 23, Washington, D.C, 1925. 

HUBER adopted in his work the following forest dis- 
position: "Mangues" (Mangrove), "Varzeas" (Bottom 
Lands subject to periodic inundation) high and low, 
"Igap6s" (Swamp forests), and "Terra firma" (Upland 
level plain or undulating and rolling land) com- 
prising the forests of the region covered by the Braganc.a 
Railway, the General Forests of the Southern part of 
the State of Para, the Central Forests of the former 
so-called "Contestado" (disputed land), the Forests 
of the Northern Plains in the Low Amazon, and the 
upland forests of the High Amazon. 

The American Committee in charge of the study of 
rubber in the Amazon Valley established the following 
division: 1) Islands of the Estuary, 2) Southern Low 
Amazon, 3) Northern Low Amazon, 4) Northern High 
Amazon, 5) Madeira River, 6) Southern High Amazon, 
7) Acre Territory, 8 & 9) Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and 

Professor SAMPAIO (ALBERTO JOSE) of the 
National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, a recog- 
nized authority on these subjects, suggested a 
slight alteration in the above mentioned systems. 

ENGLER'S system consists of two great divi- 
sions or provinces as follows : 

I The "Provincia Amazonica" (Amazonian Prov- 
ince) or "Flora Amazonica ou Hylaea" (The Flora of 
the Amazon or Hylaea). 

II The "Provincia Extra-Amazonica ou Flora 
Geral" (The Extra-Amazonian Province or General 

The Flora of the Amazon comprises HUM- 
BOLDT'S Hylaea, i.e. the immense equatorial, hu- 
mid forest of the Amazon River and the rivers 
flowing into it, with an approximate surface 
of 3,5 million square kilometers, or 40% of the 
territorial surface of Brazil. 

The vegetation of the Amazonian Forests 

is divided in two characteristic types: Upland 
Forests elevated land (90% or more of the 
land area) not subject to inundation from the 
overflow of the rivers, and Forests of the Var- 
zeas bottom lands, periodically flooded during 
the rainy season. Fields and prairies are in- 
cluded in these two types of vegetation. 

From a geographic point of view, the basin 
of the Amazon is divided into two regions : Baixo 
Amazonas (Lower Amazon), which extends 
from Rio Negro through Manaos down to the 
estuary, and Alto Amazonas (Upper Amazon), 
which extends from Rio Negro up to heads of 
all the affluents of the Amazon River. 

The "Provincia Extra-Amazpnica ou Flora 
Geral" (extra- Amazonian Province or General 
Flora) is larger than the previous one, being 
60% of the territorial surface of Brazil and 
comprises : (a) Palm-Zone of the Middle North, 
(b) "Caatingas" of the Northeast, (c) Coast 
Forests or Oriental Forests, (d) Pine Forests, 
(e) Prairies, and (f) Maritime Zone. 

Amazonian Province or Amazonian Flora. 
The principal types of Amazonian Forests are 
characterized by the hydrographic system to 
which they belong. 

Thus, on the coast and along the rivers sub- 
ject to the flux and reflux of the seas, there is 
found the "Mata das Aluvioes Maritimas" (Sea- 
inundated Forests) called "Mangue" (marshy 
land) which embraces few species, common 
to the coasts of America and Tropical Africa. 

The next is "Mata das Aluvioes Fluviaes - 
Varzeas" (Bottom land Forests low ground 
subject to annual overflow) which extends 
along the Amazon River and all its affluents, 
from Belem to the Andes. Their floristic com- 
position is more varied. 

Lastly, the "Mata de Terra Firme" (Up- 
land Forests), displaying an extremely varied 
vegetation, notwithstanding its apparent uni- 

"Mata das AluviSes Maritimas" (Sea-inundated For- 
ests). This is the vegetation of least importance. The 
marshy lands (mangrove) which occupy an area of 
relative insignificance, as to the type of vegetation, at 
the mouth of the Amazonas and on the Atlantic Coast, 
comprise the following: The true "mangue" (Rhizo- 
phora mangle), the "ciriuba" (Avicennia nitida) and the 
"tinteira" (Laguncularia. racemosa). At the North and 
South of the coast of Para there appear two species 
which are commonly found in the American marshy 
lands Conocarpus erectus and Bucida buceras. 

As regards plants growing in the marshy lands the 
following are cited: "mututi" (Pterocarpus draco), "en- 
vira" (Hibiscus ttliaceus) and "araticu" (Anona pains- 

The marshy land may be more or less unmixed, i.e. 
represented by only one of the above mentioned species, 
or composed of two or more of them. The average 
height of the vegetation of the "mangal" is from 10 to 
15 meters. It is a known fact that at present the 
"mangue" trees are not considered among us as an 
important economic factor, although the bark contains 
a high percentage of tannin good for tanneries. 

The marshy lands subject to daily sea-inundation can- 
not be easily inhabited, due to the muddy soil. 

The "Mata das Aluvioes Fluviaes - Varzeas" (River- 
Inundated Forests bottom lands, subject to annual 
overflow) is the typical vegetation of the Amazon. It 
extends along the Amazon River and all its affluents. 

The margins of these affluent rivers are low and the 
adjacent lands are easily flooded. The extension of the 
areas subject to such floods varies from a few meters 
to hundreds of kilometers. Such lands should not be 
confused with the low lands of the Amazonas estuary 
which are subject to the influx of the seas, which 
are of more consequence than the river floods. 


SOUZA: The Brazilian Forest* 

The forests of the bottom lands or "varzeas" grow 
in soil rich in sediments, hence their exuberant and 
rich vegetation. 

Such rich vegetation, however, is not so pronounced 
in the forests of the Low Amazonas as exactly in such 
regions there appear extended beaches, preceding the 
woods, in which grow the "oeiranas" (Salix Martiana 
and Alchomea castanei folia), the "imbauba" (Cecropia 
sp.), the "munguba" (Bombax munguba). The typical 
tree of the "Mata de Varzea do Rio Amazonas" (Bottom 
Lands Forests of the Amazon River) is the "Tachi" 
( Triplaris surinamensis) . 

The following trees frequently grow in this forest 
formation: "andiroba" (Carapa guianensis), "murupita" 
(Sapium lanceolatum). "genipapo" (Cenipa amencana), 
"parapara" (Cordia tetrandra), "taperiba" (Spondias 
luted), "ucuuba" (Virola surinamensis), "macacauba 
da varrea" (Platymiscium Ulei), and others. 

The undergrowth is relatively poor, consisting of 
creepers of short duration. 

Near the estuary of the Amazonas River the palm- 
trees are represented by about 20 species, and in the 
bottom lands or "varzeas" of the Low Amazon there 
will be found only about S or 6. The more important 
are: "jauari" (Astrocaryum jauari), "murumuru" (As- 
trocaryum murumuru), "urucuri" (Attalea excelsa), 
and some Bactris types. 

The relative poverty of the "varzeas" or bottom 
lands is a result of the area occupied by extensive 
fields which lay in surface depressions, alternately 
forming shallow lakes which dry easily and become pas- 
ture grounds. These fields are found near and far 
from the river beds. The latter case is observed on 
the borders of the State of Para where the "varzeas" 
are more exuberant. We find there the following 
types: "muiratinga" (Olmedia maxima), "pau mulato" 
(Calycophyllum Spruceanum), "caxinguba" (Ficus 
sub-genus Pharmacosycea). In such forests the under- 
wood is not so poor. 

The "varzeas" of the High Amazonas, starting at 
the mouth of the Rio Negro (Black River) near Man- 
aos, up to the heads of the rivers of that immense 
area, preserve their marked features of luxuriant vege- 
tation, lands which crumble down due to the under- 
mining of the margins, the appearance and disappear- 
ance of groups of vegetation, etc. Near the water 
grows the "oeirana" (Alchomea castanei folia) , then 
follow the "imbauba" (Cecropia sp.), sometimes form- 
ing unmixed forests, "imbaubal," of rapid growth and 
thin tops, thus permitting the growing of other plants 
of denser and darker foliage, such as the "louro da 
varzea" (Nectandra amaconum), the "tachis" (Triplaris 
sp.), the "mutamba" (Guasuma ulmifolia), the "assacu 
(Huta crepitans), the "pau mulato" (Calycophyllum 
Spruceanum), the "jauari" palm (Astrocaryum jauari). 
These plants grow rapidly so that in 10 years they are 
higher than the "imbaubas" under whose shade they 
have grown. Within a short period the "imbaubas" 
are dominated and disappear, there remaining only the 
luxuriant forests made up of the above-mentioned spe- 
cies, increased by some other types, but made up chiefly 
of "jauari" palm trees, which, undoubtedly, occupy the 
greater part of the "varzeas," of "tachi," "munguba" 
and "pau mulato." The latter sometimes forms almost 
pure forests, as in Rio Ucayali. 

From all plants found iq "varzeas" or bottom lands 
unquestionably the most important is the "seringueira" 
(Hevca brasiliensis) . 

The "seringueira" is frequent in the islands and small 
affluents of the estuary, it is missing on the "varzeas" 
of Low Amazonas and again reappears at the middle 
and higher courses of the right-hand margin affluents, 
and even dominates in certain regions as in the Acre 
Territory. In some places, where the "varzeas" begin 
to rise as in a transition to upland, better forests are 
found. These higher "varzeas," common at the Rio 
Purus, are characterized by the "urucuri" palm (At- 
talea excelsa) and by the fiequcnt growth of the follow- 
ing trees: "cumaru" (Coumarouna odorata, var. tetra- 
phylla), "sumauma" (Ceiba pentandra), "mutratinga" 
(Olmedia maxima), "cedro" (Cedrela sp.), "jatai" (Hy- 
menaea sp.), "copaiba" (Copaifera sp.), "tauari" (Ccu- 
ratari sp.), "castanha de macaco" (Couroupita subses- 
silis), "assacu" (Hura crepitans). 

In this group of vegetation, the "pau mulato" and 
the "seringueira" are not so abundant, but their develop- 
ment reaches the maximum and the forests as a whole 
reach an average height of 40 meters, whereas in other 
"varzeas" the average height is 30 meters. 

The forests of the higher "varzeas" form real tiers 
or stories of vegetation on the top, the above men- 
tioned plants; on the lower story, 20 to 30 meters, there 
are found several species of Sapium, Virola, Cordia, 
Inga, Rkeedia, Triplaris, Cecropia, Cassia, Plumeria, 
etc., and lower still there are found small trees and 
bushes Rubiaceae, Solanaceae, Myrtaceae, Stercu- 
liaceae, Caricaceae, etc., and many herbaceous plants 
cover the ground. The lianas are very frequent in these 
"varzea" forests. 

The palm tree "jauari," typical of the low "varzeas," 
disappears from the higher "varzeas," giving place to 
the "urucuri," the fruits of which are used in the 
smoking of latex. 

It is perfectly well known today that the "seringueira," 
the "urucuri" and the "murumuru" form a true veg- 
etative association. These palm trees grow everywhere 
along the Amazonas River and the affluent rivers. 

The "assai" of the High Amazonas (Euterpe pre- 
catoria) is different from the Para "assai." In the 
latter State, the "assai" forms stumps and in the former 
the stipes are isolated. 

In almost all the high "varzeas" of the High Ama- 
zonas there are also found the following palm-trees: 
"pachiuba" (Inartea exorrhiea), "bacabinha" (Oeno- 
carpus multicaulis) , several kinds of Attalea, Pyreno- 
glyphis, Taenianthera and the "jarina" or vegetable 
ivory (Phytelephas macrocarpa and microcarpa) . 

"Igap6." This in indigenous language signifies 
forests full of water or forests where the water re- 
mains stagnant during a long time, owing to the fact 
that there is no sufficient natural outlet for it. The 
typical trees of the "igapo" are: "jacareuba" (Calo- 
phyllum brasiliense), "arapari" (Macrolobium acaciae- 
folium), "abiurana" (Lucuma sp.), "louro do igap6" 
(Nectandra amasonum), "piranheira" (Piranhea trifo- 
liolata), "inga" (Inga sp.), "geniparana" (Gustavia 
augusta). The HanaS are rarely found in the "igapo." 
As a compensation, the "epifitas" are very frequent. 

The river waters, in this region, are generally rich 
in sediments. However, there are some rivers which 
contain little sediment. Among these the principal one 
is the Rio Negro, which flows through Manaos. It 
has been observed that the vegetation of the "varzeas" 
varies slightly in relation to the larger or smaller quan- 
tity of sediments in the different water courses. 

The influence of men has been scarcely felt in the 
floristic composition of the Amazon. 

In the islands, the extracting of rubber, notwith- 
standing its depreciation, is still the chief occupation 
of the inhabitants. The small farms of the rubber ex- 
tractors, when abandoned, in a short time disappear 
under the vegetation which grows on them, forming 
shrubberies without floristic characteristics. 

The influence of men is felt in the bank reefs of the 
Low Amazonas, where they utilize, for the cultivation 
of cacao, a narrow strip, called "restingas," near the 
rivers. The cacao plantations are generally shaded by 
"imbaubas" and sometimes by "seringuciras" (rubber 

The small farms are always near the dwelling places. 

We will now refer to the "Matas dc Terra Firme" 
(Upland Forests), i.e. the forests which are not 
subject to river inundation. 

It is not easy to give an exact picture of these forests, 
inasmuch as their exploration has been carried out to a 
lesser degree than the "varzea" or bottom land forests, 
as the latter are of easier access to men, who go over 
them constantly in extracting rubber. 

The first knowledge of the Upland Forests started 
with the searching for "caucho" (Custilloa Ulei), and 
from then on to the present they continued to be explored 
for the woody fruits of the "castanheira" (Bertholletia 
excelsa), which trees are characteristic of the higher 

By the above descriptions of the different Amazonian 
forests, it is easily understood how irregular the dis- 
tribution is of the upland forests over this vast region 
and hence the lack of detailed data relative to their exact 

SOUZA: The Brazilian Forests 


composition and extension and also that of the fields or 
open grasslands. 

The most important upland forests are designated 
in accordance with the region in which they are located. 

The forests of the "Braganc.a Railway," possessing 
few "castanheiras" and "caucho," are rich in hard- 
woods such as: "acapu" (Vo*acapo*a americana), "pau- 
amarelo" (Euxyhphora paraensis), "pau santo" (Zol- 
lernia paraensis), "massaranduba" (Mimusops sp.), 
"jarana" (Chytroma sp.), "matamata" (Bschweilera 

Belem, capital of the State of Para, has been sup- 
plied with woods for various purposes from the region 
denominated "Mate Geral da Regiao Oriental do Para" 
(General Forests of Para Oriental Region), embrac- 
ing the whole region between the ocean and "Gurupi" 
River, on one side, and the "Tocantins" and "Para" 
Rivers on the other side. 

Another upland forest with an approximate extension 
of 5 geographic degrees, is located between the "Tocan- 
tins" and "Tapajoz" Rivers, known as "Mata Geral 
da Parte Meridional do Estado do Para" (General 
Forests of the Southern Part of the State of Para). 
These forests are exceedingly rich in "caucho" and 
"castanheiras" (Brazil-nut trees). 

The other forests of great value due to their timbers 
are as follows: "Mata Central do Antigo Contestado" 
grandes campos inclusos (Central Forests of the 
former disputed land extensive fields included), "Ma- 
tas dos Planaltos ao Norte do Baixo Amazonas" (For- 
ests of the Northern Plains of the Low Amazon), and 
"Matas de Terra Firme do Alto Amazonas" (Upland 
Forests of the High Amazon). 

The general composition of these forests is as fol- 
lows: "muirapinima" (Brosimum guianensis), "acapu" 
(Voviacapova americana), "tatajuba (Bagassa guianen- 
sis), "louros" (Ocotea sp.), "itauba amarela" (Silvia 
itauba). "macacauba" (Platymiscium Ducket), "sucu- 
pira" (Bowdichia virgilioides) , "pau amarelo" (Euxy- 
lophora paraensis), "marupa" (Simaruba amara), 
"cedro" (Cedrela sp.), "andiroba" (Carapa guianensis), 
"ipes" (Tabebuia sp.), "piquia" (Caryocar villosum), 
"sapucaia" (Lecythis paraensis), "massaranduba" (Mint- 
usops amaaonica), "maparajuba" (Mimusops paraensis), 
"freijo" (Cordia Goeldiana), "taruma" (Vitex sp.), 
"copaiba" (Copaiba sp.), "muirapiranga" (Brosimum 
paraensis), "umari" (Poraqueiba sericea), "cupiuba" 
(Goupia glabra), "pau santo" (Zollemia paraensis), 
"guaruba" (Vochysia paraensis). 

General Flora of Brazil or Extra Amazonian 
Flora. This occupies 60% of our territory, 
comprising six zones as follows : 

A Palm Zone of the Middle North. In- 
cludes the States of Maranhao and Piaui, which 
are situated between the amazonian forests, on 
the Northwest, the "cerrados" on the South- 
west, the "caatingas" on the South and on the 
East, and the Ocean. 

On the coast there is a "mangue," a continuation 
of the Amazonian Flora, described above. 

On the beach grows the coconut tree (Cocos nucifera), 
which seems to have been brought by sea currents. 

On the plains we have: the great area containing 
the "babassu" (Orbignya Martiana), probably various 
types, "carnauba" (Copernicea cerifera), "buriti" (Maw- 
ritia vinifera), characteristic plants of the zone, and 
the "cerrados" composed chiefly of gramineous plants 
and scattered trees "roangabeira" (Hancornia speciosa). 
"barbatimao" (Stryphnodendron Barbatimao), "piqui" 
(Caryocar sp.), "bacuri" (Platonia insignis), "pau 
pombo" (Tapirira guianensis), "faveira" (Pterodon sp.), 
"caraiba" (Tecoma sp.), "cajui" (Anacardium sp.). 

The "caatingas" of Maranhao do not contain an abun- 
dant quantity of Cactaceae as is the case with the North- 
east "caatingas." 

The "capoes de mata" (thickets) and the ciliary woods 
on the North of the State, have the characteristics of 
the Amazonian Flora and as such were considered up 
to the present as belonging to the zone of palm trees. 

B ''Caatingas" of the Northeast. These 
"caatingas" comprise the Northeast of Brazil 

and even a part of Central Brazil, through 
which flow the S. Francisco River and its af- 
fluents. The States included are as follows: 
Piaui (South), Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, 
Paraiba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe, Baia 
and Northern Minas, or an area of 1.5 million 
square kilometers. 

The coast of all these States, beginning with Rio 
Grande do Norte, towards the South, is bordered by a 
zone of real forests, several kilometers wide, as will be 
seen later. 

MARTIUS, who studied the caatingas, described their 
vegetation as follows: "Silvae Aestu Aphyllas." as, in 
fact, all vegetation loses its foliage in summer, with 
the exception of some plants such as the "joazeiro" 
(Zisyphus joaseiro) and the "imburanas" (Torresia 
cearensis) . 

The true "caatingas" are characterized by the pres- 
ence of innumerable Cactaceae. 

According to the studies made by MARTIUS. LdPCXEM 
and LUETZELBURG, the "caatingas" are classified as fol- 
lows: low caatinga, high caatinga, true caatinga or 
scrubby caatinga, with various types, arid caatinga, mo- 
fumbo caatinga, caatinga de barriguda, dirty caatinga, 
mountain caatinga and arboreal caatinga with three sub- 
types, the "braunas," "aroeiras" and "angicos" pre- 

The Northeast natives make still other classifica- 
tions: the caatinga brejada, caatinga car rascal, catingao, 
sertao, serido, etc. 

As regards the wood in the caatingas, extremely 
hard types of wood of slow growth are found in them, 
such as: the "barauna" (Melanoxylon brauna), "aroeira" 
(Schinus sp.). "pau brasil" (Caesalpinia cchinata), 
"angico" (Piptadenia colubrina). "jurema" (Mimota 
sp.), "imburana" (Amburana cearensis), "pereiro" (As- 
pidosperma sp.), "joazeiro" (Zixyphus joaseiro), "oiti- 
cica" (Clarisia racemosa), "faveleira" (Cntdoscolus phy- 
tacanthus), "mofumbo" (Combretttm leprosum). 

C Coast Forests or Oriental Forests. A strip 
of forests, varying in width up to 300 
kilometers wide, runs parallel to the Brazil- 
ian coast, from Rio Grande do Norte to Rio 
Grande do Sul. 

These forests practically accompany the wall formed 
by the "Serra do Mar" (Sea Ridge-of- Mountains) which 
rises abruptly near the coast to form the interior pla- 

This wall of mountains serves as a condenser of the 
Atlantic winds, charged with humidity. 

At the oriental extreme of the continent, comprising 
the States of Rio Grande do Norte and Paraiba, the coast 
forests are greatly depleted due to the fact that supplies 
have been taken from them since the colonial times, 
as explained in the historical part of this article. 

Through the State of Pernambuco the forest belt is 
about SO kilometers wide at the North of the State 
and about 120 to ISO at the South narrowing after- 
wards in the States of Alagoas, Sergipe, and Baia, 
again widening in the State of Espirito Santo, reach- 
ing a great width through the large valleys of the 
Rio Doce and Sao Matheus rivers. 

The forest belt extends through the States of Rio 
de Janeiro, SSo Paulo, Parana and Santa Catarina, in 
the Pine Forests down to Rio Grande do Sul. 

In the Amazon, owing to the fact that the ground 
is more or less level, the trees grow high up in the 
search for light. In the zone of the palm trees and of 
the "caatingas," the plants are adapted to the 
excess of light and in the forests of the Atlantic slope 
the plants grow very thick and branch out forming 
very thick tops. The vegetation is exuberant and the 
best woods are found there such aa: "pau brasil" 
(Caesalpinia echinata), "peroba" (Aspidospcrma sp.), 
"jacaranda" (Dalbergia nigra), "cedro" (Cedrela sp.), 
"cangerana" (Cabralea cangerana), "canelas" (Oco- 
tea and Nectandra sp.), "brayna" (Melanoxylon brauna), 
"vinhatico" (Plotkymenia rtticulota), "cabreuva" (My* 
rocarpus fastigiatus) , "angelim" (Hymenolobium sp.), 
"bicuiba" (Virola old f era), "guarantan" (Esenbeckia 
leiocarpa), "ipes" (Tabebuia sp.), "sapucaias" (Lecythis 


SOUZA: The Brazilian Forests 

sp.), "oleo vermelho" (red oil) (Myroxylon totuifentm), 
"oleo pardo" (brown oil) (Myrocarpus f randoms), "ja- 
toba" (Hymenaea courbaril), and gigantic "jequitibas" 
(Cariniana legalis), rivals of the Amazon Bertholletia. 
The original forests have been explored continuously 
in order to supply the demands of the population, com- 
merce and industry centralized in the principal cities 
on the coast or in the interior. 

D Zone of the Pine Forests. In the South of 
Brazil the Coast Forests are related with the 
Pine Forests, by means of transition woods 
called "Faxinais" which occur chiefly on the 
plains of the States of Parana and Santa Cata- 

The Brazilian pine tree, also called "pinho do 
Parana" (Parana Pine) (Araucana angustifolia) , oc- 
cupies the upper story of the Southern Forests of 
Brazil. In the lower story there grows the "imbuia" 
(Phoebe porosa), largely employed in the industry of 
furniture. Then conies the "herva mate" (Ilex para- 
auayensis) of which a popular beverage is prepared. 
Lastly, the shrubs, under-brushes and creeping herbs 
that cover the ground of the forests. 

The zone of the pine trees has many open grass 

The pine tree is exploited on a large scale and more 
than 70% of the exportation of Brazil woods is repre- 
sented by pine destined to the Republics of Argentina 
and Uruguay. 

To bring this pine zone description to a completion, 
I quote below what was written by Mr. JOSEPH C. 
KIKCHEX regarding Parana Pine: "In considering the 
future of the industry the fact that the total amount 
of Parana Pine in Brazil is limited (about 300 billion 
board feet in commercial stands) must not be lost sight 
of. If the industry expands rapidly and some provi- 
sion is not made for the future production of pine simul- 
taneously with the increased cut, the industry sooner or 
later will give out. It is certain that unless steps are 
taken soon to reforest much of the land as it is cut over 
the States of Parana and Santa Catarina will some day 
lose their largest industry and much of their pros- 

E Prairies. There are extensive areas 
almost bare as to arboreal vegetation. The 
prairies containing gramineous and herbaceous 
plants can be either natural or artificial. These 
in general are called grazing fields or pasture 
grounds. When the fields have small trees, 
scattered over them, they are called "cerrados," 
"cc'rradoes," similar to those in the central 
plains of Brazil, embracing part of Sao Paulo, 
Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso and Goias. The 
fields, in all their modifications, are found all 
over the Brazilian territory, from the Amazon 
to Rio Grande do Sul. In this State the fields 
or "pampas" are very extensive and much used 
for cattle raising. 

F Maritime Zone. Comprises the halophilous 
or littoral flora : "mangues," coconut trees and the 
vegetation of the sandy hills and islands, which 
are hardly important in our case. 

Forest Legislation. Presumably, the first 
project of forest legislation studied by the Gov- 
ernment of the Republic, not including the dis- 
positions as contained in the Constitution of 
February 24, 1891, was brought in 1902 to the 
Chamber of Deputies, through the intermediary 
of the Government of Sao Paulo, by Dr. AL- 
BERTO LOFGREN (1854-1918), who assisted to 
such a great extent in the study and knowledge 
of our forest patrimony. 

In 1910 the Government issued a decree provid- 
ing that the Acre Territory would be considered 
as a National Forest Reserve. 

From that time on the Federal and State 
authorities always considered the necessity of a 

forest legislation, in order to prevent inordinate 
devastations which were spreading terribly all 
over the national territory. 

Various States had already adopted measures 
relative to their forests, as follows: 

State of Amazonas Prohibiting the exportation of 
seeds of "hevea," "ouricuri," "inajas" and "tucuma"; 
classification of lumber for export; installation of 
demonstration fields for the cultivation and exploitation 
of regional plants; prohibiting the felling of gutta-percha 
and balata trees. 

State of Para Establishing prizes for enterprises 
created for the refining of rubber; regulating the cut- 
ting of lumber; steps to increment the cultivation of 
"timbo" (Lonchocarpus spp.). 

State of Maranhao Forbidding the felling of woods 
to make fuel-wood or charcoal in the Island of Sao Luiz. 

State of Piaui Constituting a forest regime and 
adopting dispositions to preserve, exploit and plant forest 
trees; prohibiting the felling of "carnaubeiras" (car- 
nauba trees). 

State of Ceara Preventing the felling of trees along 
the roads and on the top of the mountains. 

State of Pernambuco Creating the State Forest 
Service and a "Horto Florestal." 

State of Alagoas Creating a Forest Service. 

State of Scrgipe Issuing a Code governing the 
Forest Service. 

State of Baia Issuing instructions for the observ- 
ance of the regulation covering the defense, preservation 
and utilization of the forests of the State. 

State of Espirito Santo Regulating a project for a 
State Forest Service. 

State of Rio de Janeiro Promulgating a Rural 
Code; creating Botanical Gardens; controlling the burn- 
ing and felling of forests. 

State of Sao Paulo Installing a Botanical Gar- 
den; creating the Forest Service. 

Slate of Parana - - Adopting numerous measures rela- 
tive to the "herva mate," harvesting, preparation, pack- 
ing, transportation, etc.; issuing a Forest Code for the 

State of Santa Catarina Summoning a Congress of 
Lumber Dealers and adopting practical and useful meas- 
ures for the marketing of forest products and reforesta- 
tion of depleted areas; controlling the harvesting of 
"hct\a matt." cutting, preparation, analyses, marketing 
and exportation of the product. 

State of Rio Grande do Sul Establishing a Forest 
Regulation and plans for the installation of a Forest 

State of Minas Gerais Creating "Hortos Flores- 

Several States, such as Ceara, Peraambucp, 
Baia, Sao Paulo, Parana, Santa Catarina, Rio 
Grande do Sul and Minas Gerais maintain 
up to the present date their forest services, under 
different regulations. 

By virtue of decree no. 4.421, of December 
28, 1921, the Brazilian Forest Service was 
created, regulated by decree no. 17,042, of Sep- 
tember 16, 1925, and discontinued in 1933, due 
to alterations in the Ministries. 

In 1934 there was approved the Forest Code, 
harmoniously incorporating all measures deemed 
necessary for the rational exploitation of Brazil- 
ian forests. 

The Code comprises 9 chapters, a resume of 
which is as follows: 

I. Preliminaries. Brazilian forests, as a whole, re- 
present property of public interest to all inhabitants of 
the country, the property rights being exercised in ac- 
cordance with the limitations established by the Code. 

II. Classification of the Forests. The forests are 
classified as follows: 

(a) protected forests, 

(b) forest reservations, 

(c) model forests, 

(d) profit-yielding forests 

The protected forests are those which preserve the 

SOUZA: The Brazilian Forests 


water system; avoid erosion of the grounds through the 
action of natural agents; firm the sandy hills; assist in 
the defense of the frontiers, as deemed necessary by 
the military authorities; insure conditions for public 
health; protect the sites which by their natural beauty 
ought to be preserved; offer shelter for rare specimens 
of the indigenous fauna. 

The forest reservations are those forming the national, 
state and municipal parks; those forests containing an 
abundance of rare specimens or where such specimens 
are cultivated, and those forests reserved by the Govern- 
ment authorities for small parks or woods for the recrea- 
tion of the public. 

The model forests are the artificial forests, formed by 
one or by a limited number of species, indigenous or 
exotic, the dissemination of which is deemed important 
in that region. 

The Profit-yielding forests are all those not included 

The protected and reserved forests cannot be alienated. 

The national parks, state and municipal owned, con- 
stitute natural monuments which perpetuate, in their 
floristic composition, certain parts of the country which 
for some special reason deserve to be perpetuated. Any 
action against the flora and fauna of the parks is 

III. Exploitation of the forests. The following are 
forest products: stems, fuel-wood, roots, barks, leaves, 
flowers, resins, latex, i.e. anything that is taken from 
any plant. 

Even the proprietors themselves are prohibited to set 
fires to fields in the neighborhood of arboreal vege- 
tation to prepare grounds for farming or for the 
formation of agricultural land, without authorization from 
the local forest authorities and without exercising the 
necessary precautions, especially as to protecting groves, 
advice to the bordering neighbors, 24 hours in advance; 
to fell in already depleted regions, for the purpose of 
obtaining fuel-wood or charcoal, as well as in woods 
on the margins of rivers, lakes and roads of any 
description used for the welfare of the public; to gather 
the sap of trees which produce rubber, balata, gutta 
percha, chicle and other similar products or undertake the 
exploitation of tanniferous or fibrous plants, using 
methods which might jeopardize the life or natural de- 
velopment of the respective trees; to prepare charcoal 
or make fires within the forests, without the necessary 
precautions to avoid fires; to use for fuel or charcoal 
plants considered of great economic value for other 
more useful purposes; to fell trees in which are shel- 
tered specimens of epiphytic plants or wild bee-hives, etc. 

The river navigation companies and the railways using 
wood as fuel in their vessels or locomotives are ob- 
liged to maintain a reforestation service. 

IV. Forest police. The measures adopted for the 
policing and preservation of the forests are carried out 
all over the national territory by police representatives, 
guards or watchmen, nominated or designated especially 
for that purpose. 

The guarding of the national parks and the preserva- 
tion and maintenance of the protected and reserved 
forests fall within the jurisdiction of the Federal Fores- 
try Department; however, the states and municipal 
districts may organize their respective forest services. 

All employees of the forest service in the exercise 
of their duties are considered as public security agents 
and as such are allowed to carry arms. 

In case of fire, the forest employee's duty is to requi- 
site the available material means for extinguishing the 
fire and summon all men who are able to assist him. 

V. Infractions of forest regulations. Any actions 
or omissions contrary to the dispositions of the Code 
are considered as infractions. 

When the infraction results from the fact that forest 
products or by-products are taken away, such materials 
will be seized and a penalty imposed on the infractor. 

As regards forest offenses, the following are considered 
as such: to set fire to public-owned forests, to damage 
national state or municipal parks and protected and 
reserved forests; introduction of insects or plant dis- 
eases, the dissemination of which will be injurious 
to the economic value of the forests and will jeopardize 
their intended purposes. 

The following are also considered as infractions: to 

penetrate without previous license into forests which are 
subject to a special regime; let loose animals, kill, hurt 
or mutilate in anyway ornamental plants; take away 
from public-owned forests, without previous authoriza- 
tion, stones, sand, lime or any mineral; make bonfires 
in the neighborhood of forests without the necessary 

VI. The handling of infractions. The forest offenses 
are dealt with in a manner similar to that applied 
to ordinary crimes the forest guard or watchman or 
any other authority issues a document covering the 
criminal act which should be signed by two witnesses 
and go through all other legal formalities. 

VII. Forest funds. This fund is derived from the 
following resources: contributions from enterprises, com- 
panies, societies, institutions, donations and amounts 
resulting from budget appropriations. 

VIII. Forest Council. The Federal Forest Council, 
with headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, will be constituted 
by the representatives of the National Museum, Botanical 
Garden, University of Rio de Janeiro, Service of Pro- 
motion of Vegetal Production, Touring Club of Brazil, 
National Highways Department, Municipal Forest 
Service aqd by other persons, up to 4, of acknowledged 
ability, nominated by the President of the Republic. 

The Councils of the various States are constituted 
by representatives of institutions similar to the ones 
indicated above. 

The Council, presided over by one of its members, 
elected by a majority of votes, meets at least twice a 

The Council's duties are as follows: to promote and 
give earnest heed to the strict observance of the dis- 
positions of the Code; to solve cases of negligence, pro- 
pose amendments and alterations; to issue opinions 
relative to important questions; diffuse forest educa- 
tion, institute prizes for the encouragement of silvicul- 
ture; promote the "Arbor Day," and organize silvicul- 
tural congresses. 

IX. General dispositions. Whenever deemed con- 
venient, the government will issue adequate regulations 
to cover measures adopted for the defense of the forests. 

Present Situation of the Forest Problem. At 
present, various States and the Central Govern- 
ment of Brazil take care of their forests by 
means of specialized services. 

Among the States, the more prominent serv- 
ices are those of the States of Ceara, Pernam- 
buco, Baia, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Rio 
Grande do Sul, and Minas Gerais. 

The Central Government maintains a service 
identical to that of the states; however, the 
lack of technicians and professional foresters 
capable of directing such services has greatly 
delayed the solution of the forest problem in 

As an exception to the above, it must be 
mentioned that the State of Sao Paulo main- 
tains the best service, not only public but also 

Various railways of the country give the ut- 
most attention and care to the reforestation of 
their lands and the "Cpmpanhia Paulista de 
Estradas de Ferrp" is, without doubt, an exam- 
ple worthy of being known and imitated. 

Dr. NAVAPRO DE ANDRADE, Chief of the Forest 
Service of said Railroad, was the highest ex- 
ponent of Brazilian silviculture, having contrib- 
uted during his life to the planting of many 
million eucalyptus trees (Cf. CHRON. 7 : 142). 

The forest service of Brazil, in general, con- 
ducts small nurseries for the production and 
distribution of seedlings of forest plants to the 
agriculturists; studies of the flora and timber 
and the organization of national parks created 
by the eminent President of the Republic Dr. 
GETULIO VARGAS. It so happens, however, that 
at the present time the organization of such 
parks is not yet having the practical and ra- 


HODGE: Plant Resource* of Pern 

tional direction which characterizes the Euro- 
pean and North American parks. 

W. H. HODGE: The Plant Resources of 
Peru: From pre-Incaic days to the present 
time plant products have always been the most 
important of the natural resources of Peru. 
The ancient Andean civilizations were the first 
to utilize several of the important economic plant 
contributions of the New World among them 
being the potato, tomato, coca (Erythroxylon 
coca), cascarilla (Cinchona spp.), oca (Oxalis 
tuberosa), and quinoa (Cheno podium quinoa). 
Although situated close to the equator, the cool 
climate of the mountains has made it possible 
for Peruvians to cultivate a wide range of tem- 
perate species in addition to those species of the 
tropics and subtropics cultivated in the low- 

The cultivation of vegetable products of Peru, 
like the formations of the natural vegetation, are 
variedly distributed throughout the three main 
physiographic zones 1 : 1. La Costa, 2. La Sierra. 
and 3. La Montana. Because of the difficulty 
and expense of transportation across the Andes, 
large scale agricultural production is still prac- 
ticed mainly on the coast. 

Plant resources of La Costa. The narrow 
coastal belt is the most important of Peru's 
agricultural zones for although the coast is 
largely a region of deserts it is dissected by in- 
numerable small rivers whose waters serve to 
irrigate artificially the intensively cultivated soil 
contained in their valleys 2 . The accessibility 
of these valleys to the sea has facilitated trans- 
portation and commerce, the result being that 
the region of the coast contains the major portion 
of the Peruvian population. 

The main crop plant of the coast is cotton, 
the principal export commodity of Peru. The 
whole life and national economy of the country 
is influenced by the volume of the crop and the 
trend of prices. There are 42 cotton-producing 
valleys scattered along the coast except for that 
sector lying between Huacho and Chiclayo. At 
least one species of cotton is indigenous to Peru 
and has been grown since the pre-Inca period. 
However, 85 percent of Peru's total cotton pro- 
duction conies from a high quality, disease-resist- 
ant variety called Tangiiis, developed in Peru in 
1912 from Smooth or Egyptian cotton. Tangiiis 
is the whitest of the world's cotton varieties. The 
only other important variety is Pima cotton, 
grown in steadily increasing quantities chiefly in 
the Piura area. 

In 1942 the number of hectares in cotton were 
152,537, producing 1,450,000 quintales of which 
225,000 quintales were consumed by the eleven 
local textile mills. 731,434 quintales were ex- 
ported. In the same year Peruvian mills crushed 
2,270,303 quintales of cottonseed, to yield 390,000 
quintales of crude cottonseed oil and byproducts. 
Before World War II the bulk of the cotton 
crop was exported to Great Britain and Ger- 
many; the war practically eliminated the Eu- 
ropean market and brought increased purchases 
from the United States and Latin America. 

In spite of a steady demand for Peruvian cot- 
ton, the acreage planted to this crop has been 

i For a more detailed description of these zones see 
LLEWELYN WILLIAMS: Tht Phytogeography of Peru. 

a See plant formation #1 on WEBEMAUEB'S vegeta- 
tional map of Peru. 

gradually reduced in the last few years. Growers 
nave been unable to solve two main problems: 
shortage of fertilizer and increasing inroads of 
cotton pests and diseases. 

Sugarcane, the second most important agricul- 
tural crop of Peru, is cultivated, under very 
favorable conditions of climate and soils, on the 
coast principally in the Chicama, Lambayeque, 
and Santa Catalina Valleys, where there are a 
number of large estates devoted to its culture. 
About 53,000 hectares are planted to cane and 
the yields per hectare often 18J4 tons of 
sugar per hectare are very high. Unlike cot- 
ton which is a seasonal crop, sugarcane is a 
year-round crop which produced 480,000 metric 
tons of sugar in 1941-42. Sugar accounts for 
about 10 percent of Peru's exports. 

Rice is grown to some extent on the coast 
particularly in the Lambayeque Valley, Pacas- 
mayo, and Piura. The annual production is 
about 100,000 tons. 

A number of miscellaneous products are 
grown along the coast. Flax is planted to a 
small extent in the valley of Pativilca and 
Canete. Olives are important in the valleys of 
Moquegua (1000 tons a year), Camana, Victor, 
Ilo, and Azapa. Castor beans are cultivated 
in the department of Piura where are to be found 
also large stands of ceibos (Ceiba spp.) which 
could be used to develop a sizeable kapok indus- 
try.* The department of lea is known for its 
vineyards which annually produce ten million 
litres of white and red wines as well as three 
million litres of piscos, or pure grape spirits. 
Truck gardens are important in the valleys 
close to Lima, and all along the coast may be 
found sizeable plantings of maize, yuca (Mani- 
hot esculcnta), bananas, plantains, as well as 
fruits such as figs, oranges, mangoes, and pine- 

Plant resources of La Sierra. The Peruvian 
sierra embraces an extensive belt including cold 
deserts or semi-deserts, grasslands, and warmer 
inter-Andean valleys. The sierra is essentially 
a high, tree-less region with a temperate climate 
and a seasonal rainfall, and will support most 
economic species requiring such a combination 
of climatic conditions. Irrigation is needed with 
most crops, as in the valleys of the coast, in order 
to insure a constant and even water supply ; and 
because of this need most sierra agriculture is 
limited to the numerous valleys paralleling the 
several Andean ranges. 

Unlike the coastal centers of agriculture 
which have many a large estate, the highlands 
possess small, agricultural holdings owned and 
worked in many districts by the native sierra 
Indians of the Aymara and Quechua races. Be- 
fore the conquest these peoples cultivated their 
native staple crops of maize, quinoa, coca, and po- 
tatoes often on amazing series of terraces 
still to be seen in use in many a steep-walled 
Andean valley. Potatoes (and maize) have long 
since spread around the world and, through 
selection and breeding, now surpass the puny 
types grown in the Andean homeland. It is 
surprising that oca and quinoa have not had 
widespread usage for they might also be de- 
veloped elsewhere into valuable sources of food. 

To this quartet of native sierra food-plants 
has long since been added the more important 

* The pods of tara (Caesalpinta tinctoria), a wild shrub 
of the riverbanks and Andean foothills, are the richest 
of all known tannin sources. Exports of tara pods (1500 
tons in 1941) have increased rapidly in recent years. 

HODGE: Plant Resources of Peru 


types of the Old World. Wheat and barley are 
now commonly grown upon the higher lands, 
generally without irrigation, up to an elevation 
of about 14,000 feet. 

In the inter-montane river valleys of the Mara- 
non, Mantaro, Apurimac, Urubamba, Paucar- 
tambo, and their principal tributaries is found 
a mild climate suitable to the production of 
sugarcane. Because of transport difficulties and 
smaller yield, cane producers of the sierra are 
unable to compete with coast producers and so 
convert practically all their sugar production into 
alcohol, aguardiente, or other industrial spirits. 
It is estimated that 3% of the cane grown in 
Peru is crushed in the sierra but the same region 
produces 25% of the total alcohol manufactured. 

Certain of these valley areas also produce 
temperate and subtropical fruits such as apples, 
peaches, plums, quinces, pears, oranges, tanger- 
ines, sweet lemons, and lemons; wild chirimoyas 
are also common. Also grown to some extent are 
minor crops such as aniseseed and pyrethrum. 

Wherever the terrain is suitable for growth, 
particularly in semi xerophy tic middle elevations, 
one commonly finds two fiber plants often planted 
in hedges the naturalized Agave amcricana 
and a native species of Fourcroya. These two 
are much used by the natives of the sierra 
to make rope and twine. 

Plants resources of La Montana. The Peru- 
vian montana includes all the eastern forested re- 
gions. For the most part this zone is very moist 
and is covered by evergreen forests which ex- 
tend west from the tropical lowlands of the 
Amazon basin onto the eastern slopes of the 
Andean front ranges up to temperate elevations 
of about 3000 meters 3 . In northern Peru where 
the Andes are lower, bits of temperate montana 
forests have crept across the mountains and are 
to be found as irregular patches on the Pacific 
slopes in the departments of Piura, Lambayeque, 
and Cajamarca. 

For years the network of lowland rivers has 
served as the only means of transportation into 
the montana. Products originating in the area 
and destined for coastal Peru have to be placed 
aboard ocean freighters at Iquitos. From that 
river port they have to move down the Amazon, 
through the Panama Canal, and then south to 
Peruvian ports. Transportation costs have thus 
made prohibitive the development of agricultural 
resources in the montana on any large scale. At 
the present time several new highways connect- 
ing coastal and Amazonian Peru are now in 
operation, and others, now in construction, will 
further aid in the opening up of the montana. 
Peru is also depending increasingly upon avia- 
tion to supplement her tenuous, trans-Andean, 
transport facilities. 

Peru's forested areas have been divided into 
two zones : a. the ceja de la montana, which in- 
cludes those fringes of low-statured montana 
forests bordering upon the cool sierra; and b. 
the lowland montana, composed chiefly of tall, 
tropical, rain-forests. 

In the mountainous ceja de la montana grow 
two important medicinal plants, cascarilla (Cin- 
chona spp.) whose bark is the source of the 
antimalarials, quinine and totaquina and the 
shrub, coca (Erythroxylon coca) whose 
leaves, much chewed (with lime) as a narcotic 
by the Indians of the sierra, are the source of 
the drug, cocaine. The richest cascarilla bark 
is harvested from trees found in the valleys of 

3 See plant formations #10. 11, and 12 on WXBEI- 
BAUER'S vegetational map of Peru. 

the upper Tambopata and Inambari rivers in 
the department of Puno, but World War II has 
stimulated the collection of this forest product 
throughout the whole range of the genus, Cin- 
chona. Moreover plantations of high-yielding 
strains, developed in Java, are being started in 
several areas of the Peruvian cinchona belt. 
Coca is cultivated by the sierra Indians on small 
chacras situated in the forested areas of the 
departments of Puno, Cuzco, Ayacucho, and Hua- 
nuco. The major part of the annual production of 
coca leaves is consumed locally but about 350 tons 
are exported annually. A number of other 
plants with reputed medicinal value, but as yet 
uninvestigated scientifically, grow in various 
parts of the montana. 

Coffee is cultivated on the upper margins of 
the montana, principally in the Chanchamayo 
Valley of Central Peru but also at Monteseco, 
on the Pacific slopes, in the department of Caja- 
marca. Small quantities of high grade coffee 
beans are exported. 

The lowland montana areas undoubtedly hold 
a wealth of yet unexploited forest products of 
which the hardwood timber resources are prob- 
ably most important. Lumber mills exist near 
Iquitos in the department of Loreto where ma- 
hogany, cedar, and balsa are the valued species 
exported. Small mills have also been located 
near the eastern termini of the roads running 
from Lima to Tingo Maria, the Chanchamayo 
Valley, and Satipo all in Central Peru. Lumber 
cut in these areas is brought over the Andes by 
truck for consumption in Lima. 

Wild rubber (Hevea brasilicnsis') also chicle 
and batata is produced in small quantities in 
the departments of Loreto and Madre de Dios. 
Investigations are now in progress leading to 
the introduction of a plantation rubber pro- 
gram. With a new tire factory in operation in 
Lima, Peru hopes to be self-sufficient as regards 
this native product. 

Rotenone-bearing cube root (Lonchocarpus 
spp.) also called barbasco , with important 
insecticidal properties, is a montana product 
with increasing economic importance especially 
in the export trade. Plantations of cube have 
been started to supplement the wild product 
gathered by the lowland Indians. 

Wherever forest land has been cleared a num- 
ber of types of tropical crops are cultivated. 
Cacao is produced in the departments of Loreto, 
Amazonas, and Cuzco ; tobacco, a state monopoly, 
is grown in Tumbes, San Martin and Loreto; 
new tea plantations have been started near Tingo 
Maria ; tropical fruits such as avocados, papayas, 
oranges, and fananas are important orchard 
crops in Lima's "fruitbasket," situated in the 
Chanchamayo Valley ; while rice, sugarcane, and 
yuca are found throughout many areas of the 

Peru is taking the initial steps to develop the 
montana. Her difficulty hinges not only on 
deficient transportation but also on the lack ot 
population in her eastern departments. Districts 
nave been selected for colonization along the 
montana roads, and in these locations agri- 
cultural experiment stations and colonization 
centers are working hand-in-hand in order to 
guide new settlers in all phases of tropical agri- 
culture. One of the most important of these 
Peruvian stations, located at Tingo Maria, has 
been established in cooperation with agencies 
of the Government of the United States. The 
most important projects under investigation at 
present deal with plantation development of 


ROJAS y CARABIA : Breve Resena de la Vegetacion Paraguaya 

rubber, tea, cinchona, cube, and tropical food 
plants. Peruvian personnel for this and othe* 
agricultural experiment stations located not 
only in the montana but also throughout the 
whole country are trained at La Molina, the 
Government agricultural school in Lima. 

As yet no forest or soil conservation program 
has been initiated in Peru. In fact the Gov- 
ernment's Ministry of Agriculture still lacks 
a Forest Service. In a country whose timber 
resources are vast and unknown, this is a serious 
deficiency. One of the first important tasks 
should be a forest survey. Forest legislation 
and organization, when promoted, might well be 
patterned after that of the Mexican Forest Serv- 

Another need of Peruvian agriculture is 
greater diversification of crops to enable the 
country to be self-supporting at least as regards 
food plants. With more than sufficient acreage 
for growing essential crops, Peru yet has to 
import such basic commodities as rice and 
wheat. With better cultural practices and the 
introduction of modern farm equipment, par- 
ticularly in the sierra, Peru could make long 
strides in this direction. A forward step was 
taken with the formation in 1943 of the Inter- 
American Cooperative Food Production Serv- 
ice, known as SCIPA, made up of a cooperating 
group of Peruvian and North American agri- 
cultural specialists. Prominent on the agenda 
of this organization are such projects as the 
increase and improvement of the production of 
food products; development of plans for crop 
adjustment ; development of new acreage with 
agricultural colonization ; soil conservation ; fur- 
ther development of extension work; provision 
of loans and other means of assistance to small 
farmers and growers; studies and dissemination 
of information regarding benefits of diet; plans 
for the improvement of transportation, storage, 
and distribution of agricultural products. 

Resena de la Vegetation Paraguay a: El tc- 
rritorio Paraguayo se halla al sur de la parte 
central de Sur America, tenicndo al norte la 
region de Matto Grosso, colinas estas que separan 
el llano del Amazona al norte y el llano 
Paraguay-Argentine al sur. Al oeste Paraguay 
limita con Bolivia, al sur con Brasil y al este 
con la parte costanera sudeste del Brasil; 
teniendp al sur a la Argentina como pais 

El Paraguay esta formado en su mayor parte, 
por tin llano bastantc bajo, pudicndose decir 
que casi todo el pais esta comprendido dentro 
de la extensa cuenca del Rio Paraguay y sus 
tributaries. No obstante lo dicho, al este del 
Paraguay encontramos una interesante region 
montanosa formada por las sierras Amambay- 
Mbaracayu, sierras, que en su mayor parte no 
pasan de ser pequenas colinas de 200-500 m. 
de altura, pero las cuales se elevan rapidamente 
al nordeste del pais donde encontramos las 
mayores alturas de dicha sierra, destacandose 
entre estas La Estrella de 690 m. de altura y 
Punta Pora de 660 m. 

Los rios que corren a traves del pais son bas- 
tante numerosos y entre ellos el mas notable es el 
Rio Paraguay, que corta el territorio paraguavo 
en todo su largo desde el norte al sur, terminando 
su recorrido al desembocar en el caudaloso Rio 

Parana. Al oeste hay un grupo de rios que 
nacen en la misma base de los Andes y despues 
de haber recorrido todo el llano del Chaco, 
desembocan en el Rio Paraguay. Al este 
encontramos otro grupo de rios que partiendo 
de las sierras Amambay-Mbaracayu corren al 
oeste para desembocar tambien en el Rio 

La temperatura del Paraguay es bastante 
uniforme y se puede decir que no hay una gran 
diferencia entre las estaciones de verano e 
invierno, estaciones unicas que aqui se pueden 
distinguir. El promedio anual de temperatura es 
de unos 22 C, lo cual al sur es solo de unos 
21 C. y al norte llega hasta 23 C. La tempera- 
tura maxima registrada es de unos 41 C., pero 
raramente se registran temperaturas de mas de 
31 C. Las estaciones de verano e invierno estan 
comprendidas entre los meses de Octubre a 
Marzo la primera y de Abril a Septiembre la 
segunda. Durante estas estaciones el mes mas 
caluroso es Enero, con un promedio de 27 C. y 
el mes mas f rio es Junio, con un promedio de 14 
C. La humcdad atmosf erica es bastante alta, 
registrandose de 40 a 90 grades de humedad, de 
lo cual las cifras mas altas corresponden al 
verano. Los vientos predominantes en el pais 
son los del norte y sur, los primeros calurosos y 
frios los segundos. El promedio de lluvias caidas 
durante un ano, es de unos 2,200 mm., pero como 
es logico esto se altera de acuerdo con las dis- 
tintas regiones del pais. En el Chaco el promedio 
de lluvias llega escasamente a 1,000 mm. anuales 
y en la region sudeste llega hasta 2,400 mm. 
anuales. Estas lluvias son distribuidas con 
bastante uniformidad durante las dos estaciones 
del ano, pero en realidad el promedio mas alto 
corresponde al verano. En lo que respecta al 
Chaco esto es muy variable y los periodos de 
seca a veces pasan de un ano a otro, ocasionando 
que muchos rios desaparezcan, aparcciendo 
nuevamente con las torrenciales lluvias. 

Al describir la vegetation del Paraguay, 
creemos sera practice dividirla en seis mayores 
asociacioncs, entre las cuales la mas tipica y 
extensa, es la de la regi6n del Chaco, vegetacion 
que pudiera considerarse como una comunidad 
independiente, pero sin embargo estamos mas 
inclinados a incluirla dentro de la asociacion 
sabanas, pues mucho del Chaco consiste en 
extensos llanos cubiertos de gramineas de alto 
porte y palmares mas o mcnos densos. En esta 
asociacion se incluyen tambien las sabanas al 
este del Rio Paraguay entre el Rio Apa y 
Ypane, asi como la parte central entre el Rio 
Aguaray-Guazu y la ciudad de Asuncion. La 
segunda asociacion que haremos mencion es la 
halophytic y la cual es muy frecuente en las 
cercanias de los arroyos y rios que cortan todo 
el Paraguay, comunidad, que aparece tambien 
en la parte norte y extreme sur del pais. Seguido 
mencionaremos la tercera asociacion, repre- 
sentada por aquellas plantas que viven en las 
mismas margenes de los rios y lagunas, ademas 
de las que flotan en las propias aguas. 

Las otras tres asociaciones que mencionaremos, 
seran aquellas propias de las regiones montanosas 
y entre las cuales primero describiremos la 
asociaci6n de los montes humedos tropicales, que 
se halla en la parte S.E. de este pais, entre las 
sierras Amambay-Mbaracayu y el Rio Parana. 
La quinta asociacion es el monte subtropical, 
vegetacion que practicamente cubre el resto de 
la sierra Amabay-Mbacarayu. Por ultimo 

ROJAS y CARABIA : Breve Resefta de la Vegetacion Paraguaya 


mencionaremos la asociaci6n xerophytic, la cual 
en realidad no ocupa una regi6n determinada 
en el pais y mas bien corresponde a todas 
aquellas localidades donde encontramos terrenos 
quebrados y de rocas expuestas, como sucede 
alrededor de la ciudad de Asuncion, en las faldas 
de las lomas del extremo norte del pais y en 
muchas partes del Chaco. 

La asociacion del Chaco y demas sabanas del 
pais estan cubiertas de Gramineae y Cyperaceae 
entre las cuales se destacan las gramineas de los 
generos Eragrostis, Leptochloa, Andropogon, 
Panicum, Paspalum y Guadua. En las sabanas 
de la parte este del Rio Paraguay encontramos 
un grupo de palmas que forman el dominante 
arboreo de esa asociacidn y entre las cuales se 
destacan la Acrocomia totai y Euterpe edulis en 
los lugares mas aridos ; siendo sustituidas por la 
Geonoma Schottiana, Arecastrum Romansoffia- 
num y Bactris Anisitsii en los lugares mis hume- 
dos. Al oeste del Rio Paraguay y en la verdadera 
regidn del Chaco encontramos otro grupo de 
palmas prppias de esa sabanas y entre las cuales 
la mas tipica y dominante es la Cofernicia 
australis, que forma densos palmares a todo lo 
largo de dicho rio. Muchas otras veces en las 
mismas mirgenes de dicha corriente, la Copcr- 
nicia australis forma palmares mas claros y se 
asocia a un grupo de arboles entre los cuales se 
destacan la Tecoma argentea, T. ochracea, 
Schinopsis Balansae, S. Lorentsii y Cochlosper- 
mum tetraporum. Mas al oeste en la niisma 
region del Chaco la Copernicia australis es 
sustituida por otras palmas, como Trithrinax 
biflabellata y Bactris Anisitsii. Otras veces en el 
mismo Chaco encontramos pequenos montes 
formados por Cochlospermum tretraporum, Ceiba 
purcheli y Prosopis Kuntsei. En los lugares mas 
aridos del Chaco la vegetacion dominante esta 
formada por grupos de pequenos arbustos del 
genero Cassia y Capparis y en los lugares 
des6rticos una vegetacion xerophytic toma lugar 
y entre estas las Cactaceae predominan. 

La asociacion halophytic, que es bastante 
extensa, esta formada en parte por muchos 
clementos propios de los lugares bajos de las 
sabanas, como Tecoma argentea y Acacia 
jarnesiana, pero otros elementos mas propios de 
esa asociacion son: Schinopsis Balansae, Cer- 
cidium andicolum, Froelichia Paraguay ensis, 
Alternanthera polygonoides, Lycium Morongii y 
Cienfitegosia Hasslerana. La asociacion que sigue 
a la anterior, es aquella formada por plantas que 
viven en las mismas margenes de los rios y 
lagunas o flotando en las propias corrientes; 
entre las primeras se destacan gramineas del 
genero Guadua, Cyperaceae como el Cyperus 
giganteus, Scirpus riparius y Pontederia cor data; 
entre las segundas Eichhomia crassipes, Utricu- 
laria inflata, y la interesante Victoria Crusiana 

La vegetacion que consideramos como el monte 
humedo tropical, no es muy extensa, pero lo 
sunciente para poder enumerar un grupo de 
interesantes arboles como la Cedrela fissilis, 
Endlicheria hirsuta, Cecropia adenopus, Ficus 
Monckii, Chlorophora tinctoria, Didymopanax 
morototoni, Calophyllum brasiliense, Roupala 
brasiliensis y Rapanea Balansae. En los lugares 
mas sombreados y humedos de estos montes, 
encontramos colonias dc helechos arborescentes 
como Alsophila atrovirens y Cyathea Hassleriana, 
junto a estos es frecuente encontrar el Costus 
pilgeri y Philodendron selloum. En los lugares 

mas abiertos se destaca la interesante Cordyline 

La asociacion del monte subtropical se carac- 
teriza con la presencia del Ilex paraguariensis, 
asociado con el cual encontramos el Prosopis 
juliflora, Prunus sphaerocarpa, Myrciaria cauli- 
flora, Campomanesia obversa, Tibouchina vio- 
lacea, Leandra atropurpurea, Miconia pussilh flora 
y Eugenia pungens. 

La ultima asociaci6n a mencionar es la 
xerophytic, representado por un grupo de Cacta- 
ceae, Bromeliaceae y otras plantas, entre las 
cuales se destacan Echinocactus Schumannianus, 
Opuntia stenaentha, Cereus Paraguay ensis, Bro- 
melia Balansae y Pseudo-Ananas ntacrodontes. De 
esta asociaci6n pasamos gradualmentc a un monte 
claro y semi-xerophytic, donde el suelo esta cu- 
bierto de Bromeliaceae y el arbol dominante es 
Prosopis juliflora. De esta misma forma pasamos 
de la asociacion xerophytic a un tipo de sabana 
donde el elemento arb6reo es el Cocos Roman- 
soffiana y en el suelo junto a las gramineas, Cro- 
ton argenteus y la Opuntia stenaentha son fre- 

A continuaci6n damos una interesante lista de 
plantas, recopilada por el Dr. TEODORO ROJAS y 
entre las cuales se mencionan aquellas familias y 
especies mas frecuentes del Paraguay. 

Las Pteridofitas asuenden a 239 especies y las Fane* 
r6gamas a 4.600 aproximadamente, las Gramineas mas 
de 400, las Ciperaceas 140, las Palmer as 30, las Bra- 
melidceas 40, y las Orquidcas 70, especies. 

Los helechos generalmente habitan sitios sombrios y 
humedos como la Cyathea Hassleriana, Hemitelia setosa 
y Alsophila atrovirens. Entre las epifitas hallase repre- 
sentados Lycopodium mandiocanntn, Vittaria lineata y 
Polypodium lepidopteris. Entre los terrestres dc sitios 
secos, Notholaema Balansae y Selaginella convoluta. 

Las Gramineas que habitan barranca de rios y riachos 
son Guadua Trinii, G. angustifolia y G. paraguayana. 
En los bosques sombrios, Merostachys Clausseni, Chus- 
quea ramostssima, Lasiacis ruscifolia, Olyra latifolia y 
Melica sarmcntosa. En canipos humedos, Panicum rivu- 
lare, Paspalum arundinellum, Tridens brasiliensis. Era- 
grostis hypnoides, E. glomerata, E. sptcata, Paspalidium 
paludivagum, Penntsetum nervosum, P. frutescens, An- 
dropogon laterahs y Sorghastrvm nutans. 

Ciperdceas de sitios humedos, Cyperus giganteus, Sctr- 
pus riparius, y de los sitios secos, Rhynchospora exaltata, 
Bulbostylis papillosa y B. Langsdorffiana. 

Las Palmer as de sitios cultivados y de poblaciones, 
Acrocomia totai; de campos y bosques, Arccastrum 
Romamoffianum, Euterpe edulis, Attalea guaranitica, 
Geonoma Schottiana, Butia Yatay y Butia Yatay var. 
paraguayensis. En la zona anegadiza chaquefta Coper- 
nicia australis, Bactris Anizitzii y Trithrinax biflabellata. 

Las Bromelidceas de campo y bosque, Pseudoananas 
macrodontes, Ananas anantsoides y BromeHa Balansae; 
propias de serranias, Deuterohnia Meaiana, Pitcaimia 
paraguayensis y Lindmania Rojasii; de bosques xer6fitos 
del Chaco Paraguayo, Deinacanthon Urbanianum, Bro- 
melia Hieronymi y B. Serra. Estas ultimas producen 
excelentes fibras. 

Las Orquideas de sitios secos, Cyrtopodium puncta- 
turn, Catasetum fimbriatum, Brassavola Perrinii, Onci- 
dium Jonesianum; de sitios sombrios y humedos, Zygo- 
petalum Hasslerianum, y Bulbophyllum Rojasii, Onci- 
dium pulvinatum y O. cornigerum. 

Las Dioscoreaceas, con 21 especies, habitan campos y 
orillas de bosques, las mas frecuentes son: Dioscorea 
guaranitica, D. discolor, cultivada por los indigenas por 
sus tuberculos comestibles. 

Las Leguminosas, con 400 especies, constituye la fami- 
lia mas numerosa de las Faner6gamas del Paraguay. 
Est&n representadas por las especies siguientes: Pipta- 
denia macrocarpa, corteza tanifera, Enterolobium gua- 
raniticum, Holocalyx Balansae, Pterogyne nit ens, Fe- 
rreirea spectabilis, Enterolobium contortisiliquum. Petto- 
phorum dubium. Copaiftra Langsdorfii, C. Chodatiana, 
Lonchocarpus Muellbergianus y L. albiflorus. Todas 


ROJAS y CARABIA : Breve Resena de la Vegetation Paraguay* 

forestales de importancia: Caesalpinia melanocarpa, 
Prosopis KuntMfi, P. Fiebrigii, P. Hassleri y P. eampes- 
trit, igualmente forestales de importancia que habitan 
regiones del Cbaco Paraguayo. 

Las Compuestas mas de 400 especies, otra familia con 
numerosos repreaenUntes interesantes, tales como Mo- 
quinia polymorpha, medicinal, Sttvia Rebaudiana, edul- 
corante, Eupatorium laeve, colorante, Eupatorium odora- 
turn y Eupatorium oblongifolium, de perfume. 

Las Rubidceas, con 110 especies: C out area hexandra, 
austituto de la Quina; Borrtria Poaya y B. verticillata, 
sustituto de la Iptcacuana; Calycophyllum multiflorum, 
foreatal, Genipa americana, frutal, y Relbunium hirtutn, 

Las Convolvulaceas con 115 especies: Ipomoea bona- 
riensis, medicinal, /. bonanox, I. acuminata, y Morremia 

ramosissima, Pavonia septum, Sida rhombifolia y Wissa- 
dula subpeltata, todas textiles, Abutilon striatum, planta 

Las Mordceas con 20 especies: los diferentes Ficus, 
habitan los bosques y sus orillas humedas, como F. 
Guapoi, F. Morongii, F. Monckii, F. anthetmintica, F. 
Rojasii, F. oximia, de maderas livianas, ademas, Brosium 
Gaudichaudii y Pseudomedia guaranitica. Las especies 
de Dorstenia y Cecropia son medicinales, Pseudo-Ma- 
dura brasiliensis y Chlorophora tinctoria, esta ultima 
es de madera dura y colorante, Soracea tlicifolia y . 
saxicola, zona boscosa y literal. 

Las Meliaceas con 40 especies: habitan generalmente 
las selvas, Cedrela fisrilis, C. Balansae, C. hirsuta, 
Cabralea Rojasii, C. oblongifolia, Trichilia cathartica, y 
TrichUia triphyllaria, todos forestales de primer orden. 


s- Aubtropicales y diitrlboeion del Ilex 

c'.or, Xerophytic 

J.P. Carabia 


dissecta, ornamental, y una Calonyction sp., cuya semilla 
es aaponifera. 

Las Euforbiaceas, con 150 especies, habitan campos, 
llanuras y bosques: Alchornea triplinervia, A. irtcurana 
y Cretan urucurana, producen maderas livianas Manihot 
utilissima y sus variedades, producen raices comestibles, 
constituyendo uno de los principals alimentos del pueblo 
y una de las plantas econdmicas de mis importancia; 
Julocroton solanaceus, raices aromaticas, Jatropha Isa- 
belli, raices medicinales, Phyllanthus Scllowianus y Ph. 
lathyroides, la primera usada contra diabetes y la segunda 
como disolvente de c&lculos renales. Aporosella Hassle- 
riana, arbol de la barranca del rio Paraguay. 

Las Malvdceas con 151 especies, habitan los campos y 
orillas de bosques: Bastardiopsis dtnsi flora, forestal de 
madera liviana, sirve para celulosa de papel: Abutilon 

Aristolochtdceas con 20 especies, en su mayoria plantas 
volubles de habitat del campo y orillas de bosques: 
Aristolochia elegans. A. triangularis de uso medicinal. 
Aristolochia angustifolta y Euglypha Rojanana, habitan 
el Chaco Paraguayo. 

Ramnaceas con 10 especies, habitan los bosques y sus 
orillas humedas: Rhammdium Hasslerianum, R. elaeo- 
carpum, de maderas duras, y la Colubrina rufa y Cor- 
monema spinosum, son nuevas especies para el pais. 
Zisyphus guaranitica y Z. oblongifolia, habitan regiones 
del Chaco Paraguayo, frutos comestibles, vulgarmente 
conocido bajo el nombre de "Mistol." 

Cappariddceas con 21 especies, todas habitan el Chaco 
Paraguayo, como Capparis saKcifolia, fruto muy vene- 
noso. Capparis speciosa var. pruinosa, frutos comesti- 

ROJAS y CARABIA : Breve Resefia de la Vegetaci6n Paraguaya 


bles, ademas C. retttsa, C. Tweediana y Cratacva Tapia, 
esta ultima habita hordes del rio Paraguay. 

Hippocratedceas con 11 especies, casi todos arbustos y 
lianas de los campos y bosques: Solatia campestrts y 
S. crassifolia, frutos comestibles. 

Sapinddceas con 43 especies; lianas, arbustos y ar- 
boles, habitan campos y orillas de bosques: Melicocca 
lepidopetala. Talisia esculent a, frutos comestibles, Sapin- 
dus saponaria, Paullinia pinnata y P. elegant usado por 
los indtgenas como barbasco. De uso medicinal, Allo- 
philus cdulis, Cupania vernalis y Diatenopterix sorbi- 
folia, forestales. 

Loganidceas con 24 especies: Strychnos brasiliensis y 
St. pseudoquina, arboles cuyas cortezas se usan como 
antimalarica. Habitan las islas de los bosques del 
Norte del pais. Buddleia brasiliensis, raices perfumadas 
y medicinal. 

Laurdceas con 15 especies, habitan en el bosque como 
en el campo, todos arbustos y arboles: Ocotea suaveoles, 
O. puberula, Nectandra mcmbranacea, N. lanceolata, 
producen maderas livianas; Endlicheria kirsuta, habita 
selvas humedas de la Sierra de Amambay. Arbustos 
unicamente, Ocotea Confusa, y Ayuca Hasslcri. 

Umbeliferaceas con 41 especies, plantas de campos 
altos y humedos, como Eryngium Balansae, y E. ebur- 
neum, Hydrocotyle lettcocephala, medicinal. 

Cucurbttdccas con 30 especies intcresantes, todas 
volublcs, muchas de frutos comestibles; la Ceratosanthes 
Hilanana, tiene tuberculo grande, cuyas aguas de vege- 
tacion sirve para apagar la sed en el Chaco Paraguayo, 
como medicinal, Cayap<mia podantha, y C. citrullifolia, 
medicinal depurativa. 

Anacardidceas con 21 especies, Schinopsis Balansae y 
Sch. Lorentsii cuyas maderas producen el tanino, sir- 
viendo tambiln para construccidn ; Astronium urundeuva 
y A. fraxinifolium, solamente para este ultimo fin; Tapi- 
rira guyanensis, producen maderas livianas propio para 
envases. Las cuatro primeras habitan el Chaco Para- 
guayo y la ultima la Sierra de Amambay. Schinus 
therebtnthifolius y Lithraea molleotdes, medicinales. 

Sterculidceas con 47 especies, Sterculia stnata, frutos 
con semillas oleiferas comestibles, citamos Helicteres 
guasumifolia y Bitttneria catalpifolia, como especies in- 

Apocyndceas, con 55 especies, todos arbustos, arboles y 
lianas, muchas especies de Aspidosperma, como la A. 
poly neuron, A. Quebracho bianco, A. Quirandy y A. 
oust rale, aparte de proporcionar maderas de construccidn 
sus cortezas son medicinales. La Hancornia speciosa, 
produce un buen caucho y sus frutos son comestibles. 
Citamos como ornamental, Thevetia bicornuta, Macrosi- 
phonia longiflora, Dipladenia spigeliaflora y D. angusti- 

Melastomatdceas con 50 especies, habitan campos y 
bosques. Como plantas ornamentales recomendables: 
Tibouchina herbacea, T. violacea, T. stenocarpa, Leandra 
atropurpurea, L. cremata, Miconia pussilliflora y M. 

Rutdceas con 17 especies, todos arbustos y arboles: 
Balfourodendron Riedelianum, recomendado para la 
reproduction forestal. Fagara chiloperone, F, hiemalis, 
F. Riedeliana y Helietta longifoliata, tambien forestales. 
Como medicinal: Pilocarpus pennatifolius var. Selloona. 

Borragindceas con 50 especies: Cordia hngipeda, C. 
hypoleuca, C. Chamissoniana y C. Hassleriana producen 
maderas excelentes para muebles. Patagonula ameri- 
cana cuya madera se presta para fabricar sillas como 
las de Viena, habitan selvas y campos. 

Bignonidceas con 71 especies, todas arbustos, arboles 
y lianas: Tdbebuia Ipe, y T. Integra producen maderas 
de construccion. Jacaranda semiserrata, J. cuspidifolia, 
y Tecoma argentca, cuyas cortezas son medicinales. 
Como ornamental: Jacaranda cuspidifolia, Stenolobium 
stans, Bignonta unguis-cati, Melloa popvlifolia, Ara- 
bidaea rhodantha, Chodanthus splendent, Cuspidaria 
pterocarpa y Pyrostegia venusta. 

Labiadas con 76 especies, todas berbaceas y sufruti- 
ces, habitan los campos y llanuras. Las especies de 
Ocimum Balansae, O. Selloi, 0. neitrophyllum, Salvia 
globiftora se usan en la medicina. Como ornamental, 
Salvia ambigens. 

Zygophyllaceae, La principal especie de esta familia, 
Bulnesia Sarmientii de una madera durisima y resinosa, 
habita las regiones xerofitas del Chaco Paraguayo. 

Malpighiaceae, con 52 especies, muchas lianas, ar- 
bustos y pocos arboles, habitan gcneralmente los campos 
e islas de monies, apreciadas por sus hermosas flores. 
Banisteria metalicolor, B. Hassleriana, Peixotoa car- 
destipula y Byrsonitna eoccolobifolia. Las Banisterias 
son today lianas, algunas de aplicaci6n medicinal. Las 
demas especies son arbustos y arboles. 

Myrtaceae, las Mirtaceas cuyas especies (200) abun- 
dan en los campos como en las selvas, algunas producen 
frutos exquisitos, como Myrciaria cauliflora, M. jaboti- 
caba, Pstdiitm guayaba, Campomanecia xanthocarpa, C. 
obversa, Eugenia uni flora, y Britoa selloviana, etc. 
Como ornamental: Myrciaria cuspidata, M. baporeti, 
Eugenta pungent y Myrcia assumptions . 

Solanaccas, alrededor de 80 especies, muchas herba- 
ceas, lianas, arbustos y arboles como Solanum verbasci- 
folium, S. inaequalf y S. citrifoliurn. Habitan los 
campos, llanuras y bosques: Solanum foetidum sus 
hojas produce un colorante azul. Solanum grandtflvrum, 
frutos perfumados comestibles. En cultivos como plantas 
dc adorno: Brunfelsia uniflora, Solanum Rantonetti y 
S. jasmintfolitim. Como especie interesante Solanum 
chacocnsis, con raices tuberosas. 

Scrophularidccas, con 56 especies, habitan los campos 
humedos. Como planta ornamental recomendables: An- 
gelonia integerrima, Gerardia genistaefolia y Escobedia 
scabnfolta. Esta ultima tiene en sus raices un colorante 
propio para pastas y para tenir tejidos. 

Verbcnaccas con 75 especies, habitan campos y orillas 
de bosques humedos. Como planta ornamental recomen- 
dables: Duquetia furfuracea, Xylopia brasiliensis, y X. 

Combretdceas con 8 especies, todas lianas y arboles: 
Combretum secundum, ornamental. Combretum Hassle- 
rianum, Terminalia Balansae y T. modes ta, producen 
maderas flexibles. 

Sapotdceas, con 10 especies, todos arbustos y arboles: 
Chrysophyllum lucumifotium, Ch. pumilum, Lucuna 
paraguariensis, Labatia fragrans, Pouteria Migonei, son 
de frutos comestibles. Chrysophyllum maytcnoides, pro- 
duce madera flexible, Labatia glomerata y Pouteria 
solid folia habitan selvas riberenas del Alto Parana y 
Alto Paraguay. Bumcha obtustfotia y sus vanedades, 
habitan regiones boscosas del Chaco Paraguayo. 

Ebendceas con 3 especies: Maba inconstans, Dyospiros 
Hasslen y D. hispida var. catnporum de frutos comesti- 

Guttiferdceas, con 10 especies: Kidmcyera oblonga, 
arbol campestre, Rheedia brasiliensis y Rh. macro- 
phylla, frutos comestibles habitan las selvas de la region 
oriental, Calophyllum brasiliense, da una madera liviana 
propia para envases, habita bosque humcdo, Sieira de 

Tilidceas, con 10 especies, habitan campos y bosques. 
Los principales son Luhea uniflora, L. paniculata, L. 
divancata, L. speciosa cuyas flores son melifcras. Las 
maderas de esta especie por su naturalcza son igual- 
mente apreciada para tonelcria. Hcliocarpus ameri' 
canus tiene la madera liviana y el liber de su corteza 
es fibrosa. 

Flacourtidceas, con 15 especies, todos arbustos y 
arboles que habitan bosques y litoral de los rios: Prockia 
glabra, P. Hasslcri, Banara macrophylla, B. bernar- 
dinensis, Casearia Hassleri, C. gossypiospcrma, produ- 
cen maderas de construccidn. La C. stlvestris, cuyas 
hojas utilizan contra las mordeduras de viboras. 

Una sola especie de Protedceas, se conoce del Para- 
guay: Roupala brasiliensis, arbol que habita los bosques 
de la region del Guaira y Alto Parana, la madera es 
apreciada por su hermoso veteado. 

Bombacdceas, con 12 especies, todos arboles, habitan 
campos y bosques ralos: Bombax marginatum, cuyas 
semillas estan envueltos en una seda vegetal de color 
marr6n, su corteza contiene fibra Hberiana, Chorisia 
insignis y Ch. speciosa, producen seda vegetal blanca. 
Ceiba Burchelh habita los campos del Chaco Paraguayo 
y Ceiba pubiflora los montes de la Cordillera de Altos. 
Las semillas de todas estas especies contienen un aceite 

Aquifolidceas. Esta familia representada en el Para- 
guay por diversas especies, la principal Ilex paragua- 
riensis y sus variedades que producen la Yerba mate o 
Ti del Paraguay. Habita los campos y bosques humedos 
de la region del Guaira, Alto Parana y Alto Paraguay. 


CARABIA : La Agriculture en el Paraguay 

Piper&ceas, cuenta alrededor de 50 especies, herbaceas 
y arbustos, algunas epifitas (Peperomia). Habitan bos- 
quea sombrios y humedos: Piper fulbescens, P. angusti- 
folium, Peperomia cyclophylla y P. rotundifolia. 

Lythraceae, esta familia comprende 35 especies, todas 
herbaceas sufrutccentes y arboles, como Lafoensia Pacari, 
la madera de esta es resistentes en tierra, ademas produce 
un colorante amarillo. 

Lecythiddceas, una sola especie conocida del Paraguay, 
Cariniana excelsa, arbol de dimensiones considerables, 
habita los bosques de la Sierra de Amambay, su madera 
es liviana propias para cnvases. 

Cactdceas, conocidas del Paraguay alrededor de 60 
especies, habitan las serranias de la parte oriental del 
pais y las zonas xer6fitas del Chaco Paraguayo, citamos: 
Pereskia aculcata, Opuntia Paraguay ensis, Cereus para- 
guayensis, C. Koryne, C. Hassleri, C. Baumannii, Echi- 
nopsis rhodotricha, Echinocactus Hartmanii, E. Schu- 
mannianus, E. paraguayenris, E. Anisitsii, E. Mihano- 
vichii y Harnsia Martinii. 

Erythroxyldceas, con 21 especies todos arbustos y ar- 
bolitos, habitan campos y bosques ralos tanto del lado 
oriental como del Chaco Paraguayo, citamos: Erythroxy- 
Ion tnicrophyllum, E. Hasslerianum, E. cuneifolium, E. 
paraguariense y E. verruculosum. 

Styracaceas, representadas por siete especies, todas 
arbustos y arboles, los principales Styrax leprosa, St. 
camporum, St. obliquinervia y St. ferruginous, habitan 
isla de bosque humedo y campo. 

Myrsindceas, con ocho especies todas arboles que 
habitan selvas y sus orillas, las mis frecuentes: Rapa- 
nea ferruginea, R. guyanensis, R. laetevices, R. Balansae 
y Clibanthus detergent, esta ultima habita selvas hume- 
das de la Sierra de Amambay. 

Symplocdccas con nueve especies todas arboles que 
habitan generalmente islas de bosques y campos, como 
Symplocos celastrinea, S. tanceolata, S. uniflora y S. 

V'ochyridccas, con ocho especies todas arboles tipicos de 
campos e islas de bosques, las principales: Vochysia 
tucanorum, Qualca Cor data, Q. parvi flora, Q. grandi- 
flora y Q. multiflora. 



Bibliografia: CHODAT, R. et Collaborateurs Plantae 
Hasslenanae, Geneve, 1st part, p. 1-203, 1898-1902 
(Repr. Bull. Herb. Boissier). CHODAT, R. et HASSLER, 
E.: Plantae Hasslcrianae. Geneve, 2nd part, p. 1-712, 
1903-1907 (Repr. Bull. Herb. Boissier). CHODAT, R.: 
La Vegetation du Paraguay. Bull. Herb. Boissier fasc. 
1, p. 1-157, fig. 125, 1916. CHODAT, R. et VISCHM, 
W.: La Vegetation du Paraguay. Bull. Herb. Boissier 
fasc. 2, p. 1-290, fig. 107, 1918. CHODAT, R. et VIS- 
CHER, W.: La Vegetation du Paraguay. Bull. Herb. 
Boissier fasc. 3, p. 1-379, 1920. HOCHRBUTINER, B. P. 
G.: La Vegetation du Paraguay. Bull, de 1'Institut 
Nat. Genevois 45(2):l-49, 1923. HOCHREUTINM, B. P. 
G. : Die Paraguayische Pflanzenwelt (transl.; 1 map by 
A. SCHUSTER). Paraguay, p. 1-33, 1929. 

J. P. CARABIA: Productos Naturales y Agri- 
culture en el Paraguay: Ocupa el Paraguay 
una posicion geografica y politica bastante des- 
favorable. Una de las desventajas del Para- 
guay, es el tener fronteras comunes con varias 
republicas hispano-americanas, lo cual ha origi- 
nado innumerables y sucesivas guerras de origen 
fronterizo entre el mcncionado pais y esas repu- 
blicas vecinas. Otra desventaja para el Para- 
guay, es el no tener salida directa al mar, lo 
cual impide grandemente el intercambio rapido 
de los productos naturales de ese pais. El Para- 
guay es la reptiblica mas pcquena de Sur Am- 
rica, con excepcion del Uruguay. Su poblaci6n, 
que es la mas reducida de todo el continente 
sudamericano, alcanza s61o un promedio de 
unos dos habitantes por ki!6metro cuadrado. 
Por las razones mencionadas y otras mas, la 

agricultura e industria del pais no ban progresado 
como es de desearse. 

Los numerosos rios que atraviesan el Para- 
guay, constituyen los principales medios de 
transporte de este pais, siendo de mencionarse en 
primer lugar el rio Paraguay, que corre de norte 
a sur cortando el pais a todo su largo. Otro 
rio importante es el Parana, que corre mas o 
menos en la misma direction que el anterior, 
pero a lo largo del extremo este del pais. Estos 
dos rios, son navegables en su mayor parte y 
embarcaciones de 10-12 pies de calado son 
frecuentes en esas corrientes. Los otros rios 
que corren de este a oeste y en forma contraria, 
siryen de medio de transpprte en las partes in- 
teriores del pais. Las lineas ferroviarias no 
pasan de unos 500 kilometros y estos, en su 
mayor parte, corresporiden al ferrocarril del ex- 
tremo sur, que partiendo de Asuncion pasa por 
Villarica para entrar en Argentina. Los caminos 
y carreteras para trafico pesado son muy re- 
ducidos y de poca importancia. 

El Paraguay tiene unos 458,000 kilometros 
cuadrados, de los cuales una gran parte no pasan 
sobre los 300 m. de altura sobre el nivel del mar, 
por lo que terrenos bajos y anegadizos son 
bastante frecuentes. A pesar de lo dicho unas 
tres cuartas partes del territorio paraguayo es 
cultivable, pero, hasta la fecha, solo el uno por 
ciento de este se dedica a la agricultura, sin 
contar los extensos prados naturales del Chaco 
que se dedican a la ganaderia. 

En forma general, se puede decir que el Para- 
guay esta dividido en dos grandes regiones 
naturales ; una, al oeste del rio Paraguay o sea 
la region del Chaco, y otra, al este de dicho 
rio. La parte oeste o Chaco, es un ex- 
tenso territorio que comprende las dos terceras 
partes del area total del pais ; en su mayor parte 
es arenoso, bajo y algo anegadizo. La vege- 
tacion del Chaco esta formada principalmentc 
por sabanas de gramineas pertenecientes a los 
generos Panicwn, Paspalum y Guadua. Estas 
sabanas son tambien frecuentemente interrum- 
pidas por manchas de montes, muy especialmente 
a lo largo de arroyos y rios, alcanzando su mayor 
representation en las margenes del rio Paraguay 
donde estos montes forman una franja continua 
a todo su largo. Al este del rio Paraguay, en- 
contramos los terrenos mas propios para la 
agricultura; terrenos que al noreste son ondu- 
lados y algo arenosos, al centre tambien ondu- 
lados y muy f entiles, y, al sur, bajos y anegadizos 
pero propios para varies cultivos. A lo largo 
del extremo este del pais, encontramos una ex- 
tensa region montanosa, donde existen los 
montes mas ricos del pais. 

Hay en el Paraguay aproximadamente un mi- 
llon de habitantes, de los cuales la mayor parte 
residen en las partes sur y central del pais, donde 
encontramos precisamente las mayores ciudades, 
tales como: Asuncion (capital del Paraguay), 
Villarica, Ita, Capitata, Encarnaci6n, Caazapa, 
Conception, ademas de otras de menor impor- 
tancia. La mayor parte de la poblacion esta 
formada por descendientes de extranjeros, princi- 
palmente espanoles, italianos, polacos y alemanes 
menos en la parte oeste o Chaco, cuya poblacion 
esta formada en su mayoria por indios guaranies 
y mestizos de indios y espanoles. 

La principal industria del Paraguay es la 
ganaderia, 1 ; a la cual le siguen en importancia 
varios cultivos y explotaciones forestales : 
entre estos ocupan el primer lugar, el cultivo del 
algod6n, 2; explotacion del quebracho, 3; otras 

CARABIA : La Agriculture en el Paraguay 


maderas de construction, 4 ; yerba mate, 5 ; petit- 
grain, 6; tabaco, 7; azucar, 8; arroz, 9; tung- 
oil, 10; ademas de estas explotaciones agricolas, 
se cultivan para el consumo interior un grupo de 
vegetales, 1 1 ; tales como batata, mandioca, f ri- 
joles, mani y otros mas. 

1. Ganaderia. Desde epocas coloniales ha 
existido en el Paraguay la ganaderia, habiendose 
podido desarrollar tan favorablemente gracias a 
los extensos prados naturales del Chaco. Desde 
su origen, la explotacion ganadera del Paraguay, 
ha estado intimamente ligada con la de la yecina 
Republics Argentina, raz6n por la cual, la indus- 
tria ganadera del Paraguay sufre juntamente 
con la de Argentina los efectos de la guerra ac- 
tual. Segun estadisticas recientcs, hay en el 
Paraguay unos 4,000,000 de bovinos, los cuales en 
su mayoria son criollos y algunos pocos resultado 
de cruza con ganado de raza. Ademas de lo 
dicho hay unos 13,000 ovinos y 112,500 equinos. 

2. Algod6n. El cultivo del algod6n, consti- 
tuye la explotacion agricola mas importante del 
Paraguay, lo que se debe sin duda a la buena 
calidad de su fibra y al mercado sudamericano 
fijo. Se cultivan con predileccion variedades 
de Gossypiunt barbadense y G. hirsutum. La 
exportacion anual de algodon se calcula alrede- 
dor de unos 10,000,000 de kilogramos, lo cual 
representa una alta cifra en la exportacion total 
del pais. 

3. Quebracho. Entre las distintas maderas 
que se explotan en el Paraguay, el quebracho 
ocupa el primer lugar. La importancia de esta 
madera se debe a su gran contenido de tanino, 
aunque tambien tiene gran valor como madera 
para traviesas de ferrocarril y construccion en 
general. Hay en el Paraguay varies arboles 
cpnocidos como quebracho, pero el mas apre- 
ciado es el quebracho macho, Schinopsis balansnc, 
al cual le sigue en importancia el quebracho 
Colorado, Schinopsis lorentcii. Otro arbol con- 
fundido generalmente con el verdadero quebra- 
cho, es el quebracho bianco, Aspidosperma que- 
bracho-bianco que se explota con los mismos 
fines que los otros quebrachos. El area natural 
de los quebrachos esta constituido por la franja 
de monte a lo largo del rio Paraguay y por las 
manchas de montes de la misma region del 
Chaco. La exportacion de quebracho como 
madera, alcanza unas 25,000 toneladas metricas 
anuales y 60,000 toneladas metricas de tanino 
de las propias maderas. 

4. Maderas en general Hay en el Paraguay 
un gran numero de maderas valiosas, siendo 
las mas explotadas: Piptadenia communis, 
Astronium gracile, A. balansae, Banara ber- 
nardiensis, B. hassleri, Cedrela fissilis, Tri- 
chilla catigua y Prosopis juliflora, todas las 
cuales son propias de los montes altos de la rc- 
gi6n este del pais. Otras maderas valiosas, pro- 
pias de la region del Chaco, son: Bulnesia sar- 
mientii, Teconta spp., Tabebuia spp. y Jacaranda 

5. Yerba mate. La explotacion de la yerba 
mate constituye una de las industrias mas tipicas 
e importantes del Paraguay. La yerba, Ilex 
Paraguariensis, crece en Paraguay, Argentina y 
Brasil, pero es en el Paraguay donde esta 
planta abunda mas, por la cual este pais ha ocu- 
pado siempre el puesto de mayor importancia 
entre los productores de yerba mate. Los princi- 
pales yerbales paraguayos se encuentran en la re- 
gi6n montafiosa oriental y tambie~n al sudeste 
de esta regi6n, pero las recientes plantaciones 
han hecho que el area natural de las mismas se 

extienda mas alia de los limites indicados. El 
Paraguay exporta unos 8,000,000 de kilogramos 
de yerba mate al ano, que en su mayor parte 
son consumidos por Argentina, pais donde la 
practica del mate es muy popular. 

6. Petit-grain. Desde epocas coloniales, se 
han cultivado en el Paraguay un gran numero 
de plantas citricas, con el objeto de extraer de 
sus frutos jovenes y de sus hojas, el aceite vege- 
tal conocido con el nombre de petit-grain. Entre 
las principales variedades cultivadas, estan aque- 
llas conocidas como naranja agria, apepujha y 
apepu, todas las cuales son variedades de Citrus 
aurantiunt. La produccion anual de petit-grain es 
muy variable, pero podria decirse que anualmente 
se exportan unos 150,000 kilos de este aceite. 

7. Tabaco. El cultivo del tabaco, Nicotiana 
tabacwn, esta tomando cada dia mas importancia, 
lo cual se debe a su calidad que es tan buena 
como la de los tabacos de Cuba, y por ser sud- 
america un gran mercado para este producto. 
Las regiones mas propicias para el cultivo del 
tabaco, son las partes algo onduladas del centre 
y norte del pais. Segun estadisticas, la exporta- 
cion del tabaco alcanza a unos 15,000,000 de 
libras anuales. 

8. Cana de asucar. El cultivo de la cana de 
azucar, Saccharum offidnarum, es casi exclu- 
sivamente para el consumo interne, pero, no obs- 
tante, la exportacion de alcoholes, mieles y 
otros derivados del azucar, toma cada dia mas 
importancia en la lista de productos para la ex- 

9. Arros. El cultivo del arroz, Orysa sativa, 
esta desarrollandose rapidamente, pero hasta la 
actualidad la produccion no pasa de la rcquerida 
para el consumo interior. Los terrenes propios 
para el cultivo del arroz, son muy extensos en 
el Paraguay, razon por la cual es de espcrarse 
que en el future este cultivo sc intensifique mas. 
Las principales plantaciones de arroz se encuen- 
tran en la parte sur del pais, pero las hay tam- 
bien en la region central. 

10. Tung oil. Esta es otra de las plantas a las 
que en la actualidad se les esta dando gran 
importancia, ya que su cultivo en este pais parece 
ser muy halagador y por tratarse de un producto 
con gran mercado internacional. La especie mas 
cultivada es : Aleurites fordii, pero tambien se 
cultiva, aunque en menor escala, Aleurites mon- 

11. Cultivos en general. Ademas de los cul- 
tivos mencionados, se cultivan tambien un gran 
numero de plantas para el consumo interno, entre 
las cuales las mas frecuentes son: batata, Ipo- 
moea batatas; mandioca, Manihot esculenta; 
frijoles, Pkaseolus vulgaris; mani, Arachis hypo- 
gaea, papas, Solanum tuberosum; malanga, Colo- 
casia antiquorum y muchos otros vegetales y 
plantas de hortaliza. 

El Paraguay cuenta con un gran numero de 
industrias derivadas de las explotaciones gana- 
deras y agricolas, muchas de ellas de gran impor- 
tancia. Entre estas industrias se destacan la 
curtiembre de cueros y la conservacion de carnes 
y grasas de origen animal. Otras industrias 
estan relacionadas con el tejido y mejoramiento 
del algod6n, mejoramiento de lanas, aceites 
vegetales (tales como: aceite de algodon, citri- 
cos, de coco y tung oil) ; produccion de alcoholes, 
mieles y otros derivados del azucar. Sin duda, 
una de las industrias mas importantes, es la ex- 
plotaci6n del tanino, que se obtiene de los que- 

Existen eh el Paraguay algunos minerales, 
tales como hierro, manganese, cobre y otros 


PARODI: Las Regiones Fitogeograficas Argentina! 

de menor importancia, pero ninguno de ellos en 
cantidades suficientes para adquirir valor comer - 

Las exportaciones del Paraguay alcanzan unos 
15,000,000 de pesos oro* al ano, correspondiendo 
de estas cifras el 23% a Argentina, 15% a Ale- 
mania, 12% a Inglaterra, 5% a los E. U. de N. A., 
5% al Japon y el resto a otros paises. En cuanto 
a las importaciones, estas suman unos 12,000,000 
pesos oro anuales y proceden de Argentina 50%, 
del Japon 14%, de Alemania 12%, de los E. U. 
de N. A. 5%, de Inglaterra 4% y el resto, de varies 
otros paises. Con la prcsentc guerra, todas 
estas cifras ban sido grandemente alteradas y 
la escala comercial ha mejorado notablemente 
entre el Paraguay y los E. U. de N. A. 


Bibliografia: Anuario Dumas. Ano 1932. BER- 
TONI, M. S., Descripci6n Fisica y Economtca del Para- 
guay. Asuncion 1921. Cartilla Agropecuaria. Asun- 
ci6n. Ministerio dc Agr. Com. y Ind. n. 1-48, 1938-42. 

CRESPO. EDUARDO, El Paraguay y su Future Econo- 
mico. Paraguay (s. 1. & a.). Du GRATY, ALFRED, 
La Rlpublique du Paraguay. Bruxelles. pp. 407, 1862. 

ELLIOTT, A. E., Paraguay, its Cultural Heritage, So- 
cial Conditions & Educational Problems. New York, 
pp. 210, 1931. KEMPSKI, C. E., Die Landwirtschaft 
im paraguayischcn Chaco. Buenos Aires (Selbstverlag), 
pp. 148, 1931. KOEBEL. W. H., Paraguay. London, 
pp. 234, 1917. PARKER, W. B , Paraguayans of To- 
day. Buenos Aires, pp. 315, 1920. 

LORENZO R. PARODI: Las Regiones Fitogeo- 
graficas Argentines y sus Relaciones con la In- 
dustria Forestal : DC los 2.949.300 kilometres 
cuadrados de super ficie que tiene la Argentina, 
aproximadamente la tercera parte esta cubierta 
por formaciones boscosas que contienen especies 
maderables. Tres grandes regiones fitogeografi- 
cas carecen de arboles, por lo menos en sus 
concliciones naturales, o sus bosqucs son exiguos, 
mientras que las rcstantcs, son regiones bos- 
cosas, pobladas por esencias arboreas, muchas 
de ellas de alto valor economico. 

El clima es calido y lluvioso ; las temperaturas 
medias anuales oscilan cntre 20 y 21 C, pero 
las minimas absolutas bajan hasta C, impi- 
diendo el crecimiento de especies megatermicas 
como el caucho y el cacao. Las lluvias fluctuan 
entre 1500 mm en el sur y 1800 mm en el norte, 
distribuidas en unos 100 dias por ano. 

Carecen de arboles la Estepa patagdmca, la 
Estepa pampeana y el Desierto andino; de ellas, 
la Estepa patagdmca y el Desierto andino poseen 
escasas condiciones para los cultivos arboreos, 
aunque ofrecen lugares reducidos, donde podrian 
efectuarse algunps cultivos sin caracter de in- 
dustria. La Region pampeana, en cambio, aunque 
carece de arboles naturalmente, ofrece condi- 
ciones propicias para la forestacion siempre que 
se elijan especies adecuadas y se les prodigue 
el cuidado necesario durante la primera edad. 

Las regiones fitogeograficas argentinas son las 
siguientcs, que designamos conforme al tipo de 
vegetation que cubre el territorio, adoptando, en 
los casos posibles, la nomenclatura de TANSLEY 
and CWIPP (1926): 

1. Selva misionera (Rain forest). 

2. Selva de montafias subtropicales Tucumano-boli- 
viana (Mountain forest). 

3. Parque Chaquefio (Transition from Closed forest 
to Parkland). 

4. Bosquc Pampeano (Open woodland). 

5. Parque mesopotamico (Marginal forest and Park- 

* El "peso oro" (moneda oficial del Paraguay) equi- 
vale aproximadamente a unos 0.60 o 0.70 de d61ar. 

6. Bosques subantarcticos. 

7. Estepa pampeana (Grassland = Llanura bonae- 

8. Monte occidental (Matorral xerofilo). 

9. Estepa patagdnica (Semidesierto pataginico). 
10. Desierto andino (Estepa desertica de altiplano). 

1. SELVA MISIONERA. Cubre algo mis 
de las % partes del Territorio de Misiones, que 
se halla en el noreste argentine, entre los rios 
Parana y Uruguay. Al oeste limita con el Parque 
Mesopotamico por una zona de transition que 
baja entre Santa Ana y San Ignacio, sobre el 
Parana y llega algo mas al este de Concepci6n 
sobre el Uruguay. Es la selva de los estados 
brasilefios de Parana y Santa Catalina y del 
este del Paraguay que penetra en territorio ar- 
gentino. Es una foresta cerrada, de tipo tropical, 
caracterizada por tener corpulentos arboles que 
suelen alcanzar 40 m de altura, cubiertos de 
lianas y epifitas y entremezclados con arbustos, 
bambuseas y plantas herbaceas, formando una 
marana compacta muy dificil de penetrar. 

Las especies arboreas, como ocure ordi- 
nariamente en las regiones tropicales, no forman 
consociaciones puras, sino que estan dispersas y 
entremezclada con otras, siendo ordinariamente 
escasa su proporcion por hectarea. Por ello la 
explotacion de las especies utiles es dificil y debe 
efectuarse a costa de gran trabajo, practicando 
picadas hasta llegar a donde estan los grandes 
arboles hachados en la selva y poder extraerlos. 
No obstante que en cada local idad suelen ago- 
tarse las especies mas valiosas la selva parece 
quedar intacta debido a la escasa proporcion en 
que aqucllas se presentan por hectarea. En esta 
selva, una de las pocas especies arboreas de 
grandes dimensiones que se presenta con caracter 
predominance, aunque en superficie poco extensa, 
es Araucaria angustifolia, cuya area forma una 
cuiia que penctra por cl noreste del territorio y 
tcrmina en punta, cerca de Fracran, en el centro 
del mismo. Tambien la yerba mate (Ilex para- 
guaricnsis) suele abundar en algunos lugares 
pero su intensa explotacion la ha reducido nota- 

Entre las especies fprestales mas valiosas cita- 
remos: el lapacho (Tecoma ipe), el cedro (Ce- 
drela fissilis, var. macrocarpa), el guayaibi (Pata- 
gonula americana), el urunday (Astronium ba- 
lansae), el timbo (Enterolobium contortisili- 
quum), el ibira-pere (Apulcia leiocarpa), el 
viraro (Pterogyne nitens), el pino (Araucaria 
angustifolia), etc. 

Es una selva majestuosa, con arboles de 30 a 35 
m de altura, que se extiende en estrecha faja 
sinuosa por las faldas orientates de los contra- 
fuertes andinos, entre 450 y 2500 m s.m. alcan- 
zando hasta el grado 28 (Lat. S.) en la pro- 
vincia de Catamarca. Es rica en especies tropi- 
cales y subtropicales; su anchura es de unos 80 
Km en la region oranense, empobreciendose y 
estrechdndose a medida que avanza hacia el sur. 
Esta limitada en el piso inferior por la zona 
chaquena occidental (Region del cebil) y en el 
piso superior por la Estepa graminosa andina que, 
segun los lugares, cubre las pendientes inclina- 
das entre los 2000 y 3000 m s.m. 

Debe su origen a las altas temperaturas medias 
anuales y a la humedad traida por los vientos 
que soplan del este y vienen a condensarse en 
estas laderas produciendo abundantes lluvias. 
Aunque los registros pluviometricos en dichos 
lugares son escasisimos, se calcula entre 1000 y 
1700 mm la precipitacion anual. Las altas tem- 
peraturas que se producen favorecen una intensa 

PARODI: Las Regiones Fitogeograficas Argentines 


evaporation que contribuye notablemente a man- 
tener la abundante humedad que da origen a tan 
exuberante vegetation higrofila. 

En el piso inferior, donde el clima es mas 
calido es donde crecen los arboles mis altos y 
donde la selva es mas tupida. 

Entre los arboles mas caracteristicos hallamos 
el laurel (Phoebe porphiria) arbol de gran cor- 
pulencia, la tipa (Tipuana tipu) tambien gigan- 
tesca, alcanzando en ciertos lugares hasta 40 m 
de altura y un metro y medio de diametro, el 
cedro (Cedrela lilloi), el nogal (Juglatts austra- 
lis), el lapacho rosado (Teconta avellanedae) , 
el cebil (Piptadenia ntacrocarpa) , el roble ar- 
gentino (Torresea cearensis), el canelon (Rap- 
anea laetevirens) , la higuerilla (Carica querci- 
fotia), el ceibo (Erythrina falcate), los leche- 
rones (Sapiwn sp.), el palo bianco (Calycophyl- 
lum multiflorum), el carnaval (Cassia carnaval), 
el naranjillo (Fagara naranjillo) , varias espe- 
cies de Coccoloba, etc. Mas al norte, en Jujuy y 
Salta, la flora es mas rica creciendo ademas 
otras especies megateVmicas como la chunta 
(Acrocomia chunta), un Ficus no determinado 
aiin, una Bambusea del genero Arthrostylidium, 

Mas arriba, generalmente despues de los 
1200m, segun la latitud, se extiende la asocia- 
cion del aliso (Alnus jorullensis, v. spachii) for- 
mando consociaciones casi puras en unos casos 
y en otros asociado con el sauco (Santbucus 
peruvianus) y diversas de las especies antes cita- 
das; otra especie que se le asocia, o crece for- 
mando bosques muy puros, es el pino (Podocar- 
pus parlatorei) que tambien habita a 1700-1900 
m s.m. Ambas especies (pino y aliso) son esti- 
madas por el valor de sus maderas por lo que 
su explotacion suele ser despiadada; ambos son 
arboles corpulentos que suelen sobrepasar los 30 
m de altura. 

3. PARQUE CHAQUEftO. Se extiende 
al oeste de los rios Paraguay y Parana hasta 
confundirse con la selva Tucumano-boliviana al 
pie de los contrafuertes andinos mas orientales; 
en el norte comienza en los territories de Bolivia 
y el Paraguay y baja hasta las sierras de Cor- 
doba y la zona media de la provincia de Santa 
Fe. En la Argentina se extiende entre los pa- 
ralelos 22 y 31 lat. S. y su flora es muy rica 
por poseer numerosas especies propias, y por 
recibir elementos de las regiones colindantes. 
La vegetation es muy heterogenea ; esta com- 
puesta por bosques de diferente aspecto, y selvas 
en galeria, que alternan con savanas de altas 
gramineas y pajonales subanegados. Comprende : 
A, Una zona oriental, mas humeda, con suelos 
a veces bajos y anegados donde crecen numero- 
sas especies de Paniceas; habitan en ella, ade- 
mas de las especies arboreas que cpmponen sus 
bosques dos especies forestales valiosas que no 
existen en el oeste; ellas son el quebracho santa- 
fesino (Scltinopsis balansae) explotado para 
extraer tanino, y el lapacho (Tecoma ipe) ; en las 
islas de los rios Paraguay y Parana crece la 
picanilla (Guadua Paraguayans) muy explotada 
por el valor y aplicaciones de sus canas macizas. 
B, Una amplia zona intermedia mas seca, con 
suelos llanos donde alternan bosques y savanas; 
en ella crecen muchas especies de Prosopis (P. 
alba, P. nigra, P. ruscifotia, P. kuntzei, etc.), el 
quebracho santiagueno (Schinopsis lorentsii), 
muy codiciado por las multiples aplicaciones de 
su madera durisima, el guayacan (Caesalpinia 
melanocarpa) , el mistol (Zisiphus tnistol), el 
palo santo (Bulnesia sarmienti), las palmas 

(Trithrinax campestris y T. biflabellata) , el que- 
bracho bianco (Aspidosperma quebracho), etc. 
C, Cerca de los contrafuertes andinos existe la 
zona que LILLO (1919) designo Formaci6n del 
cebil y que representa un bosque de transition 
entre el Parque chaqueno y la selva Tucumano- 
boliviana; posee especies comunes a ambas for- 
maciones, pero su aspecto de bosque abierto, con 
abundante cesped graminoso, lo hace confundir 
con el Chaco. D, Al oeste del rio Dulce, en el 
suroeste de Santiago del Estero, se extiende otra 
zona, que contiene el quebracho bianco y el san- 
tiagueno, y gran numero de las especies de la 
zona B, mezcladps con jarilla (Larrea divari- 
cata) como especie secundaria ; en muchos luga- 
res, por causa de la extrema explotacion de los 
quebrachos y especies arb6reas, el bosque se pre- 
senta degradado y reducido a un matorral ; esta 
comunidad termina en la sierra de Ambato por 
el oeste y por el sudeste on las sierras de C6r- 
doba y San Luis. Son Bosques de Transition 
(PARODI, 1942), tipicamente chaquenos, que em- 
pobreciendose en las especies arboreas, van a 
confundirse con el Monte occidental en el oeste. 
Por su afinidad sociologica y por su aspecto, 
deben reunirse con el Chaco los bosques de la 
Pampa Central que tratare a continuation. 

4. BOSQUE PAMPEANO. Represent* un 
distrito del Parque chaqueno que desdc el cen- 
tro norte de San Luis se extiende por la zona 
oriental de la Pampa Central hasta su limite aus- 
tral con el rio Colorado. 

La especie caracteristica es el calden (Pro- 
sopis caldenia) ; e*ste crece comunmente agru- 
pado dando al paisaje aspecto de parque, en cuyas 
abras predominan varias especies de gramineas 
chaquenas como Elionurus viridulus, Setaria fie- 
brigii, Trichachne pcnicilligera, Trichloris pluri- 
flora y otras que bajan desde las laderas monta- 
nosas de Tucuman, Catamarca y Cordoba tales 
como Stipa ichu, S. hypogona, Muhlenber<jia cir- 
cinata, etc. ; existen ademas especies propias como 
Aristida subulata y A. trachyantha. 

El clima es templadp y medianamente seco; 
las precipitaciones medias anuales oscilan entre 
450 y 700 mm. El suelo es arenoso muy propenso 
a la erosion eolica despues de roturado o des- 
boscado; son comunes los medanos. 

Entre las especies arborescentes o arbustivas 
que se asocian con el calden citare varios Proso- 
pis (P. algarrobilla, P. striata, P. alpataco, P. 
humilis, P. nigra), el charter (Gourliea spinosa), 
el incienso (Schintts polygamus), el piquillin 
(Condalia lineata), el peje (Jodina rhontbifolia) , 
etc. Las jarillas (Larrea), tan caracteristicas 
del Monte xcrofilo occidental, a mcnudo estan 
presentes en estos bosques, pero son escasas y 
dominadas por los caldenes. 

El arbol mas importante aqui es el calden. 

prende el suroeste de Misiones y las provincias 
de Corrientes y Entre Rios hasta el Delta (Entre- 
riano y Bonaerense) y los bosquecillos marginales 
de la ribera bonaerense hasta algo mas al Sur de 
La Plata. La fisiografia es muy variable. En el 
suroeste de Misiones y noreste de Corrientes el 
suelo presenta amplias ondulaciones dejando de- 
presiones por donde corren riachos bordeados por 
selvas en galeria. En muchos sitios aparece la 
tierra roja de aspecto lateritico muy rica en 
hierro; en otros es arcillosa y en los bajos pan- 
tanosos hasta llega a ser turbosa. En el centre y 
sureste de Corrientes el suelo es ordinariamente 
llano pero en muchos sitios se han formado depre- 
siones donde existen esteros, en algunos casos ex- 

KVI 5Pftrqu6 Meaopotlmlcc 

{ rj6Boaquea oubantarot. 

I 1 I iT.Eatcpa Pampcana 
[ZD 8. Monte occidental 

PARODI: Las Regiones Fitogeograficai Argentina* 


tensisimos, como el del Ibera que tiene unos 748 
mil kilometres cuadrados de superficie (KuHN, 
1922). El territorio entrerriano es igualmente 
muy heterogeneo, en ciertos lugares aflora la 
arenisca que origina cuchillas pedregosas, en 
otros el suelo es horizontal y areno-arcilloso 
soportando bosquecillos o estepas; en el sur o 
zona de Ibicuy es medanoso, y aluvional en el 
Delta. Las asociaciones que componen este vasto 
territorio fitogeografico son muy diferentes, pre- 
dominando las savanas, los bosques xerofilos y 
las selvas marginales, pero tambien existen pal- 
mares, estepas y praderas. 

Entre los arboles mas valiosos citaremos el 
nandubay (Prosopis nandubay) de madera duri- 
sima usado para elaborar carbon, el cebil (Pip- 
tadenia sp.), el urunday (Astronium balansae), 
el sauce criollo (Salix humbold /tana) , el tala 
(Celtis spinosa), el lapacho (Tecoma ipe), el 
ibira-pita (Peltophorunt dubiwn), etc. 

Una zona forestal de gran importancia es el 
Delta donde pueden ef ectuarse cultivos forestales 
muy diversos entre cuyos mas importantcs pueden 
senalarsc el aliso (Alnus glutinosa), el cipres 
calvo (Taxodium distichum), el pldtano (Plata- 
nus acerifolia), algunas tacuaras (Bambusa sp.) 
y numerosas especies de alamos (Populus), 
sauces y mimbres (Salix), etc. 

El clima es templado-calido : las temperaturas 
medias oscilan entre 17 y 21, y en todo el terri- 
torio ocurren heladas en invierno. Las lluvias 
oscilan entre 950 mm en la ribera platense, as- 
cendiendo hasta 1500 mm anuales en el suroeste 
dc Misiones. 

bosques se extienden en una estrecha faja, no 
mayor de 100 km de ancho, a lo largo de la Cor- 
dillera andina, por los valles y faldas montano- 
sas, dcsde el norte del Neuquen, 3750' lat. S. 
(RAGONESE, 1936), hasta Tierra del Fuego. Fito- 
sociologicamente es una Provincia fitogeogra- 
fica bien definida, cuyo caracter fundamental es 
la presencia de varias especies del genero Notho- 

Su clima es templado f rio y humedo ; las tem- 
peraturas medias oscilan entre 5 y 13 ; en el 
invierno nieva abundantemente en el norte y gran 
parte del ano en el sur. Las precipitaciones os- 
cilan entre 500 y 1500 mm segtm los lugares ; la 
zona oriental es mas seca que la occidental, donde 
hay puntos, como en Laguna de Frias (Nahuel 
Huapi), donde llueve mas de 2000 mm. 

Siguiendo a HAUMAN (1931) se distinguen 
dos distritos ; uno septentrional, la Foresta valdi- 
viana, que se extiende desde el norte del Neu- 
quen hasta el paralelo 47 y el otro, los Bosques 
magalldnicos, desde esta latitud hasta Tierra del 

El distrito valdiviano es el que ostenta la vege- 
tacion mas abundante y la flora mas rica. Las 
especies arboreas mas caracten'sticas de este dis- 
trito son el coihue (Nothofagus dombeyi), el 
nire (N. antarctica) , el radal (Lomatia obliqua), 
el cipres (Libocedrus chilensis), el palo santo 
(Flotowia diacant hoides) , una de las compuestas 
de mayor talla y valiosisima por su madera, el 
laurel (Laurelia serrata) , el maniu (Podocarpus 
nubigena), el alerce (Fitzroya cupressoides) , etc. 
En el norte de este distrito, entre los paralelos 
37*45' y 403' se extiende una consociacion muy 
interesante, la de Araiicaria araucana, de madera 
valiosa para elaborar terciado y pasta para papel. 

Se asocia a los arboles citados el coligue 
(Chusquea culeou) de hojas duras y de canas 
s61idas, explotada para fabricar las lanzas del 

ejercito. El distrito austral se caracteriza por 
la presencia del guindo (Nothofagus be tul aides) 
cuya area septentrional llega hasta el sur del lago 
Pueyrred6n; ademas N. antarctica, el canelo 
(Drimys tvinteri), el ten (Pilgerodendron uvi- 
ferum), Maytenus magellanica, Berberis sp., 
etc. comunes a toda la formaci6n. 

Las especies forestales mas importantes son los 
Nothofagus (N. procera, N. antarctica, N. ob- 
liqua, N. betuloides) , el cipres (Libocedrus chil- 
ensis), la Araucaria araucana, Fiteroya cupres- 
soides, Lomatia obliqua, etc. 

7. ESTEPA PAMPEANA. Forma el ta- 
piz vegetal que cubre toda la provincia de Buenos 
Aires, el sur de Santa Fe, y el sudeste de Cor- 
doba. Su extensi6n es aproximadamente de 
500.000 km cuadrados. 

El clima es templado ; las temperaturas medias 
anuales oscilan entre 14 y 19, ocurriendb hela- 
das bastante intensas durante el invierno. Las llu- 
vias fluctuan entre 500 mm en el sudoeste y 1000 
mm en el nor este, repartidas en unos 50 a 80 dias ; 
las epocas lluviosas corresponden a la primavera 
y al otono. 

El suelo esta constituido por Iocs y es rela- 
tivamente homogeneo; en la zona oriental cs 
arcilloso y compacto, mientras en la occidental 
es arenoso, mas o menos suelto, y expuesto a lu 
erosion eolica. Naturalmente es una estcpa her- 
bacea, con predominio de gramineas y falta total 
de arboles. 

Las gramineas mas frecuentes y caracteristicas 
pertenecen a los generos Stipa, Piptochaetiwn, 
Aristida, Poa, Briza, Melica, Eragrostis, Hor- 
deum, Sporoboltis, Bromus, Andropogon, etc. 
Hay pocas especies de paniceas pero algunas de 
ellas suelen ser abundantes como Panicum bergii. 
Paspalum plicatulutn, P. dilatatum, Setaria gcni- 
culata. A ellas se les asocian especies dc Ver- 
bena, Vernonia, Aster, Gnaphalium, Soliva, Ox- 
alis, Adesmia, Solanum, Carex, Juncus, Sisyrin- 
chiutn, etc. 

Por causa de su suelo fertil y apropiado para 
los cultivos herbaceos mesoteVmicos (cereales, 
oleaginosas y alfalfa), ha sufrido una transfor- 
macion profunda, siendo hoy dificil hallar lugares 
con la cstepa pristina para poder estudiarla. 

Aunque naturalmente carece de arboles, ellos 
crecen bien cuando se los cultiva. La falta de 
arboles se debe, como ya f ue expresado ( PARODI, 
1942a) al suelo compacto y poco aereado y a la 
mala distribucion de las lluvias, faltando el agua 
generalmente durante el verano. Dado que pro- 
digandoles cultivo apropiado los arboles crecen 
bien, es posible la forestaci6n del territorio siem- 
pre que se elijan especies adecuadas para este 

Las especies ya aclimatadas, y que por su des- 
arrollo parecen ser las mas convenientes, son las 
siguientes : Eucalyptus (E. globutus en el este y 
E. viminalis en el oeste), el paraiso (Melia ase- 
darach), la casuarina (Casuarina cunning ham- 
wwa), el platano (Platanus acerifolia), el sauce 
lloron (Salix babylonica), los alamos (Populus), 
la acacia blanca (Robinia pseudacacia) , la acacia 
negra (Gleditschia triacanthos) , el olmo (Ulmus 
campestris) , los pinos (Pinus halepensis, P. in- 
signis y P. pinaster), los robles (Quercus pedun- 
culata, etc.), el arbol del cielo (Ailanthus altis- 
sima), los fresnos (Fraxinus sp.), etc. Como se 
puede notar, salvo Eucalyptus, Casuarina, Pinus, 
que son especies xer6filas, las demas son especies 
de hojas caedizas. 

8. MONTE OCCIDENTAL. Ocupa la re- 
gion seca que se extiende por las laderas mon- 


PARODI: Las Regiones Fitogeograficas Argentina* 

tanosas desde el norte de Catamarca hasta la 
Hnea oblicua establecida por HAUMAN (1926: 
164) que va desde el norte del Neuqu&i, hasta la 
desembocadura del rio Chubut, y desde la precor- 
dillera andina, hasta los bosques de transici6n 
en Catamarca y Cordoba, los bosques de caldenes 
de la Pampa Central, y el literal atlantico en el 
sur del Rio Colorado. Es una vegetacion inten- 
samente xerofila con predominio de arbustos es- 
pinosos de 1 a 3 m. de altura; conticne pocos 
arboles aislados y el suelo es desnudo en alta 
proporcion; a menudo el grado dc cobertura 
fluctua etitre 10 y 20% ; las gramineas son es- 
casas y el cesped herbaceo tan caracteristico 
en el Chaco es aqui exiguo o falta totalmente. 

El suelo es horizontal en la zona oriental y ac- 
cidentado en la region cordillerana ; suele ser 
gris, arenoso, ripioso y en muchos lugares salado. 
El clhna es templado-calido y muy seco; las 
mcdias anuales fluctuan entre 13 en el sur y 19 
en el norte. Las lluvias oscilan entre 200 y 400 
mm y se producen en maxima parte desde la 
primavera al otono. 

Entre los arbustos mas caracteristicos dcbe- 
mos mcncionar las jarillas (Larrea divaricata, L. 
nitida y L. cuneifolia), en ciertos puntos pre- 
dominantes; la brea (Cercidium praccox), la 
jarilla macho (Zucagnia punctata), la chica (Ra- 
morinoa girolae) , varios Prosopis (P. strombuli- 
fera, P. striata, P. argentina. P. alpataco, P. 
chilensis, etc.), el chafiar (Gourliea spinosa), 
Monttea aphylla, Lycium sp., Chuquiragua sp., 
Acacia sp., Bougainvillea sp., Bulncsia, Atamis- 
quea emarginata, eic. y un buen numero de cacta- 
ceas. Las gramineas son escasas pudiendo scr 
senaladas especies de Aristida, Stipa, Bonteloua, 
Trichloris, Setaria, Sporobolus, Pappophorum, 
Trichachne, etc. y Panicum unnlleanum en los 
suelos arenosos. 

S61o pueden efectuarse los cultivos bajo re- 
gadio; se crian bien los arboles de hojas caedi- 
zas, pero su cultivo no es economico ni puede 
competir con los frutales y solo se limita a usos 

tcpa de arbustos xerofilos achaparrados, meno- 
res de 1 m, mezclados con algunas gramineas, 
dejando parcialmente desnuda la superficie del 

Ocupa la Patagonia seca desde su limite con 
el Monte occidental, hasta el estrecho de Maga- 
llanes ; al este limita con el literal atlantico desde 
la desembocadura del rio Chubut hacia el sur, 
y al oeste con los bosques subantarcticos. 

El clima cs templado-frio, muy seco y cons- 
tantemente azotado por vientos fuertes. Nieva 
frecuentemente en el invierno. Las temperaturas 
mcdias anuales varian desde 6 en el sur hasta 
13 en el norte ; las lluvias oscilan entre 150 y 300 
mm, produciendose en maxima parte durante la 
epoca calida. 

El suelo es arenoso o pedregoso y seco en las 
mesetas, y humedo en los canadones, donde se 
forman amplios mallines con vegetacion pratense 
a base de Poa, Festuca, Agrostis, Deschampsia, 
Car ex, Juncus, etc. En las mesetas predomina la 
vegetacion arbustiva, baja, en forma de cojines; 
los gneros mas comunes son Berberis, Asorella, 
Verbena, Nardophyllum, Chuquiragua, Muli- 
nwn, Lepidophyllum, Adesmia, etc.; resguarda- 
das en dichas matas viven algunas gramineas 
xer6filas de los g6neros Stipa, Poa, Hordeum, 
Agropyron, Bromus, Trisetum, etc. Salvo en 
algunos lugares reparados, con suelo humedo, 

donde pueden cultivarse algunas especies arb6- 
reas para usos locales, no es posible el cultivo de 
forestales en esta region. 

10. DESIERTO ANDINO. Se extiende 
por la Puna de Atacama y altas montanas andinas 
a mas de 3000 m s.m. en el norte, bajando a menos 
de 2000 m desde el Neuquen hacia el sur. Es 
regi6n de vegetacion pobre y achaparrada; solo 
en las quebradas y en las laderas pr6ximas al 
altiplano crecen algunos arboles achaparrados 
como Prosopis ferox, que suele ser cortado para 
combustible, y el cardon (Cereus pasacana) de 
varios metros de altura; este proporciona una 
madera muy curiosa, con grandes perforaciones 
equivalentes a los radios medulares, muy esti- 
mada para elaborar pequenos muebles y numer- 
osos objetos de fantasia. 

La difkultad para cultivar arboles y la falta de 
otros combustibles, son causas que se oponen a 
la vida del hombre en la Puna. 



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Feu (Anales del Musco de La Plata, Scccion Botanica 1: 
1-85 mas 1-23). 

BAEZ, JUAN R. 1939: La vegetacion del norte de San 
Luis (Physis 15: 357-376. Buenos Aires). 

BRIQUET, JOHN 1920: Caracteres resumes des princi- 
paux groupcs de formations vegetales (Annuaire du 
Conservatoire et du Jardin botaniques de Geneve 21: 

BURKART, ARTURO 1943: Las Lcguminosas argentinas 
silvtstres y cultivadas. 1 vol., 590 p., Buenos Aires. 

CABRERA, ANGEL L. 1936: Apuntes sobre la vegeta- 
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I (8): 207-236). 

tribuciun a la bibliografia botanica argentina (Lilloa 
6: 5-161; 7: 5-496). 

DAVIS, WALTER G. 1910: Climate of the Argentine 
republic. 1 vol., Ill p., Buenos Aires. 

FRENC.UELU, JOAQU!N 1941: Rasgos principales de 
ntoKeografia argentina (Rev. Mus. La Plata 3:65-131). 

FRIES, ROB. E. 1905: Zur Kenntnis der alpinen Flora 
im Nprdlichcn Argentimen (Nova acta regide societatis 
scientiarum upsalicnsis 4 (!) 1-205). 

HAUMAN (MRCK), LUCIEN 1913: Etude phytogeo- 
graphique de la region du Rio Negro inferieur (An. 
Mus. Nac. B. Aires. 24: 289-444). 

1916: La xoret valdivicnne et ses limites (In- 

stituto de BotAnica y Farmacologia N'34: 1-91). 

1918: La vegetation dcs hautes cordilleres de 

Mendoza (An. Soc. Cient. Arg. 86: 121-188 y 225-348). 
- ~ " de la Pata- 

de Belgique 

58: 1U5-1SUJ. 

1931: Esquisse phytogeographique de 1'Argen- 

tine subtropicale et de ses relations avec la Geohotanique 
sud-am^ricaine (Bull. Socic^e* Royale de Botanique de 
Belgique 64: 20-80). 

KANTER, H. 1936: Der Gran Chaco und seine Rand- 
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